Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sometimes I don't know why blog posts have titles. I could be super clever and come up with something that probably still sounds lame, or I could leave it blank and folks (I use that "s" loosely... there's just the one folk reading) can read the post and figure it out. I was going to put my NEW! 5K! PR! in the blog title, but that's just giving away the good part.

Now look what this blogging nonsense has made me do.

So. Nick and I did a Jingle Bell Run on Saturday. This is a "big" race for down here- about 1000 people registered, which is about 10x what we normally see. A bunch of our friends and coworkers were running too, which made it all the more exciting. Our excitement was so overwhelming, we went out the night before and had lots of beer and pasta (carb loading for a 5K. it's a thing, look it up). Oh and jalapeno breadcrumb encrusted onion rings! They were SO GOOD. In the morning, I felt like one would imagine I felt after that beer/pasta/fried food combo (not surprising fact: hiatal hernias and associated reflux don't go well with booze/grease/pasta sauce!). I drank tons of water, choked down a banana and we drove to the race. I still felt terrible. I made some comment to Nick about wanting to run fast just to get it over with.

A lot of the racers were there for their annual 5K, meaning there were a ridiculous amount of dawdlers present. I want to like everyone who comes to a race, especially one that supports a good cause, but goodness gracious, at least attempt to line up in order of how speedy you plan on being. Nick was running with me again because he also didn't feel 100%, so we set out and I just planned on running comfortably fast. The last few short races I've done, I've completed the first mile in something like 7:15 and then pulled back a lot so I didn't die. This one, I finished the first mile in 7:30, then slowed down a little to 7:50 and 8:00. I completely felt like dying, but since it wasn't JUST running making me feel gross, I ignored it and kept running stupid fast. I told Nick towards the end that I couldn't keep it up, but then we did. My Garmin showed the race at 3.08 miles, but there was a hairpin turnaround so the distance could be anything. What matters is my time! 23:44! Ahh! I scoped out the race results, not thinking I had a chance at an age group award because it was a larger race. Then I saw I was the 22nd woman... and that a large group of the women in front of me were actually 12 year old girls. Score! I was pretty excited that I was mostly beaten by children. I got a sweet fleece headband that will definitely fall over my eyes when I run in it but will warm me nonetheless.

In the almost a week since the race, I have recovered from my hacking, keeps-me-up-all-night cough and transitioned to a deep, mucusy cough that feels like it's pulling my lungs upward starting from my diaphram. It's not nearly as annoying as the horrible cough from last week that kept me from sleeping, but it's unattractive, painful, and worrisome. I don't think I've been properly sick in a couple years and now I have a cough for 3 weeks. Fun.

Also worrisome is a sharp pain in my left foot. If I remember correctly (not looking in my archives, I'm just that lazy), I had foot pain after my marathon last year and it went away pretty quickly. That was more of an arch pain, and although it was definitely a shooting pain, it wasn't constant. This one is. I ran 4 miles on the treadmill Monday, swam Tuesday, and ran 2 miles of intervals on Wednesday. It hurt the last 2 days but today is really pronounced, and it hurts just walking around. I had running on the plan for today but if the weather's nice enough, biking might be a good alternative. Time will tell.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fast girls have better times

That title was emblazoned on a couple of my high school swimming teammates shirts' and at the time I had no idea what it meant. Of course fast girl have better times! Duh! I get it now (fast ~= wild/easy), don't worry, but back then I was blissfully innocent. Or I had a poor vocabulary, whichever.

So there's fast girls.. and then there's me. Nick and I were at the pool the other day and I was chugging along (500 free moderate/steady (9:15), then 50 breast slow, 50 free fast (1:55), 50 slow, 50 fast, 50 slow all times 3 plus a cool down = very tired me). I was chugging along during one of the 500's and feeling confident. Although I sometimes drag my feet getting to the pool, once I'm in the water I'm usually happy. I noticed some folks in the lane next to me getting ready to get in. One was a younger woman, probably late teens/early 20's, who was definitely built like a swimmer. She had pretty, toned, broad shoulders. Plus she was wearing a swim cap and only if you're hardcore do you do that. Or that's what I tell myself, since I wear one. A middle-aged guy was with her, probably her dad. I saw them a few times because they were dawdling on the deck waiting for lanes to open up so I had time to make all these totally superficial judgments about them.

When swimmer girl and her dad get in the water I notice that she's speedy. Way speedy. I would be even with her on one breath, and she would be a full body length ahead of me then next time I breathed. I saw pretty quickly (ha) that I would not be able to do any impromptu, only-one-of-us-knows-we're-racing races (like when you "compete" with the guy next to you on the treadmill. Yes, I have the maturity and self-control of a 14 year old boy). Since she was unattainable, I focused on her dad...and he was fairly fast too! He was doing 50 or 100 repeats, not longer, slow stuff like I was doing, so it was hard to judge but during a few of our race lengths I definitely had to push it to keep up.

