Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for October, 2008

Published October 23rd, 2008

A vicious cycle

I blame it on the caramel apples.

You see, that’s where it starts.  Once I see the Honey Crisp apples in my grocery store I’m soon yearning to jab popsicle sticks into them and coat them with a gooey layer of melted Kraft caramel.  As far as sweets go, they’re not too bad.  They have relatively little fat, and you’re getting at least one serving of fruit (more like two given the size of apples these days).  But so starts the slippery slope.

By mid-October the Halloween candies start appearing, and I just HAVE to have me some candy corn.  Yes, they’re sickly sweet, but they’re my once-a-year guilty pleasure.  Normally I can avoid most of the “fun size” candy bars since I no longer work in an office, but many of my clients will have bowls of them out, taunting me.  Of course, whatever doesn’t go into trick-or-treaters hands on All Hallows Eve somehow manages to makes its way down my gullet.  But this year my darling and I will dining at the Herbfarm, so we won’t be handing out treats.

After Halloween there’s my birthday on Nov. 12, which I’ve always used as an excuse to indulge (it typically ends up being a week-long orgy).  Then it’s Thanksgiving with the pies and the wine and the mashed potatoes and the wine and the turkey & gravy and the wine and the stuffing and yet more wine.  Early in December you’ll typically find me in my kitchen whipping up batches upon batches of cookies and “Texas Trash” to give as client gifts (but of course there are leftovers for us to eat), then I’ll gorge myself silly at the Christmas Eve feast.  While New Year’s tends to be a subdued affair, you can pretty much guarantee there’ll be a champagne glass in my hand.

This is all a long-winded way of saying I tend to gain weight this time of year.


Published October 22nd, 2008

And iRan

How could I NOT run on a day like today?

My cooking class got canceled for this evening, so I found myself with a day off. Although my sinuses have a bit of residual yuck, I felt good enough for a run (I figured it’d do me good). Nothing too strenuous — just a slow recovery run to my bank and back (about 4 miles).

It felt so good to run, although my chest felt heavy during the hills. As I neared home I decided to head to Greenlake to add another mile, and once there I felt good enough to head south to the Woodland Park hills for an additional mile. It ended up being a 6.5-mile run at a 9:27 overall pace.

So, what’s next? While my countdown ticker shows the Goofy Challenge as our next race, we’ve decided to add two more marathons in between in order to earn “silver” status with the Marathon Maniacs (6 marathons in 6 months). The first will be the “Ghost of Seattle” Marathon (run primarily by Maniacs on a portion of the current Seattle Marathon course) on Nov. 29; the second will be the Christmas Marathon in Olympia on December 21. I’ll be running both of those as training runs for Goofy, but my darling will try another BQ attempt at the Christmas one.

It’ll be great to not have to follow a rigid training schedule, although I may throw in some lactate threshold and perhaps a few VO2Max BUAL workouts. I’ll also run several back-to-back long runs in preparation for Goofy.

The devil can’t stop me now!

P.S. Long-time EDRW readers may find something eerily familiar with the above photo. My camera is dead and I misplaced my battery charger, so I had to repurpose the photo from this post (taken almost a year ago to the day!)

Published October 21st, 2008

A deal with the devil

I can’t say I’m surprised.  I KNEW this would happen.  I made a deal with the devil to keep the threatening cold at bay.  Well, this past Wednesday he called in his chips.

It started with the tell-tale scratchiness at the back of the throat, followed by overall achyness.  After a mostly restless evening, I awoke Thursday morning in the full throes of a cold.  Fortunately I was able to postpone my client for the day, opting to stay in bed and drink ginger tea.  Friday was not much better; I did manage to make my way from the bed to the couch, but that was the extent of my activity.

While my condition thankfully improved on Saturday (just in time for me to cater a party for 50), I was still lethargic and full of phlegm (I must have washed my hands a bazillion times that day).  I toyed with going for a quick run on Sunday, but ended up taking a couple of naps.  It’s now Tuesday, I haven’t run an inch since Royal Victoria, and I’m still feeling achy.

My body sure has a way of telling me I need to recover, huh?!!

Published October 14th, 2008

Royal Victoria 2008

This past Sunday, I ran the perfect race.  It wasn’t a personal best, but it brought together everything I’ve learned in my prior five marathons.  That’s not to say I won’t continue to learn, but I have a much better idea of what works for ME.  This marathon also proved I could run a BQ on an “unaided” course (I know many running snobs would consider the Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon a “cheater” given it’s all downhill.  While I obviously was more than happy to use that as my BQ, I do feel redeemed I could run a fast race on a more challenging course).

Buckle in folks; another epic race report follows.


Published October 13th, 2008

Oops, I did it again

No beating around the bush this time — I’m gonna tell it to you straight.  I BQ’d at Royal Victoria with a time of 4:00:26 (33 seconds to spare — HUZZAH!)  I believe I ran the perfect race, although that’s not to say it was easy.  It truly tested my marathon mettle.  Everything they say about the marathon — that the race doesn’t start until Mile 20 (or that the halfway mark is REALLY at Mile 20), that it becomes a mental game at the end — was true for me.  There was no surging across the finish line yelling “I’m going to Boston!” like there was at the Tunnel Marathon.  It was more of a lurch with a look that said “Please someone grab me before I pass out.”  Hubby, alas, didn’t BQ, but we didn’t think he would given the horrible chest cold he’s been battling.

