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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

MBE: Staying Fit Over the Holidays

Monday Brain Exchange is hosted by Jill!  

This Weeks Topic: Staying fit and healthy during the holidays


This Weeks Question: How do you manage diet and exercise during the holidays?


I don't do a whole lot of things different over the holidays than I do all the rest of the time.  I try and keep myself doing the exercise that I would normally do, but I forgive myself if I miss something.  Running is always number one for me, so I absolutely make sure I get my runs in, but I don't worry too much about weight training, cross training, etc.  In the past, I've always had a January half marathon or marathon, so that REALLY kept me on track.  This year I don't have that, but I still want to stay on task.

December can be the absolute hardest month to stick with the program.  By the end of December, I know how hard it can be to get out there.  This year, I have a 5 mile race on the schedule for mid-December, which should hopefully help.

As far as diet goes, I try to forgive myself.  I've been working on trying to eat like a normal person, and normal people eat a lot during the holidays, right?  That doesn't mean I pig out, but don't follow advice that suggests that I should eat before going to a party, or that I should only snack on vegetables.  I do want to enjoy myself, so I just try and decide what exactly my body wants and what my mind needs in order to be happy, and go from there.

No, it's not easy, and no, it's not an exact science, and no, I'm not all that good at it.  But, you know.  I try...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Linky-Loos

Health, Diet, Running

  • Companies Vs. Consumers: A Manifesto:  I love this post.  I get so tired of hearing the whining about the "evil" food companies when consumers themselves are the ones making the choice to buy and eat what they are selling.  



Other Things

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What I'm Thankful For This Year

You know, I have been having a tough time coming up with what to write about this year for Thanksgiving.  I've been writing a "What I'm Thankful For" a couple of years now.  It's not that I'm not still thankful for those things...  it's that I just feel like I'd be writing the same post again if I were to talk about how I'm thankful for Todd or The Bug or my family or my job...

So, I don't know.  I had a little list of things I am thankful for that aren't so noble as some on the list above (Todd recently bought me a Kindle, for example).  But, I didn't like the list.

So.

I dunno.

So...  Anyway, I'm hosting my family for Thanksgiving for the first time ever and I'm super-excited.  Cook, cook, cook!  It is actually the first time we've been home for Thanksgiving since 2007, so that's new and different.  I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!


... and I'm still super-behind on my blog reading.  It's been a busy week.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cold Turkey 10K 2010

Hooray!
I have a lot of friends that have done this race for the past several years, but I've always been busy or out of town for it.  So, this was my first time running this one.  Plus, while I have run 4 10Ks, all of them were the same race over different years, so this is the first time I've ever done any 10K except Race for Our Kids.  Since I hadn't beaten my 10K Personal Record since 2006 when I ran Race for Our Kids for the first time (not officially, anyway), and RFOK is a hot and hilly race, I had some high hopes that this race would get me a new PR.

Oh, and the big deal for me is that the race took place at my high school.  Since it was the first time I'd been back there since a short visit in 1997, there was a whole lot of significance to me going there to run a race.  High school me would definitely not have run a race of any length.

We arrived at the school about 45 minutes before the race start, and found the 40 or so people from Fleet Feet who were running.  I was excited that a large portion of my running group had decided to run.  I had drank a bunch of water on the drive down, so I had to go to the bathroom.  I looked and saw that the line for the women's room was really, really long.  So, I thought I'd go upstairs to another bathroom.  I went up to the top of the steps and...  walls.  The hallway had walls.  Why was this notable, you wonder?  Well, my high school was an open classroom school, where there were no walls within the departments.  The majority of classrooms were surrounded by a minimum of 2-3 other classrooms having class at the same time, with little to no walls and certainly no doors between them.  It taught me to tune things out easily more than anything.  Anyway, apparently walls have been built.

The ladies room was locked, so I went down the hall to try another.  The school created winding, strange corridors instead of the open space, and sadly even covered up the mural that had been a Service Learning project of the class that graduated the year after mine (they were the first service learning class, my class didn't have to do service learning).  Sadness!!

Todd and me after the race
I couldn't find a ladies room that was open, but I did find a mens room.  I was afraid to go in there alone, so I went back downstairs to seek out Todd to help me out (while I'm writing a lot about this, you need to know that as a side note, this whole process only took about 2-3 minutes, it wouldn't have been faster to wait in line).  I couldn't find Todd, but I found my friend Kelly waiting for the ladies room downstairs and together we went upstairs and used the men's room.  LOL

Then, it was about race start time.  The race started behind the school, so we went out behind the cafeteria and started the race.

