Monday, January 23, 2012

A New Love + Marathon Pace Run

I've recently gotten in to audiobooks.  This is kind of a big deal for me.  I've always thought audiobooks were kind of... [whispers] cheating.  Don't get me wrong, an audiobook is so.much.better than no book at all, but since I'm a pretty crazy fast reader, there was never really a reason to pick up an audiobook instead of a book.

I remember back when I was in college and my brother called me asking for some book recommendations.  After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I rattled off some titles I thought he'd enjoy, likely The DaVinci Code as I'd just recently devoured it.  You see, my brother, six years my senior, was the awesome athlete of the family.  I was the brain.  We both dabbled in each other's specialty, he'd destroy some Jeopardy! categories, and I'd make All-Conference honors for volleyball, but for the most part we knew our rolls.  So when he asked me this question I got super excited!


Turns out, with his new job, he was on the road a lot, and he found that audiobooks helped him pass the time.  Yay brother.

Fast forward to me, or rather just bring the attention back to me [me me me!].  I picked up an audiobook from the library a couple of weeks back just to see if it'd be possible to listen to it at work.  Outside of the attrocious acting in the audiobook, it was kind of awesome.  I liked it so much that I continued to listen on my short commute home.  And then kept listening while I was cleaning my apartment when I got home.  And even loaded it to my iPod shuffle for my long run.  By then the annoying accents and ooooemmmmmgeeeeeeee-ness of the book were more tolerable and I was really enjoying myself!

Since then I've finished two other books and have a few more on hold at the library.  If you're interested in trying, I would recommend a pretty "light and/or fluffy" read because I find it hard to be stopped in the middle of something I'm intently concentrating on.  Also, for running, I think it'd be better for easy runs/general aerobic runs/parts of long runs.  When you're really concentrating on your pace/form/whatevs it's pretty hard to follow the book too.

Look at me combining all my loves in to one thing.  Last year I discovered reading books on the treadmill.  This year I take my books in my ears on my long runs.  Next year I'll probably have a chip implanted in my head so I can read the book in front of my face but still view the running paths beyond that.

Crap. That's an amazing idea!!  BRB, heading to the patent office asap!

This weekend I tackled my first long run with miles at marathon pace.  Naturally we got dumped on with snow, and were under a wind advisory, so gym it was.  I hate running on the treadmill.  But I also know that attempting to run fast on loose slow would've equated to about 10:30 minute miles.  Not exactly MP.  I had 13 miles to do with 8 at marathon pace.

Essentially I convinced my brain I had a 5 mile GA run and then an 8 mile MP run so I didn't lose my sanity.  Jeopardy came on shortly after my MP miles got going, and while I can't do math while I run, I can still run some Jeopardy categories.  Good to know.

Finished 13.1 miles in 2:00:21.  Marathon pace miles were:

6. 9:04
7. 9:05
8. 9:05
9. 8:56
10. 8:57
11. 8:56
12. 8:51
13. 8:42
.1 :50
Averaging 8:57 pace.  Whoot!

And of course my IT bands are pissy now. :) 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hair Decisions

In keeping up with my 2012 goals, I did ab work yesterday en route to Operation: Alba Abs (even in the off season) or OAAeitos for short, and my core is still crying so I'd say that's a success.  I also successfully avoided my 8 miler all the live long day, so I was forced to hit the treadmill today because apparently winter has decided to come (see temps now below zero, barf).

Luckily the 8 miles didn't take too terribly long.  They were supposed to be general aerobic miles (meaning:  slow down let's get this heart super efficient, eh? Apparently my training program is a Canadian).  I read a book (one of the Pretty Little Liars, so trashy but so good!) and when I got bored with that, I listened to the new Bush CD.  I kind of really like it, fyi.  The last 2 miles of the run had 10x100 m strides in it, so that spiced things up a bit.  Managed to rock those little suckers in 6:58-7:03.  And now I'm slightly dreading my ten miler scheduled for tomorrow, because *shockingly* it's supposed to be -10* before I go to work.  While 8 wasn't too terrible, another 10 about 12 hours later might suckkkkk.

And in non-running news, I need your advice!  I'm getting my hairs did on Thursday and I'm torn about what to do.  I always do the same hair style, so I like to change the color up a bit.  But usually I don't.  Because I'm a wuss like that.  Here are my current thoughts:

Top pic only.  I know it's just different lighting for the bottom pic, but I'm trying to get away from the blonde.  Being a curly haired gal, your hair is already dry, no sense making it dryer (you hear that Jeri from 3 months ago that decided "ZOMG I SHOULD PUT A BUNCH OF BLONDE HIGHLIGHTS IN MY HAIR!" Uh... no.  You shouldn't.... jk)

Or B)

I've had this pic saved on my computer forever.  Just looooooove it.  Doesn't hurt that her hair is super shiny/healthy/fabo.

