Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A leisurely Saturday

I got home from the gym this morning (we had a sub at bootcamp and she absolutely KILLED us), took a shower, started making some eggs and then realized that I had nothing planned for the day. I'd had some tentative plans with a few people, but none of them worked out, so I had a whole day free and to myself. Wowsers, when is the last time that happened??

I decided to go check out the Deering Oaks Farmer's Market. It is the biggest farmer's market in the Portland area and I have been wanting to go for the past 2 years. But you know, it's all the way on the other side of the bridge, a whole whopping 10 minutes away.

It was awesome! There was tons and tons of fresh produce, but also cheeses, meats, potted plants, and prepared food. I went a little crazy. My first purchase was a couple healthy, hefty potted tomato plants to replace the dying one on my patio. After I stowed those in the car, I also loaded up on swiss chard, kale, cherry tomatoes, and garlic scapes. I have been wanting to try garlic scapes forever- they are just so cool looking!

My last impulse purchase was 3 quarts of jamming strawberries, they were just such a bargain that I couldn't resist. SO, that meant that when I got home it was jam time. I'd never actually made jam on my own before, but it couldn't be that hard right??

It really wasn't that hard. And squishing all the berries with my fingers was a lot fun. Less than an hour later, I had jam!

 While the kitchen was already a mess, I decided to whip up some pesto with my garlic scapes. They had a sample of garlic scape pesto at the stand where I bought the scapes and it was so good that I decided to whip some up myself. Into the food processor went the scapes, a bunch of basil, some olive oil, pine nuts, and some pecorino romano. I heart my food processor, it is like magic.

While I was busy in the kitchen the fog finally burned off, so when I finished my pesto I grabbed the dog and headed out to Bug Light Park. We walked around, watched the boats and people flying kites, waded in the water, frolicked in the grass and then settled down to read (me) and sleep (Dixie).

By the time we got home, I was starving even though it was only 4:30! So I whipped up a batch of homemade pasta to have with my pesto. With the food processor and my pasta maker it is so easy to make fresh pasta. I don't know why I don't do it more often!

It was really nice to have a day where I could do exactly what I wanted when I wanted to do it. I should plan these more often!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fabulous Fitness Survey

I will not lie, I have been feeling a little uninspired lately in both my workouts and my blogging. I feel like it's the same old thing and I am physically and mentally tired of it. So, instead of boring you with the details of my boring run and boring food, I am going to take this fun little survey that has been going around the blogisphere. 

Fabulous Fitness Survey

1. What did you eat for breakfast?
I scarfed down half an english muffin with peanut butter after my run and before the dentist. 

2. How much water do you drink a day?
I don't measure, but its quite a bit. I usually fill up my Sigg bottle at least 3-4 times, plus have a bottle at the gym.

3. What is your current favorite workout?
My Saturday morning bootcamp. There is great energy in the room, it is always different, and it kicks my butt!

4. How many calories do you eat a day?
No idea! I have 3 meals, plus a snack or two.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Anything with almond butter! My favorite "treat" snack is some funfetti cake mix mixed into plain Greek yogurt!

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

This time of year, it is usually some sort of salad. There are endless variations so it never gets old. Yesterday I made a great one with arugula, watermelon, and goat cheese!

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?
My arms!

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?
My butt and hips. They have always been weak and it always hurts!

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?
Frosting and ice cream.

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?
Yep. A daily multivitamin and a probiotic.

11. How often do you eat out?
A lot more since I started living with the BF! I would say it is usually one lunch and 2 dinners a week on average. 

12. Do you eat fast food?
I don't eat Burger King or McDonalds, but I do like Chipolte and Subway!

13. Who is your biggest supporter?
I think it's a tie between the BF and my parents. 
The BF sprinted through a not so nice part of the city to get me water and take my pic!

14. Do you have a gym membership?
Yep- Lifestyle Fitness!

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
I heart sleep. I could easily sleep 10 hours a night, but I usually average 8.

16. Do you have a “cheat”day?
I like to have a treat

17. Do you drink alcohol?
Um yes! Usually only on the weekends, especially when we go out!

18. Do you have a workout buddy?
No and I desperately want one! I am so tired of running alone!

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?
I have gotten to go on some amazing adventures thanks to running. Running lead me to my 7 continent marathon goal which has brought me to Antarctica, Italy, and Chile so far!

