I can’t believe it’s almost October already. Only 3 more months in 2012! (If anyone knows the day count until Christmas, please keep it to yourself or I will personally hunt you down and make you do burpees!) October is a huge race month up here in the upper midwest. Cooler temps and fall colors mean great times and beautiful scenery for every distance from 5k to marathon and beyond. I have not only one, but two big races coming up this month. On October 20th, you’ll find me running the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon. I’ll admit that training hasn’t exactly gone as planned. I have a few big marathons on the calendar for next year, so I’m going into this one open-minded and hoping to use it as more of a training run for my big ultra later this year. It may not be pretty, but I will finish this baby. (more…)
After having to cut short my attempt with my 4-year-old for the Welcome Fall Virtual 5k being done by my friend Amy at Pumpkin to Princess, I decided to give it a go with my trusty running partner, Wonder Pup. At least with her, I’m always prepared for a poop emergency. With the cooler mornings, Wonder Pup and I have been tearing it up on the roads as of late. She’s loving her daily 2-3 mile runs, and I’m loving that it keeps her from eating lawn furniture. It’s a win-win.
After dropping my daughter off at school, we took to the roads for a quick 3.1. She quickly figured out that it was a race day, and took off full go down the road. After several near run ins with squirrels, we finally made it home, without having to stop once. The last time we did a 5k, I may have cheated a bit and stopped the watch for potty breaks. Considering how long it takes her to find the perfect swatch of grass, I figure her actual old 5k time was a good minute or two longer than my Garmin time, meaning she set a new 5k PR. She does need a little work on pacing. She went out a bit fast and was paying for it that last mile. Rookie mistake, but she’ll learn eventually. At least she has a good coach to help her learn to reel it in a little those first few miles. Now to figure out how to get her to run around a track without getting distracted by squirrels and garbage trucks.
The other morning, I woke up to a text from one of my regular training clients letting me know she was stuck at home, sick as a dog thanks to her kids, and would not be making it in to our training session that morning. As I lay in bed trying to get the motivation to get moving for the day, I asked myself “What would Jillian Michaels do?” Jillian would probably call the Y, ask for her home address, and show up there with a bullhorn, telling my client and all her neighbors that a little head cold was no excuse and to get her ass out of bed, dressed and out the door for an impromptu outdoor workout. I thought about just how nice it would be to go back to bed after dropping my daughter off at school. Jillian Michaels, I am not.
Mother Nature (that bitch) had other plans. She knows I can’t resist those beautiful clear crisp fall mornings. Temps were right around 50, sun was out. Perfect weather for a run… after a quick workout at the gym. There might have been a little swearing to myself as I packed up my gym bag. As I warmed up on the bike, so did my attitude. I’d done legs and glutes the day before, so it was going to be a back day, with a little chest thrown in for fun. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I’d been trying to master the pull up all summer, so I hopped right into my trusty back and shoulder routine. 4 times through this series. Boom, boom, boom on the exercises, with a chance to rest after completing each round. Lat pull-downs, bent over rows with the bar, one arm rows, and finish it off with rear delt raises. 6 reps each exercise (going for strength, so low rep high weight) with as much weight as I can handle. Break down looked a little something like this:
- Lat pull down – Round 1 @ 100 lbs, rounds 2-4 @ 90 lbs (so weak today)
- Bent over row – Rounds 1-4 @ 75 lbs
- 1 arm row – Rounds 1-4 @ 45 lbs
- Rear delt raise – Rounds 1-4 @ 25 lbs (d0n’t laugh)
Threw in some chest press with dumbbells and ab work to round out the workout before heading home to get and stretch the legs on a little run. Timed it perfectly so that I got in about 4.5 miles before having to pick up my daughter from school. I was jogging up to the building right as she was walking out the door. While I may have let me client off easy, part of me wants to think that Jillian would have been proud of me for getting my butt up out of bed and using my down time to rock out a killer back workout and a few decent miles.
Yesterday when I picked my daughter up from school, she saw that I had my running gear on and immediately started in on 20 questions, runners style.
“Mommy, why are you wearing your running clothes?”
“I ran to the school today.”
“How far did you run?”
“About 4-5 miles.”
“No, I think you ran 22 miles!”
Laughing. “Not today, hun. But in a few weeks I’m going to run 26 miles!”
“Yep, you might get to come watch me.”
“Can I run too?”
“Well 26 miles is really far. How about we go to the park and run 3 miles after lunch?”
