Weekly Recap 2-11-13 to 2-17-13

I was supposed to have run my 5th half marathon this weekend, but as I battled my inner demons (literally) I came to the conclusion that running the race would have been a very bad idea.  I was very concerned over the course itself, 14.5 miles of mountain trails including several stream crossings which had only worsened by recent rain, I learned post race one of the water crossings had been knee deep.  I was concerned over the race day weather which had suddenly turned bitter cold, dropping into the 20s and starting the morning off with rain and snow.  I was concerned about my lingering knee injury and whether it had fully healed and whether I could even finish a race of this magnitude (in hindsight, no I would not have finished it, even if my knee felt fantastic).  All of this wrapped up in a package that included non-running stress and I was a ticking time bomb.  I finally exploded on Friday night as I grappled with myself and my indecision.  I made the hard decision to skip the race and stay home.  It was the right decision. 

Where I go from here, I don’t know.  Racing has to take a back seat as I try to work through some other things in my life right now.  Money is tight and race fees are getting higher.  As always the fist thing to get cut is the “expensive hobbies”.  Traveling, Civil War re-enacting, road races. The calender is blank, the dance card empty.  That’s not to say I won’t race in the next couple of months.  I have some promises to keep.  The FFF 5K hosted by the Landis family is coming up soon.  The Komen 5K in May I promised I’d run with Jen.  The St Leo’s 10K a friend from work wants me to do with her. The Tar Heel Ten-Miler to hang out with my sister and maybe run with her BF (for three steps before he leaves me in the dust).  These are possibilities, but nothing is set in stone.  No planning things out 8 months in advance, it will have to be a race by race, case by case judgement call. 

Starting weight – 240* 
Monday – Elliptical – 60 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 3 miles
Wednesday – BodyFlow – 60 minutes, Spinning – 50 minutes
Thursday – Run – 3 miles
Friday – REST
Saturday – REST
Sunday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 6 miles
Ending weight – 243.4 (3.4 pounds gain)

I’m not surprised to see a gain this week, some of it I’m sure if from switching back to the YMCA scale after weighing on the home scale last week.  Also, I ate pretty heavily Friday in anticipation of the race that didn’t happen and then went to town last night on some great food and drinks at the Twin City Track Club winter seminar. 

The next few weeks are going to be tough I’m sure as I struggle to find motivation with no races to train for and nothing on the horizon.  I think this week I won’t do any running, concentrate on cross training and making sure my knee is 100% healthy and then slowly get back into running and do some base building and find something I can hold on to for a while, 10-12 miles a week and just make sure I keep my running legs.

A lifetime ago…..

Eleven years seems like a lifetime.  At 32 years old, it’s in fact a full 1/3 of my lifetime.  But sometimes it can seem just like yesterday.  I’ve heard several people that were angry when September 11, 2001 was compared to the attacks on Pearl Harbor.  But, for my generation (and at least one generation younger and several older) that’s what it is.  September 11th is our “date which will live in infamy”.  It’s a date that will never be the same, and it’s a date we will never forget.  We all know where we were and what we were doing when we learned of the attacks in NY, Washington and Pennsylvania… and is something we will never ever forget.

I may have already shared this story on the blog, so forgive me if it’s repetitive, but this is how I experienced September 11, 2001 and the weeks that followed.

It was my fourth year in school at NC State (also known as, Red-Shirt Junior Year).  School had just started back, classes were only a few weeks old and if that weekend had not been the first football game of the season than surely the next weekend would have been.  I was driving to school listening to a local morning show on the radio.  As I pulled into the parking lot they made a brief mention of “a plane has crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers”.. there was no other details to report at that time, the DJ’s speculated it was a small plane, a Cessna, a Beechcraft etc, which can, and do from time to time, run into tall buildings when they fly as low as they do.  Nothing else was said, they went back to playing music or cracking jokes.

I walked across campus to the student union to grab breakfast and the place is absolutely mobbed, although that was normal for that time of day.  I got my food and miraculously found and empty table.  At this point I noticed that the TVs in the student union, which were normally on “College TV” that showed music videos and sports highlights, were tuned to CNN.  They were covering the tower that had been struck as everyone was trying to figure out what had happened.  It was bigger than what it sounded like on the radio, but still some freak accident right?  Right about this time, the second plane veered in and struck the second tower.  There was a collective gasp in the room, followed by a deathly silence.  Then the place erupted into a deafening roar as everyone started asking questions as once.  “Did you see that?” “What was that?” “What the Hell just happened?”

A sense of dread began to build in my stomach.  One plane could be an accident… but two?  I also had a sickening feeling as it clicked into my head that hundreds of people had just died instantaneously.

