Musings from a Seattle personal chef
Archive for October, 2006
I’ve never been, nor will I ever be, a fast runner. There were races in my early 30s where I averaged 8 1/4 to 8 1/2 minute miles, but the timing is suspect as it was before chip technology. These days I’m lucky if I can average 8 3/4 minute miles; 9+ minute miles are more the norm. However, even though I’m running slower than I did a decade ago, afterwards my body feels like it’s been run over by a truck, especially on my long runs. So it was with great anticipation that I try Jeff Galloway’s run/walk training program as it promises a more enjoyable run with a faster recovery.
Last week was my first on the new program, but I didn’t feel it was a true test as my long run was only 6 miles. But this week it increased to 12 miles — a much better indicator of whether the program will work for me. As an even greater test, I ran the same trail as my 12-mile training run for the Seafair half this summer: the Snoqualmie Valley trail starting in Duvall. It’s a wonderfully flat, soft and wide trail that winds through some beautiful countryside. At one point during our summer run we stopped for a water break, only to see a couple of deer scamper across the trail.
I did it — I’m now officially entered into the Seattle Half Marathon (I’d have taken a picture of my number but we don’t get that until the expo. The receipt from Super Jock ‘n Jill just didn’t seem like it would be the same).
I was SUPPOSED to do a 6-mile long run on Saturday, but we went out with friends to Brouwer’s for Belgian beer and I spent most of the day on the couch nursing the effects of said beer. But the day wasn’t all for naught: I read several chapters in Jeff Galloway’s “New Marathon” book. That counts for something, doesn’t it?
I kept my word and just finished my 6-mile tempo run. My darling joined me, and I may actually convince him to enter the half with me. He’s planning on joining some friends in Whistler for Thanksgiving (I have a gig the day after so I won’t be going), but they’ll be back in time for the half. He’s basically training with me, so why not?
I started the morning with a half hour of laps in the pool. It’s been great cross training, and I actually feel I’m getting stronger in my shoulders (I can even see a smidgen of definition!). I’m still rather slow — I alternate between the “easy” and “medium” lap lanes — but I think my form is pretty good. I’ll going to check out Mary Meyers pool clinic soon to make sure I’m not developing poor habits. With twice-a-week lap sessions I should be in prime shape for next tri season!
Lest you think we chefs only dine on haute cuisine, consider my dinner this evening. I’ve had a LONG day (more on that later), my darling is on a photo shoot, and there’s nothing in the fridge or freezer that takes less than 1/2 hour to prepare. So I’m sitting here with a big bowl of popcorn (air-popped, topped with a bit of butter and some Tony Chacheres) and a glass of liquid potatoes with 2 olives I’ve bagged off my 6-mile tempo run (I’ll run it tomorrow, I swear!) and will most likely spend the rest of the evening watching the Biggest Loser and grazing on various nibbles. Pretty glamorous, huh?
I’m kinda, sorta, somewhat committed to doing the Seattle half marathon in November. I’ve been telling people I’ll be doing it, I’ve blogged about it, and most importantly, I’m in the full throes of training for it. But I haven’t yet registered for it. You see, I’m all gung-ho when the weather is beautiful, but when it turns nasty, I’m a wuss. Fortunately we’ve only had a couple of really pissy days; although it’s indeed colder the weather continues to be glorious. As I write this there’s nary a cloud in the sky. But this IS Seattle after all, and the rain will be a comin’.
I just finished a half-hour of speed work and am feeling really good. Last Friday my darling and I ran my 10-mile long run together. While this distance normally makes me want to collapse on the couch afterwards, I had to gather the strength to cater a dinner for two that evening. But after a hearty sushi lunch I was up for the task. The couple was an absolute blast, and they were impressed with my accomplishments.
Although I’ve run the Seattle half marathon before, the course has changed (apparently they made it more difficult since it’s now a qualifying race for the Boston marathon). The race I ran was a nice flat one along the Burke-Gilman trail; it now starts in downtown Seattle and winds up and down along Lake Washington. The website claims it’s “moderately hilly,” but I intend to do a drive-through to see what I’m getting myself in to. Last week’s tempo run included some wicked hills; although my lungs felt like they were going to burst while in the midst of the hills, I was able to recover fairly quickly. But I know I need more practice if I want to reach my goal of finishing in under 2 hours.
So, do I just bite the bullet and sign up? If I register on or before October 15 it’ll be $70. After that it’s $75. Just a $5 savings, but I could buy 2-3 Clif ShotBlox for that! (Or a package of my favorite imported pasta). With my luck the weather will turn the moment my credit card is swiped.
There’s something about a cool Fall day that makes me want to just curl up on the couch and hunker down. The cold seeps into my joints and I have little energy to do much else. Fortunately my long run for the week is out of the way (I ran 10 miles on Friday), but unfortunately I’m also craving beer, potatoes and brauts. My darling is busy brewing up some all-grain beer, so we figured this would be the perfect meal to get us in the mood. A couple of Moroccan lamb sausages are simmering in a bit of beer and garlicky potatoes are roasting away in the oven. We’ll wash those down with a hearty rauchbier (a smoked German beer). It’s neither diet nor training fare, but sometimes you just need a bit of comfort.