Two Lives, One Lifestyle

Antsy, Hungry, Sad: A Taper Story by Katie
May 27, 2010, 9:43 pm
Filed under: Burger, Cravings, Katie, Marathon

I didn’t believe it when the Team in Training coaches told us that we would feel antsy during taper.   But it’s happening.  I ran for 30 minutes this morning and then after work, I really wanted to run!  I’m restraining myself based on all sorts of recommendations.

With moving, finishing a thesis, and preparing for the marathon, my stress levels are… not low.  I’ve cried a few times this week over really dumb things.  Point #2 in our taper info: you might feel depressed with the drastic reduction in exercise (exercise=endorphins).  Yes.  Why are they all so right?!  Deep breath.

Also, I would really like a cheeseburger now. (Hunger does not automatically adjust to the lower activity level but I’m obviously eating as I’m hungry.  There is a good chance of slight weight increases during these 2 weeks my sources say.)

A Bit Mental by Katie
May 26, 2010, 1:11 pm
Filed under: Katie, Marathon, Motivation, Run

Last night at track practice, our coach invited a professional runner motivational speaker.

She talked about visualization and positive thinking as keys for any run, though especially long distance where the mental factor is key to a successful race.  Positive begets positive.  I think this is true for many if not all areas of life but especially for a physical task. I mean, it’s almost always easier to walk than run and I can stop at any time but… well, why?! If I don’t need to!


One tip I liked was to have a few time goals in mind.  First, the time that would happen if all the stars aligned, you were well rested and at race pace, there were no injuries, and you hydrated and fueled, etc.  The second goal should be training pace, which is technically slower than race pace.  If it’s windy or maybe a knee is acting up but not quite hurt, this might be more reasonable.  Last, a “just finish” goal, in case the weather is way beyond any training conditions or you’re sick or injured.


Another point she touched on is to stay in the moment.  Try not to think about after the race, or the next 20 miles ahead (yikes).  If it’s hard to focus, then count something quicker than miles- like number of spectators drinking beers!


My stepdad taught me to “look at where I want to go and not at the rocks I don’t want to hit” when mountain biking, and I think that’s a good carryover in terms of running: “think of what you want to do, not what you don’t want to do.”  Don’t think about walking (unless of course your strategy is run/walk!), don’t think about how you might puke, don’t think about how you’re bad at hills.

Boulder!! 079

Oh and how she ended this talk?  Just casually mentioning that she was one of the first women pushing to allow women to run in marathons.  I didn’t realize women were barely allowed in any marathons until the late 70s and a women’s marathon event was not added to the Olympics until 1984!! That’s not that long ago!  My personal favorite reason that women were banned?  Their uterus might fall out on those long runs!  Or it means we want to be men.  Riiiiiight.

joan_benoit_231701aJoan Benoit winning the 1st Olympic Women’s Marathon

Jane Welzel, our speaker, was a professional marathon runner for years and now has a sports psychology practice, specializing in treating athletes with eating disorders. The article is true, she still does Tuesday night track workouts in Fort Collins— I’ve been there the last few months!  She is the 4th from the left, and this is not my running group!

running_Jane Source

Her and her sister used to travel all over the country to find marathons they were allowed to run in.  Her sister helped organize a fundraiser for an all-women half-marathon in Maine called “One Lucky Man” (don’t google that phrase, I warned you).  Any man that wants to run pays $10 to enter a lottery and one is selected to run with all women!  Once I move back to the east coast I want to participate, especially if I’m in Boston.

Learning all the history about women’s running made me want to run more. Another reason to cross that finish line!  What motivates you?

Literally, Everything in Moderation by Katie
May 25, 2010, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Katie, Nutrition, Salad

Even vegetables.  A women in NYC was eating pounds of bok choy daily believing it would help alleviate her diabetes.  Well, apparently one of the compounds in raw bok choy can lower thyroid function to a deadly point if you eat truckloads of it.


Now, when we see hysterical overreacting articles emerge about this anecdotal case, let’s consider the amount she was eating (pounds daily,  for months) and the amount the average person eats (when you get Chinese takeout? Maybe more for a foodie).   If someone tells you they read about the “horrors” of bok choy, you can bite the craziness in the bud.

