Thursday, August 27, 2015

Rough Week

So this week has not been my week, so I came to write a little bit about it and talk it out.  So as you know Sunday I was not able to do my long run because all of Oregon is on freaking fire, and the smoke levels were such that there were strict warnings about air quality and people not going out to do outside activities until the smoke passed.  I was like fine, whatevs, will do my long run Tuesday night.

So Tuesday I just had a complete brain fart when it came to planning and prepping anything for breakfast and lunch.  I didn't pack nearly enough food for myself, and I was very hungry for most of the day.  Usually I have a snack stash at work, but I didn't bring any new snacks to work, so I literally was about to gnaw my hand off by the time I got home.  Long story short, once I got home I had my very first binge eating episode in many, many months.  I don't feel like getting into details about it because I don't particularly want to relive it, but I went to town and then on top of it, attempted to eat dinner so that Eric wouldn't realize what I'd done.  I had not been horribly full like that in a long time, and I was just absolutely miserable.  I was stubbornly determined to still go do my run, and said to myself that even if I couldn't do my 8 miler, then I'd do my 5 miler.  I got out to my usual spot, and of course at 7:30 at night it was 82 degrees and like 73% humidity.  That combined with my uncomfortably full stomach was a disaster in the making.  I made it exactly one mile before I couldn't handle the heat and feeling like I was going to vomit.  I tried to think of all the other times when I'd pushed through when things got tough, and finally realized that this day was different.  I decided to go back home after my one mile.  This was basically my attitude about it:

I didn't and still really don't know what to feel about everything that happened.  Part of me is still in shock that I had a binge after not having one for almost a year or so.  I feel like such a different person that I am just surprised that I had a moment like that in me.  I feel really irritated with myself because I could have easily prevented it by simply having enough to eat.  Anyway, I had a lot of thinking and feelings to sort out, and trying to determine how to keep this from happening again.  And of course I confessed to my Lovely Ladies group, and they were as supportive as always.  According to Meg I am a "badass MF", which I am not feeling so much this week, but I appreciate it anyway.  ;)  After some reflection I realize there are two areas that I need to revamp in my life, and that's my grocery shopping/food prep and acknowledging that evening runs simply do not work for me.

I want evening runs to work for me.  On paper they should absolutely work, but unfortunately this summer has completely trashed that notion.  The sidewalks bake all day in the 90-100 degree heat and simply aren't cooled down by the time I go (even though I wait until at least 7), and it makes for a miserable run every single time.  There is also the eating issue.  I religiously eat at 4 or 4:15 pm on the days I do evening runs in order to have time to digest, but it doesn't matter what I eat or how little of it I eat, I feel incredibly sick the entire run.  Combining heat with constantly burping or suffering acid reflux while trying to run is terrible, to say the least.  I also find that I am completely amped up and have trouble getting to sleep when I run at night.  So it's time to stop the madness.  Until the weather calms down  and I can run immediately after work when my stomach is empty, evening runs have to be off the table.  As much as I dislike having to wake up for morning runs, it really is the best option, plus the stats don't lie.  My performance is infinitely better in mornings than in evenings.  I am fortunate enough to work at a place that not only has a shower, but is in a safe area with plenty of sidewalks for running.  Yeah getting up early sucks, but at least it's done and out of the way first thing, and it's not a complete physical struggle.

The food thing is just something I've got to work on.  I'm totally out of a shopping groove since I started my job, plus it's been so hot that I haven't been able to make the type of meals that make tons of leftovers.  But I sat down yesterday and charted some stuff out to make, then went shopping.  I was pleasantly surprised at how calm the store was, so I think shopping weeknights are going to be a better option for me (especially once kids go back to school), so I just need to pick a day each week and make shopping a regular thing.  I got food for several meals that will make leftovers, plus tons of nice snacks to replenish my work snack drawer.  For the record, one of those peanut butter things smeared on top of those Kind bars is pretty much the most glorious breakfast or large snack on a higher mileage day that a girl could ask for.  Try it, you'll want to hug me.

I still don't feel good about what I did and especially have not recovered physically, but I feel like at least I know what caused it and what I need to do to fix it, plus took action to try to regroup for the rest of the week.  That's really all I can do.

On that note, I sucked it up and did a run this morning before work that ended up going very well.  After a lot of hand wringing about how many miles I was going to do  I decided that I needed to quit stressing about how little mileage I had this week, and to just do one of the 3 milers on the schedule.  I mean yeah, it's not great that it's Thursday and I still have yet to do my 5 miler or my 8 miler, but I just can't fret about it at the moment.  I needed to go out and have a decent run in order to gain some confidence back and see how I felt.  So, three miler it was.  The humidity was at 83% (!!!), but at least it was somewhat comfortable.  During the run I felt labored and like I was struggling, but pleasantly discovered when I plugged my Garmin in that it was because it was my best 3 miler this month!  In fact, it was 7.57 minutes faster than my worst 3 miler of the month, and almost a minute faster than my best 3 miler in August.  It's one of those moments where feeling like you struggled is a positive thing, because it means that your heart was laboring a little more because you were pushing yourself and improving.  It was just what I needed to feel better about myself.  (3 Miler - Time:  36:50/Average Pace:  12:18)

I am going to squeeze in two more runs this week, the mileage to be determined.  Ideally I would like to do my 5 miler before work tomorrow, and my 8 miler on Saturday before we go to the fair.  Both of those things are a tall order, it's going to take me over an hour to do 5 miles, which means I will have to get here super early in the morning.  Not really an issue other than the fact that running in the dark skeeves me out, and it is staying dark a lot later in the mornings now.  But again, it's gotta be done, so there it is.  My concern with doing the 8 miler Saturday is that I worry about immediately doing my 10 miler on Sunday and having to do it with tired legs.  I don't feel like skipping my 8 miler is an option though, so I am going to do it.  I am also bringing Molly with me and giving her a good walk so that she is pooped out (literally) since we'll be gone all day, so that should add an interesting element.  Since the weather is supposed to be cool, I will be able to get away with leaving her in the car while I'm running.  I will periodically be getting her out to do some of my mileage with me, so my time is not going to be impressive.  As always, you guys will hear all the details!

Monday, August 24, 2015


Yesterday I posted briefly about the two races I signed up for over the weekend, and had one of my local friends reach out to me and ask which races I was signing up for.  I thought I'd detail them here just in case any other Oregon people may want to meet up!

Halloweenathon - October 31, 2015

So for the record, Halloween is going to be bananas this year since it's on a Saturday!  I'm already pretty excited because I love decorating the house and handing out candy to kids, it's pretty much the one time of year I'm not a complete curmudgeon.  I debated about whether to sign up for a Halloween race, and originally wanted to do one in Portland called Run Like Hell that I did a few years ago.  However I'm getting to the point where I'm getting sticker shock over race prices, and Run Like Hell was no exception.  I mean I don't know, is $89 really a reasonable price for a half marathon ($109 if you sign up race day)?  I guess I am more conscious of these things now that I'm not making the big cheddar, but that just seems outrageous to me.  Anyway, I figured that I was just going to do without any races for the rest of the year until the marathon, when I remembered the little Halloween race I did last year called the Halloweenathon.  It's put on by this company called Uberthons, who always does super fun, smaller races with really cute medals.  They hand out medals to everyone, even if you are just running the 5k!

After studying my schedule for October, I decided to do the 10k race.  My schedule for that week is actually my last "for realz" training week before my taper, and I have a 20 miler, two 5 milers and an 8 miler on the schedule for that week.  I figured that the 10k could count as one of the 5 milers.  Supposedly this year they are having it at a golf course that has actual asphalt paths instead of the sloppy mud we ran through last year!  If anyone local is interested in signing up, here is the link.

