Thursday, June 30, 2011


Image from Social Petworking

I think I mentioned earlier that I've been going to a physical therapist. See, even before I started running I had pain in my right knee. Just my right knee, a little below the kneecap. I do have arthritis, but since the pain is not symmetrical I was told that it wasn't caused by that. And I agreed because the pain definitely feels different from my arthritis pain and stiffness.

Anyway, after waiting forever to go see a physical therapist (avoiding reality, me?), I finally went in this summer. And? Tendonitis. Nothing elaborate. Basically I was doing absolutely the wrong thing. I leaned to the left to avoid putting pressure on my right leg. This caused my left knee to take more of my weight than my right and may have had something to do with a very bad groin injury I developed last November. And by not putting my weight on my right leg the muscles there were undeveloped. And the way to avoid pain was to have strong thigh muscles.

The end result to the above is that for the last month I have been walking evenly and have found that the pain is mostly gone. When it does come it's very short in duration and I can adjust my leg to the correct position to make it go away.

In addition to walking evenly I'm focusing on stretching. I've never been one to do static stretching; I do dynamic stretching before I run because I can really feel my legs wake up. But slow stretching after? I don't have time for that! Or I didn't used to - now I make the time. And honestly? A good stretch is good for the body and mind. I did a stretching session after a short run this week and I felt so loose, relaxed, and happy.

I might finally get into yoga after thinking about it for a long time. But in the short term, a good stretch is doing me a world of good.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pushing boundaries...safely

I'm a moderately cautious person. An example of what I see as moderate is the way I go down stairs. First off - I don't like stairs. They scare me. On more than one occasion I've almost tripped over my jeans (hate you boot cut!) and fallen. So, when I go down the stairs I often hold the rail BUT I also try to not go too slowly. The people who leap down stairs amaze me - I just can't trust my balance and/or aim to do that.

I work with a personal trainer weekly. She is totally awesome. She's taken me so far in a year. Part of that progress is in trusting that I can do more than I think I can. She throws compound exercises with heavy weights at me with this utter faith that I can do them. Because she has that faith I have that faith, and I am amazed at how powerful I am becoming. For that hour, I am superwoman!

I of course workout beyond that hour. I like to think I push myself but to be honest I think I don't. I have modest goals and although I pay lip service to reaching them, I am not working like I should to reach them.

So changes are coming for me. I ran this morning with a weekly running group and pushed myself to a strong pace because I wanted to keep up. I'm going to stick with that. I'm also going to adjust my training to the point that I am extending myself beyond where I think I can go.

BTW - the stairs? Part of one of my running bootcamps was stair repeats. I think I might just have to add them to my routine. Maybe someday I'll be leaping down them as well.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'm a participant!

AKA Not my best race...but I will still be thankful.

Before you get to my bitching/moaning, read Healthy Tipping Point. Amazing post today. It's getting me out of my shallow dark mood.

So, I ran the BAA 10K this morning. I went to bed last night at 10:30 to get up at 5:30 (I know - not 8 hours. I just couldn't do it!). Unfortunately my mom didn't realize I had a race and called me at 11! I'm usually a night owl so it would be alright, but this time, not so much. I took 2 minutes to brush her off (sorry Mom!), and tried to go back to bed. Wasn't happening.

Got up, got dressed.

Notice a theme in the outfit/bathroom wall? Yes - I like purple. And if you look carefully, you can see the ring on my right hand. It's the ring I bought myself when I hit my goal weight. And I don't think you can see in this picture, but I am wearing purple butterfly earrings that my brother/sister-in-law gave me for Christmas this past year.

It was an interesting morning - hazy all the way to Boston Common. I got there way early - race was at 8, I got there at 6:45! That's what I get for overthinking things. Since I had so much time I went to the lovely port a potties. Never look down in those; you just don't want to know. Anyway, I hung out and people watched. It truly is amazing the sizes and shapes of all the people doing the race. I saw this one older couple that had matching bright yellow shirts and blue shorts. B.A.A colors, I believe, but for the 5K. They were so cute; I actually saw them in the race at the very end, with the pickup bus right behind them. I really hope they were able to finish!

Anyway, after all that people watching I realized I had to go to the bathroom (again). I had to wait a few minutes to get to one, as opposed to earlier when I just walked in. I had to wait so long that I got to the corrals just as the first wave was starting! I ducked through the gates to the corral (not the only one doing it), took my gu, drank some water, and was ready to kick it.

I started off fast; too fast, as it turned out. My knee ached for the first two miles, but I fought through. Mile 1 - 10:19. Mile 2 - 10:38. Given my average pace for my last 10K was 10:50, I should have known that I couldn't keep this up.

Walked through the water stop at 2 miles. Got running again. Got hot. Mile 3 - 11:18. Slowing down. Walked at mile 3.5? Something like that. Ran to water stop at mile 4. Grabbed some water. Probably shouldn't have. It made me nauseous.

Mile 4 - 10:26. Walked at mile 5. When I did, felt dizzy for a few seconds. Walked/ran mile 5 and 6. Mile 5 - 10:56. Mile 6 - 11:35. Mile 6.2 - 10:14.

End result - 1:07:50. 24 seconds off my PR in May. Now I'm going to be cranky/spoiled here, which is hard to do after reading the HTP link above. I'm just unhappy with my results. I know I can do better. I'm at the point in my running career where I am over that "Ohmigod - I can't believe I'm finished!" feeling and am hardcore "Dammit - I am so slow!". It's just that I know I can run this distance without walking. I did it for 10 miles in April! I don't know if it's the changing temps or what, but this is very frustrating.

