Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The gift of time

Last week I did a thought experiment about what I would do if I was suddenly gifted with extra time.  Well, yesterday I had the opportunity to see what would actually happen.  At about 9:30am, the power went out to the building.  All the IT guys ran around telling us to unplug our computers because what voltage was coming through was fluctuating a lot, and they didn't want our computers to get zapped.  About an hour later, the back up generator died and we lost the lights in the halls and bathroom.  The other statisticians and I gathered in an office with a big window and spent the morning discussing work stuff that needed to be discussed, but around noon our boss came by and suggested we take the afternoon off as furlough* because no one had any idea when the power would be working again, and even after that happened, the IT guys would have to get our servers back up, etc.

So I had a surprise (unpaid) afternoon off.  What to do?  It was a beautiful day so my coworker and I decided to go to State St. for what ended up being a long, leisurely lunch at Himal Chuli.   We were actually planning to go to Mediterranean Cafe, but it was closed due to a death in the family.  It was about 3pm by the time I got home from taking my coworker home, and I decided to check e-mail, and do a little Google Reader-ing.  Then I did some gentle yoga (I'm feeling a little tired from my big weekend run still), practiced piano, made dinner, then finished off The Atlantic and went to sleep.

All in all, a really nice way to spend the afternoon.  I was glad to see that what I think I'd want to do with my spare time is in fact what I want to do.  It was also nice to spend the time not doing anything productive.

I'm pretty sure our computers are up and running again today, so I'll be back to work like normal, but it was great to get this little gift of extra time.

*We have to take 8 unpaid "furlough" days off per year.  4 are mandatory and 4 are of our choosing so I took 1/2 of one of those days yesterday.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Week in Review - The Two Down, One to Go Edition

Yep.  The second 2- miler is in the books.  I finished about a minute faster than my last 20-miler and only about 3 minutes slower than the 19-miler I ran over the same course.  I was pretty satisfied with that.  This week I'll do something like 16 and the weekend after will be the final looooong run before the race.  Exciting stuff.  And how was the rest of the week?

M- Strength
T- 8mi + yoga
W- 8mi
R- 8mi with 2x15 minutes tempo at 8:28 and 8:23 min/mile + yoga
F- Strength
S- 20mi
S- 6mi + yoga

I added an extra mile on yesterday so I could hit an even 50 for the week.  I was happy with the way everything went.  I feel recovered from the race and ready to add some speed work back in this week.  I'm starting to feel excited about the marathon!  

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Could I schedule some cool weather for Saturday, please?

Well, I wasn't nervous about doing 20 yesterday, but that has sure changed.  I had a number of anxiety dreams last night including one where I was taking a shower in "my parents' remodeled bathroom".  Unfortunately they had remodeled the shower to be in the middle of a garden, and I chose to take a shower while a formal tea was being held in the garden.  And I really had to go to the bathroom. Weird.

But I'm up, I just had the last swig of coffee, all my electronics are charged, my route is planned to minimize any possible interactions with parents who are moving their kids into the dorms, and I'm ready to get dressed and head out the door.

We've had beautiful, cool weather for the last week (it even dipped into the high 40's over Wednesday night/ Thursday morning).  However, we're back to almost 70 at 5:30am today.  I know it's not that hot, but I'd way rather do a 20 miler at 50 degrees than at 70.  I guess it'll make the race feel easier because it will definitely be cooler by the beginning of October.

And that's pretty much that.  The rest of the day will be mainly chores and errands, but I do have a massage scheduled to get rid of the post-race, post-20 gunk hanging around in my legs.  Not always relaxing while it's happening but it sure feels good when I'm done.

Have a great Saturday.  Good luck to everyone doing long runs this weekend.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mental prep

This is week 6 of my marathon training program, meaning I have 5 more long run "slots" to fill until the race.  Two of them will be shorter because they are taper weeks, which leaves 3 to fill with really long runs.  I've done probably 6 runs longer than 15 miles so far in the training program and one 20 already, so I know I can cover the distance, but for some reason I'm having trouble getting excited for tomorrow's long run.  It's not that I don't feel recovered from last week's race- I do and I think my runs this week show that- but normally the Friday before a super long run (I'd like to hit 20 tomorrow) I'm already starting to feel a lot of excitement/anxiety.  Part of it is probably because I'm feeling more confident (good), but the other part is that I got myself geared up for the race last week and my mind is trying to tell me that "Okay, the race is over.  We're done now.  Let's chill out now"  (bad).

