Friday, July 29, 2011

Toe Nail Surgery + Two A Day

On my short run Tuesday I had some major pain in my toe.  Remember my black toe nails from Fargo?  Well, the right one has come partially detached from the nail bed.  Because it wasn't hurting, and slightly for vanity reasons, I kept it as is.  Not to mention that it's still very attached on the left side of the nail bed.  Hmm.  However, recently it's started to hurt when I wear shoes, but not my running shoes.  Fine.  But when it started to hurt while I was running ?  Oh hell no.

Wednesday night I had a 4x800 m interval workout to tackle, but first, toe nail surgery.  I've only had pinky nails fall off from running, and that's no big to-do.  In high school I had a big toe nail fall off, but the whole thing fell off at the same time, so there was no need for intervention.  I got to work, slowly bending the right side of the nail off the nail bed.  After some somewhat painful manuevering, I was able to peel it up enough to fit the monster toenail clippers under the nail.  I trimmed away at the base of the nail, as its half moon natural shape was poking the heck out of my sensitive nail bed.  Next up, the right hand corner that was also causing me pain.  All in all, I ended up removing about 1/6 of my toenail, and I seem to be pain free.  Maybe it'll even grow out like that and I won't have any future problems!

Post surgery I went out for a killer 4x800 m workout and posted some fab-o splits after a 2 mile warm up.

I finished with a 1/2 mile cooldown because I was beat and starving.

And 10 1/2 hours later I was out the door running again.  Silly me thought I had Thursday night to get in my run, but Kyle instructed me otherwise.  No biggie, back to back runs ensure that I take my recovery run at a recovery pace.  The bike trails were flooded and crazy muddy, so I ran through mud and through grass, and then when the path was flooded had to turn around and come home, and then do a 1 mile out and back from my place to get the miles in.  Oh and my garmin died halfway through.  What a run!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

6 days a week?

For the last few years, I've been a pretty consistent 4-5 days of the week runner.  I enjoy having at least two full rest days, and I prefer that sort of flexibility with my schedule to accommodate life.  I only started adding the 5th day in when training for Fargo, and decided on it for my current Sioux Falls half training as well.  However, with where my weekly mileage is it is sometimes daunting to look at your schedule and realize that your shortest run for the week is 6-7 miles.  I remember when that was still my long run!

Last week, I had a really crappy run on Monday, taking my 5 miler to 1.5 miles.  I didn't want to skimp on my weekly mileage, so I made up the miles with a short 3.5 mile recovery run on Sunday.  And I kind of loved it.  Yeah, I ended up running 6 days, but man it's so much easier to get yourself outside for a short little run.  For now I'm keeping my schedule as is, but any weeks that allow for a short recovery run on Sunday I am going to utilize.  Normally my first run post-long run is a 5-7 miler, and you know how trashy your legs feel after a long run.  Why not just suffer for a couple miles instead??  GENIUS!

This strategy came in super handy this week when I only had about 45 minutes to run and shower before I had to volunteer at the library.  Plus the heat index was 98* so I couldn't fathom running further than a short few.  So I knocked out 3 of my 6 miles on the schedule, and intend to do the remaining 3 Sunday as my shake out run.

Speaking of insane heat index, Monday I had a small sliver of time to run before a doctor's appointment.  Sadly that time to run was at 11:15am.  And it was hovering around 90*.  The air was so thick with humidity, I felt like I was gasping for air.  I was sweating so badly, I finally had to take my heart rate monitor off and carry it in my hand because it kept sliding down my sweaty ribcage.  I was hurting so bad, that I ended up walking for a couple of minutes during the final mile to get my heart rate down and attempt to cool myself.

Stupid me hadn't eaten any breakfast, hadn't drank any water, and didn't bother to throw on my white running hat.  Oh hai death march.  A cold cold shower has never felt so good.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Marathon Training Loophole?

Remember when I decided that I wouldn’t be doing a fall marathon [insert 26.2 tears here, please]? I do. I knew I wouldn’t hack the heat trying to do a 3+ hour run. I had concerns about the time commitment in relation to my new school commitment.
Well since making this decision, I’ve been having some serious marathon envy. Turns out everyone and their dog is training for a fall marathon. Yes, I laugh behind their backs (and to their faces) when they plot their 2am wake up times to “beat the heat” to get their runs in, but I was bummed.

On my part 2 of my double run a few weeks ago I had a crazy idea pop in to my head. What if I could run a fall marathon without training through the summer?

