Running Mind Games

Wed, Nov 30
Ran a 4 1/2 mile interval workout this am on the treadmill at Life Center
I had to do 6 x (800 m at race pace (9:20/mile) followed by 400 m rest)
Time: 48:48; Pace: 6.4 (9:22) for the speedy part and 4.0 for the resting part

Okay this was really hard. I had to play mind games on myself to complete this workout. I looked at the workout on my fridge this morning and thought no big deal. Oh yeah?!

Here is sort of how my mind went during the work out:

After the first 800 (1/2 mile) I was like, oh, this might be difficult.
After the second 800 I was like, I might just do half of this workout and call it a day. Maybe I can do the other half later today…
After the third one I was like, hey I made it half way, I’ll just do one more and be done…that is good enough…I’ll think about it during the rest period
After the fourth one I thought, okay, I can do one more and be done – that was like two fast miles…
After the fifth one I thought, hey only one more, besides I ran a frickin’ marathon – I got this!!
After the sixth one I thought, YES, I totally did it!!

It was really tough for me to do this full workout today and it would have been really easy to quit, shower and give myself some excuse. But after each speed interval, I bargained with myself that I would see how I felt after the rest period and then make my decision. Each time, by the time the rest period was over (1/4 mile) I was rested enough to be able to temporarily forget how hard it was so I just sped up again. I mean I could do anything for 1/2 mile, right?

I think sometimes this is true in life too. In the middle of a rough time we try to figure things out and maybe tend to make a rash decision. However, if we wait until we are calmer (our rest period, if you will), we can have a clearer mind and approach the next rough period with a better perspective. Even if we tend to be naive during the rest periods and forget about how hard the tough times actually hard (if we remember to take them!!), it is a good break from the stress, the strain, and the hard stuff in our lives. Bottom line: we need to use our rest periods!!! Have you rested today??


Tues, Nov 29
Yoga at lunch

Great workout today and very sweaty! The fitness studio was really warm for some reason. I was sorta uncomfortable. I mean, I like the nice and warm yoga lounge in the morning before a nice shower, but in the middle of the day I don’t really want to sweat that much unless I’m going to shower! I do have my baby wipes, however so that is good! After class the instructor was telling us about when she got certified as a yoga instructor. It was interesting because she said they didn’t do much yoga ironically. They did a lot of work in their head and wrote a bunch of papers and stuff. She actually didn’t go through it in order to teach, but the job at Carroll just fell into her lap. The whole time she was talking about it I was getting more and more interested in it! I would love, love, love to do that!!! I think I may look into it just for fun! A new and different goal!!!

Eagles Had it Right: Get Over it!

Mon, Nov 28
Ran 6 miles at lunch
Time: 1:01:35; Average Pace: 10’15/mile

So yeah, those stats are iPod stats, but they are pretty much accurate for the most part. The time was probably a tad bit longer than that and the pace was probably more like 10:30. The treadmill starts to slow down and shut off after 60 minutes (stupid thing) so I lost track of my time, but I can report that I ran the first 3 miles at a 5.7 pace 10:31/mile, the next 1 1/2 at 5.8 pace 10:20/mile and the last 1/2 mile at 6.0 pace 10/mile. It felt pretty good! I was so sweaty today, however. I really wish they would control the temperature of that room. Good thing I don’t run in there in the summertime! After showering and washing my hair with body soap (oops), I went back to work, but it took me forever to cool down! As George Costanza on Seinfeld says, “my shower didn’t take!”. Again, it felt so good running a bit longer today. I felt a little bit vindicated for not running the Turkey Trot, but I still feel a little guilty. Especially when I hear about my work colleagues who ran theirs and talked about “how perfect” the weather was on Thursday. And it really was, actually. Gotta. Get. Over. It. My thing is I just don’t know why I bagged it. My psycho-analysis of myself indicates that I might have been afraid of failing at the race. Since I already broke 40 minutes and PR’d last time I ran a 4 mile race in July I think I was afraid I would NOT beat my best time. OMG – who cares right?! Okay, being competitive is great until it messes with your mind. Either way, it is done and over and I’m laying it to rest right now. Moving forward…now…right….now…okay…!

Pepino Fruit – Henry’s guest blog perspective

So Zach and I didn’t get a chance to try the fruit of the week this week. I had put it on the counter, ready to cut and ran upstairs to put away some shampoo, etc. I was gone for about 1 minute, if that. I come down and call Zach to come cut the fruit and I see that it is gone. Oh, Henry!! Sure enough I found him in the basement gnawing on the damn thing. So, I’ve asked Henry to do a guest blog about the pepino fruit.

