Sunday, August 31, 2008

Note To Self:

Do not go out and drink the night before you have a 12-13 mile run scheduled! I didn't MEAN to get drunk but I guess when you haven't drank in a while and didn't really eat much for dinner then it can sneak up on you....and it did. Well that didn't stop me from dragging myself up off the couch at 6:30 this morning to meet for a 7 am run. Thank goodness my friend only lives 3 miles from where we were meeting so it was easy for me to get there.

I was really unsure if I was going to make it through the whole run but I did with the support of my wonderful running buddy (and a few walking breaks) We still finished in a decent time so I know that our next long run will be a lot better than this one. Plus, as always, we are doing this for the enjoyment, not to be some supper runners! Today was full of enjoyment, great conversation and laughs. Especially when Amy looked at me with disgust and says "your mascara is running down your face". Oh yeah, I still had on my eye makeup from the night before. But that didn't stop us from getting honked at! They may have been honking to see if we needed assistance since we probably looked like we were about to die, at least that's how I feel I looked.

I tried some of that Hammer gel stuff that is supposed to give you energy during you run. I was able to get it down, with minimal gagging, although I'm not sure if it gave me any extra energy. Or perhaps it did and without it I wouldn't have made it at all. I will say one thing.....that gel did not taste as good coming back up as it did going down, HA!

Well, that's another long run down and 2 more months to go before the marathon!

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'd Rather Run than Drive!

The 5 miles today felt WAY better than the 6 yesterday. Let's see how this 13 on Sunday will go.... I probably laughed through half of the run today, especially when Amy and I started trading "this one time when I got drunk" stories (of course, mine were purely fictional because I've never actually gotten drunk - hey, my dad reads my blog!). The best thing about today's run was the before the run Amy gave me a necklace with the words "No more excuses" on it. This is such a great motto and I should apply it to my life in general. Now, on to the reason for the title of my post. I HATE bad drivers, yes I said hate and I know it is a strong word but bad drivers are some of the most dangerous people around.

Here is a list of my top 5 (in no particular order) driving pet peeves:

1. Old People: I'm sure not ALL old people are bad drivers but I'm talking about the ones that wear those gigantic sunglasses (I call them Terminator Shades) and sit really close to the steering wheel. Almost every time I'm driving and the person in front of me does something ridiculous I ride up and see that it is an OLD person! What makes it even worse is that I feel bad for wanting to cuss out someone who could be my grandparent.

2. Improper Use of a Turn Signal: The purpose of a turn signal is to signal (in advance) that you are about to slow down to turn. It completely defeats the purpose if you put on your turn signal AFTER you have already put on your breaks. I needed to know BEFORE you slammed on breaks that you were about to make a turn so that I wouldn't be surprised and also have to slam on my breaks.

3. Brake Tapping: While we are on the subject of brakes....I can't stand people who ride their brakes while on the highway. Unless a deer pops out of the woods or something flies off the car in front of you there is no reason for you to randomly put on brakes. If the person in front of you slows down then just let off the gas, there is usually no need to just slam on your brakes and cause a two mile traffic jam because now everyone else has to slam on their brakes. If you weren't riding up on the person in front of you then you probably wouldn't have needed to put on your brakes in the first place.

4. Tailgating: This leads me to my next gripe. Just because you have a giant SUV, Diesel truck, etc does not give you the right to try to intimidate me into moving over. You don't have a monster truck, you aren't going to roll over my car so get over it and back up off my bumper. Now I dislike when people ride at or under the speed limit in the left lane as much as the next person but when I'm going over the speed limit AND there is a car in front of me, there isn't much I can do so get off my back!

5. Cruisers: While I don't like people riding up on my bumper, some people deserve it. Why are you driving 5 miles below the speed limit in the left lane??? Get the heck OVER. And what make me even madder is when I get over and try to pass said slow poke and then they decide they want to speed up so that I can't pass them so finally I give up and get back behind them then they proceed to slow back down! That's how people get shot. (Not that I would shoot someone or even own a gun but I'm just saying...)

