Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Return of the Appendix Saga

As many of you will recall, last February Tyler spent 12 days in the hospital with a ruptured appendix. His surgeon didn't want to remove the appendix as he felt he would further damage the colon and intestines that were already compromised due to the infection. Instead Tyler had two catheters into his back, draining off the infection.

8 months later and his colon and intestines are nice and healthy. His surgeon is ready to remove what is left of the appendix..tomorrow.

Hopefully all goes well and we are back home on Friday. We do not want another 12 day stint in the hospital.

Anoka Gray Ghost 5K Stats:

Entrants: 1463
Men: 687
Women: 776

The results for the Anoka Gray Ghost 5K have been posted. There were 1463 people that ran that race. Isn't that NUTS? Crazy. There were more women than men that ran, another crazy fact.

I was 52nd woman out of 776. The gal in the finishing shoot told me I was 9th. I knew she was high! I was 3rd women in my age group out of 178. That is one huge class. I can't even believe how many people run this 5K. In little Anoka, who knew?

My speed is coming around. I think I'll add a few more 5 & 10K races to my calendar. Just what my calendar needed :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wonder Women!

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Laurie and Jen at the Finish

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Anoka Gray Ghost 5K

Yesterday 4 of my runners and myself ran the Anoka Gray Ghost 5K. It would be Jen and Laurie's first race! They were both very nervous about running a 5K so at our Monday class we switched up the schedule and bumped up to a 10 minute run/2 minute walk x 3. They finished the workout beautifully, giving each of them a bit more confidence.

Carol and Kimm were running the race as well; Carol was in my first class this summer and is still running strong, losing weight and becoming faster. Kimm was in my first class and is now my Beginners II class, completing tough workouts and knocking off time as she races.

I told the girls I would pick them up and drive us all to the race. Kimm was going to go with her hubby. Carol, Jen, Laurie and I were a bundle of energy, talking about the race, the fears, the expectations. It was so much fun! I thrive on this stuff.

It was a beautiful, sunny, breezy day; about 50 degrees. We left in plenty of time to find a place to park and pick up our numbers.

The race is the beginning of the Anoka Halloween Parade. My gosh, the people really come out for this one. I looked at the results last year and there were 1400 that ran the race! There were that many (or more) watching the parade. It was crazy. Many of the registrants dressed in Halloween garb. It was quite interesting to people watch as we waited for the start of the race.

We all walked to the back of the crowd to begin. We were with some big orange dice, some people that had actual pumpkins carved for their heads (smashing pumpkins) and other unique costumes.

We heard the blare of a horn and we were off! Off and was very congested and we were way in the back. Eventually we came out into the open and could run. There were many many spectators cheering us on, it was quite an affair. I was running down the Main Street of Anoka, then turning into the surrounding neighborhoods.

I ran this race as my second race ever, 8 years ago, or so. It has certainly grown since then. I was shocked to look at my watch at mile 1 and see 737; mile 2 at 1530. A bit after 2 miles we turned back the way we had started and were able to see the other runners. I saw Kimm, Jen and Laurie and Carol. It was great to see them all on their way!

I came in at 2414; stood in the chute to give my tag and turned back to get pictures of the girls coming in. Pretty soon Kimm came along, looking strong and happy, then Laurie and Jen, running the whole race together! I looked for Carol and missed her finish, darnet!

We collected our long sleeved Halloween finisher shirts, had apples and water and walked back to the car.

What a great day! Jen and Laurie were both talking about the next race and Carol wants to take 36 seconds off during her next one; all good indications that they will keep on running!

I just love this. To be able to show others that they CAN run, that it can be a life changing experience, that running can be fun and something they can do alone or with others. This is what I love to do. For Jen and Laurie, their doubts floated away, they finished their race when they really weren't sure that they would be able to. I'm so glad that I had a part to play in their first race.

We were a car full of smiles and laughs driving back to Big Lake.

Way to go, girls!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Girl Power

3:00 PM. Turn off my computer. Clean up my desk. Change out of work clothes into running clothes. Gloves for the first time.

