Saturday, March 29, 2008

Log: 2008.03.29

Activity: Running, Core
Time: 30:00, 15:00
Distance: 2.08miles


12min run, 3min walk, 12min run, 3min walk

The knee is feeling much better. Very crazy how it comes and goes. I did try putting a pillow between my knees when I slept and that may have helped. I think the belly weight may be putting too much pressure on my knees as I sleep on my side.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Log: 2008.03.28

Activity: Cycling, Core
Time: 30:00, 15:00

I really wanted to get a run in today but my knee was killing me again. I am so sick of this. I can't wait to get my relatively pain free (knock on wood) body back post-baby.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Deena Kastor Videos

Runner's World has some nicely produced videos chronicling Deena Kastor's training and life.

Is My Dream Job Really a Dream?

Everyone has a "dream job". You know, the job you would really be doing if there were no limiters like talent, income, family commitments, etc. For a lucky few, their dream job is their current job. For the rest of us working stiffs, all we have is our fantasies that begin with "What if...".

Well, my dream job has always been (at least for the last 15 years or so) to be a professional runner. Unfortunately lack of talent has prevented me from pursuing this profession. However, I still fantasize about what it would be like to live a life where my only commitment was one or two training sessions a day.

However, in reading professional runner Brianna Glen's blog I am having second thoughts about my fantasy...

When I was in college, I thought that if you decided to compete after school and you were good, you’d make money—pretty decent money at that. Well my first year, I had an Adidas contract and ran a few meets, and I barely made it.

I guess it's back to the real world and my somewhat interesting but no means glamorous job that keeps the mortgage paid ...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Log: 2008.03.26

Activity: Running
Distance: 2.27 miles
Time: 33:00


13min running, 3.25min walking, 13min running, remainder walking

I felt pretty decent and almost ran more. However, I knew that if I over did it I woul pay the price tomorrow. My pace is slow but I am happy I am still slogging away at it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Running For Two: "Athletic Labor?"

Lisa Jhung writes in her Runner's World blog:

This whole labor and contraction thing has me wondering: As runners/athletes, are we more well-equipped for labor? Do our athletic backgrounds, which maybe include pushing ourselves through pain and managing how our bodies respond to challenge, help prepare us for the intensity that comes with giving birth? And physically, does staying active and healthy and doing things like lifting weights and doing yoga—beyond running and whatever cardiovascular training we’ve been doing—actually help us go through the physical rigors of labor? I wonder.

I had a pretty rough labor experience with almost 4 hours of pushing. In fact, I have run 26.2 miles quicker than it took me to birth my son! I really think being an athlete helped me get through that as I had the endurance and mental toughness to keep going. I believe if I would have been out of shape or less determined I would have ended up with a c-section after an hour or so of pushing. That said, I'm hoping that this time around the delivery part takes about the time of a 5K and not a marathon!

Healthiest Resturants

Health magazine lists some of the healthiest restaurants. There were some no-brainers (Ruby Tuesday's) but also some surprises (Bob Evans). I was pleased to see some of my fave restaurants on the list including:
  • Olive Garden
  • PF Chang's
  • Macaroni Grill
  • Panera Grill

Of course, these restaurants are only healthly if you choose the right stuff and not the Chocolate Explosion...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Log: 2008.03.24

Activity: Cycling
Time: 30:00


Easy spin after a tiring day of traveling and IKEA shopping. My lower back was starting to hurt after so much time in a car so I had to wedge a pillow between me and the seat. I guess I need to continue work on my core strength. On another note, I do not recommend IKEA'ing with a toddler who has been stuck in a car for hours. I spent more time chasing after him than I did looking at the cheap but hip, Euro influenced knick-knacks and pseudo-futons.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Log: 2008.03.21

Activity: Running
Time: 23:00


A combination of running and walking in the neighborhood by my in-laws. They unfortunately live in a very hilly area and I got schooled by the hills.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ryan Shay's Autopsy Results

I'm not sure how to take the findings from Ryan Shay's autopsy report. From Amby Burfoot's Footloose blog:

In an e-mail to Shay, Ellen Borakove of the New York City medical examiner's office wrote:

Ryan's cause of death is cardiac hypertrophy with patchy fibrosis of undetermined etiology. Natural causes.

Shay was 28 at the time of his death. The autopsy made no mention of the toxicology tests performed on Shay after his death. However, his father said that he had "been 100-percent assured that the drug testing was negative." In other words, no foreign substances had been discovered. The full toxicology report will be contained only in the full, written autopsy.

