Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fit kids = Fat brains

Before I whine more about my lame ankle, I have to share a great little article in last week's NY Times Magazine, The Fittest Brains by Gretchen Reynolds (September 19, 2010; the online link I just provided is slightly different than the print version).

Ms. Reynolds summarized several recent studies, each demonstrating improved performance on cognitive or memory tests by "fit" children. And not only that, the studies that evaluated differences in the children brains using MRI technology found that active children actually have BIGGER BRAINS! Well, certain parts of their brains that together affect neurocognition were larger than in "unfit" kids. Another study discussed by Reynolds found that even with just 20 minutes of walking prior to being tested, children performed better (even in unfit kids this held true).

This means that Kadie, There She Runs, is going to have to work extra hard to keep up with her little smartie who finished her first 10k last weekend and is willing to take on another race next month. And, Mel's Little Studs who sprint around the "jogging stroller" are going to outsmart the Tall Mom soon!

It also means we need to be sure to fight to keep sports and physical education in our money-strapped schools.


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

And in other news, I made it to my second SWIM lesson last night and had a fantastic session. Because my ankle didn't like the flipping around, I focused mostly on arms and got about 1500 meters of swimming in. That is equivalent to me running 15 miles - crazy.

This weeks great tip: When you stroke, your body should roll from side to side a bit. I had been holding my body stiff and steady. Flat, no movement. I now see that this impedes movement and you can move a lot more efficiently by loosening up and letting your body rock a bit. PLUS, it makes it much easier to reach farther with your arms and get more power. I think this greatly improved my stroke. It felt SO good to make progress in the pool and get some exercise.

I'm not sure I can bike with this bum ankle so I'm hoping I can get more pool time in over the weekend. I really don't want to lose this fitness I've built up.UG! I'm so frustrated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What else can I do that doesn't put pressure on my ankle?? 

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

So yesterday the gimp (me) iced her ankle and lamented this poor luck of ending up with a bum ankle. She was heartbroken after such a successful run over the weekend and did not know what to do. This was NOT part of the plan.

The plan was to download a new 5k training plan to prepare for the Father Joe's Thanksgiving Day 5k in San Diego.

What to do?

Well, immediately after calling a friend to back out of this weekend's Mud Mountain Dam 5k, the sulker's phone rang.

"Hello?"

"Yes, Alma! This is Brian checking in with you. How's your running?"


Can you believe the timing? It was rock star PT, Brian, from Madison Park PT! You see, this swollen-ankled baby was supposed to do a final check-out appointment over the summer to close the books on her torn calf and retrained running style (barefoot technique) but never did follow through. During the call, our gimp was able to explain to Brian her recent woes and make an appointment to see him next week. Until then, her instructions were to ice and rest. Maybe all is not lost?


...Ok, time for Baby F to do some laps around the house to grow that little brain...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bummed

I don't know what I did but I can barely walk as of yesterday. I started hobbling Monday evening while walking from the hotel to dinner but it went away after I warmed up. It was like my left achilles was just tightening up/seizing every once in a while.

Then Tuesday during my work training, each time I tried to get up for a break, I could barely walk until my ankle warmed up.

Well, getting off the plane last night it was REALLY bad and my ankle was totally swollen. What the heck did I do?

Ever since Sunday's race, I've been SO JAZZED about running and excited to pick up my miles and now...?? I don't know what to do.

Should I go see a doctor?
Can they do anything if it's just a sprain?
What if it's not a sprain?

I don't even know what to tell them. I don't remember twisting my ankle or anything.

This sucks.

Very bummed today.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Back in Emeryville, CA

Remember the last time I was in Emeryville?Yeah, disappointing on the running front.

Tonight, I arrived at the hotel at 8pm-ish, threw stuff on the bed and ran back to the lobby to meet co-workers, walked to dinner, filled up on Thai food and shared a bottle of wine, returned to hotel room at 10:30pm. It's late. I'm exhausted. Training starts tomorrow at 8am and goes until 6pm then we race to the airport for our 8:15pm flight back to Seattle.

