Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Missing in action

Or 'Missing Inaction'? Subtle difference.

Let's see...I last updated on Thursday! Yikes! I actually think I ran closer to 6 miles on the treadmill last Thursday, and Friday was a MEAN Jillian Michaels workout... I use my multi-hundred dollar tv and HD cable to do a one hour workout, once a week. I suck. Workout wasn't even in HD. I'm now imagining Jillian's chiseled abs in high def and I'm not sure I like it...

Saturday and Sunday...? You know the drill. I went to Lynchburg, VA for a work thing and enjoyed myself a lot. A whole lot. There was a conference, a little tubing, and a lot of laughing. Such a good time. Unfortunately, not a lot of pics. And zero running.
Nick looking conferencey, me looking out of it.

Monday I was home, and got myself settled. I bought lots of groceries and realized, wow, if you're never home, you really don't need to buy much food. I guess that's the appeal of not being around your own house a lot, but I think I'd rather be present a little more... even if it means I eat more. Monday night I also ran 4 miles and change (my GPS bit it during the first mile, so I just ran for 40 minutes... whatever works). During my run, a neighbor yelled, "You haven't been up since 6am, have ya?!" in a way that said, to me at least, wow, who gets up at a reasonable hour and still has energy to run at 7pm? Well, I do. I get up by 6 every morning, and I still run at night... I don't know, that comment pushed my buttons, and I don't even know the woman. I was briefly jumped on by my neighbor dog (big lab puppy) also. Ugh. The run itself was iffy, my IT band started tweaking about 3 miles into it, and it ached a little the rest of the run.

Tuesday night has become long run night... I like it! I left work and hit the road by 5pm. It has been delightfully cool here this week (never change, weather!), so I didn't have to worry about the temperature. I planned on doing 12+ miles. The + means "I really sincerely hope I at least make it to 12, if I get any more than that I'll be so happy."

...and I did! I did 12.35 miles. Let's not talk about pace. I drank a full water bottle and ate a granola bar within the first 6 miles. The last 6 miles I tried to choke down the other granola bar with my severely dry mouth. I also tore up my right heel pretty well with a slippery sock, but it's fine today. The IT band issues flared up, although not quite as much as the day before. All in all, it was a good run... as long as you ignore that I need to run 14 miles further than that in just a few weeks... sigh.

Tonight: biking! Get excited! And this weekend Kim will be in town, but unfortunatelty it looks like the weather will keep us off the roads... I would like to move my long run back towards the weekend, it makes my life easier. We'll see.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Le sigh

First off: I'm sorry, world, for polluting you with my garlicky garlic breath. I know I smell icky but tzatziki is my new favorite thing, so I'm gonna pour it on everything. Don't pretend you don't put 3 raw garlic cloves into 2 cups of sauce. I know I'm not alone.

I'm not even kidding, I smell so foul. I had this stuff before bed the other night, and even after brushing my teeth and washing my face I was still a smelly mess. I'm ok with this. Garlic is good for your heart but bad for interpersonal relationships. Seeing as I have a meeting in 1.5 hours, I should probably chew some gum (or 10 starbursts!) before I get too near another human being.

Anyyyyyways. Yesterday-I biked the same route I ran on Tuesday. A++ for consistency, C- for not remembering that gentle hills when running sometimes equal monster hills on bike. My recovery ride was a little more intense than I had planned. Perfect illustration would be my paces from my ride yesterday, which I would present in table form but I cannot, because I still have not bought a new ANT stick for my Garmin, so all my workouts live on my watch (hi blog world, I just had a bday!). Anyways, my splits were something like: 4:05, 4:05, 3:30, 3:45, 4:30, 5:15, etc. BIG hills contribute to some pretty slow miles.

Today- my belated birthday gift to myself is running on the treadmill. You're welcome, self. It's a pretty warm day and because of things to do tonight, I need to run early. I'll do 5 easy miles. I'm cutting back on back-to-back running workouts because of some persistent muscle soreness that I worry will turn into an injury.