There are lots of other things that bother me about being on the road but I will end my rant here. Some days I just wish I could run everywhere I needed to go instead of driving.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Some Days are Better Than Others

Today wasn't one of those days......

I just felt very sluggish today for some reason. I hadn't felt that great all day but I was hoping that the way I felt would improve like the weather. That was a good thing about today, it cleared up significantly and turned into a really nice evening weather wise.

It wasn't a terrible run and we still managed to get in 6 miles, I just wish I would have felt better than I did. I was going to try to write something entertaining tonight but after showering and eating, I feel like I'm about to fall asleep right at the keyboard!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stinkin Treadmill

OK, yesterday I said I would much rather run outside in the rain than run on a treadmill any day.....while I stand by that statement I must say that it doesn't not include running in potential tornado weather. I have a phobia of tornadoes. I don't think that is a particularly weird phobia, I mean they are enormous funnels of wind that generally cause death and destruction. So, since there were tornado warnings, watches, etc. I let Amy drag me to the gym where I complained the entire time.

I have decided that I just cannot run on the treadmill anymore. My leg and foot started hurting less than a mile into the workout. I was sweating like I had run 10 miles after 10 minutes. Is it really necessary for it to be that warm in the gym? I think they have the heat up so that people will sweat more and therefore think that they are actually doing something when they are really doing very little. After about a mile and a half I just couldn't take it anymore so we stopped and decided to ride the stationary bike. Not the best idea.....1st of all, I didn't have on the right shorts for such an activity. It may have been OK if I had on biking shorts but I had on some short running shorts which meant my thighs were exposed on this bike. It's not that I have a problem with my thighs, well maybe I do wish they were a bit smaller and didn't rub together, but that wasn't the issue here. The issue was the bike seat. Let me back up, an even bigger issue is my height. I know I'm short but it is times like these, where I put the seat ALL the way down and still can barely reach the pedals comfortably, that I really FEEL short. So since I am having a hard time reaching the pedals, I have to sit up on the seat which is awkward and now my thighs are running against the top of the bike seat as I attempt to pedal at a reasonable pace. OK, IT'S TIME TO GO!!!!!

This just solidifies my decision to NOT renew my membership at that particular gym although I do plan on joining one that has a pool so I can start swimming regularly. The visit to the gym lasted less than an hour but at least we did something. I'm sure Amy would have stayed longer but all my complaining just resulted in her being ready to go as well, hahaha. It looks like I'm going to have to stock up on some rain and winter gear because I'm not going to stop running, I just won't be doing it inside!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rain? What Rain?

Today our regularly schedule group run was cancelled because of rain....wimps! LOL. Just kidding guys/girls. Well, despite the group decision, I was not going to let a little rain get in the way of the run I so desperately needed. I really needed to get out some frustration and a treadmill just wasn't going to cut it. Plus, I haven't had a run in the rain in much too long.

Why am I frustrated you ask? One of my close work friends put in her notice of departure today. :( Now who am I going to sametime jokes to?? This is just one more thing that makes my day a little less enjoyable.

The run did manage to cheer me up a little bit though. It was great, I practically had the whole park to myself. It wasn't a cold rain, it was a nice cool rain that felt wonderful as I ran. The trees in the park helped slow it down so it wasn't like it was difficult to see while I was running. It reminded me of why I like running in the rain so much. I kinda felt like I was in a Nike commercial, LOL. We've been lucky so far in our training that we haven't had to deal with bad weather but now we are getting into hurricane season so there are going to be some rainy days. I for one would much rather run outside in the rain than on some stinkin treadmill any day!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Less Talk, More Run (Much More!)

11.5 miles today!!! This is our longest run so far and it was a very good one. I didn't feel GREAT but I felt pretty good. I probably should have run yesterday so I wouldn't have been as tight during today's run. Amy and I didn't do as much talking as we usually do but we did get some significant conversation time in which made for an enjoyable run. What made the run even MORE enjoyable was that Amy is back on her game! I was concerned when she texted me yesterday saying she biked almost 40 miles, I was worried she might be too tired to make it through the long run. How dare I doubt her!