Snooze by Katie
May 25, 2010, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Beer, Breakfast, Coffee, Eggs, Katie

I’ve been hoping to try Snooze for over a year now.  Every review from media to friends has sung high praises, and what initially caught my eye was the pancake flights (like a wine flight, with pancakes…. yes, I know!).  The Denver locations are notoriously crowded though- there are tales of up to two hour waits.

Finally, after much build-up, I tried Snooze at the newest location in Fort Collins.  It was perfectly timed following a 2 hour run and an ice bath.  Overindulgence, yes please!

Since I’m giving up the drink for 2 weeks prior to the marathon, I ordered a Bellini- peach puree and sparkling wine.    Behind my lovely tall glass is John’s beer-mosa.  Orange juice and New Belgium beer.  Don’t be skeptical! It was delicious, and possibly better than a mimosa (or I’m just sick of mimosas after bottomless varieties last weekend).

I ordered the Barbacoa Benny for breakfast:

Sope Style” with slow roasted, shredded Niman Ranch Beef atop our house black beans and homemade masa cakes plus poached eggs, smoked cheddar hollandaise, cotija cheese & salsa fresca.

I loved the masa cakes and smoky, tender meat.  The hashbrown cake was equally delicious- soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, without much greasiness.

And perfectly poached eggs.  Or should I say egg.

A funny thing happened when I poked my fork into the second egg.  It was hard.  Hard as an egg shell.  And it wasn’t just a little piece, nope, it was a half of an intact egg shell.  Obviously I called over the waitress and basically showed her the shell to which she basically said “WTF!?” and whisked it away to the kitchen.  She apologized, brought a new Benedict, and took it off the bill.  I was honestly confused and laughing more than grossed out.  I mean, an egg shell is totally less gross than a clump of hair or band-aid or cockroach.

Then the manager came to apologize and thank me for being so gracious. Then the chef came out and apologized and gave us 2 free meal cards! We did go back on Sunday morning, and they covered everything including John’s drink and my coffee (also try the coffee by the way), plus the sample pancakes we ordered.  I suggest the strawberry rhubarb.  Since I was really not upset, it was an amazing show of overwhelmingly good customer service in my opinion.

All in all, I want to go back again to try everything (hint, hint CO bloggers).  Have you ever found something nasty or wrong with your meal at a restaurant?  Did they do a good job of apologizing and replacing your food?

Be Still My Heart by Kelli
May 22, 2010, 5:46 am
Filed under: Kelli

This is why I am running for Team In Training….


I am running my longest run of training today.  20 miles.  I will get through it.  I HAVE to get through it.

Before my run this morning I decided to look at some real life pictures and stories about kids with this horrible disease.  I do not know anyone personally with the disease, so I felt I wanted to put a face (or a few faces) with a name.  Wow.  I found some really powerful stuff.  If all these kids can get through their chemo, if their Mom’s can hold their hands knowing their precious child might die, then I can sure as hell run 26.2 miles and be grateful that I am able to accomplish it.

The Jig’s Up by Katie
May 21, 2010, 3:51 pm
Filed under: Family, Katie, Motivation, Playlist

I have a little running music secret.  When I really need that extra push to hit a good running pace, do you know what I listen to?  Irish dancing music. Jigs, reels, all of it! Plus some non-traditional stuff.  I’ve actually avoided including it on lists of great workout songs because well, if anyone else (other than my sister) listens to this to run, I would love to know.

Some of my favorites:

  • “Fiddling Ladies” by The Chieftains (Especially 3:15 and on, I ran a quarter mile at under a 7 minute pace listening to the end of the song. Quite fittingly, it was at a St. Pat’s 5 miler.)
  • “Lord of the Dance” by Irish Ceili Band (slow beginning, fast forward)
  • “The Night That Patty Murphy Died” by Great Big Sea
  • “Irish Pub Song” by Flogging Molly
  • “Amazing Grace” by Dropkick Murphys

I must say that my mom raised us listening to this stuff and bagpipes and fiddles don’t make my ears bleed, though some people hate them.

Your legs just want to move in a happy jig when you listen to this music! Or maybe it’s just years of Irish dancing.  Okay, someone try it and let me know.

A Slow Six by Katie
May 20, 2010, 10:15 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Run

It blows my mind how one day I can run 21 miles and then 5 days later have a hard time with 6 miles.   All week my legs have felt pretty tight and heavy, so I cut myself a break and ran at whatever pace happened.  I usually try to do this but get too competitive with myself.  The weather was perfect and I love me a nice breeze!  I just enjoyed being out there as much as I could (oh yeah I can’t give up cheese and accidentally ate cheese at lunch) with my upset stomach and tired legs.

