Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dear Santa Slash Birthday Fairy + Taper MADNESS

Thanksgiving always signals the question.....So what do you want for Christmas and your birthday? (I'm a day after Christmas baby.)  And I always stumble around with a non-answer requesting money, because I'm lame like that.  Except that when I get money I end up putting it away in to my savings account, because I'm even MORE lame like that, and then when I end up using it way down the line for a race fee or clothes I no longer associate it with the giver.  Last year I decided to construct a Christmas Slash Birthday list for those folks that would be interested in it.... except...for the first time ever....  nobody asked.  What the heck??  (For the record:  I did end up buying myself a good chunk of the stuff on last year's list at some point in the year, so it probably evened out. :p)

It was so much fun compiling my wish list, I decided to do it again, even if it's only for the purpose of referencing on my birthday aka shopfest #27.  :)
I'm pretty much obsessed with this stocking hat.  I saw it online from Kohl's for crazy cheap a few months ago, but the shipping was more than the hat.  I just couldn't do it.  Then while Aaron and I were in the Cities for the Pack v. Vikes game I had MAJOR hat envy whenever I saw a chicky with it. :(

During the great HIMYM obsessfest of 2010, I purchased Seasons 3 and 4.  Random, I know.  I think they were crazy on sale?  Anyway, I'm missing 1, 2, and 5 from my collection.  Also Jason Segal is missing from life as my life partner.  So feel free to include him as well Jolly ol' Nick.

I've resigned to the fact that I will allow myself to get a Nook (per your guys' awesome suggestions and input on this post).  Granted, I've settled on the black and white version, but since this is a WISH list, I figured I could get away with the spendy colored version, no?

And why not get a case for the Nook that is almost as expensive as the actual Nook?  Why that's my thoughts exactly!  I have a special place in my heart for Kate Spade, and this quote is sooooooooooo Jerbear:  She kept her nose in a book, and her head in the clouds.  LOVE.

Last year I talked myself out of buying these G.D. Uggs convincing myself that I would be over them by this winter, thus making the price tag not worth it.  Well frugal Jeri, this one backfired on you.  I still covet these immensely.

As of right now this is the one race I am for sure doing in 2011.  And who wouldn't like to have a race fee scratched off their spreadsheet?  Wait...not everyone has a ridiculous race spreadsheet?  That's lame as well.  :)

I'm pretty much obsessed with everything that Nan Lawson creates.  At any moment in time I would be ecstatic with 20 different prints in her etsy shop.  Edited to add:  After creating this post, I ended up buying the two book nerdy prints.  Happy Christmas Slash Birthday to me. :)

I couldn't quite justify the Harry/Hermione/Ron set just yet.  But once I find a wall space they will work on, they are mine!  Oh, I mean... when Santa puts them in my stocking.... yup.  :)

And on to running.  When I was training for the Green Bay marathon I thought I was sooooooooo lucky.  I barely had any taper craziness going on.  My body felt great.  I wasn't that nervous about the race.  I wasn't losing my mind.  I thought I was a taper queen.  This time around, I feel like the taper has chewed me up and spit me out!  I spent week 1 of the taper sick and ran a whole 3-4 miles.  Last week ended with the crappiest of crappy 10 miles where my legs felt like lead.  I've had random knee pain in both knees, prompting me to ponder whether I should get a knee strap for the right (aka good) knee in addition to the one I wear on the left for Vegasssssssssss.  I have something horrendously out of place in my back that is making it difficult for me to breathe while I'm sitting on the couch let alone while I'm sucking wind running on the treadmill (rest assured I finally made a chiro appointment.  yay me!).  Oh and my legs just feel like garbage.

Today it all kind of hit me in the face.  Taper MADness fo sho.  I almost skipped my run this morning, because it seemed like more work to get to the gym to do three miles than it was worth.  Sweet attitude me.  When I got there my legs again felt like garbage.  Sigh.  (In case you are wondering, this is doing nothing for my race day confidence... gaaaaaaaaaaah!)  Luckily after about a minute or two of lead-legs, they got their pep back and the rest of the run was a-ok.  I did 3 miles in 28:28.  Just goes to show that you'll never regret going for a run.  ;)

And now I'm off to find my mind.  I'm sure it's around here somewhere!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Daily Mile Meet Up + Last Long Run

Wednesday night, a group of area Daily Milers met up for some drinks, food, and running gab.  There were a few peeps that I haven't met before, so it was a blast.  Quite jealous of Tom and Sara's new daily mile shirts, I must say.  After polishing off my meal, I managed to eat Tom and Sara's leftovers as well.  I tried to claim I was eating for two:  me + marathon.  :)

John, Karla, Christopher, me, Joseph, Sara, and Tom.

