Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Run of 2010

We used to rent a 3 story rowhouse with a rooftop deck in downtown Baltimore. We could see the fireworks from the roof and had a party each year for New Year's Eve. Here's a little peek of some past parties....
NYE 2006 - it all begins ( I think I was taking this picture?)

2008 - The year of the face touching (sadly no pictures exist of 2007 - that's what kind of party it was)

2009 - we moved so we went to NC to a friend's party.

Who knows what 2010 will bring?

I didn't realize until I just saw a facebook post that not only is the year ending, the decade is ending! Right? Or was that last year....very confusing.

My friends Lily and Mike came over this morning to do a 15 miler. Our training group is running at 10am tomorrow morning, and after about a week of convincing myself I'd be able to make it (I ran last New Year's Day!) I finally faced the truth that there was no way and texted my fellow partier/runner, Lily, to see if we could move it to New Year's Eve. (Believe it or not, a lot people in marathon training weren't planning on drinking tonight? Weird.) We had to run at 630 so Lily could go to work after - can't imagine doing that! I guess there are perks to being a teacher. We ended up just doing the same route Mike and I did last week, luckily I like it. We changed it a bit to a 12 mile route because that's what Lily was planning on, but she ended up sticking with me for the whole 15! After 12 we were back at my apartment, and thought a 1.5 mile out and back seemed so easy. Um, wrong. It was a bit tough. I forgot that marathon training is hard. But, we stuck with it and, as always, it was worth it at the end. I really want to focus on keeping the majority of the long run at a good pace. All of the miles that didn't include walking breaks were under 10 minute miles (my goal marathon pace) so I felt good about that.

Funny how your perception changes - when Lily showed up wearing her face warmer I told her I bought one just like it and loved it. She asked why I wasn't wearing it and I said because it wasn't cold enough - it was a balmy 28 degrees! I didn't wear my new gloves either (did wear the old, crappy ones) because I thought it was too warm. After 3 runs and 5 days in Rochester I appreciate the Baltimore weather quite a bit more.

2010 probably won't bring any wildness like the above pictures, we are just having 4 friends over for game night - but we have a ton of wine and beer! Really glad that long run is out of the way so I can drink my fair share.

I need to get to the grocery store for some goodies for tonight, the dollar store for some New Year's stuff to wear, plus figure out how to set up my new bread maker and make some pizza dough, make some seriously ridiculous calorie bomb amazing brownies, do laundry, and walk about a mile and a half to pick up my car! Eric was going to take me but he's sick and totally strung out on sudafed....he tried claiming he could drive but pouring a bowl of cereal seemed to be a bit of a challenge for him. I think I'll just do the world a favor and head over on foot.

As we like to say in the Lindsey household: I better get my ass jigglin'. Goodbye 2010, see you in 2011 for some New Year's Resolutions!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas workouts

It's not even 2011 yet, and I am already signed up for:
  1. Two marathons - Shamrock in March and Baltimore in October
  2. Two half marathons - The Cloud Snapple in January and The Maryland Half in May
  3. A triathlon in August
  4. A marathon relay in February
I am also planning on signing up for a 5K soon. So, while I completely ignored my normal healthy eating rules during holiday break, I stuck to my training plan without slacking. I really want to PR in the Shamrock marathon. My first marathon time was 4:41:52, which I am very happy with, since my only goal was finishing. I paid no attention to time whatsoever. At Shamrock, I am really hoping to get under 4:30. The course is flat (quite the opposite of Baltimore) and I am actually going to pay attention to timing, but I don't want to just rely on those factors. While I did some speed working when training for the Baltimore Marathon, I mostly focused on increasing my distance, as it should be for a first marathon. Now that its my second time around I want to really focus on speed work. Sadly my lame grad class is on the same night as track workouts, but I have until February before it starts and I am really going to have to push myself to get them done on my own after that. I also made a slight change to my tempo runs. We are supposed to do a half mile warmup and cooldown, and all the miles in between are tempo. For example, a 6 mile tempo run (what we are at right now) would be all tempo miles from mile .5 to mile 5.5. For some reason the half mile thing was throwing me off mentally. When training for the Frederick Half, where I knocked 14 minutes off my time, I did shorter tempo runs, but they were always faster than my Baltimore marathon ones. So I made the executive decision to change my warm up and cool down to a full mile. I think it helped. According to McMillan Running Calculator, my tempo runs should be between 8:18 and 8:39. On my last two tempo runs, my mile splits were:



8:33 (these look like I actually learned some pacing or something!)

The first run was in a hilly area near my apt and the second was in 22 mph winds (gusting to 31mph!). The second was also with a super fast friend who qualified for Boston (it was her easy run day, haha) which was great because without her I can guarantee those would have been much slower. I feel pretty good about those times, now I want to try to make sure my easy and long runs are a little quicker. I tend to really take it easy on those, which is ok to an extent, but I want to push myself a little and do some long run miles at marathon pace. I haven't done a single track workout yet but I am attempted to get over my fear/hatred of the treadmill on Sunday to do an interval workout! On Christmas Eve Mike came over and did a 14 mile run with me. I felt really good and stuck with my pattern of negative splits so that is a good sign. Tomorrow morning we are doing a 15 miler. I also am really loving this long run on Friday/sleep in and rest on Saturday deal. Sadly once break is over work is going to put a stop to that.

This time around I am really trying to stick with at least some strength training in addition to running. I didn't cut it out completely last time but I slacked for sure. I've heard how a strong core can make you a better runner and help avoid injury, so I asked for this for Christmas.
My good friend Marc got it for me. I don't actually hope to achieve six pack abs, because I love chocolate too much for that. But I do hope for some stronger abs, so I decided to actually take the challenge. Jillian says do the workout at least 5 times a week for six weeks, level 1 for three weeks followed by level 2 for three weeks. I've done level one three times so far this week and lets just say I am terrified of level 2. Jillian stays true to form and works your core like crazy, but also works upper body and has cardio intervals built in. I seriously love/hate her DVDs, they are always an amazingly tough workout. The workout is 35 minutes including warm up and cool down, so it's a substantial time commitment because I am not using it to replace anything, its an addition to my regular workouts. I am hoping by starting it before grad class starts again, during the early part of marathon training before the workouts get really long I can stick to it.

I also got this little baby......
can't wait to try out some recipes! They'll go great with some homemade bread from my new breadmaker :).

Eating and Laughing

I think those two words pretty much sum up my entire Christmas vacation at home (even though I've lived in Baltimore for 5.5 years now, I still refer to the house I grew up in as "home"). Spending time with my family results in near constant laughter which is why I love it so much.

My sister and I, trying to make funny faces for a picture but it took like 7 tries because we kept hysterically laughing.

Going through all the many kinds of delicious food I ate during Christmas break would take an entire novel, so I'll just mention some highlights.