How do you stay focused and excited about your training when you feel like you are at mile 20 of your training plan and you still have that really and 6 left to go? 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Taking "meal plan" in a new direction

As is hopefully apparent from the more frequent blog posts, I feel like I'm getting back in the rhythm of normal life.  After vacation plus work travel plus going to Mississippi, it's taken almost 6 weeks to feel like I'm back in a groove of  wake up -> devotional time -> blog -> workout -> work -> yoga -> piano -> dinner -> chill time -> bed.

One of the things that has suffered more than others has been my motivation to put together (and photograph) good dinners.  I really do want to improve my cooking and especially presentation skills- because what your food looks like on the plate is almost as important as how it tastes- and I think photographing it motivates me to put more effort into that.

So here's the first food photos in a long time.  Actually Daniel made the salmon cakes, which are a little yellow because we ran out of dijon mustard and had to use, well, yellow.

The vegetable course: broccoli with a little cheese melted on top:

Salmon cakes with ketchup for dipping (yes, I'm 5).

And roasted butternut squash (one of the survivors from the garden) with cinnamon and brown sugar.
I like to eat my foods one by one, starting with the vegetable, then the protein, then the starch so I often serve myself one item at a time, leaving the others in the cooking vessel so they don't get cold.

I read a pop psychology article once that said whether you ate the best bite of something first or saved the best for last depended on your birth order.  First born kids tend to save the best for last, but kids further down in the birth order tend to take the best part first because it otherwise an older kid might get it first.

Do you have any "strategies" when you eat a meal?  Do you eat things one by one or rotate or just mix it all together?  Do you think there's anything to the birth order/ best bite theory?   

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One more...

Last week Sarah from The SHU Box wrote about what she would do with an extra hour, day, week and year off.  I thought it would be an interesting exercise to do as well.  So here goes:

If I had an extra hour before work I would:
  • Do 30 minutes yoga after I finish running and take my time getting ready rather than rushing out the door like I usually do.
If work was cancelled due to a freak August blizzard (but one where I could still go running) I would:
  • Run, do yoga, practice piano
  • Clean out the pots and pans cabinet that is about to have an avalanche
  • Make a dent in reading this month's The Atlantic
  • Work in the afghan I'm making for a goodbye gift
If the pipes burst in the WARF bathroom from all the food that gets washed down the sink from lunch dishes (ew yuck... it's just a matter of time) and we were off for a week (and also had unlimited funds and all the school children magically disappeared from the Earth) I would:
  • Do #1 from the day off list every day I'm at home (or go to the gym if it's a gym day)
  • Do an entropy busting chore  from my list each day I'm at home
  • Take a day trip to Mt. Olympus or Noah's Ark in the Dells
  • Do an overnight trip to Door County
  • Read and work on the afghan if I am so inspired
If my bosses won the lottery and decided to give us all a year off with 10x our salary I would
  • Do #1 above every day and actually try to get good at all 3
  • Hire someone to clean our house
  • Go on an international mission trip and a trip somewhere else in the US
  • Do more regular volunteer work around town
  • Visit my family more and have them come visit me
  • Travel all over- Europe, Asia, wherever the wind blows
So actually what I need almost more than extra time is a generous benefactor, haha.  

What would you do if you suddenly had the gift of extra time (and if you're like me- money)?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone for the Happy Birthday wishes!  It was so nice to be remembered by so many people.  However, the grand prize goes to J+A for their blog post dedicated to my birthday.  Thanks, guys.  That was very sweet.  We had a few friends over for ice cream cake in the evening and I brought in bagels to work, but otherwise it was a low key day.

I did strength training yesterday morning, but I still feel like I'm recovering from the race on Saturday.  I'm planning to do 6-8mi with 3-4x 1mi at goal marathon pace or just easy depending on how I feel once I get going.   This is my "monster month" of training before the marathon, but I also want to keep an eye on my energy levels.  Over training/under recovering now isn't better for me than dropping all my hard training and coasting into the marathon.

And with that, it's time to head out the door for my first run as a 28-year-old.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Week in Review - The Birthday Edition

Yep, it's my birthday and I'm not afraid to plaster it all over the blog to get a few extra comments.  Since the BIG birthday as still a few years away (I turned 28 today), we are just having a small get together at our house this evening.  Basically I wanted to have an ice cream cake without turning into this guy

Such a classic.