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?
I guess it was going to the dentist this morning. It was not at all fun, but I know that nipping dental problems in the bud will keep me healthier in the long run.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

You win some, you lose some

First the good news, I did my second ocean swim of the season yesterday, and it felt infinitely better than the first. It was REALLY hot here yesterday, so I headed to Crescent Beach with a friend after work. I grabbed my bag with my wetsuit and googles just in case. It was so hot that I swam (just in my bathing suit) as soon as I got there and again after we walked the beach. So, I figured if I was there and used to the water I might as well get in a practice session. Note to self- put on your wetsuit BEFORE you get all wet.

The swim felt good. The water was really calm and didn't feel as frigid as last week. It was nice not to be in a  pack of people and have calm water. I only freaked out when I swam over a bunch of grass that looked like eels, but the rest of the time I felt calm and comfortable. Winner, winner chicken dinner.

Photo: Just another day at the beach...
See that little black speck behind the first boat? That's my head.

And now for the not so good news. I did not do so well with my eating goal for the week to limit myself to one small serving of dessert. I had quite a few nights at home alone on the couch and not only did I have a bigger serving of ice cream than last week, but I also got up for seconds a couple times. Saturday night was an extra big fail. The BF and I made yummy shrimp tacos and then each had a small bowl of fro-yo. As we were finishing our fro-yo out on the patio, our new neighbor came over and invited us to their house-warming party. I ended up standing in front of the dessert table for a good hour and helped myself to 2 cookies and a cupcake. THEN, they send me home with a  a brownie, a whoopie pie, and a piece of cake. All of which I proceeded to eat while watching a movie. Ooops. 

It is so embarrassing to admit that. But I suppose that is the point of sharing my goals and progress on the blog. Public accountability.  I am still making progress. Instead of allowing that to morph into a week of crappy eating, I got myself back on track the next day. So onward and upwards. 

What are your triumphs or failures this week?

Monday, June 24, 2013

The challenges of working at home

I have been working soley at home now since September. After years of travelling nearly every week, it was a welcome change at first. I actually got to spend time in the house I bought! No more wasting 20-30 hours in airports and airplanes. No more living out of a suitcase. But now, the novelty is starting to wear off and it is actually starting to cause some problems.

sometimes it feels like a prison
First of all, I am really stressed out by work, which I think it because I never really disconnect with work. I used to be really good about not checking work e-mail or working before I got to the office in the morning and after I left at night. But now, my laptop is always sitting there, so I keep just "checking in." In the morning I check my e-mail before I run, so my head is filled work stuff while I run. At night, I keep checking my e-mail because my customers are in California and I am in Maine. If I stop working at a reasonable hour for me, I feel like I am neglecting them.

It is also starting to cause some friction between me the BF. Because I am in the house all day all week, when I am not working, I want to get out. I used to be so happy to stay home on weekends, but now I try to pack every day with activities away from home. The BF, on the other hand, works long shifts at a really stressful job, so he just wants to veg out at home when he isn't working. I feel like I am dragging him out against his will, but I feel so stir crazy when I am at home.

Finally, it has not lead to the healthier eating I imagined. When I travelling, it was a challenge to eat well since I was forced to eat out ALL THE TIME. I have been really good about making healthy meals at home, and it is so nice to have access to the kitchen for all my meals. BUT, this access to the kitchen is a double edged sword. A lot of times, I keep going in and getting snacks just because I feel munchy. When a craving for fresh baked chocolate chip cookies hit at at the office, I was out of luck. But at home, I can actually make them. Plus there isn't the public shame factor to keep me from going back for my third bowl of special K chocolate.

Does anyone else work from home? What struggles do you face?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dang that's Cold!

When I signed up for a swim clinic on June 19th way back in February, I figured the water would have had time to get nice and warm. I mean by mid June last year the water was already 60 something and I had gotten in multiple open ocean swims. This year, not so much. We have had a cold spring and as a result the ocean is still COLD. Like mid 50's. So I have not been able to convince myself to get in on my own.

It looks so pretty. But it is SO DARN COLD.
 All day yesterday I was dreading the swim clinic. But I suppose that is one of the reasons for the clinic? To force you to get in the water? I got to Spring Point around 5:30, checked in and spent some time getting ready and talking to the other ladies there. What I noticed was that EVERY other woman there had on a full wetsuit with legs and sleeves. And then there was me in my little shortie. The organizers had sent out an e-mail the night before warning us about the cold and offering recommendation for the cold: wear non-cotton socks and double or triple up on bathing caps. So, I sported some nice smart wool running socks with my wet suit and tripled up on bathing caps. I looked pretty silly.

