Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for April, 2008

Published April 28th, 2008

Arlington “Walk and Roll” 10K

Major AwardWhy would anyone want to drive almost 60 miles just to run a 10K race? Well, if you’re Ms. Follows-the-Rulester like I am, then you wouldn’t be asking that question.

As I’ve been yammering about for the past 12 weeks, I’ve been following the Pfitzinger “Advanced Marathoning” 18/55 training plan with hopes for a 4-hour BQ in June. As part of the program, Pete Pfitzinger (or “Pfitz” as I like to call him, us being pals and all) recommends running three “tune-up” races of 8-15K to monitor your marathon fitness level and prepare you mentally for racing.

That’s all well and good, but what Pfitzie (another pet name I have for him) is forgetting is that, unlike him — Mr. Kiwi — I live in AMERICA, so our races are in MILES. We have our 13.1-mile half marathons and our 3.1-mile 5Ks. Sure, I’ve heard about a handful of 6.2-mile races, and a couple of 4.96-mile ones, but 8-15K races? Please. Go back to where you came from, pal.

He calls for these races to be run on Saturdays, the day before your long run. Not only have I tweaked the schedule so my long runs fall on Saturdays (which would mean I’d have to run my tune-up races on Fridays), even if I DID follow the schedule to a T most races are held on Sundays. Doing my long runs on Monday ain’t an option.

But just when I resigned myself to running time trials instead of racing I saw on the NW Runner calendar that the Arlington “Walk and Roll” 10K had been rescheduled due to snow. The new date? Saturday, April 26. Huzzah! And since the race didn’t start until 11 a.m., I wouldn’t even have to drag my sorry butt out of bed at some ungodly hour.

Although I can’t recall ever visiting Arlington, I knew it was a small farm town an hour north of Seattle. I figured it wouldn’t be a big race — just a couple of local yokels with a stopwatch at the end. But hey — a race is a race!

To get an idea of what to expect I looked at the results from 2007. A whopping 35 people entered the 10K that year; the top woman in my age group finished in a little over 56 minutes. “I can beat that!” I exclaimed to no one in particular (although I did startle my kitty out of her slumber). When I plugged a 4-hour marathon into the McMillan Running Calculator, it said I should be running a 10K in a little over 51 minutes. It’d be a stretch, but that’s what I was shooting for.

I started having second thoughts about the race during my runs on the two days prior. My right calf was really tight, despite doing lots of stretching, and I couldn’t muster any more speed than just under 10-minute miles. But I figured I could always make the call on race day.

I awoke to an absolutely gorgeous morning — on the cool side, but not a cloud in the sky. As I ate my bowl of whole-grain cereal I entered the address for Haller Park (the race start) into Google Maps. Hmmm… it appears it’s in the middle of an industrial area. Could this possibly be a diabolical plot by the Arlington Runners Club to keep the ringer from Seattle from entering? I then Googled Haller Park and found a slightly different address for it on the web site for the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. When I entered that address into Google Maps nothing came up. Perhaps those Arlingtonites don’t want us city slickers coming to muck up their town.

I finally found some reliable directions on the Seattle Bike Tours web site (what the Arlington locals refer to as “Haller Park,” Google Maps and Mapquest call it “Arlington Park”). Crisis averted, I loaded my gear and 1-liter bottle of water into the car and took off, leaving my darling snoozing away in bed (he thought about joining me for the race but was up late shooting photos and getting hit on my drunken Seattle University alumnae since he conveniently “lost” his wedding ring. Bastard).

Where was I?


Published April 27th, 2008

Pfitz, Week 12 (45.7 miles)

Quick weekly recap, but stay tuned for the most awesomest race report. Or should I say, “stay tuned for a report on the most awesomest race.” But then again, is “awesomest” a word? Should it be “awesome-est”? I suppose all you English dorks majors would argue it should be “most awesome.” Or you may argue that hyperbole doesn’t belong in a measly race report — at least MY race report — ‘cuz after all I’m not Deena or Paula. But I AM getting faster. So I think I can crow a bit.

Umm… where was I? Oh yeah! My week in training:

Sunday: slacked off.

Monday: the second of my “barf up a lung” workouts, or, as I’ll now refer to it, BUAL™. 8 miles with 5 x 600 m sprints @ 5K pace. Although I was shooting for an 8 min/mile pace for each, I was able to run far faster without feeling totally wiped. As usual my first interval was REALLY fast (7:18 pace), but the rest were in the 7:39-7:44 range. Mind you, this was only for 600 meters; the real test will be when I have to do 1000-, 1200- and 1600-meter BUALs™

Tuesday: started my day with a much-needed restorative session in yoga with lots of stretching, particularly for our hips. Ended my day with an 11-mile long run around Lake Union (9:37 average pace).