Anyway, here's the week in review:
M- Strength training, yoga
T- 8mi with 5x1000m at 10k pace
W- 6.5 easy, yoga
R- Strength training, yoga
F- 4 easy
S- 13.1 race
U- 5mi easy, yoga

This was an easy week leading into the race, which you can read all about in yesterday's post if you are so inclined.  This week I'm going to play it by ear as far as if and how much speed work to do and how long I plan to do my long run.  I was wiped out from the race Saturday- way more than when I did my 20 miler- so this week is operation recovery and get ready for the final few long runs before the marathon.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Madison Mini Race Report

The abbreviated version:  I guess I took your advice to heart because I feel like I ran the best Madison Mini Marathon I was capable of running on August 21, 2010.  I finished in 1:53, four minutes off my PR, but given the temperature/humidity and course I'm very happy with the result.  I truly feel like I gave it my all and then some during the last mile, and what more can you ask for?

The long version:  It was warm this morning.  And humid.  I chose to park a little farther from the race start and had no problem finding a space.  I walked over to the race start, did the porta potty thing, and it was time to line up.  I stood just a tiny bit in front of the 1:50 sign (the eternal optimist).  The race started right on time.

Mile 1: 8:03.  A combination of adrenaline and downhill.
Mile 2: 8:04.  More downhill.  We ran down State St. during miles 1 and 2.  A group from the marching band was playing, and there was a big crowd cheering.
Mile 3: 8:27. That's more like it.  The course flattened out and went over a few hills.
Mile 4: 8:19.  Into the Arb.  This was the beginning, flat and easy part.
Mile 5: 8:28.  Still the flat and easy part of the Arb.
Mile 6: 8:49.  Getting into the hillier part.
Mile 7: 8:44.  Hilly Arb.
Mile 8: 8:20.  Turn into a neighborhood and start a looooooong downhill.  Saw Kerri's boyfriend who was waiting to cheer her on later.
Mile 9: 8:51. Some uphill some downhill.  Saw my bosses on one of the downhills.
Mile 10: 8:23.  On the UW campus in familiar territory.
Mile 11: 8:55.  Saw Daniel (this was right by our apartment).  Hitting the wall a little.  The yellow flag was out so I guess it was getting hot.
Mile 12: 8:59.  Um, yeah...
Mile 13: 9:10.  Basically it was all I could do to finish those last three miles.  I'd felt pretty good up to that point, but I was finally out of juice.

Finish time: 1:53 on the nose.  8:37 min/mile average pace.  I think that was pretty decent considering it was 70+ degrees at the start with 90% humidity on a somewhat hilly course where I stopped at every aid station for Gatorade/water (except the first).  I know that's a lot of qualifications, but it's my long way of saying that even though it wasn't a PR race, I feel happy with my performance.

I also want to give a shout out to Jessica, who finished her first race post-baby this morning, to Kerri, who can now wear her 13.1 Bondi Band with pride, and to Jamie, who finished a heartbreaking 43 hundredths of a second behind her sub-2 hour goal (I think it counts!), and to Linda and Heather, whose last names I'm not sure of so I was unable to look up your race results.

And now... since it's Saturday when I'm actually writing this... I'm going to relax.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ready to go!

I'm up, I'm amped up, I'm breakfasted, and I'm ready to go.  Thanks for all your kind comments (on the blog and IRL) about not worrying so much about the race and "what it means" and just going for it and doing my best today.

The blogger/runner meetup last night was a lot of fun.  Tasty food + good company is always a winner, and when you throw in cool freebies (thanks again, Jamie!)- you can't beat that.  None of us are food bloggers- plus the lighting in the restaurant is pretty low- so there's no dinner plate shots, but we did get a couple good ones of the group.

 I'm actually wearing my 13.1 Bondi Band in that picture.  That's how ready I am for this race.

 And the whole group together.

Good luck, ladies!

I'll be back with a recap later today or tomorrow.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Madison Mini Race Pre-Cap

I figured I'd do this today so I can get all my angst out of the way and focus on chilling out and catching up on my Google Reader-ing tomorrow before the race.

After having 3 beautiful, cool days at the beginning of the week, we are back to low 70s and humidity 80+.  Not that bad compared to a lot of places in the country, but not ideal race weather (at least for me)*.

