Didn't even know I had an excuse

Minnesota is getting our first winter storm (who can say "drought"?) right now.  The southerner in me is happily hibernating on my couch.  I skipped high intensity water running this morning because, frankly, I didn't want to scrape a bunch of ice off my car.  I was promptly woken up by my boss telling me traffic is so bad we're staying closed until 10:30am.  (I have a calling tree?  What?) Apparently, I had a great excuse to skip class this morning.

When I regained consciousness, I checked the traffic.  It's 32* which means any salt not washed off the roads should be working fine.  Apparently not though.


Weekend workouts: feeling the burn

Friday was my day of rest after six or seven straight days of working out.  Absolutely nothing interesting happened during the day.  In the evening I watched Fringe and it was great.  That is all.

Saturday I felt fairly guilty about my sloth from the previous day.  I eventually got my butt off the couch and headed over to the gym.  I totally missed Pilates (needed to let breakfast settle), but the gym had somewhat cleared out in the afternoon and I got right on an elliptical.  I did about six "miles" on the elliptical and then hopped on a rowing machine for 30 minutes to work my muscles back into their proper places.  I had a couple cool-down walking laps on the track and got to watch several basketball games (see below) and baseball try-outs (other half of the lower level)

Even though the my gym was cleared out, the lot was packed with people watching games and try-outs in the sports center.

In the evening I made a shopping list for Christmas dinner and set a record at the Co-op in the process. I had steak for dinner which was awesome.  I totally earned it.

Sunday I woke up just after 6am thinking about a long run.  It kept sounding like airplanes were flying overhead.  Totally possible where I live.  Today though, it turned out to be 25mph winds.  I hadn't been too sure I was going to get in a long run today anyways.   I turned off my alarm and the light and went back to sleep.

When I woke up the second time, I used the morning to get Grater's for Christmas Dinner with my Pooky Bear at the Qat Lady.  I also used it to watch several episodes of Lie to Me.

In the afternoon, I headed back to the gym and did another pyramid run (see here for a description)Then I hopped on the elliptical for another hour.  Getting on that elliptical hurt.  In retrospect, I should've taken another cool down lap or two on the track.   I ended my workout by spending some quality time with a foam roller.  My quads, hamstrings and butt are much happier with me now. 

As previously mentioned, I came home and prepared Christmas dinner.  We had spring rolls with several dipping sauces.  Qat Lady's favorite was the Hoisin sauce (I made her take it with her).  The dipping sauce here was good.  I liked it a lot until I tried the Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce here and then nothing else could compare.

Right now, apparently there's some big awards show on for movies or something?  The only awards I was paying attention to were handed out in New Mexico to some really fast runners.  Congratulations.  See in March at World's. 


Wordless Weekends - Sunshine: Not Allowed

The view coming into St Paul from the Dayton's Bluffs area.  Yes, that dot is in big freaking bird.

What happens in Minnesota when bridges try to fall down: Traffic gets diverted and it turns into such an adventure the MPD come to our rescue.  (This bridge didn't actually fall, just one cable snapped.)


Guess what else was impacted by the bridge that tried to fall down.

Grater's: It was on sale.

Christmas, part 1

Christmas, part 2: Wool socks

Something about a cupcake and a cherry.  Let your mind go where it will.


Mother nature is Effing with my running plans...

I want to complain about the weather but it's been such a mild, snow free season so far that I'll hold myself together.

The plan was to wake up early tomorrow and do Ft Snelling because I am in the mood to run.
Then I looked at the weather report and I'm not sure what to make of it.  There's a 50% chance of snow starting late tonight and continuing through morning.  Snow will have "no significant accumulation".  Radar is definitely showing something outstate, but it's too far away to tell if it'll hit the cities or not.  I hate you weathermen.

My thoughts about the situation, such as they are:
-Ft Snelling trail probably still has snow on it and should not be attempted until after sunrise
-Ft Snelling trail with snow will suck if it's also snowing around me
-I could do a Lake Harriet run, it's about the same distance
-Lake Harriet routes lack the awesome hill at Ft Snelling.  Sad.
-It will be cold as shit
-I don't want to do 5:2s, I want to run.
-Wanting to run combined with the cold means I should only go as far as I can actually run.  (Trust me, due to wardrobe accommodations, walking can lead to frostbite.)
-Do I need to carry water?  I probably should, at least for practice.
-It'll be raining later on in the day; I've run in rain with no significant accumulation before and it's not an experience I care to repeat
-I could go to the gym.  On a Sunday morning.
-If I went to the gym, I'd have to get there early
-If I went to the gym I'd have to do a combination of track, treadmill and elliptical to get the desired mileage
-If I went to the gym, I'd have to reserve an elliptical so early it'd be ridiculous
-Running outside in the snow still sounds better than being at the gym early on a Sunday
-I hate winter at the gym; why are all those people there?

The problem with having an A Race that's nine months away is I have no idea what I want to get out of my workouts now and no idea what my true weekly mileage should be. 

I have no idea what I'm going to do.  I may just set my alarm and see how I feel when I wake up. 


