Friday, July 29, 2011

Nutella for Dinner

Not only has work kept me away from blogging much during the week, but rather obviously, it keeps me away from logging my preferred amount of long and delicious miles.

Which brings me back to Dane Douche-enberg.  In my last post, I discussed a book about a cool running feat that was written very badly by a narcissist.



One quote in the book is attributed to a famous runner named Bill Rodgers, or Boston Billy, who I know nothing about.  I'm sure he's very accomplished, but I'm not in the mood to learn.

However, his quote made me bookmark this awful book because I knew it was one of those runner-blog-nerd post topics.

Bill Rodgers quote read: "No one with a full-time job will ever beat me in a race"

aw, schute.

I think I have been in denial.  I have convinced myself that working full time doesn't impact my ability to be the strongest and most satisfied runner I can be.

I get up 3 hours before work every day to get some form of exercise in.  I hoped that would be enough to keep me at my best.

But is it?

I am still a strong runner.  I am still in great running shape.  I have achieved PR's in the 1/2 and full marathon while being employed full time.

so either: a) one can still be in their best racing shape while employed full time, or b) I could be kicking way more butt if I had a few extra hours in the day.

I think the biggest problem with the daily pre-work runs, is that some days you wake up and it just isn't the right time of day for a hard run.  For various reasons. And you could get a far superior training run in if you were allowed to eat a breakfast, let the bowels move, etc. etc., and leave at 8:00 a.m. for a run.

I'm not going to worry too much about it, until I start worrying about signing up for a marathon.  Which will be my next post...

Today was just another work day.  No run, read Esquire mag while ellipticalling away.

I randomly present: Overheard in Roserunner's day:

Overheard at work: "you have to wash your hands Tremendously!"

Overheard at home: "sometimes pants are a bad idea"



RUNNING

this work week only garnered 2 runs.

But I had two nice long ones last weekend, and that held me over.

Saturday: 17.6
Sunday: 18.5
Monday: none
Tuesday: none
Wednesday: 14
Thursday: 14
Friday: none

On my Wednesday 14 miler, I threw in a fast mile just for good times sake, and clocked it in at 6:19.  Then I pondered doing another fast mile or two, and checked myself before I wrecked myself.

Which is to say I didn't feel like it.  The rest of the run was in the 7:40 minute/mile range.

FOOD

The Gentleman bought some Nutella recently, something I haven't had in the cupboard for a few years now.

I'm totally reliving the year in high school (junior year?) when I first discovered it, thanks to my Dad who had brought some home that he had purchased for a German Language course he was taking (I think he had to bring in European snacks or something).



I became the worlds fastest Nutella fiend.  I recall coming home from soccer practice and digging in for a scoop so large that it took out half the jar; and then sucking on that like a lollipop, and avoiding whatever nutritious salad or pasta dish my mom had made for dinner.

I recall getting my friends hooked on it too; and then hanging out in the kitchen at 11:00 p.m., taking turns dipping in with a spoon while deciding whether to head to a high school party.

[Just so you know, back in 2001-2, I swear no Americans knew about Nutella.  This was a new discovery for all of us]

My favorite way to eat Nutella is still with a spoon and nothing else.  But I just dipped some wheat thins in it, and whoa.  It's good.

If you ever needed a billion other ways to eat Nutella, check out the recipes here.

Although I haven't eaten any of this next item lately, the other discovery I made that fateful high school year thanks to my Dad's German class was Cambozola cheese.



It is freaktastic.  Go have yourself a European snack party


What would you rather see: Cowboys and Aliens or Crazy Stupid Love I want to make a trip to the movie theatre this weekend, can't decide.


Do you LOVE Nutella or Cambozola Cheese?


Can you be in your best running shape while working full time?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Running Jerks

SO there's this other running book I've been poking through since March, which is when I met the author at the Oakland Running Festival expo and after talking to him for several minutes, purchased a signed copy. [Purposely not writing the name or author for search purposes].



Every now and then, my nose would crinkle and I'd think "hmm, that's an odd choice of words,"  and then carry on through the documentation of a fairly brilliant year of running.

Eventually, I stopped furrowing my brows and crinkling my nose.  Instead, I affirmatively would pout, "this guy is such an asshole!"

I feel pretty bad about saying this, because more or less I am either shitting on this book, or on the author's personality -- and since he was very friendly and likable in person, it makes me feel even worse.

