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Friday, July 29, 2011

Experiments with Intuitive Eating

A few months ago, I decided to radically change my fitness lifestyle.  This change was two-fold.  One: I wanted to re-evaluate my cross training efforts, and to focus on doing some non-exercise things in my life.  Two: I wanted to stop counting calories and stop being "on a diet."  Forever.  I'm going to talk about the food part today, and I'll save the cross training for another post.

So, I knew a few things.  I knew I didn't want to count calories anymore.  I knew that I never want to be in Weight Watchers again (see my last post on Weight Watchers here).  More than anything though, I firmly believed that I could do this on my own, without obsessing.  I could eat like a normal person without overeating. I wanted a healthy relationship with food, and I wanted to just stop worrying about it.

I mean, do you have to count calories in some manner in order to be healthy?  I've spent a lot of time believing that you do, but with my new way of eating, I was determined to prove otherwise.  I know there are books and seminars, etc, about intuitive eating, but I wanted to make up my own guidelines and do it on my own.  Now, I didn't want rules.  I wanted guidelines.  I can break them if I want to, I just need to try to follow them.  Some of my guidelines:

Limit processed foods.  That doesn't mean avoid them altogether.  I still go to fast food restaurants when it's necessary, and I still buy processed foods to eat (especially if they're from Trader Joes!), but I try very hard to cook and eat whole foods when I can.

Listen to what your body needs and wants.  I know that my body needs those non-processed foods.  I think usually when someone says "eat what your body needs," they're talking about eating super-clean, which just isn't practical for me.  Typically, I hear people saying not to listen when your body simply wants something, but I think it's important to my sanity to include some processed foods, desserts, alcohol, etc.  You know, the stuff typically labeled as "bad stuff."  Otherwise, food is fuel.  I think to myself "how will I feel after I eat this?" and if the answer is bad, I don't eat it.

Follow Michael Pollan's Food Rules when you can.  I love that book.  My favorite of these is that you can eat what you want, but you have to make it yourself.  I love to cook and bake, and that's one of the things that was really heartbreaking about counting calories.

Don't eat after 9pm.  This is the one hard and fast rule I've been following.  I've been trying to make no exceptions.  It used to be after a scuba class when I would get home at 11pm and hadn't eaten since 5:30 or so, I would have a snack before bed.  No more!!  I feel better when I don't go to bed with a full stomach, and I've learned that a huge amount of my overeating was happening between 9pm and bedtime!

Stop worrying about weight. I've been trying to weigh myself less often, which has been unheard of since I started dieting in 1998.  I've made it up to two weeks without weighing (CRAZY STUFF)!  I've had some freaking out days, where I feel like I must be out of control.  I just tell myself that if this doesn't work for me, I can just... stop.  Anytime, I can stop.

That's it!  Those are my guidelines!  I've been trying to follow them since about April or May, and I've had a lot of success.  I've been a lot happier, and I've been less obsessed with food.  Right away, I lost 6 pounds.  I've leveled off and haven't lost much since (I gained two in Little Cayman, and then lost them again).  My body and mind are, in general, quite happy.

The thing is, I just want to eat like a normal person.  I think I can do it.  I think I can listen to my body and figure out what to eat without the use of diets or counting or strict rules.  I'll report some more later on my progress, but I wanted to at least write some about this because I'm pretty excited about it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Running Skirts: My Take

There was an article in Runner's World this month about Fastinistas, or women who really wear a lot of high fashion clothing while running, specifically running skirts. When the article posted on Runnersworld.com, it got some fairly negative comments.  I wanted to chime in because I'm firmly in the "no, I don't wear skirts" camp.

First of all, the negative comments.  Some of the commenters seemed to take this as an opportunity to make a statement yet AGAIN about 'slow' runners or 'casual' runners, or runners that don't run as many miles as they do, or whatever.  This is just so typical that it doesn't even get me riled up anymore.  Still, it does bring up one point that I've made about skirts since they first came out: skirts might potentially make other runners take the skirt wearer less seriously.  I'm already slow.  I already run the same number of miles per month that other blogging runners run per week.  I don't need another reason for people to not take my running seriously.  I feel that I am a serious runner, and I don't have speed, or miles or a hot athletic body to prove that I'm a serious runner.  So, I dress the part.  I wear singlets and short shorts and the things that 'serious' athletes would be expected to wear.  This is important to me.

