Monday, February 28, 2011

It's All Good

I'm feeling much better today-I let myself have my pity party last night and today all is well.  In fact I've had a really blessed day!

I got up and went to work really early, which meant I got to leave at 2:30.  That's like the middle of the day!!  I surprised the kids and picked them up early.  They were so excited to see me that I got some of the biggest hugs ever.

We went to the store for a quick couple of items and then we came home and I trimmed their hair.  Nothing fancy here, just a trim.  I just can't see paying salon prices to take the split ends off of two tiny girls!

We ate some breakfast for dinner all together and I even let them have some dessert, which is kind of rare around here.  There were lots of smiles and none of their usual bickering with each other.  It has been a fantastic day!!

No running again today, as I'm working on a migraine.  But I still feel blessed, even so!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Uncle Sam and Oscar

Today I did not run.  Because I am depressed.  Which probably means I should have run, but man did I not feel it.  For the first time ever we have to pay taxes.  A perfect storm of events (screwed up exemptions, new job with crap we didn't know about, I won't bore you) means we have to pay Uncle Sam.  We are trying to save for a down payment for a new house so paying huge sums of money to Sam wasn't in the plans. 

I live in a place that doesn't sell alcohol on Sundays so wine was out.  I really could have used some sweet red wine.  Instead, it was a milkshake to soothe the immediate pain.  Now it's the Oscars and chocolate.  Dolled up stars and Easter candy definitely make this girl smile.

Doesn't Jennifer Hudson look amazing, btw??

Also, was that guy joking or serious when he interrupted his applause and said "You're taking up my time."?

That is all.

A morning date with the hubs. An evening date with the Biebs.

Yesterday the hubs and I actually paid for a babysitter (*gasp*) so we could do our long run together.  We went back to our favorite paved trail on a terrible frigid morning.  Now, last week it was cold, but sunny and we eventually warmed up even though we were wearing short sleeves.  This week it was cold and cloudy so we opted for long sleeves, but we totally underdressed.  I never warmed up!!

We tried some new fuel (still in experimentation mode).  Dave had the Black Cherry Shot Bloks.  He said they were great for his energy level but the taste was less than desirable.  He did recommend them for people who like Dr. Pepper and really strong whiskey....which is obviously not him given the face he made while eating them.  I so wish I'd had the camera!

I had the Blueberry Pomegranate GU Chomps.  The taste and texture were great, but I didn't get the same kick that I experienced with last week's Clif Shot.  In fact I was totally dragging the last half of our run.  Last week's run felt good, this week's felt a little less good.  They can't all be rainbows and sunshine I suppose.

Despite my lack of mojo we did make it our full 7 miles in 1:19:29, average pace 11:22.*

And then we went to Longhorn Steakhouse and stuffed our gizzards!  Followed by White Chocolate Mochas at Starbucks since we were feeling smart for having a gift card to Longhorn!

We picked up the girls and made them take much needed naps, and then minus the hubs, we had a girls night out.  We went to see Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D.  Because I have little girls.  And little girls have Bieber Fever.  It was cute and not nearly as painful as I'd imagined.  The home videos of him as a little boy were really cute and I was pleasantly surprised to see how hard he actually worked for his career.  He wasn't quite the overnight sensation I had imagined.  Cute movie.

The girls wanted their picture with the Biebs:

*Split times, for those who want to know:

Mile 1 - 11:00
Mile 2 - 11:43
Mile 3 - 11:36
Mile 4 - 11:25
Mile 5 - 11:38
Mile 6 - 11:33
Mile 7 - 10:36

Must.  Get.  Faster.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Must Have Gear

Today I had a great run.  Mostly because I really didn't want to run, but I did it anyway.  I've been so tired this week.  I haven't wanted to get out of bed for work, I've been dragging all day at work, and by the time I've gotten home I've been so exhausted I just want to collapse in bed.  Except I can't, because I'm a mom.  I know the other moms out there will understand. 

Today I got home a good half hour before the hubby and kids got here and I was so, so tempted to lay down on the bed and watch some trash TV or just "rest my eyes" until they got home.  It is so rare for me to have the house completely to myself.  The silence and privacy was so very tempting!

