Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On Today's Installment of Running with the Wilderness...

  • I waved to a deer.  It didn't wave back.  Whenever an animal becomes aware of me, I always feel the need to wave to say hi.  The beauty of running when everyone else is still in bed, is that I get to wave to the animals without looking like a looney tune.
  • I heard an obnoxious cyclist yell, "left, left, left, left..."  Since I was as far over on the trail as I could go without running in the ditch, I looked over my shoulder to see a goose honking instead of a cyclist yelling.  I'm beginning to think I'm not completely "awake" on my morning runs.
  • I almost stepped on a toad.  Kudos to nature for making that puppy camouflaged to the fullest.  In this instance, it was almost NOT in the toad's best interest to be camoed.
  • I think I may have been incorrect in my previous ostrich siting.  On closer review, I think it might be an emu.  Boring.
Today I had an easy 4 miles to do.  First run of my 1/2 marathon training.  WHOO!  I did 4 in 36:50 for a pace of 9:13.  
1.  9:25
2.  9:10
3.  9:18
4.  8:57

My legs were still REALLY tight, and I finally figured out why.

I thought that I was just really sore from the race, but couldn't figure out why that would be.  Then I remembered that on the walk home from the bar on Saturday to her hotel, one of Taylor's friends challenged me to a race.  Not to be one to turn down a challenge, I took off sprinting.  Of course, the hotel was much farther than we thought it was going to be, so that didn't help either.  Well apparently I haven't all out sprinted in, well, forever.  Even my "sprint" at the end of runs is really just a harder run.  I kind of wish I would've been wearing my garmin so I knew my pace, because I felt like I was flying.  I won by the way.  :)  It pays to not be a girly girl and wear chuck taylor's on a regular basis, although I am lucky that I didn't split my jeans, because those puppies are TIGHT.  Hah.

Some pics from the tourney this weekend.  This was pre-sprint to your death.  And pre-multitude of celebratory spirits.  :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Race Report: Salute the Troops 5k

I already ruined the surprise, but now I'll go back to the beginning.

Pre-race goals:  About a week ago my goal was to hit 23:30 for the 5k.  I think 7:30ish pace is totally doable for 3 miles.  Unfortunately, after re-aggravating my ab, I didn't think that was a feasible goal unless I had zero pain on race day.  New goal was to break 24 minutes.
Also, I assumed the race would be somewhat small, but by some miracle, they were actually giving awards for age group winners (very uncommon for 5k's around here that aren't 500+ participants).  I REALLY wanted to place Top 3 in my age group.  Looking at results for smaller races in this area this spring, I realized that if I ran the time I projected myself to run, I would've placed top 3 in those races.

Race day:  I was all by my lonesome.  My parents had prior commitments, and the boy was out of town for a softball tourney.  I got to the race and started scanning the crowd for the big runners.  Those familiar faces who I typically don't see because I'm stuck looking at their backside because they are beating me.  :)  

The weather was great.  75 degrees with just a little humidity, and a nice wind/breeze.  Pretty shocking for a 10am start time.

The race wasn't chip-timed, so when they were gathering everyone to the start, I made my way towards the front.  I didn't want to have 5-10 seconds added to my time just because I started towards the back.  I figured this would be the point where the speedsters would show up.  Still no familiar race faces.  I did see one gal who looked like a strong runner, but she was clearly out of my 20-25 age group, so no threat to my Top 3 placing.  Whoo!  Also, there were a few gals directly behind me that looked in shape and could easily be wild cards and take my goal!
I ended up lining up right behind the 5-7 "serious runner boys" which was really odd to be up that close, but oh well.  Also, I created the GREATEST playlist the morning of the race, and Miss iPod wouldn't even TURN ON when I was walking to the start line, so I had to ditch it.  I've never done a race without music.  YIKES!

The race started, and it didn't take long for the crowd to thin out.  I stuck pretty tight with a group of 4 guys and we were off.  The first mile felt awesome.  I felt strong.  I felt like my stride was long and that my turnover was quick.  At this point, I knew I was the first girl (since I had lined up in front of all of them) and no one had passed me.  I did not want to look over my shoulder, because I knew that would only mess with me mentally to see someone on my heels.  

Mile 1 7:31

After the first mile, whenever I looked at the Garmin it really wasn't helping me at all.  Because of the trees and probably the clouds, it was showing my pace as 10:30, which I knew wasn't right.  I just tried to keep running strong.  At the turn around point, the 4 guys I was running with grabbed water to chug, and I passed them.  I struggle drinking water in 1/2s when running MUCH slower, no sense messing with it at this pace!  At the turnaround, my time was right at 12:00.  I knew I had to pick it up if I wanted 23:30, and could not fall off my pace if I wanted 24.

It was also at the turn around that I was able to get a look at where 2nd place chica was.  I estimated that she was about 30 seconds behind me and was capable of a strong finish/kick.  Don't ask how I evaluated that in the 1/2 second that I saw her--I think she had larger calves that just translated into STRENGTH and SPEED.  

Unfortunately, about the halfway point was when the ab started to hurt.  :(  It was just a dull pain for the first quarter of a mile, but even at a dull intensity level it was still effecting my stride.  I just kept looking at my watch telling myself to fight through the pain for x amount of minutes to the finish.  The highlight of this mile was when some ladies who were walking the 5k started cheering for me on their "out" portion of the out and back path "Way to go girl.  You're the first place girl!!"  Even though I was struggling, I couldn't help but smile.  BIG SMILE.  :D

Mile 2 8:00 boo

The last mile was pretty much a struggle there was an older dude and a guy about my age near me.  I passed the older guy and then set my sights on the other guy.  Of course, it was about that time that he started to pull away from me, so I was all alone.  No one behind, no one in front.  I thought I was running a race?  Where is everyone?!?  

Coming to the finish line, I was shocked by the screaming and cheering.  For such a small race, there was sure a ton of crowd support.  Which was awesome.

Mile 3 7:58
.1 :31 (6:17 pace)

Total time:  24:02

As I was coming through the shoot, I heard the guy go first place 20-25 age group.  The other guy corrected him, well yeah, she's the first girl to cross the line, she's first overall!  Music to my ears.

Of course, I had to run (ok, I walked, quickly) to my phone to call Taylor and tell him my news.  :)  I was really bummed at this point that none of my family or friends were there to share this excitement with me.  But it was really cool how many people came up to me after the race to say that they were trying to pace off of me (I was wearing an obnoxiously bright orange shirt, so that probably helped them).  :)

After the race was over, they gave out awards.  First place 20-25 women:  someone else.  What?  Has that ever happened to any of you?  Apparently the race organizers had planned to have age group winners and no overall winners, since the overall winner would obviously have won their age group, but the area running club that they had help them with the timing, etc. had thought the opposite.  Since I was the overall winner for women, they gave the age group winner to someone else.  Maybe that's really selfish of me to be bummed, but I am.  She didn't win our age group.  I beat her by a good minute and a half.  :(  Ok, rant over, but it's not like I'm going to win a whole lot of these in my life, so I'd like the hardware, thanks.

Also, because they hadn't planned on overall winners, they didn't have trophies/plaques for us.  They assured us they would get them made and sent out before next weekend.  Kind of got jipped for my first win, I'd say.  :)

Of course, because I was so ridiculously excited, my stupid self forgot to stretch after the race, and I am SO SORE today.  Seriously, you'd think I had run a 1/2 yesterday for how pained they are today.  Oh well, they deserve a day off for a job well done.

I wish I had some stats to share about the race, but I can't find the results anywhere.  It was a first annual run, and obviously, somewhat, unorganized so I'm not sure if they'll even post them anywhere.  I'm hoping they'll be in the paper at least tomorrow so I can get some stats.  :)  I think only 10 dudes beat me, so I placed pretty high overall out of everyone also.  I'm just so stinkin' proud and can't stop smiling.

