Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Five

1. I've been doing this video that Kim proposed as a challenge....

It's 39 minutes long, and so so so so hard. The first day, I wasn't sure I would complete both rounds. My arms, back, and core were EXHAUSTED all day, and then sore the next 2 days. My triceps, specifically. WHAT ARE THOSE MUSCLES EVEN USED FOR, except exercising and being sore?


I did it again yesterday, and... still awful, but maybe a little LESS awful? Hard to say.

I'll try again to confirm.

2. I've been waking up early to exercise all week. I know, I'm not sure what's gotten into me.

Okay, that's kind of a lie. I've gotten up at my normal time, but with summer here, I have freeeeeee time in the morning to work out, instead of getting kids ready for school/walking Gabby to school. And for some wacky reason, summer in SoCal means less freeway traffic, so I've been breezing into work in 25 minutes, instead of my normal 45.

I kind of like getting the work out of the way early, so I can do a short run after work... or do nothing at all. That would be my favorite choice.

3. It is hot hot hot in SoCal this week. I'm lucky that I live in OC, where it's only expected to be around 90 this weekend, so I guess for a lot of people, that's just called Summer.

I hope it's not a repeat of last summer when it was hot for, like, weeks. Whatever. It's hard being me. I guess it means I'll just have to do my long run by the cool, breezy ocean. The suffering.

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Tiny A and Tiny Gabby! Becka, remember when?!

4. I'm volunteering at the start line at Harding Hustle tomorrow! I don't know if I actually know anyone running, but I am really excited. I love volunteering, and since I am planning on a long trail race this fall, I'm really interested to see what goes on.

If you'll be there, let me know! It's supposed to be approximately a BILLION HUNDRED DEGREES, so stay hydrated!!

5. I met Gabby on my way in the other night, where she was busy picking all the flowers off some hedges by our apartment. "Mom, wait, stay with me!". Um. Okay. What are you doing? "Building a bouquet." Oh, fun. Can I help? "No.". Oh. Can I go? "No." Oh. Who is it for? "Someone very special."

And then she gave it to me. "Beacause you're very special to me."
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I die.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

#NotEatingAllTheThings - week 7-8

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3.5
Week 5
Week 6

So, listen. Long report summarized, I'm up 1.7lbs over the last 2 weeks.

Total since beginning this experiment: -5.4lbs.

As I told Becka yesterday, I was anticipating a gain, because I've 1. been eating kind of whatever I want, and 2. barely moving my body. I just didn't feel like it, so I didn't do much to be productive in the "experiment".

I'm not really too bummed about it; I'm not going to pretend I've been eating well and it's a mystery why the scale creeped up.

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Nope. No mystery.

I'm pretty comfortable with how my clothes are fitting, which is really what prompted the experiment to begin with. So I just wasn't super motivated to try harder?

Now that I'm planning on ramping back up on the mileage and cross training, I think I'll go back to logging my food in My Fitness Pal so I can keep myself in check - I am quick to say I earned a treat, and then it fast becomes I earned ALL the treats.

Becka, on the other hand, has killed this game. She wins. If you want to see someone doing this game RIGHT, go read her recap. It sounds like drinking more beer is the key to her success??

I'll have to stop at the store on the way home to stock up.

edited this to say, I am not unhappy with 5.4lb loss over 8 weeks - considering the minimal amount of exercising, I'm fine with it - it's just over .5lb/week, and that's a-okay in my book. Just to clarify.

Monday, June 24, 2013

So, this one time I thought I'd do a trail run. PFTW.

Last week:
Monday/Tuesday: Nothing; I called this "recovery"
Wednesday: 3 easy miles
Thursday/Friday: Nothing; I called this "lazy"
Saturday: 5 - Trails!
Sunday: 5 easy

Total: 13 easy paced miles

I had this idea recently that I would do all of my summer long runs on trails. I'm toying with some fall/winter plans, and want to get some time in the dirt to really gauge my interest (for real interest vs I'm bored and have race envy interest).

I'd discussed running long on trails this weekend with the H, and we loosely decided to run 8-10 miles at a not-so-local trail about 45 minutes away.

And then I hit snooze a bazillion times, and by the time we managed to be ready to run, it was looking HOT. We hit up a local trail instead, for a 5 mile loop.

Because The H hates me, he said we should run the loop clockwise instead of counter-clockwise - we had hiked it counter-clockwise last time, and his intention was to run the hard part first, and finish with the easy part.

This was a terrible, TERRIBLE plan. The first mile was up an incline, then down a little bit, but then up for 2 miles. It was essentially 3.5 miles of terrible incline. It was HARD.

By the time we hit the ridgeline, it was sunny and hot.

