Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dietbet final weigh in.

RUNS: Over the weekend and Monday included, I've had some pretty good runs. Friday I actually did some hill work with Rik. We headed out in hopes of getting some miles in before the snow arrived. It worked out well even though we didnt get the whole way to Highpoint before it started....
Check out Rik being blinded by the snow!
Oh wait. There is one of me being blinded by the snow too! It was actually only bad when we werent under tree cover.
On Sunday I headed out on a run without a real plan. I was feeling good and having a good run. I took a few extra trails and even messaged Rik at about the two hour mark to let him know where I was but that I was going to keep going. I stopped at the bathrooms at the lake and refilled my water but forgot to turn my Garmin back on after and it took me probably about 2-3 miles until I realized it. And once I did, it totally took everything out of me. For some reason it just really got me down. So I texted Rik and told him to come get me. I was done. Blah. Good run done.

So when we ran on Monday it just so happens that I forgot to turn my watch on at all! What the heck. I never do this. I think it must mean that I am meant to not wear my watch this week. Atleast this time when I noticed it, it didnt really effect me like the day before and I just kept running along. Not sure how long or far I ran. All I know is that it is so much fun to run in the crunchy snow...

EATS: I have been completely uninspired with food porn pictures over the past couple of days. The only food picture I have from over the past, um, 4 days is of a Spaghetti Squash and Breaded Eggplant dinner. I actually roasted up the squash to have for breakfast this past week but it never happened since I still had some of the mini oatmeal cakes left. I didnt want it to go bad so I did what I usually do with it.....

But let me tell you about how excited I am about the end weigh in that I did today for my first round of Dietbet! I did it! I lost more then the 4% required to win your bet.

If you dont know what it is check out the link. I will say that I found it through another blog and you bet however much money they say for the game (mine was $10) and you need to lose 4% in the following 30ish days to win your bet. Which means so long as I lose the weight I will get my $10 back and maybe more! Who knew losing my $10 would be such a big incentive for me to lose the weight!

Even with the 4% weight loss I am still above where I was at this time last year but atleast I am moving the in the right direction now. I need to be successful with this round 2 bet to get back to where I was.

And incase you are wondering...I simply cut back on the junk and made better food choices. I did not count any calories for the first two weeks. I did keep track of them for three days the third week. And about five days of the last week. I think I will try that strategy again this month and see how it works out for me because I really dont want to count calories forever and would rather listen to my body.

Do you go crazy when you cant track your mileage or pace?

Have you ever tried a weight loss game like Dietbet? 
I had never heard of anything like before a month ago.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Super cold weather runs this week!

RUNS: It has been so dang cold here in PA the past couple of days. The wind, of course, just makes it worse. But I am telling you...I run so much better in the cold weather. Maybe not so much in the wind but the trees on the trails usually cut much of that.

Tuesday was an okay run. I had to pick up Dakota at school after my run so my run ended up being just okay. I dont know if I was still recovering from my weekend runs or just because I was trying to run the clock.

Wednesday I had a doctors appointment and couldnt get my stuff together before it so I ended up just cleaning the house. Then I had this bright idea to visit the treadmill at the gym in the evening! Yeah, that is as crazy of a thought as it seems. The last time I was on a treadmill was months ago when I was injured. I cant remember if I lasted 10 or 15 minutes. But you get my point.

I got dressed and headed up (it is exactly 1mile from the house). And as I am driving through the parking lot I realize that I forgot my headphones. No way will I be able to run on the TM with out my headphones. So as I am passing the gym to return home to get them, I notice that all whopping 6 of the treadmills are being used. Bummer.

I head for home and start getting excited because that means I am going to put some additional layers on and head out in the 14 degree night time weather! Here I am all suited up...
We determined that I had on every color except purple ;) And the shorts over pants are because the only thing cold on me on Tuesday was my thigh area.