Pouring rain. Wind. Cold. 38F. Co-worker "I don't think they'll show up for a run today, do you? It's cold out. They aren't rain runners. They are fair weather runners" I think to myself "well, I think they'd at least let me know if they weren't going to show up today"

3:15. Driving cold rain. Wind. Cold. Here they come! Laura and Kimm. Are we running? Yes! Brrr. There's Heidi! Hills today. We'll run 2.5 miles to the big hill, 10 hill repeats and return to the school. It'll be OK. Heidi "OK, but I brought my gym bag. If I ditch you guys, I'm going to the gym" "OK".

Run run run. Warm up, run run run. Talk about past races. Kimm and Heidi have run 3 of them now, Laura 2. The first one was the Granite City 5K in St Cloud this August. They weren't runners before . They are now! They can run 5 miles without stopping.

Up the hill..little steps, pump your arms, relax your shoulders, turn around and go down, down to the sign. Back on up. 10 times.

Feel it in the butt, in the hamstrings, getting tired.

Half way there! Brrrr..driving cold wind and rain.

We continue .. and laugh .. and finish 10 repeats! Run back to the school. Walk to the parking lot to cool down..stretch.

They did it! 6+ miles, hills, 85 minutes. They wouldn't have completed the workout the rain....but when there is group waiting, a date set, you can bet they will be there!

Girl Power. Cheers to Heidi, Kimm and Laura. They make me proud :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Whole Wheat Bread

Soaker: 1 c coarse whole wheat flour or other ground grains (I used oats); 3/4 c water at room temp.

Poolish: 1 1/2 C whole wheat flour, 1/4 t instant years, 3/4 c water at room temperature.

Dough: 2 C whole wheat flour, 1 1/3 t salt, 1 t instant yeast, 2 T honey, 1 T vegetable oil, 1 egg

The day before making the bread, make the soaker and poolish. For the soaker, mix together the coarse whole-wheat flour and the water in a bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, leave at room temperature to next day. For the poolish, mix together the whole wheat flour and yeast, then stir in water to make a paste. Stir only until all the flour is hydrated, then cover the bowl with plastic, allow to ferment at room temp. for 4 hours. Place in refrigerator overnight.

The next day remove the poolish from the refrigerator 1 hour before making the dough to take off the chill. In a mixing bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, salt, yeast. Add poolish and soaker, honey, oil and egg. Stir until dough forms a ball, adding more water/flour if needed.

Sprinkle whole wheat flour on counter, transfer the dough to the counter and knead until it becomes a firm, supple dough. 10-15 minutes. Dough should register 77-81F. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer dough to the bowl, cover with wrap and ferment 2 hours.

Divide into two pieces and shape into loaves. Mist tops with oil and cover, proofing for 90 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

+++Both of these breads come from Peter Reinhart: The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I've created over a dozen of his breads from this book and have enjoyed every one!


I have received many requests for the bread recipies. I never know if I should post them. In this instance, yes. Enjoy!

Sponge: 1/2 c whole milk, 1/2 c all purpose flour, 4 tsp instant yeast. Make the sponge my warming the milk to 100F. Whisk in flour and yeast. Cover with plastic wrap and ferment 1 hour or until the sponge is foamy and ready to collapse when tapped.

Fruit: 2 c raisins, 2 c candied fruit mix (or dried fruit)
2 T lemon or orange extract or 1/2 c brandy

Meanwhile, combine 1 c raisins, 1 c fruit. Mix with extract or brandy. Set aside.

Dough: 2 1/4 c unbleached all purpose flour, 1 T sugar, 3/4 t salt 1 t orange zest, 1 t lemon zest, 1 t cinnamon, 1 egg, 5 T butter, about 1/4 c water, 1 c slivered blanched almonds, 1 can or tube marzipan, powdered sugar for topping

To make dough: stir together flour, sugar, salt, orange and lemon zests, cinnamon. Stir in sponge, egg, butter and enough water to forma soft but not sticky ball. Two minutes. Knead until the dough comes together, cover the bowl and let rest 10 minutes.

Add in fruit and mix on low to incorporate.

Knead until satiny, tacky, but not sticky. Oil a bowl and transfer ball to bowl; cover and let ferment 45 minutes. Will not rise very much.

Divide into 2 small loafs or create 1 large. Roll into rectangle, fold, fill with marzipan, almonds and additional fruit, fold, restuff with almonds and fruit.