Saturday I had my last long run of MARATHON TRAINING!!!!  I was supposed to do 8 miles, but because I shifted around my schedule earlier in the week, I had decided on 10.  To put it bluntly:  this run sucked!  I had a fun running buddy for the first 5 miles.  I was such a slow poke and I felt like I was running my booty off.  Blech.  At some point I just resigned to the fact that the run was going to be slow and just went with it.  The last 3 miles in to insane winds didn't help.  But, I always believe that a couple of crappy runs just mean that an awesome one is on the horizon.  Long run = crappy run.  Upcoming marathon = stellar.  :)

Also, one cannot complain about running the end of November in shorts and a t-shirt.  INSANE.

I did 9.16 miles (yes, the fact that I didn't end the run at an even 1/4 mile increment tells you how OVER the run I was :p) in 1:30:59 for a pace of 9:55.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Go Pack Go!

The second reason this weekend was so great was the Packers v. Vikes game!!!  I had planned to go to this game since the schedules were released way back when.  I did some work to convince Aaron to attend the game with me.  I was super excited to watch my boys dominate..... and maybe see my ex-boyf Brett as well.  :)

There were so many Packers fans at the game, I was really in heaven.  So many "Go Pack Go" cheers erupting through the crowd, which were actually louder than the "Fire Chilly" cheers later on in the game.

I really feel like I thrive amongst "my people."  You know...the cheeseheads....  good times.

Wednesday I got in a short and easy recovery run on the treadmill.  I took Tuesday off because my IT bands were beyond pissed at me for Monday's tempo run.  I've become a bit of a sadomasochist the past few days with my rolling pin.  Eeeeeeeooowwwwwww.  But in a good way, ya know? :)  I had that random pressure under my right knee cap that I had previously in my left knee before the annoying runner's knee kicked in.  Oh and just in time for the MARATHON.....joy!  I'm still hoping it's just the random taper aches and pains and nothing normal.  I did 3 miles in 29:02.

And in holy crap that's disgusting news:  Monday I was hustling booty after my tempo run to get ready and meet Matt at for some catch up time over drinks and football.  Since I knew I was going to be having some beers, I was trying to rehydrate at mach speed while getting ready.  I love me a good Cool Blue gatorade, and this was no different.  When I got home later that evening, I noticed that there was something floating in my Gatorade that was still one third full.  Upon closure inspection, I realized that there were black mold spores/chunks floating around inside.  Based on the sheer number of mold chunks remaining in the bottle multiplied by the two times the drank amount almost made me lose my $#!t.  SOOOOOO GROOOOOSSSSSSSSS.  But I haven't died yet, so I'll probably be ok.  Blech.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black Friday: Scarves for PRs

As I've posted previously, I am hand crocheting infinity scarves to help fund my racing addiction.  The scarves are normally $30 + $3 shipping and handling.  From November 25th to November 28th I will be running a sale.  My goodness does the Jerbear love a good sale.  ;)  If you purchase a scarf during this time, you can get a second scarf for $10 off.  The scarves are so cute that you can justify buying yourself two (I seriously have at least 6 or 7), but they also make great Christmas gifts!  There are a lot of colors to select from. 

And to thank those of you who have already purchased a scarf, you can get a second scarf for the $10 off deal as well!  Only because I'm super duper thankful that you've helped out my running already yo. ;)

Send me an email jerbearshares [at] gmail [dot] com if you want more information or to discuss your super cute new scarf!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

'arry Pottah + Vegas Marathon

Heyo, remember me?  Apparently I fell off the face of the earth last week.  Ooopsies.  I ended up getting sick last week and was out of commission from work and running.  I attempted a 4 mile run on Friday night in a windy 17 degrees that can only be described as "It felt like someone was cracking me across the face for 40 minutes."  Seriously, it was horrendous.  So week 1 of taper was a mega taper:  4 miles.  Whoo!

I've been looking forward to last weekend for months!  'Arry Pottah!!!!!!  If you may recall from previous posts, I'm a bit of an HP fanatic (HP6 anyone?)  :)  I rounded up my HP6 date and off we went.  Sadly we both thought we were too old to hit up the midnight showing, which after reading my post about the midnight movie of the last one, I'm glad we picked that option.  And Friday was just fine anyway.  I've been hearing that the movie was "the darkest one yet" which I think has been said about every movie, and was concerned that it wouldn't be as good because of it.  OMG it was amazing!  There were just enough light-hearted/humorous/awkward teen love moments to break up the seriousness.  And can I just say that Dobby is quickly becoming my favorite character ever?  He's so precious.... ha.  And could Emma Watson be any more gorgous??  Holy guacamole.

