Lots of trip preparation. No exercise. That about sums up my week!
I spent two hours yesterday trying on shorts and tank tops since it’s summer in the South Pacific and, boy, I do not recommend doing this in the dead of winter when you’re ghostly pale. Not that I recommend tanning, either, but my pasty legs look really awkward in shorts. Or maybe it was the lighting in the fitting room?
Anyway, traveling with only a backpack is pretty much my dream come true solely for the fact that I’ll be limited to a handful of clothing items, and it’s actually acceptable to wear the same plain t-shirts and tank tops over and over again like I do anyway.
Cheap tees and messy hair = not normal for a nice office environment (see memory lane below). But I was born to travel, baby.
My hair will be that long again… someday.
This week on Answering Oliver, I wrote about my new round-the-world backpack and a bunch of travel-planning tasks I’ve recently completed:
NINE DAYS, people. I hope to squeeze some running in between giving 99.8% of my stuff away, moving out of my townhouse, selling my car, saying goodbye to all my friends and getting ready to leave for good. I’ll at least have to hit my favorite waterfront trail one more time before I leave Seattle.
Wow, that just made me sad. Time to end this post. Happy Friday!
I spent the weekend at my mom’s house eating cheese and lemon meringue pie. Yummm.
I’ve missed a bunch of runs, and I don’t really care. With the snow last week and the rain now, it’s not worth it to me to possibly get sick before my trip. And I’m just lazy. And my jeans actually fit again! It seems like that was more of an eating/moderation issue.
I did a 3-mile run (29:29) yesterday on my mom’s treadmill and Level 1 of the 30-Day Shred today. Right as I finished, I checked my doorstep and found THIS!
Kindle Keyboard 3G! The 3G works globally, which will come in handy, and it’ll keep me entertained on long flights, bus rides, etc.
I already downloaded a book for free (21-day checkout) from the Seattle Public Library. Love, love, love technology!
Now I need book suggestions! I’ve already read the Hunger Games books and plan to start on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo soon.
Also: Today I’ll get the last of my travel shots. I wrote on Answering Oliver about the total cost of my vaccinations:
Yesterday I trudged through the snow to the grocery store (0.5 mile away) because I was out of necessities: apples, bananas, peanut butter, veggies for roasting, Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked fro-yo and Cadbury Creme eggs.
I know it’s January, but who knows if I’ll have access to Cadbury eggs when Easter actually rolls around? WHO KNOWS???
I might have eaten one during the walk back home.
Being patriotic does not exempt your car from getting stuck, abandoned and covered with ice, apparently.
Today it’s raining, and all the pristine, beautiful snow is turning into slush. It was nice while it lasted, snow.
New post on Answering Oliver about the heart stuff that went on this week:
They’re comfortably loose with room to eat (and trust me, I’ll need the room), but still fitted enough so that I won’t look like a complete slob. They’re stretchy and the perfect length. They make me look a bit stumpy when they’re rolled up, but you just can’t have everything.
They are the travel pants of my dreams.
Do you see the snow out there on my balcony? It looks nice and innocent, but not 30 seconds into a journey to the local Redbox with my roommates, I slipped and fell right on my butt. While still in the driveway. That takes talent.
Needless to say, I didn’t run today (skipped 5 miles). I did walk about a 1.5 mile round-trip in the snow to acquire The Ides of March and Crazy, Stupid, Love for a Ryan Gosling marathon this evening, which I will go ahead and say was the GREATEST IDEA EVER.
If you’re training for a legitimate running marathon, I highly suggest that you take a break for a Gosling marathon. Pure delight.
Last but not least, I posted more details about my New Zealand travel plans on Answering Oliver today:
1. Normal left ventricular systolic function. 2. Normal left ventricular ejection fraction. 3. The left ventricular cavity size is normal. 4. Trace tricuspid regurgitation. 5. Mild pulmonary regurgitation. 6. Normal pulmonary artery systolic pressure estimated at 23.0 mmHg. 7. Trace mitral valve regurgitation.
Hi Devon, Your echo was normal. Maggie Emanuel, MD
Today I woke up to intermittent periods of snow (sometimes huge flakes, other times little baby flakes) and sleet. I had zero desire to run.
