Saturday, March 31, 2007


I just realized tonight that I've scheduled two half marathons within 7 days: 13.1 planned (a 5K jog after a 10-mile race) tomorrow on Sunday, and than a regular half marathon on the following Saturday.

That was not part of the actual plan. It just happened.

Oh well....

Don't give me that "fail to plan, plan to fail" jive.

Sunny flight to Cambridge

We took the opportunity on a beautiful calm day to fly with our girls 32 miles from Easton down south to Cambridge.

Elisabeth wasn't thrilled about the idea - she tried to escape back into the minivan to GO HOME!
Catherine, however, thought it was wonderfully fun!

A view of the bridge over the Miles River not far from our house. We didn't fly very close to St. Michaels because it has a no-fly area over the house of the vice president. Not sure it it still applies to Rumsfeld's house nearby!

Another view of the same bridge.

The Oak Creek bridge (right - center) that I drive over every weekday to take Elisabeth to school. Yes, cycling over that is one of the only hills in the entire county! Can you see why I don't do many hilly events?

In Cambridge, the point of land in the center below is the transition area for Eagleman half Ironman, and T1 for Chesapeakeman.

Another view of downtown Cambridge and the Choptank River.

We had a lovely lunch at the Cambridge airport with the girls - surprisingly yummy crabcakes and excellent homestyle cake - and then flew back!

Landing in Easton again!

Friday, March 30, 2007

A long way from Hopkinton

Are you running the Boston Marathon? Suni Williams will be running it with you.

Only in space.

Well, except not actually at the same time.
And she gets to run without wind resistance.
And without gravity.
And not with an actual real bib.
And she won't get an actual real medal.
And not . . . well, nevermind.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

National Half Marathon photos are up!

Once again demonstrating conclusively that I can't get both feet off the ground at the same time while running to save my life.

And what's your guess? Do you think this chick behind me is trying to catch up to me and get my attention in order to get some fashion advice?

The National Marathon long course resolution

I just got the following email from the RD of the National Half Marathon and Marathon, which I think is a gracious resolution to the long course problem we had. I'm a happy customer. Hooray! My 2nd sub-2:30 half marathon!!! I wrote an email to the DC Mayor (4:09 in the marathon) thanking him for his support of the event and expressing my hopes that he will continue his strong support of DC running.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2007 8:57 AM
Subject: Adjusted Half Marathon Information

Dear 2007 Half Marathon participant,

On behalf of the Wirefly National Marathon & The Greater Washington Sports Alliance, thank you for participating in the 2007 Half Marathon event.

I am pleased to announce that we welcomed over 4,600 race participants from around the globe this past Saturday morning including District of Columbia Mayor, Adrian Fenty, who completed the marathon in just over 4 hours.

Included among our field were 2,800 of you who registered for the Half Marathon, making us twice the size of the previous year.

We wanted to make you aware that due to a cone placement error this course was inadvertently .24 miles longer than the 13.1 official distance which race officials had mapped and USATF had certified. While your Official Time remains the same for the event, we are providing an amended section to the posted results. Click below for adjusted half marathon race results.

* Adjusted male half marathon results

* Adjusted female half marathon results

Within this document you will find your converted time, which adjusts your official time for the actual 13.34 mile distance. We sincerely apologize for this error and thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.

Know that we are taking measures for future races to be sure that this does not happen again. Please report any errors in the results to

What we hope you will remember from the 2007 National Marathon and Half Marathon is the great feeling of accomplishment you felt when you crossed the Finish Line; the sights and sounds as you ran through the neighborhoods and monuments of Washington, DC; and the volunteers, spectators and fellow runners you met along the way.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2008 Wirefly National Marathon and Half Marathon next spring. Stay tuned to our website for details.

All the Best,
Keith Dowling
Race Director
Wirefly National Marathon

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

He's an animal

My training buddy David took a day off work today to ride his bike a little.

He went 152 miles.


Averaging 17.7 mph for the day.

Look out, Ironman Coeur d'Alene! He's going to kick some butt and take names!

