Friday, July 29, 2005

I'm IT

..tagged by Riona for this running meme

Q: What are you training for now?
A: The Portland Marathon, October 9, 2005

Q: If you are raising money for a cause, what is it and why is that cause important to you?
A: No, I'm not. Now I'm feeling all guilty. Quite frankly, I really hate asking people for money, even when it's for a great cause.

Q: What is the furthest distance you've run in your training and what is the furthest distance you will run before your event?
20 miles and 20 miles. I may put in a 22 miler, but maybe not.

Q: What is your favorite flavor of gu? (or other sports gel)
I like Cliff Shots, mocha and razz sorbet; vanilla's not bad, either.

Q: How many days a week do you run?
5, pretty much without fail.

Q: Are you injured in any way right now? If so,what are you doing about it?
No, although my achilles tendon is starting to feel a little sore in my right ankle, so I iced it last night. I got a achilles tendonitis (in my left calf) when I first started running any real distance, so I try to be careful about that.

Q: What is one item of running clothing/gear (shoes don't count) you can't run without?
Nothing odd; a good bra(s) is a no-brainer, and this time of year if I forget body glide I really pay for it later. But what I can't imagine running without (that isn't a necessity for others) is a hat.

Q: Do you have a talisman you are planning on taking to your event? If so, tell us!

Q: Share one thing about yourself we don't know.
I played softball as a kid rather than soccer becuase it doesn't involve much running. My prefered sports, though, were swimming and gymnastics until I gained weight in junior high.

I'd like to tag Jeff, Kristen, and VJ, who can sub cycling/walking in for running.
"Popsicles in the Finance Office"

Better words were never spoken (IM'ed, really) on a Friday afternoon in July to one who works on the 4th floor of an ancient, brick, non-AC oven building.


Thursday, July 28, 2005

You learn something new every day

The preamble to the Washington State constitution is:
We, the people of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this constitution.

Who knew I'd learn so much in summer classes?
About time for a new quiz

the Wit (52% dark, 30% spontaneous, 27% vulgar)

Your humor style:CLEAN COMPLEX DARK

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean you're pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer. Your sense of humor takes the most effort to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

Also, you probably loved the Office. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check it out here..

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais

Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on OkCupid Free Online Dating

I like that it has a 3 dimentional 2x2x2 matrix. Everything in life should be able to be explained in a 2x2 matrix.

Link from Brigita

Monday, July 25, 2005

Trail Note: the big 20 miler

After getting so excited about moving my long runs to Fridays, I wimped out and didn't do it this week. It was raining in the morning, so went to work for a few hours rather than run in the rain, and by the time I got home and got out on the road, it was hot and sunny and a little muggy from the morning's rain evaporating from the streets. So I went for a short and easy run and decided I do the long run on Saturday.

Saturday morning dawned cool and overcast, which was perfect. Jeff offered to run a few miles of the run with me, so we came up with a clever plan for him to drive up to the north end of Lake Washington and meet me at about the 15 mile point of my run north on the Burke-Gilman trail, we'd continue running 2.5 miles, and then turn around to complete 20 miles for me and 5 for him. This was great for me, as I now got to avoid the out and back BG rut that I'm in, and could look forward to seeing him just as I was getting pretty tired. The plan worked great.

Having interim milestones in a long run makes all the difference for me. Every 2 miles of a long run I'll slow to a walk to gulp some water, and so that's something to look forward to. The halfway point is, of course, a big one; it's great to know that I've got more miles under my belt than I have left to run. And I ate a couple goo's on this run, so there were those to look forward to as well (although once I eat them, it takes about 2 miles for them to stop feeling yucky in my digestive system and start feeling good in my legs).

Overall, it was a great run. I felt really good throughout, and actually felt good the rest of the day, too. I was a little sore yesterday, but not too bad, and the soreness is pretty much gone today. Last week was actually one of my biggest mileage weeks: 55 miles, including 3 "bike-equivalent" miles (12 miles on the bike = 3 running miles in my system). And since I wimped out of the long run on Friday, I moved one of this week's runs forward, meaning that I actually ran 58 miles in the 7 day week. When I first looked at this training plan, I never thought that I'd be able to run this much and feel so normal. It's amazing what the body can do with just a little effort (and a whole lot of time; I could never have done this last summer with the hours I was working).

