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Showing posts from January, 2011

weekly wrap + puppy pics!

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...in which I learn, yet again, not to taunt the universe.  When will I learn?


Last week was a tough week.  I wished out loud on the blog that maybe this week would be easier.  "Sure!" said the universe.  "Here's your cold back!  Did you miss it?  It's so bad that you'll spend two days in bed!"  So that's what I did.  Yes, haters, I took a rest day.  And then, in an unpredictable move, I TOOK ANOTHER ONE.  THE VERY NEXT DAY.  I'm walking on the wild side.


In the good news column, I took the week completely off from anything that might piss off my pulled intercostal muscle, and it actually seems to be healing.  Ridiculous.  I did go back to yoga on Sunday, but I was really careful the entire class.  I skipped a bunch of spinal twists (how we got here in the first place) and some vinyasas in favor of child's pose.  The Lululemon posse tried to intimidate me into pushing it in some poses, and I said, "No, crazy-matching-all-clothes-including…

random friday facts + award

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I got tagged by a few people with the Stylish Blogger award.  The point is to share 7 things about yourself, so I'll do that along with the return of random Friday facts!


1. I haven't had cable for most of my adult life.  I couldn't afford it in college, or when I started teaching, and I never really missed it.  I had it for about a year or so when we moved in here, but canceled it when the price went up.  And I don't miss it at all, especially now, the age of iTunes + Hulu + Netflix.


2. I am cheap, frugal, tight, whatever you want to call it.  It's why I don't have cable, why I like eating out less and less, why I am a serial return-er, why I haven't been on a real vacation in over 4 years.  Spending money stresses me out.


3. That said, I don't mind spending it on doing things to make my house better.  Lately I've been reading a lot of DIY home improvement blogs, which I think is a disaster waiting to happen, but I love doing home improvements.  I'…

three things thursday

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1. We got dumped on pretty good last night here in the DC suburbs.  So per tradition, we cracked open a bottle and hunkered down with our carbohydrates to ride out the storm.
This morning things seem to be moving pretty slow, but moving.  Our street is fairly clear, although I can see from the front door that the side streets have not been plowed.  But since I work from home, it will be business as usual for me! And them...
I'm still hopeful that things will melt like crazy and it will warm up enough to get outside for a long ride this weekend.  A girl can dream, right?


2. I've taken off completely the past two days to try and get over my cold.  Yesterday seemed to be the worst day, and this morning I actually feel quite a bit better.  But I'm not sure I'll be able to dig out my car to get to the gym, so today will either be rest day number three or a trainer ride in the basement.  Look at that, I actually was able to take a week off from lifting!  And I'm actually no…

wordless wednesday

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In high school, and even through college and my early 20s, I didn't have a lot of close female friends.  Mostly stinky boys hung with me.











I had no idea what I was missing.
(credit: all photos but the first: the magnificent photography by katye ross)

my love affair with the bicycle

Decisions, decisions, decisions....


Last year when I started cycling, I intentionally purchased an entry-level road bike, because I wasn't sure if I would like it and couldn't afford to spend a lot of money on something that might sit in my basement.  2000+ miles later, I'm in love with cycling, and starting to look at upgrading the bike.  But there's a lot to consider.  For the purposes of the dreamland I'm living in, let's just set the whole "poor graduate student" thing aside for now.  And the whole "I started doing my taxes this morning and had a heart attack" thing.  Fantasyland, enter here.


On the one hand, last year I did mostly tour-type pack riding.  I did a full century and some shorter group rides.  I also rode alone or with a friend to the tune of 125-175 miles a week, every week, all summer long.  I routinely attended the crazy hill workout.  I did one sprint triathlon.  I would have done at least two more centuries were it not fo…

week 1 in review

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Well, I did it.  I started half marathon training.  Can I take a nap now?