Race plans for half marathon 3 of 5

I don't have a nearby official half marathon to run within the 7 weeks between my planned first and fifth half marathons of the spring (which I'm doing to celebrate my 50th year). My plan is this: on Sunday I'm going to run the local Cherry Pit Ten Miler, which is a local smaller race near Annapolis (gotta love a $5 entry fee). It's their answer to the big-time Cherry Blossom Ten Miler in nearby Washington, DC which always fills early.

I'm going to run the 10-miler for time, with a goal finish time of 1:52 or less (which would be a PR). I've asked my running buddies Dave and Chuck to go out with me for another 5K jog after the finish line to complete my #3 timed half marathon. If things go correctly, I can just pass the finish line and turn around and go back out 1.55 miles on the course and turn around. Most likely we will do that last 3.1 miles at a slow jog for a warmdown from the race, so I expect that this will be my slowest half marathon time of the five.

That's the plan.

National Half Marathon followup

THREE days now, one email to the Race Director and two emails to the scoring folks, and they still haven't managed to post the correct results online for the race.

Here is the email exchange from yesterday after sending the scoring correction to the scoring folks (after the Race Director bounced it back to me):


It's NOT fixed in the online results yet!!
Even though the half marathon course was TOO LONG by about 0.4 miles, I still would kind of like to know my official time within over 2 days of the race....

fixed on my computer only. I have not set the new results to the web site yet

Sheesh!! Am I just expecting too much? Is knowing your time three days after the race expecting immediate gratification? Is politeness too much to ask for a $65 entry fee?

Like perhaps: "We're sorry for the error. Thank you for providing us with the correct timing information. The corrected results have now been posted. Your correct gun time is x:xx:xx, and your chip time is x:xx:xx. Thank you for running with us this year."

Their principal sponsor is a wireless telephone company. Somehow I thought that would prompt them to have better communication of timing results.

Just can't get good help these days. . . .

Update: 9AM: I'm now listed as:
1088 65/73 4996 Nancy Toby 49 St Michaels MD 2:30:54 11:31 2:32:33 11:39

Which assigns me a chip time that is still 45 seconds longer than my watch time. And I'm still listed as 2nd place in my age group. But believe me, I'm not nearly as frustrated as I would be if I had actually earned 2nd place in my age group and not been awarded it!!!
It's still not clear exactly what the actual race distance was, but 4 different Garmins recorded it as between 13.48 and 13.54 miles.

Update 2: I just got another email from the timing folks: "You were caught by the backup system at the finish. There was no backup at the start so you net time = gun time". Hmm. I recall at the finish area there were two widely-separated mats, and I stopped and began walking after crossing the first mat, since there were people walking around in my way near the 2nd mat. I guess the lesson here is always run hard through the 2nd mat if your time matters to you.

So much for their low-cost proprietary ankle-strap timing chips, eh? I do understand that sometimes chips don't register. But I still don't think that accounts for 45 full seconds difference. And there still is 1:39 between my chip time and gun time, which must have been the time before going over the initial starting mat. Something's still messed up in their numbers. This all seems a little amateurish for a "National Half Marathon".

I think every participant in the race deserves accurate timing results for a $65 entry fee, not just the front-runners - don't you?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Running tops with pockets

I'm finding it difficult to find running race shirts that I like that include pockets, since now I want to minimize and don't want to carry my stuff in a race belt.

My criteria are these:

1) POCKETS. Preferably more than one.
2) Good shoulder coverage (not a shimmel or tank top, no built-in bra).
3) Excellent wicking fabric
4) Medium colors (I don't like when whites/pastels turn transparent).
5) Bonus: hip-length shirttail cut with a little looseness (no midriff-baring or tight tri-tops). Cut for women, not tight around my hips/under my stomach.

I have one or two sleeveless cycling jerseys that are almost right, but they're a little hot to run in and not cut right (the armholes chafe). Tri-jerseys made for swimming often don't seem to work well for me. The running products that I've found that fit the description seem to be quite expensive (over $40 for a shirt).

Who has some product recommendations/links for me? I can't find exactly what I want on (although these 3 are close, I either don't like the colors or price) or or I did, however, just order these two from Performance Bikes - but I won't know if the fabric or cut is right until I try them out, and they probably will fail criterion #5. I'm sure they'll be okay for cycling, but running is another question.

