Physics And I Are Not Friends

November 2, 2010

Give me calculus, algebra, trig, microbiology, even organic chemistry and after some quality study time I will get it.

But not physics. My brain is just not capable of grasping moving parts!


I got Matt to run 8 miles with me this morning!! And Faith + Tate joined in for 5. It was a blast to have a group of runners. [In fact, any Cvillians interested in an 8AM weekday running club?]

We mapped out our course and wrapped up due to the near-freezing temps. I filled my camelbak with hot water! I’m always glad I bring it.

I had a piece of toast with sunflower butter and pumpkin butter. Matt almost left without eating – I told him to have a plain piece of bread at the least. Faith and I think it’s hilarious (and scary!) how our husbands give no thought to running 8 miles when the two of us are checking and double checking all of our details.


We ran 1.5 miles to F+T’s and picked them up to continue on before splitting towards the end to finish up.

The run was hard, due to tons of steep hills! It looked something like this:


See that “210 ft gain”? Can someone explain that to me. I was hoping that if we ran the route in reverse that we would have a 210 ft LOSS.

This is Matt’s attempt. He was no help. He just kept saying: “It’s physically impossible” in a nerd voice.

Men. Ugh.


Here’s my attempt to explain a mountain and two ways to run up:


That didn’t help much either.

On to brain food!


After hot showers we I made a pumpkin smoothie!


I wanted it to be more like blended oats than a watery smoothie. I think I got the texture pretty good! Next time less yogurt and more oats!


The Mix
  • 1/4 cup raw oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/2 scoop Vega Vanilla Chai (key for spiced flavor!)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin

Served up in the Ramen bowl!




I’ve got on Pandora‘s Peaceful Holidays (mostly piano – no honky words) and I think Matt is tolerating it!!

Lots of errands to run today, including VOTING and lots of packing for Foodbuzz!

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{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather (Heather's Dish) November 2, 2010 at 9:50 am

oooooh, great tip on the pandora station! tuning in right now 😉


2 Alina @ Duty Free Foodie November 2, 2010 at 9:50 am

I never took physics, and my family constantly make fun of me for not being aware of basic physics concepts.

Honestly though, the only science that interests me has to do with nutrition. Besides nutrition or maybe sports physiology, show me the cool results, don’t bore me with how they happened.


3 aubrey (italktofood) November 2, 2010 at 9:54 am

I wish I was going to FoodBuzz! I’ll be in Sonoma working at The Girl & the Fig! If you and some other bloggers end up going to Sonoma, let me know!


4 Kath November 2, 2010 at 9:54 am

OMG so fun you work there!! Matt and I are going to Sonoma for a few days (Sunday-Wed.). Which days are you working?


5 aubrey (italktofood) November 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Yay!! I work wed-sun.


6 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 2, 2010 at 9:54 am

I’m terrible at science and math. They make me ill.


7 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) November 2, 2010 at 9:54 am

The smoothie sounds yummy! That is the same bowl that I saw at the antique store labeled as a pot. I think they just did not know what it was. Have a great day Kath!


8 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun November 2, 2010 at 9:55 am

It’s so funny how guys and girls’ brains think differently. My husband is the same way. He can analyze things and figure out stuff like physics, the shortest past, most effective method to things relating to math/science but can’t consider effective things for training or caring for himself. I can plan things out to avoid error in general life to the tee.


9 Allison K November 2, 2010 at 9:57 am

Ugh. I never took physics, and for that I am glad!


10 Samantha @ Bikini Birthday November 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

Net gain, perhaps? ie, the difference between the highest and the lowest elevation over the entire run.


11 Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg November 2, 2010 at 10:00 am

Haha…if I start thinking about stuff like that for too long, my brain starts to hurt. Which is why I’m an English teacher :-)

Great work on the run!


12 Holly @ couchpotatoathlete November 2, 2010 at 10:00 am

Ha! Matt sounds like my husband — he understands all that math/physics/stuff and I just don’t!