The run was great, I even found myself having to pick it up at times to keep up with her. According to R2D2 (I'm trying out names for my Garmin, lol) we ran a 10:27 pace. That's wonderful! Last week was a 10.14 pace and the run was 2.5 miles shorter. I have no doubt in my mind that I will be happy about my final marathon time. I don't have a specific goal, other than to finish. I just don't feel like I can accurately set a goal when I have no idea how things are going to turn out. After I run this first one though, I will have a baseline for future marathons. This run was a great way to start the week.

I've made my "healthy eating" grocery list and I am going to try to do really well this week. It's not that I have terrible eating habits but I do tend to have meals that consist of buffalo wings and ice cream. LOL

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lazy Days

Sooooooo I was pretty lazy today....I got up around 10, did a little (very little) cleaning and that was pretty much it for the day. I did ride with Chris to my parents so he could set up some outdoor speakers my dad bought. While I was there I did manage to help by fixing the television screen so that the top of the picture wasn't cut off anymore.

I was supposed to run 3 miles today but that just didn't seem to happen. I should have just done it as soon as I woke up because by time we got back from my parents it was almost 6 pm and seeing as I have an 11 mile run schedule for 7 am Sunday morning I didn't see the point in running Sat night. Yeah, I know, excuses...

I'm going to do better though, I have decided that I won't beat myself up for slacking today. I am just going to look at it as my last relaxation day for a while. Just about every weekend leading up to the marathon will be busy for me. If it isn't some event I have agreed to attend, it is time I need to spend cleaning, packing, etc. So, I'm glad I enjoyed today! I doubt I'll have another one like it for some time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm Really Going To Need These Runs

Monday our department moved into our new "open space environment". What this really means is that they have moved us out of our nice, big offices and into a big room with a bunch of desks in it. I'm starting to feel like I work for a call center seeing people walking around with headsets on. Note: I probably should check my company's policy on blogging in order to avoid getting fired for anything I might say on here. Oh well.....Now I really tried to be optimistic about the situation (I'm not on the "Boost Team" for nothing) but I have decided that I REALLY don't like this new workspace. Pro: My seat is up against the window so I don't have anyone beside me and people can't walk behind my desk. Con: everything else you can imagine. I don't like people looking at me, unless I'm at the club and they are looking at me because of how HOT I look. But at work, I don't like people looking at me. I feel like I'm being watched ALL DAY LONG and I think it is starting to stress me out! Not to mention I can't do any "personal" things at my desk, I either have to suffer or get up and go somewhere private. That gets old!

All that is to say: I'm SO glad I'm doing this marathon and that I have a group to train with. Today was a fairly short run (4 miles) but we were supposed to run at a pretty good pace, which we did - under 10/min mile. Amy was beating herself up the entire run but I know how it feels when you feel like you aren't having a good run so I will give her a pass, even though she was doing just fine and I don't know why she was beating herself up! She kept telling me that I could leave her......I'm not leaving! This is my first marathon, my goal is to finish not beat some set time. I like running with a great running buddy because it makes my day better and relieves stress. The physical part of the running plus the mental part of having someone enjoyable to run with is what makes running so wonderful. Depending on how this "open space" develops, I may need to start running everyday......

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Apparently "Fartlek" is Swedish for "Speed Play". I remember running fartleks during cross country practice but I don't know that I ever knew what it really meant. Pretty much you sprint for a certain amount of time and then jog, sprint, get the point. Today we did six 30 second sprints with a decreasing amount of time to job in between each sprint.

I would say the run went fairly well, except for the part where Amy tried to kill herself! OK, not really but I have decided that she has to bring her inhaler whenever we do speed work. I also didn't realize how competitive she was. She says "you're a better sprinter than me" then proceeds to refuse to let me beat her during the sprint portions which results in me accusing her of trying to die on me.

