7 Miles In Heaven

September 11, 2009

I woke up this morning to a chilly sunshine day ready to get up and run.

I set out not sure what my plan was and did about 3 miles and when I was passing the YMCA, I decided to go on the outdoor track and work on my speed.

When I was in high school I used to do speed work on tracks by sprinting 3/4 of a lap, walking 1/8 and jogging 1/8. I did a similar scenario today on the half-mile track: 1/4 mile running as hard as I could (not quite sprinting) and 1/4 walking + jogging recovery.

My Race For The Cure 5K is coming up in a few weeks and my 5K PR is 23:26, a 7:26 mile average. (I can’t really believe that I did that!?) Anyways, I think my RFTC goal this year is going to be sub-23 minutes, which would mean an even faster average. So I set out today to see how I’d do.

Um, it was totally hard!? There’s nothing like race adrenalin to get you going, but I had a tough time staying under a 7:30 pace for more than 1/4 a mile. I would start out in the 6:50’s and end up around the 8:00’s by the end (which is still pretty fast!). So I’m not sure if my new goal is even possible. My best bet it to prep my mitochondria for that kind of speed a few times between now and then.

I ended up doing 2 more miles of speedwork (miles go by SO FAST this way) and jogging a slow pace home another 2.2 to reach over 7!!!!!! I think this is the most I have ever ran in my life. I’m definitely worn out though.

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I didn’t eat anything before I left because I had plenty of glycogen and wasn’t hungry (just water!) and when I came home I still wasn’t that hungry. Hard exercise dulls the appetite. But I was still super excited about eating a huge bowl of muffin oats.

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Muffin Oats

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  • 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup vanilla soy milk, pinch salt
  • 1 small apple, chopped and put in the pot in the beginning
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • Vanilla + cinnamon + ~1/4 cup cottage cheese, stirred in at end
  • Topped with Apple Strudel muffin top from Great Harvest and TJ’s PB

Chopped apple is good, but still not as creamy + thick as banana oats 😉

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Some of Mara‘s Peruvian Fair Trade coffee!

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This was too much breakfast!! My poor stomach was completely empty and eating all this at once after my workout was over-the-top. I felt kinda nauseous for a few minutes there, but it passed and now I’m just plain full.

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Flash Dance

My camera was set on AUTO from last night when I was in the dim light of my living room. This is what photos look like when you set them on AUTO with a flash and no macro setting:

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And this is the exact same shot with NO flash on macro. Night and day – literally!

NEVER USE A FLASH!! EVER!! (OK, exception: you’re in a very dark restaurant and can’t see the plate….)

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[ Moment of Silence in Remembrance of 9/11/2001  ]


I’ve got the whole day ahead of me to work now that my exercise is done. Onward and upward!

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Help Meghan Run September 11, 2009 at 9:25 am

I have that same problem when I eat after long runs. :/ My tummy is empty and then all of a sudden SO full. Congrats on your run, though! :)


2 Holly September 11, 2009 at 9:39 am

i think you should do a whole photography how-to tutorial, unless you already have and i missed it!

i feel ya on a hard workout – im either starving or NOT hungry at all.


3 ellie September 11, 2009 at 9:41 am

Working out kills my appetite, big time. Then it hits me hard later 😉

Enjoy your day (and I second Holly’s request for a camera “how-to”!)


4 Elsa September 11, 2009 at 9:43 am

You will kick butt on your 5K!


5 amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) September 11, 2009 at 9:45 am

Wow the camera setting differences are very noticeable! Glad you posted something.

Congrats on the 7 miles!


6 Rose September 11, 2009 at 9:45 am

Great job on your run this morning! I remember doing speed workouts like that and not even realizing I’d run 6 miles +!


7 Monique September 11, 2009 at 9:45 am

Thank you for taking hte moment of silence Kath.

I’m a NYer and 9/11 is the most depressing day in NYC


8 Lizzy September 11, 2009 at 9:46 am

i’m the same way. my appetite is totally killed after a run, so normally i just wait a little while when i return and then it returns soon after! Great job on the run today! :)

great pictures too :) its so true what you say about the flash!


9 Mara @ What's For Dinner? September 11, 2009 at 9:48 am

I’m always MORTIFIED when I accidentally take a pic with a flash and post it instead of the better macro one. A photographer friend showed me how to appropriately use the white balance setting so that even in dark restaurants, a flash may not always be necessary. It’s made a HUGE difference in my photos!


10 Stephanie September 11, 2009 at 9:50 am

Congrats on the 7 miles! I love the crunch of apples in my oats…yum. I agree with the others on a picture tutorial!


11 BethT September 11, 2009 at 9:53 am

You’re the only person I know who would talk about prepping their mitochondria…hilarious!


12 brandi September 11, 2009 at 9:55 am

great job on the run! i love the muffin on the oats. such a great combo!