I have yet to turn on Christmas music — you’re nuts! :)


13 Sarah November 2, 2010 at 10:02 am

Those of you that never had to ake physics are so lucky!
@ Tina: It’s exactly the same for my boyfriend and me. When we go hiking, he has it all mapped out in his head but when I ask if he needs anything from the grocery store, if I don’t ask “what are you having for lunch”, then he never thinks he needs anything (and then complains that the fridge is empty…)


14 Christin November 2, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Oh my gosh, my husband is the same way!! He plans in detail the things that are important to him (i.e. the backpacking route) but doesn’t give a second thought to what we will be eating in the woods for 3 days. Haha.


15 Marina November 2, 2010 at 10:02 am

I like physics, but I never had the feel for it, y’know 😀
love the ramen bowl!


16 Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) November 2, 2010 at 10:03 am

Oh physics. I’m right there with you, Kath. 😉


17 Halley (Blunder Construction) November 2, 2010 at 10:03 am

I have a very mathematical mind, but still, me + physics = bad situation! So bad that I had to give up my childhood dream of being an astronaut in college, once I realized that physics was not my forte.


18 Camille November 2, 2010 at 10:07 am

I refuse to take physics. I managed to sneak my way out of it in high school and college and I know that I will be a happier person in life if I never see the inside of a Physics classroom.


19 Christine November 2, 2010 at 10:08 am

Apparently I am the only one here who likes Physics! Well not crazy theoretical stuff, but “this is how the world works” physics!


20 Wendy November 2, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Don’t worry Christine – I like physics, too! In fact, I’m a high school physics teacher!


21 kelly November 2, 2010 at 10:08 am

What type of Camelbak do you use? I was thinking of getting one but there are so many options/sizes. Love your blog!


22 Kath November 2, 2010 at 10:10 am

I have the Charm. It’s for running.


23 sweetersalt November 2, 2010 at 10:09 am

Physics are terrifying to me! I took Astronomy in college, which mixed physics along with scary space facts (space never ends! time is different near a black hole!). Ahh! Too much thinking 😉



24 Anna @ History Running Girl November 2, 2010 at 10:14 am

My boyfriend doesn’t think of things like food for running! Pretty insane!


25 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 2, 2010 at 10:16 am

Hehhee I totally agree on the man comments! It’s like when I was training for my first half marathon, one of my male friends said he was doing it too, but just figured running a few times leading up to the race would be enough training. Did he finish it? YES! No thought put into a training plan or anything!
And physics… I studied it for 2 years at the end of high school when I was in a British school and I don’t know how I ever survived!! I can’t stand it now!
Have a fabulous day Kath! :)


26 Tabitha (From Single to Married) November 2, 2010 at 10:17 am

that smoothie looks awesome!


27 Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes November 2, 2010 at 10:17 am

wow…i’m always so amazed at how you amp up your mileage…I love to run, but 5 miles is pretty much my max ever. And in the end, I guess I enjoy other forms of exercise more…but sometimes I do think it would be fun to really go the distance!
cathy b.


28 Kassi November 2, 2010 at 10:18 am

Hi Kath! Finally something I can answer for you! I have bachelors degree in physics and will (after my thesis defense on Friday!!!!) have my master’s degree in physical oceanography (hopefully :).

The gain has to do with basically how much you go up. So if you ran up that mountain you drew from either side, you’d still have the same gain (same elevation gain — you’re going up the same amount regardless of how steep it is). If you went through your map and counted all the little tiny hills you could start to keep track of the amount of uphill running you did. That number is your gain.

If, however, you want to calculate your ‘total elevation gain’ (versus your ‘gain’ as your garmin is calling it) that works a little differently — on your map you have zero total elevation gain since your starting elevation is the same as your ending elevation.

Here’s an example:

If you start at 100ft elevation, climb to 250, descend to 200, then climb to 400, your gain (garmin term) would be 350. Your total elevation gain, however, would be 300 ft.

