More Running Songs..

I like the posts where I tell you what I'm listening to (I'm just re-reading some of the things I wrote this month), so decided to make this a regular feature to go with mileage updates. Happy listening!

  • Closer to you by Jackie Greene may not sound like a running song at first, but it's great for long runs.

  • Black or White by the late Michael Jackson is one I recently re-discovered. It's got a nice pace.

  • Back in the High Life Again. I know it's not, but it feels like a Rick-roll for some reason. The first verse is my favorite for running. It always makes me look around at where I am and enjoy it.

  • Lay Em Down is another song I find totally relaxing when I run. I think this group might technically be a Christian group. I can't figure it out. But I love this song anyway.

  • Finally, have I said how much I love Human by The Killers? It makes me think of last summer training.

Finding peace and joy running up hills...

Hey, that title would actually make a good facebook status.
It's been a rough week since the awesome long run on Tuesday. The Jewish holiday of Passover is fast approaching. While I'm totally in favor of having 4 of the next 10 working days off, it's made for a busy work week. I described this week (the week before Passover) to someone who is not Jewish as, "like what we go through to get everyhing ready for Christmas but times a hundred". Since I'm a fairly lax cleaner by any standards, (and I don't have to clean my house) I contribute at the office by doing coverage for my colleagues. Which only added to the mayhem this week.

Thursday morning I had an awesome run with Beth. Even more awesome was when she said, "you're getting faster". Win! I spent the rest of the day remembering how early 5:00am is when you stay awake after it. By about 4:00pm I was ready to go home and crawl in bed. And then I spent an hour trying to leave the office. (Refer to the above note about coverage.) On the way home from work I swung by one of my co-worker's houses and saw first hand all the cleaning and cooking work she has to do. I had another helpful moment as she was cooking spaghetti sauce (homemade, she is such a good cook). I said, "how are you gonna use that?" And she didn't know. I suggested spaghetti squash which is actually a food that can be eaten for Passover (Hey, I'm learning) and she thought it was a good idea.

I stopped at Chipotle on the way home and went whole hog with a burrito plus chips and guacamole.

Friday I slept in because I had a short work day. (Win!) I had a really nice visit with one person. A KFC was conveniently located between her house and my office so I patronized them for lunch. (It's so bad but it's soooo good.) I kept my nose to the grind stone the rest of the day at work. Then, I cried uncle, turned my phone off and packed my computer.

And I went for a run. It can only be the hill route that's making me faster in all other running so I feel some incentive to keep it up. I didn't need to do 4.7 miles, I only needed about 2 miles but it felt cheap to just run up Montreal hill and then back down it. It wasn't actually 'till about mile 3.5 that I could feel my anxiety (about work) finally let go and leave my body so I'm glad I went the whole way. I still cannot run all the way up Montreal Ave but I do much more than the first time I tried. I usually walk a few steps under this pedestrian bridge which is a nice target and I usually get stopped at the Edgecumb light. (I don't know what I'd do if I wasn't stopped at that light because I usually count on that break.) Then I can make it all the way up to Snelling, no problem. What usually winds up hurting the most is the last two blocks of Bohland Ave that are super steep. But then I get to run back down Montreal Ave and I can get up a good head of steam. Today I paced a skateboarder going down the hill.

After the run I came home and did some case notes. Now that they're done I can relax for the weekend. Tomorrow I'm going to the Mall of America with Amanda, three teenagers and a five year old. I'll let you know how it goes but I think it'll be fun.

I am also still pleasantly surprised by Pandora. For some reason it plays commercials on my work computer but they're disabled on my home computer. I must have an extension or script on the home one that work computer doesn't have.


Random thoughts and links before bed

I ran today which means I'm not hungry and I'm not tired. It just feels good to be in my body right now. The not sleepy part is important because it also means a bonus blog post.

  • Win to the Park Board for having four port-a-pots at various points around Lake Harriet. Boo to whomever for making all four of them totally gross and unusable.

  • Win to the little girl on the scooter who said, "Daddy, that runners going really fast" when I went by them. Made my day.

  • Remember when cell phones had roaming charges? Me too. Gosh doesn't that seem like forever ago.

  • I'm trying this Pandora thing. I really like it so far. My idea of the perfect radio station is something like Acoustic Sunrise pretty much all the time except when I run. There are some good songs on here. So far it's been a pleasant surprise.