Calling all LOUD running songs - Part II

Today I ran an adapted pyramid workout at the gym.  (Mine was adapted for the length of the indoor track: 2 laps, 3 laps, 4 laps, 5 laps, 4 laps, 3 laps, 2 laps with breaks in between each set.) 

I found the music on my iPod less than ideal for such an intense workout.  There is just some music that's more suited to running hard and fast.  For that reason, I am revisiting the LOUD running songs list.  I hope you enjoy the additions.


Long Run Sunday - Crap In: Crap Out

There's a legend among runners that if you give your body crappy food and don't take care of it, your body will totally bail on long runs.  Crap in: Crap out.  Completely true.  Really I just shouldn't have eaten bacon and eggs before the run.  I knew that and still did it though, so it'll probably happen again.

I had a really fun route (one of my all time favorites).  I did my "run 5 walk 2" interval again, although I'm thinking anything around 10 miles or less I should just start running outright.  (Bah!  Why work so hard?)  I did skip the walking intervals on the "down" part of the Ft Snelling trail.  I meant to run up that b!tch of a hill too, but there were so many people on it that I just lost my mind.  I couldn't concentrate and it was time for a walk break anyways.

Most of the run I felt like I was going to die.  Next time: yogurt first.  Eggs and bacon after.
To my clothes: I totally should've listened to the Qat Lady's wardrobe advice.  I was way overdressed and hot.  I wound up wearing pants, wool socks, t-shirt, fleece windproof vest, nothing on my arms, hands or head which was fine.  I'd started out with a long sleeve shirt too but I took that off pretty quickly.  Thank goodness the Cambelbak had room for it.

To my hamstrings: Oh my gosh!  I am so sorry for whatever torture I've put you through this week.  We've never talked like that on a run before.  Ever.  And I'll try to make it up to you by not doing any  hip bridges or any other stupid things this week.  Seriously.  My bad. (PS - the guy in the video has his stationary foot waaay too close to his body.  Bad form.)

Soundtrack for the run:


Easy Walking Saturday

Today was an easy going day that was really nice.

10ish I woke up and had an unhealthy breakfast.  Mmmm.  Butter.
1pm Pilates - and the parking lot at the gym was packed.  The gym was packed.  Class was busy but pleasant. 
230ish I made my way over to Lake Harriet and had a lovely walk.  Hello Sunshine!  I actually parked at Lake Harriet but wound up walking around Lake Calhoun because it sounded fun and pretty.

Soundtrack for the walk:

Pictures from the day:
Check out this post to see a picture from the same spot when the lake is not frozen.  Docks aren't removed so much as pushed out into the middle of the lake before the freeze.

 This is how we roll on Lake Calhoun.  Ask me about the dude riding his bike on the ice.
 Everybody was at the lakes today.  At least everyone who wasn't parked at the gym was at the lakes today.  It was lovely to see all of you!
I did eventually make it out onto the lakes myself.  Just to see why everyone else was doing it and snap some pictures.  The north end of the lake wasn't quite as frozen as I would have liked but the south end was fine.
The view of downtown Minneapolis as seen from standing on top of Lake Calhoun.  Yes, those are ice houses in the mid ground.  We take all kinds here.
The Qat Lady says I take too many pictures of myself when I'm bored.  This is for her.  Make sure she knows it's a picture of the ground.
 Back to Lake Harriet.  I have no idea why the band shell is tilted like that.
 It was a beautifully sunny day.  A nice day for a walk.


Worldess Weekends - So much SUNSHINE!

Looking at the Bandshell at Lake Harriet

The view of downtown Minneapolis over Lake Calhoun

Yes.  That is a dude riding his bike ON Lake Calhoun.

Down the awesome part of the Ft Snelling trail.  There's still snow here even though I was in a t-shirt.

Looking at Ft Snelling; this means I've climbed the steep hill.

The Mississippi River with downtown Minneapolis in the background.

At the end of the run, right before I collapse.

Stop:  Howl at the Moon!


Prodcutivity and then... I hit the wall. Musical edition.

650am or some, the alarm went off. What to wear? 
730am I did a hill run with running Beth.  The guy at the front desk of the JCC looked at my running outfit (grey sweatpants and a grey jacket with reflective patches) and said "you look like pavement".  Nice.  We did Beth's torture route which involves one of the steepest hills in St Paul as the starting point.
Here's the profile (above) and the route mapped out (below).  You can see the climb in the beginning and the descent at the end is quite prolific. 
Theme song for the activity: Lizz Wright - Hit the Ground because apparently I look like pavement.  Also because Beth was afraid of falling down on the pavement while descending that steep hill.

900am I had coffee with my old boss.  The one whose kid would always have a banana for me at my races.  (See why I liked working for her?)  She wrote my personals ad because she wants me to start dating (oh joy).  This is only slightly more appropriate now that she's no longer employing me. 
Theme song for the activity: Rosemary Clooney - Come On A My House because my iPod played it for me while I was in the car on my way.