Update! Thanks for the recommendations and links, folks! I tried looking up them all. I finally ordered this one in blue from Title Nine - less coverage than I would like, but it has two back pockets and at least it's not pastel aqua or lavender.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

2007 National Half Marathon Race Report

I still don't know my official time in this race. The website says 1:37:36 (!!!), which I will only run in my wildest dreams. The clock was just turning over 2:32 when I crossed the line, and I was about 2 minutes back on chip time at the start. My Garmin says 2:29:26 at the finish line for a distance of 13.54 miles. At 13.10 miles my time was 2:24:54. But my watch said 2:30:09 at the finish line. Whatever!!!

Right up front I want to say that I liked this race. I really liked this race a lot. It may be because it was a well-run event, or it may be because I felt good for every mile of the course. Either way, I think this race has a bright future. I recommend it highly and I'll definitely be back another year to run it again.

Here's the course - unfortunately a bit difficult to see in a pale blue line:

Challenging course without being a killer. Huge downhill by the Capitol at mile 2; rolling hills from miles 8 through 12 -- but all runnable, nothing too brutal.
Excellent course layout through interesting neighborhoods and through the Mall
Several occasions to see front-runners on other side of road
Fantastic road closures, well-monitored
Plenty of room to run after the first mile
Frequent, well-stocked aid stations, including gel at Mile 9 of the half
Lots of parking close to the start
Ample bathrooms (and shelter from rain!) at start
Nice medals and finish area
One of few races requiring qualifying times - knowledgeable runners
Good support by DC Mayor Fenty, who ran the marathon
Fun atmosphere
Free beer!

Ugly white see-through t-shirt, although technical fabric
Few exhibitors at expo (and having to go there on a Friday)
Somewhat disorganized corral-free, seeding-free start
Some aid stations were light on volunteers
Some broken city pavement after the winter
Unpredictable weather (rainy at the start this year, then drizzle for most of the race)
Minimal food selection at finish area (bagels and bananas) although ample
Leading marathoners had to run through half-marathoners at finish - could have been prevented with better coning to split road in last mile
Half marathon course probably long
Proprietary chips with ankle straps (although I'm used to those)
Few spectators, relatively little support from local residents
Incorrect timing data on website after race, no email contact provided for corrections

Now here's MY race: It went great!!! I felt positive and upbeat the whole way - I don't recall any bad spots at all. I don't think I've ever had a uniformly happy half marathon before - I've always had some parts where I really struggled! I never had to pull myself out of that dark, fatigued place during this race. I don't think I've ever before been surprised by mile markers coming up earlier than I expected them, either! I like that!

I did have some niggling aches and pains along the way - hip aching, painful knees, and my left arch started tightening up for a ways - but they all worked themselves out. I may go back to wearing knee straps for hilly races, though.

In the final mile I was running strong and passing lots and lots of walkers, whom I tried to encourage on and get them to sprint with me to the finish line!

(Note: timing data is a little messed up for the final split(s) listed and charted, since course was long and I turned the unit on and off in the parking lot after the race.)

I want to record exactly what I did before the race and try to do it again in the future! While I don't recommend this necessarily for anyone else, it worked great for me this time around!
  • 3 days before: Send babysitter to Key West and taper hard for 3 full days!
  • Day before: Eat Mexican food for lunch and drink champagne with shrimp and good bread and olive oil for dinner!
  • 2.5 hours pre-start: wake up, coffee with milk
  • 2.0 hours pre-start: 2 Imodium, large muffin, 2 slices cheese
  • Pre-race: Hydrate at start, 2 ibuprofen, 1 Succeed
  • Aid stations: Walk to drink at least 2 small cups water every station
  • Mile 3.5: 1 gel
  • Mile 9.0: 1 caffeinated gel, 1 Succeed, 1 ibuprofen
I think all my strategies for this race worked to perfection! The only thing I might change slightly is start my drive to the finish line just a little sooner. I was slow in miles 9-10 (including a long walk to take in water and gel) and if I had pushed harder then I might have saved a minute or two on my final time. That's when I was in the hilly section, though, so it's difficult to say for certain.

