• sisters on a mission.

  • Three sisters. One in Virginia. One in London. One in New York. None of whom wear shorts. Ever.

  • the mission?

    Running.
    Taking delight.
    Learning Italian.
    Getting to Italy.
    Wearing shorts.
    In Italy.
    June 2011.

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Easing into 10k

Today has been one of those days that makes me glad we’ve started a new training program.  It started with raisin bread and peanut butter for breakfast (chased with carrot juice – so not completely bad).  But then – M&Ms at 10:00.  Next a huge plate of pasta at lunch quickly followed with a large chunk of dark chocolate truffle extravaganza.  The 3:00 chai and pumpkin bread set me up for the afternoon.  And to finish it off, beer dinner at a local pub tonight.

As I said – good thing I’ve started running again.  The girls and I had been feeling a distinct lack of motivation after completing the Couch to 5k plan and completing our official / unofficial 5k.  Lots of excuses:  too hot, too humid, too busy.  What to do?

Set a new and more challenging goal for the fall of course!  Enter the Ease into 10k program.  At first I thought it would be strange to go back to 3 minute intervals when I knew I could already run 30 minutes.  However, it has helped both me and Daisy to get back into the running groove.  We’re up to week 4 day 2 and going strong.

I’ve given up running with an iPod so I’m relying on my trusty watch to do the intervals rather than an app.  The cool things is that I’ve started to get a feel for how long I’ve run without looking at the time.  Sure, I’m usually off by 30 seconds or so but I figure it all evens out in the end.

That’s the latest and greatest on the training front.  I’m not working toward any race in particular but when I find one I plan to be ready.

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Liquid

Prosecco, Tanning Oil, Chia Seed Smoothie, and now this:

Green Foods Berry Barley Essence. I drank this.  And then I did my first 25 minute run on Tuesday.

The key word in this “energy drink” is Barley. It smelled like a field with a faint hint of strawberry to mask the grass. It’s a powder, you blend it with juice. 8 oz of it. I drank it, looking out my kitchen window at the field. The relationship between what I was consuming and what I was looking at was not lost on me. It tasted pretty good. Scott Jurek (ultramarathoner superstar, also featured in Born to Run) gave this mix to a friend of ours, he saw him speak at a race, and then he passed it on to us (he couldn’t get it down).  I guess there are a lot of health properties related to Barley, like wheatgrass. I don’t know. I just drank it.

And my run was really good. I don’t think it was related to the drink. But, it didn’t make me throw up. The 25 minute run felt like a milestone. My legs were tired afterwards. My face was flushed, like it used to look when I used to run regularly (over 10 years ago, holy buckets), and I felt good. The run wasn’t easy. I wish it had been. But the key thing — just keep going. Even if you want to stop. And your legs feel heavy. Just keep moving. The mind is a powerful thing.

Also, I just read an article about feeling creatively “dry”. The upshot of the article — you’re probably dehydrated. Drink more.

Liquids.

Today I did the second 25 minute run, Week 7 Day 1. And then I did the Tracy Anderson Workout. What? I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Maybe it IS the Barley.

I’m going to go take a shower.

self-destructing in 3…2…1…

About four years ago I landed at the podiatrist with what I thought was a bruise or fracture in the ball of my left foot. Every step I took was painful.  It was not fun.  At all.  Walking barefoot was out of the question unless I contorted my body in a way that avoided the outer part of my foot.  Since I’m not naturally a contortionist (although I think it would be awesome), that kind of twisting for even a short amount of time quickly impacts your entire body – and not in a good way.  Laying off of exercise for a few days didn’t help.   Something had to be done.

Thankfully I did not have a break.  But, I did have Morton’s Neuroma, a thickening of nerve tissue between the third and fourth toes.  If it’s bad enough, it can require surgery.  If you are squeamish, whatever you do, do not go to YouTube and look at any “morton’s neuroma surgery” videos.  Seriously.

Luckily my doc just prescribed a metatarsal pad to stick in my shoes.   The pad spreads your toes, thereby taking pressure off of the nerve.  I can’t remember how long it took, but eventually the pain went away and I was back to normal, or at least my plantar fasciitis-ridden version of normal.

Fast forward to last Friday.  I decided to end week 6 – my first 25 minute C25K run – on the Buttermilk Trail, a hilly, rocky, twisty, single-path mountain bike trail with 109 stairs between your car and the starting point.  The last time I did this run it was much cooler and I was in much better shape.  It was fun!  Well Friday started out great but I ran out of gas running up a big hill at 14 minutes and then spent 5 minutes walking and taking a break at a conveniently placed port-a-john.   From there it was flat lands for the final 11 minutes.  Even though I didn’t exactly do what I set out to, it was still a great challenge with no major dramas.