I decided not to fool myself this time that I would get up early and run. I didn't even bother bringing my running shoes.

Thank goodness because I'm EXHAUSTED and tomorrow will be even crazier.

One of these times, though, I'm going to bring my running shoes and actually make it out to that pier for a view of SF & the bridge.

I think I'll be taking it pretty easy this week. Easy run Wednesday & Friday. Bike commute to work on Thursday. Saturday...Maybe run the Mud Mountain Dam 5k in Enumclaw with one of my best friends ever, who I hardly get to see even though she's just down the road in Black Diamond...

Hmmm...still thinking about it. I'm actually sore from yesterday's 10k...

Time to get some rest!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

You Go Girl 10k Recap


WE CAME, WE RAN, WE CONQUERED

This weekend was the inaugural You Go Girl race, including both a half marathon and 10k. The night before, Tall Mom Mel and others organized a bloggy girl meet-up at the Spaghetti Factory in Tacoma, WA (Exhibit 1). 

Exhibit 1.

Let's see, we had all kinds of blogs representing and I don't know them all but we had 50 Half Marathons in 50 States, Tall Mom Running, Running to Sanity, Track Coach and Adorable Wife, There She Runs, TMB Racing with Babes, Will Run for Food, Navy Wife on a Diet, Long Legs something...ok, and a bunch more I can't think of.

Honestly, I was pretty nervous about meeting everyone. I didn't know anyone except for what I'd read on blogs. Would I like them? What would we talk about? 

Of course I had no reason to be nervous. Everyone was lovely and it was really nice to meet everyone in the flesh. Kinda strange, actually. For example, everyone was in street clothes instead of running clothes.

It turned out to be a late night for me as I debated about what to wear in WARM temps but heavy RAIN. Morning came too soon. After a quick 25 minute drive to Tacoma, I found parking just a couple blocks from the start and was fortunate to run into my Aunt Cindy who pretty much kicks ass is everything (Exhibit 2). This was her second half marathon this year.


Exhibit 2.

Before the race, all the bloggy ladies met up and I was too busy yapping to take photos but I did snap this one of the birthday girl, Kerrie T of MomvsMarathon (Exhibit 3a). Fortunately, I was able to snag a group photo off Kerrie's Facebook page (Exhibit 3b) and the sweetie emailed me a couple more (Exhibits 3c, 3d).

Exhibit 3a.

Exhibit 3b.

Exhibit 3c.

Exhibit 3d.

From there, we went to the starting line and saw something quite strange. There was NO ONE at the start. 

Usually, the start line is crowded with the local "fast" runners in their racing singlets and briefs, doing wind sprints to stay warm, and sizing up the competition - ready to throw elbows at the start of the gun. 

BUT NOT TODAY! Nope, no one lined up at the start, which was the 6- and 7- minute per mile pace groups. In "front," about 20 yards back, were Tonia (Racing with Babes), Tall Mom Mel, their friend Janna, me, and a few others. It was driving me crazy that no one was at the start line! I was trying to coerce one of the ladies to go up with me because I wanted to go up but was too chicken to go up by myself. 

The start line looked silly all empty and I thought, "What a bunch of girls! Where is our competitive spirit? How often do you get to start at the front-front?" 

Hooray for Janna who agreed to go up front with me, and Tonia and Mel came along too, then the other ladies moved up. Right before the start, the true front runners came jogging up. Apparently, they had been out warming up. But really, there were only a few of them so there was still room at the front for us (Exhibit 4).

Exhibit 4.

After the Star-Spangled Banner, we set off into the rain. Mel was pacing Tonia for a sub-2:00 half and I was hoping to keep pace with them for my 10k (Exhibit 5). My goal was to run 8:35 min/mile.

Exhibit 5.

