Wednesday, March 31, 2010

to 5K or not to 5K and chillin' with loud cat

One of my goals with my running this year is to be a better racer. I suck at racing. This isn't a HUGE deal, but when I enter a race, I want to do my best. I'm paying for the thing, so I kind of want to make the most of the closed course, the crowd, and the free water stops. (ok, maybe not the free water...) I like races, and for the most part, when I have been racing with the goal of running a PR time, I have. But in general, I leave races wondering if I could have gone faster if I had just kept my head in the game. My head really messes with me when I'm in a race and I tend to fall a part at least once. So this year, I'm going to try to work on my "head game". Obviously, I need to work on the running part of it too, but that's what all the running is for.

This brings me to the following race- the Diefenbooker Classic. It has all sorts of positives: chip timed, smaller race, food at the end, free shirt, it is at Canada's cold war museum- the Diefenbunker, and you get to run through the blast tunnel! It is at the beginning of May- so the weather shouldn't be too hot, which is also a plus for me. The only problem is the elevation profile (and I apologize for all the white space...I didn't have the patience to play with the graphic):
Seriously- who ends a race with such a crappy up hill climb???? But at the same time, even at this point, I feel like I'm running strong and could run a decent 5K time perhaps even PR if there was a race next week. So with all the hills I'm running to prep for Vermont and an entire month more of training, maybe I could kick this race's butt... I'll let you know what I decide (I'm leaning pretty strongly toward yes...it's the blast tunnel that's making it almost irresistible).

In other news, it is so nice, warm, and sunny today that I'm currently blogging on my deck. And I have some great company too- the cat known around here (well, to Jordan and me) as Loud Cat:
Loud Cat actually isn't all that loud, it is just that he or she is really mouthy and likes to talk to us. LC also likes to protect his or her spot on our deck. When other cats try to sit there, Loud Cat definitely has something to say about it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

why i don't think i can eat my leftovers

On Saturday night, we had some lovely fish (trout) for dinner but didn't quite finish all of it. So for lunch on Sunday, I decided to make a hearty salad (that included plenty o veggies, the leftover rice AND the leftover fish). As Jordan was about to dig in, he asked "is this de-boned or did you just throw everything in a container last night?" my response was "for the most part, there should be no bones...just the stragglers." Then, I took a big bite.

Normally I'm pretty careful with fish. I used to think that a fish bone (or the fuzz from artichokes) would actually kill you if you swallowed them. I'm not sure how, but I was convinced that swallowing those things would result in certain death. But it was Sunday at lunch time...and since Sunday is long run day, I'm usually pretty hungry by the time I get home, Jordan gets home, and we finally get lunch organized. So I was hungry and wasn't paying as much attention as I usually do, so only seconds after I said "for the most part there should be no bones", I felt a bone going down my throat. And it stuck. No matter how many times I swallowed or how much water I drank, it wouldn't budge.

Slowly and very carefully (looking for more bones) I finished my lunch with the bone in my throat. It hurt, it felt funny, and I didn't like it. I coughed, I tried to clear my throat, but nothing would work. Once lunch was done I even tried to stick my finger back there and see if I could dig it out...nothing (and I even managed not to gag myself). I think I even tried to drink some water with my head upside down...

It really sucked and there was a point where Jordan asked me if I thought I needed to go to the doctor. I figured it wasn't doctor material quite yet, but that if it stuck around all night and into today, I'd probably need to have someone take a look. So instead of seeking medical attention, I did the next most logical thing: I got a slurpee. My thought was that it would bring down the inflammation and that might help things along and that if nothing else, it would at least be soothing on my sore throat.

It felt good on my throat, but nothing budged. So I carried on with my day, my throat feeling crappy and slowing making me nauseous. Luckily for me, the noodle soup we had for dinner (Jordan wanted to try out my new soup seasoning find) managed to dislodge the bone and by dessert time (mmm..ice cream), but throat was feeling much better. Unfortunately for me, I was still nauseous the rest of the night so it kind of ruined the soup for me. Which brings me back to the title...there's soup left, about a dinner worth of soup...and I don't think I can eat it. I feel guilty.

In other news, apparently Ricky Martin is gay. Wow. I never would have guessed that one. Yes, that IS sarcasm dripping off that statement. I guess he was finally ready to say it out loud.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

inspired by morimoto

I don't normally blog about my food, but tonight's dinner was worth it and it involved an ingredient that I had never used before: Somen noodle soup base (which is apparently STRAIGHT)

You see, I didn't want to let the beautiful afternoon go by without me getting out in the sunshine, so I wandered to the asian food store. Knowing that I already had shrimp thawing and wasn't all that sure what I was going to make, I figured I'd use the trip to the market as inspiration for dinner. While wandering the aisles, I saw some ingredients I already had: baby bok choy, soba, and edemame. When I stumbled upon the noodle soup base, I knew that this plus the homemade chicken stock I already had would help me make a delicious soup.