Here are my post-race notes to myself on my race strategies:

1. Start slower.

- Try to hit my target 11 min/mile pace on mile one and stay right there on every consecutive mile.

>>Yes, I kept my pace in the "very comfortable" range starting out, and I hit my first three miles in 10:48, 10:45, and 10:45. That's just where they landed, I don't think I did a lot of pace adjustment other than to remind myself to stay very comfortable. I didn't let the other runners "carry" me out faster. After that I picked up my cadence on the uphills and downhills and tried to keep a steady effort just at the outer edge of my comfort range.

- Try to keep the heart rate under 170 before the 10 mile marker. (Last time it went over 170 by about mile 7.5 and continued climbing after that).

>>YES!! I did it! The weather (drizzly and cool) and my clothing cooperated on this. My average heart rate didn't get above 165 until Mile 11 this time. It was lower than I expected almost every time I checked it, so I didn't have to do much adjustment for heart rate either.

2. Drink more. Try to get down at least two small cups of fluid every 3 miles. I think I got a bit dehydrated last time and that affected my heart rate and my performance toward the end. Balance the water with one salt capsule at the start and one halfway, same as last time.

>>Done! I made certain to drink two cups (4-6 ounces total?) per water stop (approx. every 2 miles), even if I had to walk a ways to do it. Weather was cool, though, I need to drink more in hotter weather. I think that helped the heart rate a lot.

3. Carry less. No waist belt this time. No water bottle no course - chug a little water at the starting line and toss the bottle. Just a number belt with a couple gels taped on.

>>Done! I used a cycling-type vest with pockets in the back. I LOVED it. In the future in warmer weather I think I'll wear a minimal tri-top with rear pockets for road races and lose the waist pack (although I do like it for triathlons when I put my sunglasses and gels inside and can grab them all at once in transition). I don't need all that extra stuff. Yes, it's a security blanket. The stuff you genuinely need is out on the course. JFR!

4. Wear less.

>>YES. Shorts from now on for all road races unless it's below 40-45 degrees. Shiver through mile 1 if you have to, it won't kill you. Check a bag of warm clothes for the finish area if you can't park close by.

5. Less gel.

>>YES. Two worked great for a half marathon at mile 3.5 and 9.0 (where there were aid stations when I could wash them down with water). Just enough, not too little.

6. Keep running, no matter what. No walk breaks except to take on water, fix gear problems, or maintain heart rate under 170 on steep uphills.

>>YES. I was a little more liberal in walking to get in all my water, but ran all the rest. I was able to run up these hills without breaking my heart rate maximum. That might not be possible in other races with steeper hills, but it worked in this one.

All in all, I'm VERY happy about this race. I had fun and ran well! The only thing I may try to do differently in my next half marathon race is to kick it in gear for the finish line at about Mile 10 instead of Mile 11 or so.

Family times

Sorry I'm late writing my race report, but we've been busy!

Learning to eat lo mein with chopsticks. . . .

Visiting the tigers. . . .

. . . and the tropical rainforest.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

And I got 2nd!!

And here are the official results!!

1 3128 Debi Bernardes** 48 King George VA 1:35:13
2 4996 Nancy Toby 49 St Michaels MD 1:39:16
3 5269 Debbie Daughtry 49 Ellicott City MD 1:44:44

That darned Coach Debi, she beats me every time!!!

Uh, no, that's about 50 minutes before I actually finished. I think I was something like 65th out of 72 in my age group. I emailed them and confessed. Too honest for my own good.

National Half Marathon

No, I haven't run it yet! I'm just up early (4:40AM!) getting ready. Here's the radar. Ugh! But not as bad as it could have been. It's 54*F with light winds. THANK YOU for the running advice and good wishes, everyone! Back later after my 29th half marathon.

Update: I'm home!! And finished! And I had a MOST EXCELLENT race!! Not my fastest ever, didn't break my PR from 3 weeks ago (and didn't expect to) , but it was my 2nd-fastest ever and I think it was my best-paced, best-executed race of my entire running career!! I felt pretty darned good every single mile of the course, the mile markers all seemed to arrive early (WTF!!?), and I finished somewhere between 2:29:38 (Garmin time) and 2:30:09 (watch time).

