Monday, September 29, 2008

3 Simple, Healthy Meals, Part 2: Salsa & Chips Done Right!


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This is the second installment of the series, "Simple, Healthy Meals" which I created to help people -- whether they be runners, athletes, or aspiring exercisers/healthy-eaters -- plan tasty & practical meals, to fuel their bodies & satisfy their taste buds.


After you're done reading this &/or have tried the below recipe & suggestions, please let me know what you think! Thanks & enjoy!

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Salsa and Chips Done Right


A photo of the yummilicious salsa I made last night for dinner.

I'm a big believer in using fresh ingredients -- especially when it comes to fruits, vegetables, dairy & meat products, & spices -- & strive to incorporate them into my recipes/cooking/food preparation whenever possible. At the same time, I think there's a good case for using manufactured, pre-packaged ingredients in certain cases, particularly in the case of truly healthy & delicious whole grain-based products.

After all, this series is called "Simple & Healthy Meals," & not "Elaborate & Overly Complex Recipes by Martha Stewart, Who is Secretly Trying to Sabotage Your Feelings of Self Worth in the Kitchen & Make Your Life a Living Hell." ;-)

So, this is why, in the interests of time & practicality, I'll be giving you my original recipe for fresh, homemade salsa, & not for the tortilla chips. ;-)

If you'd rather spend the extra time slaving over a hot oven to make homemade tortilla chips to accompany your salsa, I'll leave that decision up to you. [There are in fact a few healthy recipes for tortilla chips (Yes, they really do exist out there in Recipeland!), should you choose this option.] However, I -- and the rest of my savvy & very busy time-saving readers -- will be using the store-bought version & will save our tortilla-chip making for a rainy, Sunday afternoon, when we've got nothing else better to do. ;-)

Of course, the secret to "Salsa & Chips Done Right" is not just in using fresh ingredients for the salsa, but in finding that perfect store-bought tortilla chip, which has the proper balance of nutrition & freshness, but doesn't sacrifice on taste. And, I think I just might've found that perfect chip.

Now, having said that, before I reveal my idea of the "perfect Tortilla chip" please note that this chip is not salt- or fat-free.

There are 50 milligrams of sodium & 7 grams of fat (of which only 1 gram is saturated fat) per 1-ounce serving, which according to the package, is defined as "7 chips." And relatively-speaking, this is a lot less than salt & fat than your average tortilla chip, which hovers in the realm of 110-200 miligrams of sodium & 8-10 grams of fat per serving.

These chips are made of all-natural, organic ingredients & contains over 500 miligrams of Omega-3s per serving! It's wheat & gluten-free, has zero trans fats, & is a fairly decent source of fiber.

So I won't keep you in suspense any longer. (Drum roll please..... ;-) ) This amazing little wonder of a tortilla chip is known as "R.W. Garcia Special Recipe Flax (Flaxseed w/Soy) Tortilla Chip." It has a nutty flavor & just the right amount of sea salt. And no, I'm not being paid to endorse this product! ;-)

Anyhow, that's my recommendation for a great tortilla chip with which to pair this salsa, but of course, feel free to do whatever you like. (If you are looking for a tortilla chip that's lower in fat, there are many, many choices. You could also try "Snyder's of Hanover White Corn Tortilla Chips," with 40% Less Fat, which has 110 miligrams of sodium & 4.5 grams of fat per serving, i.e., about 13 chips. This product is very tasty, although not as nutrient-filled. Or, there's also the baked tortilla chip route, although I personally find this type of chip rather bland & dry, & thus hard to get down the gullet. I personally prefer a more pleasurable eating experience. ;-) )

And now, without further ado, here's my very own original recipe for homemade salsa:

This little chili ended up in last night's salsa. Growing your own chilis is fun & easy!

Ingredients:

4 medium-sized vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped into quarter inch pieces
3-4 small red chilis (Adjust for heat preference. If you don't have fresh, you can use dried, but reduce amount to half. Dried red chilis tend to be much more potent & concentrated than fresh. I grow my own miniature red chilis & use these in salsa, as they have medium heat, as opposed to green/serrano peppers, which are larger & typically have more heat.)
1/4 large sweet yellow onion, diced
cilantro (If using fresh, use about 1/4 of a bunch, chopped. If using dried, use about 1 1/2 Tbsp.)
juice of 1 lime (If you don't have limes, you can use a lemon instead.)
1/2 tsp salt (Sea salt or coarse kosher rock salt are best, but table salt will certainly do.)

Optional ingredients:
Cooked corn kernels, tomatillo, cucumber, black beans, avocado, red &/or green bell pepper, radishes, jicama, mango, mint, basil, parsley.

Directions:
After you've chopped up all the produce & seasoned the mixture with lime/lemon juice & salt, mix thoroughly & refrigerate. It's important to let the citrus juice marinate the other ingredients for atleast 5-10 minutes before consuming, so that the onions & chilis don't overpower the salsa. Marinating mellows the stronger flavors, & will even out the flavor balance. Serve with tortilla chips, & "Ta da!", that's it! Now how easy is that?!

Chef's Notes:
If you're serving this as a snack, you can simply serve the salsa with chips. If you'd like to make the dish a bit more interesting, you can add sides of chopped olives, low-fat or fat-free sour cream, &/or guacamole, for you & your guests/family members/friends to mix & match as they please. Or, if you plan to eat this dish as a main course, you might want to add some protein: Just melt a sprinkling of low-fat Mexican cheese blend on top of the chips.

If you are looking for some healthy dessert suggestions, please check out my recipe site/blog.

Enjoy!
-C

P.S. I've also got a great guacamole recipe, which I'm considering posting as well. Avocado, when consumed in moderate amounts, can be very good for you! It's an excellent source of vitamins & minerals, & the monounsaturated fats it contains not only create a feeling of satiety, but also help speed up one's BMR. So bravo for the avocado! 8-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

3 Yes, I'm Behind in My Blogging & Other Correspondence


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You might've noticed that there are a few missing posts for various runs & road races. Well, they'll be posted at some point. Yes, more backdated posts. That's just the way it is sometimes.

I've been just a little bit busy lately -- That's an understatement (!) -- & so blogging's had to take a backseat to other, higher-priority activities.

This is basically the only blog I have time to update anymore, as the other ones frankly, aren't as essential to my "being" right now. Although I have many interests, running, & writing about running, is taking center stage right now.

I'd love to have the time to write more fitness, health, & nutrition-related articles, but lately, all I've had time for is a few basic posts on the essentials of my daily runs, training programs & goals, & other less time-consuming tidbits.

Hopefully that'll change at some point. I recently created a hub on HubPages.com, but have yet to populate it with content. I plan to write articles on various topics, including related topics like running & sports nutrition. However, these are just a few of the subjects I plan to write about. If you'd like to follow me on HubPages.com, you'll welcome to mark me as a fan favorite or subscribe to my profile's RSS feed.

Thanks for your continued support & readership!
-C

Monday, September 22, 2008

5 Run 3, Week 1 (BOHHR): My Longest Run EVER!


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Stats:
Weather Conditions:
Temp: 76° FHumidity:58%
Warm-up Walk:Start Time: 7:21 pm
Distance: 0.38 miTime: 6:01 minAvg Pace: 15:48 min/miCalories Burned: 39
Run:
Start Time:
7:28 pm
Distance: 14.13 miTime: 2:31:31 minAvg Pace: 10:43 min/miCalories Burned: 1471
Cool-down walk:
Start Time: 10:01 pmDistance: 0.47 mi
Time: 7:16 min
Avg Pace: 15:23 min/miCalories Burned: 49

What a beautiful night for a 14.1 mile run! Yes, you read that correctly. ;-) That's not a typo.