Now back to your regularly scheduled garlic eating. Here's a snippet of a bday present I got:
So pretty :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Birthday run!

Yesterday, my birthday, was a horrendous day at work. I had unpleasant meetings, my tendency to procrastinate was painfully brought to light, and I just had a generally unpleasant, grumpy day. I was not super looking forward to running, especially after I talked myself out of treadmilling. "Outside running is better!"- direct quote from my judgmental brain.

So.. I got home, screwed around for a little, and set the goal for myself to leave the house by 6. It was not really hot yesterday, but it was kind of warm, so I figured it would have cooled by 6 and I'd also have more shadows to work with.

First 3 miles or so were golden... I hovered around 9:40 miles and chugged along. The next 3 started getting painful, and I got wicked thirsty. Who knows why, but I left the house without water. I am not smart. I tried to focus on the one foot in front of the other, just keep running thing, and got to 7.5 or without a break. It was all downhill from there, performance wise. I took walk breaks, and really had trouble powering through. I also had the added "I need to run this distance to get back to my house" motivation which I'm not sure was beneficial. Since I quite literally had to keep going in order to get home, well, I had to get home. However, I got a little panicky and psyched myself out with thinking, oh my goodness, what if I have to WALK all the way home. Added to that some tummy troubles (will the people down the road hate me if I use their bushes as a port-a-potty?), thirst and tiredness meant I was SO. HAPPY. to get back to my house. So so happy.

I choked down some dinner (cottage cheese, tortilla, and baby carrots in tzatziki... painful meal), got a visit from my lovely boyfriend, and had an icky night's sleep.

Conclusion: don't do a long run on your birthday after a bad day at work! Today my body is overall tired, and my legs have sort of been hating the stairs. I attribute that to not refueling well after the run. I need to buy protein shake type stuff so I don't starve my muscles quite so much. Now (t-10 weeks until marathon!) is NOT the time to be dropping weight and eating poorly.

I'm gonna regroup today by biking 10-15ish miles after work and having a real birthday dinner with my family (that I will definitely be hungry for!). I'm excited!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Birthday post!

So I don't have anything exciting and running related today,  but I do have these guys:

My dad's coworker brought him SO many cucumbers. You can't tell from the picture, but these are massive. I got 3. So now, the challenge becomes, what on earth do I do with these?

 This is almost 1 cucumber, turned into the most amazing salad ever. Well, it will be, I just haven't eaten it yet because I wanted the flavors to meld first. Cucumber, cherry tomatoes, feta, vinegar, oil, onion, salt and pepper and italian seasoning. Yum! It is part of my lunch today. One of the other cukes was turned into a much simpler salad, just cucumber, oil, vinegar, dill and onion. It will also be delicious.

Third one presented a bit of a challenge...a girl can only eat so much cucumber salad (that's so not true for me, but I was still feeling adventurous). Google told me tzatziki would be cuke friendly. I found a recipe and it turned out... eh. It's very pretty, and tastes good enough, but it doesn't blow me away. A lot of the recipes had mint in them, so I think that might have been missing from mine. It'll still get eaten though, on salads and as a veggie dip.

Ran 3.5 miles last night in the pitch black because of a rain storm that lasted all afternoon. I kind of love running in the dark, so I should probably get some reflective stuff (super cool vest?!). Also, it's going to be dark earlier in the coming weeks, so even if I'm not running late, it's more likely to be dark.

Today is a 12 or 13 mile long run on the treadmill. I said it, so it must be true. It's also my birthday! Yay!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Picture post!

Another picture-y short post.. more to come later!
My banana bread from last week... had the last piece this morning, so yummy.

This is where I went skydiving this weekend.. I SWEAR they're legit :) 
Nick and I looking windblown and (nervous?) happy before the big leap.

TINY plane we jumped out of. We're insane. 5 people plus 2 parachutes fit in that ridiculous contraption.