Wednesday: whatever we did in yoga certainly caught up with me today — my butt and hips were killing me! Fortunately it was a rest day from running.

Thursday: 7.5-mile recovery run. Hips and butt muscles were still sore, so I welcomed the nice easy run. My darling joined me for the first couple of miles, then he finished up at his Speedy McSpeedster pace. I averaged 9:53 min/mile

Friday: gave myself a gold star today for doing my arm weight routine 3x a week for the past 4 weeks. Yeah me! My cook date went long so I wasn’t looking forward to that afternoon’s 12-mile long run. Didn’t head out until almost 5 p.m., which is late for me (I’m sure those of you who are stuck in an office until 6 or 7 p.m. are cursing me right now). My right calf was feeling really tight and I was very lethargic. However, I didn’t have much to eat during the day, so I’m sure that’s what contributed to it. I was concerned I wouldn’t be up for running the 10K race on Saturday, but since I’d be signing up day-of-race I figured I could bag it if I wasn’t feeling well. My pace was similar to yesterday’s: 9:54 min/mile.

Saturday: Walk & Roll 10K. It’s late, so I won’t be posting my race report until tomorrow. But I swear, you’ll be calling it Awesome McSplendidton. (Or maybe not; that’s kinda hard to say).

Published April 24th, 2008

What I’ve learned about running

Yet another “Take it and Run” Thursday.  Our task this week was to write up something we’ve learned about running — in 13 words or less.  As the haiku queen, this was made for me!  (I’m hoping this introduction doesn’t count toward the 13 words):

23-mile run
Hot July air; the result?
Sweat stains on my boobs

Published April 20th, 2008

Pfitz Weeks 10 and 11 (91.5 miles)

My goodness, where has the time gone? I must apologize to you, dear readers, for I have been remiss. I know you wait with bated breath to read about the minutiae of my training, and I have failed you. As punishment, I will roll my IT band on the foam roller for a full hour.

Even though Pfitz is kicking my booty, dare I say it’s getting easier manageable. The weekday long runs are still a bitch, but my speed is increasing. My cross-training has primarily been limited to yoga and my weight/conditioning routine at the gym since I tend to get bored with laps at the pool and the weather hasn’t been conducive to biking. (As I write this I’m watching the snow fall — yes SNOW, on April 20; WTF? My poor tulips and daffodils are shivering). But hopefully I’ll be able to dust the Felt off soon and take it for a spin.

Week 10 recap (37.25 miles):

Sunday: Actually made it to the pool for 30 minutes of laps. I always feel great after a pool routine, but I never look forward to the “pool people.” They’re difficult to explain other than to say they’re “odd ducks.” You definitely know ’em when you see ’em. This week it was the guy who, rather than stand to the side at the shallow end while resting (as you’re supposed to), decides to stand about 10 feet out in the lane while gabbing with his friend. Both my darling and I would shoot our elbows out at him as we passed, hoping he’d get the hint and move.

Monday: 8-mile general aerobic run with an 8:57 average pace.

Tuesday: ran my first VO2 max run, or — as I believe it should be called — the “barf up a lung” run. The schedule called for an 8-mile VO2 max run with five 600-meter sprints at 5K pace. However, because I’d be running the Mt. Si Relay on Sunday I switched up my mileage a bit, increasing certain runs this week and decreasing others for next. Instead, my goal was to run 12 miles with the five 600-meter sprints at an 8 min/mile pace. I ran a 4-mile warm-up then hit the track. I went WAY too fast for the first one — 7:38 min/mile pace — but hit my target for the other four. I slowly jogged 90 seconds between each one. When I finished I still had about 5.25 miles to go to make up the 12 miles; UGH! By now I was running on dead legs so I decided I’d cut the run a mile short.

Wednesday: I was scheduled to do a 5-mile recovery run but was still rather wiped from the prior days’ speed work. I opted instead to walk to Trophy Cupcakes with my darling for a treat.

Thursday: I not only made up for the 5-mile recovery run, I tacked on another mile to make up for Tuesday’s shortcoming. Overall pace: 8:54.

Friday: Had a glorious 12.25-mile run around Seward Park and Lake Washington. The sun was shining and the smell of grass was in the air — from the freshly cut lawns to the more pungent odor wafting out of the cars at Colman Park.

Saturday: Rest day in preparation for the Mt. Si Relay.


Published April 9th, 2008

Finding THE ONE

In my early 20s commitment was the farthest thing from my mind. I was a foot-loose and fancy-free single gal — I didn’t need nuthin’ or no one to tie me down. That philosophy served me well at the time, but as I matured I realized I was ready to settle down. I was ready to make a commitment.