Ok, there is where I have to say, the race elevation profile was TOTALLY misleading. The course looked like it would have ONE good hill and be flat/downhill the rest of the way. 

LIES! ALL LIES!

The first 4 miles were either a slight uphill grade or steep uphill with hardly any flats or downhill. At 4 miles, my pace (if my math is correct) was around 8:20 min/mile, which was better than my goal pace. I was working pretty hard up those hills but I kept thinking about how happy I was not pushing a baby jogger up those hills! 

Harry HRM was beeping madly at me as I took on the hills & my heart was pushing into the 90+% of max. I figured, "Eh, recovery on the downhill, right?" It was awesome - after the 4-mile mark, the rest of the run was downhill or flat. I had to concentrate on not going out too hard and dying before the end but I did pick up my pace once I had recovered from the uphills. 

When I could see the big 6-mile sign up ahead, I tried to turned it on. So did three other women I was running with. Now I have to confess, I am not used to getting out-kicked. I started my running as a sprinter (200m & long jump) and some of those fast-twitch muscles have stayed with me. Not today. Two of the women took off and we all duked it out until the end, finishing 1, 2, 3 with me in third.

But don't despair! It was all ok when I saw the clock: 49:21. That's 7:57 min/mile baby! WOO-HOO!!! That's WAY better than I thought I had in me at this point. And guess what? For finishing in the top 5 in my age group, I won a bracelet with Swarovski crystal! I don't know what it looks like and I would have to drive a LONG way down to Bonney Lake to pick it up, so I'm not sure if I'll ever know what it looks like but it's nice just knowing that I won something. 

All day, I've been wondering how I pulled off that pace. Aside from the 2 miles of downhill, I'm pretty sure my surprising pace was attributable to the bad-ass tat-sleeves I was wearing (Exhibit 6).

Exhibit 6.

At the finish, laptops were set up so you could type in your bib number and get your results. My results weren't showing up and it wasn't until I got help from the timing people that I realized it was because my race bib was upside down and I was typing my number in wrong. DUH. 


It was so much fun "knowing" so many people at the race. It made the whole experience more enjoyable, getting to cheer others on and see all the familiar faces. Of all the runners, by far the cutest finisher was Little Mr. T, who ran the last segment with his mommy, Kerrie (Exhibit 7).

Exhibit 7.

I'm so jazzed about today's race. It taught me that with 15 miles/week running and cross-training, I CAN run a decent pace. It also inspired me to get some speed work in and just have fun with shorter distances for a while. Through this winter, I'm also hoping to up my mileage so I can push my pace more. 

Can't wait until the next race!



Friday, September 24, 2010

SOWL Recap

Kerrie's (MomvsMarathon) SOWL (Summer of Weight Loss) is over.  Overall, I've lost 45 lbs, though only 4 lbs since the SOWL started. I think I would like to go another 3 but mostly focus on getting muscles back. Even though my weight is really close to pre-pregnancy, I can tell I do not have the same tone at all. How do I find time to start lifting weights again? (This is where Jillian Michaels comes in handy, eh?)


I'm not going to do the "after" pics since my loss isn't very dramatic but I can very happily report that I am back into all my work clothes again.  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.


The "before" and beginning of SOWL is found HERE.


Before and after stats:


Weight: 140 lbs --  136 lbs (-4) 
Bust: see here
Chest: 31.5"  --  31"  (-0.5)
Waist: 30.5"  --  29.25"  (-1.25)
Hips: 35"  --  35" (0.0)
Midway (a.k.a. muffin-top section): 33"  --  33" (0.0)  
Thigh: 23"  --  22"  (-1.0)
Knee: 15.5"  --  14.25"  (-1.25)
Calf: 14.75"  --  14.5"  (-0.25)
Upper arm: 12"  --  11.75"  (-0.25) 
Forearm: 10.5"  --  10.25"  (-0.25)


That's what 4 lbs got me. I shouldn't complain but I'm surprised my dreaded muffin top and hips didn't come out smaller since my work clothes are fitting me so much better. I suppose there is a good chance the measurements were not collected consistently, which could contribute to some oddities like...1.25" difference in my knees?? Really? I'll take it, but it seems kinda crazy!