Actual in air pics will come tomorrow when I get them loaded.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dog problems

I don't know what it is about me, or maybe it's just runners in general, but I have been having lots of dog problems involved in my life lately. First, there was a chocolate lab (I'm gonna call him Cocoa because I don't know his real name) who came in my house in the morning when I left my front door open while carrying stuff to the car. Then, the Huskie who followed me for about 1.5 miles during my run, just hanging out and enjoying a nice jog. Now, Cocoa has reappeared. I haven't gotten a picture of him because I've always been a little distracted, but he looks something like this:

He is a VERY cute dog, but he's quite large. Yesterday, as I ran by my neighbor's house, he came bounding out to join me. Unfortunately, he has neither the grace nor the self-restraint to jog along beside me like my Huskie friend, so instead he bounded here and there and tried to jump on me. Really, dog? Can't you see I'm running?

I said some harsh words towards him and tried to point the direction of his house without stopping my run (momentum is sometimes the only thing I have going for me), and he left me after 25 yards or so. Ugh. It threw me off because it elevated my heart rate and just generally made me discombobulated... frustrating when your neighbors don't corral their animals.

Other than that, good run. Quick first mile led to the next 2.5 miles being s-l-o-w, but whatever. I'm having trouble eating after I run, last night I could stomach only a chunk of banana bread and some cottage cheese. Maybe it was because I ate 1/4 of a half gallon of ice cream before I went? Nah.. no way those things are related.

This weekend is going to be insane, weather-wise, and insane, life-wise. I'm going skydiving on Saturday, and then laying on the beach and savoring the sensation of being on the ground. I can't wait!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The time I locked myself out. And other stories.

Running conundrum # 276: do you take keys with you when you run, or leave your door unlocked so you don't have to carry keys? I know in some neighborhoods, that's not even a question, but my neighborhood is rural, my house is not really special-looking, and travel down my road is slim to none. Since I've lived in my new place (about a month), I have always just left my door unlocked, and not worried about keys... does that make me super dumb? I only have one key, and my landlady requested that I don't make a duplicate key, so I don't have an easy grab and go key. Anyways, last night, I walked out the door and did my normal leaving-the-house routine: lock door, check lock, close door, check door is closed. The second I did my door close check, I realized I didn't have keys. Oops. I had my phone, so I would not have been totally screwed. This story has a super happy ending though. My landlady's house is a stone's throw away from my house and I was able to mosey over, grab a key, pet her adorable dog, and let myself back in. Super easy. Having your landlady adjacent to your house is a plus when you're locked out. Minus if you want to throw a rager, but I think I can hold off on that in order to keep my lease.

Run was 6.3 miles, slooowwww but pleasant. Happy me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Breakfast discovery

I keep seeing references on blogs I read to making eggs in the microwave, and I was always doubtful. This morning, I didn't have any ripe bananas or hard boiled eggs, so my breakfast was looking kind of thin. In a moment of desperation and a complete lack of research, I threw 2 eggs in a coffee mug, scrambled them, and then was faced with the hard part... how long do I cook these for? If they're undercooked, can I cook them more or will the consistency be horrible? How do microwaved eggs even work??

I'll spare you any suspense. I cooked them for a minute on high and they were perfect and fluffy. I threw some garlic salt and ketchup in the mug and it was a super delicious breakfast. I should have had Cheerios or something as well, but I was pressed for time. All in all, it was a success!

Otherwise... um. I ran yesterday in a downpour. It was delightful.

I got a haircut! I think it makes me look like a newscaster:
It is WAY shorter! I like it, I think. I have not figured out the curly version yet though. I'll need to experiment a little more.

Yesterday I had a salad with desperation dressing from my desk drawer. It was 'raspberry vinaigrette' and it was terrible. I tried to take a pic and capture the unnatural color it was:
It's pretty pink (the mixed in creamy stuff is a borrowed/stolen dash of basil ranch from the fridge at work). I just don't think salad dressing needs to be quite that pink. And I don't like super sweet salad dressing a whole lot in general.. ick.

