Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Since it was Halloween weekend, I was feeling a bit like a slacker. I really had to trick myself into getting out there on Saturday for my scheduled day of lifting and running.

So, after spending the morning on the soccer field with the girls (consuming green tea--which actually gives me a little kick after my 6-month coffee hiatus), I gulped down a mini chocolate chip Clif Bar and put in my 30 mins in the gym.

The 4.5 mile plodding run was slow and uninspired, but a run nonetheless. Refueled afterward with a handful of almonds and a huge salad--romaine topped with broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots, walnuts, cottage cheese, lemon and olive oil.

Veggie burgers were on the menu for dinner.

Having tricked myself into my workout and eating a good lunch, I was able to treat myself later, guilt-free, to a fun evening with friends around our fire pit--complete with red wine and dark chocolate s'mores.

Today, I essentially took the day off and, instead of the usual cardio fare, I enjoyed a hike in the woods to be followed, later, by two hours of walking around the neighborhood with my little trick-or-treaters. Hopefully I burned enough calories to make up for the junk I ate later :)

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Uphill. Both ways.

On Thursday, we were blessed with another unseasonably warm day--sunny and 70 degrees. Within minutes of seeing that forecast, I knew I'd be on my bike.

I plotted out a 50+ mile ride to Westminster, out beyond Baughers, and back. My semi-retired parents bought a home there a little over a year ago, so I made plans to meet my Dad for a pit stop/lunch. When I'm riding that far by myself, I feel more secure knowing that someone is expecting me at the far end.

Power oatmeal and a quick shot of caffeine before heading out. 22 oz of water + 22 oz sports drink was the only sustenance I needed en route.

I made a quick stop half way to re-up my membership at the Y; before long the only cycling I'll be doing will be in a spin class. Plus, it's time to get back in the pool!

The ride was spectacular--leaves swirling everywhere like I was in the fall version of a snow globe. There was animal entertainment too. A squirrel slowly made it's way toward the road. It was moving directly toward me at such a leisurely pace I thought it might be injured. Then, at the last moment, it hopped right in front of my bike, performed a few bobs and weaves and spun in a circles before dashing off across the road. The word "squirrelly" came to mind.

Also, the shoulders were packed with grasshoppers and big, furry caterpillars. Why the need to cross the road? (Was this question ever answered by the chicken?) I managed to dodge most of them, with the exception of one most unfortunate 'hopper; and it was a big one. Ew. (Those skinny tires leave little to the imagination.)

My Dad, who loves to go out to eat, treated me to Panera for lunch: whole grain bagel with peanut butter + mango and yogurt smoothie.

By the time I headed back home, the winds had picked up and I wished I'd opted for the latte instead of the smoothie. I mistakenly thought, after all the climbing I'd done on the first leg, that the ride home would be a breeze. I was partly correct: it was breez-y. (Understatement.) I was grateful for the wide shoulder when gusting crosswinds would bump me a foot sideways toward the traffic.

Plus, the hills! Did I mention the hills? I rode uphill the whole way there, and uphill the whole way back too; or so it seemed. (If you don't believe me, you really should give it a try!) In reality, the terrain around here is such that you don't start out at one elevation at point A and steadily climb or descend to point B; but continually climb and descent the whole way. Gotta love those rolling hills.

En route fluids: approx 32 oz water.

Legs were cashed by the time I got home, but I've had great luck with Hammer's Recoverite helping my muscles recover from a tough workout without too much soreness. I also refueled with a handful of almonds, and whole grain linguine with olive oil and chopped hard-boiled egg.

I'm continually humbled; not only by the local terrain, but also by how difficult it is to gain and maintain fitness, yet how easy it is to lose it. (The inverse of weight loss.) But it also seems that muscle memory allows for faster recovery each year, creating a two steps forward and one step back rhythm, so I'm thankful for that and I hope to keep improving.

I ask myself: why am I still riding 50+ miles in the post season?
1) Because I can, and, the less snarky answers:
2) Because I want to, and
3) Because I hope that, eventually, 50 miles will be my base point and not the distance I spend all summer working up to, that is . . .

if I ever hope to make it all the way to the Iron Man! :)

PS: Today, Friday, I blew off my intended workout (running and lifting) since schedule changes made the day too crazy. And, after becoming an expert at "spot shot" cleaning and the "rinse and spritz" strategies, I didn't have the time or motivation for the two full showers today's activities would have required.

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Power oatmeal.

60 minutes of yoga.

30 minutes of weights.

Treated myself to homemade ginger pumpkin muffins (loaded with dark chocolate chips) and white tea, along with yougurt and granola.

Might take Luna for a walk.

This is a rest day for me.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sweet Run

Planned for a 3-mile run and it felt so good (finally!) that I ran 4.25 instead. Love when that happens!

Went out as soon as the kids got on the bus--8:30 AM, overcast, mid-60s, light breeze--perfect running weather.

Fueled only by slippery elm bark tea. Post-run; the usual power oatmeal.

Monday, October 25, 2010


And finally, she rested.

Took my dog for a one-mile walk this morning.

And that's it for today :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010


30-mile bike on Saturday. Pre-fuel: power oatmeal breakfast. Pre-ride: small bowl of Crunchy Flax cereal with strawberries and almond milk, whole grain toast with almond butter and honey, and cup of coffee.

30 hilly miles; already hurting from the hills after only a short break. 44 oz water during ride.

