Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for November, 2007

Published November 27th, 2007

Whistler International Turkey Trot

I’ve been dying to do this race for several years. Started in the early 30s, the Whistler International Turkey Trot has grown to more than 25,000 participants. As with the New York Marathon, they receive far more entries than they can handle (more than 55,000 this year alone), so they instituted a lottery system about five years ago.

Although I really wanted to run the race last year, since I was running the Seattle half marathon three days later, I decided to hold off. Good thing too, considering the amount of snow that got dumped on the village (I wasn’t looking forward to running in snow boots). But I was thrilled to see my name chosen this year; must be first-timer’s luck!

While most turkey trots are 5Ks, the Whistler Turkey Trot is 5 miles (I think it has something to do with the exchange rate). Fine with me — it meant I could justify one more slice of pie. The race starts at the end of our condo’s driveway (score!), and heads down Blackcomb Way to the entrance of Lost Lake Park. At first it seemed race organizers lost Lost Lake — we backtracked several times and had to loop around a parking lot — but finally we got on the trail that winds along the lake.

It was a glorious sunny, crisp day. The run was very quiet and serene (well, as quiet and serene as can be given there were 24,999 other runners) with gently rolling hills. Although I wore my Garmin I decided not to monitor my pace; I just let my body decide how fast it wanted to go. I crossed the finish line, feeling like I had put in a terrific effort. I glanced at Garmin to see I finished in 47 minutes, 58 seconds. Not my fastest, certainly, but I’ll live with it!

As I made it toward the refreshment tables I was thrilled to see a meat, cheese and vegetable platter waiting for me, along with an ice cold beer. I had been pretty hungry going into the race, and this was just the sustenance I needed.

The race results were posted within an hour; as I was scanning the names I was shocked to see I not only came in first in my age group, I came in FIRST OVERALL! I couldn’t believe it! Talk about beginner’s luck! Truly a race for the history books.

What’s that? You’ve never HEARD of the Whistler International Turkey Trot? Well, I can assure you it’s quite popular. Hmmm? When you click on the race link you don’t get anything? Well, it’s not MY problem your computer is broken. Huh? Why would Canada hold a turkey trot when Thanksgiving is an American holiday? How am I supposed to know? Must be because of all the American tourists. Excuse me? You don’t think Whistler could handle 25,000 people at once? Goes to show how much you DON’T know. Haven’t you heard the 2010 Olympics are going to be there? They’ll get WAY more than 25,000 people then, mister/miss smarty pants.

WHAT? You think I’m just making the whole thing up? You think because I had such a lousy skiing experience I’m just trying to boost my ego by claiming I won the race when in actuality I was the ONLY person running? I can’t believe you’d say such a thing. You’re just mean. I’m going to take my blog and go home.


Published November 25th, 2007

I run, therefore I do not ski

Considering I’ve always lived in northern climes (17 years in New England, 4 years in Alaska, 23 years in the Pacific Northwest), you would think I’d be an avid skier. WRONG! In fact, it took me 28 years before I even dared strap on a pair of skis.

My first attempt was an utter disaster. A group of us headed over to White Pass, which is in central Washington. We got a late start, so by the time we were winding along Highway 12 to our cabin, it was well after midnight. I fell asleep in the back seat, but was jolted awake by the gasps from the front — our friends traveling in the car ahead ran into a herd of elk running across the road. They had hit one and went flying off the road, landing top down in a ditch alongside the road. Fortunately no one in the car was hurt, but the sheriff had to come out to shoot an elk with a broken leg.

(I’m EXTREMELY fortunate for making the right decision. I originally was going to ride in that car, but when I found out there were no seat belts in the back seat, I wisely chose the second car. Seeing how the roof had totally caved in over the back seat, I can only imagine what would have happened to me).

Needless to say, everyone was pretty shaken up by the time we reached our cabin. I don’t think anyone got much sleep.

The driver of that car wasn’t much in the mood for skiing, so he offered to give me some “lessons.” I rode the chair up the bunny hill in my rented equipment, praying that I wouldn’t make too much of a fool of myself. Ah, the best laid plans! Of course I biffed immediately upon exiting the chair; the rest of the trip down the mountain was not much better. Although my “teacher” was quite patient, I just couldn’t get the hang of things. It must have taken me at least two hours to go down that hill.


Published November 20th, 2007

Betsy, you’re NOT the biggest loser

Sorry for the quick post, but it’s been a hectic week!  And since we’re heading to Whistler tomorrow, I won’t be online for at least three days (how I’ll survive, I’ll never know).

Although I should be thankful for this past week — I ran a 9- and 12-miler with no hip pain whatsoever — of course I have to focus on the fact I gained weight since last week 🙁  It was only a pound and a half, but still.  I think I’m most hard on myself for coming up with excuses NOT to work out.

