Sunday, September 8, 2013

08Sep13: 10 months later....

Wow, it's been way too long since I've posted in my blog... as before, this is a personal blog about a personal [fitness] journey.  That said, it's evolved into a journey about fitness, happiness, clarity, and dominating said journey.  It's becoming more and more multi-faceted as I learn more and more about me, what I truly want, and what I believe I want to give back into the world.  No, no, this is not a sob-story drama-fest, just me, learning and celebrating.

So! Lots of races to catch-up on!  I've graduated to marathons as of 21Jan13!  As any runner will confess, there was no need to look up that date, even months later - you simply do not forget your first marathon ;)  I'm getting ready to run my 6th marathon on 21Sep13 - and we are aiming for a BQ time which has me scared witless.  The hamstrings were doing great all summer and then as of last weekend they have begun to seize up on me which has me terribly concerned.  Even at PT this past week I had two charlie horses mid-sesh, very uncool.  Then again yesterday out on the roads - again, very uncool.

So, with the latest piece in my arsenal (a.k.a. tool kit), the Roll Recovery R8 which is AWEsome (insert cherubs singing) - and bumping up the potassium intake... hold-on, let me grab some more coconut water here... we are on a mission with 13 days left to make the hammies happy and the race one to never forget.  (Of course, they are all unforgettable, yah?)

I'll update the races soon, but a quick snap-shot of what remains for 2013 on this runner girl's calendar:
1. 21Sep13 Air Force Marathon
2. 05Oct13 Rock/Creek StumpJump (11mi trail race)
3. 26Oct13 Greensboro Marathon
4. 16Nov13 ThunderRoad Marathon
5. 28Nov13 Gallop & Gorge (8K)
6. 07Dec13 St. Jude Memphis Marathon

Almost feel like I need a second one in December... so perhaps a local 5K on or near Christmas - it'll depend on work, travel, and then there's the fact I want to make sure I'm getting out and about around the holidays... that's another story for another time, over protein shakes at the gym...

Until I get the race updates out there, here's a little fun exercise that I enjoy reading about on others' posts, so here we go: 20 random facts...
1. I was born in Ohio, grew up in northern Maine
2. Was once a zookeeper
3. My favorite color changes all the time, currently it's green
4. Was once a veterinary technician assistant
5. My favorite season of the year is the fall
6. I miss the backwoods of Maine
7. I am a toxicologist who ensures the produce you eat is healthy & safe
8. I enjoy painting, but only abstract
9. I confess, I am a 'scrapbooker'
10. I'm the second of two children, my big brother is the best mentor and role model a kid sis could ever hope for
11. I plan all vacations around racing events #runcations
12. I am a trail runner
13. I am a road runner
14. I am a hamster wheel runner
15. Currently reading 'Running with the mind of meditation' ~Sakyong Mipham
16. Favorite band of all time is 311 #NixHex
17. I log every single training session I do, good and bad
18. I'm horrible at phone correspondence
19. I love experimenting without recipes in the kitchen
20. I have hazel eyes that have been very very green or very very blue lately

I could probably go on, but that's just a little insight into this runner.  Hope this finds my friends running well, injury-free, and enjoying your journeys!  There are good runs, there are less than stellar runs, but as long as we are able to do what we enjoy - that is the added happiness we can add to our lives.  So until I get my act together and this blog back up and running, please 'just keep on running' my friends.  It may not be running your fastest mile or longest distance, it may be your fastest mile in the ocean or max set on the bench, or another percentage drop in BF%, or that promotion at work... or... whatever it is, keep testing yourself.  You'll be amazed at what you find.

Just Keep On Running after your dreams,
the B.O.M.B. to you all,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Baking for Thanksgiving while on a nutrition plan - oh boy...

Yep, I'm from German and Polish heritage (go on, let me hear the jokes).  I was raised with traditions around the holidays, so baking from scratch for the big meals always wins over the alternative of ransacking the local bakery.  Always.

Here's a taste of what we share around the Goetz table:

German Potato Bread - Kartoffelbrot

Makes one 1.3 pound loaf (about 600 grams)
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes

2 medium potatoes (Russets or "mehlig-kochende") (about 400 grams)
2 tsp. oil
1/4 c. cooking water from the potatoes (60 ml.)
1 tsp. dried yeast (can be instant or not)
2 1/2 c. bread flour, plus more for kneading (300 grams)

Peel potatoes and cut into 6 pieces (or so) each. Cook in unsalted water until tender. Drain, reserving the water. Place the potatoes back over low heat for several minutes, shaking the pan to steam dry ("ausdampfen"). Cool and mash or rice.

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm potato water and proof for 10 minutes in a warm spot, or until bubbles form.

