Sunday, August 09, 2009


Well. After hours of moping around the house, watching Jerry McGuire, etc., and debating whether the embarrassment of wearing the water belt was going to be worthwhile for the ease of carrying water and clif blox, I did make it out. Ultimately, as dumb as I felt with the thing pinching my pudge and looking generally dorky, I'm glad I brought it. My philosophy these days about such things -- pudge-pinching proper running gear, jiggly bits on display, etc.-- is that it's necessary if I'm ever going to be less pudgy than I am today. Also, running with proper gear is really a much more enjoyable experience than trying to trudge through my tough training schedule without the right things.

About an hour before I left, I had a hearty lunch of lots of romaine lettuce, a sunshine burger, salsa, a few crackers, and some hummus that was pretty much frozen because my family's fridge is going crazy because it's mostly empty. (The fam is on vacation and they took most of their food with them.)

It took me forever to get out the door, and as soon as I turned off our street onto the main road I realized I had forgotten the watch part of my heart rate monitor. I thought about going back, but decided it was probably for the best. So I did 8 miles and have no clue how fast I went or what my heart rate was. I think I probably run a little slower without the watch, but I was able to go for longer and didn't get frustrated with the fact that the HRM part has a dying battery and sometimes doesn't work. I just plodded from one mile marker to the next and didn't give too much thought to how long it was taking. I didn't get a parking ticket, so presumably the entire trek including warmup and a short walk between my car and the trail all took less than 2 hours.
I did manage to snap a few photos out on the trail. It was overcast and windy and felt as if it could downpour at any moment, but so far it still hasn't.

One mile down -- I ran from the 4 mi mark to 8 mi and back.
Turnaround point! I hit a second wind not long before this, so I was feeling great.
Heading back -- more uphill parts, bit of a struggle. I walked for about a quarter mile when I hit the 4 1/2 mile mark while I ate a couple of clif blox. I thought these might be too sticky or unpleasant to eat, but they were not bad at all and gave me a pretty good energy boost. I do prefer running nutrition stuff with caffeine, but as long as I can get a little sugar in me while I do a long run I'm fine.
The end! I walked most of the last half-mile because my hip flexors were really feeling strained. I think I could've made it the rest of the way jogging, but I didn't want to push it.

Chafing, yuck! I didn't notice the blood on my shirt until I got to the gas station on the way home. I was totally embarrassed but I really needed to put gas in the car, so I got out and fueled up anyway, doing my best to cross my arms so that the bloodstain wouldn't be obvious. I have oozy, icky chafe marks all along the top of my sports bra, similar to what happened last week. Yeck. Must get some runner's lube before my next longer run, but that won't be until September! (Probably -- I suppose it is possible that I'll do a long one on vacation, but I'm lucky if I exercise at all, really.)

Bloodied but blissful in the kitchen once I got home.
Post-run snackeroo. These mini clif bars are kind of terrific, though they are very mini. I bought a box of them to bring on vacation, along with loads of larabars, trail mix, and other goodies so that I can keep the budget manageable and cope if I end up someplace not vegetarian-friendly.

The bad thing about an afternoon run is that then the day is kind of over. It's now 6 pm and even though I feel great about finishing the run, I haven't actually done any of the other crap on my to-do list. I am going to start packing for my trip tonight, and must finish up some other business. And tomorrow I'm hopefully getting my dress tailored for the wedding I'm attending next weekend! It's a super cute dress so I really hope the tailoring works out because it presently looks a bit too much like a nightgown at the bottom. I think if it were cocktail-length it would work.

Now, I'm off to see if any of my veggies I bought this week are usable -- I have been so frustrated with everything getting frozen!

I want, I want

I've been bidding this week on a replacement transmitter belt for my heart rate monitor, as mine is failing and I don't have the original sales receipt to cash in on the warranty -- who knew these things had excellent warranty coverage and I could get a replacement battery for watch and transmitter for free?! I will definitely pay more attention next time. I also had no idea how much my relatively basic polar HRM was when my parents gave it to me. Duly noted.