Some things to consider:

  • Red tends to fade like crazy and this girl cannot afford to go in as often as she should (read: usually 3 months, 4 on occasion....).
  • It's winter so I'm pretty pale.  Even when I'm tan I tend to be a pinky-tan.  So I'd prefer that the color doesn't make me MORE pink, ya know?
Ok please weigh in, and then send over some monies to cover the bill.  Wait!? Who wrote that?!?! ;)  No worries, I'm sure I'll have found my long sought sugar daddy by then, ya know.... Thursday....  Phew.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Four Eyes + Broken Heart

If you follow football at all, you know that my heart has a major sad.  Green Bay lost last night, and... I'm still tore up about it.  And likely will be until August when pre-season rolls around.  On the bright side, I will have an extra 3 1/2 hours of my life per week to study with.  Nope that doesn't help.

Moving on.

Because I was in a state of mourning today (and last night, and likely the rest of the week, month, again until August) I did some retail therapy to soothe my wounds.  I've been saying I'm going to get a new pair of eyeglasses for the last 3 years or so.  I don't have vision insurance at work, so I've been saving my pennies (dollars in my Health Savings Account), but every time I get a nice little stash of money saved up in there I have some sort of medical bill that eats it up.  Annoying.  Finally after checking my balance last week, coupled with a Groupon I bought that was $50 for $200 worth of lens+frames I could do it!

My current specs are from 2002 (the last pair my mother was willing to buy me when I was in high school, which is understandable) and they are more than a little beat up.  The last couple of months I haven't been able to wear them at all because my eyes are so messed up.  I thought I had an eye infection of sorts, but turns out my blind eyes are just blinder (or to be fair, my blind eye...ol' lefty... is even blinder).  You know those people that brag about being legally blind?  Well that's what my vision was BEFORE this eye change.  I'm so awesome.

Anywhosits, armed with 17 different forms of payment and coupon options I hit the store today.  Naturally this was after spending the entire morning scouring their online eyeglass selection and sending the links of the ones I liked to Kimi for her review.  Speaking of, have you met Kimi?  Because if you haven't, she's my twin.  I'd planned to get glasses similar to hers because she looks gorg in them, and obviously then I would too.  All plans were set in to motion until I arrived in the store and was met head on by their new Kate Spade section.

My bank account started to cry.

Trying on glasses is my favorite thing.  They're so fun.  And cute!  And now that I'm beyond the anxiety ridden four eyes complex of my youth I actually like them.  Before I knew it I had 12 different glasses that I liked and had to begin the narrowing process.  For a few seconds, I considered taking part in their buy one get one promo... in ADDITION to my groupon'd pair.  And then I quickly remembered that I'm not made of money.

When I asked for a quote on my lenses I almost died of a heart attack.  Remember me mentioning that I'm blind?  Well I have to get reduced lenses so they fit in frames, which isn't cheap.  Like... at all.  But then I reminded myself

And it was all good.  One hour later and my new glasses were ready to go.  Pretty happy I decided against a Kate Spade birthday bag.  I much prefer the four eyes instead.

And in running news, I knocked out week 1 of marathon training.  Only 17 more to go.  I had the worst long run of my life on Saturday.  Apparently eating a mountain worth of goat cheese the night before *cough when you're lactose intolerant cough* is a bad idea, who knew?  It wasn't pretty to say the least.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012 Goals

I prefer goals to resolutions, and I've been sitting on this post for a little while to make sure I'm not forgetting anything, but finally here are my goals for 2012.

  • Run a sub-4 marathon.
  • Run 200 miles in a month.
  • Run 1500 miles for the year.
  • Run a sub 1:50 half marathon.
  • Break 49 in a 10k.
  • Finally nab the 22:xx 5k.
  • Run 100 miles in each month.  Surprisingly tough. I always end up under in December.
**see right.... oh hai failed time goals for 2010 annnnnnd 2011.... uff**

