Sunday, September 26, 2010

Best Run Ever (So Far)

Yesterday morning was the Kentuckiana Heart Walk, a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. Both the office and hospital I work for are big sponsors, so I signed up to raise money and walk. There are actually 2 distances, 3 miles or 1 mile, and one of the goals is to encourage activity. When I first signed up, I was trying to figure out how to get a long run in this weekend also. Then I realized I could run to the start, which was 5.5 miles from my house. When I first came up with this plan, I had an 8 mile long run scheduled and I was trying to decide if a 5.5 mile run + a 3 mile walk = 8 miles. I don't think it does, but since changing to the half-marathon in Indy added 3 weeks to my training time, it doesn't matter. My new training plan had a 5 mile run on the agenda.

I started our early and it was so dark. Our subdivision doesn't have street lights. I wore a bight yellow long sleeve running shirt that I got from a series of races last winter. It actually was for the one I couldn't complete due to a wheezing attack. I also wore my reflective vest. I didn't realize how dark our end of town is. The road I ran on for most of time doesn't have many lights, so most of the time I was in the dark. There was more traffic then I expected for so early on a Saturday, but I didn't have much trouble with people driving too close.

I have decided on long runs, I will run 9 minutes and then walk 1 minute. I followed this plan and around mile 3.5 as the sun was coming up, I realized I felt great. Running didn't seem that hard and my pace was better than it was at the start. I got to my destination and talked (and bragged) to my co-workers. Someone asked me if I had just gotten out of the shower and I said, "No, I ran here." I had a some time to rest, drink water and eat a banana while they made announcements and we took a group photo. Then Judy and I completed the 3 mile version of the Heart Walk. It was a beautiful day and we kept up a fairly good pace, but were able to talk the whole time. We passed a bunch of people and I think we were among the first ones back. I had previously arranged to get a ride home with Judy. We drove the route I had taken on my run and I was kinda impressed with myself for doing it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Relearning How to Ride a Bike

Since I'd like to do another triathlon, I decided I needed a new bike. I went to my favorite bike store, Clarksville Schwinn and Cycling and asked to see their entry level (cheaper) models. I tried a few and the one that seemed best was a Cannondale Cad 8. I also bought clipless pedals that match the cleats in my spinning shoes so I can use them for now.

My new bike

Due to other things we had going on this weekend, I didn't get to ride my new bike until Monday. I started by checking the tires. I couldn't get a good seal between the bike pump and the valve and ended up letting all the air our of my tires. After checking the internet for instructions, I determined I was following the correct steps, I just didn't have a good pump. So, I went back to the bike store and bought a high pressure pump. With it, it took me about a minute to pump my tires to 120 PSI. It was an investment piece, but worth it.

Then it was time to get on my bike. I straddled it and got one foot clipped in and took off. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the other foot clipped in or the clipped in foot out, so I fell in our yard. I looked around and was glad no one was around to see me. I got back up and tried again with the other foot, but that attempt also ended with me on the ground. Thankfully, both times I fell it was in the grass so I wasn't hurt. Then I remembered Caitlin talking about practicing in a doorway. The bike and I came inside and I practiced clipping in and riding about 6 feet in our hallway before I was ready to go back outside.

My adoring fans

After returning outside, I managed to get on and ride around our subdivision without falling. This included clipping out and back in at stop signs. I was very pleased, but decided to delay a real ride until Wednesday.

Wednesday after work, I went out for a 10 mile ride down to the river and into Utica. I felt great going out and was getting 15+ miles per hour. Then I turned around and was riding into the wind. This did not feel great and my speed really slowed down. I ended up averaging 13.58 miles per hour. I want to get up to 15 or 16 mph, so obviously I will need some more practice. The great thing about biking is it is a wonderful recovery the day after a long run, so I will be out at least weekly while training for the half-marathon.

And, I have an update on the half-marathon. We've decided to change to the Monumental Marathon and Half-Marathon Nov 6 in Indianapolis. The drive is shorter and it gives us more time to train. Indy is one of my favorite cities and this race starts and ends near the State Capitol Building in downtown, which is a beautiful building. I've walked all over downtown in my visits, so I'm excited to run it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Frittata to the Rescue

When the question is what's for dinner, the answer can always be a frittata. According to Wikipedia (I love this site), a "frittata is an egg-based dish similar to an omelette or quiche." I call it a quiche without crust and it's so easy to make. You probably already have all the ingredients. The first ingredient is eggs. The other ingredients are whatever you want to eat in your eggs.

The other night I made spinach and artichoke frittata, but I have also made sausage and potato, ham and asparagus, and turkey and broccoli. The possibilities are pretty much endless. Here's the generic way to put it together.

1. Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over med high heat.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Cook fillings in oil until heated through. If using raw meat, cook until done. If you want to add any seasonings, add them to the filling. Spread filling out evenly in pan.

4. Beat 8 eggs or 4 eggs and 1 cup egg substitute. Pour over filling. Mix filling and eggs to ensure even distribution.

5. Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the top with shredded cheese and cook another 5-7 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6. Let cool for a few minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and serve.

I usually eat 1 slice for dinner and 2 slices for lunch. Toby usually eats 1 or 2 slices depending on the filling (2 for veggie filling, 1 for meat). It goes well with rolls and fruit, but you could just eat it by itself. The leftovers are great too.

Friday, September 3, 2010

From Runner to Slacker and Back Again

I've been running almost a year now. I started in October of last year after Toby ran the Louisville Marathon and Jeane and I decided we wanted to do a marathon. She was 7 months pregnant at the time, so thought 2011 would be the year. Then we decided that maybe we'd do a half marathon instead. After that conversation, I started the Couch Potato to 5K program. However, I didn't feel like a runner until sometime this summer. There are lots of ways to define being a runner, but I decided I was a runner when I started liking running. I'm really slow and can't run long distances (yet), but I am a runner.

This week, I have been an exercise slacker. I probably was too tired to exercise Monday, but I continued to use that excuse Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. I slept instead of getting up and going to the gym and I had commitments every evening this week, so I couldn't make it up then. In the past, this would have led to me taking a few more weeks off from exercise and being really sore when I resumed, so it would take me awhile to get back on schedule. But today, I went running. It was a lovely morning and I ran for 25 minutes covering 2 miles, which is my usual pace. I told you I'm slow. Now, I'm a runner again. I'm not going to let myself go down the "I used to be a runner" path.

My future plans for running including building stamina by running for time rather than distance. I'd like to be able to run 5 miles in 60 minutes with no walk breaks. I know I don't have to be able to do this to be a runner, but it seems like a nice goal for me. Then I will return to working on distance running, probably using the run/walk method. I know a lot of people are happy it's almost fall and I'm thrilled it's football season, but I'm going to miss the heat and the early sunrises. My next planned purchase is a reflective vest so I can still go for early morning runs.