LIGHTBULB! (heh heh, this was one of my nicknames growing up)

My half marathon training program is fairly similar to previous training cycles, except my mileage has been beefed up. My weekly mileage will top out close to what it did during my training for Fargo: just shy of 50. With that sort of base, I started to wonder if I could piggy back off my training and have a very VERY short training cycle for 26.2.

There are 6 weeks between goal race A (half marathon) and potential goal race B (marathon). Even if I used the first week post-half as a recovery week, I would have 5 weeks of training—2 weeks of legit training and then a taper. One 17 miler and one 20 miler? Sure. Why not?

No, I won’t be going in to this race with as much pressure on myself to ZOMG MUST SUB 4 OR I’LL DIE attitude, because my training probably isn’t there. But I think that’s a good thing. I bust under pressure. The course is hilly. I’ll have minimal long-long runs. But I still should be able to finally beat my first marathon time of 4:12. Because that’s just annoying, ya know?

The best part is that as soon as I got home from my run that Thursday night, I got out my copy of Advanced Marathoning (thanks again Danielle, running twinsie!) to see what the last 5 weeks of training looked like in comparison to my half training. It seemed doable with some tweakage (no need for any tune up races, more focus on mid-long runs during the week, probably). The book was laying open next to me as I was typing up my blog post.

Kyle came in to my apartment. He looked at me. He looked at the book. He looked back at me…. And then back at the book.

KK: Jerbear (yes he calls me Jerbear about 99% of the time, die of adorableness immediately), Whatcha got your marathon book out for?

Me: Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll.

KK: Shocker.

And later after I had explained my insanity to him, he casually mentioned that he’d plan to be around very limitedly the 2-3 weeks leading up to the race day. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why. Suffice it to say in much less gentler words than he explained them in, “You were a raging bitch when you were tapering!!!” Oh yeah.. that. Apparently I not only forgot the pain and disappointment of 26.2 I also forgot the hell of the taper madness. Smooth move brain.

Who’s coming to Mankato!?!?!?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Book Nerds Unite

If you haven't "friended" me on goodreads and you're a book nerd like me, you should be ashamed.  Seriously.  Stomp really hard with your right foot on your left food (or vice versa).  You deserve it.

One of my favorite "me-time" activities is to go to Barnes and Noble, order a yummy Starbucks 16 oz. skim caramel sauce latte or 16 oz. skim pumpkin spice latte (yes, 16 oz., I will not conform to your asinine sizes Starbucks!  But I will drink your delicious lattes....), and browse the shelves for new books to read.

When I first started this practice, it was pre-digital age.  Ok, not really but pre-full-on-digital age.  I would walk around the store with a little scrap of paper and a pen, jotting down the book titles and authors that I wanted to read.  I'd check out my library's catalog later to place holds on the books I wanted.

From this point, I moved on to the cell phone.  I would save text message drafts with title and author information.  Once I'd procured the book, I'd erase the title from my text messages.  If you find old cell phones strewn about my apartment, I guarantee there will be a few messages with random books I could never find at my library to read.

Enter now.  I've been on goodreads since 2007, but just started to really utilize it over the last year.  Since I'm sooooooooooo tech savvy, and now have a smart phone (yayzies!) naturally I had to download the goodreads app.  Usually I just use it to update my page number when I get done reading on my lunch break, but the other night I started to look at the other functions available.  My world was turned upside down when I discovered that it had a BARCODE SCANNER.

ZOMG!  This now makes my book searching and ever growing "to-read" list so much easier (and fun!  Yes, I'm a nerd).

I have a goal of reading one book a week for 2011.  As of right now, I'm a few books ahead of my goal, but I'm concerned that my "for fun" reading will slide back dramatically once school starts up.  In the meantime, feel free to recommend some books that I have to add to my to-read list just in case I can squeeze in a few minutes of nerdery. :)

This weekend I got up at insane o'clock (for me) 5:15am to get ready for my 12 mile long run.  The last time I got up that early to run it was for Fargoooooooo.  My alarm still has Sub 4 as it's title.  Le sigh.  Since our bike trail is under construction I did a 4 mile hillier route that looped back to my place and then a 8 mile out and back on the trail.  Thank God I looped back at my apartment.  My shirt was sopping wet after 4 miles, so I kindly bid it adieu.  I had some weird stomach pains randomly during the run, but other than that it was a great day for a run.  It was insanely warm and humid, and at one point I thought we were going to have a massive storm, but I survived. 

I did 12 miles in 1:55:12 for a pace of 9:36.