If you haven't already, definitely scout for a small-ish race that gives out age group awards and train your little heart out for it.  It's a pretty sweet feeling to walk home (or be delivered to your home in 5-7 business days) with a plaque/trophy/medal of your achievement.  :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

I'm seriously on cloud nine right now.  Possibly even cloud 10...if there is such a thing.


Yes, I'm as shocked as you are.  ;)

Unofficial time:  24:02.

Detailed(ish) Race Report to come.  I have some softball to watch (aka. a tan to work on!)  :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Foto Friday

Apparently, when I'm not running, I don't have much to say on this. Does that mean I don't have a life? Hmm...probably. That sucks. Oh well. :)

In preparation for my race tomorrow, I'm going to do some retail therapy tonight. I just recently realized that I have zero running tank tops. That's a smidge riculous, especially when you tally the amount of running shorts I own (probably 10, give or take). I thought I'd do a little shopping tonight to see if I could find a couple to help me not to sweat to death this summer, and also to look super cute during my race tomorrow. I mean, help me run super fast tomorrow, same thing. :p I've also been eyeing my fave Champion sports bra at Target that now comes in my favorite color of green. So I might have to give in and get that guy too.
Unfortunately for me, I think I have a fan base of zero at tomorrow's run. I've kind of gotten spoiled this spring with my parents and/or Taylor attending most of my races, so it's kind of a bummer to go in this one without anyone to cheer me on. Oh well, it'll still be a fun one. Plus it's small, and has age group breakdowns (most small races here just lump you into a men's and women's category, which isn't nearly as fun), and it's on a part of the trail that I run on 1-2 a week. As long as crabby ab stays calm, I think we'll have smooth sailing.
After the race I'm jetting out of town to watch Taylor play in a softball tourney. It should be interesting since we're staying in this small podunk town over night and continuing with softball fun all day Sunday. Sometimes you miss the small town bars, so I'm sure we'll get our fill of those Saturday night!

For Foto Friday, I will leave you with some pics from the most recent wedding we were at. It's actually Taylor's best guy friend, and one of his best girl friends, so it was a really great time.

Seriously...how cute is the bowtie? :) Have a good weekend and good luck to all the racers out there!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

5k Taper Time

Is there such a thing? Because I'm in it. :)

Yesterday I had my last training run on the schedule before the 5k I plan to dominate on Saturday. Hopefully that run is not an indicator of how Saturday will be, because it was less than domination.

I had a 30 min. tempo run to do. When I left the apartment at 5:25am, the clouds were dark, purple and not very happy looking. After running for about 30 seconds, I saw lightning and immediately turned around with thoughts of going back to bed dancing in my head. I stopped to try to assess the weather, is it coming, is it going? How close is it? Am I faster than it? I determined that the storm was still a long ways off, and did not appear to be moving, so I again set out for it. Let me tell you: stormy weather + river = nasty nasty dead fish smell. Almost knocked my socks off, yuck.

I had a one mile warm-up that I completed in 9:48, followed by 2 tempo miles. Tempo mile #1, 8:08. Whoo! Since I usually sucky mcsuck-suck on the first tempo mile of any training run, I really concentrated on long stride lengths. After this mile was the turn around point, and then came the wind, and the rain. Bleck. The wind was BRUTAL. After I got home, weatherbug confirmed the 22 mph wind gusts that I was trying to tempo through. Ever so slightly, my ab started to hurt also. Waaah. So I ran the second tempo mile faster than a moderate pace, but right under ab pain threshold 8:33. Still not too bad, but my range is supposed to be 8:10-8:20, I think. I finished with a cool down .5. Overall 3.5 miles in 31:01 for a pace of 8:52. Tempo pace of 8:20.

Since I didn't have to wake up to run this morning, and I didn't have to work til 11, I slept in until the glorious time of 10am. It was magical. Seriously, there were elves and fairies dancing around my bedroom when I finally tumbled out of bed. Hopefully my legs reward me with some super sweet speediness on Saturday. If anyone knows any great ab stretches, please send them my way, I'll be trying to do some SERIOUS stretching and happy-vibe therapy to that puppy in the next couple of days. :( And I'm definitely going to have to do some yoga, situps, and pushups tonight because I'm going a little stir crazy without doing ANYTHING active yet today (because apparently dreaming doesn't count!)

P.S. One of my favorite episodes of Saved by the Bell was on after my run. The one that they work at the summer resort, and dig for gold on the beach and have to shuffle a birthday party and anniversary group in and out of the dining hall all night. I heart Preppy.

[Also go here to get register for some SWEET Amazing Grass products on Bobbi's page!!]
[And here for another awesome giveaway and info about strands website at The Happy Runner.]

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street....

On my boring/easy 2 mile run this morning I saw: an ostrich, some birds, many buffalo, and a rabbit. As I was tabulating all these animals in my head, I was reminded of one of my FAVE Dr. Seuss books. The one where the kid comes up with these outrageous lies of what he sees on Mulberry street. Because honestly, who sees buffalo and ostrich on their run? Me. Some days I see mountain lions, but not today. I almost always hear meerkats cries (at least that's what I think they are, sounds like a louder version of a kitty crying).

Have I mentioned that Taylor's apartment is near the city zoo? :) The bike trail actually goes along the back side of the zoo, and it's quickly becoming my favorite part about running in the morning. Usually the animals are up and moving around because it's cooler before the sun is officially up, so I feel like I get to have my own little sneak peak at the zoo whenever I go for a run.

Other than the animals, it was a boring run. 2 miles in 18:27. No ab pain, so hopefully (fingers crossed) Sunday was just a fluke.

Oh, and we totally spent Monday night after work at the water park again. I'm reminded of the 5-12 year old amphibious version of myself. I lived at the pool back in the day. It's fun to feel like a kid again and to dash home from work to change into my suit. Hah.

I've already checked the weather report, and unfortunately there are t-storms in the forecast for after work, so Day#4 at the water park is probably out of the question. Maybe I'll fill up the tub and do some laps. ;)

Do's and Don'ts for Runners

By trial and error this weekend, I came up with a list of do's and don'ts to adhere to as a runner. This list is primarily for myself and will probably not be applicable to others. Fair warning.

Don't go to the batting cages to show off your batting skillz. For one, your softball playing days are long go, and you have the hitting skills to prove it. For another, you've NEVER played baseball, so it's stupid to attempt to prove that you can hit a baseball well. Because you can't. Third, and most importantly you will aggravate the stupid ab muscle that you have been trying soooo hard to heal for the past 6 months.

Do try to beat your boyfriend at mini golf. Continue to repeat this as many times as possible throughout the summer. Feel free to rub in your putting skills but repeating your hole-in-one move on hole #9. Also, always include the jumping fist pump celebratory move. That way every one knows you have gotten a hole-in-one, not him.

That's all. As you may, or may not, be able to tell. We spent some time at our local water park this weekend. We went all out and bought a season pass this year, so Saturday was our first trip there. Since it was pretty cloudy towards closing, we decided to hit up some mini golf and the batting cages.

Other than being INSANELY sore still (3 days later) from swinging a bat, I'm hoping the ab pain was just a minor tweak and will be back to healed by Saturday.

