Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for July, 2008

Published July 31st, 2008

The state of me

Now that more than half the year has gone by Amy and Tom over at Runner’s Lounge were curious to hear how we’re doing with the goals we’ve set for ourselves for the year.  When I set mine back in January, I was determined to make them realistic, yet challenging.  I didn’t want to come up with some arbitrary goals that were counter-productive to my marathon race training.

I’m actually quite pleased with my progress:

Goal #1: Determine my maximum heart rate
While the common method is to subtract one’s age from 220, that calculation is a bit off for me (it would be 176).  Based on several runs and tests, I’ve determined 180 is more accurate.  Why is this important?  Wearing a heart rate monitor provides another data point to analyze during your training.  I often go out too fast during my long runs, so I’ve come to just rely on my heart rate rather than my pace to make sure it’s in line.

Goal #2: Run at least 1,000 miles
Check!  As of my 15-mile run yesterday, I’m at 1,125 miles for the year.  I’m sure I’ll hit 1,600 by the end of the year, perhaps more.  I toyed with setting a goal of 2008 miles, but that seemed too ambitious.

Goal #3: Maintain a plank for at least 2 minutes, side planks for 1 minute
I’m definitely on track for this, although the front planks are getting more difficult.  Today I maintained a front plank for 95 seconds, and side planks at 55 seconds each.  I had slacked off a bit after my marathon, so I’m hoping by doing these 2-3 times per week I’ll reach my goal by the end of the year.

Goal #4: Fill out my arm weight routine sheet in 4 weeks at least 4 times
My gym has index cards where we mark down the weight, # of reps and sets for each exercise.  There are six columns on each side of the card, so by keeping my Monday/Wednesday/Friday routine, I would have filled the card within 4 weeks.  I did this twice, but have now changed up my gym routine to concentrate more on flexibility and strength training exercises for my legs.  So my new goal is to have at least 12 weeks between now and the end of the year where I go to the gym at least five times in a week.

Goal #5: Sub 2:00 half marathon
Check — twice!  My Mercer Island Half time was 1:58:02 and my Kirkland Half time was 1:53:35.

Goal #6: Get down to 155 pounds by March 9 for the Mercer Island half, 150 by June 8 for the North Olympic Discovery Marathon
Didn’t quite make this one (I was just over 160 for Mercer Island, 155 for North Olympic), but I’ve decided 155 is a good weight for me (I’ve had several of you express concern I was looking TOO skinny).  I’ve been a bit of a booze hound since North Olympic, plus we’ve been allowing ourselves a few more treats, so my weight has been fluctuating between 156-159.  But my goal is to not get above 160 (even during the holidays!) and to get my weight back down to 155 for race days.

Goal #7: Decrease salt intake
This is tough to measure, but I feel I’ve been doing rather well, especially after my doctor said my blood pressure was high just prior to North Olympic.  It’s now back down to normal, so I’ve probably been a bit more lenient with the salt consumption.  I know it’s not good for me, so I have to be diligent about keeping it in check.

Goal #8: Après-run junk food in moderation
Again, we’re doing rather well (although we allowed ourselves a burger, fries & beer lunch after a particularly tough 15-mile run last week).

Goal #9: PT exercises/stretching at least 5x/week
This is the area in which I’ve slacked the most.  Fortunately I haven’t had any hip or knee issues, but I know if I continue to ignore my PT exercises, they’ll come back.


January 12 & 13: Goofy Challenge — check!
March 9: Mercer Island Half Marathon — check!
March 16: St. Patty’s Day Dash — bagged on this one as I ran 17 miles the day before and needed a break
April 13: Whidbey Island Half Marathon — ran the Mt. Si Relay instead
May 11: Kirkland Half Marathon — check!
June 8: North Olympic Discovery Marathon — check!
August 17: Danskin triathlon — decided I didn’t want to give up an entire weekend to do this.  In fact, I won’t be doing any triathlons this year (but plan to next year).
November 2: New York Marathon — with the other travel we were committed to this year, I decided not to throw my name into the hat.  However, we will be running the Royal Victoria Marathon on October 12.

So there you have it.  If you were to grade my progress to this point, I’d say I’ve earned a B+.  Hopefully by the end of the year I can get that to an A-!

Published July 17th, 2008

Food, glorious food

Bacon-wrapped scallops

Although I’ve been somewhat of a slacker blogger of late, when I saw the theme of this week’s Take It and Run I knew there was no way I could skip it. ‘Cuz after all, I’m all about the food. (Besides, I’m sure they would have taken away both my runner’s AND chef’s cards).

When my darling and I first got back into running, we’d use our long runs as an excuse to indulge afterwards. An 8-mile run meant Flamin’ Hot Cheetos would be waiting in the car; 12+ miles would warrant a burger & beer lunch. But as we got more serious about our training, particularly when we set our sights on Boston, our food choices became much more healthy and sensible. We’ll still treat ourselves on occasion (nothing beats fries and a beer after a marathon), but moderation is our mantra.

Doing a long run after working all day leaves precious little time for fancy dinners, so we keep ours simple. One night it might be Suprêmes de Volaille à l’Écossaise or Pièce de Boeuf à la Cuillère or perhaps Ris de Veau à la Crème et aux Champignons. If I’m feeling particularly lazy, I might whip up a batch of Gnocchi de Semoule avec Pâte à Choux Patalina.

Um, yeah.

One need only hop over to my Ovens to Betsy blog to see I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking (at least fare that’s blog-worthy). But that doesn’t mean we’ve been resorting to pizza and other take-out. If we are to eat pizza, it’s made-from-scratch (although sometimes we’ll use dough from Trader Joe’s). And if it’s burgers we’re craving, I’ll make my own with either ground turkey or organic ground beef and cook ’em up on the grill.

So here I’ll share with you some of our favorites — breakfasts to fuel our races and long runs, the night before carbo-loading dinners, meals that are lower in fat and calories, and yes, even a few indulgences. Many of the recipes are posted on Ovens to Betsy, so hopefully you won’t mind clicking over.


Published July 14th, 2008

Note to self

It’s not wise to do lunges, squats and wall sits on day you’ve scheduled a 9-mile VO2max workout with six 800-meter sprints. Your quads will hate you.

(Sorry for the short post. Summer has FINALLY arrived in Seattle, and as any local will tell you, you have to take advantage of it before it disappears for the next several months. My trip to Maine was relaxing, although I came down with a nasty cold two days in; GRRRR. But at least I had my Mommy — and my new sister-in-law — to pamper me. I promise I’ll write more soon!)