Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Final 20 Mile Run

This weekend I had my final 20 miler on the schedule.  Unfortunately for me, I had to work until 1pm on Saturday.  Extra unfortunate for me was the forecasted weather for Saturday and Sunday.  The weather report showed roughly the same crappiness level of weather for both days, so I opted for Saturday to be the day so I could hang out with my friends in the evening if I so desired.

While working I ate a burrito at about 10:30am to make sure that I would have some fuel in my belly once the time to run came around.  Yes I got strange looks for eating lunch at 10:30...no prob.  Once 1 o'clock hit I flew out of the office.  The forecast was calling for thunderstorms in the afternoon and goal A was to get home before being struck by lightning.  Random fact:  I am deathly afraid of lightning.  As in, I'll start crying if I'm stuck outside during it.  Yeah.

I decided to do a 4 mile loop around my apartment and then to hit the trail for an 8 mile out and back (the same one I do on 95% of my long runs, and the one I did for last weekend's 16).  I didn't know this at the time, but this would be the best decision of the day on my part.

As soon as I stepped outside the wind caused my hair to whip into my face.  Awesome.  I turned back around to see what the wind was at 20-25 mph wind gusts.  Excellent.  The first 4 miles were very hilly, but actually worked out pretty swell.  For all of the uphills, I had the wind at my back.  For all the downhills I was running in to the wind.  It actually worked out just great.
1. 9:15
2. 9:16
3. 9:20
4. 9:22 

At mile 4 I was happy to be back at my apartment because the sun was out in full force.  As obnoxious as I look wearing my ginormo sunglasses, it's 1000x better than wrinkles from being all squinty faced for 3 hours.  I also grabbed a sip of water because I was thirsty.  This was my first long run that I left my handheld water bottle at home for, since the water fountains have been turned on.

I knew that once I rounded back to my apartment I would begin the most difficult 8 miles of the run, because they would be 98% into the wind.  I tried to keep a steady pace and to not push too much running into the wind.  I figured my pace would counteract with the remaining 8 miles with the wind at my back.  I took my first Gu at 6 miles.  The best part of tacking on 4 miles before my normal long run route, was that I was super excited every time a new mile ticked off and it was +4 miles from what I thought it should be.
5. 9:30
6. 9:36
7. 9:32
8. 9:17 

Luckily the next four miles the wind was just hitting me from the side so it didn't interfere with my pace too much.  At this point I thought I was literally running in to the end of the world.  It was fluffy clouds and sunshine above me, but to the north-north east the sky was ominous and black.  The thunder started rumbling at mile 10 when I was taking my second Gu.  I thought, "oh great.  I still have 2 more miles running AWAY from home before I can even head back...."  I figured if I had to outrun a storm it would only serve to help me run faster. ;)  During these miles I started to get pretty warm.  During this four mile stretch there isn't much shade, so the sun was really beating down on me.  I also wished I had my handheld to wet my whistle with.
9. 9:20
10. 9:17
11. 9:21
12. 9:22 

This section was probably my least favorite because I was just hot and thirsty.  Again this was the "back" portion of the area with no shade, and since the wind was at my back instead of my face, I was sweltering.  I opted to wait for mile 15 to take my last Gu, but suddenly mile 15 appeared and the fountain I was looking for wasn't there.  If you want to know what I look like when I'm pissed, go back in time and check out my face at this point.  So.Not.Happy.  I knew the next fountain was a mile and a half away, but that seemed like forever.
13. 9:20
14. 9:16
15. 9:26
16. 9:17 

When I finally got to the fountain, I drank and drank and drank some more.  I may have also poured handfuls of water over my head, neck, and back in an attempt to cool myself off.  P.S.  Salt laden sweat in the eyeballs HURTS.  I definitely took more time Guing/hydrating than I typically do, so my hips were so sore when I got going again.  I was definitely putzing/limping along for the next 1/4 to 1/2 of a mile before my legs got their normal gait back.  Geez.  Usually I start my "kick" to the end around the 5k point.  Ya, apparently my legs weren't feeling it....maybe at 2 miles out.  Nope.  Guess we'll just do a strong finishing mile.  Well of course I had to take the normal 10-15 second walk detour around the major construction on the trail.  At this point my Garmin decides to freak out, so I have to rest it with .88 miles to go.  Stupid watch.  Then while getting off the bike trail and on to the sidewalk, 6 cars drive by so I have to slow way down to let them pass.  Also, I just didn't have a kick left in me.
17. 9:14
18. 9:22
19. 9:22
20. 9:11

I finished the 20 in 3:07:05 for a pace of 9:22.