That's 14.1 miles, (or probably closer to 13.76 miles, give or take my Nike+iPod's usual 0.34 margin of error -- but still!), or the longest distance I've ever run in a single consecutive period of time, EVER. As in, that's the furthest I've ever run in my whole entire life up until now. Whoa.

(For the record: My longest run to-date this year -- up until now -- was 9.61 miles, run on Monday 9/15/08, during a recent trip to Hawaii. And before today, the previous record for my longest run ever was 12 miles, which I did a while ago, sometime in late summer, 1997.)

Who-hooooo! A new milestone! Pretty exciting stuff.

I might be paying for it tomorrow, but right now I'm on Cloud 9. 8-)

OK, time for a nice long hot shower & well-deserved soak for the muscles. Ahhhh, can't wait. Be back in a bit (to finish this post)....

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OK, am back now. And now, a brief overview of tonight's run:

Erik dropped me off at one of my new running locales & I did about 9.7 miles on my new running path & then finished out the run by doing a final 6 laps (or 4.44 miles) on the lake.

Believe it or not, I didn't plan to run any more than 8 miles tonight. In fact, I'd started out by setting my Nike+iPod workout to 65 minutes, or roughly 6.2 miles. Once I got to 6 miles, I decided to run 8, and then after I got to 8, 10 didn't seem so far away, and ...well you get the idea. ;-) I just kept going and going and going like the Energizer Bunny. Except I'm not "Pepto-Bismol" pink & fluffy, and my ears are thankfully a lot smaller. ;-)

The weird thing is that tonight I didn't get a runner's high until after 8 miles. Sheesh, I really have to work for it these days!

Something slightly funny: On the last mile or so, the C+C Music Factory song, "Hip Hop Express" suddenly came on & the lyric, "Have you lost your mind?" kept repeating over and over again. Of course it was très fitting, because I was jokingly wondering if I had in fact lost my mind, going from 8.34 miles to 14.1 (with just a day of rest in between those two runs). ;-)

Other observations: Tonight's running locale definitely had a lot of unforgettable sights & sounds. And I'm not talking about passing cars. In addition to the occasional sounds of barking dogs, there were many noticeable "sounds of nature." In fact, about half way through my run, the locusts were so loud I could hear them over my iPod music, which was pumped up to almost full volume! (And before you lecture me on how I'm potentially blowing out my ear drums, let it be known that some MP3s aren't always recorded at the same volume as others, leaving me no option but to pump up the volumes on the lower volume tunes -- some of which are barely audible at normal decibels, & then readjust back to lower volumes afterwards.)

I could also hear the wind through the trees and various small animals rustling in the bushes. (That was obviously after I'd turned down the volume a bit. ;-) )

Yes, running by wooded areas definitely adds something extra to the overall sensory experience of running.

Speaking of which, these wooded areas smelled absolutely divine! The flowering bushes and trees were extremely fragrant, and even the foliage and non-flowering plants smelled really good tonight. Mmmmm.

How I love running by pleasing scents, sounds, & sights. There's nothing like these little enhancements. Seeing an unexpected burst of color from a small flower on the roadside, finding a four-leaf clover (well, that's a rarity for me, but it's still great when it happens! My mother has an uncanny talent for finding them....), even people/scene-watching, etc. The sound of leaves rustling or the trickle of a nearby stream (although the latter is not so good if you have just drunk too much water! ;-) ). The surrounding environment is rich in beauty & atmosphere & possibility, & there's almost always something interesting going on, no matter how minute or seemingly inconsequential. All you have to do is be present in the moment, be aware of your environs, & pay attention to the little details & little movements of the life happening all around you.

It's part of what I love so much about running outside. There are so many things to observe and sense. So much to take in. It just makes you feel so alive.

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I'm still trying to wrap my head around what I just did. I can't believe that I just ran slightly MORE than a half-marathon distance, which I've never even reached up until now.

And what's even crazier is to consider that I've probably burned almost the same number of calories I'd typically consume in day. And that's not even taking into consideration the additional amount of calories I'd normally burn at my basal metabolic rate (BMR), or the amount of calories consumed by resting & doing absolutely squat. ;-) Isn't that just so @#$&%* cool?!

If, when considering the concept of BMR, the following visual imagery suddenly pops into your head....



...or you are now suddenly getting a mental picture of Jabba the Hutt (the ultimate couch potato! ;-) ), then you're on the right track to understanding exactly how BMR works. 8-)

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And to top it all off, I wasn't even hungry when I got home. Hmmmm. Maybe the secret is what I ate beforehand -- a banana smoothie (ingredients: frozen bananas, non-fat yoghurt, non-fat milk, & non-fat protein powder). Speaking of which, my dad (who's a medical doctor) recently told me that he read somewhere that eating yoghurt before exercise can curb one's appetite. Well, apparently it works. ;-)

But back to the calorie burning for a moment: Adding up the calories burned from the walking & running (approximately 1559) and combining it with my BMR (approximately 1363) means that I've just burned somewhere in the realm of 2922. That's 578 calories shy of burning a whole pound in just one day. Utterly. Staggering.

Update: OK, it's now 12:49 am: Please subtract approximately 172 calories from that total to account for the banana I just ate. ;-)

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OK, it's now a few hours later after the run & I'm absolutely wired. Now how am I going to get to sleep?! Maybe I should've thought about that when I decided to all-of-a-sudden run 14.1 miles at 7:28 pm. It took me 2 1/2 hours. Whoops. Don't think I'll be doing that again.

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One final thought for the night: Well, it looks like I just proved my dad right after all. Last week (in Ka'anapali, Maui), while we were watching the Maui half-marathoners & marathoners cross the finish line (i.e., which occurred simultaneously, finishing on the left & right sides of the road, respectively), he said that I probably could've run the half-marathon after having run 8 & 9.5 miles. I told him that, sure, I could probably run it, but that doesn't mean that I should run it, especially without training for it! ;-) Of course, it's one thing to run a distance, & quite another to race-train for it. I never want to run races & feel like I'm going to collapse in a heap afterward because I didn't properly train for them; now that'd just be utter foolishness & folly!

Well, I didn't have any doubt that I could eventually run a half-marathon distance, but I just didn't think I'd be running it this soon! 8-)

So, now comes the question of what I should do with my current running plan, since I've obviously gone way past it in terms of running times and distances. What a nice feeling to know that I've actually exceeded my expectations!

(And here I was, being so careful to plan moderate distance increases in what I thought was a reasonable time frame. Turns out that maybe I was a little too over-cautious in my planning. Oh well, guess it's better to be overcautious & avoid overtraining, & then just adjust plans after learning from the actual training experiences. How else can one learn what works when developing a new training program, except through trial & error? As they say, experience is the best teacher.)

So, for race-training purposes, it looks like my best option is to modify my current running plan/schedule to better align my training roadmap with my current abilities & progress, & to also fit some speedwork in there, in order to be ready for race day. I'm not quite sure yet what that's going to look like (i.e., following a new training program or revamping the existing one), but I'll fill you in once I've got an established plan.

