the list issue

December 1, 2009

inspired by magazines
i had a disgustingly unproductive day yesterday — more on that later. but i did enjoy it. i ended my day by curling up in bed with a stack of magazines at 8:30 pm, and was pleased overjoyed to see that two of the mags had produced “list issues” for the month of november.

in list form (of course), here are some highlights from the issues:

1. paste had a treasure trove of top 20 lists from the past decade! these lists were not only interesting to read (i love sufjan stevens, but REALLY . . . #1 album over arcade fire!?) but they were full of ideas for music, books, and movies to check out that have already stood the test of time — at least a few years, anyway.

the issue also contained the usual music samples AND a lot of great album reviews. i’m currently listening to brooke waggoner’s go easy little doves on lala (remember, this service lets you listen to almost any album in its entirety once for free!). yeah, i know, i had never heard of her before, either.

2. self is a magazine that i don’t always love — in fact, i HATE the ‘miracle diet!’-type promises that tend to grace the cover. but there do tend to be some more useful/interesting articles inside, and i usually get such a good deal on subscriptions that i figure it’s worth continuing. this issue was actually pretty good!

first of all, pictures and quotes from several bloggers (including meghann and angela) were found inside! so cool to see familiar faces inside a national magazine.

second, there were some interesting random tidbits.

a) apparently, raleigh has the cleanest water in the US and philadelphia the dirtiest!! i have had the opportunity to do a pretty good comparison and never noticed a difference . . . in taste, at least!

b) miami has the lowest rate of exercising!? really!? did they leave out south beach!?

c) compassion cures: apparently, in one study, people who believe their doctor is compassionate recover a full day faster. i wonder what measure was used to quantify ‘recovery’ — self report? because i can imagine that someone who likes their doctor would be more apt to SAY they felt better, regardless of actual symptoms. even so, this makes me happy!

d) cursing also cures: screaming ‘F(#@#&!’ when stubbing your toe can actually lower the perception of discomfort. no wonder.

your questions, answered
from yesterday’s comments! thanks to all of you who made me feel great about my run yesterday. you are all too nice — after all, i don’t really consider myself fast. these chicks are fast!

1. lee asked, “How did you get so fast? Do you do a lot of speedwork? I cannot seem to get faster than a 10 minute mile.”

again, i am definitely not that fast. but i do believe in the power of speedwork! i tend to choose training plans that have an interval run and a tempo run each week — i recommend checking out the FIRST plans. they offer plans for all distances that are just 3 days a week, but incorporate some great interval and tempo workouts.

you can add easy running days or cross-training days to the plans depending on what works for your schedule and injury prevention strategy.

i also believe that everyone has their own speed setpoints — and unfortunately there are diminishing returns to be had with training. some people are gifted at running and with hard work will not just improve but actually WIN races (josh, for example!). as much as it’s fun to dream otherwise, i am okay knowing that i am unlikely to ever reach jess-like speeds. so i say aim for being the best runner YOU can be and don’t worry about comparisons!

2. susan and claire asked, “are you thinking about trying for boston?”

okay, i’d be lying if i said i wasn’t THINKING about it. i can’t help it! but i have no plans to actually go out and try to do it. i am fairly sure that if i tried to do the whole race at 8:27/mi pace, i would crash and burn somewhere along the line, and that is not what i want for this race.

instead, i am just going to go in with thoughts of finding my relaxed, feel-good pace, just like on the past 2 long runs, and i will aim for negative splits. if that results in a PR (3:53 is my previous PR — from back in 2006), then awesome; if not, i will just be thrilled to have run a successful race.

3. meggilizz asked, “which Polar is that? I need one that measures distance AND HR that would be sweeeeeeet!”

it IS sweet! i love my polar RS200sd. i bought it more than a year ago, but it’s still going strong and still available at amazon. unlike a GPS that can potentially lose signal, the polar works with a footpod that is calibrated to your stride and calculates your distance + speed in some magic way using acceleration data. i have found it to be quite accurate when calibrated properly. the only downsides i have run into (haaaaa) are:

a) you have to recalibrate it if you change shoes

b) it’s not easy to share it between runners because you leave it on your shoe

c) you have to change the battery every month or so, and sometimes you have to recalibrate it after that depending on how careful you are to keep the base of the unit in place on your shoe

i don’t actually use the HRM (hate the feeling of something around my chest!) but the times i have tried it out, it worked well. just be sure to get the unit with the HRM strap in your size!

a long list of eats
nah, i’m not going to list everything i put into my mouth yesterday; i’m not sure i could remember it all, anyway. but trust me, i was an eating machine — i felt like a bottomless pit! i think the reasons for this were multifold:

1. unsatisfying meals + quantities: instead of my usual peanut-butter-packed breakfast, i had cereal. it left me still hungry afterwards and the feeling just lasted all day! i kept trying to fill the void with little snacks, but i wasn’t satisfied until dinner when i ate a real, hearty (martha) meal. sometimes grazing just is NOT the way to go. at least for me.

2. post-18-miles. duh.

3. boredom/lack of structure because i was home all day with no real schedule! hopefully today will be better from that standpoint . . .

a list vs. a plan
okay, so yesterday was a giant BUST productivity-wise. actually, i was plenty productive when it came to finishing the laundry, running errands, and buying groceries, but i got NO research work done. i also sent out a record (for me) number of tweets. oops.

this trend ends NOW. rather than just a list of things to get done, today i am armed with a plan. something like . . .

8:30 – 10:30 — work on reading and taking notes on articles
10:30 – 12:00 — break to run + shower
12:00 – 1:00 — lunch break!
1:00 – 2:00 — work on morning report case for next week
2:00 – 3:30 — sort out phone mess (um, i lost my phone. oops.)
3:30 – 5:00 — more articles/reading
5:00 – 6:00 — draft out goals and write email to lab PI
6:00 – wheneverdoin’ time, josh time, bedtime.

looks good to me.



workout: rest day!

doin’ time: after a long (and much-needed) hiatus, martha is BACK! and i have less than 3 weeks-worth left of recipes to complete, which means that i’ll be done by the end of 2009. i’ve enjoyed the project, but this makes me happy.

butternut squash soup + endive/apple/grape/pecan salad + a few pita chips. defying martha, i added the gorgonzola to the butternut squash on a whim and LOVED the sweet/salty contrast. recipes on the sidebar once again!