Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Get in mah belleh!

The summer harvests coming in and fall weather approaching triggers the "Cook-In-Massive-Quantities-Then-Freeze" behavior in this house. Despite the 70+ lbs of salmon, crab, chicken, and other goodies in our freezer, we're finding room for more...
Pride & joy of the Pacific Northwest: Salmon! Delicious & nutritious.
So beautiful & fun to watch as they head up the fish ladder @ Issaquah Hatchery

Tangy sweet tomatillos are in season & made for a delicious giant vat of roasted tom. enchilada sauce (Thank you Rick Bayless for your incredible recipes). Froze a couple batches for winter consumption. This will definitely keep us warm in December.
Also, blueberries & peaches are rolling in by the pound. Two loaves of whole wheat blueberry maple braid bread made and not yet disappeared. Been baking a lot of breads lately. Not sure why. It's so strange to bake things that don't require sugar.
Cooked up giant vat of Dungeness crab bisque (we caught the crab outside Port Townsend, WA), which has my favorite wild rice that I order every year from Minnesota HERE. Their whipped hazelnut honey is amazing. Again, couple mini vats stored in the freezer will be TASTY this winter. This week, we're slurping it up with home made herbed whole wheat bread.
This weekend I hope to see if I can get some end-of-summer tomatoes and cook up some marinara sauce to freeze. All the peaches have ended up in my smoothies so none of those for the freezer.

What do you stock up on, if anything? 
Any good tips for hoarding summer to savor later in the winter?

Monday, September 26, 2011

10k training delayed by the croup

Who ever heard of croup? Not me (until today). Apparently it's laryngitis for tots, is not uncommon to see in them at this time of year, and can land you in the hospital the morning you are supposed to start your 10k training.

Despite how much I obsess about training, there are things more important than running and Baby F trumps all. When Baby F woke up at 5 a.m. today with bluish lips and panicking because he couldn't breathe well, we rushed him to Children's Hospital here in Seattle. After several doses of racemic epinephrine and some steroids, his breathing is easier. As I write, he is sleeping quite soundly.

We should be released from the hospital tomorrow morning but I'll be busy watching our little guy like a hawk once we get home. So, I will not be starting training this week but should be able to get it going next week. Also, we will be canceling our weekend getaway to La Jolla. So sad because we were all looking forward to some SoCal goodness: sun, sand, friends...sun. We should be able to reschedule for later this month?

Silver lining of staying at the hospital:
Our room has a view of the new wing being constructed here. This means we had excavator, crane (Cranky), front end loader, and dump truck action ALL DAY LONG. It was a 2-year old's dream. The only thing that would have made it better is if a helicopter had landed in the middle of it all OR if a Thomas the Steam Engine had cruised through.

Before I sign off & get some sleep on the sofa-bed...

Congratulations to Anne who triumphed in her first marathon and to Megan, our local Oiselle athlete, who competed in her first Olympic distance triathlon this past weekend. Nice job ladies!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Salvaging the Master Plan for 2011 (10k training plan)

The salvage of the Master Plan for 2011 is in progress but the training will begin next week (finally!) and the first three weeks will include these [adulterated] workouts:

The rehab running is coming along but as I mentioned a little while ago, I've been trying to claw my way out of purgatory. When I was first injured, my PT thought I'd be able to train again after 12 weeks. Well, I'm at 12 weeks and I still have pain after running. It's discouraging. It makes me wonder when I'll be able to run carefree again?

The problem is...I gotta train or I'm going to freak out. So here's the deal:

I'm going to bite off what I HOPE is a more manageable portion...a 10k. I've been deliberating between a 5k and 10k and am going to err on the side of optimism. I am hopeful that taking on the 10k program will be feasible and also provide a safe transition to half marathon training at the end of the year (or sooner?).

There will be no marathon training in my future, not for at least a couple years. 

But wait! How can I train when I'm still having pain after running? I'm going to try something a little different.

Nope, I'm NOT giving up on the Furman FIRST / Run Less, Run Faster program. I'm DEFINITELY going to use their 10k training program because I LOVE the workouts, the structure, and the results.

The Furman FIRST program is based on THREE focused runs: a tempo run, intervals, and long run, which are supplemented by TWO or more cross-training days. I really can't take on speed work at this point, so this is where the adulteration takes place:

  • Instead of swimming/biking on the two+ cross training days, I will do my easy rehab running. Running will be my cross-training! 
  • Instead of hitting the track and roads for my running speed work, I'll use my typical cross-training activities for speed. I won't really be able to go by distance, just by time. So, a 10 x 400m track workout with a goal of 1:39 per repeat could become a hard swim effort of 10 x 1:39. 

Getting my heart rate up for equivalent run-time periods seems like a good second to running and also gives me a focus to keep from going mad. My hope is that sometime during the 10k program, I'll be able to switch it back to normal and start actually RUNNING the key runs.

If I plan for a 12-week program, the Santa Runs Tacoma 10k on December 17th (recap of the 5k last year) falls within my .

