Saturday, November 20, 2010

This week's race results

I did my 6th race today. My time is a little longer than the last 5k as it was a 3.5 mile race (as opposed to a 5k.) Statistically, it wasn't my best time ever, but my foot really hurt at the start of the race and it took me about a mile to hit my stride, so overall I was ok with my time. Here are the results of the last 6 races:
As usual, my cheerleader and photographer was there to document it all for posterity. Click to enlarge any picture:

Today's race was a benefit for the Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice. I was thinking of Aunt Cathy and Hiawassee Mom when I signed up for the race. I can't imagine a harder job and deeply admire them both for being able to do that.
The race started WAY too early for my taste. Here I am yawning before it started.
My usual goofy start to the race. My foot was hurting pretty bad at the start of the race and I was thinking that I would not make it through the race and was contemplating just bagging before I had even barely started. Then, about 1/4 mile in, the song "Idiot Heart" by Sunset Rubdown came up on the iPod. The line, "I was never much of a dancer but I know enough to know you gotta move your idiot body around" just made me smile. When it got to the line in the song, "So just move around, move around, move around, move around." I was finally starting to hit my stride and decided to put the song on auto repeat.
The last line of the song is, "I hope that you die in a decent pair of shoes, You got a lot more walking to do where you're going to." I kept the song on auto repeat for about 2 miles. It carried me past the pain, and by the time I finally took it off auto repeat, I was booking it, feeling no pain and felt really really good. I don't know anything about the band, but I think I need to write them a fan letter. This is the first race that I was seriously thinking of bagging, and this song just breathed new life into my tired old bones.
This is me approaching the finish line.
I have decided the Gogol Bordello's "Wanderlust King" is one of the greatest race songs ever. I had a really strong finish, and this song had a lot to do with that. I put on auto repeat about a mile from the end of the race, and I think I would have had a better time if I had started it sooner. "Idiot Heart" is awesome for motivation, but has a slower beat. "Wanderlust King" is a faster, get your blood going song.
 Crossing the finish line.
My cheerleader, photographer and most importantly, my sweetheart, in Starbucks for the post-race celebratory coffee.

Today's freakish it-could-only-happen-to-the-truly-fat injury was that the upper, under side of my arm was stinging really bad. It took me a while to figure out why, but then I remembered that last week when I was making the chicken stew, when I was stirring the crock pot, I accidentally flung a spoonful of really really hot stew on myself, so I had a burn there (as well as other places on my arm). Combined with a wardrobe malfunction, things were just rubbing in all the wrong places and the burn got really irritated. I really, seriously, need to replace Sporti before the next race. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Taste of Tuesday

 This is pretty similar to last week's recipe. I got creative with the base. I wanted something to counter the fact that I wasn't wearing my glasses when I dumped the Cayenne into the pepper. So I added some splenda brown sugar and cinnamon. It came out really tasty.

Chicken Stew
  • Carrots
  • Turnip or Rutabaga
  • Onion (a vidalia if you can get it!)
  • Boneless, skinless chicken (I used thighs, I think they cook nicer in a crock pot)
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • Brown sugar (I used the Splenda brown sugar blend)
  • Flour
  • Spices for browning chicken (I used black, white, and red pepper but you can use whatever you like)
  • Spices for adding to base
  1. Chop the chicken up into chunks.
  2. Mix about 1/2 to 1 cup flour and the chicken browning spices in a flat dish. 
  3. Roll the chicken in the flour mixture, then stir fry till browned.
  4. Place the chicken into a crock pot. 
  5. Chop up the carrots, turnip/rutabaga and onion, and put into the crock pot.
  6. Pour in the chicken broth. 
  7. Turn on crock pot and cook for 4-5 hours. Cooking time and temp depends on your crock pot. I cooked it on high for about 5 hours. Once the veggies cook down a bit, stir up the chicken from the bottom so everything gets a chance at being in the warm cozy bottom of the pot. Do this a few times during cooking.
  8. About 1/2 hour before you want to eat, mix some water, corn starch, brown sugar, and cinnamon in either a gravy shaker or a blender till smooth.  I have no idea how much stuff I used, you will have to experiment.
  9. Pour the flour/corn starch/brown sugar mixture to crock put and stir until it thickens.
If you aren't dieting, serve with really good bread. If you are dieting, serve with really good bread and run a few extra miles.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

More About Streching

I had David take some pictures of the stretches I do before races or just working out in general.

This is a ham string stretcher. My physical therapist was selling these for $25. I picked this one up at Play it Again Sports for $4. You can also get them at Amazon, but check Play it Again or even Craig's List first. Either way, they are well worth the investment. This is by far my favorite stretch. You place your foot in it, and stretch your heel down. Note also in this picture the brace on my foot. This has a strap that goes under the arch and really helps the plantar faciitis. I got this one from my doctor, but you can also find them at Walgreens.

This stretch is deceptively simple. Start with your feet on the ground and lift your toes. Do it a bunch of times. It is really great for preventing shin splints.

Another one for plantar faciitis is to start on a curb or bottom step, with the balls of your feet on the edge. Drop your heels to stretch for a stretch downward, then go up on your toes.

I also wear a night time brace for plantar faciitis. This is the one I have, which has the advantage of being cheap and readily available at Walgreens. The disadvantage is that it wasn't made for someone with really fat shins, so I have to wear an ace bandage over it to keep it from moving around or coming undone over night.