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Then, THEN! The descent that I was really looking forward to, was really too technical to even really run. So... thwarted.

Oh well.
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It was fun. And now I know, counter-clockwise.
On Sunday, I ran to my friend's house, picked her up, and then we ran to breakfast. This was a genius plan.
Until my car wouldn't start, and her husband had to come rescue us.
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A jump, a trip to fancy South Coast Plaza in my ProCompression....
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and some semi-annual sale shopping....
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and a new battery was installed, and I was on my way. My 5 mile run took me 5 hours. That is not efficient.

Plan for this week.....
Monday: Cross training (did arms, core, and glutes/thighs this morning, 30 minutes)
Tuesday: 3-4 miles easy, cross training
Wednesday: Cross training
Thursday: 3-4 miles easy, cross training
Friday: Cross training
Saturday: Volunteering!
Sunday: Long run, maybe on trails, depending on weather

Total mileage: I'd like to get 20-ish?

This weekend, I'll be volunteering at the Harding Hustle - if you'll be there, maybe I'll see you!
The rest of my weekend was spent at a birthday party for some old neighbors who abandoned our cozy apartments for a giant house with a giant backyard filled with a giant tree. So rude of them. Who would ever want to do that.

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Stupid trees. Stupid tire swings.

Ever since I threw the Dinosaur Party for Gab's end of chemo, I spy other parties like a breeding ground for "Great Ideas I Didn't Even Know I Was Sad I Missed". Like these individual cakes. Delicious, and perfectly portioned, AND you could make them ahead of time.

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And then the rest of our weekend was spent outfitting #1 for Cross Country camp, which started today.

Be still my heart.... after trying on a dozen shoes in 4 different stores, she picked these.

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Run happy, #1.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fun Photo Friday - kid stuff, #SFM2013 stuff, random stuff

1. I've been attending "graduations" for the last two days. Apparently it's a Thing to celebrate graduating Kindergarten, 6th grade (elementary school), and 8th grade now? That's new to me.

I know. Can you handle the cuteness?

2. And 6th grade....

3. #1 spent the day at Knott's Berry Farm with her friends (it was a school trip, I'm not just randomly cool enough to send her to a park on a school day).

Unfortunately, no pictures of her. But here's a giraffe selfie.

4. While I was playing in San Francisco last weekend, The H hung up my new Allied Medal Hanger, and reorganized them!

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He's great. I guess I need to register for some marathons to fill up that hanger....

My next hanger purchase, I believe, will be one of Allied's new Magical Design hangers.... maybe... this one?

Magic, it's true.

5. This kid sure has the pinchablest cheeks ever.
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Brooke is the cutest. A bunch of local friends/bloggers had dinner a few days ago at a local mall.

Pam, Janae, Kristina the non-blogger, me, Skinny Runner, Faster Bunny, Striding Mom
6. While in San Francisco for 36 very short hours (womp), I spent a couple hours working the tech center at the expo....
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And watching all the runners leave their mark on the SFM #SF4BOSTON banner.
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The expo this year felt MUCH better than last year - more space for everyone and the vendors.
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I spy BicBands!
7. At the expo, I finally got to meet some of the other Ambassadors, and attend the SFM tweet up.
Ambassador Meg, me, my favorite/weekend host Renee, and Ambassador Courtney
 The Uniform of Awesome... 
Court, me, Alisyn, Meg, Elise
So much sparkle!

8. One of the best things about running the first half, is I got to finish the race early in the morning, pick up my delicious finish line goodies....
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...and hop on the transport buses down to the finish area to watch the marathon and second half finishers coming in. I love spectating - racing PLUS spectating in the same race?? Fantastic.

I was able to see my friend Sandy from BicBands finishing her first full marathon strong...
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I also got to see a few other SFM Ambassador's finishing - check out their recaps...
Paulette PR'ed in the 2nd half
Alisyn helped pace Paulette to that awesome PR
Meg finished crazy fast in the hilly 1st half
Average A tried to be stealthy about running fast, but she destroyed the marathon
Chris nailed an insane PR in the full
Janey ran the full
and Krissy LOVED her first SFM experience

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

San Francisco Marathon First Half - Race Recap

Last year, I fell in love with the San Francisco Marathon. It was my redemption race - my second marathon after a freaking awful debut in Seattle

I knew, immediately, that I wanted to run this race again. I was excited to be selected as an SFM Ambassador a few months later, but honestly, I would have run even without the ambassadorship. 

There are some races that are just GOOD. You can tell they're put on FOR a runner, with a runner in mind. The course is well thought out, the details are nailed. SFM is one of those races.