Then the sun came out! By Seattle standards, that means you could sort of see the sun through the clouds.
Since we’re supposed to get a big snowstorm tonight, I figured I’d take advantage of the temporary clearing and get my run on.
It was a good one!
I finally took a picture of this mural I love on the Burke-Gilman trail. It was painted by a fifth-grade class and shows all kinds of animals cycling around Seattle. Very cute and quirky.
I was also blessed with some elbow-pit sweat for my efforts. That’s new to me.
I was supposed to do this run on Monday, but I had my cardiac ultrasound yesterday morning and it freaked me out wayyyyy more than I expected. I thought it would be cool to see my heart on the screen, but I couldn’t stop thinking, “What if there’s something really wrong with my heart? What if it can’t be fixed? What if they find something else, like a mass or something??”
The ultrasound technician said she wasn’t really allowed to tell me anything since a cardiologist is the one who officially reviews the pictures of my heart, but she did say I shouldn’t worry too much. Well, ok. I just couldn’t bring myself to run after that, though.
Especially since what they’re checking for is an inherited condition that is “a major cause of death in young athletes who seem completely healthy but die during heavy exercise.”
So, that’s nice.
I hope I’ll find out the results this week. Until then, I guess I’ll just… keep running.
I pushed this weekend’s 7-miler to today because yesterday it was windy and sleeting. When that finally cleared up, I had lost my motivation to run and was deep into booking New Zealand hostels and shiz.
Today’s run started out slow because the trail was quite slushy. I shuffle-jogged my way through for the first few miles until I hit Westlake, where the sidewalks had been salted and were just a little wet. Hallelujah!
The rest of the run was slush- and slip-free. I did have several snowflakes go up my nose, but I survived.
I’m very happy with my farthest run since the marathon and am glad I got in done despite the snow!
I feel hardcore-ish. And prepared to spend the rest of the day in my cozy house. : )
Today, I just did Level 2 after MANY months of not using that DVD, and WTF! It was tough!
Who’s idea was this?
The funny thing is that the 3 lb. weights I’ve always used now feel like a complete joke, since I grew accustomed to lifting 12.5 lb. to 25 lb. weights at the gym. It’s all the jumping and lunging that wore me out today. There’s a lot of it!
Then I went for a run. It was on the speedy side for me, since I was already warmed up.
It was SUNNY! I squinted throughout the whole run. As a Seattlite, I’m not used to the appearance of that strange bright orb in the middle of winter.
Then I went to the dentist. Oooh, exciting day! Have you ever seen such a nice view from a dentist’s chair??
Hello, I would like to move in here.
And finally, as I was uploading endless photos of shiz I’m selling on Craigslist in preparation for the big trip, I caught this sunset off the balcony of my bedroom.
Seven miles to run in the morning. It’ll be the farthest I’ve run since the marathon!
The lululemon fairy delivered this to my front door today!! I’m already obsessed. Thumbholes never get old for me.
I needed a lightweight, non-cotton, long-sleeved shirt for layering as I travel, and I’ve wanted this running top for a while now, so it was the perfect excuse to buy it. It’s SO comfortable, moisture-wicking and cute to boot. I be travelin’ in style!
Today was the last day of my gym membership, and I made the most of it by hitting the free weights one last time. I was so sad to say goodbye!
I highly recommend Ballard Health Club to anyone who lives or works in North Seattle. It’s a non-intimidating “regular people” gym that has great equipment, complimentary classes and personal training, and it never gets too crowded. I would definitely renew my yearlong membership if I weren’t leaving.
I also went to the doc today for my annual checkup. I got my official height (5’6”) and weight (142.7 lbs. w/clothes on, including a sweatshirt… no fair). I ran my marathon at 138 lbs. Whenever I weigh less than that, I think I look kind of gangly and sick in photos, so I think it’s a good number to aim for as I get back into healthy eating and regular workouts.
Side note: I’ve weighed under 135 in the past but wore bigger jeans… because I didn’t have any muscle. I’ll take a higher weight and smaller jeans with a side of muscle, thanks!
And fun fact: I need to schedule an echocardiogram to check out my heart. I have a family history of a heart condition, and when I mentioned it, my doctor was like (exact words): “Yeah, that’s one of those things people can drop dead from. Let’s get you an echo.” Wheeeeeee!