I had a long 7 mile run on Sunday and needed to get it done before Father's Day brunch with Taylor's family. Than we had day #2 planned at the water park (we're water park FIENDS). In short, the run kind of sucked. It was rainy/misty and so so humid, and my legs were as heavy as cement. Then, the dreaded ab pain reared it's ugly head about 2 miles into the run. I honestly thought about just turing around and walking home. :( I have been doing SO well with trying to take it easy, and only pushing hard during speedwork for the last few weeks. I'm just really annoyed with myself for reinjuring it doing something dumb like messing around in the batting cages. :( :( :(
I decided to suck it up and just do the runs slow enough to not hurt the ab, and to stop and stretch it if it did start hurting. I ended up having to stop probably once a mile, usually after downhill stretches. Made for a looooooong run. Somehow I was still able to do it under the 9:40 pace that I'm supposed to be doing long runs at, so score 1 for Jeri I guess.
Also, my Garmin was being crazy about 5 miles into the run. I think I have it set on Auto Pause for a pace of 15:00. Well, because of the severely overcast skies and tree coverage on the trail I was running, apparently it was reading my 9:30 mm pace as 15+. Since I did a 3.5 mile out and back, I just used my starting point as the end of mile 7, even though G-man was short by .08. That means that one of the miles in there is also messed up, but I don't care to figure out which one. :)
1. 9:40
2. 9:28
3. 9:24
4. 9:21
5. 9:34
6. 9:23
7. 7:44
Ok, if I had to guess, I'd say that mile 5 is probably a good 15-20 seconds faster and then tag that extra to mile 7. Good? K then. I ran the 7.02 in 1:04:34 for a pace of 9:12.
After the run, we got to enjoy a delish grill out and I chowed down BIG time. We were planning on going to the water park afterward, but the weather had different ideas. While we were waiting for the storm to pass, we both zonked out big time for a 2 1/2 hour nap. Considering we didn't even go out this weekend, that was kind of ridiculous, but felt SO good.
After the amazing nap, we headed to the waterpark for a few hours of fun in the sun. Is it sad that this was one of my favorite weekends ever and it was just spent doing random things with Tay.... awww sweet. (either that or I just REALLY love the sunshine....) :p

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm either going to PR or die trying...

My vote is option 1.

I'm in the midst of finalizing my 1/2 marathon training program set to start June 29th. WHOO! This 1/2 is the race that I do every year, thus qualifying whether I'm a loser or a winner. As many of you know from following along, I was a sprinter in high school (and for a solid week or 2 in college, quitter!). During college I would run on the treadmill or around campus randomly but never more than a mile or 2. The summer after my junior year, I started to notice one too many chins and started following a training program I found in a fitness magazine to "get back into shape." It was kind of sad how "not in shape" I was. I had to run/walk and was huffing and puffing a lot, especially in the beginning. But by the end of the 8 weeks of following it, I could run again. Phew.
At this time, a new friendship was blossoming with BFFF#2 (not in ranking, just in order of mentioning on my blog. She's Miss Portland from yesterday). She had the CRAZY idea that we should train and run a 1/2 marathon. I told her she was cuckoo bananas. "Racing" farther than one lap of the track was enough to make my heart stop.
I started to look up training programs to see if they even seemed doable. Surprisingly, they were somewhat similar to the get-back-into-shape one I had been doing for the past 2 months, albeit with much longer runs on Sunday, but still. We decided to sign up and start running. We did the 12 week Hal Higdon Beginner program, and that's when my love for HH began. :) My goals for this race were:

1. Not to die

2. Not to have to walk

3. (super secretly) to beat 2 hours

For some reason, 2 hours is what stuck in my head as being the ultimate goal. It separated the runners (whom I used to classify myself as) and those that ran for fun [PLEASE no one take offense to this, this is logic that is more than 4 years old, and by no means a knock to anyone's 1/2 time, whether it be 1:15 or 4:00).

I finished the race in 2:07:39 for an avg. pace of 9:45. I didn't die, and I didn't have to walk. (I did have to stop for a few seconds a couple of times as my IT bands were getting VERY tight.) But I didn't meet my third goal.

So I came back again the next year. This time moving up to the Intermediate training program, thus INSURING a finish below 2 hours. Nope. 2:11:56, try again lassie. I will say that I did not have to stop ONCE in this race, even to stretch/drink/etc. which I am insanely proud of. (As that was a part of the goals for race #2).

Year #3: Again with the Intermediate training, but slacking pretty majorly. Usually cutting out at least one run a week, because I had a boooooooooooooyfriend and I was in loooooooooooooooove. And he was waaaaaay more fun than running. :) 2:16:14. You get what you work for I guess, and clearly I was working less. (Also notice that each year I'm a little less..um..."fit" looking...that couldn't have helped me to be faster...hah.)

Last year was year #4 of the annual 1/2. Again with the intermediate, but VERY loosely following. As in... I ran 2-3 times a week, even SKIPPING long runs--Cardinal Sin #1. My heart wasn't in it, I knew I wasn't going to beat 2 hours but I knew I could complete the run with minimal training, so that was the goal. Finish. I did in 2:19:57.

After last year's half, I retired. I wasn't loving running anymore, and I sure as heck wasn't getting any faster. Running had begun to be a chore, and I wanted out. Shortly after hanging up the shoes, I realized a good friend of mine was now living in SF, and he mentioned he wanted to start running. We ran a handful of times and it was fun. It had been a long time since a run had been fun. Apparently I just needed a break, and then to focus on shorter distances, because that long distance stuff is for the birds! But still I hardly ran from November-December, who likes running in snow and ice? Not this girl.
In December I bought a gym membership (for a whopping $16.05/mo. WITH tax) and started running again with the running buddy. Needless to say my running over the last 6 months has been the most enjoyable it ever has been. It probably doesn't hurt that I am getting faster, but that's also directly attributed to how hard I'm pushing myself and how dedicated I am to the training programs I've done lately.
Based on the mileage I've put in as a "base" for my 1/2 training, and the times of some recent longer runs, I think this is it. The year of the PR, the year I will break 2 hours. Not only break, but SHATTER 2 hours (ok shatter is a pretty strong word, but I like to dream big).
I was comparing the Hal Higdon Intermediate plan (that I know and love oh so much) to a Runners World plan. And I'm sorry to say, I don't think HH is going to cut it for the Year of the PR (although I totally credit has plans for the 5k PR shatterings that have taken place this spring, and hopefully again next Saturday).
According to the 5k I PROJECT I will obtain next Saturday, the RW plan has me running a 1:48 HM. BAHAHAHAH. BUT, the pacing times that are listed for long runs, speed work, tempo runs, are fairly close to what I'm doing now so I think the plan itself fits. 1:48...ummm..not so much, maybe next year. ;)
I'm excited to bump up my mileage and finally have a month's mileage top out over 100!!! I'm truly excited to start training for this race and that's what running is all about, enjoying getting out there, getting in the miles, and getting your sweat on! :)

Now I just have to do some minor manipulations to it to account for a race or two and some potential weekends out of town, and we have ourselves a training program. Does anyone else get really excited when everything is finalized and stuck up to the fridge? I sure do. :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Notice of Strike

Dear Jeri,
Good morning (HA! No such thing...just trying to be cordial and all.) I thought we had a deal. Three times a week you were going to drag us out of bed to "beat the heat" for a run. Three times. Two of these mornings would be so early that we actually consider it still "night-time" but what do we know. The third morning, you're soooooooooooooo overly kind as to let us "sleep in," which is bull and you know it. Sleeping in is ... noon... or so. But whatever. Three times a week. Have I mentioned that part yet? Because that was the deal. Now we may just be a couple of appendages and are completely incapable of counting, or thinking for ourselves for that matter, but I could've sworn that today the 4th consecutive day of Operation: I'm an idiot (aka. Morning running, yippee skippy). Let me see....Tuesday early sweat-capade? Check. Wednesday early sweat-induced raccoon eyes? Check. Thursday early too-fast easy run? Check. (Sidenote: I'm beginning to wonder if you have a perspiration problem....I think people are sick of listening to your sweat-stories, find a new angle, puhlease!) Friday 5 miler at 5am? Check and striking.

