Thursday, December 30, 2010

Obsolete PR's and other lessons

A while back, Average A (Diary of an Average Runner) recommended a few books to me and I've been picking through the list. Tonight, I just finished The Runner's Rule Book by Mark Remy while I sip my Manny's Pale Ale and try to escape from the day (Dad just got out of heart surgery. All OK, but long day.).

Overall a fun, brainless read with humor and some good running etiquette though definitely more focused on males than females. Here are the five rules that stood out:

RULE 1.51: A PR is Forever But...
Ok, so this one chafed me but I totally get it. According to Remy, a PR lasts only 2 years. I haven't really run in 2 years (2009 was baby year, 2010 is building my base back)!! Which means all my PR's from my last good running year (2007) are obsolete?! Nooooooo! If anyone has checked my PR page, most of my PR's are ANCIENT. At least I am totally open and honest about how ancient they are! 

This means that 2011 is definitely going to be the year to roll up the sleeves and get to work. BUT, if you're training for distance runs, that really takes up the entire year. You don't get time to train for short distances. Since 2011 is going to be my half/full marathon year, 2012 would have to be the year for 5k/10k distance, but I was thinking that Baby F needs a little brother around that time, so then if 2012 is another baby year then 2013 would have to be the short distance year...and by then my 2011 distance PRs will be obsolete and...I'm screwed basically. I have to say, this 2-year shelf life on PR's is fine for men but totally biased against women of childbearing age. Or maybe I shouldn't have waited so long to have kids?

RULE 1.26: Training Plans Must Go on the Fridge
I like this one, Remy is redeemed. I just keep my plan on the computer but I like Remy's point about how it should stare you daily in the face, and stare at anyone else who comes into the kitchen. Also, it would be definitely satisfying to "x" off those workouts as completed. My 2011 Master Plan is going on the fridge for sure.

RULE 1.64: Concrete Isn't Really Harder Than Asphalt
Remy and all the civil engineers say "BULL HOOEY!"

RULE 2.9: Learn to Love "Race Morning Buzz"
I love race morning buzz but it has been so long since I trained long and hard for a specific race that I've almost forgotten the feeling. The butterflies. The good anxiety. I can't wait to have that feeling again in 2011.

RULE 2.39: You Must Run at Least One Race in Your Lifetime That Finishes on a Track
I do speed work on a track but I haven't raced on a track since high school. I would definitely like to finish a race on a track, brilliant idea. The local Eugene Marathon finishes on Hayward Field (PRE!) and of all tracks, THAT would be the one to finish on. Unfortunately, that race is the same weekend as my Indy Mini Marathon that finishes on a NASCAR racing track so it's out. Will have to keep looking. Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holidays of decadence & worst beer ever

We're taking this week mostly off from work and following on the heels of the multiple Christmas dinners we've had friends over for dinner or gone out every night. If this isn't motivation to stick to my running plan, nothing is.

SO. MUCH. DECADENCE.

All the sweet stuff was disappeared into my stomach faster than Pinochet could say "pisco" so no photos.

That said, awesome run today in the 36-degree, sunny weather.

Christmas cioppino

Left-over flank steak makes for great fried egg sands for breakfast the next day. Mmm.

Unfortunately, the holidays of decadence also brought us some of the worst beer I've ever had. I am definitely a beer snob (fresh keg of Manny's Pale Ale in the basement right now!) but I still think there is a place for PBR and the like. Before Christmas, I picked up a couple new-to-me beers from California (including some good stand-by Stone Brewing Co ales) and am so sad to report that the Consecration was poured down the drain. 

Yes, that's how bad it was. I don't know that I've ever done that. In Jamoosh's rating system, this would qualify as a "hide under the couch," which is a step lower than his "won't get off the couch" for this beer category. How disappointing. Especially after paying so much $$. So, I do not recommend this and if anyone out there likes this, I'd like an explanation. 

Has anyone had Russian River Brewing beer from California? 

This Russian River beer wasn't so bad but not a favorite. I would give it the couch rating, not even a 5k-Jamoosh rating. 
Thankfully, I was redeemed tonight at the Elysian Brewery, with their Belgian IPA. I'd definitely give this a Jamoosh 10k rating. YUM!