I have an inherent lack of confidence, I suppose.  Back in college, you would never have seen me going to class in pair of sweat pants.  Someone once asked me why, and I responded, "because I worry that people will think sweat pants is the only thing I can fit into."  This isn't the first time I've had hangups about clothing, I suppose.

Then, there came a time when I did decide to purchase a skirt, so I did some shopping.  The problem?  The price tag.  Skirt sports, one of the more popular running skirt brands, currently prices their skirts between $60 and $75.  Woa.  That's a lot of money.  My preferred running short, Nike Tempo Track Shorts are priced at $32.  That's a HUGE price difference.  Seeing as how I already have a full range of summer running clothing (well, winter also), I just can't justify buying a skirt.  I get my "fun" running clothes from cute tops, tops with sayings on them, or tops that advertise the races that I've done.  I pair them with the Tempo shorts in a few different colors, and the shorts are versatile.  Many of the skirts are in bright colors or patterns that don't match tops that I already own.  Or, if they do match, I look frumpy wearing them with a singlet from my running store.  So, does that mean I also need to get a bunch of tops to match?  Cha-ching!  The price of a skirt keeps rising.

To be honest, skirts look best when worn by skinny girls with little tops like on the cover of Runner's World.  They don't look good on girls shaped like me.  At least, that's how I see it.  So, even if I get over the price tag and the seriousness issue, I still have the body image issue to face.  Skirts are POPULAR.  Go to a race and see how many women are wearing them.  If I show up wearing that bright pink argyle skirt in the photo and that chick in the photo is wearing it also?  No thanks.  I don't want to be in that scenario.  Sounds horrible?  Maybe, but it's true.  Sometimes, I just feel like I want to leave the skirts to the cute girls - the ones who can pull it off.

There are a boatload of people over the past couple of years who have tried to pressure me into trying on a skirt, or buying a skirt, or making skirts an essential part of my wardrobe.  I really don't like this.  I am not a girly girl.  I already go into work everyday feeling like I am not dressing up like the other women do.  I wear pants and sandals and capris and I dress down a lot.  I do this because I want to feel comfortable.  I hate shopping for work clothes, I hate taking the time and expense to dress up every day.  The problem that the skirt pressure creates is that it makes me feel like this one last place where I can dress how I want and feel how I want - running - is now just another place where women are pressuring each other to look a certain way and be cute and dress up.  I'm not talking about for races, I'm talking about on your day to day, training, up at 3am, 20 mile days.  I want to get up and put on my shorts and singlet and go.  I don't wear makeup to run.  I don't think twice about wearing a black sports bra under a white shirt.  I don't care if my legs are shaved.  I don't even care if my clothes even match and I want that to be okay.  The trend, I fear, is that I'm now going to be expected to make myself perfect all the time.  Why, ladies?  Why do we feel the need to do this with every. single. activity?  It's not good enough to be good at what you do, now you have to look good doing it!

This is the fear that we are seeing in some of the comments at Runner's World.  For us non-girly girls, running is our escape from this sort of pressure to look good and be into fashion.  The running group is the place to be to feel accepted regardless of what you're wearing, even though we live in a world where girls start judging each others clothes in elementary school.  I think some women are starting to feel that pressure and don't like it.  I have definitely felt it.  I definitely don't like it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not poo-pooing on anyone who wears a skirt or looks cute when she runs.  You do what you want.  I don't judge, I don't care, and I'll even give a compliment to you.  I wish I could pull it off, I wish I could afford it, and I wish I had the confidence and the will to dress up all the time.  I do not.