Did I hear Kerrie is contemplating a Holidays of Weight Loss? Time to work on body composition. 


Thanks Kerrie for the challenge and I look forward to seeing you on your birthday for the YOU GO GIRL 10k in Tacoma! 



Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Alki never disappoints

Sunny, warm (59 deg.), cool breeze, a little hazy, smiles all around. 3.8 miles along the boardwalk. Another great run & play time at Alki Beach in West Seattle.












E - You want to join me on a run here, next summer? 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Who needs sleep?

Actually, I do. I'm tired and it's not my fault!

This crazy lady, Barbara Kingsolver, just won't let me turn out the lights. I get to bed on time but then she starts weaving this story that keeps me from sleeping. The Lacuna is set in my second favorite country, Mexico, and includes fictional representations of two amazing artists, Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo, though they aren't the leading actors in this story. What are y'all reading right now?

These late nights are making it hard to get up early to do a Jillian Michaels workout pre-work but I am at least bike commuting still. I'm hoping to get some fenders tomorrow to prevent the road slime splatter up the back when the La Nina rains come. And speaking of Jillian...

I'm watching the season opener of The Biggest Loser and I'm proud to say I haven't cried once (show isn't over yet). I think Jillian looks a little disgusted. Is she wearing a pair of Newtons? I'll have to get a closer look...

Tomorrow is swim lesson #2 and there is a chance I won't be able to go because Mr. F is attending a conference all week and might be doing the dinner thing with clients. I'll keep my fingers crossed that he comes home instead, for my own selfish sake. I suppose I could get a sitter to sit next to the baby monitor since Baby F will be asleep by the time I would go, but seems a bit $$. At a minimum, I'll get an easy run in with Baby F in the jogger.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Downtown waterfront run at night

Today was a major housework day. Mr. F and I toiled in the basement, clearing years of junk out so we can get ready for contractors to come install a drainage system and hopefully put a stop to the river that runs through it. Messy. Gross. 1,258 lbs to the dump. Most of it was old shelving and wood. Oh - and an old stove.

We worked through lunch then had an early dinner at 5 pm (home-made pozole, corn tortillas, guacamole, and Negra Modelo). Delicious but not the kind of meal you normally eat pre-run.

While waiting for my meal to digest, I set to cooking up some yam/zucchini/corn meal fritters for Baby F to eat this week. Then a little before 8 pm, I set off on a long-ish run by myself. Where to go? Someplace well-lit, someplace well-populated, someplace familiar.

The waterfront!

I put on some reflective gear, headlamp, waterbelt, and RoadID, then packed my phone and bus pass. Running alone in the dark in the morning doesn't seem like a big deal but at night, well, that's when all the drunk, messed up people are out. Between our house and downtown, you have to go through a couple sketchy areas known to be trouble zones for drugs, homelessness, prostitution, and other crimes. I decided I was being self-absorbed thinking that anyone would give two bits about me running by, so off I went.

Leaving our hill, I cruised toward downtown and took this shot from the Jose Rizal bridge. This shows the last little bit of light fading over Elliot Bay.


From there I cruised down Jackson St., going through Little Saigon and Chinatown/International District. I had a too close encounter with a rat that ran across my path so had to pay more attention to my footing. Running under the I-5 overpass, homeless people were bedding down for the night. A reminder to be thankful that I have a home, a job, and lots of family/friends to help me if I ever need it. 

From the IntlDist, I cruised to our Pioneer Square District, which consists mostly of art galleries and bars. Somewhere in here, a truck of guys slowed down to heckle me then circled back again to yell some more. Once they made another turn, I took a quick sprint down Yesler, right past my office, and headed to the waterfront. 