Line a sheet pan with baking parchment. Shape to slight crescent. Mist dough with cooking spray and cover for 1 hour.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Upon removal sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar, let sit 10 minutes and sprinkle heavily again.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Come On! Let's Run!

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Topaz Hunts a Bit Too..for Gopher!

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Superliciouse Weekend

What a great weekend! After running around like crazy for umtpeen weekends in a row-this weekend was spent near home, taking it easy.

Troy and Steve headed out for another weekend of bird hunting and setting up deer stands for the great hunt in November. Tyler decided to stay home with me. What a treat! We hung out, watched a few movies and went out to dinner.

Friday I took Tyler to his surgeon for an update on the appendectomy business that is carried over from February ( our 11 day stint in the hospital). It looks as if Ty will have surgery either next week or wait until after deer hunting. I'll call to schedule tomorrow. His surgeon remembered us as Tyler with the ruptured appendix and Mom as the extreme ultra endurance runner.

Topaz and I had great weekend of running. It's been sunny and in the 60's the past few days! Yesterday morning was cool-30's when we started out in the dark, but 25 miles later it was warmer and sunny. Tyler and I headed over to gym; I got in an hour on legs and hit some PR's. I am just amazed at the leg strength after all of the miles I have been putting in-it is true "that which doesn't kill you will make you stronger". I have maxed out the sitting leg press. It goes to 400 lbs and I hit that yesterday. I can still get plenty of plates on the laying leg press, though.

Today was another long run on the trail while Tyler slept. Topaz and I ran 30, I was back home by 9, in time to get Tyler up and off to his paint ball match. I met my client at the gym for an hour and then lifted back/shoulders and stair stepped.

It's such a beautiful day! I didn't even mind going out to wash the windows. It will probably be the last time before spring comes along. Toffee, my indoor cat, enjoyed laying on the deck while I washed. He doesn't go outside very often. He pretended he was hunting leaves.

The whole grain bread tastes good..I had a slice post run today..but could have used a bit more rise. I may add some vital gluten next time. The Stollen..amazing. Man, I watched the yeast feed and grow right before my eyes! 4 tsp of yeast mixed in 1/2 c of whole milk warmed to 100 foamed and bubbled for an hour before I created the rest of the recipe. Definitely a keeper.

Next Saturday is the Anoka Gray Ghost 5K. Members from three of my running classes will be entered. I'm sure looking forward to it! I ran this race as one of my goal races when I first began to run, I can't wait to run it again.

The UMTR AwardFest is November 1! It dawned on me that I will receive two awards: 1 for the Afton Championship Race and 1 for the Fab 50's. I'm excited...yes, I become excited over the little things :)

We'll have the Surph the Murph 50K before the party, then it is time to clean up and party on! I need to decide what to bring for the pot luck. I'm thinking a hearty meal in a crock pot with bread and a dessert. Oh, and what to wear?

Ready to Eat

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Stollen Fresh from the Oven

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Whole Grain Bread

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Run On Troy Man!

Posted by PicasaThe Big Lake Hornets 7th Grade Football Team ended the season with only one loss the last game of the season. They lost to Princeton, who went undefeated. Great season Boys!

Italian Almond Fruit Tart

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A Bit of Baking..

I have been doing a bit of baking this week. My friend, Carol, requested Creme Puffs for her birthday; I instead created a creme puff shaped eclair with chocolate creme filling. There were none left for my UMTR meeting so I created the Italian Fruit Tart.

It was easy peasy; the most time consuming portion of the recipe turned out to be slicing the kiwi. I love the flavor of almond, so used almond extract and crushed almonds in the crust. Here's the recipe:

2 C flour
1 C ground almonds
1 C butter
1/2 C whole milk
4 eggs
1 C sugar
2 T almond extract
1 T vanilla
Mix, roll out into crust and place in tart pan. If too 'wet' add more flour while mixing. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes; foil edges if too brown. Let cool and remove from tart pan.
2 C strawberries
2C blueberries
8 kiwi
Slice strawberries in 1/4, kiwi in 1/8.
Mix 1/2 c honey w 1/2 c apricot preserves, a bit of water to thin. Brush a thin layer over tart. Arrange fruit on top; pour and brush over fruit. Let set firm. Best at room temperature.