Regardless of what I personally end up doing, I plan to entirely rework all three phases of the BTHR program (i.e., BBOHR, BOHHR, & BTHR) to reflect a more suitable (i.e., slightly more accelerated) time-table for daily & weekly running time increases. In hindsight, I can now see that the first phase of training (BBOHR) were definitely a few weeks too long, & so, will be compressed considerably. Of course, any changes made to one phase will be cascaded into the next, so that progress will be gradual & the training schedules will flow seamlessly from one into the other. (The 10% rule will remain in effect.)

As I'm already a good bit of the way done with the running schedule, I'm primarily making these changes for anyone who's interested in trying this particular running program. Please note that my earlier-mentioned disclaimers about all phases of the BTHR plan -- the legal/medical disclaimers & disclaimer about the plan being in beta-testing mode -- still apply.

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At any rate, I'm happy to say that I can now run 5 & 6 miles fairly easily without tiring. My usual tiring point is now somewhere around 8.5 miles, although sometimes my energy level will temporarily dip around 3 or 4 miles, but then will usually pick up again by 5 & 6 miles, etc. With every mile I run & hill I conquer, I get stronger.

OK, goodnight all!
-C

P.S. Addenum: It's now 2:26 am. I know, I know. Time for bed. But before that happens, I have some more good news to report, upon further analysis of tonight's run. When I looked at the Nike+ data breakdown, I see that I ran some pretty fast times at certain points (well, fast for me at any rate!) & even had enough mojo left in the tank over the last few miles of my incredibly long run to run even faster than expected towards the end. Here's the mile-by-mile breakdown:

1 mile marker = 9:00 min/mi (Whoa, starting out a bit too fast here.)
2 mile marker = 10:41 min/mi
3 mile marker = 9:29 min/mi
3.99 mile marker = 11:33 min/mi (Hmmm, what was going on here?! I'm trying to recall.)
4.99 mile marker = 9:27 min/mi
5.99 mile marker = 11:01 min/mi
7 mile marker = 10:31 min/mi
7.99 mile marker = 7:46 min/mi (OK, no way! I don't believe it. This must've been on a downhill portion. ;-) I seem to remember flying down a hill at this point.)
9 mile marker = 10:37 min/mi
10 mile marker = 10:56 min/mi
11 mile marker = 11:59 min/mi (Whoa, that's dog slow. I seem to recall that my thigh muscles were starting to quiver & pulse a bit here. I started to massage them as I ran.)
12 mile marker = 11:27 min/mi
13 mile marker = 11:19 min/mi (Got a side stitch somewhere around this point, but then started to feel amazingly good, despite the tired legs, & actually picked up speed afterward, as evidenced by the subsequent mile's pace!)
14 mile marker = 10:00 min/mi (I couldn't contain my feelings of satisfaction & told the security guard I'd just run by that I'd just run 14 miles. He responded with an enthusiastic, "Yay!" Yes, he's another familiar stranger by this point. ;-) )
14.13 mile marker = 10:43 min/mi

(Here's a straight-forward explanation of the somewhat sporadic paces: There were a lot of hills. ;-) )

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

0 BOHHR Training Program Summary


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Hi Everyone,
Just got back from Hawaii this morning. It was a fantastic trip - went scuba diving, snorkeling, ate some fantastic meals, soaked up the sun, etc. Am feeling a bit jet-lagged right now (i.e., only slept 4 hours or so on the plane), but have decided to work off that sluggish feeling by -- you guessed it -- running!

Yes, I'm barely conscious (Hahahaha!) after an 11-hour+ plane flight, but I think it'll do my entire system some good to get moving again.....

I think that sometimes it's important to do challenging stuff like this because it's good for us, & not just go down the path of least resistance. Because it's the way to move forward.

As the saying goes, "If I always do what I've always done, I'll always get what I've always gotten." But if I put in a bit more effort & try to improve the way I'm doing something, then that not only creates possibilities/opportunities for growth, but also increases hope & motivation to keep moving forward towards even bigger goals.

But enough motivational pep talks for one afternoon. Let's get down to business & talk about the next phase of training.

Today is the first day of the BOHHR program. Here's a brief overview:

Becoming a 1.5 Hour Runner (BOHHR) (9/17/08-11/15/08)

Each workout is bookended with 5-min. warm-up & cool-down walks: (✓)
Wk 1: Run 30, 60, 63. (153 min.)
Wk 2: Run 30, 60, 66. (156 min.)
Wk 3: Run 30, 60, 70. (160 min.)
Wk 4: Run 30, 60, 74. (164 min.)
Wk 5: Run 30, 60, 78. (168 min.)
Wk 7: Run 30, 60, 82. (172 min.)
Wk 8: Run 30, 60, 85. (175 min.)
Wk 9:
Run 30, 60, 88. (178 min.)
Wk 10: Run 30, 60, 90. (180 min.)

0 Mini-Goal Review: On to the Next Phase of My Running Program......


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OK, so I've just recently completed the BBOHR (Becoming A Better 1-Hour Runner) training program, & have met my target goal five days ahead of schedule, i.e., on 9/15/08. It certainly feels great to have reached this milestone earlier than expected!

Instead of regurgitating my comprehensive list of goals, I've decided to focus right now on one small portion of these goals -- my running goals.

Of course, next on the schedule is the BOHHR (Becoming A Better 1.5-Hour Runner) program. Through this program I hope to not only build distance but to gain increased stamina. This training program is a 10-week plan which, if I stick to the schedule, will take me well past the distance I need to run for race day (for the Rockville 10K race I'm running on November 2).

I'd love to be able to do 10-minute/miles during the 10K race, but I'm not quite sure if this is a realistic goal to achieve by race day, since I'm currently doing about an 10:28-minute mile & it takes a while to shave off those seconds. Maybe I should relabel it a "stretch-goal" for right now. We'll see.

As many of you already undoubtedly know, I tend to be rather conservative in my estimates, preferring to set goal markers that I know are well within reach by a certain date. I like to allow myself more time than necessary to achieve the goals, because the typical neophyte training mistake is doing just the opposite & then setting oneself up for disappointment/failure. Instead, I bite off as much as I know I can actually chew, & that gives me the confidence to then keep going further & usually achieve even more than I'd expected.

It's not that I don't think I couldn't follow a more compressed time-line; however, I know from experience that this is what trips people up -- i.e., trying to hurry along when steady progress is more advisable. Yes, it's the "tortoise" & "hare" analogy, because I like to take the long-term view. I'm not in a hurry to get to my goals; I know I'll get there at some point. Instead, I'll make progress gradually, steadily, & most importantly consistently. Watch me as I continue working out consistently, whereas some of those "cocky young bucks" out there will rush, rush, rush, & then putter out & expire. There is no "fast track" to success. That's only an illusion. Try that road & you'll usually wish you hadn't.

If there's one piece of sage advice I can offer to runners it's this: Exercise moderately & take your time. Don't try to do too much too soon, because this approach is dangerous & will prematurely end not only your running career (i.e., injury, etc.) but your motivation too! Instead, gradually build your mileage. Try a program with interval training like the CT5K & BOHR plans, which will whip you into shape faster than just running consecutive mileage alone. Your body will thank you for saving it from potential injury, & your legs will thank you, as you'll be able to run for years to come!