But, I laced up my shoes and hit the road.  It was only a 2 miler scheduled for today so I used that to my advantage when I was playing the mental game to get out the door.  I ended up finishing the 2 miles in 20:12 which I find to be awesome for someone who didn't have the energy to run in the first place!

I got a new product in the mail a couple days ago.  I mean, I bought it and the Fed Ex man delivered it to me.  I don't have sponsors beating down my door or anything.  Anyway, after the run in with the dog last week I decided to order a SPIbelt.  With warmer weather teasing us, I know shorts weather is just around the corner.  At least I hope it is.  And when I start wearing shorts, I stop carrying my cell phone.  It makes me beyond nervous to be out by myself without too, in case of emergency.  So, enter the SPIbelt:

It is A-MAZ-ING!  I've used it twice so far and it is awesome!  Once you put it on, you forget that it's there.  It doesn't bounce or ride up.  It doesn't squeeze your waist.  You don't feel it at all.  In fact, tonight I came home and cooked dinner with it still on because I forgot it was there.  And look how deceptively small it looks.  But it expands to easily hold my iPhone:

And if I had been going on a longer run I could have easily squeezed a few gels in there, my car keys, and probably even more stuff.  It is deceptively huge.  I couldn't be more pleased with this purchase!  If you have ever stressed about how to carry everything you need for a run, especially during shorts weather, get one of these now!  They are FAB!

Nope, I didn't get paid or reimbursed in any manner to brag on this thing.  But I wish I would.  SPIbelt = new love of my life.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Too. Much. Chocolate.

Today I ate half a bag (you know...the big bag) of peanut M&M's.  There was also a run in with a Caramello Bar and a bottle of Yoo Hoo.  And some hot chocolate.  And a couple bites of cadbury dairy milk.  I don't know what got into me!  Tomorrow I plan to pack a giant salad to eat at work for lunch.  My body needs veggies and protein before it shuts down from the sugar overload.

Today I ran a quick 3 miles outside before taking T. to dance class.  I decided to get back to the basics thanks to something I read at The Hungry Runner Girl today.  I couldn't go all the way, I mean I didn't leave my Garmin at home or anything crazy like that.  But I did decide not to look at it, except when it sounded the alarm at the mile markers*.  I did not watch my pace, I did not stress that I was running too fast or too slow, I did not count down the tenths of miles until I would be back at my car. 

Instead, I ran what felt good.  If it felt too easy, I picked up the pace.  If it felt too hard, I slowed it down a little.  I appreciated every foot step, and even had a monologue going on in my mind about how each and every foot step was literally getting me closer to my immediate half marathon goal and my more distant full marathon goal.  I appreciated the nature around me...even if I wasn't happy that it was snowing!!  And the entire run felt amazing.  It wasn't one more check on my To Do list.  It was me, enjoying myself.  It was the best solo run I've had in a long time.  And my time wasn't too bad either, even without checking the pace every 20 seconds.  Go figure.

3 miles in 32:13.  Average Pace: 10:45. 

*I just learned how to set my Garmin to automatically chime at me at the mile markers on Saturday.  Yes, I have had this watch for two years.  No, I am not ashamed.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Treadmill Lives the Good Life

Saturday night (technically early Sunday morning) I was up with a stomach bug.  All night long I felt TERRIBLE.  It was horrible, and all I really kept thinking was "NOOOOO!!!  I have to run today in order to get my four running days in!!".  Sunday was a rainy day, but fairly warm so it would have been a great day to run which made it even worse.

I laid around all day Sunday, watching TV, napping, not eating and generally feeling miserable.  Finally at the end of the day I sucked it up and got on the treadmill to run 2 miles.  I figured even if I didn't make it the whole way, I could still say I ran four days for the week.

I had a pretty sweet setup going:

Why yes, we DO have 3 TV's in front of the treaddy.  Ok, technically it's two TV's and a laptop.  The big TV is really for the kids to watch because you can't see it from the exercise equipment.  The top TV is the one that is actually high enough to see from the treadmill or spin bike, so is the one we usually have on.  The laptop is because sometimes a girl's gotta watch Hulu.  I missed Survivor so I had to catch up, obvs.