This spa I’ve gotten a pedicure at once or twice sent me a birthday coupon so I might go get a half priced massage tomorrow.   I mean, it was suggested by the coaches after all.

There have been no food pictures all week but this is what I’ve been eating, or a variation on the theme.  I cooked way, way too much pasta on Monday so I’ve had some everyday (until today!).

Pasta with sauce, made more delicious with onions, garlic, bison meat, and pepper flakes.  I added random vegetables too- broccoli, spinach, artichokes. Single living, so glamorous! I eat the same food for 4 days ;).

How do you handle massive amounts of leftovers? Usually I stick stuff in the freezer but I’m moving next week and gotta eat it all up!  Plus, frozen pasta never reheats that well.

French Toast Sandwich by Katie
May 19, 2010, 11:40 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Katie

My favorite breakfast growing up was French toast.  My mom said she craved it and ate it nonstop when she was pregnant with me, which I always found pretty interesting.  Eventually, I determined it was not exactly a balanced breakfast so it fell to the wayside.  Then a few weeks ago, Caitlin made a delicious non-syrup-doused version I’d had on my mind ever since.


I changed it up just a bit and added peanut butter and made the whole thing into a sandwich.  I folded it up in foil since it was kind of flimsy and

  • Little pat of butter
  • 2 (small) slices of wheat bread
  • 1 egg
  • 3 TBSP unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • cinnamon + nutmeg
  • 1/2 a banana
  • peanut butter


  1. Dip the bread in egg and milk (obv)
  2. Slice and caramelize the banana (cook it till browned)
  3. Spread PB on one slice, smoosh banana on the other
  4. Make a sandwich (take a picture if your camera doesn’t die)

From my view, this is a pretty balanced breakfast: carbs, protein, fruit, healthy fats.  What’s not to love?  I’ll admit that buttery, syrupy French toast is incredible but not the best for everyday unless you love a mid-morning sugar crash.  All morning I kept dreaming about how delicious my breakfast was… I want it again!

The beginning of your everything… by Kelli
May 18, 2010, 8:32 pm
Filed under: Kelli

Hi everyone!  Wow, we had a fantastic time at the wedding this past weekend!!!  Before we got all dolled up and headed to the chapel, my Dad and I set out on a 10 mile run around my home town.  It was really cool to be able to run around my old stomping grounds :).  We even saw some people I knew and I had the opportunity to tell them about Team In Training!  WOOHOO!

After the run we were off to Stacie’s wedding.  But instead of telling you about it, I will show you…

The bride in her BREATHTAKING dress.  I remember that moment so well.  The moment you see the person who has become your life and all you need to do to start your married life together is walk down that aisle.  It’s an amazing, overwhelming, and unforgettable moment.

The church.  The same church I was married in almost TWO years ago.  Katie, can you believe its been almost 2 years since you were my bridesmaid?!?!? The ceremony was beautiful and touching.  I even surprised myself by crying through most of it.  Especially when the song “On Eagles Wings” was sang in memory of Stacie’s brother.

With this ring, I thee wed…

The new Mr. and Mrs.!!!

And then it was time to party!!!  With the beautiful bride at the reception.

My dad (who is Stacie’s Godfather and had the opportunity to participate in the ceremony) with my nephew Alex at dinner.  There was a chocolate bar for everyone to create their own dessert.  The chocolate promptly ended up on Alex’s shirt!

My partners in crime for the night.  Melissa (who’s brother married my sister almost 5 years ago!), Penny (my BEST friend from Dville.  She was also a pretty good bridesmaid:) ), and the hubby!!

The people who I literally spent every day of my life with for 4 years of high school.

There goes the bouquet!

And the garter…

Waiting for my brother to pick us up at the end of the night.  We were responsible ladies and hired a DD 🙂


Zen Running at 21 Miles by Katie
May 18, 2010, 2:09 pm
Filed under: Katie, Marathon, Run

This post is all text and all about running.   As someone who is running a marathon soon, I’ve been greedily reading every sentence of every long run and race recap I can, but if you aren’t into running or racing, this could get boring.  Or maybe it could inspire you! Feel free to skip it or read along with my play-by-play!

