Saturday, January 30, 2010

dashing through the snow

[minus the dashing.] today's long run was scratched due to yet another snow dump. it was 18*/feels like 4* and while i've ran in colder temps before, it seemed worse today. the constant wind/snow pelting me in the face did not help. the roads were also not yet plowed, so at times i was trudging through drifts of snow about a foot deep. my feet were soaked in the first mile from sinking into the snow, lovely. although i had some oatmeal pre-run, i felt out-of-sorts near the end of the run. i kinda couldn't focus/see straight and felt weak, hard to describe, but i think it was mostly from the cold. anyway, i stuck it out for a slow 10.3 miles and am hoping to get in my true long run tomorrow down in s.carolina. i hear they got/are getting some ice though, blech. i need to move to the caribbean.

trying to capture the depth of what i "ran" in.

post-run snow angel

Thursday, January 28, 2010

crack cocaine

we've been here before.

my name is still lindsay, and i am still an m&m-aholic.

this morning i justified stopping at the gas station on the way to work to buy m&m's because "it'd be cheaper than the vending machine" (and i also needed to stop and get breakfast). of course i ended up not getting any breakfast and buying more m&m's than i would have from the machine. i didn't realize until later in the day that the m&m's are actually cheaper from the vending machine, "oops".

two "food" related posts in a row, i know! that's because my running is not going so well this week. my asthma flared up on me while sitting at my desk near the end of the workday and running doesn't go over too well with that so i took (yet another) day off. le sigh. i'm a little concerned that it flared up for no apparent reason. i had an attack in october '08 from an allergic reaction to a pet rabbit, and had otherwise been asthma-free up until about three weeks ago. today was the third flare-up since then. let's get it together lungs.

with another night off from running, i whipped up more fresh veggies and claimed "i'll do some pushups and abs later" (i'm still waiting on "later" to get here, for the record). as i was catching up on my severely backlogged google reader, i kept thinking about how hungry i was how i "needed" some dessert. my mind flashed to the convenient store across the street and it's stock of medium (12.60 oz) sized bags of m&m's. as if i needed to talk myself into that one! i bundled up, walked over and scooped up my fix. i was too busy hurrying home to indulge, i didn't have time to stop and turn any tricks on the corner. hopefully my remaining runs for the week will go smoothly - i need the mileage and i need to burn off all these m&;m's!

they say that the first step in overcoming addiction is admitting you have a problem. i just don't know that i consider this a "problem"?

***disclaimer: i have never tried crack cocaine, any other illegal drug or "turning tricks", nor do i ever plan to. i did have d.a.r.e. in school you know (drug abuse resistance education). m&m's are just similar to drugs, except no one has ever overdosed on them as far as we know.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

all grown up

my michigan friend and i whipped up some yummy, fresh meals over the weekend. aka, i slowly chopped onions while she did everything else. we are all aware of my stellar cooking skills, i mean i've burnt pancakes and used to live off ramen noodles.

inspired by my healthy, organized friend, i decided i probably ought to start being somewhat more grown-up (less lazy) about cooking/eating. on this week's trip to the food store i purchased real food!

i definitely have no idea how to select good vegetables. these looked good enough - colorful, not mushy, no mold. i also have no idea how to prepare fresh veggies. i rinsed them and then, uh, just started cutting.

i threw the eggplant and peppers in a pan with olive oil, and after they ... sauteed? (see, mad cooking skills) i added some chicken broth. then i realized i forgot the spinach so i tossed that in too.


i also had some brown rice cooking and i definitely need to work on my cooking-multi-tasking and timing. the veggies were done a bit before the rice, but it all still turned out tasty. hey, i didn't even have a recipe to follow!

still need to work on my plate presentation
m&m's would also make a great side, in my opinion

c'mon hollywood. i'm totally the next "julie and julia" material.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

dumps like a truck, truck, truck

i was serenaded by a large gentleman and "the thong song" on my easy treadmill run last night. what does it mean to have "dumps like a truck" anyway? thanks, but i think i'll keep my undergarments to myself.

