Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for October, 2007

Published October 29th, 2007

Here I go again

Despite past failed attempts at blogging about my weight in order to shame me into staying on course, I’m at it once again. Pieces of Me has issued a weight loss challenge, and given I’ve gained a little over five pounds since the summer, I decided to go for it. (Although she calls it a challenge, it’s all for fun.)

My first attempt was last December, when I said I hoped to lose 12 pounds in 15 weeks (in time for the Mercer Island half marathon). My weight on the day of that post was 162; my weight on the day of the half marathon? 166.4. sigh.

In May I posted the “before and after” photos showing a 40-pound weight loss. I weighed 163 on the day of THAT post; I hoped to get down to at least 155 by the Marathon du Medoc in September. I didn’t record what my weight was on the day of the marathon, but it was probably 164-165. sigh.

My weight this year has fluctuated from a high of 169.8 to a low of 159.8 (actually I got down to 158.2, but that was due to a liquid diet during my colonoscopy prep). It seems to follow a typical cycle: on Monday I’m all jazzed up for a rigorous workout routine and manage to lose 1-2 pounds during the week. Then the weekend comes and I allow myself to go over board on the martinis and wine (and if I have a long run, I treat myself to burgers and fries). I absolutely hate to diet, yet it’s obvious I have to keep my eating and drinking in check if I’m to be successful. (And I know if I’m to try to qualify for Boston, dropping a few pounds will be oh-so-beneficial).

In addition to Monday posts on my blog, we’ve also started a lounge group over at the Runner’s Lounge. Check it out to see our progress (or better yet, join us!)


  • Height: 5′ 11″
  • Today’s weight: 166
  • Goal weight (by Feb. 1): 155
  • Boston qualifier goal weight: 150
  • What I’ll treat myself to if I meet my goal: probably a spa day

Published October 25th, 2007

Three guesses, first two don’t count



Guess where I ran to during my 15-minute running allotment today?

Although we live in a VERY desirable neighborhood, our house is OLD. (It’s so old, Willard Scott keeps calling to interview it). We hope to eventually tear it down and rebuild — given the cost of housing in Seattle, this would be the least expensive option — but for now we’re maintaining status quo. We’ve done some small remodeling projects — built a patio in back, painted and re-floored the kitchen — but we’d rather save our money for a major remodel/rebuild. However, we don’t always have a choice.

Earlier this year I was forced to buy a brand new oven when the one we received for free went tits up. I know what you’re thinking: “You’re a chef, Betsy. Why didn’t you ALREADY have a new oven?” Well, I don’t cook for my clients in my own home (the health department would not be amused), and again, we wanted to save money. But when our old oven would refuse to light (permeating the house with gas fumes), we knew it was time for me to get a big girl’s oven.

Lately our house has been showing its age more frequently. We’ve put up with wonky wiring for quite some time (whenever we run our dishwasher and toaster oven at the same time, it trips the circuit breaker), but when things started sparking we knew we could no longer avoid it. Risking life and limb through electrocution my darling switched out the breaker a couple of weeks ago.

He then noticed the toilet leak on Tuesday. Fortunately he had a light week in terms of photo assignments, so he spent the entire day fixing the problem. Knowing it wouldn’t be an easy task, he recommended I use my client’s facilities as much as possible. But being the good girl I am — I try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day — by the time I got home I had to go potty. Fortunately there’s a public restroom at Greenlake, so that’s where I ran to.

(Shhhh… don’t tell my physical therapist: although I’m only to run 15 minutes — 1 min. walk/3 min. run — the potty break was a 25 minute round trip.)

Published October 23rd, 2007

Better than a gold star!

Can you guess what I just did? Can ya? Can ya? Give up?


Okay, so it was just for 15 minutes (running 2 minutes, walking 1 minute), but it felt SOOOO good to do so. Assuming I feel okay on Thursday I can up my running portion to 3 minutes, then 4 minutes, then 5. Once I can run for 15 minutes straight without injury I can then increase the total running by 5 minutes. I have to take a day off in between, but I should be in rather good shape within three weeks or so. I still have to do my exercises and stretches, which is fine since they’re obviously working.

Now if I can just lose 10 pounds I’m sure my hip and knee issues will completely disappear 🙂


Published October 23rd, 2007

Wouldn’t you know it…

…two days after I put away all my biking clothes I wake up to this:

Sunny day


I had planned on heading to my gym after my physical therapy appointment (which is across the street from my gym) for a session on the elliptical machine, but days like this are few and far between this time of year in Seattle (heck, they were few and far between this past summer!).  Yesterday my darling and I went on a 20-mile ride and I’m thinking I’ll have to do the same once I’m done with PT (assuming, of course, she doesn’t give me the go-ahead to run again!)