This week was tough - not physically, but tough on my head.  My back is still pretty out of whack, and I didn't realize how much I loved the peace and recovery of swimming until I couldn't do it anymore.  Mypulled intercostalis miles better than the day I pulled it, but otherwise about the same.  I did try 2 gentle swimming sessions, and it doesn't bother me as long as I stay nice and slow, but as soon as I shove some water back with my right arm, it gets all kinds of fired up.  I'm on a fairly constant ice/heat rotation, and that seems to help with the pain but I don't feel like it is actually healing.  I guess I can take a few weeks off of swimming, but I was really counting on it for some solid, no-legs-involved cross-training this cycle.  Why is my body falling apart?
However, I did discover that cycling, for whatever reason, makes my piriformis fat and happy.  For now, I'll take that t…

I need sleep

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I'm super cranky today.  I had a great tempo run last night, came home to an evening of Thai food and TV, and then was woken up an hour after going to sleep by a sick one of these:
The vet seems to think she probably just ate too much grass or too many sticks, but we took her over for an exam anyway because she's had the grumbly tummy quite a few times over the past 3 weeks.  One pretty gross exam later, we have some antibiotics to reset her intestines and have to cook her chicken for a few days.  And now we are both walking around like cranky sleep-deprived zombies.  It took me 3 times as long as it should have to write this post because I kept writing the wrong words.  Today I'm taking the "rest" option on my half marathon training plan.  Is it 7:00?  Can I go to bed yet?

three things thursday

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1. Yesterday was gorgeous.  When I was driving home from the metro, my car thermometer read 51º.  It was sunny and almost warm.  So I decided to go outside for a ride - the first in at least 2 months.  WOW.  What a fantastic decision that was.  I only had time for a very short ride before the sunset chased me inside, but it felt so good to not be on a trainer in my basement.  I got to reunite with one of my best riding buddies, Mr. Jefferson:
And when I got home, I felt the way I always do after a great ride: light and breezy and happy.  Overflowing with joy.  I'm hoping this ride will tide me over for a while, because it's back in the mid-30s today.


2. I'm also glad to recall this feeling about cycling, because I signed up for my first 70.3 yesterday: the Kinetic Half.  The timing isn't great - only 8 weeks out from the National Half - but I think it will set a good baseline for my summer, and help me figure out what I need to tackle for a fall 70.3.  I'm super exci…

wordless wednesday

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Our photographer has been taunting us with sneak peeks at our photos.....
I think this sums up the entire night.  Not to mention our entire life.

reasons to have dinner with endurance athletes

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(Excuse the crappy cell phone pic, I had a bottle of wine in my purse, so no room for a camera.)
1. Showering?  Completely optional.  Although I did have a quick one last night because sweaty post-threshold test bike crotch plus hair that hadn't been washed in, erm, 3? days might have been toe-ing the "good first impression" line. Who wants to eat sitting across from this? Wait, we do!

2. You can empty and empty...and EMPTY the breadbasket.
3. The conversation basically goes: races, boys, trainers, injuries, coaches (I mis-typed "crotches" instead of "coaches" when I first wrote that, but pretty sure that was in there as well), boys, pizza, race weight, boys, pacing, speedwork, cheese, beer, long runs, bread, boys.
4. Impressing the waiter by ordering half the menu (large pizza, thanks! oh, make it 2!) and then probably horrifying him by eating it all.
5. You don't need make-up.  Or shiny shoes.  Or dry hair.  Or pants without giant holes in the crotch.�…

week 0 in review

Okay, before I do the week review business, here's what's up.  (Also, Google readers, I added tabs and puppy pics on the actual blog, also, I think it snowed?)


My PT is amazing and kind and I will be bringing him some cheesey beer bread because he stayed late on Friday to work on me.  First, I laid on top of the hot thermal pad things for a while and got all nice and sweaty.  Then I did this weird arm bike thing for a few minutes, but the arms are attached to the pedals, it's basically like an elliptical bike.  He had me lay down on a foam roller to try and stretch things out and HOLY MCMOLY did it hurt.  After a few minutes he noticed that I was laying there with tears streaming down my face and was like, "What are you doing, if it hurts, get up!"  Oy.  Then I had to watch some big bad ultrarunner guy get the same piriformis and hip flexor treatment that I do and, let me just say this, men are occasionally really big babies.


