Friday, July 30, 2010

Leader of the pack

Pre-workout fuel: 1/2 slice of whole-wheat toast with apple butter and Amaretto Cream roast coffee
Workout: Ran 3 miles in 28 minutes, 29 seconds; average pace, 9:29.

Last night, after fast-forwarding through much of this week's "Teen Mom," I got out my Flying Pig bag and started to pack for Chicago.
  • Adidas shorts (for the race)
  • Under Armor tank
  • Temp shorts (after the race)
  • Nikes (expo walkin')
  • Mizunos, to be packed after a.m. run
  • PowerBar (race-day breakfast)
  • PowerBar Gel Blasts energy chews (eat one at mile 3, another at mile 9)
  • Coconut M&Ms
  • Optic Nerve sunglasses
  • Disposable washcloths (so Mark doesn't kick my stinky butt out on U.S. 30)
  • FitFinder bag (for gear check)
  • SmartWool socks
  • Garmin, to be packed after a.m. run and a good charge
  • Gatorade
It's quite the list. It's definitely more intensive than my list of necessities for my honeymoon in Cancun. I certainly didn't take PowerBars or Coconut M&Ms.

Yeah ... did you catch those?

I found these goodies at CVS when I stopped in for those disposable washcloths and other hygiene items for the trip. OK, I didn't just find them ... I searched for them. I had seen them around, and I figured running 13.1 miles was as good a reason as any to try these bad boys. I'll be putting them in my bag slated to go to gear check so I can munch on 'em while I await to receive No. 496 in my age group at the post-race party.

Have a great weekend, and I will "see" y'all on Monday.

P.S. Check Twitter updates (@redheadrunswild) for race results.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Three Things Thursday: Back in the saddle

Pre-workout fuel: Slice of whole-wheat toast with Amish cherry jam and Amaretto Cream roast coffee.
Workout: Rode 10.26 miles in 58 minutes, 17 seconds; average speed, 10.6 mph.

1. Green Envy rides again! This morning, Mark and I took the best bike ride in, like, the history of bike riding. It was relaxing, cool and breezy, fun. My joy on the bike was almost child-like as I zipped around the path, sped down hills and negotiated inclines. I can't wait to hit the trails again and log some more bike miles after half-marathon training is over.

Denali begged to go on the ride but not this time.
Maybe we'll get a
Springer bicycle attachment?!

2. I was attacked today. On the bike. Attacked by a giant lady-hatin' bug. OK ... maybe it was just a cicada but a black flying object came zooming toward me and pelted me in the neck. And it hurt. Not badly, but it hurt nonetheless.

3. I had hoped to make steel-cut oats last night so that I could have an oat parfait with Greek yogurt and banana soft-serve. Did you notice I said hoped? I forgot about the oats until about 10 p.m., and I wasn't going to stay up a half-hour more. Island waffles to the rescue! After my ride this morning, I put two whole-wheat waffles in the toaster. As those got warm and toasty, I put about a third of a banana in a mini food processor. Once it got to soft-serve consistency, I add some 0% plain Fage, 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract and 1 teaspoon honey. Process till creamy. I put that on the waffles and topped with it mango chunks (frozen in a bag), some pineapple tidbits and toasted coconut. Let me tell you that words cannot describe this breakfast. The yogurt mix was a billion times better than that sugar-free syrup I used to use, and the combination of flavors was divine. Must. Repeat.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bending the rules

Pre-workout fuel: Half of a PB&J with Cinnamon Roast coffee pre-run, the other half and more coffee post-run.
Workout: Ran 5.12 miles in 46 minutes, 54 seconds; average pace, 9:09. Finished off with a 20-minute session of "Tank Top Arms" with Cindy Whitmarsh.

I've been reprimanded 'bout a thousand times/ I'm a rulebreaker/ You know that I'm a rulebreaker

In kindergarten, I was assigned to draw a "house for the classroom hamster. I drew an actual house. I didn't know how to draw a cage, and I decided that it was unfair for a hamster not to live in a real house.

I guess I just liked to work outside the boundaries. Break the rules. Sort of like today.

So today's run, according to the Runner's World sub-2:00 half-marathon plan, was 5 miles with the middle three miles at half-marathon pace (9:09). The bookend miles were to be a warm-up and cool down.

I started off pretty well, clocking in the first mile at 9:46. After the first mile, I switched the Garmin display so that I saw average lap pace and not current pace. I figured it might help me stay in a good range. Yeah ... not so much. I couldn't figure out when to hold back and when to speed up. My splits ended up too fast because of this: 9:03, 9:02 and 8:53.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem doing a bit better. I was always a bit of an overachiever (in addition to breaking rules). I also am not worried because I'm throwing these speed sessions into my schedule in the event that I decide to run a fall half-marathon - not because I am registered for such a race.

HOWEVER, I know that Runner's World wrote that schedule, assigned paces, that way for a reason. I also don't know what this will do to my legs just days ahead of Rock 'n' Roll Chicago. And, I also don't know what this will do to my head ahead of the race. I might think that I can run a sub-2:00 three weeks into a 10-week plan and crash. And burn.

I have one more run this week ... 3 miles on Friday. I plan to go solo and take it painstakingly slow. Save my legs. Rest for the race.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Running off at the mouth

Pre-workout fuel: Slice of whole-wheat toast with Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams and cinnamon roast coffee
Workout: Ran 4.22 miles in 37 minutes, 13 seconds; average pace, 8:49.

I talk about running all the time. I talk about running here, on the blog. I discuss my running schedule with my friends. I chat about upcoming races with co-workers. I even had a conversation about running in the heat with a car salesman.

