Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Seven Random Things

Yeah! Thank you Lisa at Lisa Runs? Wait...what? for the Versatile Blogger Award. I am supposed to list seven things about myself then pass the award along.

Ok, here goes...

1. After seven years of post-secondary education and 12 years of working as an environmental scientist, I sometimes get paid to vacuum people's houses with a custom-made $2,500 vacuum that is made of neon orange and blue parts. This can sometimes be a very gross experience, depending on the home. This is usually coupled with interviews and collection of the home-owners urine and/or blood. I NEVER would have pictured myself doing this kind of stuff.

2. Never say never. I always swore I would never run a marathon, that running that far (or longer) was the most idiotic thing a person could do. After a failed attempt in the fall of 2008, I'm hoping to run my first marathon in 2011. Someday, I want to run Boston.

3. Never say never. I always swore I would never have kids. I was always too busy drinking wine, reading books for book club, knitting, traveling, etc. I now have a boy turning one this weekend who has added a new dimension to my life that I never could have fathomed. What an amazing gift in my life! I can't wait to celebrate Baby F's birthday and look forward to the wondrous years ahead.

4. I've won one race. In 1996, the summer after finishing college, I won a 5k in Richland, WA. It was a small community race, my main competition was a local high school runner and I think the locals were mad at me for winning. The prize was a wonderful fruit basket. I don't remember what my time was...I was just all about the pineapple.

5. In my dream world, I'm a hip-hop star like Mala Rodriquez, Calle 13, Salt & Pepa, Mary J, Aliyah...or maybe just a back-up singer slash tamborine player for Santana.

6. I'm addicted to the needle. Knitting needle. I have a short attention span so I like to focus on hats & scarfs. A sweater is my "marathon" of knitting. Someday I'll knit a beautiful cable pattern sweater.

7. My version of hell: Eating tripe or any other chewy intestine-related tissue while listening to RUSH at University Village during Christmas-time. I can't stand that food, music group, and place. Put all three together and you have a complete hell. Maybe throw Indigo Girls in with that too.

So there we have it. Seven random things, not all running-related. I don't follow many blogs and several of those have already been tagged, but would like to hear from:

Janna at Go the Distance
Christy at It Just Looks Like Slow Motion

Monday, May 24, 2010

Slacking just a titch

Despite being inspired by the Biggest Losers last week, I haven't really run much. Strangely, I'm ok with it. I had a pretty intense yoga session last Thursday (remember, lunch-time workplace offering!) and was happy to have sore abs on Friday as a result. We did lots of v-sits but they weren't called that of course. Whatever they were, they burned and were awesome.

Friday I got a good HILLY run in along with some stairs which I felt on Saturday while I did about 6 hours of straight yard work. Seriously. I think that takes the place of a run. I was sweating as I carried around giant bags of mulch, planted flowers & veggies, moved pots around, pulled weeds, uprooted iris and euphorbia that are taking over our beds, transplanted some shrubs to make way for the new AIR CONDITIONING unit going in this Wednesday (bring on the heat!), raked the beds, lugged around bags & 50-gallon bins of yard waste...and more. It was intense and I was completely exhausted on Saturday.

Sunday, we stimulated the economy by shopping for new patio furniture at Sears which required a lot more heaving lifting of chair and table parts in & out of the truck and around the yard. Weight training!

All that yard work that I used to do all the time pre-baby was really tough for me now. It made me realize how weak I am, especially in my core. I had to really grunt it out pulling the metal rate through the beds - something I would have had no trouble with pre-baby. This underscored the need to incorporate some strength training, even little exercises around the house like push-ups & sit-ups. I'll add that to the list...

Tomorrow is another work day but I'm hoping to bike in again. Wednesday should be a nice run day with Baby F. No yoga this Thursday because our instructor is in Hawaii. The nerve! After that, I'm looking forward to a 4-day weekend.

13 days until NODM!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Biggest Loser

Can anyone make it through an episode of Biggest Loser without crying?

Not me. Oh my - it's just amazing what all those contestants have accomplished. And you know what the challenge was for the final 4? A MARATHON!

I'm so envious.

When will I ever have the time to train for my first marathon? So amazing watching them run it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Three, 3-letter words, aligned center

Not my job woes but my HUSBAND's job woes kept me from doing my 12-miler on Sunday. His subcontractor was refusing to deploy their ROV in waters greater than sea-state 4. Or was it 5? Whatever. They're working around the clock out there, off-shore of Florida someplace.