I started with my friend Beth, and we agreed to do 1:30 and 30 intervals (1:30 of running, 30 seconds of walking).  After one mile, though, I totally couldn't hang with Beth.  She headed on, and I stayed behind.  Todd hung with me, and we headed out around the roads around the school.  At the beginning of mile 2, the course took us up a hill for about a quarter mile or so, and I had to walk a little extra since I was already tired from going too fast.  I switched it up to 1:15 run and 45 walk, and after a couple of intervals I was back on track and recovered.

I was keeping up a good pace, and even though the course was a bit of rolling hills, I felt pretty good.  My friend Jack was on the course coaching the 10K training program (this was their target race), and my friend Chris was out with an air horn as a course official (using said air horn to yell out that Todd was "His hero!!!!" as we were coming up a hill... LOL)  It was nice to be running a small race where I knew a whole lot of people.  :)

We headed on down the home stretch, and I kept a great pace right up to the end.  Official time was 1:07:14, beating my previous PR by SEVEN MINUTES.  Hooray!  And it felt good doing it at my high school :)

After, we watched the awards, where two fellow Fleet Feet runners won age group awards, and then headed on home.  This was a great race, well organized and a nice course.  It was a great day for it, too!!

The whole Fleet Feet Group

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday Linky-Loos

Health and Fitness
  • 4 Reasons I'm FOR the Happy Meal:  Personally, I disagree with the whole "Ban the Happy Meal" arguments, and I wanted to share Carla's post because it gives some new, fresh reasons why the Happy Meal is not something we want to ban.
  • Staying Safe On the Run:  Pay attention (no iPods!!) and be seen!!
Diving and Such
Junior Buddy at the Belize Zoo

Friday, November 19, 2010

Some Notes

  • I am horribly behind in my blog-reading.  I just don't know where the days are going.  I get up, go to work, come home and eat dinner or whatever, or run or whatever, and then it's 11:00pm.  Last night, I didn't serve dinner until The Office was OVER. That means, it was 9:30 before we were eating.  So, sorry for lack of posting.
  • I am horribly behind in my blog-writing also, apparently.  I was ahead a week ago, I don't know where the time went.  On that note, I am looking for folks to write some guest posts for my blog - especially Galloway runners.  Anyone out there have a topic that they'd like to donate?
  • I would really like to start a bloggy book club.  I know this idea has gone around before with little success, so here is what I think:  Each month, someone would "Host" a book club post.  They get to pick the book (I'd say nothing is off limits as far as books go, we'll just work with it).  Those who want to will then read the book, the host will post some discussion about the book, and those who are participating can post on their own blogs and/or in the comments of the hosts' post.  Thoughts? Anyone interested?  Anyone want to host a month?  We could start in January.
  • I have a 10K this weekend that I'm especially looking forward to because it takes place at my High School.  Very exciting. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Galloway Roots

From my "What Do You Want to Know?" post a while back, James asked:
Did you start running with Galloway's run/walk or did you convert? I converted over this summer, and actually found my times increased substantially. What has been your experiences between the two?
First of all, I basically started from nothing.  I mean nothing as far as running fitness went.  I had run the mandatory Presidential Fitness Test runs in elementary and high school (skipping over gym altogether in middle school), but beyond that, my running experience was zero.  Prior to starting to run, I was sort of in shape, though, just not from running.  I had been doing some step aerobics and weight training, and I had been pretty consistent with it for about 4-5 months before I started running.  So, I had something at least, I guess.
Me after my very first race, the Baltimore
Women's Classic 5K 2005

I was always a bit of walk/run person, although not specifically Galloway and not particularly on purpose.  I started out with Cool Running's Couch to 5K Training Program, which took me from April to June of 2005, when I ran my first 5K.  I ran my first mile straight through Memorial Day weekend 2005, but I don't think I ran a whole 3 miles straight through until about 2008, when I only did it because I wanted to prove that I could.  I ran five 5Ks in 2005, but I had to walk for at least a minute of each of them, which I felt at the time was total failure. From June to August of 2005, I continued to run with the goal of running straight through, but my endurance just wasn't there, so I still tended to walk quite a bit when I would get tired.  I was still not doing Galloway.  On a treadmill, though, I'd already discovered Cardio Coach.

