It's just too hot to think of a title

Saturday - I stayed inside, in the air conditioning all day.  I read Heat Wave, (from one of my favorite TV shows).  I found it interesting as an inside joke from the show, but not totally captivating in itself.  (I might have gotten an altered copy; mine seemed shorter than it should have been...)
At one point Amanda invited me to Kelly's house to hang out and watch movies.  The thought of leaving my air conditioning was too much and I declined.  (It's not that it's that hot.  It's just been kind of hot for too long.)

Sunday - I swear I slept 11 hours.  Awesome!  You know I was on my air mattress by the air conditioner unit right?

I sent my favorite Florida resident a little something in the mail.  My friend Chris has a nephew who is about as far from him as this guy lives from me.  Chris said "send him post cards, a lot of post cards, so he knows who you are".  Chris recommended Shoot It as an app that takes pictures from your phone and automatically turns them into post cards.  After some comparison shopping, Postagram appears to have better prices, at least for the moment.  It did limit the number of characters I could use in my "personalized message".  I'll have to ask his mom and dad how it out.

I also hit the gym for a bit.  The elliptical is not so bad when I only have to be on it for an hour.  (I think an hour on the treadmill would still give me a panic attack.)  For the weather, the gym actually wasn't that crowded.  I guess everyone was at the lake, or just dreading leaving their houses too much to even go outside.

I found this great blog post which totally explains how I feel about running the Twin Cities.  From my house I can run to all of those same places, although I've never really tried the Stone Arch Bridge, or the universities (except running by St Thomas on Summit Ave).  I've had friends come to town and also remark on the awesome running spots we have here(To be fair, she also thought the houses in my neighborhood were "so small they're cute" or something.) It looks like the weather may break at the end of the week. I'm hoping I can get in a long run to Ft Snelling because I really haven't been there too much this year.


Friday exercise Insantiy

As you probably know by now, it's hot.  As you also probably know, I am a heat wimp and don't do well running in this business.
Today I needed a really long run.  Twenty miles was scheduled and that was my goal but I knew I might have to be okay with 18 instead.  For my own sanity.
I went to the gym, originally planning on running on the track, then the treadmill, then finishing with a couple hours on the elliptical.  I took one look at the track and decided I couldn't face it for a vague goal of 'running for a while'.  Then I got on the treadmill.  And had a panic attack.  No.  Seriously.  So I decided to make it three hours on the elliptical; the only thing I knew I could stand.  I did manage to move 18 miles and then had a nice stretch afterwards.

More thoughts from the workout:
  • It was nice not to get sick.
  • Sadly, I wore the pink shoes (because I thought I'd have done more running) and that was perhaps my biggest mistake of the day.
  • Treadmills are only for speed workouts.
  • The humidity inside was pretty impressive too.
  • The indoor track: still the pit of despair.  I couldn't even walk around it and stretch when I was done.
  • Post run meal - I badly wanted seafood.  I so rarely crave seafood that I almost always make accommodations when I do.  I got shrimp from Kowalski's and poached it with a bit of butter and capers.
  • I really miss running outside.  Monday was the only day this week, the only day in the past several weeks actually, that I'd made it out to run outside.
  • Dangerous thought I had today: (Knowing that Team:Work is training for the Dreidel Dash 10K this year.)  "If we get enough people on Team:Work to run a 10K, they could do the Minneapolis Marathon relay and I could run the whole marathon along side them.  What?  There's pacers.  With some training maybe...


The experience I had checking Google Reader today made me know it was time for a linkfest.  (Because like ten posts were about bats.)  Here we go:

In fairness, there were like 10 posts about bats, but most of the rest of them were repeats of the 'bat equation' deal.
Now check out some of my favorite bat pictures:
Hoary Bat in Pennsylvania, 2004

Chris holding a bat in 2010.  Best part of Christmas!
Only thing happier than a bird with a french fry: a bat with two meal worms!


Welcome back to humidity!

I woke up this morning and it was a steam bath.  Hilariously, Heather thought all that steam was rain and called me off running with the St Paul girls.  I hit the gym instead, in order to make peace with the dreadmill.

Treadmill experience - apparently warmup on the treadmill is very important for me.  'Cause when I got on the thing and started walking 3mph I thought it was too fast.  (It was early.)  I did warm myself up appropriately and got up to my marathon running pace pretty fast.  After that, every five minutes I kicked the pace up by 1-2 tenths of a mile.  By the end I was going around 10:30 miles (for like three whole minutes but still.)  Interestingly, the 10:30 pace felt better that the 10:45-ish pace.  Perhaps by then my body was loose and ready to roll.