I was going to write more tonight but I have procrastinated and now I'm distracted by the Olympics - currently they are showing the Men's Diving, amazing. So I have completely forgotten the other things I was going to write on my blog tonight. I will note that Chris has decided that the female announcer is a "hater" and that she keeps pointing out all little things that the Chinese keep doing wrong. Ohh...they are now about to start the track portion so I am going to end this post now. I'll do better tomorrow, haha.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Communication is the Key

The following is a prime example of why adults should not try to communicate via text messaging.....

2:30 am - Text from Amy: I might not make it tomorrow (that's the short version of the message)
2:35 am - Text to Amy: OK, just let me know or maybe we can just get together and run later (mind you, I was half asleep when I sent this)
6:05 am - Text from Amy: Let's do it! I didn't get to sleep until after 2!
6:10 am - Text to Amy: OK, see you in a few

So what happened??? I get to the coffee shop at 7am for our run and Amy is still at home asleep thinking that we are going to meet later in the day. We clearly had two different understandings of the meaning of our text conversation. When I got the "Let's do it!" text (shortly after I had hit my snooze button and was seriously contemplating cutting my alarm off completely) I was thinking, "wow, somebody has already had a few cups of coffee and is pumped to go". And I'm guessing that she took my "see you in a few" to mean a few HOURS, not minutes. AHHHHHH......perhaps next time we will just call each other instead of texting.

On to the run....since I was short a running buddy and I really wasn't trying to run an unfamiliar route by myself (good thing since our directions were wrong and had I been alone I might still be out there wondering around), I decided that I would just have to step it up and run with Pam and David. I made up my mind I would stick with them and told my body to just deal with it! Luckily my mind won and I was able to stay with them for the entire 9 miles, whooo hooo. I would like to note that there was very little talking done by me during this run. If you know me, you know how much I like to talk and since I'm not running to win any medals, I would much rather run slower and be able to talk than to run faster and not. So don't worry Amy, I'm not going to leave you for the fast group. (Even though I think Pam is trying to steal me from you!) It was motivating to know that I CAN run with the faster people and not feel like I'm going to die when I finish.

Now it is time for me to ice my leg again....

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Banana Bread French Toast

Amy lured me out of my warm and cozy bed with promises of delicious banana bread french toast. Since I had never had such a dish and I love food I took the bait. I arrived at her house at 7 in the morning (i really should have still been in the bed) to the smell of freshly baked bread. YUM!! Then to my despair I learn that I must first run 5 miles before I am allowed to enjoy this wonderful smelling treat. WHAT!!!???? 5 miles! LOL, I'm joking, I knew about the run beforehand but I still feel as if that is something Amy would try to pull on me.

After a pretty good run, even though there was this extremely loooooong hill on the way back. It wasn't very steep which was good, it just seemed to never end. We did 5 miles at a pretty good pace. I'm glad I made it at all since last night I was having a sneezing fit and could barely breathe out of my nose. I have decided that I cannot get sick between now and Nov 2nd so if whatever this is is trying to turn into a cold it needs to just stop right now!

After the run Amy was hosting a Pampered Chef party, I just had the best Alfredo spinach and bacon pizza ever! If this is what Saturday runs at Amy's are like then I need to do this every weekend. Did I mention how much I love to eat? One of the reasons I run is so I can eat more and not turn into a fat cow. Alright, enough excitement for one day, I need a nap....

Friday, August 15, 2008

Remind me why I'm doing this....

As my calves were screaming, my glutes were aching and I felt like I might just keel over and die at any moment yesterday, I began asking myself why I was doing this. Even through the pain, it didn't take long for the answer to come. I'm doing this for ME! Yes, there are other people who play a role in my training and my ultimate success (namely, my wonderful running group) but when it comes down to it, this will be all ME. I have to have the will to get up at 7 in the morning when I could be sleeping in, the will to not just go home and sit on the couch after a long day of work. I have the will to put on my running clothes and lace up my running shoes and get out there and do it, regardless of if I feel like it or not. I was looking up running quotes the other day and came across the following quote:

"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired. When you were younger the mind could make you dance all night, and the body was never tired...You've always got to make the mind take over and keep going." - George S. Patton, U.S. Army General and 1912 Olympian

There have been many times where my body wants to give up but it is MY mind that keeps me going. My mind wants to accomplish this goal and it is going to make my body go along even if it doesn't agree! So the next time my body asks my mind why is it doing this and what did it do to deserve this cruel torture, my mind is just going to tell my body to "shut up and keep running".