I found my initial blog post from when I first went to Fleet Feet to run at the store.  It was September 15, 2005.  Here it is (this post is no longer available to the public):
Tonight, we ran with the Fleet Feet running group. It was a good time, but it kicked our asses. It was 4 miles (the most I've ever done). Not all running, we took walk breaks, but it was tough. A lot of hills. We also got new technical shirts by trading in our cotton ones. Very cool.
Looking back, I know that I did the hilly course that we don't do anymore, and that I couldn't keep up with Caryn, who was paired with me.  I remember thinking I was dying going up some of the hills, and that Caryn eventually left us when we were getting close to the store (us being me and my ex-husband).  I didn't remember that the night I got that long sleeve for trading in a cotton shirt was my first night of running with Fleet Feet.  That's one of my favorite shirts, even now!  Last winter, I thought I'd lost it and fell into despair and mourning before I found it a month or two ago when I cleaned out our closets.  Anyway.

So, that was my first night of Galloway, and I've been doing Galloway ever since.  I take walk breaks for every distance, even my Galloway Magic Mile time tests.  I just switch up the intervals.  These days, it goes something like this:

  • Magic Mile (one mile): 30 seconds run, 15 seconds walk.
  • 5K: 45 seconds run, 30 seconds walk.
  • Short run (3-5 miles): 2 minutes run, 1 minute walk.
  • 10K: 1:30 run, 1 minute walk
  • Long run (5-20+ miles): 1:30 run, 1 minute walk
  • Half Marathon or Marathon: 1 minute run, 1 minute walk
This is all very personal to me, so it really varies by person, pace and distance.  And the 2:1 ratio for short runs is very new to me, just the past few weeks.  I run nearly straight through on the treadmill, sticking to my Cardio Coach workouts there.

So, to answer the question, I don't have a whole lot of comparison between non-Galloway and Galloway.  Personally, I feel that I perform better by taking walk breaks, but I also know that for the distances that I prefer (10 mile races and higher), I couldn't run straight through because I've never trained that way. 

That being said, my 5K time definitely suffered when I started official Galloway marathon training in 2006, but I don't think that was because I was doing Galloway.  Instead, it was because my focus changed to endurance and distance, and short sprinting distances like 5Ks and 10Ks are a lot harder when you train for and prefer running long and middle distance.

I love the Galloway method, and I don't think I'd still be running without it.  Thanks for your questions, I'm going to keep answering them whenever I have a lack of topics!  And as always, feel free to ask more! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

MBE: Unconventional Races

Monday Brain Exchange is sponsored by Jill at Finishing is Winning.

Topic: Unconventional Races


Question: Have you ever participated in any unconventional races? If so, tell us about them. If not, is it something you would consider and if so which one(s)?

Hmmm...  I have to be honest, I don't exactly know what qualifies as an "unconventional race."  I guess the most unconventional that I've done is the Blue Moon Run, which isn't really a race at all, but a run on the NCR Trail nearby at night when there's a Blue Moon.  I ran one of the Blue Moon runs, in 2007.  It was dark and everyone had glow sticks and race transportation was in a cargo van, sitting on the floor.  All very strange.  They were supposed to have another one on New Years Eve 2009, but it was snowed out.  See my original blog post on the Blue Moon Run, which makes me smile because I refer to Doug as being "new" and now Caryn & Doug are married and have a baby!

So, besides the Blue Moon Run, I don't know if there are any truly unconventional races that I've done.  I guess maybe I need to see what others say in their responses....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Linky-Loos

My favorite posts for the week!


Running


Other Things

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Review: Trader Joe's Seasonal Teas

For the longest time, I had a lot of trouble shopping at Trader Joe's.  I would go in and wander around and could never find anything that made sense to buy.  I totally didn't know what I could get there that would be good.

Well, these days I can do entire shopping trips at Trader Joe's.  I love the place.  There is a Trader Joe's in the same shopping center as my running store where I do my evening runs on Tuesday and Thursday, so I tend to go there at least once a week after running.  It's very convenient.  And I know what to buy now!  Yay!

If there is something else that I love, it is hot tea.  I don't drink coffee, but I do love tea, and I drink a cup of tea every single morning when I get to work.  I don't usually drink the plain Lipton tea bags that are given out for free in my company's kitchen, I buy good, delicious, flavored teas.  (Earl Grey is my favorite)

So, here is a little review of a couple of teas that I picked up on my latest visit to Trader Joe's.  They're seasonal, one of many new seasonal products that have come in for the Christmas season.  So, they probably won't be around very long.