I will try to explain why he comes off as a running A-hole, and I know that I'm not the only one who thinks this, because people have found my blog using search terms that reflect they agree (I posted about him the day I met him for the Oakland half marathon).

First of all, he is competitive.  That is a good thing, right? I mean, whether it is in running, or at work, or whatever your hobby may be, being competitive is a perfectly respectable personality trait.  Unless you knock over Connect Four when you don't win and stomp away crying.

This competitive side of him is apparent in each chapter, because each chapter generally recaps one marathon.  And while running a marathon, he has a habit of obsessively marking the runners near him, and he starts to kind of hate them.   He will obsess over not letting a certain man pass him, or obsess about a woman up ahead that he has to pass.  Then that becomes his focus.

About half of the time, he gets what he wants.  And then proceeds to make fun of the person he passed, by saying "McSlowFace was probably not smiling anymore."   I totally made that quote up.  But he does make up nicknames for runners a lot, and often based on their less-than-Dane-holy running etiquette.

Really, if you're going to write a running book and then promote the crap out of it to other runners, it's probably not wise to seemingly hate other runners.  He is always, always whining and complaining about other runners.  He hates slower runners who line up at the start in front of him.  I'm sure a lot of runners hate this, but they don't write a book revealing their unsportsmanship. 

And although I'm sure he would deny the heck out of it, he is sexist.  Certain remarks drip of the fact that he clearly finds men to be the athletic sex.  Women runners are either there to ogle, or to pass.  Or, if they are faster than him, they are to be an utter surprise. 

I'm not doing a book review here.  I don't really know what I'm going on about.  I just need to get this off my chest because I've been reading this bad book for so long and need to commiserate with someone. 

And I also want to bring up the topic of: Running Jerks, or A-holes, or generally Unfriendly runners.


Do you accept runners of all variety?  Friendly, unfriendly, competitive, out for blood? Or is running meant to be a happy sport of camaraderie and well-wishes smiles?

Has anyone else read this book? Does anyone want my signed copy?


TIME FOR MY DELICIOUS LITTLE GEMMA!!
 I obviously had the best day of my life on Saturday.  I met Gemma.  Look below, she will steal your heart.

ARE YOU KIDDING?? HOW does this much cute exist??

That's her momma.  My sister.



The dad

She is so tiny

And me, practicing my Stepford Wife

we mutually adore each other.  Right Gemma? RIGHT?!



I held her and just rocked back and forth for 2 hours


And then I decided to keep her

I'm sorry Gemma, that doesn't look comfortable.

If you don't like pictures of babies (which....in my history, I didn't. Until now) then you are out of luck for the next year.  In terms of reading this blog that is.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Just Heard Amy Winehouse Died, and I Don't Care

Re: the title of this post, unless it was death by murder, I'm lacking any sympathy.  I'm sure a few dozen people made money off her death, as it was a pretty easy one to bet on.

Now that I've momentarily been heartless, I'll get lovey and mushy on you. 

Within twelve hours after publishing my last post -- which was full of random thoughts, one of which was excitement about my older sister nearing her birth due-date -- my niece Gemma was born.








Gemma was born at 7:19 a.m. on Wednesday, July 20.  7 pounds, 21 inches.

I got a text from my mom at 5:00 a.m. that my sister was in labor.  Then a text at 7:30 a.m. with a picture of Gemma, minutes old.

My heart soared! She looked so familiar to me.  She looked exactly like family.

Then all day at work on Wednesday, and all day at work on Thursday, and ALL day at work on Friday, I felt suffocated and stifled that I was 90 minutes away from my newest family member and I was missing her first few days on earth.

My mom continued to send me text pictures [see: the poor quality pictures above] and my jealousy flared.

Fuck work.  Seriously.  My boss left at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday to go to his dad's birthday.  But because I was assigned the task of drafting several hundred discovery responses under a deadline, I had to miss the action during an incredibly significant day(s) of my family's life.

My parents are first time grandparents, and obviously over the moon.  My sister is a mother.  I want to be THERE!

So now I am heading to Napa to meet her.  I almost couldn't fall asleep last night I was so excited.  I hope she will be my best friend.