I do still see clothing in running stores that fit me and look good and make me feel good when I run, so it's not all bad.  I don't think that the comments on the article are right.  It's just a skirt, not the end of the world.  But, I understand.  I see where the commenters are coming from.  Their peace is threatened, and they're expressing that.

I should also note: I've been "anti-skirt" for years, but I did tell a little fib above - I actually do own two skirts.  One purchased specifically to run Disney races (to look like Minnie Mouse - see the link to see the pictures) and the other purchased in June because it was on clearance at the Adidas Outlet and I wanted to try it.  Maybe that means I'm working my way to a transition.  But, I doubt it.  Somehow I think that the majority of my running will still be in shorts...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Quick Update

I haven't been blogging as much as I would like, but rest assured that I have some exciting posts coming up!  As I've said a couple of times, Todd and I were out of town for our anniversary at the beginning of the month, and once Todd is done with his post-processing of photos, I'll post a trip report.

Me and my group on the trail in the midst of our 16 miler
I've been running and marathon training.  On the 16th, my group completed our longest run so far this year - 16 miles.  I think everyone did extremely well, figuring that for many of them this was their longest run ever!  We run 18 miles on August 6th, and in the meantime I'm planning to run the Hadassah 8K this weekend.  It should be fun, even if 8K is a weird and wacky distance.

We've been doing some scuba diving as well.  We spent a day in Bainbridge Quarry in Pennsylvania on the 17th, just to get used to being in cold water with thick wetsuits (or, in Todd's case, a dry suit).  There wasn't much to see and there had been a picnic and several Open Water classes all weekend, so the visibility was very low (5 feet, maybe).  The Blue Gills were very friendly, though.  They have nothing to fear - no fishing is allowed in the quarry!

Both of us are currently assisting with an Open Water class for our dive shop.  I was at first asked to assist with this class because it was full of women, but as we found out the first night - it's full of children!  There are about 5 kids in the class (out of 11 students), around age 10 or 11 (you have to be 10 years old to learn to scuba dive).  This class has been mad chaos!!  When we took our Dive Con training, we laughed when our instructors would wander off to other parts of the pool during instruction or do other weird things.  As it turns out, this was perfect training for assisting with a class of kids.  You're helping another student and suddenly one of the other kids is on the surface, another is standing on his head, and another is so focused on watching the air level gauge that he notices nothing else.  Get them all back in order again, move on to the next student, and suddenly the first student is way over in the deep end.  Finally get through all of the students just in time to turn and see that the whole rest of the class is waiting for you to finish.

It is fun though, teaching kids.  I had thought I'd hate it, but they're so excited about learning to dive that you can't possibly have a bad time showing them the ropes.  It was really a highlight of my dive career going under the water with them and having them come up to exclaim "THAT WAS SO COOL!!!"  Adults don't always get that excited.  We go into the quarry this weekend for their checkout dives, so we'll see how that goes.

It's been hot here in Maryland, so if you're somewhere with soaring temperatures, stay cool, carry water, and watch out for heat related illness!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

If you're a long time reader, you know that I've reviewed the first three books in the Twilight series...  Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse.  If you've read those reviews, you know that I'm not exactly a fan.  I have found the books in this series to be one-dimensional, silly, and just plain terrible.  TERRIBLE.  Yet, I'd found all of them to at least be engaging enough for me to get through them.

Until now.

Breaking Dawn is the final book in the series, and it took me a whopping FOURTEEN MONTHS to get through it.  You see, I started it around May of 2010, at the insistence of several friends who said that I HAD to finish the series.  I wasn't going to read them at all, but these friends persisted and said that I MUST.  Then, my friend Dannielle gave me her copy, since I was refusing to spend my own money on it and the friend who had loaned me Eclipse was refusing to loan me any more Twilight books if I was just going to make fun of them.  So, I had a copy.  And it was bad.  Really bad.  I ended up starting it, getting through the first section and them putting it down because I couldn't take it anymore.  And gradually, people asked and wondered when I would post a review, and I said never, and they said NO!  So, in June I decided to pick the book up again (it helped that I had acquired a Kindle version), and I finished the darn thing while I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago (vacation post coming).