I sauteed some mushrooms in garlic, then lightly sauteed the shrimp in some garlic and some hot sauce- knowing that they'd finish cooking in the soup. I combined the chicken stock, the somen, and a bit of water and brought it to a boil. In went the noodles, then once they had cooked most of the way through I added the edemame, then the baby bok choy, the mushrooms, the shrimp and then finally some green onions.

The result: delicious.  Obviously not as "moan-worthy" as my unforgettable soup from Morimoto (you have to scroll down quite a bit on that post before you get to the soup) but it wasn't all that bad. The shrimp ended up slightly overdone by the end (my first shrimp was perfectly cooked but the last one was a little too done) but the textures of the bok choy, edemame, and noodles were almost perfect.
Maybe I should have taken a picture...

What is your favourite "new" ingredient? Tried anything new lately that surprised you by being better than you thought it might be?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

i've gone soft

Earlier today, I made a comment on my sister's blog about how she'd gone soft. Then I realized- so have I. As I walked home from work today in the rain and in the wind, all I could think of was that as soon as I got home I just had to change and get back outside to run. And it sounded terrible.
Especially after my terrible running this weekend, the last think I wanted to do was be cold, wet, AND miserable. But of course, I sucked it up and got out there in the rain. Luckily I had no side stitches, no stomach sloshing, and for the most part felt pretty good. 

My schedule called for hill sprints at the end  of my run, which was fine except for one thing- as I got my arms going, it meant more wind on my wet sleeves... I must have been going really fast (riiight) because MAN they got really cold. Each hill sprint (I did 5 sprints of 8 seconds) made my arms colder and colder. Luckily I was pretty close to home, because I would have started whining up a storm (in my own head) about being cold...

Yeah, I'm a wuss.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

two steps forward, one step back

If you've ever trained for something, I think you probably know what I mean when I say that some weeks or some days feel like you've taken a step (or two, or three) backwards. Things are going along well, you feel good, you feel strong, you feel like you're improving, and then BAM, things get ugly.

I had a day like that today. Earlier this week, I was really feeling like I was making good progress and my training was going well. I ran yesterday and today (which is normal for me- I usually run both weekend days) and while I was absolutely miserable for the first 10 or so minutes of yesterday's run, once I warmed up and got going, it got a bit better. It wasn't a great run, but it was ok. Today, however, was terrible. I started out with a nasty sloshing stomach (even though I was pretty sure I didn't drink too much before I left) and got worse from there with a lower abdominal stitch that just wouldn't go away. I would try to "run it out" but it would just get worse and worse until I realized that I may as well walk for a bit because it was affecting my stride so much.

I honestly can't even remember how many walk breaks I took, but I was definitely thankful that I had left my Garmin at home (I had forgotten to charge it last night). By the time I was close enough to home to feel like the run was all but over, my legs felt like lead and I felt a little defeated.

So, I decided to look back on the week to see if there may have been a reason for a rough weekend of running. The verdict? Yes. Tuesday was a tough hill session and Thursday was a bit of a crazy fitness class where we did everything "one legged". One legged squats, not so bad. One legged dead lifts, also not bad. But one legged burpees? Yeah, they are as bad as you think they'd be. Add that to the fact that all week I had felt like I was fighting a cold, and perhaps that is a bit of an explanation for my dead legs. I mean who knows, it may have been something different, but I figure those things all had at least something to do with the terribleness that was my running this weekend.

The good news is, tomorrow is a rest day (well, a yoga day, but no running) and Tuesday is another run on another day. Hopefully it will be a better run, but if it isn't, I know that the bad ones are just as important as the good ones...though the good ones are a lot more fun.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

update

I just thought I'd update a few points from my last post.

Firstly, our pie wasn't a disaster. It actually tasted quite good. We made apple pie- so a pie with a top and bottom crust. The bottom crust wasn't rolled quite thin enough (I think I was worried about overworking the dough) so not only was it a little too thick but it meant that we couldn't quite seal the top and bottom. This meant a little bit of leakage, but it meant that we got a bit of caramelized goo at the bottom, which I liked. So it was relatively successful. And it looked pretty good too:

Secondly, my St. Patrick's day cookies were a success. We don't have a shamrock or a leprechaun cookie cutter, so I settled for the next Irish thing that we had- a gorilla. Who has a gorilla cookie cutter? We do :) So I made some little green gorillas and made sure that they all found homes in the bellys of my co-workers. And I raised a really decent amount of money too! It was very exciting that my little green gorillas were so successful.