It was back to running this week, since you know... I'm about 12 days out from the MARATHON!!!  I knew it was probably silly to jump back in to a tempo run after taking it easy/partially comatosed (comatic?) last week, but when your body and brain want to do a tempo run, you kind of have to go with it (this is probably time #6 in my life).  Part of the reason may have been that I got my MARATHON!!! outfit in the mail and needed to give it a try.  Yes, ideally this should've been worn on my 22 miler (or at the very least a long run) but it's difficult to do that when my LRs are ran in the tundra and you're racing in a desert (p.s. I just typed dessert, and now I want some....for breakfast) it doesn't really work.

I figured the shirt would be a-ok but the shorts were a bit questionable.  Alyssa loves racing in hers that are similar, and my favorite pair of running shorts are a super old school shorty-short adidas pair that feels like I'm running naked, so I thought I'd give them a try.  I would've much preferred to do this test run outside, but alas, it was in the teens temp wise and I may actually lose my butt cheeks somewhere along town.  The verdict:  Uh yeah.... sorry to all the gym members.  Shorts are a no-go*.  I think they'd be pretty perfect for a 5k where I'm only running for a little bit, but I think I'd get annoyed pulling them back over my butt cheeks for slightly under 4 hours.  :/  One highlight, is that the sweatier I got the more they stayed in place, and we all know it doesn't take too long for me to work up a good sweat.  The good news is that the shirt was fab.u.lous.  It seriously feels like it's made out of baby skin; it's ridiculous soft and light.  And I was drenched in sweat-post run and you couldn't even tell!  Win-WIN-win.  (Ignore the crookedness of the pic.... I used to use my old tv as my self-timer photo tripod, but have since got a new one.  TV is much better, but a far worse tripod.)

At the gym I had 7 miles with 5 at tempo pace of 8:09.  I was ridiculously surprised at how good the 8 minute pace felt when I first started out.  My body has been super achy lately, and I didn't know what was going on.  I think someone told it that I'm turning 27 soon and need to begin old lady aches and pains asap.  Not cool.  A few miles in my right knee started to feel like there was a lot of pressure under the knee cap, so I spent some time figuring out that when hitting the treadmill with your heel while you're going forward and the treadmill going backwards has to cause even more force and pressure on your IT band and knee, so it's probably doubly important for me to FIX IT since I'll be doing a bit of treadmill running through the winter blizzard season.  I was pretty tired during mile 4 of the tempo miles, but got my second wind during mile 5 (probably just because I was almost done).  When I got done my quads/IT band area cramped up majorly, it was so strange.  I did some stretching quick and then jogged a super slow 1/2 mile cool down.

I did 6.5 miles in 55:44.  Tempo mile average:  8:05.

1.  9:40
2.  8:04
3.  8:06
4.  8:06
5.  8:06
6.  8:02
.5 4:50

Heck ya!  Considering my mile repeats were about 25 seconds faster with considerable breaks in between I was pretty happy in my effort.

And now the quest is back on to find the perfect marathon outfit.  But the bigger question is:  black or glow in the dark?

*They may in fact be perfect for the Post-Marathon Post-Rage Race or the PMPRR. :D

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Training Run Personal Distance: 22 Miles

When I originally came up with my MARATHON TRAINING program, I toyed around with the idea of adding a 22 mile long run.  I got a lot of mixed reviews.  Some encouraged me to do so if I thought it would help with a mental barrier (it would).  Others said that the extra risk outweighed the added benefit (possibly true for oft broken Jerbear).  Since I was dealing with some IT band issues which led to knee issues, I decided to scrap it and kept my training at 2 20 milers.

After last week's 20 miler I was shocked at how great my legs felt immediately after as well as the next day.  I decided to put 22 back on the table.  When I did Green Bay I s-t-r-uggled after about 3 hours of running because I hadn't gone farther than about 3:10 in my training.  I really wanted to allow my legs to practice a run that was 3+ hours.  I originally had planned to do my long run Saturday, but after checking the weather report Friday afternoon decided that was a no go.  30 degrees, snow flurries, 25+ mph winds.  Pass.......  Of course after sleeping most of the day away (can I just saw how glorious it is to sleep in on a Saturday for once?!?!? wowowowowow.) the weather wasn't nearly as bad as originally forecasted.  Meteorological fail.

Sunday I woke up bright and early and laid in my check reading through old text messages on my phone.  Because...you know.... that really allows for a successful long run.  After putting off just getting out of bed, I realized I didn't have any breakfast to eat.  So of course I just threw on my running shoes, a hooded sweatshirt, and a hat on over my pajamas and called it good.  :)  While walking around the grocery store, I started feeling my hip pop out of place.  Uh.... uh oh.