last week's workouts were a little mixed up and i didn't get a "real" long run in again because i went up to detroit to see a friend from college. for some reason i thought it was only a 5 hour drive... nope, definitely more like 7. other than the drive, it was a great weekend. i pigged out on m&m's (really helping me in stuart's weight loss challenge), got a massage and undid the massage with some ice skating.

ok, question. is it not normal to go 9-10 over the speed limit on the interstate? ohio-ians seem to prefer going the speed limit if not maybe 3-4 over. the posted limit, by the way (on i-75), is 65. ahh! 70 mph! apparently ohio's straight, flat roads are too dangerous for that.

anyway. so typically tuesday is threshold day, thursday is speed day, and saturday (or sunday) is long run day. for no particular reason, tuesday became speed day (mile repeats) and thursday became kind of a "gmp" day. i knew i most likely wouldn't get in a long run up in michigan because i always feel guilty going off running for hours when i am visiting people i don't see often, so i did a shorter-long run wednesday (12 miles, 8:43 avg pace). it was no fun eating a late dinner afterward!

thanks for all the input, advice and suggestions for my mile's/800's. since i know i can maintain the pace for a mile, it does seem like i need to attack the 800's a little more. hopefully i can shorten those even by just a few seconds. i will also try to decrease my recovery period the next time i do mile repeats. i think it was taking me a little over 4 minutes to do the half-mile recovery; i'll have to remember to watch my hr and see how long it takes to "recover" between intervals.

week in review (1/18 - 1/24):
total miles: 38.80 (avg temp 35* f)
time spent running: ~ 6 hours 30 minutes
avg hr: 159.60
avg pace: 8:51/mile
off days: 2

please, feel free to enlighten me on what "dumps like a truck" are. or do i really want to know?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

mile repeats: we meet again

the last time i did mile repeats was december 2008. yeah, i wasn't quite down with speed in 2009 (but somehow i still managed to get a few pr's - presumably from a bigger, stronger base). however, the last workout in '08 went really well and sent me off to the goofy challenge with confidence. i figured since i haven't been confident about setting goal paces lately, i should probably quick slacking off and start doing speed work again.

after work on tuesday, i managed to not talk myself out of a speed day and got in 3x1mile with a 1/2-mile recovery (my general rule of thumb for speed work is to recover for half the distance of the interval). it was tough, but i survived. after a two mile warm-up i shifted gears and picked up the pace. the first mile went alright and i could still breathe when i finished. a half-mile never goes by so fast as when you have another interval looming. the second mile, definitely tougher. as i "recovered" over the next half-mile i reminded myself that i only had one more interval to do, and since it was the last it wouldn't hurt as bad as the previous. the third repeat wasn't as deathly as the second, but it wasn't a breeze either.

speedwork is the devil, but it feels so good to finish a tough workout. i may or may not have rewarded myself with some m&m's for breakfast wednesday.

tuesday (1/19) pm run: 8.5 miles w/ 3xmile (6:31, 6;33, 6:31), avg hr (174)

oh yeah, i think i pulled the 6:30 goal pace out of the air. mid-interval i realized that's the same goal pace i have for my 800s (3:15)... for twice the distance. at least this should make doing 800s less intimidating? ol' jack daniels has me down for 3:15 800s but doesn't include mile repeats. mcmillan says 3:07-3:15 (800s) and 6:31-6:45 (mile). should i slow down my mile repeats? should i speed up my 800's? both? neither? is it even a big deal since i seem to be falling within range?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

