Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for May, 2008

Published May 25th, 2008

Pfitz, Week 16 (43.9 miles)

Many runners get anxious during their taper period as they’re concerned all gains in fitness will be lost. Who knows, perhaps I’ll feel that way over the next two weeks when my mileage really starts to decrease, but this week was all about taking care of myself, which meant cutting a couple of runs short.

The biggest thing on my mind was my Thursday appointment with the boob smasher. It was a call-back, so I was just a tad nervous. Interestingly, my anxiety was much greater the day of the call (as I was leaving from my previous boob smashing, the nurse said I’d receive a letter if everything was fine, a call if they found something). I was pretty calm while driving to my appointment, but my anxiety returned as I lay on the table getting an ultrasound. Wouldn’t that be ironic: just when I was feeling the most fit of my life, the big C hits.

My anxiety was short-lived, thankfully, despite hearing the doctor say there is a spot that is “most likely” benign. Having a biopsy is certainly an option if I’m feeling nervous about it, but his recommendation is to come back in six months (as well as do self breast exams). Since breast cancer doesn’t run in our family, I’m going with the doctor’s recommendation (and yes, I already have my appointment).

Of course, when I told my darling the news his inclination was to tell me to have it biopsied. I understand where he’s coming from; every time he has a seizure I want him to get an MRI. He has epilepsy, but there’s always that thought in the back of my mind that perhaps it’s a tumor after all (Ted Kennedy’s diagnosis certainly hasn’t eased my worry). Fortunately his meds keep things under control and it’s been a couple of years since he’s seized (every time he has the slightest twitch I blurt out, “Did you take your Dilantin?”)

Enough of this downer cancer/tumor talk. Sheesh!


Published May 23rd, 2008

Weighing in

It’s once again that time of year when I foist upon you pictures of a more portly Eat Drink Run Woman (or more appropriately, Eat Drink Eat Some More Drink Even More Eat Eat Eat Eat Eat Drink Drink Drink Fall Asleep on the Couch Woman).

For those of you who are new readers to EDRW and haven’t taken the time to read through each and every post (SHAME ON YOU), this is what I looked like on May 17, 2005:
Large Marge


I cringe every time I see these photos; not only for my girth, but for the look on my face. I had let myself go and was extremely unhappy. I could say seeing the number 200 on my scale was a rude wake-up call, but let’s face it — I was verging on that weight for many months prior. But when the numbers went from the high 190s to 200 I finally was motivated enough to do something about it.

I was blessed with having the most supportive and understanding husband. He NEVER made my weight an issue (although I never did understand his insistence upon keeping a sack of flour on our nightstand). It was only after I had started my weight loss that he admitted a slight lack of desire for me (revealed only after I questioned him directly). To this day he’s my biggest fan and supporter, and I’m thrilled to once again be the size I was when we first started dating (in fact, I’m probably even MORE fit). He still claims it wasn’t my weight that bothered him most; it was the fact my smile had disappeared.

So, how did I do it?


Published May 17th, 2008

Pfitz, Week 15 (64.32 miles)

“T” is for “Thank God! My last long run is done.”
“A” is for “Amen! My last long run is done.”
“P” is for “PHEW! My last long run is done.”
“E” is for “Egads! That was one helluva run!”
“R” if for “Rejoice! My last long run is done.”

Put ’em all together and what do they spell?

“TAPER TAPER TAPER — Save me from this hell!”

Alright, so I’m jumping the gun. After all, this post is about LAST week, and my taper doesn’t start until this week. But I’m just so thrilled to finally be there. Besides, I said I’d try to make this post more entertaining than the last one.

Even though this was a killer week, I feel remarkably refreshed. I started off with a bang with my stellar performance in the Kirkland Half Marathon, and just finished with a satisfying, albeit tough, 22-miler. My elation over seeing my half marathon time translating into a sub 4-hour full was short-lived, however, after boasting about it on the Runner’s World forum. A few of the more experienced marathoners were quick to say McMillan typically isn’t accurate unless you’re putting in at least 70 miles per week. Although my mileage has been high, it’s not at that level.

But after reading their comments, did I pout? Did I stress? Did I start second-guessing myself? DUH! Of COURSE I did. 40+ years of low self esteem doesn’t just disappear overnight, ya know. But fortunately I took it as “constructive” criticism and came up with a game plan that hopefully will allow me to go back in three weeks and proudly (and maturely) claim, “NEENER, NEENER, NEENER. I TOLD you I could do it, you dummy-dorks.”