Oregon Winter Half Marathon - January 23, 2016

First of all, can you believe that we're a) talking about 2016 and that b) it's less than 6 months away?  Where has this year gone?!

Anyway, Uberthons is also putting on this one, in fact they are doing them for each season, but don't even TALK to me about spring or summer races, no thank you.  My luck we'll have some insanely hot spring.  I decided instead to sign up for the half marathon since I will still be in reasonable shape and it will give me the motivation I need to not slack and lose all of my fitness like I did the last time.
I won't fully say I'll never do a marathon again, especially since I've said it before and here I am doing marathon #2, but I just don't see myself doing a third one.  I've noticed my body is a lot more creaky and sensitive, plus it is just so damn time consuming to train for one.  I don't have quite the emotional thrash about it as I did the last time, but it still really blows to never sleep in on the weekends and to have to squeeze in the longer runs.  Anyway, I guess I'm saying that limiting my running "career" to half marathons seems a lot more appealing, but would still keep me in really great shape.  If any of you locals are interested, you can sign up here.  I put the link that has all of the seasonal races, just in case you're not a huge baby like me and are interested in the spring/summer/fall options.

After careful studying of the weather forecast, I'm going to make up my 8 mile run tomorrow night, my 5 miler on Wednesday, and then do my 3 mile runs on Friday and Saturday.  The weather looks like it is going to calm down, so I am going to do my best to squeeze in that 4th run this week!  I also need all the help I can get since we are going to the Oregon State Fair on Saturday, and I am ridiculously excited.  I will not only be eating all of the corn dogs, but all of the fried candy bars, and petting a billion animals.  It's my version of heaven.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

I am thoroughly, entirely, completely over this summer.  My shitty attitude towards summer has officially developed into full blown hatred after this weekend.  I have proclaimed to any who will listen that on the first 40 degree day we have, I am throwing open the windows and blowing the fan vortex to end all fan vortexes into the house.  I mentioned a few posts back that Oregon and Washington are dealing with severe wildfires.  It is dangerously dry and we are in drought conditions, so it's not a good situation all around.  Last week (I think?) we had a moment where we woke up and thought we smelled smoke, and it ended up being due to wildfires.

Yesterday morning was fairly normal, then I went to work my volunteer shift at the shelter.  One of the boys I work with looked out of the window and commented that it looked weird outside, but I really didn't think anything of it until I left my shift.  I literally stopped in my tracks when I walked outside, because the sky was almost obliterated with a smoke haze, and the acrid smell of smoke hit me in the face like a mallet.  Long story short and some confusing scientific jargon later, we discovered that some weather front had blown a grip of wildfire smoke over the Portland area.  So that you get a good understanding of what things looked like, this is a picture I took when we were driving down the freeway yesterday.

It was truly awful.  If you stood outside for any length of time, your eyes would start burning and you would begin coughing.  It was supposed to reach 93 degrees yesterday but I think it only hit about 85 because the smoke was so heavy that you couldn't even see the sun.  Of course my first thought was, will this clear up by Sunday so that I can do my long run, and the answer is no.  I had pretty much decided last night that it was not going to be safe to run, and when I woke up today got my suspicions confirmed.  I opened the patio door and was immediately hit with smoke.  And of course, there were all these lovely warnings.

We had the windows open for just a half hour this morning, and my eyes immediately started burning and my throat felt sore, so not running was a good call.  My breathing has been bad enough lately, I just didn't want to take the chance today of running and causing damage to my lungs.  And now that I think of it, I'm wondering if this is why I've had breathing problems all summer when I run due to smoke.  The wildfires have been burning for a couple of months, so it would make sense.

I also just wanted to take a moment to gently throw out some facts about our summer and my psyche.  When you guys read anger, frustration and an upset tone to my posts, this is the type of thing it's about.  I know I complain a lot about the summers here, but trust me, I have held back on the larger complaints.  We have broken all time records in Oregon for heat, which is like my personal hell on Earth.  This summer has been hell and torture for me.  This is basically a day in the life of our summer:

  • Get up at no later than 5 am to put fans in all of the windows to blow cool air into the house
  • Shut fans off at no later than 9 am and close the entire house up
  • The dog must be walked by no later than 9 am since it easily hits 75 with full sun by then
  • Program portable air conditioner to come on at a certain time 
  • All curtains/blinds must remain shut as long as the sun is out, or else it's like a magnifying glass
  • Depending, we cannot use our oven to cook because of the heat it generates
  • You can only be in the living room or bedroom, since those are the only rooms with AC
  • Even after all of this you will only get the inside temps to 75-80 degrees
  • Wash rinse and repeat the next day

Imagine doing that every single day for three months, and add trying to schedule runs during a safe time only to have shitty variable such as wildfire smoke thrown in.  There is never a time when you feel cooled off or comfortable, and you literally forget what it feels like to feel cool breezes.  Something as simple as holding your husband's hand on the couch while watching TV becomes unbearable because it's too hot.  I am not exaggerating when I say that I feel intense depression and despair during the summers, and this kind of crap is why.  I don't say any of this for sympathy, I guess I'm just trying to make it clear that I feel impotent frustration every single day not because I'm running or required to train, but because I can't go run the way I want to.  When I'm out there, I am at the mercy of something I have no control over, and something that is greatly impeding my performance.  Anyway, I just wanted to put that out there so everyone understands.  Trust me, you will see plenty of smiling, happy pictures and run reports when I get some crisp fall days.  Which at this point will apparently be never since it's almost September and we're still projected to have highs from 90-100 degrees for the foreseeable future.

As far as my long run goes, I am going to have to look at the weather forecast and see what day it makes sense to do it.  Supposedly this smoke crap is blowing out of there late tonight or tomorrow morning, so, I guess we'll see!

On a different, lighter note, I did sign up for two races this weekend!  I am honestly trying to think of the last race I did, and I guess it would have been that 5 miler in Lake Oswego back in April!  I signed up for a 10k on Halloween and a half marathon in January.  I am pretty certain that my full marathon days are going to be over after Seattle comes and goes, purely from a body limitation.  I figure half marathons are pretty challenging and will be good for keeping up my fitness, plus this half is super close to my house.  

Friday, August 21, 2015

Times Two

So I did something rather rare and did the remaining two training runs for the week practically back to back.  Last night I did an ill-fated 3 miler that was supposed to be a 4 miler, then very early this morning did a redo and was able to complete the 4 miler.

Thursday Night 3 Miler (Time 39:56/Average Pace 13:19)

Last night's run was incredibly frustrating and disappointing.  I had been excited all week because it was supposed to be in the 70's after having been almost 100 degrees for two days in a row.  I'd anticipated the cool down and was like, "oh man, it's going to be amazing, my run is going to be so good."  Um no.  First of all as usual, the weather people are liars and the highs were more like 86 degrees.  Honestly guys, I'm so over it.  I'm tired of feeling like I can never walk outside.  I'm tired of having to drag the air conditioner around the house and do a bunch of crap to cool the house down.  I'm tired of feeling like I'm constantly sweaty and stinky.  Most of all, I'm tired of being incredibly limited on when I can run.  Early morning and late evening are my worst times when it comes to running, yet that's basically what I'm having to choose between.  Late evening is the worst because eating dinner impacts my run even though I eat at 4 pm on those days, and I basically have acid reflux and burp the entire time.  It's terrible and painful.

Anyway, I got out around 7 and it was so hot, and the sidewalk was practically steaming.  I had decided to forego the Galloway method last night and just run/walk whenever the spirit moved me, and surprisingly this was a huge mistake.  I don't know what it was, but my performance was terrible.  I could NEVER get into a running groove, mostly because I couldn't breathe, but I also found that I fell back into the old pattern of not pushing myself.  So weird, because when I set the intervals on my watch I follow them pretty religiously and totally push myself.  I don't know why.  It's not like the Galloway police are going to jump out of the bushes and arrest me if I take an extra walk break, I'm not accountable to anyone, but somehow the set intervals keep me on track!

