“The Key to Life is Running and Reading”

Who knew Will Smith actually provided the quote above via his Kid’s Choice Award speech in 2005?

Personally, I think I am addicted to reading…about running.  Maybe I am just trying to live vicariously through these authors/runners?  I will say though I have been trying to practice what they preach.  I am becoming more conscientious of my form and have started using some of the techniques they intersperse throughout their narratives.  I really enjoy this kind of non-textbook-like learning.

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So last night I started What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami.  And so far, he seems more average, or “mediocre” as he puts it, in terms of running.  It might be more relatable.  But we will see.

Tonight I decided to go to BODYPUMP with an instructor who slightly reminds me of Jillian Michaels.  I nixed my run for the day, having done a significant amount the past two.  Instead I warmed up on the treadmill, doing a sprint sequence I made up on the spot.  I actually liked it though and thought it was pretty ingenious.  It was the perfect no-brainer workout.  I sprinted for 45 seconds, stepped off for 15.  Then every 2 rounds, I would increase the speed by .2.  I did this from 8mph to 9mph.  Below is a play-by-play.  45 seconds just seemed to fly by.  I moved my feet quickly, and imagined myself out for a rather swift and brisk walk (even though I never really do such a thing).  Treadmills really aren’t so bad now that the new gym has treadmills set up with TVs (much better upgrade than watching yourself sweat and suffer in a full body mirror).  So watching Kim & Kourtney Take Miami or The Big Bang Theory becomes acceptable and helps to pass the time. Continue Reading…

The Road (More or) Less Traveled

This morning I woke up completely refreshed, without an ailment prodding my body.  So tonight I was ready to do some running!  Close to sunset my boyf and I hit the Torrey Pines State Reserve Trails.  We ran Guy Fleming Trail (0.7 mile), down and back up Beach Trail (1.5 mile) and Broken Hill Trail (1.2 miles to the beach, but we just looped North Fork and South Fork).  These trails were so refreshing, and made me feel so adventurous and carefree!  Our total time spent up, around, and down the mountain was about 1 hour 2 minutes.  Just in time to sit on the car hood and see if we could witness the “green flash.”  However, I learned that staring at the sun can make it very difficult to see.  Go figure!  So I have yet to experience this phenomenon.

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Slow Roasted

Tonight was a lazy kind of cooking night.  This means everything was pretty much thrown in the oven only to be checked up on periodically.  Couple hour(s) later, and voila! dinner is served.  Dinner consisted of chicken wingettes (& drumsticks), slow roasted tomatoes and asparagus.  The chicken was cooked in the oven at 450 degrees F for 1 hour, the asparagus was steamed in the microwave, and below the recipe for the slow roasted tomatoes.photoSlow Roasted Tomatoes
INGREDIENTS
2 containers of grape tomatoes
EVOO
Dried oregano & basil
Salt & pepper
DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Slice the grape tomatoes in half.  Place on baking sheet and drizzle with EVOO.
3. Season with oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
4. Place in the oven for 3 hours (option to cook even longer).
5. After 3 hours, check consistency. Remove from heat if they are as desired.

Happy Sunday

photoThis weekend I started and finished Dean Karnazes’ Ultramarathon Man.  I also pushed myself to run my longest distance yet: 14 miles.  On Saturday my trainer and I had planned that I would run 5 miles Sunday, and the same 5 miles Tuesday, to compare my times and my speed.  However, as my Saturday progressed, and as I read deeper into Ultramarathon Man, I just really wanted to go out and accomplish something.  Sunday is my only day of the week I can actually do an extended long run, so I wasn’t going to settle for anything less than 10.

It was definitely a LSD (long slow distance) type of day.  I woke up with my eyes sunken into my face, moving at a snails pace.  After a Gnu bar, quick shop at Sprouts, and Protein smoothie, I finally got myself out to run by 11:30.

The first mile was tough.  But I kept telling myself it was just my mind making it difficult and that my body was completely capable.  It’s always a battle between pushing myself and relaxing, both of which basically yield the same results.  I just psych myself out when I think about pushing harder and expending more energy.  As I reached mile 5, I started to get into my stride.  I decided to push it a little further and put myself out 7 miles away from my starting point.  Then there would be no turning back (besides the fact I’d literally have to  turn around and run back).  14 miles, 1 hour 52 minutes later, I was back at my starting point.  Sunkissed and sweaty, I grabbed my bCAA’s and stretched out at the park.  What a happy Sunday!

