Tuesday, April 30, 2013

HUFF 50K, I'm coming for you!

It's done. I have plunked down my registration fee for the HUFF 50K this December.

Now I'm even more anxious to get this surgery over with so I can start recovering and train for 2 marathons leading up to the HUFF.

You may be right.
I may be crazy.
But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday night stitching

Spring Sampler from the Frosted Pumpkin is coming along nicely.

The Successful Failure of the Vegetarian Challenge

Confused yet? Let me explain.

Last weekend, I started the vegetarian challenge. We actually started on Saturday (thanks to me not paying attention to the number on the calendar). I didn't tell my husband until Wednesday- frankly, he probably wouldn't have noticed at all. He doesn't care what I feed him as long as it tastes good.

The challenge started (for real) on Monday, and I completed the first 4 challenges:
Day 1- try a new fruit/veggie- I tried tomatillos, and made salsa-not-so-verde (this is what happens if you use colored peppers). It tasted good.
 Day 2- green smoothie. Ok, so this was kind of slacker version, since I was able to get Odwalla Superfood for $2.99 (instead of $4.99). At that price, I couldn't get half the ingredients I would have needed!
 And I used some of the Day 1 challenge on my black bean burrito.
 Day 3: Quinoa! Now, I love quinoa, so this was easy. I found a recipe for eggplant and roasted red peppers with quinoa, and since I actually had an eggplant and a jar of roasted red peppers, the decision was easy! The recipe was bland (I taste as I cook), so I added a little S&P, and then kicked it up with a half cup of lemon juice. BAM! YUM!!!
So. Good.

Day 4: Colorful
Check out that stir-fry. YUM.

And then Friday, after 6 days for us and on my husband's birthday, we had brats, grilled chicken, and burgers. Talk about falling off the wagon in style! We also ate zucchini and red potatoes.

But here's the thing: If I were to journal my food for you, it would become evident that this vegetarian challenge wasn't too much of a challenge. We habitually have meatless meals (just not that many in a row). I can honestly say we eat well- our meals are filled with vegetables, 99% cooked at home from complete scratch thanks to my food allergies.

I consider this challenge a successful failure.

No food thrown away- it was all devoured.
No complaints about taste.
Tried 3 new recipes in one week.
I ate more fruit for snacks... not necessarily part of the challenge, it just happened.

I have NO ENERGY. None. Every workout has felt like a struggle, even though running mileage is the lowest it's been all year. This was unexpected, since so many people report more energy.
I've been hungry for 5 days. Seriously. Meat-free meals leave my hungry within a half hour, even when I stuff myself. And yes, I was using whole grains, high fiber, etc. My husband has been hungry, too, which means he's mindlessly snacking (not good. Sorry, honey).
I haven't slept well at all, in part because I keep waking up HUNGRY.
And this hunger has been the "I'm going to punch you if I don't get food now" kind of hunger.
I struggled to find any new protein source, thanks mostly to my food allergies. Remember, I can't have ANY nuts, and most soy products (especially soy milk) contain carrageenan or gums, to which I'm also allergic (go check the labels, I'll wait. See? And carrageenan is a known carcinogen in rats, just and FYI).
And the biggest failure is that we jumped ship in such a gluttonous manor, thanks to the Husbeast's birthday feast (it would have been more minimal if I'd made his quiche, but he wants that all to himself next week!).

Am I glad I tried? YES. Will I ever become a true vegetarian? Doubtful.

As I said earlier this week, this challenge was a good way to jumpstart my 4 week pre-surgery plan of eating better an getting stronger/leaner. And now I know that a true vegetarian diet is not for me.

I'm going to return to my normal eating habits, which means I'll still be eating lots of veggies, legumes, etc, but with meat when I feel like it. We normally only have meat about 3-4 days a week anyway, and it's usually turkey or chicken. But I will keep reading through every recipe I find, be it vegan or meat-filled, because the bottom line is I LOVE GOOD FOOD.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Countdown

27 days until my surgery. 

My plan at this point is to treat it kind of like a marathon- I'm working on becoming as healthy as possible for that day- stronger, leaner, eating cleaner- in the hopes that by being in peak fitness, I'll 1) lose less fitness thanks to a better base and 2) hopefully have an easier recovery.

It works, in theory. I'll let you know how well it works in reality.

But this means I've added an ab class twice a week on top of yoga 2x, zumba 1x, and running 3-4x per week. 

I'm also eating TONS of fresh fruit (finally, some are in season!) and veggies- pears, apples, bananas, lettuce, eggplant, peppers- and whole grains like quinoa and brown rice and buckwheat. I joined the 7 day Vegetarian challenge over with Jill Conyers as a way to jumpstart the veggie loading, and will continue massive quantities of fresh veggies once I add meat back in (don't worry, I love bacon and burgers- and bacon cheddar burgers- too much to ever be completely vegetarian).