  • Remember when streaming music sites started? I do. I was what you'd call an early adopter at that point. (Possibly because I was a decidedly late adopter of the iPod.) It was a less than ideal situation as I remember and I un-adopted it pretty quick. There were lots of commercials and the stations didn't really understand which songs I wanted to hear. There was also a fairly limited catalog as I recall.

  • I totally need to fill out the census. Oops.

  • Win for health care. There's tons of information on this one. First, a good look at how you're likely to interact with the new health care system; next a look at the immediate effects of the bill. As a person trying to count calories, I was pleasantly surprised by the 'nutrient content disclosure' clause. Also, this article says something about the 'non-profit' arm of Blue Cross but in Minnesota all health insurance companies are required to be non-profit (why is that not a law everywhere?) so I'm assuming this applies to all of them. Finally, ::steps on on soap box:: what this bill means for Minnesota in particular. It sounds like good news. I'm not sure why Governor Pawlenty wants to sue the federal government over the legislation (other than the Republicans lost this one) when it's going to bring some much needed money to the state and save GAMC (which is a great program and should be saved) but I guess I'm not surprised. Over half the county is in favor of single-payer health care so of course he's against it. :: Steps down::

  • I think this is a great idea.

Long Run Tuesday

Long runs are now dictated by which days I can go to work late and the weather. (I love my job.)

I thought about going over to Ft Snelling but I was honestly afraid part of the path would be underwater. The river is really high and that path gets pretty close in a couple of places. Instead, I did another one of my favorite runs, along the parkway to Lake Harriet.

I got lost. Twice.

The road under 35W is still closed? Boooo! You have got to be kidding me. I know I've only mentioned this once, nope twice, oh seriously, well, you get the idea. They fooled me this time because it actually says the pedestrian path under the bridge is open. Except when I got there it was physically fenced off and there was a bobcat moving dirt next to the path I wanted to run. Boooo.

I wound up running down to Diamond Lake Road and there is where my navigation efforts started to fail me. I'd actually dealt with the 35W construction long enough that I'd run down to Diamond Lake Road before and used that bridge to cross the expressway. What I forgot is that I needed to stay on Diamond Lake to Lyndale. I got over 35W and turned back north and started thinking, "huh, I didn't realize the creek was so close" and then thought "damn, this hill up Lyndale is really steep from this angle." It was about then that I realized I was on Nicollet Ave which does not intersect Minnehaha Parkway at all, instead there's a bridge over the parkway. There's actually this little street that comes right up from the parkway that I used to get back to my path. But I was momentarily confused. I was also trying to avoid stopping on the bridge and turning around in front of all the cars and the bus there. (It was a moment of OCD and social anxiety I know, but I'm sure you understand.)

Running up Montreal Ave must really be paying off because there's a couple big hills at the end of the run and I had no problems with any of them. The one that usually kills me starts at the bottom of the creek and starts climbing just before Lyndale Avenue. All my time on Lyndale and most of my time on 50th street is up hill. I didn't walk any of it which has probably never been the case before. The best part of that is coming down 50th street in a 200ft drop. I can get running really fast down that hill. (Use the elevation feature on the Gmap site and look around mile 9 to see what I'm talking about.)

I'm also sampling running nutrition products right now to find out which ones I like. I used Gu gel packs last year which were awesome when they weren't killing my digestive track. I wont' be using them this year. I tried the Cliff Peanut Butter Shot Rocks and I found them disgusting. I think other people would like them but there was a taste and smell that was too close to butterscotch/caramel/something-I-don't-like for me to do deal with. I could even smell it when I bit into one. After sampling those I went on to my packet of Strawberry Gu Chomps. Those were awesome. Good flavor, easy to chew and swallow, and really gave me energy. I think I have one more packet of those, maybe a different fruit flavor.

I've decided that I really must have been sick last week when I did my long run because I ran that far today and felt great the whole run.

After the run I went to work. About the second I got home I realized I want to eat Chipotle so I'm writing this while traffic calms down so I can go back out and get my food. After dinner I'll work a little while and head to the hot tub at the Y.


Weekend update

What have I been up to (besides not updating the blog?)