Monday, September 15, 2008

0 Run 3, Week 5 (BBOHR): Yay, I'm Done With the BBOHR Program!


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Stats:

Weather Conditions:
Temp: 75° F
Humidity:70%

Warm-up Walk:
Start Time: 5:57 am
Distance: 0.53 mi
Time: 9:01 min
Avg Pace: 17:00 min/mi
Calories Burned: 55
Run:
Start Time:
6:07 am
Distance: 9.61 mi
Time: 1:49:25 min
Avg Pace: 11:23 min/mi
Calories Burned: 1000
Cool-down walk:
Start Time: 7:57 am
Distance: 0.29 mi
Time: 5:01 min
Avg Pace: 16:47 min/mi
Calories Burned: 31

Today was my last day of running in Hawaii. :-( Tomorrow evening we fly back to the continental US, although my flight won't actually arrive until the following morning (i.e., Wednesday).

Of course, I could run tomorrow as well, but since I've already run 3 days straight of 6+ mile runs, I thought I'd take a "break" from running: Instead, I'm going to get up early tomorrow morning & walk the path & beach & photograph some of the natural beauty & sites that I didn't have a chance to capture while I was running. ;-)

In fact, there were several moments this morning when I had wished that I'd have had a camera on me. For example, some particularly photo-worthy shots would've been the sight of the moon glowing softly against a clear, pale blue sky -- the moon was full & was lit as brightly as an electric neon sign (!); underneath the moon were a few tethered boats floating peacefully on the ocean.

Also, very picturesque was a scene with birds sitting in an ancient-looking, gnarled, dark brown tree, which was a stark contrast against this beautiful bright full moon and light blue sky. If I can't capture a similar photo tomorrow, I might paint a picture of it when I get home. Yes, it was that lovely!

I also have yet to snap photos of the snails I mentioned earlier or this really lovely purple flower which grows on vines and reaches out, very gracefully, to the beach. There are also some very interesting looking pieces of driftwood positioned on the sand in a very artistic fashion that I've just got to photograph as well. ;-)

Needless to say, I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's early morning walk. Tomorrow's leisurely stroll along the beach is my "reward" for all the hard work I've done over the past 2 weeks -- No, I'm not referring to the "hard work" of lying on the beach or at the pool. ;-) I mean, the effort of getting up early (i.e., 5:30 am!) & running almost every day! Most people would probably rather laze in bed on their vacation, but no, not me! It's not in my nature to pass up the opportunity to run in the solace of the early morning in such a heavenly place!

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OK, now I haven't forgotten to blog about my run. Just really briefly, here are some highlights: I was only planning on running somewhere between 6.2-7.5 miles today, since I was feeling a little peaked from the last two days of running. Of course, once I got out on the trail, my thought process changed entirely & I went from feeling tired after only 2 miles, to running 2 large hills on the golf course, & then to feeling re-energized after 40 minutes of running, (at which point I'd eaten my very first Gu in all the time I've been on the island), running another large hill, & then, before I knew it, coming upon 6.2 miles with still another 1.5 miles or so to go before reaching the villa complex. Of course, in the back of my head, I knew this wasn't an accident. I'd "set myself up" to do a 7+ mile run as soon as I'd reached the golf course. After about 5 miles, I knew I was going to run atleast 7, and when I'd reached 6.2, I knew I was going to run atleast 8. ;-) By 8 miles, I'd reached the villa complex & just kept running back & forth along the path to string it out until 9+ miles.

Something unexpected happened around 8.5 miles. I was ready to "cash it in" when I saw that there was a rather tall & lanky girl running in back of me, & could feel her gaining on me. Of course, by this point, my legs were spent & the rest of me was starting to reach the point of exhaustion. But did this stop me from speeding up? Of course not! ;-) I went from doing an 11 minute-mile to a sub-10 minute mile. Apparently, I still had something still left in the tank. ;-)

"Was that fast enough to keep her at bay?," I wondered. No matter. Just in case, I kept going as fast as I could -- my body felt like it was flying (& OK, maybe the arms & legs were flailing a bit at that point as well!) -- until I saw that she'd stopped to walk. OK, phew, now I can slow down a bit.

I was thankful that no one was running in back of me as I'd reached 9 miles, because by that point, I really was ready to hang it up. I think I'd slowed to an 11:30 minute/mile, & while I knew I could probably have hung in there & pulled out another mile to reach 10, somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I began to multiply my run by 2, & tried to envision what it'd be like to run 18 miles or even longer. "Could I do it?!," I asked myself. Well, maybe I wasn't up to it today ;-), but if I just continue my training, I think the answer will be a resounding "Yes!"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

1 Run 2, Week 5 (BBOHR): Squeezing in a Run + Some Superfast Speed-Walking (!) to Catch the First Maui Marathon Finishers


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Stats:

Weather Conditions:
Temp: 68° F
Humidity:84%

Warm-up Walk:
Start Time: 5:55 am
Distance: 0.30 mi
Time: 5:02 min
Avg Pace: 16:17 min/mi
Calories Burned: 32
Run:
Start Time:
6:00 am
Distance: 7.54 mi
Time: 1:22:28 min
Avg Pace: 10:55 min/mi
Calories Burned: 785
Cool-down walk:
Start Time: 7:23 am
Distance: 0.31 mi
Time: 5:00 min
Avg Pace: 16:07 min/mi
Calories Burned: 32

I was feeling kind of tired this morning, especially after yesterday's run, but still managed (somehow!) to roll myself out of bed for today's run. I won't go into a whole lot of detail, (mostly because I'd really rather be at the beach right now instead of typing on a computer! Can you blame me?! ;-) ), but suffice to say that I finished the run slightly before 7:30 am, which was about fifteen minutes to a half-hour later than I'd actually wanted to finish.

(I was supposed to be out of the house by 5:30 or 5:45 am at the latest -- well, that was the plan at any rate! -- but had had some trouble hauling myself out of bed on time & the run had also taken a little bit longer than expected, so I didn't make it back to the villa on time.)

You see, my dad & I had originally made plans to leave from the villa complex at 7:15 am to either take the shuttle (which we found out wasn't even in operation until well after 9 am) or walk to our destination, the finish line of Maui Marathon.

Oops.

My dad had left a message on my mobile indicating that he'd already started walking over & would meet me there. Of course, I didn't have my mobile on me, & didn't get the message until I'd already walked back to the villa, in search of my dad. Rats! I was going to have to walk pretty fast, or -- perish the thought! -- run another 1.5 miles or so (after having just run 7-7.5 miles), in order to get there in time.

Well, I was fairly exhausted, so doing more running was clearly out of the question. So instead I walked there, really, really fast. I took all of the shortcuts I knew to get there on foot as fast as humanly possible.

I was sure that, by the time I'd reached the Westin Ka'anapali Resort (which was sometime after 7:50 am), that I would definitely miss the first marathon finishers. But alas, no. The first fellow stepped across the finish line sometime after 8 am, with a finishing time of approximately 2:38. (The first female finisher crossed the line sometime after 3 hours or so.)

