February 2004 Archives

283.733 minutes running (30.37 miles)
35 minutes elliptical
148 minutes weight lifting (4)
3930 President's Challenge points

Monthly Report: February

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running: 19:09:52 | 123.32 miles
weight lifting: 5:11:00
elliptical: 2:25:00

21 running days
9 weight lifting days
4 elliptical XT days
4 planned rest days

14817 President's Challenge points
Bronze Award earned

Long Run

start: 37 degrees | felt like 27 | 17 mph wind | sunny
end: 39 degrees | felt like 31 | 15 mph wind | sunny

Lap 01 | 9:23 | 0:09:23 | 119 cal.
Lap 02 | 9:39 | 0:19:03 | 96 cal.
Lap 03 | 9:35 | 0:28:39 | 102 cal.
Lap 04 | 9:21 | 0:38:00 | 105 cal.
Lap 05 | 9:28 | 0:47:28 | 91 cal.
Lap 06 | 9:34 | 0:57:02 | 114 cal.
Lap 07 | 9:09 | 1:06:12 | 97 cal.
Lap 08 | 9:18 | 1:15:30 | 102 cal.
Lap 09 | 8:54 | 1:24:24 | 93 cal.
Lap 10 | 9:13 | 1:33:37 | 97 cal.
Lap 11 | 8:51 | 1:42:29 | 111 cal.
Lap 12 | 8:29 | 1:50:59 | 106 cal.
Lap 13 | 0:24 | 1:51:23 | 4 cal.
----------------------------
12.05 miles | 1:51:23 | 9:15/mi. | 1237 cal.

Today is absolutely gorgeous. It felt so much warmer than 39. I ran without my fleece hat for the first time in a long while, and I took my gloves off around 3.5 miles. I passed a high school aged kid running in shorts and a t-shirt and it made me wish I had on shorts. I miss running in shorts, but I think tights were a good idea today since I was out there for awhile and I had 5 miles of running directly into the wind. I did take off my jacket around 8.25 miles and pushed up my sleeves for the last 2 miles.

My splits are weird. I was trying to be relaxed and running easy, which seemed to work ok for the first 6 miles. I think the nice weather got to me after that or something. I'm not sure how to explain it - I wasn't trying to run fast, and I didn't feel like I was. I wasn't really "into" the run at the beginning, so maybe that explains the slower pace at the beginning.

Weight lifting article

President's Challenge

I earned my Bronze Award today!

6 miles plus weights

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27 degrees | felt like 14 | 17 mph wind | sunny

Lap 1 | 9:07 | 09:07 | 93 cal.
Lap 2 | 9:42 | 18:49 | 118 cal.
Lap 3 | 9:27 | 28:16 | 100 cal.
Lap 4 | 9:23 | 37:40 | 96 cal.
Lap 5 | 9:22 | 47:03 | 103 cal.
Lap 6 | 9:01 | 56:04 | 110 cal.
Lap 7 | 0:14 | 56:19 | 10 cal.
-------------------------------
6.03 miles | 56:19 | 9:21/mi | 630 cal.

Still not having much luck running slow. Mile 2 had a 1/2 mile stretch of ice, and I had to run slower to avoid wiping out. Nice consistency with miles 3, 4 and 5 though. I did tell myself to be slow, and since I avoided looking at my watch I thought I was. I also tried to focus on making sure my breathing was slow enough, which it was. I tried breathing through my nose, but it was too stuffed up for me to get enough oxygen.

weight lifting | upper body | 39:00

I think I need to find some other exercises to do, because my weight lifting routine is getting kind of boring. I changed up the order of things today, but I think finding some other exercises would be a good thing.

I'm registered!

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I'm officially registered for the Med-City Marathon. A radio conglomerate is one of the sponsors (I guess), and people can register in person at their office. It seems that most people that have come in have been registering for the relay or the 20-mile race because the 2 people I talked to acted like it was a big deal that I was registering for the (solo) marathon. I wouldn't think they would have acted that way if they had had a lot of other marathon runners coming in. Anyway, as an incentive for people to register early and in person, they are giving away "in training" shirts. I like to get shirts, so that worked on me.


I wonder if they had any women give input on it ... I don't know many women who would approve a design that puts big circles right on/near the breasts.

They only had L or XL and I would've liked a medium. But I guess it works out okay because something tells me this will be an around-the-house shirt.

XT Report

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weight lifting | lower body | 15:00
Elliptical | 30:00 Cardio/5:00 CD | 26:42 in zone | 2.36 mi. | 538 cal.

Grocery shopping

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I went to the grocery store(s) today. I started off with a quick run into Sam's to get some stuff for the Engineer. I would've picked up some Balance Bars but I have a pretty large stockpile right now. I did notice that they carry big packs of fruit cups that I might go back for sometime. After Sam's, I went next door to the Wal-Mart Super Center to pick up cereal. The Engineer has started eating my cereal (Kashi Go Lean Crunch) instead of Cheerios, so we now go through a ton of cereal in a short period of time. I picked up 4 boxes. While there, I checked the dairy section for my milk. I just opened the container, but I like to have my 2nd container before I run out. My milk (Lactaid with Soy Protein) was not there. I hadn't seen it at HyVee on Monday either, so I got a little worried that maybe the stores here aren't going to carry it anymore. I drink this milk because it has 14 grams of protein per cup (I used to drink soy milk before I started upping my protein; I hate regular milk). Regular milk has 8 grams, and soy milk has 6-7. I don't want to switch milks, so I was kind of worried/nervous about the possible discontinuation.

So I finished grabbing stuff from Wal-Mart, and headed over to a different HyVee. They had my milk! I went ahead and bought 4 containers of it. Yes, 4. I don't want to worry about the stores being out, and now I'm good for almost a month. One of the beautiful things about buying this kind of Lactaid (and most soy milks) is that because of the pasteurization method, the expiration date isn't until April 7. (Once opened, it should be consumed within 7 days, however). So I should probably just go ahead and start buying 3-4 cartons at a time, because it is something that will definitely get used and it has such a long shelf life.

