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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stats as of 31 January 2010

January 2009
41.3 miles
8 hours, 58 minutes
Avg Pace: 13:04/mile
Walt Disney Half Marathon 2009: 2:47:48 (12:49/mi)

January 2010
75.5 miles -- 34.2 miles longer than in 2009
16 hours, 39 minutes -- 7:41 longer than in 2009
Avg Pace: 13:15/mile -- 11 seconds slower than in 2009 - but not bad for running 34 more miles!!!
Walt Disney World Marathon 2010: 5:52:40 (13:28/mi)

I ran a hell of a lot more miles this month than last year, huh?

And so, with the Walt Disney World Marathon, I crossed into my official off season. Since then, I've been focused some on running, but also a lot on weight training, cross training, abs/core and stretching. This was week 2 of doing Cathe's STS 6 month rotation. It's essentially a repeat of week one, and this week I couldn't add any extra cardio in because I was busy Tuesday night doing my DiveCon Class for scuba. I still got in my three days of weight training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I've also managed to keep up with my goal of doing abs/core three times per week.

Wednesday, I had a physical with my doctor (required for scuba), and I'm curious to see what my cholesterol will come back as. Am I doing ok?

Other than that, things are just kind of going. It's cold, and I'd like it to be summer again. Over the last 30 days, I've lost 2.4 pounds, which is great. So, things are good.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wise Words from Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels

Wise words, that are better answers than ones I've seen from other trainers lately.

Every year statistics are showing that people in America are getting more overweight. What do you see as the reason for this?

Jillian Michaels: Western civilization is based on instant gratification. People are not educated about eating properly. People don't understand about calories, about the nature of carbohydrates, good fats, bad fats. The third aspect is finances. People are constantly saying, "I don't have the money." They go over to McDonald's $1 menu. You have to learn when you go to McDonalds to get the grilled chicken sandwich, get the salad, throw the croutons away and get the dressing on the side. Get frozen vegetables, they are less expensive. Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season with coupons. Source: Hofstra Chronicle

What are some good snack ideas to find in the office vending machine?
Bob Harper: It’s really difficult to find a healthy option in a vending machine because they are filled with high-calorie/high-processed foods. Your best bet is to have your own snacks, but if you have to choose something, go for the baked chips instead of fried, or pretzels would be a good choice. Stay away from regular sodas and go for diet ones if you must have a soda. Nowadays there are protein bars to choose from or Luna Bars. These would be better options than the other snacks in the vending machine. Source:

Do you eat cookies? Ever spend a day when you just hang out on the couch watching TV? Or are you always perfect?

Bob Harper: I love my sweets, but I find a way to manage it. I don’t want to live in a world where I don’t have chocolate. I just had one day this past Saturday where I didn’t work out. I relaxed and it made me all the more inspired to work out on Sunday. When you put deprivation in front of someone they’re going to run in the other direction. You tell me I can’t do something and I’m going to want to do that more than ever. (Source: Arthritis Today)

Are people ever self-conscious around you? Do they feel compelled to explain themselves to you. Like, 'I swear, this is the first chili cheeseburger I’ve eaten all month’?

Jillian Michaels: Sometimes, but they shouldn’t. If anyone understands the aspects of human frailty, it’s me. I struggle with these issues personally to this day. The key is balance. We all have the right to treat ourselves well and allow for a splurge here and there. I reserve 180 calories every day for a package of Newman’s Own Peanut Butter Cups, a natural treat that keeps me less tempted to overindulge. (Source:

If you are all or nothing person, what do you do to change your thinking?

Jillian Michaels: You have to get real with yourself and acknowledge that life is not black or white, but shades of gray. As far as the pendulum swings in one direction, it swings equally as far in the other. The key to success in life and health is balance. A healthy lifestyle that is built to last sits firmly on the middle ground.

Bob Harper: You have to remember that life has its ebbs and flows, and you must learn to roll with the punches sometimes. I find that the best way to live a well-rounded life is to learn to relinquish control because you can find true clarity in the free fall of life. (Source:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sea Things #31: Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Sea Things is a regular feature on my blog where I profile a different sea creature. Look for it weekly, or something close to weekly.

It seems crazy that I've done 30 Sea Things now and have yet to profile a turtle species, since turtles are one of the animals that I desperately wanted to see when I first became scuba certified. I needed to rectify this, so today we're talking about the Hawksbill Sea Turtle, also known as Eretmochelys imbricata.

Hawksbills can be differentiated from their close relation the Green Sea Turtle by their sharply pointed beaks, which is where their name comes from. They use this beak to cut through their food. Primarily, they eat sponges, but will also eat some invertebrates (such as jellyfish). Adults are 2 1/2 to 3 feet long, an can weigh 100 to 150 pounds.

Hawksbill Turtles nest on beaches at night. The females return to the same beach where they were born, and somehow know how to find it. We don't really know how. In many places, turtle nesting areas are highly protected. For example, Point of Sand in Little Cayman (the original place where we wanted to get married!) is a protected turtle nesting site. In the Caribbean, the largest Hawksbill nesting area is the Yucatan Penninsula in Mexico. However, there are issues with the nesting. Lights from resorts and hotels are confusing to the turtles, and often building will occur close enough to the shore that the turtles do not have enough beach to nest.

These turtles have been previously caught for tortoiseshell. Populations have declined by an estimated 80% in the last century. Japan agreed to stop fishing for them in 1993, but Cuba is currently in the process of trying to get the turtles downgraded on the endangered species list in order to hunt them and sell the tortoiseshell to Japan. They migrate really, really far (sometimes participating in marathons!)

Hawksbills, and all Sea Turtles, are such a delight underwater. They're usually alone, and they'll often just glide in near divers and gracefully float past, checking you out at the same time. In Bonaire in 2007, Todd and I just came upon one that was eating in the shallows. As we passed, he up and swam away. A few months later in Little Cayman, a large Hawksbill joined us in a swim through and swam in the line with us, right in front of me and behind the divemaster. In November of 2007, Todd and I had some great alone time with a baby (maybe two pound) sea turtle. He actually played with us and posed for some photos. Todd always loves telling the story of the one that "almost pooped" on me. In fact, we've seen a Hawksbill Turtle on almost every single dive that we've ever done in Little Cayman.

My favorite was in Bonaire in 2009, when we saw a turtle, and we ended up letting the group go and stayed with him for almost the entire dive (about 45 minutes with just me, Todd and the turtle). He was eating.