So Blaine & Steve, if you're looking for a marathon in which you could potentially come in first or second, you might want to consider doing this race. ;-)

Of course, I could probably go on about the details of the Maui Marathon, but since I'm fairly wiped out, & would rather be hanging out in the sun, I'll just cut it not-so-short (!) & say "Aloha, for now." ;-)

-C

P.S. I'll probably blog more later about the Maui Marathon & other trip details. That's "later" as in retrospectively, i.e., after I get home! OK, bye!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

2 Run 1, Week 5 (BBOHR): Runners, Runners, Everywhere!


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Stats:

Weather Conditions:
Temp: 77° F
Humidity:74%

Warm-up Walk:
Start Time: 6:15 am
Distance: 0.45 mi
Time: 7:32 min
Avg Pace: 16:41 min/mi
Calories Burned: 47
Run:
Start Time:
6:23 am
Distance: 7.64 mi
Time: 1:24:53 min
Avg Pace: 11:06 min/mi
Calories Burned: 796
Cool-down walk:
Start Time: 7:49 am
Distance: 0.76 mi
Time: 12:44 min
Avg Pace: 16:40 min/mi
Calories Burned: 79

No, the title of this post isn't a shameless plug for our Blog Catalog Running Forum, "Runners, Runners, Everywhere!" ;-)

This morning I ran my "usual" route (in the direction of the golf course). After about 50+ minutes of running, much of which had been spent running along the golf course, I saw several runners with racing bibs peppered along various points along the golf course path. Some of them were doing practice runs; others were walking. As I reached the Westin Ka'anapali Resort (which is situated at the far end of the golf course), I saw there were large banners with the words "Maui Marathon" printed on them, & what appeared to be either a start or finish line area.

Based on what some of the villa staff had told me earlier, I knew that the Maui Marathon was right around the corner. What I didn't know until today was that the marathon course would go right through the golf course where I ran every day. ;-)

I was curious if today was the day for the marathon, so I asked some of the racing event organizers as I was running by the start/finish line. They told me that the preparation I was witnessing was actually for the Maui 5K, which would beginning shortly at 8 am today, and that the Maui Marathon would begin tomorrow at 5:30 am, i.e., my usual island wake-up time. ;-) I was told that the marathon begins on the other side of the island, near the airport, & ends where I saw the banners.

So, while I don't think I'll be watching the start of the marathon (i.e., with all the winding roads, it's about an hour's drive from here), I will be watching the finish. I'm going to see if my dad will go with me to see the marathoners finish tomorrow morning; after all, he's the only one who will get up at that hour. ;-) Well, he won't probably need to get up until about 7 am, so we can head over to the finish line to watch the first finishers cross the threshold sometime after 7:30 am.

I'm supposed to run again tomorrow, but if I get out the door by 5:45 am or so, I should be finished with my run by then & still have plenty of time to head over with my dad to watch the end of the marathon.

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Postscript: Thanks, everybody for your comments. I promise to respond to them after I get back from vacation. I've been using the facility's business center -- which is in high demand, even at 7 & 8 am in the morning! -- & so, am only allotted a half-hour increment (total) to use the computer, which is barely enough time to check email and blog. ;-) The limited daily computer/internet access is probably for the better, since the point of a vacation is to take a break & unplug from it all. ;-)

Look forward to catching up with all of you upon my return....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

3 Run 3, Week 4 (BBOHR): Longest Run Yet!


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Stats:

Weather Conditions:
Temp: 80-85° F
Humidity:50%

Warm-up Walk:
Start Time: 7:38 am
Distance: 0.37 mi
Time: 6:01 min
Avg Pace: 15:57 min/mi
Calories Burned: 39
Run:
Start Time:
7:45 am
Distance: 8.45 mi
Time: 1:34:33 min
Avg Pace: 11:10 min/mi
Calories Burned: 880
Cool-down walk:
Start Time: 9:20 am
Distance: 0.41 mi
Time: 7:00 min
Avg Pace: 16:45 min/mi
Calories Burned: 43

I got a late start today, so it was a lot hotter for today's run. Normally, I'm out the door by 5:30 or 6 am, but I was doing laundry last night until about 10 pm (i.e., I had to wash my workout clothes -- there were none left to wear for the next day!), so I needed a bit more sleep to make up for the difference on the other end. ;-)

Well, I certainly got a good hill workout today, incorporating several large hills into the mix. I ran the golf-course route & had found a way to go even further out on the course. I ran up a mild hill first, then a steep one, & then over a bridge (crossing over a highway), & although I wasn't supposed to run on the golf cart path, did it anyway. ;-)

(Thankfully, I didn't get yelled at by any golfers, nor chucked in the head by golf balls. ;-) )

The golf course path was fairly steep & hilly (i.e., multiple hills!), so it was a great hill workout.

I was fairly far out at the half-way point & decided to keep running even further until about 35 minutes or so had passed. Then I turned around & ran back towards the villa complex. But before I went all the way back, I decided to one final hill, the steep "monster" hill on the golf course I ran the other day. By this point, I'd already run 2-3 significant hills, and 5 miles total. I decided to take on the hill precisely because I was feeling a bit fatigued. I knew I had it in me to do the hill, & approached it with steadfast determination. I wasn't as winded as I thought I'd be at the hill's end, and actually began to feel more energetic, so I kept going.

Well, 6 miles arrived a lot faster than I'd expected, and since I didn't want to stop, I told myself I'd just run until I'd reached 6.5 miles. Well, of course, 6.5 miles came & went, & I just kept going. I thought it'd be nice to see if I could reach 7 miles, (of course, I could & did!), and then shortly thereafter, 7.5 miles had passed with me barely noticing. So, I said to myself, "Sure, what the heck, why not just run 8 miles?!" ;-)

I knew it probably wasn't a good idea to run much longer, because I didn't want to increase my total weekly mileage by too much, lest my body or mind rebel. After all, I didn't want to have any potential soreness &/or pain that would dampen my ability or desire to run tomorrow or the day after that. ;-)

Of course, after the run, I was once again "congratulated" by Lance Armstrong for having completed my longest run yet.

In the back of my mind, I was wondering how long I actually could've run if I'd have pushed it, but I'm going to be moderate & patient, so I can keep running & also not overdo it, so I want to keep running.

Lately, I feel like I can run and run and run like there's no tomorrow. Hell, I feel like I could run until either my legs give out or my feet fall off. ;-)

This is not said to sound cocky, but it's moments like these when I just know I can complete a marathon, even before I've actually done it. I mean, pretty soon I'll be running 9, 10, 11, 12 miles or more, and it just feels like all I have to do is keep moving my feet and I'll get there. ;-)

Now, of course, the last two miles I ran today weren't fast ones, but the point is that I just know that I can complete even more mileage and feel OK. Now, I'm looking forward to running half-marathons and beyond. Who knows, if I keep feeling this inspired to run (OK, the Hawaiian backdrop is helping immensely!), maybe I'll even be able to run a half-marathon distance sooner than I thought.

Already, I'm going past the proscribed distances in my running plan & feeling just fine. I can wait to keep building my distance until my base mileage is between 30 and 40 miles per week. Then I'll really be onto something! So hey there world, you just watch me do it!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

0 Run 2, Week 4 (BBOHR): A Run Before Travelling The Road to Hana


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Stats:
Weather Conditions:
Temp: 67° F
Humidity:81%
Warm-up Walk:
Start Time: 6:28 am
Distance: 0.33 mi
Time: 5:18 min
Avg Pace: 15:52 min/mi
Calories Burned: 34
Run:
Start Time:
6:59 am
Distance: 6.59 mi
Time: 1:12:01 min
Avg Pace: 10:55 min/mi
Calories Burned: 686
Cool-down walk:
Start Time: 7:46 am
Distance: 0.31 mi
Time: 5:02 min
Avg Pace: 16:13 min/mi
Calories Burned: 32

We're supposed to go to the Road to Hana later on this morning, which as many of you might already know, is supposed to have some amazing waterfalls, black sandy beaches, & other beautiful delights of nature. The trip takes about 3 hours, so my Dad wants to be ready to leave by 8 am; there's supposed to be some hiking involved, so I'm running now in order to squeeze in my workout before the trip.

