Monday, April 26, 2010

It's on like flan

That may not look like it rhymes, but if you pronounce flan like my Puerto Rican friend, it does. Good news, my knee is going to be ok and I'm currently planning to run the full marathon in 3 weeks.

Insert big plug for the Salt Lake Running Company here. This is why you should go to specialty running stores and not the big chains. They are staffed by actual runners who know what they are talking about. I went in Friday. Looked at some inserts, talked over my knee issue.

The girl suspected it was tight muscles which were pulling the kneecap out of place and the tendon and bone were rubbing. She got me down on a foam roller and I rolled out the muscle. I was definitely very tight. I bought one on the spot. I started working on my quads as soon as I got home. Knee felt fine after that. (Note: She was reasonably careful not to claim to give medial advice and made suggestions only. I don't' want to get anyone in trouble for giving out medical advice. They give out reasonable tips and will even advise checking with doctors or whoever applicable.)

Saturday morning I went for an 18 miler. I had already decided if I couldn't do 18, I'd drop down to the 1/2 marathon. I rolled out before I went. I don't know if you should work you muscles right before a run, and I don't plan to in the future, but I wanted my muscles stretched out as much as possible.

I did pretty good. I met up with a friend at miles 10-16. I'm actually really thankful she met me cause at about mile 12 I got tight again and my knee was killing. It helped to have that extra motivation of having someone there. I did some stretches and massaged my quad and it helped. Every 2-3 miles after that I had to stretch and massage.

Actually I got some really strange looks from some solar astronomy group (they had posters up that's why I know it was solar astronomy). I used the park bench to dig in and stretch out my quad. I leaned forward on the edge and used it to pull the muscle out. I won't say what I think it probably looked like, but it was weird enough that people were staring. I didn't care cause it helped.

I ended up going 19.5 miles. I felt ok at 17 so I went just a smidgen further. I stretched and rolled out a lot throughout the day Saturday & Sunday. I'm a bit sore today, but I've been worse.

Two weeks of tapering and then the marathon!

Friday, April 16, 2010


In an effort to raise some money without directly asking for money which I uncomfortable doing, I decided to have a bake sale. I picked cupcakes. Who doesn't like cupcakes? I made chocolate peanut butter and coconut lime cupcakes.

I was very happy with the results. I was a little sad I didn't get more people at the actual event cause I like to socialize, but I had a lot of "to go" orders. I ended up raising about 50% of my total needed to qualify to ride, so I was please in the end.

I'm still raising money for the Tour de Cure. My new tactic is to challenge everyone who knows someone with diabetes to donate $5. Feel free to visit my Tour de Cure page and donate or get more information. The money goes to the American Diabetes Association for research.

There are cute pics of my dad as a kid on the website. Did I mention I'm doing the ride for my dad? Pretty much all of his health issues come from complications from diabetes. I'll have fun, but I'm taking the ride very seriously, needless to say.
Cameron was the dearest friend and helped me make some of the cupcakes. He made the chocolate with dark chocolate frosting and white beady things ones and the chocolate with vanilla icing and peanut butter with chocolate drizzles.
I made the chocolate with peanut butter frosting and mini chocolate chip sprinkles and the coconut vanilla with coconut lime icing ones. Mmmmm. They were all wonderful. I sampled them all as witnessed by my ever expanding waistline.
Our friend Brian dropped in and helped us wrap all the to go plates. What the two gentlemen didn't know is that I totally teared up on my way home because I was so touched by their support for my cause.
I continue to be touched and tear up with every donation and words of support that come in. You're not just helping me to qualify for a bike ride or supporting research for diabetes. You're giving me hope for a better future for my dad, everyone else I know with diabetes, and any future progeny I might have that are at risk.
XOXO --Amy

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Speedbump on the road to glory

I can vouch for the waterproof properties of the KT Tape. I've been taped up since Saturday and am limited to pool activities as I seem to have developed an acute case of chondromalacia, or Runner's Knee. 12 miles into my 20 mile run Saturday I felt enough discomfort that I stopped my run and limped 2 miles back to the car.