I headed out and had the most fantastic run! I kept thinking that if things were good, I was going to keep on going. And keep on going I did.
This is a road course that I have run a total of four times now and each time my pace gets better.
12:12, 11:32, 11:21, 11:03
The only problem I have with getting better each time is that I fear how I will feel when I have a run and my time doesnt improve. But they cant all be good runs, right?!

EATS: For dinner the other night we had some stir fry with quinoa in place of rice. I have been doing that more frequently and this seems to be a great substitute. Tasty and more protein for the win.

Check out the new dressing I got during one of our trips to Maryland. It sounded delicious and thought it would go perfectly with a stir fry. I just wasnt sure about the part that says medium spice and two peppers pictured. I can only handle so much heat and peoples perceptions of heat are so different.
 It actually WAS medium spicy and very good. You can see that I only put a little bit on the veggies and more on the side "just in case". And I did infact use some of the extra. It is only 20 calories per Tablespoon.

Quinoa Stir Fry
We actually had enough quinoa left over that I am going to try making a quinoa hummus! It kind of sounds good and kind of not. Not sure how I feel about it but it does sound interesting so I am going to atleast try it.

Are you a cold weather runner or do you hit the treadmill when you need to?

Does quinoa hummus sound good or scary?!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Mini Oatmeal Cake Recipe & Weekly Review

RUNS: Lets talk about my runs this week. They have been AWESOME! And when I say awesome I dont mean that I ran the fastest times or the most miles. Im not comparing myself to anyone else. No sir. It has been all me and I have not felt this STRONG in my running in a very long time.

Every single run this week has been a good run. My breathing still sucks but not quite as bad as it has been. No pain of any kind. Just all good stuff. I have not had a week like this in probably about a year. I dont know what is different about this week but I am digging it. I do have several possible ideas but I am just going to keep a watch on things and see what happens.

Speaking of fast runs...I did have two runs that were about 10mm paced runs. I have not had runs that fast in  about a year also. And two in one week?! Woohoo! Check out the run I did on Friday morning. I even got three miles in at a sub 10mm! Of course, once I realized it my body totally slowed down! But I was okay with it.
Fastest 5k in umm...forever.
Saturday I did my long run for the week with some friends around the lakes. It was a good time and I totally felt good the whole time. Sue was a total badass as usual and ran the whole thing with me! I love it. She never has excuses. She just RUNS. Kinda sounds familiar, huh!
How could I almost forget the only non-awesome part of that run. I ended up with two small blisters. One on each big toe. I felt a hot spot on the one around mile 10ish and ended up with two. Nice.

Usually when I run the whole lake loop or a long run like that I am pretty wiped out and cant/dont run the next day. But I actually felt good so I went and ran 10 miles. I couldnt believe how good I felt. I really wanted to cry but I was even to happy for that. Everything was great except that those two little blisters now turned into big blisters. Ouch! Thankfully they didnt bother me while I was running though.

Trust me. I am analyzing the crap out of all my runs and food intake over the past week or two to see if I can narrow down what it is that I seem to be doing "right" to be feeling so good. So strong. A few of the ideas I am looking at...

-took the pressure off of myself by claiming that I am not doing a spring 50 miler (even though I am still thinking about it)
-claimed that I was going to cut back my mileage (even though I am still running ~40mpw/44 miles this week)
-only long runs in January have been 16milers x2 (no 20+ mile runs)
-yoga is making me a kickass runner (just as I had suspected ;))
-I am eating better (but really, am I?!)
-I have lost a couple of pounds (couple meaning 6 = not enought to make a difference)
-I took max dose of Ibuprofen x4 days for the whole whiplash/neck pain thing (thinking same idea as when I am on Prednisone and have awesome runs....thinking something to do with inflammation in my body but just dont know enough to know what...looking more into this one)
-no meds at all for 6 weeks (other then above mentioned Ibuprofen) (no asthma, allergy, reflux, non allergy whatever its called nose spray)

So there you go. Thats just a few off the top of my head. What happened to the just have fun and run stuff?! Im having a blast and I want it to stay this way. I need to find out what is going on that is "right" with me right now.