When I got home I ditched my sopping wet clothes for some dry ones while I stretched and I started to hear a leak in my bathroom.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrreat.  I stomped in there to see what the problem was, and then laughed/was appalled when I realized it was actually my running shorts dripping sweat in to the tub.  Hawt.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Professional Treadmiller

Naturally last night while I was laying in bed I remembered dream #2 that I completely spaced when writing up the Dream post from yesterday.  No no.... I couldn't possibly wait to see if I could recall it, I had to post that blog ASAP.  Strike while the iron is hot! Get it while the gettin's good. Etc.

Anyway, since I know you were all on the edge of your seat in anticipation for secret dream #2, here it is.  It was May 2012.  I know this because I was arriving to take my second crack at the Green Bay Marathon.  For some reason they had swapped out the course, and it was now a point to point marathon.  We had to take school busses to the starting line.  No big deal, except that my bus was late.  As in we were all sitting on the bus begging the bus driver to leave and take us to the start.  It was raining and he was afraid to drive.

By the time we did get to the start, it was noon.  Roughly the time I'd like to be finishing up an 8am start marathon.  Swell.  I got to the starting line and realized that the race had started 10 minutes ago, so I was left all by my lonesome to run.  The rain was coming down in torrential sheets (I'm guessing similar to LA this year).  I was running with a legit stuffed backpack, because I didn't have time to check my bag.  All along the first few miles there were vendors selling items to the runnrs.  But not running related items,  persay.  Like craft fair-esque goods.  People were stopping their race to barter for goods!

When I made it to mile 3, I stopped to call Kyle and tell him what horse $#!T this race had turned in to, to realize that all the essential items I thought were packed in my backpack, were not actually there.   No GUs, no hand held water bottle.  Instead I had a never ending supply of random nicknacks and chotchkes.

So yeah, I'm already having nightmares about my marathon.... 10 months out.
[This post would've been way cooler with a J. Rose illustration of this insanity... :D]

Wednesday night I hit the treadmill for my 4th consecutive treadmill run (egads, I know!) for a tempo run.  FYI tempo runs still terrify me, however, they terrify me less since I've ran a 10k.  Since they're usually near my 10k pace, and typically not longer than 4-5 miles (as of right now anyway) I know they're doable.

I had 6 miles to do with 4 at a tempo pace of 8:01.

Helpful treadmill running tip #4 (sure, yeah, #4, we'll go with #4):
Watch the food channel.  Don't ask me why but time just FLYS when you have a good food network show on.  I'm thinking about food 99% of my runs normally anyway (really 99% of my life, who am I kidding?) so I see nothing wrong with some visual aids to assist in my food fantasies.

I did my warm up mile nice and slow and then I was off.  One thing I've learned about tempo runs is that starting mile #1 at pace causes me to lose my mind.  That immediate upswing of the HR causes me to think that I'm going to D-I-E before I make it to .75.  I've started taking my tempo runs just slightly slower than my goal pace for the first 1/2-1 mile.... only by a few seconds, and then making up the difference over the next few miles.  Helps TREMEDONSOULY.

The tempo miles actually felt really good.  During the 3rd one I almost convinced myself to stop for a breather and to take a drink of water (random fun fact:  I can read novels on the treadmill, but I can't drink water while running), until I looked at my heart rate monitor and realized my heart rate was where it typically is mid-long run (mid 150s).  the last tempo run I did I was consistently at 180 for the last mile and a half.  That helped to tell me to suck it up and keep going.

I finished 6 miles in 51:14 for an average pace of 8:34.
My tempo miles were 7:58, 8:02, 7:59, and 7:59, for an average pace of 7:59.  (I think I must've hit the autolap wrong on miles 1 & 2, because 1 was definitely slower.)

I left the gym on cloud 9!  For some reason I feel like treadmill runs are more bearable when you have a purpose to your run, specifically speedwork.  It's so hard for me to take on an easy "get in the miles" sort of run, but interval for my runs or a tempo run aren't the worst thing in the world.  Am I alone?

Finally get a break from the treadmill and the scary heat tonight. 85 degrees has never felt so cool.

P.S.  I totally stole the battered copy of Runner's World with Kara Goucher on the front.  Don't tell on me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Dream World

If you know me at all in real life, you may know that I’m a bit of a worrier. Little do you know I’m actually an INSANELY LARGE WORRIER. In college I had terrible insomnia all the time because I could never shut off my brain from worrying about something. It’s obnoxious. Oftentimes my dreams will reflect my brain’s erratic sense of reasoning. This weekend I had some great ones I deemed worthy of sharing. Enjoy.