I think tomorrow will be the day that I register for the marathon. It would've been today, but the grocery store trips interfered.

short run plus weights

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30 degrees | felt like 22 | 8 mph wind | cloudy
3.01 miles | 28:12 | 9:22/mi. | 306 cal.

weight lifting | upper body | 40:00

6 miles

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31 degrees | felt like 22 | 12 mph wind | cloudy

Lap 1 | 9:09 | 09:09 | 102 cal.
Lap 2 | 9:32 | 18:41 | 98 cal.
Lap 3 | 9:26 | 28:08 | 100 cal.
Lap 4 | 9:18 | 37:27 | 91 cal.
Lap 5 | 9:26 | 46:53 | 95 cal.
Lap 6 | 9:10 | 56:03 | 105 cal.
Lap 7 | 0:29 | 56:33 | 11 cal.
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6.06 mi. | 56:33 | 9:20/mi. | 602 cal.

I should read how the Forerunner calculates calories, because I can't figure it out by looking at the splits. I thought maybe hills had something to do with it, but doesn't appear to be the case with today's run.

I need to work on slowing myself down, because I think my easy runs are supposed to be slower than this. I'm not sure how to go about doing that, though, because I didn't feel like I was running hard or fast today. I guess maybe I should pay more attention to the time and make sure I'm running slow enough. But a part of me thinks I should just run how I feel and not worry about the time/pace. Maybe when my books come in, they'll have an answer for me.

Forerunner pictures, take 2

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The Engineer pointed out a problem with my earlier Forerunner pictures: I didn't include a known-sized object for comparison. So here are 2 pictures comparing the size to a Balance Bar. I also took a picture of the watch on the Engineer, as another comparison. The left is my wrist (5.5"), and the right is the Engineer's wrist (7").


I bought some tortillas tonight at the store. I've been reading about LaTortilla Factory for awhile, and tonight was the first time I saw them in an actual store. I got the Whole Wheat Low-Carb/Low-Fat large size. I haven't had tortillas for awhile, but I thought these were pretty decent. One tortilla has 80 cal., 8g. protein and 14g. fiber. That's a lot of fiber!

Forerunner software; trail troubles

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32 degrees | felt like 24 | 10 mph wind | overcast

Lap 1 | 09:45 | 09:45 | 105 cal.
Lap 2 | 09:33 | 19:18 | 96 cal.
Lap 3 | 09:55 | 29:14 | 119 cal.
Lap 4 | 02:02 | 31:17 | 26 cal.
----------------------------
3.22 miles | 31:17 | 9:44/mi | 346 cal.

First a note to myself: If you ever have to upgrade the watch software again, check to make sure that the auto-lap and auto-pause options are turned on before you go running. I was pretty unhappy to find that the auto-pause got reset by the software upgrade, because I found out while waiting for a stoplight to change. The first wait wasn't too terrible (10-15 seconds) but on the way back I had to wait a lot longer (45-50 seconds). That was pretty annoying, and it makes the run time, split times and calorie count inaccurate. Oh well.

I also need to remember not to run on the trail for a few more weeks. It is still snow covered, except for where people have run. The footprints have somewhat melted, so anywhere people have run is either slushy or icy. I wasn't on the trail that long (barely a full mile), and I don't think I could have stood to run any farther on it than I did. The poor footing aggravates my calf, and running through icy puddles just sucks. One bad thing about the warmer weather is that the smokers are back. The trail runs right up near a clinic building, and some of the employees will come out and smoke next to the trail. I hate running past smokers. The only thing worse than the smoke breakers is the woman who smokes while walking along the trail. I think that it is so rude to smoke on an exercise path.

weight lifting | upper + lower body | 54:00

Forerunner pictures

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Heading out for a run, but wanted to post a quick reply to Dani (glad to hear you've decided on a marathon!):

I've only run with the Forerunner twice, but I haven't found it bulky or heavy. It's actually pretty light, weight-wise. I was worried about the size, because I have small wrists, and it doesn't take much to be too much for me. But aside from wanting to stare at the display a lot, I haven't really noticed it while running. Some of the other GPS watches out there are smaller (or regular watch-sized), but they usually require that you wear a separate transmitter. I think that the Timex ones have an unit that you strap to your arm in addition to the watch. I liked the simplicity of the Forerunner being all in one unit.

I don't know if this will help, but here are 2 pictures of it:


Time to run!

Library Books

I've got a couple of books on request from the library:

4 months to a 4 hour marathon
Ultimate sports nutrition
Eating for endurance
The New York City Marathon cookbook
Nancy Clark's sports nutrition guidebook
Marathon : the ultimate training guide

The first book is the only one that my local library carries, but someone has it checked out. The others are being sent from libraries all over the state, so I don't know when they'll come in. I'm glad I checked out the online catalog before going down there. It would've been frustrating to not find any of the books I wanted after paying for parking.

Link

Nausea and distance running
I thought this was an interesting article that lists several reasons one might feel sick after a long run, and what to do about it.

Weekly Weigh-In

Down to 114.6 pounds. I don't quite understand how that happened, since I only ran 1.5mi more than last week, and I upped my calories. (1901, 1971, 1977, 1930, 1997, 2046). From here out, I won't be reporting my weight on the main page. I'll still be tracking it myself to make sure it doesn't go too low (a problem I never expected to have), and I will update my chart. I'm going to have to play with the calorie amounts a little more, and I expect that doing so might cause some changes. In other weight news, my experiment of last week revealed that I while my weight does fluctuate from day to day, it does so pretty consistently: M- 115.4, T- 114.6, W- 114.6, T- 115.4, F- 115.4, S- 113.8, S- 114.6.

Ok, I've thawed a little bit and have eaten so here's a mini report. The weather was kind of odd today. The sun would come out and it would be really warm. But then it would go behind a cloud, and it would be cold again. I took off my jacket around 4 miles, and left it off for the rest of the run. For the most part I was okay with just my short sleeve and long sleeve shirts. I did learn that removing layers is kind of a pain with the Forerunner. I normally just remove/add layers while running, but wasn't able to do that today since I had the watch on the outside of my clothing. So I had to stop to remove the jacket and reposition the watch. There were parts I thought about adding the jacket back, but I didn't want to bother with stopping and moving the watch. I only wore one pair of gloves today, and while my left hand was fine my right hand hurts. It got a lot colder than the left, and it's still kind of stiff. I can't explain that one. I had the Engineer untie my shoes for me since my hands were so cold when I got back.

I headed south for the first time since it started snowing. It was good to get to run hills again, since the routes I've been running have been pretty flat. I think being able to run hills is a really good thing, and it makes me a stronger runner. There is supposed to be a way for the Forerunner to show me the grades of the hills I ran on. I want to find that to see exactly how steep some of the hills are, since a couple of them seemed pretty steep. Part of my route was new and it involved a half mile hill that wasn't very fun, especially since I'd already run 7 miles at that point and done 3 hills.