EATS: Now lets talk breakfast again. I knew I was headed for an oatmeal cycle and indeed here it is. How about some Oatmeal Pancakes with maple syrup?! I like to rip them apart with my fingers, dip and eat. No utensils required.
Oatmeal Pancakes w/ maple syrup
And then I have also been eating Mini Oatmeal Cakes. It finally occurred to me that these might be a good replacement for the pre-race poptarts that I feel like I just have to have. So I ate one before my 16M on Saturday and the belly totally loved them. I am seriously going to try it pre-race now!
Mini Oatmeal Cake
Mini Oatmeal Cakes
12 muffins

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
2 over ripe bananas, mashed
2 Tbs agave, maple syrup, or honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup water
2 Tbs applesauce
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup diced walnuts

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl.
Then combine the two bowls.
Pour evenly into greased 12 muffin tin pan.
Press mixture firmly into tins to pack it.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Enjoy them warm or at room temperature!
Even better with Peanut Butter smeared on top!
This week was also my dads birthday and my sons. My dad turned 60 and Colton 20!
Cookie Cake!
I was oh so good and only had one piece of that sucker!

Have you ever had an unexpected good run that make you feel on top of the world?!
Have you ever had cookie cake?! If not, you just dont know what you are missing ;)


Friday, January 18, 2013

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe)

RUNS: Quick update on the whiplash stuff. I have had some fantastic runs this week despite my neck pain. The 800mg of Ibuprofen is working wonderfully. On Thursday I was even able to skip a dose before I finally had to cave back in and take some.

I went out for a run on Wednesday. It was so ugly out that I really tried to talk myself out of it claiming that I really should rest my neck, what if it was something serious, etc. But ultimately I headed out and was happy that I did. At first I could barely turn my neck side to side before crossing the roads but eventually it loosened up and I had a great run. 8 miles at 10 seconds per mile faster then I have ever done this loop!

I swear that my best runs are done in ugly weather! When it is sunny and sixy...not so much. Whatever, I will take what I can get. I have another longer run planned this weekend so I hope I am feeling back to normal and I dont FALL during the run again.

Currently I dont have any ultras planned and I really dont know what I want to do this spring. I have a couple of ideas but not signed up for anything yet. So I think I will just keep plugging along and see what comes up. I kinda like this plan!

I do have a trail half marathon on the first Sunday in February but its just a fun run that I can count as my second half in the 13 in 2013 challenge!

EATS: I seriously love when I can throw a few things together without much thought or time and call it a successful meal!

Steam some kale. Throw it in the food processor with 1/2 cup green water from steaming and 1/2 cup walnuts. Pulverize it like crazy until smooth like butter (similar to a pesto).
Bake some sweet potatoes and top them with the Kale butter and maybe a little brown sugar if you are like me and love anything sweet. I put a side salad just because and bam. Healthy meal complete.
And even easier one I did uses the three ingredients below...
Eggplant hummus, Vegetable Masala Burger, Four veggie Rainbow Salad
 I cooked up the burger and added it to a bowl of the salad and topped it with some of the hummus watered down to make it thinner and more of a dressing.
It was so good! The burger is spicy which works well for me because I have to eat alot more of the veggies with it to cool my mouth down. And I like the contrast of the warm burger and the cold veggies. I usually make this as a wrap but I thought it worked great this way. And the whole bowl was only like 200 calories! The wrap usually adds anywhere from 100-200 more.

I think the reason why I like to make such fast and easy meals is because then that give me time to make the important things...like cookies. Like Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies!
Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 18-20

2 cups + 2 Tbs Whole Wheat Pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup applesauce
6 Tbs creamy Peanut Butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mix the flour, salt and baking soda in bowl.
In another bowl mix peanut butter, applesauce, both sugars and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
Then also add in the mashed bananas. It will no longer be smooth.
Gradually add in the dry ingredients until dough forms.
Then fold in chocolate chips.

Using a spoon, put golfball size dough balls onto a baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Let them cool completely then enjoy!