The place was so crowded that someone I didn’t know had asked to share my table with me and I said sure, of course and he sat with his back turned to me watching the television, but we were chit chatting some about what in the world was going.  I remember seeing the huge antenna boom on the second tower begin to rock back and forth and I said to him “It’s going to fall” and a few seconds later it collapsed and crumbled and fell to the ground.  At this point is when mad panic hit the streets of everyone running trying to get away.  We still had no clue what was going on but this was serious.

In the time span between the first tower collapse and the second one (I forget how long it was, 30 minutes? 40 minutes?) they switched to replays of the second plane hitting and replays of the first tower falling.  At some point they went back live as the second tower collapsed in on itself and crumbled to the ground.

At this point I had to get to class so I stumbled out of the student union in a daze trying to figure out what in the world was going on.  People in the classroom were openly crying, everyone was talking, no one was paying attention.  People seemed angry at the professor for trying to teach… “Have you no idea what just happened?” (In his defense, he probably did not).  I left that class and went on to the next, where the professor or a TA told us classes had been cancelled for the rest of the day.  I went home to my apartment to find my roommates glued to the TV, also trying to figure out what was going on.  Now we were getting reports of the plane that hit the Pentagon and the plane that crashed in rural Pennsylvania, which we later found out was saved by the passengers who sacrificed themselves, and was likely bound for the White House.  NC State canceled classes for the rest of the week.  (I believe 9-11-01 was a Tuesday, just as it is today).  We sat transfixed in front of the TV trying to process something that even the smartest among us could not process.  None of it made any sense, nothing at all.  We would go out on the balcony (as several of us smoked back then) and notice the eerie quiet and the lack of contrails in the sky as all flights were grounded for a long time after that.   It was quite bizarre to walk to classes after that with a crystal clear blue sky, not a single cloud, not even a man-made one.  No planes. Weird.  You don’t notice them when they are there, but you notice them when they are gone.

In the weeks and months that followed the stories came out, both on campus and on TV.  People who had been in the towers on 9-10.  People who had forgotten something at home and turned around, a wallet, an ID badge, something you couldn’t go to work without, and were not in the towers when it happened.  The ones who made it out.  The ones who stayed behind.  The firemen who ran UP the stairs, while thousands were running down… the man in the wheelchair who evacuated his entire office and saved them all, but he stayed behind.

For the victims on the planes, who had nowhere to run and no way to escape.  For the people in the first tower who never saw it coming.  For the police, firemen, EMS, military and harbor patrol who perished and sacrificed their own lived to save others.  WE WILL NEVER FORGET.

hinsone:

I’m reblogging this to remind myself to participate and also to let any of my followers who are runner-bloggers to know about it!

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

It wasn’t just a one-time event! The Automattic Worldwide WP 5k is back again in 2012! Set your timers for April 29th!

At Automattic we work from all over the world, and we use internal blogs for socializing and exchanging non-work ideas in addition to making WordPress.com and our other products more awesome. One of the things we’re really concerned about is staying healthy – we even have an entire internal blog dedicated to fitness.

We had a great idea: Get all Automatticians from 79 cities & 24 countries to run/walk a 5k on the same day! This way we can get some exercise together as a company even though we’re apart (though we won’t rule out a softball or Texas scramble at our next meetup).

A year later, and there are now 105 Automatticians we hope will take part in the 5k all around the world in 2012.

We want…

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Weekly Recap – April 2 – April 8, 2012

This was a very tough week, I won’t lie.  Adding the extra workouts to my schedule really took a toll on me.  The Monday spinning class was awesome, but it killed my quads.  My legs were sore all week.  I foolishly went out Tuesday and ran/limped 3 miles, so I’m sure I sabotaged my own recovery.  I skipped yoga on Wednesday even though the stretching would have been good for me, the stretches are worthless if I can’t do them.  I was off work Friday, so I moved my Thursday run to Friday morning and my legs were finally starting to feel better.  Here’s what this week looked like.

Starting weight – 267
Monday – Les Miles RPM (Spinning) – 60 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 3 (painful) miles
Wednesday – Rest/Injured
Thursday – Rest/Out of town
Friday – Run – 2 miles
Saturday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Sunday – Run – 4 miles
Total mileage – 9 miles
Ending weight – 267 (UNCH)

So, I didn’t lose any weight this week.  But I didn’t gain either, so small win.  But still a win.  This is the first time since I’ve been logging my weight has not changed at all, either up or down, so that’s interesting.  I would have expected even a tiny change, 0.2 pounds up or down.

Friend Making Monday

Song – Fun We are Young (didnt like it at first, it’s growing on me)

Drink – Coke Zero (and off brand equivalents)

Physical feature of the opposite sex – Breasts (hey, honesty right?)

TV Shows – No cable right now, but I like White Collar and Game of Thrones that I am missing.