Marathon Training Week #15, February 16 - 22
Miles ran: 31.65 (288.73 minutes)
Minutes elliptical: 35
Weight Lifting Sessions: 2 (52 minutes)
Snow Shoveling Sessions: 2
President's Challenge Points: 3567

I'm 93% of the way towards my Bronze Award. I need 2729 points, which means I should earn my award by the end of next week.

Long Run

30 degrees | felt like 20 | 14 mph wind | partly sunny, partly cloudy

Lap 01 | 9:16 | 0:09:16 | 98 cal
Lap 02 | 9:35 | 0:18:52 | 98 cal
Lap 03 | 9:18 | 0:28:10 | 99 cal
Lap 04 | 9:32 | 0:37:43 | 105 cal
Lap 05 | 9:08 | 0:46:51 | 93 cal
Lap 06 | 9:25 | 0:56:17 | 94 cal
Lap 07 | 9:14 | 1:05:32 | 90 cal
Lap 08 | 9:39 | 1:15:12 | 110 cal
Lap 09 | 9:13 | 1:24:25 | 92 cal
Lap 10 | 9:42 | 1:34:07 | 91 cal
Lap 11 | 9:12 | 1:43:20 | 108 cal
Lap 12 | 1:58 | 1:45:18 | 26 cal
------------------------
11.24 miles | 1:45:18 | 9:22/mi | 1104 cal.

Friday Five

I can answer these!

Friday Five, Feb 20, 2004

When was the last time you...

1. ...went to the doctor?
I went last month. I'm trying to break my habit of going to the doctor frequently, now that I have to actually pay for the visits. (In college, I went to the health center all the time since it was included in our fees).

2. ...went to the dentist?
I went in November for a cleaning, and I had fillings done in December.

3. ...filled your gas tank?
I rarely drive my car anymore; it still has 3/4 of a tank of gas from when I filled it up last month. I did fill up the Engineer's car on Wednesday.

4. ...got enough sleep?
I have no idea. Lately I wake up around/by 8am every day, even on weekends. It's annoying because I don't have anywhere to go, so there's really no reason for me to get up early. Especially on weekends! It's not like I need to get up early for running, either, since it's actually better to not run early in the morning.

5. ...backed up your computer?
I backed up my website stuff in August, but haven't done an actual computer back up since April. The Engineer's laptop just went kablooey and he almost lost all of his files ... so yeah, I should get a back up done sometime. I don't trust my computer, yet I only remember to do back ups when I'm about to reinstall Windows.

Tempo Run

6.31 miles | 54:03
31 degrees | felt like 19 | 18 mph wind | very lightly snowing

Two quick thoughts

1. The Garmin Forerunner is awesome.

2. Snowy, slushy roads suck big time.

Garmin Forerunner

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I am in a pissy mood this morning. My Forerunner arrived yesterday at 5. I charged it, and then took it with me to the Engineer's broomball game. The watch has to be outside for 15-30 minutes for the satellites to link up to it, so I figured I could do that during the game. Despite being outside for 90 minutes, I never picked up a signal. I've had the watch outside this morning for almost an hour now, and I still have no signal. I don't know if I live in an area where it can't get one (which makes no sense, since it uses 4 satellites and there aren't obstructions like trees or big buildings), if it doesn't work when it's snowing, or if I just got a defective unit. It's pissing me off, though, because I wanted to use it on my run this morning (on a "known" distance) to see how it works before I use it on my long run. If I don't get a signal within the next 30 minutes, I won't be able to use it today. Grr.

My dreams of shorts have been dashed because it snowed again. I am so tired of snow. At least it's 30 degrees out.

Have to go see if my stupid watch is getting a signal now.
----------
Ok, I decided maybe the smart thing to do would be to call Garmin. It turns out when I was getting that one screen, I needed to tell it that I had moved more than 500 miles since it last linked. (It's made in Taiwan, which is over 500 miles away). The guy on the phone talked me through resetting the watch's data, and it just got a signal in my house. I feel so much better now!

XT Day

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lower body weights | 15:00
Elliptical | 30:00 Cardio/5:00 CD | 26:58 in zone | 2.32 mi. | 522 cal.

I haven't done any lower body weight lifting in awhile, which means I'll probably regret this tomorrow. I've been trying to do some reading to get a better idea of what kind (if any) lifting I should be doing while marathon training. A part of me feels that the mileage alone is enough for my legs, and I should just concentrate on upper body and core strength. I don't know, though. I decided to do legs today because I feel like my calves and hamstrings needed some work to try and balance out my quads.

Shorts in February?

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4 miles | 36:05
30 degrees | felt like 18 | 20 mph wind | sunny

weight lifting | upper body | 37 minutes

Another beautiful day! Weather Channel said the wind was 20 mph, but I didn't really notice it. I think that's because I ran in a direction so that it was always blowing across me as opposed to directly in front or behind of me. I mostly have trouble with the wind when I'm running directly into it. It felt so warm out - like spring, except for all the snow still on the ground.

The warm temperature led to some crazy thoughts during my run. I actually caught myself thinking several times "I bet shorts would be nice now." Yeah, you read that right - I was contemplating whether 30 degrees was warm enough for shorts. Look what Minnesota has done to me! I'm in danger of becoming That Runner, you know, the one you pass and think "what the hell are they doing outside wearing that? Don't they know it's winter?" I think I'll wait until it gets to the 40s before breaking out the shorts, though. With my luck, I'd go outside in the 30s in shorts and then a huge storm would come when I was far away from home and I would freeze.

I actually got myself downstairs to weight lift today. I think not having to thaw after running makes it easier for me to want to lift. Pretty normal upper body workout, although I did increase my tricep extension reps from 12 to 15 in the hopes that it'll make a difference. I have really wussy triceps, and I'd like for that to change.

Good news from Amazon

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Woo!

Greetings from Amazon.com.

We thought you'd like to know that we shipped your items today, and that this completes your order.

Thanks for shopping at Amazon.com, and we hope to see you again soon.


According to the tracking information, my Forerunner is transit to MN. It got shipped sooner than I expected, so maybe I will get it before my long run.