After dawdling as long as humanly possible, I finally headed out to take on my run.  I texted Aaron to let him know I'd be up for a biking buddy in roughly an hour if he wanted to meet me at my place (I was doing a 7 mile route before circling back to my place and hitting the bike path).  My calves were super tight and tired for some reason but seemed to warm up after a few miles.  Of course I was going in to the wind for the first 3-4 miles on a hilly route, so I got my B.A. award pretty early on in the run.  I brought my little handheld with water and the miles were really flying by.  I took a GU at mile 5 and at mile 7 I was back at my apartment.  I switched out my little empty handheld for my big guy mixed with water and gatorade and more GUs.
1. 9:19 
2. 9:15 
3. 9:29 
4. 9:28 
5. 9:20 
6. 9:21 
7. 9:08 

Shockingly I found Aaron sitting on my patio step bundled up like a little kid ready to bike with me.  I think Aaron can attest to the fact that I've never been so happy to see him.  I immediately handed off my handheld and we were off.  For some reason I do a lot better with a biking partner than a running partner.  Or perhaps Aaron just knows to talk a lot so I can listen and not worry about responding.  We encountered the Nike Cross Heartland Regional Championship going on.  I was half tempted to jump in and show the little tykes what was up, but decided it was best to save my energy for my miles.  I'm nice like that.  I remember shouting out that I only had a half marathon left at the 8.9 mark.  Because I'm insane.  I think Aaron's fingers were going to fall off from cold.  What a friend.  My biking bud took off around mile 13 and I was left to carry my water bottle alone.  That puppy is heavy for my little t-rex arms!
8. 9:22 
9. 9:37 
10. 9:31 
11. 9:22 
12. 9:38 
13. 9:33 

It was around this time that my left hip started hurting.  This is the hip that I injured doing speed work this summer.  And also apparently during breakfast shopping at the grocery store.  Very common.  I had downloaded some sweet new tunes, so I was enjoying Jimmy Eat World's new album, some new Glee tracks, and of course Katy Perry.  I hit the turn around at 14.5 and another 7.5 miles seemed like a long g.d. way to run.  Of course I started thinking about Vegasssssssss, hmmm..... if I was running the marathon I'd still have 11.7 miles left.  Holy hell!  

Fact:  I should not be allowed to think while running.  

After stopping a couple times to stretch my hip it seemed to be doing ok.  Of course then my chest/back started freaking out.  I feel like my back has been out of alignment for awhile now, and it started making me feel nauseous every time I'd try to breathe in.  As if something was pressing on something it shouldn't.  So weird.  Plus I wasn't able to take a normal breath because of the pain, so my breathing was really short and choppy which was causing me to be light-headed.  Gahhhhh.

Eventually I just had to crank up my music and just run.  Oh hey...... don't think, just run.  The last mile was actually somewhat fast, but I think it was just because I was ready to be done.  :)
14. 9:23 
15. 9:24 
16. 9:15 
17. 9:29 
18. 9:25 
19. 9:28 
20. 9:38 
21. 9:42 
22. 9:28

I ended up with 22 miles in 3:27:35 for a pace of 9:27.  Faster than last week's 20 miler.  Hey-o!

And in completely random news:  apparently I have been a little "out of it" while doing my long runs lately.
  • On my 22 miler when I was running by my apartment at the 7 mile mark, I was shocked to see a bum sitting on the step of my patio.  Until I looked closer and realized it was Aaron coming to bike with me while I ran.  
  • When I started my run, I could've swore I saw a squirrel pull up as if to shoot a jump shot.  Good form squirrel!  
  • When we got to a kid's day camp area on the bike path, I suddenly remembered that I had saw a plane across the river at the camp last Saturday on my 20 mile run, and remembered how much I freaked out thinking that a plane had crashed (deathly afraid of planes and crashes if you remember).  I set about finding the plane to point out to Aaron since he was shocked there would be one too, but of course it was gone.  Uh yeah.... where does an airplane go?  Hmmm.....  Perhaps shrooms are not an okay substitute for GUs, mentally noted!  
  • When I got home from my run, my back hurt SOOOOOO bad that I just laid on my yoga mat for awhile hoping that it would realign itself.  Well wouldn't you know it, my entire ceiling was moving up and down while I was laying there.

Yeah, I'm a little bit concerned for me too.  :/

Check out Racing with Babes' Run Naked giveaway!
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Memory Lane

Thursday night I had an easy 9 mile run to do.  I let someone with an infinity for hills map out my run so it turned out to be less than easy.  Hills = hell to me.  I didn't even know there were that many hills in this town!  Give me my flat bike path any day.  I ended up cutting the run short to 7 miles because I stupidly got my flu shot Thursday morning and my entire upper body felt like it got hit by a bus.

I did 7 miles in 1:08:15 for a pace of 9:45.