Post-ride was a buffet of almonds, fresh fruit, sea salt chips and hummus, and fresh fruit.

Today I lifted weights for 30 mins and made a lame attempt at a 4 mile run; my body is still not into it. I might have been able to walk faster.

Friday, October 22, 2010

On the Run

On the schedule today: lift, walk, run.

The usual morning power-oatmeal, later followed by chai tea.

Lifted weights in the gym for 30 mins. Took my dog, Luna, out and threw Frisbee for her (to satisfy her need to sprint and calm her down. She's a Labrador; enough said) before heading out on our one mile walk. Scarfed a mini Clif Bar while we walked.

Took Luna home (she's not yet a good running partner), shed a few layers and ran a mile in my Vibram Five Fingers. I've been walking and hiking in them, but it's the first time I've run in them since the metatarsal stress fracture. I read somewhere that running barefoot should not be more than 10 percent of total weekly mileage. My feet are stronger now but I'm still a little fearful of causing another break . . .

One more stop at home to switch into my Kenvara's and headed out for the final three miles.

After cool down and stretching, grabbed a handful of almonds, followed by a cup of plain, organic yogurt and 1/3 cup of homemade granola and water.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I exercise so I can eat!

Hopped on my bike today for a 50 mile round trip ride to a friend's house. Wicked headwinds. 61 degrees max; sunny, but windy.

Usual breakfast of champions: Oatmeal with (are you ready for this?) honey, cinnamon, turmeric, flax seed, blueberries, almond butter, almonds, olive oil and soy milk. Yum!

Pre-ride, fueled up on bagel, cream cheese and soy latte. Once I started shaking from the caffeine, I was ready to roll.

Probably didn't hydrate enough today, but it wasn't hot. Really only making up for all the fluid I was losing through my nose! (It runs like crazy the minute the temps drop below 70!)

During ride fuel: 22 0z water and a Hammer Gel.

At 25 miles, I have a pit stop at a dear friend's house. She feeds me and lets me use her potty; even gives me a sweatshirt when I start to cool down. Everyone needs a friend like that!

Pit stop energy: Green tea, scone, yogurt, granola.

Ride home: 22 oz sport drink

Post ride: almonds and fruit.

Dinner: carrot ginger soup and salad--loaded with veggies, plus cottage cheese, hard-boiled egg and walnuts.

And, of course, my semi-frequent evening indulgence: corn chips with melted cheese. Tonight I even added a glass of red wine :)

I did mention that the main reason I exercise is so I can eat, right?

"I exercise so I can eat, not eat so I can exercise!" :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


With my last race of the year behind me, I'm slowly switching to off-season mode.

Workouts this week are much more mellow; walking and lifing on Tuesday, yoga and walking today.

Still trying to get into this new groove.

In other news, will start this weekend as a health/fitness columnist for the Carroll County Times.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Baltimore Running Festival

On Saturday, I participated in the Baltimore Running Festival and hit a distance PR--6 + 1 miles; the longest run in a year (with the exception of the 3 + 5 miles I ran in July on a broken foot!)

Due to the metatarsal stress fracture in July, I had only gotten up to 4.5 miles in the week leading up to Baltimore, so no chance of running the Half. I started the Half and ran 6 miles, to the end of leg 3 of the relay, and hopped on a bus to head back to the finish. However, after 45 minutes on the bus, we hit a road block and did not move. We all got off the bus to walk the remaining distance to the finish. Turns out there was only a mile left and I was running late for the rendezvous point with my friends, so, I simply ran that last mile in. It felt good to put that many miles on my feet again. Loving the Kenvaras.

Yesterday, went on a two hour hike in Catoctin State Park and spent 30 minutes lifting in the gym.

Today is a rest day; one of the few ;)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I am the Warrior

A good week. Last Thursday I biked 50 miles round trip, for fun, to a friend's house.

On Saturday, after seven months of intense triathlon training, I let my warrior braids down and tried something new: Warrior Dash. The Warrior Dash reps call it "the craziest frickin day of your life." I just call it fun; one of the most fun things I've ever done!

With my Batman shirt on, Dr. Seuss-inspired striped tights, and war paint, I was ready for battle. 500 warriors gathered at the starting line in preparation for our 9:30 AM battle to the finish. Eye of the Tiger playing, emcee counting down and twin towers of flames shoot in the air as the start whistle blows and we're off; racing through a campsite and into an open field, where the first of many obstacles await.

I crawled through tunnels, climbed over walls and scaled cargo nets, plunged into chest-high water and over rolling logs; slogged up slippery slopes and raced down technical descents. With the finish line in sight, I army-crawled through mud and leaped over fire. It was pure joy and completely primal.

The rest of the day was spent listening to great bands and drinking bad beer. Such a departure from the rest of my race schedule, and such a relief.

The remainder of the week I've been taking it easy, with a 4.5 mile run on Tuesday and yoga on Wednesday. The Baltimore Half Marathon is in two days, but chances are I will have to bail around mile six; it's just not worth a re-injuring my feet!

Monday, October 4, 2010

After six months of training, I thought I'd be ready for a break. Instead, I'm antsy and full of energy. Fortunately, my running is coming along in my new Kinvaras; I'm up to four miles. So far, so good. I've recommitted to a three-days-a-week weight training routine and on Saturday, my husband and I got out for a 25-mile joy ride; joy being the operative word--clear, blue skies, bright sunshine, crisp fall air; gliding over rolling country roads that once felt challenging and now are simpley enjoyable.