Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wettest March on record

Wildside Trail
And how did I celebrate this? I went and ran 8 miles on trails for the first time since early january and that freaking fall on cement.  I was nervous about this run but so looking forward to a return to trails. Everything is feeling good but trail running adds in a couple different layers to just running. 

You tend to have a lot more side to side motion when trail running on technical, rocky or muddy trails. This is a great thing for my hips and upper body. The extra movement almost feels like a good stretch for me and I know my hips/tight hamstrings will feel better from this. There are more hills than a regular road run and of a different variety. The trail tends to have sections which go up and down over a very short sections and not to mention longer climbs. Considering that I typically only feel the knee now when walking up hills, I figured this was a good reason to make sure i was running with proper form (albeit very slowly). 
The best news is that the knee felt good. I am pretty sure i am favoring that leg a bit as I am a bit distrustful of it but I've maintained good strength while biking so I'm sure it is just a matter of getting back out there.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Bike Minded

The new, free gym has opened up at work and I tried a lunch time run. With all the construction around along the Seattle waterfront, it did make it interesting. The path has been redone and I think it is a bit wider. It will never be wide enough to keep the stray and clueless tourists who have no idea that is a commuting corridor from getting in the way but I was happy to see the improvements.  There were lots more runners out there than I have ever seen on a lunch time run but then it wasn't icy or snowy which is my usual reason for running at lunch time. The showers were fantastic! I hope to utilize this option more often. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Foot bone's connected to the...

Take care of those feet. It's all connected. As an athlete, those connections matter and when something isn't properly, just wait as something else will compensate. Then ouch!   

Thursday, March 27, 2014

How's the Knee?

I've been getting this question a lot lately as I'm running around at work.  And the answer is "pretty good!" Oh i still notice it although most of the time I do not.  I happened to mention to someone that I could run again but was feeling pretty limited. "How limited?" Oh I only run a few times a week right now but I can do 8-10 miles with no problem.  This elicited the usual shock of "you run 8 miles before work?"  Haha!  Oh yeah, i forgot that's not normal. I was happy to add in an easy workout with some lunges. The knee held up!

Wait 5 Minutes

I beat the rain for my morning run. It was a balmy 52 degrees though and I was hot! Spring weather rolled in for the afternoon. Sun, rain, wind, hail and wait for it rainbow.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Blerch

You know The Oatmeal, right? And specifically, you've read The most terrible and wonderful reasons why i run long distances, right? Matt Inman who writes and draws and codes The Oatmeal is a trail runner. He wanted to organize a trail race. He's a friend of a friend so i was hearing about this process while, HA, out running trails.  And he did it.  He organized a race. Yes, it's on trails (but not technically by my standards) and did include a marathon which i believe was one of his goals.  He also is including cake, nutella and purple drink.  Read the comic! I completely and totally understand the sense of peace and relaxation with JUST running.

Ok, this race is on a trail (flat and graveled) i really hate. BUT. It's at a good time of year for me and sounds like it will be really, really, REALLY fun. At 8:59 I refreshed my browser to register for the race. Nope. It was not yet 9:00 AM when registration would open and i got the wait screen. I hit the refresh button again and launched into crabby, slow, grinding browser angst. Seriously trying to get into this race was WAY more stressful than any race I have run. The race sold out in about 30 minutes. In 29 minutes, i had finished registration.


(Day 220)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cross Training

And I really want to maintain the strength training even while I up running miles (and thus have less time for other activities.) And how do you count scrubbing down the deck? Try this for cross training! Great upper body work plus hip and lower leg stabilizer workout. I count any strength training workouts in my overall training time.  I guess I could add this! I didn't really. Scrubbing off the deck is sure sign of spring. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014


This was it. 10 miles. Knee felt just fine. I was back to marking a group run course but had convinced a friend to join me on course for chatty company.  And what a run course! The cherry blossoms are in full bloom on the University of Washington Campus Quad and I have never been there. Glorious day with wonderful company and it felt great.  I'm a runner again. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Two weeks and what a difference! We are getting days like this now and the light is definitely spring like with that crisp breeze.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Idiot Drivers

This is a PSA for runners or other pedestrians. When you see a car whose driver hasn't seemed to have scraped ANY ice off of any window, expect them not to see you in the crosswalk even if you and your running partner are wearing bright orange, reflective vests and are waving a flashlight at them.  We were nearly hit by a car on the am run. Idiot!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Change of seasons

Citrus is still going but diminishing. Strawberries not quite strong yet. All of a sudden mangoes (my favorite ones Champagne or Ataulfo) are in stores. Yum! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Carl would approve

K testing out the new push up swivel bars I got. Push ups are a great and easy exercise but they do bother my wrists. So. Neil dGT seems doubtful. 

Monday, March 17, 2014


A super rainy and cloudy day. It's practice for Ireland and we are deep into Ireland vacation planning. Perfect for a long bike ride too. Inside.  Meanwhile we are researching. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Good Ol' Green Lake

A long run! I was ready to try 8 (glorious!) miles and it was fantastic to be running around the same ol', same ol' which when deep in training for something gets boring very quickly. Not today. It was not raining, the temps were pleasant and there was a lot of activity going on around the lake.  And as a bonus, the knee felt pretty good during the run and after. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Up the Hill

Walking up the hill can still trigger a bit of knee pain unfortunately. And I've been doing more of that this week because of a change at work.  However I have discovered that if I walk like I am running which is walking on tiptoe pushing off contracting glutes, there is no knee pain. Hunh. That's interesting. 