But I've also now been dyyyying to buy a Garmin, one of those gadgets that not only tells you your heart rate, calorie burn, and time, but has a GPS and tells you your distance and speed. That would allow me to be the anal retentive, overly numbers-obsessed Virgo that I cannot help but be, while letting me get off the track and other pre-measured distances. When I was in NYC, it was super easy to go down to Central Park and run 4, 5, 6, or 8 miles just by picking which turn to take along the loop. I got so dependent on it that I didn't run once last summer in Boston, because I just had no idea where to start. Now that I know they've got mile markers on the Minuteman Trail, that's a bit of a lifesaver too, since it's accessible by public transit so I could potentially go there even after I've turned in my rental car this week.

Anyway, I'm writing this as I ponder, whiny-ly, whether I will take the opportunity to go out for one last long run before my big trip, or if instead I'll just go get on a hamster wheel at the gym where I can have my water bottle and crappy TV while I eke out an hour or two. I've got another 8-miler on the schedule for today, but last week's run left me chafed in all sorts of odd places, and I've just got this malaise that won't quit this week. I don't want to go on and on about it, but 26 was just not a great year for me. I think age 27 will be a challenging one as well, but I think also a hopeful and optimistic one, settling into the city that will likely be home for me for the rest of my life. How about that! tells me that it's going to be cool and cloudy for the next few hours, so I think maybe I can manage a trip to the trail after all. If I put on my dorky water belt I can even bring the camera along, so we'll see how that works out.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

So maybe this is kind of a running blog

That's not really outside of the spirit in which I started this thing, though I do want to devote more energy to the food things once I start my New Life As a Grownup, Again in a month and a half. But for now I am way more focused on the running/fitness/stress release things than the creative/foodie/domestic stuff of my life.

Anyway, today's item on the training schedule said: speedwork. This is one that I practically always skip, mainly because it is scary. Also it only comes up like once every 4 weeks, so there haven't been that many so far anyway. In any case, I dawdled, I overate at dinner, I whined, and then finally I put on some damn gym clothes and went to the gym, having put it off long enough that it was too dark out to go do my speedy miles on the high school track.

And then I ran the fastest 2.75 miles of my life! It was incredible. About halfway through I got this dopey grin on my face, thinking about how all I had wanted to do was stay home and eat chocolate (yes it is my "special lady time" and I bought my favorite chocolates today), and yet there I was busting out super speedy miles on the treadmill. All told, I did a little over 5 miles, with some slow jogging and walking in between the speed intervals. Hurrah!

Other than that, my day was moderately productive. Went to Sbux, drank some coffee and did some proofing. It is conceivable that I may be able to sign off on this stuff without even having to FTP new pages to the publisher, which would be super rad since the FTP stuff requires me to actually go to New York. Though I do eventually have to get down there and retrieve the shoes and books I forgot there last time. And I want to go to DC this weekend to visit K, who I have really been missing since we're no longer in the same city -- we spent almost every day together over the last 3 years, and many more in the 6 years before that, and now we're a tragic 700ish miles apart. Oy!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Signed up!

I managed, with only a little coaxing, to convince one of my best hometown friends, IC, to sign up with me for the Philadelphia Half Marathon on Nov 22. He and his fiance (who'll be his wife by then) live in the suburbs of Philly and visiting them is always a blast. And he's reportedly been getting fit -- I haven't seen him in a long time, close to 2 years now I think.

Anyway, I am suuuper stoked to be all registered and I already adjusted my training plan accordingly. I am hoping to get in 2-3 shortish runs per week while I'm off on my trip, but we'll see how often I'm able to do laundry and how much beer I'm putting away while I'm there... Last time I took a trip by myself (to Estonia and Sweden) I did tons of walking which I cancelled out and then some with all the beer, cheese, and cake I consumed, and it marked the end of the fittest time in my life.