In dream #1 I was on the University of Alabama’s campus for orientation. Not surprisingly the campus looked somewhat similar to my undergrad campus (I’ve never seen Alabama’s campus FYI). I had arrived at orientation crazy early and decided to do a little exploring. I made my way in to this gorgeous old library and was looking around for approximately 5 minutes when I heard over the loud speaker, “Will Jeri _______ please report to orientation, you are severely late!” I looked at my watch to realize that the couple of hours I had to spare had whittled away and I was now 8, (8!) minutes late. Naturally I panicked and started running towards the building orientation was held in. “I can’t believe she’s late for this. She was late yesterday too!” I hear the orientation organizer say under her breath, not realizing the speaker was still on. My heart dropped.

Out of nowhere, this building is now housed on top of an extremely large hill. Roughly a straight 90 degree angle. And covering the hill is parachute fabric. I try to sprint as hard as I can and resort to clawing my hands in on my knees to pull myself up the parachute covered grassy knoll. Upon my arrival there is a hot air balloon waiting to take me. There is one other student in there but the basket is so tight of a fit that we all have to ride up with one leg dangling out of the basket. Safety first, I guess.

Once I finally get to my class, I learn that Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) is in my cohort. And I think, sweet! I’m going to make him dress up for Halloween with me and we’re going to win sooooooooo many contests (I occasionally like to think I can pull off a good Hermione with my crazy wavy hair). And then I woke up.

Dream #2..... Uh.

Well stupid me started writing this post when I had some free time, and got distracted.  So much so that I didn't bother to leave myself any "clues" as to what dream #2 entails.  I asked Kyle because I know I told him, but apparently he doesn't keep a dream journal for me.  WTH?

Most recently I dreamt that I was living in a post apocalyptic world.  Somehow I had managed to survive (probably because of my extensive knowledge of zombie attack survival; don't ask how this relates to non-zombie attack end of the world circumstances.... ).  My biggest concern in this dream scenario was getting in my training runs.  Oy.  Running on the brain.  Always.

Tuesday night I hit up the treadmill yet again to get through some miles.  The heat index up in here has been around 115 which is enough to actually melt my flesh off, so yeah... TM, I'm all over you.  I always save up my magazines for treadmill workouts, because reading while running makes the miles fly by.  I grabbed a recent fitness mag, and then scored 3 dirty/juicy gossip mags at my gym.  Who needs some celebrity gossip, I haz it!

Prior to the run, Renee, Krista and I made a treadmill survival pact.  We all had to hit the TM because of the heat, and I didn't want to be the one to wuss out, and that really helped me get through the miles.  Also the fact that I surely would've died if I ran 6 miles outside. 

I did 6 miles 57 minutes-ish.  I think the pace was 9:36. I'm too lazy to look.

Good news:  The heat is going to break overnight!  I don't think the temps have dipped below 80 since last Thursday.  We'll have a low of 67!!!! tonight.  Yes I will be up early to do my recovery run. YAYZIES!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How To Do a Long Run on a Treadmill hot chicks running around the whole run.

But let me back up.
Leading up to this weekend, I knew we were going to be hit by some heat. Being the good little runner that I am, I decided I would sacrifice my precious sleep on Saturday morning to provide me some reprieve from the heat and humidity. I set my alarm for 5am, hoping for a 5:30-5:45 start for my 11 miler. I rolled out of bed and jumped on the computer to check the hourly report for my run. It was already 80 degrees with 95% humidity. Back in to my bed I went.
Extreme heat can only be enjoyed in two ways:
a) In a bikini in water trying not to sweat to death
b) In a heavily air conditioned building, lounging, trying not to sweat to death.

I chose to spend Saturday doing a good mix of both. Megan and I hit the local waterpark to catch some rays and catch up on life. I haven’t seen her since Fargooooooooo and couldn’t believe that was already 2 months ago. Wth? After failing at the “trying not to sweat to death part” we decided to enjoy some A/C and food. Two of my favorite things.

Best part of the meal: Naturally both Megan and I opted to get some dessert to enjoy after our meal. I placed my order for the cheesecake chimichangas (yes just as delicious as they sound) and the waitress started walking away…… Oh no… we’re not sharing lady…. Then Megan proceeded to order the giant chocolate cake. When our desserts came out, we realized why she thought we were sharing. Haha oops.

Sunday I finally decided I could be bothered to get in my long run. I was a genius and timed my run to coincide with the Women’s World Cup championship match to keep me entertained. Damn ESPN failed to tell me that the match wasn’t actually going to start at 1pm, and I would have to run through 45 minutes of pre-match coverage, but whatevs.

Let me tell you, watching hot chicks run around on a soccer field for an hour or so will make your run flyyyyyyyyyy by. I have a minor major crush on Abby Wambach, and not just because she sweats on my level. Seriously. Hot chick. And I had my day made by Kim saying that I reminded her of Alex Morgan (or vice versa)…. Uh… I’ll take that comparison!