My first wooed me with his promises. He respected my need for “me time,” never demanding my company for more than a couple of days a week. Our weekday trysts were short, yet intense; we saved our long encounters for the weekend. He made me feel great at first, but I began to sense things were moving too fast. I cut our weekday visits short, and sometimes avoided them altogether. I just don’t think I was ready for what he had to offer.

My second was recommended to me by my therapist. She thought his easy-going style would better fit my nature, plus he too respected my time. I was skeptical at first, but he soon won me over. Within five months I was professing my love for him in my diary; I just knew he was a keeper.

While others questioned my devotion to him — they felt our relationship made me less of a woman — I felt nothing but pure bliss. But a year into the courtship I started to feel pangs of want. I couldn’t put my finger on it, perhaps I was getting bored? Even though he assured me he’d provide everything I ever hoped for, the skepticism returned. I yearned for more. Within a month of our year anniversary we broke up, and I went it alone.

Three months later we hooked up again, albeit for a one-night stand. He was what I needed at that moment, but we both knew it wouldn’t last. I already had my sights set on someone else, someone much more exhilarating.

I’m now with my third and couldn’t be happier. Sure, he has a reputation of being a tough guy. He demands a lot and there are times I wonder if he’s asking too much of me. People who know him say it might not be obvious at first he loves me, but by sticking with him his true feelings will reveal themselves. But I gotta tell ‘ya: our sessions exhaust me; he’s insatiable!

You DO know I’m referring to my training plans, right?


Published April 6th, 2008

Pfitz, Week 9 (31.75 miles)

As Bon Jovi would say, “Ohhhh — we’re halfway there. Ohhh-oh! Livin’ on a prayer!”

This week fortunately ended on a much better note than it started. However, I believe what transpired needed to happen to help me gain perspective.

Sidelined with a sore calf, I moped around the house on Sunday. “I’m not going to hit 200 miles this month,” I sniffed. “I may not be able to run the Mt. Si Relay,” I sniveled. “I may as well give up on Boston,” I weeped. While deep down he really wanted to shake me out of my funk, my darling knew I just needed a hug and a good cry.

With that out of the way I too could see how ludicrous my problems were. Here I was sulking because there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to run a 26.2-mile race in a time fast enough to… run ANOTHER 26.2-mile race. However, I’m not too surprised at this reaction. After all, when I first blogged about wanting to qualify for Boston, I wrote:

“I know my biggest challenge will be to keep things in perspective: few people qualify on their first attempt (I read blogs by people who have tried to qualify numerous times). You just have to learn from your experience and adjust your training accordingly. Plus, you can never predict (or control) what the weather will do on race day.”

I knew this adventure wouldn’t be easy; I’m just bummed I started acting like a petulant child at the first sign of adversity. It’s at times like these I need to remember what Juls has endured. Her quest for Boston has been side-lined not from a minor injury, but the devastating loss of her dear husband to cancer a year ago.

Besides, turns out I just needed some new shoes.


Published April 5th, 2008

Happy Feet!

It’s amazing what the right pair of shoes will do for you. (I know what you’re thinking: “Shouldn’t you have figured this out by now? Sheesh, and you call yourself a runner.” HARRUMPH. There’s no need to get snippy, even though I pulled a fast one on you.)

I digress.

I’ve been buying my shoes at a very reputable and knowledgeable running store ever since I got back into running. Staff members are runners themselves, and they take the time to watch you run to determine the best shoe for you. Given my IT band issues/runner’s knee, they recommended a high stability/motion control shoe, the Asics Gel Foundation 7.

My first pair was the men’s version as they were out of the women’s; three months later I bought the women’s version, which got me through my first two marathons. Both pairs were getting into 400-mile mark earlier this year, so in February I picked up another pair. Although I was prone to getting blisters on the side of my foot just under my big toe, the shoes worked well. Why mess with success?

Then came last Saturday’s 20-mile run and what I thought was a calf sprain. My left calf muscle was incredibly tight during the entire run, and the next day I noticed a bruise just behind my left knee at the top of my calf. Yee-ouch! The bruising really concerned me as I feared it was a sign of some serious damage. I took the next four days off (so no 200-mile month) and went to my physical therapist.

She’s never done a foot analysis before, so she had me take off my shoes and socks and watched me run across the room. Turns out I DON’T over-pronate; what I really need is a shoe that provides neutral to moderate support. In fact, she had a sheet from my running store outlining the recommendations for each level of support (neutral, moderate and durable). The Asics Gel Foundations are in the durable support category — something I do NOT need.