I again ran same path as yesterday, exploring even further out until I reached the outer limits of the golf course complex itself, which then dumped out onto a highway. By this time, which was about 25 minutes into the run, there were lots of cars on the road & I didn't feel like inhaling exhaust fumes, so I turned around & headed back to our villa. I knew I'd be repeating the trail a few times to finish out the run, so I did the latter portion a second time, since I hadn't run this part quite as often.

At around 35 minutes in, a kind & in-shape 50-something gentleman ran to catch up to me & hand me one of my empty water bottles that'd fallen out of my belt. I didn't even realize that I'd lost it along the trail, & so I was very grateful that he'd made the effort to return it to me. Of course I thanked him profusely for this kind gesture.

I had my headphones on, so I'm sure he probably tried to call out to me first, but of course, I couldn't hear him! But he didn't give up. Other people might've just let me continue running without caring whether or not I'd retrieved my water bottle. Thankfully, he was nice enough & motivated enough to chase me down & return my missing bottle.

He was obviously very fit, although I wasn't going fast enough to make chasing me a challenge. ;-) (I think I'd slowed down to an 11 minute mile by that point.) All the same, it was a kind gesture & I was glad to have my water bottle back.

At around the 55 minute mark, I decided to keep going. Yes, just another 5 minutes more. ;-) And then another 5 minutes. And so on & so forth, until I'd run about 6.2 miles again. (Yes, I know the Nike+iPod pedometer report says 6.54 miles, but subtract about 0.34 miles & that's probably more accurate.)

At the end of my run, I got "congratulated" by Lance Armstrong (via my Nike+iPod program) for having run my longest distance yet.

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A few observations, noted while running: There are a lot of snails here. Yes, the traditional-looking kind with the shells that everyone envisions as a "snail." They look like the same kind of snails I used to see roaming through my grandfather's garden as a small child. The shells are dark brown and are variegated with white stripes in a typical spiral pattern.

The first time I went running with my sister we'd seen about 3 of them -- a little snail family! -- trying to cross the trail path. I joked that it'd take them another 8 hours to make it across. ;-)

I try to be very careful not to crush the little fellows; they usually hang out at the south end of trail, on the border where the villa complex ends and someone else's parcel of private property begins. There's a small locked gate to demarcate this zone.

Even though I'm wearing headphones, I still try to be aware of my surroundings, being mindful to look down as well as in back & all around me.

Apparently, other people aren't so mindful, as the other day I saw one of the snails lying crushed on the ground, its shell and body smashed into an almost unrecognizable pile of snail shell chips & mush. It wasn't a pretty site, and I felt kind of sad looking at it, because only the other day, it was alive and had probably been a member of the travelling "snail caravan" I'd seen only a few days ago.

It'd probably gotten mangled under foot or under wheel -- by either an unwitting runner, walker, or parent walking their child in a baby stroller. I didn't see it this morning, so apparently one of the groundsmen must've cleared it from the trail. It probably got an unceremonious "burial" in an unceremonious dumpster somewhere on the grounds. ;-)

There is also a great diversity of wildlife here. There are more types of birds and plants than I can shake a stick at & I'm determined to take a picture of as many of them as possible. I hope to eventually post those photos on Flickr at some point. So you can look forward to checking out these photos.... ;-)

OK, well I got to get back to the villa, to get ready for our trip.

Later,
-C

Monday, September 8, 2008

2 Why Are You Running On A Treadmill, People? This Is Hawaii!


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Today is my day off from running, after running 4 consecutive days in a row. This morning I slept in... until 6:19 am. ;-)

Well actually, I woke up at 5:30 am, forced myself to go back to sleep, woke up at 6 am, & then tried to sleep as long as humanly possible before just feeling totally, utterly awake! OK, I know, it's rather pathetic: Of all times, I can't even sleep in -- and that's what vacations are supposed to be about: Relaxation & leisurely abandon of routine. The sad fact of the matter is that my bod is now used to getting up at 5:30 am, so 6:19 feels like sleeping in. ;-)

Even after going to bed at 11 pm last night, 6:19 am was as long as I possibly could sleep in before getting restless. ;-) It seems my body is now programmed to wake up at 5:30 am no matter what time I go to bed.

Of course, I find all of this extremely ironic, since I'd hardly classify myself as a typical "morning person." Even back in the States, I only recently became a morning person due to my work schedule. Otherwise, I'd probably stay up until sunrise. That's my natural inclination anyhow. I'm a "night person" by nature, but a "morning person" by necessity.

Before you sigh in disbelief & decry that you could never be a morning person, please understand one small fact: If you are coming to Hawaii from the East Coast, it's actually rather easy to become a morning person, due to the 6 hour time difference! 6 am PST is actually 12 noon EST. So actually, I feel like I'm having a really leisurely wake up. ;-)

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This morning, I got up at 6:19 am & walked on the beach in my swimsuit. I didn't take anything except my room key -- no flip-flops, no beach hat, no beach bag, no sunglasses, nada. It was a wonderful feeling not to feel weighted down by anything. To just walk, unencumbered. Weightless. Free.

I strolled all the way down the beach and back, walking almost to the very end and back. I would've walked the whole thing, like my sister & I did yesterday afternoon, but had picked up this gigantic spiny piece of red coral, which looked like a mouse had chewed large "swiss-cheese-like" holes in it. ;-) It's perforated all over with these large holes, and looks like it was either meant to be this way, or had been eroded over time by the sand and sea.

I'll post of a picture of the coral at some point, so you can see what an amazing find it was.

Anyhow, I couldn't very well traipse down the rest of the beach and back while holding this gigantic beach of coral; it's about 8 inches in diameter, and even with holes all over it, it was still somehow rather heavy to be carting it all the way back down the beach, even from where I currently was.

Let me add that, by this point, I'd also collected a large lava rock and some other rather interesting treasures of the sea, & since I hadn't brought a beach bag with me, it was getting rather tricky holding onto all of my finds at once.

So I think I got my arm workout for the morning. ;-) Instead of barbells, I had a large lava rock and a gigantic piece of coral!

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Unlike previous mornings, I was in a rather solitary mood as I strolled on the beach. Normally, I'm very friendly & say "Good morning" or "Hello" to people on the running path or beach. Today, I averted my eyes from possible contact or connection: I just wanted to be left alone & needed quiet time to think. And the beach is the perfect place to do that.

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On the way back from the beach this morning, I noticed there were several people working out in the gym. (There is a gym on the ground level of our villa complex, which is also the entrance/exit to/from the pool and beach.) There were people on the stationary bikes, elliptical machines, and treadmills. I just cannot understand this. How can you actively choose to run indoors when you've got the amazing backdrop of a Hawaiian beach to either run on or run beside? I think these people are insane, and should probably be checked for sensory deprivation. ;-)

I mean, why would you workout indoors when you've got this unbelievably amazing weather and wonderful scenery to experience? Uhhhrrrr, you oblivious gymrats, you are idiots. You deserve to be smacked upside the head. Look at all of this beauty and pleasant atmosphere you are missing out on, just because you are being dolts.