This was a good route. As I had expected, there were quite a few people out, especially couples being smoochy. I passed the ferry terminal, Ivar's Restaurant, Argosy boat tours, the fire station, the Seattle Aquarium, various piers, several restaurants and hotels, the cruise ship terminal, and eventually got to the entrance of the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park. It's officially closed at night but I took a short dip in so I could take a photo of our Calder sculpture with the Space Needle in the background.




I tried to take other photos of the waterfront but it being dark and all, they just didn't come out very well.

Had I run all the way home, it would have been a little over 8 miles. Instead, I chickened out about running UP our very long, steep, DARK, hill and caught the light rail at the International District station. A few older guys were telling tall tales on the train and giving me a hard time about "cheating." HA. I told them I had run far enough in the dark for one night.

It was just a short jaunt to my house from my stop. Ahhh! I made it! Sunday night run stats:

Distance: 6.6 miles
Time: 56:25
Pace: 8:32
Avg. HR: 167 (80% of max HR) 
(Did I mention that I got Harry my HRM back from the doctor? Yes, so nice to have him home again!)

I'm pretty sure it was adrenaline that carried me through this run. It wasn't the most relaxing run since I was on edge about running into not-so-nice people, tripping on an uneven sidewalk or pothole, or having some other mishap, but I have to say I felt pretty good!

I'm excited to see how I do a week from today at the You Go Girl 10k!

Oh - and in HUSKY news...

Our women & men Dawgs took FIRST place at the Sundodger Open yesterday. I had hoped to make it to the race but ended up taking Baby F to the playground instead (baby trumps all). You can see the women's results HERE. Sophomore Lindsey Flanagan WON the 6k race in 20:34. That is one fast lady!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Interview with a(nother) first time triathlete

"I'm tired of saying 'I can't.'"

My friend Amy is not athletic. Well, she wasn't until recently. She had struggled most of her life with plantar fasciitis but overcame that chronic pain and impediment to activity after surgery a couple years ago. Since then, she has been thinking about doing the Danskin Women's Triathlon. There was just a small catch - she didn't know how to swim. Plus, she was just plain scared. 

Amy and I had lunch this week so I could interview her about her triathlon experience but I only got about two questions in. Amy just unravelled her whole story, from birth of the idea to ... (I don't want to spoil the end!). The rest of this entry is a summary of her tri training, race, and post-race activities. 

Last year, Amy thought about signing up for Danskin but fear got the better of her.

This year, she mentioned her idea of doing Danskin to a friend, J, and they both decided to "just do it." Amy realized that she didn't have any more excuses for not giving it a tri.

Beginning in February, Amy started to train on her own. She ran on a treadmill and went on Sunday bike rides with her partner in crime, J. Amy conveniently didn't think about training for the swim. She was in blissful denial about the fact that she had an open water swim ahead of her.

In June, J signed Amy up for a Sally Edwards triathlon camp and it became apparent that Amy had to face reality. She had to get into the water. At this point, she could have just bailed on the whole idea. But she didn't. She told herself, "I'm not going to give in to being fearful."

Enter Coach Laurie and her triathlon training group at the Y.

To say that Coach Laurie's program is intense, is an understatement. On Amy's first training day, she took on a brick workout. Biking down (and back up) miles-long, very steep Avalon hill taught Amy that she needed to learn how to shift on hills. She didn't think she could make it back to the Y but when she did, it wasn't the end. They immediately set off on a run! The second workout was a lake swim. This was the dreaded activity but Laurie helped Amy overcome her anxiety and followed Amy with a noodle the entire time.

The summer progressed and Amy completed two workouts per week with the tri training group and did workouts on her own as well. She kept us all updated via Facebook, totally blowing me away with the workouts she was completing.

Eventually, race day came. Amy got to the start at 5:30 am but her wave didn't start until 8:00 am., which gave her plenty of time to think about her upcoming event...