She spent several minutes massaging my upper calf; although I winced throughout — it wasn’t one of those soothing massages you get while listening to the sounds of a babbling brook — I felt great afterwards. She also instructed me to continue to work on strengthening my hips through side leg lifts and leg rotations. And of course, I had to buy new shoes. (I was bummed considering I just bought the Asics, however, I realized I’ve already put more than 240 miles on them!)


Published April 1st, 2008


When I was 12 one of my older brothers moved back in while he was attending community college. He’s an artist, and at the time he was painstakingly working on a huge (4′ x 5′) painting of a Balinese woman. Around that same time I brought home a new kitten — an intruder our older cat detested. He would chase the poor kitten around the house any chance he got.

One morning as my brother was taking a shower there was a huge commotion in his studio (which was right next to the bathroom). I pounded on the bathroom door, “Dan! The cats just knocked over your painting!” He bounded from the shower (just barely covering himself with a towel) and darted to the studio expecting to see destruction. Instead, he saw the painting propped on its easel intact.

In my mid 20s my boyfriend at the time received the following voice mail message: “Hello, this is Myra Manes. Could you please give me a call at (206) xxx-xxxx. I’ll be here until 7 p.m.” He called the number, but when he asked for Myra the woman on the other end told him, “Oh my no, she’s long gone.” “But she said she’d be there until 7 p.m.,” he said. “Sir, you’re calling a funeral home, asking for Myra Manes.” (Say it out loud).

The date of both of those events? April 1. 🙂


I thought this could go one of three ways: 1) I’d post and no one would read it (or at least comment). 2) people would get the joke right away, or 3) they’d take it seriously and express their shock and sadness for seeing me go. Being the attention whore I am, I was hoping for #3. But when I opened my email this morning to see the heartfelt comments, I got all verklempt. Perhaps I had taken it too far!

Thing is, there’s a reason many of you fell for it — so much of what I wrote IS true. Remember my post on dodging housework? Well, my office pretty much looks the same one year later. I’ve only written one post per month for the past four months over at Ovens to Betsy. I check running forums and blogs first thing in the morning, then immediately upon returning home from work. And ClifShots and ShotBlocks have become a fifth food group.

That said, rest assured I’m STILL obsessive runner gal, although I’m TRYING to become a bit more balanced. (Although depending on what my physical therapist tells me tomorrow, I may be Eat Drink Lounge Woman for a while). I’ve got too much invested — both financially and mentally — to give up now. (Not only have I paid for registrations for myself and my darling for the North Olympic, we’re also entered in the Royal Victoria Marathon in October!)

For those of you who thought I was serious and wished me well, my sincere thanks. Your support truly keeps me going. However, perhaps the BEST response would have been, “BUCK UP! SNAP OUT OF IT! QUIT FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF AND LACE UP THOSE SHOES!” But of course, you’re too nice for that!

So assuming I haven’t ticked everyone off with my prank, you can expect to read more of my trials and tribulations as I follow my quest for Boston.

Published April 1st, 2008

The reflection in the mirror

Well folks, this is gonna be a tough post to write. But I can’t continue living a lie. While I may come across as some badass runner chick, deep inside I know I’m a fraud. Run Boston? Me? Puh-leeze. Who the heck am I kidding?

This has been building up for some time, and with my recent injury, it all came boiling over. Fact is, I’ve become SOOO obsessed with running, I’ve let everything else go to hell. Housework? Couldn’t be bothered. I neglect my “in-the-flesh” friends for my online blogging buddies. I waste an inordinate amount of time reading running blogs, listening to running podcasts and commenting on running forums. I can’t remember the last time I read a book or magazine that DIDN’T deal with running.

Here I am a chef, yet now almost half the calories I consume are from ClifShots, ShotBlocks and chocolate recovery shakes. My food blog is woefully ignored, and I hardly ever participate in the personal chef forum any more. I need to heed Jodie’s advice and rediscover balance in my life.

So what does that mean? For starters, Eat Drink Run Woman will cease to exist. It’s had a good run — a full year — but I now must focus on other things. Who knows, perhaps I’ll rebrand it as “Eat Drink Lounge Woman.” After all, who looks happier, this woman:
Goofy finish


…or this one?

Betsy on deck


I’m still not sure what to do about the North Olympic Discovery Marathon; perhaps I’ll see if I can switch my registration to the half marathon. However, I’m not even sure I’ll be up for that. I’m just looking forward to relaxing and taking up something that doesn’t cause me pain every day (I’ve always wanted to learn how to knit).

I’ll miss you all, but will be cheering for you from the sidelines.

All the best,