And a little extra top tip this St Patrick's day (and something to think about for next year)...as crazy as it sounds, the Guiness Milkshake is delightful. Seriously- three out of three testers gave it the thumbs up.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

spring?

Just some randomness:
  • I haven't wanted to to jinx it by talking about it, but March has come in very "lamb-like". Today has been the coldest day thus far- and it is about 5 degrees and rainy. I can't complain too much about that. Next week, we'll see double digits a few times....hooray for March.
  • We scored a really good deal on a hotel in Boston. I was getting a little freaked out that we hadn't booked a place to stay for the night before the marathon yet, but our procrastination payed off and we found a really great deal on HotWire. Hooray!
  • We're headed to a Pi day party this evening. In honour of this, we are making our very first pie from scratch. This is the first time either of us has ever attempted pie dough...hopefully it turns out.
  • My training for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon is going pretty well. While some of it has to do with the wonderful weather, I also feel like I'm mostly running well. Obviously I have the occasional bad run, but I've been doing well with putting the good and the bad into perspective. Now the goal will be to keep it up and to learn to be mentally tough when I race.
  • My fund raising for the half marathon, however, isn't going as well as I would like. I clearly need to work a little harder at it. I'm hoping to sell a few St. Patrick's day cookies at work this week to help out. If you would like to donate, click here for instructions.
I hope you all had a great weekend- did anyone run a St. Patrick's day race? Did you dress up? I thought of doing one, but never followed through...Now I don't think there are any races around here until the beginning of May...oops.

Monday, March 08, 2010

because i am a Canadian girl, i am lucky

 

Whether this is a charity you like or don't like, they do have a point. Growing up in Canada, I was never told that I had limits "because I am a girl". I was told I could do anything. I never believed that I couldn't be a scientist, or a teacher, or an athlete "because I am a girl". I was never told that I couldn't run a company, or run a city, or even run a country "because I am a girl". I was once told I couldn't play with dump trucks, but I set that person straight pretty quickly...  

How lucky am I? I live in Canada where as girls, we are treated as equals. Because I am a Canadian girl, I am so very lucky.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

tagged for randomness (and gorgeousness of course)

I've been tagged by my lovely sister to let you all know 6 things that you likely do not know about me. Like the lovely lady over at the things i know, this comes at a good time for me since the post olympic withdrawal has made me feel anything but creative. I will try to think of things that most people do not know.
  • I only own one long-sleeved collared, button up shirt. One. (and I got it in December, so prior to December I didn't have any at all). I just don't find them comfortable and I find it really difficult to find one that fits me properly. So that "crisp white shirt" that every woman is supposed to have in her wardrobe? Yeah, I don't have it.
  • I've still never eaten a big mac. I know I mentioned it a few years ago, but just in case you were curious, I still haven't had one.
  • I don't listen to the radio. I don't have one at home and I really don't spend much time in the car...so I don't really have the opportunity to do so. Therefore, I'm always terribly behind on what the "new" music is.
  • I have a fear of motorcycles. They terrify me and I have no plans to ever get on one.
  • My favourite apple is the Honey Crisp. My only complaint about them is that they are usually WAY too big, but on the other hand, that just means more deliciousness to enjoy.
  • According to the people I know, I have un-humanly will-power when it comes to food. If I don't want to eat it, I won't do it "just because it is there" (for the most part- I do have my days). I guess I just figure that if I'm going to eat something that is nutritionally questionable, I might as well really enjoy it- and if I'm not going to enjoy it, it isn't worth eating.
So there you go- 6 random things that you probably didn't know about me. Any random fact you'd like to share about yourself?  (and Moustache Man, if you are going to keep up the blogging, consider yourself tagged)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

a confession of the running kind

I have a confession about running, and although it isn't tragic or terrible, it is something that might bite me in the ass someday. I don't run with ID. I don't run with a phone, I don't run with my license, I don't run with much of anything that would identify me if I was unable to speak for myself. The only think I usually have is my iPod which if you went into "contacts" would have my name and address...but even then, it is kind of hidden and I don't always run with it.

I know it isn't smart and I know that if I either got hit by a car or randomly went down on a run, it would be tough for emergency workers to ID me and to get in touch with the people who need to know where I am and what happened to me. I also know that it is easily remedied by carrying ID- but that is just one more step in getting myself out the door. I've been thinking about getting a RoadID for a couple of years now but haven't done it yet.

Since I'm feeling a little more serious about getting the RoadID, here's my question- would it be better to get one that has my emergency information on it very visibly (but that would need to be replaced whenever that information changed) or the one that is "flexible" and allows you to update the relevant information online BUT that emergency workers would need to call a number to access that information? (here's the link to the product comparison)

(and just so I don't sound as bad, Jordan doesn't run with ID either...and he runs on rural roads...I might have to get him a RoadID too)