Thursday: I definitely worked on Thursday. At the end of the day I did the Hill Run again. It was easier and harder than the first time. When I first tried this route we were still in the major spring thaw and there were tons of puddles and ice flows every where. So it naturally broke the run into smaller pieces. This time, spring has thawed so there were fewer natural stopping points which meant longer intervals of running up hill. It also meant longer intervals of running down hill. Running fast down hill makes me smile.
When I got home Amanda called to say she got free tickets to Macbeth, not the most uplifting play I've ever seen. Amanda was mildly impressed when I said, 'oh is this the one where the witches go "double, double, toil and trouble"' and just rolled her eyes when I said 'that part is in trochaic tetrameter but the rest of the play is in iambic pentameter'. Thanks Walnut Hills and Ms. Mahin's 12th grade AP English class in particular.

Friday: OMFG I am going to die! I woke up with a migraine. I took some pretty strong drugs that killed the migraine but knocked me out for a while. I had one meeting at 2pm (I know, who schedules a meeting then?) at work which I did attend. The rest of the day I was on the couch.

Saturday: At 2am I woke up in immense pain. (Not a migraine but a related event.) At 3am I decided I couldn't plan to get up and run at 7:15am with the St Paul runners. (I felt like I'd be dead by then anyways.) So basically I was sick all day Saturday. More couch time.

Sunday: I woke up and thought, "oh, I have my body back". Sadly, since I'd been sick I didn't really have any good food to eat. I made myself a smoothie and that was my first (and really only) mistake for the day. I did wait a fair amount of time before going for a run. Sadly, it was not long enough. New rule for running: no smoothies before running. Ever.
I did try out my new shoes, the axiom 3 which is really like seeing an old friend again. I'm ready to declare the Dyad 5 a good shoe for someone else but they totally sucked for me. Those shoes gave me a blister on my left arch the entire time I owned them. (Wtf?) The only good memory I have of those shoes is coming up the street, seeing the Olympic stadium in Amsterdam at the end of the marathon and thinking, "damn, my feet don't hurt" (other than this blister the size of a pancake).
I am happy to have the normal shoes back. I don't know what's gonna happen the next time I need shoes because I don't think they're making these anymore.
I went to Lake Nokomis (also like seeing an old friend). It was packed because it's an awesome day for running. By the way, I passed a runner and that happens infrequently enough that it's notable. Sadly, the smoothie reared it's ugly head. After mile 4 I got fairly nauseous so I did intervals the rest of the way home. I did run up both hills.
It was about then that Amanda called me and said she wanted to go out for a drink tonight. I got my laundry done in a hurry and went to join her. She drank my beer. (In her defense, I told her to so that I could eventually drive myself home.) She kept checking her iPhone to see if the health care vote passed. We had a nice time at Pizza Luce and then I did drive myself home.

A second, completely entertaining thing that happened today? Remember when my neighbor seemingly set the building on fire trying to cook catfish? Me too. I refer to this guy as 'the chef' now. I kind of wanted this guys number ever since I met him. (It's just a phone number I don't have wedding plans.) When I got out to my car there was a piece of paper under the windshield. When I looked at it, it's a note saying 'sorry, I bumped into your car as I was backing out the other day, let me know if anything's damaged' and leaving a phone number. From The Chef. Amanda told me to call him and let him know that between hitting my car and setting the fire alarms off he owes me a beer at the very least. (I think I might.) My car's fine by the way.

I also found out this weekend that my old soccer coach died. He's also a teammate/friend's dad. (It's weird to be at an age when people's parents start to die.) It's the first time I really thought, 'huh, I wish I still lived in Cincinnati so I could go to this funeral'. I haven't seen the coach, or the friend really, since I graduated high school but he was really a nice guy and he did a lot for our soccer team.

Now, brief linkfest:
  • Annoying habits of your geeky spouse: You know, I thought I'd be guilty of some of these. Surprisingly it's Amanda who wins the geek award because she can only go about two seconds before pulling out the iPhone and Googling to see if I'm telling the truth about 'trochaic tetrameter' and any number of other things. (I'm always right.) I saw the iPhone a lot tonight. Sadly, I did not get to change Amanda's facebook status to something embarrassing awesome!.

  • Hardest thing about working on a PC. Hey, I'm tapping with two fingers, why isn't it doing anything?

  • Thank god I wasn't drinking this tonight! Or maybe that's what I should have had. Who can say?


A quick update

A brief update to my last post.