Since I've been doing this for the past 24 hours, I would like to compare 20 Miler #1 to 20 Miler #2.  Time:  3:07:40 to 3:07:05  Super impressed with how close they are.  Makes me supremely confidant that I can be pretty close to that time pace for the marathon.
Mile Split Range:  8:19 to 9:48 (difference of 1:29) vs. 9:11 to 9:36 (difference of :25).  Very excited about this, and see this as a huge improvement from the last one.  Granted the last one was done on a much hillier route, but I always like to see consistent mile times.  Also excited that only 3 miles were in the 9:30 range on the 2nd one, and those were the 3 directly into the wind.
Temperature:  35* vs. 70*.  Yes it was TWICE as warm on this run.  I hope to hell there isn't a heat wave in Green Bay, because this body does not bode well in the heat.  I was too embarassed to even take pictures of the saltiness this week.  Look at last week's than multiply x 10.  Or 20.  My skin literally felt like I had exfoliating body was on.  Barf.
Aches and Pains:  Very intense pain in the backs of my knees which lasted for a few days post run.  Vs.  Some minor aches in my knees and major tiredness in my hips for the last few miles.  Pain=not my friend. Aches/soreness=whatevs.

And now the ugly portion of the run (I really hope that I don't have any followers that are major foot fetishers :/).

Uh oh! I spy a bloody sock....that can only mean one thing....bloody tootsie.
Close up, because I haven't heard you barfing yet.
The area of my foot that *usually* bleeds.  Now it's just 3" of scar tissue.  Try to penetrate me now dirt/sand/general debris!
Lame-o shot, but this one did bleed.  Pussy....  And you can see my post-run pizza box in the background.  MMMMMM.

Nasty blood/? blister.  When I popped it, the contents were the color of gravy/grape jam.  Now you've thrown up in your mouth, yes?

I survived the meat and potatoes (or in my case the pizza and the ice cream) of MARATHON TRAINING Here's hoping I can survive the taper!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Garmin!

It was one year ago that I set out to run a 5k PR.  But this wasn't an ordinary 5k PR, this was the 5k PR that would justify my GARMIN purchase.  I had shattered a previous PR by almost a minute 4-6 weeks previously and didn't know if it was possible.  Especially because I pulled/strained an ab muscle during previous 5k PR.  During the race, I was in pain 85% of the time.  Anytime I wasn't running uphill I hurt (recap here).  When I crossed the finish line I was so disappointed that my hardwork hadn't translated to a great run because of my strained ab muscle.  But wait!  According to my cheap-o Walmart watch, I actually did PR by 21 seconds!!

Post-race Taylor and I trekked to the 'bou for my celebratory post race latte, and then he started driving towards the running store. 
J:  What are you doing!?!?!? 
T:  Well I figured you'd want to get your stupid watch right now.

Unfortunately the only watch they had in stock was the ugly black man watch.  Ya'll know how much I luuuuurve green, but I was unwilling to wait another 2 weeks for a watch to be shipped to me, so ugly black man watch it is!  And from the minute he went on my left wrist it was love.  I love him so much that it looks like I'm wearing a pale flesh colored version of him at all times.  Heck ya tan lines.

Happy birthday Garmin the Martian (yes that was/is his name that I stopped referring to him as roughly 363 days ago)!!  You have lead me to many PRs over the last year (7 for 8....not bad) and have been the shining beacon (other than my legs obvs) during my first attempt at marathon training.  GtM I think I love you.  (And in case you were wondering, I plan to hyphenate our last names when we get hitched Jeri Lee _______-the-Martian....has a great ring to it, no?)

*And yes, I through my Garmin a super girly Barbie themed birthday party.  Don't judge.

Check out Erica's giveaway!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hometown 5k and 9 miles + 9 miles

The other day I logged in to facebook to see I had an event invitation......oooh what could this be?  Turns out my hometown is hosting a 5k run and 1 mile walk over the 4th of July weekend for their 125th celebration.  I had previously decided I wasn't heading home for the 125th shenanigans, but now that they've thrown in a race, I'm in!  See how easy that is to get me home friends and family?  Put on a 5k.  Now you all know.  :p  Of course I snooped on the race competition a little.  Should be a darn good time.

I've never done a legit hometown race, as the last one that was held in my town was for the Centennial, and if you do the math, I was...well...one.  I mean, check out the sweet logo, it has a farm in the background for goodness sakes.  I've already decided that if Nick won't attend with me, I'll ask his dad to come.  His dad was a proud Wakondian as well.  Three cheers for that.

When I brought up my trusty race spreadsheet to add this gem aboard, I realized that this would race would have me racing 6 consecutive weekends this summer..... hmmm... overkill?  Naw...perfection. :)  In the great Midwest we don't get the pleasure of racing year round, so I really have to concentrate my efforts to the summer months.  Which I don't mind at all.  :)

Last night I had a tough 9 miler with 7 miles @ tempo pace of 8:39.  For some reason I get really worked up over tempo runs.  I never think I can hit the pace for as long as I need to.  Running is so much of a mental sport isn't it?  I wrote the 8:39 on my hand as a reminder of my pace and I took off.

It.Was.Warm.  But in a good way.  It was in the 70s, yet there were people in long sleeves and pants...uhh...wtf?  My legs hurt.  My calves were tight and my quads felt shredded and I could not find the tempo pace.  Every time I looked at my Garmin it was showing my pace ~7:30-7:50, so then I'd slow down a bit and be in the 9:30 range.  Somehow those first two tempo miles still came in close to my pace.