Next up, a "long" 5 mile run and 3 mile run for this week.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Master Plan 2011 (Draft 3) + treadmill misery

Ok, I'm feeling pretty good about my fitness & ankle so I've decided to bump up my half marathon training start date from March 7 to February 1.

!!!  I'm so excited to start the FIRST program, I just can't wait until March. Plus, more training improves my chances of getting a PR at the Indianapolis Mini Marathon in May. I think?

Or maybe the 40,000 runners will prevent me from a PR? I just don't know. How long will I have to walk after crossing the start line, just to get through the crowds?

Anyway - Here is the revised plan. This doesn't really show much since the real meat in the plan is all the pacing and speed work but I'll just have to post those weekly since there isn't enough room here. The crazy thing is just all the planning between now and October's Portland Marathon.

Right now, I'm trying to recover from my hilly treadmill workout yesterday. It's been months since I ran on a treadmill and frankly, it sucked. I forgot how boring it is. I always end up playing games with myself with pacing:

"Speed up, how long can go this fast? Pant. Slow down! Wait, speed up to keep my average speed above 6.8 mph. I wonder if it looks like I'm totally sprinting? What pace is the dude next to me going? Damn. Can't tell. I want to beat him. Can I go over 7 mph for a quarter mile? Ug. Slow down again. That dude runs weird. Why is there nothing good on TV? When is another MIA song going to come on my Shuffle? Ok, half mile left, I want to get down to 7:30 miles. Pant. Pant. Ok, maybe not. Wait, gotta keep my average up. That dude is doing a "flat" program. He should be doing random hills like me, then see how fast he can go! Ok, almost done...finally. Treadmills suck and my calves are going to be screaming tomorrow from the barefoot running."  

It's going to take me some time to build up my mill tolerance again. I know I'll be running quite a few of the Master Plan 2011 speed workouts at the gym so I should be getting my playlists ready now. Lame.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas - Run through town

This is what the day started with: home made tamales & salsa, fried eggs, black beans, Peet's coffee. Mmmmm! Better go for a run...


This is where we're headed today - downtown Seattle!

International District

Train running through town - actually, idling in town.

Pioneer Square pergola & tree (this is where I work).

Then off along the waterfront (no pics, sorry), up the steps to Pike Place, down south along Western Ave, and home via the light rail.

Sweeeeet socks. Is this why people on the train looked at me funny?

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Comments from the Furman FIRST training plan post

This was my last post:

The Average Woman's Running Blog: Furman FIRST training plan: "As part of my Master Plan 2011 planning, I read, Run Less, Run Faster: Become a faster, stronger runner with the revolutionary FIRST traini..."

And I have to share some of the comments. Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm more excited than ever to start the half & full marathon plans...In fact, I've revised Master Plan 2011 and will be starting the half program in February instead of March. This will allow me a full 5 weeks off in between the half & full programs, which I think I will appreciate since this is such an intense program. I am guessing I will miss running just for fun/leisure.

I'm trying not to get too excited but if I can get into the shape I was in pre-pregnancy, the Furman Plan predicts that I can run a 3:40 marathon, which qualifies me for Boston with 5 minutes to spare. I'm trying not to think about it since I'm not in that shape right now AND I've never ran a marathon (just LOTS of halfs) but...it's hard not to get my hopes up.

If the endorsements in the book aren't enough, check these out...




Heather said...


My husband used this book as the basis for his training for the last marathon he ran. He took this book everywhere with him! He improved his time by 15 minutes and qualified for Boston. Really good quote at the end.
Good luck with your training!



Tricia said...



We followed that training plan for our marathon last month. LOVED it! (despite the fact my race didnt go as planned...I would follow that plan again)



Teamarcia said...



Good luck and enjoy it! I am a running testimonial for that book.



Anonymous said...



Hi, I was the anon commenter back on your post when you were thinking of picking up the FIRST plan. Well, I ran a half-marathon two weeks ago having sort of jumped into FIRST training 8 weeks before the race. I took 9 minutes off my time from my May PR- and I felt really good during and after the race, too.

I'm about to start training for a marathon, and I plan to use a combination of the FIRST plan and a plan from Runner's world Smart Coach. But I'm really impressed with the program, and the cross-training has really helped my overall fitness.

