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Showing posts from July, 2012

Slower Running & Squash "Pasta" with Garlicky Basil Tomatoes

Ditching Speed
This morning the alarm went off just after 5 am and I soooo wanted to just say to heck with the run and go back to sleep. But considering that it was already 84 degrees and humid, it's not like I could put the run off until lunch or after work.

So, I reluctantly rolled out of bed and got myself ready while Jason did the same. The first mile kind of sucked. Mile 1 put us at the intersection of a busy road - usually empty at 5:30 am - where this one loan mini-van couldn't decide what they were doing. In turn, we had to stand and wait....and wait. It felt like 10 minutes. All Jason said was, "It's hot." Those were is first words of the morning.

We made a pit stop at the house at 2 miles into the run then off again. The brief stop actually helped me a great deal. I honestly thought I might have to take my inhaler or stop the run. I just couldn't breathe. Mile 3 was starting to get a little better. I finally hit some sort of rhythm by mile 4.

I deci…

Conquering My Fear of Cycling

Six Miles & Pool Time
This weekend was a good one all the way around. Saturday morning I got in a pretty good 6 mile run but the heat did a number on me big time. I should have stuck with my planned 5 miles or taken a GU at 4 miles. I normally take one around 6 miles into an 8+ mile run. So I didn't even think about needing it for 6 miles. 
During the run I was ok. I did finish all of my 20 oz bottle of water by mile 5 though. Right after my run I felt fine. I stretched and rolled. Used a cooling towel to bring my body temp down and took a cold shower.

But then it hit me hard. That icky nauseous feeling that signals that I need to get in electrolytes fast. It's not about food, it's not about carbs, proteins, etc. So I had some Gatorade (which I actually can't stand) but it really helped. So that headache and nausea finally dissipated so I felt human again.
Luckily, the only other thing I had planned for the day was spending time in the pool with friends and my sist…

Fun Facts Friday - Running Quirks

Another 10
Last night I did not sleep well at all. Maybe I was slightly over-hydrating because I kept having to get up, what felt like every 30 minutes to go pee. So, when the alarm went off at 5, I really wanted to just say screw it, I'm going back to sleep.

But I turned on the lights and we both rolled out of bed and go ourselves ready for our long run of the week. We started off on the usual route for the first two miles then changed up the route. It was really kind of nice actually. The only downside was that we had to stick to the sidewalks which were of course wonky in some spots so you had to really pay attention.

The first 5 miles went by really quickly. My legs felt good. The air felt better. We had a front move through and it cooled it down to 75 degrees. After a heat index of 108, 75 could be snowing. And the breeze was actually cooler air too. So much better than last week's disastrous run.

I was able to really keep my breathing under control and also focus a littl…

Running Ruminations & Spicy Tahini Stir Fry Sauce

Unintended Stir Fry
I didn't think I'd have anything to report about dinner last night, but I ended up accidentally making an amazing sauce that I wanted to share. It started out as a total hodgepodge dinner. I started roasting kale then Jason mentioned doing some sort of spicy "beef" and peppers dish using Gardein's Beefless Tips.

I started sauteing onions, red and green bell peppers and garlic. I added in a bit of soy sauce then wanted to add in some hoisin but thought I was out (different shaped container this time duh) so I added in a little of this a little of that, then found the hoisin.... And it turned out amazing. I also added in frozen peas and of course the Beefless Tips.

So, here is the list of ingredients for my Spicy Tahini Stir Fry Sauce (you just have to wing the amounts based on taste)

Soy sauce
Tahini
Sriracha chili sauce
Red pepper flakesr
Hoisin
Salt and pepper
Rice wine vinegar
Splash of water to loosen it up (mostly because I mixed in pan wh…

Mesh Tank & Celebrating Winesday

Trying Out Mesh
This morning I went ahead and got myself up and out of bed when Jason got up to go to his morning master's swim class. My plan was to get in 3-4 miles. At 5:30 it's still completely dark out, so I did hedge around until about 5:35 so that it would at least start getting light earlier into my run rather than right at the end (if that made any sense).

I tried out my new Brooks Running D'Lite Micro Mesh Racerback. Normally I just wear a sports bra and shorts, but I wanted to try to find something I could wear when running solo that wasn't hot and was vibrant so I could be seen.

This shirt fits the bill. It's mesh, as in mesh mesh, totally see through. However, you get the feeling of some coverage rather than just bare skin. Since it is mesh, the air flows right through it almost as if you were running without the top (almost, because it was sticking to me by the end). And, I think it's a good safety measure for being more visible in the dark.

So, I…

Morning Run & Eggplant Mushroom Lentil Burgers

Morning Run
This morning started out painfully early. I woke up around 4:30 to potty. And my alarm was set for just after 5 so we could run. In other words, no point in falling back asleep obviously. But man that makes for a long long day. By 10 am, it felt more like 3 pm.

We set out for the run just before 5:30. At least there was a slight breeze today. That definitely helped with the heat/humidity. I will say that our pace was just all over the place though. Zero consistency going on this morning.