Team:work - bailed tonight.  Well two people bailed on me and then I bailed on the last person.  Seriously, running in 83* and 80% humidity wasn't sounding so great to me.  So I came home and slept instead.

New running songs - I'm always adding new songs to my life.  I finally gave up on Pandora and started using Slacker Radio and have found some fun new songs.


Running Monday and wearing big girl pants!

After an entire week of not running outside (no, seriously, did you read about the record breaking heat?), I thought it had finally cooled off enough to go for a run this morning.  I set my alarm clock for 5am (because it hadn't cooled off *that much*) and went to bed.

My alarm clock woke me at 6:45am, the time it thought I wanted.  But I wasn't in any pain when I woke up so I got dressed and went for a run.  The run was great until it got hot and I got dehydrated.  Lake Nokomis was fun to see again.  (Hey; I remember you.  It's been a while!)

Once I got home, I was pretty sick from, you know, lack of water and too much heat.  It took me a while to get ready for work.  Note to self - take hydration seriously.  A weekend off exercise is not a weekend off drinking water.

I went to work which was fine.

After work, it was time to put my big girl pants on and try a class at the gym.  I'd always thought taking some of the classes at the gym would be fun.  But I never wanted to walk in the first time and not know what the hell was going on.  (Seriously, I needed someone to walk me in the door, tell me where to stand and which mat to pick, and then I'd be fine.)  The big girl pants were just for getting in the door and they worked their magic.  The trick, apparently, is to find someone who looks grumpy and aggravated waiting to get into the classroom.  Then, just do what they do once inside.

After some of the reading I did while not working very hard this weekend, I decided it would be good to have a strengthening and/or stretching component to my marathon training.  Pilates seemed the most likely candidate to totally kick my ass so that's the one I picked.  My first class was tonight and I did fine.  Hilariously, once I'd walked in and copied what the meanest, grumpiest looking girl did with her mats and equipment, an old friend walked in.  (Sweet!  I get to see Cyndi now too.)  The class is at 7:30pm which is actually a good time.  It forces me to stay at work late (it's ok; long days are normal) and it's a nice way to end the day.

My abs can't decide if they love me or if they think I'm an idiot right now.  They definitely got a workout.  We'll see what they think next week.


Totally one of those weekends...

It was totally one of those weekends where I wanted to sleep and eat carbs.  And I basically fulfilled my wish.  Win!

Work - I don't work on Fridays!

Working out - apparently I don't do that on the weekends either.  I hit the gym on Friday for my "long run" of the week.  Six miles!  (Win for the step back weeks.)  I took a walk on Saturday.  Today, I did three workout videos, 8 Minute Legs, 8 Minute Arms and 8 Minute Buns.  Even though those video titles are hilarious, today may have been my hardest workout.  The "Buns" one is actually the hardest.  8 Minute Abs is also a great workout but I was in no mood for that today.

Sleeping - heck yes I have.  I actually pulled out the air mattress to be closer to my air conditioner.  I was on it much of the weekend.

Going out of my home - I saw Amanda on Friday when we went to Punch Pizza.  (Way less fun than when I ate pork, by the way...)  Then we hit Dairy Queen.  (See why I needed the gym on Friday?)  I also left my home today to go to the store for toilet paper.  I bought some stuff and totally forgot the main objective of my mission.  I'll get some tomorrow night from the co-op...

Food - please, can I have more white carbs?  Om nom nom. 


Hotter than boogers!

Heat - just Wow!  The next closest place with a dew point as high as ours is located in the Amazon rainforest. 

Working out - obviously I've been staying inside.  Although people kept asking me "are you running tonight?" (No.  Because I am not insane.) 
Last night a teammate from Team:Work persuaded me to de-grumpify myself and hit the gym with her.  We did weights. 
Tonight I persuaded said teammate to run around the track (inside in the air conditioning).  We did increasing intervals (run 4 laps, walk 1; Run 5 laps, walk 1; Run 6 laps, walk 1) for a total of 3 miles.  It nearly came to blows in the last couple laps when my teammate (hilariously) was trying to convince me that 16 laps was 3 miles.  (Um no.)  Once she was on the walking lap, more oxygen was going to her brain and she could see the error of her math.  (Hee hee.)  I did run her hard that last lap for telling me I was cheating.

