Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Blah

My day off and I have a cold, it's pouring rain outside, and I'm tired. :(

Low probability I will make it out today but will at least try for a short walk...

Darn-it all.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gone "long"

I went "long" today!! All by myself! And I FORGOT MY IPOD! But really, it turned out to be just fine :) I missed my partner, B, but we'll try to work something out next weekend. She's thinking about that triathlon we have coming up at the end of June. I know I need to get ready for that too but still just focusing on this half marathon walk. I can't believe NODM is only a little over a month away! Eeeps! Good news on that front - another girlfriend signed up to walk with us, Little Bird.
 
Back to the long walk - 
I planned out a great route here around the hood last night that included a long stretch along Lake Washington, lucked out with beautiful weather this morning, and enjoyed a 9.5-mile walk in 2:11:51. I think I jogged about 1.5 miles of that (just under 14 minute miles).

My walk started out on the Chief Sealth trail. A nice urban trail with views of Mt. Rainier, which you can't see in this photo but she's really there! Nice rolling hills...


The ornamental cherry trees have been in full bloom and now the petals are falling off the trees, covering the sidewalks in delicate pink. Lots of runners, bikers, and walkers out today along the lake, but I found a quiet spot... 


The mother of a hill that I climbed from mile 8 - 9 doesn't show up in the profile, above, but you get the idea by seeing the DOWN hill I had at the beginning, which I had to go back UP to get home. The iPod would have been really helpful for that hill to keep my rhythm going.

Sweet Mr. F made me a smoked salmon omelet when I got back. It disappeared before I could even think about taking a picture of it's loveliness.

After the pastry/relay reunion last Sunday, I realized that I shouldn't be trying to workout 5 days/week. Right now, it's just not practical for me. I need to make smaller, more realistic goals. Getting a workout in on my work days is just too much of a thrash. So, last Sunday I gave myself permission to let those days go and just focus on my days off. Duh. Makes sense, right? Funny how relaxed I was after that decision. If there are times when I can squeeze something in, like a yoga DVD after I put Baby F down, then that will just be an extra treat for the week.

It turned out to be a good week with less pressure on myself and less guilt (I wasn't beating myself up about not meeting my goals): I ran my 3.3 mile Golf Course Loop on Wednesday (day off) and Friday (day off). Saturday was a tired day so I just did a short 2 mile, slow walk with Baby F. Not ideal, but OK.

BONUS: Thursday, I got to do YOGA for the first time in months. A benefit of Company C is that one of our staff is also a yoga instructor and gives a free class during lunch on Fridays. Well, as of this last week, she changed her class to Thursdays - a day I work! This will be a great addition to my work-week and much needed for my mental well-being.

On deck this week, more running on Wednesday & Friday days off. I need to expand my Golf Course Loop to get up to 4 miles. Hopefully Baby F will tolerate the extra time in the jogger. I've felt lucky that he's been content for my 45 min loop. We'll see how that goes this week. As for the weekend, my "long" walk will be a 6-miler recovery walk.

Have a good week!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mt. Si Relay team reunion

The weather this morning was perfect for a run. We had a good rain yesterday & night so the air was fresh, the lilacs are blooming and smelling sweet, and the birds were raucous. I sneaked out and did a shortened version of the Golf Course Loop. Without the baby jogger, I felt so free and much speedier. This makes three runs this week which is a HUGE accomplishment for me!

This is the second year that we (CC, NT, KH, KB) didn't do the Mt. Si Relay after a couple years of participating. So instead, these last two years we've done the next best thing - - get together and eat pastries!

The relay has a great 59-mile course that runs through scenic forested trails in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Teams have five members and each member runs two legs. I don't remember our first team name but our 2008 team was "30's Are the New 20's" and we were battling it out with another all-female team we affectionately referred to as "the Cougars." As nice as this event is, we're thinking that next year we'll move on to another relay...maybe the Ragnar Relay in Bellingham?