I had the speakers right there on the treadmill so I could hear REALLY well when Phillip and Francesca started going at it and proving themselves crazy right from the get go.  Note the fan, aimed right at my face.  It might be my favorite part.  There's the yellow post-it note to keep the pulse sensor from going wacko and giving me pulse readings, even when I'm not actually touching the sensor.  And my motivation: the big tacky piece of paper that is taped on that says MARATHON:

"When the guy says go, you start to suffer -- or you might as well not be out there. It's a small piece of your life, make it hurt."
~Aaron Cox, Winner of US Mountain Biking Championship

That's the setup that let me pound out 2 miles in 21:15 (10:38 pace) even while sick!  That made 12 weekly miles in 4 days of running.  I felt proud.  And tired.

A. was tired too.  We had to wake her up from her nap and she promptly snuck into the chair and fell back asleep.  It was too I just let her go back to sleep!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Same, But Different

Today we watched a home movie from when T. was a baby.  She was getting burped, and after she obliged I said "Good Girl!!!" (insert baby talk here) and she jumped a MILE.  On the video, I crack up and even snort.  In real life while watching, I cracked up and even snorted.  It was like surround sound all of a sudden because I sounded exactly like I did six years ago.  It was weird, especially since I feel like I've changed so very much in those six years!

Yesterday, the hubby and I got a babysitter so we could go run together, kid-free.  We set out to run 6 miles on a gorgeous, sunny, COLD day.  It was 34 degrees and Dave normally won't run in that weather but he did it anyway and it was great!  We ran 6 miles on some stellar paved trails in the next town over.  The scenery was gorgeous and runners were out all over the place. 

Dave wanted to start out slowly (he's only resumed running within the last couple weeks) so we were aiming for 12:00 miles to begin with.  We stopped at 3 miles to get a drink, chew some energy and turn around to come back.  Dave ate some Shot Bloks, I took a strawberry Clif Shot w/caffeine.  And I nearly gagged on the taste and texture (it was my first time).  I have weird issues with texture anyway to be fair, but man that thing was nasty.  But with that said, I did get a kick and we busted out some major negative splits for the last 3 miles.

Mile 1: 12:00 (hit it exactly, I should totally be a pacer)
Mile 2: 12:12
Mile 3: 12:17
Mile 4: 11:29
Mile 5: 11:24
Mile 6: 10:25

Total time: 1:09:49, average pace 11:39. 

We both felt good, and I for one have no soreness today (Tiger Tail baby!!).  I've been running 6 miles for a while now on Saturdays and I wanted to keep doing that until it felt good before I started growing the distance.  I finally think I'm ready to move up, so next week we've decided to tackle 7 miles!

A couple miles today will finally accomplish my much sought after 4 day running week!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lazy Friday Night

I'm having a fun, happening Friday about y'all?  Sitting in my AE fleecy pants with a heating pad on my hip, catching up on last night's Grey's.  Actually, it's heavenly!!

We did manage to drag ourselves out to get some dinner.  Hubby hates when I take pictures of him eating.  Bahahaha!!!!!

I may have eaten copious amounts of bacon cheese fries and ranch dressing.  Pre-long run fuel baby!

Excuse the poor quality of the iPhone pictures.  Oops.

Tomorrow morning the hubs and I are running 6 miles.  I hope the cheese fries don't come back to haunt me.  No porta's on this route!

After the run we're meeting up with Dave's sister and her husband to try out a new Mexican place.  I love going out to eat after a long run.  The hungrier you are the more yummy food you can sample :)

Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I had some, and it was Popplicious

I have been on a quest since I was 6 years old.  [That's a 24 year long quest, in case you're not keeping count]. 

We used to have a lovely little place called The Dairy Barn.  It actually had the look and feel of a barn (it's a midwest thing) but inside was a lovely world of ice cream and sherbet galore.  It was my favorite ice cream joint, because they had Grape Sherbet and I love love love all things grape! 

I can still remember the last time I went there because it was such a traumatizing experience for me.  You see, after we had our Grape Sherbet and left The Dairy Barn, I realized I had left behind my beloved Popple.  It was purple and awesome and I was a mess!  This was well before the days of a cell phone in every driver's hand, and it was a long drive to The Dairy Barn from our apartment.  We couldn't just go back, and we couldn't call until we got home. 

By the time we made the call, it was gone. 