In the meantime, I feel like the universe has decided to balance out all the bad news lately with good news- I've won a couple small giveaways this week, including this sweet Race kred:

I put it on my New Balance shoes that I wear for cross-training. I love it. A couple ladies from the Silver Sneakers class (I went today since I'll be subbing on Tuesday- introduced myself and reassured them I won't be too hard) asked me about it, and one even started reminiscing about when she used to run before she had heart surgery at 79. She's 82 now and still active!

What do you think about my get lean plan? Ever tried anything like it if you knew you were going to have to take time off? Doesn't seem that much different (to me) than when ladies get super fit before pregnancy.

Any advice how to avoid going stir-crazy? I bought a new cross stitch pattern for after surgery, but would love other suggestions- favorite books? movies? I don't do rest well, ever.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A much better Monday!

What a difference a week can make! Today was full of positives- finished a baby quilt for one of the Husbeast's coworkers, went to the ab class at the gym, walked outside for an hour since my yoga class didn't show (I don't mind when the weather is nice!), then taught strength and conditioning class.
It always amazes me how much better I feel physically and mentally after a few good workouts.
Then I came home and finished a new table mat.
It's been a very good day. I needed that.
I even made salsa not-so-verde as I experimented with a new-to-me food: tomatillos. That's what salsa verde looks like when you don't use green chiles. :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013


I've written and deleted 2 other posts trying to get my thoughts straight, but it just ends up sounding like someone else. So here goes, straight-shooting.

I'm having a hysterectomy May 22 (assuming insurance ok's everything). It's due to a continuation of the issues I've been dealing with since last fall. I can't live a full life knowing there is cancer just hanging out, not when the only reason to do so is to "potentially" have a kid. Especially when neither my husband nor I have the drive to have children, and especially since the LEEP was invasive enough I was warned I'd be likely to be a higher-than-normal risk pregnancy.

So, I'm getting spayed.

I'm angry. I'm upset. I'm a little scared, since I can still remember the burn of the anesthesia from my last surgery (I went under crying). I see the irony that just when I'm finally finding my speed, I'm looking at having to take time off and will probably be back to molasses.

But, by dealing with it, the hope is that this will be the end of the issue.

And I'll be back to running soon enough that I won't miss much of my training for the AF Marathon, so I know I'll finish the race. And then I can tackle the Veteran's Marathon. And because I refuse to let this health blip get in the way of my life, I will be signing up for the Huff 50K when I get paid at the end of the month. I may be erasing any time goals I had for these events, and I may be coming to terms with the fact that I definitely won't be hitting 1000 miles this year, but whatever. I will still be running.

Right now, my concern is to make sure the insurance process goes as smoothly as possible (should know on Wednesday if it is approved). Once that happens, I hope this next month flies by so I don't have time to dread it. And then, I hope that the recovery process goes by just as quickly, so I can get back to running.

So, that's that.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Last night, I drove up to stay with my mom so I could run a 5K at my old elementary school. When I woke up (if you can call it that after not really sleeping all night), my car was dusted with SNOW! GAH! But, thankfully, the ground was mostly clear.

My mom walked the 1 mile loop, which took off 10 minutes before the 5k.

And then we took off. The course was through the school's nature trail, then out through a subdivision.

It actually felt almost effortless. I resisted checking my Garmin and tried to focus on pushing myself while having fun. So I was shocked at the end:

First female overall! 24:00 clock time- a new PR (after just getting a new one on Tuesday!). My garmin said the course was .1 short, but that could have just been some mad cornering skills through the subdivision (I hugged those apexes like white on rice). Others said it was long by the same amount. So IDK.

Best thing I heard from my mom: "I tried to get more pictures, but you were just too fast!"

I love photos with both feet off the ground- it captures that feeling of flying I sometimes have when finishing a race like today!

Honestly, though, the highlight of my day was lunch afterwards. We went out to eat with my grandparents, and even though you can visibly see my grandma's health is declining, she was the perkiest I've seen her since before my dad passed away. She was witty, and cracking jokes about her ailments, and sharp as a tack. And, being my grandma, she was SOOOOO PROUD of me for running, and nearly fell out of her chair when I told her I was the 1st female- I guess it's a good thing they didn't do official awards, because I'm afraid a trophy might have made her fall all the way!

It has been a wonderful weekend. I needed that visit with my mom and family time. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fueled by Boston

Run to remember. Run to recover.

For the 5k on base today, I let the anger, sadness, and frustration fuel me, and I ran a new PR. Second female and 4th overall of those who participated, with my time of 24:56.

I was smiling when I got home because as runners, we endure, we persevere, and I know across this beautiful country of ours, others were out there running for Boston, too.

My heart still aches, but my spirit refuses to be squashed.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Do NOT let them win.

There are no adequate words to describe today.

My heart hurts. My soul aches.

Boston runners, spectators: you are in my prayers, and will be in my thoughts with every step of tomorrow's run.

For those who are responsible: fuck you.
You will never win.