I was going to weight-lift today, but I went outside and shoveled snow and slush off of the driveway. It was so nice out! I didn't wear my coat and gloves and I was fine; I actually got a little warm, even. But yeah, that shows how much I don't feel like weight-lifting lately, that I'd rather shovel crap off the pavement instead.

I love Target

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I think I've mentioned my love for Target before. I made 2 recent purchases there that I love and want to share.

The first is a Rubbermaid cereal container. The reason this thing is awesome is that the lid is a measuring cup. This will make measuring out my Kashi Go Lean Crunch so much easier.

The second thing are my new running socks. Most of my socks are ankle height (I cannot remember what the term is for that - crew? They aren't anklets) because most of my running has been during the summer, and I hate getting sock tanlines. These socks are not good for winter because they are too short. Quarter socks are better because I can pull them over my tights and they help keep the ends of the tights from creeping up (exposing skin). I have a few pairs of quarter socks, but it's been a pain trying to find them in my drawer. Since I'll probably be wearing tights through March, if not April, I decided I should get some more. I found a 6 pack of CoolMax ProSpirit socks for $7.99. I think that's a pretty good deal, especially considering the Nike socks I love are $3.99/pair. Anyway, I've worn these socks the last 2 days and they are really nice. Very comfortable, and my tights have been staying put.

Gas Leak!

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4.1 miles | 37:10
18 degrees | felt like 10 | 6 mph wind | bright and sunny

I had a little bit of excitement during today's run. It started off pretty normal (except for the weather - it was beautiful out there! Today was the first run in awhile that I haven't needed to wear the fleece layer). On my way back, I had to make a route change. As I got up to the stoplight, I noticed that there were cones blocking the direction I needed to go and there was a cop car and 2 firetrucks. Well shit, I thought, how do I get home now? I stood at the light for about a minute waiting for the light to change and considering my options. I decided that I should go to the left, and enter the subdivision from the east. So I got to run along the busy road with traffic (very exciting, let me tell you). I entered the subdivision, and as I was running down the hill I saw another cop car blocking the road. Crap! I ran up to him, and asked if I could go past him to the next street so I could get home. He told me that there was a gas line break ahead (hence, all the cop cars and fire trucks), but since I was going away from that area I could go on but to be careful. So I ran up to the next street, turned left and ran down the street where another cop car was blocking the entrance. Since I now knew what was going on, I just kept on past the car and headed home. Pretty exciting. I'll fill in the mileage later when I figure it out, but I'm sure it was just about 4 miles.

I think I jinxed myself

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11 degrees F | felt like -6 | 20 mph wind | sunny
6 miles | 56:08

I need to learn not to say the weather is going to be great, because at least half of the time I get a nice little surprise. Today's surprise was a return of the negative windchill plus strong wind. Weather Channel told me yesterday that Tuesday and Wednesday will be windy, but today was supposed to be nice. Now I wonder what's going to happen in the next few days with the wind, because I didn't enjoy that 20 mph. At least it was in the direction that I headed out into, so it was on my back for most of my return. That makes such a huge difference.

I need to figure out what I am doing with my training. I'm off from both the RW and Higdon plans. My mileage for the last two weeks is greater than the programs called for, and I kind of want to run another 30 mile week. I've been thinking about going to the library to check out 4 Months to a 4 Hour Marathon. It's supposed to be pretty good, and it has a training plan. Of course, it just might confuse me more. I don't plan on doing any speedwork, and I bet that the plans in the book include some. My previous 2 marathons have been done with little/no base and fairly low mileage during training (30 mpw was the peak), so I kind of want to see what I can do with higher mileage before adding in speedwork. I don't want to add too much at one time; I also think it would be harder to know what works if I've changed a lot of factors.

New gear coming soon!

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The Engineer ordered me a Garmin Forerunner today! Amazon says it will be shipped at the end of this week, and I should get it next week. I would love to have it before my long run on Sat, but the free shipping option is slower. I'm excited about this gizmo. We had been talking about the treadmill, and did a lot of reading/research last night. But I decided that the horrible winter weather is almost over, and even if it isn't I doubt it will get any worse than what I've already dealt with. So it makes more sense to me to wait on making such an expensive purchase.

I'm going to try an experiment with the scale this week. I keep reading about other people's daily weight fluctuations and it has made me wonder if I experience them, too. (Some people report 5-7 pound fluctuations!). So I'm going to weigh myself each morning for the next week to see what mine are. I'm not expecting to see much because one thing I've gathered from my online reading is that I'm pretty abnormal. For example, I don't experience bloating/weight-gain/cravings with my period. Aside from the obvious difference, the week of my period is just like any other week of the month. At the very least, maybe the experiment will help me figure out which day I should weigh-in on. It's not like it matters at this point, really, but I've been thinking about moving my weigh-ins to either Friday or Saturday. It seems like I should be doing them before my long run, not after.

Weekly Weigh-In

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Back down to 116.2. I ate more this week (every day was over 1800, a few were over 1900) and my mileage increased. I think at this point I don't need to count calories, but I probably still will. There is something about using FitDay that I really like. I do like tracking things - in addition to writing about exercise here, I also keep a paper running log, an excel running/exercise log, and a weight-lifting log. So it's not that surprising to me that I'd find logging food interesting, too. One good thing about logging is that it forces me to make sure I get enough protein. The books I've read have said that I need to have a higher protein intake than the RDA (or is it RDI?) because of running, and as marathon training progresses it will become even more important. Tracking my protein intake has led me to pay more attention to labels and such and from that I've made some small changes that have really added up.

The Latest Way to Fight Breast Cancer

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Groundbreaking news for women who have a strong family history of breast cancer: Research shows that getting at least 20 minutes of cardio exercise three to four days a week and maintaining a healthy weight - particularly in your teens and twenties - may substantially reduce the risk of getting the disease. (Even women who aren't at high risk can use exercise to lower their odds by 35 to 40 percent.) The research, by the New York Breast Cancer Study Group, looked at more than 1,000 women with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations (which can up your chances of getting breast cancer by age 40 near tenfold). It's not clear why workouts have this protective effect, says breast cancer prevention expert Julie Gralow, M.D., but it's possible that exercise affects your body's level of hormones (including estrogen) and its metabolism of insulin, both of which have been linked to breast cancer.
- Dinardo, Kelly. "The Latest Way to Fight Breast Cancer." Glamour March 2004: 102.