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Furman FIRST training plan


As part of my Master Plan 2011 planning, I read, Run Less, Run Faster: Become a faster, stronger runner with the revolutionary FIRST training program, by B. Pierce, S. Murr, and R. Moss.

With the results of their research and testimonials from people who have successfully used the FIRST program, I don't know how anyone could read this book and NOT want to sign up. It seems the majority of people who follow this program, from new to seasoned runners, set personal bests. And I don't mean setting a PR by shaving off a few seconds. In the case of marathoners, people who have shaved off 10, 20, or more minutes!

It's a pretty intense program that involves running three specific workouts each week and supplementing with at minimum of two days of cross training that can be either cycling, rowing, or swimming. The idea is to train with purpose and specificity - you don't just log lots of junk miles.

They also provide guidance on drills, weight training (body resistance strength moves that you can do from home without equipment), stretching, and nutrition. It's all very practical and accessible. Perfect, I think, for the runner who wants to excel but also maintain balance in life.

There were many testimonials from people who are like me (time-limited, injury prone, like speed) who had great success with this program. However, I don't think this is a plan for new runners even though they say it is for anyone. Maybe I'm being too judgmental but you need to have a pretty good base built up before starting the half or full marathon programs and you need to be comfortable with running prescribed workouts exactly as they have indicated.

I really can't wait to start! I will be starting on March 7th (though that will be based on how Jan/Feb training goes) with a half marathon program then I will transition to a full marathon program to prepare for the Portland Marathon in October. I'm so curious to see how I manage the workouts and how I perform on race day(s).

I have to admit, though, with the speed that you build with this program, I also want to use their program to train for a 5k. I love that distance for the speed and would have a lot of fun focusing on SPEED and POWER just to see what I can do. POW! 

Maybe that will be a post-marathon goal?

This is probably boring but I really recommend this book. It's a unique and interesting approach to training that is a nice alternative to the many high milage plans out there. It's a pretty quick read, too. In fact, I would recommend skimming the first chapter at the bookstore. If it doesn't grab you at that point, I don't think it will. If you're like me, you'll be headed to the check-out after Chapter 1.

With that, I leave you with a quote by S. Murr to consider the next time you are reaching the end of your training program and are resisting the taper or wanting to cram in some extra miles. This lesson was learned by Murr after a poor performance at Boston due to having trained too hard, too close to the race. It's all about balance! (Rest and Recovery, Pg. 119):

"It is better to be 10 percent undertrained than 1 percent overtrained when you step to the start line." 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tagged!

Thank you, KIM (Just) Trying is for Little Girls for tagging me with a "getting to know you" request. Here we go...

1.  What is your favorite time of day to run? Why?
I'm similar to KIM in that I also like to run in the morning. I usually don't do too well if I run later because I like to have an empty stomach. Great way to start the day.

2. If you could have any job in the world what would it be?
This is really tough. I actually really like my job...but ANY job? I have had lots of fantasies about other careers - nutritionist, nurse, mortician (yes!), yarn/book shop owner, industrial hygienist...the list goes on. BUT, I think at this moment, my dream job would be to give someone else's money away. Like maybe Gates' money? Anyone as long as they have a lot to give. I think I would be really good at this, finding worthy beneficiaries. 

3. Do you have a guilty food pleasure?  (i.e what is your favorite empty calorie food)
Does beer/wine count as food? Manny's Pale Ale, Hair of the Dog Adam, 3-Legged Dog red table wine, anything from Tamarak Cellars...the list goes on. Even though Mr. F says his beer has a pork chop in every glass, I really think this junk food choice qualifies as the emptiest of calories. Unfortunately, it's not a daily indulgence but...I do what I can.

4. How and/or why did you start running?
Like Kim, I ran cross-country and track in high school. I started as a sprinter & jumper then moved into distance. I kept running through college and have run off & on over the years, enjoying my recreational runner status. Running has been a constant throughout my life, keeping me steady where ever I've been and regardless of whatever was happening.  

5. Do you have any special Christmas time traditions?
Other than getting together with family every Christmas and the ladies on my dad's side doing an annual Christmas party, we don't have any big traditions. Now that Mr. F and I have the little guy, I'm looking forward to making our own traditions. For Thanksgiving though, my parents & I have a tradition of listening to Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant. EVERY Thanksgiving, all 28 minutes. 