Plus I got to visit with David and Chuck at the start and Holly at the finish!! How fun!! Many more details to follow after a hot bath (no, I don't do ice baths after races unless I have to run the next day. Nooooooooo!).

Thanks to Holly for the post-race photo. FREE BEER!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Race day a'comin'!

Forecast is worsening for the National Half Marathon on Saturday. Ugh!

90% chance of showers at the start, 47*F, but light (5 mph) winds.

Frankly, it's the kind of weather that would normally prompt me to skip a road race and sleep in, since I really dislike cold rain - but I want to get my five halves done and in the bag this spring. So I've committed to seeing my racer buddies at the starting line, at the back of the pack - probably the last I'll see of them until after the finish line!

It looks like a great course this year, starting out heading down the long axis of the Mall, past the U.S. Capitol, Smithsonian buildings, Washington Monument and White House. I've lived in this area for 17 years now, so I tend to forget to sightsee around those national landmarks!

The marathon course doubles back on the half marathon course so we'll be able to see those runners heading out. One of my new goals for the race is to make it to the split just before the 6 mile mark before the elites come through at mile 15 of the marathon. If I'm having a really, really good day, I'll make it to the course re-join at the 7 mile mark before they get to the 14!!

Of course, if my shoes are soaking wet and weigh ten pounds apiece, that will slow me down. Yeah, that's it! It's my wet shoes that make me slow!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

New gear

No, no new bike stuff. (Although my most recent bike purchases did arrive and they look awesome).

I just received a stainless steel butter dish that I bought on eBay.

So a debacle like this should never happen in our household again. I'm sure you're all relieved to hear of this.

At least we won't repeat that particular debacle. We'll just have other kinds of debacles.

In other shopping news (don't you all hold your breath for my shopping posts?), on March 6th I ordered an Amgen Tour of California Microfiber Jacket because I had a discount code and it sounded pretty cheap indeed, $19 with shipping. I thought it might have been mismarked, but that's their problem, right? Just TODAY (yes, that would be 16 whole days later) they emailed me to tell me it was supposedly out of stock. I'll bet it was. Just can't get good service anywhere these days, can you?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My half marathon challenge: Strategizing #2 of 5

As my readers may recall, I've set out to do a series of five half marathons this spring as part of my fiftieth year celebration.

The first in the series was nearly three weeks ago and resulted in a huge PR. Lots of the credit for my improvement goes to my training and pacing partners, David and Chuck. Pacers definitely help, and I would have slowed a lot in those final difficult, wheezy, heart-rate-outta-control 2 or 3 miles if they hadn't been urging me on.

So realistically, I don't expect to get a faster time at this Saturday's half marathon (especially since this will be a hillier course in warmer weather). Nevertheless, there's a couple things that I would like to tweak to see how that affects my performance, and try to get as close to my previous paced time (2:26) as possible.

1. Start slower. Try to hit my target 11 min/mile pace on mile one and stay right there on every consecutive mile. I started a bit too fast last time. Try to keep the heart rate under 170 before the 10 mile marker. (Last time it went over 170 by about mile 7.5 and continued climbing after that).

2. Drink more. Try to get down at least two small cups of fluid every 3 miles. I think I got a bit dehydrated last time and that affected my heart rate and my performance toward the end. Balance the water with one salt capsule at the start and one halfway, same as last time.

3. Carry less. No waist belt this time. No water bottle no course - chug a little water at the starting line and toss the bottle. Just a number belt with a couple gels taped on.

4. Wear less. I'm going for shorts to keep my legs air-cooled throughout the race, even if it's quite cold at the start (forecast says about 48*F). It won't kill me, and may help the muscular endurance a bit. I'll still keep my head and arms and hands covered, though.

5. Less gel. I took 3 GUs last time at miles 3, 6, and 9. I still had a struggle for the last couple of miles and had severe adverse gastrointestinal problems the rest of the afternoon. If it had been a marathon it would have been fairly disastrous. It's a shame, since I did like the flavor of the lemon GUs! I'm going back to 2 gels (possibly another brand, we'll see) at miles 4 and 9 this time, or else take along 2-3 ounces of my homemade gel in a flask and just take a little nip every two miles.