straight to the point

not feeling wordy, so here's a quick look on last week:
  • great threshold run on tuesday - 4mi at 7:04 average.
  • watched all of lost - season 5 in three days.
  • had random emo breakdown thursday, got some m&m's instead of running (skipped 800's workout)
  • broke the storm door to my (ky) apartment by walking into it. apparently i didn't see it there. enjoyed being "just a renter" and not having to fix it. :)
  • drove home eating more m&m's friday, no running again.
  • finally took down christmas decor at (sc) home.
  • wished many times i could make plans further out in the future than 5 days.
  • finally let my mom take me wedding dress shopping. no, we didn't buy anything; i didn't even try any on. most likely going to have one custom made. thankfully mom is ok with my random ideas/wants. she vetoed the plunging-neckline-all-the-way-to-navel style we saw at one store though. darn it!
  • no real long run, sadly - 9.1 on saturday and 10.25 on sunday.
  • two days off during the week + slacking on the weekend long run = short on miles for the week. :-/
  • but, my avg pace was 11 secs/mile faster if that counts for anything.
week in review (1/11 - 1/17):
total miles: 36.85 (avg temp 44* f)
time spent running: ~ 5 hours 18 minutes
avg hr: 163.80
avg pace: 8:34/mile
off days: 2

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

product review: audiofuel - move to the beat

back in december i was contacted by audiofuel in regards to sampling some of their running mixes. i let them know that i honestly don't run with music most of the time, but that i'd take the tunes out for a spin when i got a chance. i've never been big on running with music, but occasionally i need a little extra boost on those exciting treadmill runs.

thanks to daylight savings and the recent (ridiculously) cold temps, i've spent a little extra time on the treadmill lately. lucky for audiofuel, that meant more time to see what their beats are all about.

audiofuel is based in the uk, and essentially compiles tracks specifically for running. the music is designed to match your stride and push your pace. the claim is that other music has too slow of a beat for running. i can boogey down to my share of upbeat, new hits out there on the radio, but there is also something about this (audiofuel) running music. while a new jay-z song does pump me up, you can't exactly run to the beat of your favorite hip-hop songs. (c'mon, you've never tried to match your stride to the beat of a song? i know it never works out for me.) while the audiofuel tracks didn't allow me to practice my rap skillz, their beats jived with my leg turnover effortlessly. the less likelihood of tripping up on the treadmill the better.

audiofuel tracks are categorized into one of three intensities: blue for walking/jogging, green for average/easy pace, and red for those fast, intense runs. available in each of these intensities are compilation tracks (with or without coaching voiceover), long run tracks designed to prepare you mentally and physically for a marathon, and individual tracks ranging in length from 3-to-7 minutes that can be made into your personalized playlist.

i was sent three compilation-style tracks - excelerator dj mix (red), adrenaline junky dj mix (red), and rollercoaster dj mix (green). i haven't yet sampled the rollercoaster dj mix, but i enjoyed both the excelerator and adrenaline mixes.

excelerator dj mix – very soundtrack-y. i felt like hollywood was filming a video montage of my training. i find this song good for steady-state runs; the music doesn’t stop for an hour and your brain can zone in and out, leaving you plenty of time to imagine your upcoming feature film.

adrenaline junkie dj mix – great for speedy runs. this track had the coaching voiceover – which provides information like the beats per minute (bpm), how long the section is and when you should really push it. it also gives common tips we can all be reminded of mid-run like “focus on your breathing” and “keep your shoulders relaxed”. it would be great for a fartlek run because you could use the different paced pieces of music to divide up the easy/hard minutes of running. i think it may also work for an interval workout. as with the excelerator, the music never stops but the coach’s voice breaks up the pieces whenever the pace changes.

audiofuel surprised me with this new "running music". i always thought i needed some upbeat hip-hoppyness to get me going. it's nothing i would car-dance to, but it can hold it's own out on the roads (or treadmill).

to shop audiofuel go here. prices are in euro's, but upon checkout you can pay via paypal or credit card. for a free audiofuel sample go here!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


i'm feeling a little homesick tonight. that, or maybe i'm just a little down because i have dirty dishes in the sink and work in the morning. either way, i do miss home/being closer to josh. schmoopy, i know.