Since it’s close to show time I wanted to use this week to test my race strategy: how to fuel during the race, what to wear, how to pace myself. Although I know it will be difficult to do, the key will be to start off conservatively, saving my energy for the second half. The average pace for a 4-hour marathon is 9:10 min/mile. My goal is to run the first 9 miles slower than that (9:20), then pick it up to a 9:05-9:10 pace through mile 20. Assuming I’m feeling good then I’ll really pick things up for the last 10K. As long as I can average an 8:55 min/mile over 6.2 miles, I’ll have a sub 4-hour marathon (my BQ time is 4:00:59, but I wanted to provide a bit of a cushion).

For my fueling strategy, I’ll stick with my tried & true ClifShots (and perhaps a packet of ShotBlocks). I’ll carry those on my fuel belt, but will rely on the water and electrolyte drink (Heed) provided at the fueling stops. I’ve even tested out the Heed to make sure I can stomach it. (It works great, although neither I nor my darling can say the name without invoking the Scottish dad, played by Mike Meyers, talking about his youngest son in “So I Married an Axe Murderer:”

“Look at the size of that boy’s heed. I’m not kidding, it’s like an orange on a toothpick. That’s a huge noggin. That’s a virtual planetoid. Has it’s own weather system. HEED! MOVE!”



Published May 15th, 2008

Pfitz, Week 14 (mini taper — 28.94 miles)

Oh dear; it’s already Thursday and I haven’t posted last week’s workout! How on earth you’ve been surviving, I’ll never know.

But really, there’s not much to tell that hasn’t already been said. You already know about my dismal 10K on the 10th (although the race director would NOT accept my DNF. I told her she needs to apply for the position of RD for Boston as I could really use her leniency there), as well as the less-than-stellar run leading up to that race.

Here’s, as Paul Harvey would say, “the rest of the story”:

Sunday: a whole lotta nuttin’

Monday: typical morning weight routine; 9.25 mile BUAL™ workout w/five 600m sprints. I must say, they’ve been feeling less like a “barf up a lung” workout and more like a “my quads are on fire.” But MQAOF is just too darn hard to say.

Tuesday: I don’t know how my yoga instructor does it, but she often has an uncanny sense for what I need. Today it was hip openers (get your minds out of the gutter). While the class was challenging, I felt incredible afterwards.

Wednesday: morning routine; 6-mile recovery run in the afternoon (9:19 average pace)

Thursday: stretching/PT in the morning. Afternoon was supposed to be an 11-mile run, but I could only muster up 7 1/2 due to a tight calf. Average pace: 10:07

Friday: Played hooky from the gym, but ran my 10K race that afternoon.

Saturday: Rest day in preparation for the Kirkland Half Marathon.

Once again you’ll see my weekly mileage does NOT follow the 10% rule, but again, it’s due to moving my long runs to Sundays when appropriate. I do, however, follow the hard/easy rule (making sure I follow a hard run with a rest or recovery day).

So that’s it for this week. I promise next week will be much more entertaining. (Boy, nothing like putting the pressure on, huh?)

Published May 11th, 2008

Kirkland Half Marathon

Kirkland finishYou’ll have to bear with me — I’m writing this with a VERY big head. My darling couldn’t stand my crowing any more; he’s now hiding in the bedroom pretending to take a nap. But since this is my blog, I can say and do what ever I want. And right now I feel like shouting out:


Sure, the results may say 292 other runners kicked MY ass, but I will interpret the results as I see fit. And considering I not only PR’d, I also BEAT my goal of a 1:54 half marathon. My final time? 1:53:35 thankyouverymuch. And on a hilly course to boot. 14th in my age group (out of 104 runners), 293rd overall (out of 1050). WOOP WOOP!

I have been stressing over this race ever since I drove the course a couple weeks ago. It was the second “tune up” race of my training and I think I was just nervous that my results would tell me I was smoking crack rock for thinking I could run a full marathon in 4 hours. Mind you, I DO smoke crack rock — how do you think I’ve gotten so fast over the past few weeks? — but I know that doesn’t guarantee a BQ.