1100am I met with Kelli at Bolder Options to learn more about the Dublin Marathon trip.  It involved talking to another Kelly (spelled differently) and hearing all about the itinerary.
Theme song for the activity was supposed to be "Giving" by Collective Soul but I couldn't find a link.  Instead, enjoy some Sara McLachlan - Good Enough.

200pm I went to a work meeting.  This is my one Friday a month to work.  When I went to the meeting, I'd planned on taking a walk afterwards.  When I got out of the meeting the sunshine was no longer available.  Sad.
Theme song: Work has no theme song.

400pm or whenever I got home - I went on a cleaning marathon.  I cleaned my room, did laundry, vacuumed, cleaned the kitchen, fixed the radiator face in my bedroom, took out the recycling, cleaned out the vacuum, hung up/folded the laundry, loaded the dishwasher and generally rocked it.
Theme song for the activity: Patty Griffin - Heavenly Day because my iPod played it and it was a really nice day.

600pm or so I absolutely hit the wall.  I was so done.

640pm I actually finished all the cleaning.  After six I lost my energy and really slowed down so folding the laundry and making the bed took longer than normal.


A week full of ups and downs

Monday I was still in Cincinnati at the start of the day.  I did Jazzercise and had breakfast with Mom.  Then it was time to head home.  The flight was half empty which was awesome.
  • Ups of the day: My flight was half empty.
  • Downs of the day:  I correctly told my mother that she has a very negative outlook on, well, everything; I do much better when I'm not around that.  But I could've been nicer about it.
  • Exercise: Jazzercise.  It's not really my thing (like, at all) but it is a well put together program and can be a really good workout.
  • Theme song: Rolling in the Deep - Adele becuase she can bring it!

Tuesday started with my annual lady doctor exam.  And the lady doctor had a student who was learning.  So I got to have two exams.  So full of suck.
  • Ups of the day: Can't remember a thing.
  • Downs of the day: two exams. 
  • Exercise: None.  I went home and took a nap.  I wish I'd had a tranquelizer.
  • Theme song: Born to Fly - Sara Evans.  My pooky bear and I used to play this song together.  I hadn't heard it in a while and was happy when it came on for me.


Wednesday started off better.  I went to water running and had a great workout.  At the end of the night Qat Lady and I went to Punch Pizza and then to buy bikes at Target.  Which lead to a discussion about trunk size in a Cadillac.  The thing you don't realize is the handlebars and the wheels make up that third dimension of the bike.  (The bike has two dimensions, like all the dead bodies that can fit in the trunk.  Thanks Qat Lady)
  • Ups of the day: Free pizza and bike shopping.  Duh.
  • Downs of the day: I had to wake up at 5:30.  Seriously, compared to the day before, Wednesday was great.
  • Exercise: Water running.  It was a challenging workout.
  • Theme song: Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice.  It's been all over my iPod lately.


Thursday (that's today) I worked, was trained on brain injuries and then did a double dose of exercise. 
  • Ups of the day: There was that free lunch at an Indian restaurant.
  • Downs of the day: I can't think of anything.  Tuesday was really the down for the whole week.
  • Exercise: Circuit class then an hour on the elliptical.
  • Theme song: What Doesn't Kill You - Kelly Clarkson.  I am totally the girl who dances and sings to her headphones while on the elliptical.

Bonus songs for the week:


Cincinnati Surprise - Sundday

It feels like Saturday.  Maybe that's becuase I'm not working tomorrow.

This morning I woke up and headed for a run.  Happily the wind had died down from 20mph to 10mph or so.  I didn't bring my neck gator, or too much gear at all, but I was happy with what I had.  I did a long-ish hill run.  Everything in Cincinnati is a hill run.
It's just a little out and back course that I do along Erie Avenue.  It's okay running but the sidewalks are narrow in a few places.  I finally understand why "Summit Ave has really wide sidewalks" is a big deal.
That hill at mile 1 is every bit as challenging and straight up as it looks but it's early enough in the run it's not that bad.  It's fun as hell to run back down.  Actually, practically the last mile is down hill which is a nice way the end the run.
Above is Hyde Park Square and Grater's.  Below is the view before I summit the beast and head the last mile home.  It was one of very few stoplights I hit on the run today.

It was colder than hell but at least there was sunshine.  That made it nice once I got used to the wind.

This Sunday is also Brunch Sunday. Mike and Linda (of the house I grew up in) have a brunch every year with tons of homemade food.  It's wonderful.  I've missed it every year since I lived in Minnesota.  I was thrilled to make it back this year.  I saw Emily (also of the house I grew up in) and lots of parents of people I'd gone to school with.  I also saw Mrs Cartel, now of the house I grew up in, but I did not ask for a tour of the old place.  I'm sort of over it.

In the afternoon Dad and I headed down to Kentucky to see some of my favorite people in the whole world.  And then they climbed all over me.  All afternoon.

These guys were my hosts.  We played, stood on our heads, and tried on each others shoes.  Ben looks great in mine!  We had spaghetti for dinner.  Luke says it's better than Grandpa Tom's but someone may have put him up to that.  When we got home Mom tried to watch me type on my blog.  It's rude to stare over someone's shoulder while they're on the computer.  Just saying.