I found the d%$& receiver for the Nike+ system in my iPod. Where I already looked. Not wild about being 11 miles behind where I could be in the Nike Challenge game. No worries, I'll make it up...

In a surprise move, I did not eat Chipotle. (I know, seriously!) I had some of the dish I made yesterday. Oooh, I should tell you about that.
Yesterday I steamed like 4 heads of kale: purple, green and two dino kale heads. I finished them off by frying bacon and dragging the kale around in the pan with the bacon. I finished them off with a couple poached eggs and had some naan with it. Without the bread it's like a 250 calorie meal, even with the bacon. When I made the dish last night I didn't have the bacon to greens ratio correct (not enough bacon, is there ever?) so I stopped by Kowalskis today. For some reason they don't have good bacon (no hormones, no nitrates, etc.) but they did have some sausage that at the very list weren't given hormones or antibiotics. Mmmmm. Breakfast sausage.

Now I'm laying on my couch thinking about how I need to load the dishwasher and I still need to hang out my running clothes so they don't get stinky.

The first true 'Long Run' of the season...

Here's how it all began:

Sunday: Prettiest. Day. Ever. And I was stuck working. (No, seriously.) The combination of the time change and getting to the office early and being there alone all day meant I was fairly zonked by the time I got home. I opted not to run despite the awesomeness of the day.
I talked to a friend who I (unwisely) let pick out my long run route for today. He thought the "11.5" mile route would be the best. I thought it'd be fun to see Fort Snelling and the river because that's one of my favorite routes. It's gorgeous.

O'dark-thirty: hmmm, I could get up and have a snack before I run. I think I'll just lay here for a minute.

10:00am: Oh, perhaps I should get up and eat something. Gosh, it sure was nice to sleep in.

12:00pm: It's a really pretty day, maybe I should run.

1:00pm: Ok, I'm getting ready to run. I'm wearing the IAmsterdam shirt for good luck. (Hey, whatever helps!)

1:30pm: How the f%&$ did a loose a second receiver for my Nike+ system. I know I put this one away where it belongs. Darn it, now I'm not gonna get credit for this 11 mile run in the Nike+ challenge I'm doing...
I packed up my fuel belt with a water/juice mix in two little bottles and left the other two at home. I also packed two packets of sour patch kids. And off I went to see beautiful Minnehaha Falls; Fort Snelling and the Mississippi River. And beautiful they were.

1:45pm: Huh, that was pretty dumb, I could've just taken my iPod touch with me since that has the receiver for the Nike+ system built in.

1:50pm: Shoot, the port-a-pots aren't out for the summer yet. Shortly thereafter, relief at Minnehaha Falls which is apparently equipped for all seasons. (Thanks to the park board for having, um, facilities up all year for us to use. Fail to the park board for having a handicap port-a-pot's door open onto a 4" height difference where the curb meets the road.)

2:00pm The veterans home is really much more impressive when there's no leaves on the trees. Also, 50* my foot. Feels a lot hotter than that.
I did check the weather. The temp was reported to be in the low 50's where it was supposed to stay. And my brain thought, "great long run weather". My brain did not take into account the fact that I've been running in sub-freezing temperatures for quite some time and when the sub-freezing temperatures backed off, it was still in the low 40s. My brain, and the rest of my body were quite hot.

2:30pm I freaking love this route!

2:45pm Hmmmm, some day I should go see Pike Island and Lake Snelling that's supposed to be back there.
2:50pm This hill may kill me.

3:00pm Thank god, I'm still alive. It would have been smart to pack just water instead of juice and water. The juice was making me feel puke-y. Hmmm, it must be long run season if Gatorade sounds like a good idea again. Also, Gu or shotblox may be worth another try.

3:30pm OMFG, what was I thinking?

4:00pm Are we there yet? This is why the training plans have me add one to two miles per week to my long runs instead of, you know, four miles at once. And for the love of all that is holy, why is this water fountain not on yet?

Eventually I got home. I did start throwing walks into the run when it appeared that I was not emotionally prepared to run the whole thing. I was fighting off some, um, intestinal distress. I'm not sure if having plain water would have helped or if that was just a mental game I was playing.