I am happy to know that Ryan was clean and did not die from performance enhancing drug use. I am sad though, that such a healthy, fit young guy could just keel over and die leaving behind grieving family and friends. It's scary to think that what happened to Ryan could happen to anyone.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Running For Two: "Changes Afoot"

Lisa Jhung from Running for Two writes about two common issues during pregnancy - foot growth and swelling legs and ankles.

Many women report that their feet grow at least a half size during pregnancy. I’ve read that this is due to the prolaxin hormone stretching out our ligaments, and the additional weight we gain contributing to our feet flattening out.

I haven't experienced these phenomenons during either pregnancy (knock on wood!) and neither has Lisa. I wonder if there is some sort of correlation with exercise during pregnancy and keeping abnormal lower extremity expansion at bay?

Log: 2008.03.19

Activity: Cycling
Time: 30:00

Easy spin while finishing up Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult:

From School Library Journal
YA-Philadelphia defense lawyer Ellie Hathaway retreats to her great Aunt Leda's home in Paradise, PA, to get a break from her high-pressure job. Almost at the same time that she arrives, a dead baby is discovered in the barn of an Amish farmer. A police investigation reveals that the mother is an 18-year-old unmarried Amish girl, Katie Fisher, and that the infant apparently did not die of natural causes. Even in the face of medical proof that she recently gave birth, Katie denies the murder charge. Ellie reluctantly agrees to defend her, even though she does not want to be defended. To better understand her client, Ellie moves into the farmhouse with the Fisher family where she begins to see firsthand the pressures and sacrifices of those who live "plain." As she searches for evidence in this case, she calls upon a friend from her past, Dr. John Cooper, a psychiatrist. As Coop and Ellie work together to unravel fact and fiction, they also work to resolve issues in their relationship. Readers will experience a psychological drama as well as a suspenseful courtroom trial. The contrast between the Amish culture and the "English" provides an interesting tension. This study of opposites details much information about a way of life based on faith, humility, duty, and hon-esty.
Carol Clark, formerly at Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

I definitely recommend this book. It was an easy but entertaining read. If you are looking for something to blow your mind this isn't it. However, if you want a good book for the bike or elliptical this one will make the minutes go by easy. Also, I live near Amish so it was interesting to me to learn about their inner-workings.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Log: 2008.03.18

Activity: Spinning, Core/Arms
Time: 60:00, 15:00


I've been slowly working arm exercises into my strengthening workout since I've noticed I've gotten a little flabby uptop since becoming preggo. I've been doing core stuff all along and my legs get worked out by virtue of running and cycling. I started out light and have been gradually adding a little more weight each time. I think I maxed out today with 12lbs for single biceps curls. Lifting 12lbs is pretty sad as I was doing 20+lbs pre-baby. Of course, I wasn't lugging around an extra 17lb weight on my abdomen at that time. Perhaps I should count todays effort as 29lbs (12+17)? That would be a new record for me...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Log: 2008.03.17

Activity: Running
Time: 30:00
Distance: 2.08miles


14min run, 3.5min walk, 9min run, remainder walk

I left work early so I could sneak in a run before my DH got home with our son. It's been hard to get workouts in at night since he has transitioned to the big boy bed. Some nights he goes down easy (10 minutes) and other nights it takes hours. I think until we get him ok with sleeping in the big boy bed I'll have to squeeze out workout times at very random times.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Log: 2008.03.14

Activity: Running, Core/Arms
Time: 29:00, 15:00
Distance: 2.04 miles


14min running, 3.5min walking, 7min running, 3.5min walking

I planned on running longer today but felt awful. This was definitely one of those "listen to your body" days. I had planned all week to go longer today so it was frustrated that my body had other plans. Alas, it's not like I'm training for anything at this point so it's not that big of a deal if I miss a workout. I have to keep remembering that at this point what matters is that I try and do something and not going a certain speed or distance.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Footloose Blog: Carol Goodrow, Leading The Way For Kids Fitness, With Zest And Joy

Amby Furfoot writes in his Footloose blog...

WE RUNNERS ARE A BIG DIVERSE GROUP, and as a result, we often have many different viewpoints on different subjects. However, there's one thing just about all of us agree on: The nation's youngsters need more exposure to exercise and other healthy-living habits. And on that front, my friend Carol Goodrow has been leading the charge longer than most.