They come out nice and fluffy. Almost like a muffin top. So moist and delicious!!

What is your favorite kind of cookie?!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I seriously think that gave me whiplash!

RUNS: Remember how I fell on Saturday while running that lovely mud run. Here is the only visible evidence left.....
Its now got the pretty colors going on! The reason why I say "the only visible evidence" is because I am actually having other "issues" that one cant see.

I seriously think I got whiplash from the fall!!! I knew I fell hard. I joked that you know you fall hard when it knocks the snot out of you. But dang, I didnt really think anything of it because I the knee was what hurt. And once I started walking and then running again I figured I was good. I even ran 10 more miles after I fell.

Right at the end of the run I started to get a aura on my right side and I was glad to be getting done the run figuring I was going to be getting a migraine for whatever reason. But the aura went away and I never got the migraine. I was very tired after the run and went to bed very early that night.

The next morning I got up and felt like I was hit by a truck! My upper body was so sore. I couldnt believe how sore my lats and shoulders were. But I had another run planned and got on with my day. I was fine during the run. The knee was even feeling pretty good.

Once I came home and got a shower though I couldnt believe how sore I still was. It was even into my neck. Rik joked about how out of shape my upper body is to be hurting that bad from a fall and I agreed.

But Sunday night the headache could not be ignored. My neck was so stiff. And I was just feeling like crap. Monday I slept okay. Thank goodness it was a rest day because I had such a headache. But atleast now my upper back muscles were feeling much better.

Tuesdays sleep was the worst. The pain and stiffness in my neck was just to much and I couldnt sleep well. Even with that I headed out for a short run. When I was done I was pleased at how good I felt. Maybe it had finally worked it way loose as well.

Nope. That feeling only lasted an hour at most and then the pain came back. Worse. By now I couldnt even turn my head side to side with out great pain. And the headaches continued. Geez. Rik joked that I probably got whiplash when I fell. We laughed. And by the time I got to work I was thinking alot about what he said. So what else would I do but ask Mr. Google what he thought.

Sure enough I many of the symptoms associated with whiplash!!
I took 800mg of Ibuprofen this time and it seems to have helped alot. I think I just needed a stronger dose then the measly 400mg I usually take at a time. It certainly has helped. For now.

Okay. So I might not have whiplash. Heck maybe if I google "brain aneurysm" I may have those symptoms too! But whatever, thats what I am going with. And all I know is I must have had one heck of a fall and this stuff better quit hurting...soon!!

EATS: I've eaten eggs twice this week. I rarely eat eggs. I dont know whats up with that. The one day I had them with a pear on the side with chocolate syrup drizzled over. And the other day was just with a clementine.
I hope I have time and am up to making pancakes tomorrow. I could really eat some pancakes.

Lunches have been the usual veggies, dip, fruit, etc...
This time I used peanut butter as a dip. Brilliant!!
For dinner I made some Eggplant Hummus...
Eggplant Hummus
If you have read my blog more then once you know that I LOVE hummus and really...any kind of dips. But the reason I made it today was to put it on our pizza! Gotta love Hummus & Veggie Pizza...
Grill or roast your veggies first.
Then top your pizza and cook that for a couple of minutes.
I weighed in again today to see my progress and now my DietBet game tells me that I have 12 days to lose 3lbs or lose my money that I bet that I could. Looks like I better get serious now. No problem, right?!

Ever try Hummus Pizza? You should.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Runtastic Sunday

RUNS: When I joined the 13 in 2013 challenge we were given a free upgrade to the phone app called Runtastic. So I downloaded it the other day and checked it out very briefly and noticed that it had something called live tracking where people could follow your run and offer "cheers" to serve as encouragement. I thought that was pretty cool and wanted to try it out.

I turned the thing on and got it started on my phone as I headed out for my run today. I figured I would try it out first and then let everyone know later so they could cheer me on with one of my future runs. The cool thing about the start of the app is that after you press start it gives you a 15 second count down before it actually starts or you can hit the button to start immediately. But the count down worked for me so that I had time to stuff it in my pouch.