Our first mile was a slow one (though I thought we were going a bit faster) at 9:58, but then mile 2 was 8:31. Really? How'd that happen? I'll blame it on not being awake. And oddly, that might have been the best feeling mile for me. My legs started to get pretty heavy and I had to concentrate on my breathing. So I felt like my form was getting a little sloppy, which can make you less efficient of course.

So, after a slow mile then a fast mile, so continued the varied pace: 9:19, …

Weekend Recap & Mediterranean Portobello and Olive Sauce

Running and Enjoying the Weekend
This weekend was super productive. I got in 2 pretty good runs, definitely better than Friday's run. Saturday I set out for 4-5 miles. It was really hot (go figure) so I was trying to be flexible about my miles. If it was just too much, then I'd stop early. There's really no reason why I must get in 5 miles, or any for that matter. 
They weren't just easy peasy, but so much better than the previous day. I definitely pushed myself for some pretty good splits. My first mile was 9:10, then I got in 8:53, 8:54 then a holy-crap 8:36. I messed up my lap on mile 5 so I don't know exactly what that one was, but my overall average was 8:53. 
Now, I need to shave off about 10 seconds from that and be able to sustain for 13.1 miles and I'll be good to go for my next half ;-)
Oh, good to know lesson learned - ice pack on the back of your neck after a hot run is amazing. I can't believe I haven't been doing that all summer. It really…

A Testing Morning Run + Fun Facts Friday

Hard Run
This morning we woke up right at 5am to get in our long run of the week. And, as has been typical, it was already 80 degrees and thick, humid air. There was, at least, a light breeze. It was one of those runs that, from the beginning, I could tell wasn't going to play out as I'd hoped.

My legs felt pretty heavy and it was not easy to breathe. Then I made a pretty big mistake by going too fast, too soon. Miles 2, 3 and 4 were all at just over a 9 min mile pace. Not exactly what I should have been doing for a long, EASY training run.

By mile 5, I told Jason that I didn't want to go across the bridge by the Clinton Library. Going over is one thing, but then coming back with the steeper incline is another. And I was struggling big time. He had me check my heart rate and it was 173. Again, not exactly what you want for a long, easy run.

I know that it was mostly due to the humidity and not getting in the oxygen I needed. He had me slow down and really focus on my breat…

Running Un-Scared

Running Un-Scared 
This morning I woke up around 5:15 to get in a 3-4 mile run. Originally, Jason and I had planned on doing speed work after work. However, with our temperatures back into the 100's and air quality on the decline, I thought it was smarter (safter) to scratch that run and go with a Plan B.

My plan B was a solo run around the neighborhood. I won't lie, it does make me a little nervous to head out in my neighborhood when it's still dark out. I haven't figured out exactly how to carry both my water bottle and mace. Any tips?

I do wear a reflective arm band made by Brooks Runningas well as a flashing light that I attach to my shorts. And I do carry my ID. If you do run at night or dark morning hours, I highly recommend Brooks' Nightlife line of clothing and accessories.
As much as I wanted to go a different route, since I was solo and it was dark, I stuck to my normal route. I figured if anything happened, Jason would know the direction I ran and the pa…

Dead Garmin & Humidity Kicking My Running Butt

Holy Humidity 
As has become typical on Tuesdays, we woke up just after 5am to get in our medium distance run. The plan was for 6 miles.

It was humid from the start, that kind of humid that makes it feel like someone is sitting on your chest. Normally exercise does not affect my asthma. Humidity, however, is not my friend. I had a terrible time getting my breathing under control this morning.

I finally started to settle into an ok rhythm around mile 2. The first mile was just getting moving really and was at a 9:31 min mile. Mile 2 we stepped it up a bit for 8:54 pace. Jason made a stop by the house and I continued on meeting him at my mile 3, which was surprisingly an 8:44 pace.

I had to stop and wait a while for 4 cars, perfectly spaced apart, just after my 3-mile point. This completely threw my rhythm out of whack. We got going again and mile 4 was 9:09 (not bad considering the extending standing and waiting time). Then my Garmin froze up on me. I didn't notice it for a while,…

Running in the Rain & Heath Update

Heath Man
First I suppose I need to update you on Heath. He's doing so much better. He actually got to come home Friday evening and was one happy boy to be back home. He does have a follow-up this week to recheck his toxicity levels (my technical version for lack of better explanation).

For now, they are treating it as if he got into something poisonous and it was affecting his liver function. They gave him lots of fluids and he's on meds and a new special food for his liver.

Hopefully everything will check out when we take him back and we can move forward. If his levels are still off, however, then it could be something more. We just don't know yet.

But, he's home and acting super peppy again.

Running
Saturday morning I woke up to a light rain. It wasn't storming and it wasn't just a downpour so I decided to go on out for a run. I knew I'd be soaking wet one way or the other, and rain is certainly more refreshing than just sweat.

It ended up being a fantast…

Fun Facts Friday - You Know It's Hot When

10 Down
This morning the alarm went off way way too early. I didn't exactly sleep very well. I had Heath on my mind. But, I rolled out of bed at 5am and started to get myself ready for our planned long run.