Preparing for 21 Miles

Training has made me hyper aware of how a few nights of not enough sleep or too much indulging really impact the body.   Since my last long run was a bust, I really wanted to be better prepared for my longest long run.  All week, I kept my stress levels in check and made sure I got enough sleep not just the night before, but all week.  I had a glass of wine on Tuesday and Wednesday, but then avoided drinking any alcohol after that.  I avoided dairy all week because it just doesn’t digest very fast for me.  It doesn’t give me too much of a stomach ache but it does cause some issues with “regularity” and gaseousness (haha sorry, trying to be honest!).   Normally it’s not enough of a problem to make me stop eating cheese and yogurt and ice cream (!!) but running seems to exacerbate everything.  That’s just me though.

For food, I kept in mind what the coaches have said: increasing carb proportions rather than just taking in more calories in the form of carbs.    Certainly carbs are important for endurance athletes but carb loading is becoming more of discarded myth since your body doesn’t store more glycogen just because you eat more.   Once your glycogen stores are full from a normal sized meal, the rest of the carbs/sugars are just converted to fat.

The night before, Team in Training Denver members got together and had dinner.  The coaches went over some 6 pages of pointers with us.  Here are some points that really hit home for me:

  • Whatever you have been using- clothes, energy sources, drink, iPod, etc., use for the 21 miler, and for the marathon. Anything “new” will cause that much more stress and those last few tough miles you will be wondering “maybe if I wore the other socks my feet wouldn’t hurt.” 
  • Bring ALL the necessary gear with you on the plane (good point)
  • Get a good nights sleep for a few days before the marathon because there is a good chance you will only get a few hours the night before
  • If possible, work at home if anyone is sick in your office. Avoid sick people in general, 2 weeks out since it takes that long for sickness to show up.  Wash your hands a lot, stay warm if it’s cooler outside, vitamins, and other prevention, etc.
  • Don’t lean forward to stretch right after running for so long.  The blood rushing to your head can make you pass out.  Apparently the coaches have seen this numerous times.
  • Hold on to hand rails going down stairs. All the people that have run marathons before said the day after they have seen lots of people fall down stairs from muscles buckling or giving out! Yikes.  My knee actually gave out a few times Saturday evening, not bad enough to fall down but I definitely looked like a fool.
  • The 21 miler shouldn’t be run at race pace since our muscles aren’t rested and repaired enough
  • Don’t overdo it in taper! Apparently we will be antsy to run more than the schedule says but it’s important to stick to the plan and let our legs rest.

After sleeping surprisingly well, I woke up early for my usual toast with PB and J breakfast, plus ample time to “digest” and wake up.   I broke the “don’t change anything” rule and tried Gu during the run (I only had two Stinger gels and the dinner had ended too late to buy more) and what do you know? It was okay.  I don’t know the reason but my stomach handled the Gu better than in the past.  I did stop to walk about 20 seconds at one point because my stomach was churning but it went away fast once I slowed down.  I had my first gel after an hour, then again each 40-45 minutes.  I might go every 30 minutes in the race but they hurt my stomach for like 15 minutes after each gel so I don’t like eating them so often.  Fueling is by far my least favorite part.  I’m more nervous about my stomach holding up than my legs, how ridiculous!

The Run!

Immediately before the run, we had “Mission Day” which involved all the Rocky Mountain runners coming together.  We stood in a big circle and went around each saying who we were running for.  Um, everyone was crying. The 10th person was a mom and her daughter, who just lost their other daughter/sister this past winter to leukemia.  After that, no one could keep it together. Then at least 2 other people said that the person they had set out to run “in honor of,” they now had to run “in memory of.”  I realized awhile ago there was a huge proportion of nurses involved and I wasn’t sure why but it became really obvious as they all said they had seen too many patients die from cancer.  I also found out my coach Andy, who I’ve come to know pretty well, is a survivor as well! He’s been cancer free for 2 years.

So after I’m thoroughly teared up and realizing how unimportant it is if I run this run in 5 hours or 3 hours, it’s just about the reason I’m doing it.  What a great way to start!  Then the whole group ran the first mile together in silence:  7:30 AM, 60+ people, all silent and running along with tears in our eyes.  We had to be a sight to see.  Oh I should mention here that I forgot my iPod.  Also, despite there being 60 people, apparently I run at the same pace as no one.  In some ways, I think the silence actually made the run better though.