I brought home over 1/2 of the tart; my family gobbled it down the next day.

Today I'm baking a whole wheat bread with both a poolish and a soaker. Remember, the poolish and soaker are two types of pre-fermentations. The soaker in this recipe is used to soften the coarse oats. I mix 1 cup coarse whole oat flour with 3/4 c water and it sits at room temperature until tomorrow.

The poolish is 1 1/2 c high protein whole wheat flour, 1/4 t instant years and 3/4 c water. This will sit at room temperature for 4 hours, then into the refrigerator until tomorrow when I finish the recipe.

I'm also trying out a few recipes in preparation for the Holidays. I can't believe Thanksgiving is next month! My parents leave for TX right after our Thanksgiving celebration so we celebrate both Thanksgiving and Christmas with them at this time. It is fast arriving!

Tomorrow I'll be creating Stollen-a fruit holiday bread with a thick band of marzipan in the center along with plump raisins , cranberries, apricots and other candied fruits and almonds. I've never tried this before and am looking forward to it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Glacial Trail

I don't know when I have posted a race report a full day after the event. I arrived home last night, worked today, led my beginning running group and watched two football games out in the cold. I'm now baking cream puffs for Carol's birthday celebration tomorrow. I hope I have created enough to bring to the UMTR meeting tomorrow night as I will have no time to pull together anything else.

Hence, the late race report. Well, late in my world.

I haven't been to Glacial Trail before. I had heard that the course was a bit rougher than Ice Age. I would agree. Glacial Trail is a bit rockier, a bit hillier than Ice Age; but not anything like Superior Hiking Trail.

Leaving home at around 230 meant that I wouldn't arrive Greenbush WI until 900 PM or so. I had 101 things to wrap up Saturday morning so I had a later than usual start. The drive was incredibly boring. Gas is still $3.40 a gallon in parts of WI, here I was getting used to paying $2.64 in MN! Actually, I paid $2.56 in Coon Rapids last night. Woohoo!

I was shocked to see that they still smoke in public places in WI. I stopped in at a Subway and it was like walking into a bar in MN in the old days. A blue haze filled the restaurant, there were little gold tin ashtrays on the tables filled with cigarette butts and smoking patrons. It turned my stomach. Blech.

Somehow I became lost in Fondulac. The highway exit I needed to take was closed and the detour detoured me into an industrial park. It was dark, 800 PM and I just wanted to curl in a ball, cry, and have someone save me. That didn't happen. I found a gas station, asked directions, couldn't find my way, asked an another gas station and finally found my way out of Fondulac.

I was very excited to finally reach my roommates at AmericInn in Greenbush. Pierre and Kevin were in bed ready to snooze by the time I finally arrived. Pierre moved to the floor and gave me his bed. What a guy.

Yesterday morning as we walked to the car the first thing we noticed was how WARM it was at the early hour. I knew a hot one was on tap.

We received our sweatshirts, bags of hammer products and magazines in our race packets. The race headquarters was located in a very nice building with running water, banquet rooms, a very nice place to hold a race.

As I started out I couldn't believe how warm it was. I only needed shorts and a sleeveless top. What a switch from one week earlier, at Twin Cities Marathon!

The start of the race went through town a bit, on township roads, until we came to the Ice Age Trail. It was beautiful. Heavily wooded with oaks turning reds and rusts, birch areas all yellow, maple stands full of reds and oranges, just spectacular! There were even pine stands with soft needles to run upon. Most of the race was well covered with trees, there weren't many exposed areas, but when I came out into a field prairie section I could feel the heat. It was hot.

86F was the high Sunday, with 90% humidity. Crazy warm! I loved it though. I could have used another handheld as the aid stations were 7 miles apart, but I didn't realize it was going to be quite so warm. I was trying to conserve my drink but always came up dry. I didn't swell at all, interesting because they served Gatorade instead of Heed and I again didn't take any S or ECaps. Hmmm..