I had 11 miles on the schedule with a 3/1 approach. I decided to do the first 8 at my long run pace and then kick up the last 3 to a progression run from slow-end tempo pace to half marathon race pace. It felt…. Really good. Naturally it was much cooler in the gym then what I’ve been dealing with, so my heart rate was crazy low, and the run was pretty effortless.

I did 11 miles in 1:40:56 for a pace of 9:10. Last 3 miles averaged 8:19.

My average heart rate was 149. My heart rate for the 8 miles was actually a bit lower than this, as my last few miles skewed it higher.

To put this in to comparison, last weekend I did 10 miles in 1:41:18. AND I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE OF HEAT STROKE. Eff you summah.

But anyway, on to important things…….. Abby… call me!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

No Shirt, No Shoes (jk), No Death By Sweat

I'm not a very self-conscious girl when it comes to my body.  When I was younger and incredibly skinny, I was super insecure, oddly enough.  I gained more confidence when I was heavier, and have kind of settled in to my happy place recognizing what my body is capable (running... for what feels like forever).  And yeah, it probably doesn't hurt that running keeps me at my happy weight for the most part.  I can sit at the swim up bar for hours in my bikini with no problem.

However, ask me to log a few miles in a sports bra sans shirt and I'll cower in the corner.  What gives?  I'm not quite sure.  Everything just seems to look a lot better when it's not all in motion, ya know?  Last summer I went shirtless for one run when it was 12003459834 degrees with 1708345% humidity.  I knew I couldn't handle one more run in that crap drowning in my clothes and the air.  I swear some girls gave me an evil look, and I never went without again.

This year I've been talking about it for at least a month.  I've done a decent job sticking to my core work, partially for this reason (christ...vain much? don't do core work because it might make you...uh.... faster... idiot).  

Well last Monday it was a nice 80 degrees with 80% humidity (seems to be the norm 80-80 not sure why) and after dealing with a death march of a long run Sunday I said screw it.  I threw on my running hat for incognito sake and did my 5 miles.  And it didn't kill me.  A lot of walkers wouldn't even make eye contact to smile/wave/say hi to me, probably because they were uncomfortable, but runners didn't bat an eyelash.  AND I WAS SO FREAKIN' COOL.  zomg it was amazing.  When I got done running my stomach was cool to the touch, because my internal cooling system was able to do its job when it didn't have fabric in the way.  Your body sweats to cool you off.... duh.  

So for the rest of the summer, I'm not going to give two poos about a few snobby judgmental stares because I'm 88% less of a sweatmonster.  WIN!

But in the meantime.........

Dear God, 
Please send me Susan's abs by my next long run.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Confessions of a Runner

I have a confession that some of you may not know.  And it's a bit of a dirty one.  Ok.... here it is:

I hate to shower.

Gahhhhhhhh, I know.  I'm a runner, what's wrong with me?!?!?  Now before you go labeling me the "smelly kid in class," rest assured that while I hate showering, it doesn't mean that I don't shower.  For me, it really boils down to the fact that I hate spending time getting ready.  I can shower at night and my hair will still be wet in the morning, hence why I don a braid to work 5/5 days per week.

And really.... I don't mind being dirty/sweaty/somewhat smelly as long as there's no one around to witness it.  Kind of the "if a tree falls in the woods and no one's around, does it make a sound?" effect.  In my opinion, obviously....nope!  Heaven help me if I should ever become a recluse ala J.D. Salinger.... :/

My showering schedule revolves around two things:  my running and being around the public.  But because of my hatred for showering, I will do my damndest to not shower twice in a day.  Seriously.  I consider it a personal failure.  Poor planning.  Waste of my time.  And most of the time I do pretty good with my no two-a-day shower plan.

Well this summer I've been failing miserably.  See.... I've been running on the weekends, obviously, and then heading out to the waterpark in the afternoon to drink back my long run calories.  Naturally being all sweaty for the second time that day requires a second shower.  But in these instances, the good far outweighs the bad.  So I deal.

Today was no different.  After being holed up with the flu the past 2 1/2 days, I was itching for a run before work.  I went out on an easy 4 mile run.  Not altogether shocked that my legs felt like crap and I felt like I was breathing through a straw thanks to the 98% humidity.  Yes, 98% humidity.  Kill me now.

I did 4 miles in 39:22 for a pace of 9:51.

I showered up and went off to work.  While sitting at my desk counting down until I was done working, I realized, "Crap! I'm going to have to shower AGAIN tonight!"  There's no way I'm waking up early for work, so clearly a nighttime shower was in order.  Had to pacify reason #2 for showering:  the public.  Can't be the smelly kid at work.