I was hoping the temps would be lower with whatever this weird front situation is. But it was about 75 degrees, 90% humidity with dew point of 72. Again...soupy is the word of the day. I was sweating long before mile 1 was even complete.

My quads were heavy from the very start. Still insanely sore after Wednesday's leg day. I swear with every step they hurt. I kept hoping that once I settled into a rhythm they would ease up. Not so much the case today.

In the distance we notice some lightening. At first I thought I was just seeing lights reflecting off the cars. Maybe hallucinating, or still asleep. I was hoping that at some point we might get some rain for a bit of relief. But then I noticed the skies clearing in the other direction, the direction we were about to head.

We…

Double Workout & A Sick Pup

Kicking & Lifting
This morning I ended up waking up early enough to get in a workout. So I went with my new Susan Chung Kickboxing DVD. I am really loving this one. At first I was slow to get moving. My legs were feeling yesterday's workout big time.

But, once I got going, I really got into the workout. Now, let me preface the next part with the fact that my DVD player in my gym room died on me and we've yet to replace it. So, I've been having to drag the laptop into the room and use that to play DVDs for the time being.

So, I'm punching and kicking right along, sweat flying...you get the idea. Then the DVD stops. And then the computer starts a 10-minute long freaking update/reboot process. WTH? Ok I really said something a lot worse than that. Nothing worse than being in the middle of a good workout and it be halted so abruptly.

While the forever-long reboot was happening, I did get in some ab work at least. Finally the computer was up and running but of course I…

Puke Worthy Sprints & Hodgepodge Pasta

Sprints & Legs
This morning I had kind of sort of hoped to wake up when Jason got up for swim so I could get in some kickboxing. However, he apparently decided not to go so he didn't get up, which means neither did I.

So, the next plan was to get in a speed workout. We hadn't done a speed workout since that last wonderful one when it was 103 degrees out. Sadly, that one actually felt better than today.

We did the same set up as the last one - 1.1 mile run over to the park. Then 8 35-40 second intervals with rest between. The rest times became more sporadic depending upon the puke factor that was happening.

While it was cooler out, index 89, the humidity was insane. It felt like it should have been raining, but it wouldn't. Seriously sweating the minute I started moving. My lungs were not happy at all. I had such a hard time breathing today. I never seemed to get it completely under control.

But, I managed my intervals at a decent time somehow, miracle or delusional or…

Another Two-a-Day on Taco Tuesday

Two on Tuesday 
This morning started off way too early. I slept fairly well until around 2am then I was tossing and turning a bit, but refusing to look at the time. The alarm was set for just after 5 so we could get up and get in a run. The plan was 6 miles (or that was my plan anyway).

I had hoped the temps would be a lot cooler after a recent front moved through. They were, sort of. It was still around 74 degrees but the humidity was 90% and the dew point in the upper 80's. In other words, it was soupy out.

I felt pretty good for the first mile, of course we were taking it slower. But I could feel the humidity start to affect my breathing. While I don't get exercise-induced asthma, I have severe asthma that has always affected my exercise. Usually, Singulair keeps me on track unless I have some major allergy issues OR extreme humidity. Singulair can't fix humidity.

Somehow I did manage do pull out fairly good times for miles 2 and 3, but definitely started slowing down b…

Low-Key Weekend & More Dry Needling

Low-Key Weekend
This weekend was pretty low-key for us. I should have gotten far more done around the house than I did. I tried to keep up with laundry, sweeping (dead grass + 2 dogs = lots of sweeping), and general clean up/straightening, other than that, I was pretty lazy.

I did get in two decent runs. I did 5 miles on Saturday and 3.5 yesterday. Both were hot and sweaty and deserving of pool time. Though, I can justify pool time pretty much any way you look at it. I was pretty happy with Sunday's run. The first mile was pretty slow (9:31 mm) but I hit a good rhythm and was able to pull out negative splits with mile 2 at 8:55 then mile 3 and the last 1/2 mile both at an 8:36 mm. Not too shabby.

My first attempt at pool time on Saturday was met with clouds. We desperately need rain so I was more happy than annoyed. Of course, right after I get cleaned up the sun comes out. Jason and I ended up going for a late-ish lunch after he was finished with yard work. By that time the sun…

Needle in My Rear & Fun Facts Friday

Needle in My Rear
I have mentioned my physical therapist suggesting dry needling a few times. I've scheduled and canceled the appointment a few times as well. I really really don't like needles. I can tell you the number of shots I've had in the past 10 years even. But, the pain from my piriformis and gluteus medius area is severe enough that I really knew I needed to give it a try.

I did happen to talk with a local (badass) runner who had just happened to have had it done the same morning we were talking. After just one treatment that morning, she noticed a difference. She also told me a little more of what to expect which is nice to hear rather than just read.

So, yesterday I went for it. I did my best to just breathe and stay relaxed. I had visions of me jerking and causing permanent glute damage somehow. When he inserted the needle into the triggerpoint, I felt just the tiniest prick. I thought that was probably the worst of it. I knew that he would manipulate the need…