6. What race/event are you most looking forward to in 2011?
Right now, I'm really looking forward to my first half marathon post-pregnancy: Indianapolis Mini Marathon in May 2011 (in a traveling sparkle skirt no less!). I get to run on the NASCAR track, baby!

Thanks, Kim for the tag. I would like to pass the same questions on to:


Running Mum
Will Run for Food
It Just Looks Like Slow Motion

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Santa Runs Tacoma 5k Re-Cap + Bloggy Meet-up


This morning, Santa ran Tacoma and so did a bunch of bloggy ladies & my kick-butt Tia Cindy! I missed getting a photo of Tall Mom (she's really tall by the way) at the start - she was off like a flash - and I didn't get to see Kadie much unfortunately because I was running late to the start and she left shortly after the race (Kadie got a PR!). But, I did find Kerrie & Chelsea at the Kids 1k and saw Jill running with her little guy.

No rain but a bit chilly. The costumes were great!

**THANK YOU CHELSEA FOR THE TREATS! (they went great with our drinks, see below)**

 
Average Runner & kick-butt Tia Cindy
Running trees, very cute
Running serviceman - On the day DADT is repealed!
Kerrie & little T

Jill & little guy during Kids 1k

Running snowflakes
The Grinches

Kick-butt Tia Cindy, Average Runner, Chelsea, Kerrie

Nice mug! And yes, those ARE my kick-ass chocolate truffle spicy cookies!

Post-race drinky-drinks. Mmm!

Friday, December 17, 2010

The mountains are out (and all Seattle is high)!

I'm not kidding! The Olympic Mountain range, Cascade Mountain range, Mt. Baker, and Mt. Rainier are all out and all of Seattle is high.

Clear, sunny days in the winter are not common and when they occur, Seattle-ites are giddy - high on the incredible beauty of the PNW. This offers you a snippet of the snow-covered Olympics from Lincoln Park in West Seattle.

Happy Friday everyone! Tomorrow morning is the Santa Runs Tacoma 5k which will include lots of holiday cheer and best of all, a Sea-Tac bloggy meet-up. Woot!

Baby F & I had a gorgeous run this morning

And we saw a record number of dogs, walkers, joggers


Port of Seattle in foreground, Seattle downtown

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hello Team Sparkle!

I received the following email from Team Sparkle. 

I'M SO EXCITED! 

But now I really need help. I had been thinking of running all Danika Patrick-style or other Nascar-themed outfit. Anyone have ideas for a running get-up for this Nascar-esque road race that also incorporates a turquoise sparkle skirt? 

***********************************************************************************************************
From: @team-sparkle.com
Subject: Traveling Sparkle Skirt
Date: December 13, 2010 8:20:46 AM PST
To: @gmail.com

Alma-

Welcome to Team Sparkle! We have added you to the calendar for 5/7/11 for the medium Turquoise Traveling Sparkle Skirt. We will contact you as your race gets closer to give you more information. 

~The Girls of Team Sparkle

-- 
web: http://www.team-sparkle.com  
etsy: http://www.sparkleskirts.etsy.com
twitter: http://www.twitter.com/runTeamSparkle
flickr: http://www.flickr.com/TeamSparkle
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TeamSparkle

On Sat, Dec 11, 2010 at 3:26 PM, <@gmail.com> wrote:

Race: OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon (13.1 miles)

Date: May 7, 2011

Will you be traveling for this race?: Yes, will fly out on 5/5/2011

Size: M (? I wear a size 6)

Color - turquoise or hot pink: Either

I'm rebounding from pregnancy and have been getting back into shape. The Indy Mini Marathon will be my first post-pregnancy half marathon and I can't wait! I'll be flying out to stay with friends in Indy to run the LARGEST half marathon in the U.S. My previous PR is a 1:47 but if my training continues to go well, I'm hoping for a 1:45 PR.
I have lots of events planned for my big come-back year of 2011 (including my first-ever marathon, a snow-shoe race, and several shorter races), so if this date doesn't work out, I would be happy to try for a different date.

--
This mail is sent via contact form on Traveling Sparkle Skirts http://www.team-sparkle.com/travelingsparkleskirts

Monday, December 13, 2010

Do you over-stride? Have shin splits?