Now using the weights & nautilus equipment I can understand. But a treadmill? If you are vacationing in Hawaii and actively/purposely choose a treadmill over an outdoor run, you might as well just go home. After all, you could just as soon run on a treadmill there. LOL. And to my mind, these active, so-called vacationers should just be sent home, because they don't know how to appreciate an amazing place to workout when they see one.

Being oblivious to natural beauty & the sublime experience of this place is a heinous crime of epic proportions. OK, perhaps that's a tad bit of overstatement ;-), but it's commonly accepted wisdom that a running past a Hawaiian sunrise or sunset trumps running on treadmill any day of the week. ;-) Don't these people know that treadmills are the tools of last resort?! Most people with any sense will only choose a treadmill when weather conditions make it inadvisable for outdoor workouts -- i.e., perhaps it's raining, snowing, hailing, thundering &/or lightening, or temperatures are too extreme, etc. -- or when they've got no other alternative (i.e., personal safety concerns, etc.).

Thankfully, I'm happy to report that the majority of runners here have some sense; there are far more outdoor runners than indoor ones. Hallelujah!

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I'm typing all of this from my beach villa balcony. We have a direct view looking out onto the beach, & I have to say, it's rather spectacular. I'm still in awe of all the natural beauty around me.

It's now 8 am, and the start of a new week. There are new people I haven't seen before walking & running on the path in front of my balcony, & some of them look like they are just starting their vacation. The amount of runners on the trail in front of me seems to be increasing with each passing minute.

Not to sound antisocial, but I'm happy that I run at 5:30 am; there are less people on the trail, (OK, well I was the only one, save a few gardeners pruning the grounds!), & it's easier to focus on the actual running itself, and also turn one's thoughts inward, & as my sister likes to jokingly say, "contemplate one's navel," instead of having to contend with interruptions or mental distractions such as the occasional social maneuvering involved with passing people on the trail.

There's something really fantastic about being the only one on the trail in the morning. The solace of solitude. A lot of people are scared of being alone; they'd rather have their world filled with distracting noises -- even if it's honking automobiles, loud music, & shouting neighbors -- than hear the echo of their own voices or thoughts. However, if solitude is a choice, then it's something altogether different. When I run alone, or write, I am choosing solitude. It's necessary for writing, & for being. Even though I am a social being, there's a part of me that really looks forward to this time. If I don't get my alone time, I feel somehow incomplete or out of sorts. Like an engine that needs a tune-up, something is ever-so slightly off. It's not selfish; it's necessary. Everyone needs to recharge, & sometimes what we really need is space to be alone and think.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

1 Run 1, Week 4 (BBOHR): Just A Little Bit Further, or How Three Miles Can Turn Into Six ;-)


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Stats:
Weather Conditions:
Temp: 78° F
Humidity:71%
Warm-up Walk:
Start Time: 5:43 am
Distance: 0.30 mi
Time: 5:01 min
Avg Pace: 16:36 min/mi
Calories Burned: 31
Run:
Start Time:
5:48 am
Distance: 6.21 mi
Time: 1:05:07 min
Avg Pace: 10:28 min/mi
Calories Burned: 647
Cool-down walk:
Start Time: 6:54 am
Distance: 0.35 mi
Time: 6:01 min
Avg Pace: 16:51 min/mi
Calories Burned: 37

Had a great run today. I let my sister sleep in & ran solo on the beach. I was the only one exercising on the path this morning until about 6 am. ;-)

I ran the same path as yesterday, but this time explored even farther, up two large hills on the golf course path. I felt pretty good as I bounded up the hills; the first was a gentle sloping hill with increasing incline & the second had a much sharper elevation.

For about the first 2 miles, I kept a solid 10 minute/mile pace. When I hit the 30 minute mark, (which was supposed to be the original endpoint of my run!), I was heading back home on the golf course path; I decided that since I was feeling rather energetic & hadn't yet reached 3 miles, I'd better keep going for another minute or two, in order to reach that point. I reached my goal about 31 minutes in, but just didn't want to stop. So, I kept going. In the back of my head, I was thinking, "Well, I don't feel tired, so why not keep going?"

After about 35 minutes, it began to rain, which felt really good. It was a gentle warm mist, & couldn't have been more perfectly timed. ;-)

About 5 minutes later, the rain stopped. I was still running, & still feeling pretty good. About 45 minutes in, I'd covered approximately 4 miles. The urge to keep running was strong. I kept telling myself, "Only 5 more minutes." So you can see where this is going. ;-)

Basically, the "only 5 more minutes" clause took me through a 6 mile run. ;-) I was really going to stop at 5 miles, but then somehow I looked at the pedometer & saw that I'd run 6.2 miles, or in reality, probably closer to slightly under 6 miles.

I'll admit that I wanted to see how far I could push my already tired body, to see what I could do today. I told myself to disregard the fact that today made 4 days of running in a row, & not to use that as an excuse to slow down.

Towards the end, I was clocking a 9:40 mile. On my last lap, there was a skinny, in-shape chick that had just started out on the trail; at first we were facing opposite of each other, but then I realized she'd soon be in back of me, as I was approaching a turn-around point on the trail. And I absolutely did not want her to pass me. OK, so it didn't matter to me that I'd just run over 5 miles & was not as "fresh" as she was, a runner who was just starting out on their morning run. And it didn't matter to me that she was much taller & thinner, & looked like she was in much better shape than me. Mind you, not more muscular than me, just the type of person who looked like a prototypical "runner," who'd probably been running all her life & had probably been the star of her high school & college track or cross-country teams. She was looking rather slick in her black running outfit; it was some kind of black singlet & shorts or bike tights (i.e., I wasn't paying attention to the details, just the whole effect of the outfit), & looked like some kind of sleek panther.

I know it's probably not "nice" to admit this, but sometimes when I see people who look like running "gods" & "goddesses" I have one of two reactions -- If they are running in the opposite direction, I admire them, but when they are running behind me, I get fiercely competitive & think of them as my "enemy." ;-) OK, well, I don't actually hate them, but this fire inside of me starts to build, & I can't stand the thought of them passing me. I just can't let it happen.

Yes, I'll admit it; I absolutely hate when people pass me. I've been known to speed up when I've been dead tired, & have nothing left in the tank, just so people won't pass me. I don't care if they're young or old, male or female. It's just not going to happen on my watch. ;-)

OK, so I'm a bit competitive, what can I say. The truth finally comes out. LOL.

Well, needless to say, she didn't get her chance to pass me. I had this fire that came out of nowhere, & kept telling myself, "Faster, faster!" Yes, it was one of those "Ya, ya, ya!" moments akin to the feeling an Alaskan sled driver probably feels when he whips his lash to make his dogs to go faster. ;-) "Mush!"

In fact, I verbalized my sentiments on the last lap by yelling out loud, "Arrrrrhhhh, c'mon!" in a loud, somewhat aggravated voice. Then I saw my Dad on the balcony. Whoops. Oh well.

I found out later that he didn't even hear me, but there were a few other people out on their balconies that probably did. They were probably wondering who I was talking to or perhaps thought I'd lost my marbles. ;-0

But I wasn't really caring at that point what anyone else thought.

Anyhow.... I sprinted the last little bit & then did my usual 5 minute cool-down walk on the path.