  • Christmas Eve dinner - we just do appetizers in my family, which is awesome. My mom's spinach/artichoke dip is just basically heaven. In addition to eating my weight in it that night, my lunch for the following five days was pretty much broccoli + copious amounts of spin dip. At least I got the broccoli in there (plus spinach is good for you, right?). She made a huge pan of it and I'm pretty sure I demolished at least 97.4% of it over a five day period. We have a family tradition of forgetting to take a picture of the spread, but just picture a huge table full of all your favorite appetizers. New this year was three kinds of stuffed mushrooms (brought to us by Vince & Darcy) and that was a fantastic idea. My contribution was mainly ourselves (we had to work a full day the 23rd so we arrived in Rochester just in time for dinner on the 24th) but I did bring all my leftover cakeballs. I had about three huge tupperwears full of them at my house and did not eat even one Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. You can just mail me my trophy, thanks.
  • Christmas morning quiche with homemade crust (by Mom). I'll let the picture speak for itself.
  • Christmas dinner - the star was roasted brussel sprouts with homemade pomegranate molasses and vanilla pecan butter (again by Mom). Um, ridiculously good.
  • Another Christmas tradition (and we have a LOT) is forgetting to put out at least one present. This year it was the lottery tickets that Santa always leaves in our stockings. He put them in my mom's purse by mistake so after a boys/girls movie night (Tron for the boys, The King's Speech for the girls) she found them at dinner. Santa gave her a BIG WINNER! Not enough to go shopping for a BMW, but more than a traditional lottery winning and more than anyone I know ever one. So, we celebrated with this:
Shortbread topped with raspberry filling and chocolate ganache on top. From Wegmans. Even better than it sounds. Darcy and I had small pieces combined with pieces of leftover pumpkin cheesecake with cinnamon whipped cream (our homemade, again by Mom, Christmas dessert) which basically equals a plate full of heaven. Plus a glass of milk. MMM I wish this was in my life again. We even got a little baby one for my grandma.
  • My dad is Jewish, so we didn't get to celebrate Hanukkah with him, as it fell really early this year :(. Sometimes it overlaps with Christmas, not this time though. We met him for a belated Hanukkah/birthday (his, Dec. 12) dinner at The King and I, an amazing Thai place. It's right by the Starbucks I used to work at and I miss going to dinner there with my old coworkers. Our appetizer was crispy squid tentacles. We all laughed when he suggested it, but then it turned out to be pretty good! I'll try almost anything once.
Eric ordered a dish called "Evil Jungle Prince Chicken" - we all thought it would be super spicy, but it wasn't at all? It was some kind of creamy coconut sauce though, and I really wish it didn't have the chicken, I would have stolen way more than I did!
All in all, a delicious, wonderful, stay in Rochester and a great Christmas - as it always is.

Random ending note: This lady was at a Sheetz on our way up with this bird just perched on her finger like that, which we found hilarious.

My Triumphant Return!

So apparently I decided during the month of December to take some time off from some things. I don't really remember making this decision, but my actions reflected it pretty clearly. With Christmas shopping, wrapping, baking, and all the things that all Americans were crazy busy with that month, something had to go on the back burner. I couldn't really choose exercise, what with a marathon coming up in just 3 short months. I couldn't really choose grocery shopping and cooking healthy meals either, because that could lead to me not fitting into my pants, and I am way to lazy and cheap to go buy new ones. I was tempted to just stop showing up to work, because that would have freed up a ton of time, but apparently that's "frowned upon"- you can't take a leave of absence for a month to wrap Christmas gifts???

After - but still before I got a ton of other gifts that needed wrapping

Grad school was also a non - negotiable and our broomball team was counting on me! (They need a certain number of girls to be allowed to play, they weren't exactly counting on my amazing ball handling skills). So, since something had to go, it seems that option was all the other little tasks I normally do - returning library books, going to the bank, getting gas before my car running on fumes, cleaning the house, and writing in this blog. Which is a bit sad because I totally failed on documenting training for marathon #1, and now I'm 2 weeks in to training for marathon #2 without a single post about it! Luckily new years is right around the corner, which means that you get to just make some resolutions, do whatever the hell you want until Jan 1st because whatever grand ideas you have (eating healthy, being responsible, etc) don't take effect until then! Then, on January 1st, all those bad decisions don't count because you made a NEW YEARS RESOLUTION, so it all changes completely! I love our system :). One of my several new years resolutions is to post at least three times a week (and one of those posts will be about all my resolutions) so if you are on of my two readers (Hi Vince & Erin!) and I don't, feel free to harass me nonstop about it. This is kind of long so I feel like I am going to do a few different posts about the holidays to break it up a bit.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My lack of immunity

So I am constantly reading articles at the gym in women's magazines with tips to avoid getting sick, improve your immune system, etc. Usually they include things like exercise regularly, eat lots of vegetables, get enough sleep, keep your stress level down. All things that I ALREADY DO (except for the low stress thing). But they really don't seem to be working because I seem to catch every bug or virus that goes around. Yesterday I woke up feeling fine and went for a five mile run with my friend. When I got back and got ready to take a shower I started feeling a little nauseous. When I couldn't drink my coffee I knew that something was not right. Long story short, I made it through the morning only to have our school social worker take me by the hand to the nurse when the smell of elementary school taco meat hit me as I tried to pick up my class from the cafeteria. It was all highly melodramatic, but I appreciate my coworkers' concern for my well-being. It's nice to be taken care of sometimes. I went home, got directly in bed, did not pass go or collect my $200. I woke up three hours later, took my temperature and was shocked to see it was 100.6 - even when I had swine flu last year I never had a fever! I basically slept on and off until it was time for bed around 8pm and slept until 9:30 the next morning. Highly unlike me! I can NEVER sleep more than 8 hours even when I try to force myself to. Today my fever has been gone so I am feeling much better, but still spent the day in bed. I am really hoping to be well for my big holiday party tomorrow - I'll be wearing an ugly Christmas sweater with a plate of homemade cookies come hell or high water!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Best Kind of Day

I think Eric and I are a perfect example of opposites attract. He is more relaxed, mellow, and go with the flow, whereas I am more type A, go-go-go personality. Sometimes on weekends I force him out of the house for random activities - hiking, museums, minigolf, which he ends up having a great time at. And sometimes, like yesterday, he forces me to take it easy. After putting up the Christmas tree, we sat down on the couch to catch up on our overloaded DVR (we almost never watch shows the night they are on). Of course, I got into my usual "I feel guilty for laying around, I need to get up and do something productive, ok one more then I'm going to the gym" monologue. Eric convinced me to just relax and told me to forget all that and just have fun with him. So, we declared it a "no - leaving - the - house day", and it was great. Our DVR was emptied, we played twister and Uno (and I won both, BTW), danced to Christmas music, figured out a dessert we could make using only ingredients already in the kitchen, and watched a movie on Netflix. I thought I would get antsy and feel the need to go somewhere, anywhere, but I never did. I think the mental break from the world was exactly what I needed. Now, I need to find a way that every weekend can be four days, so I have time to see friends, do chores, and still take an entire day to do absolutely nothing.

