Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chicago plans

The fall weather we had recently was a big fat tease. Today, I checked out the temps before deciding on whether to run inside or outside, and saw that the high was going to be 97 degrees today. What the hell?! I've been wearing long sleeves and jeans recently, and now we're back into the 90's.

So, considering the temp and that I had intervals on the schedule, I decided to run on the treadmill. I spent probably an hour trying to find a show on Netflix to watch. There is NOTHING that sounds interesting to me! Once Sons of Anarchy has the fifth season on Netflix, I'll be able to watch that; also, I'm waiting for the second season of American Horror Story. But today, I couldn't find anything that even remotely interested me, so I just decided to run outside.

There was no way that I was going to run speed work in "feels like" temps of 100, so I figured I'd just run five miles at whatever pace my legs felt like running today. The air was really thick when I stepped outside (after my dilly dallying around, it was after 9:00). I ran a five mile loop around the neighborhoods, and my heart rate was about as high as if I'd been doing my intervals... that's how the humidity affects me. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 90's again, but it's a rest day, so I'll be in the air conditioning!


Remember my post from a few days ago, about the gross jar of Justin's Maple Almond Butter I bought? It was very runny and tasted like pure oil. Here is the pic of it compared to a "normal" jar of it:


The one on the left was obviously the liquidy one. Anyway, I e-mailed Justin's about it, and I just got a response yesterday. I was incredibly disappointed when I read it.

Apparently, this runny nut butter was not a fluke. Justin's is changing the way they grind the nuts--the purpose is to make it easier to spread, less oil separation, and more consistent from jar to jar. She wrote that the recipe hasn't changed, and they aren't adding more oil, but that this consistency is actually what they were going for :(

It's hard to show with a photo just how runny this new consistency is, but it's VERY runny. You can't scoop it up with a spoon without it spilling over the sides. I'm trying to think of a comparison... I guess you could say that it has the consistency of a cream-based soup. I tried to put some on an English muffin, but it just ran off the sides of the muffin. And even though I was told they didn't change the recipe, I have to say the flavor is TERRIBLE. It tastes like rancid vegetable oil.

Anyway, the woman who wrote me back was very kind, and I like that she explained this to me, but I won't be buying Justin's Nut Butters anymore, if they are going to taste like this one. Bummer!


For Taste Test Tuesday, I bought a box of Barbara's Toasted Oatmeal Flakes to try. I love cereal, but most of my favorites have 200+ calories per serving, which is a lot for a tiny little bowl (and I rarely stop at one serving...). I usually have cereal for an afternoon snack rather than a meal, so I like it to be lower in calories. This one has 110 calories per serving (3/4 cup).


I was expecting the texture to be very airy, like corn flakes, but it was kind of thick and dense, which I liked.


It was also sweeter than I expected (not that I'm complaining!). I really liked this cereal. It was hearty for being only 110 calories, and because of the denser texture, it took longer to chew than airy flakes. The flavor reminded me of Honey Nut Cheerios. I would definitely buy this again!


My plans for the Chicago Marathon have changed a bit. Andrea, who I was going to be running with for her first marathon, has decided not to run. She has a very good reason for it--she has severe sciatica that really bothers her when she runs, and her training has really suffered. She is extremely disappointed, but I think she's making a wise decision. I ran Cleveland with an injured knee, and it was a totally miserable experience! So I am not upset with her at all. Even though I signed up for Chicago to run with Andrea, I am still going to run it alone--it was a very expensive race, and I've already done the training, so I might as well!

Andrea still plans to go to Chicago with me, which is very kind of her, considering she's not going to be doing the race. We're going to stay with my sister in Rockford on Friday night, and then head to the city on Saturday (my kids are going to stay with my sister). The race is Sunday morning. We'll stay Sunday night in Chicago, and then Andrea will go to the airport, and I'll go to my sister's house for another night before coming home with my kids.