You may have noticed that we decided to strike very early on in this run. It wasn't your imagination that we felt like we were 150 lbs. a piece. That's penance baby. You wondered why stretching wasn't helping at all. Yup, we're striking.

I say let's just settle this as friend's and lifelong (literally) compadres. Go back to 3 morning's a week, and nobody (and no muscles) get hurt.

Love ya lots,
Your legs.

P.S. You might think that your iPod is going down the tube with all of it's "issues" lately, but really, we've just formed a union. Don't think it's a coincidence that it stopped halfway through the run today.
My running schedule calls for a rest day on Fridays and then a longer, quicker run on Saturdays, and a long run on Sundays. I'm stuck working tomorrow morning at 7am, and have plans to go out of town afterward, so I had to do some schedule rearranging. Which. I. Hate. And apparently my legs aren't too fond of it either. I knew I'd either have to run before work this morning, or tomorrow morning. Friday morning won, because who wants to wake up that early on a Saturday? Not this gal.

My legs, however, were not so enthusiastic about it. They were heavy. They weren't moving. And stretching wasn't helping. Luckily that only last for the first mile-ish, but it's been awhile since my legs have taken THAT long to warm up. I'm guessing it's more because of the 4 consecutive days of running than the getting up early, but whatev. I made it through it, and (minus mile 1) ended up faring just fine. I finished 5 miles in 46:25 for a 9:20 pace. Other than the first mile at 9:50ish, the rest were 9:30-8:30. Take that legs. Jk, I heart you legs.

For Foto Friday I decided to share some pics of my last vacation (sadly over a year ago) to Portland to visit my other BFFF. I pretty much fell in love with Portland and would love to be gutsy and just up and move. Maybe someday. :)

My favorite movie as a kid (and still is, actually)was Goonies, we had to head to the beach to see part of where it was filmed.

Here we are at Ikea post-scavenger hunt. Caught offguard,

but it still looks like a ridiculous uppity catalog modeling shot. Too funny.

Inappropriateness with the handy hearts. Check.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's insane that 7:30 is now sleeping in...

I do love me some Thursday morning runs. Mostly because I get to sleep in 3 hours. It's borderline magical, for sure. Nothing too exciting to report. Just an easy 3 miles, although my legs are no longer aware of what an "easy" pace is. I know that it's not 9 mm, especially the day after a tough speed workout, but try to tell them that. Stupid legs, maybe they needed to go that quick to work out the aches and tightness that yesterday's workout left. Just means that I could get home even quicker so I could catch up on SYTYCD. We were without a TV last week, so our DVR is full of episodes. I'm watching the first episode of the top 20 so please don't spoil it for me!!

3 miles in 27:10 for 9:03 pace.
I forgot to mention yesterday that during my run I was the closest I have ever been to a deer. When I started my run to the gym, there was a deer just looking at me across the street. I didn't want to startle him to run in front of traffic, so I kept talking to him and telling him to run back into the river area. He just kept looking at me. I think I made a friend. :)
Speaking of yesterday's run it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who's a sweat monster.

(GAH! I totally had a someecard to include in here that's hilarious, but I think they changed up the format of their site, and I can't upload it. Sniff.) Go here. It's funny. To prove how sweaty mcsweaterson I truly am, an old co-worker sent me this ecard at the start of this fall. Too funny.
Yay, I'm a genius. Here it is:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm seriously drowning....

...in my own sweat. YUCK! I will be honest, I am a sweaty person. I blame my parents, they both sweat at the drop of a hat, and I'm no different. I've always been the sweatiest person on the basketball court or volleyball court, and for sure the sweatiest runner. I was once told that you sweat more the better shape you're in. If that's the case, I'm in TIP TOP SHAPE. All of my grey tee's are put away during the summer because it's just not cute to pit out if you're a girl. :(

With that being said, I could literally wring out my shirt after my run today, and almost half of the run was done INSIDE. Whoa is me, seriously. It was pretty similar weather as yesterday, mid-60's with 97% humidity. I think sweat droplets formed as I was stretching outside. Ick. Today was 8 x 400 at mile pace. Again I decided to run to my gym as my "warm-up." I'm secretly obsessed with my weekly/monthly mileage so it's nice to get in another 2.75 miles on these "sprint" days. The run to the gym was 1.37 miles in 17:45. Although I think the Garmin was off. It "lost satellite" for a minute while I was running under an overpass, and my first mile ended up being an 8 mm split, which was not the case. Probably closer to 9mm I'd imagine. Or slower even.

When I got to the gym I was SWEATY. I got some stretching in and hopped on the treadmill.
2 @ 1:42 (6:48 pace)
2 @ 1:41 (6:44 pace)
1 @ 1:40 (6:40 pace)
1 @ 1:39 (6:36 pace)
1 @ 1:38 (6:32 pace)
1 @ 1:36 (6:24 pace)
For an average pace of 6:40. In between each quarter, I walked .1 and to de-sweat. Ha. I did mess up on #7 by only running .2, so I ran .3 on #8 (at a faster speed, ugh). But I'm too lazy to calculate that out, so I took the easy way.

My legs were tired. But I still needed to get home. I headed home on the bike trail since it was light enough (it's too dark, in my opinion, to run them on the way there) and felt like I was crawling. It was miserable. 1.38 miles in 12:29.

When I got home I looked in the mirror and had to laugh. I had some serious raccoon eyes. I used a new mascara yesterday, and it must not have washed off all the way last night! I'm hoping it ran on my run home from the gym, but I'm guessing I looked like a fool AT the gym when everyone was wondering why I put on eye make up for the gym. WHOOPS. Oh well. I had to laugh. :)

For my post-run breakfast, I made my first ever green monster. It was delish. I've made some protein smoothies in the past (frozen strawberries & banana, ice, a splash of vanilla soy milk, and 1/2 scoop of protein powder) but this was my first with a healthy heaping handful of spinach. It was delish. Honestly, it tastes the same as the ones without. Plus it was my favorite color. :) Too bad I was running too late to snatch a picture. I could use a nice photo to break up this monotonous text (which apparently is a pet peeve of some, who knew!!) :)

I love me some speed work, but I swear I'm always starving for the rest of the day. Keep your fingers crossed for no storms so I can watch some men's softball, and for goodness sake humidity, go away!!

P.S. If you haven't seen Taken you totally should. We watched it last night and it was AWESOME!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

That felt more like swimming than running.

The weather lied to me when I checked it yesterday prior to packing my running clothes to stay the night at Tay's.....thunderstorms in the morning, etc.  I take that to mean cool weather, so I pack running tights and a tee.  More like 65 with 100% humidity (seriously, that's what it's showing at 5:45am) with hardly a breeze.  I stopped to stretch at .75 since my legs were still feeling tight from my long run Sunday, and I already had huge sweat spots on my shirt.  I tried to roll my capri-length tights up to be more short like, but yowsers, it was sweltering out there!  I've never been so glad to be done with a run.  THIS is why I'm running in the morning, imagine how miserable it'll be this evening with some heat thrown in to that humidity!  (Damn it, there better be some heat with humidity this afternoon or I'm going to be MAD!)  :)

Anyway, I did an easy 3 miler, which my legs took a while to warm up to, but after they did it was swell.  Total time was 27:22 for a 9:07 pace.
1.  9:19
2.  9:09
3.  8:57

Since there is NO FOOD at the boy's place and I'm borderline starvation mode, I think I'm going to hustle up and treat myself to some Starbucks for breakfast.  YUMMY.

Also, I was given this awesome blog award by J at Morning Runner!!!  She's had many great suggestions (along with a lot of the rest of you!) on the whole morning running transformation, and I appreciate the award.  :)

The instructions are to post this award and then give it to two others that you have started reading.

