Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesdays are crazy

I've been following a new run program on my RunKeeper app. It's requiring that I run on Sunday which I don't like to do because we have to get up early enough for church on Sundays. I hate to have to get up even earlier.

I haven't had time to really poke around and see if I can re-program my running days though, so this past Sunday I got up early and went out to run. Of course, it was awesome.

It was lonely though! No other pedestrians on the sidewalk, no trains, no cars, no semi trucks, no noise, nothing.
Monday is a rest day, and the next run on the schedule was Tuesday. TUESDAY.

Tuesdays are my hell days. After work, there's piano lessons. During the Puff's lessons, I made lunches for tomorrow and dinner for tonight (grilled cheese for the Puff and grilled cheese for me--MOTY I tell ya) and changed into my running clothes. After piano, we had to eat our dinner IN THE CAR as we raced out to a "mandatory" parent meeting at the Puff's school. Mandatory.

After the parent meeting, we had to race over to the church for the Puff's Tuesday night church activity. Once she joined her group, I went out for my run.

This run was interesting! The RunKeeper app had me do 3 miles at a slow pace. After that I had to run 20 seconds FAST followed by 2 minutes slow, three times.

I wasn't really ready for the voice direction from the app as I was running, or I would have been faster on my FAST intervals.

All of a sudden there was a sharp beep in my ear and the voice said "Starting Interval 20 seconds fast" and I waited for like a GO signal but there wasn't one so I assume I was supposed to have started the fast running once the voice came on. Otherwise, I think I could have run under 10:00/mi each time. Next time for sure.

Seen on my run tonight: feral rabbits. Are they called feral if they're stray like that? I don't know. I saw it bounding and knew it wasn't a cat. At first it ran away from me but then when I stopped to snap the picture it kinda charged at me, so I ran away from IT. I don't know anything about rabbits, except I ate some once. 

I wore my Garmin during this run as well because I like to glance at it every once in a while to see what my pace is as I run. But it always bugs me that the Garmin and my phone GPS are never in sync. I don't understand why that happens.

Otherwise, I really loved today's run and the intervals I did. It was fun to change it up a bit and wasn't so hard that I will dread it next time.

Tomorrow is not Tuesday, so it's bound to be a good day. Plus it's a RunKeeper rest day, so that's even better!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A little lox and a lot of Shahs

For some reason, it's become impossible for me to join my LARC group in Santa Monica for a run. I thought at first it was because my drive was kinda far, but really, I am starting to think that it's just not a priority for me since we aren't training for the marathon. I really really do miss the Santa Monica scenery tho'. 

Instead I went to the gym and braced myself for an hour of boredom on the treadmill. Before I left I downloaded some podcasts I hadn't listened to yet:
Listening to old Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! episodes is really hard because the latest news trivia is no longer what's current. You really have to think about what was happening in the world X number of weeks ago. Exercising body and mind.

I was doing my best to zone out on the podcast but I kept thinking this guy on the treadmill in front of me looked kinda familiar
And yeah, duh, it was my handsome nephew Dave. I'm hardly ever in this gym because running on the treadmill is a last resort type thing for me, but Dave is a total gym rat. He's getting ready to enlist in the Marines (so proud!). 

I kinda had to blow him off until I was finished with my run tho. My treadmill's pause button did not work, I couldn't stop it to even say a quick hello. Actually none of the buttons on that dang mill worked so I had to do some math to figure out my pace for the 5 miles I ran. This is why the gym isn't my first choice for a run. 
5 miles at 11:40 pace. I wish I could hit these paces when I'm out running by myself.

In other news, today was my 4th weigh in. Hooray. My sister had invited a few of us out for Indian food Friday after work. Normally this wouldn't be an issue but since I had to weigh in Saturday morning, I really didn't want to indulge in food that I couldn't semi-accurately calculate the calorie count.

3 different curries, tandoori chicken, naan. We also had samosas and pakora (not pictured). Indian food is my favorite

 I'm wondering if Saturday really is an ideal time for a weigh in. The result, even after the Indian food the night before, wasn't terrible.  I lost a whole entire pound this week! YAY!
This scale is really getting on my nerves though and I've made up my mind to replace it this week. If I step off and back on, it gives me a different number each time! I'll probably have to "start over" again with a brand new starting weight on the new scale. For that reason, i'm only half-heartedly satisfied with this number. 

After the gym, I went in search of bagel lox. Found one at a place called Bonjour Bagel near the gym and it was delicious! 
 Went home, showered, stretched/foam rolled and then ate my bagel in my slippers and PJ's while catching up with the Shahs of Sunset (Team GiGi!).
Can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Unremarkably fantastic

Yesterday's 3 mile run was unremarkably (is that a word?) fantastic. Totally unremarkable as I went on the usual route across the train tracks and did a 3 mile out and back. And I wasn't particularly fast or anything. No trains even bothered to go by to give me a little bit of a rest. 