  • For the love of God develop a weight routine.  Even if that means getting a personal trainer for a session or two.  
  • Practice yoga more. Attend all the studios in town so you don't have that "first timer fear" holding you back from going when you have time and gift certificates to attend!
  • Remember to do core work outside of bikini season.  It'll make you a stronger runner.
  • Remember your daily vitamins...uh...daily.
  • Maintain a 4.0 for grad school.
  • Don't get overwhelmed by the stress of school (particularly spring 2012 and summer 2012, as I've been told they're intense). Continue to be thrilled that you're following your dream.
  • Read 52 books.  I read 61 in 2011, but I was only in school for 4 months.  I think one a week is a tough enough goal with that factored in.
  • Don't let my "to-read" list on goodreads exceed 200 books.  It's currently at 170ish.  So I need to finish at roughly the same rate as I add them to that list.
  • Don't start anymore book series until the currently started ones are completed:  Pretty Little Liars (7/11), Dexter (1/5), Sookie Stackhouse (7/11), Uglies (3/4), Matched (2/3), Divergent (1/3).
  • Keep a more organized and tidy apartment to further ready myself for future pug bestie(s).
  • Keep plugging away at the 101 in 1001 project.
  • Complete Project 365.
  • Plan a fall 2013 graduation vacation present and start setting aside $$ for it asap.  I'm toggling between the Athens Marathon or the Goofy Challenge.  Quite the difference, I know.
  • Man up and get your wisdom teeth removed.  (eep!)
First run of marathon training last night; 8 miles with 4 at tempo pace.  Knocked out the tempo miles in 8:32, 8:14, 8:13, 7:55.  Sadly I think this many have been one of my last "yayzies I'm wearing shorts in the winter time" runs.  The cold and snow and winds a'comin'.  Drat.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 By the Numbers: 2,045.59

I did a similar post last year and it was a lot of fun, so I figured I should bring it back for 2011!

Miles ran:  1333.6

Miles away from my goal:  266.4

Miles away from last year's mileage: 31.6  oops!

Miles per week average:  25.65

Miles per month average:  111.13
Total number of runs:  209

Miles per run average:  6.38

Time spent running:  8 days 20 hours

Marathons: 2

Half Marathons: 3

10 mile: 0

10K: 2

Times I said I'd never do a 10k:  Countless

5 mile:  1

5K: 2

1 mile:  1

PRs accomplished:  3.  Damn you 26.2!

Pairs of shoes purchased: 5
Hotel nights booked:  7

Flights taken:  1

Race road trips taken:  4

Number of runners met: 7.  Susan (finally after being bloggy BFFs forever), Lisa (who dominated her first marathon in Fargoooo), Erika (who kindly let me, a stranger at that time, crash at her place for TCM weekend), Karla (who is my new fave local running buddy), and her hubby John (who's a crazy fast runner in town),  Shawn (who's awesome despite the fact that he likes the Vikings), Hannah (who is insanely adorable and made my weekend by referring to Erika, Susan, and I as "big time running bloggers"), and I'm sure there are others, but I'm struggling to decipher 2010 from 2011 at this point. :)

People I'm still bummed I didn't meet: 1.  Katie

States crossed off my "run a race in every state" list:  2--North Dakota and Pennsylvania

Awesome Race Photos garnered:  Countless at the Philly Marathon. I think we got 30-40.

Dear God I can't believe you'd post those race pics on the internet:  0? I don't remember any this year.  WIN!

Cute boys encountered on the bike trail:  0-3. Only because Kyle isn't an avid runner... yet.  jk, that was cheesy. We all know I'm not gung ho about scrawny runner boys, but I did see a pack of 3 beefy ex-college football player type (ie:  my type) running together with fuel belts on.  Granted it was towards the end of a super hot long run, so perhaps it was a mirage.

Number of times Megan and I wished Jenn was with us for a race week:  3 for 3.

Number of sub 4 crash and burn attempts:  1

Number of times I was proud of my racing efforts:  3

Number of times Kyle ran with me:  3

Monday, January 9, 2012

Brookings Marathon Training

According to Einstein, the definition of insanity is performing the same act and expecting different results.

FYI:  I had this poster on my wall through high school and most of college.  I kind of love it.

In regards to the marathon, I have now completed 4 marathons with roughly the same results.  All 4 attempts have had similar training programs.  Short, 10-14 weeks, because I have serious training A.D.D. and my body has a tendency to break down and most of them have been constructed from the Runners World training programs.  I dabbled with the Pfitz program for Philadelphia, but only the last 5 weeks of it.

For the Brookings Marathon, I'm throwing myself in to it headfirst.  18 weeks of training seems like a long g.d. time to train for one event that'll last less than 240 minutes.  However, I know that my main weakness, other than my ability to stay healthy, is my endurance, so I can use all the concentrated help I can get.

