Long-Run Sunday: Creepy Nine-miler with Zoe

Is it wrong to look forward to long-run Sundays? Because I do. (Famous last words?)

It has a lot to do with having a different mindset this time around. And I think the easier training plan helps. I don’t feel like I’m devoting every waking second to marathon training. I have time to live life and I fit running in around that. So long-run Sundays are like a special treat.

It means running outside for some-odd hours and, hopefully, with friends. (BTW, if you didn’t see it before, I’m starting a women’s running group in the Seattle-ish area. Contact me if you’re interested.)

Sunday, Zoë (Run, Zoë, Run) felt ready to meet me for nine miles. Zoë isn’t even three months post-baby and is in crazy-good shape. She rocks! We met up at the Soos Creek Trail — a trail between our houses and home of Zoë’s infamous Hell Yes Hill. I was late (as usual), but I couldn’t remember how to get there! I got lost. So I have an excuse. Sorry, Zoë!

Post-run beauty shot!

My plan is to take long runs really slow, between an 11-12-minute pace using the run-walk-run method (5 minutes running, 1 minute walking). It worked well. I mean, we made it, so that’s good. And, for the record, we kicked Hell Yes Hill’s a$$.

We did, however, dub this a creepy run. For starters, the sun hid behind the clouds for a good part of the run, making it seem darker than normal. And we were wearing sunglasses, so that didn’t help. Then, we saw the weirdest little whirlpool in a muddy marsh. It was so out-of-place. It was creepy!

Why was there a tiny whirlpool? Creepy!

Then there was the burned-out house that’s been there since, at least, last year when Zoë and I ran the trail. And the barn that’s becoming one with the blackberry bushes. So creepy!

Burned and abandoned house.
Look in the center of the picture, in the ray of sunlight, and you can see the steeple-thingy
on the barn that’s becoming part of the landscape. Also, what’s with the strange reflection?
What is that? Creepy!

And then there was the pile of sleeping bags, sheet music for piano and a…treadmill? Is it a treadmill?

Is that a ‘mill?

What is it? Zoë investigated while I stayed back like a big chicken and asked, “What are you doing? What is it?” over and over again. Yeah, it was…wait for it…creepy!

Okay, yeah, you go check it out, Zoë. I’ll just be right back here, you know, so I can take a picture.

It was a great run. It felt good to be outside — I’ve been running on the ‘mill indoors for the past couple of weeks. Mostly we just had a good time. I talked a lot and Zoë laughed at all my dumb jokes…

I love long-run Sundays.

Nine miles: 1:48:59/12:06 pace

Calling All Local Women Runners!

Are you a woman who runs in the King County area?

So I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and…I want to start a running club/group. Has anyone ever done this? Got any tips or advice?

I just want it to be free — just a group of women who have to get their long run in and don’t want to run alone. We’ll pick a regular meet-up spot and (an early) time, and figure it out from there. Hoping there will be women of all different speeds and distance needs that would want to join.

If you live in or around King County and are interested, e-mail me at kerrie (at) sanitydepartment (dot) com.

Three Things Thursday: Oatmeal Wars, Weight Loss and Annoying Dogs

Completed my first “real” run in my pretty pink and silver Sauconys last night!

1. My officemate and I have been competing to see who can make the best oatmeal in the mornings. This morning she was super jealous of my cinnamon. And I stole the idea of cutting up an apple and cooking it with the oatmeal from her.

½ cup of quick oats
1 cup of water
½-3/4 of an apple, diced (skin on)
1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
1 Tablespoon chopped pecans or 1 Tablespoon of slivered or sliced almonds
1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon

Put the diced apple, oats and water in microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Stir in the other ingredients. (I put the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts in a little take-along container, and bring them from home. I bought a container of oatmeal to leave at the office.) Approx. 200 calories, VERY filling and feels like you are eating a lot of food!

Variations: Sometimes, at home, I also put a half of banana in (after the oats and apples have been cooked). I give the other half to T Junior. Craisins are good, too, if you don’t have an apple.

Do you eat oatmeal for breakfast? What are your favorite oatmeal ingredients?

2. I weighed in this morning: 157.2! I’m down about two pounds since I figured out I was eating too many calories every day. The adjustment wasn’t hard at all and I’ve only been getting hungry when it’s time for my next meal. And I’ve been pretty good at drinking all my water throughout the day, plus I’ve also been throwing back 1-2 glasses of H2O before dinner to fill myself up before I eat. This has helped me cut down on my dinner portions (that’s when I tend to overdo it).

I’m changing my weigh-in days to Thursdays instead of Fridays because Thursdays are my Fridays, and sometimes I want to celebrate with a big bowl of popcorn or an adult beverage. I don’t want to throw off my weigh-in with my little splurge the night before.

3. My long runs are getting more serious. I have nine miles in store for Sunday. I’m pretty excited about it, actually. I just wish I had someone to run with. Anyone want to meet half way or anything? This actually leads into tomorrow’s post: I’m thinking about starting a running club locally. I’m talking about a very relaxed club – just a group of women that meet weekly to run. Has anyone ever started one of these and wants to offer advice?

I put the laundry basket between the ‘mill and the bed so Bennie (pictured)
couldn’t go behind the belt and lick it. Instead he tried to drop his bone on the
moving belt and kept pushing his Kong underneath the treadmill as I ran
at a nice 9:30 pace!

I’m also excited for my long run this week because I haven’t been on a run outdoors in about two weeks! I’ve been sweatin’ it out on the ‘mill, baby.