At the end of the day, of course, the awesome part is that you ran it in the first place! But I hope that makes sense… :)


29 Matt November 2, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Great, that’s what I was leaning towards. It’s the sum of all the inclines we ran? The thing that bothers me is why anybody would care about that on a run that starts and ends at the same place. The change in elevation for the duration of the course is zero. Who cares if we had a gain of 210′ when we also had a loss of 210′?

I’m still not 100% sure what Kath was talking about, but I think she believed that running up a mountain on a long, circuitous, slowly inclined route and then running straight down the side of the mountain means that at the end of your run, you had a net gain in elevation.

Also, she doesn’t believe in relativity.


30 Kath November 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Yeah, relativity is BS


31 Kim November 2, 2010 at 5:09 pm

THANK YOU! My boyfriend thinks I’m insane because I don’t believe (or choose not to believe in) all things science. Outerspace? Gravity? Who cares? I don’t need the details.


32 Kath November 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I *THINK* that makes sense.


33 Sara November 2, 2010 at 3:12 pm

I was going to say the same as Matt — I understand the ‘gain’ part but it does not really determine how hilly or difficult a run is. i did a relay run where each leg tells you the net gain (or loss) but if you look at the individual run – it might be a super hilly run or fairly flat and the net gain won’t tell you that. For example, one of the legs had a 500 ft climb, but then a 700 foot drop so the net gain was -200. But as a runner — all you notice is that ridiculous 500 ft climb, which is thankfully followed by a drop. The point of the net elevation in course maps escapes me.


34 Ally November 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Thanks for the explanation Kassi! You should consider teaching after you get that degree! As far as running goes – I think the most important aspect in determining the difficulty of the run is the % grade and length of the inclines.
Also, I loved physics and NOT chemistry! Maybe its one or the other for people?


35 Ashley November 2, 2010 at 10:19 am

Do you melt your coconut butter, pour it on and let it harden? I have the same butter and it’s become crumbly in the jar and hard to scoop. Is it still good? Any methods for upkeep? Thanks!


36 Matt November 2, 2010 at 2:39 pm

That means you ate all the gooey stuff early on in the life of the jar. Now it only has the “meat” and no oil. Add some oil (preferably coconut oil), melt and stir in, and then it will be back to normal.


37 Kath November 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I melt it in the microwave, on the stove in hot water or sometimes in the oven on low heat! It hardens in the winter, so you have to heat it up a bit


38 Ashley November 4, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Thanks for the ideas! Matt – I just ordered a new jar, so I’ll be stirring to distribute the gooey stuff!!


39 Alyssa November 2, 2010 at 10:19 am

I’m so excited you are going! I’ve been dying to meet you :-) See you in San Fran, dear!


40 lisasfoods November 2, 2010 at 10:20 am

Kath – you mentioned that you made a pumpkin smoothie, but I didn’t see any pumpkin in the ingredients. Did you put pumpkin in it? Thanks! I might make one of these for lunch.


41 Christin L. November 2, 2010 at 10:21 am

I’m like Matt… it’s too early for Christmas music! And to be completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of most Christmas music anyway. I know, bah humbug right?! :)


42 Christin November 2, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Hey, you spell your name like I do! :) Hi Christin!


43 Alyssa November 2, 2010 at 10:22 am

Oh by the way, I’m staying at the Galleria, and totally hoping for a morning running club in San Fran…you wanna see some hills??? :-)


44 Kath November 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Running Sat. morning I believe!


45 lynn (The Actors Diet) November 2, 2010 at 10:27 am

okay, physics and running….not a fan.


46 Tab - Just Weighing In November 2, 2010 at 10:34 am

Wow – I’m doing good just to run at all! Thinking about the physics of it just makes my head hurt. :)


47 Amy November 2, 2010 at 10:45 am

Wish I could join a Cville 8 a.m. running club – I’m behind my desk by that point in the morning! Sigh.


48 A Teenage Gourmet (Sami) November 2, 2010 at 10:47 am

I almost blended oatmeal today, but then I chickened out. I’m afraid the texture would be disastrous.


49 Kayla November 2, 2010 at 10:48 am

Looks delicious! Do you cook the oatmeal before you blend it for the smoothie?


