Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween (Blondie) Style

Can you guess which one Mr. Blondie carved?







Time to take the little one out to get (me) some candy. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

File Under Miscellaneous

Some random things from yesterday's run:

1) I’ve gone old school. More times than not, I go running without my Ipod now. It’s nice being free of the bulky armband and headphone wires.



2) The last time I added any new music to my Ipod was sometime in early 2008. I had an Itunes gift card that I received for Christmas. About 85% of my mp3 collection is over 10 years old and came from from a place that starts with an N and ends with a ster. I’m content being stuck in the late 90’s.

3) Cliché as it is, two of my power songs are Running Down a Dream by Tom Petty and Eye of the Tiger. My all time power song is B.O.B by Outkast.

4) The answer to small wrists and a big Garmin- sweatbands. I was actually getting a bruise on my wristbone from the watch banging into it. All better now.



5) Sniff, sniff, what’s that smell? Yuck, my favorite tech top.

I know we all wash our running gear immediately after finishing a workout, but regular detergent doesn’t always cut it. It's ok, stank happens even to those of us who just “glisten”.

A cup of white vinegar in the wash cycle, along with your regular detergent, works like magic to get the musty smell out of running clothes.

Only top shelf brands for this family



I'd be mortified if anyone ever saw my full playlist. Highlights include the theme song to The Greatest American Hero and Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship. Care to share any of goodies hidden on your playlist?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Way to Bee (Race Report)

Is there anything duct tape can’t do? I’ve never run a race in costume before, so I decided to go for it this weekend. It was Friday night and I still didn’t have anything to match Emily’s costume.

Enter yellow duct tape.

Twist a couple pipe cleaners around a headband. Stretch out two wire hangers and cover with an old pair of pantyhose. Pin them to the back of your shirt.

Viola.

One problem, the race started at 3:30 in the afternoon. It was already 80+ degrees by then, lest I forget we're in Georgia. Emily lasted about 30 seconds in her costume before and we had to rescue her.

It was cute when we were matching. By myself I looked like a super dork. M asked if I was really going to wear the costume. Hell yeah.

The good thing about the late start was that he got to come too! I was counting on him NOT being there. It’s always better to do that so I don’t end up disappointed. But everything ran as scheduled, and he made it home from his trip in time to meet us. I took advantage of the team support and decided to race this one by myself.



Did mention this race was a 6k? Weird distance right? The course was one big loop that started and ended at the club house of a local country club, and it took us through the streets of a nearby subdivision. Even after running the race, I can’t figure out what made the course so special it couldn’t be made into a regular 5k. I was guaranteed an instant PR.

I felt good cruising up and down the hills, and still had a little left over after crossing the finish line. M was a bit slow on the draw. Sorry for the rear-view.


I finished in 25:32. Having no experience with a 6K, I wasn’t sure what to think of this. I plugged my time into the Runner’s World pace calculator and learned it works out to about 6:50/ mile. I’m ok with that for now. It’s better than anything I’ve done in the past 6 months.



The post-race refreshments were another interesting first. They served a MEXICAN BUFFET catered by one of the sponsors, Gezzo’s Grill. I made up a nice little plate…..which I immediately gave to M to eat since he didn’t have lunch. It wasn’t real appealing after racing in 80 degree weather.

The race organizers get points for effort though. Mr. Blondie said it was good.


I took first place Overall Female so we hung around for the awards ceremony. It made missing out on the mexican buffet a little less tragic.


This race was definitely different, but it was fun.

Do you have plans for Halloween? Are there any memorable costumes you’ve worn in the past?

Stats:
Time: 25:32
Pace: 6:50/mile
Overall: 4/300ish
Gender: 1/?
Div: 1/?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Boston Marathon - Are You In?

Congrats to all the runners who got their entry accepted for the 2011 Boston Marathon. It sold out in record time…7 hours!


Goes to show the marathon business is booming.I feel like I'm a day late and a dollar short with this post, but I wanted to get your opinions since many of you are looking to achieve this goal.

For those of you who don’t understand what the big to-do is, Boston is like the brass ring for marathon runners. Aside from the great history and atmosphere of the race, the “challenge” of qualifying makes it an even more alluring.

I put challenge in quotes because is it really a challenge anymore? With so many people quickly filling the slots, is it time to raise the bar? Heck, the NYC Marathon is traditionally one of the biggest qualifying races and it’s still 2 weeks away.