A good chunk of my run was spent running around my alma mater.  I ran around some old party houses surrounding school and the campus, and it was a ridiculous run through memory lane.  I'm definitely one of those people that loooooooooved college.  I would go back in 12 seconds (if someone else was paying for it, of course).  I started tabulating a list of things that I loooooooved and miss about college and that got me through a good 2 miles worth of hells.  ;)

Things I miss about college:
  • Having your best friend live 10 feet away.  I'm not sure how many times Megan could hear me sprint down the hall before the typical two knock and enter to tell her whatever story of the day.
  • 1am coffee and junk food runs.  I'm a girl that loves my junk food.  And it's just dandy to have someone join you for those.  :)
  • Cute smart football players.  I went to a super smart school, so 90% of the football players were actually super duper smart as well.  Where do I sign up for my jersey chasing card? :p  Sidenote:  This ruined me for real life.  Where are all the real world smart football players?!?!? :(
  • Theme parties.  I swear my friends would throw a theme party every other weekend.  Here's just a few pictures I was able to find.

Anything but clothes party senior year.  Scarf+pillow case for me.  PACE flag for Meg-o.  Green fabric to cover the bum.

80's theme sophomore year.  Sidenote: Most of my guy friends wore pairs of my shorty shorts with their outfits.  :)

Golf hoes/Tennis pros party senior year.  Sadly this was the night before me and Meg's first half marathon, so we were hydrating the whole night.  Still couldn't pass up a good theme party!
Dress your Own Theme party night before graduation.
We dressed up as two of our good guy friends (Megan's had a mustache obviously).  Somehow a food fight broke out.... The details are hazy.

Toga party during homecoming senior year.  Again..... a pillow case for me.  
And a flower stolen out of someone's garden.

Toga party junior year.  I remember walking blocks to the party in a blizzard.  What a treat.
  • Being able to procrastinate starting a paper until the night before it was due, knocking out 15 pages, and pulling off an A-.  Hmmm... maybe if I had tried, I would've gotten a 4.0.  Details.....
  • Intramurals.  I was an intramural nut!  Not only did I work at our rec department creating all of the intramural schedules for 70-80 intramural events, but I also participated in...uh... almost everything.  Take my competitiveness for running and multiply that times 100.  I have at least 15 intramural championship shirts under my belt.
Our stellar women's volleyball team.
 Our super tall 3 on 3 team. We averaged about 5'3" I think. DOMINATION.
And our B.A. co-ed volleyball team.
  • Having someone else prepare your meals for you.  Even if they were garbage 90% of the time.
  • Spending 90 minutes studying for a test and doing well on it (I have extreme test anxiety, so this was quite the feat for me).
  • Being around a ton of people that have common interests.  Being in an office where I'm essentially the only non-married, non-parent makes me long for the days where everyone was the same.  Hah.

Alright.  Thanks for walking down memory lane with me.  :)

Gooooooooooooo VIKES!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Devil's Workout

Last week I made the mistake of looking ahead on my training program.  DON'T LOOK AHEAD ON THE TRAINING PROGRAM.  Needless to say, I've been freaking out about my hardest workout on the 12 week schedule:  7 miles; 4 x 1 mile repeats @ 7:33-7:43 with 800 m. jogs.  I vaguely remember dominating said repeats a couple of weeks ago, but there were only 3 of them.  Not FOUR.  Four is a lot.  Ick.  Also, those were done on a treadmill, without elements.  Again, freak out central.

So here's the deal.  I decided to play a game with my brain.  See, I convinced myself that I would do my mile repeats on Wednesday.  After deciding Monday night that I didn't want to run, the thought briefly occurred to me that I could do my mile repeats Tuesday morning before work since my legs would be nice and fresh.  However, I didn't let this information go to the freak out part of my brain to obsess over.  Instead, freak out part of the brain still thought I was doing an easy paced 9 miles.

When my alarm sounded, I got out of bed and grabbed a couple of bites of a protein bar and got ready for my run.  That's when I let my brain know what was up...... to some.... uh... resistance.... (apparently part of my brain is a child).

Jeri:  Guess what..... time to do some mile repeats!
Freak Out Brain:  Nuh uh.
Jeri.  Yup.  No reason not to.
FOB:  Sure there is.  Don't wanna.
Jeri:  It's light out.  It's nice out.
FOB:  Don't care.
Jeri:  You're going to have to do them on the treadmill otherwise.  You hate that.
FOB:  So.
Jeri:  You'll be stuck doing them with tired legs.  You'll freak out even more about that.
FOB:  Nuh uh.
Jeri:  If you do them today you don't have to obsess over them for the rest of the week.  You can start obsessing about the 22 miler instead.
FOB:  Lalallalalalalala...not LISTENING to you......
Jeri:  Fine.  You can wear all green for the run.
FOB:  Well ok then.