Peeves

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I've been kind of irritated about something for awhile, but it came up again last night. Why do people think it is okay to randomly comment on other people's eating habits, diet and/or weight? I'm of the opinion that if I don't talk to someone about it, then it is none of their damn business. If I've talked with someone about it, then they know what kind of exercise I do, what I eat, what my goals are, etc and their comments will have a basis. (They'll also know that as someone who values their body and its' athletic ability, I'm not likely to do something that would jeopardize my health). Being told I shouldn't be "dieting" pisses me off when the person has no idea what they are talking about. Being told I'm "too thin" when I am at a healthy, normal weight also pisses me off. I don't care if it's well-meaning, it's uninvited and rude!

Marathon Training Week #16, February 9 - 15

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Miles ran: 30.1 (276.55 minutes)
Minutes elliptical: 35
Weight Lifting Sessions: 2 (upper body)
Snow Shoveling Sessions: 1
President's Challenge Points: 3545

Long Run

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Running report: 10.1 miles (94:32). 16 degrees, felt like 0, 17 mph wind, sunny. The sun has been out the last couple of days, which is helping the snow melt/evaporate. The trail still has a snow covering, but it's pretty packed down, and the pavement peeked through in several spots. The shoulders of the roads were mostly clear, too. I did have a 2 mile sidewalk section, though, and there were some icy portions where I had to be pretty careful. Run went ok ... stomach was kind of sloshy during the first two miles and I felt kind of hungry during the last mile. I think that means I drank too much water before running, and that I didn't eat enough beforehand. I guess it's time to switch my pre-long run breakfast from balance bar to oatmeal.

What's in my Fitness Closet

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Inspired by a recent topic at weigh-better, I present "What's In My Fitness Closet." I have a lot of running stuff! The oldest items in my "closet" are my high school cross country/track racing shorts and warm-up pants (bought my first season of cross country, 1994). I also have a jacket, an Asics CoolMax shirt, and some socks that date back to high school. Oh crap, I just realized I didn't inventory my singlet/tanktop collection. Those items are at the very top of my closet, so I'll add them to the list when I find the step stool.

Valentine's Dinner

Just got back from dinner. I had planned on dressing up nice, but the Engineer had a doctor's appointment that ran long, and since we were already downtown we decided to just go and eat rather than come home to change first. That was probably a good idea, since by the time we were done, the wait was huge (we were able to walk right in). I didn't eat a lot of my actual meal, partly because the portions are so gigantic. I also found that the rich sauce was a bit much for me to handle. On the next rare occasion that we go out to eat, I think I'm going to look to see if they have anything with a marinara sauce or maybe a wine/butter sauce. I realized I mainly just like the vegetables that come with "my" dish. We did split cheesecake for dessert - and I don't feel guilty about that at all. It was really good.

XT Day

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Exercise Report: 37:00 upper body weights. 35:00 elliptical (30:00 HR Cardio + 5:00 C/D), 26:34 in zone (THR 150), 2.42 miles, 560 calories). Decided to stay inside because it was 5 degrees with 21 mph wind when I woke up. Tomorrow it's supposed to be 16 degrees with 14 mph wind. That sounds a lot better than today! Staying inside also gave me a chance to wash my tights and gloves. Decided to go shorter on the elliptical, since my mileage is increasing, and Hal Higdon recommends 30 minute XT sessions.

Weather Forecast

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Checked weather channel and it looks like tomorrow is going to be windy. Wind on a long run doesn't sound very appealing. Saturday's forecast appears to be better though. I guess I'll check the conditions tomorrow morning and then decide if it's going to be long run, XT or rest. It'll probably be one of the first two, because if the Engineer and I are going out to dinner I'll want to have exercised!

Galloway

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I'm not a big Galloway fan, and this article (as linked on the RW Forums) explains some of my reasons.

Target has 6-packs of Balance Bars for $4.08! I thought they were regular price ($4.94) so I only got one box. After I saw that price on my receipt, I went back and grabbed 2 more boxes. $4.24 is the lowest I've seen the boxes, and that was at Wal-Mart (who is now charging $5.18). I wish Target had more of the flavors, though. They just have Chocolate Mint Cookie, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Caramel Nut Blast, and Yogurt Honey Peanut.

I drove by my south-bound bike path today and IT HAS BEEN CLEARED! Woo! It looks like there is one section that still has a bunch of snow, but the overpass (where it was really deep) is completely cleared off. On the way back from broomball tonight, I'll have the Engineer look to see how far the cleared section extends. It would be so much easier if I could just do my long run on that path.

I went back to Old Navy this afternoon. I had better luck finding pants that fit, since I found the below-waist pants as opposed to the at-waist pants. I also did try on a shirt in the kids department and it fit. So I bought it, this, and an adults fleece v-neck. It actually isn't that strange that I can wear girls' shirts, if you look at Old Navy's size charts. A girls' 14 is the same as a women's' XS, and a 16 is the same as a S. I'm glad I've figured that out because I don't think I'll ever buy plain t-shirts in Old Navy's women's' department. Why pay $10 for an adult size when you can pay $5 for the almost exact same shirt in girls?

President's Challenge

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Oh, forgot:
"You are 81 % of the way toward the goal of 40000 points for a Bronze Award. Only 7739 points to go!"

6 miles

Running report: 6 miles (55:34). 14 degrees, felt like 0, 12 mph wind, sunny. Same route as Tuesday, except I ran the 2 miles on the trail at the beginning instead of the end. There has been some drift on the trail, but most of the snow has been packed down in weird patterns. So the footing wasn't that great, and it kind of tired my legs. I felt kind of sluggish and tired. Part of me wants to take tomorrow off, run long on Sat and XT on Sunday. But the Engineer's parents might be coming up this weekend, and they might be staying with us. That would make exercising on Sunday kind of hard (the basement serves as our "guest room" and that's where the elliptical is). Another part of me wants to run long tomorrow, so that the Engineer and I can go out to dinner and I can eat whatever I want without worrying about it affecting my run the next day. We don't really plan to do anything special for Valentines, since I think it's a stupid holiday. Going out to eat would be nice, though, since we never go out to eat. We thought Friday would be a better night, since everything will be packed on Saturday night.

Snow

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It's 21 degrees! Looking out the window, it looks like we got maybe 1-2 inches. It's hard to tell. I'm waiting for the Engineer to get to work to let me know what the roads are like, since I'd run right past his work. The plan is to go out for a 4 mile run and then either shovel or weight-lift. I won't know if I should shovel until I actually go outside and see the driveway.