It works just like any other app as far as telling you after each mile...what mile it was and what your pace was for that mile. I actually had it turned down pretty far so I couldnt really tell if they said anything else or not.

And evidently if you choose to do the live tracking, as soon as you start it posts to your facebook page so that friends know you are out. They can click on the link to track you and offer "cheers". Evidently anyone can track you but they need to be signed up on Runtastic to offer cheers.

To my surprise I had three "cheers" during my run! Like I said, I had the volume turned down so the only one I heard was "Go. Go. Go." But afterwards on their website you can actually see who offered cheers, what cheer they offered and they are even labeled on your map so you can see when they were given during your run.

Some of the cheers available to give include, applause, go. go. go., i like it, horn, awesome, come on, etc. How fun!

Here are some of the iphone screens taken after the run...

The cool thing with this live tracking too was that today I did a point to point run and I usually call my husband from a certain point so that he know to leave to come get me awhile. Well, when I called him he said that he knew I was about to call him because he had been tracking me and knew where I was.
It was fairly accurate as compared with my Garmin at just about 1/10 mile short and had my pace at about 15 seconds per mile slower. As if I need to be any slower. Thanks runtastic!

I have some more playing around to do with it but my first impressions were that this is a fun little app to use and almost surprisingly accurate. I cant wait to use it again!

I did also want to point out one safety factor when using this live tracking feature. It can be both a good and bad thing. It was cool that my husband could track where I was but you also want to be careful and mindful that anyone could track where you are and where you are headed. I need to check it out more to see what the options are so that maybe you can change who can track you and when. I think it would be good for just my husband to track me some mornings when I do my run when I dont necessarily want the world to know where I am. I think that could be a good thing too.

I will need to do a follow up report when I have some more time to play with it and all of its features but I just wanted to let everyone know about it and that you can check it out for yourself too. And let me know if you use it and we can follow each other!
Remember my fall yesterday on the trail. My knee was fine during my run today. But my upper body was super stiff and sore. I guess from the impact and me catching myself. That actually bothered me way more then the dang knee! But alas, I did take a picture of the pretty colors that the knee is providing today...

EATS: Good thing that I ran today because we ended up going out for an early birthday dinner for my son (his birthday is this Thursday). And then we came home and I made a double batch of his requested brownies with peanut butter chips.

I now only have 14 days left to lose those 3.8lbs for my Dietbet game....

How do you track your mileage and pace on your runs? Gps watch? Phone apps?


Saturday, January 12, 2013

For the MUD of the run.

RUNS: So my old plan called for a 20-miler today. But since I have a new non plan plan I decided to head out on the trails with some girlfriends. Miles to be determined but wanted to do atleast 13. We decided to run some flatter trails. The only problem with that is the trails we picked do not drain well and it is always muddy there. Oh, and it rained all day yesterday! It was going to be one heck of a muddy run. And it was!

We did an out and back little trail first that was about 3 miles. I managed to fall within the first 2 miles. And I fell hard. I busted up both my knees and my hand! I got up and walked it off for a bit and then started running again. I knew it would be okay until I was done. So long as I kept moving the knee was okay. Painful but okay!

Here is a picture of our first little water crossing. We all made it across with dry feet!
Sue & Sheri looking for a safe place to cross.
Im not sure why we were so concerned with keeping our feet dry then because they would be wet for the entire run once we hit the mud about 50ft past that.

We had several water crossings. We had streams running right down the middle of the trail. We had miles of mud. We had shallow mud. We had up past your ankles hope your shoes stay on your feet mud! It was a blast! Here is a picture of a more difficult water crossing. The problem here wasnt so much about keeping your feet dry but rather the rest of your body because those rocks were slick!
Sue & Michele on the super slick rocks.
And more mud and water. The good thing about the water crossings was they it cleaned off the bottoms of your shoes a little bit.
Me in the teal shirt.
We ended up with 12 miles once we came around the lake and back to the cars. We decided to call it a day figuring that the workout we got from the mud more then made up for additional mileage. And then this is what your feet and legs look like after a 12 mile mud run!
Tonight my knee is swollen and bruised. I am not sure if I will be able to run tomorrow or not. I hope so. I think it will be fine once I start going. We will see. Either way, it was worth it for such a fun run with friends today!!