ALSO! Tomorrow I think my brother and I are making pizza a la Vegan With a Vengeance. We'll see, since today he bailed on it to go do competitive eating with his friends. If you're facebook friends with my sister you can see a photo of the mountain of ice cream and toppings he attempted unsuccessfully to put away.

The food at the wedding the other night . . . well, it was not the most photogenic and I didn't manage to get a picture of my extremely creamy pasta with veggies before I sank my hungry face into it. From what I heard, the veggie option was the best of the lot. I did snap a couple of photos of the very cute cupcakes that were at our tables when we sat down. The couple opted to do a small and gorgeous little cake in white and blue, and then instead of serving it up they gave us each a cupcake that matched the main cake.

Tonight I busted out a couple of quick miles on the treadmill, including a half mile at 9:00 pace (that's really fast for me!) and then went to Zumba. I think every week I go through the same thought process during this class, where at first I am really not feeling it, but by the time we get 15 minutes in I'm having a really good time. It is really funny to watch the suburban moms and grandmas shake and shimmy to the Latin music.

And now I've got lots of loose ends to tie up with my old law journal, my 2 sort-of workplaces, and seeing friends before I jet off to Oregon and Australia. I don't do so great with loads of work and no real timeline, and I'm generally just burnt out on everything, so mostly I sleep and watch TV. And read novels and blogs. And sit around in my jammies until the afternoon. Sometimes I worry that I must be extremely depressed, and maybe I am, but I am really really looking forward to the part where I cuddle koalas and also the part where I have my own apartment and a real job. Let's just fast forward to the good stuff!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Minuteman Trail, Lexington MA

I fiiiiiinally made it out for a run on the Minuteman Trail today, a rails-to-trails path that runs from Cambridge MA thru a few historically significant, idyllic little towns, to suburban Bedford MA. I keep meaning to go out there, but I kind of hate running in new places, where I'm not sure what the hills might be like, or if I'll be able to notice mile markers, how many people, etc. I used to rollerblade on the Minuteman trail occasionally in high school and college, and I think I may have taken my squeaky old crappy bike there once or twice, but this was my first time running there.

It was really pretty great. And hard, and hot, but I'll be back for sure, maybe next time not at noon on a sunny hot day. I busted out 8 miles, the longest I've run since my half marathon a year and a bit ago, and one of only like 3 times in my life that I've run that far.

The splits:
Mile 1: 11 min
Mile 2: 11 min
Mile 3: around 11:10 (mile markers spray-painted on the ground had worn away)
Mile 4: 12:20?
Mile 5: 16 min?
Mile 6: 12:30
Mile 7: 15:15
Mile 8: 11:15

Avg heart rate: 156, Cals burned 1450. (Including warm up and cool down)

So yeah there was some walking, and a lot of whining to myself in my head during that middle part where I got extremely overheated, couldn't get my sugary goo packet open with sweaty hands, and kind of felt like Miles 4/5 were actually more than a mile (covered the same ground, since it was 4 miles out, 4 miles back). I was going just as fast on mile 4, I think, as previously when I was maintaining almost perfectly the same 11 min/mile pace, and then I just kept going and going after 11 mins. But I walked a bunch, managed to get the goo (mocha+caffeine clif shot) open and into my mouth, and dodged many tiny kids on bikes to pick up the pace for the final mile. All in all, glorious. I was covered in dirt and salt at the end.

Tonight I'm attending the wedding of C, one of my oldest and sweetest friends, to her high school sweetheart M who she's been dating off & on for over 11 years. Wowsers. I love weddings, mainly because I'm a huge sappy dork. But this is the year of all my high school friends getting married, and even though it means I'm going to have to find new friends to go out and hit on strangers with, it's all pretty terrific, so hooray for that.

Now, vegging out in front of TV and AC. Wedding food photos later!