Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Race

My kids joined me yesterday for The Flying Feather, a local Thanksgiving Day 4-mile race. We left the house a little later than I had planned and the traffic getting near the race was horrible! I was a little worried that we wouldn't get to the start in time because the parking lot was 0.75 mile from the start. We made it about 10 min before the start. (I like to get to a race about an hour early.)

It was a little colder than I had hoped at about 35 degrees. (We've had some pretty mild temperatures lately.) As it got closer to starting time, the sky got progressively grayer and it felt as if it got colder. Shortly after the start, the kids decided to run (that was OK) and I walked with my friend Deb and her husband. He is not a regular walker so we were not expecting to set any world records. Because I had been sick for nearly a week and had not walked during that time, I was feeling a little weak and was not ready to walk super hard anyway. (Thank you for setting a reasonable pace, Jeff!)

Before the first mile it started sleeting. It didn't last long and within a couple miles the sun came out and we almost felt too hot. That didn't last long either and the sky got gray again.

We finished in a little over an hour which was fine. The kids had finished about 15 min before us and they came out to meet us we approached the end. We crossed the finish line, grabbed a small bagel and went straight to pick up a bottle of wine.

What I like about this race is that it is very family oriented, the shirts are pretty good (they were better in previous years), and adults get a bottle of wine!

However, because it is so family oriented, it is more casual than other races. The food (bagels and bananas) is set out before the race so a lot of people grab some before and after meaning that by the time I finish there is rarely anything left. But then again, because it is a casual race, I don't really need the food afterward.

It was chillier after I finished and because my kids ran part of the way they had worked up more of a sweat and were getting cold waiting, so we left right away. Though the race does have shuttles to and from the parking lot (nice touch) we decided it would be quicker to walk. I think walking kept us warmer, too.

So, it was a nice race and it was a nice way to start a holiday devoted to eating lots of food!

Note: I tried to take pictures, but I need a new battery for my camera. It doesn't seem to hold a charge longer than just a couple of minutes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Recovering -- I Think

I'm not sure what I am recovering from. According to my doctor I do not have a flu. From the way I feel I know this is not a cold. But whatever it is, it is hard to recover from.

My symptoms are mostly gone with a little bit of a cough lingering. The problem is I'm easily exhausted. I went to the grocery store and nearly needed a nap when I got home.

Anyway, I've barely left the house since last Monday. I have now officially passed the illness along to my husband. We have encouraged our son to spend the night at friends' houses and to stay away as much as possible. With any luck he won't get it, too.

My plan for walking is to see if I can make it around the block tomorrow. If I can, I'll try two times and see how that goes.

I just hope I feel well enough on Thanksgiving to finish the 4-mile race I've entered. But then again, I'm just thankful I'm no longer contagious.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sick Again

I cannot believe I am sick again! I had a horrible summer cold (that my husband brought home) and now I have a virus that is not the flu.

The problem is I have been taking good care of myself. I exercise and I've been eating better. I wash my hands religiously and I even use hand sanitizer.

The only hole is all of this is I never seem to get enough sleep.

So, I'm not walking and don't feel like writing. I'm sleeping more and with luck I should be over this quickly.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What Do You Do with Race Memorabilia?

If you are like me, you have a drawer full of race numbers, your shirts are in a pile in your closet and you wear just the shirts that fit. You might even give the others away.

Now those numbers, shirts and other memorabilia can be made into a custom-made tote at Mile 22 Bags. (Photo is of the style called The Finish Line Bag.)

Stephanie Fisher, an avid runner, made a bag for herself from Boston Marathon memorabilia. She received such a positive response from other runners she started making bags for others and created Mile 22.

I have to admit, of all of the many ways I've seen people make use of shirts and numbers, etc., this is one of my favorites. There are a couple different styles including a backpack and a wallet. I can't wait to see a sample in person and I'm already planning what I'm going to put in mine!

Good luck Stephanie!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Saturday's Walk Speedier than Usual

This morning when the Buckeye Striders met for our weekly group walk, a bunch of us started at a much quicker pace than usual. The funny thing is, I set the pace. Yes, my regular walking pace is getting quicker -- my speed workouts are working!

We walked straight out on the Olentangy Trail (south) from the Park of Roses for 30 min and then turned around. The cool thing is, we reached the start again after walking only 56 min! I'm pretty sure we went farther than 4 miles, too. I'm so exited that we got faster as we went.