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I originally wasn't going to run today, but due to some rather high-fat noshing the day before (i.e., several salty handfuls of almonds & macadamia nuts, some avocado, cheese, etc.), I decided I better run the next day to compensate for what I'd eaten. ;-) I was already behind the eight-ball upon my arrival, having guestimated that I'd gained a few pounds (i.e., possibly 2-3 lbs.?) before leaving for Hawaii. It's that darned post-running hunger problem - Arrrgh! It makes me want to eat everything in site! ;-)

I am determined not to undo my hard work of the last 4 days. No matter what I eat tonight I'm not going to be running tomorrow. So if the hunger beasty starts creeping up on me again, it's going to be lots of "water, water, water" for me. ;-)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

1 Run 3, Week 3 (BBOHR): An Early Morning Run with My Sister


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Stats:
Weather Conditions:
Temp: 75° FHumidity:73%
Warm-up Walk:Start Time: 6:09 am
Distance: 0.32 miTime: 5:04 minAvg Pace: 15:41 min/miCalories Burned: 33
Run:
Start Time:
6:15 am
Distance: 6.55 miTime: 1:10:01 minAvg Pace: 10:42 min/miCalories Burned: 683
Cool-down walk:
Start Time: 7:26 amDistance: 0.29 mi
Time: 5:01 min
Avg Pace: 16:51 min/miCalories Burned: 31

My sister joined me again this morning & ran with me for 30 minutes, while I continued on to run a 10K distance. Once again, we ran the path parallel to the beach, this time exploring even further through a condominium complex & then up a gently sloping hill through a golf course. My sister ran up the hill with me before her 30 minute run ended. She then continued to walk for about another half hour, with me continually circling back to check up on her. She joined me for my 5-minute cool down walk & then we proceeded to walk barefoot on the beach for about another hour or so. In total, between the walking & running, we probably covered between 8 & 10 miles total.

Friday, September 5, 2008

1 Run 2, Week 3 (BBOHR): A Run With My Sister + A Long Leisurely Stroll on the Beach


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Stats:
Weather Conditions:
Temp: 83° FHumidity:53%
Warm-up Walk:Start Time: 6:19 am
Distance: 0.51 miTime: 7:52 minAvg Pace: 15:24 min/miCalories Burned: 53
Run:
Start Time:
6:29 am
Distance: 5.98 miTime: 1:05:03 minAvg Pace: 10:52 min/miCalories Burned: 622
Cool-down walk:
Start Time: 7:34 amDistance: ? mi
Time: 1:01:00 min
Avg Pace: ? min/miCalories Burned: ?

My sister joined me this morning & ran with me for about 20 minutes or so, before she had to go back to our room for a conference call. Once again I ran the path parallel to the beach, up & back a few times, this time with my sister, & then after my sister had gone back, I kept running the path back & forth until I'd completed 65 minutes of running. I was originally going to do just 50 minutes, but hadn't yet completed the requisite 5 miles I wanted to cover, & so kept going until I'd done about 5.6 miles or so. (As I mentioned earlier, the pedometer is inaccurate, & is usually about 0.34 miles over the distance I typically run in reality. So, I like to run about 0.34 more than the Nike+iPod pedometer shows in order to cover the distance I've intended to run!)

After the run was over, my "reward" was doing my cool-down walk on the beach. I took off my shoes & walked the entire length of the beach, & then found a new path around a golf-course near the end, walked around & explored the area... barefoot. ;-)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

1 Run 1, Week 3 (BBOHR): Island Acclimation + The Thirty Minute Run That Turned Into An Hour Plus!


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The view from our villa balcony. Very picture postcard-esque. ;-)

Stats:
Weather Conditions:
Temp: 79° FHumidity:66%
Warm-up Walk:Start Time: 6:29 am
Distance: 0.30 miTime: 5:01 minAvg Pace: 16:20 min/miCalories Burned: 32
Run:
Start Time:
6:35 am
Distance: 6.24 miTime: 1:10:06 minAvg Pace: 11:13 min/miCalories Burned: 650
Cool-down walk:
Start Time: 7:46 amDistance: 0.34 mi
Time: 6:05 min
Avg Pace: 17:37 min/miCalories Burned: 36

I got into Maui yesterday at around 3:30 PM PST. I'll spare you all the mundane travel details (i.e., the plane flight, observations about other travellers, & oh yeah, the half-pound bag of carrots I was unexpectantly forced to consume in under 20 minutes flat as the plane was landing, lest the Hawaiian Ag Department have to hunt me down & confiscate them -- LOL! Ahem, it would've been nice to have been informed of the fact that absolutely no fruits & veg are allowed into the state from elsewhere, period (!), at the beginning of the flight, as the stewardess had most certainly seen me crunching away on them throughout the flight! Anyhow...), & will just cut right to the chase with regard to the running: I wanted to run yesterday, & fully planned to do so, but due to the timing of various activities -- i.e., we needed to stop & get groceries on the way "home," the car ride back itself was an hour-plus ride, & then not long after, it was time to eat dinner, etc. -- it just wasn't possible. (We took a long time at dinner, gabbing with our waiter, who a very nice & interesting native Hawaiian man, & then afterward, I was too full after dinner to run, & plus, it took way too long to digest. Oh well, we're on vacation; the runs will get done in due course.) So, of course, now that means I'll be running 3 out of 3 days in a row. ;-) Not exactly ideal in terms of recovery/spacing, but I think I can make it work.

Needless to say, the scenery on the island is absolutely amazing. My first scenic view of the Pacific ocean (I didn't have a window seat on the plane!) was on the drive to back to our villa from the airport/grocery store. It was surreally beautiful. I felt like I was watching a live picture postcard. ;-)

In fact at one moment, we witnessed this very dramatic burst of sunlight emanating from a cloud formation that looked like, to quote my sister, "some kind of religious postcard." ;-) All it needed was a biblical passage at the bottom, "Corinthians 1:13." ;-)

The light was breaking through the clouds, & at that moment, I was wishing that I'd have had access to the camera packed away in my knapsack in the back of our car.

Anyhow, I've got to go soon, so I'll just briefly summarize this morning's run. I'd planned on going running at 5 am, but it was still dark outside at that point & we'd been woken up at 4 am by a piercing, faulty fire alarm (Uhhhhhg), I decided to sleep in an extra hour. Plus, my sister & I stayed up kind of late the previous night gabbing away. ;-) (We hadn't seen each other in a while, & needed to catch up!)

The timing of this morning's run turned out to be spot-on perfect: It was very pleasant, probably in the mid seventies, with very low-humidity. The sun was rising over the azure blue ocean, & there were people strolling along the walkway & beach, & a scant few other runners along the way.

As for the running course itself, I decided to check out the full length of the complex & ran the entire length of the path & then also wove my way through the various buildings & roads. The sun started to warm up considerably after about a half hour of running, but I wasn't ready to quit.

Maybe it was part remorse/guilty-conscience for eating so much over the past few days, & maybe it was also part curiosity, but I didn't want to stop running until I felt I'd been out there for an adequate period of time. I was going to run just one more mile after the first three, but then that shortly turned into five, and then before I knew it, six plus miles. ;-)

I repeated the course a few times over the duration of the six miles, & by about the third & fourth times, began to look for some new places to discover along the path. ;-) There's not really enough space to run 6 miles of new paths on the complex itself, so it looks like I'll definitely be exploring other possibilities. To shake things up, I think I might be running barefoot along the beach tomorrow, or perhaps I'll save those moments for a few extra speed workouts. Perhaps I can run along the road or hop in the car & drive to some other areas to explore.

OK, well it's off to the beach in a bit. Later!
-C

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