There are a lot of cranky NYC’ers out there right now.

Taking a look at the current standards, you can see the discrepancy between the men's and women’s times*

*An additional 59 seconds will be accepted for each age group time standard. For example, a net time of 3:50:59 will be accepted for a 42-year old woman.

When comparing the times against an age graded chart, the disparity is more obvious. Ladies under 35, you’ve got it the easiest, but men get the advantage as they age.

Men:

Women:

Amby Burfoot, winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon and staffer at Runner's World, wrote a more in depth article on this topic if you want to check it out.

Which also brings up another thought, should charity runners be allowed to swallow up thousands spots? To put it in a less than popular way, should you be allowed to buy your spot in the race?

Adjusting the qualifying standards based on the age graded table seems like a fair way to handle this. Make the times equivalent to 68% of your age grade across to board. If that doesn't work, bump it to 70%. Meaning your race time to qualify would put you at the top of your local running class, if not at the bottom of the regional level.

I'm part of the been there, done that (twice), not looking to try again anytime soon crowd. It's easy for me to say crack down on the standards because I already got mine.

I can attest that running the race is a surreal experience that lives up to the hype. For the majority of the running population, it’s not something they'll ever achieve.

The standard should be a stretch, but not impossibly out of reach. Let's keep the mystique alive folks.

Do you think race management will be making any changes? What should be done?

Friday, October 15, 2010

One of These Things is Not Like the Others


To answer Shelby's question, my shoe of choice is the Saucony ProGrid Ride.

I picked up my latest pair at Big Peach when I was registering for their 10K a few weeks ago.

Instead of trying to hoard the last of the Ride 2's on the market (which would be the typical modus operandi for this creature of habit), I threw caution to the wind and bought the latest edition Ride 3's.



My current shoes have logged somewhere around 500 miles, but I'm waiting until November 1st to start wearing the new pair . Why wait? No good reason, it just feels right to start off a new month with new shoes.

How often do you replace your shoes?

Ever been heartbroken by a discontinued style?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Warming the Bench

We barely made it onto our flight Friday night because it was so full, which meant I had to hold Emily on my lap. We were assigned a middle seat in the second to last row of the plane. I put on my courage suit and we boarded. I thought we were destined to fail. Once again the little one surprised me, and she ended up behaving like a champ.

We made it through every single activity I had packed. Once I pulled out the blankie from the bottom of the bag, it took about .2 seconds for her to fall asleep in my arms. That was also about the time we started making our initial descent.

This is how the ride looked on our way home. We made sure we were on a super early flight to get the best seats.



Aside from the anxiety I had about the plane rides, it was a lazy weekend in Jersey. My parents wanted to take us out for one last ride before they have the boat winterized, so we spent Sunday on Long Beach Island.

The Real Jersey Shore



It was the perfect day. It was also tuned out to be the day of the LBI 18 Mile Run...a race I've wanted to do for years now. I first became interested in 2001 when I was training for my 1st marathon, but the stars have never aligned just right for me to be in town on that day.



Finally I was here, and totally unprepared to go. Pre-Emily I was averaging 40-50 miles on an easy week, and could just do this sort of stuff on a whim. I'm so not that person anymore, so why do I keep thinking I am? I couldn't shake the thought that I might be able to pull it off this year.

I kept telling myself nothing good could come of this after such a weak summer of running. I've got some races I'm excited about coming up in the next couple months. Did I really want to jeopardize that to turn in a piss-poor performance? And probably land myself in the office of a sports medicine doctor....

So, maybe I can be logical at times. DNS

My parents could see how upset I was watching the runners go by. They both have milestone birthdays coming up this year too. Then and there, we made pact that all three of us would run the race next year. How cool is that?! I was a teenager the last time either of my parents entered a race.




No one wants to be the benchwarmer. It's good to push your boundaries, but you need to respect your limitations as well. How do you decide the difference?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mama's Bag of Tricks

It’s a three day weekend for me, so you know that means we’re traveling. Here’s my bag of goodies for the plane.