My first grown up Christmas tree - neither of us have ever had our own before!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My favorite things

Some random things I'm thankful for, in no particular order (this is not late, it's still Thanksgiving week):
  • My family - someone recently just asked me if I'd "put in my time" when I saw my family last weekend - I was really sad for that person! I love spending time with my family, every time I feel a little down I know I'll feel better afterward, and it makes the good times even better. I wish I could spend more time with everyone, but I look forward to even talking on the phone.

  • My husband - not trying to get all "I married my best friend" mushy but I lucked out big time with this one.

  • Coffee - the smell, taste, caffeine, feeling of the warm mug on a hot day, choosing which one of my 8 million mugs to drink out of each morning: seriously what's not to love?(busted out the Christmas mug today!)

  • Running - therapy, endorphins, friends, sunshine, medals, music, it's the best sport out there, in my opinion (although granted not the most exciting to watch)

  • My Garmin - makes running even better!

  • My library card - because without it I would go broke buying books

  • This computer - I use it for such important tasks each day such as checking my Facebook and reading blogs of people I have never met (us getting the computer for Christmas 2008)

  • Ross Dress for Less - without that store I'd be wearing even more outdated clothes from pre- new millennium then I already do
  • My Ipod - staying strong since 2005, Apple has released like 20 newer/fancier versions since I got mine but it continues to play music for me while I am running or at the gym or in the shower so I love it even if it doesn't know what an "app" is (and maybe neither do I)

  • Bananas - because they taste delicious and prevent cramping

  • Books on CD - they prevent road rage like no other

  • My new pots and pans, immersion blender, apple corer, ice cream maker, and the many random kitchen gadgets that I didn't know I couldn't live without until I received them as gifts - I love cooking and I love gadgets that make it more fun and shave off .42 seconds from the time it takes, because I love eating even more than cooking and I 100% lack patience

  • My husband taking over all money issues in our family - haven't paid a bill since I paid off my car in June - true story. I'd rather clean the toilet any day.

  • Wegmans – makes a fun task (grocery shopping) into a super fun one (I know this isn't exactly points towards my “I am normal!” account)

  • Pumpkin – seriously eat it every day – so delicious

  • Breath mints - I just have an addiction for some reason, plus I am happy when others use them

  • Every time I use something that was a gift from someone else - isn't it just more fun to drink wine out of pretty glasses from a friend? And put on earrings your sister picked out for you? Grinding the coffee beans that your mom thought you would like? I love using something and thinking of the person who was nice enough to give it to me.

  • Pajamas - because real clothes like jeans are only for when you are leaving the house to go somewhere fancy, obviously, and they make for a great Christmas Eve tradition

  • My hair - because it's awesome

Wow this list got long fast - most of my family and friends (especially my husband) could probably confirm how I can get VERY excited over VERY small and inconsequential things. I think its a good trait though, it brings me some happy moments anyway, and amuses others, so it's really a win win. I forgot to add chocolate to the list, but come on, that's obvious.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

YMCA Towson Turkey Trot - Worst race ever! You can't really tell from this picture, but we were completely soaked and had to take the picture in the car with the heat blasting because I planned to get in the shower immediately when I got inside the house. I ran to the YMCA where the race started, a little over 4 miles. The race was only a 5K and I felt that didn't quite cover the amount of calories I planned to eat (7.5 miles probably didn't either, but it put a bigger dent in it at least). It was just sprinkling and not too cold, so a good run, I was just worried about making sure I got to the race on time. I got there about 20 minutes before the race start, got my chip and found Casi, and we started looking for Eric and Carolyn. Eric was pretty important since he had Casi's race bib, and she couldn't get her chip without it. The race started at 8, and the two of them got to the YMCA at 8:00 on the dot! They threw their bibs and chips on, and we started after the walkers. We had been standing outside in pouring rain for the past 20 minutes and it continued to pour as we ran. Casi and I decided to just take it easy and chat, which made the race much better, as my hands were numb and throbbing. I'm not even sharing the time but lets just say we had fun catching up on our weekends. The second Eric crossed the finish we started the tortuous freezing cold half mile walk to the car. We had to sit there for like 10 minutes until Eric's hands regained feeling so he could drive. He took the picture below of me at a stoplight because that was apparently the only position I could sit in trying to warm my hands.
I took the longest, hottest shower EVER at home - I think I even fell asleep for a few minutes! Once the coffee was brewed Thanksgiving was officially starting on the right foot. We watched the Macy's Parade while talking to family on the phone and beginning our cooking. We had already had onethanksgiving in Rochester, we were going to a friend's house for number two, but we were only responsible for a few easy sies. We didn't start on a single dish until about 10:30 Thanksgiving morning! I wanted to start the night before but yet another pile of insurance paperwork had arrived in the mail so that idea was out. We were only bringing two side dishes and a pie, nothing time intensive or difficult.

HUGE fight over how thin to cut the apples for the pie, which included yelling and stomping in the kitchen, and updating facebook statuses to gather more opinions on the topic. And when I say huge fight I mean we were simultaneously yelling and laughing hysterically. We were both pretty serious about our positions though. Thin DOES NOT mean the width of a sheet of paper - plus it was already noon - who has time for that? We compromised somewhere in between our relative opinions on what constituted "thin". The pie came out delicious, along with Sarah's amazing pumpkin/vanilla/gingerbread trifle! And sadly that's the only picture that exists of either one of my dinners - both times I was too busy digging in to worry about photography. Turkey and mashed potatoes all look the same anyway.

After dinner involved a lot of football for everyone else and a lot of magazine reading for me. I've been working on my black friday shopping in my robe on the couch - why didn't I think of this genius idea before? I think unless you are going for the big ticket electronics, you can pretty much get the same deals and most places have free shipping anyway.

Getting ready to head to a body pump/spinning double header, then it's time to clean up this dump (still haven't unpacked from last weekend - oops) and get it Christmasized!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful Part 1

Yesterday's workout - Body Attack - seriously love this class
Today's workout - 5 mile run at average 9:28 pace.
I have to say I am pretty proud of myself for dragging myself out of bed at 445 so I could complete this run before teaching morning math, teaching my class all day, then grad class after that. Tuesdays are lame, except for when Glee is on.

With it being Thanksgiving week, I think I am going to try to write a post each day about something I am thankful for. Today - my body. I just read a facebook post from an old coworker who received a long awaited kidney transplant this morning, and when I got home from work she had posted that they already needed to remove it due to complications. I am so sad for her. That really makes me appreciate what my body can do, I am so grateful it allows me to exercise daily, run marathons, clean the house, hug my family, etc. For some people just taking a short walk is truly a challenge and I am lucky my body is fully functioning so I want to appreciate that each day. A lot of people, especially girls my age it seems, myself included, get overly focused on appearance. "My hips are too wide, my butt is huge, I have a muffin top, etc". Rather than looking in the mirror and thinking something negative, or looking at someone else and comparing myself to her, I am trying to look at a race medal or my running shoes and be proud of my accomplishments and thankful to my body for allowing me to reach my goals.