13 kay (eating machine) September 11, 2009 at 9:57 am

i learned the no flash, use the macro setting from you and it’s AMAZING how good stuff looks! probably the best trick i’ve ever learned with a camera!


14 Madeline @ Greens and Jeans September 11, 2009 at 10:01 am

I know I must look ridiculous doing my awkward balance everything so my flashless pictures aren’t blurry, but it is so worth it! I ended up doing speedwork yesterday on the treadmill by accident because I started getting bored and began messing with the pace. 7:30 miles are way harder than I remembered!


15 Leianna September 11, 2009 at 10:07 am

I need to work on my speedwork too, my PR is 23 minutes and I want my next one to be sub-23 minutes!
Great advice on the no flash thing, I always thought my pictures looked funny and yours are always so beautiful!!


16 Shannon (The Daily Balance) September 11, 2009 at 10:09 am

Great job on the run!


17 Cynthia (It All Changes) September 11, 2009 at 10:10 am

Thanks for the photo tip. I always wonder how to get that glare thing off my pics. I think the flash is ingrained in me because the camera sets itself ot auto.

Speedwork is scary. I don’t know if I’m at the point in my training where I need it yet. But I will probably need it at some point.

I join you in the moment of silence of our country and what we have gone through. We remember it always.


18 Ali September 11, 2009 at 10:17 am

Great workout! The oats look amazing (per usual).

I never use my flash. The pictures come out so much better!!!


19 Amanda@lessonsinmoderation September 11, 2009 at 10:19 am

Great apprach to working on speed. I will have to try it. Good luck on your 5K!


20 Deanna - the unnatural mother September 11, 2009 at 10:22 am

So impressed, 7 minute miles!! I am working towards a 10 minute mile. I have a 50 mile relay tomorrow and crossing my fingers that I do it in 63 minutes! You go girl. Can you tell us where you get your muffins, I got a honey raisin bran muffin from Dunkin Donuts – it was 500 calories, thank the good Lord that I looked up the nutritional info before I dug in. I cut it in 1/4 and savored it over a few days, anyway, where do your muffins come from?


21 Susan September 11, 2009 at 10:24 am

Congrats on the over 7 miles!!! Ha, I’ve never “accidentally” run more than I meant to 😛

I’m with you on using flashes! Awful, just awful.


22 Holly September 11, 2009 at 10:28 am

I always find that I’m not hungry at ALL right after a hard run, and then 30 minutes later I’m ravenous and all crazy headed!


23 Haleigh September 11, 2009 at 10:28 am

Thanks for photography advice! When I started my blog, I had no idea about taking photographs.. I think I have gotten a bit better since I started 😉

Dang! You are a speed demon!! Amazing oats, as usual.. I need to try the muffin oats combo.


24 Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) September 11, 2009 at 10:29 am

I have found that food shots just look kinda cafeteria style gross with a flash. I actually have a rule when travelling to never eat anywhere that had a picture of the food in the window. Keeps the standards up a little.


25 Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) September 11, 2009 at 10:45 am

Yay, you just hit a personal distance record!! Starting the day with a 7-miler sounds fabulous :-) Running in Autumn weather + hot bowl of oats = perfect

Have you ever tried an interval workout (i.e. repeats of 1/2 mile or 1 mile at race pace with 400m jog rest)? That has always helped me improve my speed.


26 Marisa (Trim The Fat) September 11, 2009 at 10:48 am

Great work out there, Kath!

Apple Muffin oats sound good, too!


27 Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness September 11, 2009 at 10:50 am

Wooh! A sub-23 minute 5k? You go, girl! I am looking forward to breaking 30 minutes for my 5k time. I know that sounds like a lot but I have just not hit my running stride yet (literally). Good luck on the race!

Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness


28 Marcia September 11, 2009 at 11:03 am

Holy cow, that is fast. I ran 7 miles a couple of weeks ago, and last week, in prep for my 1/2 marathon training. (Tomorrow is 8…after donating blood yesterday…it’s gonna be a slow one). Longest I’ve ever run too in 7.3 miles.

I’m pretty much at a 9:00 mile for a 5k (which is WAY faster than I’ve ever thought I could run) and 11:00 for my long runs.

I just can’t fathom running a sub-8:00 mile. Just can’t.

I’m learning about not using the flash…


29 Katherine September 11, 2009 at 11:07 am

Hi Kath,

You always have such nice casual pants…wondering where you usually shop for them? I am in need of a clothing revamp!




30 Evan Thomas September 11, 2009 at 11:23 am

Congrats on 7! that’s a butt kicking run in my book


31 Morgan (lifeafterbagels) September 11, 2009 at 11:39 am

Hey your flash comparison is very interesting. I’m still figuring out how to use my camera properly and sometimes forget how to turn the flash off even. Yes I’m VERY technology challenged. It’s amazing you all even get to see photos on my blog some days.


32 Kate September 11, 2009 at 11:41 am

Whoa! So impressed with the 7 miles!