Our second annual team reunion took place this morning at the Essential Baking Company. Our excuse for not running last year was that two of us were pregnant and this year, again, we have a pregnant team member and two pregnancy recover-ees. We were missing one person but those of us who could make it put the hurts on those pastries (note pile of empty plates)...
I have only told three people about this blog: Mr. F, B (NODM partner), and Mr. V. This morning I confessed to my ladies because I didn't want to post this pic without their permission. As expected, I received a fair amount of razzing.

The day continued to get better after pastry-time and our temps were pushing 70! Later this afternoon, B took the ferry over (she's going to hear Nora Jones tonight) and we were able to get a 5-mile HILLY walk in. My glutes will be feeling it tomorrow.

I feel good about getting two workouts in today but hope I don't regret it tomorrow when I try to roll out of bed!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tox Tip #1: Personal care product database

I just got off the phone with someone at Washington Toxics Coalition who was interviewing me for a report on two studies I participated in. One study, Early Exposures, involved collecting my urine and blood during my second trimester of pregnancy and answering questions about products I use, foods I eat, my job, etc. My urine and blood then were analyzed for bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates (plasticizers), flame retardants, mercury, and more. The second study hasn't been published yet and involved donating cans of food to have them tested for BPA.

After the Early Exposures study was released, the hard-working people at WTC were able to work with our state Department of Health and other health advocates to pass the Safe Baby Bottle Act in our state that now bans BPA in bottles. Yeah!

I learned a lot from this study and one of the most surprising things was that phthalates (plasticizers, pronounced "thal-ates") are intentionally added to some (not all) of our personal care products and nutritional supplements and you can't find out which ones by reading the label. For example, some time-release supplements use the phthalates to slow down absorption in the gut. Hmmm. Maybe the levels in the supplements are low enough that they don't harm us but if I can avoid that exposure, I will.

So here is my first ever toxic tip from your running-working-mom'ing-blogging toxicologist. It's not much of a tip (it's a LINK) but I think it could be useful. The person I spoke with on the phone today recommended this website:


It's a list of cosmetics compiled by the Environmental Working Group. The cosmetics are ranked by potential hazard posed by using the cosmetic. I'm not sure how in-depth the product reviews are but it might be worth checking out if you are curious about chemicals in your products. Maybe they'll make a phone app for this?

Ok - I'm off for a run! Another sunny day in Seattle...

**************

Back! Another successful trip around the Golf Course Loop (walk/jog). 3.3 miles, 41:20. Avg HR = 144, 69% of my max. Looking forward to when I can run the whole thing without needing to walk - I'm sore from Wednesday's trip around the loop!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Amazing Seattle run day!

It is gorgeous in Seattle today - and it's my day off!

My phone says 52 degrees right now but I swear it's warmer. I just got back from a great walk-jog around my "golf course loop" which is about 3.3 miles. 39:40, average HR = 152 which is 72% of my max.

Baby F was loving the sunny weather and spring flowers, too, singing to the trees as we went through the greenbelt.

We stopped to check on the progress of a park being remodeled near our home. Check out the progress:


These are going to be new tennis courts with a great kid's play structure in the background. The new park is supposed to include trails and they originally had a new track planned (to cover a reservoir) but somewhere along the planning that got turned into (grass?) soccer fields :( I don't know why they couldn't have both track AND fields. The Olympic Mountains are in the distance but my camera phone doesn't pick them up.

To make the run even better, I got a tough-girl injury while unfolding the baby jogger. Stings...


And just because it's been eons since I posted pictures, here is a camera snapshot of the Olympic Mountains (they're bigger in real life, I swear) from Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park. Collected this while doing a walk during the work day last week. It simultaneously rained, snowed, and 'sunshined' on us that day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

To Emeryville, CA & back

I totally messed up this morning!

I flew to Company C's west coast HQ in Emeryville, CA yesterday to meet with new co-workers. It was a great day that culminated in a tasty though buttery meal at Oliveto in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland. Loved their fresh salad with Meyer lemon and seared beef with arugula & parm appies. My entree & side were "ok" but I had NO complaints about the lemon tart meringata with strawberry Framboise sauce dessert.

Before bed, I mapped out a nice running route (3 mi) from the hotel to a marina/pier that extended a ways out into the Bay so I could have a nice view.