On a lighter note, I'm not doing any black Friday shopping because I have no gift ideas - this is tragic, I love Black Friday! On the bright side we are going to spend the day putting up our Christmas tree! It's my first time putting up my own tree as a grown up - a little delayed but that's usually how I roll. I'm running behind on that whole maturity thing as well.

I'll get the black Friday experience at the grocery store tomorrow, so I don't need to mourn the loss too much. I've got a full day of three doctor's appointments (just the usual tests/checkups, I just tried to schedule them all together), followed by shopping and picking up our Turkey Trot packets. Then I'm staying the heck off the road because it took me 45 minutes to drive like 8 miles home from class today, and it's only going to get worse.

Why didn't the turkey eat anything at Thanksgiving dinner?
Answer coming up tomorrow!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekend of wonderfulness

After the car accident, not getting paid, etc, a weekend at home with family could not have come at a better time! After a half day Friday, Carolyn, Eric and I got on the road to head to Geneseo, our alma mater (well, not Eric's, but he has an honorary degree after this weekend) for a night reliving our college glory with my sister and her friends. I'll just say it truly was a night back in college, and leave it at that. Wait, I will add that this town has the world's most insane hills and every time we left one adult beverage establishment to walk to another Carolyn challenged Darcy and I to a race so we actually got in a lot of running, which combined with the dancing probably equated to a full workout.

Saturday morning was a bit rough, but my friend Cheryl teaches Zumba in Henrietta (a town in between Geneseo and my hometown) and I have been trying to attend one of her classes for months! The timing finally worked out and I was not about to miss it. She made a special mix just for me and her class was awesome. A perfect mix of dancing and exercise, and there was a song that did Zumba toning, which I had never heard of? I love the idea though, and it was pretty tough - a great workout overall. It reminded me of our old wild days of going out dancing together.

We rushed home after the class for Fakesgiving, aka Thanskgiving a few days early since that's when I was home, and it's actually easier for my mom to take off on a non holiday. SO MUCH delicious food, combined with the usual mix of laughing, yelling over each other, and ridiculous jokes, mainly at each other's expense = the perfect afternoon. I love my family, every time I go up for the weekend I seriously consider not returning. It's just that whole job/paycheck/responsibilities thing that yanks me back. All the food was fantastic, as usual, but my mom's pumpkin-pecan pie with homemade crust was really over the top. It was the best pie I have ever had, even though earlier this year I actually already said that about a Dangerously Delicious pie (a local bakery). This one topped it though. Unbelievable. Maybe one goal for 2011 will be make my own pie crust, although it won't be that good.

Because I am an addict, I obviously had to google "rochester races" before my trip. I noticed there was a five mile race about 30 miles from my parent's house on Sunday morning. I was sort of thinking about it when I realized it wasn't just any race - it was the first race I ever ran! In college, Carolyn convinced me that my casual 30 minute runs whenever I felt motivated meant I was ready for a five mile race. At the time, I called it "the marathon" because five miles seemed so far. I tried to do one or two longer than usual races to prepare, and I was so nervous that I wouldn't make it. I had never been to or even seen a race and had no idea what to expect, what a bib was, etc. We finished with two other friends, and I had fun, but I was definitely not addicted or even really interested in doing another one. Never would have guessed things would turn out as they did! Anyway, since Carolyn was coming up we obviously had to return to the scene of the crime (plus it was super cheap compared to Bmore races), and when I mentioned it to Eric, he said he wanted to do it too! I was shocked, since his PDR (personal distance record) was a 5K in September, and he hadn't been running much due to an injury. The face that we would both have done the same race as our first ever five mile run was super exciting to a huge dork like me.

Sunday morning was RACE DAY! Nothing like preparing for a race by reliving your college days, sleeping on an air mattress, and eating nothing the day before except for one GIANT thanksgiving meal. We met Carolyn at the YMCA and headed to the start. I was totally unprepared for the 33 degrees (feels like 25) and luckily raided Darcy's clothes that were still at home the night before for long pants and a long sleeve shirt. Of course being spoiled Southerners we were way overdressed. The race was great, we chatted a bit for most of it and other than a few small hills it was fairly flat. I came in fourth in my age group at 43:38, and Carolyn was 5th! I so wish I knew our time from 2003 to compare but as I said, I never thought I was running another race at that point so I didn't care to record my time. Eric finished strong at 1:01:44, so about 12 minute miles, which I thought was amazing and am so proud of him. Best post race food - about ten different kinds of soup from all different local restaurants. Hot soup + freezing cold race = amazing. I tried the pumpkin apple and I need to recreate it asap. We headed home to yet another delicious brunch, then it was time to get back on the road to Baltimore. We haven't unpacked a single thing, the apartment is a complete mess, and I am in no way prepared for this week, but it was so worth it!
4th and 5th in our age group!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weekly summary

Amazing food: mashed sweet potato with gorgonzola, pumpkin butter, cinnamon and raisins - sounds wierd but so delicious, the sweet/salty combo of the pumpkin butter and blue cheese is perfect. Just close your eyes and try it and thank me later!

Workouts this week:
Monday - 32 minutes elliptical in the AM, Bikram yoga in the PM (and this yoga felt TOUGH - not sure why it seemed ever harder than usual? Maybe the metric marathon the day before?)
Tuesday - was going to be a rest day but I got out of class early, which meant I could make it to the world's greatest Zumba class, which was rare, so I had to take it! I'm embarrassed how far I drove in the rain to get there but it was worth it.
Wednesday - 10 m inutes elliptical, Body Pump - planned to go to PM Zumba but couldn't due to the car accident.
Thursday - felt pretty good so I attempted a run - mistake.
Basically I am freaking out because my old knee injury resurfaced (I had runner's knee last February) and my knee is NOT in any pain yet, but it feels off and I feel that wierd "it's not tracking right" feeling. So I've been RIC - ing like crazy (supposed to be RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation but I've only been doing the first three - actually just elevated it as I typed this and realized my mistake!). I keep trying to remind myself that I am doing the smart thing this time, as opposed to the last time I felt that twinge, which was walk all over Chicago and then run 12 miles and walk all over Chicago again, continuing running and ignoring the pain. I am taking today as a complete rest day and I am supposed to go to Zumba tomorrow, but I will force myself to skip it if I still feel off. I suck at this whole "rest" thing but I am trying to think of the long term. I did find a bruise on my knee yesterday (and I seriously need to get beaten half to death to bruise) so that must be from the accident? I don't remember hitting my knee but maybe I did?