Friday, July 22, 2005

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Finally, it is in my own backyard!

When I was in Vancouver a few weeks ago, I tried one of the new green tea frappuccinos at Starbucks. Why they were selling it across the boarder before their own home town is beyond me. The Aussie barista assured me that it was "quite nice, it has melon in it" which actually wasn't quite nice. Melon + matcha = icky sweetness. After much consultation, Jeff and decided that minus the melon, it might actually taste like the yummy matcha fraps that we enjoyed in Japan.

So, yesterday I had a little extra time before my bus, and I tried it: green tea frappucino, no melon syrup. Ahhh.... cool, creamy, green, and not too sweet. It tasted just like green tea ice cream and just like the drinks we slurped in Japan.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Trail Note

I've been feeling a little tired on my runs this week, which I thought strange until I thought about it a little further:
- I ran on Monday afternoon in 86 degree heat; that'll slow you down
- By the time I finished my run yesterday, I had put in 25 miles in 3 days; this is more that I did per week prior to April

So, overall, I guess things are going pretty well. I have to get on track and do all of my speedwork, however, as I've been slacking on that lately in favor of just getting the miles in. That and start lifting. I read an article in Runner's World about how core and upper body strength really help when one is tired at the end of a long run. That and it's good for me and looks good. ;)
Internet Karma

My computer has been having a hard time accessing the internet at home recently. For the past few weeks, I've had access for about 10 minutes, and then I lose it until the next time I restart my computer. Jeff has no problem accessing it on his computer, so it didn't seem to be a problem with the signal. I was able to access the wireless at work without issues, so the issue didn't seem to be my computer. Today, however, I can't seem to access the internet at home or at work, despite seeing a strong signal and a little message that I am connected.


Unbelievable that there was actually a time that I can remember where there was no internet at home or at work. How did we survive?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Mind the Gap

I must remember that not everyone is obsessively watching the Tour de France right now (usually 2, if not 3, times a day).

Friday, July 15, 2005

Trail Note

I switched my long runs to Friday this week, a decision initially caused by laziness (I skipped Wednesday's run, so figured I'd be well-rested on Friday, and there was no making up those lost miles). The more I thought about it, however, the better the idea became for the duration of my training. My work schedule is flexible, so I don't have to work a full day on Friday (or even much of a day at all if I get my hours in early), and I have class on Thursday night, which means that I usually eat well and get to bed at a decent hour on Thursday nights. This is not the case with Saturday nights before my Sunday runs. This now frees up the weekend for hiking or biking or just lazing. Yeah!

Today I ran a little under (hopefully not too much under) 18 miles. I ran to Alki Beach via Lake Union, downtown, and Alaskan Way, then turning around at the Water Taxi station and finishing up at the north end of Myrtle Edwards park (where Jeff nicely dropped my car at his office). While not a picturesque route, it certainly was scenic, as I passed by the Port (huge! trucks! containers!), the shipyard, the touristy area by the ferry, the Aquarium, the cruise ship terminal (where one was offloading its passengers), and had two lovely portions on Alki beach (a bald eagle landed just about 20 feet away from me) and Myrtle Edwards park. I actually felt good throughout the run, which gives me hope that I can finish my 20 miler scheduled for next week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

No, I don't get extra credit points for this

I'm taking an amazing class this summer that is sadly about to come to an end called "Public Leaders as Teachers." I took it mainly because I wanted to take some classes this summer, and it was one of few offered, and it did sound interesting. It's taught by Eric Liu, an author, radio and tv host, professor, former Clinton speechwriter, etc. and is about how as public leaders, we are always teaching, and we should be mindful of this, and understand what tools we are using, values we bring to the table, and impact we are having. We have a guest speaker every class who is a local public leader, and he askes the guest some questions about his/her role, leadership, teaching, and then opens the floor to questions from the class. We then spend the second half of class with class member case studies, discussing leadership challenges that we are presently facing and getting advice and insight from our classmates. The 3 hour class time flies by, and I have treasured every Tuesday and Thursday evening I have spent in this class.