On a side note: despite the obvious differences, Amy and I have decided that we were indeed separated at birth.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Trail Time

Today was a hard day...for some reason I just felt worn down at work. I had two meetings where I struggled to stay awake and I had to start packing up my office. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate packing?? Well, I absolutely hate packing and every time I have ever had to move I have waited until the last minute to pack and of course, I regret it every time. You would think I would learn......

That is all to say, I needed today's run. I needed the laughs I KNEW I would get from my hilarious running buddy. I needed the release I knew I would get from a run. And I got it! Today's run was short and actually pretty slow but it wasn't an easy run. We ran trails today, it has been over a year since I've run real trails like the ones we did today. Dodging rock and roots, jumping over fallen trees and climbing mountain-like hills makes for a pretty strenuous run. It was great! I really enjoyed the run and I'm glad that the rain cleared up just in time for our run. We were going to run even if it was still raining (yes we were Amy!) but it was nicer without the rain.

My legs are still sore so I think I'll head to the grocery store now to get some Castor Oil to rub on my legs....a friend told me that helps with the muscle soreness. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm kinda concerned you'll be causin a crash

Well, we didn't actually cause any crashes today but we definitely got a lot of stares and some honks. I'm going to assume it was because of how cute Amy and I looked in our running skirts and not because they were trying to figure out why there was a group of obviously crazy people running up and down the hill on Old Battleground!

Me and my big mouth....Marisa sent an email asking if we wanted to do hills today or do a 5k (3 miles) instead. What was my response? HILLS!!!! I wasn't actually aware of the details of said hill when I cast my vote. I missed the 1st hill workout so I didn't know this particular hill was half a mile long and pretty steep. I think I may have nightmares about this hill, that is, during the periods of sleep in between waking up to leg cramps. Oh yeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhh............I'm beginning to really learn the joys of marathon training and I LOVE IT! What is that saying??? "No pain, no gain" Don't get me wrong..we actually did very well today. 5 hill repeats at a consistent pace that was at our 5-10k pace. I know all these hill workouts will pay off on Nov 2nd when I'm running the marathon course!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

This Ain't No Hill!!!

Quote of the Day: "A race is a work of art that people can look at and be affected in as many ways as they're capable of understanding" - Steve Prefontaine

I wake up this morning, after about 4 hours of fault - I was up all night playing Rockband with John-Jon and B Walton. Anyway, I'm rushing around the apartment like a crazy person trying to get all my stuff together when I get a text from Amy: "It's raining, are you still going". I REALLY wanted to say, no let's not, and get my butt right back in the bed under the covers, but since I have been mentally preparing for a 10 mile run for the past week I thought that I should go for it. Luckily, it stopped raining shortly after we got to the park and actually turned out to be beautiful weather for a run.

The run.....ok, so I prepared for a 10 mile run, what I DIDN'T prepare for was a 10 mile run through the Rocky Mountains! OK, I'm sure it was even close to that bad but it sure felt like it. The good thing was that we were running the same course as the bike section of a triathlon that was being held at the same time so we had some entertainment (read: sexy men on bikes) during the second half of the run. Someone had gone through the course and spray painted some words of encouragement on the road. One said "This Ain't No Hill" to which Amy replied, "Yes, the hell it is!" LOL, this and many other hilarious comments are what make these runs super enjoyable. I am so glad Amy is back from vacation because I need my buddy to keep me going and entertained.

All in all it was a great run, shoot we finished it! We did get semi chased by a dog - I told Amy not to talk to it but she insisted and then it started running behind us, growling. There was a trip to the cornfield (don't ask) and some crazy drivers, all things that keep it interesting. I'm looking forward to our next long run already....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I Wish It Would Rain.....