On many runs, there comes a moment when the trail falls quiet, and only the sounds of my stride echo on the pavement. I’m alone, and it’s the perfect time to meditate, to reflect on life and perhaps to retrieve a wayward bit of spandex from where it has unfortunately crept.
No runner, male or female, is immune to this wedgtastic phenomenon. The trick lies in waiting for the perfect semi-private-while-completely-in-public moment to, eh-hem, rectify the situation.
At mile 2.5, I was blessed with an empty trail and all the freedom in the world to right this wrong. But just as soon as I’d done it, in the blink of an eye, the telltale whirring of a cyclist’s wheels rushed up behind me.
Otherwise, it was a good run!
I can sit outside in a tank top for a few precious minutes post-run and pretend like it’s warm outside. It’s not even close. Thank God I’m fleeing to the land of summer soon.
And every run should be followed by a delicious smoothie. Mango, pineapple, coconut milk, chia seeds and ground flaxseed. Beer not included.
There’s nothing worse than being sick when you really want to run, especially if you put on four pounds over the holidays (eh-HEM) and your jeans are super-tight. Not that I know anyone that that happened to…………….
I honestly felt way better after my 3-mile run on Friday, and I ran another 3 miles yesterday on the treadmill (28:12 — 9:24 pace) and lifted weights.
I felt even BETTER this morning — 99% recovered, I’d say — and busted out the 6 miles I had scheduled for this weekend.
Negative splits, baby.
Yachts at the Westlake Marina. Choose your fave! You can also see Gasworks Park between the two piles of money boats.
View of the Aurora Bridge and the Burke-Gilman Trail from the Fremont Bridge. I’ll miss this trail.
Post-run, just chilling on the ground with a potted plant. Typical.
I hit all my runs for this week, even though I had to switch the days due to being sick!
It feels great to be back to running. Now, if I can just get my jeans to fit again…
It does some really scary stuff — even diet soda, which is probably worse because it tricks you into thinking it’s healthy-ish.
I realize it’s a full-on addiction for many people, so good luck with your efforts to quit! I promise that plain water is delicious (at least in the Pacific Northwest; California, your water SUCKS) and an addiction in its own right.
Here’s my I’m-Not-Actually-Training-For-Anything Training Plan.
It’s just a little something to keep me on track with running throughout January until I leave for my trip. I’ve missed running with a training plan since the marathon!
I put yoga or strength-training on the schedule through January 11, which is when my gym membership expires (sniff, sniff). Then I plan to swim twice a week to use up the sessions I’ve prepaid for at my community pool.
The (shots) on the schedule are not the kind featuring Lil Jon, unfortunately, but rather two more rounds of immunizations. I’ve got Hepatitis A/B and rabies (the most painful one) lined up for tomorrow. Wheeeee!
I scheduled light exercise for a few days after each round of shots since they make me feel all tired and sore. Tomorrow I’ll kick things off with a 4-miler before I head to the travel clinic for my jabs.
For now, I’m resting because of the rainy awfulness outside, and because I’ve got some incredible deliciousness to consume.
Don’t click on that if you’re trying to stick to a healthy eating resolution. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! : )
Remember when I ran a marathon less than a month ago? Nah, me neither.
Today, FOUR MILES put me on the floor.
I ran with CrossFit Tony again and we both had trouble — him with his knee, me with my lungs and stomach. Looking at the numbers, it was a decent run, but we both felt like crap while running. Neither of us had run since our great 6-miler last Friday.
I’m gonna chalk it up to three things:
1. The six vaccines I received on Tuesday completely wiped me out yesterday, and I may not be back to 100% yet. 2. Margaritas last night. Enough said. 3. I’ve been super-lazy during this holiday season and have lost a good amount of fitness.
Two out of three are completely my fault, so I’m not trying to make excuses. I just miss being able to run far and fast and feel awesome while doing it.
Today I’ll create a fake January training plan for a nonexistent race to get my butt back in gear. Feel free to taunt me if I don’t stick to it!
I’ve secretly been afraid that my best running days were behind me thanks to my stupid foot and lackluster post-marathon runs.