I stopped at a water fountain to take in some H2O (yay for water fountains being on!!) and took a second to stretch on the calves and quads.  Wow did this make a world of difference, maybe they just needed to run out all the junk that have been in them since Saturdays run, but they felt great.  Suddenly my "easy/strong" pace was right in the 8:35 range.  After this point the run was just fun.

Bug count:  I managed to swallow two bugs *simultaneously*.  I'm as impressed as you are.  As one flew in and I tried to close the throat a second one followed suit.  Blech.  Also, I managed to get something moth-like with much larger (and much more noticeable on the tongue) wings.  Double blech.

With my final cooldown lap to go, I was walking through the "detour" area of the trail.  (This detour is completely made by runners/bikers, and really it's just a very small path through some thin trees.  I always walk because I'm not able to lose an eyeball to a tree branch gouging.)  As I was walking, a biker came up behind me and asked if this was the trail.  And then I realized it was a guy I went to college with that is verrrrrry attractive.  We chatted for a minute or two and then went on our way.  Of course when I got home, I realized I had 10-15 dead gnats stuck to my neck/chest.  Classy Jeri.  Soooo classy.

I did the 9 miles in 1:18:26 for a pace of 8:43.  My tempo pace was 8:31.

1. 9:33
2. 8:33
3. 8:40
4. 8:32
5. 8:34
6. 8:34
7. 8:36
8. 8:10
9. 9:10

When I got home I was shocked to discover I wasn't craving ice cream.  I immediately took my temperature.  Jk.  I actually had normal food, it was really earth shattering.

This morning I rolled out of bed early to get my 9 mile easy run done so my legs would have ample time to recover before the LAST 20 MILER OF MARATHON TRAINING to be completed on Saturday.  I made sure to take the run easy, but was very surprised at how good my legs felt after a tough tempo run 12 hours prior.  

Not much occurred on this run, other than the fact that I was scared I would get yelled at by the construction workers for running through the area that was clearly marked with "Bike trail CLOSED!  Jeri this means you!" signs.  I don't have any problem running through there any other time because it's always after they've left for the day, but I could totally see them getting upset (and rightly so) when they're in there with machinery/tractors/etc.  Luckily they were working on the other side so I didn't encounter any danger or yelling.  Phew.

I did 9 miles in 1:25:09 for a pace of 9:25.
1. 9:34
2. 9:28
3. 9:32
4. 9:32
5. 9:29
6. 9:33
7. 9:25
8. 9:14
9. 9:17

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I guess I should buy a lotto ticket

Saturday night I headed out for my very first roller derby experience.  Random note:  I was going to try out for the local roller derby team about two years ago.  Had contacted the captains, priced skates, pads, etc. and then I found out the mandatory orientation/newbie meeting was when I was to be in Portland visting my BFFF.  I was sooooo bummed.  Luckily I got back in to running about 6 months later.  :)

Friday I won tickets to the Roller Dollz double header bout for Saturday night and I was so excited to go.  During the warm up, I started to get "the itch" again.....uh oh... I wanna be a roller doll!  Oh well, running first.  I've already decided that if I ever retire from running, I will hang up my running shoes for some skates.  The bouts were so much fun.  And intense.

Sunday I had an easy 5 miler to attend to.  My legs were sooooo not excited about this run.  I've never felt like I've "waddled" so much during a run.  Wowsers.  I putzed along and was just genuinely happy when the miles were over.  I did the 5 miles in 48:16 for an average pace of 9:40.  This run also put my weekly mileage at another new PR with 43.  Heck ya!  No wonder I've been eating like a horse.  (Wait...do horses eat ice cream?  :P)

Monday I had an easy 9 miler to take care of after work.  Before heading out, I read a couple of blogs.  I found out I won Erica's Pop Chip giveaway and was super excited, and tweeted that I should buy a lottery ticket.  When I got back Sam (P.S. I swear Sam is my office hubby's real-life gf.  She looks sooo much like her!) had responded that I sure as heck better because I ALSO won Bobbi's summer dress giveaway.  Now if you're keeping track this is 3 sweet prizes that I have won in 4 days!!  Craziness.  When I won the roller derby tickets on Friday I was ecstatic and telling all of my co-workers that I never win anything.  Um...not true anymore.  :)

Oh yeah, the run.  It wasn't very fun.  My legs were still very very fatigued/sore/you name it, they weren't loving it.  Within 2 miles in, I made a deal with them that if they could survive the run (at whatever pace they deemed necessary) we'd take Tuesday off.  They must've listened because other than the first 2 miles the rest of the run wasn't all that bad.

One part I didn't enjoy.  The bugs!  Apparently it's spring time here.  Yuck.  During the run, I had a gnat lodge itself in my eye (to stay there until I got home), roughly 10 gnats inhaled, only 4-5 were coughed up, spit out, the rest RIP, and many others snorted up my sniffling nose.  When I got home, I noticed I had a dead gnat stuck in between my front teeth.  GROSS.  I seriously almost threw up.  Also, made me pose a question, "If I were still a vegetarian, would I could this as failing?"  Vegheads?  What are your thoughts on when you inhale bugs?