Published October 21st, 2007

Ain’t nothing like the real thing


If I didn’t have this darn hip issue I’d be lounging on my couch with a glass of wine, recuperating from a 16-mile run. Instead, I’m lounging on my couch with a glass of wine, recuperating from… an hour of cleaning my kitchen. (Oh — and making homemade arugula and goat cheese whole wheat ravioli).

Fortunately today’s slothfulness is an anomaly; I’ve been very diligent in not only doing my physical therapy exercises (I hope to get a gold star from my PT on Tuesday), I’ve also been going to the pool for deep water running and also put in a good hour on the elliptical machine on Thursday. While those have been good, hard workouts, they just aren’t the same. However, I know if I push things then I’ll really screw myself up.

Must. Learn. Patience.

As an added torture, I spend an inordinate amount of time reading running blogs and articles on various running sites. I figure if I can’t run myself then I’ll “run” vicariously through others. I’ll be waiting with bated breath to see if See Zanne Run qualifies for Boston in the Columbus Marathon tomorrow; I’m cheering on Tall Girl Running as she wraps up her marathon recovery and is eyeing her next challenge: getting a new 10K PR; I’m sending “heal quick” vibes to See Diva Run as she recuperates from her tumble during the Spirit of Survival half marathon; and I’m feeling both happy and envious of Frayed Laces, who was given the go-ahead to run by her doctor after having to take off almost two weeks due to Achilles tendonitis.


Published October 16th, 2007

By Jove, I think she’s got it

So I just got back from my physical therapist appointment.  After all sorts of poking and prodding (and having my hips moved this way and that), it’s obvious I need to work on some major strength training.  My problem areas?  I seem to be weakest in the muscles worked by the exercises I avoid (specifically, the hip rotation).  Although I’m a blonde, even I can see the correlation.  🙂

I first started going to my PT after experiencing patellofemoral pain syndrome (pain under the kneecap).  It’s common among woman and is usually attributed to under-developed quad and hamstring muscles (when those muscles are under-developed they tend to cause the patella to track incorrectly, resulting in pain).  She gave me several exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles; although I would do a few,  I certainly wasn’t consistent.  I pretty much stopped doing the exercises once the pain stopped.

Now the pain has returned, but in a different area.  Although it’s frustrating to have to give up running for a while (at least two weeks, she’s recommending), it comes at a good time.  I’ve said I was going to see how my body reacted to increased training, and considering the reaction has been “OW OW OW OW OW” it tells me a lot about what I need  to do.  On one hand I’m concerned about not being able to do any running given I’m training for Disney, but I’m also confident I can finish that race even if I have to take a few weeks off.  I’ll just need to concentrate on water running and/or biking — two exercises that won’t aggravate the injury.

I’d like to end by thanking everyone for your advice and support.  You keep me motivated to be the best I can be!

Published October 9th, 2007

My hips don’t lie

When I wrote in my last post about keeping things in perspective, I had times like this in mind. If my running isn’t being sidelined by sickness, it’s injury. sigh

On one of my runs before Medoc I started feeling a bit of pain in my right hip (the muscles running in front and just to the side) . It wasn’t particularly painful, more of a heightened discomfort. I would feel creaky in the mornings and the discomfort increased after all the walking we did in Paris. However, I don’t recall it feeling that bad after Medoc.

My first run after the marathon was seven days later, and again, I don’t recall my hip hurting much. My cold kept me from running for a week, but I then started training in earnest for Goofy. Not only did I do a couple of days of hill repeats, many of my runs were on hilly courses. I also started doing my physical therapy exercises again, thinking the pain could be from my weak hips (that had been the source of my patellafemoral pain syndrome earlier this year).

My cold returned, so I took the following week off. But on Saturday I felt good enough to run again, so my darling and I took off on a 9+ mile run, which included running up the almost mile-long Stone Way Hill (although long, it’s a gradual incline). My hip was rather sore afterwards and the pain remained the next morning. While I probably should have rested it, I instead headed to a hydrofit class at the pool (Sundays are my cross-training days). I didn’t feel any pain during the exercises, but I was again creaky come Monday morning.

Now I think about it, there were many things I did on Monday that were probably unwise: not only did I do side leg lifts with weights (one of my PT exercises), I then did a 6 1/2 mile fartlek workout that afternoon. Although I could feel the pain, it wasn’t enough to make me stop. Afterwards I popped a couple of ibuprofen and iced the area, but it remained quite tender (and still is). By yesterday evening I could tell I had overdone it.

