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Saturday long run

My Team in Training team met somewhere south today (I never remember the places exactly, just follow the instructions… 😉 ) for the long run. We were promised a pretty route and so it was.

I ran 8 miles and they felt good! Still running intervals, but improved my average pace by more than a minute per mile. Very happy about it.
I had a great running buddy again today and start to feel at home in my new team. Awesome!! 🙂

Here is the view at the 4-mile turn-around.




A double workout day to burn off the pancakes…

You might be glad to hear that my toe isn’t hurting anymore. (I certainly am)

But I developed a theory.

I think the nail polish glued the toe in its position and hence it was fine for months. When I took the nail polish  off, the nail probably took a breath and thought, “finally, I can move…”. (that’s how I am picturing this). The nail looks like it broke loose overnight from its nail bed. I spare you a photo. But to be fair to my toe, it’s not looking gross or anything…

Anyway, all is back and good and I went for a quick run this morning to start burning off those pancakes I ate last night. I only had 2 pancakes: a ham and cheese one and then my favorite, Nutella and banana. My running buddy Y made those and they were delicious.

I need to get back to the gym tonight for some cross-training as I missed my legs, bums and tums class last night and to continue burning off those pancakes… YEAH, a double workout day. 🙂

Happy running!

What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the days gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate.
~ John Bingham


My poor black toe giving me a guilt-free Pancake Tuesday

I woke up this morning with a painful black toe.

Obviously, I must have run a marathon during my sleep. Where else would the black toe come from?

My last road half marathon was 3 months ago and yes, it ended with a black toe (big one, right foot). I don’t remember that it was hurting really, but it did look somewhat ugly. So I did what every girl runner does. I painted it with sparkly purple nail polish.

Yesterday, I decided to take off the nail polish to see what it looked like 3 months later! It still looked a tiny little bit bruised but not bad or ugly at all. And I forgot all about it.

At 2am I woke up with a painful toe (that was right after I completed my marathon in my sleep as you do). And it’s still hurting. Not sure if the 10-miler on Sunday caused the pain or taking the nail polish off.I kind of want to put nail polish right back on, hoping this will hide the pain…

Anyways, I guess that gives me a free pass today to skip the legs, bums and tums class and take a day of rest. I should feel bad about that, but somehow I don’t. Not even filled with guilt as tonight of course it’s Pancake Tuesday at my friend’s where I’ll carb and sugar load. Oops. 🙂

Happy Pancake Tuesday!


10 miles and sticky GU

Yesterday, the temperatures dropped again hovering just above freezing, but the sun came out and the blue sky was just too inviting to get out there.

I found a new 8-mile loop through the park and then along the river. Actually, a very beautiful route that included a number of restrooms and opportunities to fill up the water bottle. I can’t believe I never ran this route before. It’s literally right on my doorsteps. I can vary the route to make it an 11-mile loop and 14-mile loop. Now, I have no excuses anymore for not doing long runs.

My friend and running buddy Y joined me. We ended up running 10 miles and I keep asking her to join me and S on the Edinburgh Half Marathon. The Edinburgh Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon is now only 8 weeks away and I am starting to get quite excited about it (especially now that I have found these great new running routes).

During the run yesterday I learned stuff.

First, I am not in shape yet for hills. MapMyRun gave my route a hill strength of “1” which is the lowest or easiest. There were some steady long-ish 1% inclines, but we had maybe a 500m stretch of about 3% incline and it nearly killed me. Once we reached the top I was fine again, but I really need to add more hill workouts and the treadmill runs don’t seem to do the trick.

Secondly, GU changes its consistency once it gets fairly cold. Well, mine wasn’t frozen, but really cold and it started to stick to my teeth and gum while I was trying to squeeze it out of it’s packaging. It had the consistency of toffee maybe. I hate the chocolate and coffee flavored GUs, but they might work well in the cold posing as sticky chocolate toffee… 😉

Miles run this year: 168 (not too shabby!)

Happy running week!


The one about running, protein, salt and sodium…

I had a plan. I was going to write about protein (see my post on Living Healthy).