last friday (/new year's day) i found out i won an entry to today's los angeles 13.1 from stuart. i am all about random trips and was so going to buy last minute plane tickets for the race, but waited to get the info from the race organizers. it took them a few days and by then i kinda just wanted to chill out for the weekend. i traveled last weekend, i'm traveling the next three weekends... however, i didn't want the entry to go to waste so i asked glenn (being a local) if he knew anyone who wanted to run. long story short, i got connected with penny who was able to run in my place. (then found out penny had passed on a race entry to aron that she couldn't use!) small, wonderful, running world :o) (thanks stuart, for the win, i'm sorry i wasn't able to take advantage of it!)

i had a decent week in running, re-cresting 40mpw after a few slack weeks over the holidays (14mi, 32mi, and 19mi, sad "efforts"). i was toying with the idea of running everyday in 2010, with one day a week being a max of 2-3 miles super easy, but ultimately decided it probably wasn't the best idea for me and my work/life schedule.

tuesday's threshold run went ok - it was tough and i felt pretty out of shape, probably detoxing from all the sugar ingested over christmas. 2-mile warm up, 4-miles at a 7:09 average pace, 1-mile easy to cool-down.

thursday's speedwork (4x800) didn't go over well at all. in the first interval my lungs tightened up big time and i could barely breathe. i struggled to finish out the interval and stopped to try and catch my breath/settle my lungs/airways. i've been wheezy on and off but i haven't had this bad of asthma while running in a long time. i ran easy for a little bit, but when i was still straining to breathe after the recovery period and what would've been the 2nd interval, i decided to can the workout. 1x800 @ 3:14, 3.6 miles total for the day.

saturday's long run more than made up for thursday's crapfest. for one, i ran with people! it was about 12* (real temp) when we started and 16* when we finished with snow flurries almost the whole time. initially i was only going to do 12 miles as i haven't exactly been little miss long run since, um october, but two other folks were doing 16. i was slowly "one more mile-d" until i ended up doing 16 too. the good thing is i never felt tired, although the slower pace may have helped with that. with the snowy roads and the fact that i'm not in long-run shape, i didn't care what the pace was so i just ran what they ran. i also knocked on a random house's door and asked to use the bathroom because there was no way i was going to drop trou out on an open road, in the snow, in like 14 degrees.

week in review (1/4 - 1/10):
total miles: 41.55 (avg temp 13* f)
time spent running: ~ 6 hours 7 minutes
avg hr: 162.25
avg pace: 8:45/mile
off days: 1

Friday, January 8, 2010

sinking to new lows

today started out around -7* and i walked around the jobsite in 0*, so venturing out for an evening run in 10* was "warm" in comparison.

prior to today the coldest i'd ever run in was 14* back in the winter of '07-'08 (i don't remember what the "feels like" was). kt and i ran in like 12 layers of clothes and wrapped scarves around our faces. after that run we grew wimpy, and i'll admit i tend to hit the treadmill when old man winter comes.

sludging through snowy sidewalks

i ran outside tonight in 10* and snow-sprinkles; a temperature pr! it was very slow-going through the snow and i skated around a few icy street corners but i didn't wipeout once. victory. i'm hoping it's not too ridiculously cold in the morning for my long run so i can avoid the treadmill again - the road i run for my long run is pretty open so a windchill wouldn't be very pleasant. (currently it's predicted to be 17*/feels like 7* with possible snow flurries).

friday (1/8) pm run: 5 miles, 47:35 (avg pace 9:31, slow in the snow), 10*

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

taking on 2010

yes, i know i'm practically a week late but i was busy enjoying my two week break from work over christmas/new year's and wasn't in the mood to spend time on the computer. anyway, i need to get these out there and start crossing things off!