The volunteers were top notch as was the race director. The race was well organized, well marked..oh, I missed a turn. My own fault. I disregarded one of my rules. NEVER FOLLOW THE RUNNER IN FRONT OF YOU, ALWAYS FOLLOW THE COURSE MARKINGS. I failed my third rule. Instead of following the course markings, one mile out of aid station 1, I followed Brett and another girl, and went off trail for 11 minutes. We then realized we were not on the trail and headed back 11 minutes. I was so sad! I was running very well and fast for me, but dang, I screwed up. I kept berating myself about it and then finally told myself to let it go and eventually I did. But then I thought about it again at the end of the race and kept on thinking "hmmm..take 22 minutes off and..." you know. Forget it. It is what it is.

Oh my gosh, my legs were SO tired on the way back! The course is an out and back, which I love, as I can see everyone on the course. I couldn't wait to begin going back. I definitely felt Twin Cities Marathon on my legs, as well as all of the miles I've been putting in.

I began to fall. One, two, three times..then four. I then made a mental note to slow down and take it easy. I wasn't going to be able to make up that 22 minutes SO LET IT GO! I did. Again.

I caught Pierre before the last aid station on the way back. We were dragging ass. Pierre and I both ran TCM last Sunday. I was so hot. There were a ton of bees and wasps and gnats and lady bugs that had all come out for the beautiful day of summer. As I was having my bottle filled the bees were just hovering around it.

What a beautiful day. What a beautiful trail. An awesome race. I'm not sure where I finished, I left before the awards so that I could get back home. It was a l o n g drive.

I failed my 4th rule: THE HOURS DRIVEN MUST BE LESS THAN THE HOURS RUN. Dang! This drive was longer than my hours run.

I've never failed at my rules before. Two rules failed in one race.

I was planning on running Nerstrand next weekend as my hunters will be gone again..but alas, I think I'll run a nice little route with Topaz on the Blue Hill Trail, instead. Home. Sweet. Home.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Trail Symphony

This morning as the hunters went off to do their thing, Topaz and I went off to do our thing.

As the sun began to rise we were out on the trail. It was early dawn, the air was still and quiet. I brought my camera along, as the leaves are beginning to change and the wildlife out on the trail has been phenomenal lately.

The sky began to run a dark pink, lighter pink, purple and eventually blue. As the sky began to lighten, the birds began to sing.

We ran up to the trail lookout; a 1/4 mile steep climb that overlooks the Blue Hill Trail and Buck Lake. The leaves are changing from green to dark oranges, bright yellows and deep reds. Spectacular.

I could see the Trumpeter Swans on Buck Lake, floating effortlessly upon the water. The Wood Ducks in bunches of 15-20 with their heads under the water and their butts pointing straight in the air. The Canadian Geese flying above, then landing. Their honking getting louder and louder as they landed in the pond right next to us.

As we ran past the higher, more dry, sandy areas the Sandhill Cranes began their violent screeching. Their sound reminds me of a bad violin player. Screech, screech, screech. They are so afraid of us, they screech and try to run away as quickly as possible. I saw two adults and 11 fuzzies following. I could hear the Trumpeter Swans, their sound really is near to a trumpet. They bugle back and forth; creating a wonderful song. The Pileated woodpecker, first pounding away in the distance, the letting our the oooh, ooh, oooh, oooooh ooooh ohhhhh..the sound reminds me of the Loon.

It was awesome.

I love running along the trail, listening to the birds, taking in the beautiful scenery, watching the scenes change as the seasons change. Before I was a runner, I didn't see these sights. I was in bed, with a bad hangover.

Now I enjoy the pre dawn hours, the silence; as the sun rises, so do the birds, with their beautiful trail symphony.

As we trotted off to the car, 10 miles later, I looked back to the trail for some reason. There I saw two magnificent Bald Eagles, watching Topaz and I.

What a great way to begin the day.

I'm off to grocery shop, run errands, do some laundry and then pack up to head to Greenbush, WI. Looks to be about 6 hours away. I sure rather be heading up to Duluth to run the Superior Trail Fat Ass 100K. I had already entered the UMTR Fab 50's and this Glacial Trail is the final race. I'm sure it will be another excellent adventure :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Questions and Answers..