(Amy on left)

When the swim began, she walked up to a Swim Angel and requested accompaniment. The Swim Angel volunteers are a great feature of the Danskin Triathlon, making this an excellent venue for first-timers (note: Danskin was my first triathlon, too, in 1993, the summer I met Amy). Amy reported that the swim was about as difficult as she expected but she managed to breast-stroke the entire course. 

This is what a transition area looks like for 3,500+ participants. 

Next up, bike. Amy was looking forward to the bike but for one big hill climbing from Lake Washington to Interstate-90. She surprised herself by cruising up the hill without too much difficulty. In fact, the whole bike leg was easier than she expected. One thing though - she wasn't comfortable grabbing her water bottle while biking and so she did get a bit dehydrated.

 

After a strong bike leg, Amy set off on her run. One foot in front of the other. At this point, the sun was high and it was a HOT day. Amy was THIRSTY by the time I found her but was encouraged by the sea of women going through this event together. Women passing each other were giving the high-five and words of encouragement. There were also a number of volunteers out to help cheer the women on their way. Even a drum circle at the base of this killer hill toward the end...


The best cheering squad of all though, was the family. Husband, son, and daughter gave this super-Mom big hugs just after she topped this hill. Then, it was a downhill half mile to the finish!


Amy finished strong. I was tearing up as she crossed the finish line. She didn't let doubt or fear control her. And what was she thinking after the long summer of training and accomplishing her goal of completing her first triathlon?

"I didn't want this to just be a checked box on my bucket list. I want to keep going. I want to improve."

So a month later, she completed ANOTHER triathlon, the Cottage Lake Triathlon! This time, her two cuties participated in a kids-tri and they all got to share in the glory.

                                           

Next up?

Well, she has already signed up with Coach Laurie to continue training through the fall. Amy's goal over the winter is to learn how to put her face in the water and do the crawl stroke so that next year she can improve her swim time and confidence. She's even contemplating running the Seattle Half Marathon over Thanksgiving weekend. 

What are Amy's tips for other first time triathletes?

  1. If you're not a swimmer, start swimming right away. Get help and do open-water training sessions.
  2. Rent a swimming wetsuit, it helps with buoyancy. 
  3. Train consistently and do brick workouts.
  4. Watch another triathlon before your event so you can see how the event runs. 

Until next year, keep your eyes out for Amy as she tears up the pool with her new crawl stroke!

If you made it through this whole post and want to read about another first-time triathlete, check out my friend Sarah's big race this summer HERE.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Swim lessons - Day 1

Every time I lap swim or "train" for the swim leg of a triathlon, I tell myself I should sign up for lessons to improve my technique. I can swim from one end of the pool to the other so I know I'm not going backwards but sometimes it feels like it. I have to work so incredibly hard just to get down the lane.

Well, Kelly @ In a Field of Daffodils recently was thinking about signing up for a masters swim team this winter and shifting her focus from running to swimming to freshen things up and get a little break. That got me thinking...

What's stopping me from signing up for lessons? I should just do it. Right?

I called the Y yesterday and found out a class was starting today. Tonight. It's late enough that Mr. F can get home at his regular time and then I can take off without having to worry about who is going to be here while Baby F is sleeping.

I'm so glad I did it because it will give me a good opportunity to cross-train at least one night per week through the rainy Seattle fall and will make me a better swimmer so next summer I can more safely navigate Lake Padden for the annual triathlon.

After just one lesson, I have enough tips to keep me busy all fall and winter. By the end, I actually felt like I was working a little less strenuously to get down the lane but it was hard to concentrate on everything all at once. Sometimes I concentrate hard on my arms (reach, reach, reach) then forget about my legs (hips, easy, hips, easy) or vice versa. Then every once in a while I will have a zen moment where I can simultaneously concentrate on both arms and legs but then realize I'm dying because I've (gasp!) forgotten to breathe!

