Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for December, 2008

Published December 31st, 2008

What a year it was

If you were to tell me on Dec. 31, 2007 I’d run more than 1,800 miles during 2008 I would have questioned your sanity.  If you told me I’d BQ — twice — I most certainly would think you were nuts.  And if you told me I’d run not one, not two, not three, but eight — EIGHT — marathons during the year, I’d have you committed then and there.

Yet here we are one year later and I’m accomplished all of those things.  Whew!

Goals are a funny thing.  I hesitate to set them since circumstances could change, yet I’d still feel a sense of failure for not accomplishing them.  For example, last January I said I wanted to get down to 150 pounds.  I came close (155), but then realized I like myself with a bit of meat on my bones.  (Of course, should I get down to 150 I’m sure I’ll justify it!).  And despite running far more marathons than I ever dreamed possible, I’m still beating myself up for not getting to the gym as much as I’d hoped.

However, I’m not going to dwell on that.  After all, I learned so much about myself — what motivates me, how best to train.  I’m a certifiable marathon junkie, which means I need to make recovery my No. 1 priority.  If that means taking a day off from the gym, so be it.  That said, I do want to get back into my stretching/core work routine.  I was doing so well goals for maintaining front and side planks (I was up to 97 seconds for the front, 57 seconds for each side), but as it got tougher I found myself avoiding it more.  So now my goal is to do them more frequently, but hold them for less time (one minute for the front, 35-40 seconds for the side).

As for my weight, once again I’ve put on a few holiday pounds, but fortunately I’m starting the year off about 6-7 pounds lighter than last year.  I hope to get back down to my “race weight” of 154-155 by Boston, and then maintain it (at least until next holiday season).

My original mileage goal for the year was 1,000 miles, which I adjusted in July to 1,600.  At the miles piled on I adjusted the goal again; I hoped to finish the year with 1,000 more miles than the 821 miles I had run in 2007.  While I came close (1,810.25 miles), Mother Nature kept me from reaching that goal (not only was running outside out of the question, I couldn’t even drive to my gym to run on the treadmill).  The snow has since cleared, but I was faced with having to run too many miles in too little time.  I’m running yet another marathon tomorrow, so I decided to give my body a rest.

So what’s in store for 2009?  Marathons, marathons and more marathons!


Published December 26th, 2008

Run in the snow? Screw it!

As you may have heard, Washington state has had a deluge of snow.  While it’s not unusual for the eastern part of the state, here in Seattle snow is rare.  Sure, we typically get a couple of nasty days each winter, but it doesn’t last long.  The rain comes and washes everything away.

Not this time.

I’ve lived here for almost 20 years, and I’ve never seen it this bad.  While it may make for a pretty white Christmas, most Seattleites will be happy once it’s gone.  We just don’t know how to deal with it; the city doesn’t own many plows (why would it?), but we also take the environmentally friendly route of NOT using salt on the roads.  So while the freeways and main arterials are bare and wet, the side streets are almost impassable.  Although the rain has come, the temperatures are still low so the snow hasn’t melted.  Rather, it’s turned into a soupy, slushy mess (which turns into an even nastier, icier mess once the temps decrease at night).

So what’s a runner to do?


Published December 19th, 2008

My 12-month MEMEs

Coffee Betsy posted a 12-month meme on her blog and since I’m too lazy to write a post from scratch, I decided to follow her lead.  Just for fun I’ve also included the 12 months from 2007 (although the first couple of months are from fitness postings on my Ovens to Betsy blog since EDRW wasn’t launched until April 2007).

My story for 2008:

January — Boy, some gung-ho runner I am.

February — I’ve been playing a numbers game.

March — This week’s theme is flexibility, though not in my body.

April — Well folks, this is gonna be a tough post to write.

May — Not today.

June — Although technically my taper officially started a week ago, I feel my true taper started after my BUAL™ workout on Tuesday.

July — 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.

August — I get home from work today, logged onto one of my running forums and saw the following announcement:  “The newest Rock n Roll marathon is in Seattle on June 27, 2009. If you go to today August 5, you can register for half price! You must register before midnight today.