Last night was, by far, my sweatiest run ever. Well, ever in 2011 anyway. And the dogs were being so annoying! I had to stop and retrieve dog toys from underneath the treadmill, yell at Bennie to stop humping Lucy, and cover my nose because Annie was stinkin’ up the room again. I felt more stressed after my run than before it, which usually isn’t the case. The good part of the run, though, was American Idol (favorite quote last night was the one about hippies said by a guy in a Confederate soldier uniform) and running in my shiny new pink shoes!

Making a Run For It

I accidentally posted this before I intended to. A couple of you have left me comments on it, so I’m just going to go ahead and post it. Sounds like I may not be alone…

This is a little embarrassing. If you are not a woman, please navigate away. If you are not a mom, I highly advise clicking on to another blog. If you had a c-section, this probably doesn’t happen to you.

Hopefully, I narrowed the audience down there a little.

But I was noticing something Monday while I was doing double jump ropes with Jillian Michaels and her two (probably childless) “best girls,” as she calls them, on her 30-Day Shred video. I couldn’t help notice it since I had to sprint for the bathroom.

So, um, how do I say this? Maybe I didn’t do enough of those kegel exercises when I was pregnant. You know what I’m talking about.

Am I the only one who has…leakage?

I mean, how are these women bouncing up and down so much, and not having to take a potty break? I had to take three and one was a full-on emergency. Thank goodness I’m at home. What if I was in a class? I leave, then come back with different workout pants on? Yeah, not so cute.

Please don’t tell me I’m the only one!

2011 Goal 4: Maintenance

I’m so close I can taste it. Maybe that’s a bad choice of words.

I’m only about 15 pounds away from my goal weight. I’m almost there! (Man, I hate hearing that at races.) To help me, Mr. T got me this really cool techy geeky device for Christmas called the Bodybugg (review coming soon). You wear it on your arm and it tracks the calories you are burning throughout the day. Then, you go into the Web program and log your food. You can see what you are burning and what you are consuming. The program sets a calorie deficit for you based on the goals you entered, your weight, etc.

I love that kind of dorky stuff. So it’s perfect.

Except I’ve been gaining weight since I got it. Last week, I almost quit using it, but decided to take advantage of a free coaching session instead. I had a feeling it was me, not Bodybugg that was the problem.

My coach was awesome. And I was right. I wasn’t reading my program correctly and I was eating about 600 calories more than I should be — thus the weight gain. I knew I was eating too much!

So, I’m really hoping this week will show a loss now that I’m minding that 600 calories.

This is my fourth goal for 2011: FINISH LOSING THE WEIGHT.

If I am successful at losing 1.22 pounds per week until the end of March, I should be there. Then it’s maintenance. I’ve never had to maintain. I’ve only ever been trying to lose. I so want to maintain! What will that be like?

Ack! I’m so close I can taste it!

Tweeting Runners

Are you on Twitter?

I am. Some of you are not because you simply feel you cannot add another social media site to your life. I totally get that.

Still. I love Twitter.

I don’t Tweet nearly enough. (Or, as one of us at our little bloggy meet-up Thursday thought it was called, “tw@t.” I won’t tell who, but it wasn’t Malibu Barbie.) Anyway, I always forget.

But I love heading to Twitter for inspiration. Or to just jump in the middle of someone’s conversation. Or to post my posts or random thoughts. It’s great. Here’s a list of some of the runners I follow (sorry if I miss anyone — please leave your Twitter name in the comments if I missed you!):

  • Chelsea from Will Run for Food @Chelsea_c
  • Zoe from Run, Zoe, Run @RunZoeRun
  • Michelle at The Running Diva @The_RunningDiva
  • LB from Muddy Runner @RunnerLuis
  • Wifey from Run, Wifey, Run @AskWifey
  • Sarah Bowen Shea from Run Like a Mother @SBSOnTheRun
  • Courtney from Run, Courtney, Run @runcourtrun
  • Kristin at Ultra Runner Girl @UltraRunnerGirl
  • Carolina Girl from Ramblings of a 30-Something Carolina Girl @Carolina_Tweets
  • Shawna from Moving 4 Life @ShawnaSimpson
  • Ryan Hall the long distance runner extraordinaire @ryanhall3
  • Bethany and Ryan from Our Love on the Run @ourloveontherun

I know I’m forgetting so many people! Help me fill in the list!

The other cool thing you can do on Twitter is narrow down the conversations so you are only seeing ones about running. Just search #running or #momsrunning or #rlam. And #runchat is another good one.

If you’re already on Twitter, look me up @momvsmarathon!

Workout Buzz

Is it me or does everyone have tons of energy after a workout?

Today, I did Level 2 of my 30-Day Shred video (squats with inverted V arm raises = ouch), then did a hill intervals walking workout on the ‘mill for 20 minutes. Felt like running, but I always have that fracture hanging over me as a reminder to just chill.

But now I’m running around cleaning like a mad woman: laundry, food prep, picking up clutter, taking out trash and recycling (which we still have not caught up on since Christmas — we need recycling pick up every week, garbage could go every other, really), and vacuuming. (Okay, you got me: the Roomba vacuumed. But somebody’s gotta turn it on, right?)

Anyway, is this just me?

Also, Mel posted on Facebook about the Lake Sammamish Half on March 26. Anyone else doing this race? Or has anyone done it? I have a 17-miler planned that weekend, so I think a half would help break things up. Obviously, I will not be going for any half PR or anything. Just taking it nice and slow. But it would be a new trail with people around. (It’s only $50 if you enter before Feb. 20.)

Okay, back to work! Laundry-folding time!