As you continue to read my review, you should note that about 10 different people sent me spoilers of this book and/or flat out told me what was going to happen.  Much of this was to convince me to read it and to later write this very post, so I can't say I can blame them.  I mean, this book was a huge steaming cup of WTF, so I can understand given my attitude about the first 3 that people would want to see what I had to say about this.  BUT, the fact that I already knew the plot did change my reactions to the plot, most likely.

You should note that the rest of this post will contain spoilers and lots of them, so if you want to read this terrible book and haven't yet done so, this is a good place to stop reading.  But, frankly, if you haven't read the Twilight series by now, you're probably not going to.  I'd advise against it anyway.


If you've read my previous reviews, you know that I care nothing about Bella Swan.  She is whiny to no end, and has absolutely no ambition or hobbies besides Edward the Vampire and stringing along poor Jacob the Werewolf.  (I should note here that upon a re-watch of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban this weekend, I know for certain that Jacob is a Potter-style animagus and not a werewolf, and this was even mentioned late in Breaking Dawn, so there).   Bella sucks, plain and simple.

So, we start out with a wedding because Bella wants to have sex with Edward, and has been begging him for sex for the entire last novel.  Edward won't do it unless she marries him, and since she's graduated from high school and all, she figures it's fine and they get married.  Alice, Edward's sister, plans the wedding.

Now, I know everyone loves Alice and that she is the little darling of these books, but starting with Eclipse, I really started to hate her.  I mean HATE her.  She turns out to be so shallow and superficial, what is up with her insisting that every event has to be done HER WAY?  Alice plans a wedding that Bella doesn't want and does it all her way, period.  If she were my sister in law, I would smack her silly.  But, then again, I'm sort of anti-large wedding anyway, I guess.

And then Bella's parents - OMG, her parents.  WTF????  WTF WTF WTF!  You are the WORST PARENTS EVER.  EVER!  There is not one single person besides JACOB who objects to this wedding??  Your kid is EIGHTEEN!  She is marrying a VAMPIRE!  Ok, you don't know he's a vampire but he's had some amazingly bizarre behaviors since you've met him!  He left her for a while and she moped around for nearly an entire year!  He is creepy!  He stalks her!  He is a WEIRDO!  WTF!  Face-palm.  This entire book should have been about Bella convincing people that this wedding was ok.

So, Edward and Bella go off on their honeymoon.  OMG.  I'd been waiting for three novels now to find out what vampire sex would be like (side note: If you want to know, watch True Blood).  I thought, "Yay!  Finally gonna get a good sex scene!  Bring it on!!".  Um, no.  It was one of those sex scenes where they kiss and then the end of the chapter comes and in the next chapter Edward has broken the headboard.  That's right, Bella was all bruised and the bed was broken.  It was the kind of sex scene that a teenager would write.  Sure, teenagers are the audience of this particular book, but what I mean is, no one who has actually had real sex would write this nonsense, right?  Has Stephenie Meyer actually had sex?  She has kids and stuff, so I guess, but, Huh?  Why is that even close to romantic?  All of that build up for THIS?  Seriously?  She wrote this while she was still in junior high, that is my guess.  I mean, she couldn't have really written this?  ... Ugh.

So, then Bella is pregnant after having sex this one time.  You know, with a vampire.  This was the point where I banged myself in the head with Dannielle's book so hard that I practically knocked myself unconscious and vowed not to finish.

But, then I picked it up again on Kindle and Jacob was telling the story.  Jacob telling the story made it better, but to be honest, Jacob is just as irritating as Bella was in Twilight.  Ok, he wasn't THAT annoying.  But, his continuing torch-holding for Bella was just unbearable.  Dude, not only is she married, but she is also not at all worth it.  Get over her!!