A co-worker in our Denver office has completed several full and half Ironman competitions and is generally an amazing athlete from what I hear (as well as a crazy-smart scientist AND engineer). She forwarded a link to a video that makes some interesting points about running technique.

This video talks about how several bad running habits will slow you down and possibly cause injury:

  1. Bounce
  2. Stride angle
  3. Over-stride angle
  4. Toe lift angle
  5. Upper body torque 
  6. Cross-over angle

It takes a while to load and runs a little over 12 minutes so grab a beer hot cup of tea, pad of paper & pen, and check out this informative video. I'm curious to hear what folks think & if anyone has worked on any of these issues and noticed an improvement in their performance and how they feel.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Two-thirds of the way there & week re-cap

In case you were wondering, I'm two thirds of the way through my 90-day intentional scar development therapy. The taping started on October 13 with my PT telling me that this was a rare case of American blind justice where we WANT scar tissue to develop because it will strengthen my tendons.

Day 60:

I know, still looks the same but definitely feels different / better.
Anyone recognize my reference, above? Still feeling the effects of Thanksgiving, I suppose.


WEEK OF DEC. 6 RE-CAP:

I did pretty good! Got my three runs in, two Jillian workouts (sore abs to prove it), but biked just 2 of 4 days due to monsoon rains and hurricane winds.

I'll be taking the train tomorrow as the rains are supposed to continue (we're setting records!) and I have a BIG PLATE OF COOKIES to take to the office to save myself from my own gluttony (see yesterday's cookie party post).

ON DECK FOR WEEK OF DEC. 13:

Two, 3-mile runs and one 4 mile run (a LONG ONE!)
Bike commuting as much as possible (3 of 4 days?)
Two more Jillian workouts, getting that core stronger & working on arms

Saturday, December 11, 2010

HBBC Busters

Today was the annual family cookie party. NOT in the spirit of the HBBC but...it's tradition and it's Christmas for crying out loud!

Chocolate truffle cookies are almost flourless. Mostly just butter & chocolate.

I like to improve upon the Gourmet recipe by adding cayenne pepper & chili powder. 

Oops. I'm not sure how this picture got in here.

This is my signature cookie. My cookie kicks ass.

Meltaways. Mostly butter (1 lb) and powdered sugar. 

They really do melt in your mouth.
My kick-butt Tia Cindy (featured in previous posts) came by after working the NW Runner booth at the Kent Christmas run. And yes, BondiBand saved a bad-bang day. 

Piles and piles and piles...

...and piles of cookies...

...and some cupcakes too. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Minding my P's & Q's (not)

RACING DAWN tagged me with a bunch of Q's that I've been wondering how to answer. I find it difficult to be succinct. Surprised?  I will try to be brief...


Oh wait - but first - check out this cute, pointy-tasseled, variegated, wool-blend ear-flap hat I finished last night for our babysitter's daughter. 

I also did a chunky variegated deep purple scarf for nanny. Almost matchy-matchy.
Ok, here we go:

1.  What's your favorite race and why? What's your dream race?
It's hard to pick a favorite race because there are different things I like about various races, but overall I would say I like relays the best because they're all about having fun with friends, forgetting about the watch, and having a big party after. My most favorite relay of course, is the famous mother of all relays, HOOD TO COAST, 12-person, 197-mile race from Mt. Hood, OR to Seaside, OR. It's insane running around the clock along with 15,000 other runners, and having a great finale on the beach.

My dream race is a three-way tie between wanting to run the (1) NYC marathon with my best friend, Dre, who I could never keep up with anyway; (2) Dublin Marathon for the Irish flavor (i.e., Guinness & Jameson); and (3) Reykjavik Marathon for the hot springs and scenery. Funny since I haven't run a single marathon yet.

2.  What's your favorite running tip?
Obvious for some but I'm slow...carry fluids & fuel for runs longer than an hour (amazing how much longer you can go with hydration & sugar!). 

3.  Which reality show is your guilty pleasure?
Biggest Loser. I cry almost every episode. I hope everyone voted for Ada this week? I can't believe she's at risk of not making it to the finale! Five more days until we find out the results!

4.  What is your power song, the song that takes your running to another level?
I have no explanation for this... Enter Sandman, Metallica. Also "my" karaoke song. In general though, bands that give me a good cadence for kicking it up a notch are the White Stripes, M.I.A., Outkast, The Roots, and Franz Ferdinand.