4 miles

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Running report: 4 miles (35:55). 27 degrees, felt like 17, 10-13 mph wind, overcast. I was wrong about the snow. There was a light dusting of it, but I think most of it was due to drift. Drifting and blowing snow is a big problem here. Not much to say about the run. It went alright, except that my left calf was tight at the beginning. I stretch well after running, so I'm not sure what that means. I should go downstairs and weight-lift, but I'm feeling kind of cold. I think I'm going to shower and get dressed in real clothes. If I feel up to it, I'll lift after lunch.

Old Navy's sizing sucks!

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The Engineer had broomball tonight. I was there for the last 10-15 minutes of the game. During that time, it started snowing again. Argh. I am so tired of snow. I heard a forecast of 1-3 inches, which isn't a lot ... except that there are already areas that are not cleared of snow and an inch or two will make those areas even crappier.

I wasn't there for the start/middle of the game because I went over to Old Navy. They are having a big winter clearance, and I wanted to get a pair of fleece pants. My fleece pullovers are working really well, so I thought maybe a pair of fleece pants would be good for really cold days. I was lucky because they had a ton left, and a black pair fit me perfectly. I would've preferred them to be a little bit cheaper, but I can watch for the price to go down and then return/re-buy. I had hoped that there might be some of the pullovers left, since they'd be dirt cheap but they were all gone.

Since I was trying on clothes anyway, I tried on some dress pants, khakis, a dressy shirt, and a $0.97 corduroy skirt. Women's sizes are generally fucked up, but Old Navy is apparently pretty bad. Aside from my fuzzy pants, everything I picked up to try on was too big. I don't think of myself as a small person (more like regular/medium-sized), but apparently in Old Navy-land I am. The shirt was a size small, and it was too big in the arms. On the way out, I decided to look in the kids department for a fleece pullover. I didn't see one, but I did see a cute shirt. The next time I'm there I am seriously going to try on kids' shirts. The sizing is so messed up there I bet I can wear their kids clothes. But how fucked up is that?

A new idea

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A post on one of my mailing lists gave me a new idea. Maybe instead of a treadmill, I should buy the above item, the Garmin Forerunner. Since I generally do prefer running outside, I would be able to use that every day. It would be pretty cool to know the exact distance I am running, especially on the unmarked trail. Hmmm.

A great run

It's a beautiful day here in Minnesota!

Running report: 6 miles (53:35). 12 degrees, felt like 0 degrees, 10 mph wind, bright and sunny. Today was awesome. I went out intending to just run 4 miles, but I felt okay and it was really nice out (yes, 12 degrees was nice) so I kept going. I normally run based on how I feel or what the conditions are; ice and snow will cause me to run slower even if I feel like I could be going faster. Today I was just running along without paying much attention to my watch. I actually though I might be a little slow because my side was tight. I was therefore extremely surprised to notice the time at one of my mile points - I was running sub-9 pace! Holy crap. I haven't had an easy training run be at sub-9 since ... well, I'd have to check my logs to be accurate, but I think it was last spring. And I didn't feel at all like I was pushing myself, which is awesome. I love when I can kick ass for no apparent reason and without trying.

Of course, now I really want to run a race. Aside from a 5k that has a $50 entrance fee, there aren't any local races until April. There are probably some races in the Twin Cities area in the next few weeks, but I don't want to run a race bad enough to drive over an hour to get to it. I'll be patient. I hope to run one of the distance races in April as a tune-up for the marathon. There's a 20K on April 10th that I'm thinking about. Aside from the novelty of running a new distance, a 20K would be a good practice race. I've done half-marathons the last two times, and a 20K is pretty close to that.

Running in the wind

Running Report: 4 miles. 22 degrees, 7 w/windchill, 20-21 mph wind. After a little snack, did upper body weights.

That wind was pretty sucky. I had it on my back for the first part of the run, and it was really pushing me along. I didn't like that, since I was in an area where the footing was uneven and the increased speed made it hard to see where my feet were going. The last part of my run was directly into the wind and it was horrible. The wind pushed the collar of my jacket into my throat and I thought I was going to vomit. The wind also started picking up snow at that point, so I was getting sprayed in the face. Good times, good times. If it weren't for the wind, the run would've been great. The temperature wasn't a problem at all, and most of the pavement had been cleared of the snow (aside from my street, of course).

The Engineer and I went to get our taxes done last night. We both normally prepare our own taxes, but since our filing was complicated we decided to have a professional do it. This is our first year of being married, and the first year either of us had student loan interest, house payment stuff and stock stuff to get credits for. Plus, all of my income was earned in IL, and all of the Engineer's was earned in MN. He was a full year MN resident, whereas I was only a partial year. So that was fun stuff. We were worried that because of the partial year resident and 2 state tax returns we wouldn't be able to file jointly. But it all worked out, and we are getting more money back than the Engineer originally calculated. Yay!

We're debating buying my treadmill now. We have a deal worked out, but I'm kind of iffy about getting one at this point in time. I think I've made it through the worst of the winter (at least, I hope the worst is behind us), so part of me thinks we should just wait until fall to buy it (when I hopefully have a job). Then the other part of me thinks about how much I hate the wind and how it will probably still snow through March. The treadmills I deem acceptable are not inexpensive, so this is a pretty big decision.

Reasons MN Doesn't Suck

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In the interest of providing some positive content here, I present some good things about living here:

1) There is no sales tax on clothing and shoes in Minnesota.
2) The restaurants here are all smoke-free, by law (either city or county ordinance).
3) Lots of opportunities to wear cute hat, scarf, glove and coat combinations.
4) In the summer, it stays light until almost 10 PM.
5) Can run for miles and miles on the bike paths. (when not covered in snow)
6) Aside from construction areas, traffic and rush hour do not exist.
7) The Twin Cities has an 80s station that the Engineer's car can pick up on a clear day.
8) I have a Super Target and 2 Super Wal-Marts.
9) Running in the cold burns more calories, according to Runner's World.
10) The local Italian restaurant is awesome.

