Daily Run: Tempo? Still No, but a New Personal Record

January 22, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Posted in Daily Run | 7 Comments

Time of Day: 5:50 AM

Weather: 41* Gloves came off!  Sleeves rolled up!

Duration: 1 hour 8 minutes 19 seconds

Distance: 9.25 miles total with 2 x 15 minutes tempo, 5 minute jog between

Average Pace: 7:23/mile overall; 6:34/mile for first tempo section; 6:40/mile for second tempo section

Average Heart Rate: 164 bpm overall; 176 bpm for first tempo section; 177 bpm for second tempo section

Notes: Well, I’m a little closer to finding my 7:10 per mile marathon tempo pace; a whole 8 seconds per mile closer, in fact. My new tempo motto: ‘Tis better to be too fast than too slow. Yes, you can quote me. Matt, I want to be at the top of your next blog post.

I enjoyed the warmer weather this morning. Granted, 41* is a far cry from the 80* high for today (God bless unseasonably warm weather). Granted, tomorrow morning I’ll be on the elliptical for the warmest morning of the week (how does that keep happening!?). However, I’m lucky. I know many people are suffering through cold weather right now. I feel for you, I just don’t want to be you. 🙂

I am also enjoying the ever-so-slowly increasing light in the mornings. The long road where I do my speedwork is highly elevated and gorgeous. On my right, I see the city lights and a pink horizon; on my left, a lake. This may be why I’ve managed to complete three whole weeks of speedwork. I do believe that’s my Post-College Speedwork-Adherence Personal Record.

What am I not enjoying? Being tired at work. But it’s worth it.


Food for Fuel: Fish with Brussels and Wild Rice Salad

January 22, 2009 at 9:50 am | Posted in Food, Nutrition, Rice, Quinoa, and Other Grains, Seafood, Vegetable Side Dishes | 4 Comments

Last night I made a nice meal and used two new recipes, three if you count the fish “recipe” that I made up, but my fish entree was not as delicious as my sides.

Fish: I thawed two small orange roughy fillets and placed them in a baking dish with sliced mushrooms, a clove of garlic, and a quartered lemon. I added a little chopped sweet potato (leftover from making sweet potato fries) and doused everything in the dish with salt, pepper, parsley, and white wine.  I baked it at 350* for 11 minutes, but then had to take the sweet potatoes out and microwave them until they softened a little more.


Wild Rice and Barley Salad: I’ve been holding onto this recipe from Cooking Light for awhile now and finally got around to trying it. I already had cooked wheatberries in the fridge, so I used those instead of the pearl barley. I also used pine nuts instead of almonds and had to use dried basil instead of fresh. I didn’t have any chicken broth, but cooking the rice in water works fine as well. I really liked this recipe, which is good because I made half of it so I could eat the leftovers for lunch today.


Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts: Another Heidi Swanson recipe, intriguing because she says it’s her favorite Brussels recipe, and also because I’m excited about the inclusion of cheese. It may also be my new favorite Brussels recipe, and I used sub-par cheese (a 2% milk, bagged Italian blend). I also used frozen Brussels.  Still good, and maybe even the highlight of dinner. Amazing what a good dousing of olive oil can do for a vegetable.

Nutrition of this Meal

This meal contains 14 ingredients on the World’s Healthiest Foods list:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Lemons
  • Raisins
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Olive oil
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat
  • Basil
  • Parsley


January 21, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I still haven’t heard back from the winner of the Two Knobby Tires giveaway. Meghan, please email me by 12 AM on Friday. Otherwise, I’ll have to draw another winner.

Daily Run and Strength Training: Slowness and Vanity Achieved

January 21, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Posted in Daily Run, Strength Training | 8 Comments

Strength Training – Tuesday Evening, Jan. 20th

Time of Day: 6:40 PM

Weather: Climate-controlled

Duration: About 35 minutes

Notes: My hair appointment took longer than planned (my stylist is good, but she is slowww), and I definitely did not want to go lift weights afterwards.  But…I didn’t want to have to go today either, and I was in the neighborhood anyway, so I went. I was not rewarded by a nice, empty gym. Quite the opposite, in fact: I didn’t do use the lateral pulldown machine like usual because a man was on it literally the entire time I was there. Lifting a little, resting, lifting a little, being lazy and in the way, etc. Some people have no gym etiquette.