There were tons of people out today. That's the most people I've ever seen on the Ft Snelling trail. Ever. It's one of my favorite runs but I didn't use it too much as a long run option becuase it opens at sunrise. In the summer when I run early I'm actually up before sunrise. (I know, I can hardly believe it either.) That's why running around the lakes always worked so well for me.

As I was coming around Lake Hiawatha I could really feel the blisters forming. I like these shoes but they give me blisters like no other shoe ever. I think it's actually time for new shoes anyways. I'm going to see what's cheaper and buy that. The Dyad is what I wore for the marathon. It's got much more cushioning and harder to beat down. On the other hand, holy good night, the blisters. You'd think after I had the shoe since September the problem would've stopped. I thought that too. We're both wrong. The Axiom 3 is a shoe I've worn forever before I switched to the Dyad. It was almost always the only running shoes I had. I'm alarmed that I can't find them on Brooks website 'cause that means they're not making them anymore.

After the run I walked up to the gas station to get some ice for an ice bath. Sitting in the car, even for two blocks, would have made me stiffen up and defeat the purpose of the ice bath.

Holy cr@p! The water comes out of the tap cold at this time of year. I actually had to run a little hot water so I could sit in the ice bath without my feet freezing. I cried a little when I got in so I know I did it right. I tried to call Gramma to take my mind of the pain. Her line was busy. Amanda was asleep. Booo.

Technically this is a step back week so after that 'run' (I did walk a lot at the end) I've got like two more miles this week.

It's still really light at 6pm too. Wow. Now, if only I can convince someone to eat Chipotle with me....


Marathon training: I want FOOOD

I've officially given up on not eating out. And we're just going to forget the idea ever even happened.

I spent most of the day laying on the couch making up for the hour of sleep I'm about to loose tonight and recovering from lastnight's trauma.

I did get up and go to the gym to finish out my miles for the week. (I only needed 2.9 more.) I did the "hill" setting on the elliptical since I didn't actually run up any hills this week. I'm counting it but I'm not totally convinced it's the same as hill training.

I think I've mentioned before that I have an excel sheet that keeps me in line as far as marathon training. It tells me how long my long runs are each week, the total number of miles I need to run, counts how many hill work outs I complete, and counts how many times I lift weights or cross train. (Yes, I am a nerd but it's useful.)

I also have it set up to count my overall miles and tell me which days I run the most miles. Right now I've run 170 miles as part of marathon training. Here's the breakdown:

It's also the weekend so that means a linkfest:


Fire Alarms in My Building - Totally Scary

My building has hard wired fire alarms. A smoke detector in any unit can activate the whole building's alarm. And it is loud.

This very loud alarm is working though because it went off today. At 7:00pm or so. It's gone off a couple times before but stopped after a few seconds. So I went out into the hall just to do a cursory inspection. And I was met with a ton of smoke.

(Where is my cell phone!?!)

I called 911. It started out as a calm call until I started looking around my apartment for things to take out to my car incase the place really did catch fire. I might have made the 911 operator a little nervous when I mentioned it was a 3 story building with 12 units. Four fire trucks came.

As I was on the phone with the operator some other neighbors came by and said it was a cooking fire. It did smell like grease. Well, I guess not fire so much as cooking error where the grease smoked like mad. (Doh.)

So the fire department showed up. (Why no one else called 911 I have no idea. Seriously, they don't mind false alarms. Just freaking call.) The fireman and firelady inspected the unit and the fire alarm system. The first truck waived off the rest of the trucks so we only met those two.

And then I met my new neighbor Zack who apologized to all us for the excitement. (Welcome to the building dude.) A baby-boomer-ish aged neighbor came down while Zack was explaining he'd tried to fry catfish. "You need cooking lessons." Thank god someone can laugh about it. I was still pretty freaked out.

I also wish I'd met Zack for the first time wearing something other than sweatpants and an overlarge shirt. (Yes, I was settled in my comfy clothes for a night of doing nothing.) My vanity can suffer for my personal safety.

A friend told me I should offer Zack cooking lessons.