EATS: This morning I just had some dry cereal and water before the run. I had a GU during the run. And then Swedish fish after it while I got myself cleaned up and lunch made. Ended up making a pizza burger and it hit the spot.

After I was done lunch I quick got dinner in the crock-pot. I had to set it on high since it was already after 1pm. It was easy enough to prepare. Chop up some tempeh and carrots. Put in crock. Dump BBQ sauce and water on top. Done.

5 hours later and this is what we had...
Crock-pot BBQ tempeh & carrots
Here is the link to the recipe that I used. And yes, I did forget the spinach. Darn it!! I am so mad. I now have a bag of spinach to use for salads I guess. This dish was so good but I know it would be even better with the spinach. I missed my greens on there for sure. It seemed like it was missing something...duh.

I did want to also post a picture of the packages of tempeh that I normally like to use since alot of people have never heard of it or used it. You can usually find it in the refrigerated or organic section of the grocery store.
Here is also a link to explain more about what tempeh is incase you have never heard of it before either. It is an excellent meat replacement. 3oz serving is about 130cals and 11gm protein. It also only costs about $2.50 for a package. Cant beat it. Try it if you havent already!!

Have you ever had tempeh? What did you think of it?!


Friday, January 11, 2013

Thinking out loud...

RUNS: Who knew that almost 7 weeks into a 20 week training plan I would decide to change my goals. Thats almost half way. And it isnt even because I am injured. Im not. In fact, I have been feeling great and running well!

And by well I mean that I ran the Horse-Shoe Trail FA 50k less then a month ago. Then the Virtual Half Marathon on the Appalachian Trail two weeks after that and then the Phunt 25k just last weekend! That means I have been running a race about every two weeks this training cycle.

Surprisingly, the race that I felt the best was also my longest race, the 50k. BUT it was also my first race in months and since coming back from an injury. So what does this tell me?! It tells me that I came back from my injury by training smart and listening to my body.

I swore that I would listen to my body from now on and that is what I am trying to do. I felt really good for the 50k. I felt pretty crappy and just kinda felt sore everywhere with the half marathon. It was obvious that I was still recovering from the 50k. And then felt pretty good for the first 10-11 miles of the 25k. Meaning that my recovery from the 50k was going well but it got tired and heavy before the race was over...aka, still recovering.

I have been doing alot of thinking on my runs. I always do. But a different kind of thinking...about each run and how I feel and what it is I want out of my runs. And what I want to accomplish with them.

My plans for 2013 was to do a 50 Miler in the spring if my body allowed. Then when my breathing gets worse in the summer months I wanted to decrease my mileage and work on speed. The working on my speed thing is why I signed up for the 13 in 2013 deal. I figured to would force me to run some shorter races for speed. Then I wanted to run Rosaryville 50k again in November to try to PR it when the weather starts to cool again and my breathing gets better.

Rosaryville was my first 50k in November 2011 and it was also my fastest 50k (6:37) to date. Which tells me that I trained well and ran well. I also know that I ran a crap ton of races and long races last year at that. To many for my body to handle. Did I have fun? Oh heck yeah. But at a cost. I lost speed, gained weight and ended up injured twice.

So I have now decided that I need to switch things around. Sure, I could keep on training and run that 50 miler in the spring. I am fairly certain that I could do it injury free. But you know what? MY HEART ISNT IN IT. I know that I can run 50 miles. I ran 45 in September and had I had enough time I would have ran 50 that day. I know what it takes. But I dont want to just do the distance. I am tired of just doing the distance. It is wearing down my body and it just isnt recovering like it could. Like it should.