Anyhow, the Egyptian Magician worked on…

oh, the universe

So yesterday, I wondered aloud what I would do if I had no injuries to complain about.  This is why you shouldn't taunt the universe.


Today, Friday, was to be a rest day.  I was pretty tight in the legs when I woke up this morning after my PT beating yesterday, so I decided to go to the gym to stretch, do a little bit of core and my PT exercises, and then sit in the hot tub and stretch some more.  I was doing the bicycle sit-ups when all of a sudden, my upper back locked.  Between my shoulder blades.  I laid back down, then stood up and gently tried to stretch out a bit, and nothing.  It's a solid mass of tightness and pain.  When I breathe deeply, my lungs expanding is pressing into the place that hurts.  I tried some gentle stretching in all directions, and it just brought more pain.


So I made my way to my car, and drove home, and then sat in the driveway for 20 minutes letting the seat warmers roast my back.  When I stopped crying, I came inside, took 4 advil, and got into a …

three things thursday

1.  I just can't seem to completely kick this cold.  It hasn't gotten worse in the past few days, but there is a lingering cough and general weariness that won't go away.  I've managed to stay on track with my training this week, but I've been sleeping 10-11 hours a night.  Fight, body, fight!


2. I almost don't want to mention it, but it seems as if my piriformis problems are going away.  There's still a tiny bit of tightness when I stretch it, but before, during, and after running I feel nothing.  Injuries that heal WHAT?!  I ran a very gentle 5M progressive (9:55, 9:35, 9:16, 9:01, 8:45) on Tuesday, and the only things I noticed were a bit of stiffness in my knees and a small amount of tightness in my healing IT band.  Although there was a tiny bit of tightness/pulling after pool running last night, but I'm going back to the PT today to work that out!  What will I complainwhinebitch talk about if I'm not nursing an injury?  


3. I'm interested (b…

wordless wednesday

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It definitely wasn't me.  Blame Graham.

oh, have I been cooking!

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Our New Year's Eve party left me with a seriously empty wallet and an overflowing fridge.  What to do with all the leftovers?  Cook things!


From our cute centerpieces, I had 5-6 bags of unused cranberries.  
So what's up first?  Orange cranberry bread, something I just discovered at Thanksgiving but absolutely love.


2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp grated orange peel
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 bag fresh cranberries


Preheat oven to 350º.  Combine ingredients in order listed and stir.  I used wheat flour, so it was more like 1 1/2 cups of orange juice.  Pour into bread pan.  Cook 55-60 minutes.


I made orange cranberry cookies.  The first batch was simply good, the second batch - amazing!  I ate them all before I could take a picture.


1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 bag (2 cups?) fresh cranberries


Preheat oven to 350º.  Mix sugars an…

week 0

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Soooooo....... my 12-week half marathon training plan is going to get adjusted down to 10.  I forgot when I planned it that we'd be on vacation halfway through the first week, and I didn't anticipate taking a week off from running to try and calm my cranky piriformis down - which, as of right now, seems to have worked.  I had a long talk with the Egyptian Magician at PT on Friday morning, and have readjusted my plan based on it.  I'm going to replace the post-long-run recovery run with a pool run for the next few weeks.  I'm going to alternate high and low mileage weeks instead of a 3-week build then step back, and I'm going take the first few weeks of speed work VERY lightly.  All the stretching/foam rolling/tennis balling seems to be calming my butt down, and I don't want to re-irritate it by cranking things up too quickly.  


Now, add that to the part where I seem to have picked up the poet's cold, and I'm making this coming week: 0.  I'm going to …