Amy at Will Run For Fun.  Her blog is very entertaining and she's a ridiculously awesome runner.  Just reading her splits makes me break into a sweat!

Amanda at Adventures in our Funny Farm.  She seems like the most genuinely sweet gal EVER, and I always look forward to her comments on my blog and her own posts.

Again, thanks for the honor J!  :)

Guys I hate to say this, but I think I might actually be a morning runner.  :s

Monday, June 15, 2009

BFFF weekend recap + 9 mile run

I had such a blast this weekend, it's always good to catch up with the BFFF. I got into town early Friday evening and we set out to get OJ to pair with her champagne for mimosas "getting ready" drinks. The mimosas were followed by some pinot noir and some other libations at various bars in town. And I got to run into a bunch of people from my high school days that I hadn't seen forever. It was so nice to catch up. :) 

Saturday one of Sheana's boyfriend's friend's had a boat and took us out to enjoy our first sunny day in June. Thanks to my sunscreen application in the necessary areas and just a smidge of tanning oil on my lower legs (they won't tan otherwise, grrrr) I left with a nice brown tan and no pink/red to speak of. Success. Saturday night we had a delicious BBQ at her boyfriend's house with all of his roommates and some random friends. It was nummy and entertaining. Because we were drained from being in the sun all day, we called it a night eeeeeeeeeearly. Unfortunately for me and my very light sleeping tendencies, I couldn't sleep in a houseful of LOUD BOYS. I was kind of concerned for my 9 miler that was to come on Sunday since I was crabby pants and didn't see sleep happening anytime soon. :(

Sunday I went home home to my parents house (conveniently it's on the way from the BFFF's to my home) to see the madre and the dog, Kerby. Of course Igboo (the cat) was MIA as usual, so I didn't get to say hi. :( The cat is always scared of me for the first 12 hours I'm home, and then remembers that we're BFF, and won't leave my side. I set my mom to work hemming some dress pants, and taking in a dress that I got in April that is now too big. whoops. While she was working on that, I went to visit another BFF and see her lil baby. He's pretty stinkin' cute and it was really nice to catch up with her too. :)

It was a fairly cool day 77, with a light breeze, so I wanted to get back home asap so I could run before it decided to get any warmer. Plus Taylor was getting back from Chi-town and I wanted to be done running and showering by the time he got back. My training plan had me doing 7 miles, but to be honest, I'm BORED with the Higdon Intermediate 5k plan. This is my third time doing it since January, and I'm snoozing. My 1/2 training starts immediately after my race June 27th, and the long runs start at 9 miles, so I figured I'd do one Sunday to gauge my progress.

I bought my very first ClifShot (mocha) to try during my run and was nervous/excited to see if it would upset my stomach/help with my run. Since it was pretty stinkin' warm out still (and I was running 2 miles farther out on the trail then I usually do, and wasn't sure of the water situation) I made sure to drink water at almost every fountain I saw (roughly 1.5 miles). This was probably more often than necessary, but waiting 3 miles seemed like too much.

My first mile beeped in at 8:58. HA! What were my crazy legs thinking?

Second mile: 9:05. Oh lordy. My long runs are supposed to be done around 9:48 pace, my goal HM pace is slightly under 9 mm.

Mile 3: 8:58. In the middle of this mile I took my ClifShot. Because I was wearing it in my inside "key" pocket in my tempo shorts, it was EXTRA hot. It was like a super thick melted chocolate gooiness. But it was actually pretty good. I washed it down with a swig of water, and was on my way. When I did my last 8 miler, I started to fade around Mile 4, so I thought this would kick in (hopefully) prior to me slowing down.

Mile 4: 8:49 Whoa!

Mile 5: 8:46 I always start to speed up after my "halfway home" point, so this wasn't too surprising, but I was still concerned about crashing and burning. :(

Mile 6: 8:45 I FINALLY found a bathroom along the trail, as I had been holding it since .25 miles into the run. Sweet, sweet relief. :)

Mile 7: 8:43 The consistency is kind of freaking me out now.

Mile 8: 8:28 Finally around 7.5 miles into the run, I started to feel like I was "working." But I figured, heck, I can tough it out for 1.5 miles. All mental from here. Of course after the time came in for that mile I knew why I felt like I was struggling!

Mile 9: 7:47!!! Seriously now, that's crazy sauce. That's my 5k pace! After running 8 solid/quick miles before.

Total time: 1:18:23 for a pace of 8:43.

Now I know this was not a "smart" training run, but it was SUCH a confidence booster. My speed has improved immensely over the last 5 months, but I felt like I was still struggling with any distances over 5 miles maintaining a strong pace. After this run, I'm pretty confident that I can break 2 hours in the 1/2 in September, and run under 9 mm miles for the duration. And I can also put more confidence in the training schedule without having to test it on another long run. But dang it, that was FUN! :)

When I got home I took a glass of ice water out into the grass to enjoy some stretching in the breeze. The shower after was a-ma-zing. And I was done just in time for Taylor to get back into town. I missed that boy. :) We shared stories of our weekend over seafood alfredo at Olive Garden (had to replace those 816 calories somehow!) and spent the rest of the night snuggling and watching Revolutionary Road. Overall it was such a great weekend! And now I know the key to a good long run is minimal sleep the night before and burning hatred for loud 20-somethings from midnight-7am. :)

Also, don't go here and don't register to win the sweet (I mean crappy) giveaway because it's lame carpet samples and not a $75 gift certificate for SHOES.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rainy Five + Foto Friday

I only had to work 3 hours today.  WHOOO!!  (But that's because I have to come in next Saturday for 5, waah).  I tell ya, all working days should be three hours long, that's awesome.  It had been raining all morning, but I was REALLY excited about running in it.  It was 57 degrees with barely any wind, probably the greatest running weather ever (pay no mind to the fact that I've said this now 3 different times, all referring to different weather, ha.  My blog, I can make contradictory statements all I want!)  Of course because of the cloud coverage, Mr. Garmin was having a heckuva time getting a signal.  Finally after 2 songs had past on my iPod, I went back inside and Poof!  Signal found.  Funny guy.

I had 5 miles to do, and was planning on doing them at an easy pace.  I was guessing that because yesterday's easy run, was a little on the speedy side, that my legs would protest if I even suggested something above average.  I think I looked like a darn fool out there running, grinning ear to ear.  But I love me some rain, especially when it's warm-ish out.  Love love love.

Apparently my legs love the rain too, because my first mile came in at 8:58.  I decided to just go with it and see what my legs could do for a fiver.  Mile 2 9:03, Mile 3 8:49, Mile 4 8:43, & Mile 5 7:53.  By gosh, I think the speed work I've been doing is causing me to be *gasp* faster.  Hurrah!

I was going to show you a picture of how hot, um I mean disgusting, I look after a 43 minute run in the rain, but it was frightening.  I'm talking immediately-unfollow-this-crazy-girl-frightening.  So I'll let you just form your own mental image.

Now I'm getting ready to leave town to go visit my BFFF (best effin' friend forever, thanks N.O. for that drunken acronym) for a weekend of fabulousness!  :)  She's the coolest person ever, and it's been TOO LONG since we've spent a weekend together.  I'm sure crazy pics will be to come on Sunday/Monday.  Speaking of Sunday, assuming I'm not hungover, I'm planning on doing a 9 miler (longest I've done since last Fall).  I'm sure you're on the edge of your seats already in anticipating of how it will go.  :)

And now.  For Foto Friday.  Since Taylor is on his own Windy City adventure this weekend, I thought I would share some photos of my last adventure. This was during spring break of college my junior year '05. Enjoy. :)

Sometimes you just gotta take the bull by the horns...

The crew on top of the Hancock building. Not sure why none of us are smiling...
At Coyote Ugly. Good times had by all.