But then I thought to myself.... well.... since you have to shower anyways..... why not head out for run #2 too?


That's a delightful idea.

Yeah, I wanted to get in some of the mileage I missed when I was on my deathbed, but really, I wanted to justify my second shower of the day.  And I did.

3 miles 27:17 for a pace of 9:05.  4x100m strides (6:37, 6:14, not sure, garmin messed up and says :37.... I doubt it....hah..., 5:41)

Thank God the  humidity was out in full force to really make that second shower worthwhile.

Now someone please tell me a secret equal to or more gross than mine. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

2011 Goal Check In

This post is approximately 11 days late, but whatever.  That just means you're suuuuuuuuuuper sick of everyone else's "half way through the year check in!" posts and will be super psyched for mine, right?  :)

Running and Fitness
  • Break 4 hours in the marathon--A Big fat fail. And given I won't do another in 2011, it will remain a fail.  Le sigh.
  • Run a sub 1:50 half marathon--57 seconds away in April. I think this will be dust in September or October.  The fall o' the half marathon 1:4x's.... :)
  • Run a 5k in 22:xx--I've yet to race a 5k.  However, I know my speedwork isn't anywhere near this right now.  Maybe this fall before the snow?
  • Become a mentally tough runner--It comes and goes.  So far this year I've raced a smart 10k and half marathon.  Granted, I went in to the races not racing, so who knows.  I've yet to learn to not be a whiny little B when running/racing in the heat and humidity... soooooooooo yeah. 
  • Practice yoga more regularly (either alone or at a studio)--More?  Yes.  As much as I'd like?  No.  I do have some groupons for yoga studios that I'll be using shortly.  Yay.
  • Find new running buddies!--Considering there was a week awhile ago that I didn't run solo once, I'd say I'm doing just dandy on this.
  • Stay injury free-- :'(
  • Run 1600 miles for the year--Halway check in is at 634.1.  This mileage goal was assuming I'd do a fall marathon, and be injury free, so it may need a re-assessment.  Maybe 1400?
  • Lift regularly (regularly is a loose term here FYI)--I carry my groceries in once/month.  Aka getting my swoll on.
Personal Goals
  • Get in to a Master's program for Library Science--Yayzies!  Win
  • Join a book club--Check.  I've attended a few different book clubs at the public libraries.
  • Join a Stitch and Bitch group--My work schedule has prohibited me from attending.
  • Continue to find fun crafty ways to utilize my creative side--Nothing yet, but I have some projects stored up for a rainy day.  The winter tends to bring out my crafty side.
  • No more truck driver mouth (no offense to any (?) truck drivers who may read my blog)--Fail.  I might be swearing more now.  Kyle yells at me for it, frequently. 
  • Take more photos (rekindle photo project: Project 52!)--Since my phone takes fairly decent pictures, I have done better with this, and Project 52 is coming along nicely, even if I don't update it FOREVER.
  • Average more scarf sales per month than in 2010--Won't even start marketing them til September.  Who wants to think about cold weather?  Gross.
  • Live and love life--Done.
This weekend I got in a hot and miserable 10 mile long run.  I got chills towards the end of it.... in 85 degree temps and 80% humidity.  So... yeah.... that was fun.  We did manage to go out for ice cream afterwards for "breakfast" so I guess I can handle almost a touch of heat stroke for that.

Oh and I went through 30 oz. of water in that 10 miles.  And still had a monster headache all day.  I love my sweat machine (=body!). :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sparklefarts is BACK + Harrison's SoDak Visit

My apologies that the ol’ blog has gotten all sorts of boring since Fargo. To be honest I’ve been in a little bit a lot of bit of a slump. Every time I go out for a run I’m keeping a close “eye” on yet another body part that’s causing me concern…. Hip, knee, IT band, shin, ugggggggggh. My running is boring ergo my blogging is boring.

However, last night we may have turned a corner of sorts. It was raining and thundering as I was wrapping up my evening of work. On my drive home the rain stopped. Jeri: 1 The air was still crazy thick, so I was thankful it was only an “easy paced” run. After icing my shin Wednesday night post-run and Thursday morning, it seemed to be…. Fine. Ok then.

I took off for my run and had no shin pain. Whoo! To be safe, I concentrated like craaaaaaazy on my form. A ways down the bike path I realized I wasn’t having any hip or knee pain either. Hmmm…. And I wasn’t sucking air like normal in the humid conditions.

Sidenote: I have never seen weather like this, so it’s worth noting. The rain had stopped, as I mentioned before, but there was a thick mist from the ground until about 6-8’ in the air. It looked (and felt) like it was raining from the ground up. It. Was. Crazy.