One of the things I was looking forward to about this race is that it was going to be pretty stress-free; I didn't have a time goal or anything, I was just going to run with Andrea. Now that I'll be running alone, I've had to reevaluate the situation. I've been training as if I'm going to run a 3:55 marathon (BAHAHA) but I never had intentions of actually doing that. There is no way I even want to attempt that pace! That would mean running an 8:58/mi pace for 26.2 miles, and, from experience, the last 10 miles of a marathon don't agree so well with me ;)

I think that if I were to go and give it my ALL, really bust my ass to reach a goal, I could probably do a sub-4:00 finish. However... that doesn't sound like fun to me in the slightest. I'm happy with my 4:50-something finish time from Detroit, and never had intentions of breaking that time. So, for Chicago, I'm going to go and run whatever pace I feel like running that day. I don't have a goal, I'm not going to follow a pacer, and I honestly don't care what my finish time is. I don't even have a "secret" goal! ;)

If I had to guess, I'd say my best estimate for a finish time (based on my long runs and easy runs) would be 4:30-ish (10:18/mi pace). I've been doing my long runs at a 9:30/mi pace, but I know I would feel more comfortable at a slower pace. I wouldn't be surprised if I finish in 4:15-ish, but I also wouldn't be surprised if I finish in 4:45-ish. Anything can happen! I'm just really happy with my decision to run for fun, without any goals, and just see what happens. I always enjoy races the most when I don't have a goal.

One thing that I would love is to chat with some other runners during the race. I know some people don't like to talk while running, but it always helps me pass the time faster, so I'll be happy if I can have a few conversations. I'm trying to think of a clever shirt I can make that might spark conversation, maybe something to do with my weight loss? If you have any ideas, I'd love to read 'em!

47 comments:

  1. How about "Please talk to me, I'm bored." ?

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  2. Haha I like Ty's suggestion. I will be watching the Chicago Marathon and am looking forward to seeing you run by! I'll be sure to shout something out to you from the sidelines.

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  3. I actually like the runny consistency of Justin's because when less pb sticks to what I'm eating, I eat less pb. If it piled up on a spoon I'd end up eating it by the spoonful.

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  4. Have you tried refrigerating the almond butter? I find it usually gets a little less runny once it's cold.

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    1. I think I could learn to live with the runny consistency if it tasted good, but the new stuff tasted terrible!!

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  5. I live outside of Chicago so I follow some bloggers from this website: http://www.chicagorunningbloggers.com/ so maybe check them out. Another reader and I are seeing if we can make it up on race day to cheer for you but still working on logistics since it is a nightmare to drive into the city.
    You'll do fine:)

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  6. There's nothing worse than when a product you love changes...even when they claim they haven't. (Consumers aren't stupid)

    I'd probably put something like "on your left...running from bear." But I'm weird like that.

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  7. How about "I gave up peanut butter to run, ask me about it"

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  8. Let me introduce you to Vermont Peanut Butter. I kind of don't want to, because I don't like to share, but it's good for their business if people know about them! :)

    http://www.vtpeanutbutter.com/vermont_peanut_butter.php

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  9. For your T-Shirt
    Lose weight now. Ask me how.
    And you can maybe have a before/ after pic on it. Not sure about that.

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  10. One of my other favorite bloggers, Liz from 125, is running it too! She also has a lifestyle/weight loss blog. She's super funny and I think she'd be great to meet! 125.msn.ca <<Check her out!

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  11. For names on the back of a race shirt, why not all three: "Runs for cookies" "From Fat to Finish Line" and "Half my Size" see if some of your blog readers find you!!

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  12. Love your blog...recently I ran into (no pun intended) the same problem with TV shows to watch and became addicted to Orange is the New Black and House of Cards on Netflix. Never thought I would be interested in either but watched episode after episode and was disappointed when the seasons ended.

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    1. LOVED Orange is the New Black!! I can't wait for the next season. I haven't tried House of Cards, because I'm not even a little bit into politics, but I've heard good things about it. Maybe I'll give it a try regardless!