6. Keep running, no matter what. No walk breaks except to take on water, fix gear problems, or maintain heart rate under 170 on steep uphills. (I have nothing against walk breaks, I just find in a race of this distance they slow me down. I'll still probably use them for my fall marathon).

Those are my thoughts and plans right now, subject to change right up until the starting gun. (Revising the plan mid-race is usually a bad idea, though, I've found.) Comments?

It must be true

Messy people are more productive than neat freaks!

Research says it's true, and I believe it. ". . . neatness is overrated, costs money, wastes time and quashes creativity."

My race history

On one of my lists someone asked about our race histories. This is mine, from what I recall:
  • First competitive races/awards: 1970 (on horseback), in suburban Chicago area. Competed successfully for about a decade.
  • First road races: circa 1982, in rural Illinois. Mostly 10Ks in those days. I was definitely NOT competitive, though I did get one 3rd-place trophy in a 5K once.
  • Late 1980s: three-year sojourn into powerlifting, in which I was quite successful. I've got a body built strength and power, not for endurance!
  • First multisport race: 1989, a duathlon (run-bike, then called a biathlon) in New Hampshire. I don't recall any helmets. I've still got the bike!
  • Decade-long break to pursue my career, plus sit on the couch a lot and gain as much weight as I possibly could.
  • First triathlon: 2002, New Jersey. I walked a lot on the swim in a shallow lake.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Quarter mile intervals on the road

Today I replicated my track workout from last Saturday on the roads, just to see if it would work. It did! 1 mile warmup and then 4 intervals, go faster every even-numbered quarter, jog the odd-numbered quarters (and then a bit of slow recovery jog at the end). The red line is the heart rate, blue is the speed.

The Garmin picked up the pace increase during the intervals a bit better than it did on the track - the readings from there are a bit scrambled, although my final 5K finishing time was nearly identical, within 20 seconds.

That's probably my last significant run before this Saturday, when I'm doing the National Half Marathon in Washington, DC. I'll let the legs rest up. They'll need it! This one is a bit hillier than my last half marathon from a couple weeks ago, plus it's going to be substantially warmer on race day. Plus not having my two escorts to draft behind (they are running it, but probably at their much faster race pace), and my finishing time is likely to be a bit slower on this half. Even though this is the first one for which I actually had to submit a qualifying time!!!

Plus my babysitter won't be here on Thursday, unfortunately. She's going to Key West for a couple of days! I almost fired her on the spot out of sheer envy. Instead I gave her an extra twenty bucks just for fun. If she were just a couple years older I would have told her not to drink it all in one place.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The dreaded first dentist visit

Actually (much to my surprise) it went great! I took the girls to an all-pediatric dental practice and they had lots of great toys to play with, and nobody was offended by two rambunctious little girls. They got to sit in the chair together side by side and watch Nemo and play with a stuffed dolphin during their check-up.

The very best part, as far as they were concerned, was getting balloons and stickers at the end.

Good thing they liked it, because with those crooked underbites on both of my girls, they're going to be doing a lot of sitting in dentist and orthodontist chairs in the next couple of decades.

Goin' to Disneyworld

September is shaping up to be a busy triathlon month! On the 9th I've got the inaugural Annapolis Triathlon, an Olympic-distance event. Then on the 23rd I've just entered the Disney Triathlon, which is a weird sorta Olympic distance (1500m swim, 10km run) but with a 58 km (36 mile) bike leg. Apparently they've totally revised the bike leg this year, but haven't posted a map of it yet. That's okay with me, it sounded like a truly horrible unsafe event last year packing cyclists and runners into one lane of roadway. Plus, as long as I'm schlepping Buttercup all the way to Florida, I might as well get in a decent medium-distance ride there, correct?

Getting finished in under 4 hours sounds like a great day to me! I'm not especially fond of any event that takes longer than that, to tell the truth!

And oh yes, I entered the Athena division, as always. At the event that I finally don't qualify, I'll happily request a change into the appropriate age group divisions.