50 Kath November 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm

This time it was raw


51 Kayla November 2, 2010 at 10:48 am

Oh, and how much pumpkin did you add?


52 [email protected] November 2, 2010 at 10:54 am

The worst grade I got in college was physics! It is so hard to understand!! Great job on your run, wish I lived there to join your running crew:)


53 Krystina (Organically Me) November 2, 2010 at 11:04 am

I’m so jealous of everyone going to Foodbuzz! Damn school.


54 Erin November 2, 2010 at 11:09 am

you have the best bowls and cups! where do you buy them??


55 Nicole @ Yuppie Yogini November 2, 2010 at 11:22 am

I don’t get physics either. I took it in high school and it gave me headaches.


56 lauri ( November 2, 2010 at 11:25 am

Ha ha–> your physica attempt is TOO funny! I don’t get it either though! Good call on the Pandora music, I’m about to change mine now!!


57 Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf November 2, 2010 at 11:30 am

Ugh, math, science. I hate it all.

Though, physics makes more sense to me than chemistry. Not sure why.

Yay for Christmas music! I listen to it practically year-round. :]


58 Kelly November 2, 2010 at 11:42 am

Brad is the same way about running! He can’t run if he is even slightly full and I can’t run if I’m slightly hungry.

But as for the physics, I’m the opposite. I loved physics, hated calculus!


59 Kelsey @ CleanTeenKelsey November 2, 2010 at 11:49 am

Ick, that’s confusing. I don’t blame you for not getting it; I don’t think I would’ve either, lol. Math is not my strong point.

Looks like an awesome run, though! I’m still amazed that you do 8 miles without a thought. That’s amazing!


60 Shannon @ A Better Me November 2, 2010 at 11:51 am

LOL! Love the squiggly mountain explanation…makes perfect sense to me :) Physics was never a strong subject for me either. Blah!


61 Katherine November 2, 2010 at 11:51 am

I’m LMAO at “in a nerd voice.”


62 [email protected] November 2, 2010 at 11:55 am

i want to try vega vanilla chai but it is SO expensive- worth it?


63 Kath November 2, 2010 at 3:08 pm

YES! My fav


64 Sarah-Mae @ Eat, Run, Knit November 2, 2010 at 11:58 am

Pst, your ‘pumpkin smoothie’ has no pumpkin in the mix!


65 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 2, 2010 at 11:59 am

The only reason why I liked high school physics is because my teacher rocked. I had no idea what anything meant.


66 Lee November 2, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Kath u r WTF. Nono not that….way to funny


67 Kate November 2, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I’d be up for an 8am running group… :) (I’m a UVA student)


68 Kath November 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Oh fun!! Are you free on Tuesdays?! I want to start a group that doesn’t have to be Saturday morning :) Send me an email to Katheats @ gmail and we’ll try to do it 2 weeks from now!


69 Mads November 2, 2010 at 12:19 pm

this post cracked me up! Our physics professor was hilariously nutty…it made the topic bearable.


70 Joanna November 2, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Just have to tell you Kath – that because of you my husband and I decided to make roasted brussel sprouts as a side to our dinner last night. Hello! How have I not been eating these before? I never before thought I would’ve liked them! We both agreed they were fantastic and will be adding them to our diet on a regular basis. Yum! So thanks. :-)


71 Kath November 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm



72 Maria November 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm

I share your hate for physics haha. Give me so chemicals anytime, but Newton, not a chance :P. Smoothie looks yummy :) xxx


73 Dee November 2, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I dislike Physics muchly! So I can totally relate. :)

Oh and have fun at Foodbuzz. I will be living vicariously through you (and all the other bloggers going). :)


74 Michelle (The Runner's Plate) November 2, 2010 at 1:13 pm

UGH! I dreaded physics when I had to take it in college. My brain just does not work that way!


75 Kathy W. November 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I think the simplest explanation is that you can’t go up that hill (from either direction) and end up with a loss. You’d have to end your run somewhere hundreds of feet below where you started.