Never, ever, did I think I would talk about running with my doctor while she was all up in my business. (Sorry, but there's no other way to put it.) Today, though, I did.

It all started when the doc noticed that I had lost weight since last year (67 pounds to be exact). She asked how I did it and while I was tempted to list off drugs, deprivation, surgery, I told her that I had taken up running.

"Oh, are you doing Fort-4-Fitness?" she asked, referring to the upcoming half-marathon in town.

I'm not so sure, I told her, going on to tell her about the imminent Rock 'n' Roll Chicago. From there, it was tales from the Indy Mini, the Flying Pig, training challenges and injuries (hers, not mine). It was quite nice to have another runner to chat with and someone with whom to exchange encouragement and advice.

I just wish I had been dressed and not feeling so vulnerable.

Ain't that crazy

I was watching TV with Mark last night when I began to run through my Tuesday: A 4-mile run (last week of RnR training); a 9:30 doctor's appointment (just a checkup - no worries); and then off to work. I had a working lunch about the iPad, and I needed to make sure I left the office by 5:45 p.m. to make a 6 p.m. appointment at the car dealership (!!!).

A crazy, crazy day. If I was going to make it through, I was going to have to my best to be ahead of the game.

Step 1: Set delay on coffee maker so that I'd have a fresh cup before my run.

Step 2: Make oats so that I could take my breakfast to work. I put 3/4 cup unsweetened Silk almond milk, 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup steel-cut oats in a pan. While the liquid was working its way to a boil, I added a healthy dash of cinnamon and a sprinkle of nutmeg. I turned down the heat to low after it had reached a boil and let it simmer for 25 minutes or so. I stirred in raisins while it was hot and put it all in a plastic container. (In the morning, before leaving, I added a 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 a packet of Truvia and 1.5 T apple butter. Totally yum!)

Step 3: Make dinner at 9 p.m. ... for the next evening. A 2-pound pork roast went into the slow cooker with 1/2 cup water and some barbecue sauce (which went unmeasured because I finished off the bottle). Cook on low for 9 hours and enjoy. Whenever you wish.

Step 4: Cut some raw veggies and package for a snack, as well as take out a Vitalicious brownie from the freezer. Put all of it in your lunch bag in the fridge.

Step 5: Flop on the couch and realize that it's now time to go to bed. A lot of work but at least you've avoided eating a processed frozen meal, stopping at McDonald's for two Egg McMuffins and taking the cookie out of the boxed lunch at work and shoved it in your mouth.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pulling into the Station

Workout: 35 minutes P90X yoga (really light day ... UGH)

I was under no pretense that my dinner tonight was going to qualify as healthy. It just wasn't. So my goal was to do the best with the menu I was given.

I ended up with a kid's meal from Penn Station -- 4-inch grilled artichoke sub with mushrooms, green peppers, onions, tomatoes and cheese (no mayo) and a half-order of fries.

I had planned to make fajitas for Meatless Monday but when Mark and I decided to go car shopping, those plans disappeared. I knew I wouldn't have time to drive north, cook dinner and eat, then drive south and make a round of the dealers. I identified a few fast non-fast food restaurants in the area and let Mark pick. It was a bit of a formality, though, because I knew what he would pick: Penn Station.

If you don't have Penn Station, let me first tell you that it is delicious. I am a fan of the chicken philly sandwich with extra veggies and a smear of mayonnaise, as well as a side of fries drenched in malt vinegar. Thank goodness it was Meatless Monday, and I couldn't be tempted. It would be a "lite"-sized grilled artichoke sub for me. Not that I'm complaining - it was quite tasty. It might have been better with mayonnaise but it was tasty nonetheless AND it was less than 300 calories. By ordering off the kids menu, my meal was about 400 calories. Total. Including fries drenched in malt vinegar.

A few of my tricks for eating out:
  • Order off the child's menu when possible.
  • If you really want something, see if you can get it in a smaller portion. Rumor has it that you stop enjoying the flavor of a food after three bites.
  • Pick what you really want and decide what you are willing to give up for that. I was willing to sacrifice mayonnaise for a kid's order of fries.
  • Seek out nutrition information before you go. I was surprised that the bread for a 6-inch sandwich, the bread alone, was nearly 250 calories.
  • Drink a sip of water or your diet beverage of choice between bites.
  • Talk. A lot. You won't notice that you are eating a smaller portion if you are going on about the merits of the Manolo Blahnik Mary Jane.
  • Eat a peppermint once finished so you don't feel tempted to take fries off your husband's plate. Not that I know anything about that.
What are your tips for staying healthy while dining out?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Three's company

Pre-workout fuel: Slice of whole-wheat toast with Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams and sliced banana, as well as Amaretto Cream roast coffee.
Workout: Ran 6.97 miles in 1 hour, 3 minutes and 17 seconds; average pace, 9:04.

For the first time in a month, there were three of us on this run - Mark, Denali and myself. Three "people" to celebrate the start of taper and go out for an easy 6 miles.

Along the way, we stopped three times - twice for water and once for a stoplight.

We saw three different kinds of wildlife - a beaver (!), birds (even baby cardinals) and bunnies. All of the animals seemed to tempt Denali's taste buds.

We saw three different kinds of athletes on the trail - hardcore runners, including what we assumed was the IPFW women's track team; recreational runners, like us; and cyclists.

Mark asked me three times how far we had gone. He's not used to this kind of mileage anymore.

About 6 miles in, the rain began, just a light sprinkle, and the three of us were grateful for such a refreshing end to the run.