A sad story, to be sure.  BUT!  The Grape Sherbet has lived on in a special place in my heart.  Every grocery store, every ice cream shop, I was always looking.  Could this be the day I would find Grape Sherbet and re-live the childhood memories?  I mean, that stuff was yummy and when I find something I like I prefer to stick with it thankyouverymuch.

This story has a happy ending.  Because on Tuesday night, I found my Grape Sherbet.  And it was every bit as intoxicating as I remembered!

Oh yes, Bruster's Real Ice Cream, I will be back.  On Saturday.  After a 6 mile run, I deserve your grape-y goodness.

Tuesday workout: 2 miles, 20:46 (10:23 pace)
Wednesday workout (same route, but accompanied by hubby): 2 miles, 20:48 (10:24 pace)

Unfortunately, the two in a row has my hip all kinds of bummed out.  But, today and tomorrow I rest from running and pick up spinning so I'll have fresh legs for Saturday's run.  I will run 4 days this week!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Three Tangent Tuesday: Valentine’s Day Addition

In honor of yesterday’s holiday, St. Valentine’s Day, I present to you three things I LOVE:

  1. I LOVE emptying the tray on the hole punch.  Weird, right?  When you take off that tray and the thousands of little circles fall out it is just so satisfying.  I mean, it is a visible clean slate.  You put the empty tray back on the hole punch and you start over fresh.  Every time.  It’s sort of poetic.
  2. I LOVE going out to eat at restaurants.  I know it’s more expensive than eating at home.  I know it’s usually less healthy than eating at home.  But it’s so fabulous to not be the one cooking and cleaning up.  So fabulous.
  3. I LOVE the smell of clean laundry.  Be it a Clean Cotton Candle or actual warm, fluffy clothes fresh from the dryer, there is no better smell out there.

I'll take Cool Sci-Fi News for $200, Alex

Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with running really.  Because, well, yesterday I just didn’t run.

BUT!  If you’re an 80 year old grandma trapped in a 30 year old body, you may appreciate this story J  I love love love watching Jeopardy.  Wheel of Fortune too.  And doing crossword and jigsaw puzzles.  But this story is about Jeopardy.

If you’re at all an aficionado of all things Alex Trebek then you may remember Ken Jennings.  He won 74 straight episodes of Jeopardy and it was craziness.  People who didn’t even like Jeopardy were tuning in to see this modern marvel of intellect.  I was hooked.  I could not miss Jeopardy during the Ken Jennings era.  Why yes, I am a nerd…however did you know?

So, why am I telling you this?  Because Ken Jennings is back!  And along with some other winner guy, he is battling it out on Jeopardy…against a super-computer named Watson.  And the computer is giving Ken a run for his money!  It's all very science fiction-y.  If only George Orwell and Aldous Huxley could have seen this day…Read about it here!!  You can still tune in tonight and tomorrow night to see how the computer fares in rounds 2 and 3.

Come time I will talk about running.  Swearsies.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dogs That Bite and Other Tales of Woe

As a runner you learn quickly how your best laid plans can go by the wayside.  Doubly so if you also work, or are a parent, or both.  Last week was supposed to be my first 4 day running week.  In reality, it was only a 3 day running week AND I didn't even hit double digit mileage.

Thursday night T. got sick and she stayed that way until this morning.  She still has a cough, but thankfully the fever has broken and her spirit has returned.  That has meant 4 sleepless nights and I was way too tired to run my 6 miles Saturday.  Originally I thought I might squeeze in 2 or 3 miles Saturday and push my long run to Sunday.  What happened instead is that I ran 0 miles Saturday. 

Sunday afternoon I set out to run 6 or 7 miles, so that I could at least maintain my double digits for the week.  It was gorgeous outside!  Sunny, blue skies, and 59 degrees.  3 days earlier it was only 3 degrees outside and yesterday was 59!!  It felt fabulous.  And then at 0.3 miles in I was attacked by a dog!  Don't be too alarmed, it was just a little bichon frise...but it ran straight out of it's yard, barking and biting at my ankles, without an owner anywhere in sight.  He didn't get my skin, but he sure did bite my shoe and pants.  For some reason my brain thought an appropriate response was "Hey!  Hey!  Calm down now!  You just calm down!".  He did go back to his yard for some reason (which I doubt had anything to do with my attempt to reason with him) and I did NOT run back past that yard.  Yes, I know it was a little dog but I bet it would have hurt if he had gotten my skin!