First off, thanks for all of the kind words as to my PR and BQ at Twin Cities Marathon!! I'm still so excited. I have to pinch myself every once in a while to be sure that it is true and I am not, in fact, dreaming.

I receive many many questions each week and thought I'd take a minute to post and answer a few.

Many emails came up after I posted about Paleo Eating For Athletes. It's interesting that so many comment on the way people eat. It's almost like posting about religion or politics..I'm always stunned at how the comments almost become defensive.

Some thought I'm not eating any grains. I'm not eating the Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain; I'm eating Paleo Eating For Athletes, by Loren Cordain and Joel Friel. Big difference. In PEFA a person DOES eat grains and sugars, mainly post workout, in the 30 minute window following a tough workout. I tried to make that very clear. I eat approximately 130 grams of carb and 130 grams of protein with 40-50 grams of fat every day. MOST of my carb grams come from fruits and veggies; some come from that post workout meal of fortified french toast, brown rice, super mega peach protein shake or what have I.

During Twin Cities Marathon I consumed 6 Hammergels and within 30 minutes of the race I drank a super shake of 40 grams of protein and 80 grams of carb. I froze it overnight and stuck it in my drop off bag to pick up post race. When I drank it down it was nice and slushy :)

I'll probably drink the same type of shake post Glacial Trail 50 this Sunday.

I receive many questions relating to my organization of time. How do I fit it all in? Well..I am a great organizer. Every hour is organized-I like it that way.

Tuesday was this:

400 Rise
415-500 Run
Wake Boys
Breakfast with Boys
Put three chickens into the crock pot with broth
Load up into the car and off we go to school
work 730-3
330-430 run
500-630 Troy's football game
645-make dumplings for chicken soup dinner/home time all fits:
415-5 lift/stepper at gym
wake boys
breakfast with boys
roast into crock pot with potatoes and carrots
load up into car and off we go
work 730-3
315-415 my woman's run group; 5 miles
430 pick up Troy from football practice
445 dinner with boys
530-630 run with Topaz
645-home time

400 wake
415-5 treadmill
wake boys
breakfast with boys
off we go
7-230 work
3-4 run with Topaz
430 pick up Troy/Tyler
500 dinner and home for the day

A couple of times a month a meeting is thrown into the evening, no biggie. I have plenty of free time. I have a stress less job, I get off at 3PM, makes for plenty of time and weekends are pretty free too.

Troy's last football game is on Monday. Tyler and Troy will both begin snowboard club in November so we'll begin hitting the hill then.

I receive many emails asking how do I keep motivated? Well, motivation just doesn't show up on your door step one day. It's created. When I first began to run I didn't like it. I ran to lose weight. Plain and simple. I cut my calories and began exercising and I lost fat. Motivation came by doing. Motivation came by seeing a change in myself. Motivation came by doing something different, so seeing a different outcome. If you keep on doing what you have been doing, and you are seeing NO will continue to see no results. Nothing is going to change. YOU have to change what you are doing to see a change in the result.

I entered a race a month..a 5K, a 10K. I knew that if I had a race looming out in front of me that I would get out the door to run each day. It worked. I got out each day and after two years I finally began to enjoy running. I began to run just for the run. Just for the time to spend with myself, to enjoy mother nature, to enjoy the run.

I receive a ton of emails relating to weight loss. How do I keep the weight off? and How did I lose the weight? I lost the weight by logging every single item I put into my mouth. This is really the first step. You have to know what you are eating. How much you are eating. If you aren't losing it is because you are eating too much. Most of us under approximate our food intake. If you 'guess' you are eating 1500 calories a day, you are probably eating 2000. If you have no idea, and really want to lose, you better get an idea. You can log your intake at for free and I'm sure there are 101 other food logging sites. Just google food log and you'll find many. I log at Leanness Lifestyle. Once I began logging I realized I had intense sugar cravings. I couldn't give it up. When I finally decided to give up sugar my whole world changed. I'd go off sugar for a few months and then wham! I'd eat a brownie or something and the cravings would come back; I could feel physical and mental cravings/addiction to sugar. It's awful. You know, with alcohol and cigarettes..I could just cut it out. No more. With food you just can't cut it out. You have to have some. I don't HAVE to have sugar, but it is so hard to cut out. I still have many time when I want to have a big fat brownie or cake or whatever but for the most part I can stay away, just by thinking about the outcome. ONE IS NEVER ENOUGH. Ever. The outcome is always the same with sugar: MORE. It always will be.