Mix potatoes, oil and proofed yeast together until smooth. Add the flour and mix with the beater or paddle attachment for 3 minutes on low. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 11 minutes. It will look like it is not going to become bread dough at first, just be patient.

Knead for a minute on a floured work surface, until dough is smooth and just slightly tacky. Place in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for thirty minutes.

Preheat oven to 450°F with a baking stone (middle rack) for 1/2 to 1 hour before baking. Place an old baking pan on the bottom rack, ready for water.
Shape dough into a boule, or round loaf, by flattening slightly, then pulling the edges together and pinching closed. Place the loaf, seam side down, on a floured, cloth-lined bowl. Fold the edges of the cloth over the loaf and let rise for 20 to 30 more minutes.

Unmold the bread onto a peel or the back of a cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal, seam side up (seam side down produces a smooth-topped loaf). Shove the loaf into the oven and close the door, quickly.

Bake for a total of 45-50 minutes, or until internal temperature is 190°F. Use steam in the first 5 minutes (see note).

Cool bread for 20 minutes or more before slicing.

Note: Those hard crusts you love are created with steam. You may create steam in the oven for the first 5 minutes. Heat an old roasting pan on the rack below the stone and pour 2 cups of boiling water in it right after you put the bread in the oven.

Spray water the sides of the oven with a squirt bottle two or three times in the first 5 minutes. Turn oven down to 400°F and bake for 30 minutes or more, until the internal temperature reaches 190°F.

Enjoy my friends - a great carb-load before your Black Friday sprinting, 'eh?

& remember,
Just Keep on Running,

Monday, November 19, 2012

Getting back on track...

So I've been away for a while - both with the blog and updates on the races, and... my nutrition. Yep, 'took 10 weeks off' and gained 1.5% in BF%, 1.0 inches on the waist - everything stayed close to the same inch-wise, my running pace has gotten better, and I am free-weight squatting again. (Yay!) So yes, getting stronger, but I gotta get back to my happy running weight and BF% is the first step!

That said, here is one of my favorite snacks:

2 lbs ground turkey (or chicken)
3 egg whites
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dry yellow mustard
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chipotle pepper spice
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp garlic powder (2 cloves minced)
1 small onion (finely chopped)
2 celery stalks (finely chopped)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin pan with canola or olive oil. Mix all your ingredients together in one large bowl. Roll the mixture into balls and place in muffin pan. Muffins should be about the size of a racquetball. Bake for 40 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 80
Protein: 11 grams
Carbs: 4 grams
Fats: 2 grams

Women eat 2 muffins
Men eat 4 muffins

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon

Cherokee Harvest Half-Marathon 01:47:09

I think I'm still experiencing some after-shock, not only was this the first official half-marathon in which I ran a sub-2 hour time, but I super-exceeded all expectations and anticipations.  Just the weekend before during a training run I ran 13.05 in just over 1:55, that was a shocker, then this happened - what exactly is happening?  Truth be told, the course was measured as 13.1 miles, but my Garmin says it was 12.67 miles.  I'm gonna have to side with my Garmin, but never the less - even if I had slowed to a 10:00 pace for another 0.43 miles, I still would have PR'd.

So really, what is happening here exactly?
Run It Fast #15, pink comps, that's me!
Yep, it's pretty awesome to have a personal photojournalist at these races - how else could I get a super cool picture like this?

Right, so I think what is happening is that I'm actually enjoying the running even more than I used to - which I thought I already was...  However, with Coach J's support, my pace is getting faster - and with the weight loss, there's less inflammation and fatigue - and when it feels more effortless, well, I guess that's why running feels even more awesome than before.

Just had the post-race meal (tri-bean soup, awwwwsome!) and letting the moment settle into my wet bones...
I have been reliving the finish-line experience to this race in my head over and over - it was surprising (how I reacted), surreal, scary, and intoxicating.

Surprised: I was surprised when I saw the finish line clock - it was reading 1:47 and some change - what?!?! how could that be?  I've never run an official sub-2 before, let alone by that much!  Within those few short nanoseconds, I thought maybe I had jumped part of the course!

Surreal:It was surreal b/c I was still able to think consciously about what I had to keep doing: run girl! run! You're not done yet!

Scary: The wave of emotions that shrouded my body were so elephantine, I actually could not breath.  The esophagus tightened, the back arched - and the adrenaline surged, I knew I had to keep running, whether there was any air getting into those lung sacs or not.

Intoxicating: After I crossed the finish line (while stopping my Garmin, naturally - I swear it's an involuntary twitch of the arm, thumb and forefinger) - I had enough reserves to slow down and collect my medal from one of the cute little volunteers - but then I realized I was still not getting enough air - so I started running again around the track...  Arched the back to get some much needed mist-filled air.  I was wheezing with an audible squeal!  Scared senseless I stopped, crouched, hands palm-down on the ground, telling myself it was okay - that happened, it really happened, you can stop now.  Then the water works - I don't cry very often, but when I do - it's a mess.  I was wheezing, crying, choking a little - so I held my breath (what little I had) and started thanking my God - and then the tension released and I was able to get up and wobble back towards the crowds.  Yes, thank goodness there weren't people to see this spectacle - would have scared them I imagine!