5.  What is your secret to balance in your life? 
I'm still trying to figure this one out. I've made good progress this year but it's a constant battle trying to find time for family, friends, work, and running. I really need to work on making more time for sleep.


6.  What are you most looking forward to in the new year?

Running & camping! It's been since 2008 (pregnancy year) that I've run a half marathon or gone camping so I can't wait to run another half, tackle my first marathon, and go camping. I'm also looking forward to our first international trip since Baby F was born. Not sure where yet - visiting friends/family in the EU or maybe...Japan? Depends on where the frequent flyer points will take us.

Thanks, Dawn, for tagging me & thanks for sharing. Now, I'd like some Q's answered by some of you who don't always mind your P's & Q's:

Jamoosh - Last Mile Lounge, Chelsea - Will Run for Food, TeamMarcia - Running Off at the Mouth:

1. What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2010?
2. What are your running goals for 2011?
3. What is your favorite race?
4. What is your favorite holiday guilty pleasure?
5. What was your most embarrassing running moment?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

This gal is my new idol

You gotta see Becca's recent re-cap of the RNR Las Vegas half marathon! GO HERE. This "50 Half Marathons In 50 States" gal is truly loca but she's my new idol because:

1. She wore an Elvis outfit during her race.
2. She took a beer at the 4.75 "aid" station.
3. She got to hear Bret Michaels sing after the race.

Kick ass!

Monday, December 6, 2010

I won, I won!

THANK YOU TRESSA @ Training with a track coach and his adorable wife and Rebecca @ BondiBands! Thanks to Tressa & Rebecca, I won my first EVER blog giveaway! 


On my next run (Wednesday, 3 miles), I will be sporting my new, wicking BondiBand headband in "denim." I love my thinner, patterned BondiBands, so I'm sure the thicker band with more wicking power will be great too.

The average runner sporting BondiBand denim wicking headband.
In other great news...

IT DIDN'T RAIN TODAY! So I snuck out a little early from work and got my run in before cycling home. The Christmas lights are out along the downtown waterfront, so it was quite the seasonal delight.

And in other great news...

I received two RunningSkirts in the mail today. I took advantage of their cyber sales and purchased 1 athletic skirt for my kick-ass Tia Cindy from "the Claw" (featured in two previous posts) and a capri "fleurs" skirt for me. I'm luke-warm on the fleurs capri skirt but I think the red hot athletic skirt for my Tia rocks.

And in other great news...

I got to eat one million Brussels sprouts (a favorite average runner woman veggie) with my wild Alaskan salmon tonight. YUM!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Week re-cap & pet peeve #2

Congratulations to P and her awesome CIM marathon today (34 minute PR!) and I'm looking forward to hearing from Kadie, Tall Mom, Racing Dawn, and others who ran RNR Vegas this weekend.

WEEK RE-CAP:
This hasn't been the most eventful week but when you're only on a 10 mi/week program, it's hard to get too crazy, no?

Nevertheless, it was a decent week. Got my runs in, commuted on my bike 3 of 4 days (running too late one day & had to make first aid/CPR training), but only got 1 Jillian Michaels workout in. I was SO SORE after No More Trouble Zones that my abs wouldn't allow me to get another one in. So next week, trying for two of her workouts again. Pretty sure I can do it this time.

On deck for this week:
Still building the mileage up slowly. The ankle is feeling fine so I want to keep it that way & not push too much.
I have three easy, 3-mile runs scheduled, bike commuting 4 days, and two Jillian Michaels workouts.

PET PEEVE #2:
Aside from enjoying the gorgeous clear, blue skies in Seattle this weekend (and shopping madness at the Urban Craft Uprising), I actually have a bit of work-work to do this weekend. Yesterday, I was reading up on a study where the authors fed dioxin-contaminated soils to rats and minipigs and then determined how bioavailable the dioxins were in the soil, and right there under Figure 2, my red pen gravitated to one of my pet peeves:

"...the congeners measured in the liver accounted for a VAST  MAJORITY (86% or greater) of the initial soil TEQ."

These two words used together annoy me every time. I know it's not that big of a deal, but I wouldn't expect to see this in a peer-reviewed, scientific publication...REALLY!?!?!!! Don't they know this is annoying to me and is my Pet Peeve #2?

