A whole different kind of "seen on my run"

Today was a lazy Sunday.  Excellent.  I woke up, lounged about, hit up the farmers market and, came back and watched mindless television all day.   By mindless television I mean, of course, Ice Road Truckers.  I made a batch of Roasted Brussels Sprouts  (Nine cups, that should hold me at least a day or two).  And a batch of collard greens with onions.

I'd debated all day about how far to run.  Ultimately I was feeling tired and decided that even though a five mile run would be lovely, I should probably just give it a rest.  I ran a quick two-mile route out and back from home with an absurd number of hills for a course so short.  I chose the Vibrams because chances to wear those guys outside will be few and far between for a while now.  On the way back, I found some serious stuff in the road, enough that I went back to pick it up.  You can all thank me for saving your tires now.


Saturday Five Miles

I'd originally meant to do 6 miles this morning.  I had a sad combination of forgetting my post-run nutrition and getting to the gym a few minutes later than expected.  I decided I'd turn it into "about five miles" and not be so fussy about making my mileage end in zero.  Temps were supposedly 40* but actually in the 30s somewhere and it was windier than I would've liked. Once I got warmed up (literally), everything was fine and I just ran along feeling my pace and feeling my legs and enjoying myself.

Saturday is obviously Zumba day and I had to get back in time, which is why I didn't go all six miles.  I love being done with the marathon and heading out for runs because I like to, not for training.,  After Zumba, we went to the last day of the outdoor Farmer's Market.  Sob.  I had a zeppole and coffee and most of the rest of the team enjoyed the Arepas.  They were happy to hear the Arepa truck people are building a brick and mortar restaurant, so maybe we wont have to wait until next year to have their food again.  Can you tell it was cold today?


TIL - My ears are different sizes

Yesterday when I headed out for my run, I opted for a music assisted workout. My most used pair of ear buds fell apart at the marathon.  Literally, one of the plastic ear hooks came off.  So now, I'm using the other good pair of ear buds I own, these guys

As you can see from this older post, they come with six different size options for the inserts. 
I'd had some discomfort in my left ear for a while, so I tried an experiment of different size inserts for different ears.  I went one size smaller in the left ear.  I'm not sure I went small enough.  I'm going to keep experimenting, but it's possible I'll need to be two sizes smaller in my left ear than my right.  Wild.

It was worth the experimentation because the playlist yesterday absolutely killed it.  Usually I prefer music in the Pitbull, FUN, Pink or Lady Gaga flavors.  But yesterday I really wanted some loud, hard rock music and I got exactly what I wanted.  I put this together as a possible playlist for part of the marathon and really only got to hear what a good job I did now.

Things Runners Understand - Clothing and Pictures

Things runners understand:
  • Running in my good running gear always makes a run better.
  • Stopping to take a picture will monkey with my overall workout pace and time, and that's okay.  Sigh.
I hit the trails sort of trails for a five mile run today.  I was wearing some of my favorite running gear ever.  ProCompression and 2XU have special places in my heart.  I meant to keep this a slow easy workout since I am meeting friends later tonight to run again.  Yes on a Friday.  Yes at 8pm.  No, it wasn't my idea.  I'm not sure what tonight's workout holds.  I think there's going to be several people there and I've only ever run with one of them before, so Iwanted to make sure I took care of what I needed in case tonight isn't what I expect.

This afternoon run turned out to be perfect.  It was one of those where I just went by feel, trying to keep my heart rate low and enjoy myself, enjoy the scenery and have fun.


Post Marathon Cleanse Diet - Second Time's the Charm?

Last year I reluctantly tried this cleanse diet after my marathon.  It wasn't my favorite thing ever and I was thrilled when the week was up and I could add things back into my diet like spaghetti and bread.  And butter.  And meat.  Bacon!  And eggs.  Here's a rundown of shopping and the diet, and a sample menu from one day. The only thing that really stuck last year was stopping the yogurt and switching to non-sweetened almond milk with my breakfast muesli.

This year I'd experienced the typical marathon-taper/weight gain conundrum.  Once I ate enough to recover from the race and feel like I could move again, I decided a cleanse diet might be the way to go, just to kick start the eating proper portions and healthy foods.  I have no idea why I wanted to do this again.  I headed off to the farmers market where I bought an impressive amount of fresh veggies.  I came home and cooked all day.  All day.   See this post for a list of recipes.
Below are the rules.  And a link to the trainers that devised this torture. I still remember....