Anyway, I continue tooling along until about a mile in where my calves begin to hurt.  Again.  Not really the back of my leg where the bulk of the muscle is, but down the inside of my leg.  I start to picture stress fractures and my legs splintering apart in mid-step and other horrid things.  And when I get back to my car at the 2.5 mile mark for a water stop, I just decide I can't keep going.  My legs were hurting so bad!  And they continued to hurt the rest of the night.  This has been going on a couple weeks now and I'm starting to wonder if maybe it's time to go to the doctor, just to make sure there's nothing really serious going on.

I am going to set out to run 2-3 miles tonight and see how the calves/legs do.  Just a few short weeks ago I could run 6 miles at a time without pain, and now I can hardly walk the rest of the night after running 2.5.  Today I'm feeling discouraged about my chances for a PR in!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Have you heard the news?

Have you seen the story about the guy who ran 365 marathons in 365 days?  Wow.  Here I am, allowing myself a full year to get my body all trained up for a full marathon.  And this guy already ran one.  Every day.  For a year.  I am in awe!

Over the year he ran 9,569 miles.  His fastest marathon over the year was 2 hours and 56 minutes.  He broke a world record for consecutive races run.  The previous record was 52 consecutive races.  And this guy?  Ran 365 consecutive races. 

I hope that I can someday be in half the shape as this guy is. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ow. Ow. Ow.

I just finished a 2 mile interval run on the treadmill that looked like this:

0.25 miles at 5.5 mph (11:00 pace)
0.25 miles at 6.2 mph (9:41 pace)
0.25 miles at 5.5 mph
0.25 miles at 6.4 mph (9:23 pace)
0.25 miles at 5.5 mph
0.25 miles at 6.6 mph (9:05 pace)
0.25 miles at 5.5 mph
0.25 miles at 6.8 mph (8:49 pace)

The first 0.75 miles were at a 1% incline, but my legs were so heavy I wanted to quit. running. forever.  Instead, I took the incline back to 0% and toughed it out.  My legs hate me now.  I don't know why but my shins and calves have been killing me.  Now that I'm done, I'm glad I did the workout but I'm still having trouble walking half an hour later.  They hurt that bad.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to rock some Advil and spend the rest of the night on the couch.  I have no idea what is wrong with my legs, but they need to drop the 'tude because I'm tired of hurting!

Overall, I finished the two miles I was shooting for in 20:12 for an average pace of 10:06.  And it kicked my trash.  Seriously.

Naturally I used the Tiger Tail after that beast of a run, the jury's still out on how that's working out for me.

Time for some quality couch time with Steven Tyler a.k.a. American Idol. 

Don't forget: Skinny Runner's giveaway here!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thin Mints Are My Crack

It's that time of the year again...Girl Scout Cookie time!  I may or may not have polished off an entire sleeve of Thin Mints.  An hour before I went out to run.  I may or may not have learned a lesson.

Today it was 21 degrees and sunny so I got to run outside.  It was fabulous, and freezing cold.  In my quest to run 4 days this week instead of my normal 3, I went just 2 miles.  They still felt a little like death since I

  1. Tried to push the pace
  2. Was freezing, and
  3. Ate an entire sleeve of Thin Mints an hour earlier
Turns out Thin Mints are not the best pre-run fuel.  They make pretty spectacular post-run fuel so by all means carry on with the post-run Thin Mint binges J

In other Tiger Tail arrived today!

It was hard to get a clear picture but it says 'I <3 Happy Muscles' on the handle.  I don't know about you, but I just like that!

Here's a picture of me trying it out.  Never mind the goofy face, post-workout hair, and velour pants suit... 

I realize it's too soon to say anything definitively, since I've only used the thing once and I haven't had a chance to see how the day after muscles feel, but first impression: I LOVE IT!  It feels super good on your muscles after you're done running and stretching.  So far my tight calves are not feeling tight!  I can't wait for my next run to see if they're still not tight!  I haven't had any soreness in my legs even though I had to get immediately in the car after the stretching/tiger tailing to drive to daycare and get the kiddos.  Normally that drive would have me all stiffened up but not today!  More review to come as I get to use it more this week, but so far so very, very good.  I'm going to use it some more while watching BL just because it feels good!