But you said intoxicating - what could be intoxicating about that and why would you want to experience that again?  Glad you asked - b/c that's what I live for.  I live for those moments when you realize you can do more than you once thought possible and yes, it felt frickin' amazing.

Adrenaline junkie?  Maybe.  Enkephaline fiend?  Quite likely.  Competitive much?  Only with myself dear.  Only with me, myself, and these tree trunk legs.
Second in my age group!  Only 19 in my group, but still!!
So, there you have it, this #rainrunner got the privilege to run in the rain, beat her own anticipations, achieve her running coach's expectations, and acquire some one-of-a-kind medals for said efforts.

Today, the right hammie is fussin' and I've got plenty of stretches to attack that piriformis - so it's all good.  Looking forward to seeing how I fair on the next race!  This weekend is the Carborro 10K on the 6th, then there is a 5K on the 12th and another 5K on the 13th, ...and then the next half-marathon on the 20th!  Oh, I'm getting excited - BUT, I must train smart!  Slow and easy, then boom!

Man, that was fun reliving the experience - and there is so much more I have yet to blog - so I better get serious about this blog before it all completely slips my mind... just a bit busy running I guess ;)

Until then, just keep on running friends,
the B.O.M.B. to you,

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Mileage: 154.62

Wow, that is the most mileage I have ever recorded for any given month of my entire life.  For many runners, this is nothing, nothing more than 10-12 days worth of their monthly efforts.  For others, like me, this is a break-through, a revelation that I can in fact give more than I have been giving myself up until now.

Now grant it, I have also started working with a running coach, Justin Gillette, who continues to test my limits and, well, obviously it's working.  (He's awesome!!!)  This next observation is not all that amazing, but it is an eye-opener for some - that when you are held accountable for your actions and progress, the game changes.  A lot.  If you don't feel like training for a day - only you know... but when you post your efforts and let fellow fitness enthusiasts know what you're up to - it is a great motivation to stay true to your word.

So that's it for today, just excited that I can run over 40 miles a week, make that 40-mile injury-free weeks at that!  I'm not blind to the fact I have a lot more work ahead of me for that first marathon in January 2013.  However, the stepping stones on that path are starting to take shape and soon, more of them will be laid down - the kind of path that can never be taken away from you - it will always be there.  So cherish this journey, it's yours and yours alone to enjoy.

Here's a snapshot from this past Sunday's trail run:

"Let yourself get wrapped up in the moment"

Until the next post - just keep on working towards your goals and dreams, and of course - just keep on running!

the BOMB to you,

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I cheated... I'm so pissed at myself right now - I've been doing so well with the nutrition plan changes and the training for my running, but this weekend, I ate so many carbs that I feel like my stomach will literally burst - and it's been hours since I gorged on all the crappy food!  It's easy to say hey, no worries, you'll run that off this week and be back in no time.  However, we know better.  The inches on the tape measure don't lie, the body fat percents don't lie, the mental anguish will not relent, and all you can blame is yourself.  You and the decision you  made to eat that french toast, that extra piece of english muffin, one too many spoons of almond butter... not in that order nor all at once - but still - it was all off the nutrition plan and for that, I am extremely mad with myself.

The hardest part will be letting my nutritionist know that I fell off the plan - I'm walking in to week 11 and I failed!  I'm at least glad that I'm angry - and pisses enough to write about it.  I think, in my personal opinion, you need to fess up and be open and honest about this sort of thing (everything, but that's another post).  I am accountable for me actions - and now I must pay the price for this undisciplined failure I've created.

So yes, I'm still making progress, but I also know that I would be even further along if I didn't give in to such fruitless temptations (no pun intended).

Right, besides that and besides my last posting in June - there have been two more races!  First was the 'Four on the Fourth' in Carrboro, NC in which the husband decided last minute to join me (keep in mind he is not a runner, but a cyclist).  So we ran the same race, ...and we met up afterwards ;)

I was pretty happy with this race actually, I still felt strong at the end of the course and was able to 'kick it' at the end.  Okay, I'm not like what it says on my shirt, but I felt strong and that's a good start!

Then, again, the husband decided last minute to join me for the second July race 'Yellow Brick Road Race' which was a 5 miler in Roxboro, NC.  I was being a bit rude (okay, very crass) when I promised myself I would beat his butt on that course by a good 10:00... I train train train and he decides to go from couch to 5 miles in 24 hours - and does pretty darn well - yep, I'm petty like that.  Well, I beat him by 9:53, so like I said - he still does well for an occasional runner!!!