Things that worked better this year
  • I had no diet soda at all during the cleanse.  That was definitely not a goal when I started and I was shocked when I realized it at the end of the week.
  • I ate more eggs than last year on the cleanse.  Eggs are good and wonderful.
  • I cooked food ahead of time so I could always head to the freezer or the fridge and pull something out.
  • Cocoa powder is not sweetened (or at least the kind I buy), and there for totally legit for the cleanse.
  • I found reliable sources of protein including eggs, sushi and I finally have a good relationship with protein powder.

The cleanse lasted a week and I've totally survived it now.   I've added a few carbs back into my life, and a small amount of diet soda from time to time.  You know I added butter and alcohol and bacon back into my diet right? I'm still following the rules of the cleanse about 60% of the time.   It's shocked me that I just sort of kept it going. The biggest thing was I really liked the egg dishes I'd make for breakfast.  So I kept it up.

After the cleanse, I'd just planned to use the Lose It app and continue trying to slim down a bit.  I started trying to figure out what to eat and it turns out a plate full of vegetables is super low in calories.  Who knew?

Changes I've noticed following the cleanse this time around are having potatoes with my bacon and eggs instead of bread and butter.  That's a huge calorie saver right there.  I cut out diet soda more than I expected, drinking more coffee in the morning for a caffeine fix.  When I have pasta I have half a serving and then a side of veggies.  To be clear, I'm talking about half of the serving size I'd eat before this started.  I can only tolerate all of these changes because I've massively dialed back the exercise.  If I was still doing crazy long runs, I don't think I could live without the carbs.  Still, bring on the weight loss before the holidays please.


My stomach is a ball of fury and hate

From time to time, my stomach just goes a bit nuts.  It doesn't seem to be related to an illness (not running a fever, not otherwise sick), nor is it the same as the "not eating" when I'm going mentally crazy although that's it's own barrel of fun.  Nope, from time to time my stomach just does not accept food.  Today, man, was just one of those days.

Back story is I did another post-marathon cleanse, sort of like I did last year.  With actually maybe more compliance which is surprising.  To celebrate being done, I had some hard cider on Saturday night.  And my stomach went into attack mode.  I woke up at 5am feeling honest to god hungover, which shouldn't be possible from 20 oz of cider.  I almost cancelled apples.  I was that hard up.  Instead I tried a little wheat cereal, a little coffee, and then started to feel better.  Probably the wine tasting didn't help because by lunch again, I had a tenuous relationship with food.

The only thing that really helped my stomach today was running.  After apples/wine tasting/shopping, I had to go to the gym.  I need to get to 12 visits to get the discount and I've missed a few days this month.  At first I was going to run a mile, but I had my music on so I figured I'd run two and then I was feeling good so I kept going for a total of four miles.  It just kept feeling good. That was a surprise.  Shortly after I stopped, my stomach rebelled and it was clear that I'd never eat again.  Sigh.

See if you can spot where I had to pause the workout and briefly make peace with my stomach.  Hint: it was three laps before the workout was over.

The playlist for today's workout definitely helped.  It's one I put together for the marathon but ultimately didn't use that day. Yes, I have a special relationship with Pitbull. I am not ashamed.


Apples 2013

Today was this year's Girls Only Apple Trip.  For the history see 2012 trip, and 2011 with links to previous years2007 has great pictures.   This trip started out with the crappiest weather ever.  It has been colder in past years, but probably not more precipitation.

My Pooky Bear was absolutely determined to pick apples today.  Good thing because her determination is the only thing that got me moving.  I got in some old pants, some very warm shirts, hat and gloves, and an old coat.  We headed to Carribou to pick up caffeine for ourselves and the Qat Lady.  When we got to the Orchard we discovered that harvest season for pick your own was already over.

We went to Plan B: Wine Tasting.  Because this orchard also has grapes.  And why not?  Pooky Bear really liked the sweet wines and dessert wines.  The kinds of wines I like the most are usually Sauvignon Blancs or in that family, so I liked the least sweet wines there were.

For the next part of our day we headed in to downtown Stillwater.  We had lunch at a restaurant that overlooked the river, and then walked around.  We noticed lots of antique shops.  My Mom would love it.  We also noticed lots and lots of vacancies in the buildings.  Not sure what that's about.