I'm going to head out for 4 with some strides just to loosen everything up this morning and then try to calm down and enjoy the day (especially this evening) before the race.  After work my coworker/fellow blogger Kerri and I are going to the expo to pick up our stuff and then going to a Madison blogger/runner meetup at Portabella organized by the fabulous- and always colorful- Jamie of Running Diva Mom.   Which reminds me... I need to put a sticky note on the door so I don't forget to bring my camera.

So for race goals... um... I dunno.  I wish I felt more pumped up about the race.  I was looking back at my training log from July-Sept of 2008 when I set my half marathon PR, and I was running all my intervals much slower than I am now... but I was doing my easy and long runs faster.  Not sure what that means.  Plus that PR was set on a beautiful cool day on a really flat course.  This one will be neither.  So I guess my goal is to not go out too fast and to enjoy the run whatever happens.

I think the thing that I fear is that if I don't at least hit somewhere close to 1:50 then I need to give up on a 3:50 goal pace for the marathon.  A 1:49 is the "equivalent" to a 3:50 according to the McMillan pace calculator site, with only 5 or 6 weeks to go before the marathon I better be darn close to race shape.  So that's my fear.  Possibly irrational, but I'm laying it out there.

Okay.  Time to turn off the fretting and focus on having a good run this morning, a productive day at work (where I don't spend an unreasonable amount of time perusing the Portablella menu), a fun time this evening, getting good sleep, and enjoying my Tour de Madison tomorrow.

*For those of you who are jealous, be thankful that you don't have this

coming your way anytime soon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Watch out, it's on the loose

Here's an e-mail we got from the garden staff re: our half our garden plot being crushed.  All I can do is laugh.

Subject: Dangerous tree in A row

Dear University Houses Gardeners, 
You may have noticed that a large limb from a walnut tree has come down in the
A row and disturbed several plots. We are working with campus to get this 
professionally removed, but at the moment, it is dangerously suspended by a thin 
strip of wood.  Please stay out of this area if you can and exercise care around the tree. 
This is especially true for small children who might see this has a place to explore. 
It would be great if you have extra produce to offer it to the gardeners affected if
you see them. This is an unfortunate loss for them that couldn't be avoided. 

Gretel, Garden Registrar

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another garden delight

Although I usually use recipes as a guide rather than following them exactly, it's rare that I ever make up a new dish completely on my own.  However, after some inspiration from J+A's sausage and potato roast, I decided to try my own variation on that theme.

I sliced up the first butternut squash from the garden and roasted it with some olive oil and salt for about 20 minutes, then added some diced apple and apple flavored chicken sausage from Trader Joe's and let that cook for an additional 20 minutes or so.  We decided not to season what was in the pan because we didn't want it to be too sweet but added a little cinnamon and brown sugar to what was on our plates.

The result was actually pretty good.  A little sweet, but not desert on a plate.  I would go ahead and add the cinnamon and brown sugar to the whole pan next time.  1 butternut squash + 3 apples + 5 chicken sausage made 2 good sized dinners + leftovers for 1 lunch.

I'm looking forward to using the rest of our squash once it's ready to harvest.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Week in Review - The "Dude, Where's My Garden?" Edition

Sadly, the garden has not been all it could be this year.  Last year we were raking it in, and this year- despite lots of hard work- it just hasn't turned out so well.  Broccoli = bolted.  Carrots = only grew the green part.  Tomatoes = never turned red.  We were busy last weekend, and I was not looking forward to going out to the garden and dealing with a weedy mess with no vegetables to make up for it.  Well, it was a good thing we went to church this morning because my prayers were answered!

A gigantic tree limb fell on our garden, sparing the good part, and wiping out the part that was a weedy mess!

Here's a view from the far end of the garden.  Eventually I suppose someone will move it, and we'll have sift through the wreckage left behind, but as long as there's a gigantic tree there, we don't have to deal with it!  

The pumpkin is still thriving

And we were able to harvest a few things that will be useful for dinner the next few nights.

Here's the onion and red pepper in food form.  Mmmmmm, calzone.