September — Dear Running, I don’t know how to break this to you, but I think we need to cool things just a tad.

October — 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.”

November — Things sure have been quiet in EDRW land.

December — I can’t believe it — I just survived my first double marathon weekend.

My 2007 story:

January — I wonder what this says about me: my iPod has everything from Metallica (”Enter Sandman,” “Turn the Page”) to Iggy Pop (”Lust for Life,” “Nightclubbing”) to Starland Vocal Band (”Afternoon Delight”).

February — My darling has had a love affair with Paris ever since his 6-month stay in college.

March — Last Sunday’s long run was SOOOOO tough… (all of you, in unison): “How tough was it, Betsy?” I had to call on Helen TWICE just to make it through.

April — For the next 23 weeks this will be my life.

May — Although my sinuses are still filled with a bunch of yuck (I swear I’ve gone through an entire Kleenex box this past week), thank goodness I felt well enough to get back to running.

June — Sometimes I get bored just writing about my training schedule (and more importantly, I’m sure you — my faithful readers — get bored as well!).


August — Question: if you run 26.2 miles and there’s no one at the end to hand you a medal, have you just run a marathon?

September — Just a quick note to say my darling and I arrived in Bordeaux without incident.

October — I’ve read runners are particularly susceptible to colds and flu, especially after coming off of a marathon.

November — Yesterday I experienced a PW (personal worst): 2.8 miles in 28 minutes, 29 seconds.

December — While I refuse to see it as an omen, there sure have been a few wrenches thrown into my Goofy Challenge training.

Published December 16th, 2008

The Ghost of BRRRRRch Bay

It was going to be epic — EPIC! I tell ya.  Snow, sleet, 45 mph winds, seagulls flying backwards — all the makings for a truly harrowing marathon experience.  But a funny thing happened on the way to the race.

First, some background.

In our post-marathon stupor after the Ghost of Seattle, my darling and I perused the Marathon Maniacs calendar of upcoming races.  Despite dire warnings from the race director — expect minimal aid and brutal weather — the Ghost of Birch Bay Marathon intrigued us.  Starting just south of the Canadian border, the race offers spectacular views of the North Shore Mountains, the Strait of Georgia and Vancouver Island.  As with the Ghost of Seattle, there were no rules; it basically was a fun run for a handful of antsy Maniacs.

Two days after running the Ghost of Seattle I emailed Scott, the race director, alerting him we’d most likely be running Birch Bay as well, barring crappy weather and family obligations.  But as race day neared the forecast went from bleak to bleaker — there was a doozy of a storm heading our way.  I knew things didn’t look promising once the weather became the lead story each night.  I checked Wunderground, Yahoo! Weather and Accuweather religiously, my hopes dashed as I saw the predicted temperatures would barely break 30 degrees.  Friday’s predicted precipitation was 100%, and while Saturday’s was less, it was still at 50-60%.  Given the temps, that meant snow.

My darling started voicing his concern at the beginning of the week, however, I remained optimistic.  But by Thursday it was clear we were in for a wild ride, so I emailed Scott again, saying it was unlikely we’d be running.  I was so bummed!  But when I awoke Friday morning to see the rain and high winds, I knew we made the right decision.  I had planned on getting in a 10-miler on Friday, but when conditions hadn’t improved by early afternoon, I wasn’t even up for a quick 3-miler.

However, things were again about to change.


Published December 3rd, 2008

Seeing double

I can’t believe it — I just survived my first double marathon weekend.  As many of you may know, I ran the “Ghost of” Seattle Marathon this past Saturday.  What you may not know is I also participated in the “real” Seattle Marathon on Sunday.  Am I a Maniac or what?

Considering the Ghost was a training run for the upcoming Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World I took it slow, finishing in 4:25:19.  As with most marathons, I was hobbling afterwards but felt remarkably spry come Sunday morning.  However, my time at the Seattle Marathon was considerably longer — I finished in well over 6 hours.  I wasn’t nearly as sore afterwards; not sure if it had to do with the fact I finished an hour and a half later, or if it was because there was no actual running involved.

That’s right — Saturday I was an athlete, on Sunday an athletic supporter.