Except.   Sometime late in the day I felt the old familiar pain in the ball of my left foot.  Damn it.  That was Saturday.  It’s still just as bad three days later.  I’m sure it didn’t help that I spent all day Monday standing and painting window trim.  Today I ordered a pack of metatarsal pads that I hope arrive soon.

In the meantime I’m trying not to hobble when I walk and trying to stay off of my feet.  So, I will be doing mat work for my workouts for a little while.  And maybe bike riding.  I did a 50-minute pilates video tonight – accelerated body sculpting.  The good news is that I can tell I’ve been getting stronger – the last time I tried that video (a few months ago) I didn’t make it all the way through.  So yay for that anyway.

excuse me?

89% humidity!

I started C25K week 6 today.  Should have been easy peasy – just a few 5 and 8 minute runs – but no.  Even with my fancy new shoes, no dog distractions and a razor sharp focus on my form (semi-lucid if we’re keeping it real), I was slow and plodding and out of breath for most of the session.  I have analyzed the situation and can attribute my lack of performance on the following reasons (excuses).

First, the relative humidity was already at 89 percent when I got out the door at 6:00 am. Summer hasn’t even officially started – so not fair!  Thankfully it was only 66 degrees or I would have surely been forced to walk more than Mr. Podcast man advised.

Second, although I can’t say for sure, I would say there is a high probability that the two large glasses of very tasty prosecco I had with dinner were not sufficient to hydrate me for today’s run.   Which is also not. fair.

Third, it also didn’t help that I did not get enough sleep the night before due to a sick puppy dog*.  Which is why I ran solo and without distractions so technically maybe those two should cancel each other out.  Hmmm…  No – upon further reflection, I’m still going to count it.

* BTW, after a very expensive weekend trip to the emergency vet, Daisy is on the road to recovery.   However, I doubt that this experience will have taught her anything about the pitfalls of hoovering.

over the hump

Well, it’s official.  I’ve made it past the half way point in my C25K training.  Yay!  Yesterday was my first 20 minute run – not counting my Komen 5K.  It was a pretty good run at a decent pace but the last five minutes I had to slow down.  Kept looking at my watch to see how many minutes / seconds were left.  I wish I had been able to find my pedometer.  Would have been nice to see how far I actually ran in that 20 minutes.

I ran Daisy-free so I didn’t have any distractions and could focus on my form.   I wore my Newtons again and I’m still getting used to those.  Boy could I feel it in my legs by the end of the day.  But it was the good kind of sore, ya know?  I also tried to look about 15 – 20 meters ahead instead of at my feet.  Mentally, that really helped keep me moving forward.

Looking forward to starting Week 6.  It’s the last week of short intervals.  After that it’s all 25 minutes or more.  Gulp.

CHIA. not chai, CHIA. as in CHIA pet.

Week 3 Day 2 of C25K was my best day yet. Maybe it was the beyond beautiful morning we had here in Cold Spring, NY. Maybe it was my superior playlist selection on my ipod. Maybe it was my 4 hours of sleep.

Or maybe it was the Chia Seed Smoothie I had this morning.

The black dots that look like bugs are the Chia Seeds. Gremlin drawing by my son, Jonas.

I’m still reading Born to Run. The Tarahumara runners featured in the book, the super athlete mega runners from Mexico, consume Chia seeds. In the book, McDougall speaks of Chia Fresca — a drink of water and chia and sugar and lime, I think — like it’s a miracle drink. You can find stuff about Chia seeds and their miraculous properties all over the internet now thanks to the book. I got some yesterday and put mine into a smoothie. When mixed with liquid they cause it to get a bit gel like. But really, it’s not much different from flaxseeds in texture. Its my new morning energy drink. Placebo or not. I don’t care. I had a really enjoyable run. And I’m getting more used to running lightly on the balls of my feet without requiring more effort, instead of less.

Chia seeds in my smoothie. Same thing that grows a Chia Pet.

the slow movement

Slow Food – “We believe that everyone has a fundamental right to pleasure and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture that make this pleasure possible. Our movement is founded upon this concept of eco-gastronomy – a recognition of the strong connections between plate and planet” Slow Food International

Slow Travel – “With Slow Travel you experience a deeper type of travel by staying in one place longer and seeing the things that are close to you” Slow Travel

Today I started Week 3 of C25K. And the emphasis was on S-L-O-W. Week 3 seemed more serious. Miss Lady was more serious on the “Get Running” app, and she emphasized, if you get tired, don’t stop, just SLOW down your pace. You go from 1.5 mins at a time running to 3 mins, still a total 0f 9 mins.  (Granted it’s still only 3 minutes…sigh) Regardless, I heeded her advice and had a great run.

I like the Slow Movement — In food. In Travel. In Running.

That said. I don’t want it to take me an hour to run a 5K.