I had hoped to do a 6-mile run today, but I didn’t get home until well after dark.  So to make up for it I’ll be heading out for a 3 1/2 miler tomorrow morning (it’s doubtful I’ll get any running in at Whistler given the snow, but I plan on hitting the slopes — the first time in 9 years — on Friday).  I’m then scheduled for a 15-miler on Sunday.

So Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I promise my next post will be longer (and a heckofalot more witty!)

Published November 17th, 2007

I’ll never make it to Boston with this attitude

So I was THIS CLOSE to heading out for a 12-mile run today. My iPod was loaded, I had scraped the muck off my shoes from a previous run, two Clif Shots were in my pockets and my bag was packed with a change of clothes for our lunch. My darling’s big toe was bothering him, and when he put on his running shoes the pain worsened. He tried a quick jog up and down our street, but it was obvious he wouldn’t be able to make it one mile, let alone 12. Looked like I’d be doing a solo run.

While it had been drizzling for at least an hour, at that moment the torrential downpour began. So, not only would I be going at it alone, I’d be soaked to the bone in the end. NOT my idea of a good time.

I know if I’m to make it to Boston I can’t let circumstances like this keep me from running. But considering I also had to make a bunch of turkey to take up to Whistler for Thanksgiving, I figured I could put the run off until tomorrow (Wunderground predicts the weather will be better) and focus my attention on brining the turkey and making stock for the gravy. So, rather than post about a cold, wet and utterly sh!++y training run, I’m going to fulfill my obligation for being tagged by Warriorwoman.

The rules:

  • link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog
  • share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird
  • tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs
  • let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

Now for some totally random things about me:

  1. In the 7th grade, my English teacher held a contest among six classes to see who could best sing all the prepositions to the tune of Jingle Bells. My homeroom won.
  2. The year was 1975. I can still sing it today.
  3. We used to have a pet alligator. It was found in one of the toilets at my dad’s school (he was the principal).
  4. I got caught skipping in 11th grade, but since the principal of my school knew my dad, he merely put his arm around me and admonished, “You’re one of my good ones. Don’t mess up.”
  5. I have one tattoo and five piercings.

Tag, you’re it:

Tall Girl Running
See Zanne Run (payback’s a bee-otch, ain’t it?)
Frayed Laces
Pieces of Me
Amy at Runner’s Lounge

(I don’t think any of you have been tagged with this, but if so, you can opt out. And I promise not to tag you again!)

Published November 12th, 2007

Nature’s birthday gift to me

As I’m laying on the couch watching the news on today’s storm, I’m grateful for nature’s gift to me. As I mentioned, I awoke to pouring down rain and gusty wind; the weather report promised it would get worse as the day wore on. I was kicking myself for postponing my 9-mile run, but figured I’d just bundle — and buck — up.

I spent the morning reading blogs and futzing around the house, but by 2 p.m. I was ready to lace up my shoes. My darling decided to go with me, so I waited for him to finish up his photo project. It was about 2:45 when we finally headed out, but as we opened our front door we saw something totally unexpected: the sun! While there were dark clouds to the northeast, we had blue sky overhead. The wind had also died down considerably.

Because of the weather and the fact my darling’s foot was bothering him, we decided to just run three laps around Greenlake (we figured if either of us needed to bail, we’d be so close to home).  As we got halfway through our second lap we noticed the clouds to the northeast had turned darker and more ominous; would the weather hold out for our entire run?  We certainly hoped so!

As we neared the end of lap 2 I checked with my darling to see how he as faring.  He was good to go.  By now the clouds had started drifting over us and we were certain we’d get caught in a downpour.  But being the hearty Pacific Northwesterners we are, we continued on.  Although the wind started to pick up, we got nary a drop.

What a wonderful birthday treat!

(And just out of curiosity, I weighed myself after the run — 163.2!!!)

Published November 12th, 2007

Nov. 12 weigh in

When I spoke last week of the food/drink orgy that is “HallowThanksChristYear” I left off one other event that brings me to the point of over-indulgence: my birthday. It falls smack dab in the middle of Halloween and Thanksgiving, which would make it…

TODAY! Yeah for me!

That’s right, little EatDrinkRunWoman is 44 today. I started out the morning in a funk (not only did I over-indulge, I haven’t worked out the past three days. More on that in a moment), but I’m now determined to have a fabulous day, even though it’s pouring down rain and we’re expected to get 60 MPH winds this afternoon (I KNEW I shouldn’t have put my long run off until today).

The beginning of the week started out well. My darling and I went on a 7-mile run on Monday (I had just the slightest bit of hip pain, most likely due to the hills at the end), then on a 3 1/2 mile run on Wednesday and Thursday. I also did my PT exercises four days and 50 minutes on the elliptical on Tuesday. But things broke down come Friday.