As long as you don't touch them or disturb them, generally Hawksbills will be fairly tolerant of divers, especially if they're mid-meal or something. They're often curious, and they're graceful and wonderful creatures. The diver hand signal is to make a fist with both hands and stick out your thumbs, put one hand above the other and then wiggle back and forth. Oh, here it is! You'll find that if you make this signal, you will get a lot of attention coming your way. Everyone loves to see a turtle.

Every effort should be made to preserve the Hawksbill Turtle, as their nesting habits and long life spans make their species so incredibly vulnerable. Consider giving to the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, which Todd and I donate to each year.

More info on Hawksbills:

Is there a creature that you would like to see featured in Sea Things? If so, shoot me an email and if I can, I'll write about it. Photos on this post are courtesy of Todd Krebs.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

There is "Nothing" at McDonald's? I disagree.

So, yesterday, I was directed to Dave Soucy's website via Josh Hillis' Twitter Feed. I've never seen "DaveTV" before, but I was interested in this particular post. Dave is a personal trainer, and was asked by one of his clients what would be a good choice to eat at McDonald's if, for some reason, they had to eat there. His answer? Nothing. Some quotes (and I should mention here that I also hate video blogging. You can't skim, you can't search, and you have to sit and wait for the person to talk to you. You have to have headphones or speakers. Text blogging makes a lot more sense). Anyway, quotes:
I had a hard time answering her question of what's better there because honestly, I haven't been a McDonald's in maybe ten years. There's no reason to ever need to go to a McDonald's. If there's a McDonald's, there's something else next to it, ok, that's got better options and real food, as opposed to the crap that's at McDonald's.
Go to a gas station and buy a bag of nuts and an apple, and you're better off than anything that you're going to have at McDonald's.
I have zero tolerance on this... The politically correct thing is to say "oh yes, you can enjoy that. Just go and eat their healthier choices." That's crap. Just don't go to McDonald's. You really have no reason... you should have planned better, and not put yourself in a situation where you're wondering what the healthy food is at McDonald's. Why didn't you bring your food with you? Why didn't you plan to be somewhere better?

I disagree, and I think his response is arrogant and narrow-minded.

First of all, as he stated, he hasn't been to a McDonald's in ten years. Has he looked at a menu? Did he bother to check and see if there were healthy options there? Did he attempt to even answer her question? Not really. He wrote her off and gave her "zero tolerance." I hate that sort of all or nothing attitude that suggests complete failure if you go to a forbidden restaurant or eat a forbidden food. This is the kind of thing that keeps people from eating right. Next thing you know, that person will end up discovering that they're in a situation where a McDonald's is the only option (I'm not stupid, I can figure out reasons why this would be the case), the person will make a bad choice, and suddenly one bad meal turns into one bad day and frustration and disaster will follow.

Second, I disagree that there is "nothing" at McDonald's. And it's not that I think that everything is great at McDonald's, and it's not that I eat there all the time. But to suggest that you cannot choose a single item on the McDonald's menu if you are trying to eat healthy -- that is just stupidity and ignorance. Let's give McDonald's some credit where credit is due. They indeed DO have some healthy things on their menu, and I think they deserve to be given a pat on the back for it. After all, if the market is demanding these healthy things and people are buying it, then they'll make more healthy things and add them to their menu.

McDonald's Healthy Menu Item #1:
Fruit & Walnut Salad. This was reviewed by the Center for the Science in the Public Interest in 2005, and is still on the McDonald's menu today. Since CSPI reviewed it, it's been reduced from full size to snack size, but still has only 210 calories, is low in saturated fat (1.5g) and sodium (60g), and includes 2 grams of fiber, and over 100% of your Vitamin C for the day. If you are out and need a quick snack (in the mall perhaps?), I think this is a pretty great option, and certainly just as tasty as the gas station nuts and apple that Dave suggests.

McDonald's Healthy Menu Item #2:
Side Salad. Dave makes it sound as if you'll just get iceberg lettuce and a piece of shredded carrot. Not so. According to their ingredients list, McDonald's salad mix contains iceberg, romaine, spring mix, carrots and grape tomatoes. And that is what you'll get in the basic side salad -- which is 20 calories, almost no sodium, 1g fiber, 45% of your RDA of Vitamin A and 25% of your RDA of Vitamin C. McDonald's features Newman's Own Dressings, which include a Low Fat Italian or a low fat Balsamic Vinaigrette, with between 40 and 60 calories each. Sounds pretty good to me, and a pretty great alternative to fries.

McDonald's Healthy Menu Item #3:
Other Salads. They offer a Southwest Salad, a Bacon Ranch Salad, and a Caesar Salad. I admit, they're not sinless, since before dressing (I'm assuming that the nutrition info is before dressing is added), they have 800-1000mg of sodium, but so do a lot of things. Beyond that, if you stick to grilled chicken, you're looking at a maximum of 320 calories (for the Southwest, which also includes southwest vegetables -- roasted corn, black beans, tomatoes and peppers, cheddar cheese, cilantro lime glaze, and chili lime tortilla strips). The Southwest Salad is the highest in calories, but contains 6 grams of fiber, 130% RDA of Vitamin A, 50% RDA of Vitamin C, and 15% RDA of Calcium and Iron. That's a great meal if you're pressed for time and have fewer or no other options, and when combined with one of the Newman's own dressings mentioned above, you've got a meal for under 400 calories.

McDonald's Healthy Menu Item #4:
Egg McMuffin. This is the one you'll most likely see me eating. I love my McMuffin's and consider them a pretty good breakfast that will stick with me. I don't ever get hash browns with them, and I will sometimes have them with an orange juice. 300 calories, 2g fiber, 18g protein, 30% RDA of Calcium and 20% RDA of Iron. It does contain 5g of saturated fat, but if you were to order it without cheese, you could likely get that down. I like the cheese, though.

McDonald's Healthy Menu Item #5:
Fruit n' Yogurt Parfait. It's yogurt, berries and strawberries and has been a favorite of mine since it premiered. 160 calories, 2g fat, low in sodium, and gives you a bit of Calcium and Iron. Not only that but it's delicious. It makes a nice breakfast, or a nice dessert that isn't too sinful. Opt for that over an ice cream cone any day.

McDonald's Healthy Menu Item #6:
Vanilla Ice Cream Cone. But, let's talk about their ice cream. 150 calories, 3.5g fat, 10% calcium, not bad for something that would make a nice treat instead of something worse.