We will be driving a rental RV down there and will only spend about one extra day in the area. I think since the girls will only be four years old we will probably limit ourselves to playing at a water park or maybe Sea World for this visit. The whole Magic Kingdom experience can wait another year or two.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Quarter mile intervals

I just got back from 5K on the track. It's COLD today! I did some 1/4-mile intervals to try to give myself a little speed boost. I tried to do the auto-lap function on the GPS to get my interval times but it didn't work, it was still recording 1-mile autolaps. I did a 1 mile warmup and 4 intervals, go faster every even-numbered quarter, jog the odd-numbered quarters. Let's see, off the watch they were:

1 - 2:40
2 - 2:37
3 - 2:34
4 - 2:33
5 - 2:57
6 - 2:25
7 - 3:02
8 - 2:26
9 - 3:06
10 - 2:29
11 - 3:09
12 - 2:21
13 - 1:29 (1/8)

I think that's a pretty good workout for me, considering anything under a 2:30 lap for me is working pretty hard! At least I don't have to walk for recovery any more, I can actually maintain a jog and still get some muscle recovery. That's progress!

Off to the bath now and then to our local Yacht Club with the girls for a late lunch!

Friday, March 16, 2007

I'm in the majority

According to the CDC,

". . . approximately 32.6 percent of the U.S. adult population surveyed consumed fruit two or more times per day, and 27.2 percent ate vegetables three or more times per day . . . the newest guidelines advise that adults eat three to five servings of fruit and four to eight servings of vegetables every day."

Seven to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables every single day? Like, over 4 servings every single meal? Not including potatoes or carrots?

I. don't. think. so.

Or even "two cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day", from the 2005 USDA guidelines?? That comes to 1.5 cups of fruit or vegetable every single meal.

I've been finding that for me, it's pretty darned difficult to maintain that level of intake unless I pay strict attention to it every single day, and take a trip to the grocery store to buy fresh produce nearly every day.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The feminism tag

Oooh, I got tagged but good by our own favorite vegan Ironman-in-training, the Ex-Athena herself.

What five things can I thank feminism for?

Let me put this in a little perspective. I was born in 1957. I was required to wear dresses to public schools until I was 12, I think. Title IX was after my time. As a student I never participated in any school sport outside of P.E. class, ever. None of the girls that I hung around with did. I remember well when the classifieds listed jobs separately for men and women. I was not eligible for admission to any of the military academies when I graduated high school in 1975, since females weren't allowed (not that they would have taken me anyway). I don't recall being aware that there was such a thing as an "athletic scholarship" (and certainly not for women) until I was well into graduate school myself. Nevertheless, I was voted in a straw poll in high school the "Most Women's Libber" of my high school class, primarily based on my rants in the school newspaper. I was quite disillusioned when the Equal Rights Amendment to the constitution failed. What are we women, chopped liver!?

1. Career choices. I got the scholarships, degrees (all the way to a PhD), and jobs that I wanted most. Even though I recall being asked in an interview for veterinary school (by an all-male faculty panel, naturally, shortly before their student bodies became female-dominated), "What are you going to do when clients won't accept you, as a woman?" (I've always wished I'd had the presence of mind to respond, "And what question do you ask the male candidates?")
2. Comfort. I wear jeans or running shorts and running shoes almost every day, all day. I can't remember the last time I curled my hair, and very seldom wear makeup any more. I never would have made it as Donna Reed.
3. Living well alone. I was able to support myself quite well and live as a single woman for over two decades before I chose to marry. That just isn't an option for many women around the world, even today. And even now, I live like a single mom 5 days per week!
4. Travel. I've been able to travel over a large part of this planet, solo, and very seldom felt that my gender was an issue in safety or mobility.
5. Birth control, including abortion. This allowed my entire generation of women to have a freedom that women never before had. Abortion was illegal before I was a sophomore in high school, and still infrequent after that. I can remember certain girls who just "disappeared" from high school, permanently. I can remember others my age who "had to get married", and we meant it literally in those days. These are two things that rarely happen in today's world, thankfully.

I tag (even though I'll bet they won't take the bait) Bolder, Commodore, Kahuna, Ellie, Shawn, Dawn, Karen, Linae, Jeanne, and whomever else would like to play.

It's too early for this!