My parents arrived Thursday evening, and while I planned on going to the gym Friday morning, I opted to sleep in and make them breakfast. I had a special dinner planned for them that evening, plus I had to prepare for the party on Saturday. We also met my sister for lunch down on the waterfront and then went shopping at the Pike Place Market. By the time we got back home it was time to prepare dinner.

On Saturday I considered going for a quick run, but since we’d be doing our 9-mile run on Sunday, I decided to just concentrate on getting the house and food ready for the party. We had a great time, but somehow a bunch of Lemon Drops got poured down my throat (HATE IT when that happens!)

My oldest brother and his wife made a surprise visit Sunday morning for brunch (they were heading to California for a meeting), and by the time I got back from bringing them to the airport, I just wanted to take a nap on the couch. So much for the run! (Pretty lame considering yesterday was World Run Day).

So it was with much trepidation I stepped on the scales this morning. The verdict? 164.2. Not much of a change, but at least I’m still losing. I headed off to the gym for my arm weight routing and PT exercises and on a whim decided to weight myself again when I got home. 164 even; I’ll take that!

The wind is supposed to die down a bit this morning, so I think I’ll get my run in early. Then I won’t feel so bad when I hunker down on the couch this afternoon as the wind and rain picks up again.

Published November 5th, 2007

Nov. 5 weigh-in

For the past couple of months I’ve been weighing myself both in the morning and evening. While it may seem over-compulsive, I’m just curious to see how my weight fluctuates. It tends to follow a similar pattern: I’m all gung-ho to exercise in the beginning of the week, so I’ll see a drop of a couple of pounds. Then the weekend comes and everything goes to hell (must work on that!). And of course I can expect a few pounds of water weight gain once a month.

Although I feel really good about myself and am the fittest I’ve ever been, I know I can do better. I tend to gain a few pounds during the food orgy that is HallowThanksChristYear, but this year the weight gain started early. Not being able to run certainly has been a factor, but my darling and I decided to try a (failed) experiment for the month of October. By giving up meat I allowed myself to gorge on less healthy, albeit vegetarian, fare.

Fortunately I have a group of blogging buddies to keep me motivated this time.

On last-week’s kick-off, my weight was 166.4; today I’m 164.4. Yeah! Of course, last week was my bloat week, so a lot was most likely water. But I also started running again (hallelujah!) and made (mostly) wise food choices.

The good:

  • Ran 3 miles on Thursday and 6 miles on Saturday with no hip pain
  • Went to the gym four days
  • Performed my PT exercises like a good girl

The not-so-good:

  • Not only skipped the gym on Friday, I succumbed to PMS that afternoon and put off my PT exercises as well, preferring instead to eat a bowl of buttered popcorn and cry

The really naughty:

  • Decided the best way to alleviate the PMS was to drink a martini and share two bottles of wine with my darling (forcing me to run said 6 miles with a hangover)

This week I hope to do better on the exercise front (although since I was up late last night straining a 24-quart pot of beef stock, I skipped the gym this morning, preferring to get an additional hour of sleep). I’m hoping to up my mileage this week to about 20 miles, including a long run this weekend of 9 miles (assuming my hip cooperates). However, this weekend I’m throwing myself a birthday party so there’s sure to be several indulgences (but if I do gain weight for the weigh-in on Monday — my birthday — I think I’ll deduct a couple of pounds as a gift to myself). 🙂


Published November 2nd, 2007

So much for speed

Yesterday I experienced a PW (personal worst): 2.8 miles in 28 minutes, 29 seconds.  Even when I weighed 200 pounds I could run that loop faster.  But you know what?


I went in for another PT appointment on Wednesday, and while I probably should take a bit more time off, with the upcoming Goofy Challenge, I wanted to get back to running.  However, my goal for training for the rest of the year is to keep it slow and steady.  I felt so good yesterday, I’m planning on running the loop twice tomorrow.  Assuming all goes well, I’m hoping to work up to a 20-miler three weeks before the race.

Although it sucks to be plagued with knee and hip issues (yet another indication youth is wasted on the young), I’m glad it’s happening now when I don’t have so much at stake.  I’ll continue to incorporate my PT exercises into my workout routine (in addition to various strength-training exercises, she also has me doing a bunch of core work).  I’ll also continue to work in water running and the elliptical machine on non-running days.

Hopefully all the strength training will prepare me for the hill and speed work necessary for a BQ.  I’m still shooting for next summer, however, if we decide to tear our house down that may have to be pushed back (although he’s an extremely patient and understanding husband, my darling might not appreciate me bopping off on a long run while he’s stuck dry walling).