So I researched protein. My research, however, showed that protein isn’t something to worry about too much as a runner. According to WebMD, the majority of us get enough protein through their daily diet. Just make sure you take your protein with carbs after a workout to refuel!

So I decided to skip protein, but focus my attention on something else: salt and sodium.

Did you know that a slice of bread can contain more salt than a single serving bag of salted chips?

Our normal diets tend to be sodium rich. In fact, most of us eat too much salt. As a runner of course we lose some salt. However, our daily intake of salt through our diet replenishes the salt we lose while we workout. Be sure though to replenish if you are a heavy sweater (TMI, I know) or when you run for more than 3 hours. Salted pretzels are a good choice and hearty soups. Also, check the sodium in your sports drink.

My quest for eating healthier is challenging at times, but after nearly 3 weeks of selecting healthier foods I start seeing the difference. There is still a lot for me to learn and un-learn from previous training seasons. I used to add quite a bit of extra salt to my foods at the time as I thought I was losing so much more. Now I know better…

If we’re not willing to settle for junk living, we certainly shouldn’t settle for junk food.
    ~ Sally Edwards

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Running – Eating – Living Healthy

Great discussion yesterday on breakfast choices. I had oats for the first time yesterday with honey and banana. Filled me up for the whole morning and then some. Wow!

My goal for this year is to strike a fine balance between my running and my eating and therefore follow a more healthy lifestyle.

I have been running endurance races since 2008, but I am one of the rare breed who managed to add weight whilst training for a marathon. I overestimated the calories I ran off, most likely ate the wrong recovery foods, and as a result always felt hungry and ate again.

This year, I am reversing the trend and am re-evaluating my food intake and trying to eat better foods that actually keep my stuffed. In January I focused on finding my happy pace in running again. Last year’s races left me a little fatigued. I am back on track here (bar the sudden cold weather) and a happy runner again.

I have changed some of my eating habits, adding a serving of fruit and low-fat yoghurt as a desert to my lunches and I am surprised to note that this combination leaves me feel full longer. Even after a long run! Yoghurt and berries are 2 of my 5 February foods, so this works out well.

Next week I am going to tackle proteins I think…

Sometimes if you want to see a change for the better, you have to take things into your own hands. 

-Clint Eastwood


It's not about time…

I read a lot of blogs where runners post their pace, their race results. That’s ok. But for me it never has been about time.

It is about memories.

I used to run track as a teenager and what I mostly remember from that time is the camaraderie and the fun times we had traveling to competitions each weekend, encouraging each other.

My first 5k was a huge achievement for me. Until then I considered every run longer than 400m (meters!) to be an endurance race. I had a grin on my face for a week after my first 5k.

I shared my second 5k with Paula Radcliffe (and another 10,000 runners). Of course Paula finished while I was still hovering around the 3k mark and she didn’t know me, but it was cool nonetheless. The spirit of this particular race most likely is one of the reasons why I continued running.

I remember thinking after I completed my first 10k that I could run a half marathon easily. Well, it took me another 6 years to finally run a half marathon and it wasn’t quite that easy.

My first half marathon I remember for the friendships I made that are still strong.

For my first full marathon I remember that I didn’t remember the main event. Now, you need to know that my first full marathon has been the NIKE Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. The “medal” is a Tiffany’s necklace given to each runner by a firefighter dressed in a tuxedo, kind of most girl’s dream. Some runners are known to take lipstick on the course and do a quick make-up check at mile 26.1. Anyway, I received my necklace, but was so exhausted that I don’t remember at all seeing any firefighter. I have run this race two more times just to make up for that and am planning on running again this year! 🙂 What I do remember from this race was my team. This was my first season with Team in Training and I was fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This was the beginning of new friendships and a new motivation for me to keep running until a cure for cancer is found. (I am running again with Team in Training – my fifth season with the team – this spring: the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon.)

My first half marathon in London I remember for a girl tapping on my shoulder right after I slowed down to a walk at mile 12, telling me to run with her. She paced me to the finish line and told me that I had been pacing her for the past 5-6 miles and she wanted me to finish strong.

So, yes, memories are what counts for me. The encouraging smiles from fellow runners. Making new friends. And doing a little bit to make our world a better place.

Happy Running!