I checked my pace and was shocked at my pace that felt so easy…. Oh hai failed marathon pace! And I was even more shocked when my heart rate was staying low. It was a completely effortless yet strong run and was exactly what I needed as I’m starting my bttw training for my fall half marathons.

I did 5 miles in 45:38 for a pace of 9:09. I did 4x100 pick ups in the final mile at 6:56, 7:00, 6:45, 6:01.

Average HR 156

Glittler/unicorn/sparklefart runs.......... great to have you back!

And this is about 100 years old by now, but on Father’s Day I got to see my adorable little nephew who lives down in Texas. Boohoo. Here are some great photos of our day together.


Harrison and Aunt Jeri at the falls.
Cute even when he's being a turd.  Dare I say he gets that from his auntie? ;)

So I was named after my dad (Jerry) and Harrison was named after my dad's dad (Earl Harrison). Neato eh?
Family band practice at the Pavilion science center.

I refused to let him win.... at anything.... all day... Probably paybacks from his dad never letting me win growing up.
If I can't figure out the origami, how is a kid supposed to?!?!?
Butterfly house. H made a new friend.
Can we discuss how tired I look in this pic?  Wow... long day with a 4 year old... you win kid.

And more exciting news:  I just found out on Tuesday that in November Harrison's going to have a little seeeeeeeeeeeeeeester.  YAYZIES!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Occasionally I think I'm a Sports Doc + Weekly Wishlist

So I totally forget to tell you the best part of the 10k race on Monday (which is surprising because there were very few "highlights").  I waited until the morning of to register (and will continue to do so all summer long so I can monitor the painfully hot race-morning weather).  When I got to the front of the registration line, I whipped out my checkbook and asked whether it was $10 or $15 (I'd seen both).  To which the lady replied, "oh hun, it's $10 for 17 year olds and under!"  I had to chuckle a little bit when I filled out 27 on my race bib and handed her the $15 check.  She was a smidge surprised.

Since I wasn't planning on racing on Monday, I did my long run with Rachel on Friday morning.  Can I say how much I love vacation days from work?  Because I do....  We set out for 10 miles which is my longest run since Fargo.  It was also her pup's PDR!  The run seriously flew by with her as company.  Except the last 3 miles.  Ugh.  Our bike path is under construction, so I had to add on an extra 2 miles to get us to 10 miles for the day.  Of course that mile out and back was completely in the sun approaching 10am.... and the majority of the final mile was directly in the sun too.  Uff.  I went through 2 1/2 refills of water on my handheld, and could wring out my clothes and hair when we got done.  :/

We did 10 miles in 1:38:07 for a pace of 9:49.  Average HR:  162.  Uff.

And then we went and got delicious frozen juices.  Mmmmmmmm.  I could get used to long runs with a buddy!

During the last two miles of the race on Monday I started having some weird and often times intense pain in my lower shin.  After the race I couldn't even walk on it normally.  Being the good runner that I am, I went home, changed in to my swimming suit and headed to the swim up bar at the waterpark.  (almost the same as icing, no?)  Walking around the park was BRUTAL. 

Ouch, step, ouch, step, ouch, step.

Even Tuesday walking around work just...hurt.  So of course I diagnosed myself with a stress fracture immediately and started hating the 10k race even more so.  Wednesday it wasn't as bad so I went for a run after work.  The pain seemed to subside after I was running for a bit.  After a stretch break it hurt a lot.  Towards the last mile I realized that if I picked up the pace a bit it almost didn't hurt at all.  Soooo naturally I did that. 

I did 4 miles in 38:21 for a pace of 9:39.  My heart rate was crazy low for the run... averaging 144.  See what a smidge of cooler weather can do for you, ol' heart?

Today it seems to feel almost completely normal (just walking around, mind you), so I'm sure it was just a little muscle strain from attempting to run on gravel.  Apparently not my strength in life.  I've also been icing like a crazy person which seems to have helped.  Phew.  No amputation necessary (that's what they do for stress fractures... right?  :)

And for your enjoyment:  My Weekly Wishlist!

Who doesn't love a good bicycle inspired jewelery gem?  Not crazy about the nails... I must admit.

Since my other yellow handbag I HAD TO HAVE from Piperlime finally went on sale, I decided I didn't love it as much anymore.  Go figure.  But I think it's because I spied this lil guy with my lil eye.  Swoon.

Cute and on sale?  Yes please. I was mad that I didn't have a wedding to go to this summer to use as an excuse to buy it.  Now I think I do.  WIN!

