Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for April, 2007

Published April 30th, 2007

My new toy

You know, I really am a geek at heart. I get tired of trying to figure out how far I’ve run by using dividers and a Thomas Guide, so when I heard this was on sale at, I knew I had to have it. And just so my darling wouldn’t feel left out (he’s probably more of a geek than I am), I bought him one too!

Will the madness ever stop?

Published April 28th, 2007

Colonoscopy: The New Miracle Diet!

At least SOMETHING good came out of the indignities I’ve endured this past week.

Because colon cancer runs in the family, my doctor has been hounding me to get screened ever since I turned 40. I kept pushing for waiting until my 45th birthday (my dad was 55 when he was diagnosed, and I read somewhere they recommend getting screened 10 years before a family member’s diagnosis), but she was adamant. So this year I decided to bite the bullet (or should I say, drink the Fleet).

There’s a week-long preparation involved; seven days out I had to stop taking anti-inflammatories (I could have really used some after pushing myself in the Mt. Si Relay), vitamin E, iron, gingko biloba and ginger. Two days out I eliminated whole grains, nuts, seeds and red and purple foods. The fun really began the day before when I began my liquid diet. Let me tell you, as a chef, that was truly difficult, especially since I had to cook for a client. On top of all that my cold came back with a vengeance.

(If you’re dying to hear how the procedure went, you can read about it here. Don’t worry, it’s not graphic!)

I knew surviving on liquids alone for a day and a half would result in some weight loss, but I assumed it would come back once I could eat again. Fortunately they told me to eat light immediately after the procedure (I had thought about getting a big ol’ plate of fries), so my post-procedure meal was much more sensible. Besides, in my weakened condition, food didn’t hold much appeal.

The result? For the first time in more than a decade, I’m once again below 160 pounds (158.8, to be exact).


Published April 24th, 2007

Mt. Si Relay

I first heard about this race through the LUNA Chix message board when one member had to back out due to work. I offered my name as a replacement, but they went with someone else (a fatal error, I’m sure. They obviously didn’t realize what a bad-ass studdette muffin I am).

But once I get something in my head I can’t let it go. Years ago I ran the Hood to Coast relay and had an absolute blast. This race promised to be just as fun. With Hood to Coast, if your team needed a replacement, you could contact the coordinators and they’d match you up with a runner (or runners) looking for a team. Although the Mt. Si Relay didn’t mention such a program, I shot an email to the coordinator just in case. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later I received an email from a team captain saying one of their members had to drop out due to injury. Hooray! (Let me clarify: “hooray” that I’m in; NOT because a team member became injured).

I was to be on one of three teams formed by a local running and fitness coach. Although everyone was serious about fitness, the group definitely put fun above competition. I was inspired by their stories; Coach Lesley had recently qualified for the Ironman competition in Kona (unfortunately a knee injury kept her from competing in the relay); Deanna, one of my team members, has run 59 marathons; and several other members were triathletes and marathoners. And in one of the “it’s a small world” coincidences, I had met our team captain Julie through a women’s networking function more than two and a half years ago.

Julie also happens to live close by, so we decided to carpool. Our wave started at 7 a.m., so we planned on having her pick me up at 5:30 in order to meet the other teams by 6:30 to pass out bibs and t-shirts (we also had to pick up another team member). Pre-race jitters started early, as on Friday night I dreamt I was sitting on my couch in my jammies — with nothing packed — when Julie arrived. The next night I dreamt it snowed more than a foot and a half, but I kept telling everyone it would melt away before the race start. (Fortunately neither of those scenarios came true.)


Published April 21st, 2007

A runner’s breakfast

Pancakes w/strawberriesI’m set to run almost 13 miles in tomorrow’s Mt. Si Relay (first leg is just under 6 miles, second leg is just over 7), so I wanted to make sure I consumed enough carbs today to keep me energized throughout the race. Pancakes seemed a perfect choice for breakfast; they’re fast and easy to prepare and would pair wonderfully with the fresh strawberries we just picked up at Costco.

I’ve made multigrain pancakes in the past, but this morning I wanted to make things even simpler. There’s nothing easier than my darling’s buttermilk pancakes, but this time I substituted white whole wheat flour and oat bran for the all purpose flour. They truly hit the spot.