And I didn't even go into the sandwiches, mostly because they contain so much sodium. However, the classic McDonald's Hamburger does only have 250 calories, 520g sodium (the least of all of the sandwiches), 2g fiber, and 15% of your Iron for the day. Even two of them, paired with a side salad and balsamic dressing is less than 600 calories, makes you feel a little bit sinful and probably won't make you have a heart attack right away.

To say that McDonald's has "nothing" is dismissive. Dave doesn't see that there are moms out there with little time, there are times when things happen and you just need to have an extra option, and that there are definitely times when it's possible that McDonald's is the only option. I'm sorry, it's true. Dave is out of touch and loses sight of this because his job is to be healthy and to not eat at McDonald's. He misses the point that not everyone is like him, and not everyone can make the perfect selection 100% of the time. Get with the program and have the respect for your clients to at least look up the information before dismissing it. And please, give McDonald's a little bit of credit. They deserve it and should be rewarded for their efforts with sales. And no, I'm not saying that there aren't horrible choices at McDonald's, but there are horrible choices everywhere. Some people eat out. Deal with it.

And a note to Dave's client who asked the question: Don't use a personal trainer who won't understand or take into account your lifestyle. Don't use a personal trainer who thinks it's his way or no other way. Don't use a personal trainer who dismisses your questions. And don't use a personal trainer who doesn't even do any damned research before posting your question on the Internet.

Want more info? Cooking Light published a list of healthy options at various fast food restaurants. CSPI also published an article on fast food back in 2005. It's a little dated, but a lot of it is still available today.

Image Courtesy of McDonald's, Inc.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Recipe: Chinese Chicken and Persimmon Lettuce Wraps

Todd recently requested that I serve him no other meat for dinner except chicken. Thus, I've been getting creative with my chicken recipes. I was intrigued by this one because it included Persimmon, which I don't tend to buy or cook with. Thankfully, Weis had Persimmon, and the meal was delicious. A persimmon tastes a little like a plum. It's a sweet fruit, and quite juicy. And for only 250 calories for 3 of them, very healthy.

I made a rice noodle salad (pictured) with it. The whole thing was featured in a Cooking Light cookbook that I recently purchased. I'll be doing a full review of it later, when I've made some more recipes out of it (I think I'm about 8 recipes in at this point).

Photo courtesy of

Friday, January 22, 2010

Running & Fitness Notes for January 22

So, according to my weight loss chart (courtesy of, I'm doing well. This is so far this year (minus new years and the weekend following new years). After the marathon on January 10, I started with some dramatic losses last week, but then gained when I started weight training on January 18.

Woa, there! A loss on this little chart. Still, according to many, I'm still a slow loser, 1.3 pounds in a month isn't good enough by Biggest Loser standards or even Weight Watchers standards, but I'm in no rush. I tend to lose between half a pound and a pound per week, which is fine for me. With no end goal and no goal weight, it doesn't really matter. I am just kinda sorta using work outs as my goal, and whatever weight loss or fat loss happens in the meantime, I will stick with. I want to get my workouts in and see what changes happen. That being said, if I were to lose 15-20 pounds, I would stop losing because that would be enough.
So, this week, I started my intense winter weight training, where running is the "extra" thing I do, rather than being the focus. I started Cathe's STS 6 1/2 month program on Monday. For more info on the STS system, see my review, and here is more info on Week 1. The difference between this time (the 6 1/2 month program) and last time (the 3 1/2 month program) is that I do week one twice - this week and next week - in order to extend the length of time I'm doing the program. This is nice because I haven't been doing weights at all, and therefore could use a little time to catch back up to where I started with the 3 1/2 month program last year. I admit, I took it a little easy on the upper body this week so that I wouldn't have the horrible soreness that I had when I attempted to do STS in the fall. I mean, I couldn't move for days last time. Since I have to take a swim test for our DiveCon training tomorrow, I didn't want to be too bad off (not to mention that I'm expected to haul around scuba tanks, etc).
So, Monday was Chest, Shoulders & Biceps. That went well, and I was pretty sore the next day. Tuesday, I did my first STS Shock Cardio workout, Hiit 30/30. I'll post a full review of the Hiit DVD once I've done all the workouts, but I can say it was killer. You would think that only a 30 minute workout with only 30 seconds of exercise at a time would be easy. It was not. I was breathing heavy and totally anaerobic on this one. I've heard 40/20 is harder, so I'm actually going to hold off on trying that until I've done some more Shock Cardio and gotten myself in better shape. Tuesday, I also did a segment of Core Max, trying to keep up with my goal of doing core work as well. Then, Tuesday night, I went to the running store and ran 3.5 miles, although slow. It was a double workout day, which meant I got to eat more, which is always good :)
Wednesday was Back & Triceps, which was challenging because I was still sore from Monday. I hope next week I can put more into it. It seems that the billion push ups that Cathe had me do in Disc 1 really worked my triceps, too. Yesterday, I started the morning with some easy stuff - another segment of Core Max for abs, and then a segment of Stretch Max to hopefully work some of the soreness out. Back to the running store last night for another 3.6 miles, at a faster pace than Tuesday.
This morning was legs, which seemed less challenging than the last time I did STS, but still a killer. I also tacked on the abs and stretch section of Cathe's Cardio & Weights, which fulfilled my goal of 3 ab workouts per week. This weekend, I have a long run (6 miles), and then I get to do it all over next week.
I'm proud that I managed to get up early the entire week. It's not as easy as it sounds, but I think the way I feel for the rest of the day is a good reward for the early start. Hopefully, I can keep up this momentum, because in total, it was over 6 hours of working out in 5 days, and that doesn't include my long run. That's a lot, and it's why I need to get up early.
Body Fat Measuring. So, I finally broke down and bought Body Fat Calipers. They arrived last night, and I decided to measure my body fat percentage. The result? 22.7%, which puts me well into the "healthy" range. Strange. I mean, I was sure I was fatter than that. I am in disbelief over this result, have decided that it MUST BE WRONG, and I'm going to get Todd to take the measurement tonight to see if he comes up with something different. We'll see.
Running. As for running, there's nothing new to report. I am in the early stages of training for my next half marathon, but really I'm just kind of running without a goal right now. This weekend is 6 miles and my biggest goal, to be honest, is to keep my running group motivated until May. Many just completed marathons, so I don't want them to drop out. Some just want to run here and there like me, some want to do a spring half marathon, some want to get back in shape after being somewhat lazy, some want to get faster. Whatever you want, guys, just come out to the trail!