We all got different things.  I am not big on apple turnovers or apple flavored donuts.  I got two bottles of wine.  In downtown Stillwater I learned that truffle oil infused salt is a thing.  I also learned 'a little goes a long way' and it's great on eggs, potatoes and popcorn.  I haven't tried it yet.  Not sure if we'll try for apples again next year or just switch the tradition to wine tasting.  It's good to have options.


Moral Dilemas - Runner Version

I was reading Miss Zippy's Post on Runner's Moral Dilemmas and my answers were too long to write in her comments.  So she gets an entire post instead.

Running a race as a bandit. For my non-runner friends, this means jumping in a race at the start and running the whole thing without a bib and not paying the entry fee. Generally against this practice since entry fees actually pay for things like cops to provide traffic control for the course, and the races up here are all run by non-profits and places I like to see my money go to support.

Taking food from the finish line for family/friends who didn't complete the course.  I have no idea.  I imagine my feelings about this would change if I have kids.

Selling of buying a bib on Craig's List or similar.  Miss Zippy had never met anyone who'd done it.  I have done it.  Actually a friend made the transaction but it was for two bibs and I definitely benefited.  See here for more information.  The deal on this is that it works as long as no one is trying to run a Boston Qualifying time, win an age group, or do something where your identity really matters.  At least in my experience.  The race I did it, I think wasn't even chip timed.

Pacing a friend, even if you aren't registered.  Hell yes.  See here for details.  For my non-running friends, this is different than running as a bandit since most pacers don't stay on the course the whole time and also try not to take food or water that's there for the racers.  This is actually a practice at most Ultra distance races.  Most marathons have rules against pacers without a bib but I've encountered different levels of enforcement at different races.

Wearing a race shirt from a race I didn't complete.  As long as it's for a distance I can complete, I don't care.  I'd feel crazy guilty wearing an IronMan or 100-mile race shirt.  Got a spare marathon or 13.1 shirt?  Bring it on.

Complaining to the Race Director because my Garmin registered the course as long.  First off, no complaining.  If it was a brand new course and my GPS was crazy off, I might mention it to the race director.  Starting lines get put in the wrong place more than you'd think.  For Twin Cities my GPS system registered the marathon as 26.5 miles instead of 26.2.  I have a strong suspicion it's because I didn't run the tangents as well as I should in a couple places and I probably did run long.  That course is legit. 

Thanks again to MissZippy because this was a fun set of questions!


Bryant Ave Bikeway

I was on the Bryant Ave Bikeway today.  It's after the marathon so I can ride my bike again.  The bikeway is a few years old now and hilariously starting to show it's age.  Check out this picture I took from a ride last year compared to the one I took today.

Those green bike sharrows are really starting to wear down.  It's sort of okay. By now most of the drivers understand that there's tons of bikes on this road.  Drivers seem to mostly avoid the road if they can, or stay on it for as short a time as possible when they do need to drive on it.  Otherwise the road is in about the same condition as some of the other bike roads.  It'd be nice if it could be repaved, smoothed out a bit, but I'm not holding my breath.  More pictures form today's ride in another post...


Sunday Run and Sunday Bike Ride

Today marks 365 days of moving (running) at least a mile per day.  Tomorrow marks decision day about keeping the streak alive but that's another story.  The run today was nice and relaxed. I wanted to do all 4 miles in my vibrams so I was most focused on form and not caring about speed.  There were crazy tons of sticks falling down on the path, particularly from the cottonwoods, so that made the run interesting.

I came home and had some lunch and sat around on the couch for a few minutes.  I was motivated by the fantastic weather to head back outside on my bike.  Lake Cedar was calling me. I got my bike and my camera and headed out. I did one of my favorite routes: the River Lake Greenway to Bryant Ave Bike Way, along the Greenway to Kenilworth Trail and Cedar Lake.  I came back by Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet.  And took lots and lots of pictures along the way.