Friday, March 14, 2014


Bike tire grabbing grate. these are the old ones. I like the little fishy!  Flow. Excellent barre class this morning. After deep concentration and finding that work, before i knew it, the hour was up and then i had trouble pulling up my pants. My arms and abs were so worked from class that they were shaky.  Haha! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Relay ready

Here was the find: LED orange flashing shoelaces!
I tested them out on the run this morning. I didn't actually bother lacing them through my shoes but just made a nest through my shoelaces. They are relatively lightweight and very easy to use and I found decent price online for most of the team.  I am pretty sure other runners and walkers out were more friendly seeing me coming towards them with these flashing away.  Fun!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring Hope

I'm feeling pretty good about the restart with running. I had a massage yesterday which was the first one I'd had in years. Really, i hadn't felt that i needed one. What changed? Dealing with the knee injury caused serious mobility issues for weeks. At first I couldn't really bend the knee and thus could not take calf, hamstring and butt muscles through the full range of motion. That immobilization plus maybe just the jarring from falling felt like something was just very off in my upper hamstring area.  I think I'd been having some very mild tightness before I fell but it was quite a shock to go out running at first and realize i could barely extend my leg properly. A good massage therapist can restore range of motion and this one was able to check some hip alignment issues.  Yay! There is hope. 

And it's been sunny and almost 60 degrees. I got out into the garden to weed and turn over the soil a bit. And it's time to sow some cool weather crops.  I've not had a lot of success with spinach. it seems to bolt as soon as it gets even a little bit warmer here but that's all right. it's fun and easy to grow the baby spinach. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I'd seen a recipe that I wanted to try. What drew me to it? It's gluten and dairy free, super easy and with a really nice nutty flavor.  No, I don't need to eat gluten and dairy free but I appreciate the option to eat a wide variety of foods and eating a wide variety of foods seems to be a healthier way of eating in general.  I had this as a light lunch but I could see it as an accompaniment to a soup or chile or even a pizza type thing with added toppings.  The flour has more protein than a typical wheat or whole wheat flour so that is something too (6 grams of protein per 1/4 cup versus 3-4 grams of protein for all-purpose or whole wheat flour).

Try it!

Super easy.

Preheat oven to 450F degrees. For a single serving mix 1/2 cup garbanzo bean or chickpea flour with 1/2 cup lukewarm water and about a tablespoon of olive oil.  Let this sit up to 12 hours. No really.  Or you can use it after 15 minutes once the oven has finished heating. Put a 6" cast iron pan into the oven a couple minutes before you are ready to bake.  I happen to have a 6" cast iron skillet and use it practically daily plus i just wanted one serving of the socca. If you are cooking for more, double the recipe and use a larger pan. I'd think a cast iron pan would work the best.  I've seen some recipes refer to using a non-stick tart pan. I wonder if a le crueset pan which can go from stove to oven with a lot of oil would work too. The bigger the pan, the more pancake/crepe like this will be.

Take pan out carefully, and add another tablespoon or two of olive oil. Swirl around pan. Oil should be ripply hot.  Pour batter into pan and put back into oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes. The edges should be pulled away and look crisp. The center should look dry and set.  If you want to brown it a bit, stick under a broiler for a minute or two but it's not really necessary. I sauteed some garden kale with garlic and balsamic vinegar and had this on top of the finished socca.  Delicious!

Other options and references:

The thought of fresh arugula and some fresh Parmesan cheese sounds tasty on this. Any roasted veggies would be good.  Hmm. So many possibilities!

with cumin and more of a pancake:

rosemary and onions:

where i first saw the recipe:

Day 205

Monday, March 10, 2014


Bwah hahaha!  It's one of the latest NEW set of stairs in Seattle and if you look south from these stairs, there is a good view. And I could actually run up them and I'll be trying to run tomorrow to which will be the first consecutive run.  Finally the last fencing is down at the new Maple Leaf Reservoir Park and these stairs are now accessible.  It was impressive to see the Rain Pond on the east side at work. Rain Pond is how the feature is labeled on the plans and I'm guessing it acts as a flood control/retention pond in times of heavy rain. Did I mention that we've had a lot of rain lately? Well this pond is now filled up and is very pretty in action. 
Rain Pond

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Green Running Monster

Along Burke-Gilman trail on UW Campus. Runners spotted!
I can now look at other runners withOUT deep pangs of jealousy.  So i volunteered to help out run a group run. It's fun and I'd do it even when no injured depending on what my workout/life schedule is like. It's so funny to send people off all bright eyed and chirpy and with this group, I meet them along the running course to check in, provide water and a ride if people are running shorter distances. You see them all huffy and sweaty and still bright eyed and chirpy. It was a nice day to be out. I'd hoped to bike outside afterward but the rain moved in almost immediately after runners finished.  Good for them and poor timing for me.  I went home to ride long (2 hours) on the trainer and had a really nice ride. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Orange Cable Knit Arm Warmers. I have not blocked them yet. My laptop is in there for scale. They are ORANGE! I can't wait to try them. I have not blocked them yet nor written up knitting instructions but that is next. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