Summary: 2 miles in 19:45, 9:53 pace, freezing cold.  Tiger Tail=Good J

Does your long run give you a headache?

Today is the day my Tiger Tail is supposed to arrive!  I’m super excited!  I can’t wait to run tonight just so I can use the Tiger Tail afterwards.  I hope it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me J

Sunday I managed to run 2 miles in 20:32 (10:16 pace, obv), making my weekly total 11.1!  Finally a double digit running week.  New goal for this week: run 4 days instead of only 3.  I want to try and be mindful of the 10% rule and all, so I’m shooting for 3 days of just 2 miles/day and then my regular 6 mile run on Saturday.  Four days, 12 miles, good times.

I need some help on my long run days because I am obviously doing something wrong.  I get a migraine every Saturday after my long runs.  Right now my long run is only 6 miles, but as it increases the severity of the headaches will increase as well.  I get up in the morning, usually eat about half a banana, try to remember to take some Advil pre-run, and then I go run.  It always feels like a pretty hard effort, I don’t do my long runs at a 1-2 minutes slower pace than my easy runs, as so many magazines prescribe.  Then I come home and definitely take Advil if I haven’t already, stretch, chow down on lots of food, get tired, then get a headache.  

I’m already dreading this Saturday’s run because of the headache that tends to follow.  Last Saturday’s headache was a nightmare and I don’t want a repeat.

Am I doing something wrong?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The 5K That Wasn't

We are having some seriously crazy weather in the midwest this winter.  Tuesday and Wednesday we had what forecasters were calling a "blizzard".  I hardly think it was that bad, but we did get some nasty ice with a few inches of snow on top.  Then Friday we had a heat wave.  It got up to 37 degrees and the sun was shining so all the snow melted.  I was thinking my 5K Saturday would be a go for sure, no more snow!  So I wake up Saturday morning, eat my banana, get appropriately bundled up for a 30 degree day.  Then I peek out the window to remote start my car and find another blizzard.  We had a few inches of snow back on the ground and so much snow falling you could hardly see through it.  Ridiculous!

Well I couldn't see paying $25 for a race to set my Personal Worst.  Ever tried to run fast in the snow?  It's a recipe for disaster.  I also couldn't bring myself to do my long run on the treadmill since I was already appropriately dressed for a cold outside run.  So I dug the car out so I could head out to my regular run spot.

I climb in the car, turn on the wipers, and nothing on the drivers side.  My passenger side windshield is cleared, but in front of me: all snow, all the time.  I get out in the snow to inspect and find my wiper is definitely broken.  My ingenious husband somehow jams it back together long enough to get to the auto parts store a couple blocks away, where they replace my wiper blade for free and upgrade it to a better model-score!

It was a crazy morning but I did manage to get my long run in.  I did a 2.5 mile loop (that I designed in my head while running it or I might have picked a longer distance) then came back to my car for a drink and a snack.  Then I set out on my loop again but extended it this time.  My second loop was 3.5 miles, for a total of 6. 

The first loop I ran with my glasses in my hand because the snow was coating them until I couldn't see.  I smartly left them in the car for the second loop.  Here's a picture of the snow on my first loop, which unfortunately doesn't do justice to the amount of snow that's actually falling at that exact moment:

I was so glad when the run was done so I could get inside and get warmed up.  It took me 1:12:15 for 6 miles in the snow, for an average pace of 12:03. 

My last 6 mile run not in the snow was in 1:03:29 so the snow slowed me down quite a bit but honestly, I expected it to slow me down more so I'm happy.

After that the hubby took us to Five Guys for lunch.  Ever been there?  It was our first time and I wasn't nearly as impressed as I had hoped to be from all the rave reviews.  It was okay, just not great. 

Today I have a 2-3 mile easy run scheduled.  I'm playing it by ear, depending on how the old bum knee feels.  Either way it will officially put me in double digits for the week, which will be the first time this training season that I've hit double digits!!  I'm excited!

Friday, February 4, 2011

In Case You Were Wondering

I just ordered the Tiger Tail!  And after I get it on or around Tuesday I'll be able to tell you how much I love it (I hope!).