Sunday I had planned to hit West Seattle for a 12-mile walk in this glorious weather. Well, baby F woke up with a fever. Poor little guy. I could have let dad take care of him in the morning while I did my workout but Mr. F was having a work crisis. Yes, on Sunday. This is not an infrequent occurrence lately (the last one was on Mother's Day - my first M's Day but won't get into that now). So, there was no leaving for 3 hours because baby F needed real attention.

After I got baby F down for a nap, I was able to sneak out for a nice 4-mile run with KH at Lincoln Park (lots of stairs, too!) and I'm grateful for that but so very frustrated that two weekends in a row I missed my long walk. I forgot to wear my HRM so no stats for the run. I think it was about 45 minutes?

I REALLY needed that run. I got a chance to vent to KH about my MIL who sent a caring email on Saturday telling me that I was disrespecting and not taking care of the great gift from God (baby F) by feeding him bath water during bath time. Don't I know that he could get e. coli and have brain damage?! Surely I would want to protect him and keep him healthy rather than make him sick by feeding him poopy water?


I really don't FEED bath water to my son while in the bath and generally stop him from feeding it to himself via his measuring cup bath toys but regardless...REALLY? Was that necessary? She drives me crazy. I have to say, I do thank God that she's in Michigan and not nearby where I have to hear on a regular basis what a horrible mother I am and listen to her theories on the health effects of bath water ingestion.


Back in the real world, this week I am hoping to bike commute again on Thursday and if no one schedules meetings I hope to take part in the lunch time yoga on Thursday. Otherwise, runs on Wednesday & Friday again.

I want to try a long walk again next weekend but am afraid of jinxing myself at this point. Only 3 weeks until the NODM half marathon!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Keeping up

I think I'm keeping up with things and that's a good feeling.

Mon/Tues work days were a wash but Wednesday I got a 3.5 mile walk/jog in, which is good. Although I wonder, since I walk to/from the light rail station during my commute, I wonder if I can count that milage on my work days? It's not much but it's not "nothing" either. I'll have to measure the distance and think about that one.

Thursday was a great day because for the first time since...pre-pregnancy, I rode my bike to work!! It felt SO good. I've been eyeing the bike commuters jealously lately, watching the nice breeze whip past their faces, the sun on their skin, their firm calf muscles. Well, I finally got back on my bike and hope to make a habit of it. It's pretty much all downhill & flat on my way to work which is nice because I don't need to shower when I get there. On the way home, it's a VERY steep uphill so even though it's a short commute, it's a butt burner.

The weather has been fabulous here lately so yesterday on my day off, I was sure to get out. In the morning, baby F, Skinny V, and I walked once around Seward Park (2.4 miles). We saw baby geese, ducks, lots of shore birds, and kids & dogs galore. It's so nice to see people out enjoying the good weather. Seward is my second favorite park in Seattle (Lincoln Park is #1) so it was a great way to start the day. In fact, I'll be heading there today as soon as baby F wakes from his nap.

Later yesterday, I met KH for a run along Alki in West Seattle. My dad came over to play with baby F so I got a chance to run sin baby jogger, which was quite freeing. I took along a beer in a cooler and a couple sippee cups so KH & I could split a little post-run, sunny Friday treat along the water. Ah! Check out the Seattle skyline & clear sky:

Since I didn't get a long walk in last weekend, I REALLY need to pull one of this weekend which I guess means tomorrow since it's not likely to happen today. I think I'll plan a 12 mile loop route in West Seattle along Alki to Lincoln Park and back. Maybe KH can join me for a portion? I'll have to give her a call...

IN other news, I've been using My Fitness Pal to track my calories. In the last week, I've seen my daily calorie intake go down. It definitely is a deterrent to eating junk if I know I'm going to have to record it. Good tool!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Every playlist should end with...

Legs by ZZ Top.

If that doesn't get you through the end of a workout or up a hill, I'd like to hear what will! Even if you don't like ZZ, it's got a solid beat and heavy chords that you can't ignore. The lyrics are a little sexy and powerful and make you want to work hard.

She's got legs, she knows how to use them. 

That's pretty much all I hear of that song, it does the trick. Maybe if I actually listened to the rest of the lyrics, I wouldn't like the song so please no one tell me the rest. This phrase and beat make me feel like I have powerful legs and I'm going to use them to kick some ass. My ass. Up a hill. And that song helped me climb my last hill on the treadmill today.

B sent a text at 5 AM this morning saying she couldn't do our long (10-12 mile) walk today because she had a pinched nerve and could barely walk. Turns out, she had a rib out of place!! Poor B! Thank goodness for the chiropractor who popped the rib back in place. OUCH!