More to come.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sea Things #30: Smooth Trunkfish

Sea Things is a regular feature on my blog where I profile a different sea creature. Look for it weekly, or something close to weekly.

For the last few weeks, we've been looking at some new (to me) creatures from the Pacific, specifically Hawaii. Today, we return to the Caribbean to learn about one of my favorite little fishies (I feel like I say that every week, I guess all fishies are my favorite). Lactophrys triqueter is the common name of the Smooth Trunkfish. They're found all over the Caribbean, but we saw them most frequently in Bonaire and Belize. They are part of a larger family of fish, Boxfish, which are (as you might expect) fish shaped like boxes.

Trunkfish eat little mollusks and crustaceans, tunicates, etc. They blast a jet of water out of their cute little mouths in order to dig things up. It's quite adorable.

More adorable, though, is the juvenile (above). While adults get to be as big as 18 inches, you can often find a juvenile Trunkfish as small as a half inch or so long. They are so cute!! They will swim around in small holes or under ledges, waiting to grow bigger.

I don't know of a diver hand signal for an adult Trunkfish, but I have seen some folks make a hand signal like shaking and throwing dice to signify a juvenile. Indeed, they do look like little dice. They aren't generally afraid of divers, and you can get reasonably close to them.

Is there a creature that you would like to see featured in Sea Things? If so, shoot me an email and if I can, I'll write about it. Photos on this post are courtesy of Todd Krebs.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Recipes: Roasted Chicken with Two Lemons and Apple Cobbler

For Sunday dinner tonight, I decided to try Roasted Chicken with Two Lemons from Cheap, Healthy, Good. Super easy and so delicious, I definitely recommend this one. I used a 4 1/2 pound organic roaster (after seeing Food, Inc. a few weeks ago, Todd and I have been trying to eat more organic meats). Todd has had a sensitive stomach lately, so he's requested all chicken this week, with no tomatoes. So, tonight is the roasted chicken (heavenly, heavenly chicken). Tomorrow, one of my favorites, seared chicken with avocado, which is from a Cooking Light Cookbook, and I've made that one so many times I've committed it to memory. I bought a new Cooking Light Cookbook, so I'll have some other new recipes to try later in the week.

So good.

In addition to the chicken, Todd requested that I get a pie from Weis. Not to be outdone, I chose to cook myself, so I made Cooking Light's Apple Cobbler. We haven't cut into it yet, but based on what it looks like, I can tell it will be a winner. The real beauty in all of this is that I'm actually watching my calories right now. I LOVE being able to eat delicious food while monitoring my weight!

Oh, yum. Happy Sunday!

GRR! Where'd my Blogroll go?

Irritating. My blogroll disappeared. I don't know where it went, and I can't remember everything that was on it. So, bear with me as I recreate it. If you can remember things that used to be on it that aren't anymore, let me know here on this post.

I think this happened when I bought the domain. In case you haven't noticed, I bought It's about time, I'm sure. So, now I own a domain! And, my blog is easier to remember.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

So, What's Next?

Running wise, anyway...

So, I completed my marathon. I made my goal, which means that I don't have to try again at the B&A Trail Marathon. I am now officially in my off season! Hooray!!

As far as races go, my next major race is the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon in April. I am pretty excited about that one, as I think it will be a fun race. I'm also signed up to attend the Pasta Party, which features Christopher McDougall, who wrote Born to Run. I missed him when he came to Charm City Run back in the summer (I had a horrible release at work), so I am glad to get to see him this time. Now, I just need to buy the book and read it before then.

Prior to that race, I am going to be doing my "typical" pre-half marathon schedule, and I'm going to add in some speed work (800 meter repeats). I did them in the winter of 2007-2008 and they worked for me, so we will see how it goes this time. I do have another race I'm signed up for, the Shamrock 5K in March. It will be my fourth straight year running that one, and I am hoping some of my running peeps will be there, too.

Besides running, I'm starting Cathe's STS training again on Monday. This time, I've committed to doing the 6 month training program, which will pull me in through July. It's going to require getting up early, so we'll see how that goes. Plus, the first 8 weeks will have me doing lower body weights on Fridays - meaning I'll be sore and tired for my Saturday morning runs. Should I switch to Sundays? Maybe, but we'll see how the first couple of weeks go before I make that decision. Keep your eye on the "STS Progress" bar at the bottom of my blog to see where I am in the program. I am excited, and hope to see better results than last time. Not that my results were bad, but I wasn't as focused on food as I should have been when I did it last year, and I am doing a program that is twice as long this time. I am hoping that I will see a more dramatic change in strength and body composition this time around.

A couple of weeks ago, I received my shipment of Cathe's newest series, STS Shock Cardio. I am excited about them because they are so much shorter than traditional Cathe workouts, and seem to be different than other workouts have been in the past. However, between STS Strength training and running, I don't know how to fit them into my schedule. I think the plan for now will be to try to add one video a week in, on Tuesday mornings (with a group run on Tuesday night). It's super-ambitious, so we'll see if it works. If I can stick to it, it would hopefully mean dramatic weight loss, and some nice cross training.

Another focus that I have is abs/core. This is such a pain for me, and I have so much trouble sticking with it. I'm trying to commit myself this time, if for no other reason than when I was doing abs regularly in 2005/2006, I had better posture.

Goals? Well, I really want to see what happens. I don't have a specific weight loss goal or body measurement goal. In fact, I specifically opted out of our work Biggest Loser contest, which started Friday. Mainly, I just want to stick to the running and weight schedule and see what happens.

Friday, January 15, 2010

10 Things That Make Me Happy

Lacey tagged me to post ten things that make me happy. So, here we go...