RUNNING
Mondaynone
Tuesday: 12.3
Wednesday: 14
Thursday: 12.5
Friday: none
Saturday: 17.6

nothing notable to share about these runs.  I took them pretty easy. 

I got sick of running in circles around Lake Merritt, which is normally where I do my flat fast running, so these four runs were all in hillier neighborhoods.  And slow.

I am slowly devouring "Born to Run" by Christopher MacDougal.  When I really love a book, I savor it.  No you don't know what I mean -- I've been reading this book since Christmas of 2010.  I'm on page 72.  I read 5-10 pages every couple weeks. 



Another book I LOVE, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass," has been on my nightstand for 2.5 years.  I'm less than halfway through.

Anyway, point is I wanted to mention an excerpt from "Born to Run" that really caught my attention. 

I admittedly never pay attention to the professional sport of running (I've heard of Ryan Hall, but frankly don't really care to learn about him -- and I wouldn't know Kara Goucher if Runners World didn't plaster her on every issue), but a woman was mentioned in the book.  I was shocked by her feats, and shocked I had never heard more about her.

Ann Trason.



"One Saturday, Ann got up early and ran twenty miles.  She relaxed over breakfast, then headed back out for twenty more.  She had some plumbing chores around the house, so after finishing run No. 2, she hauled out her toolbox and got to work.  By the end of the day, she was pretty pleased with herself; she'd run forty miles and taken care of a messy job on her own.  So as a reward, she treated herself to another fifteen miles."  [p.68, Born to Run]

I'm pulling up the Ann Trason card next time someone tells me I'm crazy for running 20 miles before work. 

By the way: she ran sixty-two miles at a 6:44 pace.  Is your mind blown?

Would you be able to skip work if a sibling had just given birth?

Do you pay attention to professional runners, and have you heard of Ann Trason?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Like, So Totally Random

I'm Tired.  Here are my Disorganized Thoughts Today
  • Bikers, get the eff off the sidewalk
  • Radio is becoming a real issue.  Do DJ's even TRY?! 
  • My two favorite actors at the moment are Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Craig, and I think Ben Affleck is more handsome than almost any other actor, but I say that in a very neutral observational way (rather than I have the hots for him kind of way). 
















  • the Gentleman had to make a name for his trivia team at work.  We collaborated to create the team name "Otrivia Newton John Triviolta."  If you're not impressed, than that is just sad.
  • I'm about to have a niece named Gemma Grace P________.  I love her name.  She is stewing in my sisters stomach for a few more days, but should pop out annny minute.
  • I can't believe how hard chopsticks are to use, even when I try with all my might
  • I don't get Lil Wayne.  And I really don't get the appeal of his new love song.
  • I didn't go to a Giants baseball game tonight (we had a free tix offer) because of the burden of figuring out how to get into the city.  (Driving = bridge traffic, bridge toll, parking fee, jam of cars trying to get to the stadium and find parking.  BART = one hour of walking including from home and then to stadium, still expensive, huge baseball game crowds, my constant fear of sitting on a wet chair thanks Page). 
  • So to reiterate, I turned down free tickets to see an incredibly talented and entertaining baseball team play at one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world, because I STILL HATE SAN FRANCISCO.  
  • I still love the soundtrack to Tron: Legacy, and I wonder if the soundtrack to The Social Network is worth buying.
  • The Black Keys "Brothers" album makes a work commute much more endurable.  Volume way up for extra soul.

  • My insomnia kicked in Sunday night (or my caffiene intolerance...I had a diet coke at 4:00 p.m.) and I didn't sleep a wink.  Monday and Tuesday were brutal at work, thanks for nothing brain.
  • I almost think Emma Stone is the coolest, but something is holding me back.

  • If you search for the most viewed videos on youtube, you may not be surprised to see Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga at the top; however, you may be perplexed as to why a baby-bathtub song and a bland chic in knee socks made it to the top 20. 
  • Soccer was my life for a few years, and I played ages 5 through 18.  I didn't watch any of the women's world cup.  Sorry :(
  • I did, however, happen to notice that the goalie is a hunk.  (I'm making that word gender neutral).

  • How come Axe Cop isn't more famous?  It's the only comic strip I've ever read that is actually entertaining (not counting Archie, which I thought was entertaining when I was 10).


NEWSFLASH

Member how I won a pair of Asics shoes for placing 1st in my division at the See Jane Run half?