 But I found myself smiling and waving like a big dork at everyone I passed. Like we were all part of an exclusive club of pedestrians, sharing this special sidewalk. Super goofy, but man, I was in a great mood. Chasing the dragon. 

After the run, it was more of the usual: dinner for me & the Puff

Lunches ready to go for tomorrow 

Finished the diorama that we have the Puff has to turn in on Friday

Tomorrow is another weigh in day. Last night I had happy hour with my co-workers at a fabulous place here in Long Beach. I DID NOT EAT any of the food that was brought out, except for a couple of sticks of jicama and some ceviche. 
What I missed out on: crab cakes, chicken wings, cheese & artichoke dip, sliders, mac & cheese, chips n guacamole...and on and on. Actually it was surprisingly easy to say no.

But if a certain scale doesn't start to behave itself and start putting up some decent numbers (love how I shirk my responsibility in the weigh in process, right?) it's going to end up in a dumpster.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

One week melts into the next

Some times it feels like one week just melts into the next and before you know it, it's Tuesday again....piano lessons. 
During the Puff's lessons (she actually practiced this week.:) I whipped up a batch of Kristina's zucchini chips. They were super fast to prepare, especially with a mandoline. After slicing up 3 medium zucchinis and laying them on the cookie sheet, I spritzed them with olive oil and sprinkled half of them with season salt and the other half with garlic salt.
 I popped the cookie sheet into a 225F oven and then got ready for my run. After her lessons the Puff decided that she wanted to tag along with me on her scooter. Seemed like a great idea at the time....

Once we were about 1/2 mile out, she started complaining about being tired, her leg hurting, her clothes bothering her....ugggh. And at every.single.crosswalk she had to get off her scooter and walk safely across the street to the other side (like there's anything I can say about that). Double uggggh.
We were on one of my usual routes across the tracks toward the pedestrian bridge. While we were on the tracks the bells sounded off and the lights began to flash. Oops. My poor kiddo jumped about a mile in the air, like she thought the train would appear out of thin air and smash right into us.
I bet she'll be asking for more details the next time she decides she wants to go on a run with me (how far, where to, etc. lol)

After the train track incident I decided to cut the run short and only got 2 miles in by the time we got home. I'm ok with that, because I got out to run and spend time with the Puff. I'll count it as a double-win.
We ate dinner after the run. The zucchini chips had been in the oven the entire time while we were out. My verdict on the zucchini chips? I wasn't super excited about them. I over-salted them with seasoning and I'd turned the oven temp down before we left the house thinking we would be gone longer than we actually were, So they were just kinda mushy. Salty mushy zucchini discs.

I'm always looking out for new ways to eat veggies so I'm going to try again. Next time I'll use less salt and keep the oven temp where it should be.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Running apps & week deux weigh in

Not much news on the running front. I went to the gym on Saturday but had a terrible headache that would.not stop pounding. So I went home. Boo.  

I upgraded my RunKeeper app so that I can get some kind of training plan for my upcoming half marathon in Seattle in July. Have you heard that the Runner's World SmartCoach app is now only available in Spanish? Weird! I used to use that app all the time and when I tried to download it again I think it was only offered in Spanish. 

Weird right? I actually do speak/read/write fluent Spanish but it's not my predominate langauge so I'd rather not have to think that hard when I'm looking at my training plan. It's tough enough for me to translate running jargon into English!

Just as well, the RunKeeper seems to be just as good/limited as the SmartCoach was so it'll do for now. I'm looking for a real-live running coach to replace these apps but until I find one, this'll do me. 

And then there's the regularly scheduled Saturday weigh-in. Key dramatic music: 
 165.2 gaaah. I'm down 0.6 from my original weight 2 weeks ago and 0.3 from last week. WTF? This isn't even worth all the food i've turned down over the past 2 weeks. I feel like I may as well EAT the donuts, ice cream, pizza, etc since giving that up isn't making the scale move at all. 

Prime example: I had a salad and water at the Dodger game this past Friday night (and some peanuts).
I haven't even had a regular old Dodger Dog yet, and that is pretty much a REQUIREMENT for a good game. Well, a Dodger Dog and the Dodgers winning, which they did ::happy dance::
I'm not giving up yet though. I'll keep plugging away at this and hopefully I will at least feel 1000% better by eating healthier and cutting out all that junk. Hope springs eternal and all that nonsense. 

Guess who discovered the PANO feature on her iPhone? oh BOOOOYY!!! 