Carol sounds like an inspiring woman. What's great about her is that she is just an average runner but still being a great role model. I think many parents feel that since they can't be a superstar or look like a model that there's no point to exercise. However, kids need you to show them the way no matter what your skill level or body type!

Husband Jealousy

Lisa Jhung writes in Running for Two:

I’m realizing that maybe instead of being resentful of his actions and/or ability to snowboard and run and play in his regular, non-human-carrying body, I’m struggling with my own neediness. It’s a new thing for me, and I find it frustrating.

I definitely get resentful that my DH can continue his life as normal and I can't do everything I want. Every time he goes for a run or has a glass of wine I get jealous. I guess I agree with Lisa - it's not really that he can do these things, it's the fact that I've changed (both in body and spirit) and it's hard to come to terms with.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Food Swaps for Kids

In my quest to make sure my son is deprived of sweets (basically, being a responsible parent) I am always on the lookout for articles on children's nutrition. takes the popular Eat This, Not That book theme and extends it to kids:

Akron Marathon

Runner's World says that the Akron Marathon is one of the marathons you should do in 2008.

I'm probably not going to be able to do a full marathon in 2008 but thinking about attempting a half. Everyone always raves about the organization and quality of this race.

Log: 2008.03.13

Activity: Running
Time: 28:30
Distance: 2.02 miles


15min running, 3.75min walking, 7.5min running, remainder walking

This run felt easy so maybe I should notch up the intensity next time. The running time seems ok so I probably won't tweak that.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Best Cereals for Kids

My toddler is starting to get sick of Cheerios so I did some research on-line for breakfast alternatives. WebMD has a great breakdown of the best cereals for kids.

Most of the A+ rated cereals are high fiber stuff that no toddler in their right mind would eat. However, the A list has some good options. I think I'll pick him up some Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes next time I'm at the grocery store.

Weight Gain :(

Last time around I ate anything and everything in sight (including embarrassingly enough a 20 piece chicken nugget from Mickey D's). I ended every day with an ice-cream sundae. Unfortunately that resulted in a 37 pound weight gain. While not crazy huge (they recommend 25-35 pounds of pregnancy weight gain) it was too much for my small frame and took me 20 weeks to shed all the baby fat. Additionally, I had a large baby which made delivery complicated.

So this time around I am trying to eat better and exercise more. I was doing really well for awhile but had a rough patch between 20 and 24 weeks. I am back on the wagon now. However, when I got on the scale today it showed that I have gained 17 pounds already. If I keep up this pace I'll be at the same place I was last time (or worse). Very depressing.

I'm really craving a candy bar right now too. Sigh.

Log: 2008.03.11

Activity: Spinning
Time: 60:00


I think my spinning instructor is worried I might go into labor during her class. She asks all the time if I am ok despite the fact I am taking it easy and barely breaking a sweat. I'm more concerned about the several 60+ spinners in the class who look like they may have a coronary anytime. I guess a heart attack would be easier to clean up than if my water broke all over the spin bike and the shiny studio floor...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Log: 2008.03.08

Activity: Running
Time: 28:00
Distance: 2.08 miles


15min run, 3.75min walk, 7.5min run, remainder walk

I felt pretty fatigues today so I took it pretty easy. Thank goodness I have a treadmill as there is a mighty snowstorm happening outside.

Friday, March 7, 2008

San Mateo Cuunty Times: "Young widow runs on to honor late husband"

The San Mateo County Times has a nice article about Alicia Shay, who's husband, Ryan, died at the Olympic Marathon Trials this past fall:

"So many of my memories of Ryan are interlaced in my running," she said. "Ryan would tell me all the time, 'Toughen up, Alicia.' So it's difficult in a good way.

"The running is good for me. It provides a schedule to my day, a routine, a purpose. Especially now, when so much of my life has changed and come crashing down, things that are familiar are comforting."

Log: 2008.03.07

Activity: Running, Strength/Core
Time: 37:30, 15:00


15min running, 3:45min walking, 15min running, 3:45walking

It was not too shabby a run although it wasn't easy by any means. Of course, no runs are easy anymore now that I have a hefty basketball strapped to once was my abdomen.

Despite looking a bit like a hippo on the treadmill, I did feel sorta cute in my Nike black maternity tank and cornflower blue maternity running shorts. The blank tank minimizes both my baby flab and huge belly and makes me look slim but still with a cute baby bump (sort of like what all the preggo celebs sport). The shorts are generously cut which make my widening hips and extra cellulite look deceivingly trim.