Actress – Zooey Deschanel

Books – Song of Fire and Ice series by George R R Martin

Form of communication – text message or email

Exercise – Running

Food – Turkey Burgers

Quote – The story of barbecue is the story of America: Settlers arrive on great unspoiled continent, discover wondrous riches, set them on fire and eat them. ~ Vince Staten

 

 

 

Upcoming Race Schedule – Feb/March 2012

After searching high and low for races in December and January to augment my half marathon training course and finding nothing (save the New Years race), now all of a sudden the race schedule is blowing up and I find myself with 4 races in the next two months.  Ironically it’s also 4 races of different distances so that will surely keep me on my toes.  Here’s what’s coming up!

Feb 4th 2012 – Winter Flight 8K, Salisbury NC
This race is coming up this weekend, and while I was looking for a 10K to fit into my training there was not one to be had, so this 8K will have to do.  5 miles is a respectable distance, longer than a 5K but not gruelingly long.  Should be a good race.

Feb 18, 2012 – Fitness, Friendship and Fun 5K, Kannapolis NC
I received an invite to this race directly from the Race Director, who happens to be a friend of mine on DailyMile.  Advertised as a low key, small crowd race to benefit Multiple Sclerosis.  My friends daughter has dealt with MS for the last 10 years and is now a track runner.  With a personal invite how can I say no?

March 4, 2012 – Rock and Roll New Orleans Half Marathon, New Orleans, LA
The big grandaddy race.  The one I’ve been training for since September of last year.  My first half marathon, my first 13.1 sticker, my first medal and hopefully the first of many “Holy %$^# I did it!” moments.  My entire running life has been revolving around this race for 4 months and I’m sure when I finish I will think “what do I do now?”.  I’ve heard this reaction is quite common.  Maybe having another race 2 weeks after will be good to keep the needle in the groove.

March 17, 2012 – St Leos School 10K Road Race, Winston Salem, NC
This is the only race of the four I haven’t officially registered for, but I am still planning on running it.  This will be my first 10K so it will be exciting for that reason, even if it is *after* my Half Marathon.  (Several people have noticed I jumped straight from 5K to Half Marathon).   I will be running this one with my running buddy  Jen so that will be fun as well.

As always, stay tuned for post race recaps as soon as the race happens and check out my Races page for times and links to the recaps.

Happy running!

Week 7 Half Marathon Training Recap

Appropriately enough, week 7 included a 7 mile long run.  Did my long run on Saturday with Jennifer, and so adjusted my schedule to take Friday as a rest day and did not do my cross-training on the bike this week.  I’m past halfway, and I have more days marked off of my training schedule than are remaining.  5 weeks until the half marathon! Next weekend I am running an 8K in Salisbury, so that will be my “long run” next week (5 miles).  Here’s the numbers.

Starting weight – 282.2
Running (4.5, 4.5, 7) – 16 miles
Yoga – 60 minutes
Total miles – 16 miles
Ending weight – 281.8 (0.4 pound loss).

I know, I loss is a loss is a loss…. but I have to be honest.. not happy.

Week 4 Half Marathon Training Recap

The mileage is starting to crank up now as the training moves along.  I just completed today’s long run of 5 miles.  5 Miles! Holy Cow.  I’m thinking about running an 8K in Feburary, and that’s how far that is, like 4.97 miles.  Big weight loss this week, to make up for last weeks gain.  Still up and down and all over the place but the overall trend is down.  In just under 3 months since I joined MFP I’ve lost 26 pounds, so averaging a little over 2.3 pounds per week, which is what they have me set on (2 pounds a week), despite some weeks being 3.4 pounds and some weeks being 0.8 pounds, it all averages out. Tale of the tape this week.

Starting Weight – 285.6 pounds
Running – (3.5, 3.5, 5.0) – 12 miles total.
Biking – Crosstraining – 5.6 miles
Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 17.6 miles
Ending weight – 282.2 pounds (3.4 pound loss).

Not a bad week overall.  Next week is supposed to be 4,4,6 but with my New Years race pushing the long runs down a week, I have next week as 4,4,5 and then week after as 4,4,6 (when the schedule has 4,4, 5K race, so I replaced that with the 6 miler).  The 8K in Feb. will shift the long runs a little as well too, but I’ll worry about that in Feb.

Beef Stir Fry

I was searching through the produce section at walmart looking for some veggies and I ran across a pre-bagged selection of stir fry veggies (broccoli, carrots, snow peas) and remembered something someone had mentioned about doing stir fry at home and how easy it was.  So then I needed the rest of the ingredients to make it.

The assemblage of ingredients.  Bottom round steak “for stir fry”, stir fry veggies, Kikkoman Stir Fry Sauce, Canola Oil, Cornstarch, Annie Chung sticky rice bowl.