Once I got Leprecauned Up, I hit the road for the run.  It was freakin' chilly out there.  It took me through the first mile warm up and first mile to actually felt like I was warm.  Honestly, the first repeat might've been one of my most difficult.  Also, didn't help that it was almost primarily in to the wind.  The second mile was great because my legs seemed to memorize the pace.  The third mile I lost my headphones (FYI yurbuds may be sweatproof, but they're not jeri sweat proof) and was shocked at how hard I was breathing.  Yikes.  It's almost nice to have the music cranked up just to block that out!  The fourth mile was tough.  I had to haul some major booty the last quarter of a mile to get my pace where it needed to be.  Stole borrowed a mantra that kept me going almost as much as Taylor Swift has been lately (yes, I did listen to Haunted on repeat for a good chunk of one of the miles....shocker):  Don't think just run.  Yes, by repeating this mantra, I actually was having to think, but let's ignore that point, k?

I did the repeats in 7:39, 7:38, 7:39, 7:39.

Consistent little bugger huh?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

20 Mile + October in Review

Saturday I had attempt #3 at 20 miler #1.  Attempt #1:  Mankato Half Marathon + 6.9 miles that didn't happen.  Attempt #2:  4 mile death run fail.  I started the run on the same route that I attempted last week with some hillier miles for the beginning 4 miles.  When I circled back to my apartment I grabbed my handleheld and GUs and was off.  
1. 9:15
2. 9:29
3. 9:31
4. 9:34
5. 9:39 

The miles seemed to fly by and before I knew it I was halfway done with the run.  (P.S. I'm pretty sure this is why you're not supposed to wait 3-4 days to blog about a run.... I seriously am blanking on anything fun/eventful/noteworthy from the first half of this run.)  I did start to feel warmed up, and my mile times sped up ever so slightly.
6. 9:30
7. 9:32
8. 9:26
9. 9:24
10. 9:19 

It was shortly after the halfway point that I ran in to Tom who turned around to run some miles with me. Yay running buddy!  He was doing 15 that day, so it was nice to have some of our miles overlap.  He's doing the Goofy Challenge in January, so we talked about about his race plan, strategy and race schedule for 2011.  I suck at running + talking.  Seriously.  It's so hard to breathe properly when you're babbling away.  I was starting to get tired so I bid adieu to Tom after about 5 miles and he sped off in to the distance.  One of our run topics had to do with Tom wishing he knew sign language.  I think some signing will need to be implemented the next time we run so I don't suck so much!  Oh well, it was still nice to run with Tom.   :)
11. 9:17
12. 9:28
13. 9:50
14. 9:50
15. 9:59 

Part of the reason I was hating life so much while running with Tom is that we had a couple of mile stretch where we were running in to the wind.  Blech.  Wind is dumb.  After we went our opposite directions, I had nothing to distract me from the wind.  It sucked.  And was dumb.  :)  I was pretty tired for the last couple of miles and was just ready to be done.  Unfortunately, there is some construction on the bike path, so after the 4.15 miles and the out and back I still had 3/4 of a mile to do once I got back to my apartment.  Can I just tell you how much it sucks to be at your apartment after 3 hours of running nad have to keep going?!?!?  Suckkkkkkkkks.  I ran around the block randomly until my watch finally told me 20 miles.
16. 9:27
17. 9:31
18. 9:44
19. 9:31
20. 9:42

I really tried to pick up the pace, but I was pretty tuckered out from fighting the wind for the last 7ish miles.  I did 20 miles in 3:10:58 for a pace of 9:33.

When I was done, I was tired, but my legs felt pretty good, especially compared to the 20 milers I did last spring.  Getting ready to go out for the night, I was even dancing around my apartment.  Whaaaaaaaaaaa?  Sunday I had to retrieve my car from a friend's so I opted to do a quick 2 mile jog there and had to rein my legs in from going to fast..... on hills.  Again.... whaaaaaaa?  Pretty much made up my mind that 22 this weekend is totally doable.  Eeeeeek!

October in Review

Total Miles
: 151.2 up from 86.1 last month. Almost doubled.  Whoo!  (Last October 115.1)

Total Time:  23:52:41 up from 13:18:55. (17:41:15 last Oct.).

Total Runs: 19 for an average of 7.96/run

Highest weekly mileage: 10/18-10/24 39 Miles 6:21:55

Favorite run: Oh man, I had so many googly-eyed-I-want-to-shout-it-from-the-roof-tops-how-much-I-LOOOOOVE-running runs, that it'll be hard to narrow it down.  I'll go with my 18 mile domination.

Most hardcore run: Toss up between some tough mile repeats or a tough tempo run.