I did the 9 miles in 1:25:28 for a pace of 9:30.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Love 16 Miles

After a pleasant evening in being a Twihard and culinary goddess, I was more than ready for my 16 miler.  I woke up incredibly early to eat a breakfast that would hold me over and then...just...chilled.  It was a brisk morning out, and I was determined to wait until the weather was to my liking.  Not like I had big Saturday plans anyway. :p  But seriously.....

Finally 11:30am hit and I was out the door in *literally* the most beautiful weather evah.  Low to mid 50's.  Sunny but cool and slightly breezy but not windy.  Pure bliss.  Since I've been focusing on my pace more than I would like to during my LRs I decided I would let this one be whatever my legs wanted it to be.  No pushing.  No reigning.  Just finding out what my comfortable 16 mile pace is.

The first few miles were...uh....fast.  I figured the worst that would happen is that I would crash and burn the latter half of the run, which is fine.  Only a 16 miler, right?  I took a GU at 3.5 miles and realized around this point that the water fountains were turned on.  HALLELUJAH!  Too bad I didn't know this before I left my place with handheld in...well...my hand...obvs.  I thought about hiding it in a bush/tree, but knew how PISSED I would be if someone jacked it, so I kept holding on to it.  I also took drags out of it ~every mile vs. gulp fulls every 3-4 miles like normal.  That was nice knowing I didn't have to ration my water.

1. 9:23
2. 9:13
3. 9:17
4. 9:13

Around the 6 mile point I saw what appeared to be a large festival of sorts.  At first I thought, oooh!  A race.  But then I saw a dock in the river...with no boats.  And kids dressed up like cavemen.  I still have no idea what was going on down there, but it sure was entertaining.  At mile 8 ish I stopped to refill my water and use the facilities at a cafe at the Falls.  I also took my 2nd and last GU.

5. 9:19
6. 9:24
7. 9:17
8. 9:13

I really don't remember too terribly much about the run, to be honest.  It was one of those runs where you're in such a zone mentally that the minutes and miles are passing by without much thought from you.  I did do a lot of race goal planning complete with pace times and what they computed out to in finish times.  What can I say?  Math keeps my mind occupied.  Also, mile 9 was uphill and it wasn't fun.

9. 9:26
10. 9:15
11. 9:15
12. 9:14

The last 4 miles were uh...fast....as well.  I kept thinking to myself, wow, if my legs feel like this on race day I will be so. stinkin'. happy.  I think I will shoot for a 9:10-9:20 pace for the first 20 miles and then if I have something (dear God please ANYTHING) left in the tank for the last 10k I'll see if I can pick up the pace at all.  This distance is just mind boggling to me, because I typically only race 5ks and half marathons.  5k = run as fast as you can for 22-25 minutes.  Half marathon = run hard for 10 miles than run as fast as you can for 25 minutes.  Marathon = don't die.  Have fun strategizing that one.  I guess you just don't know how your body is going to respond, especially on your first one.  Definitely fun to imagine it on your LRs though.

13. 9:09
14. 9:20
15. 9:17
16. 8:26

I finished the 16 miles in 2:27:48 for a pace of 9:15.  Yeah, 16 miles is *easily* my new fave long run distance.  Enough to kick some butt, but doesn't psych me out mentally.  Conveniently my other fave training run distance is 10 miles.  I won't be running a marathon in less than a month (EEK!) I'll be rocking a 16 miler and a 10 miler.  And perhaps tack on a little .2 just for s&g.

When I got home I was shocked at how salty I was.  I will be honest (and have been many times before) I am a sweaty sweaty girl.  Sweat is sexy, whatever.  I am also a very salty runner.  Case in point, when I first started running, could not understand why I would crave dominoes cheesy bread, green olives, tortilla chips, etc. the Mondays after my LRs.  Well now looking back on that, uh duh.  Whenever I'm done running I always wash my face before I stretch because it hurts from all the salt built up on it.  Usually, however, I can only feel it's crusty awesomeness, but Saturday, I could see it in all its glory.  Of course I decided to document this for you all to be disgusted by as well.

Also, I just recently realized (like Saturday) that I have a very pointy nose.  Please no mean comments. :(
Be impressed, unlike my face which is sooooo over the salt. :p
And apparently the flash is too potent for you to see the salt patches on my neck, but they're pretty nast there as well.
Also wanted to show you how I've even managed to get little tan lines from the slats (slats?) of my Garmin.  That's impressive kids.  [Also check out my sweet ink!]
And the obligatory post LR garmin tan line shot with Polly Sunshine as a backdrop.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sometimes you just need to eat ice cream

Thursday I had big plans to get up early to head home from Nick's to get in part of my 10 mile run before work.  Ha. Ya right.  I barely made it home with enough time to shower and get ready for work.  No problem, I would run after work and then run the remaining few miles Friday.  When I got home from work at 8, all I wanted to do was put on sweatpants and eat ice cream.