Arrgh! Second day this year warm enough for a nice run in a short-sleeved t-shirt. Going along nicely at my comfortable 11 min/mile pace. Breathing is regular. That is, until I inhale a bug, which lodges firmly in the back of my throat. *gack* I had a water bottle with me, tried to swish it out, gargle it out, spit it out, nothing worked. *blech*

I'm Numero Uno

Dora is teaching Catherine to speak Spanish. (Elisabeth has a hard enough time with English). So now she's reciting her numbers:

"Mommy, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco."

I'm honored to have a number named after me. Maybe next year I'll get a month or a day of the week too. Nancuary. Mommyday.

We kind of like the fox. His name is Swiper, and he steals stuff. Viewers are supposed to yell at the screen, "Swiper, no swiping!" I'm not sure if he's teaching about techniques of thievery, or the ethics of personal ownership, or aquisition of material goods, or what exactly, but Swiper adds some dramatic flair. But I still don't think that's a very effective crime-stopping technique.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Marine Corps Marathon 2007

I'm in. October 28, don't be late.

Today I finally sent in the guaranteed entry form that Linae got for me. Thanks, Linae!

I'm trying to convince my training buddy David to run it too, but he ran it last year and is leaning toward Richmond. Bah. But I will have the fine company of Shawn and Holly on the course! Hooray!

The plan is to complete my 10th marathon and beat my 2001 MCM time of 6:16. By at least an hour. Hopefully more. Then I plan to retire from marathoning.

At least until Big Sur 2008. Then I'll really retire. Heck, I'll be an old coot by then, well over 50 years of age. I'll probably be using my walker to get around the course by then.

Sweet ride

6.5 miles in 38 minutes. Slow? Who cares! It was one of my best rides of all time! 74 degrees, the sun was shining, the swans were gathered in the cove, and I was pedaling the old blue steel-framed Lotus around the neighborhood with Catherine on the back in the kid-carrier. She was singing about googleberry pie to me.

Life just doesn't get much better than that!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Crabby Crab

I'm not sure exactly where he came from, or who first discovered his presence, but appropriately enough for a child who lives near the Chesapeake Bay, Catherine has developed a slightly paranoid awareness of Crabby Crab.

Crabby Crab is distantly related to the Boogey Man, I believe. He lives in dark culverts where you can't see in. He lurks in the shadows. He has claws. He pinches.

Beware of Crabby Crab.

At least she doesn't have to deal with the Monster from Centennial Lake.

Shopping Day

It seems that Rudy Project is no longer offering that helmet that I like in the fancy yellow and black paint job! Oh noooo!!! So instead, equipped with a 15% off offer at Nashbar for today only (coupon code DAYLITE), I ordered a new Bell Ghisallo (named after the patron saint of cycling):
I also got my bike Buttercup a couple of pretty accessories for those long rides coming up this spring - my two water bottle cages cracked some time last fall, so it was time to acquire some replacements.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Name this object

Ten points to the winner. Grand reveal in the Monday update.

Bzzzzzt! Time's up! No winners today, although we had some very close guesses! It wasn't even my girls' fault, THIS TIME.

It's the plastic top to the butter dish, which happened to have seated itself on the stovetop at some point in time before I was pre-heating the oven. I wondered what that plastic smell was. . . . fortunately it didn't melt and drip all over the burners, uh, like the plastic paper towel holder did! This is the butter dish that I just got a couple months ago to replace the broken glass one. Sigh. Maybe I'm just not a butter dish person. I can't be trusted with anything past the paper wrapper. Actually part of the problem is a severe counter space shortage, so the stove gets recruited into use in that role frequently.

Cycling Weekend

Hooray! The first weekend when it's been nice enough to go out on the bike both days. This was yesterday at Transtion at my training buddy David's house, before we went out on our 30-miler. He got the rack from a local bike shop - I want one!

Then today we took the girls out on the kid carriers on the bikes and rode around the neighborhood.

The view across the harbor. . . .

It looked like a swan convention! I've never seen so many gathered here! The Natural Resources folks from the state want to cull down the swan population in the Chesapeake Bay since they're non-native and eat the water grasses, but I'm cheering on the side of the swans.