I kid, people! Sheesh. Everyone knows meth is the key to a BQ. (Mom and Dad, if you’re reading this, I am TOTALLY kidding. It’s just my little way of entertaining my legion of fan).


Published May 10th, 2008

(Sorta) 10K on (sorta) the 10th

Sheesh, for someone who calls herself a “non runner,” Nancy sure makes people run a lot. First there was “8 on the 8th,” THEN she wheedles us into “9 on the 9th.” Next thing I know she comes up with another hare-brained scheme: “10 on the 10th.” But while I dutifully join her in these shenanigans, does she reciprocate? NOOOOO. I asked her to run 22 miles on Dec. 22nd, and I don’t even think I got a response. HARRUMPH.

Oh! And get this: while 8 on the 8th and 9 on the 9th were in miles, for some reason she takes the easy way out with 10 on the 10th, making us run kilometers instead of miles (I think she needs to just go live with Pete Pfitzinger, ‘cuz she obviously isn’t a true American).

And while I’m on this rant, I have yet another beef: what’s with the freakin’ caveman getups? Doesn’t she realize I’m a zebra? Criminy.

Anyhoo, I’ve really had my panties in a wad over this, which mostly likely was the cause for the catastrophe that was my 10K: I DNF’d.


Published May 4th, 2008

Pfitz, Week 13 (64.35 miles)

One thing I’m finding with this program: one day you’re feeling great, collecting 1st Place ribbons and thinking you’re all that and a bag of chips, and the next day you feel like Sloggy McPlodster. But just when you think your BQ hopes are dashed, your body says, “Psych! Just wanted to see if you’re paying attention. We’ll go fast now.”

Once again it appears I’m not following the 10% rule, but it worked out better to do two long runs this week. With last Saturday’s 10K race, I pushed back my 18-miler to Sunday. I decided to do this week’s long run on my regular day (Saturday) since next week I’ll be tapering for the Kirkland Half Marathon, plus I have another long BUAL™ (barf up a lung) workout on Monday and wanted a day of rest between that and my long run.

Not only was this a high mileage week, I also achieved two milestones: I finally hit the 200-mile mark for the month (I was five miles shy for March), plus I’ve made great gains, er, losses with my weight:

154.8 pounds


(I apologize for the blatant nudity. I try to keep this a PG13 blog).

It’s been at least 12 years since I’ve seen that number (and actually that was a bit of a fluke; I had just returned from a 13-mile run. Once my darling and I scarfed on fish tacos, beer and ice cream, a couple pounds came back). I’ve been much more diligent with my diet (and by that I mean the food I eat; I’m not on any formal “diet”) and have curtailed a lot of the drinking. With five weeks to go before my marathon, I’ll be even more diligent. I probably won’t get down to my goal of 150 (not sure I want to at this point), but I know my pace has increased thanks to the decrease in weight.


Published May 2nd, 2008

Can’t get no respect

So I just checked the results from the Arlington “Walk & Roll” 10K and was surprised to see someone listed as the top female, 40-49. Turns out they have me listed as a male!!! (Although my time qualified me as the No. 3 male in that age group). There were 41 runners this year; I was No. 13 overall.

They might have the results listed incorrectly, but they can’t take that blue ribbon away from me!

May 3 update — I’m back to being a female again!

Published May 2nd, 2008

Not gonna happen

Not today.

Perhaps if you got me during my first lap.  After all, I was on a recovery run and my right calf was giving me grief.  I was running slowly, just enjoying my time outdoors.

But something funny happened after that first lap.  I stretched some more, and I loosened up.  I still forced myself to keep it slow; I’d go only as fast as felt good.  By the time you came up on me, I had run about 4.5 miles.  I felt GOOD.  “Spirit of the Marathon” was spurring me on.  I could hear the “slap, slap, slap” of your shoes against the gravel behind me, but I refused to slow to let you pass.  Did I mention I felt good?

Sure, if you had passed me I wouldn’t be disappointed.  I’ve come to understand and respect the role of the recovery run.  But I decided if you were going to pass me, you were going to work for it.  I don’t know what happened to you (heck, I don’t even know if you were a guy or a gal), but at some point I stopped hearing your foot falls.

Perhaps you were done, or perhaps you decided this old broad was too fast for you to pass.  Doesn’t matter, ‘cuz I felt GOOD.