I was just not feeling it last night.  My legs hurt and felt like lead, I was tired, couldn't breathe and I was having major chafing issues.  After struggling and being near tears the whole time, I decided to cut my run at 3 miles.  When it's like that, there is no point in pushing it, it just makes it worse emotionally.

Friday Morning 4 Miler (Time 49:24/Average Pace 12:22)

So one of the great things about my new job (in a very long list of great things) is the fact we have a shower at work, so I decided to get to the office at 6 am today and do my 4 miler, then shower and start my 7 am shift.  Again it was incredibly humid, but not quite as much as last night.  My legs still felt really exhausted and had absolutely no spring, so I don't really know what's going on with that.  Hopefully that goes away for my long run on Sunday!  I probably should roll them out tonight with The Stick, I've been super lazy about that lately!

Anyway, nothing exciting really to report.  It wasn't a great run, I was really tired and not feeling it, but apparently I was much faster than I thought, in fact my average pace was the fastest today out of all the training runs this month.  Go figure!  I did use the intervals on my watch and magically I pushed myself and ran more than I wanted.  Apparently I am afraid of my Garmin and will obey its command!  I will say I didn't hate the morning run as much as I thought I would.  I think I hate the prep that goes along with it more than anything, you know, just having to pack toiletries/work clothes/towel/breakfast, etc.  I did have the good sense to pack everything the night before so that all I had to do was grab my bag and go this morning.  If the weather is going to continue to be a jerk ass, then doing a morning run at least once a week may be my best option.  The work shower worked out well, so I definitely may deploy this a bit more.

Next up will be my long run on Sunday, an 8 miler.  I'm not looking forward to it, especially since the high on Sunday is supposed to be 93, which means I'll have to get out there at the ass crack of dawn so that I don't roast!

I guess I should end on a positive note and say that I'm proud that I've managed to push and consistently do 3 training runs a week this month.  (Grand tally is 37 miles!)  I know technically I'm supposed to do 4 runs a week, but that is simply going to have to wait until the weather dies down.  I honestly feel like my stamina is improving with even just 3 runs a week, but definitely want to add that 4th run in once things are cooler.  At least I'm behaving differently this training go round and taking things more seriously, and I definitely feel positive about the marathon, I just need the weather to change!  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New Things

It's been a slow week so far, so I wanted to share some new things I'm trying out this week!  I should have some running reports in the next couple of days, for now I'm avoiding outdoors due to another heat spike!

Last week I got my newest issue of Cooking Light in, and I just LOVE this magazine.  I would normally have never picked it out as a magazine, but we had miles on United that we were able to convert to magazine subscriptions and the list was pretty sparse.  I picked out Cooking Light and figured I'd barely read it.  It is now my favorite magazine!  I always find at least two recipes that I'm dying to make, and I haven't had anything I've tried fail.  One of my biggest pet peeves about recipes is when I can tell they were not tested extensively, because either the ingredients are off or the directions are off.  Cooking Light clearly tests their recipes over and over again, which I appreciate since it doesn't waste money or my time!

The thing I love most about it (and would have subscribed sooner if I'd known), but they use "real" ingredients in their recipes.  Butter, cream, bacon, cheese etc.  Part of my being so successful this go around with my weight loss was coming to terms with the fact that cutting food I love out of my life simply doesn't work for me.  I feel resentful and like I'm not normal, binge eating happens and then I'm back to square one.  Now I eat whatever I damn well please (within reason) and have managed to stay more or less on track for almost a year!  Having recipes that use just enough of the "naughty" stuff makes them taste good while still incorporating healthful components.

Anyways, I swear I'm not a paid schill for Cooking Light, I'm mainly bringing this all up because my newest issue had so many great recipes that I've already tried three that I want to share with you:

One Pan Broccoli-Bacon Mac and Cheese:  I wanted to make this immediately because the picture looked so amazing!  And you know, bacon.  I made this on Monday and was basically pretty happy with it, although I was weirded out the first night we had it because I could taste the pumpkin in the sauce.  I am not a huge fan of pumpkin (and I loathe butternut squash), so this kind of bummed me out.  I was happier when eating the leftovers though because the pumpkin flavor had mellowed and I didn't really taste it at all.  I liked this fairly well and would probably make it again.

Lighter Sloppy Joes:  First of all, I hate Sloppy Joes.  I don't know what it is, I think mostly it's the sickly sweetness, but I just cannot stand them normally.  Manwich is like Satan in a can, don't even go there with asking me about it.  I don't know what appealed to me about this recipe other than there is only a tablespoon of brown sugar in it and all of the other seasonings are savory.  I get cravings for beef and I haven't had it in awhile, so likely that was more of the culprit.  Anyway I am happy to say that I LOVED this!  Super easy to put together (I used the pulse function on my food processor to grind the chickpeas and onion, and also added raw mushrooms) and fast to make.  I used normal pickles on the sandwiches because bread and butter pickles are also Satan in a jar.

Cereal and Milk Bars:  I should not be posting the link to these evil bastards, but hopefully you guys won't be as naughty as me with them.  I can't even describe these cereal bars other than a Rice Krispie treat meeting a bowl of cereal with strawberries.  They are like amazing crack is what they are.  I highly recommend these, they were easy and fun to make, just make sure you take the bulk of them into your coworkers or something so you don't eat 2 in a sitting like me.

And lastly on the realm of discovering new things, I discovered a new album that I'm in love with and wanted to share with you guys.  It really isn't a new album, just a new to me album. You guys know I'm really into older music, and one of my special obsessions is The Beach Boys.  Watching that "Love & Mercy" movie has inspired me lately to dive deeper into the BB's music and some of the deeper tracks/albums, I also read a biography on Brian Wilson and am currently reading one on Dennis Wilson.  All of this stuff is so fascinating and tragic, but I'm definitely happy to have expanded my knowledge of their history and music.  I picked up Dennis Wilson's solo album "Pacific Ocean Blue" a couple of weeks ago and oh my God....if you haven't ever heard of this album or checked it out, you must!

The vibe is really sexy and mellow (like Dennis himself), and the music is so unique and sensitive.  He has a sexy (cannot enough emphasis on that, because seriously) raspy voice that is a few shades under the Joe Cocker rasp.  It's one of those albums that makes you wonder what if?  (If you are not familiar, after a long battle with drugs and alcohol, Dennis tragically drowned at the age of 39 when he went diving in Marina Del Ray after drinking.)  As I've been listening to this album I just think, what if his brothers had taken him more seriously and allowed him to be involved in the creative process more?  What if he'd been able to get his life together and put out more albums?  It's just truly sad, but I'm glad that at least this album is here for everyone to enjoy.  I thought I'd leave one of the tracks for you guys to listen to and enjoy!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire

Today was long run day, and I was getting such a good night's sleep to prep for it when suddenly at 4:30 am I smelled what you never want to smell in the house...smoke.  Let me tell you, nothing on an evolutionary/survival level will wake you up faster than smelling smoke, it completely freaked me out.  I did that thing where you are trying to rationalize and be all scientific even though you are not awake or remotely human yet, and was going through a list in my head trying to figure out what was up.  I was like well, I don't think it's in the house because the smoke detectors aren't going off, and surely Molly would be trying to wake us up.  I was positive it wasn't a jackass outside of our window smoking, because I cannot in any way tolerate cigarette smoke, and this was a totally different type of smoke.  I thought maybe one of the houses on the street was having a fire, but I couldn't see any evidence of that out the window.  I finally just got up because the smell was totally acrid and starting to bother me.