Thoughts on running every day for a year

On October 14, 2012  I made this little plan to run every day at least until the end of 2012.  It had to do with participating in a fitness challenge that ultimately didn't work out, but the run every day thing stayed.  Then after the end of 2012, I was all "if I go 14 more days, then that's 3 months solid" and then I was all "I wonder if I can keep going" and by the time I got to six months it was "I have to see if I can make it a year".  On Sunday October 13, 2013, I ran a nice and easy 4-miler in my vibrams to solidify 365 days of running without missing a day.  And I was not sure what to do next.  Like, my goal was to go for a year, now I did that.  Do I deliberately stop?  What do I do?  Dad's only advice was "you'll know the right thing to do".

Imagine my surprise when Monday morning rolled around and I'm out there running a quick 2-miles before work.  What the hell has happened to me?  Today I felt like crap for a number of reasons and was just like "well, a year and a day, that's good, maybe today I should kill the streak?"  Nope.  I did another 2 miles after work.  I already have a running date for tomorrow.  I guess I'm going to keep going for a while.

I talked about what I'd learned after six months of running every day.  Now I'm obviously thinking about all the stuff I've learned over the past year, and I why I want to keep going, at least for now.

Short distances and quick workouts are not junk miles.  Miles add up, even one at a time.  This one I probably learned the quickest and had reinforced the most often.  When I look back at what I did, at least half of my running days were one or two mile days.  Initially there was some physical benefit to these quick runs as it helped change the speed at which I ran.  Perhaps the greatest long term benefit to those runs was the mental benefit, the determination and patience those things teach.  Coming home grumpy and tired, running in the dark or snow or rain was the last thing I wanted.  Actually most of the time.  It takes determination and focus, and sometimes patience to go out for a run feeling like that.  It taught me a lot about sticking with things that seem hard at first because every time I'd end those runs feeling better than when I started.

There was never a time I felt crappy or ashamed for missing a workout, and I never felt ashamed to just do one mile. Looking back at my logs over the years, there's often a stretch of days where I wouldn't work out at all.  Usually it would coincide with getting my period and I would hurt and be sleepy all that time, making it even more awful.  I haven't achieved quite that level of sloth in the past year.  Hey, I worked out at least 10 minutes per day.  It helped my physical health a lot.  My periods are much less painful when I can keep running.  Running keeps my hormones in better balance, and it also makes the pain medication work better.  I don't know why but my doctor says so too.  But more importantly, after those several days of not working out, it would be hard to get started again.  This year, I never felt like that.  I never got super discouraged or too far away from running which was excellent.

I get to run everywhere.  Running on vacations can be a blast.  This was what I thought would be the hardest when I decided to try for this streak.  It's also what I fear will eventually end the streak one day: I'll be on a vacation somewhere I can't run.  For now, it's been the biggest and best surprise.  Running on vacations is freaking awesome.  Running in Florida on a beach in February was a blast.  See the follow up, logistics of exercise on vacation here.  But easily the best vacation for running ever was Running in Washington DC and Virginia

Point of interest, there is a Running Streak Association but I haven't registered with them and not really planning on it at the moment.  When I started this running thing last year, my definitions were a bit looser than the streak's rules, specifically there were a couple days my workouts were on the elliptical and a couple track workouts where I might not have run 1 mile together, although cumulatively was around 4 or 5 miles for the workout.  I'm not quite when I had that corrected, but if I ever register with these guys I'd have to use a slightly different start date, probably around December 1 just to be safe and honest. 


Productivity Saturday

This was a super productive Saturday.  I went on my first post-marathon run.  I went to Zumba.  I shopped at the Farmer's Market and at the Co-op.  I made Nathan and I omelletes for lunch.  Then I cooked all afternoon.  It's Post-marathon cleanse week, so I'm making all my own food.  Here's what I made today:

After cooking all afternoon I had a couple friends over for dinner. We had the lentil burgers, roasted plantains (I have got to remember those), collars, and avocado that I did almost nothing with.

To complete the night, I made a window.  Sort of.  I work with a lady who has an interior office and is always wanting a window.  Nathan had a mirror designed like a window.  My Pooky Bear gave me some fabric and taught me how to make little curtains.  Tonight was fabrication night.  It took nowhere near as long as I'd expected and it was pretty fun.  Steam a seam is an awesome product.  Even I could do it. The doodle on the card was inspired by a story Nathan told me about a past co-worker of his who doodled all the time.

To complete the productivity - this is the third blog post I've written tonight.  I'd link to the other two but they're not published yet and I don't know how.  I'll add that learning to productivity for another day.