  1. Todd. Sure, we have some disagreements here or there, but in general, he's made me happier than anyone else ever has. More than anything, I love coming home and sitting and chatting on the sofa, losing track of time and suddenly it's very late and we didn't even realize it.
  2. The Bug. It's best when he's being good, but I do love my warm, furry brick.
  3. Running. I tried to think of what exactly about running makes me happy, and I had a hard time choosing. Sometimes, I love to race, sometimes I love meeting up with friends to do an easy social run. Sometimes, I like to run alone and answer to no one but myself. It all depends.
  4. Cooking. I love making a good, healthy meal. And occasionally, I like to make unhealthy ones.
  5. Writing. I like blabbing about nothing to the world, which is exactly what I'm doing right now.
  6. Scuba Diving. There is nothing like exploring another part of the world that most people never get to see. I especially love interacting with interesting animals.
  7. Family. Most of the time, my family makes me happy. I mean, it's a good thing that when I leave them, I'm sad.
  8. A clean house. Even though it rarely happens, this one makes me happy when it does.
  9. Sunrises. Sunsets are so common. One thing that's happened since I started running and scuba diving is that I'm awake a lot more regularly to see a sunrise. I love being up to see the start of a new day. Of course, they're better when surrounded by palm trees.
  10. Reading. I don't do it often enough anymore, but I love sitting down with a good book. Someone needs to come up with Netflix for books (they probably have and I just haven't seen it yet).
Who should I tag?
  • Sandra at Strongchemistry (maybe we can force a blog post here, not that I mind that her post that has been out there for months showcases my lovely wedding)
  • Jen at Journey to 26.2 (Still waiting for a post on the Disney Marathon, Jen)
  • Micki at Martinis, Cupcakes & Workouts
  • The Wacky Neighbor
  • Jeanne at Too Blog-Challenged
Photo courtesy of Libraryman

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sea Things #29: Spanish Dancers

Sea Things is a regular feature on my blog where I profile a different sea creature. Look for it weekly, or something close to weekly.

It was on our second night dive in Hawaii that we got a chance to see Spanish Dancers. They were one of the creatures that I was most looking forward to seeing on our trip. Their scientific name is Hexabranchus sanguineus, and they are the largest Nudibranch found in Hawaii, and one of the largest in the world. Indeed, the one above was about the size of my hand. Compare that to the size of the other Nudibranch I've featured on Sea Things (the White-Speckled Nudibranch), and you will see these are fairly big guys.

Often, Spanish Dancers will crawl along the reef, eating sponges & soft corals. It will also swim, and when it does it will unfurl the curled edges that you see in the photo above. These are called parapodia, and with these edges unfurled, it is truly a sight to see (no, we didn't get to see this in Hawaii). This is how the Spanish Dancer gets its name.

Often, Spanish Dancers will have a small shrimp, called the Emperor Shrimp, that live on top. Of the 2 or 3 Spanish Dancers that we saw in Hawaii on this dive, I spotted Emperor Shrimp on at least one. Sadly, Todd was not set up to take photos of them, but hopefully we will get some great pictures of Emperor Shrimp on our next trip to the Pacific (coming up in 2011).

The photo above that looks like a rose is the Spanish Dancer's eggs. While we didn't see any more Spanish Dancers after the second night dive of the trip, we did see its eggs several times. They lay their eggs in a beautiful pattern that really looks like a tissue paper rose attached to the reef. Other Nudibranchs will sometimes eat these eggs, but we didn't spot this happening on our trip.

Spanish Dancers are found in the Pacific, Indo-Pacific, and Red Sea. The "fluffy" part on the front of them are their gills, and they are nocturnal. The dive signal for them is the same as for any Nudibranch - wiggling your index finger. We hope to see more on later trips and get better photographs. They really are beautiful creatures!

Is there a creature that you would like to see featured in Sea Things? If so, shoot me an email and if I can, I'll write about it. Photos on this post are courtesy of Todd Krebs.

Disney Marathon Splits

I don't think anyone will care but me, but here are my splits. Take note that there were a couple places where I missed a mile marker, or hit my button at the wrong time, and so I had to extrapolate those splits based on what I knew happened there and what was going on. For the most part, these are accurate. I added an extra column to compare with what I wanted to do ideally, in order to make 5:49. The last column is the even splits for doing a 5:49, and no, I did NOT have a split sheet with me during the race. The similarities between my target time and my actual time are just coincidence... or maybe me just making my goal.

MileSplit TimeTotal TimeTarget Split TimeNotes
Mile 112:5212:5213:19
Started fast
Mile 213:4526:3726:37
Slowed down
Mile 313:4540:2239:56
Narrow course - had to keep it slow
Mile 413:1553:3753:15
Course opened up
Mile 513:091:06:461:06:33
Highway, easier to keep up a pace
Mile 613:061:19:521:19:52
Some downhill on an overpass. (forgot to hit button on watch)
Mile 713:061:32:581:33:11
More highway. Feeling good.
Mile 813:211:46:191:46:29
Highway past racetrack.
Mile 913:151:59:341:59:48
Through Ticket & Transportation Center
Mile 1013:212:12:552:13:07
Slight hill near Contemporary
Mile 1113:222:26:172:26:25
Through the Magic Kingdom
Mile 1213:402:39:572:39:44
Very narrow part of the course
Mile 1313:022:52:592:53:03
Excited to get to run with Todd
Mile 1413:223:06:213:06:21
First full mile with Todd
Mile 1513:243:19:453:19:40
Boring mileage behind Animal Kingdom
Mile 1613:413:33:263:32:59
Almost into Animal Kingdom, getting tired.
Mile 1712:523:46:183:46:17
In Animal Kingdom.
Mile 1813:163:59:343:59:36
Animal Kingdom Parking Lot
Mile 1913:124:12:464:12:54
Boring Highway miles
Mile 2014:184:27:404:26:13
Potty break
Mile 2113:104:40:144:39:32
Out & back, feeling better after potty
Mile 2213:314:53:454:52:50
Almost to Hollywood Studios
Mile 2313:295:07:145:06:09
Hollywood Studios
Mile 2413:515:21:505:19:28
Around the hotels
Mile 2514:295:35:345:32:46
Heading into Epcot, very tired
Mile 26.216:595:52:335:49:00
Last mile, very tired, finished!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Walt Disney World Marathon 2010

Rachel and Me at the 5K on Friday Morning.

My first two marathons were Marine Corps 2006 and Disney 2007, with 6:23 and 6:24 times respectively. I probably could have done better than 6:23 at Marine Corps, but I plodded along, afraid to leave my friend Kristy and run alone, and stopping for multiple potty breaks that I didn't even need. I expected to do better at Disney, but with temperatures rising above 85 degrees before the end, there was no way. I melted in the heat, and was lucky to have gotten through it only a minute slower than my previous time. It was close to a PR, anyway.

The following season, I ran the exact same race calendar, but failed to keep up the same level of training as the year before. 6:25 at Marine Corps 2007, and then after complete and TOTAL failure to train for 2008's Disney Marathon, a very slow 6:42. What it came down to was that training at that distance was so HARD. I couldn't get used to the longer distance because I was never getting used to the shorter distances, either. I couldn't improve in both speed and endurance at the same time.