The Pfitz training program breaks the training up in to 4 mesocycles leading up to race day.  Endurance building is a huge focus of the training,  and a majority of the workouts are based on heart rate.  I'll also be putting in a good chunk of miles.  Usually more miles = more broken Jeri, but I'm hoping I've got that under control.  Miles make champions, I think the famous Angry Runner once said.  And while I'll never be a champion at 26.2 i wouldn't mind feeling like one with a monster PR.  I just tallied up the planned miles from today to May 12th, and I have 801.2 miles on deck.  Uff da.  It's go time!

18 weeks starts TODAY!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I'm Great Under Pressure

I've had an interesting past couple of days.

Wednesday night I threw a pizza in to the oven as I was showering after my run because I was capital S-Starving.  When the timer went off, I went to check the pizza and to set the oven temp on broil, when I realized that a small piece of wax paper had may its way in to the oven (I'm guessing it got stuck to the bottom of the pizza pan) and was burning nicely in the bottom of it.  Cue Jeri being struck with fear and panic as her top three fears include:  fire, flying, and lightning.  However, when confronted with catastrophic events, I am always very very calm and level headed, and this time was no different (must be all the practice I have during my dreams when I'm being chased, etc. and have to outsmart the bad guys to get away, thanks anxiety, you're a real peach!).  I grabbed a pot holder to shield my hand, and swiped at the paper to remove it from the oven.  Most of it came off in the pot holder and engulfed that in to flames...yes, in my hand, and the remainder went up in flames and quickly turned to soot.  I attempted to smother the flame without burning myself, and thankfully I was successful.  I'm guessing our burn nurses aren't nearly as cute as Susan, so I could go without visiting them, thankyouvermuch.

As soon as I was out of crises way, I had a delightful little panic attack where I couldn't breathe for a couple of minutes.  Thank God it was AFTER I was out of harms way and not upon seeing the flames, because... that could've been bad.

Moving on to Thursday night, Kyle had been complaining all day of an ear ache and head ache, and I thought he was just using them as an excuse to get out of running with me.  But he ended up running with me, so I didn't think too much of it.  Until he woke up in the middle of the night and said that his ear was all crusty.  Gross.  Then from the bathroom I hear, "Uh... apparently I'm bleeding..."  Since he was acting calm I didn't think too much of it, until he came back to the bedroom and looked at the pillow.  My pillow, that was now covered in blood.  Now I'm not a doctor, but I think that anytime you're bleeding out of YOUR FREAKIN' HEAD it's probably not a good thing.

I start asking him how he's feeling, if his ear hurts, if he's dizzy, etc.  And then go to town on google.  Most of the results show that it's likely an infection or a ruptured ear drum that are causing the bleeding, and typically antibiotics are prescribed.  Being the giant hypochondriac that I am, I ignore the postings that talk about tumors, and don't relay that information to Kyle.  He goes back to sleep after promising that he'll go to acute care as soon as they open in the morning.  Me, certain that he's going to fall asleep and never wake up, spends the rest of the night laying in bed with one hand on him making sure he's still breathing.

Luckily, it wasn't anything major and my diagnosis was fairly correct (remind me again why I didn't continue on the doctoral path.... oh yeah... biology suckkkkkked), and I had further proof that I'm great undah presshah!  (please sing that last line for correct effect.)

And now today I have my long run that I'm doing a stellar job of avoiding.  But if someone is having issues on the bike trail, I'll be prepared to take charge of the situation, and then immediately sink in to a pile of non-functioning goo once the issue is fixed.  Neat.

Edited to add:  Naturally this is only referring to emergency situations.  When it comes to racing/running, or hell any sporting events at all I tend to crumble under pressure.  Just so we have things clear on that front. ;)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Shorts in January FTW

Hello chafing my old friend....
You've come to destroy my thighs again....
(to be song to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's The Sounds of Silence).

I think I may have figured out a very important component to inner thigh chafage: I only chafe when I'm not pouring sweat.  Ergo, my sweat is equal to, if not greater than Body Glide in awesomeness, and I should bottle it up and market it.  Screw Scarves for PRs, we're talking JerBear Shares Her Sparkly Sweat (for a nominal fee, obvs).

I finally got out for my first run of 2012 yesterday.  Just savoring the big ol' goose egg in my running log as long as possible I guess.  However, when the temp was still in the 40's at 8pm, I had no choice but to head out for some miles.  My legs were still pretty tight from my long run since I had failed to do a shake out run the day after... or any run at all until Wednesday, and my left calve was sir cranky pants.  The last mile and a half my legs finally felt good.

But even better, I got to run in shorts!  In January!  At night time!  It was kind of amazing.

