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!