Bella's vampire fetus starts growing abnormally fast, and pretty soon it's clear that it's going to kill her.  She's bruised and all kinds of messed up and eventually had to drink human blood in order to feed the fetus.  Of course, she wants this baby, no matter what.  I've seen some pretty heavy criticism of this, so it might surprise you that I didn't really care about the whole "must have a baby" thing.  I guess I sort of slogged through the pregnancy chapters with a bunch of "come on, let's get to this freakish birth scene already!" kind of attitude.  What, Stephenie Meyer can't give us a good sex scene, but she can bore us with a million details of the vampire fetus?

I'd been warned about a million times about the birth scene, and I was actually expecting more.  I KNOW, right?  I'm going to be the only one that says this, but yeah, people gave me so much warning about how gross it was that it actually failed to meet my expectations of blood and gore.  I will say this though - it was STILL written like a teenager would have written about pregnancy and child birth.  Like, from the viewpoint of someone who hasn't lived through a pregnancy or birth themselves (and I haven't, but still).

Did I mention that Edward chewed the fetus out of Bella?  Do I really need to comment on that?

Edward had to change Bella before she died, which was crazy-predictable.  Then came a chapter where Bella was like "Ow, this hurts" over and over again...  Oh, yeah, we're back in Bella's head again, great.

Then, what will Bella be like?  Over and over, through every single book we've heard that newborn vampires are difficult to control and require a year of growing up before they're even close to being able to be around humans.  And Bella?  She's remarkable, of course, and gets the hang of being a vampire in a DAY.   With all of this, Bella also kept all of the human traits that she loved about herself, and lost the ones that she didn't (she is no longer clumsy, she is graceful!).  She is suddenly beautiful, and we get to sit through page after page of her talking about how great she looks.  We also get to hear about how Edward looks EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL now that she can see him through vampire eyes.

Oh, she named the baby Renesmee (combination of Renee and Esme).  When I hear a complaint about this book, it's almost always about the baby's name.  Now that I have read the book, I'm thinking REALLY?  THAT is your issue?  I can shrug that one off.  Anyway, Renesmee actually becomes my favorite Twilight character because she doesn't talk much.

Bella, of course, has no issue being around Renesmee because she is a perfect vampire and has total control all of the sudden.  Everyone built them a beautiful cottage in the woods, and Alice throws a tantrum because Bella won't wear the clothes that she wants Bella to wear (again, WTF Alice?).  Jacob imprints (kind of a love at first sight thing) on Renesmee, which of course wraps the whole love triangle up into a neat little bow.

Bella even gets to remain in her father's life, and spends time with him and introduces him to Renesmee.  Charlie was like "weird, you look different and you have a toddler when you didn't have one only a couple of months ago...  Eh, whatever."  WORST PARENT EVER.

At the end of the book, the Volturi (the crazy old Italian vampires) come to kill off the Cullens because they are led to believe that the Cullens  have created a vampire child, which is a total no-no.  There's this HUGE build up and when the Volturi finally show up - they stand around for a while and talk and then leave.  And then the book ends.  I kid you not.

That's right, this book was full of weird.  It did NOT include a racy sex scene, it DID include a bizarre birth scene, and there was NO CONFLICT.  Nothing.  Lost potential opportunities for conflict:

  • Bella's parents should have taken issue with the wedding and Bella should have had to fight to demonstrate why she was getting married and why it was a good idea.  Did this happen?  No.  
  • Not to mention that Bella should have fought a little harder to NOT marry Edward in the first place, since she really didn't want to and the only reason she was doing it was to have sex.  Is this the message we want to send to today's teens???
  • Bella wasn't really supposed to stay in contact with her parents, and this should have been a bit more of conflict as well.  
  • She should have tried to eat Renesmee.  Just sayin'.
  • She definitely should have tried to eat SOMEONE.
  • She's perfect?  Really?
  • After three books, Jacob just easily moves on from Bella just like that.  How easy for everyone.
  • The Volturi should have at least fought some sort of "Battle of Hogwarts" like battle and SOMEBODY should have died.  Preferably Alice.
I don't know.  It was just weird and contrived.  I don't even have the same complaints as with the rest of the series - this was just such a departure from what the rest of the books were.  Why aren't more Twilight fans upset about this??