Super cute super cheap version of the lusty lellow bag.

Oh nooooooooooos, another Kate Spade sale.  :/

I will never buy a designer wallet.  But if I did... it would probably look like this. :)

Who else thinks I just need to break down and buy *A* yellow handbag so I can start having some variety in these posts?
**raises hand high**

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Race Report: Lennox Firecracker 10k

About a month ago, I set my sights on the Lennox Firecracker 10k as my next race.  Granted this when I was still on my "yayzies I puffy heart love 10ks, they're so fun zomg!" high.  In the meantime, I slogged slow hot and humid mile after mile.  Zomg, so not yayzies......  As the date got closer, I all but talked myself out of the race completely.  It finally came down to, I'll wait and see what the hourly forecast reveals.  Well damn it anyhow when it said 67 degrees at 8am.  Considering it was supposed to be a high of 90 for the day I was shocked.  I'm in!  [I chose to ignore that pesky little 95% humidity listed next to the temp, because what's a shit-ton little humidity with a temp that low?!?!?!]

I posted a twitter poll for 5k v. 10k, and except for a few people out there who love me, it was a resounding 10k! 10k!  Do it, or I'll punch you in the face, or something like that, my memory is hazy.  So then I got super amped about the race.  "Well I ran a 7:55 pace on a hilly route last time, so clearly I should be able to run a 7:50 on a flat route, right?"  "Yes," I answered my inner dialogue.  "Yes I can!"

I got to the race nice and early with Aaron who was running the 5k (smart guy) and got in a quick little warm up jog.  Thinking I was going all pokey like, I was surprised to see I was "jogging" an 8:20 pace.  Er... ok.  The race started, and I thought I would try to keep Angie in my sights.  She's much speedier than me, but also wasn't "racing" the race.  We chatted along for the first quarter of a mile or so until we looked down at our watches and saw a 7:20 pace.  Uhhh oops!  Because this is a small town race, the route was literally out in the country and through the perimeter of the town.  And you know what that means.... no shade.... and **surprise** gravel!  But we'll get to that in a bit.

The first mile felt good but not as good as it should, if that makes sense.  I was right on pace running in to a slight breeze/wind.  From what I could tell I was sitting at 10th female.  The second mile felt much harder effort wise than the first, and I had said buh-bye to my race pace without even realizing it.  Uff.  It was h-o-t.  About a mile and a half in to the race, I stopped racing.  I figured I would shoot for tempo pace for the remainder (roughly 20-30 seconds slower than race pace).
Mile 1  7:56
Mile 2  8:12

The third mile had a millisecond of shade and I wanted to curl up and nap in it.  There were a couple of girls behind me that were gabbing away that I knew would pass me eventually.  Sad face.  And then I passed two other people, so it all evens out, right?

There were 3 different water stops (and I wouldn't have complained if there was double that, to be honest) and I was oh so happy every time to see them.  I'm not sure if they were set up by the race, or just random volunteers.  Gotta love the small town feel, right?  Around mile 4 my new goal was to not kill someone.  I was really regretting my decision to leave the iPod at home.  I would've given a kidney to listen to something other than my labored breathing.
Mile 3 8:29
Mile 4 8:51

Mile 5 was my $#!tshow mile in the last 10k I did, and this race was no different, except **surprise** let's do this mile on gravel!  And **double surprise** cars will drive by so you can barely breathe!  Death. Stomp. Pout. Repeat.  I stopped looking at my watch.  It's all I could do to not kick a puppy. 
Mile 5 9:20

Finally the last mile brought a few blocks of shade!  Yippee!!  But I was so toasted by this point, it didn't really matter.  I thought I could maybe catch the gal a ways in front of me, but also realized I didn't want to try too hard to do so..... picked up the pace, but she was too far out there.
Mile 6 9:05
.28 2:18 (8:11 pace)

I finished in 54:14 according to my garmin.  No official results that I've been able to see for a pace of 8:39.

I probably should've gone in to this shooting for a more conservative goal given the weather, although I think I still would've crashed and burned.  Really I should've done the 5k.  Grrrr....   My heart rate data at least says that I worked hard given that my heart rate was the same for the first fast mile as it was for the pokey 4th, 5th, and 6th miles.

Oh well, another race in the books, and time to start up training for the Sioux Falls Half Sub 1:50 or BUST!

10k comparison stats
(from Avera 10k in April)
Temp: 50* to 75*
Humidity: no mention of humidity compared to 95%
Pace: 7:55 to 8:39
Difference in fastest mile to slowest mile:  :23 v. 1:11.  bahahahahah.

Please tell me I'm not the only one that analyzes things like this..... :)