Whole Grain Buttermilk Pancakes
(makes 6 4-inch pancakes)

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (can also use regular whole wheat)
1/4 cup oat bran
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon EACH baking soda and baking powder
Butter or oil for pan

Gently whisk the flour, bran, buttermilk, egg, baking powder and baking soda until relatively smooth (I start with the whisk, then switch to a spatula). Let batter sit for 10 minutes.

Heat a skillet over medium high until hot. Brush with butter or oil and drop in 1/4 cupfuls of batter. Bubbles will start to form on the top of the pancake; cook until they break and do not fill in. Flip over and cook on the second side for about a minute, or until golden brown. Serve with toppings of choice (I tossed the sliced strawberries with some maple syrup and topped with a dollop of plain yogurt).

Published April 14th, 2007

How do you spell “dork”?

You start with a capital “b,” end with a lowercase “y,” and add the letters “e,” “t” and “s” (in that order) in the middle.

A 6ish mile run was on the docket today; it was to be a solo run given my darling is still easing into running. I had considered another neighborhood run, but decided to get a change of scenery and head to Seward Park, where I’d start with a 2-mile loop around the park, then head along Lake Washington Blvd. and back for another 4+ miles. Although cloudy, the day promised to provide enough sun breaks to make the run thoroughly enjoyable.

My day started as usual — lollygagging on the couch reading through food and fitness blogs, figuring out what tunes to plug into my iPod, eating a hearty bowl of steelcut oats with a couple of bananas. I was particularly psyched to get a copy of AC/DCs “Thunderstruck” from my darling as I thought it would be a perfect starting song (my other favorite is the live version of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” but I didn’t want to overplay it for fear I’d get bored). I also threw in some B-52s (“Rock Lobster,” “My Own Private Idaho”) and the Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapster’s Delight” for good measure. Not only was I looking forward to a new mix of music, I was eager to try out my new iPod armband (it’s getting where long shirts and coats with pockets will be much too hot).

I threw some money, my ID, cell phone and a mango Clif Shot into my wallet/water belt and was on my way. Halfway there I realized I had forgotten my watch; oh well, I can just use the stopwatch on my iPod. Besides, I wasn’t running for time today; I just wanted to get a good workout (running steady the entire time; no walk breaks).

By the time I arrived at the park most of the parking spots were taken (the day was getting increasingly nicer), but fortunately I found one. Stopped at the potties for one final pee break and then got my gear on. I started the stopwatch, and then hit my running playlist. No AC/DC. Hmmmm. I turned up the volume, but still nothing.

(big sigh)

I can’t believe I’m about to admit this:

It was then I realized I DIDN’T HAVE MY EARBUDS IN.

In fact, they weren’t even plugged into my iPod.

Even worse, they were sitting in my purse on the kitchen counter at home. D’OH!

Perhaps what they say about blondes is true.

Published April 12th, 2007

Oh what a beautiful morning!


I’m FINALLY back in the game! Other than for a couple of coughs now and then, it seems the cold has left my body. Yesterday I started the day with an hour-long session of arm weights and physical therapy exercises, followed by the half-hour ab lab with Perky Polly (I actually was quite perky myself). My cookdate went a bit long yesterday, and since the wind had picked up considerably I decided to put my run off until today.

It’s an absolute glorious morning. The sky is clear and blue, the smell of apple blossoms permeates the air and there’s little to no wind. The best part? I got to run with my darling, who, after taking 5 weeks off from running due to a possible stress fracture in his foot, is now easing his way back in. Even better, he decided that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em (he’s a total addict now).

I think my IT band even got in on the fun (I’m sure taking several days off due to sickness probably helped).

6 p.m. update — it’s turned into a beautiful afternoon as well. I just got back from my physical therapy appointment and she says I’m done! She still recommends doing my exercises twice a week to maintain the strength, but fortunately they’re no longer a daily routine. Woo hoo!