So - not a PR. Trying my best not to care. On the upside - I do have my medal. And a nice new T-shirt. And I am stronger than I ever thought I could be.

Saturday, June 25, 2011



So, tomorrow is the BAA 10K. Not my first time to the rodeo as it were; this will be my third 10K. The first two I did had stories around them (which I might share later), and I have hopes that this one will as well. But most importantly I have hopes for a new PR. This is a flat course vs. my prior 10K, I've been working on speed, etc. But the most important factor is that about 3 weeks ago I went in for physical therapy for my right knee. One of the first things the PT told me that I wasn't balancing my weight on my legs, to the point that when I stood straight, my right knee was bent without me even realizing it! Since then I've worked on strengthening my quads and being even in my walking - and my running! I feel like I am very balanced, my posture is good, and I can rock this!

So, I'm excited for the race. Not very nervous, which is good? I guess?

One other thing I am excited about...

That this bowl of what appears to be disgustingness will hopefully turn out to be greatness tomorrow.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I love peanut butter.

I wish I could love the natural only peanuts stuff. I used it for a long time but was lured back by the siren call of Jif.

I've eaten dark chocolate PB. I want to try white chocolate, even though I don't like white chocolate on its own.

I search out new sources of PB on the web. I put the jars in my basket but never make the final click.

I am ever so tempted...

If only my budget loved fancy peanut butter varieties as much as I did...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Less fud, more food

I love the Far Side. I mean - who doesn't? Soooo funny. The cartoon above is one that stuck with me, and I will frequently use the term "fud" for, well, food. But when I think about it, there are certain types of food that are more fud than others. A sliding scale as it were.

Obviously McDonalds is on the fud side of the scale. Whole carrots? Well they pretty much define the food end. Gogurt? Fud. Yogurt? If it's pre-flavored, more fud. Plain and unsweetened? Food.

Recently I've found myself sliding further along to the fud side of the scale. I've been eating more protein bars as snacks, and my sweet tooth is a little more readily fed these days. Part of this has to do with pure laziness. Part of it is also the fact that I have long days and moderately high calorie needs with the amount of exercise I'm now getting.

I do pack and bring my lunches to work every day. I usually pack for an afternoon snack; today was blueberries, cocoa almonds, and string cheese. I think, however, that I will have to start packing a late afternoon snack because right before I left work I got hungry. And I knew that if I didn't eat before the 45-60 minute ride home (depending on if the T was acting up - which it was) I would tend to not listen as much to my hunger signals when I actually did get to eat. So - Clif bar.

This long post is basically a way of pushing myself back to the food side of the scale. More protein especially needed.

Instead of protein bars, I'm thinking:
*cottage cheese + blueberries (since they are now in season and cheap!)
* oatmeal soaked in milk w/cinnamon, fruit, and a bit of yogurt
* hard boiled egg (deviled?)
* salt and vinegar chickpeas - recipe @ OhSheGlows

or even making my own protein bars? Either way - I'm not wasting my money and precious calories on fud any more!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I run so I can eat

Like I said in my last post, I've changed a bit. Just over a year ago I started training with a new personal trainer. She was interesting to me because her bio mentioned losing a lot of weight. It paralleled my experiences so I felt like she would understand my crazy brain. We started working together and I found out she was a runner. She had done Boston once by then, and would do it again after I started working with her.

I've always wanted to run. I just could never get past the "run as hard as I can" mental part. Bright red face, extremely short distances, very slow. I started working with Natalie (my trainer then, and still) and decided on a big goal. I signed up for the Disney half marathon this past January.

A year later, at least one of those three parameters has changed. I still get bright red, and after some of my longer runs I have white patches on my face from salt. I still go slow - my fastest mile has been 9:30 during a training run, and my legs hurt for two days afterwards. But - I ran/walked the half marathon (and that is a story in itself), and since then have run several other races, including an awesome 10 miler through the cherry blossoms in DC.

I am doing another half marathon in September in Disneyland. My goal is to run 11 races this year. I've signed up for 10 so far. I'm planning for a marathon next year, and for 2014 (when I turn 40), I'm going to go Goofy. That's doing the Disney World half marathon/marathon on consecutive days.

I run 3 to 4 times a week. I want to do more, but feel it can be counterproductive. I mostly do 3-4 mile runs on the weekdays, and my longer runs are 6-10 miles. I am very ridiculous in my running, because I tend to have no sense of direction. I got lost 1/2 a mile from my office - 2x!

All of that to say - I am hooked on running. And on running blogs. And reading about running. And being annoyingly boring about running. It's just how I am about cooking/health!

Saturday, June 11, 2011 every two years?

Great velocity on posts - one every two years! *sigh*

Some updates:
* I'm not dead, and am in fact exceedingly healthy.
* I'm still working at the job mentioned in my last couple posts. In fact, I've made some great friends there.
* On the down side, having a HQ in California when I am Boston based means that my days skew later. Starting late is great; ending late, not so much.
* With the above, my cooking is suffering. Luckily the rest is not - my weight is pretty stable, and I'm still eating great food.

That last point is going to change. Not the great food part - but the suffering. I want to get back to more cooking. Probably not 5x a week, but more than the 1x I've been doing.

I've also been reading a lot of great blogs and want to take cues from them. Not so much cooking blogs, but my other new hobby. What's that? Well...