Anyway, it will definitely be interesting to see how we go about making a movie out of this one.  I just finally caught the Eclipse movie on HBO, so I'm all caught up on the movies  (well, unless you count the fact that I fell asleep through New Moon and didn't really watch most of it).

Thank goodness these books are over.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Recipe: Grilled Chicken with Rosemary and Thyme

I was sent a sample of Knorr's new Homestyle Stock to try out.  It's a concentrated stock, which you might use in recipes instead of broth or bouillon.  I discovered that it makes an excellent grilled chicken.  At first, I wanted to try using it to roast, but since it's summer, I wanted to see if I could grill it.



Grilled Chicken with Rosemary and Thyme
Serves: 4
Total cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients:


1 4-pound roaster chicken (remove neck & giblets)
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
1 tub Knorr's Homestyle Chicken Stock
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika

1. Preheat your grill for indirect grilling.  For me, I have a gas grill with four burners, so I turned on two of the burners to medium-high, until it was preheated to about 350 degrees.  If you have a charcoal grill, stack them on one side of the grill.

2. Cut up the back of the chicken with a pair of kitchen shears.  You could also go the full way to butterfly the chicken, but I just cut it and left it at that.

3. Chop the rosemary and thyme, and mix them in a small bowl with the chicken stock.

4. Loosen the skin from the chicken around the breast and thighs.  Rub half of the herb mixture under the skin of the chicken and half of the herb mixture over the skin of the chicken.

5. Sprinkle with paprika and pepper.

6. Place the chicken on the grill over the heat breast side down and cook for 8 minutes.  Turn over and cook 8 more minutes.  Move the chicken to the indirect heat side of the grill and cook for 45 minutes, or until it reaches 165 degrees (measure with a meat thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh)

7. Remove from grill and serve!  Yum!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pikesville 5K 2011

Six Years of Shirts (I've run the race 7 times, but one shirt - 2008 - is in Florida at my in-laws' house)
The Pikesville 5K is the race that I've run the most times in my life.  This was my seventh year (feel free to read the race reports for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 or 2010 if you're so inclined).  I usually say that I don't like this race.  In fact, I wouldn't choose to run a 5K on what is always a hot July Sunday (seriously, in 7 years, it's always sunny, never even overcast... Plan your wedding or outdoor event on the Sunday after July 4).  I like to run fast races like this in cooler temps, so I tend to prefer it in March or April, plus throwing in a 3 mile weekend in the middle of Marathon training really sucks.  However, it's my running store's home race and it's on the schedule for my running group.  It also has nice door prizes (I won some luggage once), and nice giveaways and breakfast after, so I go.  Really, it was the fact that this is the only race that I've never missed since I started running in 2005 that really got me out there.  Side note: You could argue that the Shamrock 5K is another race I've never missed, but the 2005 Shamrock 5K happened a few weeks before I started running, so I didn't participate in that one until 2006.

I was on vacation from June 30 to July 7, so I hadn't run in nearly two weeks before this race.  This made it especially difficult to get out bed.  But, I'd already registered and so I got up and headed out.  Todd sat this one out, since I had forced him to a baby shower and a family event on Saturday.  On the way down to Pikesville, I realized that had forgotten my watch. The watch is the main piece of equipment for a Galloway runner, so I was left with no choice but to do no intervals at all and just run when I felt like it.

I had a lot of friends running, but in my group that I lead, I only had one runner show.  This is probably good because I totally had a bad attitude.  We took a group photo and headed to the starting line.  No chip timing here, so it was somewhat confusing about where exactly the start is.

Hot, sunny, hot, sunny.  That is how I describe this race.  I almost ran straight through on the first mile, only taking a short walk break in the middle.  I don't know what "intervals" I was doing, since I was watch-less.  The course is rolling hills in the blistering sun, so in mile 2 I slowed down some.  As the race continued, I walked more and more, but still kept it up.  My friend Lynn was leapfrogging with me and finally asked what intervals I was doing.  "uh, I don't know."