Not Eating Out = Not Really Working

Here's the chain of events that is my undoing this month:
Sunday: Run far. Hang out with Kelly (had a nice time). Cleaned like a mad woman. (Like four hours of cleaning. My place looks great now, come on over for a visit.)
Monday: Tired and sore. No working out. I took a walk at lunch with a co-worker and smelled the french fries from Burger King. Ate many things I was hoping would sate my desire for fries. No luck.
Monday night: Dreamed of French Fries.
Tuesday: Went to the gym. Spent for ever on the elliptical. Still dreaming of french fries. But I did not overeat. I think I had Chipotle for lunch because the elliptical mileage was almost my long run mileage.
Wednesday: Again, there will be no working out. Went to KFC for lunch. Succumb to french fry desire. Shortly thereafter discover that Chipotle burritos, while the size of my head, actually have fewer calories than the yummy goodness that was my KFC meal. Leave work. Eat bacon with Amanda. Learn how to poach eggs.
Thursday (that's today): Wake up. Turn the alarm off and go back to sleep (as it should be). Wake up again. Go to work. Leave work at 2pm. (First day all week I worked less than 8 hours!) Stopped by Turtle bread and got rolls for the weekend. I can now only purchase fresh bread from a bakery. None of this loaf crap anymore.
Went to the Y again. Spent an even more ridiculous amount of time on an elliptical today. I decided since the distance I did today was basically the same as my long run distance on Sunday I'd have more Chipotle. Plus, clearly this no-eating-out thing isn't working.
Tomorrow: Am planning on practicing poaching eggs. We shall see.

Lessons learned:
On days I exercise I actually eat much better and tend to stay in my calorie allotment for the day. (Yes, still on the calorie restriction. The scale said I weigh less than before the KFC which shocked the he!! out of me.)
On days when I biologically feel hungrier (all women understand...) the best way to manage the beast is to work out first thing in the morning. I can't explain it but I don't get as hungry when I start my day that way. (I know, you'd think I'd be starving after running for over an hour.)
The real reason I wanted to not eat out is it's so much harder to count calories accurately. Luckily (or tragically, I haven't decided) many national chains like KFC and Chipotle are in my iPod program so this argument is moot.
Holy crap, a two piece chicken/side combo (with a diet-zero-calorie drink) is the same amount of calories as a Chipotle Burrito, guacamole and half bag of chips. But sometimes, the fried chicken is just soooooo good.


Running, eating and exercise balls

Running: I ran seven and a half miles yesterday and (miraculously) found a path in Minneapolis that was not covered with ice or puddles. Said path did have a few steep but short hills that were much more fun to go down than up. I can now say I fully support the 40th street Greenway Project (because that's essentially the route I took to Lake Harriet). By the way, I was at Lake Harriet where I haven't been since marathon training last year.
I'm fairly tired today. Not sure if I'd be this tired if I hadn't cleaned for four hours after running that far. But it's possible. I was planning on running or going to the gym this morning and am feeling bad for not going. Although perhaps running the day after Long Run Sunday is not the best plan in the world.
I was thinking about giving Lake Nokomis another chance tomorrow. (It's had significant ice issues.) But it's cold out so I might go spend some quality time with an elliptical instead. (I find irony in the fact that I'm cold on the warmest day since November but ran outside in January and February with some amount of enthusiasm.)

Eating: Did you ever have one of those days where you wanted to eat everything in sight and lot's of stuff that's out of sight too? I'm having one right now. I've decided that every once in a while the calorie restriction can get blown to hell without a problem. It wouldn't have been so bad had I actually exercised today.

Exercise balls: I'd been thinking about getting an exercise ball as an office chair for some time. I got much closer when my neighbor told me he'd just pulled the trigger and bought one and was adjusting nicely. So I went to Target tonight and bought one. (They're on sale by the way.) As I was driving home I kept thinking, "I really want to try it out tonight but what if it's too big to fit in my car all blown up?" I quickly decided that I could slightly deflate the thing if the need presented itself. My trunk's fairly big anyway. So I inflated the ball and I'm sitting on it right now. I'm glad Steve told me not to panic if the ball deflates and needs more air a couple times in the first few days while it stretches out. I'm also glad I read the things that say to start using it as an office chair for 30 minutes a day and build up to the entire day. We'll see how it goes over at the office tomorrow. Maybe I can start a trend.

Bonus: Linkfest
  • Why I got the exercise ball in the first place. I'm also considering one of those rubber mats for standing. I tried standing for a few minutes at a time but I always forget to stand back up. Maybe it's a process. Maybe I should get a second ball for at home on the weekends. (Hey, exercise ball instead of bean bag chair Kelly!)