Also got bamboozled into pre-ordering Dean Karnazes' new book while I was there.  Curse you Amazon Suggestions!!  I'm not really mad though, cause's Dean.  Of course I'm going to buy his new book.  Why not pre-order it so I can have it immediately upon it's release? 

Steven Tyler PJ's, Steven Tyler PJ's

Forgive me for being a little behind the times here.  Today during my lunch break I was reading the December issue of Runner’s World.  There’s a little recurring segment called Back Story that features a runner, who gives 10 little tidbits about his or herself.  In December it was Nolan Shaheed, a 60 year old runner who set six American running records in 2010.  Obviously he’s a good runner and knows his stuff.  I’m certainly impressed.  But the point I want to make here is Tidbit #3 where he says:

“I eat once a day.  Fruit, chicken, rice, veggies.  I love broccoli.  My meal lasts over an hour.”

What?!?!?  He only eats once a day?  How is that even possible?  I would be starvacious the entire rest of the day if I ate only one meal.  I wouldn’t have enough energy to function, let alone run fast and set American records.  I’m so very confused as to how he does it.

Moving on.  Yesterday I donated blood.  The Red Cross comes to our workplace every 56 days (the wait time before you can donate again) and holds a blood drive and I always try to go and donate.  It seems like an easy and relatively painless way to give back a little.  I usually don’t have any trouble donating.  I have never had any dizziness or fainting or anything.  But yesterday’s blood donation messed me up.  I gave blood about 9:00 yesterday morning and by about noon I was a wreck.  Every time I stood up I got dizzy, sometimes I got a dizzy spell just sitting in my chair.  I was pale and had a headache and I was so tired and weak feeling.  They tell you not to exercise on the day you give blood, but I’ve never had trouble before and figured I would still do my easy run last night, just a little slower than normal.  That did not happen!  I didn’t make it off the couch.  It was just me, some pizza, some Ben & Jerry’s, and my boys: Steven Tyler, Michael Scott, and McDreamy.  I heart Thursday night TV!  Not as much as in the Friends era, never as much as that.  But still some good veg on the couch material.

Anybody out there watching the new season of American Idol?  I used to love it, but gave it up during the whole Kara Dioguardi era.  I just got bored with it.  The judges were not doing it for me.  I tuned in this season out of sheer curiosity about Steven Tyler witnessing/judging a contest primarily focused on making a new pop star.  Somehow Mr. Tyler reeled me back in and I’m back to being hooked on Idol.  I just want to curl up in my Steven Tyler PJ’s and watch the spectacle unfold.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tiger Tail or The Stick?

Anyone who's read even a couple of my posts has probably figured out that I have trouble with pain and injury.  I tend to hurt in my knees and at least one hip after most runs.  Any long runs leave me with soreness in my neck and shoulders.  And lately, a new calf tightness has developed.  I'm looking to make an investment in what I had decided was going to be The Stick.  After reading some reviews and comparison shopping, I'm wondering if that is the best tool or if a Tiger Tail would be better?  Or maybe some 3rd option I've never heard of?  Any seasoned runners out there have an opinion on what to purchase?  Pretty please!

"If you wanna win you gotta learn how to play"

Pretend high five to the first person who names that tune.

So, I've been feeling discouraged over the last few runs because I've had to stop for rest breaks all of a sudden.  Last night I decided I was not going to stop and rest no matter what.  I had some tricks going into the run to try and help myself out.  Mind games if you will.

I decided to forego the TV watching because it doesn't seem to be distracting enough when the going gets rough.  It was just me and my iPod.  I decided to set it on shuffle, set it down, and not touch it again!  I get so easily distracted by watching the clock, or my watch, or shuffling through songs on my iPod so last night I just let play.  Here is the playlist the universe picked for me:

  1. California Gurls by Katy Perry
  2. Harder to Breathe by Maroon 5
  3. Big Green Tractor by Jason Aldean
  4. Not Meant to Be by Theory of a Deadman
  5. Mine by Taylor Swift
  6. Wish You Were Here by Mark Harris
  7. Speak Now by Taylor Swift
  8. My Sister by Reba McEntire
  9. Marry Me by Train
  10. Tik Tok by Kesha
The last two would have worked out much better had they traded places since I started my cool down walk right as Kesha came on.  Also, there was a lot of mellow stuff that came on which doesn't exactly encourage speediness.  Still it was nice not futzing with the music the whole time and listening to some songs that I typically don't listen to while running.