Everything else - for breakfast today I made something that was both awesome and not so good.  I made lentils and chicken sausage and put them together and then poached an egg over the top.  At 3:30pm I finally had to stop and make myself eat lunch.  It was awesome because I was full all day.  It was not so awesome because, that's a lot of lentils and they were really not so good.  I need to find a way to add taste.  I'm thinking salsa.


Thank goodness for air conditioning!

It's 9pm, that 90* means it's cooled off a bit.  That heat index of 99* means it hasn't cooled off much.  Now we've got sinkholes and roads buckling and all the other fun things that go with this heat.  Including no running outside.  (Because I am sane, despite popular belief.)

Last night, Qat lady and I saw the finally Harry Potter.  My thoughts without spoilers:
  • Hermione is my favorite.  I loved her from the moment of her house elf crusade.
  • I love the Snape storyline.  And this movie (and half blood prince) does it even better than the books.  Alan Rickman you have a special place in my heart.
  • Ginny Weasly is a bad ass.
  • I'm glad Amanda went with me; I'm glad we got there early because we got awesome seats!
Today I stayed inside as much as humanly possible.  I had one home visit and a stop at Chipotle on the way back to the office.  (Thanks again to Steve for introducing me to the Burrito Bol.)

As a bonus for myself, I let myself sleep in and opted for a run after work.  Plus I got new shoes that needed to be tested.  After a long flirtation with Asics and the pink shoes, I'm going back to Brooks, at least for long runs.  Welcome home.
 I took them for four miles or sprint intervals at the gym (read: at the air conditioned place) to test them out.  They feel like a mix between my old Brooks which had too much structure for a toe striker and the pink shoes which have no support (it's ok, they're racing flats).  They should be good for long runs.  I'll still keep the pink guys around for shorter runs.  They are both really good pairs of shoes.

So the four mile sprints: I went fast enough that I got that puke-y feeling.  (If you're not puking you can go faster right?)  As with all my runs, the first mile was the hardest, and the first lap of that first mile sucked the most.  Once my heart got working at the right speed and my muscles loosened up, I was able to go much faster with less pain.

After running, I came home and hit the pool.  (Still packed at 9pm.  It's hot.)  Now I'm enjoying my birthday presents from Qat lady and my pooky bear.  (You know what I'm saying.)

While I enjoy that, you should check out some of my new favorite music:


The humidity is actually more impressive than the heat

It's one of those humid days where, just by existing out of air conditioning, moisture condenses on my skin.  Wow.  Also, it's 11:20pm and it's still freaking 85*.

Hotter than sh!t

Well, really it is.

Dietary update: Last weekend when I was home, it's possible my dad guilted me back into being a 'vegetarian'.  Of all freaking people.  He was ticked when I spontaneously became a vegetarian in seventh grade.  So why this of all the stupid things I've done?  (And I've done some stupid stuff.)  Because I'm sort of familiar with Diet for a Small Planet and since I'm not going to go vegan, I could at least be a little responsible.

Here's where I am with this right now:
  • Chicken is okay because I said so.  Reasons #1 I said so: chickens use less grain than cows and pigs for similar amounts of protein and energy so if we're not feeding the grains directly to people, this is the most efficient use for them. (I try to buy pasture fed chickens and eggs anyways, so they're not getting much grain to begin with unless it's winter and the pasture is frozen.) Reason #2: I'm a distance runner so I require tons of protein and I'd never get it all without animal protein of some kind. 
  • Fish is basically okay, as long as it's sustainable.  No Chilean Sea Bass for me.  (Too bad because it's really good.)  Go here to find out what sea food is good for you and the environment.  It's a good guide to both imported and US fish, what types of fishing methods are sustainable, and what fish has so much mercury it will kill you.
  • Beef is okay only if I know the cows were grass fed and not given rBST or anything equally stupid.  Steaks from my co-op are fine.  Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo at the Olive Garden is definitely out.  If you're going to cook me a steak, just lie and say it's grass fed even if you don't have a clue. That way we can both be happy.
  • Bacon: Dilemma.  I have no idea what to do about bacon.  I don't really know anything about sustainably growing pigs so I have no criteria on which to judge this purchase.  I love bacon.  Please help.
  • Salami and Prosciutto: I refer you to bacon.  There were the only types of pork I was going to eat.  I don't eat ham, pork chops or pork loin now.
  • Turkey: I never really liked you anyways.  It does fall with chicken in the 'less stupid use of grains' category.  Organic turkey bacon is so expensive as to render it a completely non-viable option for bacon replacement.  Is there such thing as turkey sausage?  That could be good.
Running update: Obviously I haven't been outside.  You saw the weather right?  This coming week I had a 20-miler scheduled.  I looked at the actual training schedule and realized technically that run didn't have to come for another week, I just had my weeks moved around.  So I think I'm going to re-arrange them in the correct order, have a step back week, and do my workouts inside.  A low of 80* is just too ridiculous for running.