Long story short, apparently it's the smoke from the 33 wildfires currently burning in Oregon.  Eric confirmed that when he lived in LA, this is what it would smell like when they got bad wildfires.  Per the Weather Channel, winds are blowing from the east where a majority of the fires are burning, so there were all kinds of warnings about not keeping your windows open a lot and all of that.  In other words, perfect for doing a long run right?

In a way it was since it was only 53 degrees or so when I started out.  It warmed up quickly, but at the beginning of the run I felt really great and like I was flying.  In reality I was probably doing maybe a 11:59 minute mile but hey, I'll take it.  I know I haven't been really detailed in my run recaps but honestly....everything is going so smoothly this time around.  With the Galloway method my splits are pretty dead even, I feel decent enough physically and there's just really no excitement to report.  And that's GOOD.  I think back to how much I struggled in 2013 and how hopeless I felt, and now it feels...simple.  I don't want to use the word "easy" because it's not and it never is really.  But I feel like I have it somewhat together, I know what to do and what to expect, and I know roughly how to keep from having a hot mess of a run.  And you know, running more than one day a week makes a difference.  Who knew right?  ;)  I just feel like I'm getting a lot stronger and my lungs are getting better all of the time.  I actually feel kind of pumped for the weather to get cooler just so I can see how fast I actually am.  I track all of my training information on a calendar, and for each run I record what the temperature was when I started, as well as what percentage the humidity was at.  I started relaxing about my pace when I saw the data, because I realized the temps/humidity absolutely affect me and that I might as well roll with it for now.  I really think I could start breaking into average pace times in the 11 minute mile area once fall hits, and that's pretty exciting to me!  I know that's "slow" to most people, but it would make me feel like Jesse Owens to be able to run in the 11's.  I mean that's all I've ever really wanted, was to be able to work hard and actually see improvement.

My weight is also falling little by little, which ultimately is what makes me happy.  I did have to bump my calories back down to 1500 because  my weight was getting stuck and I felt like 1600 was too much for now.  Once I hit higher mile runs I'm going to reevaluate, but for now I feel like I'm in a good place where I'm fueling my body and feel adequately full most of the day, yet am still dropping weight.  I do eat back most of my exercise calories and make sure I have little snacks between meals, so I definitely feel like I'm getting what I need.  I also keep an eye on my protein and carb macros to make sure the levels are good.  I am really hoping to drop 15 to 20 pounds by the time the marathon rolls around, but we'll see.  20 pounds is probably an aggressive number, but 15 is like 5 pounds each month, which doesn't seem too out of the realm.  I still haven't decided on a goal weight, simply because I don't know what will look and feel appropriate until I get there.  I've always had 140 as a number in my head, but am not sure if that will make me look too thin or not.  I was around 170 in high school and looked pretty trim (of course I at the time thought I was a total lard ass...oh if only I could slap Young Me), so maybe 150 would be more appropriate.  Anyway I'm just blathering at this point, but it's been on my mind lately!

I felt pretty great for most of the run until the last 2 miles, mostly because it was really starting to warm up and my legs were getting tired.  I finished fairly strong and without taking any extra walk breaks!  (7 mile run:  Time; 1 hour, 30 minutes; Average Pace - 12:56)

The weekend has otherwise been pretty mellow.  Friday night we went to see one of my most anticipated movies of the year, Straight Outta Compton.  If you are a fan of the group NWA I think you will love the movie, I certainly did.  I heard a lot of people say that the trailer came across as looking cheesy, but I assure you that it was not at all cheesy and was VERY well done.  I even wept a bit in the end, but of course y'all know I'm a little bitch baby about movies and get the feels easily.  I personally feel that it deserves some Oscar or Golden Globe nominations, especially for the actors, they were all fantastic.  If you have been reading this blog for more than a second, you know that I am very passionate about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so ultimately my main anticipation came from hoping that this film will give NWA the chance they deserve to get onto the ballot and voted into the Rock Hall 2016 class.  They were on the ballot last year and unfortunately didn't get in, which I thought was completely unjust.

I get very frustrated with people who bitch about rap acts getting into the Rock Hall, partly because there is usually not so veiled racism involved, and partly because I feel like these people are not looking at the bigger picture when it comes to music.  A band like NWA was life changing and their music had a domino effect on the rap and hip hop industry that exists even now.  Their music captures a political time and tells a story.  For me, rock and roll is defiant, it's dangerous, it shirks the establishment, and often it's a voice of protest.  If that's the definition we're using for rock and roll, then NWA couldn't BE any more rock and roll.  I literally see no difference between them and a band like the Sex Pistols or Pussy Riot.  Anyway, the Rock Hall is about honoring bands that are musical pioneers, made history and influenced the industry.  And if horrible ass boring GREEN DAY can get in, then what the hell are we waiting on for NWA???  Anyway I will stop there, cause otherwise I'll go on for two hours.

Yesterday I didn't feel well, so after my volunteer shift at the shelter I just kind of hung out at the house and napped, then went grocery shopping.  I am all stocked up for the week and have meals planned out, which always makes me feel a little more on top of things.

After my run today I've just been relaxing and puttering around the yard getting some stuff done.  I've started cleaning up the garden a bit, although admittedly I have pretty much neglected my garden this year and everything is dead anyways.  The one thing holding strong is this mutant sunflower, which I measured on Friday and it is a whopping 9 ft tall!

In a sad moment, I harvested the very last of my Sungold cherry tomatoes with the help of a very nosy greyhound.  Love those tomatoes, they are the best!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer Hatin', Had Me A Blast (of Misery)

I meant to write a post last night but was simply too tired and over it from yesterday's run to formulate any cohesive thoughts.  Anyway, yesterday was my 3rd training run of the week, and was supposed to be an "easy" 3 miler.  As my ladies group, my unfortunate husband and anyone who was physically around me knows, I watched the weather forecast literally all day yesterday to try to gauge what I was facing.  Can we just talk about what buffoons local weather people are?  I had FOUR local weather sites up and they all had a completely different forecast, the lowest ranging at 82 degrees with a possibility of rain, to 92 degrees with full sun all up in your biz.  What.  The.  Hell.  I mean, it must be nice to have a job that you can do poorly on a consistent basis and still get to keep it.  I don't mean to be a bitch, but seriously!  Even the Weather Channel, who is usually pretty dependable and the most accurate was flip flopping.  Regardless, the temps were kind of straddling that line between massively uncomfortable and probably not safe, hence the hand wringing.

I considered not running at all and just switching my run to this morning or tomorrow morning, but I really didn't want to do that.  We have to wake up and leave early for work as it is, so getting up early for a run means getting up at 4:30 am or earlier.  I would in a pinch (and I actually am on Friday), but I don't want to make a regular habit of it.  Anyway, this could all be solved if our summer would just stop its asshole shenanigans and cool down enough for me to run directly after work like a normal human.  But I's just that I'm so ready for fall that I can hardly stand it.

Eric needed to pick some things up at the library and gas his car up, and my normal running route is close the the library, so we decided to do everything at once.  He would drop me off on a corner somewhat away from where my route normally starts, and I would do my 3 miles while he was running errands.  Good idea in theory, except that things went south rather quickly when it became very apparent to me that the station who predicted 92 degrees as the high was the winner of the Forecast Games.  Pardon my French, but fuck.  It was so hot, and I immediately started feeling faint and sick, and was freaking out.  It's like, this was a huge mistake and I should have just sucked it up for an early run Wednesday morning.  Thank God I brought Gatorade with me, which I usually don't for just a 3 miler, but I knew I needed it in the heat.  I don't think I could have made it without it.