Before the swim we had a chat session where the race director and a swim coach spent about 30 minutes going over the logistics of the swim, the swim to run transition, the format of the swim waves, and some swim tips. Even though I heard it all last year, it was good to hear it again.

And then it was time to get in the water. We all waded in to get our wet-suits wet and then came back out on the shore to do the mass start. There were a lot of new swimmers who all wanted to be near the back, so I was pretty near the front. 

And go. I ran right in, but I just couldn't make myself put my face right in the water so I breast-stroked for a minute before taking the plunge. It was putting my face in that was really miserable. My body wasn't that cold, but my face just ached. I couldn't keep it in the water for more than 2 strokes. And I forgot how gross salt water in your mouth tastes.

I also couldn't find a clear space. I kept bumping into other swimmers and getting kicked and hit. It felt like an eternity out to the first buoy. I developed a little rythm to keep myself moving. One, two breathe; one, two breathe. I'd do the crawl for 4-6 breaths and the let myself do the breast-stroke for 4 strokes. It wasn't the fastest, but it was forward motion. I made the first turn and the second buoy seemed so far away. (It was! They were worried about the cold so they moved the first buoy in and the second buoy wider to keep us closer to shore). I could hardly see it, but I figured if I stayed with the pack, I'd be okay. 

What felt like hours later, but was actually only 8 minutes, I finally reached the shore and stumbled up. Done.

Does anyone look good in a swim cap??

The clinic did not give me a lot of confidence. The swim felt really hard and uncomfortable. I know the only way to overcome this is to get back in the water, but it was so unpleasant that I just don't want to. Why did I sign up for this?? 

And finally my shameless plug for the day. Not only do I need to work on my swim, I also need to work on my fundraising for the race. If you'd like to pledge me, please visit my fundraising page.

Do you ever wonder why you signed up for an event? Any swim tips for me?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Was last Tuesday the day I changed my life?

So last Tuesday I wrote a post called "Today IS the day to change your life". I decided that as I went into my 29th year, I wanted to finally change the one major thing in my life that brings me a lot of unhappiness. This is the year I will finally try to make peace with my weight and food.

My goal for last week was to limit myself to one serving of treats. That is one of my major downfalls, especially at night. After eating well all day, I dish up a small treat. I enjoy it. Then I take a second serving, and then a third, and sometimes a fourth and fifth too. I know that I don't really enjoy those third, fourth, and fifth servings as much as the fifth and I go to bed feeling sick and guilty.

chocolate cake with caramel sea salt frosting. Amazeballs.

So how did I do? Pretty well! Except for my birthday, I did stop at one serving of dessert at night. On my birthday, I allowed myself a second piece of cake. Hey, it WAS my birthday and I do love frosting more than most things on earth. Yesterday afternoon I had a little slip-up. I let myself have one of the little Ghiradelli dark chocolate sea salt with almond squares I got for my birthday after lunch. But, then I ended up going back for 4 more. BUT, I did stop myself before I ate the whole bag, and got back on track the rest of the day.

I won't lie, this was not easy for me. So, I have decided to leave this as my goal for another week until it becomes a habit. Then, I will work on changing something else.

Do you have any changes you are trying to make in your life right now? How are you doing?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Birthday Catch Up

I had such a fabulous birthday weekend filled with the people I love most. Friday night I went out to Hibachi at Fugi with the BF and his sister. Neither of them had ever been and loved it. Saturday I started my morning with my favorite bootcamp class and headed to the beach. It was the perfect beach day, just the right temperature.

We went to Pine Point, which I love because it is clean and quiet. BUT, you can easily walk to Old Orchard,  if you want a little more action, which we decided we did. We walked the mile and half to Pirate's Patio, where we sat with our feet in the sand, listening to music and drinking margaritas.

We had so much fun that we stayed a little longer than we intended. When we got back on the beach we realized that the tide had come up a LOT. Naturally we had left our bags (which had my car keys) back at Pine Point. We booked in back, hoping they hadn't washed away. The water was about 2 inches from my towel. 10 minutes later and our stuff would have been gone!

At night, we got dressed up and headed in Portland for a cocktail and appetizer crawl.