My review:  GET THESE TEAS!

First, the Vanilla & Cinnamon Black Tea.  This tea makes me so very happy.  It tastes like vanilla and cinnamon, as you'd expect, but neither flavor is particularly overpowering.  I would compare the taste and smell to a delicious cinnamon roll or other cinnamony delight.  I intend to hoard boxes of this tea, so that I'll still have some once everyone else realizes how good it is.

Next, the Candy Cane Green Tea.  Again, the minty flavor of this tea isn't too strong.  It does taste about the same as a candy cane - that level of mintiness.  For me, this is perfect, since I don't like a mint tea to be too strong.  You can definitely taste a bit of vanilla as well, and it gives an overall good taste.  Plus, it is decaffeinated, which is great for me because my second cup of the day is always decaf.  I'm not quite as excited about this one as I am about the Vanilla & Cinnamon one, just because this one seems more seasonal (I doubt I'd drink it in July), and mint tea isn't an every day tea for me.

I do love both teas, though, so if you have a Trader Joe's in your area and love tea, these teas should be in your shopping cart!!

Disclaimer: I have no connection to Trader Joe's except that I am a loyal shopper.  I purchased the teas for this review myself, and Trader Joe's has no idea who I am or even that I am reviewing these teas.

Monday, November 8, 2010

NYC Marathon Scavenger Hunt

So, there was a contest today on the New York City Marathon Website.  Today is "Marathon Monday Mania" and they are having a contest where you can get early entry into the 2011 New York City Marathon.  I decided to try.

First, I had to enter the lottery for the 2011 Marathon, which I did.

Second step, go through this list of "Scavenger Hunt" items and pick one.  Get your photo taken doing it and then upload it to the Marathon Monday Mania Facebook page.

You could get your photo taken at Subway or Dunkin Donuts, for example.  I didn't really want to leave work All of this has to be done by 3:00pm, btw.  I checked the list of objects you could get your photo with - Emerald Nuts, Gatorade, Powerbars, a box from Tiffany & Co....  I scoured our office and what do WE have here?  Coors Light.  Of all of the possibilities, mine was, of course, booze.

So, here I am, with my beer in the middle of the afternoon at work (yes, that is my office).

... and here's hoping I get in to the NYC Marathon!!  The results of this little escapade will be available tomorrow, but if I don't get in tomorrow, I won't know until April.

MBE: Best Racing Locations

Monday Brain Exchange is sponsored by Jill at Finishing is Winning.


Question: Where was the best place you have ever raced and why? Where is your dream place to race??


Hmmm...  My favorite run was in Honolulu, Hawaii, but I haven't raced there.  That's a pretty tough call.  I haven't raced in any especially exotic places, so I guess I'm just going to have to go with Walt Disney World.  I've done 3 Disney Marathons, 1 Disney Half Marathon and 3 shorter races in The Happiest Place on Earth, and it has to be my favorite.  They do know how to put on a great race, and the weather is (most of the time) pretty good.  I do love it there :)

Now, my dream place to race...  I don't know.  There are two races that I consider my dream races.  Big Sur seems like it would be spectacular and amazing.  I'd love to see it, and I consider it my "Boston" or ultimate goal.  I'd also love to someday do the London Marathon, but I don't know when that will happen since I don't usually reserve that much vacation time for my running.

Did you think I'd say somewhere like Bonaire or the Cayman Islands??  No way, man.  Too hot.  When I'm in the Caribbean, I want to dive, not run :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Linky-Loos: NYC Marathon Edition

This week, I thought I'd showcase a bunch of links to a bunch of races, as well as a bunch of articles about races.  This is all in honor of the New York City Marathon, which for some reason I get more excited about than Boston.


First off, the promo video for the 500 Festival Mini Marathon, which I'm running this year (and it takes place on Todd's birthday!):




Another video, here's the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon 2010, which I ran, and which was an awesome race!!  I'd totally run this one again in a heartbeat, so if you are in the PA/MD area, definitely consider this race.

Also if you're in the Baltimore area, sign up for the Celtic Solstice 5 Mile Run, which was snowed out last year, but hopefully won't be this year.  There will be soup.