I did not want to run.  At all.  I turned to twitter, and asked for permission to skip my run.  And it twas granted.  That's twitter loves.  I decided I would give myself the night off in exchange for 5 miles Friday and 5 miles Sunday to make up the mileage.  Now I hate running the day before long runs, and I don't enjoy running the day after long runs either, so the fact that this agreement sounded much better than going for a run just proved that I truly needed the night off.

Luckily the weather was gorgeous after work and I couldn't WAIT to go for an easy 5 miler.  While digging through my t-shirt drawer for a shirt to wear, I found this gem that I had totally forgotten about.
This is my "WTF?? How could I have forgotten about this super awesome running shirt" face.  (Also, ignore the fact that I use that chair as a place to drape clean clothes over, I'm messy.)

And this is my "Channeling my nephew H-bomb's Fonzie thumbs up impression with excitement over refound sweet running shirt."  Copywrited.  Boom.

Post photo shoot, I actually decided to run.  While I was running, I realized that this was my first run under 6 miles that I've done in a long long long time.  For the record it was March 18th, when I ran 5.75 miles.  The run was great and seemed to fly by.

I did the 5 miles in 47:00 for a pace of 9:24.
1. 9:28
2. 9:24
3. 9:24
4. 9:22
5. 9:18

Being the math nerd I used to be am I was very excited that the mean, median, and mode of my splits were all 9:24.  Somehow I feel like that should be significant.  Moving on....

When I got home, I decided to whip up some culinary awesomeness for my long run fuel.  When I was visiting one of my BFFFs out in Portland a few summers back, she introduced me to Hot Lips pizza, which is literally the most delicious pizza I have ever eaten, and let's be honest, I love me some pizza.  I might even go so far as calling myself a pizza connoisseur. <---what a difficult word to spell btw.  The pizza that I haven't been able to stop thinking about since June 2008 was this asparagus/garlic number.  Since I had these key ingredients on hand I decided to whip it up.


Once my belly was good and fed I settled in to enjoy my replacement boyfriend for the weekend.  The good news is, Taylor Lautner is still a sexy beast, like whoa.  Mmm mmmm good.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wind is a Swear Word in my Book

Terribly sorry for my lack of posts this week.  I've been doing the runnin' but none of the writin'.  I think I'm to that point of MARATHON TRAINING where I run, sleep, eat, and repeat.  With some serious slackatude to the bloggy blog.

Also our weather has just been attrocious.  Wind wind wind.  When I was younger (and very tiny) my dad used to tell me to put rocks in my pockets to keep from blowing away on the way to school, at track meets, going outside to play.  Well this week I'm half tempted to take his advice, geez Louise!

Monday I had an easy 10 mile on the schedule, and really, I just had to laugh.  Since when is a double digit run an easy run?  This should get to count on my long run section of my spiffy graph I like to create, right? (Sidenote: I just spelled graph "graf", my bwain is bwoken.)  Office hubby and I were a-bitchin' about the wind before leaving work, as he was getting ready to do a 7 miler.  We said our goodbyes and hoped to not blow away.

I started the run into the wind, per brilliant Glenn's suggestion (ok to be honest, this was merely coincidental that I ran into the wind to start, b/c running from any other direction from my apartment is MAJOR hills, which is a no go for Jerbear).  I swear to god there were moments that I was running at a standstill.  The American flags along the route looked like they were going to whip right off the flag poles.  Luckily, I really wanted to keep this run in the easy peasy pace category, because my legs were still tight from Saturday's 18 miler.

I was beyond excited to hit my halfway mark, because it meant that I would get to enjoy the wind.  Wheeeeee.  I jumped HIGH into the air, and was carried quickly and effortlessly back to my apartment by the wind.  No rocks here!  When I checked the weather report when I got home the winds were in the mid-20s with gusts up to 45.  NBD.

I did 10 miles in 1:36:08 for a pace of 9:37.
1. 9:34

2. 9:51
3. 9:43
4. 9:45
5. 9:42
6. 9:34
7. 9:32
8. 9:28
9. 9:27
10. 9:28

On the drive home from work on Tuesday I was smacked in the face with the worst headache ever.  Apparently all this wind is stirring up the pollen and depositing it in my nasal cavities.  Thanks!  I closed my eyes because my brain was throbbing, and before I knew it 2 hours had passed.  I popped some Ibuprofen and headed to the gym for my speed session.  Somehow the winds were even worse on Tuesday (gusts of 50-60 mph, you've gotta be joking me, right?)

I hit the treadmill to do my speed workout of 4 x 1600 m. @ 7:52 pace with 800 meter jogs in between.  I was also supposed to do a warm up and cool down mile with an additional 800 meter jog to total 9 miles, but with my brain swollen to the size of Mt. Rushmore (or so it felt) I said naaaaaaw.

This workout made me want to race in a bad bad way.  Screw this MARATHON TRAINING I want to go FAST!  My legs were definitely burning the last quarter of each mile, but it felt good to work up a hard sweat.  (It goes without saying that I sweated out an Olympic sized pool, no?)  Also, for the 1/2 mile jog, I walked for .05 then jogged at 10:00 pace for the .45.

