Saturday, August 31, 2013

What a summer!

And it has felt like a summer. I've forgotten what it feels like to wear sweatshirts or bring a jacket to work.  It was a great day for a short run on trails with a lovely view.  From Iron Horse Trail off of Twin Falls Trail along the I90 corridor.  14


Oops. Took the photo on my peaceful 4 miler but forgot to post.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

low level physical activity

I spend a lot of time in here. It's drab and frequently warm and unpleasant. I consider myself lucky that I can easily keep a low level of physical activity into my day at work.  link  12

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Workout Fail

That fun weekend caught up.  Dead legs on a morning when i had planned on a workout.  What to do?  Fret?  No. Gut it out?  No because it just wasn't going to be successful. Plan to schedule the workout for tomorrow or the next day?  No because it might interfere with a longer more important workout in 5 days. Take it as a sign that I need more carbohydrates and vacation eating (meat, eggs, cheese and alcohol heavy diet) has caught up? Ding, ding ding!  We have a winner.  Oatmeal with nectarine and almond butter and extra carb friendly high quality snacks were just what I needed.  Hungry! 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Back to Reality

Back to work and a run before dawn.  I am always happy to return to my kitchen especially when K has a perfectly cooked meal waiting!  Grilled pork loin, farro and corn with blue cheese and cherry tomatoes (gift from the neighbors).

Not there is anything wrong with the creation I had for breakfast my last morning in San Diego.  Strawberry Shortcake at Extraordinary Desserts in Little Italy.  WOW! And I got a piece of their shortbread for later.  That was the best shortbread i've ever had.

Back to reality but the healthy choices every day make those fun vacation choices possible with no guilt. 


Monday, August 26, 2013

That was a vacation!

Just two full days but there was:
splashing and lounging in the pool

and hanging on a beach watching boys getting a first surf lesson.  I was jealous!  Next time.  Plenty of good food and drink and of course just hanging with a friend. 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

To the Beach part 2

I am in San Diego after all.  6.5 miles with a couple miles ON the beach.  Limited internet connection and too much fun with boys, beach and fun.   

Friday, August 23, 2013

0'dark stupid.

Out of town this weekend. This required an early wake up to get in a long run. Silliness! But I'm really glad I got the run in. 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Running shoes are easier

They don't require any maintenance before I put them on. But it is nice to get out for an early morning ride while it is still dry.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013


4 Barefoot for Barre3

No sledgehammering today. I need a break. This was the only time to get in a strength workout this week.  I'm fine walking around the house barefoot but I'm not a fan in this sort of setting.  Yoga classes included.  The hard floor can bother my feet.  I'm trying to be careful and more mindful of foot placement and not overextending my big toes.  I think yoga classes caused a round of sesamoiditis (an inflammation of the sesamoid bones - teeny little bones in the ball of your foot) for me a couple years ago.  Would it look silly if I wore my running shoes in a barre class?

Good class. It felt a lot easier. I think that might be because my legs weren't tired from a long ride and/or run the days before.  It was a happy glute workout and a very good stretch too.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Sledgehammer Workout

3 - The Sledgehammer and "pond"
The defunct pond that has been in our back yard since we moved in?  It's time to go!  It's about 3-4 feet wide and had been partially buried the 16 years we've lived in our house.  The previous previous owner (ie the owner before from whom we bought our house) was a do-it-yourselfer in the worst sense of the word.  We've found evidence of this all over the property.  Some things like the electrical system required immediate attention.  This pond is now in the way of trying to plant anything in a very visible area of the back yard. The area under a very large cedar tree has been overgrown with some thuggish shrubs which will either be polite, cut back annually or come out.  

digging out around the pond, pulling out the loose baby head-sized and larger rocks set around the pond and then swinging the sledgehammer to break up the 8"+ cement pond is some workout!  Swinging the sledgehammer and breaking up the cement is very satisfying and therapeutic.  I can swing the sledgehammer right or left handed and am pretty happy that I'm in the sort of shape required to do this. And 30-45 minutes a day is perfect.  This isn't my full time job after all.

So I started thinking, there must be some nuts who do this for a workout.  Sure enough!  A quick internet search of "sledgehammer workouts" brings up a ton of links.  What do you need?  A sledgehammer and a large tire to take the blows.  So you want me to bring more junk into my backyard?  No thanks! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunrise 6:09

On my usual 4 mile loop but I ran the opposite way to catch the sunrise. Ten minutes and one mile later, it was gone. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A new age group!

Yum!  post race food as it should be! 
oh yes, that's always fun.  Happy New Age Group to me!  And how did I celebrate this?  We went and ran a race of course!  The Lake Union 10k is a very nice race. Very easy to get to with lots of free parking.  There is a fantastic gender specific technical shirt with a very nice design.  AND post-race food is catered by my favorite (and my mom's favorite) breakfast cafe, The Portage Bay Cafe. I've been there twice recently with her.  Everything is super tasty!  I personally have really stopped having anything post race generally. Dry bagels do not appeal EVER.

I'd really hoped to run well here for a couple reasons.  It would be a good indicator of what to aim for at my goal race in six weeks. I've placed in my age group before in this race and wanted to again. And mentally i just wanted a good race.  It wasn't to be though.

I went out at just a bit faster than goal pace.  Too much?  I don't think so as I've done that successfully in previous years.  There is a pretty good tailwind the first mile always.  Settled into pace for the second mile and then just started feeling crappy and mentally just not there.  By 2.5 miles, i was done and jogged it in.  It was a looooong way to the finish of this 10k (6.2 miles). 