Friday, August 5, 2011


In the spirit of Kim, here is a mostly photo entry:
I made this poundcake.. it is part 1 of 3 of dessert for dinner tonight. Disregard the fact that since I don't have toothpicks, I used a fork to test done-ness and there is a fork print in the middle of the cake. Also, I have 2 of these (they're about 8 inches), because I don't have a loaf pan or a bundt pan.
 Glazed strawberries are part 2 of 3... can you guess the 3rd part? We'll see if the whipped cream gets made... I ran out of sugar! Silly me!
 Dinner is 'Sloppy Lenny's' as we're calling them. I would take a picture of those but they are in the crockpot and I am afraid to open it and throw off the moisture balance. They smell SO good though!
 Fresh, clean and trimmed green beans from the farmer's market I drive by EVERY day but never stop at. These look promising. They'll be steamed and deelish later.
 I had some brown rice that needed eating, so I turned it into fried rice. It turned out greasy yet again. I really need to have a lighter hand with the oil either when I'm cooking the eggs or the rice. I added frozen peas and corn.
 This is the inside of the pound cake from up top. It is yummy but pretty dense, as poundcake ought to be. It really needs whipped cream though.

NEW RUNNING SHOES! After that pic of my bramble alerted me to how worn out my 4 month old Mizunos are, I bought 2 new pairs from Running Warehouse with a 10% off coupon. They also offer free shipping in case you're in the market for some new shoes. Their prices are pretty good and they arrived FAST! Extra bonus is that both pairs were discounted, even though Zappos only had one color discounted (the blue ones I already have). So I bought a blue pair and a while/yellow/magenta pair. Hooray!

I also got a new steam cleaning mop (the second half of my bday present from my parents... they're looking out for my cleanliness). I had a picture of it but for some reason I can't get it to email like I normally do. I have not used it yet, so I cannot review it. I really like the idea of steam cleaning instead of using harsh chemicals. I don't have pets or kids, but thinking about my bare tootsies constantly in contact with chemicals makes me uneasy. The Bissell Steam Mop is a great idea. I'll let you all know how it is. 

Today is a good day! (I took today off of work, that is why I've had time to run errands and cook all day... luxury is going to the grocery store at 10am on a weekday). The only mild downside is that I have what might turn into a cold happening. I've had a sore throat for a couple of days, and then this morning I feel extra icky... I have a cough, little sniffle, sore throat and my inner ears itch. I would say I have a 'summer cold' but I hate it when people say that... of course it's a summer cold, it is summer and you have a cold. Rhinovirus doesn't like, get tanned wear short shorts and come and infect you in some special way just because it's summertime. People.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thorn in my... sole?

I am so silly sometimes. Yesterday I needed to run, but was a little pressed for time. I headed out with my seemingly functional Garmin and was chugging along. The roads by my house are pretty narrow and annoying, with either about 3 inches of shoulder or none at all... some parts have the white line eroded, so you're really dealing with far less than a full lane. This is pertinent, I swear. I ran along the road, against traffic, and could hear vehicles coming pretty well so I kept having to go offroad to avoid people. Not a big deal, but offroad was really, really offroad. Like, steep ravine/ditch. Not a lot of fun. At one point, I went from offroad to onroad, and it felt like I had a stick in my shoe, but I ran through it, figuring it would fall out. Silly me.

I got home and saw this:
High-larious. From this picture we see 2 things: 1) I REALLY need new shoes! look at the wear on that sole! They're kinda sorta new.. I'll admit I have not tracked mileage, so maybe 2) stepping on a 'Buckyball'/spiny seed pod thing was good. It meant I looked at the bottom of my shoe! It also meant that the last 1.5 miles of my run might have been a little more comfortable had I looked at the bottom of my shoe instead of thinking "I have no time to check! Ahh!"