Yes, I miss it. Yes, I want chocolate. Will I succumb to it? I hope not. I can definitely say I will not succumb to alcohol or cigarettes again. Ever. Can I say that about sugar? No. I can't. Why? It's too damn good. The taste is good, but the taste only lasts such a short while. Then the outcome is the same: I want more. I feel full/sluggish/physically and mentally slow. Why would I want more? Addiction.

I receive emails regarding lifting weights. How often do I lift and what do I lift? I lift 3 times a week. Day 1 is back/biceps/tricep; Day 2 is chest/shoulders and Day 3 is legs. Legs is taking quite a while so I might end up dividing legs into two days eventually. I lift heavy pounds, low reps of 4-6 and 3-4 sets. Right now I'm building so if I can lift 6 reps I'll increase the weight. If I can't lift 4 reps I'll lessen the weight. I want to lift 4-6 reps. Mid summer when I'm racing and putting in high miles I'll lift a bit lighter, getting in 10-12 reps. Typically each session is 35 minutes except legs is usually 65 minutes.

I usually hit the stair master two times a week for 40-60 minutes each session and ride bike 80 miles a week or so from May-October. Not fast, not racing, just enjoying.

These are the questions I've been asked over the past few weeks. Any more questions, just ask away!

I feel all recovered from TCM; ready to run Glacial Trail 50 on Sunday :)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Me! Finishing Up (Thanks Matt!)

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BOSTON BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't even believe that it is true. Yeah. Boston. I qualified for Boston. Not only did I run a PR but I qualified for Boston.

I guess you know that I qualified for Boston...

I've never been fast. My first marathon was 8 years ago at Grandmas where I ran a 457. Since then I've run 20 some marathons; my fastest at Grandmas was 358, my fastest at Twin Cities was 419.

Today I figured I'd run a 415-430 as per my marathon history. I have tried to qualifiy, oh boy, have I tried. It hurts too much, I get tired, I walk a bit, I hurt some more, the breathing turns to gasping and I throw in the towel and think "well, I don't have to run Boston" .

When I first went to a 'beginning ultra meeting' that some veteran ultra runners were hosting, Tom Andrews was speaking with us about our goals. We went around the table, everyone wanted to run a 50K, a 50 Miler, a 100 Miler. I wanted to qualify for Boston. It was such a lofty goal, I didn't know if I could. I had run a dozen plus marathons at the time and was no where near my goal. Tom suggested I first qualify for Boston, then work on the ultra, as running ultras would probably make me slower, he thought. Well, I didn't believe I could get any slower.

Each expo that I attend I grab a 350 Clif Pace Team band..for just in case. Yesterday I did the same. I really didn't believe that I could run a full minute plus some faster per mile than last year, but maybe I'd try it. Why not?

This morning was miserable. It was cold and rainy. It poured. Heavily. It was windy. It wasn't my type of race weather at all. I didn't use my iPod. I didn't have my rock to roll to. I forgot to hit my lap button to time myself.

I ran along, taking in the views, thinking that the rain wasn't so bad. Thinking that I was glad I wore a short sleeved top because I was warming up quickly.

I heard Kevin yell out Julie Berg! early in the race..mile 2 or so. I saw Allan Page playing the tuba..just like every other year..on his corner. The spectators were thinner this year, due to the rain, but there were still many out there cheering.

I enjoyed myself. I wasn't feeling stressed, I was just thumping along, enjoying the City. Calhoun and Harriet were beautiful..leaves changing, beautiful homes, lots of loud cheering spectators. I noticed I was running in white steam. Steam from the bodies of all of the runners! I've never experienced that before. Steam was oozing from our bodies, it was a white cloud of body odor to run through. Crazy.

Ah, Nokomis. Home of FANS 24 Hour Run. I ran fast as I could up and over the cement bridge and around the parkway. I love FANS. I laughed.

I looked down at my watch and then at the mile marker. Hmm..did I start at 800 my watch time? Probably a bit later..I looked at my pace chart..really? Could I really be under a 350 pace? Hm. Don't want to get too excited.

