Friday, December 9, 2011

Diary of a Running Mom, Part 1

Take a good look at this picture. What do you see?


I mean, besides Miles' seriously 1980s sleeper borrowed from day care and my sweat-covered glistening face.

Look again. More closely this time. Do you see it?


Stop looking at Miles' widow's peak and my man chin.

Seriously, get some glasses. Look now.


That would be my Under Armor shirt label indicating that it was on inside out and backward. A fact that I only realized after my run on Wednesday. Score one for me!

Sadly, that was my only run thus far this week. I had been hoping to go out this morning. In fact, I spent last night and this morning psyching myself up but Miles decided to sleep in. It would have been all well and good had he sent a memo of his plans so I could hop on the treadmill as he snoozed but he didn't. Oh well. I ended up being showered and semi-dressed for work by the time he started stirring.

I did squeeze in some activity by walking him to my mother-in-law's house, where he hangs out on Friday, and then walking home. She lives about a mile and a half from us, allowing Denali and I to log 3 miles before I headed off to work.

How do you fit in exercise when your workout plans are thrown off?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chip off the old bananas

I had three bananas sitting on the counter. Three lonely bananas, with peels more brown than yellow. They were far past their eating prime, even for a girl like me who prefers her bananas soft and sweet. It was either trash or treat.

I chose treat.

I quickly surveyed my kitchen for available ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, sour cream, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips and egg substitute. A muffin I could make.


Mini Banana Chip Muffins
Adapted from Paris Sweets in Seattle

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter softened
3/4 cup sugar (I reduced the sugar from 1 cup to 3/4 cup but after tasting, I think 1/2 cup would do it)
1/2 cup egg substitute
3 medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup assorted chips (chocolate, peanut butter, butterscotch)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick baking spray.

In a bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt; whisk together. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg substitute a bit at a time. Add mashed bananas, sour cream, water and vanilla, mixing between  additions. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in chips.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool muffins before removing from tin. Makes 45 muffins.

Nutritional stats (per muffin): 75 calories, 3 grams of fat, 11 grams carbohydrates and 1 gram protein.

The verdict: Yum - and that's not just my opinion. I shared some with my co-workers and bites were enjoyed by all. The rest are in the freezer for a day after Christmas brunch I hope to host.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Camping out (+ winner)

Ow.

Ow. Ow.

Ow. Ow. Mother-figgin-ow.

I. Hate. Steps.

I also hate bending down, ambling to the copy machine and walking in general but I guess that's what I get for following an epic 10-mile run with boot camp.

I've been looking forward to boot camp ever since L sent me an email with information about the three-week session. I was sure that the class would be just the butt kicking I need to get in the game mentally and reclaim some of the strength I lost during pregnancy. Last night, we met at the gymnastics/tumbling gym for our first class.

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It started off innocently enough with arm circles and front kicks. There were these knee jump things, which L likened to a dive approach, that I have neither the coordination or the ability to complete successfully. I decided to wing it. And laugh. A lot. Thank goodness L decided to laugh, too, or I would have not only looked crazy but been certifiably so.

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From there it was typical, or what I assume to be typical, boot camp fare – burpees, squats, bridges with chest presses, lunges, planks, push-ups, squats. The instructor offered modifications of all of the exercises, and I stuck with those for the most part. I have to give myself room to improve, to paraphrase L :)

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I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t feel like @ss crack upon leaving, even though I struggled during certain exercises. I’m hoping that Wednesday’s session, when we’ll move to circuit stations, we’ll give me the @ss crack feeling that merits the type of soreness I’m feeling today.

And the Viva La Resistance winner is (selected via Random.Org) … Bobbi! E-mail me your address (hlthystrides at gmail dot com) so I can mail out your goodies and set up your subscription to Fitness magazine.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hard to the core

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the runner I used to be.

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I was a runner who did 8:30 min/miles; finished a 7-mile speedwork sessions before work; didn’t think it was worth going out if I wasn’t going to do at least 5 miles. Ten miles was a comfortable distance and I would do it in the rain, sleet, snow, in a middle of a heat wave.

That girl seems like such a distant memory as my pace hovers around the 10-minute mark and I’m happy with any run over 2.5 miles. All runs are still a challenge, whether it’s a mile or 5. And when it comes to weather, I’m sad to say, I’ve become a total weenie.

I’ve been afraid that I might never be that runner again but, yesterday, I got to visit with her.

I had 10 miles on the schedule, my last long run before the Dec. 17 50K Huff relay. It was a bleak morning, with rain and wind gusts in the forecast. I was seriously considering doing 10 miles on the treadmill when Mark encouraged me to get out there and get it done.

I threw on my new Pearl Izumi tights, YMX top and Under Armour hat  and headed toward downtown. Large portions of area trails were closed because of flooding or anticipated flooding after heavy rain and snow last week.

Despite some large puddles, the first few miles were relatively uneventful as my legs and body warmed up. I was listening to “My Fair Lazy” by Jen Lancaster (love her!) and enjoying that settling in feeling you get on a long run.

Then the rain came. It started about mile 4 and came down harder as the miles progressed.

I was miserable. The once comfortable 45-degree air became blustery and the wind made it difficult to keep a steady pace. My hands were cold and I could barely hold my water bottle (which I tossed at mile 6). My clothes clung to me like an icy bath.

I hunkered down, turning off my iPod and focusing solely on getting it done. I lowered my gaze and put one foot in front of the other. Put one foot in front of the other. Looked at the Garmin. Cursed. Foot in front of the other. Cursed. Looked at Garmin.

At mile 7.5, I realized that I could keep doing what was I doing – the cursing and constant “Is this over?” dialog - or I could do what I used to do. I could run with dedication, passion and no fear.

I chose the latter. And, in that moment, I found a piece of me that I had been missing.