I went with this group for Spring Break my senior year also, and had a blast. We had some good vaca memories for sure. :)  Have a good weekend all!

Day 6: Is it still a morning run if I don't wake up at 4:30am?

Heck ya it is. Why would I wake up at 4:30am when I don't have to work til 11am??? Ahh. Thursday. The day I get to "sleep in" until 7:30am. I look forward to you from Tuesday to Wednesday (a really long time) when I'm bitchin' and moanin' about being up before the sun. Thursday morning run, I think I'm in love with you.

AND it was actually warm out at 7:30, it's the darnedest thing sun up=no pants. Er..wait. Minus pants plus shorts. I'm guessing the run would've taken on a whole new meaning sans pants. Anyway, I had a little 3 mile recovery run to do, and plenty of time to do it. I felt like a sprightly young gazelle out there, just springing along the trail, it was the darndest thing. I really thought I was doing a 9:45-10 mm pace because it felt sooooooo easy, but the first mile came in at 9:08. Huh? Mile 2 8:49. K. Mile 3 8:19 (ok so I pushed a little bit the last .25 of the third mile because I felt so dang good). Finished the 3 miles in 26:26 for a pace of 8:46. Good to know that my legs are much happier later in the morning also.

While running and feeling like a champ, I got to thinking about how great it would be to run at 7:30-8am every morning, and that I should just turn "really good" so I could run as my full time job. That would be awesome. Minus the whole working really really hard part. Yikes. Elite status here I come. :)

After my run I still had loads of energy so I rattled off 16 (new pr) pushups. Whipped up some cupcakes, and then did my ab workout while they were baking. Then I did another 15 pushups, because I'm STRONG. Ha. The cupcakes are de.li.cious. I'll have to take a photo to share because, nom. French vanilla cakes with strawberry frosting, me like. I saved a few for me to devour, but the rest are coming to work with me for Friday treat day. Sad.

Oh, I randomly tallied up how much $$ I'm going to be spending on running over the next 6 months for race fees, flight costs, and new shoes: $1175. And that's not including probably an additional $200 that I don't have solid cost info. for yet. Ugh. Being a couch potato is so much cheaper (but not nearly as fun)!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 5: Legs, you are lucky you decided to be quick today!!

So.  Effing.  Tired.  Seriously.  I need to learn to go to bed earlier on Monday night so the whole rest of my week isn't spent playing "catch up."  Grr.  When the alarm went off this morning at 4:30 am, I told Taylor I was going to sleep until he left for work (usually 5:15-5:20 when I'm heading out also to run).  Since I had SO MUCH TIME after my run yesterday, I figured I had 45 min. to spare.  Oh glorious 45 minutes.  You were amazing.  When I finally got up, I was grumbling that I did not want to go run.  Sweet sweet loverboy said, "It'll be nice and cool after work...why don't you just go back to bed and run later?"  Mmmm....blissful idea my love.  Guarenteed though, if I decided to do that, I would spend the next 2 hours tossing and turning, and then it'd magically be 90 degrees with 90% humidity at 5pm.  PLUS, it's only Day 5.  I can't quit on day 5.  I just need to pretend that running later is NOT an option until this morning crap becomes habit.  Because very very soon, running later in the day won't be an option.

Speaking of, I'm not sure HOW it's still cool.  It's June.  Usually I'm sweating my booty off.  This morning, I was cold.  Brr.  I haven't worn shorts on a run since.... umm.... pre-morning running?  It's summer for goodness sakes.

Blabber blabber blabber, on with the run.  I had a 40 minute tempo run to do.  Started off shivering and took the first mile eeeeeeeasy at 9:45.  Stopped to stretch out my sleeping muscles.  

My tempo miles I wanted to run 8:20-8:30 mm, giving myself a lil leeway because of the headwind for the first tempo mile.  First tempo run mile 8:41.  Lame.  I swear every time I looked at my Garmin it said 8:00 pace.  Apparently that wasn't the case.

Tempo mile #2 8:19, technically a fail, but average the two together and boom, 8:30, perfection.  :)  I decided if I could do mile 3 under 8:30 I could use the last 1/2 mile-ish for a cool down instead of continued tempo.  That's the motivation the leggos needed 7:56.

I finished the .55 cool down in 4:56 for a pace of 9:02.  Overall warm up/cool down pace was 9:31.  Average pace for tempo miles (3) was 8:18.

During my cool down, I was doing some reflection as to why my splits were so off.  I think it might have something to do with my warm up.  I try to start off slow to actually warm up my legs, but I think it's hard for my legs to gauge the difference from 9:45-10 mm to 8:20-8:30.  After that first tempo mile, I always seem to hit at my pace or even below it, I always just struggle with that first one.  Hopefully I'll remember this gem of insight on my next tempo.  :)

Softball tonight and saying good bye to Tay as he leaves for Chi-town insanely early tomorrow morning for his bro's bachelor party.  Jealous.  Not of the bach party, but I love me some Chi-town.  :D

Ooooh.....stay tuned for an upcoming race announcement....EEEEEEE!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 4: Morning Runner Crabtastic Edition

When the alarm went off this morning, I wanted to quit being a morning runner.  I wanted to quit running altogether, perhaps I even wanted to quit life.  THAT'S HOW TIRED I WAS.  Luckily, I did none of the above, but I did manage to get in (or get out I should say) some annoyance/crabbiness to the boy before he went to work.  I think his super fast getting ready skills may have been aided by me and wanting to get the heck away from me.  Who would have thought I'd be so dang irritable at 4:30 am?  Oh ya, me.  :)  Moral of the story is:  don't pee on my toilet see.  Especially if it's 4:30 am.  I think the point was thoroughly drilled home.

Moving on to the run.  It was dark out.  Like almost scary dark out.  It's been overcast/stormy the last couple of days, so on the PERFECT morning to sleep in because it's super dark up until the time your alarm goes off, I was out running.  Again, crabbiness.  I had an easy 3 miles to do, so I set out with legs of lead.  Wow.  I felt like I was putting in 8 mm pace but instead was pulling off 10 mm.  :s  Of course Ms. Temperamental iPod (perhaps she's getting her moodiness by osmosis) quit at 1.5 miles.  The run was pretty uneventful other than the fact that I ran insanely slow.  3 miles in 29:38 for a pace of 9:53.
1. 10:07 
2. 9:37 
3. 9:38 
I think that my dinner the night before of Chevy's strawberry margarita (1/2 off!!), chips, salsa & queso did not help my cause.  Oh well, it was freaking delicious.  And that just means I'll have PLENTY of energy to kill my tempo run tomorrow morning.

After my run I actually had some time to kill post abs, post push ups, post shower, and post breakfast, so I read my new book Pretty in Plaid.  I love me some Jen Lancaster, but I was seriously nodding off reading the book.  At 7:30 am.  I contemplated taking a quick power nap before work.  Yes there is something wrong with that sentence.  I survived work, but wow the first few hours felt like hell.  Half asleep hell anyway.  :)

Also just got done watching the Season premier of Weeds and am SO excited to see what this season holds.  Stupid show always makes me crave iced coffee since Nancy Botwin is obsessed with them.  Curses.