Sunday morning I ran off my post cocktail fuzziness before the BF and I headed up the coast to my Mom's. We spent Sunday and Monday playing tennis, eating good food, playing some music, and kayaking. We also got the boat ready to put in the water. I got the lovely job of putting on the bottom paint. Crawling under the trailer, lying on the ground, and then slapping on nasty bottom paint is not my favorite job. I did a great job of bottom painting myself too!

After a wonderful weekend I start my last year as a twenty-something refreshing and happy.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Twilight 5k

I don't know why I sign up for night races. I really hate racing at night. I have to be super careful about what I eat all day and basically be hungry all afternoon if I don't want to throw-up while I am running. But somehow, the Maine Cancer Foundation got me to sign-up for the Twilight 5k.

The race is held on the same course as the Tri for the Cure Run and they had a special deal for Tri for the Cure participants. So, I figured it would be a good way to familiarize myself with the new course for this year and they promised fun and tasty after work festivities.

I got to the race just half an hour before the start, but easily parked, checked in, and used the bathroom before the start. The race shirts are really cute!

There was a really nice opening ceremony with one of the local TV stations, The Maine Cancer Foundation Director, and guest speaker who lost both his mother and father to cancer. I definitely teared up and it reminded me both why the fundraising for these events is so important and also that I am so lucky to be healthy.

The survivors went off first, followed by running men, running women, and then families and walkers. The course loops behind the SMCC campus, out and around Bug Light, and the back behind the SMCC campus. It was a perfect night for running- overcast and in the 60's. There was no wind and the ocean out by Big Light was like glass. It was really pretty, reflecting the city skyline on one side of the light, and the islands in Casco Bay on the other. I planned just to run the race for fun, and I did. I didn't wear my watch, and just ran a comfortable pace. The only thing I don't like about this course is the last 3/4 of a mile. You are on a footpath behind the college and it just keeps twisting around. You can hear the finish and feel like you must be almost done, but then you keep going and going.

Despite not really trying, I am very pleased with my time. I finished in 25:40, which is an 8:16 pace. I was 12/125 in my age group and 125/699 over all.

As soon as I finished I headed straight for the food tent. I was HUNGRY! There was free local beer, in a cool little plastic beer stein that I took home, and food donated by whole foods. I loaded up on cheese, hummus, and some sea salt chips.

I stood and watched the water while I ate, while also enjoying live music by Sly-Chi. Unfortunately, it started to drizzle and I got cold, so I didn't stick around too long to enjoy the party.

Overall this was a really well run, inspirational race. If only it wasn't at night! How about the Dawn 5K next year??

Thursday, June 13, 2013

That time I was in a movie

I went to see Spirit of the Marathon II last night, mostly because I had nothing else to do. Plus you know, it was about both running and Rome. I do love to run, and I lived in Italy for a year in college and have been back several times since. There is so much I love about Italy- the history, the fashion, the language, and of course, the food.

For the first 30 minutes of the movie I enjoyed the sweeping shots of the beautiful city of Rome and closed my eyes and listened to the Italian. I understood the Italian without looking at the subtitles at all. I do still understand Italian! Yeah! And then for the first time about 40 minutes in, it hit me- the movie was about the Rome Marathon. In 2012. OMG, that was the year I ran Rome!

For the rest of the movie I kept my eyes peeled for shots of myself. I figured it was a total long shot because there were thousands and thousands of people running the race. BUT then I saw myself. On the big screen at the movie theater. HOLY MOLY. I yelled out loud "hey that's me." Everyone looked at me like I was crazy.

There is a shot of the former high school teacher from New Jersey near the end and he is really struggling. And there I am chugging up the hill past him. Now that I think about it, I totally remember that happening. It was somewhere between miles 15 and 20. We were way out in the suburbs with no crowd support. It was hot and it felt like we were still so far away from the finish. I was struggling up this long, slow incline and there were all these scooters with camera guys and even a big long boom thing with more cameras on it. I remember being totally annoyed because they were in my way. "I'm try to run a marathon here jerks. Get your stupid scooters out of the way." I had no idea they were filming a movie. If I had known I would have wiped some of the sweat off my face, tried to look less like I was dying, and stuck around longer so I could have been in the movie for longer.

Even if I hadn't been in the movie, I still would have loved it. How amazingly cool to have a movie about an event that I ran. When they showed the featured runners coming into the finish at the Colosseum, I cried. I remember so well trying to make it up that final little hill and then finally crossing the finish line.

Viva la Roma!