But I got it done and had a good workout in a relatively short amount of time.  Here’s what I did:

2 x 15 reps of the following:

  • Lat row
  • Chest press
  • Vertical butterfly

1 x 15 reps of the following:

  • Biceps curls on stability ball
  • Tricep dips
  • Lateral shoulder raises with a dumbbell
  • Dumbbell shoulder press on stability ball

Core exercises (all of these in Ultimate Abs):

  • Back extensions, 25 reps
  • Birddogs, 1 set of 24 reps each side
  • I did planks and side planks in the morning before running, so I didn’t do these at the gym last night.


In lieu of the lat pulldown, I put my feet on a stability ball and did push-ups until I had to stop at 31 reps. Then I took a short break and did 10 more. I wore my heartrate monitor as an experiment. Conclusion: lifting weights doesn’t get it up very high, except when doing push-ups, but does raise it a fair amount.

Then I finally went home to my DVRed coverage of the Inauguration. I envisioned myself sharing the story with my grandchildren: that long ago, Grandma made a veggie burger while watching the inauguration of the first African-American President, and ironed her work clothes while listening to him speak, but was touched and inspired despite the mediocrity of her food and chores. Maybe my grandchildren and I will be watching the inauguration of the first female, homosexual, Muslim President while I tell them the story, and they’ll think, “Wow, we’ve seen Presidents of all races and walks of life; Grandma must be really old if she remembers the inauguration of the very first black President. And yet, she doesn’t look a day over 25.” And then maybe they’ll ask, “Grandma, what’s ironing?”, because hopefully we’ll have invented a much better method of getting creases out of clothing by then.*

Daily Run

Time of Day: 5:50 AM

Weather: The high today will be in the 70s, but it was 27* for my run. Thanks, Mother Nature.

Duration: 48 minutes

Distance: 6.12 miles

Average Pace: 7:51/mile

Average Heart Rate: 151 bpm

Notes: I needed a slow, easy run this morning. Thankfully, that’s exactly what was on the schedule. I don’t have much to say about this run: it was cold and dark, but I was grateful for a chance to run slowly and therapeutically. Also, my ART appointment went well today. I’m sure my doctor thinks I’m a hypochondriac by now.

I hope the recovery run refreshed my legs. Tomorrow’s tempo run looks much more intimidating than last week’s.

*Bonus Jess Fact of the Week: Ironing is my most lacking domestic skill. 

Daily Run: Hitting Those Times

January 20, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Posted in Daily Run | 12 Comments

Time of Day: 5:50 AM

Weather: 45* and breezy

Interval Workout: Warm up, 2 x (800m, 600, 400, 200) with 1 minute jog between intervals and 5 minutes jog between sets, Cooldown

Total Duration: 1 hour 0 minutes 36 seconds

Total Distance: 8 miles

Average Heart Rate: 162 bpm

Notes: This workout marks week 3 of the Great Return to Speedwork, and I finally hit all my goal times. This is exciting because I was very intimidated by this workout because at 5K-10K pace, it’s faster than I’ve had to go in awhile. Also, I’m still having some leg pain (ART appointment tomorrow).

It appears, however, that I had nothing to worry about. Yes, the speed intervals were uncomfortable. Yes, they made me cough up a lung. But no, the leg wasn’t bad and I racked up some nice data:

First set
800m (goal 3:00-3:07): 3:01
600m (goal 2:22-2:30): 2:17
400m (goal 1:30-1:34): 1:31
200m (goal 0:45-0:47): 0:46

Second set
800m (goal 3:00-3:07): 3:03
600m (goal 2:22-2:30): 2:16
400m (goal 1:30-1:34): 1:29
200m (goal 0:45-0:47): 0:45

The 600 meter intervals were the hardest. I was decently fresh for the 800 meter intervals, but had to do the 600s just one minute after completion. For me, the best part of a speed workout is the cooldown. I’m tired and slow, but I know all the hard work is behind me and I can jog to my heart’s content.

I feel compelled to go to the gym this evening and lift weights, since I didn’t get to go yesterday. However, I also have a hair appointment, so it may or may not happen. I’m vain about my hair, but I’m also vain about my muscles, so I’ll try to make it an evening of vanity and squeeze in both.

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