The run itself was good... my legs felt like lead, so I decided to do 0.9 miles running, 0.1 miles walking. I still average faster than 10 minute miles. Yay me!

Dinner was delicious, but I was reminded for the millionth time that most places don't do vegetarian super well. We went to a Japanese hibachi place, and it was very tasty but sauteed carrots are not equivalent to steak/chicken/shrimp whatever. Oh well. I know how to get protein in my diet.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In the long run...

This weekend I did not do a long run! Gasp! So unlike me. But really, I have a weird mental block in place that prevents me from getting my behind out the door and into the heat and humidity for 2 hours. Can't do it. I've probably been unsuccessful in part because I tend to have too much fun on weekends and stay up late. I also have a (probably stupid) fear, especially now that I'm living alone, of heading out the door for 6+ miles in one direction and being all by myself. I know if I was in great distress I could still call my family, or a passing motorist would help me, but it still makes me uncomfortable. So my solution was to run on the treadmill at work, in the air conditioning, with the TV on Food Network so I can contemplate Paula Deen's ridiculousness whilst making myself healthier. And you know what? It worked. I did 10 miles at a decent (for me) pace with a 1% incline to make it equivalent-ish to wind resistance. I didn't put in any hills, but maybe next time.

The treadmill, for me at least, is going to be my long run staple until the marathon. Decision made. I know I should go outside, but as long as the weather is how it is, I just can't bring myself to do it. It's been 85 degrees or more by the mid-morning, and it stays at 90+ until it gets dark. I know I'm probably underestimating myself, but I see I have 2 options:

1) go out for a run in the heat and humidity, feeling vaguely uncomfortable, and probably bonk or psych myself out early in the run, ending up either heading home early or walking a huge amount. Either way, I don't get in the mileage and I feel crappy about myself.

2) Run on treadmill, control my pace (this is SO key for me- part of my bonking tendencies comes from going out too fast every. single. time.) and body temp. Slow down/walk if needed. Have entertainment.

Some would argue I'm disengaging myself from the run, but really, I'm feeling for myself what the pace I should be doing feels like. I'm probably justifying my own laziness at least a little. But whatever. I would MUCH rather get in miles and build some long run confidence than not get the miles in. I feel really happy about the run yesterday, despite being indoors.

So that's that. Treadmill it is. I'll do some/most of my other mid-week runs outdoors so my body will still be subject to pavement, hills, and temperatures. This marathon is happening in less than 13 weeks whether I like it or not, so it is well past time for me to figure out what works for me and get the training in.

Monday, August 1, 2011

All grown up.

I love buying stuff, but I hate spending money. I tend to justify not having essential, or semi-essential stuff, because I can 'live without it.' Some things, like a GPS watch, are totally understandable. Who really NEEDS a GPS watches, especially since they are expensive. Another thing was an upgraded tv. I didn't really see the need, because I hardly watch TV anyways and I was doing just fine without HD. Well....
Top pic is before calling Comcast and getting grouchy on them because I had this big, pretty tv and no picture!

Ahh... much better.

This thing is creepy realistic. I watched a cooking show and about died. I don't see this television changing my TV habits all that much, but at least I have it for when I have people over who might want to watch TV.

I also got a pretty awesome birthday present from my parents- new vacuum!

Uhh.. yeah, that IS the Electrolux Nimble. I used it after unpacking my new TV and throwing bits of styrofoam everywhere. It was glorious, and it was indeed nimble. All the claims of never clogging though go down the tubes when it encountered my hair... I shed a lot and it needed to be emptied, despite not being full, after going through my bedroom. I'm ok with that though, because it did really well otherwise.

Next big purchase is a couch... I don't currently have anywhere to sit in my living room... literally no furniture aside from a big TV sitting on the floor. Ugh. Need to be a little less college student and a little more grown up.

Running? Oh right, I do that... yeah... check back tomorrow.