The alarm went off at 6 AM. Got dressed. Looked outside my window - DARK. It occurred to me that I was totally unfamiliar with my surroundings and may/may not be in a good place to take off for a run in the dark, alone. How isolated was this pier? Well, I thought to lay down for just 15 minutes and wait for the sun to come up before setting out.

In hindsight, I should have just went downstairs and talked to the hotel staff until the sun came up. Instead, you can guess, I went out like a light.

At 7 AM, my back-up alarm went off (yes, I always set two when traveling) and I had totally missed my chance for a run. I had to meet my co-worker at 7:30 to head to breakfast then the office so no time to lose. Damn!

It was a shame to be in the Bay Area and not get to explore. From our office we could see the GG Bridge and I thought longingly of the city and how I want to get down there for the NIKE Women's Half Marathon one of these years.

*sigh*


I'm back home now with my little peanut and Mr. F so will have to get some miles in tomorrow around the hood to make up for lost time while traveling. I'm feeling good after an 8.8 mile walk (w/ some jogging) with NODM training partner, B, this past Sunday. We did a great loop that started/finished at Green Lake and went through Ravenna Park, UW, Montlake cut, and Portage Bay.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sore again - feels goot!

Ok, after two weeks mostly "off," I got back on that treadmill this week and am pretty darn sore today. That barefoot running really gets yours calf muscles worked up TIGHT. It's a good sore though. What makes it better is that I felt like I actually started some good habits this week of getting to bed earlier, which meant I could wake up earlier and get to work earlier, which meant that I didn't have to do more work at night to get caught up.

So yesterday was 4 miles on the treadmill, which included barefoot running and a walk/jog combo. Today was an easy 3 mile walk along the Seattle waterfront during my lunch. It was sprinkling when I started then got sunny and warm with a small spurt of *snow* followed by more sun. Crazy PNW weather!

In other news, I finished reading NurtureShock by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman. It's all about what new research is telling us about raising kids & how some of the newer studies are challenging beliefs that we took for granted. Excellent! Check it out.

Right now, listening to Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton on my iPod and reading (hard copy) Doubt Is Their Product by David Michaels. The Wharton book is just plain fun, kinda reminds me of Jane Austen, and the Michaels book is all about how industry uses science to cast doubt on issues to distract us from taking action that would protect us from harm (e.g., bad drugs, environmental contamination, etc).

Newest music - Pistolera, a Brooklyn-based band... I really like them but haven't tried running to them yet. I'm thinking not for running but otherwise quite fun to listen to. Checking out Kerrie's playlist and thinking I would pick hers any day over LB's tunes. Sorry LB, but that list seems like a bit of a downer (though I LOVE Prince)?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Where did that saddle go?

I need to find it and get back in...

What a time warp these last couple weeks have been. Thanks to my incredible chiropractor, I've been able to walk the last couple weeks. One good yank on my leg and *POP,* my SI joint/hips got straightened out. I think all of Bellevue heard that adjustment - it was heavenly. We're working on that lower back issue with my PT now.

In other good news, got rid of that sinus infection in record time (1 week!) with the saline rinse/acupuncture/herbal meds from my ND. I will NOT do the antibiotic route again after this recent success with alternative methods.

So last week was a wash. I got my SI joint/hips fixed and got a few miles in with my jogging routine but it was a busy week with work and I just didn't meet my plan goals. It's taking some adjustment getting into this new job and finding a good routine to get to/from work, and find time for the gym. Basically, I need to go to bed earlier so I can get up earlier. Not so easy though because there's always so much to get done at home...plus the Marriage Ref to watch. (I know, bad bad bad.)

So to recap:
Last week: 3 miles total (training plan said 18 miles)
Previous week: 7 miles total (training plan said 16 - this was the messed-up-back-can't-stand-up-week)

I WAS doing some walking and my PT exercises but it just wasn't very rigorous and didn't count as true workouts.

It's Sunday, so this is the time for renewed commitments for the week. On deck this week is 18 miles of walking/jogging + PT exercises. Hopefully B and I can get together this coming weekend to do a long one. That NODM half marathon walk is going to get here before we know it!!

I hope everyone out there is doing well. I've been missing all the running-blogging ladies out there.