And another thing... Sign up for RunToTheFinish's Holiday Booty Buster Challenge! I'm so up for it. Anything to give me more motivation. Non-Blogging friends, you can sign up, too! (You just need to log your stuff somewhere)
HBBC Logo

Now, about that New York City Marathon:


David Letterman's Marathon Top 10 from Last year:


I'm rooting for Meb to win again.  I'll be watching this weekend, and then on Monday I'm entering the lottery to run New York in 2011.  HOORAY!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cooks Source Makes Me LOL

I'm not going to go too much into the story, because it's spread so much everywhere.  In case you haven't heard, though, basically, there's this magazine called Cooks Source that is a small New England magazine with recipes and what not.

I first read about them on The Consumerist yesterday (check out the story from BlogHer as well, and frankly you can find this everywhere on the internet from The Guardian to MSNBC).  A blogger was alerted to the fact that one of her blog postings had been stolen and used in the latest issues of Cooks Source.  Thinking it was a mistake, she contacted the magazine.  The magazine admitted to stealing her work.  She asked for an apology on their Facebook page and website, and a $130 donation to the Columbia School of Journalism.  Cooks Source refused, saying that the blogger should have paid THEM for editing her article and including it in their magazine.

The quote:
Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. It was "my bad" indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.
But honestly Monica, the web is considered "public domain" and you should be happy we just didn't "lift" your whole article and put someone else's name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me... ALWAYS for free!
... and then the internets found out.

ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!

The Cooks Source Facebook Page went from less than 100 fans to over 3,000.  As I was watching it yesterday, angry posters were adding to the Facebook page every second.  I couldn't even keep up.  The Cooks Source website crashed.  It was discovered that Cooks Source had stolen content from Disney, NPR, and The Food Network.  Angry bloggers called each of the magazine's advertisers.

The response came on the Facebook page (from Gawker):
Hi Folks!
Well, here I am with egg on my face! I did apologise to Monica via email, but aparently it wasnt enough for her. To all of you, thank you for your interest in Cooks Source and Again, to Monica, I am sorry — my bad!
You did find a way to get your "pound of flesh..." we used to have 110 "friends," we now have 1,870... wow!
...Best to all, Judith
Then, they moved to a NEW Facebook page, but the angry mob seems to have followed them there.

I'm just in awe of the blatant ignorance from anyone in the print industry, and I am happy to see them getting what they deserve.  So entertaining...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stats as of 31 October 2010

October 2009
69.4 miles
15 hours, 13 minutes
Avg Pace: 13:10/mile
Tower of Terror 13K 2009: 1:41:11 (12:32/mile)

October 2010
58.5 miles -- 10.9 miles less than in 2009
12 hours, 11 minutes -- 3 hours, 2 minutes shorter than in 2009
Avg Pace: 12:31/mile -- 39 seconds faster than in 2009
Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay 2010 (4.8 mile leg): 58:48 (12:15/mile)
St. George's Dragon Run 5K 2010:  32:42 (10:33/mile)

Totals!
Total running for the year, 579.8 miles, 12:49 per mile pace.

I'm still running less than last year, but not by as much as I would have thought...  then I remembered I had the flu last year in October.  I've sped up quite a bit, but I'm also doing shorter distance, so that helps.  Always good to see some improvement!

I finally found the results for the 5K that I ran.  It was a little slower than I thought, but still a great race and my second best 5K time ever!  Hooray!  I'd really love it if I could manage to get fast enough to break the 30-minute barrier in a 5K, but I think I'm still a couple of years away from that goal.  You never know, though, so we'll see how it goes at the Shamrock 5K in March.

Hooray for fall!

Monday, November 1, 2010

MBE: What Do You Miss the Most?

Monday Brain Exchange is sponsored by Jill at Finishing is Winning.


Question: What do you miss most when you are in the heat of training or gearing up for a race? Do you skip late nights out? Do you give up goodies and alcohol? What is the first thing you crave when training is over?


For the most part, what I miss more than anything all the time is sleeping in on the weekends.  I get up early to run every. single. Saturday.  It does get old.  If I have to get up on Sunday for some other reason, I get super-cranky.  It's hard to wake up early all the time, and us runners are an early bunch!

I do appreciate it, though, and it does feel good to be done with the run by 8 or 9am on Saturday and have the whole rest of the weekend to relax and do what I need to do.

Occasionally, I get upset about the alcohol thing, but it's not too big of a deal for me.  Besides, I typically have the treats or the alcohol anyway...  Just not a lot, just a little bit.

When training is over, I crave TIME.  Time to do other things besides run, such as bike or cross train or whatever.  If I'm marathon training, it takes up so much time, it's so nice to be done.
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