The instructions on the stir fry sauce bottle says to dredge the steak in a mixture of cornstarch and soy sauce, but I didn’t do this, rather just dredged in dry cornstarch and fried up the meat in a tablespoon of Canola oil.  After the met was cooked, I set it to the side, added a couple more tablespoons of oil to the pan and cooked up the vegetables for a couple of minutes.  The I added the meat back in stirred it up and then added the sauce.

Here it is in the pan ready to go.

And here is the final product with the rice.

Here is the nutritional info (courtesy of MyFitnessPal)
1166 calories (the canola oil killed it, may have used too much)
88 grams carbs (mostly the rice, a little from the veggies)
70g fat (the meat and oil, a good bit of unsaturated in the oil)
39g protein

So it was a little higher than I expected, but it was really good. My only complaint was the meat got a little tough and chewy, I tried not to cook it too much, it was still a little pink when I pulled it out.  I smelled the Stir Fry sauce and thought to myself “I am not going to like this”, but it turned out to be one of those things that’s really strong on it’s own, but mixed in with the meat and veggies it was really really good.  I was afraid I had made a mistake with the sticky rice but it was OK.  It didn’t make the dish, it didn’t kill the dish, I guess it was just “eh”… rice.  Ya know?

This was good, I liked it.  And it cooked up in like 5 minutes.  It cooks hot and cooks fast of course (smoked up the whole house and now my eyes are burning.)

Running of the Lights 2012

The New Year is less than a day old, and I already have my first race under my belt.  The 2012 Running of the Lights at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons NC started this morning at the stroke of Midnight to welcome in the New Year.  This 5.5K race circled the park and ran through most of the parks Christmas light display they do every year.

It was very cold to start the race, and I was cursing myself for only wearing one shirt, but perhaps that was a good thing since once we got going after a half mile or so I felt fine.  If I had layered more I may have gotten too hot.  Started out near the back, knowing that my pace is going to be slow, but ended up having to fight our way through a crowd of people content on just walking.  So got off to a little bit of a slow start.

Small phone picture, but here is Kim and I before the race.  I’m all bundled up and still freezing.

Tanglewood has a lot of hills, which is obvious from my bizarre split times.  The first mile went pretty well and straight and a gentle down hill.  Kim and I jogged all the way out to the guardhouse through the turn around and then part of the way back up the hill.  Shortly before the 2 mile mark Kim ran off and left me, but I figured I would catch up to her later (and I did) so I didn’t worry myself with trying to catch up.  I did catch her again around 2.5 miles and we stayed together the rest of the way.  She did extremely well for her first race, held a pretty steady pace and jogged almost the whole way.  I knew she was faster than me, but had not run more than a mile at one time, so I expected a blazing fast first mile and then have to walk the rest of the way, which I didn’t care, I wasn’t running this race for time (even though I set a 5K PR by over 3 minutes).  She held her pace very well.

Our first mile was completed in 13:46, a little slower than my normal pace and probably attributed to getting caught in traffic, I know there were times we were almost jogging in place because of the crowd.  Weaving in and out of people the whole time.  Second mile I was shocked when my Garmin beeped and told me 12:14, surely my fastest mile ever! And I wasn’t even trying to catch back up with Kim, just doing my own thing, crowd had thinned out.  A little bit of downhill in mile 2, but not much.  Mile 3 slowed down a lot, with a decent amount of uphill and also Kim was getting tired but still jogging it out.  14:09 mile three pace.  After we hit 3 miles and could see the bright lights of the finish line, we took off and jog/sprinted to the finish.  11:19 pace for the last 0.27 of a mile. I checked my watch at 3.10 miles and I was at 41:10 which is by far a 5K PR, in fact even with the extra 2 tenths of a mile, my overall time was faster than any of my 5Ks. I told Kim I would let her finish first, she asked why and I said so she could beat me, but she said no to that and we finished together with the exact same time of 43:18. Ironically, they still listed her before me on the official results even with the exact times.  And my chip time matched my watch time, so I did a good job starting and stopping my watch at the right place. My other friend Jennifer who ran with us and was running in only her third race came home with a time of 52:07 which she said after the race was close to her best time as well, so great job!

Official Results:
43:18 for both me and Kim.
Kim 859/1099 overall (438/614 female)
Me 860/1099 overall (422/485 male)
Jennifer 1007/1099 overall (537/614 female)

Age Group results
Kim 34 of 47 (She didn’t want to be last, and wasn’t by a long shot)
Me 44 of 48
Jennifer 59 of 66

None of us were last in our age groups, and we all finished! That’s always a good race.  And with that, I came home, popped my tiny bottle of champagne and toasted the New Year a couple hours late.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.

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