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Ultramarathon Man was another inspiring ultra-marathoner book.  However, it took a different angle from the ones I’ve read before…but I liked it.  Karnazes had run cross-country in high school, but hangs up his shoes after quitting track, never to run again for 15 years.  Then on his 30th birthday, he decides to run 30 miles.  This leads to him “find” running again.  While running one day, he encounters two runners who unknowingly introduce him to ultra-marathons, namely the Western States 100.  Dean takes a different approach of recounting these highly challenging courses.  Several chapters span the length of each race, giving the turn-by-turns of the course as well as the emotions and struggles that accompany pushing your body past its limits.  Other events include Badwater, running a marathon to the South Pole, and running The Relay (199 miles usually divided into 5.5 mile legs run by 11 team members) SOLO.  It was motivating enough to get my butt out to run 14 miles.  So, ya, I would recommend it.  Now…on to the next one!

Asparagus & Scallop Sautee

photoThis was a quick, easy, and flavorful recipe that I found and dogeared in my Fitness magazine.

Scallop-and-Asaparus Saute With Lemon and Thyme
Inspired by Ellie Krieger (Small Changes, Big Results)
INGREDIENTS
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb.), trimmed and cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 scallops (I used U10 scallops but the recipe calls for bay scallops)
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cups cooked wild rice (optional)
DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add thyme, lemon zest and asparagus and cook, stirring until asparagus softens slightly, about 1 minute.
2. In a separate pan, heat oil to medium-high heat.  Add the scallops to the pan, cooking for about a few minutes on the first side until they are golden brown.  Flip them over and let them cook for another few minutes.
3.  When the scallops are done, pour the asparagus mixture over.  Drizzle lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  Serve with accumulated juices over brown rice if desired.

3-miler turned 6

Today, I didn’t even know if I wanted to run.  It’s been 60 degrees too cold lately!  Reluctantly I started out with the intention of doing just a 3 mile run and attending a 24hr Boot Camp class.  But as the run progressed, I reasoned I should do 4.  And then 4 turned into 5, and then within seconds of the idea of 5 popping into my head, I settled on 6–3 miles out and back (and maybe now no class).

photo<–sheer/questionable happiness on the beach

The hardest part for me of any run, is just making it to the half-way point.  For some reason, my body (or my mind) equates the first half with the whole run (i.e. I’m running 10 miles total–5 miles out and back.  But at mile 3, those last 2 miles to the turn] around make it feel fatigued like I’ve almost reached mile 10.  However, once I hit that turn around mark, the run is an absolute breeze!  I don’t have to worry about conserving my energy because I know I’m home free.  I have to run back, because there really is no other option.

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Today I wore my older shoes which stink-stank-stunk.  These are another pair of lunarglide+4, the pair I had before I really needed wanted the shield’s with reflective and water repellent powers.  I justified that I would be running early mornings and/or nights.  Well the shield’s repeatedly cut my ankles on long runs, and the water resistance became a vice when I couldn’t clean them!  Long story short, I think I need to get another pair of shoes because I’m not ready to be a minimalist, and I.am.just.obsessed.with.shoes.    

Treadmill Run

When I first started running, back in high school when I gave up swimming, I was all about the treadmill.  Somehow I was able to stay on it for an hour, without a second thought of how b o r i n g it was!

Then I transitioned to the great outdoors, and now I always find myself running next to a scenic and large body of water.

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Yet sometimes now I’ll find myself opting for the treadmill vs. running outside.  This usually has to do with the weather (too cold) and/or daylight savings (too dark).  The treadmill is also good for integrating some diversity into your running.  For example, it’s much easier for me to do a sprint workout on the treadmill versus motivating myself to put some speed into my (outdoor) step.

Here is a good treadmill workout that integrates two things that you most likely won’t do on your own (sprints and hills).  Roughly a 45 minute long workout. Continue Reading…