Today Bobbi reviewed her progress for her new year's resolutions and I thought I would steal, I mean borrow, her idea.  :)

1.  Write more.  Success.  Thanks to this blog.  While this might not be too "creative" of writing, it's still putting my thoughts on paper.  Since most of my thoughts revolve around running as of late...it works.
2.  Play music more.  Um... I think I've gotten my guitar out once since Jan. 1.  So fail.  With a capital F.
3.  Continue to read.  This will never be a difficult goal for me, however, I am going through less books since I usually spend my lunch hour catching up on your fab blogs.  It works pretty well though since there hasn't been too many new books that I've been excited about.
4.  Practicing yoga.  Eh, we'll give this one a 50/50 right now.  I need to remember how great I feel so that I do it more consistently.
5.  Run Jeri Run.  I think this one is officially knocked out of the park.
6.  Live more of a vegetarian-esque lifestyle.  Nope.  Try again.
7.  Cook more.  Doing SO WELL with this one.  Helps to save money and save calories since you know exactly what's going in your food.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Listening to Nature's Music AKA iPod Fail

Saturday we had wedding #2 in 8 days to attend. What is with everyone getting married lately? Geeeeeeeez. jk. :) After my run I got all gussied up to attend the wedding. The wedding was good, the reception was good, the red wine was cheap, thus giving me dirty teeth for the last couple hours of the reception, but oh well. All in all it was a good night. Of course I had to take an adorable picture with Mr. Handsome. :)

I drank very little, or technically just a little compared to everyone else, as I had planned on running a 6 miler the next day. Of course the weather was less than favorable at 6pm when my 2pm lunch had finally settled. Just as I was grabbing my running shoes, I hear the start of thunder. It's like the weather can sense me getting excited for my run! Grr. So in 50 degrees, steady 15 mph wind with 25 mph wind gusts, and 90% humidity (really? how is it that windy, yet still dripping wet humid?) I set off for my run. As soon as I got outside, I realized my iPod wasn't working. Now I should mention that I was Crabby McCrabberson yesterday. All day. For no apparent reason. The iPod malfunction set me off into a tizzy. Usually when this happens I can plug the stupid thing into my computer and it corrects itself. Nope, my cord was at my apartment, and I was at Taylor's. After spending a good 15 minutes trying to search the web for troubleshooting advice, and having none of it be successful, I set out for attempt #2 at my 6 mile run. I should note that Tay did offer to let me use his old school iPod, but listening to country for 50-ish minutes would cause me to drown myself in the river I was running next to. (No offense to you country fans, just not my cup of tea.)

I prepared myself to have the crappy run of all runs, yet I didn't. I haven't had an iPod-less run since I started running (longer than a mile or two) 3 years ago. It was pretty cool. I used to be a bird watcher as a kid (nerd alert, I know.... I lived in the country with no kids nearby so I learned to entertain myself.) so I started to see if I could match the birds with their calls. It was pretty entertaining and helped pass the time. Plus I realized that I had a soundtrack playing in my head anyway.

After my speedy (for me) 4 miler yesterday, I wanted to see if I could do a quick-ish 6 miler today. As some of you may have heard me complain about 6 milers in the past, I wanted this one to go down in the books with a :). And it did. I think. :) 6 miles in 53:45 for 8:58 pace.

1. 9:30
2. 9:03
3. 9:09 (um hello wind, you really suck)
4. 8:46 (but you're so delightful when you're at my back!)
5. 8:54
6. 8:23

I think I've learned that 9:30-9:45 is my very comfortable dare I say, jogging, pace. I can ran that pace for quite a long time without too much physical exertion. 8:30-9 mm definitely takes more concentration, but not too terribly much effort. If I focus on stretching out my stride just a little bit (instead of short, baby comfortable strides at my "comfortable" pace) I can usually hit those paces. Awesome.

When I was entering into mile 4-ish of the run, I had a random thought, that made me smile. When I was in junior high, I ran on the Varsity track team. Before you get too excited, I'm from a super small town, so it really wasn't that big of a deal, but it was cool to get to do sooooo many meets each spring. During junior high I competed in the 1600 m. run, 3200 m. relay, the 800 m relay or 400 m relay, and occasionally the 800 m run (or dash as they sometimes like to name it, HA!). There was one other girl in my class who was good at the mid-long distances who would compete against me (or with me in the 3200 m. relay). She was better than me. Oh sad, I know. Unfortunately for me, no one (including me) was aware that I was a sprinter, whoops! So I was stuck with the mid-long distances.

Even with the competitiveness (ok, it was probably just me being competitive with her) we were still best friends, and I think we pushed each other in practice, and also meets to perform our best.  Ok, enough with the background. The summer after our 7th grade year, we were both WAY excited about track and running, but I used to always make fun of her for "running for fun."  I specifically said, "Only crazy people run for fun."  As I was running in rotten weather, with no iPod and sweet tunes to enjoy I thought to myself, I'm officially insane.  And had to smile.  :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fancy Seeing You Here

Friday night, we headed over to my old roomie's new house.  Small world, they actually bought the house from my old boss, and one of my favorite people EVER.  The house is super nice, and we had a ton of fun.  Luckily (for me anyway) Taylor had to go to a CPR class at 8am, so he wanted to go home around midnight.  Here's a super cute pic of us....and yes, my hair is now blonde.  Love or hate?  Indifferent?  That's cool too.  :)

Saturday I had planned on doing 8-9 miles as a long run, because I'm getting bored with my 6-7 mile long runs.  Unfortunately it looked like it was going to storm, so I decided to just follow my training program and do a "fast" 4 miles.  I was so happy that I exnayed the long run, because my legs wanted to go fast!

I did 4 miles in 33:30 for a pace of 8:23.
1.  8:57
2.  8:39
At this point I stretched for a couple of seconds and then headed back for home.  Shortly after starting I heard someone coming up behind me on the bike trail, so I scootched over to the side to let him pass.  It was one of my good guy friends from college!  I'm actually surprised we haven't ran into each other more often running.  He's such a stud it's ridiculous.  Mr. Athletic for sure.  In college he played tennis, and was on almost all of my intramural teams (which we typically took home the c'ship for, duh).  His senior year of college he started running and kicked some serious booty in the local 1/2 marathon, leaving me in his DUST.  Since then he's gotten really into tri's, and has completed some other 1/2s and fulls.

In short, he's awesome, so it was really cool to run into him (although not literally, because ouch.)  In our short chat while running he said he was running 8 miles, so after we parted ways, I decided that my 4 mile "fast" pace should equal his 8 mile pace.  Um.  It doesn't.  But it was nice to have someone to push me.
3.  8:19
4.  7:34!!
I may have done one single dry heave after finishing up the run.  But luckily for me, no pukage.  Hah.  The run felt great, and it was nice to get a speedy run in.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day 3: Morning Runner

Luckily for me, I don't work until 11am on Thursdays, so I got to sleep in (but I'm still counting the run towards my morning runs, because, duh it's in the morning). I got to sleep in until 7:30am. Heck ya. I just had a piddly 3 easy miles on the ol' training schedule, but my legs were significantly tired and still mad at me for running them so hard yesterday. (Ahem, suck it up legs! We have got PRs to crush! Thank God my legs can't read, they would for sure rebel after that comment.) I also had some soreness/pain in my right hamstring, so I took the run pretty dang easy. 3 miles in 28:35 avg. pace of 9:32.

1. 9:55
2. 9:34
3. 9:06
After the run I watched a full two hours of SYTYCD while doing a kick butt ab work out.

I find it SUPER ironic, that the reason I implemented the morning runs were to avoid the extreme post-work/evening heat/humidity. Just thought I would note that all three days of morning runs, the temp at 5pm was 58-65 degrees, no humidity, and a slight breeze. Yes, perfect running weather. Funny guy (or gal) Mr. (or Mrs./Miss/Ms.) Weather...funny guy (or gal).

Just re-read this post, and it might be the most boring thing ever written, so please don't unfollow me. I'm just boring today. Tomorrow will be full of excitement, even if I have to make up lies to keep you entertained.

Actually this evening we're heading to my old roomies new house for a house warming party, so I'll probably have some good stories to share. I know I highlighted her in last week's Foto Friday, but here she is again.