I was drinking one powerade and two waters at each station. I carried two Hammergel Espresso gels in each hand and had one every 4 miles. I picked up two Cliff shots at mile 17 and ate those as well.

Pretty soon I came up on the 350 pacing team. Wow. Wow again. I could feel the excitement and hope build. What if? What if, here, at 43 years of age I ran a PR and qualified for Boston? It's early..don't have those thoughts. But I feel so good. I have no aches or pains. I have no stomach trouble. I am power running up these hills like they are nothing.

I think I'll hang here with this group for a while.

It was awesome! I was running with the 350s and not dieing. We were a group of 15 or so at this point.

I crossed the half way at 152. Not bad I thought. Pretty soon our leader said she had to stop. Oh geeze. She had to go to medical. I would have never guessed, she looked so strong. She handed off her 350 balloons to the rest of us and we just kept on running. Two in our group (or more) had Garmin something or others on and kept yelling out our pace. A few times we had to back off, we were going to fast.

I felt amazing.

At mile 20 I was waiting for the crash. It didn't happen. I didn't even have to stop and pee! Everything was going so well. I saw Steve Quick and yelled hello to him.

Mile 21, getting a bit tired.

Mile 22 another gel and hey! I hear Julie Berg! There is Matt Patten.

Mile 23 .. I am going to make it. I can keep this up and I am going to PR and flipping qualify. OH. MY. GOD.

Mile 24 and I hear Julie Berg! There is Eve, Duke and Wynn! Hey!! Just what I needed :)

Mile 25 and my group is gaining speed, hell, they are flying, I try to keep up. I will keep up. One more mile. You can do it. Suck it up and fly with them.

Mile 26. Jubliant. Joyful. Wow. Is this for real? Maybe I'm dreaming and I'll wake up and set Boston as a goal.

There is the finish and I'm qualified and I PR'd and wow. Just wow.

346. Rockin'!

As I crossed the finish line I saw Helen. Amazing to run into friends with 11000 people running this race. I went a bit farther and saw Dave Just, great. Then Joann Fallis and her daughter at the sweats handoffs. Incredible.

I get on the bus to take back to the Dome. One person is on the bus. It's Pierre! Oh my god! Incredible. Pierre had a great run, too. Next Sunday we are both running the Glacial Trail 50K/50 Mile.

Good stuff, good stuff :)

I am still going to run McNaughton 100 this April, but next April, I think this family is going to Boston!

**I want to give a heartfelt congratulations to two of my online clients, whom also finished the marathon well ahead of their goal of 5 hours!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Twin Cities Marathon

Running the Twin Cities Marathon is always a blast. I think it is even more fun for me now, since I have been running ultra marathons on the trail, than it was in my pre ultra marathon life. The stress of wondering if I can finish it is gone. I know that I won't die. Two positives.

For most of my runs I am without human companionship, and I enjoy it that way. Thankfully I have an ultra dog in Topaz, who is always willing and wanting to run mega miles with me. The trail races are a fun time to see other people; but still, I am usually running alone as the 100s usually have a pretty small entry and we are usually stretched out far apart along the trail. It is always a treat to run along with someone else for a while.

At Twin Cities Marathon there are people all over the place. The first few miles are actually packed in quite tightly with people tripping over one another. Eventually we thin out a bit, but there are always people near. The spectators are thick. Last year was a beautiful warm day and the spectators were thicker than I've ever seen. Many of the runners weren't happy with the heat, I thought it was delightful.

The media is all over TCM. The local news media personnel are running, the forecasters are busy talking about what Sunday will be like, it is crazy. It's crazy how much media the marathon gets. The forecasters are saying cloudy with rain in the afternoon.

I'll be meeting two of my online training clients for the first time. I have been training a husband/wife team for the past three months. TCM will be their first marathon! I'm so excited to meet them in person. They will be flying in from KS tomorrow.

I'll be volunteering for a few hours at the expo. I believe I'll be at packet pickup. Stop in and say hello.

I have no time goal for the marathon on Sunday; just a fun run through the City. I would guess 4-430 will be my finishing time. I'm sure looking forward to it :)