  • Obesity caused by bacteria? It's a nice article and nice to think about reasons weight gain may be for reasons besides being a bad person and eating too much.

  • Want! I don't even know why, I have a place to stash my iPod and cell phone instead of the dash board. I just think it's cool.

  • Geopolitics made easy. Bonus points to anyone who can properly identify Transnistria without using the internet. I didn't realize about "Somaliland" either. You'd think I'd be more educated about that region given the huge Somali populations in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Time to learn I guess.

  • This picture is for my pooky bear. Safe for work unless you laugh so hard you snort coffee up your nose.

  • This image is for Amanda who, sadly, doesn't read my blog anymore because she only gets internet on her iPhone.

Bonus Bonus: What's Liz Listening To Now?


Up Big Hills

Today, I began hill training in earnest. (It's really more impressive if you turn on the elevation feature and see I ran UP a 200 foot elevation change and then up another 75-100 feet a mile later.)

Those of you familiar with the Twin Cities will note this route is in St. Paul. I took my running gear to work and ran at the end of the day. (Nice thing about the winter is it's not too hot to run in the afternoon.) I was super pumped at the end of the run so I came back and talked to Pam, our receptionist who is also a sometimes runner. Currently the plan is to do this once a week, at least until I run the pig with Deb. Note that the hill on that half-marathon course changes 500 feet. (Yeah, now you see why I need to train.)

I went to the gym last night for weights and did, among other things the one-leg-dead lift and lunges for quite a long time. So my, um, up-hill running muscles were already on the road to fatigue. By the time I got time climbing hills today I was glad I can take tomorrow as a day off from running. I'm not sure I'll be able to move when I wake up.

After the run I talked to Amanda on the phone (ha, "talked" got typed as "stalked" at first...). Amanda also ran today. This lead to a good conversation about running music.Plus , when I finished my run, Pam asked me what I listened to while I ran. I sheepishly replied "music with bad words in it". Which is true for some of the songs I listen to but not all of them.

So, typically Amanda's and my taste in music has a sizable overlap but is generally different. (I could make a ven-diagram if you need clarification.) For workout stuff, we typically enjoy similar music meaning anything with a good drum section. Amanda told me I should "burn her a disk" of some of my songs. (Reminds me of mix tapes.) I lean towards using Skreemr for all my Mp3 needs. (I have a strict "don't ask" policy about the legality of the whole thing.) In honor of Amanda's request, I'm sharing some songs with you. (Clicking these links will play sound but you can save these links as Mp3's if you have a similar "don't ask" policy.)

After the run I came home and had a big bowl of pasta. (I know, usually runners have pasta first.) Then I went out with Cheryl to see Elephants, one of the movies at OmniFest. I realized I'd seen the movie before but it took on a whole new world to me now that I've seen Avery Brooks in other places. (He's the narrator of the movie.) After that, I picked up my teenager from work and gave her a ride home.


Marathon training and not eating out

I did my long run yesterday, seven miles this week. (It's hilarious to think there's a week coming where that will be the short run of the week.) I did not have my Chipotle yesterday which means I have two Chipotle deferrals to use during my month of not eating out. (The first time I did this I remember about the second I decided to not eat out someone brought Chipotle takeout to wherever I was and I've been funny about it ever since.)

Today I did not run. I did go to the gym and do weights and the rowing machine. I'm trying to do a weights workout at least one day a week. That's something I didn't do last year and I think it'll make a nice addition to the training. Last year I also dreamed that I'd actually run five days a week and this year I recognize that the mileage can stay the same and be done in four days of running. (This week it's 20 miles and the longest single run is 7 miles.) After weights, I went to the hot tub which I use as my "reward" for a workout since I'm not rewarding myself with wontons and egg drop soup like I'd also do.

I always try to weigh myself after the long run, which was a pretty positive result after the 7 miler in the cold and ice. I decided, for some reason, to weight myself again today and I was literally 3.5 pounds heavier. Please explain. It's kind of hard to actually track my weight when it goes up and down like that. (Just to clarify I didn't have a big meal yesterday and didn't eat much today either, certainly not 3.5lbs of food.) A side project of marathon training is restricting my calories slightly so the training actually makes me loose weight. I have no idea if it's working since my weight fluctuates so much every day. (Although I'm not giving up on this calorie counting thing just because the scale is a little crazy, or I'm crazy on it.)