And so, the ideas behind running the 2010 Disney Marathon happened at breakfast the day after the 2008 Marathon. I formulated a plan. Stick to half marathons. Become faster and better at that distance, and then run the Disney marathon in 2010. Take a year off. And not only come back and run - but kill my previous times. I had a goal of doing it in under 6 hours.

And so, here we are.

We left Thursday evening from Baltimore. I had known that the one thing that would kill my potential for getting my under my time goal was heat. As it so happened, though, the weather forecast kept getting colder and colder, until it was predicted to be below freezing for the start of the full marathon on Sunday morning. Fine with me, but as the weekend went on, more and more people complained and complained and complained until I was tired of hearing about it. PEOPLE - running in cold won't hurt you. Not that little bit of cold, anyway. Count your blessings, heat is so much worse.

Once we arrived at our hotel (Beach Club), we pretty much relaxed for the evening, and I worked out with Rachel how I was going to meet up with her and Chrissy for the 5K the next morning.

Friday morning, I was up early and ready to run the 5K. I met up with Rachel and Chrissy. Rachel had picked up Todd's number the day before (Todd is injured, hence I was running his race for him). Rachel and I stuck together, running very slow, taking photos, and just generally having a great time. It was a nice race, winding around Epcot and finishing at the same finish line as the half and full marathons.

After the 5K, I went back to the hotel to shower, change and collect Todd. We went off to the Expo and got our packets, and we also bought some stuff. Gotta have stuff. We ran into ErikaW, MichelleA & Misty while we were there. Then, we spent some time in the parks - Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Dinner was at Kona Cafe at the Polynesian, and then we strolled through Epcot to get back to our hotel. Good times. It was cold though, and we had to buy some hot chocolate in Epcot for the walk home.

I maybe did too much walking on Friday, so on Saturday we just relaxed. Saturday was supposed to be a pool day, but since the weather was cold, the pool wasn't open. We went to the movie theatre and saw Avatar (very good, btw). We had dinner at the food court at the Pop Century Resort, and then headed back to the hotel room to get to bed early.

And so... It was race day.

The alarm went off at 3:20am. I was up right away, having slept well for the last 2 nights (thank goodness). I got everything together, and still debated about what exactly to wear. I ended up in capris with a thin long sleeve and singlet on top, and I ended up wearing my Disney Marathon 2007 windbreaker on top of it all. I had throwaway old sweats and sweatpants to wear over top as well. I also had gloves and a Mizuno Breath Thermo headband.

All bundled up in the hotel room before the race (about 3:45am)

We headed down to the bus and arrived at the Runner's area at about 4:15 or 4:30 or so. We met up with Misty, and shivered while we waited for Chrissy, Kristy and Holly. Todd, who wasn't running, eventually headed off to find someplace warm to go. We waited... and waited... and my toes started to hurt from the cold... and we waited... and my fingers started to hurt from the cold. Finally, at 5:30, I insisted to Misty that we couldn't wait any longer and we needed to get to the starting line. We headed down and saw the fireworks for the start before we were even down there. The first wave was gone before we made it to our corral, and then we couldn't figure out how to get in. I finally decided to climb the fence, so that is how we finally got in. Not exactly the non-stressful method of getting to the starting line that I'd envisioned.

And so, we were off. Misty and I separated right away, since I was planning a bit of a faster pace. I ran the first 13 miles alone, and it was just fine. It was cold, though. The water at the water stops had ice floating in it, and the ground was frozen at the water stops from others before us who had spilled water there. It was slippery. My first half was fairly uneventful. I followed the plan, keeping to a 13:15 to 13:30 pace for the entire way. I ran through Epcot, through the Ticket & Transportation Center, and through the Magic Kingdom. The lines for the characters were really long, and because of my time goal, I couldn't stop to get photos. I have plenty of photos with the characters, anyway.

At first, I had to hold myself back to stay slow. Then, after a few miles, I hit a groove and I was easily keeping the pace I wanted. This was working well.

Soon, I met up with Todd. He had been waiting for me at the Polynesian, right around the 13 mile marker. He was running the second half of the race with me. Things continued on well, and I kept up my pace. It was around mile 15 that I was having to push in order to keep the same pace. I was determined to not let the mental aspect get to me, and I pushed through those horrible miles around Animal Kingdom. There was no point in feeling tired or thinking about how my legs were getting sore, I had to keep going.

Usually, I poop out in the parking lot at Animal Kingdom, which is around mile marker 18. It's hard, knowing how long we have to go and how anticlimactic Animal Kingdom had been. But, no, I was determined. It was around 19 or 20 on the highway that I realized that despite my usual lack of need, I had to stop for a potty break. Now, the potty break was what got me at the Marine Corps race in 2006. I didn't want to, but I was feeling more and more miserable and was going to have to stop. Around mile marker 20, I found a block of potties with no line and pulled open the door to find... a guy standing in there peeing. I cussed at him until he left, and then went in myself. It was quick, and I was back on the road fast, feeling much better.

After the potty break, I found it easier to pick the pace back up. We were heading into the out and back that was some of the worst mileage of the course, but it wasn't bad at all. There was music playing, I wasn't burning up hot, it was fine. I made it up the hill and into Hollywood Studios.

I knew I had it. I could walk it in and I would still PR. Another woman, Carla, had met up with us. She was doing 1:1s, but her watch had broken, so she started following our intervals. She stayed with us from mile 21 all the way almost to the 26 mile marker. In the meantime, I was still keeping the pace, through Hollywood Studios and around the hotels to Mile Marker 25. I didn't have any desire to stop at our hotel this time :)

I slowed down somewhat in Epcot, getting in a couple of 14 minute miles, but still. Carla left us, and I was hurting, but I was determined. I had gone 26 miles without skipping a single run or taking a single extra walk break. I was going to make it. And then, there was the finish line. I wasn't as emotional as I'd expected to be, I was just numb and surprised to not have to run anymore. Medal, photos, the works. I had made it. Final time? 5:52:40. Well within my goal.

I was sore, but not too bad. I wanted to stay to see Misty cross the finish line, but I just couldn't. We came out of the runner's area and there was nothing but a parking lot. No where to sit. Just high winds and cold. I couldn't sit on the ground and I didn't know how long I'd have to wait, so I went back to my hotel and ran out the back to mile 25 to see if I could find her. Alas, she'd already passed and the spectators there encouraged me to go back to my hotel room. Ah, shower, sweet shower.

At the Contemporary post-race

Rest, and then dinner later on at The Wave at the Contemporary with fellow Galloway runners Jack, Lynn, Chrissy and Don. Then, back to the hotel for more rest.