Other stuff: Amanda and I went out for dinner.  I'm renewing my love affair with Indian food (best vegetarian food in the world!) so we went to the Indian Restaurant we found when I passed my last licensing exam.  Then we walked around the mall and shopped.  Amanda has a great eye for clothes.  I have more fun trying on clothing now that I've lost some weight.

After dinner, Amanda had to do an overnight shift because she can't say no to people at her job.  I decided I would stay up and keep her company by texting her.  I also did
  • Two loads of laundry (and flooded the laundry room again)
  • Unpacked from my trip (yes, I did get back six days ago)
  • Cleaned my living room
  • Cleaned my kitchen and did dishes and washed the toaster oven and turned on the dishwasher
  • Cleaned my bathtub and sink.  Apparently I owe my bathtub an apology becuase I had soap scum that was both caked on and totally invisible to the naked eye.  I could only feel it with my sponge.  (Totally my bad.)
  • Took out the recycling
  • Vacuumed the whole place (it's not that big)  The vacuum was also looong overdue.  I cleaned out the filter afterwards and there was enough dust to create an actually bunny.  (Oops again.)
Now I am facing the eternal question: Do I inflate my air mattress so I can sleep in the living room next to the air conditioner?  Otherwise I can just take my chances in my bedroom which is air conditioned but far away from the source of the cool.


18 Miles - what was I thinking?

Weather - last night it looked like it might rain during the run this morning.  I resolved that I'd just have to run anyways because after today it's going to be roughly eight million degrees after today.  (boo!)
I checked the radar when I got up and it seemed a certainty that I'd be getting wet.  Given my recent history of mixing water and electronics I decided to leave the phone at home and just use my little iPod Shuffle (the only one that still works) on the run.  It actually didn't really rain until I was about a mile from home.  It was humid but definitely cooler and breezier than my last long run.

Shoes - I thought I'd try an experiment and run with the old shoes because my pink shoes have been hurting me a lot on long runs.  With the old guys I got blisters because my skin has grown accustomed to the new shoes so the run was pretty painful.  But I'm sitting here writing this twelve hours later and my feet hurt way less than they normally do after a run.  I ordered new shoes on Amazon last night. Hopefully they'll be somewhere in between.

The route - I needed to do 18 miles and I was in the mood for a river run. The river alone is not long enough so I added a few lakes. I find myself getting frustrated with Lake Nokomis on long runs because I'm not used to being all, "slow down, pace yourself". When I'm at that lake it's usually "GO!" Here's the route I ultimately found.

The usual - totally got 'sick' again.  But I knew there was a facility close by when it happened.  So, I'm running and mentally telling myself, "I know it hurts, it'll be here in a second, hang on, you're doing fine".  I looked at the port-a-pot and I couldn't find the freaking doorAre you kidding?!?  Upon closer review, the door had been turned to face the wall of the structure it was next to.  Like, they just put that one out of commission for a little while?  WTF?  It's not really important how that issue resolved itself.  There was another 'sick' break after that too, less than a mile later.  After that I was fine for the rest of the run.  (What could I possibly have left in there to cause problems?)

The usual, but with food - I did much better with nutrition being gentle to my stomach on this run.  I have no idea what I was doing except maybe pacing myself better.   I think having chomps and Gu helped but I can't say for sure.

Music - July gets a new playlist.  Some of my favorites on this list include
Random bit of awesome - I went to Run N Fun last night because I needed Chomps and Gu for today.  I wasn't even paying attention when I went in but I was wearing one of my Bolder Options shirts.  When I went to pay, the guy was all, "oh, we do a lot of work with Bolder Options.  Mentors get a discount here so I'll just ring that in..."  WIN!  And actually for nutrition, it was a good price to start with.


Vacation in Pictures

I very much like to eat my toes!

Time to practice reaching!

Cousin.  No.  Chef.  Not yet.  Daddy Mark!

Aunt Joanie (of Thanksgiving fame) and Gramma

Not sure if he knows about this or not.  My host for the weekend!

Mom absolutely hates it when I do this.

I knew we needed a picture of my young cousin who is responsible for this beautiful story. This was right before he said, "Elizabeth, I want to play with you". Okay. Win for me!