So when I got home from my "run" (which involved walking most of the way back as soon as I felt my knee start up), this week continued it's hilarious joke on me. I took out my phone to see how many missed calls I had from insurance agencies, and all it would do was blink the Verizon wireless logo. I had a ton of errands to do involving various car/accident things (involving a brief panic attack when I walked out of the first store and realized I hadn't bothered to note the make, model, or even COLOR of my rental car and had no idea how to find it), and then went to a Verizon store. They glanced at it for about half a second before informing me they would order me a new one, it would arrive on Monday, and all my information would be lost. Aw gee, thanks universe!

Good - going to see Kathy Griffin and laugh my a$$ off after all this craziness
Not Good - taking medicine prescribed by doctor directly before performance, which involved nodding off 342 times and seeing two of her for most of the show

Good - going home to visit my alma mater and have thanksgiving this weekend!
Bad - NOTHING bad about that, it could not come at a better time! Family time makes everything better :)

What else can happen?

It's been quite a week. I already b!tched and whined about not getting paid on Friday. On Monday, my friend Sue's car was vandalized at work - window smashed, frame bent, brakelights ripped out, etc. This happened in broad daylight, right outside the school which was filled with people. It's pretty frightening since nothing was stolen, it seems like it could be a personal attack. We work in a neighborhood that's not the safest, and now I really feel scared to be there. Being afraid to walk to your car after work even in daylight is not a good feeling. So, I've been taking her to work, and yesterday there was a tornado that went down her street! She lives only a mile away from me, but she had no power, huge trees knocked down, another friend's trampoline was knocked over and her gazeobo was blown to the neighbors yard! A mile away at my house, I didn't even know there had been a storm. So yesterday, I went to pick her up and we took an alternate route, since a tree had been knocked into the street we normally take and it was closed. In the car, while we were stopped waiting for traffic to move, she said to me "Wow, no pay on Friday, my car's been vandalized and now a tornado - what else can happen?" BAM another car smashed into mine! They hit me so hard that I hit the car in front of me, and that car hit the car in front of them! Once I calmed down and stopped shaking after the accident, I went to check out the damage and yelled "my marathon sticker is torn!". Because clearly that was my concern, not the fact that my entire bumper was destroyed!

We went to the hospital in an ambulance - a first for me! A nurse came into my room and asked if I'd take a shot for the pain. I told her no thanks, I prefer the pain. I have a really serious needle fear, like out of control. Then the doctor came in and started doing some arm and leg strength tests to make sure I had no injuries and told me I was no barbie doll. I took it as a compliment - I had just gone to body pump that morning and all. I was feeling pretty good until he told me to "grab my boobies and lift them up". Um, hello, are you a real doctor??? Is that a medical term? At this point I was pretty sure I was going to end up doing one of those shadow interviews on 20/20, but luckily he just checked my ribcage and gave me some prescriptions for painkillers and muscle relaxers. CREEPY. They told me not to run today but I'll see how I feel this afternoon. The police officer at the accident told me I would probably feel like I ran a marathon the next day, and I informed him I HAD actually just ran a marathon. Well, it's the next day, and I just walked to the bathroom by myself, so I am officially in better shape than after a marathon!

The car plowed into me when I was stopped on a residential street without ever hitting the brakes or attempting to slow down. I am so grateful that I am fine and no one involved has any serious injuries. The police officer said that it was likely he was texting - why else would you just hit a stopped car going full speed in broad daylight with nothing obstructing your view? It was a really stupid thing to do and now his insurance is going to skyrocket. If that had been on the expressway instead of a small street I hate to think how badly myself or others could have been injured. I have been guilty of it in the past but this really opened my eyes as to how dangerous it is to text while driving - all it takes is one second to look down and you could change your life or other's lives forever. I know I couldn't live with myself if someone was hurt or even killed so I could tell someone "I'm almost there". From now on, the phone will be down or if I am using it, I will be talking on my hands free set. This is pretty deep but it's important!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Columbia Metric Marathon

This time last week I had never even heard of a metric marathon, and now I know what they are, and have completed one! I was pretty nervous because for a super type A crazy person like me, completing such a long race without training was unheard of. Also, Mike called me saturday to inform me that they had no record of my registration due to some online glitch, therefore no bib, no timing chip, and worst of all, NO TSHIRT! That's the biggest reason I run a race! So, now I was going to be a bandit, since they had told him if I ran anyway I would be pulled off the course (um, isn't this race on public streets?). I'm not exactly a rule breaker or good with confrontation so this pretty much went against every aspect of my personality. But, I did get wild the night before, when Casi showed up with a diet dr. pepper, which she was nice enough to wait in the long Chik-Fil-A drive through line to get for us. So, I broke my rule of no soda the day before a race, and basically things were totally out of control.

Casi and I made Autumn Mac & Cheese for dinner - this might be the best mac & cheese I have ever had, and that's saying A LOT, because both my mother and mother in law are masters at this dish. But, of course my biggest complaint with the usual method is it's a meal with no veggies, and this recipe was loaded with them. The combos were so unusual (butternut squash + brussel sprouts?) but they all came together and it was seriously out of this world delicious. We served it over spinach and Casi came up with the brilliant idea of adding raisins, which somehow improved on the perfection. We used gorgonzola instead of cheddar, (the fancy kind from Wegmans cheese shop!), and probably used half as much as the recipe called for. I want to make this for every dinner for the rest of my life. Casi also made us an amazing pumpkin ice cream cake with gingersnap crust for dessert, and luckily she also served it, which meant I got a normal grown up size piece, not an Alyssa - five - times -normal - size piece. We watched Sex and the City 2, just as good as it was in the theater, obviously, and I was in bed by around 11.

I got up around 6, had a cup of coffee and a sandwich thin with peanut butter and banana on half, pumpkin butter and raisin on the other. The standard pre -race/long run breakfast. I headed down to Mike's and got there around 7:20. He insisted on giving me his bib and timing chip, so he turned into the bandit, and I turned into Mike Joyce, as far as the race was concerned. This was probably a good choice, because he was prepared to go ape sh!t if a race official questioned him (especially since it was their mistake to begin with!), whereas I was prepared to start crying and beg them not to take me to race jail. The timing chips were D-tags, which go around your shoelaces, so his was the extra piece that has the directions that you are supposed to throw away. As soon as we got in line for the porta potties, a race official started bugging him about uncrinkling it, super concerned that he wouldn't get his time, and wouldn't leave him alone until he fixed it. He didn't have a bib, but so many people were wearing layers that it wasn't noticeable. I was SO SAD to see that the shirts were super cute (Mike even tried to switch his for one in my size, but they were out - isn't he sweet?) but psyched to take out the competition in my age group. I figured that men age 55-59 gives me probably the best chance to place that I've ever had, right?