Quote of the day (It's really from Tuesday but I forgot to post it): "The more I run, the more I want to run, and the more I live a life conditioned and influenced and fashioned by my running. And the more I run, the more certain I am that I am heading for my real goal: to become the person I am." ~ George Sheehan

On to the topic of this post....besides being one of my favorite Temptation's song, that is how I felt during my run on Wednesday. It was a short (3 mile), easy run but less than half-way through I was already sweating like a pig in a flannel blanket! As I saw the sky begin to grow dark I starting wishing for rain. How refreshing it would have been to have a cool rain start to fall during my run. Then I started thinking about my cross-country days and how we ran rain or shine. I used to love the rainy days - getting soaked and covered in dirt, so much fun. It has been a long time since I have had the chance to run in the rain. So for now.....I just wish it would rain!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Stress Sucks!!!

Stress sucks.....stress at work, stress at home, people stressing you out etc, it all sucks! But what is worse is a stress fracture. Unfortunately one of my running buddies (Kay) is suffering from this terrible injury :( I am sad to lose a great running partner and I hope you take care of yourself so you can get well soon!

Today was speed work on the track: We warmed up and then did 1x1600 (a mile) and then 4x400 with a 200 meter break in between each 400. Since my other running buddy (Amy) is playing hooky this week and was probably somewhere laying on the beach drinking a six pack, Pam was nice enough to run with me. She is so sweet, she said "I guess I'll try to be Amy today". It was nice having someone to run with but if you are going to pretend to be Amy you will have to complain more!

Running with Pam definitely pushed me today - I did my mile in 8:02 and the 400s were all right under 2 minutes!!! Our target was a 5k pace....we'll see if I can keep that pace up for 3 miles (somehow I'm doubting that will happen). It is important to note that very little talking took place during today's run so perhaps we CAN run faster if we don't talk as much. Today's run was very encouraging. Oh and don't worry Amy, I'd much rather talk than run fast!

Monday, August 4, 2008

8.8 Miles!

This Sunday we ran 8.8 miles....our longest so far! Luckily it was cooler than it has been lately although I still looked like I had gone swimming when I finished. It was a great run and we averaged under an 11 min/mile which is wonderful for our "long slow runs". As usual we had some interesting conversations, we definitely didn't try the "less talk" idea, maybe next time ;)

I forgot to mention in my last post that I found the bike I want!!! Amy tried to get me to buy it right then but I resisted. It won't be long before I am able to get it so I'm doing well at practicing patience.

Today was a cross-training day so I did some Cardio-Yoga. It was a pretty good workout, i definitely worked up a sweat and got some great stretching in. I couldn't do all the poses and fell over a couple times (LOL) but I think I will incorporate yoga into at least one of my workouts a week. Strengthening my core and becoming more flexible will only help with my running.

Time to is going to be hot tomorrow and we have a track workout scheduled!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Anti-Depressant

Thursday's Quote: "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'" - Peter Maher (Irish-Canadian Olympian, sub-2:12 marathoner)

Today we were strong! I'm so glad Amy asked me to meet her to run this morning because I probably would have wimped out otherwise. We did 4-miles, at under a 10 min/mile pace! We are definitely getting stronger and faster which is wonderful.

I think that everyone should run. There are so many benefits of running, I really don't understand why everyone doesn't WANT to run. One of the main benefits of running to me is how much it improves my mood. I could have had the crappiest day, night, WEEK......but once I lace up my running shoes and hit that road my whole attitude changes. On the road I only have one thing to worry about - myself. Any problems, people, or other negatives just fade into the distance as I run. And I'm not running AWAY from my problems, I'm just running over them. Pounding them down with each step. Running also clears my mind and allows me to focus on solving any problems or issues I might have going on. The satisfaction I feel when I've finished a particularly hard run is amazing. I may be tired and sweaty at the end but I'm also happy! My point is, the next time you are having a bad day - go out for a run and it just might help.