So have I been this lazy when it comes to working out?  I think not.  Here's the week in review:

M- Strength training
T-  8.5 mi with 3x (800,600,400,200) at 5-10k pace, yoga
W- 8 mi easy
R- 8.5 mi with 2 x 15 min tempo
F- Strength training, yoga
S- 14 mi
U- 6.5 mi, yoga

Total miles: 45.5
2x strength training
3x yoga

I can actually feel myself start to get more flexible from doing the yoga.  I just do 30 minutes at a time, but even with that I think my hamstrings and hips are loosening up.  In fact, I'm planning to watch some more of my yoga DVD to try to see what new parts I might want to incorporate so I can mix things up a bit.

This week (starting from last Saturday) is a cut back week leading up to the 1/2 marathon this weekend.  I admit to not being super pumped about my chances of doing well in this race.  I'm running slow for all my long runs and easy runs, and I'm afraid it's going to be hot.  Neither of those bode well for a PR or even a goal race pace equivalent.  But I guess we'll see how things go after a mini taper.  I always get pumped up for races, and I truthfully have no idea how I've run any of my PRs based on what I see in training.  Hopefully this one will be another unexpected surprise and not a disaster like my last two long races... or that tree in my garden.

Friday, August 13, 2010

51 in 1001

Long ago in a far off land (Friday, October 16, 2009, when I was taking a mental break at work), I started a list of 101 things I wanted to do in 1001 days.  A couple of the bloggers I was following at the time had made lists like this, and I thought it seemed like a neat idea.  I've actually done a fair number of things on my list.  You can click on the 101 in 1001 tag in the right sidebar near the bottom to see some posts about them, but truthfully, I'd had a hard time coming up with 101 things that I wanted to accomplish without adding a lot of filler that didn't really matter to me.

Over the course of the last few weeks, I've been cutting the list down to 51 things.  The goal data is still the same: July 14, 2012, which roughly corresponds to the end of our time in Madison- if we aren't getting ready to move we will certainly be thinking about our next step in a concrete way- so I wanted to focus on things that were Madison-related.

So here's the new and improved 51 in 1001 list.

Do you have any big goals you want to accomplish in the next few years?  

Thursday, August 12, 2010


The neat thing about blog reading is stumbling into blog communities you had never knew existed.  A few days ago I clicked through link on ZenHabits and found myself in the world of minimalist blogs.  ZenHabits is kind of a minimalist blog, but it's about a lot more than that- productivity, breaking bad habits and making new ones, etc.  The minimalists are about the freedom of cutting back on your stuff/obligations/hobbies until you hit the minimum you need to survive, and then cutting back some more once you realize even that is too much.

Even though I plan to continue to cook, and I'm not ready to swap my actual bed for a futon mattress on the ground, I found Miss minimalist and Castles in the Air to be interesting and enjoyable reading.

A truly minimalist bedroom from Castles in the Air- not unlike a monk's cell, really, if I had any idea what that actually looked like.

While I'm not ready (and probably will never be ready) to dive into the minimalist world, I enjoyed a peek into two lives where furniture is an option and all your belongings really can fit in the back of a Honda fit.

(Credit Castles again).

Just for fun, here's our living room.  Not going to fit in the back of a Honda Fit.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Getting an MS in Baking- Whole Wheat Pancakes

One last muffin method recipe (for now) from I'm Just Here for More Food.

I made these two weekends ago for a hurried pre-church breakfast.  On the plus side, they are made with 100% whole wheat flour (you don't have to mix in white flour like with most recipes) so they are on the "healthier" side for pancakes.  On the minus side, they are kind of "healthy" tasting unless you load them up with syrup, etc.

Again, everything goes in the food processor to make (ostensibly) lighter pancakes:

The liquid ingredients- eggs, buttermilk (which will *hopefully* be featured in the 1st biscuit method recipe soon) and melted butter.

We don't have an electric griddle (#1 recommended method of cooking pancakes) or a griddle (#2 recommended method), but we do have a big sautee pan and a lopsided burner (#13 recommended method).  I made them too big; they didn't cook evenly; I burned two.  None of these things were the recipe's fault, but it definitely made me less excited about it than other things I've made.

Out of the whole batch, a few of them turned out pretty well.
  Just add syrup and a mad scramble to get to church in time, and you have breakfast from two weeks ago.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Week in Review - The "Like Rain on Your Wedding Day" Edition

There was rain, thunder, and lightning before and after, but the weather was absolutely gorgeous for our friends' wedding yesterday.  This couple has been part of our "young married" church small group for the last year even though they weren't even engaged when they joined.  But as of yesterday they are "full members". They were brave and held the ceremony outside in the appropriately named Paradise Park outside of town.