At 8:15 we were off! My hands and feet were completely numb until mile 2, and then I finally warmed up. Mike and I weren't talking too much so I was tempted to take out my ipod but that's a habit I really want to break. After about mile 3, I completely forgot about it! We chatted a bit with each other and other runners, but during silence I was content to just enjoy the run. Maybe at first I just needed a distraction from the cold. The course was gorgeous but fairly hilly. The sky was perfectly blue, the sun was shining, and all the changing leaves made it a perfect running day. I was really thinking about how much I love running and turned to Mike to one point to ask how could anyone NOT love it? They are seriously missing out!

I took two Gus (my new favorite - espresso love!) and tried Gatorade. This was a big deal because I had two really bad stomach experiences, luckily after crossing the finish, at races which had powerade, so I had avoided sports drinks like the plague since the Baltimore Ten Miler, on my birthday in June. But after reading this blog post about how much gatorade improved performance, I decided it was time to try it. Success - no stomach issues! We kept up around a ten minute mile pace until Mile 14, when Mike told me he could tell I had a lot of energy left and told me to go ahead. I felt fantastic, I had been keeping a 9:30 pace and it actually felt easy. I headed out and completed mile 15 in 8:57 (and that included a water stop and putting on my ipod!) and mile 16 (which had some hills) in 7:53!! (Although I get totally called out for dancing to Defying Gravity after the race). I was seriously in shock, especially considering my lack of training. I sprinted to the finish, at which point they read off my bib number, and I was so worried they were going to announce "and coming across the finish....Mike Joyce???" but luckily they didn't! I got in the super long line for the AWESOME post race meal - pizza and chocolate animal crackers plus being completely out of any sort of hydration. Um, WTF? Luckily Mike finished around that time so we headed to the car and back to his house.

Total Stats(according to Garmin):
16.23 miles
2 hours, 41 minutes, 50 seconds
9:58 average pace

Chip Time (for Mike Joyce) 2:42:30.

Overall, a decent race and I had a great time!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sometimes wine is the only medicine

So I have been trying to keep the blog about my nonwork life in the hopes of avoiding getting fired on the off chance anyone reads it. But since this story was on the news I don't think I am revealing anything. Yesterday I arrived at work with that wonderfully happy "It's Friday and Payday" feeling. I walked into the office and was told due to some error with payroll every teacher in the district didn't get paid, and we didn't know when that might happen. BTW, I am married to a teacher in the district, so that means NO household income at all. This was especially awesome since all of our bills are automatically debited on payday and had already come out, AND now I was supposed to go put on a happy face and entertain/teach/babysit 20 six year olds for the next 7 hours. Needless to say it didn't really go too well. Every teacher was basically panicking and flipping out, and we are only human, we did our best to teach like we normally do but kids pick up on emotions pretty quickly and there were some pretty bad ones all around. I had been having an especially rough week (not to be dramatic, but truly one of the worst in my teaching career) and that was the icing on the cake.

When I got home I realized there was an unopened bottle of wine in my fridge, and my husband, who most people avoid letting provide drinks, poured me a GIANT glass. By the time it was empty, that, combined with Eric's amazing feel better skills, I was MUCH happier. I texted Carolyn to tell her that I had planned on showering and looking pretty for her birthday dinner that night, but instead I just drank wine and cried. Most people might find that odd, but being a fellow teacher she completely understood how necessary that is sometimes.

We went out to a Little Havanna, a fabulous Cuban restaurant in Fed Hill. They have amazing mojitos and food. A night with good friends was exactly what I needed and I felt so much better. The mojitos didn't hurt either!

Friday, November 12, 2010


This blog post is entirely crazy.

Crazy Story #1:

Yesterday I met my friend for an early morning run. We picked a random stop about halfway in between where we both live, parked at a blockbuster, and headed out. We had barely gone a tenth of a mile before I felt something slam into my back. I turned around and figured out someone had thrown a full bottle of water out of their car window at me! I don't mean like they tossed it gently, they whipped it at me! I can't imagine why someone would do that, but doesn't it have to be on purpose? Why else would you throw a full bottle out your window at 530 in the morning, and throw it that hard?? I never really bruise but my back still hurts this morning! This is a true example of a hate crime against runners!

Crazy Story #2: You take thisand hit it with this
and that equals this:

Broomball! I played my first broomball game last night! You use the equipment above, on an ice rink, wearing just sneakers, no ice skates or anything. My team, the Forking Iceholes, is the maroon (although I was not playing in this pic). I was so nervous about falling and ending my running career but the game was so much fun. My friends and I ended up joining a really experienced team who needed players. Considering I am the least athletic person and avoid all sports with balls like the plague, I can't believe how much I loved broomball and didn't do horrible! Our team won the playoffs last year and has been playing together since 2003, so another fear was letting them down. They were all really nice and helpful though, and we won! Broomball is the great equalizer for someone like me, because on the ice, everyone is just as clumsy as I am. Eric was the goalie and he did great (although, this is not a shock, since he is naturally athletic and really good at any sport he tries).

Crazy Story #3:
Yesterday I got a text asking me if I wanted to do a metric marathon this weekend, a 26.2 km race. While I tried to do the mental math and figure out the mileage, my friend Mike (I ran the marathon with him until mile 16) said it was his treat. I'm not about to turn down a free race and, more importantly, a free race tshirt, so I texted back that I was in! So now I am getting up at 6am on Sunday for a 16 mile race with three days notice. 6 months ago I would have never believed that I could just decide to do something like that on a whim (and we still don't have proof it will work out). It will be my longest run since the marathon, but I did 10 last weekend, so it's not a huge jump. I skipped my beloved spinning class today to rest, tomorrow I think I'll hit the elliptical, and hopefully that combined with some carbs and hydration will turn into a great race. My plans Saturday night were just a girls night with my BFF Casi to watch SATC2, so luckily that works out great for an early Sunday morning. I guess she'll get all the wine now, but it's all worth it in the name of racing.

Tonight we are celebrating Carolyn's birthday at a great Cuban restaurant with even greater Mojitos (seriously the best ever) so I just need to make it through one more day of work!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's time for #2!!

It's official - I am registered for the Shamrock Marathon!! I've known I wanted to do a spring marathon for awhile, and after much debate my friend Lily and I finally decided to head to Virginia Beach to do our 26.2 along the ocean. She works for a hotel so we got a room for two nights super cheap - do I know how to pick my friends and family or what? Free coffee, movies, and now hotel rooms! It's right after St. Patty's Day and looks like so much fun - the pics on the website show all these people dressed up for the holiday. Training begins December 18th - I'm a little nervous, because now it's almost like the pressure is on to improve my time. I have a goal in mind but I'm not going to reveal it to my one reader just yet.