It was a beautiful morning with temps in the 40s and lots of sunshine. On top of that, there were more Striders than usual. It was a very fun morning!

Though it feels strange not being in training for an event, it was nice to be able to meet at our regular walking time and not worry about walking a specific distance. I even felt that meeting at 8 was sleeping in! (I better not tell Deb, she'll try to get me out as early as 7 again!)

Hey everyone -- thanks for a fun morning walk!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Wanchai Ferry Product Review

My family and I had the opportunity to try the new Wanchai Ferry Restaurant Favorites Orange Chicken through the General Mills Pssst program.

When I opened the box and saw the small amount of ingredients, I did not believe that even with adding 1 lb of chicken that there was enough food for five servings. I was pretty skeptical.

I cooked the chicken according to directions with the provided seasoned cornstarch and the sauce while cooking the enclosed rice. I was VERY surprised at the large amount of rice we ended up with. I make rice all of the time and could not believe that such a small package would expand that much! It was definitely enough!

The hot peppers came in separate packaging from the sauce and could be added according to individual tastes. My family likes spicy foods so I added all of the peppers. If I had read the instructions more thoroughly I would have squeezed the bag with the peppers to loosen the seeds and make it even more spicy. As it was, it had good flavor without doing that.

The box said that it contained five servings. Not for my family! I have a 15-year-old son and a husband with a large appetite. Still, it was plenty of food for the three of us. It would be fine for four people with average appetites and possibly five with appropriate side dishes.

The Orange Chicken tasted great! As mentioned earlier, it had a good amount of spice and the sauce was tasty. Though the kit contained white rice, it went well with the dinner and cooked well. My only true complaint is that there was not enough sauce. And if you were to add vegetables, which was a serving suggestion, there definitely would NOT be enough sauce.

According to the website, the package price averages $4.79. Note that I received the package for free.

Because I'm a pretty good cook, I RARELY buy boxed meals that require adding meat. (I have very bad memories of packaged hamburger dishes vaguely resembling stroganoff.) That being said, and based on taste alone, I would buy this. I do find the price just a little high for this type of boxed dinner, but it is much better than others I have tried in the past.

Nutrition Highlights
Servings per box: 5
Serving size: about 1 cup
Calories per serving: 350
Calories from fat: 70
Sodium: 460 mg

Next week we'll try the Chicken Piccata.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Hills Tonight

Thanks to Elaine and Deb for doing hills with me tonight! We did a half-mile warm up and half-mile cool down with four reps on the hills for a 56-min workout.

It felt great! And after I remembered Elaine was tapering for a half-marathon last week I realized she was right not to do hills then. Congrats on your PR in Pittsburgh, Elaine!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Marathon Run in the Slow Lane

Funny how recently The New York Times ran a front-page story about middle-of-the-pack runners' dislike of slow marathoners.

Today on the Times' website is an article (blog posting?) by Tara Parker-Pope about what it is like to be a runner at the back of the pack -- Well: A Marathon Run in the Slow Lane. (I wonder if the idea came from a back issue of WALK! Magazine?)

The article was nice though it didn't have much new information for those of us who walk marathons. [I was a little surprised that her run/walk pace was slower than the full-marathon I walked. Not intended to be rude or mean, just an observation.] Still, it's nice to find articles that are positive about slower marathoners.

I especially liked the fact that Tara found several runners who do support us back-of-the-packers.
But the legendary gold medalist Frank Shorter says the criticisms of slow runners are “snobbery.” “You never hear that from elite runners,” he told me. “Elite runners admire other people’s performance. I find it much better to welcome slow runners to the club than to vote them out.”

Greg Meyer, who in 1983 was the last American man to win the Boston Marathon, says that when he hears such complaints from average marathoners, he replies, “If it wasn’t for the run-walkers, you wouldn’t be finishing in front of anybody.”

I've never had much interest in doing the New York Marathon, but I'm beginning to warm to it. Maybe next year!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

3 Miles

Had a nice 3-mile walk this evening -- 1 mile to the library, 1 lap around the park and one mile back home. The temps were mild and it was a beautiful evening.

I had originally planned to walk at Antrim Park, but because it gets dark earlier now, I was afraid I might not finish before it got too dark.

I have never understood the time changes. Why on Earth would time be changed to make it light later in the evening when days are already getting longer? And when it starts getting dark earlier, why would time be changed so it gets dark even earlier?

Whatever the reasons, I hate the time changes (though daylight saving time bothers me less).