Weekly Weigh-In

Up 0.2 pounds to 116.4. I had one day at 1900 cal, and the rest were just over 1800. I think I can say for sure now that the nutritionist I saw was full of crap. She told me that to maintain at 120, I should eat 1500-1600 calories/day. I think I can safely say now that those amounts are too low since I am maintaining 116-117 pounds at 1800 calories. I would guess I could eat 2200 maybe at 120? I don't know, but as my mileage increases I will probably end up going up to 2000 on some days. I will not be doing any calorie counting on long run days, that's for sure though. I don't really want to measure out every ounce of gatorade/powerade, nor do I want to keep track of exactly how much powergel I consume.

Yesterday I made hard-boiled eggs. For the most part, I hate eggs, but I love them hard-boiled. I tried a different method of preparing them and they turned out well. I had 2 of them, and yesterday was the first day I came even remotely close to the fat gram goal the nutritionist gave me. I know I think her calorie guideline was off (I guess she just completely ignored how much I exercise?), but I think the 50g of fat a day number sounds reasonable. Yesterday I had 44g. I don't know why I'm having so much trouble getting in more fat - I've switched my yogurt and cottage cheese and I use regular (not reduced-fat) peanut butter.

Miles ran: 27.2 (262.92 minutes)
Minutes Cross-Trained: 40
Weight Lifting Sessions: 1 (upper body)
Snow Shoveling Sessions: 3
President's Challenge Points: 3369

I am currently 75% of the way towards my Bronze Award. I need 9841 more points, which means I should earn my award in 2-3 weeks. Woo!

Long Run

Running report: 86 min. run. 13 degrees, -1 w/windchill, 14 mph wind, sunny. We did end up getting a few more inches, and they did stick. I wanted to stick to my plan of combining roads, trail and bike path. I chose to do the trail/bike path part at the beginning of the run, which was a mistake. The bike path was not cleared at all, and the trail had some parts where the footing was bad. Fighting with the snow kind of wore me out, and I also started to overheat a little. I was glad to get back out onto the roads, but my legs were pretty tired. I'll figure out the distance later, but I'm guessing it to be around 8.5? A little less than I wanted, but I knew I had to head back home into the wind, and I was worried about my sweaty clothes. (I actually did take off my jacket for a few miles because I was getting so hot. I also carried my mittens for the majority of the run, and just wore my gloves. I don't get why I was so hot today).

Need to go shovel out the driveway now.

Did some calculations and my run was actually 8.7 miles. The parts on the snow were slower than the road portions, but I still managed to average just under 10 mpm pace. Not too bad.

XT Day

Exercise report: 40 minutes elliptical (35 minutes HR Cardio + 5 minutes cool down), 31:18 in zone (THR 156), 2.72 miles, 631 cal. 37 minutes upper body weight lifting. I started to do the hill program, but the chest strap/transmitter was being wonky. I futzed with it a little bit, and then decided to just do the cardio program. I normally do 45 minutes, but since I used a higher THR (156 as opposed to 150), I decided to cut 10 minutes off. The chest strap behaved, but I think I need to look into getting a different one. The strap that came with the machine is really too wide for my rib cage and it can be pretty uncomfortable. Weight lifting was okay, even though it was my first workout in a week. Aside from the shoveling on Monday, I was a real slacker with the weights this week. I'm not that concerned about lower body lifting, but I do need to keep up the work on my upper body.

Winter Heat Wave

The "heat wave" continues! It's currently 21 degrees, and the weather channel claims it might even get up to 25. I still cannot get over what temperatures I now consider to be warm. I am the biggest wuss about cold (our house temperature is set at 73 because I get too cold otherwise), so it feels foreign to consider temperatures below freezing "warm." I talked to my mom the other night about the temperatures, and I think she was amused by this, too.

I am not going outside, today, however. I have decided to use today as a cross-training day so I can sleep in on one of the weekend days. I'm hoping to do my long run tomorrow morning, since the forecast indicates it will be nicer than Sunday. But it is snowing a little today, so I guess I'll have to see how much sticks. I'm planning on running a combination of roads, trail and bike path. It took them a day or two to get the bike paths cleared off last time, so if we get a lot of snow today I doubt that the paths will be clear tomorrow. I never did call Parks & Rec, but from driving around town I think I've figured out the bike path/snow removal situation. It appears that the "official" bike paths are what gets cleared; the paths I am considering to be official are the ones that have mile markers on them. The bike path that I had been doing my long runs on doesn't have mile markers, so I guess that it is not a part of the city's official bike path system.

Time to head downstairs to workout. I need to figure out if I want to do an interval/hill program or just the regular HR Cardio program. If I do the cardio, I can watch TiVo. If I do the interval/hill ones, I can't watch TiVo because I have too pay close attention to the display. The hill and interval programs change your heart rate target, but since the machine doesn't beep at you when they change, you have to pay pretty close attention to notice it.

4 miles

Running report: 4 miles. 20 degrees, windchill 8 degrees, 12 mph wind, very lightly snowing. Not much to say about today's run. The warmer temperature was a very nice change from the last two days of negative temperatures. The snow was really light, and I doubt it'll stick (which is good since we already have so much snow on the ground). I've run 6 days in a row, and I'm feeling a lot happier because of that. I'll have to look at the weather forecasts, but I think I'll take tomorrow off or use it as a cross-training day. I like that I have 2 days more of exercise for the week, and 3 days to fit them into. Having flexibility with my workouts is a good thing, especially with the weather here.

Peeves

Big pet peeve: lose vs. loose. I see way too many people saying that they want to loose weight, or that they are loosing weight. No! You lose weight or are losing weight. Loose is what happens to your clothes. It's hard for me to take someone's posts/blog seriously when they have a big error like that all over the place. (One time, I can see it being a typo, but when it's used constantly I have to believe it's an actual mistake).

And BMI is still not a percent, nor is it the same as body fat. And online body fat calculators (mybodycomp.com, etc) are not at all accurate. You might luck out once and awhile and have the results from one match calipers, but overall it's a bunch of hooey.

"Heat wave" here today ... 19 degrees!

6 miles

Running report: 6 miles (56:29). -5 degrees, -19 windchill, 7 mph wind, clear. The wind was lower, which made the temperature not as bad as yesterday. I was able to run more like how I had been running prior to the snow, since there were a lot of areas where the snow had blown away and the pavement was clear. Since my normal 5+ mile route is still covered in (knee-deep) snow, I combined my 4 mile route with 2 miles on the trail.