How do you recover from a tough race?

a. Have a pity party and pretend it didn't happen.
b. Analyze (come up with excuses, ahem) as to why it wasn't your day.
c. Stomp about and sulk that you suck.
d. Look for that next race and use what you've learned to move forward.
e. All of the above.

The correct answer is of course, "e."  Who knows why it was such a bad race? I don't run well at this particular event in general.  It's a flat course for here which means there are a couple bridge approaches which is fine. And there is one awful short up which always elicits groans for those not prepared. Even though i am prepared, i groan a little anyway! I had a fantastic tempo up-paced run on tuesday.  I could feel it too this week and was dragging on runs after and keeping it very slow on those runs because i needed to.  I'd messed up inhalers this week too and had run out of my daily inhaler as of last weekend. I was able to get back on dose as of friday but it's one of those things which it is hard to tell.  I could definitely tell i was having more lung issues this week.  

At least the post-race food did NOT disappoint!  French toast with fresh blackberries, blueberries and raspberries.  Whipped cream and whipped butter available too.  I went through the line twice. Hey it's my birthday! There were a lot of friends at this race (and ran into more people i knew randomly) and of course, it was fun overall.  I'd not have done anything different.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Random goals

Last summer, I was very focused on running.  This summer, i wanted to get out on my bike more. Last year the longest ride i did was in May of a double loop of Mercer Island.  That was it!  While I'm still primarily running about 30 miles a week, I've been trying to get in one ride a week generally with K.  We've had a great summer (a REAL summer as my mom says) and it's been very nice for biking.

Last weekend, we decided to take advantage of the good weather and the excellent blueberry season and combine goals.  That's right. We were looking to get K to a distance PR on the bike (40 miles) and I wanted to pick blueberries.  So with Coach's help, she figured out a possible bike course for us in the Snoqualmie Valley.  I ended up modifying the course just to make sure we had an easy way to get back to the car and cut the ride short if needed. However it ended up being a great time biking with beautiful farms, quiet roads and perfect weather.  This course was flat too except for the ride up and down the road by Snoqaulmie Falls.  That's a known and popular hill though and pretty fun.

We both took a day off, slept in and were pretty leisurely getting out to the Snoqualmie Valley as we wanted to avoid rush hour morning traffic.  And we were off. I wanted to keep it pretty easy the first 10-15 miles and make sure to pay attention to getting in enough calories.  The temperature was fantastic and the roads were quiet.  The nice thing about riding the back roads of Snoqaulmie Valley is that drivers are pretty used to bike traffic and are very polite.  We make sure to mind our manners as well!

It went quick!  I managed food very well and finished 46 miles feeling great. K learned he needed to eat more and bonked a bit towards the end.  Hey a good lesson to learn when the weather is good and the course is flat!  We grabbed lunch at a local cafe and then went off to blueberry pick.

And i think we had a PR there too!  we picked almost 9 pounds in 40 minutes.  That does not count the pound i probably ate while picking.  Ooh yes, it's been a REAL summer and i have the blueberries to prove it.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Mixing it up

I'll admit it.  The last thing I like to do during the summer is come home and do any strength training.  It's hot out, I've walked up the hill from the bus and i'm sweaty. I need to set hoses to water or cook or go run track!  The last thing i like doing is doing strength training workouts and when i do them, i slack off in the summer.  There are too many other things to do.

I need that strength training though so what to do? Hey!  A new Barre3 studio opened up close to me.  What is a barre workout?  There are various types (barre method, barre3, lotte berk method) and all seem to use a ballet barre, isometric holds and light weights to strengthen.  It's hard to describe.  I was pretty happy that the class i tried didn't really have a cardio component.  I've got that already!  This doesn't mean i wasn't breathing hard or sweating though.  No, my legs were shaking and my arms were burning with effort.  One of my van mates at Ragnar said that she has found that the barre workouts do the best for her to keep knee and hip injuries at bay.  And judging by the one class which targeted glutes until they were screaming for mercy, i'd agree!  It was fun and I'd do it again. 

It's been great weather this summer and it's been fun to get out on my bike with K.  I'd run many times in Discovery Park but had never biked there.  After a nice walk through the locks on our bikes, we found some huge hill to go up by accident.  That left my legs quivery!  I resisted the granny gear but just barely made it up.  This also gave me a chance to try a new type of fueling on the ride.  The Feed Zone Portables comes from testing on the Tour de France and other major bike events.  Turns out that if you feel rider of long multi-stage bike rides crappy junk, they feel pretty crappy and soon don't want to eat that stuff.  You don't eat when biking?  Bad things happen!  So they set about finding easily cooked, easily digestible ingredients that taste good.

Coconut rice bar with blueberries & chocolate
I tried a blueberry chocolate rice bar made out of cooked rice flavored with coconut milk, sugar and salt and mixed with fresh blueberries and chocolate.  it was super tasty, easy to eat and make. I had one when riding and had one a couple times as a snack at work. It is mild tasting for a snack at work and tastes much better when out on the bike. Freezing it did change the texture and consistency.  Freezing caused it to fall apart easily which makes it a bit harder to eat on the bike and taste was a bit less fresh but still perfectly acceptable.  I cannot wait to try a savory recipe.  I cannot wait to try these on long trail runs too.