Favorite Race: Well I technically only had one true race: the Twin Cities 10 Mile.  But even that was a "let's test the knee because we should be two weeks in to marathon training right now AND DEAR GOD TIME IS RUNNING OUT!!!"  I have to say that I ADORED pacing for the Mankato Half Marathon.  Definitely something I'll do again.  :)

Bike Miles: [whistles in a distracting manner] It would appear that I logged exactly 0 miles for October.  :/  In my defense I biked a lot (for me) in September because I was injured and in October I was head over heels in love with running.  Get over it.  ;)  

Favorite Jams: Rihanna--Only Girl (still), Foo Fighters--Everlong (obsessed) and Taylor Swift--Haunted (ipod killer). 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why I Talk to the Animals

After my post earlier this week regarding talking to deer (and other woodland creatures), I received quite a few responses.  One that made me laugh...hard...was Evolving Through Running who commented:

Has there ever been an occasion when you had to greet a deer as foe? Any particularly rough deer gangs near you? 

To which I felt the need to respond.  But before I do, I feel like I need to explain myself a little bit.  I am possibly the queen of irrational (and occasionally rational) fears.  I didn't fly until I was 22 because I was deathly afraid (we're talking mini-panic attack the night before my first flight complete with me leaving a will with my best friend that she could take all my cute clothes and shoes, except that all those cute clothes and shoes were coming with me on that trip and would undoubtably go down in the fiery plane crash along with me).  To this day, I cower when there is lightning outside.  Yes, I understand these are fairly rational fears.

Shall we move on to the less rational?  Ok then.  When I was in high school on the volleyball team, the Varsity players would have to rotate officiating the 'C' teams games (I think most places refer to this as the sophomore or freshman team....whatever is below the JV team...ANYWAY).  When I had to be the "up" official, meaning I was the person that stood on a little stoop attached to the volleyball pole looking down on the net and the players, I would be absolutely sure that for the first time in the history of the world, that thick cable cord that was wrapped and cranked ever so tightly to ensure that the net was nice and tight would snap, fling back at me, and slice open my face.  NO JOKE.  I hated being the up official.  I would always ask to swap whenever I was assigned.

The bike path that I run on is a fairly wooded area and runs right along a river.  I see a deer or a small family of deer probably once a week while I'm running along.  There was one incident where I came up on a deer in the dark where I frightened him (giant rack on this guy) and he frightened me, and I got to thinking.....  "Hmmmm if he were to start running at me, how fast would he have to go in order to knock me out?  Could he run at me hard enough to actually kill me?"

Sidenote:  Most of my irrational fears end in my maiming and/or untimely death and/or mutilation and disfigurement.

I then spent the rest of the run trying to do the equation.  If 120 lb. girl is running approx. 6 mph and encounters an average sized deer, at what velocity would the average sized deer need to be traveling to ensure dismemberment?

I thought I could pose the question to you all.  Surely some of you are math geniuses.  Perhaps you could google the average weight of a deer if that will help with some of the missing variables.  Maybe there's a "deer average speed when frightened" chart out there.  Maybe if there's enough interest, Mythbusters could do an episode.  All I know is that for my own peace of mind I need to know.  Somehow I don't think greeting the deer in calm and soothing voices is going to keep them from ramming me to death (although in the meantime I am going to hope amongst all hopes that that is indeed the case).

I ran 6 miles Tuesday morning in 57:50 for a pace of 9:39.

I ran 8 miles Wednesday night in 1:18:10 for a pace of 9:46.

.........Zero woodland creatures were encountered.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Long Run Fail + T Swift Makes me Swift

Saturday morning I had my first 20 mile long run on the schedule.  I procrastinated as long as humanly possible (which was fine because I was content to wait for it to "warm up" outside) and finally set out.  I was going to do a ~4ish mile route on some hills before hitting the bike trail for an out and back 8.  I started running and immediately my stomach was mad.  My stomach is almost always mad, so I didn't think much of it.  I assumed that it would chill out within a mile or so.  Nope.  Two miles in and I was trying to focus on my breathing to keep from accidentally puking on the side of the road.  Well this is neat.  I was looking at my garmin approximately every .25 miles and thinking that at least 5 miles should've passed in that time. My pace was slow but felt like I was working my butt off.  Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Run.  Just call me Alexander.  ;)  By the time I got back to my place at 4.15 miles I called in quits.  I decided that I'd rather do a hungover run after Halloween than deal with the "I'm on the verge of puking train" for another 16 miles.

Now looking back this was a seriously delusional idea.  I rarely go out anymore, so my poor body cannot handle crazy nights out on the town, thus causing my body to take ions to recover.  The bar we ended up at on Saturday was extra smokey, and I think that caused my body to revolt.  I was seriously soooooo sick on Sunday.  I had to nap during halftime of the Packers game, and spent a majority of the day in the horizontal position.  Needless to say that 20 miles was not happening.