Grocery shopping

My SuperTarget loves me, even though I once filled out a comment card to tell them that their cashiers are shitty baggers. Almost every time I go there, my receipt includes an invitation to fill out a survey. I always fill out the survey, because it comes with a chance to win a $1,000 Target gift card. I could go nuts with that. In addition to the survey invitations, they have also started mailing me coupons. The last two sets have included a $5 off coupon, which is pretty nice. I've also gotten free salad and cheap oranges from the coupons.

I bought 15 pounds of oranges today, but I bet they will all be gone by Monday. The way we go through fruit, you would almost think there were more than 2 people living here. You might think that by the number of times I go to the grocery store, too. I try to buy multiples of stuff when I go, yet it seems I end up making 2 trips/week. Some of that is because I can't buy everything at one store. I drink Lactaid with Soy Protein, which is only available at Super Wal-Mart and HyVee. We were doing a lot of shopping at Target (aside from trips to Wal-Mart for the Lactaid), but lately I've been buying more stuff at HyVee. One of the things I love about getting the paper is that we now get all the ads. So I look through the HyVee ad when it comes, and find that if you wait for a sale, they actually have pretty good prices. I still prefer to buy my apples at Target, along with vegetables since I think they have the best selection. They also are better for household-type stuff. I've kind of broken away from Wal-Mart (except that they have the best price on the 6-packs of Balance Bars), which is only noteworthy in that it was my primary store back at school. The one there was super nice, though, while the ones here are more ghetto - in other words, your typical Wal-Mart.

Plowed Bike Paths!

Daily running: 4.5 miles. -2 degrees, -23 with wind, sunny - not snowing, wind 17 mph. The city finally got around to plowing the streets, and they even got the shoulders, too. So the running terrain wasn't too bad today. What was bad was the wind. It was blowing from the northwest, which meant I should have run northwest and come back. Of course, that is the direction that I can't go. So I took off going east, and the cold didn't bother me too much. I couldn't tell if it was because I was properly attired or if it was because I had the wind at my back. Because I was worried about running back into the wind, I didn't want to go too far.

I had a semi-pleasant surprise: parts of the trail were plowed! So I ran about a mile down the trail until the plowed part ended, which was where you can go straight to stay on the trail or go right to meet up with one of the city bike paths. It looked like the bike path was plowed - I should call parks & rec to see if they do plow bike paths and if so, which ones. But anyway, that was a nice surprise to find since it gives me a little bit more of an option.

Running back into the wind wasn't so fun, but I did it and I survived. It was a lot more tolerable than the last time I tried to run in -23 windchill. Amazing what the right gear can do!

Snowy Roads

Exercise log: 4 miles. 23 degrees, 15 w/wind, snowing. There was more snow on the ground than yesterday and the roads were not as cleared off. My pace reflects both of those factors. I got to run with just my tights on for the first time in awhile - I hate running in pants, but they've been a necessary addition with the cold and wind. I overdressed a little on the top; I went with a short sleeve shirt, the fleece and the jacket. I guess when it's this warm I should skip the fleece and just go with a long sleeve shirt. Oh well. There were some stupid drivers out, but nothing too exciting.

We've gotten a bunch more snow, since it hasn't stopped since Saturday night. I shoveled a little after running, and then went back out for almost 45 minutes this afternoon. According to fitday.com, I burn 233 calories for 50 minutes of shoveling. I decided that 50 was a good total time to use for that, since I did have to briefly stop a couple of times to blow my nose. Nothing makes my nose run more than the cold ... yuck!

Minnesota Myths

Dispelling some myths:

1. Since it snows so much, people in Minnesota must be good at driving in it.
Ha! People in Minnesota are shitty drivers when it's dry and clear. This is the only state I've ever driven in where people will stop at the end of the acceleration ramp. (The highway entrance ramps). I cannot tell you how many people I almost rear-ended when I first got up here because I expected them to obey the rules of the road and merge onto the highway instead of coming to a dead stop. So anyway, the people here cannot drive when the weather is good, and that doesn't change for bad weather. They drive just as crappy, if not crappier, when it snows.

2. Since it snows so much, the snow removal system for the roads must be really good.
This is a great disappointment to me. The city does a pretty poor job of removing snow. The roads were crappy when the Engineer went to work this morning, and I don't think the plows went out between then and when he came home for lunch. Not plowing for several hours when it is still snowing is kind of strange to me. He also reported that the other night, he passed plows driving with the plows up, even though the roads were still snowy.

I just don't get it. I understand when places that don't get snow very often get confused, but this is Minnesota. It's not like snow is a surprise.

Running in the cold

It's a fact: Run in the cold and you burn calories like a pizza oven, because your body needs to generate heat, which amps up the burning of fatty deposits. University of Kansas researchers found that cold-weather workouts cooked up to 12 percent more calories, and a whopping 32 percent more fat than the same workouts in warm weather. - Runner's World

Snow Pictures

Running Log: 4 miles (37:56). 14 degrees, 0 with windchill, 14 mph wind, snowing. Footing wasn't as bad as yesterday, even though there were several inches of snow. I think it being fresh snow made the difference. The lack of good traction/footing is making my calves tire much quicker than they should.

New running plan, since it looks like we are going to keep getting snow: Run what I can, when I can. I've run 2 marathons on minimal mileage (RW Beginners plan is relatively low-mileage) with my long runs not starting until 1.5 months before the marathon. While I would much rather train for my 3rd marathon with a higher mileage program, I do know that I can successfully run one without running over 10 miles until April. That is a little comforting, because by mid-March it shouldn't be so crappy.

Two new pictures:


The left picture shows how much snow we got last night and the right is a picture of me in my winter running clothes. Because I'm a big dork I can tell you that my running clothes seriously weigh 5 pounds. Maybe that's why my legs get more tired in the cold - too much clothing?

Weekly Weigh-In

Holding steady at 116.2 pounds. I'm not sure if that means I've found a calorie level that supports maintenance or what. I was pretty consistent around 1800-1830 calories/day, but my exercise was different this week. So I guess I'll keep counting calories and see what next week's weigh-in says. I am at a point where I'm not really focused on the scale, which is nice. When I first starting trying to lose weight, I was on the scale every day. Once weight started really coming off, I decreased to every couple days. For the last month, I haven't had much interest in the scale except for Sundays which is the day that I record in my chart/table. I think once I figure out the calories thing I'll probably stop the weekly weigh-ins and just check up on weight occasionally.

It snowed a crapload last night, and is still snowing.