Or just look at the visual of the graph–you added a lot of green underneath that squiggly line by running that path–so you gained elevation rather than lost it.

But if you liked and understood algebra & calculus, I know you would do well in physics. Even if you never ended up enjoying it!


76 CoCo Wray November 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Kath, I have been reading you for 3 weeks now and I am officially addicted! I enjoy reading and seeing what you do, your photography is great! You should consider a career in photography as well!


77 Kath November 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm



78 Amanda November 2, 2010 at 1:36 pm

I was just looking @ twitter, and Whole Foods is building a new store in C-Ville. Did you know? Watch out, hot bar! :o)


79 Kath November 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Yes! We have a WF but it is moving.


80 Emily November 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I’m with you–physics is HARD! I am a biology nerd (love life science…hate physical science) and have never taken a physics class. I taught myself basic physics concepts from a book in order to take my science teacher licensure test. Those concepts all flew out the window, but I’m still proud of myself for getting enough of a grasp on physics to pass that test!


81 Lane November 2, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Hi Kath,
I am struggling with a few things and I don’t know if it could be food related. I seem to have major joint & muscle issues. I am about 20 lbs heavier than a year ago but since then I have changed jobs and went from standing on my feet for 8 -10 hours a day to sitting at a desk for 8-10 hous a day. I think that aided in the additional 20 lbs. Anyway, over the past year my joints have seem to get worse. In the morning I feel as though I have run a marathon during the night and I am very tired all of the time. I feel that I do eat mostly healthy food but I always seem to think it might be something that could be remedied with diet. I have a hard time to exercise because my lower back bothers me alot. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


82 Kath November 2, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I think there is some research to support fatty fish and omega-3s to help joints. But I would get those checked by a doctor :(


83 Simply Life November 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm

ha, I love the two drawings you and Matt sketched :)


84 Kath November 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm

D’OH about the pumpkin!!!!!!!!!!!

Added half a cup.


85 Dad November 2, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I’ll have you know Kath, that your father got his only A+ in college in physics. Unlike many others, I guess you didn’t inherit those genes.


86 Kath November 2, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Doesn’t surprise me!


87 Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Uggggh organic chemistry- just the mention of it throws my head for a spin!!

My parents are both physicists and I’m sooo glad I don’t have to take physics for my major. Although they’d probably be able to help out.

Good luck!


88 j November 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm

If you like your smoothies thick, you might want to consider guar and xanthum gum. They’re not all that hard to find and they make a HUUUGGGEEE difference!


89 Faith @ lovelyascharged November 2, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Math and science of any sort send my brain into a tizzy! I could write you up an essay in ten seconds flat though! I think I need some brain food just thinking about my college physics classes!


90 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 2, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Ooh what a neat idea to bring HOT water with you! I hate running in the cold fall/winter temperatures, but having hot water might make it more bearable! I’ll have to give that a try.


91 Bess @ Bess Be Fit November 2, 2010 at 6:24 pm

“In a nerd voice”….haha made me laugh out loud :) hope you enjoyed your run!


92 Allison O'Mara (Girl in her kitchen) November 2, 2010 at 6:57 pm

You guys are so cute! :)


93 Hannah November 2, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Heavens, for some reason that mug looks really creepy to me today. All the holes and jagged bits!!


94 stacey-healthylife November 2, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I love that cup/bowl, supper cute shape and color.


95 Tracy November 2, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Cvillians … hahaha that made me laugh out loud.


96 Katie @ peacebeme November 2, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Mail in ballot!


97 nina November 2, 2010 at 9:23 pm

what device do you use to map your elevation when you run?


98 Nicole November 2, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Hey Kath,
I have a question about the Vega powder. I’ve been checking it out at Whole Foods. Do you typically only use a 1/2 scoop like you did today or does it vary? Just wondering.


99 Kath November 3, 2010 at 7:59 am

It varies. Sometimes I use more, other times I just want a taste of flavor (and I like to make it last a while because it is expensive!)


100 Monica November 2, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Oh em gee, I LOVE that you’re busting out the holiday music! ‘Tis the season :)


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