It might take me 35 years to qualify, but I WILL RUN BOSTON. To spite you, and in spite of every terrorist there is. This was never a goal until today, but it is now.

You have no clue about the make-up of the running community. We are some of the strongest, and definitely the most determined people on this planet. We run 26.2 miles FOR FUN. We take ourselves to the edge of sanity, to the precipice of pain with every run, FOR FUN. We cannot be stopped. We will not be stopped. But you will.

Run on, my friends. Tell the terrorists they can go fuck themselves. Honor those lost and affected by this insanity. We are strong. We can, and we shall endure. After all, it's the basis of our sport.

(I apologize for the language, but strong emotions beget strong words)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Anyone have this problem?

Leg holes. Why do designers think any woman who wears a size small has pencils for legs? Why do they make garments, even pajama shorts, that don't allow for any meat on our bones?
Any one else have this problem? It's only gotten worse as I've started turning my "energy reserves" (cough, cellulite, cough) into at least a layer of muscle under less-visible "energy reserves" (because really, cellulite is just fuel for an ultra, when you break it down. Or a survival situation. Or the apocalypse. Whatever).
Thank goodness I'm crafty-literally. I deconstructed a pair of pajama shorts that fit great except for their puny leg holes, drafted a pattern, and voila! The real test will be if they are as comfortable to sleep as they are right now.
How is your weekend going? Tomorrow looks like it will be a great day to run!
PS-Matt is such a photo bomber!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Our group ran through the rain, on the flooded 5k trail on base today. It brought back memories of the steeplechase run our xcountry team did in middle school. I was soaked, from hat to feet. And it was just what I needed after a stressful morning.

Not much cleanses the soul like an awesome run through the rain!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

An unexpected run, and a review

After a late night (12:30 a.m. is practically staying up until dawn for me), combined with  the fact that I'm not actually training for a big race for a few more weeks, I gave myself permission NOT to run. It was a beautiful day. I had stuff to do, and a major nap to take.

And then, after that lovely nap... I went for a run!
 Look at that weather! How could I stay inside?

Plus, I was excited to try out a shirt I won from My Race Ragz last month. I got to pick a favorite quote, and then the designed a custom shirt for me.  This is what they came up with:
The quote says, "Never let the body tell the mind what to do." Thank you, George S. Patton. I understand why my great-uncle went AWOL to get back to your squadron.
 Aren't those graphics gorgeous? I love the flowers. How did they know my favorite flowers are daisies and tulips? This little Dutch girl LOVES her shirt!
Please excuse the post-run sweat- I was too excited to go run to take pictures beforehand!
 And they put my name on the front! In case I forget who I am... and so random strangers can yell, "GO, KASEY, GO!" Which, I love. Please, yell your heart out if you ever see me run.

I wore this shirt for a quick 5k today, and it was beyond comfortable. It's dry-fit, light, and that perfect fitted-but-not-tight. I could sleep in it. Which is the only thing I'm pickier about with apparel comfort than running.

I would highly recommend My Race Ragz for a custom shirt... or check out their pre-made designs! My favorite says, "She's going the distance" (gotta love Cake!).
 Even Prudence, dirty dog that she is, approves of the shirt (when I white dog gets that yellow tinge going, you know she need a bath! Now, to convince her of this fact...).

Go check out My Race Ragz. Find them on Facebook and Twitter, too- FB is how I won mine! I don't have another big race until the fall, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be using  My Race Ragz the next time I need a custom shirt (man, I wish I had known about them before we did either Tough Mudder!). I'm contemplating a custom design for the either of my fall marathons: "Short skirt, long distance" (playing off a different Cake song). Feel free to "steal" my idea, as long as you use My Race Ragz to make it!

With that I leave you with visual proof that Runner's World has the best recipes of any magazine. If you could smell this, you'd be driving over for dinner: Jerk Shrimp Stir-Fry- form the May issue. It disappeared in less than 5 minutes, and I'm normally a slow eater.

Hope you had a great weekend!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

5 by the 5th- April amazes!

I just ran a 5k in 25:16. Unintentionally. Which might explain why I don't have any photos.

We did speed work today- 5 minute warm up, 600, 1200, 600, 5 minute cool down, all on the odd track on base that is just under 600 meters. I ended up doing one more lap to get to 3.1 miles, and when I stopped my watch, I was SHOCKED to see 25:16. My current PR is 25:15. WHAT??!!!! Especially since that last mile was "easy." Looking back at my Garmin, the second mile (which is the 1200 and the 600) combined for a 7:16 mile. That speed is unheard of for me... and holy cow, I just ran a marathon 10 days ago!

So now, I'm riding high and hoping to break 25 minutes for the 5k I have coming up on the 20th.

Happy Tuesday!!!

If you're a Saucony Kinvara 3 fan, check out Running Warehouse's sale right now. Plus they have a discount code on their facebook page for an extra 15% off.