Eric and I had a miscommunication and he came to get me when I was only 1.80 miles into the run, but I said screw it and got in the car because I was so miserable and sick.  But as we started driving I became so mad at myself for quitting with only 1.2 miles left to go, and I stewed about it as he was getting his car gassed up.  I didn't want to reboot the run another day, I wanted to finish the damn thing.  When we started off again, I told him that I wanted him to drop me off at a certain point before our house that I estimated would be far enough for me to finish, and even though I got a "you're so crazy" side eye, he agreed to let me out.  And so I did, I finished my run.  I hated it, it is probably one of the worst runs I've ever had in my life, but at least I finished it.  I will say, as far as time goes, it's not THAT bad considering the factors I was dealing with.  I was running right up until the end.  (3 Mile:  Time - 44:07, Average Pace - 14:43)

I am thrilled that the next two days are much needed rest days.  My foot and hip could definitely use the break, as well as my general sanity since the weather forecast is going to continue to be crappy.  Tonight I am having coffee with my aunt, and tomorrow we are seeing a showing of "Rock and Roll High School" on the rooftop of a hotel in Portland!

And finally on a non-running note, tonight is going to be the prime viewing night for the Perseid Meteor Shower!  If you have never seen a meteor shower, you should make an effort to get out there tonight and view it, they are spectacular to watch.  The Washington Post has a great guide on how to best view the showers if you are interested!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Getting Baked, Chocolate Fever & Earless Greyhounds

Last night I had another one of those moments where I was slightly in awe and feel like I'm slowly becoming a new person.  We have a busy week this week so I knew going in that my run days were going to be Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Friday.  Technically Saturday morning is an option, but my volunteer shift at the animal shelter is 9am  to 11 am so I'd have to get up really early, and that would make me sad.  Anyways, there was no wiggle room, those are my running options for the week.  But I didn't want to run last night.  I watched the hourly weather forecast all day yesterday, and my heart sank as I saw that it wasn't going to cool down even remotely until 9 pm.  Laugh if you must, but 9 pm is usually mama's bedtime.  I agonized about it and silently dreaded it at we were leaving work, was trying to bargain with myself and be like "but if I did this, then I could just shift a day", etc.  Anyway at the end of the day the weather is going to suck a bag of asses for the rest of the week, so there was no point in shifting anything around.  So run it was.

I'm almost glad I had that semi-traumatic experience with running Starlight, because that's the new bar I can hold up for myself.  If I made it through that race despite almost having a panic attack from heat and almost yakking up a sandwich, then I can make it through just about anything.  I know that's not very romantic or inspirational, but hey, whatever works.  I got out there at about 7 pm, and it was 85 degrees and 41% humidity.  At first I was like "oh this isn't that terrible" and then immediately 5 minutes later was like "this is terrible."  Much like Starlight, the actual temps weren't so much the issue, it was the pavement that had been baking in the heat all day that was now radiating heat from the feet up.  There was a breeze blowing, but it felt like someone was blowing a hair dryer on me.  I hated every second of it, but at a certain point, you don't have a choice if you're going to get your training in.  And that folks, that's what is surprising me about myself.  Two years ago I would have NEVER had that attitude.  How times have changed.

I was very proud because I only stopped once just for like 30 seconds to get water, and I only walked extra on the very last run interval.  I couldn't believe I stuck it out, but I was definitely happy it was only a 3 miler.  I don't know that I could have done much more than that.  (3 Mile Run:  Time - 40:59, Average Pace - 13:42)

I feel like every run selfie I take now is me looking like a confused, drenched lobster. It is not fashionable people!

After my run I went to the grocery store, which could have been a dangerous thing post run.  Luckily I was so hot that I wasn't hungry, so I thankfully didn't buy out the store.  I did stock up on some snacks for work, because I feel like I do my best nutrition wise when I have a lot of little snacks to look forward to throughout the day.  I've also been having issues at night with wanting just a little something sweet, which honestly is just who I am.  I have a horrible sweet tooth that is mostly under control, but damn it, I just need my little treats at night!

I wanted to recommend a couple of the products I got, starting with this granola.  I'm not a huge granola person, it's usually too sweet and the calorie hit vs the serving size usually isn't worth it to me.  It's like, is 240 calories for 1/4th a cup of sugared oats ever worth it?  But I saw this on the shelf and it had two of my favorite things, cocoa and coconut, so I immediately grabbed it.  I was pleased to see the serving size was 1/3rd of a cup and the calorie count was fairly respectable (130 calories/5 grams fat).  I tasted a little when I got home and it was SO good.  It's really not sweet at all, so it doesn't feel totally weird to have it at breakfast, but I could see sprinkling it over berries at night for a treat too.  I put some in my yogurt this morning, and it provided a lightly sweet note to my very tart plain yogurt.  Super tasty!  Oh, and the brand is from Kashi, I think that part got ripped off the label.

And dear God, go get a bag of these almonds immediately.  It was an impulse buy, which I really shouldn't be doing, and they were expensive as hell, but I don't even care.  Totally worth it.  Again, they are not really sweet at all but they have such a wonderful chocolate flavor to them.  These are definitely the perfect thing for a treat, and the calorie hit isn't really that bad either.  (160 calories, 13 grams of fat).  The serving size is about 1/4th of a cup, which is pretty typical for a serving of almonds.

Anyway, go forth, snack and enjoy!

I feel like I haven't mentioned Molly much lately, but she is still around and being a really ridiculous creature.  I will say that I'm pretty proud of her because she easily adjusted to Eric and I both working again without any fuss.  I was honestly worried since she's been used to one of us being home for almost a year, and I felt guilty because she doesn't get her long walks anymore.  But she has rolled with the punches pretty easily and there have been no revenge pee incidents or destruction.  She is still a nutty dog who sometimes gets both ears folded back, and then just chills out with no ears for a little bit.

Or she sleeps with very elegant faces, and I get to gaze upon this kind of magnificence.

Sunday, August 9, 2015


It's only 12:30 pm and it's been a great day, I'm not going to lie.  I'm still riding a runner's and a bruncher's high, so you'll have to forgive my flowery excitement!

We've had a whirlwind weekend, which I will probably get into more detail about tomorrow, and I was disappointed in myself because I didn't get my 4th run in last week.  (FYI I am counting Sundays to Saturdays as a week from a training standpoint) I felt excruciatingly guilty about it all day yesterday, so I vowed that no matter what, I was getting up today and doing either my long run, or my second longest run on the schedule.  Somehow I did manage to drag myself out of bed and get out of the door by 6:45 am and get to my usual spot at about 7.  Along the way I decided that I wanted to shoot for doing the 6 mile long run that was on the schedule, simply because I wanted it out of the way.  That way, all I would have to worry about for the rest of the week were two 3 mile runs and a 4 miler.  We're having another busy week, so anything I could do to leave myself with shorter runs was going to set me up for better success.

And firstly, thanks so my to my reader Christina for pointing out that switching to shorter intervals was going to be helpful during this humidity.  You would think that as a college graduate and sometimes intelligent person that I could have worked that out sooner, but you know me.  Anyway, this new 0.40/0.10 ratio has worked out so much better for me, and though there were definitely a few difficult moments during the run today, overall it was really solid.  It was humid as hell again today, but I've just decided to get over it and move on, but I was dripping in sweat the entire time!  I thought that was going to drag me down a little bit, but my legs definitely felt fresh and I could tell that I was faster than I have been the last 2 runs.

I was thrilled to plug in my Garmin and see that this run was night and day from my nauseating 5 miler last week!  I did my 5 miler in 1 hour and 11 minutes, but my did my 6 miler today in 1 hour and 15 minutes!  Talk about an improvement!  I was so happy when I was done, although sweaty and in desperate need of a shower and some cold water.