Published April 9th, 2007

Almost human

Matzo Ball SoupI’m a total wuss when it comes to catching a cold. I dread the moment I feel the tell-tale scratch at the back of my throat, ‘cuz I know what’s coming: three days — at the very least — of achy muscles, pounding headache, sniffles and overall yuckiness. It came on hard and fast Thursday night, and even with two solid days of couch rest, I was still feeling peaked yesterday. I mustered up the strength to do my physical therapy exercises, but my 6-mile run was out of the question.

Normally I would have spent another day as a couch potato, but Easter festivities beckoned. You’d think given my diminished state I’d take good care of myself, but NOOOOOO. I languished too long over the cheese platter; quaffed far too many glasses of wine; gobbled up gads of cheesy potato casserole, brisket and ham; and devoured a large slice of Devil’s Food cake. Oy!

I had hoped to get home early and go straight to bed, but due to a carpooling snafu my darling and I had to take his grandmother home — a trip that took us an hour and a half out of our way. By the time I hit the sheets I was Ms. Grumpypants, and a sleepless night didn’t help matters. I awoke slightly hung-over and still suffering from my cold. But since I hadn’t worked out in days, I drug my sorry butt to the gym for my cardio class.


Published April 8th, 2007

Tybigal, JUS’ tybigal

I hade diss tibe of year. sniffle

Jus’ wen I gedd modivated again to wurg oud, I kedge a code. sniffle

No energy ‘cept to lay on da coudch. sniffle

(I dink my IT band and my sinuses are in cahoodts). sniffle

Habby Easder!

Published April 4th, 2007

A chat with my IT band

IT band: Hey! HEY YOU! Blondie!

Me: Hmmm? What?

ITB: It’s me, your left IT band.

Me: Oh hi. How are you?

ITB: How am I? HOW AM I? You’re making me run 8 1/2 minute miles. How the HELL do you think I am?

Me: Pottymouth.

ITB: Oh please. I’ve heard you say things that would make a sailor blush. So how do you explain yourself?

Me: What do you mean? We’re running, like we always do.

ITB: No, we’re NOT running like we always do. We’ve been going slow lately. It’s been nice. I was feeling good.

Me: Well, I guess I felt we needed to mix things up a bit. You can’t improve unless you challenge yourself. Besides, we’re just doing short runs for a while; 6 miles at the most.

ITB: But what’s up with trying to beat our personal bests? You’re not getting any younger, you know. You should take it easy, old girl.

Me: Hey! Be nice. I’ve treated you well. Haven’t I been using the foam roller on you like our physical therapist wants?

ITB: WHAT? You mean that medieval torture device? That thing FRIGGIN’ HURTS.

Me: Inside voice, please.

ITB: All I’m sayin’ is, if you don’t slow things down a bit I’m going to rebel. You’ll be lucky to be able to run 15 minute miles.

Me: Okay, grumpypuss. I’ll slow it down this weekend. But I’d still like us to go fast on occasion. Will that be okay?

ITB: Harrumph. What’s in it for me?

Me: Well, you’ll ultimately get stronger. And you may start looking all sexy and lean.

ITB: I suppose. But do we always have to go for a PB?

Me: Of course not. I just wanted to see if we can do it. I’ll shoot for 8 3/4 to 9-minute miles; how’s that sound?

ITB: Hmmmm… Can we get a massage too?

Me: You betcha! Now go to sleep and let the ibuprofen do its job.

ITB: Nighty night.

Published April 2nd, 2007

How to dodge housework

Betsy's MessLooking over last quarter’s training schedule I realize I’d been a bit of a slacker. Normally my training includes two days of faster runs during the week (for 30-45 minutes each day) with a long, slow run on the weekend. While I was diligent about getting my long runs in, I was quite lackadaisical about my mid-week runs. During the five weeks leading up to the Mercer Island half, I only ran one day during the week, and that was the Wednesday just before the race. Mind you, I still went to my cardio and spinning classes (and got in a few laps at the pool), but running? I couldn’t be bothered.

I’m sure the weather had a lot to do with it. I’m typically pretty wiped after spending all day on my feet cooking, so exercise isn’t typically at the top of my list of things to do when I get home. Add in the cold, the dark, the rain, and my resolve plummets to nil. But now spring is here and I have no more excuses.