Hello! Henry Higgins here! Yes, I’m happy to tell you all about the pepino fruit. Here is what it looked like before I swiped it from the counter (hey, better than getting an ornament from the tree in the living room, right?! I’ll save that for another day!)

It had a nice shape, not too hard and not too soft. It fit nicely into my mouth, and kinda resembled an oddly shaped ball. I noticed it was sweet so I decided to eat some of it down in the basement. Besides I needed to hide the evidence! It smelled and tasted like a cantaloupe melon, at least I think so – I’ve never swiped a cantaloupe melon before…at least not yet. I’m not even sure what the middle looks like because this is how far I got before they discovered my crime and took it away from me…

Just in case you are interested I looked up some info on this fruit for you….

“Not a true melon, the Pepino is actually in the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes and eggplants. A native of South America, Pepinos are grown in many countries, including Ecuador and New Zealand. Inside this thin-skinned beauty is a golden-yellow flesh with the texture of a fine, juicy melon and the distinctive aroma of honeydew, pear and vanilla. The Pepino has a subtle, mellow flavor with less-sweet hints of melon and cucumber. (Actually, “pepino” means cucumber in Spanish.)

Although the skin is technically edible, it peels off easily (like a blanched tomato), and there are just a few small, edible seeds inside a small, hollow cavity. Choose Pepinos with a sweet aroma and no bruises. As the fruit ripens, the purple streaks become more pronounced and the aroma intensifies. The flesh should be firm and juicy – like a crisp cantaloupe – not mealy.

The mellow “background” flavor of the Pepino Melon pairs well with other ingredients, from sweet fruits to chiles to chicken. A drizzle of lime juice, honey or a sprinkling of salt and fresh basil will enhance the mild flavor. Add to that a sprinkle of chili powder or a dash of hot sauce for a refreshing appetizer. Excellent paired with prosciutto or filled with seafood or chicken salads. However it’s prepared, this culinary curiosity is delicious across a wide spectrum of dishes.”

Happy eating and happy stealing! Woof!

Comparison Data

Sat, Nov 26
Ran 3 miles at Life Center
Time: 30:50; Pace: 6.1 (9:50) Incline: 0.5 for most of the run
iPod stats: Distance: 3.05 Time: 30:32; Average Pace: 10’01”

Finally my iPod seems to be a little more in sync with the treadmill! Today’s workout was an interval one. I was supposed to do two times (1 mile at 9:45 pace + 400 m rest). I did that, but added an additional mile to make it an even 3. It was a pretty hard workout! I went to bed nice and early last night (9pm) to get rested up from my Black Friday no sleep day, but I think I was just getting caught up from that still. It was funny because i just can’t stop my competitive stance no matter what. Today there was a girl that got on the treadmill next to me and I had to check out her speed and compare it with mine. I was happy, and relieved because I didn’t want to speed up, to see that I was going faster than her (not by much, but I was going faster!) Hey whatever helps to motivate me I’ll take!!!

The Race that Wasn’t

Thurs, Nov 24
1 1/2 hour yoga class at yoga lounge

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Well, I’m not sure if it was the cooler weather prediction for the morning (real feel of 31 degrees) or just the fact that I didn’t want to compete yesterday, but I decided not to run the Turkey Trot yesterday afterall. After much consternation about weather to run or go to yoga (where it is warm!), I told Nick that I wanted to bag it and go to yoga instead. I’m really glad I did. Not only was it a fantastic workout it was fun because it was packed – probably about 30 people. I was so sweaty – I loved it! And the instructor ended the practice with a gratitude meditation which was really cool. It was a great way to begin Thanksgiving Day. I eventually got over my guilt about not running. If I hadn’t known about the yoga class being available I probably would have sucked it up and gone, but I had options so I took the warm option. Because doing nothing was not an option yesterday – especially before that pie! Today I went Black Friday shopping for lots of hours – that was my workout today – no running happening today. Back to it tomorrow!

That was hard!

Wed, Nov 23
Ran 3 miles on the treadmill at lunch
Time: 31:49; Pace: 10’31”; Incline: 0.5
iPod stats: 31:20; Average Pace: 9’59”

Okay, that was really hard today. Not sure why, but it was. I originally was going to do yoga today instead, but I checked the website this morning and the 6am class was cancelled. So I decided to run at lunch. The fitness room was actually pretty busy for a “break day”. My friend and I ran together and talked a bit. So I’ve been trying to come up with a non-competitive goal for tomorrow’s turkey trot. This is tough for me, but I really don’t want tomorrow to be about speed. My friend suggested making my goal to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who passes me. I like that – that could be fun and would feel good. I am going to tell Nick just to go at his own pace because I don’t want to feel pressured for this one. I just want to have fun. We’ll see how that works out and if I can do that knowing me!!!