I really could spend months working on my first critique:
  1. Kick from the hips.
  2. Don't kick so hard/fast, take it easier unless I'm sprinting (which I'm not).
  3. Arms are led out of the water by the elbows, fingers skim the surface while really reaching forward, waaaay out there, before pulling back.

  

Apparently you don't move your arms like windmills? No, no, no. Think stealthy, streamlined, close to the body. Reaching way UP in the air then slapping down into the water wastes a lot of energy. Go figure.

Sadly, I didn't get a run in today. It's frustrating because it was actually my day off but I had so much junk to do...errands and chores all day long. At least I got about 30 minutes in the pool tonight. This means I need to push to get miles in later this week. I should be taking advantage of the child care at the Y and getting treadmill runs in at least, right? Even though it wouldn't be for very long, I feel bad about not spending time with Baby F when he's awake, especially since I only have him to myself two days per week. It keeps me from using the child care even though their rooms and staff are great. But maybe that's better than putting him in the jogging stroller? At least he can play with other kids. And it's only for a maximum of 1.5 hrs. :(  On weekends, I think it's nice leaving him with Mr. F so they can have their manly time together but I really cherish my weekday alone time with Baby F. Do I need to be weaned?

I should try this Friday to drop him off and see what happens. And then try not to cry on the treadmill.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bike Commuting Bliss

I LOVE riding to work.

I'm proud that I've been bike commuting all summer and that now it's become habit. I love the feeling of the cool air in the morning, the quiet of the city in the early morning, the brine smell of the Puget Sound when I hit 5th Avenue as I'm coasting down Jackson St., and the feeling of getting a little easy exercise before starting my work day.

But, fall is coming and it's supposed to be a La Nina fall/winter. That means RAIN. Lots of rain. So, I need to figure out how to gear up so I am not discouraged from biking through the bad weather. I'm thinking I could use:

  • fenders
  • additional safety lights? (I have a 1 headlight and 1 flashing red tail light) 
  • rain jacket w/ reflective tape

I think my panniers will be adequately water-proof and if not, I'll try to ScotchGuard them or something.

Do I need rain pants? Will my feet get very wet? Do I just put plastic bags over my shoes?

What do I do about my hair? Will it get that wet on my way to work? Should I have a dryer in my office to use? Or maybe I should just cut my hair off for the winter? I don't think my husband would go for the Sinead O'Connor look but it sure would be convenient. And if I tattoo my make-up on, then I don't have to worry about it running!

(Lovely Sinead)

Any Seattle/rainy climate bike commuters out there who have recommendations about what they can't do without?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Realization & Recap

Realization:
Friday was not going well in terms of getting one of two workouts in (long run or tempo). It just wasn't in the cards between baby shots, doc appt, etc. By 5:30, I had decided to just bail on the idea of getting a work out in. Then it hit me - - just because I didn't have time or space w/ Baby F to get a full workout in didn't mean that I couldn't just go out for a run. Duh.

Why was that so hard to figure out? I almost went the whole day without running because I didn't have time or childcare but instead laced up & got a nice 3 mile run in with Baby F in the jogger. It wasn't a tempo run but it was certainly better than no run at all. We had just enough time to squeeze it in before bedtime and Baby F loved it. Since we were running at a time when the rest of the world was getting home from work, we saw everyone out walking their dogs, playing with their kids, and walking to the store. It made the run quite exciting for the little guy!

Recap:

Aside from missing my tempo run, I did alright this week. I got 4 runs in, including one "long" run today. I ended up running later this afternoon after doing a good round of yard work and eating pizza for lunch. BIG mistake. NEVER eat pizza before running. I felt so heavy and sluggish - blech! At one point during my run, the thought,

"I will never eat pizza again," went through my head which instantly made me laugh out loud because...honestly...can you think of anything MORE ridiculous than that? How could anyone renounce pizza? Absurd! After that crazy thought, my run actually improved because I was delighted with how humorous I am.