I did 7 miles in 1:03:07, but more importantly, held an avg. pace of 7:44 for my 4 mile times.

Warm Up1 Mi9:409:409:40  
Interval1 Mi7:3817:187:38  
Recovery0.5 Mi5:3622:5411:12   
Interval1 Mi7:4430:387:44   
Recovery0.5 Mi5:3436:1211:08   
Interval1 Mi7:4844:007:48   
Recovery0.5 Mi5:5049:5011:40   
Interval1 Mi7:4857:387:48   
Recovery0.5 Mi5:251:03:0310:50   

I got to spend Wednesday night with N, and apparently it's been awhile since I've been to Minnesnowta.  Dude, there's no more snow!  When did that happen!?!?!?  There's weird green stuff on the ground.  Totally through me for a loop.  Also, I've never done the drive to his place during daylight, it usually is dark as I was leaving work.  It's a pretty entertaining drive.  I saw a miniature pony farm, what appeared to be a collection of windmills (ha! go figure, theme of the week=wind!) and many many windtowers.  Windtowers are kind of HUGE, how did I not see these before??

I also watched my first episode of American Idol and only wanted to slit my wrists 2 1/2 times.  Luckily N kept me entertained (and back from the ledge of jumping) with sweet Michael Jackson dance moves during commercials (the kid cracks me up...seriously...).

As I tweeted about earlier, I'm looking for suggestions on how to get him to attend my marathon.  I've brought it up a few times (probably 1,000) but have yet to push him for an answer (because the guy can't decide ANYTHING in advance, yes it's highly annoying as I plan everything to a T.  You've seen the spreadsheets!).  If you have any advice, or suggestions, I am all ears.  As of right now, I have a "sales pitch" of sorts that I'm working on.  He's out of town enjoying some Twins baseball games so I'm tempted to pitch it to him while he's happily drunk.  Jk.  Kind of.

Check out Leslie's sweet giveaway NOW!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Is redemption supposed to feel this....painful?

Thanks for all of your awesome responses to my grad school excitement.  If anyone happens to know anyone through a friend of a friend's pal's uncle's estranged best friend that completed a Masters in Library Science online, hook a sista up!  I have a thousand questions. :)  And I also think it's funny that most people had mucho love for University of Washington because that's my #1 choice (thus far) as well.  Whoot whoot!  Plus it also happens to be one of the schools my BFFF Megan is looking to go to (but actually be there, not online).  All the more reason to visit, yes? :)

Thursday I had an easy 7 miler to take on.  With insanely sore shoulders from yoga, I headed out at a very slow and relaxed pace.  Each time G-man beeped at me it was muuuuch faster than I thought I was going, so I pushed the pace to an even slower pace.  Nada, didn't work. Ran consistently faster than I should've and felt great about it.  Whatevs, right? :)  I did 7 in 1:04:47 for a pace of 9:16.

Friday night I got in some ab work while waiting for the loverboy to arrive.  We dined and watched Up in the Air, which I looooooooooved.  Oh man.  I thought it was really good.  Also, loverboy is still ridiculously cute in case you were curious.  I gave him the coolest/weirdest/sweetest gift ever, which I may have to blog about at a future date....perhaps tomorrow.  Please remind me. :)

Saturday I was ready for redemption in the form of an 18 miler.  As you may remember from my previous 18 miler (let's be honest, you don't remember.  Why would you unless you're a) me or b) a stalker?  Since you are not a) me, and I hope to God you're not b) a stalker, than you wouldn't remember so click on the previous linky link to refresh your bwains [part of TEAM GREEN has difficulty saying his R's and refers to the brain as a bwain which just cracks me up] speaking of crack, hey-o Jerbear...you've derailed).

Anyway, nuts and bolts of the redemption, I have had one LR thus far in MARATHON TRAINING that has been less than stellar and it's been the 18-er.  I had blood on my mind and Gu in my pockets as I headed out for 18 miler: Take 2.  It was in the mid-upper 50s when I started out, and I was sporting the sexay watermelon runner version of Jerbear.  Something about that pink top makes me so stinkin' happy prancing around out there. 

The first few miles really flew by.  There were a ton of people out biking/walking/running and my legs felt awesome.  I did see a dude rollerblading in full length spandex tights.  Note to dude: if you must wear tights because you're cold (??) feel free to wear shorts or something over the tights, that's *sorta* distracting to see your junk on display, especially b/c you're at least 9 feet tall and it's right at eye level for shrimpy Jerbear.