Did you see the movie? What did you think?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Today IS the day to change your life

My 29th birthday is this Saturday. I can't quite believe that I am entering the last year of my twenties. Time really seems to go faster every year. In many ways, I feel pretty darn good about where I am in my life. I have a good job, I own a house, I paid off my college loans, I am making steady progress towards my 7 continent marathon goal, and finally this last year I developed a great relationship.

on the slopes and off, we are happy

 But there is one area of my life where I just can't seem to pull it together. I am still not happy with my weight or my relationship with food. I struggled with whether or not to even post about this. It isn't something I like to admit. It seems like it should be such a little thing compared to everything else I have accomplished, yet it seems to dominate an awful lot of my time and emotional energy. 

In her Bean Bytes yesterday, Lindsay had a link to an article "Today is Not the Day to Change Your Life". Basically the gist of it, is that we all keep coming with excuses as to why now is not the time to make a change. We never make the change because there is always something else that takes precedent. The longer we avoid something, the more of a problem it becomes. 

Yep, pretty much. 

But I am on vacation. It is cool to eat a mountain of caramel for breakfast.

 The author then lists out the steps to finally stop avoiding and face the problem:

1. Identify what your avoidance behavior is.  .
2. Write a list of ways the problem could very well worsen with time
3.  Write a list of ways that the problem is likely to improve with time.  
4.  Compare the two lists.  
5. Set up Scaffolding (helpful others who will support you)
6. Set smaller daily or weekly goals that make progress on the problem.  
7. Let go of the fallacy that you will be less busy later

"Today is never the best day to make a change in your life. Because tomorrow isn’t either, today will just have to do.  The good news is that nothing feels better than finally being on the other side of a big change. "

I am finally feeling inspired. I am not going to wait until my birthday, I am going to start today. And I am going to use YOU ALL as part of my scaffolding. I am going to set my weekly goal here and then report back at the end of the week. 

My goal this week is 1. To only enjoy a single serving of treats. One of my biggest downfalls is eating multiple servings of dessert at night while watching TV. I want to start small and manageable. Instead of trying to give up my nightly treat, I just want to cut back on how much I eat and savor the smaller portion.

What do you think of this article? Have you been avoiding making difficult changes in your life?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Super Hero Scramble

If you ever hear me say "Oh it's just a little more than 4 miles, that'll be easy" again, please hit me. 4.5 miles of deep mud, brutal hills, and obstacles is not so easy. In fact, it pretty much did me in.

Just after Christmas my college friend Jen sent me a link to a Groupon like deal for an adventure race. A fun race with a friend for cheap? I was in!

Wheaton Running Club Represents
And then it rained all spring, including this weekend, where a massive storm dumped 4-5 inches of rain in the past 2 days. Last night I woke up to hear it absolutely torrential down pouring. Due to the rain, the start of the race was pushed back 3 hours to allow the worst of the rain to finish. The downpours stopped, but the ground was a muddy, soggy, mess.

My first impression of the event was not favorable. There was off site parking at a sketchy Greyhound track, where they charged us $10 to park, then we waited in a long line for the bus to the start, followed by an equally long wait to check in, and then a $5 fee to check a bag. The first wave, which should have already started was still waiting as there was a problem with one of the obstacles. So we decided to at least make lemon aide out of lemons and hop in and start with that group rather than waiting around forever.

The race started by climbing straight up a steep hill. It was un-mowed, rocky, and pretty technical. Then we got to go back down and then back up again before hitting the first obstacle. We scaled a big tall net, crawled across a big suspended net, and then climbed back down another net. It was a little scary because there were so many muddy people on it at once. The whole thing was shaking and it didn't seem that safe. Then we were into the woods. This was the big surprise. The "running" between the obstacles was brutal. We were either going up hill or downhill and basically bushwacking a trail through the woods. There was poison ivy, pricker bushes, and fallen trees. Plus, from all the rain there was mud everywhere. Going up hill I kept sliding backwards, I was out of control slipping on the downs, and stuck wading through deep puddles on the flats. There was hardly anywhere that I could actually run. My legs and lungs were on fire.