Anyhoo, I’ll be posting a full race report soon.  (I would have posted earlier but WordPress wouldn’t accept my password on my iPhone).


Published October 10th, 2008

I’m aboot to run a race, eh?

(Sorry to all my Canadian fans)

Tomorrow morning my darling and I will board the Victoria Clipper for a MUCH needed 3-day vacation (and yes, that includes running a marathon).  I have absolutely no idea how I’ll do; while I would love to BQ again, I just don’t think I have it in me.  My more realistic goal is to beat my North Olympic time of 4:15, and if it looks like that won’t happen, my other goal is to beat my Skagit Flats time of 4:27.  (And if THAT doesn’t happen, I sure hope there’s lots of beer at the end to drown my sorrows).

But really, I’m more excited about the mini vacation.  We’ll arrive about 11 a.m., and after checking into our hotel (the 5-star Hotel Grand Pacific) we’ll head to the expo to pick up our bib numbers (although I don’t think there’s runner tracking, my bib # is 1415 and my darling’s is 712).  We’ve sprung for the pasta feed at the Empress that night (featuring Nitmos‘ nemesis Dick Beardsley as the motivational speaker), and will return to the Empress on Monday for high tea.

I’m also excited about getting to wear my new Marathon Maniacs singlet for the first time in a race (given how cold its been I’ll probably wear a shirt underneath).  Hopefully we’ll get the chance to meet a few fellow Maniacs (one of them — Jon “Coconutboy” Mahoney — will be running his 300th marathon).

And if I play my cards right, I’ll get to score 6 points should I see my darling on the out & back course on Sunday (nudge, nudge; wink, wink).

I’ll post my results as soon as I can!

Published October 8th, 2008

The games we play

As many of you know, I live within a couple blocks of a very popular running trail/lake in Seattle — Greenlake.  (It’s officially “Green Lake” but I’ve always said it as one word).  In fact, in my 19 years as a Seattleite, I’ve always lived in the Greenlake neighborhood.  My first rented house was less than 1/2 mile away, my second apartment was four blocks away, and now I’m two blocks away.  (If I keep this up I may someday move onto Duck Island).

Naturally, my darling and I run Greenlake — a lot.  It truly is a fabulous spot.  If we’re in the mood for a quick, easy jog with lots of people-watching, we’ll choose the inside 2.8-mile loop.  If we’re on a more serious run or simply want more miles, we’ll stick to the outside 3.2-mile loop.  While I typically head for other routes once my runs top 8+ miles, I have recorded a few 9-10 mile runs around the lake (it gets rather boring after the third go-round).

During my first running “career,” years before I met my darling, I concocted the “Greenlake Game” that broke up the monotony by rewarding points for people watching.  Here’s how it works: you get 1 point for every person you’ve seen before.  Typically it’s someone you’ve seen at the lake, but that’s not necessary.  The key is you don’t know anything about the person — their name, where they work, etc.  However, you get 2 points if you recognize the person and know something about them (but typically you don’t know their name).  The checker at the market, your UPS driver, etc. — they’d warrant 2 points.  You receive 3 points if it’s someone you’d stop to say hello to — typically a co-worker or casual acquaintance.  You don’t HAVE to stop to say hello to get the points (sometime you see them from afar or are just too focused on your run), but you know them well enough to do so.  If they’re a close friend you get 4 points, 5 points if you slept with them and 6 points if you slept with them the night before.  (Remember, I was single when I first devised the game.  Nowadays if either my darling or I scored 6 points from one person, there’d be some serious ‘splainin’ to do).  Finally, if you choose someone at the beginning of your run and then you see that person, you get 10 points.

One day, a couple of years before my darling and I married, he brought the wooden kayak he just built down to the lake for a test paddle.  I decided to go for a run, and when I arrived I saw he was talking to some guy admiring the boat.  As I approached I realized the guy was the brother of one of my college friends.  We chatted a bit, and as he walked away my darling says, “Hey!  You just got 4 points!”  I paused for a moment to make a judgment call.  Even though we weren’t even engaged at that point, we had been together for about three years.  But was our relationship strong enough to survive what I was about to say?  I decided to take the chance.

“Ummm… honey?  I just earned 5 points.”

(Yes, dear readers, I was a wild child during my college years.  My name might as well have been Eat Drink Run Ho-bag.  Or more appropriately — Drink Drink Drink Ho-bag).

Fortunately my darling thought it was hilarious and we’ve continued the Greenlake Game for several years (thankfully there’s only been one other boyfriend sighting).


Published October 6th, 2008

It’s official

Today I received the email I’ve been waiting for:

This is to notify you that your entry into the 112th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21, 2008 has been accepted, provided that the information you submitted is accurate.

I swear I started checking my email, mailbox and online bank statement several times a day within days of registering (the BAA said my credit card wouldn’t be charged until results were verified).  I saw the charge on my credit card on September 21, but had yet to receive the email.  Imagine my delight when I checked my iPhone to see this!

Now if you were observant — and I know you’re not considering I have to expressly point things out to you — you’d see something’s not quite right with the email from the BAA.  That’s right folks — I’ve been accepted into the 112th Boston Marathon — the one that was held this past April.  🙁  Can’t a gal EVER get a break?

(Obviously there was a glitch in the system as many people received the same email that I did.  It’s now been fixed, I’m listed on the 2009 entrants list and have received an updated email from the BAA.  Good thing too considering I’ve already reserved a room and booked my flight.  Now if my darling can just qualify and we’ll be set).