But this morning, I had a FANTASTIC run! I met a new running buddy, Tony, at the CrossFit event I went to at Meg's box last weekend, and we pushed each other during an awesome six-miler.
Tony said he hadn’t run in a month and a half, and I haven’t run farther than five miles (which kind of sucked) since Las Vegas, so this run was quite an achievement for both of us.
We also had a great chat and I think formed the instant friendship that I’ve felt with everyone I run with. Love that.
My lungs were DONE at the end, but my foot felt fine throughout! My preemptive icing yesterday did the trick. My knees and foot are feeling it a little right now, though, so it’s definitely time to ice again.
There is nothing like a good run, people! NOTHING!!!
My foot hurt pretty significantly after Monday’s 5-miler and it was NOT COOL. Some rest and ice seemed to cure it, but still… I’m not down with this insubordinate foot.
I might’ve jumped into new shoes too quickly, so I brought back my marathon shoes for today’s run. It was like coming home.
These shoes have taken me far, baby. We’ve done beautiful things together.
I also brought back a favorite marathon-training workout: Run one mile to the gym, lift weights, run one mile home. I did this more in the summertime when it wasn’t so cold out, but today is a freakin’ beautiful, sunny December day in Seattle, and the running portion was glorious.
Weird things happen when you run, turn off your watch, then run again. Hmm.
The gym was fairly empty and it was nice to hit the weights again. I’ve definitely lost some strength and had to use 12.5-lb weights for moves I used to be able to do with 15, but I can get that back with a little effort.
I’ll be needing some strength to lug around my travel backpack and do adventure-like things in New Zealand and Australia beginning in February — when it will be SUMMER down there, thank God — so I hope to hit the gym 3x a week until my membership runs out in mid-January.
Now I’m off to preemptively ice my foot and dream of summertime in the South Pacific…
Today I set out to run 5 miles — my farthest distance since the marathon — and I was feeling good about it.
As I started running, I immediately felt “slow.” I was running under a 9:30 pace, which I don’t consider slow at all, but I felt oddly heavy compared to my mostly effortless-feeling pre-marathon runs.
Then disaster hit during mile 4 — a horrible, dreadful, crippling cramp.
I did a lot of walking during mile 4 to get rid of that cramp. It just wouldn’t go away! The last time I remember having a cramp at all was during a 15-mile run because I ate an unusual and insufficient breakfast beforehand.
After about 0.4 mi of straight-up walking, I resumed running and was able to finish out mile 4 and hit a nice pace for mile 5.
I’m 99% sure both the heavy feeling and the cramp were related to my post-marathon eating habits. I haven’t been eating unhealthily per se, but I have reintroduced grains and dairy back into my diet in a big way.
I’d say my marathon-training diet was loosely 85% Paleo. The other 15% consisted of candy corn, ice cream, cupcakes, etc. and anything I had out at a restaurant.
I never carb-loaded before runs — in fact, I specifically avoided grains, as well as dairy, for the sake of my stomach — and ate lots of protein (chicken, fish, eggs) and fruits/vegetables instead.
Now I eat… whatever I want! Grilled cheese sandwich with extra slices of cheese on the side? Sure! Pancakes for lunch? Why not!
My body is much, much happier when I eat little to no grain-based carbs or dairy, and I can clearly see that when I compare how I felt on today’s run versus how I felt before the marathon.
It was nice to have a grilled-cheese-with-a-side-of-cheese hurrah for a few weeks, but I’d much rather have enjoyable runs.
Written while eating a stomach-friendly chicken breast with roasted asparagus and mushrooms on the side. Yum.
Meg invited me to a Toys for Tots event at her box Saturday morning and today I can’t move my body.
It hurts so good.
About 40 people donated 157 toys. Woo-hoo! I pitched in two toys and won a t-shirt in a raffle at the end of the event. I never win things! There is in existence a super-awkward picture of me lunging through a giant tire while wearing the shirt; hopefully Meg can track it down for me and I can post it promptly.
Everyone divided up into teams of five to do the WOD (workout of the day):
We each rotated to the next exercise as soon as the runner on our team finished the sprint, and we did this as many times as possible in 12 minutes. I started with the run and I think ran three times, and I know I ended the WOD doing burpees because I wanted to fall on the floor and die.