Who knows what’s causing it: thinking my stride has been too long (which can cause hip pain), I’ve consciously shortened it. Sure, my runs have included more hills, but it hasn’t seemed too extreme (we live in a hilly area after all; it’s difficult to avoid them!). I haven’t taken my Pilates class for quite a while, and due to my cold I haven’t been going to my ab class. So it could be I just need to work on strengthening all the muscles surrounding the area. (Let’s hope that’s the easy answer). I have another appointment with my PT next week.

So for now I’m back on relative rest. I’m scheduled for an easy run tomorrow, but will probably hit the pool instead. We’ll see how I feel on Thursday; it may be another pool day. I had planned on running the Dawg Dash 10K on Sunday, but that’s now up in the air. I know if I’m to get back to running I need to be smart. And sometimes that means NOT running for a while. Argh!

Published October 7th, 2007

I train, therefore I am

As I hinted in my last post, I’m once again training for a marathon. Even before we completed our first, I had signed us up for our next adventure: the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World January 12-13. By running the half marathon on Saturday participants receive a Donald Duck medal; for the full marathon on Sunday it’s a Mickey Mouse medal. So, what must you do to receive the Goofy medal? That’s right — run BOTH races. (I’ve never claimed sanity was my strong suit).

But perhaps even crazier than that, I’ve decided to try to qualify for Boston. It won’t be at Disney — my goal for that race is to merely survive both days — but I am kicking my training up a notch to see how my body responds. (If the first week is any indication, my body is acting like a petulant child, sending me into the throes of a 100-degree fever at the first signs of increased activity. I’m hoping it will start to behave soon.)

I first toyed with qualifying for Boston earlier this year. I even broached the subject with one of my blogging buddies, asking if she’d be up to the task with me. (I got a definitive “maybe.”) My target would be Boston 2009, for which I’d need a 4 hour qualifying time (excuse me, 4 hours, 59 seconds, thankyouverymuch) during a 2008 race. While certainly challenging, it didn’t seem particularly out of reach.

However, after pulling a hamstring during the Fremont 5K I began to question my decision. Perhaps I wasn’t meant to go fast, I told myself. Maybe I’m better off shooting for another goal not determined by speed: x number of marathons before I’m 50, running a marathon on every continent, becoming a member of the Marathon Maniacs, etc. etc. A total copout, I know.


Published October 3rd, 2007

Hit me with your best shot

I’ve read runners are particularly susceptible to colds and flu, especially after coming off of a marathon. And wouldn’t you know it — I’m yet another statistic.

I wasn’t surprised to feel the tell-tale tickle in my throat a couple of days after returning from France. I had done a 6-mile run earlier that morning, and by the afternoon I started feeling pretty achy. It developed into a full-blown sore throat/runny nose by Monday. I took off four days from running and exercise to help my body heal.

By Friday I was feeling pretty good, so I ran a little over 4 miles. On Saturday we did a quick 3-mile run on a hilly course, then I did 7 miles on Sunday, including some hill training (I’m kicking my training up a notch; I’ll post more about that in a separate post). I piled more miles on the following week: 6 on Monday, a little over 5 on Wednesday, 3 on Thursday and almost 9 on Saturday (with more hill training). My Saturday run was by far the best; it was a gorgeous fall day and I was feeling strong. Afterwards I commented to my darling it didn’t even feel like I had run that far.

Then Sunday hits. We awoke to cold, pounding rain. That should have been my cross-training day, so I thought I’d check out the hydro-fit/water exercise class at the pool. But just hearing the rain pelting our windows made me want to curl up on the couch. I finally made it out to purchase a water belt, vowing to take the class the following Sunday. By that evening I developed a cough and by Tuesday I was laid up on the couch with a 100-degree fever. (In fact, as I write this I don’t think my temperature has yet returned to normal).

So, I now have to decide if this is the year I finally get a flu shot. I go back and forth each year about it; on one hand I feel since I’m not at high risk for catching the flu (I don’t work around a lot of people), then I can forego it. Besides, I’m a bit concerned that getting a flu shot will make me sick (although I’ve heard there’s a low risk for this).

But then I get hounded by one of clients each year to get the shot; she can’t understand why I wouldn’t want one (she’s one of these people who let fear rule her world — she’s stockpiled supplies in case terrorists or the bird flu hit, but that’s another story). And since I am increasing my training (again, more on that later), I probably am opening myself up to all sorts of bugs.

So I’m curious, how many of you are planning on getting a flu shot this season?