1. 9:16

2. 9:28
3. 9:17
4. 9:26

I took my first Gu at about 4 1/2 miles and realized that my handheld (12 oz.) was almost half gone.  Uh.  Sweet portion control.  Luckily for me, I remembered that there was a cafe at the turn around point that I could duck into and refill.  Yay for hydration!  At this point I was chasing down some lady, which took my mind off of running.  Unfortunately she turned around before I could catch her, poop nuggets, but thanks for the entertainment lady!  My miles were still ticking off much quicker than I had intended, but without a whole lot of extra energy from me.  Yippee.
5. 9:27

6. 9:14
7. 9:19
8. 9:16
9. 9:34

I grabbed some water just shy of the 9 mile marker along with another Gu and hightailed it up a hill...that sucked.  Hence the time.  Stupid hill.  At the halfway point my time was 1:24:30.  I always like to note this to attempt to negative split that puppy.  Apparently during this next section my brain (or bwain) went out the window as I started seeing super happy families and little kiddos out having fun with their parents.  Didn't realize I had a biological clock, but at that moment I wanted, neigh, needed a hubby, 2.5 kids, and a golden retriever with a white picket fence.  Holy cow.  Luckily this mental lapse in judgment has since passed (for the most part).
10. 9:22

11. 9:20
12. 9:17
13. 9:19
14. 9:19

When I took my last Gu at 13.5 miles I realized, uh oh! I was out of water....and I still had 4 1/2 miles to go.  [Insert oh @#$(@$% here please.]  Also, this is the majority of the run that isn't done under tree coverage so I was just out there under the hot sun.  (Wasn't she just complaining about freezing weather and snow?  Yes..yes she was.)  The salt build up on my face was horrendous.  I just kept counting down the miles to being done.  I was also keeping myself busy by figuring out some potential goal times/finishing times for the MARATHON based on the 9:20ish pace my body seems to be comfortable with lately.  Math helps the miles fly by.  Also, since I took a slightly different route home (only the last 2 miles adding on an extra mile due to construction) my normal mental mile markers were all off.  Where I KNOW I should have 3 miles left aka kick time, I actually had 4 miles left.  Honestly, that was brutal and messed with my confidence a bit.  Grrr.
15. 9:30

16. 9:25

With 2 miles to go, I was stopped at a busy intersection waiting for a walk signal.  Um....stopping with 2 miles to go = worst idea EVER.  I was so thirsty and just wanted to be done.  I started up again and had to take a mini break with about a mile left to go.  I was borderline seeing stars... not fun.  Instead of my usual BTTW 5k finish, instead I was content with surviving it.

17. 9:21
18. 9:15

I finished the 18 miles in 2:48:33 for a pace of 9:22 (last 9 were 27 seconds quicker than the first 9, A+ for consistency).  Compared to the last 18 miler, I was about 5 minutes faster.  And other than the last 2 miles, I felt greeeeeeeeeeat.  As long as the marathon course doesn't run out of water, I should be ok, right? (Omg, don't even joke about that Jeri!)

I finished the week with my first 40 mile week, with 41 on the board.  Whoo whoo!  With only 4 running days/week, I'm pretty darn proud of myself.
Let's play a game called "Can you tell where I wear my running watch?"  The fact it is noticable at the beginning of April does not bode well for the actual summer months.

Also, who needs compression socks?  My VS mukluks do just the trick.  Just kidding, they don't at all.  But post ice bath and shower my feet were STILL freezing, so I had to go with it.  Also, please notice I'm wearing different tempo shorts post-run.  You mean you don't change out of one pair of running shorts to be replaced by a different colored pair of the same ones?  You are a fool. :P  (Also, super awkward angle taken to accentuate the above knee fat.  Oh wells.... :D)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jeri the Yogi

Tonight I "did it."  Eeew.....not that "it", what are you a junior high girl?!?!  (Btw, while rereading my diaries this weekend, totally referred to "it" as "it"when referencing "it" following me?  The fact that I wasn't able to call it anything other than "it" was probably a good indicator that I was smart for not actually doing "it."  But I digress.)  I finally attended a yoga class!!!!

I've been doing yoga off of Fit TV, and on video podcasts from iTunes for the past 4 years, but I've been too big of a chicken to actually go to a class....for the past 4 years.  In my town, we have a first Friday celebration, where a lot of places downtown will hold specials/events/etc. the first Friday of each month. There is a yoga studio in town that offers free classes on the first Friday.  Yet still I've been too big of a wuss to go.  After wussing out yet again last Friday, I decided I would go no matter what this week.

I checked out another studio in town that offered your first class fo FREE.  Hahah, I just really like to say fo FREE (part of the sweet secret language that the office hubby and I have developed).  Anyway, after trying to get anyone and everyone to go with me, because again, I'm a freakin' wuss, I finally ended up there on my own....sweating bullets before it even started (literally...I was pitting out sitting at my desk the last 30 minutes of work...lame sauce).

The class was super small (4 students) and the instructor chatted up myself and another girl who was new to the studio.  When I told her I had never been to a class before, she basically said this would be the last class she would recommend for someone's first.....excellent.  At this point I expected to do crow's pose for the full 60 minutes (I have it mastered for roughly 15 seconds at a time, which is a vast improvement for me!).  She got started, and it was actually great.  She corrected me in a couple of poses, which I was grateful for--the worst part of practicing by yourself is you never know what you're doing wrong/right!  Apparently I hold my shoulders very high, which I actually find myself doing all the time, not just during yoga, and it's why I have such tense shoulders and get such bad headaches, good to know!

