Friday, April 26

Weekly roundup: Friday potluck

Welcome to another installment of the weekly roundup we all know and love: Friday potluck!

Stupid People Tricks

Give someone enough time, and they'll devise a clever way to part a sucker from his (or her) money... Something like... oh I don't know.... a $40,000 cocktail?
Image source
(How drunk does someone need to be before they think it's ok to order a drink that costs more than most cars? And what must that hangover feel like the next day? I suspect it's got a hefty does of regret mixed in with cotton mouth...)

Same data, opposite conslusions

Paul T. Williams "achieved a feat that's exceedingly rare in mainstream science: He used exactly the same dataset to publish two opposing findings." Williams used data on exercise habits to show both that walking is better than running AND that running is better than walking. Read Daniel Engber's article in Slate to find out why "flip-flopping advice on exercise may not be as contradictory as it seems."

You can have your ice cream...

... and eat it, too!
With a bicycle-powered ice cream churner, you can burn calories before you consume those (delicious) calories!

Best thing I read this week

I loved MCM Mama's "Running does that for me."

In my kitchen

Seeing as I'm whittling down the pantry staples to empty cupboards (Oh! The joys of moving!) my kitchen experiments are not document-worthy this week... But I will soon be visiting New Orleans for one last round of crawfish, po-boys, and beignets before I pack up and move north.
Oysters at Acme Oyster House
AND since ONE OF MY PHOTOS is going to appear in Paula Garriott's new book Signature Tastes of New Orleans: Favorite Recipes of our Local Restaurants, I'll leave you with this image for the week... Because this book will, indeed, be in my kitchen soon

Quote of the week:
"Laissez les bon temps rouler!"

Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, April 25

Training for two: week 12 details

Here are the workout details from week 12...

Friday: 30 minutes on the stationary bike

Saturday: 4 mile walk

Sunday: gorgeous 5 mile trail run with a couple of walk breaks... the fact that there were ospreys nesting nearby made the walk breaks seem like sightseeing.

Monday: 45 minutes on the stationary bike

Tuesday: planned 3 mile run turned into a can't-catch-my-breath 1 mile run + 2 mile walk
plus Fitness Blender's Tank Top Arms workout

Wednesday: an attempted 4-mile walk turned into 60 minutes on the stationary bike, thanks to two dogs on the loose in my neighborhood. I headed home (to call animal control) after one tried to bite me. Grr!

Thursday: 20 minutes on the elliptical + 20 minutes of weight lifting at the gym

Public Service Message from Captain Obvious: These posts are not intended to be a set of week-by-week pregnancy workout guidelines. Every woman needs to do what's right for her and her baby, with a doctor's guidance, of course. I'd just like to keep y'all up to date on how things are going in my little world.

Rants & Raves


A friend of mine recently asked on Facebook, in a none-too-pleased way, "Why do people at the gym insist on standing right in front of the weight rack when they're lifting?"

Image source
This morning, I ran into one of these inconsiderate creatures.

The lifter combined the worst of free weights etiquette: grunting his rep counts out loud AND blocking the weight rack while he did it.

There's a giant weight lifting area. Why would anyone choose the exact space in front of the weight rack? Is it so hard to take a couple of steps back? Do these people realize they're blocking others from getting a different size weight, or is it just benign negligence?

Also, while I don't love loud lifters, I can understand an occasional grunt on the last rep of a hard set... but grunting with every rep?
Ungh...four-uh! Ungh...five-uh! Ungh... six-uh!
Um. Dude. You sound like a rutting donkey, and by counting out loud, you're messing up my rep counts.

To his credit, at least he re-racked his weights when he finished...


I cannot get the new Calvin Harris & Florence Welch song "Sweet Nothing" out of my head.

Like a sixteen year old girl, I've had it playing on continuous repeat for more than a week...

What are you ranting and raving about this week?

Tuesday, April 23

Training at 12 weeks...

Earlier this year I started a weekly post of my 5k training plan and workouts. I got through week 8 before I realized I was training for two, and I decided that speedy racing goals would take a back seat to staying fit for a healthy baby. So the training posts fell by the wayside...

But I enjoyed the routine of those weekly posts, so they're coming back.

Early on I read up on pregnancy exercise, had a detailed conversation with my doctor about my workout habits, and got the all-clear from her before I figured out my fitness plan. I would recommend the same to everyone: educate yourself PLUS listen to your doctor's guidance.

For the past 8 weeks, my workouts looked a lot like this:

  • Monday: 60 minutes on the stationary bike* + 25 minutes of strength training**

  • Tuesday: 30 minute run + nap***

  • Wednesday: yoga OR stationary bike + strength training + nap***

  • Thursday: 30 minute run (sometimes pool-running & lap-swimming) + nap***

  • Friday: NAP!!!

  • Saturday: 30 minute run or 45 minutes on the stationary bike + nap***

  • Sunday: 4-7 mile hike + nap***

*I'd make it through a full hour of cardio when I wasn't so tired I could fall asleep sitting up.

**For strength training, I have had good luck with the Fitness Blender 100 Rep Workout, with a slightly modified version of Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred series, and with the "morning" workout in Karen Voight's Streamline FitnessHOWEVER, it is important to note that I do modify or skip/swap-out some moves because there are a few exercises that pregnant women should avoid. Don't take my advice for it: check with your doctor.