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  13. Do you have "The United States of Tara" on Netflix in the US? We are almost done watching it. It's about a mom with multiple personalities and her family life. Pretty entertaining!

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  14. I don't understand how the company can claim that the recipe hasn't changed. Wouldn't the recipe HAVE to be changed, at least somewhat, for the consistency to be that different? That's not even counting the taste change.

    In regards to the weather, I know the Columbus, OH weather said one more hot day (today, Wed.) and then it's supposed to be in the high 60s and low 70s again, so hopefully there's an end in sight. :)

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  15. Love, love that you are doing the marathon - how inspiring!

    My daughter made me a t-shirt with my blog name on it once and I wore it while I did a 5K. It was fun and elicited a few questions!

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  16. Check out Hemlock Grove on Netflix! It's a Netflix Original, and there's only one season so far, but I loved it. It's a mix of fantasy and horror.

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    1. I haven't heard of that one, so I will check it out. I'm not a fan of fantasy, but I do love a good horror flick!

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  17. That must have been such a hard decision for Andrea, but nothing is worth risking your future well-being. I hop you both enjoy your time together!

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  18. I have learned that I prefer to chat with runners in a long race but I never know how to start up a conversation. I was lucky for the Flying Pig when a guy asked about my tattoos (we ended up running the second half of the race together.) When I was having a shit time at a half in CT due to heat and humidity the best 3 miles were the last because we were told to stop running so I started talking with a girl next to me. I just don't want to bother anyone if they do not like chatting and I am slow so I dont want to slow anyone down....

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    1. It's kind of strange, because I'm normally SUPER shy and have a very hard time meeting people. But something about running for a while with tons of other people around makes me want to chat ;)

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  19. Regarding a show to watch on Netflix, there are a couple of Netflix exclusive shows that have promise. If you like the horror genre, you could check out Hemlock Grove. There is some really mystical stuff going on there. If you like political dramas, check out House of Cards. You can't go wrong with Kevin Spacey.

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  20. If you have not watched Desparate Housewives all of those seasons are on Netflix and they ended up being alot better than I thought.
    I started watching Breaking Bad last week and i'm only 6 episodes in and I love it!

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    1. I LOVED Desperate Housewives! I started watching it when it first came out, and watched every season. I know people thought it was lame after a while, but it remains one of my favorite shows of all time.

      Breaking Bad is so good! I'm caught up to "real time" now.

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  21. Katie

    Well the news from Justin's just SUCKS !!! I finished my last jar yesterday, I want be wasting money on their "new, not new" product....thanks for the information !

    Hmm.. shirt idea.... "Mom of 2 and look this good .... ask me how"

    I'm a big cereal fan too....will look for this one next : )

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    1. I was disappointed, too. I'm still wondering if I just had a bad jar of it, because the flavor was so off. I think I might buy one more jar of the new stuff, and see what happens.

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  22. carolyn kirchenstienSeptember 11, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    I am hoping to go to Chicago marathon to watch, I have one other friend running in it, I'm not ready for a 26 miler but would love to be there to cheer everyone on! I loved reading the shirts people wore in the half-marathon, i have no suggestions, lol, but def do it!

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  23. Katie can you please do a Q / A blog or vlog.
    Maybe you can fix a day where we all ( people like me) can ask the questions and you could answer them on a vlog or blog.

    I started watching Orange is the new black but not hooked yet.

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  24. Oooh...the back of your tshirt should say something like "ask me how much I used to weigh" or something. It would be interesting for people to read and could really inspire some people!!

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  25. Try making your own nut butter...if you have a good processor its very easy. I made homemade nutzo and my husband loves it

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  26. Couple of Netflix shows that I love..."Bones", "Scandal" and "Drop Dead Diva"

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  27. I don't think we have the same taste in TV shows but my friend who loved "Orange is the New Black" also liked "Prison Break". Hot men! And I like "24"... I think you should try that one--- you'll want to run for forever.