This makes me feel much relieved to have something to focus on. I don't know how it will work out, but I'll give these first three weeks a try and then re-evaluate.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

You Go Girl Half/10k photolog (spectator report)

Can you believe it's been a year? In 2010, this race brought us team "Will Run for Ice Cream" and Becca, L, and T, among other out-of-staters.

  • Last year, it was T's big race to break 2:00 in the half. This year, Kerrie SMASHED her goal of breaking 2:00 (1:52).
  • Last year, this was the midlife crisis mama's FIRST half. Many half & Half Fanatic status later, she returned a veteran.
  • Last year, this was little Al's first ever 10k. She & Kadie came back again as a super mother-daughter duo.
  • Last year, I ran the 10k but am not ready to run 6.2 mi right now so I went down and spectated with the Adorable Wife. Lots of fantastic ladies to cheer on today!
2012 Team Will Run for Ice Cream

Pre-race caffination
Mel, Kerrie, Kim
Stacie & Adorable Wife

Kadie & Al

Go Kerrie!

Mel & Kim

Jill & Carla

On her way to a PR!

Comin' down fast

I want Carla's skirt...

Jill, wearing her hair special for Mel
Kim flying to the finish

Carla finishing her 2nd You GO Girl Half


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Plea from purgatory

I know, I know. They got rid of purgatory decades ago during Vatican II. However, they clearly did NOT consult with the Running Goddess when they made that decision because I am very much stuck in a purgatory right now.

Ever since I got the green light to run, I've been in a funk. I was so motivated with my cross-training while in re-hab and then I started running, thinking I had "made it," but then I gradually stopped cross-training. But I'm not really running either. I'm running but not able to train.

HELL: The calf is sore after my runs so I feel like I have to be very cautious and I feel like I can get re-injured in a heartbeat.

HEAVEN: On the other hand, I've had some fantastic, intense runs that make me feel alive again.

I just bounce back & forth between the two extremes. 

Running but not training. It's a purgatorial suckhouse.

People tell me to "just relax, just enjoy running for the sake of running!" I try. I can't. Really, I don't want to just run to run. Why?


I was so primed and ready to rock when I got injured, I have all this pent up FIRE. I have UNFINISHED BUSINESS!


and they won't come off. I was on my way to finishing my first marathon with a kick-ass time. I was supposed to be training for Portland Marathon (3 weeks away) all summer with my friend and TODAY WOULD HAVE BEEN my last 20-miler before the big taper. But none of that came to be. My dream reality that wasn't.

Purgatory madness.

Don't worry, I'm working on a plan. I'm going to claw my way out of limbo. It's not what the Master Plan for 2011 was going to be, but I think it will make the most of what I have left of 2011.

Stay tuned.


And in case anyone is curious...the GIANT zucchini that made the bike commute home with me yielded 9 cups of finely shredded zucchini. That's a LOT but I was ready for the challenge of using every bit. Those 9 cups were used up in 1 day:
  • 2 big loaves of zucchini bread with walnuts
  • Quadruple batch of sweet potato veggie patties (froze, saving as snacks for the little guy)
  • Double batch of zucchini pancakes. THESE were bomb. Served with herbs and parm cheese. Heaven.
This weekend, I've set myself up for another round of "cooking in vats" by purchasing an insane amount of tomatillos. More on that later.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tri training raises your bowling score! (interview with a first timer)

So says the Recreational Mathematician.

Competitive side coming out, "On your left!"
I met the Recreational Mathematician back in 2006 through the Club Emerald running club. Despite being separated by several age groups and representing the opposite sexes, our paces were well matched so we had some good runs together. At that time, the Recreational Mathematician was new to running. After running early morning tempos, track repeats, hill repeats, and long runs with the club, Mr. Mathematician rocked his first half in 2:02 (Seattle Half Marathon 2007). This was a guy who never considered himself an athlete.

Fast forward four years. This former risk analyst and lover of Number Theory (integer delight!) decided in February of this year to sign up with Club Emerald's tri training team. What motivated this guy to tear himself away from his whole numbers? Maybe a love for analyzing training statistics? The Recreational Mathematician says he:
  1. Needed a challenge (he was recently retired). 
  2. Wanted to lose weight and get in shape.
Fortunately for him, he has a saintly wife who has been willing to tolerate the time consuming training schedule and piles of stinky laundry as this guy has literally trained his butt off. He lost 30 pounds in 4 months! The Recreational Mathematician says the weight loss has definitely improved his running. Tri training has also improved his bowling game! Who knew? Any other bowlers out there who have raised their scores after gaining strength and flexibility from tri training?

Sadly, tri training spoiled the Recreational Mathematician's "A" streak. He got his first "B" in a math class. Ever. You see, this new retiree was taking an Elementary Number Theory class at the University of Washington for fun. He found that attending intense lectures and concentrating on numbers for hours was challenging when he had already burned up his energy during his morning brick workout! Nuts!
Club Emerald swim training

The Recreational Mathematician's training updates on DailyMile were an inspiration to see - at least one brick workout a week (a first for him), 6 a.m. swims in the cold Lake Washington waters (another first), yoga (another first), spin class (yet another first), and runs galore. Mr. Mathematician says he was easily completing 10 workouts over 6 days for the past 6 months.  