My final time was 34:08, which is my fourth best 5K finish time and my best Pikesville 5K time to date.  Yay, a new course PR!  Maybe there's something to this no watch thing - although for a race that was longer, I think I would get sick of making my own decisions about when to walk.

I didn't win any door prizes, but I did take advantage of a free massage at the finish line, something I never, ever do!  So, in the end it was a fine race and I'm glad I got up to go run it.  At least it kicks me back into gear every year after vacation.

The whole Fleet Feet Group - I'm in there somewhere.  Can you find me?
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Levin

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Countdown to NYC: 4 Months

It's four months until my big New York City Marathon.  I started out really nervous, and I've grown to be pretty excited about the race.  This is a cool race.  I'm lucky - I was picked!  First try, even!  I'm still apprehensive about the logistics of the start line and the crowds, but this will definitely be a race to remember.

In order to get myself excited, I watched the 2008 documentary "Run for Your Life," which I thought was about the NYC Marathon, and it was, but it was more about Fred Lebow, who basically started the marathon:



I liked it, although I do wish that it had been a little bit more about the marathon and less about Mr. Lebow.  That being said, Fred Lebow was a pretty cool guy.  First of all, he was slow.  He was described as being able to run a mile and a half in 15 minutes.  Guess what?  That's my pace!!  I love that about him.

Fred was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1990, but even through that he ended up running the 1992 New York City Marathon with a time of 5:32.  Again, that's my pace!!  It was so inspiring to see him running with Grete Waitz at his side.  I mean, he trained for and ran a marathon with brain cancer.  What excuse can you possibly come up with to not run when you've seen that.  I'm certain I'll think of Fred during my marathon.

Fred Lebow died in 1994, and there is a statue in Central Park of him checking his watch.  Each year, it's moved so that it is within sight of the finish line.  Provided I'm feeling ok, I'm going to go find the statue and get a photo on race day. Like The Penguin and Jeff Galloway, Fred Lebow is an inspiration to all of us mid-to-back-of the packers out there.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Two Years

Year Zero: July 2, 2009

Year One: July 2, 2010
Happy Anniversary to my husband and best friend!  It's been a wonderful two years, and I'm looking forward to celebrating for many years to come!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Stats as of 30 June 2011

June 2010
52.8 miles
11 hours, 32 minutes
Avg Pace: 13:07/mile


June 2011
72.0 miles -- 19.2 miles more than in 2010
15 hours, 51 minutes -- 4 hours, 19 minutes longer than in 2010
Avg Pace: 13:13/mile -- 6 seconds slower than in 2010


Year Totals:
292.3 miles at 12:46 per mile


Woa, and already it becomes clear that I trained for a half marathon last year and I'm training for a full marathon this year.  I think I'm still on track to get to my 700 miles for the year, but only because I've got some big mileage months coming up soon.

There's a long run this coming weekend, but it's a holiday weekend and I won't be able to make it, so I was forced to make up the run on Monday morning.  It was literally the only time that I was able to do the run, and I had been dreading it for about a week prior to actually running.  The dreading was worse than the run itself.

The part I was dreading was that I had to do the run before work, and it was a fairly big one: 14 miles.  That meant that I had to be up at 5am, then drive to the trail, then do the 14 mile run, then go to work and shower there and work a full day.  I know there are bloggers that would have found this par for the course, but for me, I'm used to napping after my long runs.  I made it, though, despite the fact that it poured for a good portion of the run.  I listened to an audiobook while I ran, which helped tremendously.

Oh yeah, I am anti-headphone.  However, I think headphones are ok in the following situations:

  1. You are on a treadmill
  2. OR:
  3. You are running where there are no cars, it is daytime, you have volume at a reasonable level, and you are not listening to music (talking instead).
So, number 2 applies here.

Things are going quite well.  I have a tiny Galloway group this year - only 5 people.  One of those is a running friend that I've known for years, but the others are all new to me.  We're starting to get to know one another, though, and so far things are going very well.

So...  June was a great month, but I don't know what else to really share about it. We ran.  It rocked.  The end.
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