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Running and Hydrating ?

The training plan today only called for 2 miles (recovery run). I still had a friend staying over while visiting Georgetown, trying to decide where to go for an MBA program.

This morning, she and I said we’d run together. She exercises daily, mostly in the gym. I lent her some cold gear for running, and we set off for the run around 9:30am. The weather was gorgeous, crisp and sunny. I decided to give my camelbak lumbar hydration pack a try on this short run:


I got this pack last summer, when I thought I was going to start running more, but I really didn’t have a set goal, and accordingly did not end up running as much as I anticipated.

With the half-marathon looming, and the many different sources recommending constant hydration throughout for anything longer than 45 minutes, I figured I should transition to using this water pouch.

This version is technically for kayaking, although I didn’t think the intended use would be a problem. I believe the bladder with the little ‘bite me’ valve should be easier for me to hydrate than using a bottle. I have trouble drinking and walking, so I can’t really imagine drinking and running at the same time.

I started out with the pack on my hips, where it bounced awkwardly up and down. I hadn’t gone more than 1/4 mile, and I knew this was not a viable position. I made it through the first mile by holding it in place with my hands at my hips. Not really a long term solution.

At the half-way point, I hiked the pack up to my waist, and tightened it a lot more. That was better, less movement, but the feeling of the belt against my stomach was foreign, and not-so-comfortable. I also realized I would need to tuck in one of my long sleeve layers if I didn’t want the camelbak to make my shirt ride-up, and to scrape my back.

All in all a slightly painful run on my end. Nonetheless, it was fun to run with someone. I usually think of running as my solo time, so this was quite a change. We still made the 2 miles in 18 minutes !

An eating fest ensued, with brunch, lunch, cupcakes, and macarons (Macaron Bee in Georgetown just opened up).

I even prepped some meals (=cooked !) for this week with quinoa, tomatoes and mushrooms ! I used the stove. That in itself, is an accomplishment 😉 Usually my microwave does all the work 😉

Here’s the meal in the pan:


Now I’m on the fence about giving this camelbak another try, or switching to another type of water-holding-contraption. Any thoughts from the runners out there ?

6 miler complete !

I’ve been having a lot of oats in a mug this past week, like this guy: oats, banana, and pecans !


I had some friends come into town from Boston on Thursday, and my Thursday run did not happen 😦 I am not very good at standing up for my me-time (yet ?). Anyhow, Friday was ‘rest’, and we got snow ! I was very excited to see it again, after fearing that VA was never going to provide me with white winters 😉 It was also an opportunity for me to try out some new running gear. Everything is now flashy colors. Blue shoes, bright green shorts, orange long sleeve… Only my leggings are semi-low profile 😀

So, this morning I got back onto the training plan, with some oats in a jar and a glass of milk:Image

Then, after taking some much needed time to digest 😉 I headed out for my 6 miles ! There was still snow on the ground, so it was a little tricky, but after the first mile or so, I got used to it and fell into a good rhythm:

6 miles in 57’51”

I saw a good number of people on the trail, almost all of them walking their dogs ! I went further than I had been before, and instead of circling the dog park, went ‘straight’ for 6 miles, along a little creek/canal.

I came back to an awesome iced green tea 🙂 and am off for some rock climbing !

Wednesday Whole Living

I woke up by myself at 6am this morning (score !), and had enough time before leaving for work to make myself some oats with cocoa powder and ground chia seed. Need to remember to add some fake sugar, the cocoa powder could have used some 😉 I still enjoyed the oats, and an article from ‘Jogging’ magazine (French edition 😉 )

After this great start to the day, I was energized and productive at work, which felt great.

After work, I decided living out of my freezer was not a long term solution, and went to Whole Foods to diversify my meals:


To be fair, a bought a good number of frozen items, and also froze some beef, and tuna steak. But I’d still count this trip as a healthy win. (Avoided the crepes, avoided the brioche, didn’t buy more peanut butter, didn’t buy more baking supplies 😉 ) Note the ‘petite’ brussel sprouts. I’m not sure I’ll ever get to those, but they were ‘petite’ so I decided to give them a shot.

Speaking of baking, I’m actually looking forward to making some dog-treats for Echo ! I have German Shepherd shaped cookie cutters, which I am dying to use. I get to bake and use cookie cutters, she gets treats. Should be a win-win.