I AM switching things around. This week I decided to just run and not think about distance. Just run. I decided to look at my calendar from January 2012 and where ever I ran that day is where I was going to run January 2013! This weeks running has been just short of amazing. Yeah, I weigh more this year. Yeah, my breathing is just as bad as ever. But you know what?! I had some freaking awesome runs. My pace was just about spot on from this time last year. I am sure that I worked harder on those runs this year compared to last. But they were some of the best runs that I have had in awhile (time wise).

I will never be fast but I want MY speed back. I now know after this weeks runs that I still have it in there. So my new plan is to gain back my speed that I lost last year and to lose the weight I found in return, lol.

Dont get me wrong...I am an ultra runner at heart. I LOVE THE LONG RUN! I just need to learn how to run them a little bit faster so that I am not trying to just beat the cut offs. I still want to do a 50 miler this year but not right now. I am still planning to find a spring 50k so that I can gauge my progress and get my ultra fix. And I also still want to PR Rosaryville in November. But for the rest of the winter, spring and summer are going to be about speed baby!!!

I wore my body down last year more then I could have ever imagined. When you are running and having fun it is sometimes hard to see it. You just keep going and going until you cant go anymore and are forced to stop and face it head on.

I am now even more excited then I can explain for my running this year. I have made this decision by listening to my body and what it wants and needs so that we can both be happy! Here we go!!!

EATS: Oh yeah. I joined an online game called Dietbets. It just told me today that I only have 18 days left to lose 3.8lbs or I lose my money that I bet that I could. I guess I better get on that!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

New shoes and Vegan foods.

RUNS: I have really been having some good runs this week. It seems like I am recovering from PHUNT fairly quickly which is a good thing.

On Wednesday I ran the local park that has a 1.3 mile loop. Two sections are paved and the rest is a crushed stone. Also, from where I park, the first half is all uphill and the second half is downhill. I havent run here since summer and I rarely do because of the monotony of the loops but it is close to home and something different.

I was pleasantly surprised with how well I did. I was anywhere from 15 seconds per mile faster with the first mile to over a minute faster on the last compared to the last two times that I ran here! Here is a picture of the the start of the loop.
Unpaved section.
And check out my new shoes I wore today! That must be what made me so fast! Part of my New Years resolution was to not be such a road running snob. My Hokas are great for recovery and run commuting but I wanted something more for casual road runs that I could work on speed more then just jogging along. So for my birthday in November Rik got me these Saucony Ride 5. They are the same shoe that I have always worn on the roads but it has been forever since I had a pair. I think I either had the Ride 2 or 3s. Love these colors! Yes, I got them in November and just now wore them for the first time today. I am surely embracing this road running thing...on the crushed stone trails today. Close enough ;)
Saucony Ride 5
YOGA: I have decided that starting next week I am going to try to make my running rest days on Tuesday and Thursday because that is when my yoga classes are at the gym. I am finding that it is just to much to do running and yoga on the same nights. Its doable but I would just rather not. Saturday yoga is still a go when ever I can make it. I am actually finding that I like the studio classes better then the gym ones because of the different things we can do. Same instructors and style but just limited with what we can do at the gym...no inversions.

EATS: Breakfasts seem to go in cycles. Lately it is Cocos with PB and mini chocolate chips. Fruit/Pear. I can feel an oatmeal cycle coming on...
Lunches are the usual dips and veggies, hummus and chips. With a side of fruit! And some kind of snack. Another picture of  a meal with a pear. Speaking of which...I think the pears are not agreeing with me. Maybe it was coincidence this week but Im not so sure. I have been feeling bloated after eating them.
Work lunches.
Veggie sandwich and Sweet Potato Fries.
Trader Joes frozen pizza. Meh, probably not a repeater.

The Vegan Vegetables Au Gratin was a last minute change from Vegan Zucchini Fritters over Spaghetti Squash and I think it was a good switch. It was the first time we made this and it was really good but seemed like it needed a little more flavor. Next time I will add some peas. I think that would do the trick! Here is a link to the recipe for the Vegan Vegetables Au Gratin.