6 Mile Run. Time:  1 hour, 15 minutes, Average Pace:  12:34

After I got home I showered and we went out for brunch at one of our favorite local little bistro places.  Since I'd only had a Stinger waffle and some Gatorade all day, I was starving!  And you guys know that I'm all about proper nutrition when running, so in the spirit of ending a run with a high protein meal and potassium, I got a "Breakfast Mary".  Yes, that is a hard boiled egg wrapped in a piece of bacon.  Yes, it was good.  No, I'm not sorry.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Cool Beans

So last night Eric went out with one of his man friends (whose sweetheart of a wife consequently is one of my good lady friends), and while I was glad that I could binge watch something awful on TV he was able to have guy time, it did leave me wondering what I was going to have for dinner.  After Wednesday's horrible experience with the beef sandwich, I was not going anywhere near those leftovers, no sir, although I was wringing my hands about leaving a perfectly good Kaiser roll to languish in the pantry.  I was doing the typical "oh there's nothing to eat in the house" thing when I remembered a tasty black bean burger recipe from Pioneer Woman.  I know I dissed her a little bit in my last post, not because she's a bad cook but because most of her stuff is a bit opulent on the caloric level.  Anyway, these burgers are one of the few things of hers that won't make your arteries run screaming.

I do like a good veggie burger *if* it's made with care, good ingredients and not with weird soy crap.  I don't do the frozen mass produced veggie patties.  There was a restaurant near my house named Sweet Oregon Grill that made THE BEST homemade veggie burgers that almost would rival a normal meat burger, and I would get them every time I went on Thursdays with coworkers long ago.  Alas, Sweet Oregon Grill burned to the ground many years ago, so there went my veggie burgers and many fun hours of us all drinking our paychecks away.  Anyway, I've tried to make my own veggie burgers over the years, but they never come out quite right.  They're either mushy, crumbly or flavorless.  Except Pioneer Woman's.  No crumbling, the texture is right, the flavor is good, etc.  Oh and they freeze beautifully, so they pass the Annelle from Steel Magnolias test.

I didn't take pictures of the during process because they look gross, plus Ree photographs beautiful step by step instructions in the recipe.  But here are my beautiful burgers in mid fry...

And then when my dinner burger of choice was selected and dressed on the lonesome Kaiser roll...I was too lazy to remove that tiny bean speck before photographing.

It was honestly so good, I was glad I remembered the recipe!  The grated onions give the patties fantastic flavor, and I also threw in a few diced jalapenos.  I was also glad that I had everything in my pantry to make it and didn't have to make a random trip to the store, since spending money right now gives me a little bit of the vapors.  They really are pretty good on a caloric level, though I know some may get their panties in a twist about it containing bread crumbs.  Feel free to try another binding agent, but the crumbs work really well, plus bread is delicious.  If you are wanting to make a bunch and freeze them, cook them first then cool them on a cooling rack, flash freeze them in a single layer on a sheet pan covered in wax, then stash them in freezer bags.  To heat them up I just throw them in the toaster oven for a few minutes until they are hot.  I really need to set aside some time this weekend to make a big batch of them to freeze, they would be a great lunch or dinner after a long run.  Filling but not fatty as it were.

Since I was on a roll, I also made some plum crumble bars to bring into the office today.  One of my coworkers brought me a giant bag of wild plums, so of course I elected to make a dessert with them instead of anything healthy, though I have been eating a bunch of them raw!  I didn't take pictures of the bars, and again I'm entirely too lazy to go to the office fridge to get them and take pictures of them.  Anyway, they turned out pretty well though they were a bit more labor intensive than I care for most baking recipes to be.  Cooking the jam layer was a pain in my butt, I was glad that I did it on a totally separate day or otherwise I would have been spending an ungodly amount of time on these last night.  Since I used wild plums the jam was tart, which honestly offsets the insane amount of butter in the shortbread part.  Hopefully my coworkers think so too!  If anyone is interested, here is the recipe:  Plum Crumble Bars

I do miss baking, ever since I have been trying to live healthier in the last couple of years I don't do nearly as much as I used to, which kind of makes me sad.  It's just that you bake something delicious, and then there it is in your kitchen, and Eric and I both have a bad enough sweet tooth without having 30 cookies or a whole cake sitting around.  It's nice to have coworkers to bake for, because now I can just keep two portions of something at the house and bring the rest in!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Meaty, Beaty, Big & Bouncy

Any Meatloaf fans in the house?  Yes?  Maybe?  Anyway, I actually did cover the meaty, big and bouncy portions of that album during my 5 miler yesterday.  If you follow my page on FB you already know a certain tidbit about it, and that's the fact that I eat stupidly all the time sometimes.  But more on that in a moment.  Anyway yes, after hand wringing, agonizing and calculating weather patterns with the seriousness of that Beautiful Mind guy, I decided that last night would be a good time to tackle my long run once we were done with dinner.  The weather was going to be somewhat cooperative and in the 70's, and the humidity was only going to be 37%.  A godsend after the 83% nonsense.

So dinner last night was the poor man's version of this Pioneer Woman recipe.  I make it somewhat frequently because it's delicious and fast, mainly because my version is way less involved.  I honestly only do the roast and the pepperocini peppers/juice in the crockpot and forego all of her stuff, it's actually pretty tasty with just that and probably about a gillion less grams of sodium.  I like PW well enough but my God, her recipes are outrageous sometimes.  It's like, not all of us are cattle ranching in bum eff Oklahoma, I don't produce a calorie burn needed to eat like this on a regular basis.  Anyway, I usually just serve the shredded beef over rice, but last night we got all fancy and had Kaiser rolls and made sammies.  Because I've accepted that I'm an old woman, I ate dinner promptly at 4:30 pm because I was hungry and because I felt like that would give me plenty of time to digest for a run around 7 pm.  Honestly guys, you would think after the Starlight Run/roast beef sandwich debacle, I would learn a thing or two about not eating a freaking beef sandwich before a run.  Apparently I have the memory of a hummingbird on meth, which is also likely why I signed up for and am training for a second marathon.

Per a reader's suggestion I changed my run intervals to 0.40/0.10 and my God, why have I not done this sooner?  It was SUCH a difference, I didn't feel nearly as winded or exhausted, it made the first 3.5 miles so tolerable and easy.  The better weather was a lot of that, but I know the new ratio helped.  I'd been reluctant to do it but honestly it really isn't that much less running than what I was doing, it works out to 0.80/0.20 per mile.  I think as my stamina increases I could eventually bump things back up to 0.90/0.10, but this new interval ratio works really well right now, and it definitely helped me feel some enthusiasm for future runs.  I did feel a little more zen about my slow pace, and oh was it slow yesterday, and I tried to have a kinder conversation with myself about it.  I just told myself that obviously yes, I am faster than the pace I'm doing now, but I have to accept that I will be slower when it's warm/humid or if I've eaten a meal.  I am sure that when it cools down and I can run at times that are normal, then I will be back to my old self.  All I can do really is continue to be consistent and wait for fall, and by then I'll be stronger due to the heat and my performance will improve.  So that was my Stuart Smalley moment of the evening.

The weather was incredibly nice and there was a strong breeze blowing, which always helps with the cool off process.  I was doing some rather boring mile long loops and kept passing this old man who was out working in his front yard.  On the first pass we exchanged hellos, and on the second pass he gave me a side eye. (I also think he was stealing glances at the fact that I wore a lower cut top than intended, hence the bouncy reference, but hey any happiness I can give to pepaws you know). After my third pass he yelled across the street good naturedly and told me I was making him exhausted, which made me laugh and tell him I would much rather be sitting inside having a cold beer.  He chuckled and we went about our day.  So all of that stuff was good.