I didn't get B's text message until I was heading out the door to the ferry (I was going to meet her on Bainbridge Island) and I just wasn't mentally ready to do that long effort on my own. I didn't have a route planned or anything and didn't want to stop to think about it because I was afraid I would lose momentum.

So, I hit the gym and did 12 miles on the bike (I have a triathlon coming up in late June, remember?) then 3 hard miles on the treadmill doing 3 min run:1min walk. Total time for run: 30 min. Booya!!

I think it was ZZ that made me cruise. I was pretty much sprinting during my last couple run intervals in order to get the 3 miles logged in that time.

Needless to say, between that workout today and the barefoot running yesterday, my legs are pretty tired and a bit tight.

Friday, May 7, 2010

TGIF - Feeling good on a sunny day

It's been too long since I'd been able to run but I finally got out this morning! After me being sick then baby being sick & dad gone, then me traveling to Bozeman, MT this past week for work (IT WAS SNOWY!), I've finally settled down. Phew!

I think this is my early Mother's Day and so far, it's awesome. I went to the gym this morning where I got to get some barefoot running in for the first time in a long while. Didn't have a ton of time but got 2.75 miles in 30:14 during a combo walk:jog.  Avg HR = 162. It actually felt good to kick my shoes off and hit the treadmill. Something about it - easier on my joints? I just went shoeless for 3 minutes though because it's been a while since I've done it and I don't want to be too sore for tomorrow's 10 mile walk with B.

After the gym, I was off to see Katie, former marathon training partner, who is an aesthetician extraordinaire @ Tangerine Salon Spa. Treated myself to the best facial in Seattle. Feeling good, I went to Kids on 45th consignment store next door to Tangerine and scored an ERGO that looked barely used for $75 + I had a $20-off coupon! NICE! I've been looking on Craig's List but the good ones go quick and I was about to break down and get a new one. I've heard the ERGO is best for your back and at 23 lbs, my little guy is starting to get pretty heavy when I wear/carry him.

Next, I treated myself to a coffee and book time at Tully's on 45th in Wallingford. Still a bit on the fence about Doubt Is Their Product. It has a good history of public health issues related to exposures to chemicals and how industry fights regulation of their use of harmful chemicals, but the author seems to look at things in black & white. ALL scientists who work for industry are not evil. I know, because I'm one and I've never sought to make the data fit the conclusion I wanted.

On my way home, I stopped at Trophy Cupcakes to buy a triple chocolate Mother's Day treat for our nanny/babysitter. I didn't get one for me which took an amazing amount of willpower.

After Baby F wakes up from his nap, we're off to Lincoln Park (Seattle's BEST park) to do a walk with KH and baby. It's a beautiful sunny day so will be nice to get down to the waterfront.

Tomorrow - a 10 miler with B!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stuck at home + car seat conundrum

I just saw my neighbor (who I used to run with once in a while) run by with her dog, Stella. They looked so happy as they ran by my house, rubbing it in that I'm stuck inside on such a great day.

It's cool and gray outside and there is a light mist. I LOVE running in these conditions. The air feels crisp and fresh and it's quiet outside. It reminds me of fall, my favorite season.

I really, really, really want to go for a run.

I'm finally kicking my cold so I think I could do it and feel pretty good, especially after being pent up all week. If I was a little kid, I would be seriously whining and stomping my feet on the ground right now, throwing a tantrum.

BUT, I can't. Not now anyway. Mr. F is gone for a week and Baby F is sleeping. So, I'm tied to the house. When Baby F wakes up, we have to run to an appointment on the "East side" to get our new car seat checked out. I think I installed it correctly (Recaro Signo) but want to be sure. By the time we get back, it will be time for Baby F's nap again. Then, after the nap we have a 1st birthday party to go to, which I am excited about but wish someone could hang out here right now while I go for a run...

I'm sure Baby F would be fine and he certainly wouldn't notice if I slipped out for just 30 minutes.


I know, I know. I would never do that. But it's hard not to contemplate about it.

Speaking of car seats, I bought another one (Safety First, Alpha Omega Elite) for our other car and I think I need to return it. The belt between the legs is in the position closest to the outside edge and it fits baby right now. Baby F is only about 22 lbs and this car seat is supposed to last until he's ready for a booster so I think there is no room for him to grow without him sitting at least part-way on that belt. Grumble. I'll ask the car seat technician about it today and what a good alternative would be. Any suggestions?