I am extremely nervous that I may not be able to even do the marathon. I've always said one race isn't worth not be able to run for the long term. But, now that I'm facing the possibility, I'm terribly disappointed. I've never quit a race (one time in high school cross country, I almost past out, I was so upset I nearly cried in public). My head tells me it is the prudent thing to do, but my heart tells my head to shut up and think positive.

One tip for anyone with this problem that has to sit for work all day (you would think sitting is good, but the position is bad for the knee), find a paper box, set it up tall side up, and prop your leg up under your desk. Feels so much better. I'm bringing a little pillow in tomorrow for comfort.

This week is a no run week. It's my rest week anyhow. I've been to the pool and it actually felt better after that. I've discovered sitting all day at my desk does not make it feel better.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Marathons and Munchies

I thought I'd share a little phenomenon I've noticed in my marathon training. It's funny because so many people comment about how I'll lose so much weight training for a marathon. This is not my experience. The opposite in fact. I always tell people who say they want to run a marathon to lose weight to train for a 1/2 marathon instead.

It seems like in my training when my long runs get over somewhere in the 15-16 mile mark (that puts my weekly running miles around 23-26+) I start to get the munchies. I want to constantly be eating. And the cravings are usually for sweets. I could drown in chocolate today and die happy. Sometimes I crave spinach too.

Oh crap. They just put cookies out in the break room. Yes, I'm eating them. That's right, more than one.

I don't know exactly what causes this. I know I am burning more calories than usual, but I toy dangerously with taking in many more calories than I am burning. Especially if there is any inconsistency in my training.

I suspect the trigger could be a nutritional deficiency. Do I need more protein, iron, fiber??? I'm going to experiment a little. I'm going to try and up my vegetable intake. Also, for some snacks, I'm going to try popcorn and cut vegis. I don't usually buy the vegi trays but maybe I should as a readily available food source to jam down my pie hole when I'm feeling like I want to chew my arm off. When I get like that I've very susceptible to all the crap that gets past around in the office.

Anyone have better solutions to curb insatiable munchies?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Muse part 2

Muse was possibly the best concert I've ever been too. It was the perfect concert but it was pretty awesome. First, it was Muse playing all Muse music. How can that not be awesome? Second they had an incredible laser/video showing going on.

The lighted piano was pretty cool. I think I was expecting a little more from it from all the hype I'd heard.

The band wasn't very interactive with the audience. There was the token, we're so glad to be in _Utah_. The _Salt Lake City__ crowd is the best. I'm ok with it though. Better that than they shoot their mouths off and I find out they're a bunch of tools. What's the old saying I never heed, better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt. Kind of like that.

They opened with these 3 high rise building screen things. Cool video/light show, then the fabric part came down and the band was on raised platforms in the middle of the buildings. I was so excited I was waving my hands like a little girl. I may have squealed.

Apparently all the douchebags in General Admissions were two rows of bodies in front of us. A bunch of drunk guys started moshing (not even necessarily to music that was appropriate for moshing, so 90's). I was a little alarmed at being pushed around but the guys right in front of me were pretty solid. Some chick lost her beer all over her and the lady's hair in front of her.

I kept smelling smoke and was kind of surprised people were lighting up indoors. I am getting so old. I noticed the bass player was totally taking smoke breaks between sets too. So funny. I didn't really want to inhale 2nd hand smoke, but it was amusing. When you're a super rock band, nobody tells you where you can't smoke.

The one thing I would have changed about it was just have it in a smaller venue. I am sooooo kicking myself for missing the last show a couple of years ago at Saltair. I like smaller shows better. Just more intimate. People watching is fun and all, but i just want me and Muse.