First run of the training season is scheduled for tomorrow morning. :) And here we go again! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I should have more mornings like these

This morning I actually peeled my lazy butt out of bed and got out for a quick 3 miles before work. Each night I go to bed with every intention to get up early for a run. And every morning my flesh is weak. Today I promised myself if I got out the door I'd only do an easy jog, no expectations. 

Took the usual route over the train tracks towards the pedestrian overpass. Along my route there are no less than 3 burger dives serving breakfast burritos & egg sandwiches. I die from the delicious aroma of bacon and hash browns. One of these days I'm going to stop running and eat at one of these places. One of these days for sure. 
This stoplight neatly marks the 1.5 mile point from my front door. I promised my lazy bed self that I wouldn't run past this point.

From here though, I can see the pedestrian bridge that marks the 2 mile point and I was tempted to go just that much further. But I actually didn't leave my house early enough to do 4 miles so I had to settle for 3.  

Thanking all the stoplights and train crossings for giving me a few seconds of rest just when I needed it.

3.08 miles at 11:51/mi. I'm doing something new lately (lately=my last 2 runs): I didn't carry any water with me at all. And I survived! It was pretty liberating not to be burdened with the handheld!
When I got home I even had enough time to stretch and watch the news. Foam rolled too!
Every morning we leave the house a little too late, We're always rushing out the door to get to school on time. It's total chaos & confusion and frankly a terrible way for us to start our day.
Yes, I sometimes often feed my kid junk for breakfast. MOTY.
Today we were still late, but instead of stressing out I was I was actually in a good mood BECAUSE I RAN. "If we're late then we're just late." I wouldn't have said that without those running endorphins flowing through my brain. We got off to school and work a little late but a lot happy. 
I wish I could make up my mind to have more mornings like these. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Are we all chasing the dragon?

I just realized I hadn't posted my weigh-in from Saturday. I had to weigh in so early in the morning because of the 5K, it didn't really feel like a real weigh in. There wasn't enough time for me to do all the usual weigh-in day rituals. Anyway:

So this means I lost 0.2 lbs this week. I can't help but to think back on those old Weight Watcher days when the weigher-inner person would make such a big deal about any weight loss. Even 0.2 lbs. So I'll take it as a victory even though I pretty much think it's not. Time to get serious. 

I haven't run since last Wednesday, and I had to get down to business today. I'm technically training for Bay to Breakers but since I'm not decided on whether I will be running the race or partying it, i'm also being super wishy washy on my training. 

Tuesdays are tough for us though. Coco has piano lessons, and while she's with her teacher I have exactly 30 minutes in which I have to make both our dinners for today and both our lunch for tomorrow.  

Coco's dinner....EVERY SINGLE NIGHT OF THE WEEK. No lie, this is all she'll eat.

My dinner...the zoodles aren't very pretty when you're in a hurry
Then, after piano, dinner, checking homework and bath, we have to bolt out the door for the Puff's Tuesday night church activity. It's an every-other-Tuesday obligation, but I take advantage of the time she's there to go on my run. I love to be able to run when I'm not taking time away from being with her. 

When I think about it, on a typical day, after making & eating dinner, doing homework, bath, prep for the next day, bedtime rituals, etc there isn't very much time for us to just be together during the week. Tuesday is definitely not a typical day. We've spent a grand total of 65 waking minutes together at home today and were busy the entire time. Tomorrow is also not a typical day and we'll be home even less time. Being a single mom kinda sucks sometimes. I usually try not to think about it. 

This run was 3.50 miles at 11:47/mi pace. I knew it was going to be a good run (for me) because of all the time i've taken off (6 days). My legs were pretty fresh.  

Was rewarded by a sidewalk lined with jasmine on my run today. It smelled like HEAVEN. 
Tonight my BFF Gloria and I had a deep conversation. About running. I think she's having motivation issues and asked me point blank: Why do I run? 
My answer went something like this: For me, it's like chasing the dragon. I used to experience the runners high all the time when I first started running. I would do a 2 mile loop around my neighborhood and come home exhausted and elated, on a cloud. Totally high. 

Nowadays I can't get that same high from running 2 miles. And I don't even get a high on many of my runs. Most runs are just hard and miserable. But I know that high is out there, at some point, and that it'll come. I just have to keep chasing it to get it. I don't know when it will come, but when it does, it feels like nothing else. That high is a feeling that I can run forever and ever and never get tired. That I'm superhuman. It's fleeting but it's magic. 

That's why I run. I don't know why anybody else does it. Is it for the same reason? Are we all chasing the dragon? 

Unfortunately I'm not sure I was helpful to Gloria! But she's promised she's going to keep at it.