Me and Auntie Barbara who is basically my second mother.

The cousins plus Gramma.  (Not pictured are Frankie and Joseph.  Yes, there are more of us than that.)


One of the ugliest 15 milers I've done. Ever.

I don't know what weather report I was looking at last night.  Somehow I thought it was going to be in the low 60's when I woke up.  Not ideal for a long run but much better than what we've had recently.

One of my favorite 15-mile routes.

It's hot and I am slow

5:00am - I woke up and obviously didn't think to look at the weather.  (I checked last night.)  I got ready and headed out for my long overdue long run.
Mile 1 - I am covered in sweat.  I guess I should've checked the humidity.  And perhaps I should pick up the pace?  I really didn't know I could go that slow and have it still be called running.
Mile 2 - Wow!  I am slow.
Eventually I got into my groove, especially around Lake Harriet.
Miles 6-8 - I so totally knew I was going to get sick.  Miraculously my timing had me at two, um, facilities so there was no additional stress (of having to find a private spot in the woods and praying I'd make it) but getting sick was still not so much fun.
Miles at Lake of the Isles - the one lake where I didn't get sick.  (Good because I usually do it here and there is nothing at this lake for help.) I actually had a little bit of a runners high here after I ate some food, I got moving again nicely.
Back to Calhoun - still on the runners high but wanting more Gu.  I knew the moment Gu (or anything really) hit my stomach I'd feel like puking but I had to eat.
Lake Harriet - and feel like puking  I did.  I started throwing in walks here to calm down my stomach.  And keep my heart from exploding.
All the way home - I did run the sweet 'downhill' section of 40th, ran the uphills too.  But I walked more here too, in honor of my stomach.

Obviously I was pretty discouraged when I got home 20 or 30 minutes after I wanted to be done.  (What the hell  is wrong with me?  I've totally run this far before.)  And then I looked at the weather.  It was 77* at 9am.  (Low 60's my foot!)  The humidity at 9am was around 50% but apparently it had been as high as 70% earlier that day.  No wonder I felt like I was going to die.

So I do need to be more consistent in my long runs.  The new running app is really nice to help with pacing.  But perhaps I should just write this one off and not worry about it.
I got my "post long run Easy 3 miler" in today as well with Team:Work.  (Yes I know, a second run after a 15-miler is less than ideal.  But the long run had to happen today.)

The GPS between miles 2 and 3 is wrong in that one obvious place.  I didn't do that.

Yeah, Stephanie and I were really flying that one mile.  After we got done walking.

We took a new route and decided that the West 7th neighborhood is super cute.  I don't know what the hell happened between mile 2 and 3.  I assure you, I ran in a straight line and have no explanation for that bizarre squiggle.

Now I'm sitting on the couch thinking about sleep.  (To sleep in the living room by the A/C or in my room with an actual bed?)  Just one more bit of entertainment before I go:

Thanks, Spammer, for being so easy to spot!


Ideas that seem both crazy and good at the same time

Idea number 1 - learn to do mental health therapy (I mean I'm already a social worker, right?).  This idea, along with a couple other things, lead to me taking yet another licensing exam on Friday.  I passed!  I called my boss first because I knew she would be really excited for me and it was exactly what I wanted to hear.  Then I made some other calls.  Amanda, Kelly, and I went out to celebrate with Amanda's first experience with Indian food.  It was good; would have been better had the air conditioning in the restaurant worked.  The $20 bill I found in the parking lot kind of made up for it though.

Idea number 2 - make up for missing a long run by spending three freaking hours on the elliptical on Saturday.  Mission: accomplished.  Then I called Amanda to see if she wanted steak.  She was actually already eating steak with her parents at the camp ground.  So I drove out and joined them for a porterhouse the size of my face ahem a lovely evening with her family.

burying yourself in sand at the playground - total fun!
Idea number 3 - a long run tomorrow morning?  I'm not really sure how this one is going to work out; surely it will be an adventure.  I'm thinking pacing and hydration will be my main goals.  I rested most of today and by "rested" I mean "walked seven miles around a couple lakes, sat at the pool and went shopping".  I'll let you know.

Minnesota means "sky tinted waters" - if you look, you can see downtown over the lake in the distance

At Lake Nokomis - great day for sailing

At the pool!


Photo Friday

Team:Work - stretching after running up and down big hills!

Kat lady helping my pooky bear and I celebrate our birthdays!

Work - going out for lunch!

Tonight - heading back into Minneapolis after the storm