Seriously the race seemed to go on forever and I was struggling. The scariest obstacle for me was jumping of a very tall platform into a small pool below. The water was all muddy and I had no idea what I was jumping in to. We also got to drag cinder blocks through sand, carry cement bags through a few river crossings, scale a bunch of tall walls, walk across a 4 inch beam high above the water, and crawl under a whole bunch of barbed wire. The second to last obstacle was a rope climb. I was determined to do it because I didn't want to have to do the burpee and spin penalty. I was majorly struggling but I did it. However it totally gassed me and I just couldn't do the last obstacle- scale an inclined wall with the help of a rope. The wall was so muddy my feet didn't have any traction, and my arms just had nothing left to push me. So, I was stuck cranking out a set of burpees just inches from the finish.

Finally I was across the line and I was in rough shape. I was bruised and bleeding and for a solid 10 minutes I felt like I was either going to pass out or throw up. It was honestly one of the hardest things I have done in a long time.

Although a fabulous after part was offered, we weren't impressed. You had to pay if you wanted food, the music kinda sucked, and there wasn't anything else to do. So muddy and wet we climbed back onto the bus. I wouldn't do this event again, because I didn't think it was well managed, but I definitely have to do another mud run to prove I can do better.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Yamuna Body Rolling

I absolutely love my yoga studio, Breathing Room. It is small and cozy and welcoming, but at the same time they offer a huge variety of classes and workshops. Yesterday I tried a new class- Yamuna Body Rolling + yoga.

I had heard some good things about Yamuna and was anxious to give it a try. Yamuna Body Rolling is basically a form a self massage using balls. I work my body hard so I am always looking for ways to help with healing and recovery.

The class started with a centering exercise, like a yoga class, and then we moved through several different Yamuna routines with the balls. The first series was a chest opener. We started at the wall with the ball right above our sternums and then slowly rolled the ball out and down one arm and then the other. We then repeated the same series on the floor, where the increased pressure made it more intense. During the class we also did a spine series, before finishing with shavashana.

I definitely felt a noticeable difference. After the chest routine, my chest felt much more open. My shoulders were less hunched, my posture was better, and I felt like I could breathe more deeply. My spine series further increased this feeling. I also got in some good stress releasing laughter because my friend and I cracked up every time we talked about our balls. So mature.

I REALLY wish we had done some leg work, since my legs are super sore this week. I also wish the class had been longer- it was a 75 minute class, which meant we only got to do about 50 minutes of Yamuna. Since it was also the first class, the instructor spent some time explaining Yamuna and demonstrating the routines. I appreciate her thoroughness, but it felt so good, I wanted to pack in as much as possible!

This class definitely won't replace my weekly yoga class. I love the flow, the challenge, and the stretch of a vinyassa class, but I think Yamuna will be a good addition to help more with deep muscle work. And the teacher promised that next week will be legs!

Have you tried Yamuna? 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Shacking Up, Fattening Up

It's been about a week and half since the BF moved in. We are officially "living in sin," as my Mom said my Grandmother would have called it. I will spare you all the lovey dovey stuff, but things are great. EXCEPT,  I have already noticed a distinct upward trend on the scale.

Just looking back at the past week, I can see how it happened. The BF is currently obsessed with the local donut shop, so he goes at least 3 times a week. I gave him strict instructions not to bring me one home, but naturally I have to try a bite of his each time. 2 bites of donut x 3-4 times a week= a donut.

Friday night we were out doing errands and he wanted to grab dinner while we were out. I let him choose so we ended up at the mall food court because he had a craving for teriayki chicken. I don't even know the last time I ate at the food court.

Saturday and Sunday nights I cooked. But instead of my usual veggie meals, I made meat with a carb so he would like it too. And man does that guy eat fast. He is done in less than 5 minutes. Sub-consciously, I try to keep up.

Last night, I had to work late so I put him in charge of dinner. What did he come up with? Poutine. French fries covered in cheese and gravy. I ended up throwing together my own meal with stuff from the fridge and freezer- bulgar with chicken, spinach, cranberries, and a little of his gravy.

I think this may have to be a key strategy- separate but together. I want us to have meals together, but we can eat different things together. Or, even better I can influence him to eat more veggies and whole grains. And, I need to remember that he is a lot bigger than me. I don't need to eat the same amount. I have officially issued him a challenge to slow down while he is eating. I timed him Sunday night and it took him 6 minutes to eat. I challenged him to increase the time it takes to eat each meal by 2 minutes a day until he reaches 20 minutes. 

Has anyone else had this experience? How did you manage it? Help!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Long Island, Maine and the LL Bean Women's Ride

Mother Nature and I are friends again. I was a little angry at her for being freezing and rainy on Memorial Day weekend, but she made it up to me with a perfect first weekend in June.