My run this evening was good. It was ‘only’ 28F, which still felt pretty cold at the start, but got better quickly, as I went through the 2 miles went on today’s agenda.

 2 miles in 18 minutes !

Tomorrow’s back to 3 miles before the rest day, and Saturday’s 6 miler !

I’m already researching waist-attaching leash systems to run with Echo. If there are any runners-with-dogs out there, let me know what you’re using !

Tuesday back !

I’m back !

I left for CT on Saturday after my 6 mile run and got there around 6 pm. Probably sped a little en route… but no tickets yet 😉

Sunday was very lazy with Panera for breakfast (healthy oatmeal, and a not so healthy chocolate chip ‘muffie top’, but they’re so good I can never resist them…) and two movies in a row, Django unchained and Zero Dark Thirty. After all that exercising Le Boyfriend and I had dinner at a nice steak house, where everything was delicious… By the end of dinner, there was no way I could go on my run. Training plan fail.

Monday, Le Boyfriend got his wisdom teeth out in the morning… Loopiness and nonsense ensued post-anesthesia and a difficult operation. He was a trooper.

I got my Monday ‘cross-training’ from training with Echo, who is making good progress, but not quite where she should be at in obedience training. Here’s a picture of the trainer/her/me at training, kindly taken by Le wisdom-teeth-less Boyfriend:


This quote from Saint Exupery (Le Petit Prince) is stuck in my mind in relation to Echo: “Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé” (You become responsible forever for what you have tamed)

She is truly growing a lot. Her face is starting to match her ears, and her whole body has thickened. She’s going to be a big dog, and has mounds of energy ! Two more weeks until the end of the training course !

This morning I drove back down to VA and, after unpacking and thawing for a bit, went back out for a run ! It was freezing cold (low 20’s), and I layered for my legs (2 layers), torso (3 layers), and head (2 layers). My i-pod died 2 minutes in, and unrelated or not, this was my fastest 3 mile yet: 28 minutes ! My first 3 miler two weeks ago was about 34 minutes so it was definitely encouraging to see some progress. I also used my Garmin Fenix’s alarm feature (vibrate + tone) to inform me of the half-way point, which was extremely convenient, instead of repeatedly checking distance. After the first mile I was feeling nice and toasty, and the wind even felt nice.  A few other stoic souls were out running.

Today was encouraging, and I’m going to focus on giving the training plan my best this week to really build up that base !

5 mile run complete !

Saturdays are long runs in my training schedule. This morning I woke up at 7am, without my alarm, which was a nice surprise.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous, crisp (40’s) and sunny.

Here is how my run went:


Overall, I felt pretty good. I had layered up and the temperature was ideal, a nice breeze was blowing, and a good number of people were out with dogs ! Shamefully, somewhere around half, I had to stop by restrooms in a dog park and take care of business. Lesson learned: do no eat peanut butter 20 minutes before going on a long run.

Coming back, I decided to try out a green smoothie to use up some leftover spinach in my fridge. I mixed in some milk, frozen strawberries and bananas (thanks Dole) and a fair amount of spinach leaves. If anything, here was another occasion to rekindle my love for my blender (all hail Blendtec), which I had almost forgotten about after the summer ended. Here is how things looked like before:


And after:


Nice and green, but tasting more like strawberries and bananas than spinach at all (Phew…). I had seen several other bloggers reference green smoothies, but was still a little doubtful about how spinach’y they would taste.. I would make it again. Tasty and refreshing !

Have a great weekend !

Thumpin’ Thursday !

After 3 days of missing out, I went back to running, and it felt FANTASTIC.

A ‘snowstorm’ was supposed to hit the south of DC around noon, but I have yet to see a snow flake. Straight after work, I set out to buy a new pair of running shoes that were properly fitted, taking advice from someone who knew what they were doing.

The person who helped me out runs… 50K’s. That’s right, 50 kilometers. Man, I felt even more like a newbie in comparison. He analyzed my walk and run, and told me I tended to overpronate, which is common. He recommended shoes with a lot of support. After trying a few out in that category, I chose these guys:ImageMizunos Wave Inspire 9. And yes, they’re that blue. There’s a standing joke that I will favor anything blue, making color a deciding factor. My rainjacket is blue, my fleece at home is blue, my car is blue, you name it. For the record, I would like to state that I did not pick these shoes based on color… They were the pair I felt most comfortable in, and the store only had them in one color scheme.