• Lysol wipes
• Tissues, washcloth, change of clothes
• 5 (easily accessible) diapers for a 2 hour flight, a few emergency ones stashed in my other carry-on
• Baby wipes
• Plastic baggies for dirty diapers
• Stickers
• Washable crayons
• Blank paper (and scotch tape to keep it on the tray table)
• Books
• Blankie
• “Princess necklaces” – to a toddler there’s no bigger prize for good behavior
• Ipod
• Sippy cup
• Snackage

What I’ll purchase before boarding:
• Bottle of water
• Bottle of apple juice
• Yogurt
• Fruit salad

I could (and have) carried these things through the ATL family security lane, but it’s just easier to buy them on the other side.

Since we’ll be flying at the bewitching hour, I’m bringing this in case of emergency.

If you’re the perfect mommy, may you cast the first stone



I've never given her Benadryl before, nor do I want to give it to her. Papa's going to be attending to more important business (and probably thanking his lucky stars for steel reinforced doors) if she throws a tantrum, so I'll be on my own if she decides to go all ninja on me. Ignoring it, or putting her in time out, isn't an option here.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. But we have our bag of tricks to work through first. Anyone have other advice?

What works for you when you're traveling by yourself or with little ones?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cauliflower Chocolate Chip Muffins

I'm sure you've noticed by now that I'm a sweets person, which is why you mainly see recipes for baked goods here. Sure, I enjoy digging into a nice Tastykake as much as the next gal, but where's the fun in just ripping open a box? And wouldn't you rather have control over what's going into your food anyway?

With a little creativity in the kitchen, there's no reason you can't get a dose of veggies while you satisfy your sweet tooth.

Runblondie26's Cauliflower Chocolate Chip Muffins:

1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
2/3 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c skim milk
1/4 c melted butter (1/2 stick)
2 ripe bananas
~1 c chocolate chips
1 1/2 c steamed cauliflower (or frozen cauliflower that's been lightly thawed in the microwave, I've tried both with good results)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat your muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Put the cauliflower and banana together in a food processor, and puree till smooth.




Transfer the puree to a mixing bowl and add in the rest of the wet ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Do not overmix.

Then bring on the chocolate chips. Be as generous as you like. Lightly stir until combined.



Pour the batter into your muffin tins and bake for ~20 minutes.



WARNING: You will smell a hint of cauliflower when they come out of the oven

Keep the faith. Everything will be ok. Allow them to fully cool before serving. You will not taste or smell a hint of cauliflower once they've cooled.

Other tips: I've found this ratio of white to wheat flour produces the best texture. You can use all whole wheat but it will be a very heavy, dense muffin and they won't freeze as well.

Also, don't skimp on the 1/4 cup of butter by trying to substitute it with yogurt or applesauce. This small amount of fat makes the difference between a moist, tender muffin and a piece of rubber.

Your secret is safe inside.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

5K Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name....

Today's race was perfect because it was local. After last weekend's epic journey, I was more than happy to roll out of bed late and drive a whole 5 minutes to the starting line.

I love this race. The course loops around the 2 lakes in our community, and even passes right in front of our house. It brings out the entire neighborhood, and it's fun to wave back to familiar faces.

I waited until the very last minute to register because I couldn't make up my mind. Last year I ran the 15K, but after pushing my flour baby up a few of the steeper hills on yesterday's test run, I decided I didn't have it in me this year. It pained every type-A bone in my body that tells me I always need to go faster, stronger, longer.... but I settled for the 5K instead.

#123...that's easy to remember



Registered and ready to go



Procession to the starting line. We're in no rush since we have to start in the very back anyway.



Here we go again....



I run these streets all the time so I knew exactly what was coming. Even though there were some BIG hills, at least they weren't a surprise and I could pace myself appropriately. I beat our best stroller 5k time from last winter by almost a minute.

Ok, so one minute faster than slow is still slow.

But for a small race of 130 people, it was good enough for



Actually Emily won. She always manages to beat me by a nose.



When I rolled up to get the award, the race director told me to wait a second. He walked over to the table where the timing chip people were set-up. They pointed to something on the computer screen and nodded their heads. Then he came back, said congratulations, and handed me the award. It was too funny.




The hubs is due home later this afternoon, so time for a quick shower and a swing by Starbucks. Am I the one who hasn't had their first Pumpkin Spice latte of the season?

Stats:
Chip Time: 23:58
Pace: 7:44/mile
Overall: 7/130
Gender: 1/84
A/G: 1/9

Friday, October 1, 2010

If you didn't know I was crazy already.....

Here's your proof.

M stayed home with the kiddo while she took a nap.

Meanwhile, I wanted to get in one more training run before our race this weekend.