Perhaps that's why my first inclination was to call it "not too shabby"...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Log: 2008.03.06

Activity: Cycling
Time: 30:00


Easy spin on the stationary bike at home. I wasn't really feeling into it but I told myself all I had to do was 15 minutes. Of course, I got into the book I am reading and was able to extend it to 30 without too much struggle.


Am I crazy to want this? Although I can imagine doing a serious workout would be a tad bit difficult...

Running for Two: "Best Run Ever"

Lisa Jhung of Running for Two, had her hubby strap on some extra weight so he could feel her pain. His response was cute...

After a few minutes of swaying across the snow I was ready to call it quits. How could more running in this ridiculous get-up possibly do any good? I was not surprised to find my legs going wobbly. I was even less surprised to hear the words "You’re not done yet! Run longer!” echoing around the neighborhood as I turned for home. My jog turned to a walk as soon as I thought I was out of eyesight. Even walking was getting difficult. I nearly panicked at our doorstep when I couldn't untangle the straps to remove the packs.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Log: 2008.03.05

Activity: Running
Distance: 2.12 miles
Time: 30:00


Easy run on the treadmill. 17min run, 3 min walk, 8min run, 2min walk. My son recently switched to a big boy bed and this was the first run I have done while he was asleep in it. I had the baby monitor on but was still nervous I would come up from the basement post-run to see him roaming the house. There's a lot of security in knowing that they are staying in one spot when you place them in a crib. Nevertheless, he did fine and I'll feel better next time I attempt a late night run on the treadmill.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lifting for runners?

There's a short article and a long debate at the Runner's World website about the benefits (or lack thereof) of lifting for runners. It seems like this topic tends to cycle. A few years ago they used to say you had to do serious weightlifting. Then it was all about specificity and lifting wasn't as important.

I'm not sure where the debate stands now but it seems like more and more runners, both recreational and elite, are turning to core work as the lifting alternative. It may be a fad, but it's definitely popular.

I personally love core work mainly because (a) I hate lifting (b) you can do it anytime/anywhere. It's so much easier to sneak it some core exercises while I am playing with my son than it is to get a serious gym session in.

I don't have much of a core these days, but I do attempt some simple and modified yoga and pilates moves. For upper body strength I do some light lifting with dumbbells.

Log: 2008.03.04

Activity: Spinning Class, Core/Lifting
Time: 60:00, 15:00


We did mainly sprints at spinning today which I find easier on my preggo body than hill climbs. I'm not sure why that is. Perhaps it is because the sprints are short in duration while hill climbs tax you for a long period. We also did jumps. When I am normal I hate jumps (as do most people). However, my preggo butt and belly love jumps. Sitting in the saddle too long gets uncomfortable in both places, so any out of saddle work is greatly appreciated.

Monday, March 3, 2008

FIRST Half Marathon Plan

I just found the FIRST Half Marathon training plan on It's basically a 3 day a week program that you combine with cross-training.

I did RW's full marathon plan for my first marathon with success. I also did it for my second marathon with a little less success. (My theory is that it will get you to a certain level but then you really have to start adding miles in)

I am contemplating using the FIRST Half plan as my post-baby get in shape plan. Main reasons:
  • Low mileage: Perfect for recovering
  • High intensity: The first time around the thing I had the most trouble regaining was speed
  • Low frequency: With a newborn, a toddler and a job I'm not going to have a lot of time for mileage at first

Perhaps I'll do this plan this fall to get back in shape and then once my body is starting to make progress, switch to Daniel's for a spring marathon.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Mammoth Lakes in SI

I was happy to see the latest issue of Sports Illustrated focused on the training towns of our Olympic hopefuls. In particular, it mentioned Chula Vista and Mammoth Lakes. I visited the former during college and it is just as beautiful and conducive to training as you could expect. The latter seems awesome as well (and especially because Meb, the Halls, and Deena all reside there).

They have some photos online.

Log: 2008.03.01

Activity: Running (treadmill)
Distance: 2.14 miles
Time: 30:00

As predicted I was quite sore and tired today. Running definitely has a bigger impact on my preggo body than any other activity. Interesting. Anyways, 16min running, 4 min walking, 8 min running, 2 min walking. BTW, I keep saying that I am running even though some would consider it jogging pace (or more accurately waddling). I've always felt jogging was for overweight middle-age men in sweat pants and headbands who are trying to lose a few pounds to improve their golf game. Running (no matter what your speed) is for people who live and love the sport. Hence, despite my pregnancy induced slowness I'll still call it running.