The tell tale sign

I woke up with one foot feeling tight at my heel.  uh oh. If you've never had plantar fasciitis, this is the classic sign. Danger! Danger! This required immediate attention because having a flare up of PF can be debilitating for both running and for general comfort at work where I am on my feet a lot during the work day.  I dealt with PF for about a year a number years ago. Oddly enough the PF was caused by not running. What worked for me?

the massage spot for my foot (where thumb is)
Stretching feet by kneeling with feet tucked under me.
Heating the area and then massaging areas on foot using both thumb and elbow.
Rolling out with a tennis ball.
Using the stick to loosen tight calves especially the deeper calf muscle (soleus). A deep squat can also help loosen calves and I can actually do that now with the problem knee. 

I noticed tight calves immediately after I started the return to running.  Yes, i've been running without the orthotic which supports my very high arches in my running shoes. Some of that is definitely causing tighter calf muscles but some of it is just a return to running after the no running period.  No Plantar Fasciitis allowed!  (Day 201)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

An easy meal/appetizer

I had fun this evening seeing some running/life buddies for a fun potluck. This was great since I hadn't seen anyone in a while because of stupid knee! What to bring that I will like as a meal, works with lots of food sensitivities and is tasty?  Frankly, all the quinoa dishes are not my favorite. I can't handle the cheese that shows up in a lot of pot luck dishes plus i do actually want some veggies.  This recipe is a nice one and surely spring seasonal. 

Roasted Potatoes with Leeks and Asparagus
This can be served warm or cold. Very easy to do ahead although the asparagus doesn't look quite so pretty if not fresh out of the oven.  I have rosemary in the garden easily accessible. If you don't have that, other spices could work.

·         2-4 TBS olive oil, divided
·         1 pound baby potatoes, cleaned and quartered
·         2 teaspoons chopped rosemary (fresh)
·         1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
·         ¼ + ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
·         1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds
·         1 leek (white and light green only), cleaned, halved and cut into ¼” pieces
·         1½ tablespoons chopped garlic
·         1½ cups cooked white beans (or 1 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained)
·         1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 425F. Have two baking sheets ready. I use the silicon mats on them but if you don't have those, cover with foil with some spray oil or line with parchment paper to ease clean up.
Combine chopped potatoes, chopped rosemary, 1 Tsp of kosher salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1TBS of olive oil in large bowl. Evenly distribute onto one of the readied baking sheets and put into oven. Set timer for 30 minutes.

Then while the potatoes are baking, trim and chop asparagus. Put in same bowl you used before with chopped leek, minced garlic and 1/2 tsp of kosher salt, 1/8 tsp of black pepper and 1 TBS of olive oil. Stir to coat and spread onto other baking sheet and place in oven. Take out baking sheet with potatoes and give them a stir and put back.  You may want to switch and reverse the sheets about halfway through baking depending on how evenly your oven bakes.  The potatoes will take 30 -35 minutes and should have some brown (roasted) spots. After 20-25 minutes, the asparagus should be tender and leeks should have some caramel coloring.  You will need to check starting after 20 minutes. If using the very skinny asparagus, they might cook too quickly I'd think.

Bring trays out once done to your satisfaction and let cool a bit.  Dump both into a big bowl and add white wine vinegar and stir well with the white beans.  You may want to add more vinegar and more olive oil here depending on taste.  Serve immediately or serve chilled.  Leftovers work well for a lunch. 

Taken from:

Have we talked about wet?

This is a sculpture I've always called Dinosaur Bones that is across the street from the library in Downtown Seattle (Vertebrae - 1968 by Henry Moore). It's not really a fountain but every time i go by it lately, it's got standing water. Oh the rain. Dreary doesn't even begin to cover it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

An opportunity.

The last time i was off running for an extended period of time, I was recovering from a stress fracture. I used the time when I came back to running to change from a stability shoe with a custom hard orthotic to a neutral shoe with an over the counter soft orthotic. over the past year, I've been realizing that i would like to run in a lighter shoe and possibly ditch my chosen over the counter orthotic.

Why? Less shoe has felt better. Sometimes the orthotic is too much even with a neutral shoe. The orthotic often can change the fit of a shoe and not in a good way.  And, my chosen over the counter orthotic which has been the same for the past five years is now changing. I do not like the change. So I will either need to find something else or ditch it. I am choosing to try ditching it.

It means relearning which shoes will work and scrambling about to find the shoe insert which came with the actual shoe. 

Monday, March 3, 2014


And lots of it. Long ride on the trainer was just fine with me. The only time i went outside was to take out the recycling.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Chat noir

Is keeping an eye on those birds. I ran 3.5 miles this morning before the rain started and it felt like a real run. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014


A welcome bright, sunshiny day. View from 9th floor of Library looking south to Smith Tower.