So now... I've picked up on my trail running again (my first love affair with running - just a random tidbit of FYI trivia that will never be useful to any reader ;)  Why?  Why the trails again?  Besides the fact you need to be completely immersed in the moment to avoid casualties, and it requires focus like no other's business, it brings me back to my Maine woods that I miss dearly.  Yep, take a girl out of the county (y'see, up in Maine, now, 'the county' is Aroostook County because it's the largest county in the state of Maine - again, trivia you can safely tuck away and forget about).

It is also a completely different kind of running for me - it's about the zen for me.  I picture a stream of water just in front of me and I go where it would go - the path of least resistance.  That's easy on a downhill you say - I know - it's awesome to image this going up the hills too - now that is an awesome mind experience.  Which is probably why I get lost in the moment - a lot!

Okay, so I'm still massively pissed about gorging on the carbs this weekend.  Which is all the more reason why there shall be no cryin' at the gym tomorrow morning, no excuses about anything, heavier weights where they are needed, harder paces on the interval training sessions, due diligence in the kitchen, and a will that is strong enough to fight back against the iron.  Now that is something else I could write all day about - how I love iron.  It never lies to you, it tells you exactly where you are on your own scale of progress, and what you are capable of accomplishing.

In the meantime, the next race is next Saturday!  The summer edition of #TwitterRoadRace !  If you haven't done the first two, no worries - it's fun, it's easy to register and complete - and you get to virtually compete with fellow runners around the globe!  Check it out!  After that, it is the August 18th Springmaid Splash 10K Trail Race in Spruce Pine, NC (Springmaid Mountain).  Stay tuned!!!

Until then, stay focused!  Don't fall and fail like I did this weekend!  It will pay off, don't let the temptations sway you!  Please, please, please, don't give in like I did!  It will hurt you more mentally than you think is manageable... and above all, no matter how slow or short, fast or far - just keep on running my friends!

the Best Of My Best (BOMB) to you!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The next phase of my fitness journey... it has already begun...

Strength, Cardio, & Nutrition

Yep, we all read and learn about it, there IS a perfect trifecta to overall fitness, health and happiness.  What, you think it's a magic pill that costs $2.50 per pill, at 3 pills per dose, 2 times a day?  Oh, you can buy those pills, but there's a cheaper way to achieve this trifecta and your personal health/fitness goals.

No, I'm not a genius, I just read, listen to professionals, heed their advice, and in turn, have learned more and more about myself through this journey.  Once you find a gift, once you figure something out - share it!  Don't keep that gift, give it away as soon as you can!  I say this b/c  will enjoy the gift even more than you thought imaginable.

Okay, okay, so we all already know this trifecta: strength training, cardio, and nutrition.

Aw, come on, that's it?  I thought she would have something more wisdom-laden than this... well, facts are facts and results demonstrate truth.  What I mean is, I started working with a nutritionist (Dennis Cejas) 4 weeks ago now and I've lost more body weight and percent body fat through continuing a similar strength training and cardio/running program and simply changing what I eat, when I eat it, and in turn learning how to eat.

Uhm, you just put it in your mouth and chew sweetie, that's how you eat.  Nah, not so.  If you eat the right way, you can turn your body into a furnace that eats that adipose tissue like the candy that put it there in the first place!

I would not normally do this, but I can't believe I thought I was making progress before - this past month has been such a life-changing experience that I'm actually willing to show pre- and in-progress pictures:

Night before start of new nutrition plan

Yep... pretty nasty, I know.  This was taken a couple weeks after the Cincinnati Flying Pig half-marathon - back when I was feeling like I was losing weight with my eating-clean regimen on my own... but soon I realized I wouldn't be able to keep that up without some help in learning how to eat better.
This is the morning before the San Diego half-marathon.  I just happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and did a step back, rubbed the eyes, and perhaps I may have let out a giggle too.  I couldn't believe what I saw!

Two weeks into the program

This was just yesterday, after taking the week #4 measurements.  In just 3 weeks time I got rid of 1.3% body fat!  Removed 3.5 inches overall and 4 pounds off the scale!!

I'm just wondering, what will I look like in another 4 weeks?  Will I be embarrassed of these photos from yesterday?  Not sure, I'm happy right now and I plan to just keep on movin' forward.  I recently got on-line with a running coach (Justin Gillette) and I start the training program tomorrow!  I'm so excited about this opportunity!

I have more races to prepare for, more weight and body fat to get rid of before reaching my happy racing weight - and with Justin's help, I'm seriously hoping to improve my running to boot!

So stay tuned, this girl is on a mission and once us Libras commit to something - watch out!  ;)

Until the next check-in, just keep on running!
the BOMB,