running/fitness goals
  1. run 3 marathons, for real this time. i really need to knock off some non-east coast states!
  2. pr in at least 3 distances again. some stretch goals - marathon sub-3:20, half sub-1:30, 5k sub-20... we'll see.
  3. do 5,000 abs and 120 minutes of planks. i figured if i dangle some numbers in front of me i'll be better at doing abs this year. :) surely i can stick to this, it's only 50 days of doing 100 abs and 120 days of doing one plank.
  4. lose 15 pounds. trust me, i need to.
  5. beat my '09 miles (2025.10)

non-running goals
  1. get some stamps in my passport. i never got around to jumping the border in '09 :(
  2. figure out how to plan my wedding and be a good maid-of-honor for my best friend's wedding. (aron i probably need your expert advice!)
  3. pay off a solid chunk of the mortgage. it'd be super sweet to pay off 20% of what i still owe, but that's a good, intimidating chunk of change. i just want to make a good dent. (i had trouble thinking of a finance-related goal so mortgage it is). talking about a mortgage makes me feel like quite the boring 25-year-old. as i type this out i can't believe i am committing to this - it's a lot of moolah! ...and i just broke off my "g" key. awesome.
  4. continue to spend quality time with friends/family. after spending '09 in hotels/towns with no friends around, the value of these relationships grew exponentially. i need to not-suck at picking up the phone and using it. (sorry friends!)
  5. renovate the master bathroom. this involves a complete gutting, lots of tiling and painting, and a new vanity and toilet.
so there they are, 10 goals for 2010. of course i have no idea what lies ahead in the coming months, which is even more apparent after 2009 completely threw me for a loop with the work assignment. hopefully i will be able to continue striding towards each of these goals no matter what hurdles come my way. here's to a healthy and speedy 2010 for all!

Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 report card

i didn't do an awesome job with my '09 goals, but if i recall correctly i threw a few of them in there halfheartedly (some of the 'other fitness' stuff). without further ado, and because i need to hustle on my 2010 goals, let's recap those goals of 2009:

running: B+
  1. run 3 marathons. fail. i only ran two (florida, new york). when i made this goal i was thinking of running nd, ct, ri, or nj, of which i did none. i'm giving myself partial credit for going 2-for-3.
  2. sub-1:30 half. fail. this was probably a bit lofty of a goal. my previous pr was 1:40 and change (7:37 pace); a 1:30 half is a 6:51 pace... oh sure, no biggie. i was looking for a 1:35-1:38 at disney and surpassed that with a 1:34, so more partial credit on this one.
  3. sub-3:35 full. oooh pass! this was a fairly reasonable goal i think. 3:33 in nyc (i forgot i even made this goal).
  4. pr in at least 3 distances. pass again. technically i pr'd in 5 distances - 5k, 10k, half, full and 4-mile trail (by default).
health/fitness related: F- (i'd grade myself lower if such grades existed)
  1. abs 2-3 times per week. major fail. "no exceptions" i wrote... hah. apparently i found plenty.
  2. lose at least another 5 lbs. fail. pretty sure i gained actually... .
  3. truly avoid eating foods with soy. fail. i tried, but i could've tried harder. (some days i got fed up and ate something i knew i shouldn't). it's also always questionable when eating out unless you order a salad with no dressing and that gets a tad boring. i really need to start taking my allergies seriously because they've blown out of control over the past few months.
  4. yoga once per week. fail. i don't even think i did yoga once per month.
non-running: A
  1. pay off my car loan. pass! paid off 2.5 years early making me debt free except the mortgage. woot.
  2. re-side my house and landscape the front yard. partial credit? got the house resided in december but haven't touched the landscaping (worked out, as the siding guys trampled what little foliage i do have). last year i was concerned about looking like the redneck neighbor, but i don't have to worry about that anymore. my new neighbors (renters) are a nightmare.
  3. spend more quality time with family and friends. spurred from the events of Christmas '08. i'd say mostly pass. since getting a second home in kentucky, i think i see my parents more often then when i lived 30 minutes away from them. it's been tough to see friends but i squeeze in a few visits here and there and try to be more cognizant about actually calling (i'm not a huge phone-talker though).
obviously i need to be a lot more realistic about non-running activities. overall, i certainly don't consider the year to be a fail by any means. my life was not ruined because i didn't get my yoga on every week. i knocked off the 'bigger', more important goals and i'm proud of myself.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