Any ideas on breakfasts that include veggies that is NOT a smoothie type drink?? 
I tend to want sweet breakfasts but would love to be able to add some veggies in that meal if I could.


Monday, January 7, 2013

PHUNT 25k 2013

Let me recap last year first by saying that I didnt meet the cutoff for the 50k because of a crazy amount of mud on the last 5 miles of the course. So this year I decided to just do the 25k and try to beat my time from last year. Sounds easy enough since there wasnt as much mud on the course. The temps started at about 26 degrees and I dont think they got much above freezing.

I was super excited when I realize the it didnt start until 9am and I could sleep in until a reasonable time. I have been battling a cold all week so any extra sleep would be a bonus. When we got there the field was already full of cars. Its amazing that it was colder by about 20degrees this year and yet there were many more people there.

It took longer then expected for everyone to sign in and we didnt get started until maybe 10 minutes late. No big deal. Here is everyone at the start...
Check out all the aid station goodies laying there.
Hunt gave us one or two directions which included a warning that we should take one of the emergency phone cards with numbers on incase we get lost (for some reason people are known to get lost on this course even though it is marked better every year). And just like that we were off and running...in the opposite direction of last year.

And soon enough, like less then two miles later I stopped to take off my jacket. I was freaking hot already. I looked up to see Rik coming walking towards me. Oh no. This cant be good. Then I see him hobbling. He tells me that he is done. He rolled his ankle...twice already. What?! See, less then two months ago he rolled his ankle REALLY bad and it has been healing. He knew it wasnt 100% yet but he has been running well. And thats all it takes. His ankle was swollen and he was hobbling back to the start and I would carry on.

I was actually enjoying this opposite direction much better. We got to do the hilly single track first and that was the part that was so muddy last year. It looked like a completely different course and I wondered how it could have been so muddy last year. It was an awesome trail this year! We did come to one section going down hill when we saw people with their maps out and looking where to go. Evidently the course was to turn to the right part way down the hill and they went right past it and were headed back up the hill. Whew. Glad I was with a group and missed getting lost that time!

I came into the first aid station smiling because I was feeling great, running with other people and I saw Rik there waiting for me! I was in and out quick for the next 5 mile loop. This section was pretty nice too. A couple of creek crossings that I was able to keep my feet dry, a few field crossings, but mostly nice trails.

Here is our friend Zach at the aid station....
Zach rocked the 50k!
I came out of the loop to see Rik one more time before the last 4ish miles. I was happy to still be with other people and not by myself. After about 11 miles I started to get tired. My legs started to feel heavy. I kept telling myself that I only had a few more miles to go. The hills started feeling bigger and I was having to walk some. But I had to keep moving so that I could beat my time from last year.

Eventually I hit 15 miles on my Garmin and knew I was almost done. Except I wasnt as almost done as I thought. I kept thinking I was almost at the finish. I kept looking at my watch. Where was the finish?! Then there was the stupid fields. The last mile was fields and a stone road. These are my worst metal running surfaces. Here I was past the 25k mark and having to travel the field and stone road. I started to walk. And I walked. And I got all grumpy because the course was longer this year and I was not going to make my goal.

As I was walking I realized that my pace was still faster this year. So actually I WAS doing okay. That and the fact that I FINALLY saw the finish got me running along again. Here I come into the FINISH.....
Actually this is me coming into the aid station ;)
Yay! And I finished with my pace being 1 minute per mile faster then last year. I will take it.

Here is my friend Leon coming in to his finish...
Here are some other pictures of the finish line thanks to Rik the photographer instead of Rik the runner.
Fire at the finish to warm us. It was dang cold after you stopped running!
Being a FatAss, you get what you pay for. I paid nothing and got an awesome race put on by one of the nicest running groups around. Traildawgs rock! The food was great and the course was marked even better then last year. Perfect weather made for a great day on the trails! Cant wait to do it again next. One of these times I will finish the whole thing...I hope!