There were some times were I was tired and shaky, but overall the class was really really great.  I guess I was confused as to why she thought this would be a bad first class to take?  Hmm...oh well.  The great thing is the prices for class are crazy reasonable $6 for drop ins, or you can purchase a punch card for 12 classes for $60.  Doesn't get much better than that.  I think it'll give me something to look forward to during the week other than running, and it'll be nice to have someone else kicking my butt instead of me doing it all the time.

The other day I was updating my race spreadsheet (yes, as noted previously, I love me a good spreadsheet).  I list all races that I'm interested in doing along with date/time/fee/location/date of cheap fee/etc.  I always pay for a race on the last day of the cheap/early bird deadline, because I am cheap.  I was scanning the spreadsheet to see what races would need to be paid for the in the next couple of months (see that, planning and budgeting AHEAD, you'd think I was a credit counselor or something :p).  What the heck?  Vegas RnR cheap-o deadline is May 1st???  Uh...is it just me or does it seem a bit premature to register for marathon #2 before even toeing the line for marathon #1??  Based on MARATHON TRAINING so far, I really want to do another one, but I know the actual marathon could be a whole other ballgame.  Thoughts???

(Also, I tend to have 900 windows open at all times.  Multi-tasker is an understatement.)

And in random office hubby story news:

I went home for Easter, and while we were eating dinner, I started telling a work related story and mentioned "my co-worker."  Immediately my mother chimes in asking if I'm referring to Tom.  She then precedes to say how cute he is, which means my mother is a) stalking my blog (hi mom!) or b) stalking my work Facebook fan page (as there are pictures of all of our staff on there).  She then wants to know if he's single.  Hi, mother.  Remember that one guy that I'm dating?  I don't think he'd be too happy if he knew you were trying to work your magic with my office husband.  :P  Needless to say, she was pretty bummed he was taken (for me, not herself; in case that wasn't clear :p).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jeri the MASTER

I knew early in the week, that today's run was going to get stuck on the treadmill.  Thunderstorms etc. are just not ideal for Jerbear to run in.  When I checked the weather report this afternoon to find 30-45 mph winds, that further solidified the deal.  Gym bound am I.  I had 6 easy miles to take care of and thought I would get some good magazine reading in.

Unfortunately, the magazines were the type with super stiff bindings to them that would not lay flat on the monitor for my reading pleasure.  That coupled with the fact that I was dying of heat stroke (aka sweating like a banchee) made for a not so fun run.  It could've been much much worse, but give me the great outdoors (in great weather conditions, mind you) over the treadmill any day (except when the conditions are not great, as previously mentioned :p).  To keep myself from going completely looney tunes, I bumped up the speed on the final mile to help the time pass.  Seriously, it is such a good thing that I'm not trying to be that cutesy girl picking up guys at the gym, because I looked rugged after a run.  No one should sweat that much during an "easy paced" run.  Also, can we discuss how super painful sweat in the eyeball is?  Um...yeouch.

I did 6 miles in 56:51 for a pace of 9:29.  Last mile clocked in at 9:01.

So in somewhat exciting news, I'm contemplating going back to school to get my masters.  Whoot whoot!  For as long as I can remember I've been obsessed with being a librarian.  Growing up, going to the library was the equivalent of getting a "treat" for being good.  I love books.  I love children's books.  To this day if I'm in a crummy mood, I know that a visit to the library will cheer me right up.  I've always had it in the back of my mind that I would work after college at paying down my undergrad debt (oy!) and shoot for 30 to go back to school.

Now I'm concerned that I have no idea where I'll be at in my life at 30, and why wait?  Why not be finishing up at 30?  Right now I have the most free time that I will ever have.  Potentially down the road, I could have a sexy hubby and adorable little bambinos (b/c cute me + sexy hubby would = adorable bambinos, obv).  Other than running and working, I don't have a whole lot on my plate.  Thus the researching started.

Originally I was convinced I should move to Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN and get my Masters in Library Science at St. Kate's.  The fact that I kept putting that idea to the back of my mind had me thinking that maybe wasn't the best solution.  Rent is sooooooo much more expensive there, and I don't want the added stress of finding a new job, getting a new job, training at a new job, moving, blaaaaaaaaaaah on top of a heavy school load.  Then I started looking into online programs that are part-time, and I think we have a winner.  I have a massive spreadsheet with a ridiculous amount of details that I've filled out about every school in the US that has the program online (yes, seriously), and have the search narrowed down to about 5-6 schools.

The schools that I have narrowed it down to are as follows: University of Alabama, Wayne State University (Detroit, MI), North Carolina Central University, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, University of South Carolina, and University of Washington.  Any insight on any of these programs (hear that lib lads and ladisses?) is greatly appreciated.  Also, any insight on online programs in general would be great.  I've never taken online classes, so I'm a bit nervous.  Advice would be appreciated.

So now it's time for me to put my nose in the books to study up for the GRE and spend the next 6 months narrowing down my choices for applications due in the spring for Fall 2011.  Um...heck yes?  And just like that my dream is closer and closer. :)

Check out Beth's sweet giveaway at Shut up and Run.