33 Jenna September 11, 2009 at 11:42 am

good work on the run this morning!
that bowl of apple oats looks amazing.
thanks for the tips on the camera settings, i am always playing around with my camera to get it on the right settings!


34 Lara September 11, 2009 at 11:47 am

what do you mean by you had plenty of glycogen? Aren’t our bodies typically depleted of glycogen stores overnight?


35 Lainie September 11, 2009 at 11:48 am

You are one fast girl, Kath!!! I think anything under a 10 minute mile is fast, so if you hit sub-23 minutes…wow!!


36 Jenn (www. j3nn.net ) September 11, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Haha, I use flash for 99% of my pics! They come out too dark and dull looking without it. I’m addicted to it. :)



37 skinnyrunner September 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm

nice workout!
i need a tutorial on how to work a camera. ok, and maybe upgrade from a disposable. hehe


38 Jess September 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Don’t doubt your goal. You’ll have that race day adrenalin to help you.


39 Olga September 11, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Hard exercise dulls the appetite? Really?

I guess things I consider to be “hard” aren’t actually hard :)


40 Anne Marie@Her New Weigh September 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm

I’ve never used the macro setting, and I’ve wondered why my pictures aren’t so good. Thanks for the tip!


41 lynn (The Actors Diet) September 11, 2009 at 1:12 pm

yeah that flash is a killer…happy friday!


42 Alison September 11, 2009 at 1:15 pm

You have been my food photo role model from day 1!

Way to go with the speed work. Rock out with your bad self!


43 Jenna September 11, 2009 at 1:59 pm

FYI since I know how much you and other readers love the super-pricey Artisana:

from FDA’s Web site:
PREMIER ORGANICS Issues Nation Wide Recall For ARTISANA RAW TAHINI Because of Possible Health Risk
Tue, 08 Sep 2009 18:30:00 -0500

Premier Organics of Berkeley, CA is recalling 840 Cases of Artisana Raw Tahini of Lot 90811, in 16oz glass jars because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious infections. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis.


44 Courtney September 11, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Yay for speedwork! Sounds like you have some great goals for the 5k!
I have been doing some sprints with my bro lately and I love it. Makes the workout go by so quickly, and I burn a ton of calories in a short time.
Once I’m done training for my tri I’m looking forward to incorporating more sprint workouts in my plan!
Adventures in Tri-ing


45 elz September 11, 2009 at 2:44 pm

you can do a sub 23 5K. It may take more than one attempt, but don’t let the work out pace make you think you can’t do it. In addition to the race day adrenaline you will be running with other people, which really helps. If you feel yourself slowing down, concentrate on passing one person at a time or on catching up to that person a few strides ahead of you. Also, while you want to leave a margin for slowing down a little, you also don’t want to tire too much, so go out not much faster than your goal pace.


46 Julia September 11, 2009 at 2:47 pm

What a difference a flash can make!

Enjoy your day, xxx Julia (Taste of Living)


47 Gina September 11, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Congrats on the fast run – impressive! My husband and I are training for our 3rd marathon right now and although the distance gets a little easier, I still struggle the most with picking up my pace!

Your oatmeal always looks delicious – just wondering, do you just use regular oatmeal or anything special (irish oats, steel cut, etc.)? Thanks!


48 Amy J September 11, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Hi Kath! I just started reading your blog recently and I love it! I’m from Raleigh and went to UNC so I love your Davidson references. :-)

I agree about the bananas. Nothing else seems to be as good! I read the other day that heating/cooking them (or other fruits) takes away some of the nutritional value. If so, what is it really taking away from the fruit?


49 Kath September 11, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Re. PHOTO Tutorial,
There’s not much more to it than 1) no flash 2) macro setting 3) natural light whenever possible!

What is this white balance you speak of?

Great Harvest where Matt works. They are healthy and all natural.

I think that’s what I did this morning!?

My favorite stores are Old Navy, Banana, LOFT, Ann Taylor, Gap on occasion.

I ate such a late filling dinner and by my hunger level I’m guessing I still had a good amount left.

Quaker Old Fashioned!



50 Hangry Pants September 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I see a half marathon in your future!


51 Pam (Highway to Health) September 11, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Congrats on the great run! You will do great with your 5k!


52 Nicole September 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Those oats look delicious! My friend sent me a link to your blog, when I told her I was interested in oatmeal ideas. I’m really enjoying it!


53 Emily September 11, 2009 at 9:17 pm

The oatmeal combo looks delicious… absolutely anything with Great Harvest is sold on me! But, just to get it straight, you’re saying that if I eat this then I can run a 23 min. 5 K? Awesome. (;


54 ashley September 12, 2009 at 1:43 am

Hey Kath! I had fun catching up on your blog after the few days I missed it between packing and 25+ hours of driving to Colorado! We are finally here and trying to settle in. Glad you liked the pnat banana ota.bars! =) Have a great weekend!


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