And tonight I got some company on the first couple of my run when Kyle wanted to join me.  Yippee!  Even better news was that he thought it was a lot easier than last week's run.  I think I'm going to keep a training log of Kyle's runs and surprise him with something cool when he gets to 100 miles.  I remember how big of a deal it was when I hit 100 miles the first time I started tracking my mileage.  And I still have the Fossil watch I bought myself as a reward.  And the Brett Favre Jersey for the 200th mile.  Ha.

I had planned to just do some easy miles, but then realized I wouldn't have a hard run this week outside of my long run.  Since the route is fairly hilly, I decided I would run the hills hard and recover on the downhills and straightaways.  It was actually pretty fun and was enough variety that it kept my mind entertained.  And I swear to you, some of those hills were like 4-5 blocks long.  That's a big hill for this "I heart running on the prairie" girl.  I managed to average a 9:05 on the solo portion of my run.

Edited to add:  After I hit publish I realized this was my 500th post.  I think I had planned to do something special for it, for you all, but obviously I didn't.  Remind me in a month, maybe I'll do a random something since I suck.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Look Back Over 2011

As I've mentioned previously, 2011 was one of the best years yet.  And what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't recap the crap out of it?

I rang in the new year with a guy I'd know for a few weeks.
I then Santa surprised me with a trip down to visit Jenn in Houston.  We cheered on Green Bay to a playoff victory....

Went for a long run in shorty mc-short-short shorts.....
....and piano barred it up in cutesy dresses (yes in January).

Upon my arrival home from Houston I spent the next 6 days cramming for the GRE. FUNSIES!

My boys won the Superbowl, and I still have a permagrin because of it.


I tackled the Irishman challenge--5m, 5k, and 1 mile races. It was cold. And painfully windy. And the Guinness I drank in between the 5m and 5k caused me to run my first ever buzzed race!

Speaking of Guinness.... I celebrated my favorite holiday the best way I know how. 
And then promptly ditched out on the 20 miler I had scheduled for the next day.  Oopsies.

I ran my coldest/windiest/smartest race and was rewarded with a PR for my efforts.
My parents came and were uber paparazzi/cheering crew along the route.  It was amazing.

I got my acceptance in to grad school for Library and Information Science at the University of Alabama.  ROLL TIDE ROLL!

I ran my first ever 10k, after vowing to never do one.

I surprised myself with a better than expected race time, and a new fave race distance.
Booty shorts FTW!

And my photog bff Kathryn took amazing pics of me.

Channeling my inner Zooey Deschanel obvs.

Fargo marathon marked another sub-4 flop.

I spent a weekend in the cities with my bff Sheana.

I proved that I can't take more than one cutesy photo in a row.   My bad.
And we found a Germanfest.

My favorite little man came to South Dakota to visit.
And I didn't want to let him go back home to Texas. :(

And after declaring my love for the 10k distance, I declared my intense hatred for attempting it in 95% humidity. Guys.. I can SWIM a 10k uber fast. ;)

I raced my only 5k of the year and PR'd. I was bummed because the course was short, and it would've still been a PR (obviously by a lesser margin) if it was accurate.

And I made my first trip to Tuscaloosa, AL for grad school orientation. I almost melted. Alabama in August is no joke kids.

I had major PR plans for the Sioux Falls half and those went out the window due to IT band issues. I finished anyway, marking my 7th consecutive year of running it.

I traveled to the cities to spectate the Twin Cities Marathon and meet the super sweet and speedy Susan!

She brought me this sweet shirt, and even ran slow with me. And to thank her, I almost busted my skull on the run.  Oy.
And she destroyed her race. Obvs.

I tried to redeem my fall half marathon failure in Fargo, only to learn a very valuable lesson:  food poisoning is not proper pre-race protocol.  But beyond that, it was a super fun weekend with Megan!

Running besties reunion in Philly!
If one of us poops, we all poop!*
  *Glad we decided that before the race.

Happiest I've ever looked after running 25 miles.


Marathon #4 is complete.  TEAM AWESOME.

I celebrated my 28th birthday with a giant lunchtime birthday marg.

I contemplated buying this hat for Bama game days.....
And after a long day of shopping, I walked away with this little buddy.

After shopping it was time to refuel again with my favorite gals.
And to stick my mouth on all of the cotton candy. It's mah birfday, I do whad i whant!

3 of the reasons my birthday was the best:  Jenn+Megan+FOOD

Cotton candy feather plume FTmfW.

And I rang in the new year with a new friend from 2011.....

and that one guy I started the year with.

I don't know how 2012 could get any better, but I'm willing to make a go at it!