This was the backdrop for the ceremony.

The reception was near downtown and had a great view of the capital.

That prompted many pictures

*Almost* the whole group together with the bride and groom.

Hopefully the happy couple will be on their way to New York City for their Honeymoon today and not trapped on O'Hare (ah, the fun of traveling in/out of the Midwest).

And now for something completely different: Running!
M- Strength training
T- 8.5mi with 3 x 1mi at 10k pace.  I hit the 1st and last miles at 7:50 min/mile, which is pretty close to 10k pace. The second mile was just shy of 8 min/mile but that included a steep uphill and turn around section, yoga
W- 8mi easy
R- This was supposed to be a medium long run (10-11 mi) but because I was still anxious about my knee and doing 20 over the weekend I decided to swap for 8mi with 2x15 min marathon tempo.  The first was at 8:36 pace and the second at 8:30, kind of a weird limbo between actual marathon goal pace and actual tempo pace.  Yoga.
F- Strength training, yoga.
S- 20!!! mi
U- Yoga.  I decided to take the literal lightning as a sign to take a rest day rather than trying to push myself through an easy run.

The stats:
Miles run: 44.5
Yoga: 4x (and I think it definitely has been helping my knee)
Strength: 2x  

Overall a good week.  Like I said yesterday, I still wish my long runs were faster, but I guess I'll save re-evaluating my goal marathon pace for after the half marathon.

Well, time to get going.  Have a great Monday, all!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


One 20 miler down, two to go!  It was not everything it could have been in terms of speed (I finished in 3:14- about a 9:45 min/mile pace), but I felt strong the whole way.  Actually, it was really just the uphill miles on the bike path that drug my overall pace down.  I ran the 1st and 20th miles at exactly 9:30 min/mile pace.  Much slower than I *hope* to go on race day, but it seems slightly more respectable to be half way between 9 and 10 minute miles than closer to the 10 side.  In any case, it was a beautiful day.  The weather was cooler and not very humid (For everyone who just got jealous, remember that when you have 60s in the February, here it's -6). I can only hope the weather for the 1/2 marathon in two weeks will be as nice.

After a brief chill out period, we left home, did some errands, and drove out the the Sugar Maple music festival.  We saw a few people perform, Daniel did some jamming, I did some relaxing and finished my book.

Highly recommended to all you mystery lovers.

Then we came back to see our friend's band play.  We didn't really know what kind of music to expect, but they mostly did cover songs, which was a lot of fun.  Although 20 miles + dancing from 9:30 to 11:30 pm = one tired Chelsea and made me pretty glad that it's thunder storming this morning and my easy 5 miler just couldn't happen.

I'm still in love with my new camera (and finally uploaded some pictures this morning).  These would have never turned out with my old one.

 Yes, that is a giant squid attacking the Statue of Liberty on Daniel's shirt.

 Rocking out.

I feel like it's 2005, and I should make this my Facebook profile picture.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Big Weekend

8/7 - 8/8 The Big Music and Wedding Weekend from my Looking Forward To bar is now The Even Bigger Music and Wedding and Running Weekend.

Here's the schedule:

5:50am- Begin 20 mile run
9-9:30am- Return home from 20 mile run
9:30am-noon: Clean myself, as much of our home as I can manage after a 20-mile run, eat lunch
Noon-8:30pm: Eat lunch, drive out to Sugar Maple Music Festival, enjoy music.
9pm-?: Drive back into town to hear our friend's band play a special one-time show

As early as I can get up- 5mi recovery run
10:45am- Church
Noon: - Lunch, Target run, other errands
2pm- ? - Friends' wedding and reception
?- collapse - Laundry, grocery store, etc.

I'm excited about everything going on.  Definitely not my normal weekend schedule, which devotes much less time to good music and more to good scrubbing.  But my goal is not to worry about that at all.  The apartment is basically clean and the laundry and grocery shopping will get done.  The word of the weekend is "fun".

What fun do you have planned for this weekend?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yay, yay, yay!

I have three "yays" to report.