So the run part was okay, but I was really uncomfortable digestively the whole time due to that stupid sandwich.  I mean, who could have predicted that pickled hot peppers and fatty beef don't mix well with running, right?  Anyway, it actually eclipsed the discomfort I felt at Starlight from the roast beef sandwich due to how acidic the peppers were, I was getting raging heartburn.  The last mile and a half consisted of me bargaining with any higher power listening for me to not throw up in public, it was honestly awful.

I finally had to give up and walk the last part, because it was either that or be sick.  I was already running at like 14:00 pace, so I might as well have walked.  I was SO mad at myself because I know better than to eat like that before a run, and the run would have otherwise been fine had I not done that.  Trust me, lesson learned, I will eat a little Kind bar or some little BS thing to tide me over at 4:30 and then eat a second thing post run.  Cannot go through that again.  Of course I say that and then you guys will get a post in like 4 months where I moan about running after a pastrami on rye washed down with a keg stand.  Hopefully not, because I am pretty traumatized after yesterday, to the point where I am completely uninterested in eating the leftovers tonight.  *shudder*

5 Mile Run (Time:  1 hour, 11 minutes:  Average Pace 14:23)

So I've covered "meaty" and "bouncy", here's the deal with the "big"....I feel effing fat.  It pisses me off.  My weight has actually not changed, so I am not gaining weight, but my digestive issues are rearing their head again and as a result I just feel bloated and disgusting, and my pants don't fit right.  I feel like I look fat and I do have an effing fat roll at my waist, which really sucks when you're counting calories and running 4 times a week.  In a move that will make my aunt or anyone who knows me really well fall over with shock, I actually unprompted and not under duress reached out to my doctor for a referral to a GI.  Enough is enough you know?  Anyway, it's made me sad the last couple of days.  It's not like I've ever had or ever will have a sexy, flat midriff, but FFS, if I am running and not giving into the desire to mainline cake on a daily basis, then I'd better have a better body than what I got.

Anyway, that's all I've got.  Oh and hopefully SNL will not sue the crap out of me for using TWO SNL memes lol.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Moonlight Mile

This running and weight loss journey has seen me doing many things over the years that I never would have found myself doing before.  I have gradually become a somewhat better human being, a smidge more responsible and organized and have grown in unexpected ways that thankfully don't include my thighs or ass.  But today, today was the ultimate in new experiences.  Today I woke up at 4:30 am, got ready and went on a run.

Four. Thirty. In. The. Morning.

I am not an early morning runner.  It's just not my thing.  I'm not an early morning anything really.  While I do wake up early, I need at least an hour of ramp up time before I am safe to be around.  Ramp up time consists of coffee, Golden Girls reruns and silence from all the other lifeforms in the house, and being forced to forego that usually results in me going full on Calvin Tran.

Here go, hell come indeed.

But I've had to make peace with the fact that if I'm going to run this marathon and do a better job at it than I did the Portland Marathon, then I have no choice but to follow my training.  I got away with murder the last time by only doing one run a week to train for a MARATHON.  But I don't want to just get away with murder or skate by for Seattle, I want to do my race and be proud of my efforts.  So I have to do the training.  Doing the training means putting aside some of my little horseshit quirks and dislikes in order to get things done.  Ergo, I woke up freaking early.  But the sweet note Eric left on my coffee cup helped.

Preparation was the only way I was able to pull this thing  off.  I had a bunch of running outfits folded, put together and ready to go in my closet, so all I had to do in the morning was grab an outfit and put it on.  I had packed my lunch and breakfast the night before, so there was no stressing about having to do it when I got back.  Once I took care of the dog and got all my stuff together, I was able to blow out of the house at 4:45, right on schedule.  I drove to the nice neighborhood I've been running in, because honestly I am just too scared to run in mine when it's still dark.  I mean it's not like I live in Compton, but it's gnarly enough to where a woman probably should not go running all alone before daylight.  I mean I'm not sure what the witching hour for rapists is, but I don't really want to find out.

Anyway, I had fully intended to do my 5 mile "long" run that was on the schedule.  I had done the math (another new to me thing...voluntary math!), figured out how much time I would need, and figured I could get it done in an hour since that's how long roughly it's taken in the past to do a 5 mile.  But, things went south quickly.  I mean the run part was whatever, though running in the dark was a bit frightening since I couldn't see the ground.  The sun was coming up pretty quickly so it wasn't an issue so much at the end of the run, but it definitely slowed me down in the beginning.  So strike one for me.  One of the other reasons I don't like morning running is that I have absolutely no energy at all, and I was definitely dragging this morning.  Strike two.  And despite initially feeling triumphant that I was at least making it out when it the temperatures were reasonable, about 0.30 of a mile in I got that dreaded feeling of someone trying to smother me with a hot, wet quilt.  Strike three.

Have I mentioned how much humidity can absolutely kiss my ass?  I mean seriously, it really has become ridiculous.  One of the many reasons I made a life changing move from Louisiana is because the weather there sucks, and now it's big time sucking in very similar ways here in Oregon.  I mean Jesus, where do I have to go to escape heat and humidity?  Siberia?  I thought I was just being a baby until I checked my weather app and saw the humidity was 83%.  Yeah.  I checked a few difference sources since I didn't believe it was that high, but the site readings ranged from 91% to 83%, so clearly it was that high.

Thought the sunrise contrast from beginning of my run vs. the end was pretty cool!

Anyway my long winded point is that I was much slower than normal, so I had to cut my run to three miles.  I kept checking the time, and it was clear that my calculations were going to be off since I didn't factor in humidity into my plan.  It got to the point that I was going to be insanely late to work had I continued for the full five, and I obviously didn't want to be that douchebag even though my boss probably doesn't care honestly.  So I cut my run to three miles.  I was so disappointed with myself, and while I would normally brush it off, I did beat myself up a bit this morning.

I'm not going to lie, I've been kind of surly and pissy all morning about it taking me 40 minutes to run 3 miles.  I mean, I can't get up at 3:30 am just to have time for runs, that is beyond insanity.  I'm just really having one of those days where I'm embarrassed and sad about my slow pace.  Normally I really don't care that I am a slow runner and will likely always be a slow runner, but these are the times it really sucks.  I wish I could be one of those people that can do a 5 miler in like 35 or 40 minutes, it would honestly make my life a lot easier in situations like this.  But I'm not, so I guess I need to let it go.  I can always split my runs I guess, even though that seems a bit asinine to do for a silly 5 miler!

3 Miles - Time:  40:03 - Average Pace 13:21

I haven't talked much about nutrition and weight loss lately, but I am being like 85% diligent in tracking on MFP and am continuing to make an effort to make sure I am eating healthy!  I have been really good about bringing my breakfast and lunch to work, and have been pretty on point.  Boiled eggs, fruit, veggies, cottage cheese, tuna salads and the like.  I am a bit frustrated because I feel like my weight has stalled, and my shape lately is annoying me because I am mushy around the middle.  Like, my pants are tight somehow even though I haven't gained weight, so I am clearly gaining inches.  I did bump my calorie amount up from 1500 to 1600 last week because I wanted to account for the fact that I am in training and don't want to be starving all the time.  Logically I need more calories, but hopefully that's not what's throwing things off.  I will let it ride another week or so, and if I am still chubby, I am going to have to make tweaks I guess.  I of course want to make sure I'm properly fueling my body with enough food, but also don't want to gain a ton of weight either.

Anyway, overall I'm bummed but not defeated about today.  I guess it's positive that I went out of my comfort zone and got up early and ran in the dark, which is pretty huge for me because I had to overcome my fear to do it.  I got a training run done.  I get to eat delicious broccoli cheddar soup from Panera tonight, which you cannot convince me doesn't contain copious amounts of addictive crack.  I am not sure what I will do the remainder of the week for my other two runs on the schedule, but tomorrow the high is only supposed to be 78 degrees, so that may be a good chance to tackle my pesky 5 miler after work, and then maybe do my 4 miler on Saturday before my shift at the shelter.  We'll see!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Day One

Hi all!