Well I went to pick up my shoes at the local See Jane Run store...and instead got a $100 gift card for Asics shoes. 

And a pair of Asics technical socks. 

And a big waterbottle. 

And a tin of chocolates. 

SWEET!! Thank you See Jane Run! Your store is cool, your race sucked.  But now that I got my race fee back in running shoe $$, we're cool.




My least favorite logo ever

YOU are lovely right now.  Yes, you.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Granola Fuels Good Runs

I enjoyed my run this past Tuesday so much that I decided to go for it again on Thursday.

To refresh your memory, my super creative plan calls for alternating miles with effort and relaxed.  If pressed, I might have to name this workout the "Efflaxed."  Which is a really lame joke.  moving on.

This run went even better than Tuesday's, a run which went so well I had proclaimed it bad-ass.  This one, then, is ultra bad-ass. 

Don't know why I got faster in a matter of two days.  I wonder if it is because of the mental relief of knowing I was stopping at 10 miles instead of 13?

Stats below: Red is Relaxed, Blue is Effort

Mile 1:  8:16
Mile 2   7:07
Mile 3:  7:45

Mile 4:  6:51
Mile 5:  7:47
Mile 6:  6:39
Mile 7:  7:59
Mile 8:  6:36
Mile 9:  8:11
Mile 10: 6:19
0.61 Mile Cooldown: 5:23

The only other time I know of that I have run a 6:19 mile (because you see, I have never raced anything less than a half-marathon) is the first mile of See Jane Run.  So I declare that a solid run!

No running on Friday, ran 14.28 miles this Saturday morning before seeing Harry Potta (loved it, except for one thing, and you MUST know what that one thing is if you've seen it.  Right? I mean clearly one thing was just bunk) and hope to run long and hilly tomorrow morning (16-20 miles). 

FOOD TIME

I never do recipes up in here because I know my role in the blogosphere. 

If you need a good recipe, there are some insanely talented people who share their recipes accompanied by pornographic pictures. 

If you need moral support for eating 96% snack foods from Trader Joe's + other sweets, and 4% going out to restaurants, then you can come to my blog. 

Today, I am sharing a recipe.  Why? Because it would be cruel for each and every person who reads this not to have the opportunity to taste my new favorite snack.

Things of note:
1) I did not make this.  The Gentleman did.
2) Upon watching him make it, I realized it was not quite as simple to make as I assumed.
3) Upon watching him make it, I realized it was not quite as healthy as I assumed.
4) Really, it's probably not that good for you
5) But for Harry Potter's sake, Just run or walk a few miles every here and there and your body will be thankful for the extra sugar and oil.

I Introduce, The Best Granola Recipe Ever (on this blog)


 Put yer two cups of rolled oats in a bowl designated for dry stuff


Add one teaspoon of cinnamon 


Add one teaspoon of salt


Get a bowl for wet stuff.  Add 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil



Add 1/4 cup of honey


Add 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (which is dry...so I lied about the bowls being wet/dry)



 Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract




Mix that stuff UP!



Mix this stuff UP too!



THEN MIX IT ALL TOGETHER!



 Get your hands in there


Spread it all out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Put it an oven pre-heated to 325 degrees for 10 minutes.


After the 10 minutes, flip the granola


After flipping, add slivered almonds and walnut pieces (the original recipe called for hazelnuts, I think that is a bad call.  Add whatever nuts you want). 

Put the granola with the nuts back in the oven for 10 more minutes.


Take out of the oven, let cool a bit and add raisins (or dried cherries, or any dried fruit).


Your house will smell so good you won't know what to do with yourself.  You might daydream about Christmas.


 Glorious Granola.



This is probably technically like 11 servings.  The Gentleman and I ate it over 2.5 days though, so I will consider it 6 servings. 

Please let me know if you ever make this and what you think!  The ingredients may already be in your cupboard, making this a very convenient recipe. 

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tblspn + 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup almonds, 1/3 cup hazelnuts (or walnuts)
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins, 1/3 cup dried cherries (or more raisins).


Are you a pre-packaged/easy to grab food kind of person, like me? (FYI, to me this includes all fruits and some raw vegetables, so not entirely unhealthy)

Do you have Harry Potta hysteria? I have Alan Rickman hysteria.  He's so cool.  If you like Harry Potter movies and don't know this person by name, shame on you.