I Fought the Law and the Law Won

Yes. Yes. Yes. It has happened again. I have had yet another brush with the law – on Veterans Day. Okay, stop laughing. Before you start judging/lecturing me, let me explain. I did not get pulled over for speeding. I got pulled over for making a right turn. Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? I should probably add that there is a sign by the intersection that says, “no right turn from 7am – 6pm”. But wait, there is more…

Here is the scenario. I was heading over to an event on campus, but since there was construction I could not drive through campus to get to my destination. So, I made the first right turn I could to make my way down a regular road to the building I needed. Sure enough an unmarked car immediately pulled me over and gave me a ticket. No warning…just a ticket. I tried to explain that I hadn’t seen the great big sign indicating I couldn’t make a right turn, but the cop was not buying it. Either that or he saw my recent driving record and decided that I was a menace to society and needed to be stopped.

So, after I cooled off after a couple of days I called about the amount of the fine and I could almost hear my jaw hit the floor. Are you sitting down? $210 dollars. Yes, two hundred and ten dollars! Seriously?!! For a wrong turn onto a road?! I have since learned that the aforementioned sign has been present for 11 years because of a law that got passed as a result of community members complaints about students driving down that road (that has about 5 houses on it). Apparently just recently the city is cracking down on violators. All of this I would have known had I read the issue of the Carroll News that was published the day before my transgression. Yes, the irony is just too much to bear. And get this – my colleague warned me the morning of the day I got my ticket that she had recently gotten pulled over after making that same turn. Oh, and don’t worry – she only got a warning. Okay, now you can laugh.

But you want to know the very best part of this whole story??! While turning right onto this road is against the law and is equal to making a pact with Satan himself, you CAN turn left onto said road. So in order to comply with the law and be good citizens, JCU people coming from campus simply make a U-turn and turn left. Yes, that sounds like a much safer alternative.

Epilogue: I submitted a letter to the court asking for the judge to waive the fee because of all kinds of good reasons. They called me back and explained that I would need to submit a fee in order for the judge to review my case which may result in a pre-trial hearing with more fees. In the end I could pay a bunch of court costs and still have to pay the original ticket fine too. Um, yeah, totally not worth it. So, yeah, I’ll be submitting my $210 to the fine court of Shaker Heights this week. Merry Christmas to me. If you want to read more about this riveting story, you can read the Carroll News article that I missed here.

Just the Basics

Tues, Nov 22
Yoga at lunch

Well today was just kinda of a normal workout. Nothing out of the ordinary or special. But it felt as good as always to do it and stretch out. Nuff said.

Oh the other funny thing was after class this woman asked me if I was ever a cheerleader? After I stopped laughing at the question and told her no, I asked why. She said, “because you are so flexible!”. Maybe she was referring to the fact that I did wheel pose (a back bend) about 3 times in class today. I thought about it later and felt really good that at age 42 I can still do back bends. It is the little things in life, I guess, that make you feel good and keep you motivated to grow, change and learn…at any age!

Next up: Yoga in the morning and maybe a short run at lunch

Bring on the Longer Runs!

Mon, Nov 21
Ran 6 miles on the treadmill at lunch
Time: a little over an hour; Pace: 10:30; Incline: 0.5
iPod stats: 1:01:16; Average Pace: 10’12”

Today’s long run was supposed to be at a 11:35 pace with a “strong finish”. I refuse to run that slow anymore. So, I ran a 10:30 (5.7) for the entire run until the last 1/2 mile and then I kicked it up to 10:00 (6.0) for the rest. The treadmill must have a default of like an hour or something because all of a sudden it was in cool down mode and I wasn’t finished yet! So, I don’t have an exact real time as it reset itself. Again with the resets! I’m so crazy about tracking, but that is just me. I really liked my run today. The signal on the tv was off and on because of the rain or something so that was annoying. After awhile I just turned it off and talked a bit with my gentlemen runner friends on the machines next to me. They make me laugh so it is fun. The time went fast and I finally felt like I ran. These shorter distance are fine, but I do miss getting a nice longer run in every now and then. I am mixing it up this week because I’m doing the Aurora Turkey Trot on Thursday (normally a yoga day) so I will do yoga tomorrow and Wed. Then Friday is black Friday shopping which is a workout of its own!