Just a quick post to let you know that marathon training has commenced!  I got up at an ungodly 6:15 this morning and just decided to head out and get it over with since it's going to be 95 degrees today.  Since my first run was a 3 miler and it was still relatively "cool", I decided to take Molly with me and do a 1 mile warm up walk with her, then leave her in the car while I did my 3 miles.

Really nothing dramatic to report, everything went fine other than it is so GD humid that I was getting frustrated.  I did keep my 0.90/0.10 run walk intervals, but next time may go for 0.40/0.10.  My body actually felt good, it was just gross and hot.  It was 66 degrees and 49% humidity at 6:15, so that should tell you something!  I took a pic before Molly and I got started, and don't we look super thrilled?  That's the look of a lady who would rather be drinking coffee in her jammies, and a dog that really needs to take a dump and doesn't have time for selfie nonsense.

Run Time:  37:26/Average Pace 12:42 (warm up mile not factored in)

Oh and I had several awesome people making treadmill and indoor track suggestions yesterday, and I did want to address why I don't use a treadmill like pretty much any sane person would in this weather.  The long and short of it is that any time I try to use the treadmill for running, I have major injury issues.  My major plantar fasciitis issues began with me running on the treadmill in 2009, and that snowballed into two very painful years that I don't care to revisit.  Once I got healed up and started hitting pavement, plus changed to my minimalist shoes, my issues have mostly disappeared.  I have tried over the years to hop on a treadmill and run, and I immediately feel horrible pain in my feet and knees.  It's not something I am willing to risk, especially since it took me two years or longer to get healed enough to the point to where I can run.  Let's face facts, I am 35 and my body isn't exactly going to age like a fine wine, you know what I mean?  I already run with a lot of aches and pains, but I know enough about my body to keep it manageable, so I won't risk treadmill running even for the sake of comfort.

As for indoor tracks, our old gym does have one but it just isn't appealing really.  It takes 12-13 laps to go one mile, so the thought of having to do that for an 8 miler seems like torture.  Plus I would get SO angry when I would try to run up there because people either let their toddlers have a free for all up on the track (despite there being multiple signs saying that no one under 16 is allowed), or soccer moms would come in with their huge ass strollers (seriously, why are they so big now) and would leisurely walk side by side with their friend who also has a big ass stroller, so you couldn't get past them.  I deal with enough emotional bullshit and irritation on runs, I can't factor in having to hurdle over someone's snowflake or having to wait for Starbucks guzzling earth mothers to notice that um yeah, there's a person running on the RUNNING track and trying to get around them.  Clearly I have no bitterness left about this stuff 4 years after the fact!

Anyway, NOW you guys see why I get so upset and obsessive about the summers and the heat up here.  Running outside is honestly my only option, and it's a shitty option when you get panic attacks in the heat.  I truly do fight a lot of depression when it is summer and very warm, if reverse seasonal disorder is a thing I definitely have it.  I mean you know, I've got to ovary up and do it anyways, there's really no other way around it, but that's just kind of where I'm coming from.  I'm sure it's character building or some shit, I'll just have to deal with it.

As for the rest of the week, I will probably do my runs early in the morning.  I will update as the week progresses!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Week Catch Up!

Hi readers!  As I suspected this week was a bit cray, so I really wasn't able to write a post though I really wanted to!  I'm hoping next week will see me in a bit more of a rhythm and I will be able to get on a regular posting schedule.  Let's review some of the week shall we?

First Week at Work

I love, love, love my job.  I literally didn't know it was possible to go to a job and you know, be happy.  I know it's only the first week and I'm all high on love and feel goods, but it really is a great environment.  It's very quiet, mellow and laid back, and no one seems to really care what you do as long as you are getting your shit done.  Everyone has been welcoming and friendly, and my boss is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.  He seems genuinely happy to have me there, and I am so grateful.  I didn't know you could go into a workplace and just be trusted to do your job, not be treated like a child, not have a bunch of corporate speak/TPS report bullshit going on, and be made to feel like you matter and what you do is important to the company.  I know you're probably like, really?  You just have to understand where I came from, all of this trust and goodwill is completely foreign to me, my last workplace scores a big fat zero on all counts.

I am just so happy!  I even became BFFs with the IT guys who sit next to me.  I had a software issue and tried to troubleshoot it myself first.  When I couldn't fix it, I gave them very detailed information about what I did, when the issues started and all of this type of thing.  It seemed to blow their minds that I had my shit together, and then for the knockout punch I made some Star Wars references.  And I'm not trying to be like "oh all IT people are geeks that like Star Wars" but...  I didn't think I was going to get them out of my cube after that, but I am glad to have made friends!


We had 3 concerts in one week (Rush, Brian Wilson were the other two), and we definitely went out with a bang by seeing Aerosmith on Tuesday!  I had never seen them before so I was kind of excited, but also not getting my hopes up too much since they're pepaws and I didn't know how much Steven Tyler's voice was going to hold up.  I am happy to say that I was pretty blown away and they put on a fantastic show.  Tyler's voice was great and has totally held up over time.  My favorite part of the show was them just about causing a riot when they started taunting the security people (who honestly were being total power trip dicks) and asking them if they hadn't gotten laid or something, and then encouraged people to defy security and get close to the stage.  You could see everyone being timid about it at first, and then we all started going up closer to the front.  We already had great seats, but you know, stage front is stage front.  I didn't overly take advantage since security was getting pissy, so I went back to my seat after a bit, but went back periodically to take pictures.  Security seemed to be relaxed towards those of us who were being respectful and discreet, so luckily I got some great shots!

First Volunteer Day

Today I had my first volunteer day at the animal shelter, and it was great.  I was a bit overwhelmed when I first got there and was like shit, forgot everything I'm supposed to be doing.  Luckily I had a few of the other volunteers who were more seasoned kind of helping me out, so now I feel a bit more confident about it.  There were no adoptable dogs to play with today, but there were a handful of them on hold due to medical/behavioral tests that I was able to hang out with.  I'm not at a level where I'm allowed to go into the kennels with the dogs, but can do training and socialization work from the outside so I did quite a bit of that.  I'm technically not supposed to talk about the dogs from that section of the shelter, so I'll just speak in vague terms and say that I enjoyed my time with the dogs that were there today.  A couple were very shy and frightened, but I was able to get them to warm up to me (with lots of treats of course) and by the end of my shift they were coming up to the front of the kennels and licking my hand.  Definitely made me feel good!

Tomorrow is Crap My Pants Time...

So tomorrow is my officially official marathon training start.  I am SO nervous about it for some reason.  I admittedly didn't run this week, it was just too much while I was trying to adjust to my new schedule.  But now it's for real and I will have to find a way to fit it into my life.

The biggest issue as always is the heat  We're having a record breaking summer (It was 105 F when I left work on Thursday), and it is causing me so much anxiety with figuring out when to fit running into the schedule.  We already get up at 5:30 am and leave the house by 6:30 for work, so I'd literally have to look at leaving at 4:30 am in order to run in the nice area before work.  That sounds...shitty.  After work will not be an option for me until October unless I do it at 9 pm, and even then the radiant heat from the asphalt will be bad.  I'm thinking morning will just have to do, though that will SUCK ASS.

My friend Marcy sent me this video the other day, and if you guys ever wanted to hear a perfect but funnier version of the types of rants I go on at home about the heat, then you need to watch this.  It's literally one of the funniest things I've ever watched, I had tears streaming down my face because it is so true!!  The Lord does need to delegate the temperature control to someone else, because this multiple days of 100 degree bullshit going on in Oregon is not working for me.  Anyways if you watch this, it has majorly NSFW language.