I've never considered myself "fast" (neither the traveling quickly meaning nor the easy meaning). I was a decent swimmer in high school and I've been throwing in some sprints during my swim workouts to get at least a little extra speed in case I ever decide to do another triathlon. On the running side, I've always been s-l-o-w. For a fit, young woman, I've been average or below average (I was 115th out of 376 women 25-29 at the Richmond Marathon. Meh) (my recent second place in my age group in a local 5K = fluke of a small-town race). So having a reminder that my sprint swimming pace is other peoples' training pace was.. unpleasant. I want to be a faster swimmer just for my own satisfaction. I guess I'll keep on working on sprints and form and maybe pick up some pace.

As for running, I would definitely like to keep whittling away the 5K time and this week, for the first time ever, I actually thought about what it would take to get a Boston Qualifying marathon time, aside from a miracle. With this weekend's 5K in mind, my treadmill workout last night was 0.1 @ 6.0, 0.23 @ 8.0 x 10 (3.33 miles, 27:30 total) plus cooldown. That's a total of 2.33 miles at 7:30 min/mile pace, and it felt ok. I have no idea what my legs will do this weekend but hopefully some of that quickness will resurface (as if it wasn't already ridiculously obvious, I have no idea how to train to get faster in a 5K).

Boston Qualifying for 2014 (although it would more likely be 2015 or beyond) = 03:35:00 for a woman my age. That's 8:12 min/mile. That's over 1 min/mile faster than the recent marathon, but after my epic 40some minute marathon improvement this year, I have hope that there's more improvement to come.

Monday, December 3, 2012


Last Tuesday-ish I started getting a little cold. Basically no big deal, I sniffled, I was a little tired, end of story. I figured I'd have some chest congestion for a few days and that would be the end of it. Instead, I've regressed back to my 7 year old self who stayed up into the wee hours for nights on end coughing my face off. Friday and Saturday night Nick wasn't home, so I didn't worry about keeping him up, but last night I kicked myself out of bed and slept in the guest room. I got about 3 hours of sleep before waking up coughing, swigging some more nighttime cough syrup, and sleeping for another hour. I seriously considered calling in sick but this month is really busy as it is and I'd rather get some work in. I feel icky. I wish sleep-inducing cough meds worked for more than 3 hours (really, the Tylenol stuff says take every 4 hours... while I appreciate something that won't automatically make me a zombie the next day, I wish it worked for something resembling a full night's sleep).

On the other hand, my abs are ridiculously sore and I haven't worked them out lately so I win everything for getting in a workout just by being ill! Between this and the colon cleanse last week I'll be bikini ready in no time! (/so much sarcasm).

(from here)

But really, I'm wearing this dress on Saturday and it currently just barely fits. I need enough room in this thing to drink at least 1 rum and Diet before falling over because I've only eaten air all week. I wouldn't normally even worry about fitting into this dress or looking particularly good but it's SO PRETTY ON. It makes me feel like a goddess. Vanity wins this one.

(from here) So much Spanx are being worn.

 While Nick was busy making money on the weekend so he can take Monday off like a millionaire, I did this:

... that doesn't look like anything at all. What the picture is trying to show how much I cooked on Friday. I have 2 pots of soaking beans, chopped veggies, some lentils cooking away (there's even steam! look!) and spices. And Rubbermaids everywhere because I make 17 servings of everything and then freeze it. I made:

- 36 lentil "meatballs" (but only froze 34 because cooking made me hungry) = 3 meals
- 2 dinners of "Ethiopian" lentil stew from this recipe which was delicious and with a few tweaks I will make it my own. I'm imagining toasted almonds and maybe raisins. Side note: finding that awesome blog, Post Punk Kitchen, definitely means some exciting cooking times ahead. I am anxious to make some new vegan/veggie stuff.
- 10 lentil burgers = 2.5 dinners
- black bean dip for lunches all week
- this Raw Brownie batter (which we just call "chocolate stuff") that does NOT taste good after taste-testing black bean dip. I thought I had screwed up but I am pretty sure it was just residual garlic hanging around. This has been our go-to dessert for months. It's so easy and yummy.
- Kidney beans for... who knows. Something beany. 

I also made time to run 2 of my fingers over the grater while grating ginger, and purchase wedding shoes:

(from here)

 Since we'll be tromping through the snow for our wedding, I needed boots. I toyed with the idea of just wearing snow boots and having the girly dress/bulk shoes dichotomy but decided I'd rather go cute and Victorian and feminine. Just because they manufacture "wedding Uggs" does NOT mean you have to wear them. No.