Definition of VAST: immense, enormous. examples of "vast" are the size of the universe, which has no known limits
Definition of MAJORITY: more than half of something, greater than 50%

I can never understand, when talking about proportions (percentages), how one can refer to a proportion as "vast." I mean really, the most it can be is either 1 or 100% for proportions or percentages, respectively. Right? Is 86% really VAST? And a majority is a majority, greater than half. If it's 51% or 99%, it's just a majority. In this case, describing the majority as vast doesn't tell you anything helpful, it's just there to annoy. It's a majority - no more, no less. If they wanted to convey that the value was nearly 100%, then why didn't they just say so?!

Humph.

Ok, on my grumpy way to finish work-work, hopefully with enough time to see Dexter before bedtime...

And for all y'all, remember Pet Peeve #1, toxin vs toxicant and think about this "vast majority" business. Please don't use this in any publication that I might have to read for work unless you want to drive me batty on a Sunday night.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Master Plan 2011 (Draft 2) + cross training info

OK - Here is Draft 2 already! Thanks for the input.

I've revised the plan a bit so that my hard runs are Tues/Thurs instead of Mon/Wed. After checking the gym schedule, this will work out better anyway for cross-training. My long run then will be on Saturdays so that gives me two full days of recovery after the long run before I bounce back into the speedwork (good point P!).

It doesn't show below, but I will take P's advice and convert one or more of the 20-milers to a 20+ length to break that big 20-mile barrier. In fact, I don't know that I need to do FIVE 20-milers. I feel like that might kill me. When I get to that point, might just do two 20-ish milers and trade some 16-18 milers for the other three 20's. We'll see how I feel at that point...

There was a question about the cross-training component of this "3+2" FIRST training program. Just because you're only running 3 days/week doesn't mean you're training LESS. You're still training in other ways. The minimum two days of cross-training are either bike, swim, or rowing. They don't want you to do elliptical, stair stepper, or anything else that puts weight stress on your legs so that you can fully recover from their hard workouts. (Plus, isn't this great winter training for an early summer tri?!)

I'm gradually building back into running and for cross-training I'm doing fitness videos (Jillian Michaels "No More Trouble Zones" kicks butt, seriously). In January, I'm going to start incorporating the more intense cross-training. My goal is to swim on Mondays and spin on Wednesdays. Ideally, I'll do a gentle, restorative yoga practice on at least one of the two rest days.

The FIRST training book provides specific workouts to do in the pool and on the bike/row machine.  I think I'll use the swim workouts in the book but for spin, I plan on just doing a class. I think that will motivate me better. Oh, and I plan on bike commuting to work as long as there isn't snow on the ground.

With that, a happy Friday to everyone and good luck to Mel, Amanda, and Kadie who are running the Las Vegas Rock & Roll marathon this weekend!!!
Note that the weekly milage peaks at 34. Nice & low!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Master Plan 2011 (Draft 1)

I said it HERE before, now I will say it again and show you the plan to get there...Portland Marathon 2011!

2011 is going to be my running year, the year I run my first marathon. I've love to fashion it after Adam's (I Am Boring) insane 2010 year of 1,000 RNR marathons (yes, he's a Legend), but I don't have the hotel & frequent flyer points that he seems to have.

Much building to do to get to the Portland Marathon on October 9th but I will have a lot of fun along the way. Events between now and then are still up in the air and of course, the overall Master Plan 2011 is subject to change, depending on how my body and rest of my life responds, but here's a first draft.

Step 1: Continue building my base until March 7
Step 2: March 7 - June 27, follow Furman FIRST 3+2 half marathon training plan
Step 3: June 27 - October 9, follow Furman FIRST 3+2 marathon training plan

The FIRST program involves 3 days of HARD running and 2 days of fairly intense cross-training. It's lower milage but people who've followed the plan seem to get good results. AND, it will fit well with doing a couple triathlons next summer since cross-training is an integral part of the program.

Later on, I will post the race line-up. Looks to be some good ones next year, including the Indianapolis 500 Mini Marathon!

Never before have I planned out this many weeks months of training. I really hope my body can pull this off! Right now, hoping to get lots of advice from all you marathon veterans out there. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The chard made me do it

I just feel compelled to post something because it's the last day of November...