If this sounds the least bit interesting to you, I recommend that you check out Eric's latest book, Guiding Lights, a story about mentors and their students. I read it in 2 evenings.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Is Seattle the next Gotham?

Thoughts after seeing Batman Begins this weekend: yet another example of a good monorail gone bad.

Update: I dreamt last night that I was in a scary scary part of Seattle that I'd never been to before, and it was just like the Narrows district in Gotham. The odd thing is that I think that I was there to buy fruit.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Trail Note: I can follow one part of the plan just fine

Yesterday I began the day feeling down after a disappointing (but not surprising) weigh-in. I've been bouncing up and down in the same weight range since beginning this marathon training plan, despite initial plans (hopes?) of losing a pound a week. A few weeks ago, after having gained 4 pounds in a week, I developed an eating plan that was going to get me on the losing track. It worked for a few weeks, I lost those 4 pounds, and then last week I strayed from the plan and gained a pound back. For some reason, I can follow my running plan to the tee, running faster and farther than I ever imagined I could, but I can't seen to follow a very moderate diet plan. Poor Jeff ran the first 3 miles of my long run with me yesterday and had to listen to me moan about this for almost half of our time together.

After Jeff turned around and I continued on my run alone with my thoughts, however, I started to feel better. After all, I am doing a great job following the mileage portion of my plan. I ran 17 miles yesterday at a pace ranging between 8:40 and 8:50 miles, with minimal pain. I ran a 10 mile run last week with 5, 7:50 mile intervals. I ran almost 40 miles last week with an additional 40+ miles of cycling. While I'm still serious about losing 15 pounds, being moody and getting angry at myself isn't going to help. So, the weight loss part isn't as easy as I thought it would be. Running alone isn't going to make me thin, so I'll have to get more disciplined. After all, it would be crazy to do all of this work running and miss my goal because I couldn't stop eating ice cream.

Mmmm... ice cream... that sounds good right now. ;)

Friday, July 08, 2005

Join the DZ Fanclub

Funny, tough, cute, and fast.

Thanks, VJ, for the link.
Trail Note: Portland, Here I Come!

I've finally registered for my fall marathon, deciding to run Portland, rather than Victoria, BC. Both are on October 9th, both are not too far from home, both look relatively flat, and both are in cool cities that would be fun to visit for the weekend. I was on the fence about which one to do for the longest time, weighing the slightly rolling course in Victoria with the mostly flat with one taller hill (a brigde) in Portland, weighing the travel times for each (shorter to Portland) with the expense (Victoria is cheaper), and was thinking that the fact that we've been meaning to go to Victoria for a long time would be the deciding point. Then I spoke to someone who ran a marathon in Alberta CA, who talked about something I'd not even considered.

The Metric System.

Of course, I'm familiar with the metric system and am (for an American) decently conversant with kilometers, degrees Centigrade, and kilograms. When it comes to running and pacing myself, however, I'm not prepared for a metrically marked course. I'm learning to pace my minutes per mile, obsessive about the right pace, how to run negative splits, etc., all with the hopes of completing the marathon in less than 3 hours 40 minutes to qualify for Boston. In Victoria, they only mark every 5 miles, which could be the distance in which I ignorantly fall too far off pace, narrowly missing my goal. Also, I think it might be a bit demoralizing seeing every kilometer pass by (what, I've run 20 and am not even halfway done!?!).

So, Portland it is. If anyone is going to be there October th and 9th, let me know. It's good to be registered, and by registering in a timely fashion, I get my name printed on my bib, so folks in the crowd can cheer me on by name if they like.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Hello Blogosphere

It's been a while.

Two weeks ago I started summer quarter with a new class and started working at my new job.
Last week my mom came into town to stay for a several day visit.
Friday we went up to Vancouver BC to meet my dad and drop my parents off on their Alaskan cruise.

Sunday night we got home to two hungry cats and 5 hours of the Tour de France on tape. It was good to be home and relax.

Now I have a bunch of hours to make up at work and I should start thinking about my paper that's due in 2 weeks, but things should be relatively quiet in July. Which is great, because I plan on spending a lot of time watching the Cyclism! And running, of course. ;)