Minnie & Me at breakfast
This morning, we were back for breakfast at Cape May Cafe, the same place where I'd made the decision to run this race in the first place.

It's good to make a goal. Now what? Well, it's time to take it easy for the next year. Half marathons, Cathe's STS program. No full marathons for at least two years.

My awesome support and the Duck

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I'm in the midst of packing or whatever. Things have snuck up on me in that I don't feel quite prepared (from a packing/travel/rest perspective, not a training perspective). I haven't been sleeping well these past few nights, partially I think because of the marathon, and partially because of other things. I will be happy when it's over.

The forecast is still for cold, which is great, but has made it more difficult to decide what to wear. Current predicted weather for Sunday is Low of 31, high of 41. Definitely colder than I would have expected, but this is a good thing. I'm certainly trained to run in cold weather.

I'm not sure if I'll get to update again before the race, so keep a watch out and be thinking of me on Sunday morning :)

I will probably twitter or facebook though...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sea Things #28: Dragon Wrasse (Rockmover)

Sea Things is a regular feature on my blog where I profile a different sea creature. Look for it weekly, or something close to weekly.

This is the Dragon Wrasse, also called a Rockmover or Rockmover Wrasse. It has a scientific name, too: Novaculichthys taeniourus. We saw quite a few of them in Hawaii, and they're found in most of the tropical Pacific Ocean, and Indian Ocean.

This is an example of a fish that looks very different as a juvenile than it does as an adult. The above photo is an adult Dragon Wrasse (looking less like a dragon than a rockmover - we'll get to that part in a second). A juvenile Dragon Wrasse looks a little more dragon-like:

Juveniles will kind of float around in sandy areas, eating little crustaceans and getting bigger, ready to turn into adults.

Once they've reached maturity, they look (or act) more like their "Rockmover" name. These guys will hang out in rocky areas or edges of reefs, picking up rocks and dropping them again. I mean big rocks. Rocks that are clearly two or more times their size. Even underwater, you can clearly hear them moving the rocks around if you're near them. They'll poke around under the rocks, look for things to eat, and eat whatever they find. They eat all kinds of little crustaceans - crabs, shrimp, etc. Does it have a shell? No problem, the Rockmover will pick it up and smash it up against a rock to break the shell and get to the delicious little critter inside.

I could sit and watch them for an entire dive, they're that interesting. They get to be about a foot long, and I'm sure there's a diver signal for them, but I failed to truly learn the diver hand signals for a lot of the Pacific fish.

Rockmovers get taken frequently from Hawaii's reefs to be sold to aquarists. I dislike this, and continue to believe that tropical fish belong in the ocean, not in someone's house.

Is there a creature that you would like to see featured in Sea Things? If so, shoot me an email and if I can, I'll write about it. Photos on this post are courtesy of Todd Krebs.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Is It COLD Down There in Florida?

Yes, it is! That cold is the result of 2 years of me praying that it will be unseasonably cold this weekend in Orlando. So far, it looks like I'm going to get my wish! The temperature at start time should be below 40 degrees on Sunday, and the high, as of right now, is only expected to be 52 degrees. PERFECT! Or, actually even a little bit cooler than I would like. Better cold than hot! After all, I've gotten used to running in the bitter cold these past several weeks.

So, with less than a week left before Sunday's Disney Marathon, I'm feeling good. If I can keep from getting sick, and get plenty of rest, and keep hydrated, etc, I think I have a good chance of meeting my goal of 5:59. I do have a more ambitious goal of 5:49, but that is kind of just a pipe dream. Please note that my PR at Disney is 6:24 and my PR at any marathon is 6:23, so even getting a 6:22 will be a Personal Record for me. That being said, if I'd kept up my pace I was keeping during my last two 23 milers on December 12 and November 14 (I was at about the same pace both days) and finished 26.2, I would have had a time of 6:14. Things are looking good.

If you want to do runner tracking and keep track of me while I run the race, go here and enter in an email or telephone number for text messages. Just remember - the race starts at 6:00am on Sunday, so if you sign up to get all updates, you will start getting messages pretty early. I don't want to be blamed for waking you up!

I will try to Twitter and/or Facebook (maybe even during the race), but I make no guarantees.

Gardening from 2009

So, back in May, I talked about the gardening that I'd done and what I had planted around the yard. I continued to work in the yard all summer, and even took pictures with the intent to blog (rest assured, these photos are mine, not Todd's, and that is why they suck). I didn't blog about them until now, and I figured I'd just drop it and not blog about it, but I was encouraged by somebody to go ahead and show it. So, here are some notes and an update on some of my projects from over the summer.

Oh, these poor Petunias. They were doing so well during May and June when we were getting tons and tons of rain. They weren't connected to the drip irrigation that the rest of the containers were, so they started having a rough time when the rain stopped. When we went to the Caymans for our wedding, I moved them so that they were under the deck below some of the other containers that were getting the drip irrigation. The water dripped down to them and the Petunias actually came back to life while we were away. Alas, when they moved back to the front again, they died. The Boxwoods, though, which were purchased to be evergreen and hardy, are still alive now and doing well.

These are Grape Lirope, and they were planted before Todd bought the house in 2005. As far as we know, they've never been divided, so the goal is to divide them in the coming spring. We will see how that goes. As I found out with the Irises that I divided in the fall (you will find out about those in a second), dividing things is harder than I though. Also, note our awesome crab sculpture!

These are Irises... They were also planted before Todd moved in and had never been divided. I hated these Irises. If you can see in the background, the hose is back there, and to water the non-irrigated boxwoods/Petunias, I had to drag the hose over/through the Irises (one of the reasons I didn't water the Petunias and they died). The Irises had gotten so choked and overgrown that they would only bloom a tiny bit each year. I ripped them out and attempted to divide them and just plant a few. I did it in early September, and frankly I think I killed them all. We will know in the spring. I won't be shedding tear for them if they're dead. Maybe I will plant something else in their place, maybe I won't.

The Zinnias around the tree. This is partway through the summer, where the Chrysanthemums are coming up nicely, but the Zinnias didn't fair so well. First, I had trouble with slugs, which almost wiped them out right there, then they just wouldn't grow. At all. Then, they got a fungus and they just died a sad death. It was a disappointment, but I refused to replace them before trying desperately for many weeks to revive them and bring them back to their former glory.