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  28. Ah, I will trade your 97 degrees with our 57 any day

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  29. that's too bad about Justin's. Maranatha no-stir almond butter is my favorite, but it's kinda pricey (like most almond butter i guess). if you've never watched The Killing i highly recommend it; it's a super good murder mystery show. only 2 seasons are on Netflix, but a 3rd is on the way.

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  30. I really like the show Supernatural. It's interesting, has hot guys in it, and there are something like 140 episodes on netflix so you won't run out for a while. Would Dr Who be your kind of thing?

    That almond butter sounds better thicker like you like it. I wanted to try it but now i'm not sure. Btw, I tried one of these Garden Lites Veggie souffle things the other day that is in with the Amy's and organic frozen things..it was really good and only 4 pts. I'm not on weight watchers but I saw the points and thought I wonder if Katie has tried this.

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  31. I have to wonder if something is wrong with your jar of almond butter. Easy to spread does not equal runny! Did you send them the picture you posted here? As for oil separation, that's just how it is with the natural products. Having to stir natural peanut butter is just how it is.
    I will be running Chicago aiming for 4:30 with my sister in law. All my training has been faster but I'm looking forward to running a 10:15 pace. In the past, I've always tried to break 4 hrs, the closest I've come is 4:09. I usually go from a 9 minute mile to an 11 minute mile between mile 20 & 23 and it gets tough.
    I wonder if your shirt had the Runs for Cookies logo and the address, www.runsforcookies.com if you would get questions. If I see you, I will make a big deal and say something!! Someone suggested - ask me how much I used to weigh. I like that too!

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  32. You should try watching "Scandal." There are two seasons on Netflix right now. That or "Revenge"!

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  33. Have you tried Hell on wheels? The main character is as handsome as the one from SoA

    Monica

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  34. Love your blog! I am walking now & I need to lose about 40 lbs and then am going to start 5k training with my 12, 9 & 8 year olds - we homeschool so this is phys ed for the year. :> Thanks 4 the inspiration! I'm not a big fan of sci-fi (though I loved Star Wars & Star Trek as a kid) but I was the one who got hooked on the new Battlestar Galactica when my husband made me watch it one night. (Even renewed our ancient Blockbuster membership since Netflix would've taken a whole 24 hrs to get the next disc to us!) Start with the mini-series and see if you don't move heaven & earth to get to Season 1. Enjoy!

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  35. I don't stream on Netflix but have been getting the BBC series Orphan Black on DVD...I have really blew through them...captured my attention.

    Ellen Renee

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  36. Never thought I would have ever watched it, but did on a whim one day and fell in love with the show mistresses. Only one season so far though :( for your shirt you could put something funny like : "need toilet paper" #runningproblems

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  37. Or how about "this would be fun if it weren't for all the running" :) or "I thought it said 2.62 miles" or "18 weeks Ago this seemed like a good idea" or "cheaper than therapy"

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  38. Or "just finishing what I started 125 pounds ago" or "this was a lot harder 125 pounds ago" or "running has killed 125 pounds of me"

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  39. I'm running Chicago as my first marathon and am thinking I'm going to run somewhere between 4:30 and 5 (been running long runs at around a 10, but we stop every 2 miles for a few mins for the water stops, so not sure what my actual pace will be), but I'm honestly not worried about my time at all either. I'm going with my husband (also his first marathon) and some other friends (some experienced marathoners, others are first timers too), but they're all starting in a faster corral than me, they're in D, I'm in E. If you happen to be in E, I'd LOVE someone to talk to while running!! I've been running my long runs either with running friends or my husband, so I'm nervous about the mental game of running 26.2 alone! I know it's probably weird to have a reader ask to meet up, but I'd love to! I've been reading your blog for years (and we've emailed a time or two also), so it would be so fun to meet you in person and run for awhile together!

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    1. Yikes! I'm in corral G, which I know is a later start time.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)