But the good news is that Halloween was super duper fun.  I exclaimed, "oh my god!  I looooooove HALLOWEEN!!!!!!" no less than 72 times on Saturday.  Seriously what a great holiday.  I love people watching and checking out some seriously clever costumes.  The best pick up line of the night (if I was keeping track, which I guess I was apparently):  Now I know why Amelia Earhart crashed her plane...... I think it was those booty shorts.  I almost died laughing.  Well played sir....well played.  And while no one gets to see a Jerbear booty this year,a tame version is just as well.  And yes I had to cut my friends out of this photo because there costumes were slightly on the offensive side.  :/

Monday after having two days off from running I was itching to get in a run.  This week is supposed to be my cut back week, but I decided that last week would be since my week ended up a solid 16 miles short.  (BTW, my mileage for last week was 26.2 miles in 4:00:24.... so random, and if I'm that close to breaking 4 hours in Vegas and don't, I'm going to quit running and become a showgirl.... you heard it here).

So this week I have only easy paced runs with a 20 miler thrown in on Saturday.  I love when your legs are super refreshed and the easy pace is much quicker than normal.  It was the most beautiful day for a run.  It was in the mid 50s (perfect shorts and long sleeves weather Aron!).  My legs felt super springy and everyone out on the trails was in the happiest mood.  Everyone was smiling and waving.  I was grinning like a baffoon and dealing out smiles and waves all over the place.

I spent the first 2.5 miles of the run listening to Taylor Swift's Haunted on repeat.  It was getting a little ridiculous.  I tend to have major obsessive tendencies when it comes to songs.  The last couple of weeks whenever Foo Fighter's Everlong came on I would listen to it at least 3-4 times in a row before I'd move on to something new.  Anyway, T Swift was putting me in the mood and keeping my legs quick, so I went with it.  When I got to the 5.5 mile mark, I decided to put it back on the song, to end with 5/8 miles jammin' out to her.  No more than one time through the song my iPod just shorted out.  I had to start laughing.  Apparently it's had enough.  Noted.  :)

I ended up with 8 miles in 1:13:22 for a pace of 9:11.

Editted to add:  I plugged my iPod in Tuesday morning to give it a quick charge to hold me over for my morning run.  And nada.  No lighting up.  No syncing to my Mac.  Taylor Swift killed my iPod.  Rest in Peace little green. :'(

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tough Tempo + Runner Doolittle

Since I had been putting off my tempo run due to cold temps and insane wind trapping me indoors, it was finally time to take care of it on Thursday.  I was to do 10 miles with 8 at tempo pace of 8:28.  It was so stinkin' cold it took awhile for me to warm up.  Literally.  When I got about 4 miles from home I realized that it was pretty dark, so I decided to turn around at 4.5 miles and not do a cool down lap.  Cool downs are for sissies.  (jk, I totally did a quick walk in lieu of a full jogging mile).  This was seriously one of the tougher workouts I've done.  Miss Alyssa was totally my inspiration on this run, because she had knocked out an 8 miler a couple of days previously at what "felt like an easy pace" and was at 8:05 or something crazy fast like that.  Alyssa when did you leave me in your dust?!?!?  :(

Anywho, I didn't quite hit my goal pace, averaging 8:30 for my tempo miles, but I was still pretty impressed with my run.  Usually when I start sucking on a tempo run, I find a reason to quit and just take the remaining miles at an easy pace.
1. 9:29 
2. 8:29 
3. 8:31 
4. 8:24 
5. 8:27 
6. 8:35 
7. 8:35 
8. 8:29 
9. 8:35

I was a little bummed that I wasn't able to kick it any faster for the final mile, but then John tweeted that I did great on the run, and bet that I couldn't have done that a year ago.  Well then, I had to set about proving him wrong.  :)  For some reason I have it in my head that I'm roughly the same speed that I was a year ago, but he was right.  Last year at this time my tempo paces might've been a little faster but they were also only 4-5 miles tops.  Then I had to check the last round of MARATHON TRAINING!!!!!  and realized that this run was actually at a faster pace (and longer distance) than those tempo runs too.  Fine, you win this time.  :)

The coolest part of the run was running up on a mama deer and her baby deer during the final mile (hey maybe that's why it wasn't super speedy, I slowed down not to scare off the deers...duh....).  I have this weird habit of greeting animals when I run up on them to make sure they understand that I am friend and not foe, but I swear one of these times there's going to be someone within ear shot and I'm going to start to be known as "that weirdo Dr. Doolittle wannabe runner chick."  Can't wait.....