I was really reflective and let my thoughts wander, my pace wasn’t going all over the place with music tempo, and I thought a LOT about all the people supporting me and all the people I know that have had cancer.  While dirty rap music or techno music full of college memories have made running bearable before, this was a good change after our meaningful start. I thought a lot about my mom’s friend Dianna, who has MS, and how proud she is that I am running this.  It made me appreciate the  sheer fact I was running, that I have the choice to run for 4 hours.  You never know, someday I might not be able to walk.  I thought about her a lot, it was just what was on my mind that day.

I can’t even explain how fast the run went by. Well, fast is maybe the wrong word but it didn’t feel like I really ran for 3 hours, 24 minutes.  I was off in another world!   One of the coaches mentioned focusing on the here-and-now rather than thinking about what you are going to do after the run, all the things you have to do for work or your spouse or moving; it doesn’t let you escape on the run.  She said this a few weeks ago and it has really helped me.  I used to think “one more mile and I can go do x y z” but I’ve tried to switch my mentality.  Thinking about the nice shower, nap, meal, or glass of wine later just make me dread the rest of the run.  I focused on staying in the moment and thinking about my surroundings and body, rather than making mental to-do lists.  Another thing was that I went out not expecting it to just be another run.  It wasn’t like okay, just have to get through these couple of hours.  Since you don’t just “get through” hours of running.  It’ still shocking me though just how the run just happened, my body could handle it, it was tiring but I wasn’t in pain or exhausted.  How did I get to this point?!

Mile 1-4 my pace jumped around a lot as I found my natural rhythm.  At 7, I was in awe that I was 1/3 through my run.  Miles 5-12 really flew by as they usually do (well usually it’s 5-9 but it was extra long on this run, thank goodness). Miles 13 and 14 were when my stomach was having issues so I slowed down, and around mile 15 I realized “only 6 more!” I thought about my normal 6 mile loop and reminded myself that it wasn’t quick by any means, but I know exactly what it feels like.  15-17 went by pretty easily, and I tried not to look at my watch.  There was a light breeze through these miles and since it was unusually humid that day, the breeze was wonderous.  I was in a goofy, weird mood and would stick my arms straight out (partly to cool off my armpits because I was chaffing, partly because it felt nice, and partly because I think I was going a little insane) and close my eyes just taking in my surroundings.  Time was going soooo slow for 18 to 20 because I knew how close to the end I was but I still had  20 minutes of running!  Around like 20, they had signs on the trail that said things like “Hi I’m Mason and I’m 9 years old! 2 weeks ago I finished my chemo treatments and I can’t wait to finally play soccer this summer with my friends!”  Um, you bet I cried.  After 3.5 hours of running and deep thinking, I was a basket of emotions.  Laughing and crying. I hit 21 miles and it was weird because I didn’t want to stop.  My quads and butt were feeling it but I knew how much more tight and sore everything would get once I stopped!!  At 21.2, I slowed down and walked for another 0.5 miles to cool down.  Many survivor kids were at the “finish line” and placed a “medal” (really a bagel on a string, much more delicious!) around my neck.  It was too cute and knowing that they were survivors, I was all emotional again though I just smiled and cheered with them because they were so happy!

And the end.

After tons and tons of stretching, I took an ice bath as soon as possible and then took some strong ibuprofen ;)!  I took a short nap (I really hate how I feel taking a long nap after running, all swollen and stiff) and just kept standing up all day to stretch and move, I was really nervous about getting tight.  For once, I was super hungry right away. Usually, it takes a day or two for my appetite to really come back.  Overall though I felt no worse- actually, better- than after 18 or even 15.  My muscles just felt like they had nothing in them.  They weren’t sore but they were definitely exhausted.   I had one margarita at dinner and almost fell down after just from the weakness in my legs. I looked like such a drunk! I wanted to tell everyone I had run 21 miles that AM to explain!

I know people go out and do these long runs or races with a lot less preparation. It is not always possible to get the sleep you need or carefully plan food intake.   A lot of people aren’t as sensitive to food and sleep maybe, or they are just used to training.  Being new to this endurance running, I tried to do everything I could to make it go well. I’m sure I could have gotten through the run on less sleep and less planning but I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it the way I did.  Do you put much thought and planning into training or just wing it?