The San Francisco Marathon is historically held in mid/late July. It was moved this year to accommodate America's Cup; next year, it is back on schedule for July 24th, and early registration is now open (link HERE).

The event offers several different races - the full marathon, first half, second half, and a 5k, plus a kids race as well. 

And the challenges - I cannot pass up a challenge, which is how I ended up running the first half this year. The Half it All Challenge (for runners completing the 1st half and the 2nd half in consecutive years), the 52 Club (runners who have completed the 1st half, followed by the 2nd half, followed by the full in consecutive years), and the LA/SF Challenge (runners who have completed the LA Marathon plus SFM, in any order, in consecutive years). 

I talked last week about how I didn't really have a goal for this race. I was not feeling very confident in my endurance. I know the speed is gone for now, since I'm barely running, and most certainly not doing speed work. 

I was hoping to drag myself in under 2:30, and actually planned on carrying a camera and taking as many pictures as I felt like taking (spoiler, I crushed both goals).

As an ambassador, I was incredibly lucky to have access to the VIP area in Perry's on Embarcadero, just steps from the start line. Starting in wave 5 at 6:02, I got to Perry's around 5:15, and was able to have some breakfast, some coffee, and hang out in the warmth until my start time. 

Around 5:45, I headed out to drop my bag (bag check is SUPER easy and well organized - every truck was labeled clearly, and after the race, I literally just showed the volunteer my bib, and they handed over my bag within 2 seconds. Everything was put away neatly), and made my way to the back of corral 5. 

We started right on time, and unlike last year, it was SUNNY. It was still cool, but the not a cloud over the Embarcadero. It was really, really lovely.

I would argue that the first half is the tougher half, elevation-wise...
I would also argue that it's more scenic. Don't worry, I have plenty of pictures to back up my claim.

Ummmm. the pictures. 

Like I said, things went pretty well for me. I wore my iPod, but never turned it on. I wore my Garmin, but never paid attention to the pace. I just... ran. And looked around. And snapped pictures.
That was, in fact, exactly my thought at that moment.

Some things crossed my mind, like I noticed my quads were achy. I noticed my ankle didn't hurt. But afterwards, I couldn't really remember thinking about anything. 

I spent about a mile being really confused about how much farther I had, because I can't do math while I'm running (that's a lie, I just can't do the math ever). For awhile, I calculated that I'd probably be coming in around 2:40-2:45. Eventually, my math caught up to me, and I realized I had 2:30 within reach. Easily. 

I ran comfortably, and easy, and... man. It was just NICE. I walked plenty of the uphills, like I normally do because I'm the laziest and don't train, but otherwise? I felt.... good. 

I remembered from last year that I felt the aid stations were too far apart sometimes, so I carried my handheld, and it worked perfectly. The aid stations were never crowded, I just like more hydration. 

Tangents aren't really my thing, I guess, because I ended up running 13.25, in 2:27:45.

The really interesting thing about this (to me, I really know it's not that fascinating) is this:

Well. That's some pretty consistent pacing. 

Especially for someone who claims to be really terrible when the course is running uphill.

Compared to last years instant crash and burn....

Last year, the first half felt HARD for me. I was legit considering quitting at the half. This year, I finished the first half 8 minutes faster, and it felt EASY.

Interesting. And, not bad, me.


I don't think I can say enough how much I love this race. It's beautiful. It's so well managed. Every single volunteer I encountered was friendly, helpful, and FUN. I think that's really what I like - everyone there seems to really be having fun. 

Can't wait for next year. Anyone in for the second half? It's downhill.....

I'll recap the rest of the SFM trip separately later this week. 

Closing: You should run this race. Really.

Monday, June 17, 2013

San Francisco, I love you.

And your coffee.
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And your pretty buildings.
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And all your pretty bridges.
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And the best race course ever.
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I had a GREAT time in SF. Marathon weekend there is just magical. So many runners, so many friends, a really WELL run race... it's just great. It was a bright, sunny, beautiful morning. Perfect. Just... perfect.

The race was interesting for me - I haven't run a half (besides Disney races) in over a year. I haven't run a race without Becka in, like... Gosh. A year. I was unsure of my fitness level. I pretty much went in with very little expectations regarding my performance, and was pleasantly surprised. Recap to come!
Brace yourselves now, because I took over 100 pictures on the course....


Plan for the week.... maybe.

Last week I was very lazy! Actually, I feel like I was very busy in the evenings last week, and I'm not sure why? I can't remember anything specifically that would make me feel that way. Weird.
Monday: Nothing
Tuesday: Yoga sculpt, tank top arms, core (40 minutes)
Wednesday: 3 miles easy
Thursday: Nothing
Friday: More Nothing
Saturday: Travel, worked the expo for a few hours, and walking SF surely counts, right?
Sunday: 13.25 miles (I am terrible at tangents)

I am an expert at the taper?