Saturday was downright hot, in the high 80's and humid. That is about as hot as it ever gets in Maine. I escaped to the air conditioned gym in the morning and then headed to meet some friends at the ferry to head out to Long Island. There are so many islands on the Maine coast, that it's almost impossible to see them all, but I am going to try and see as many as possible!

Long Island is one of the outer islands in Casco Bay. It seceded from Portland in 1993 and now is an independent town of 230 people. It was about a 30 minute ride, because the ferry stopped at several other islands on the way out. Each island has a different flavor to it, and Long Island is a very traditional, local island. There wasn't much besides a small general store and the houses were all normal sized family houses.

We had been advised to head across the island to the back side where there is a sandy public beach. It was the perfect spot. We were on the open Atlantic side, so it was noticeably cooler, but sheltered by a little barrier island, so it wasn't too windy. We spent a bucolic afternoon walking, reading, and napping in the sun. I was so determined that I was going to get in my first swim of the year, but I only made it to my knees. The water temp is still in the very low 50's and my feet just ached.

We took the ferry back around 5 totally refreshed, sunburned, and famished! As soon as we docked we headed to Gritty's where I ate a delicious, and not so healthy, dinner of pulled pork on top of sweet potato fries. Then it was home for an early bed, because Sunday morning I had to be up early for the LL Bean Women's Ride.

I have been wanting to do this ride for a few years, but always had a conflict on the date. I realized last weekend that I could actually do it this year, and signed up! My dilemma was that there were 10, 25, 50, and 75 mile options. I have done 50 miles many times in past years, but because of a cold rainy spring, haven't been on my bike much at all this year. My longest ride this year was only 22 miles. But I went with the 50 anyway. If I am going to pay for a ride, I want to get a lot of bang for my bike!

The ride started at the LL Bean Conference center. Check-in was a breeze, and they had lots of yummy breakfast foods, and plenty of bathrooms. I enjoyed a yummy piece of rhubarb bread, a banana, and some coffee.

Walking around the start, I ran into my twin. Same shorts, jersey, and hair. Everyone asked if we were sisters, and we said no, we just met. It was a little creepy!

The ride didn't get off to a great start. I'd had a mechanic check my bike and he had knocked off the chain. I didn't notice until I started to ride. I did a few seconds of frantic peddling and then unclipped my feet JUST in time to avoid falling. I ran back over to the mechanic and he got it back on, but by the time I started everyone my pace was long gone and I was stuck trying to get through the slower riders for the first 5 miles.

The course was 2 different 25 mile loops. I had been worried about the heat, but the first 25 was nice. We headed out towards the ocean, so there was a cool breeze and it was shady. The hills were no so nice. They were steep and frequent. At one point we rode a piece of the Tri for the Y course. Have you ever ended up somewhere you know you've been before, but have no idea how you got there or where you were in relation to anything? We also did a small portion with the 10 mile route, and it was so nice to see so many women riding with their daughters and grand-daughters. All the girls were smiling ear to ear.

this was a girl on a unicycle. crazy!

Somewhere near the end of the first 25 mile loop I got lost. It was totally my fault. We had maps, queue sheets, the roads were marked, and there were marshals at busy intersections. Luckily it was a point, where I knew somewhat where I was, and managed to meet back up with the course with just a few extra miles. Blah, I am an idiot.

The second 25 headed inland and it was hot. The sun was relentless and there was no wind. I stopped at both rest stops to fill my water bottles and eat grapes. I don't know why, but I love Fig Newtons when I am biking. I am not a huge fan normally, but I am always psyched to see them when on a ride.  I managed to hook up and ride with a couple other women on this portion, which was nice. I ride alone most of the time, so on organized rides like this, I want someone to chat with. My legs definitely started to feel heavy and my neck really hurt in the last 20 miles. But at the same time, I felt strong and never doubted I'd finish.It is nice to know that I have a general level of fitness that is strong enough to get me through a last minute 50 miler.

At the finish I headed straight for the massage. The massage guy was a miracle worker. He dug right into my neck and made it feel a million times better. And then I headed for food- there was a make your own loaded potato bar, fruit, and lots of yummy baked goods. As I ate, they were doing door prizes. Both the number above me and below me won, but not me. Wah, wah. 

Ahh Summer in Maine is finally here. Life is good. Except for my back. I sunburned in a very uneven pattern and it looks and feels terrible.

How was your weekend?