Each team member was supposed to keep track of his or her reps and report the number to the next person so we could keep an overall count of the team’s reps, but my team quickly got confused/lost track and had no numbers to report. Ohhhh well!
I was sweaty and out of breath when we finished. It was definitely a good workout, especially considering how sore my quads, arms and shoulders are! I don’t think Crossfit is my thing, but I can see why people some love it. Crazy people, that is.
Oh, you know it’s true.
I met a ton of awesome, friendly people at Stoneway Crossfit, and even scored a new running buddy! Allegedly he “doesn’t run that fast” (right) and we’ll take it easy since I still haven’t run farther than 4 miles since the marathon.
My post-marathon motivation to run is seriously lacking. Today I was determined to run, and it wasn’t raining, so I had no excuse.
I busted out new shoes to make it exciting.
I’ve been hoarding two brand-new pairs of Brooks Ghost 3 shoes in a closet ever since I went nuts over an online sale. I basically got two pairs of my very favorite running shoes — in PURPLE! — for the price of one. Winning!
I pushed the run a bit since I was “only” doing 3 miles. (Must get out of that “only” mindset now that I’m not training for a stupid-far race.)
Oooh yeah, that felt good. My pesky right foot didn’t hurt, and I’m hoping it’ll stay that way.
I’m clearly obsessed with the lululemon pullover I bought for the marathon. I hardly ever buy lululemon stuff because it’s so pricy, but this pullover is ridiculously comfortable, non-chafing, flattering and very high quality. This… this is love.
Plus, it’ll always remind me of my first 26.2. (I still can’t believe that happened.)
Tomorrow morning I venture into the crazy world of Crossfit. I’m ready to dominate some box jumps or swing the shiz out of a kettlebell or something. Wish me luck…
The legendary Athens Classic Marathon is on November 11, 2012.
That’s just a fun factoid I came across while trying to figure out the itinerary for my year of travel. Interesting… : )
Also, I swam today for the first time since I did the triathlon in September!
There’s so much awkwardness here.
Swimming is hard, people. I can swim from one end of the pool to the other, but then I have to rest and catch my breath for at least 30 seconds before going back. It’s humbling when everyone else is just whizzing by and doing super-cool flip turns.
I could probably outrun most of them, though. : )
I’m trying to stay active every day, whether it’s through running, yoga, swimming or lifting weights. I might bust out my bike when it’s sunny. Currently trying to give my pesky right foot a rest from running to ensure that the phantom pain doesn’t return.
And I’m trying Crossfit for the first time on Saturday, so that should be… interesting!
I recently found the post in which I first wrote about signing up for this marathon. I registered wayyyyyyy back in March, back before I’d ever run any race farther than a 5K. In fact, I think the farthest I’d ever run at that point was 7 or 8 miles.
I had no clue how fast I’d be able to run 26.2 miles (or if I could even physically run them at all), so Las Vegas’s 4:30 time limit almost deterred me from registering.
I’m fairly sure I could run the marathon in under 5 hours, and perhaps even under 4:45, but a 4:30 time limit is a lot of pressure.
I’d be lying, though, if I said I didn’t secretly enjoy this extra layer of challenge. I’d love to finish under 4:30 even if there was no time limit, so this just motivates me to train extra hard.
But there was a moment when I was about to register that I considered backing out. Would it be stupid to even attempt a sub-4:30 time? Most people say you shouldn’t have a time goal for your first marathon — just focus on finishing. But I’d like to seize the opportunity to finish and kick some butt, too.
If, after several months of training, I feel like it’s absolutely impossible for me to drag my body across 26.2 miles’ worth of Las Vegas in any time close to 4:30, I can always drop down to the half-marathon.
But telling myself right now that I can’t do it is unacceptable. Quitting before I’ve even started is far more foolish than gunning for a sub-4:30 first marathon. And even if I attempt the marathon, get kicked off the course and earn myself a big, fat DNF — Did Not Finish — I’ll at least be satisfied in knowing that I trained like hell and tried my hardest to do something awesome.
I’ll take Did Not Finish over Did Not Try any day.