Much happier, later, I replaced the Zinnias with Pansies for the fall/winter. The Mums bloomed and looked awesome, definitely a good look for fall. Once they were blooming and the Zinnias were replaced, I looked at this proudly whenever I drove up to the house. Major success.

We took some trees out on the side of the house, and planted some grasses and Lantana. This all looked great, although I was sad to see that the Purple Fountain Grass is actually an annual in this area. I just might be picking some up anyway next year. The Lantana was beatiful, but grew out of control, even invading the Lilac bushes that I'd planted next to it. I plan to try to get the Lantana to grow in some containers this year, I think it will be pretty. I love the Lantana - it reminds me of Fruity Pebbles.

This plant is a Sedum. I think they're ugly. They were planted before Todd moved in, and in my opinion, they look like weeds. They finally get somewhat pretty toward the end of the season, but in the meantime appear to be weeds all summer long. I'm pulled a bunch of them out and planted some spring bulbs instead. I left some, and I'm going to try to make them attractive by planting Black Eyed Susans and Daisies or something around them, rather than just having this smattering that doesn't make sense at all.

My butterfly garden that I planted in the spring. It looks totally unimpressive with my horrifying excuse for photography, but was actually really awesome and turned out beautifully. It bloomed most of the summer, and did attract not only butterflies, but also hummingbirds and bees.

The Sedums, later in the year, looking slightly more attractive.

I planted many bulbs - daffodils and hyacinths. I am hoping that they'll bloom perfectly, but who knows. I hate that waiting for bulbs. I was thinking of trying to grow some plants from seed this year, but something about that intimidates me. Maybe just herbs. We shall see....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Recipes: New Years Menu 2009

As we have for the past few years, Todd and I spent New Years Eve at home. Usually, we have a Caribbean dinner, but given that we went to Hawaii this year, we decided to have a Hawaiian dinner instead. It was a good time, although I have to admit that some things did go wrong. The good news? Everything was still delicious.

Oven Kalua Pork
Kalua Pig is the traditional roasted Hawaiian pork, and it was my favorite Hawaiian food while we were in Hawaii. It really is delicious. This recipe was good, and I think I could have done it better than I did. I will definitely be trying it again. I first figured I'd put it in the crockpot, but I soon realized (from Google Searches) that 5 hours in the oven is not the equivalent as 5 hours in the crockpot, so about 2 hours in, I transferred it to the oven. It was done enough, temperature-wise, and it tasted good, but I think it would have been more tender if I'd either done it in the crockpot correctly or just had the patience to do it in the oven to begin with.

Recipe: Oven Kalua Pork

Steamed Rice & Macaroni Salad
In Hawaii, you'll find places serving Hawaiian Plate Lunch. This consists of a meat (like Kalua Pig), steamed rice and Macaroni Salad. I went with the Cooking Light Macaroni Salad, which was not as mayonnaissy as others. I left out the cheese and ham since we were having it with pork. It was good, very full of veggies and much lighter than the traditional macaroni salad.

Recipe: Macaroni Salad

Grilled Pineapple
I took a little butter (maybe 2 tablespoons) and a little brown sugar (maybe 2 tablespoons) and a splash of dark rum. Cut the pineapple into rods and put it on the [indoor] grill. Melt the butter and brown sugar in the microwave. Let it boil a little. Add a splash of rum. Mix and brush the mixture on the pineapple as it cooks. Cook a few minutes on each side, until it is soft and sweet. Delicious!

Mai Tais
I read that a Mai Tai isn't really a Mai Tai if it has juice in it. So, I chose not to get pineapple juice to put in our Mai Tai. I went with the recipe listed at DrinkBoy, which was too strong (and just try finding orgeat syrup without doing a google search...). We ended up borrowing some pineapple from the grilled pineapple that we had with dinner in order to add it to the Mai Tai (pureed in the blender first). I give it a firm "eh."

Recipe: The Authentic Trader Vic's Mai Tai

Pineapple-Coconut Gelato

This was another error. Since our freezer is so crowded, we left the freezer bowl for the ice cream maker outside. This was fine and it froze, except we failed to notice that the temperature had risen outside and the ice cream bowl thawed too much. We ended up not having ice cream until New Years Day, but it was DELICOUS. Really, really good. If you are looking for a light and tasty ice cream, give this one a try.

Recipe: Pineapple-Coconut Gelato

Rum Cake
I can't post the recipe because it's a family recipe, but I also made my sister's traditional Christmas Rum Cake. I messed it up - I didn't grease the pan quite enough, so the very bottom of the cake stuck. It ended up fine and the cake tasted good, but it wasn't totally as pretty as I would have liked. I love rum cake.

We did manage to stay up late enough to catch the ball drop (although I did take a nap). Todd had bought us real French Champagne - I think the first time I've had french champagne. It was good, although it got me drunk pretty quickly. We had a good time. I love the quiet nights at home with good food and good company.

2010 Tentative Race Schedule

I can't believe how early I plan ahead for races these days.
What's missing? Race for Our Kids, which is out of the 2010 Galloway Training Schedule!! Happy dance! I hate that race. This might mean that I will be doing something else in the May/June time frame, and I'm seriously considering doing the Dreaded Druid Hills 10K in May. We shall see.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Stats as of 31 December 2009 and YEAR END!

December 2008
57.9 miles
12 hours, 50 minutes
Avg Pace: 13:19/mile
Celtic Solstice Five Mile Run 2008: 1:02:15 (12:27/mi)

December 2009
74 miles -- 16.1 miles longer than in 2008
16 hours, 26 minutes -- 3:36 longer than in 2008
Avg Pace: 13:20/mile -- 1 second slower than in 2008 - the only month in 2009 that wasn't faster than 2008...
Celtic Solstice File Mile Run 2009: 22 inches of snow

2009 Year End Stats!

TOTAL MILES: 703.2 miles
TOTAL TIME: 6 days, 10 hours
AVERAGE PACE: 13:08/mile

(2008 stats were 659 miles at a 13:41 pace)

So, I improved a lot this year! More miles at a faster pace. This was a good year for running. As for December -- I did a great job keeping up with running. I was doing a great job of making it to the store each Tuesday and Thursday to run, to do the Chilly Dog Challenge. Then, all of the snow came and now it's been a fight to even find somewhere to run. Last weekend at Loch Raven, the road was still covered with ice. The trail is not runnable right now. It's been hard.

Overall, this was a great year for running, though, and I now have only just over a week left before running the Disney Marathon. Right now, the weather is looking perfectly chilly and cool. We shall see...
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