Mind game #2 that I played with myself: our treaddy is in front of the TV, which I've already said stayed off last night.  Which means the screen acted like a mirror right in front of me.  Every time I caught myself feeling negative or worn out or just staring at myself in the TV screen I smiled.  That's it, just smiled at myself.  I read somewhere that if you're feeling down, but you smile anyway, soon your mind will believe that you're happy.  So I tried the same trick with my run.  As long as I kept smiling at myself, my mind would believe I was happy with my run and I would therefore end up with a good, happy run and not another disappointment. 

Since I have a 5K race coming up on Saturday (if it's not ice/blizzard delayed) I decided to run 3.1 miles last night.  My confidence has been a bit shaken this past couple of weeks and I wanted to make sure I could still do it!  Well, I did make it 3.1 (without stopping to rest!) in 33:16 (10:44 pace) at an incline of 1%.  I'm feeling much, much happier about this one!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Three Tangent pictures!

1.  I love macaroni and cheese.  A freakish amount.  Not gourmet, fancy restaurant mac and cheese.  Not homemade (although my mom’s homemade mac and cheese does kick booty).  Kraft.  From a blue box.  Flavored with orange powder.  It rocks my socks off!  On last week’s Biggest Loser there was that girl (wish I could come up with her name) who’s temptation food was none other than Kraft mac and cheese.  She was all, “I could eat a whole box in one sitting”.  Ummm, yeah…me too.  EASY!

2.  When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut.  My visit to the Space Museum only confirmed that this is indeed the right path for me.  NASA may try to argue that I’m not the right fit, but Dear NASA…if you’re reading this…I am meant for you.

3.  I touched Kris Allen’s hand.  Yes, I did.  American Idol winner, Season 8.  Total eye candy, and a nice voice to boot.  He came to Alabama Adventure (ever been there?  Not a lot of rides, but a decent concert venue!) and did a concert for all of 200 people.  I stood right by the stage during the encore, where he reached down and touched my hand (and about 30 other people’s hands too, but my moment with him wasn’t cheapened by this J).  I instantly reverted into a 12 year old girl.  I screamed, clutched my chest, my knees went weak.  It was all I could talk about for the next two weeks.  It was AWESOME!  Before the show some local radio personalities came out and asked Kris Allen trivia questions for prizes.  I got picked to answer a question (Q: What was Kris’ first concert he attended?  A: Reba McEntire.  It was multiple choice and a lucky guess, I’m not that up on Kris’ past).  Anywho, I got picked, answered correctly, and was stoked.  The radio guys threw my prize to me.  A t-shirt.  I’m thinking a Kris Allen t-shirt is cruising through the air and into my arms, making for a cool, free souvenir and a great story.  When I open up the t-shirt, I’m unpleasantly surprised to find this:


Pancakes. Where are you when I need you?

I am counting down until lunch.  Already.  That is a very bad sign!  Our house is on the market and we have a Realtor walk-through today so we had to leave the house in pristine condition.  Translation: I didn’t want to dirty a knife or cutting board or bowl or anything, so I didn’t eat any cereal and I didn’t bring my usual apple slices.  Couldn’t I just grab an apple?  No, no I could not.  One of my front teeth is a dental implant, so I will never again know the sweet sweet joy of just picking up an apple (or pear L) and biting into it.  It’s very angst-making.

Sunday I ran on the treaddy again.  It was actually sunny and 30 degrees but I lacked in motivation and waited until there was not enough daylight left to run outside.  The giant stack of pancakes that started my day may have been part of the motivation problem.  They made me all sleepy instead of all energized.  Anyways, I ran 4 miles in 45:03 at an incline of 1%.  Pace?  11:16.  Not my best run ever, but it was worth it!

I had an awesome breakfast out with my breakfast buddies,

Not their most flattering shots, but we were all fresh out of bed ya know?

…followed by hours of lounging around and playing with them.  A perfect, lazy Sunday is so much cooler than a perfect run.

Right now though?  A stack of pancakes sounds even better than either one J