Here we are at Lake Okoboji last summer for the 4th of July. Look how cute we are. And we're that cute AFTER swimming/lounging/drinking in a dirty lake and showering under a small trickle of water in a gross campsite shower. Now that's cute. :)

Also, I would like to include a photo of mi madre, as it's her birthday today!! Happy Birthday Ma. :) I think she turns 25 today. ;) Wait... I'm 25...hmm..

Here we are post-half marathon 08. I look like death, and thoroughly soaked/sweated out. My fam won super awesome awards for this race. They were at 7, count em SEVEN, locations throughout the race, and kept me from quitting. (worst race to date, yikes!)

Have a great weekend!

Day 2: Morning Runner (A day delayed)

In honor of National Running Day, I was motivated to get out of my comfy, warm bed to take on Day 2 of my morning running challenge.  It was much more difficult to get out of bed Day 2 than it was Day 1, because I could not fall asleep Tuesday night.  It did help that I had a speed/interval workout to look forward to.  :)

I had decided to save gas and jog to my gym as my warm up, and then jog home for my cool down.  Somehow I had it set in my head that my gym was 1/2 a mile away.  Ha.  I was wrong.  More like a mile and a half.  Oh well, it was a great warm up, despite the fact that it was 40 degrees out.  SERIOUSLY!?!  I had to wear sweats and a long sleeve over my shorts and t-shirt so I didn't freeze my tas off.  
1.  9:00
.36  3:19 (9:50 pace)  This is the point of the run where I had to run through grass/weeds that were knee deep because there wasn't a shoulder or sidewalk to run on.  Awesome.

At the gym I got a good stretch in, and then had 7 x 400 to rock.  And rock I did.  :)

2 @ 1:42 (6:48 pace)
2 @ 1:41 (6:44 pace)
2 @ 1:40 (6:40 pace)
1 @ 1:38 (6:31 pace)

I walked .1 in between each interval and felt super strong during each of the quarters.  I did realize that I need to scout out a track nearby because it's so much easier to pace yourself when you're not actually pacing yourself.  Shocking, I'm sure.  Plus it'd be nice to relive my fast track days.  Ha.

After the sprints I stretched again and headed for home.  I felt like SUCH a B.A. running home from the gym.  I had to take a different route because traffic had finally picked up, and it was kind of fun taking a new trail route home.  
1.  10:04
.39 3:56 (10:07 pace)
It was pretty slow going, since my legs were tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiired.  I really wished that the cool down was hmmm.... half mile instead.  :)

Morning running finally caught up with me yesterday afternoon when I was half-zombie the last 2 hours of work.  Yikes.  I may or may not have accidentally fallen asleep for 30 minutes before heading to Tay's softball game after work.  Ha.

The other thing that I've noticed about running in the morning is my eating habits.  Usually I would eat a smaller breakfast and lunch, with a decent sized snack around 2 or 3, and then a very large meal post run at night.  Now I'm needing to get the eating switched around to have a decent sized breakfast and maybe a morning snack so I'm not dying of hunger at 10am.  Learning curve, right?  

All in all, I think I'm getting a hang of this early morning junk.  

P.S.  Who else wishes they could dance and were rockin' So You Think You Can Dance this season?  Oh man, I just love this show, and since I have two left feet, I'm in awe of their skillz.  :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day 1: Morning Runner

Today marks day 1 of my two week trial at becoming a morning runner. I was formulating a pro's and con's list as I was running, so that's what I'm going to share with you (what I can remember anyway.)
  • It was beautiful out. Cool, breezy and sun just starting to rise. +1
  • I didn't feel tired when I woke up. Usually I'm up from 4:30-5:20am when Taylor is not-so-quietly getting ready for work, so it was nice not to have to try to fall back asleep after that. +1
  • My legs, were dead. 900 lbs. a piece at least. This is probably 15% from running in the morning and 85% from running a long run on hills just slightly more than 24 hours ago. -2
  • I got to hog the whole bike trail. No running on the right shoulder (which slants downward slightly hurting my ankles, hips, and pretty much everything on my right side), constantly staying out of the way of speedy bikers. I only saw 2 out on my run, and just hogged away otherwise. +2
  • Less bugs. Bugs eaten: 0. Bugs snorted: 0. Bug bites: 1. SUCCESS! +1
The rest of these relate more to getting up early and not so much the actual run part, but should be taken into consideration none the less:
  • I had time to eat a nice healthy breakfast post run. +1
  • Saved by the Bell was on during my after run stretching. +1
  • I now have more time to hang out with the Boy after work, since I don't have to run, stretch, shower, etc. +2
+7 points. Not bad.

Today was good, but we'll see how sucky mcsuckerson I feel as the day goes on and I'm running on 5 hours of sleep. Ya I didn't exactly get to bed at the time I was envisioning, whoops! Tomorrow I'm thinking about running to my gym to do my speed/interval workout, and then running home. It's a good distance for a warm-up/cool-down.
The best part of this morning running business is that I only have to do it Tuesday-Thursday since Mondays & Fridays are my days off from running. Whoo!!
Edited to include run details:
Apparently in my half asleep post run state I forgot to include details of my run, so here they are. 3 miles in 28:05 for an avg. pace of 9:23.
1. 9:36
2. 9:28
3. 9:01

Monday, June 1, 2009

May Wrap-Up and a Hilly Long(ish) Run

I really wanted to skip my long run this week.  I had waaaaaay too much fun at an awesome wedding Saturday night, and I was paying for it most of Sunday.  At about 6pm, I decided that we should make dinner asap so it would be settled in my tummy and allow me to go run before it was too late.  We were going to make chicken on the grill, and Taylor yelled for me to come outside--there was a bird's nest on shelf next to the grill outside.  We joked that it was probably the annoying ass bird that wakes me up every morning at 4:30am reproducing.  I transported the nest and eggs to a more secure location.  Then, I noticed a piece of straw coming out of the grill.  I open it to find it FULL OF A ROBIN'S NEST.  Like full, full.

(The other nest was located just to the right of the grill on the attachment.)

An hour and a half later (and a lot of work later), we finally had it clean, of course that meant I didn't eat until 7:30pm.  It usually takes me a good 3 hours or so to digest food, so I was annoyed.  Of course it was storming, so it was much darker at 9:30pm than it should be, and I decided it would not be smart or safe to run on the bike trails, so I set out to run a very hilly route towards my old college.  It was lightning off in the distance when I started (I'm ridiculously frightened of lightning) so I spent the first 2 miles counting the time between the lightning and the thunder, ready to turn around if it got remotely close.  It didn't so I ran on.

Because of the insane hills, it was a pretty tough run, even though it was only a sixer.  The first two and last two (since I ran an out and back route) were craziness, and the middle two were somewhat hilly, but seemed pancake flat in comparison.  I haven't ran a lot of straight hill workouts, so it was good to incorporate a long(ish) run with some hills.  And my legs feels it today.  Wowsers.  I finished in 58:07 for a pace of 9:42.  Whoops.  
1. 9:46 
2. 9:56 
3. 9:47 
4. 9:41 
5. 9:55 
6. 9:00
I'm sooooo glad I made myself go run.  It's so true that even if you don't feel like running, 9 times out of 10, once you get out there, you're glad you did.  I have to remember that next time I feel like ditching out.

Another reason I'm glad I made myself go, is that I was sooooo close to beating my mileage for April, and have a goal to increase my mileage every month until the Green Bay Marathon next May.  Which brings me to my May In Review :)

Total Miles: 74.3 miles (over 71 from last month, ha)
Highest Weekly: 24.1 miles
Average Weekly: 16.51 miles
Average Run Distance:  3.91 miles
Favorite Run:  Either my kick ass interval workout or my run with Tay.  <3>
Best (again only) Race:  Avera Breast Cancer 5k PR 24:18 a 1:09 PR from April's best race.