In mid-August the Recreational Mathematician completed his first triathlon. He says he has a great sense of accomplishment for 1) getting out of the lake, and 2) being able to do it all. And less than a month later, he completed yet another triathlon!

Yes, I did it! The swim was by far the most challenging leg.
The Recreational Mathematician shared a comforting revelation about tri training: EVERYBODY struggles. Regardless of what level you are at, from the back-of-the-packer to the team hot shot, tri training is tough. Thankfully, the team is there to keep you going and help you work through those rough spots.
After tackling his first and second ever triathlons, the Recreational Mathematician offers the following thoughts about his triathlon experience: 
  • Being part of a team is great support: structured workouts, friendly competition, and camaraderie.
  • Buyers remorse: He wishes he had known more about bike gear before he purchased everything.
  • The work load will be more than you think for a sprint tri BUT anyone can do it with some good training. 
  • Triathletes are nice people. They will stop to help you change a flat or give you a pep talk before you take that first plunge into the water. 
  • He has a competitive streak that he didn't know was there (seeing guys in his age group ahead of him pushed him to take the lead out and pick them off).
  • Everyone will have different goals (I think this means you shouldn't compare yourself to others, no?).
  • If possible, try to pick up these sports at an earlier age (<55+ yrs).
So what is next for this number theorist?
  • Half iron? (the swim was definitely his most difficult so an Olympic distance tri is a logical next step but considering the half iron swim is only slightly longer, why not go for it?!)
  • Duathlons?
  • PR in the half? (he wants to earn a sub-1:45 in the near future, previous best of 1:50) 
  • Marathon? (if he runs a 1:44, he can qualify for NYC!)
  • Distance cycling events?
This not-so-average male runner is an inspiration to all first-timers, of all ages.

Check out Sarah and Amy who also were new to swimming, biking, and running when they took on their first triathlons.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Minimalist Mondays in PDX

Dr. PT sent me a link today about "Minimalist Mondays" that his clinic Portland. Drat! Anyway, for folks down there with time to run at noon this may be something to look into.

For those of us who are NOT in Portland but are interested in minimalist running, you can see the session re-caps on their website HERE. They post exercises and tips on how to take on this natural way of running.

I've been really discouraged lately with my running which makes no sense at all. I went 7 weeks with a blown calf and was impressively committed (in my opinion!) to maintaining my fitness with cross-training in addition to diligently working on my physical therapy exercises. Well, now that I have the green light to run 30 minutes every other day, I'm really struggling. I feel good when I'm running but I'm missing some days! Also, I have all but stopped with my biking and swimming (burn out?) with the exception of my short bike commute to work, I am tired all the time (no, I'm not pregnant), my calf is aching from my PT session massages, and I'm putting on weight.


This past Thursday, (oh wait, that was only yesterday?) was supposed to be a run day but my calf was super achy so I didn't run (or do anything else). Today my calf is still throbbing by maybe it just needs some blood circulation from a good run...I hope it's in the cards?

Why, after all my time on the DL am I flaking on the running? Perhaps it's because I'm aimless, don't have a finish to my Master Plan for 2011?

It's difficult to figure out how to pull something good out of the rest of 2011 with so little time to train. I had been thinking of pushing for a half at the end of the year but am wondering if I should be conservative and downgrade to training for a 5k? That would mean more speedwork but likely lower mileage. At this point, I'm not sure if long, slow distance or short, faster distance is the safer bet.

Any thoughts?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Zucch THIS!

Thanks for the great ideas on GIANT zucchini usage! For everyone with overgrown gardens, here are some tips:


I actually have a recipe I like where I grate zucchini and yam (dewater), add some seasonings, egg, cornmeal, then pat into little cakes, pan fry or broil, and they become delicious little fritters that I give to the little man as snacks. They keep well in the freezer so you can make them in bulk and use as needed. Quite yummy, healthy, and handy. 

Alki Beach, West Seattle
Today was a run day for me, so the little man and I kicked off the long weekend with a run at Alki Beach and some sand time. Ten kickin' sights included:
  1. A Great Dane whose fur was like a Holstein (black & white spots) - he left major slime on little man's leg
  2. Three guys filming a rap video (boiiiii!)
  3. Stroller Striders group out exercising (will someone pay me to help them workout with their babe & stroller?) 
  4. Two paddle boarders
  5. Seal
  6. Backhoe loader (always a delight) 
  7. Two garbage trucks and one compost truck (flashing lights!) 
  8. Two KIRO newsmen looking for people who were at the mini Statue of Liberty on Alki Beach on 9/11. [I said no. Should have told them that instead, I was at the CDC in Atlanta attending a DOD conference on mustard gas. Odd but true. Ended up driving back to Seattle from Atlanta with my client when all the flights were cancelled.]
  9. Three Bainbridge ferry boats and two West Seattle taxi boats
  10. The cutest little guy EVER:

With that, we're off to the mountains for the next few days. Hopefully I'll get to hike a little, play in the river, and push my next run up to 30 minutes! 

Have a great Labor Day Weekend everyone!