I also found out that I have been wearing running shoes that are way too tight. These turned out to be a 10.5. I usually wear a 9 for regular shoes, and did not see this coming. Let’s agree I have big feet.

Here is how my run went with those brand new shoes:

ImageNot bad ! It really did feel good to be back out running, and the shoes were very comfortable. Definitely more support than my old shoes. My right foot still felt sore, and I’m going to keep RICE’ing it as much as possible.

And finally, I came home to my wonderful ‘Venti’ green tea:


I used to absolutely hate tea. Then I started hydrating, a LOT, and realized I’d rather drink something with a taste, than just water. Now, I can hardly go a day without missing it ! Plus, that much green tea a day should help with metabolism. Or so they say…

I’m pumped to be back on schedule ! Tomorrow is a rest day, and Saturday is a 5 miler.

Bring it !

Getting back up

On Saturday I completed my 4 mile run, and thought nothing of the slight pain I was experiencing on the outer edge of my right foot. On Sunday, I ran 2 miles on that sore foot. And Monday… Monday I was limping around the office. It seems I must have strained/pulled something on Saturday, and made it worse Sunday.

This is extremely frustrating so early on into my training plan, but I think the best thing to do is RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). This week was a series of 2 milers. Yesterday I skipped my cross-training, the elliptical or bike being just as painful as running. Today, no significant improvement yet, so I am also foregoing any running. I hope to be back on track this weekend, and be able to catch up on the training plan.

Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get back up.

I was bummed yesterday about this setback, but I’m back to blogging, and I hope to be back to training soon. I will be looking into getting new running shoes, maybe with a better fit after an assessment, to avoid further injuries.

Does anyone have recommendations on where to get fitted for running shoes ?

Satisfying Saturday !


Buying jars of chocolate-flavored spreads just got a tad more dangerous : I started out the day with my first fo’ real OATS IN A JAR ! They did not disappoint 🙂


I then set out on my 4 mile run, which took me to the nearby dog park and back. I used both i-pod and Garmin Fenix to track the run, and I clearly have some calibration issues with at least one of the devices. I stuck to the longest time/distance to run. According to Apple, I ran 4 miles in 44′ 58″. According to Garmin, I ran 4.64 miles in the same time. Quoi ?


I came back to catch up on work, and mid-way through took a break to re-organize my freezer. In the process, I re-discovered this guy:


which turned out to be rather tasty, and most of all easy to make ! (Microwave forever).

Without so much ‘TV’ watching in the evenings, I’m expecting my wake-ups to be easier and earlier. Let’s see if that holds true tomorrow !

Carpe Diem


Today was a rest day training wise. I went to work, I went to the movie theater. I went home.

My first instinct, after spending my day in front of a computer, and right after watching a movie, was to sit in front of my laptop and zone out to some episode of a 2-seasons-only series on hulu.

It’s been too easy to sit back and immerse myself in the lives of fictitious characters. Adventures, mysteries, tragedies, anything but dull. With 8 or more hours of work, 8 or less hours of sleep, 1 hour of exercise, 1 hour in the bathtub (what can I say, I like my soaking tub), and what adds up to almost 4 hours of ‘TV’ a day, there’s really not much Carpe Diem in my life.

I keep saying I want more out of my life, that I don’t want to wake up in 10 years and realize I’ve done nothing but work and sleep. Well, I don’t want to wake up and realize I’ve done nothing but work, sleep, and waste my free time. Huluplus membership cancelled, check.

Here is my list of resolutions to help me cut back on wasted time.

1. No watching tv shows during the week.

2. Outside of work, limit myself to 1 hour of computer time a day. This should be enough to blog and answer e-mails.

3. Do more with my evenings.

Saint Exupery, who wrote Le Petit Prince, said “Faites que le rêve dévore votre vie afin que la vie ne dévore pas votre rêve”. Loosely translated: “Let your dream devour your life, so your life doesn’t devour your dream’. Game on.