recap of 2009

2009 kind of faded and fizzled for me as it drew on. i'm hoping to plan better and be more dedicated (/less slack in 2010). however, it was still a good year - i ran a lot of miles (though initially aimed for more) and stayed injury free once again. it was my first full year of blogging/getting more ocd about my stats.
2005 - 735.94 (starting march 14th)
2006 - 623.43 (did not log may thru september)
2007 - 1335.95
2008 - 1618.95
2009 - 2025.10
january - 120.85 miles, including two weeks off completely. ran the goofy challenge and did wayyy better than i expected (1:34 half and a 4-hr marathon, i figured i'd be walking the marathon but instead ran pretty decently). the goofy challenge (or races at disney period) are a blast! longest run, 26.2 (disney).

february - 159.58 miles, no racing, no speedwork. pretty boring. longest run, 12.4 miles.

march - 141.66 miles. the beginning of my travels on i-75/dealing with kentucky. come to think of it, the 12-hours of driving every other weekend for 9-months kind of interfered with my running schedule and mojo. hopefully 2010 won't involve so much traveling/being away from home. longest run, 9.3 miles.

april - 173.13 miles. first full month in kentucky/hotel life. logged many miles on the hotel treadmill, got an enormous blister. won a 5k. longest run, 11.3 miles.

may - 147.12 miles. more hoteling, more treadmilling. longest run, 12.5 miles.

june - 200.19 miles. more hoteling. beach vacation. got engaged. longest run, 14 miles.

july -267.60 miles. hey, even more hoteling. still no racing because they were always on weekends when i was in a different state. longest run, 18.25 on the treadmill. yes, i'm insane.

august - 200.92 miles. you guessed it, more hoteling. had my wisdom teeth pulled, took 4 days off for that. started to feel burnt out from the traveling, long work days and probably running too. longest run, 20 miles on the treadmill no less.

september - 224.51 miles, also my birthday month - turned 25, got lower car insurance, entered the more competitive 25-29 age group. ran the va beach rock 'n roll half - wasn't totally thrilled with my time (not a pr) but it was probably pretty solid considering my lack of speed work. oh yeah, still lived in a hotel. longest run, 22.71 with a malfunctioning garmin.

october - 154.52 miles. see, fizzle and fade. won another 5k. i was going to run in the bourbon chase but got 'sick' instead with random nausea that lasted for weeks. longest run, 20 miles.

november - 103.78 miles, totally fading out to blank. ran the nyc marathon for a new pr on the first of the month and otherwise piddled around with dinky mileage for the other 29 days. longest run, 26.2 miles by default.

december - 133.24 miles, a pathetic attempt to salvage my mileage. i struggled with allergies and insomnia for almost half of the month, so there were many unplanned days of rest. i was able to convince myself that coasting to the end of '09 wouldn't be so bad and to just take it easy and enjoy the extra downtime. instead of taking advantage the two weeks off from work at Christmas/new year's i mearly piddled around with a few, short runs. i guess i needed a break mentally too, i'm sure i put too much pressure on myself to log miles. my left achilles/calf was sore for a few days but went away, so i'm assuming it's good to go.

all in all, it was another successful year of running, complete with race pr's, weekly mileage pr's, and a yearly mileage pr. in 2008 i noted that "i also truly enjoyed running everyday", but unfortunately that was not always the case in 2009. i don't think my mileage ever got too crazy high (maxed out at 65ish) for "athletic burnout" but i do think that maybe a little lifestyle burnout occurred (or maybe i just like to blame things on living in a hotel for 9 months and spending 12 hours in the car every other weekend). at least that excuse means there is still hope for my relationship with running.