Slept in and was running too late to bike to work (I had to be on-time for annual CPR/First Aid training) so I drove. Lame.

Thought about hanging out with Jillian Michaels for a while before having dinner but opened a bottle of wine instead (Bogle Petit Syrah, quite nice).

My one saving grace is that I got my 7 veggie/fruit servings in for the HBBC. To get there, and to get more veggies into Baby F who is 18 months old today, I added loads of chard to my spaghetti sauce tonight. Mmmm!

On November 30, 2010, I am LOVING chard. Looking forward to DECEMBER!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Seattle Marathon/Half Marathon spectator report

Early this morning, Seattle runners rose to temps in the upper 30's and a thick layer of fog over the city. It was chilly but it was DRY!

I had quite a list of people to cheer for but unfortunately only found three people + 1 unexpected person, Kris M. Shortly after mile 5, "B" and I went to Leschi (thank you egg nog latte for keeping me warm!) to look for our runners. On the way to our cheering point, I saw a former cross country teammate (Kris M.) who ultimately finished in 1:38, placing 51st overall. Nice!

Cheering in front of Starbucks, we saw the "C" and beau. So many runners at this point, didn't find anyone else before heading off to the next cheering station: top of Interlaken hill. The Seattle course is grueling, the hills leading from Lake Washington to the top of Capital Hill are about 3 miles long and steep AND come at the END of the course when you are close to spent.

At Interlaken, we were able to cheer for C and beau again but I was disappointed to miss my Tia Cindy and Amy (FIRST half marathon!). Also missed blogger Michelle (The Running Diva).

C & beau in yellow & black

Shortly after this point, the half marathoners cruised to a finish. B & I bypassed the finish to head back out onto the course to find our spunky first-time marathoner, JW. We hooked up with her after mile 13 in Seward Park. I ran for a short time with JW and was wishing I could just continue running. She was so positive and strong, I just knew she was going to finish well.

Later on, we found JW again on the Madison Ave hill, around mile 21. MANY runners at this point were walking. Not JW! She was holding her steady pace and as she passed us, she yelled something that will echo in my head every time I struggle up a hill...

"I'm making this hill my bitch!"

Difficult to spot friends dressed in black&blue - it was a sea of black/blue!

Now THIS is a spectator-friendly outfit!
Congratulations to all the Seattle marathon finishers today!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Running, blues, and brews in Balboa Park


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Today began with a gorgeous sunrise and 5k run through Balboa Park in San Diego, CA. 6,677 people finished the Father Joe's Thanksgiving Day 5k. I got to run this benefit for St. Vincent de Paul's Culinary Arts Program with friend, Torsion. Torsion is a Washington native currently living in California who became a certified hooper earlier this year! Also, Torsion just started training for her first half marathon - The La Jolla Marathon in April 2011.

Waiting for the start...



There were so many people we had to walk for a while after crossing the start but once we got going, I really enjoyed the course. The first half included some uphills and then finished with a nice downhill and flat back into the park. I loved checking out the landscaping through the park and feeling the sun on my skin. In November! (Did you know it was snowing and 33 degrees back home at this time?! HA!)


All good races end in the beer garden: Sun, blues band playing in the Organ Pavilion, and STONE Brewing Company beer for all! Their IPA and Pale Ale are quite delicious and have quite an effect on an empty post-race stomach. MmmmmM!






And who knew Superman blades through Balboa Park every turkey day? Most impressive was the fact that this guy was holding a pint of beer in each hand...with BOXING GLOVES ON! Try THAT at home!



The course was beautiful and if I lived in San Diego, I would want to do this event again. The race supports a great cause and well, there is beer and music. What better way to kick-off Thanksgiving? One thought...do I still get Holiday Booty Buster points for the run even though I poured back an IPA right after?

Torsion definitely earned her points with a hooping demo after Thanksgiving dinner, full belly and all. You can find info about her hooping classes in La Jolla HERE and info about her and other hoopers on her Facebook page HERE. You can find her also by searching on "Hooping with Torsion."  Her hooping is truly amazing - check her out! I didn't capture all her fantastic moves but you can see more on her web & Facebook pages.

Torsion says that hooping is a great workout, but you have to work at it for a while. Not until you get the technique down can you get a workout in with the hoop. Think of those core muscles you would develop!


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