This week:
Monday: Easy walk/jog to shake out some achy quads.
Tuesday: Cross training
Wednesday: 3-4 miles easy
Thursday: Cross training
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Trail run with The H!
Sunday: Unsure. Rest? Easy run? Eh.

Now comes the time in my "training" where I have nothing really coming up.

The next race I'm registered for is July 11, race #2 in the Renegade Summer Trail Run series. It's a 5 mile trail run, and I'm not exactly racing it.

After that is Race #3 in the series on August 1st, and then nothing until Dumbo Challenge Aug 31/Sept 1.

And possibly some fall plans that I'm not quite ready to pin down/talk about out loud.

There may be some trails in my future. We'll see.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#NotEatingAllTheThings - Week 6. Frozen Crap I've been Eating for Lunch (review)

Previous recaps herehere, here, and here.

I have FINALLY undone the Weekend of Gluttony damage, plus some. So... essentially, I'm back to the lowest weight I can recall before I got super lazy, from back in December.

Loss this week: 2.9lbs. As it turns out, apparently the key to this is watching what you take in, and exercising.

Who knew.

E from Running with Bling commented last week......

It's true, they are NOT great for me, nor are they particularly delicious (most of the time).

Believe me, I'm under no illusions that I am making a healthy choice by picking these things up. However...

1. I have to prioritize where I spend my time, and often, the time that I'm at home, making lunch doesn't necessarily make the cut. These are fast and easy.
2. It's certainly less expensive than eating out daily.
3. I do not think that they will kill me dead if I eat them for one meal a day, a few times a week. The majority of my diet otherwise is fresh, whole foods that we cook at home.

With all that in mind, sometimes - for me - it's a compromise I'm willing to make.

And just in case you ever wondered, "Man, that picture looks pretty good, I wonder if it's as delicious as it photographs!", I present my review of The Frozen Crap I've Been Eating For Lunch, ranked from least delicious, to most.

The Frozen Crap I've Been Eating For Lunch

1. Healthy Choice Crustless Chicken Pot Pie
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In fairness, I don't like cooked carrots, nor do I like peas. Obviously, this was a poor purchase on my part, as both are clearly pictured on the packaging (WHY, me?!). The dumplings (well, "dumplings") were rubbery and weird. The chicken was fine. The corn was... corn. The sauce stuff was okay. But since I don't like half of the other stuff, this gets a 2/10 from me. {unfairly rated}

2. Campbell's Mexican Style Chicken Tortilla

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I know, not frozen, but still something pre-packaged. Eh. Not delicious, but not AWFUL. Kind of flavorless and watery? Despite have a billion mg's of sodium, really tasted like it could have used some salt. Also, I have a serious salt-tooth, so maybe it's just me. 3/10.

3. Healthy Choice Golden Roasted Turkey Breast with stuffing, green beans, and cherry/blueberry "dessert".
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I actually picked this strictly because it was fairly low cal, and it was birthday cake day in the office, so I was eating lean. It was OKAY. It honestly tastes about as great as it looks, but I love stuffing in all forms, so this earns a little bit of an extra point. 4/10.

4. Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Chicken Breast with Pablano Sauce, with barley and corn risotto
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I don't remember too much about this, so I am assuming it was not offensive? The sauce was DELICIOUS, but the "risotto" was not so much with the risotto, and more with "some stuff sort of creamed together". 5/10

5. Lean Cuisine Ranchero Braised Beef with chipotle mashed sweet potatoes, this is an AWESOME picture.
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This was surprisingly good. The beef was... you know. Frozen/Microwaved beef, but the sauce was pretty good. And the sweet potatoes were great. I'd totally buy this again. 7/10

6. Trader Joe's Shepherds Pie
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I've had this a few times, and I like it. The potatoes are a little watery, and it's never as filled as the picture pretends it is, but everything in it is pretty tasty. It's packaged as 2 servings at 180 cals each, which I find DUMB, because... hello, it's one tiny bowl. Not shabby for 360 cals, and it actually kept me full for awhile (unlike everything else so far...). 7.5/10

7. Amy's Mexican Casserole Bowl
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This was pretty good! I added a ton of hot sauce, and that made it even more delicious. It was not terribly filling, though, so only 7.5/10. Womp.

8. Evol Chipotle Chicken Mac & Cheese
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Delicious. Tiny, tiny portion for a LOT of calories (400+, if I'm remembering correctly?). I likely wouldn't buy this again, because I was starving the rest of the day, but it was GOOD. 6/10, only because of the portion size/calorie ratio.


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