This morning was my long awaited return to Body Pump. It was supposed to be last week but I set my alarm for 5pm instead of 5am, so you can probably guess how that went down. Can I just say how much I seriously love the YMCA? It's right across the street from my apartment. I woke up at 515, and was walking in the door at 530, and even had time to take out the trash. The class was 545-645 and I was ready for work by 7. (Obviously you can tell how much time and effort I put into my appearance). I'm showered and dressed and wearing deodorant so that's really all that matters. Plus I have Zumba after school anyway. I'm not usually one for two - a -days, but it just happened that two great classes fall on Wednesdays. It's basically strength training + cardio, just split into am and pm instead of all at once. After Body Pump, my legs were shaking when I bent down to get a new trash bag and my arms were shaking when I reached for it, which makes class success in my opinion. I literally probably hadn't been since last spring - maybe? It was like riding a bike though - the only difference was I was lifting significantly less weight. Time to build back up - and maybe not completely ignore my upper body during this marathon training?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

5 at 5

Last night, I was really excited to go to Body Attack, the best exercise class ever. So excited I actually was planning to work out at 6:30 pm, and I am so NOT a night exerciser! Chasing little kids all day saps my energy a little bit. But, I got called in for emergency tutoring (sounds made up but I swear it happened) in the opposite direction, and ended up leaving later than usual so Body Attack was out. In the car I tried to talk myself into the elliptical for a low impact workout but I just could not get psyched up for staring at that little clock for 50 minutes, even with the prospect of a brand new Self. So, I did Jillian Michael's Boost Your Metabolism - such an awesome workout. And today I didn't feel nearly as sore as after the marathon like I did last time -score!

This morning I was up at 4:40 and out the door by 5 for a 5 mile run. This was my first solo early morning run since the marathon. I was nervous it would be tough with the cooler temps (mid 30s when I left), plus I haven't been working out in the morning recently since all the fun classes seem to be at night. I actually felt really strong and had awesome negative splits.
Mile 1 - 10:35
Mile 2 - 10:04
Mile 3 - 9:39
Mile 4 - 9:28
Mile 5 - 9:02

It was one of those runs where I was just loving running the whole time. I only have one early morning running route that is well lit with sidewalks, so I really need to explore the neighborhood because doing that out and back all winter and spring could get boring. I was dying to go to Zumba tonight at 6:30 but my lame grad class professor was talking our ears off about pointless stuff that is so not enhancing my teaching abilities, so I missed it. Sad. At least we have Halstead Zumba after school tomorrow!

I just finished the book The Help. I think one thing I want to do on this blog is review books, since I read a decent amount. Plus then maybe I'll have a log of what I've read, so I won't get to the last chapter of a book and realize I already read it, which has actually happened to me. I would tell you the name of that book but I actually can't remember it. True story. Book review coming!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Post Marathon Long Run

Today was my first long - ish run since the marathon. I met my friend Lily at her house and we headed down to the BWI airport trail to meet some other friends and a local running group. I love meeting new people when running and hearing about their lives, it makes the time fly by! Carolyn got a bit lost and ended up pulling in to the parking lot just as the group was leaving, and we didn't know the trail. This turned into Carolyn's warmup being slamming her car door and we sprinted to catch up. The first mile was 8:57 which was pretty quick considering I was planning on more like 10:30 - I didn't know how my legs would handle the distance, not to mention it was my first cold air long run this year. Luckily we brought the pace down after that and had fun. We met another girl doing the Columbia Irongirl that also doesn't even own a bike and she wants to train with us! I was really happy with how good my body felt doing that distance, it was a bit tough but overall I was able to chat and enjoy the run. I was tired afterwards, maybe more so than the last 10 miler before the marathon. The cold air was killing my asthma which didn't help. I forgot to restart my garmin after a Goo break and ended up missing at least a mile of the run. I got upset at first before I realized it didn't matter. I am not training for anything, this run was for fun, so who cared if I didn't know the exact distance or my pace at every single moment? I really want to enjoy running without worrying about the numbers until I begin training for a race again. We ended up doing about 10.5 miles and were really proud of ourselves. I think keeping up my fitness with an occasional long run will make beginning training again so much more pleasant.

On Friday, during our lunchtime discussion of weekend plans, I mentioned I was doing a "sort of long" run with a new group. My friend asked what a "sort of long" run meant - 5 miles? I told her more like ten, but we were taking it easy. She laughed at me for talking about my "easy 10 mile run", and I realized how CRAZY it actually does sound! I remember when that seemed like a completely insane idea that only super intense athletes would even attempt. I love how marathon training totally changes your mindset.

When I got home I had a salad, but that's seriously not doing it for me so I am about to enjoy some stuffed acorn squash and homemade rice pudding.

Chocolate Addict

Usually I feel like this. I could eat that whole bar and look just as blissful that whole time. I truly wonder if I have a chocolate addiction because it really feels like sometimes I eat a ridiculous amount and can't stop! This article states:

Chocolate is the most frequently craved food in women, and many women describe themselves as ‘chocoholics.’ Chocoholics insist that it is habit-forming, that it produces an instant feeling of well-being, and even that abstinence leads to withdrawal symptoms.

Oh it's habit forming all right! I can shun fried food, takeout, alcohol, etc but when it comes to chocolate I can't say no. I'm pretty much like a little kid on November 1st - I don't want to eat one treat a night, I want to kill that whole bag! Even though I am an adult and I know this will lead to sugar high, followed by the sugar crash, followed by a bloated belly ache, etc etc. But chocolate just tastes so good!

The reason I am writing this is Friday night, I bought some Wegmans bulk chocolate to eat in a movie (yes, I sneak food in, I am not paying 4 dollars when I could pay 50 cents. Also I can't be trusted with movie theatre size treats, see above paragraph). If you are familiar with Wegmans bulk chocolate, you know it's basically heaven in a plastic bag. I picked out a quarter pound of a variety of chocolate covered goodness. Normally, I would tell myself "don't eat the whole bag, don't eat the whole bag" and would inevitable, eat the whole flipping bag. Last night I just went with it and figured I'd eat what I ate. I had three pieces and was satisfied - I wasn't forcing myself to stop, I truly felt I had had enough! For a normal person this probably doesn't make sense but for me it's HUGE. Last night, I had a small serving of froyo, and instead of going back for seconds....then thirds....again I felt fine with one! AND even said I would go with my hubby to get McFlurries but I didn't want one, and that turned in to him flipping a bitch (u-turn) away from McDonalds!

Am I finally turning into a grown up who can eat normal amounts of chocolate and then stop??
Time will tell.....

Drinking my coffee (now there's one addiction I have NO interest in giving up) in my NYC mug this am in honor of the NYC marathon! Good luck runners! Maybe one day I'll be lined up in a corral with them?