1. My knee is feeling completely better.  I'm excited and ready to run.  I can't believe the race is only two months (exactly!) away.  Between the Mississippi trip, Restaurant week, and my general lack of willpower when it comes to treats in the break room, July wasn't exactly a testament to healthy eating, but I'm dialing it back down this month.  Plus, August is my monster month of training.  Hopefully by Sept 1 I'm going to start feeling confident about the marathon.

2. A paper we submitted back in May was accepted with glowing reviews and very few changes.  As anyone who does this kind of stuff knows, reviews of academic papers (which are done anonymously) can be pretty scathing.  I put on my Hazmat suit before I opened this one, and surprise! they liked it.  So now I'm at 4 publications (2 published, 2 in the works- not as first author) after 2 years at my job.  Considering I have a lot of other responsibilities, I think that's pretty decent.  And there are 3 more papers I'm working on that should be out the door in the next few months.

3. We got a new camera!!!  I bought my old camera back in 2004 after college graduation, and I'd been getting frustrated at how long it took to turn it on and take a second picture and how hard it was to see the LCD screen or take a photo in low light.  Well, after some shopping around last Sunday, we selected this guy

I've taken a bunch of pictures with it, but I haven't gotten the software set up to load them into the computer.  So maybe you'll have some new pictures tomorrow.  It is everything the old camera isn't (sorry, old friend Kodak EasyShare), and I can't wait to take more pictures with it.

Well, it's time to get out and take that run I was talking about earlier.  Have a good Tuesday!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Week in Review - The First Ache of Marathon Training Edition

Up to this point, I've been very lucky (actually I'm always very lucky) that I haven't had any aches and pains with marathon training, but in the last week I started to have a dull ache on the inside of my left knee.  It didn't hurt any more than any other part of me after my run yesterday, but I skipped running today as a precautionary measure and I won't run tomorrow either because it's a strength training day.  I feel a little sluggish from not working out today but I know that preventing a potential injury >> an easy 5 miler.  Plus there are lots of weeds in the garden if I feel the need to take some aggression out on anything.

So how was last week otherwise???

M- Strength and yoga
T- 8mi with 2 x (4 x 800m) 3:49 was my average 800 time
W- 8mi easy
R- 8mi with 2x15 min at marathon tempo pace.  The first was right on at 8:49 min/mile, the second was at 8:20 min/mile - more like wishful thinking marathon/ half marathon pace, yoga
F- Strength training and yoga (can you see a theme of being worried about my knee?)
S - 19 mi
U- Yoga.  Walking and weeding.

The totals were:
Run: 43 mi
Strength: 2x
Yoga: 4x

All in all not too bad.  I'm planning on running again starting Tuesday as long as my knee stays quiet.  I definitely don't want this to ruin my marathon chances.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

19 up, 19 down

So far the weather and the stars have aligned for me for all my long runs.  Yesterday was supposed to be 18- ended up being 19 because the route was longer than I thought- through the UW Arboretum.  I'd run through the Arb once before but had largely given up on it as a regular route because 1. I got a little lost, and 2. I'd run it in April when everything was still dead, and I didn't realize how beautiful it could be.

So rather than this for scenery

                                           (credit: The Arb Spring Sprint photos)

I had this

                                                  (Image credit: gardenvisit.com)

Much better, I think.  In fact, I enjoyed it even better the second time through.  And thanks to Kerri who helped me navigate the part where I got lost last year- ahh, you follow the bike path over the bridge, not the bike path through the neighborhood- I stayed on track.

So 2 Arb Loops + 3.5 mi each way from our house = 19 kinda hilly miles.  The other benefit of having run through the Arb yesterday is that the course for the 1/2 marathon at the end of August runs through there, and I'll be prepared for the handful of steep little hills on the Manitou Way side.

Next week will be my first 20 miler of the training cycle, and I'll probably go back to my normal (read easier) course for that.  But the Arb loop will definitely be back as part of my regularly scheduled workout plan.

Also- in case you were wondering- my back has almost completely healed, and I had no problems with my backpack yesterday.

Continuing the theme of trying new things, we dined on enchiladas that Kerri's (friend/coworker mentioned above) sister buys in bulk from a bartender in Des Moines (I think I have that right).

About an hour in the oven and they were perfect.  They look lonely in that picture, but I can tell you they were kept company by a big salad and some chips and salsa.    

Otherwise we cleaned, grocery shopped, and watched the first three episodes of Arrested Development on Hulu.  All in all, a good but busy day.