My goal for the 7.5 mile run was 9:00 min/mile, which I thought was going to be fast and possibly not achievable (especially post-pizza). Somehow, I managed to run close to 8:30 min/mile, which explained why I was feeling a bit rough - it was too fast. I'm pretty psyched that I was able to pull it off though!

Maybe it was the music? I need to work on my Shuffle music - CSS, Don Omar, White Stripes work well but I've got some duds on there too. I don't listen to music very often while running outdoors, it's more of a crutch while running on the treadmill, so I don't spend much time working on playlists. If I am able to increase my mileage, I think I could use a little help with the playlists.

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Only two weeks until the You Go Girl 10k in Tacoma. A bunch of local bloggy runners are doing this event (half marathon or 10k) as well as one of my college friends who I haven't seen in about a year. I'm really looking forward to the meet up, more than the race!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday SOWL Update

It's Friday already - these short weeks are nice, no?

The SOWL goals have not been a priority for the last few weeks due to vacation, being sick...that's about it. But, Kerrie just reminded us that there are only a couple weeks left so I should attempt to finish strong.

I had been dreading this morning's weigh-in since my eating and DRINKING habits were not stellar over vacation and I've only run about 5 times in the last three weeks but I was pleasantly surprised. After popping back up to 140 lbs, I'm back down to 138 lbs this morning. Phew!

My exercise this week has been pretty "ok" but I'm nervous about getting both hard workouts in by Sunday, COB. Today I need to either run a tempo or do my long run but I don't have child care. We have our 15-month doctor appointment (read: SHOTS) this morning so I'm not sure if Baby F will feel good enough to go out for a long run today in the jogger. I'm hoping Mr. F works from home today so I can do my workout during Baby F's lunch-time nap. If only I had a treadmill...

Someday when I get a treadmill, it will really help me boost my milage. I'll be able to take advantage of Baby F nap & sleep times and lay off the house work :)

Good news! I finally made it to Target this week and picked up some hand weights to use during my Jillian Michaels workouts. This means I don't have to use cans of stewed tomatoes and black beans for weights and will get a more intense workout. I'm going to be S-O-R-E after using these the first few times for sure.


I also finally (after a couple months) picked up a new watch band for my sports watch AND I sent my dead Harry the HRM in for servicing too and that should arrive today or tomorrow, so now I'll be able to finally tell the time of day, get more accurate times for my workouts & splits, and see where my heart rate is at. I had been debating about retiring Harry and just getting a Garmin but decided to stay old school for a while longer. My life is already data intensive, best not to create more reasons for me to sit in front of the computer. Right?


Monday, September 6, 2010

Husky/PAC10 XC News!

OMG!!!  

I just found out that the PAC 10 Cross Country Championships are in SEATTLE on October 30th!!

And what's even better, they are being run at the golf course that is 1/2 mile from my house!!

YEEEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAA! 
(meant to be yelled like Bo & Luke Duke as they jump the General Lee over broken bridge with Roscoe hot on their trail)


And, the UW Women's Huskies are ranked third this year. Not sure about the men yet but they did beat the COUGs (sorry Kerrie) this weekend in a rare dual meet. BOOOYA!

Ok, so I need to figure out if I can volunteer. Who do I contact about that? Hmmm...

Does anyone know about rising running stars at other PAC-10 schools? I'm so excited about who could be here running that later we could be watching at the 2012 Olympics! I will definitely have to watch the Pac10 XC news this season.

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And in other news, I spent an entire day throwing up over the side of a boat during a bottom fishing trip in Westport, WA this weekend. The weather was beautiful all weekend and I spent a lot of time playing on the beach but did NO running, not even my long run. I just relaxed. I feel a bit lame about it because I had really been looking forward to running at the beach but I was SO DAMN TIRED this weekend. And getting sick didn't help. My consolation...lots of rock fish to bring home to eat this winter. Mmmmm.