Random story - one year I was there for the NYC marathon, visiting my sister, and I didn't even watch it! I did go for a run the morning before and a fellow B&B guest asked if I was running the marathon, so I said yes. At the time, I thought it was hilarious because like I would ever run a marathon!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Next Challenge

Last week I signed up for my first triathlon - The Columbia Irongirl! It's not until August so I have some time, which is a good thing considering I have biked exactly 8 miles in the past 7 years, I don't own a bike, and I have never swam in open water. It's a sprint distance, which I believe is the shortest tri distance. The swim is .62 miles, the bike is 17.5 and the run is 3.5. I know I can swim that distance at the YMCA, the problem is I won't have a push off every 25 meters in this event. I think the marathon got me addicted to that feeling of accomplishment after doing something that seems so frightening and overwhelming at the start. I actually had a huge fear of bikes since I fell off one when I was 20 and got all banged up and just rode one for the first time since that day a few months ago! So signing up for a tri was a big deal for me. I already told my Dad I need a bike for Hanukkah, so I can start training in the spring! It's weird that I will be completely starting from scratch as far as the bike. You get socks and a water bottle in your swag though so how awesome will that be? Plus it means yet another sticker for my car....

Tomorrow will be my first "long" run since the marathon! Either 10 or 12.5 miles - the email was a little unclear. I'm nervous since I've only done 6 since the big day! This week has been all about the classes. I've been working out but not running. It's just for fun though so I am excited, plus we are trying out a trail I have never been to. Let's hope I still got it. I am creepily excited to get out my running gear, like camelbak and body glide which have been gathering dust for three weeks now. Pretty awesome that the run is at 1pm, now that we don't have to get up at the crack of dawn when it's *only* 75 degrees.

My friend's birthday party tonight combines two of my great loves - 80s music and dancing! Is it totally messed up that I actually am sad I don't have the marathon training excuse for not drinking now? I'll have to make up something else to explain my love for water, since that's all I'm in the mood for tonight.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Millions of Pears, Pears for Me

Let me preface this by saying, while I spent all day having fun at the Marine Corps Marathon with my friends, my wonderful husband spent the day doing the grocery shopping (at Costco on a Sunday, no less) and the laundry - he even folded it! So, clearly I have a true appreciation for all he does for me. However, he has what someone once called "ignoring the BMW in the grocery store". This theory states, if you send you husband to the grocery store and they are giving out free BMWs to every customer, he'll come home without one. Why? It wasn't on the list, of course! Naturally, Eric's slavish devotion to buying exactly the items on the list is my own fault, because I am a super picky control freak and will be upset if he comes home with the wrong thing. But anyway, when he went to Costco, he was unsure if pears/apples meant I wanted one or the other, or both. I was on the metro at the time and not responding to texts, so he got Costco sized bags of both. Then proclaimed he didn't like either and wouldn't help me eat them. So now I have about 10 pounds of fruit and due to my incredible cheapness, it's a race against the clock to eat them all. Literally been eating pear a minimum of three times a day. Here's some examples:

Pear in my cereal
Pear in my yogurt for a snack
Baked pear with vanilla ice cream as dessert
Pear/Pumpkin butter/Ricotta cheese "pizza" (on a sandwich thin)
And my personal favorite:
Millet with blue cheese, pumpkin butter, butternut squash and pear. BEST WIERD COMBO of throwing crap that's about to go bad in a bowl ever! Also includes roasted onions, grape tomatoes, and corn.

I am pretty proud of myself for my pear creativity. I hope they have some super human awesome nutritional powers because if they do I am living until I am 130. Maybe they make you run faster?? The apples seem to be holding up a little better so perhaps they can make it until it's time for Thanksgiving pie?

I did some more Zumba last night. We got a teacher from a local gym to come teach at a church near our school, so we have a special class for teachers from my school! It's a little awkward shaking your ass in front of all your coworkers, instead of a bunch of random strangers. Oh well, it's bonding!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Whirlwind tour

I sort of feel like the past two weeks have been a trip down the memory lane of exercises I used to love but forgot existed in the tunnel vision of marathon training. I LOVE running, but there are a ton of other fun kinds of exercise. Let me give you a look at my whirlwind tour:

In the past week, I have done:
Jillian Michaels Boost Your Metabolism
Spin Class
Body Attack
More Zumba!

Exercise classes are so much fun and I love making a total fool of myself "dancing" at Zumba. I used to go to Body Attack and Spin religiously and hadn't been since probably June. I'm glad I decided to mix it up, a lot of runners seem really tied to just running but I know for me, I need some variety. I have been using muscles that were basically ignored all summer and last week I seriously felt nearly as sore as after the marathon (well, maybe not). Bikram yesterday was so intense my muscles were shaking like a leaf for the majority of the 90 minutes, but I forgot how great I feel after. I was planning on Body Pump this morning but I think I'll save it until next week - plus I have more Zumba today after school!

Some people have asked if I didn't just want to take a break after the marathon. The truth might make some people want to punch me in the face, the same way I feel when people say things like

  • "Oh I lost all track of time cleaning" - um really, you weren't moving at light speed and counting the seconds until you could stop?
  • "I completely forgot to eat today" - wow my body has this built in sensor to avoid that, it's called hunger
  • "that dessert was so rich, one bite was enough" - I have yet to experience this phenomenon. I have met very few desserts where one (giant) plate was enough, much less a bite
Anyway, those are statements that make me want to punch people, but I guess they are true for some. Mine is, I truly love exercise and don't feel "right" unless I get some each day. Not all types, but I have found plenty that are fun. If I ever can't exercise for a prolonged period of time for some reason, the best thing for society would be to send me to do some research project in Antarctica. I get really irritable and basically bitchy, and it would be impossible for even the most patient person to deal with me.

But, despite my reawakened love for aerobics and yoga, I still plan on running at least once a week - training for a spring marathon starts next month!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm famous!

I can't believe my story was just on Meghann's blog! I read it pretty much daily and feel like I was interviewed by a celebrity or something! I loved reading all her marathon stories for inspiration during training and try her meal ideas all the time. When I emailed her my marathon story I thought maybe in a few weeks she might put it up. By the time I got home that same day it was posted! I loved actually reading comments since so far there are zero over here on this blog :).

In other news, I got to be a marathon spectator this weekend. As soon as I got home I called my cheering section to thank them an extra time - it was hard work! Two of my fellow Baltimore Marathoners Lily and Jill and I went to the Marine Corps marathon in DC to cheer on our marathon coach and two other friends who were running, as well as the other 22,000 marathoners. I had thought Baltimore was a big race - WOW was I wrong! I couldn't believe how many marathoners and spectators were at Marine Corps - and it's still not even half the size of NYC or Chicago! We originally wanted to see our friends at various points but lack of planning eliminated that option, so we headed straight to the finish. My friend Katylin lives in the area and was nice enough to meet us at the metro station and escort us there.
After an hour or so of gentle pushing and rushing into people's spots the second they moved, we got up to the gate. It was like being at a concert, people were pressing into me from all sides and I couldn't move. We made it our personal mission to cheer on the runners like so many wonderful spectators did for us, and tried to yell out as many names as we could. "Our" runners were so happy to see us. It was seriously tiring though - we left my house at 8am, didn't get back until nearly 5pm and I think I was more tired than after a full day of work. It was intense but so much fun!

We didn't get any trick or treaters (luckily didn't get any candy either or there might be some serious sugar highs in my future) but still had a fabulous Halloween!