So there we had it, our pre-nap wear out a preschooler plan. I’d signed us both up for my friend Amy’s Pumpkin to Princess Welcome Fall Virtual 5k to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Team in Training. We headed home, changed her into some shorts, had a quick snack, and we were off to the park. One of the local parks has a path that circles a pond/marsh that’s home to lots of water fowl and turtles. There’s a bridge that crosses the pond about halfway around the loop, making it easy to measure off a 4-year-old friendly running route. Now 3 miles may sound like a lot for a preschooler, but you haven’t met my child. She never walks. Until it’s time to run. 100 feet into our run, she decided she had enough and wanted to walk. But she didn’t want to go home either. So we kept going on our walk/jog. We’d race to park benches and the bridge. Then about a mile in and about a mile from the nearest bathroom that she had to poop. Turns out 4 year olds suffer from runners tummy just like grown ups. Only it kicks in way earlier for them. We began our long slow walk back to the park entrance. There were stops to watch the schools of fish from the bridge and pick up feathers and sticks for her nature collection. When asked if she wanted to run some more, she replied very matter of fact, “It’s hard to run fast when you gotta go poop.” Yeah kid, I’ve been there and know the feeling. I finally spotted a porta potty. When I tried to get her moving in the direction, she told me she didn’t have to go anymore. Well, by now the runner’s tummy was starting to hit me, and instead of heading out for another short lap, we hopped in the car and raced home to the comfort of our own bathroom. We made it roughly half a 5k (1.6 miles) before calling it quits. Wonder if Amy will special order us only half a medal…
During a recent trip to the gym, I hopped on the bike, only to find that the battery in my kindle was completely dead. I’m not a huge magazine reader, with the exceptions of Trail Runner and Runner’s World. At the gym, the last thing I want to do is look at pictures of perfectly groomed women with the inhuman ability to not sweat while working out hold poses of workout moves with big happy smiles while the photographer clicks away. I do not look like that at the gym. I sweat… a lot. If you can smile while doing dive bomber push ups, I want whatever you’re smoking. So reluctantly, I settled on an old copy of SHAPE magazine with Alison Sweeney on the cover. I love Alison Sweeney. I remember her as Samantha back on Days of Our Lives. I grew up watching her on there and love the transformation she’s made into womanhood. Compared to many of the other celebs they feature on their cover, she seemed like a safe bet to get me through a gym cardio session. I skipped through the fashion and beauty sections to my favorite parts, the workouts and recipes. After checking out their Hunger Games workout, I turned to find this recipe for Drunken Noodles in Cashew-Shiitake Broth. This recipe is from Chloe Coscarelli, author of Chloe’s Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way. Always looking for a quick and easy healthy soup recipes, this one had me discreetly slipping the magazine into my gym bag so that I could go home and copy the recipe (don’t worry, I’m going to return the magazine…. next week…)
Drunken Noodles in Cashew-Shiitake Broth
Yield: 4 Servings
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 6 oz dried udon noodles
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 lb Shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
- 3 Scallions, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1/4 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (I like mine spicy, so doubled this to 1/2)
- pinch ground cayenne pepper
- 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- pinch sea salt
- 4 tsp fresh Cilantro, chopped
1. Cook udon noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside. Toast cashews in a dry pan over medium heat for 3 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from heat and chop roughly.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and scallions; cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Mix in garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and cayenne pepper and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add broth to the mushroom mixture and bring to a boil. Add noodles, reduce heat to low and simmer, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in vinegar and sesame oil. Season to taste with salt. Ladle into four bowls and garnish each with 1 tablespoon of cashews and 1 teaspoon of cilantro; serve.
Yesterday was the first official day of fall. I kicked it off with an early trail run on a crisp morning with a group of trail vets I’d met on Facebook. Head lamps in place, we took off for an easy 10 miler through Lebanon Hills Regional Park. I followed up yesterdays lovely trail run with an easy 6 down along the river through the fog with the running group I lead up Sunday mornings at the local YMCA. Really, I can’t think of a better way to welcome the cooler air, beautiful fall colors, and post run pumpkin spice lattes than with a couple of great runs.
Check that. I can think of one way. An afternoon at one of the local apple orchards with my mom and daughter. My daughter, like most 4 year olds, loves fall. To her, fall is playing in the leaves, carving pumpkins, picking apples, and trick or treating. On the cool, dreary days, we spend hours together in the kitchen, whipping up some new recipe using pumpkins, squash, apples, and other goodies from the local fall harvest. Cookies, cakes, breads, soups, you name it, she’s right next to me as my mini-sous chef.
To celebrate fall and all the (healthy) deliciousness that is has to offer, I’ll be posting a new fall inspired recipe everyday in the month of October. 31 days of Fall Flavors. Tonight, I’m excited throw some steel-cut oats in the crock pot with a couple of the McIntosh apples we picked up today at the orchard. Look forward to this recipe and others in the coming weeks.