This is embarrassing to say, but the craziest loud, frenzied crowd I've ever seen was David Archuleta in SLC. I thought the E-Center was going to crumble. It helps to have 10,000 12 year old girls screaming, but seriously, I've never seen a crowd like that. This crowd did ok. This group just had more stupid, drunk young guys. They do dum stuff.

Pics to be added as soon as I can figure out how to get them from my phone.

They played most of the Uprising songs. The others were just all great songs. Everyone in our group got their favorites played--Starlight, Uprising, Super Massive Black Hole. And the final song of the evening. Oh what is that. I can't tell where they're going with that intro. Is it, is it....It is!!!! Knights of Cydonia. Not their absolute best song ever, though arguable, but they made the best music video ever, for the whole planet, for any music, forever and always.

I just watched the making of the video video clip. Russ Bain is the name of the finely mustached future kungfu cowboy. Did you know he's British? Ya, so he has a British accent. So hot. I'm in love. And they used real horse poop for the scene where he's in the stocks. Yuck.

I can't end this blog entry with a sentence about horse poop. To summarize, the Muse concert was awesome. Beyond awesome. If I wasn't running 20 miles Saturday morning, I'd be heading down to Vegas to the Muse show there. Hmmm.......

Monday, April 5, 2010

Muse part 1

I am going to Muse tonight! I can't tell you exactly why, but they are my favorite band. There's something in their music that just resonates with me. Well, maybe I know.

There are actually some definite classical influences to their music. Most people may not know this but I love classical music. Rarely does any other music move me emotionally like the best classical music. Some of their songs aren't just influenced but have whole themes or passages straight from a classical piece. United States of Eurasia borrow a little Chopin (one of my favorite pianist, how can you go wrong?).

They also appeal to my non-conformist side. I think it's safe to say a lot of their lyrics are fairly anarchist. I'm not an anarchist, but I can handle a little anti-establishitarianism from time to time.

They put a lot of drama into their music. I like that. I read somewhere something to the point that their albums are like a soundtrack to the Apocalypse. Awesome. Does it get any more hardcore than that?

Also, in my opinion, they have the best music video ever made--Knights of Cydonia. It's a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, wester, kung fu. Enough said.

We've already had a little drama leading up to the concert. Somebody in the group lost their ticket. Not me! I know that sounds like me but it wasn't me. I was pretty sick about it until I found out they could re-issue our tickets.

I'm trying really hard to not get overly excited for how awesome the concert is going to be. I don't want to be disappointed at all. I'm just going to go and enjoy some live music. If I hear some of my favorite songs, it's all good.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Super Cando Birthday Cake

For Candice's birthday I made a super cake. I was "off" sugar for March (one cheat a week allowed) so this weekend I went a little too crazy on the sugar. I had been itching to make something amazing all month.

I started with a chocolate pudding cake. You take a cake mix, make it according to directions then stir in a box of pudding. I used sugar free chocolate pudding. It makes a nice, rich, chocolately, moist cake.

Next I made a batch of vanilla fondant (not icing fondant, candy fondant--see my blog posting from after Thanksgiving for the recipe). I poke holes in the bottom layer with a toothpick so it would ooze in. This was tasty, but the fondant was gooey enough and the cakes were so moist that the layers moved around when I frosted and cut the cake. A difficulty worth dealing with though. Just warning you.

Next I made a frosting out of whipped cream, powdered sugar, and strawberry extract. I didn't measure. There was a pint of whipped cream but I just added the rest until I got the flavor and texture I wanted. I also added one drop of red food coloring to pink it up.

I did a search on youtube and found instructions for making strawberry roses. It's not as easy as it looks. I should have taken some pictures of the freak-show strawberries that didn't make the cut. Ugly but tasty.

My final touch was slicing strawberries into circles. I wold have liked to put them on the sides too but I was pretty sure they would slide off. They really didn't do much for the aesthetics but they were a tasty addition.

Yum. If I make this again, I'm going to do a coconut fondant filling and put coconut all over the cake. Strawberry, vanilla, chocolate was not bad. Not bad at all.