***For what it's worth, I have never been a napper. For 30-something years I've taken 1, maybe 2 naps a year -- the afternoon after my longest training run of a half-marathon or marathon training cycle. Baby had different plans, and I napped nearly every day for the first 10 weeks. (Maybe this is advance planning for November when I'll never sleep again???)

With less running and more strength training, I reached a major strength milestone about a week ago: THREE un-assisted chin-ups/pull-ups!

Public Service Message from Captain Obvious: These posts are not intended to be a set of week-by-week pregnancy workout guidelines. Every woman needs to do what's right for her and her baby, with a doctor's guidance, of course. I'd just like to keep y'all up to date on how things are going in my little world.

Monday, April 22

So that *other* reason I cleared my 2013 racing calendar

So... if you remember... back in March, I had been training hard to break a 24 minute 5k. My 400 meter repeats were in the 6:50 pace range, and my 800s were 7:30s. Racing should have been a piece of cake.

And then I fell off the wagon, both on my track workouts and on blogging about running.

I blamed it on home-buying and a nearly cross-country move.

Which is part of the story.

This is the other reason...

Back in Feburary, I thought my sudden crash-and-burn/lead-legs workout at the track was a symptom of overtraining. About a week later, I discovered that I was exhausted because I was running for two.

(Whew! Who knew I'd want to nap EVERY DAY for 12 weeks???)

I've been quiet on social media because it's impossible to talk about training and act like everything is normal when things are quite different! If I just pretended that I was too busy doing other things, I'd look like a slacker. If I started talking about loose ligaments and low impact exercises, clever readers would put the pieces together before I was ready to announce.

So I'm back. And blogging for two.

And while I'll keep running and lifting as long as it's comfortable (and as long as my doctor continues to give me the go-ahead), my only training goal this year is to see this little person safely into the world in November.

Friday, April 19

Weekly roundup -- pardon this interruption

We interrupt this regularly-scheduled Weekly Roundup: Friday Potluck to bring you a break from wall-to-wall Boston bombing news coverage...

Source: via Lindsey on Pinterest

Be well, friends.

The Potluck will return, with all of its bizarre news and Stupid People Tricks, next week.

Friday, April 12

Weekly roundup: Friday potluck

Back and not at all well rested after a brief "vacation..."

...Welcome to another installment of the weekly roundup we all know and love: Friday potluck!

Food Fact and Fiction

Evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk of the University of California–Riverside explains the fact and fiction around the paleo diet in a recent article on Slate... it's definitely food for thought.

But on the flip side, it's worth keeping in mind that there's an entire industry dedicated to making junk food addictive.

Do Not Disturb (Runner at Work!)

Stupid People Tricks

Because there's always room for one more ridiculous product on an infomercial... Forget doing situps. Just strap a plastic grid to your beer belly, and poof. That keg o' lard turns into a six pack!
Just $9.95 plus shipping and handling!* And we'll throw in a second one... ABSOLUTELY FREE (*Fine Print: Shipping and handling costs a million dollars, and our product doesn't work, but that's your problem not ours!)

In My Kitchen

This week I made the Whole Wheat Sesame Soda Bread from Epicurious. It was a quick and delicious side dish alongside a spicy beans-and-greens soup.

I substituted flax seed for the sesame seeds, used buckwheat flour in place of whole wheat, and whole wheat "pastry" flour in place of all-purpose (white) flour, with excellent (and higher-fiber!) results.

Quote of the week:
"There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither."
Alan Cohen

Happy Friday, friends!

Sunday, April 7

Where I've been...

Despite blog silence over the past couple of weeks, I've been a busy bee!

I went to Washington, D.C. and bought a house.
(The home purchasing process is sufficient reason to take a break from blogging. Mortgage paperwork should be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Also, it's insanity-inducing to know that any one of a million little things could derail this process between now and our May closing date.)
(No, this is not the house I bought...)
Thankfully the trip to D.C. wasn't all work and no play.

Hubby and I met some friends for dinner and got in one run along the National Mall. I also put the hotel gym to good use. (Exercise, after all, is my favorite form of stress relief. And when you're having home-buying nightmares at 2am, why NOT go pump some iron?)

Then we took the train north and spent an all-too-brief-but-very-relaxing weekend with my family in southern New England.

On our return from the trip, I realized I have ONLY FOUR WEEKS LEFT in Pensacola. And I have a professional conference coming up. And I'm under deadline for two other academic papers. And the end-of-semester crush of grading is coming up. So, as you might guess, the past few weeks have been a flurry of non-blogging activity...

... Sorting household goods for a massive moving sale, because D.C. = downsizing.

... Revising a paper and responding to reviewer comments.

... Finalizing and printing my poster for an upcoming conference.

... Plus the day-to-day, week-to-week stuff like getting an oil change, finishing the year's tax forms, grading papers, exercising, and trying to cook every bit of food in the pantry so there's nothing left when the movers arrive.

So things are good. But hectic. "Spring break" is over, but don't worry if blog posts are intermittent in coming weeks. I'll just be buried under a mountain of moving boxes. I'll eventually dig myself out and start writing about running and travel again! (Eventually.)