Thursday, December 30, 2010

Musical Query AND The Final Run!

Now I REALLY am doing the final countdown!
(cue the music... dah-dah-dah-DAH! DumdumdumdumDUM!! you know what I mean)

Today is my last run before Saturdays race and I'm feeling just fine about things. No, I haven't run the full 6.2 more than....once... But I have put in a good number of 6.0 mile runs and really, not such a big difference. I know I can do it, I doubt I will hurl chunks onto my Mizunos and I feel as prepared as I have been for a race since probably July. GO ME!! To top it all off the weather looks like it is going to be amazingly beautiful- a clear sign from the heavens that I'm going to have a kickass day and claim multiple medals. (MULTIPLE. YEAH!!)

Want to know the BEST news? Since this is my first time racing 10K I will PR even if I finish in 56,987 hours!

My big task for the next 48 hours is to update my Ipod with new music. I doubt I'll race with it- I like to be able to hear people sneaking up on me- but the old Ipod is the only thing that has made all the miles on the dreadmill tolerable.

So todays big question for my fellow interwebbers:
What songs to you have on your Ipod for when you are ready to kick some major booty???

Monday, December 27, 2010

The final countdown. Part Two?

My 10K Race is on Saturday. Hmmmmmm.

What have I done to prepare for this ridiculous adventure? Well, I have run more and run longer distances. If that doesn't sound like a recipe for success then I'm some kinda dumbass (possible.) I plan to pen a bestselling 10K training plan with a similar name. I'm thinking:

"Run more, Run longer, Dumbass!"

Sounds like a winner to me! I'll have a first edition giveaway on here sometime after Oprah gives me my own TV show based on my fabulocity.

OK, back to reality. I ate a bunch of over processed junk food on Christmas that really gave me the nasties yesterday. I never quite remember how healthfully I eat until a platter of reheated sodium filled full of nitrates appetizers is shoved into my belly.... THEN it occurs to me that my normal diet is like a little slice of heaven. Oh Well. I imagine that I will survive to eat another chicken wing (just not for a while, thanks.)

I got bored on Christmas so I took a nice little run. It has been so long since my mileage has been under 4 miles that I had forgotten how it felt to run a 3-ish miler, And how did it feel? Torrmential! But shorter so the torment was wrapped up quickly... I think 3 miles might be my least favorite distance, especially in 20 degree temps. I barely warm up and the BOOM! Done.

So anyhoo, I'm trying to ride out the blizzard of the century here and am not loving it. What shall I call it... Snowmageddon? A Blizzaster? Either way running on the road is OUT and driving to the gym would result in me having to run on the road anyway- to find somebody to haul the Corolla out of a ditch. BOO! Stupid winter.

We should all cross our fingers for better weather so I can put in a few more pre 10K miles before Saturday. I know I can run a 5K on legs that have not seen the light of day (or the pounding of the pavement) in a week- but I'm iffy regarding the chances of having the same luck with the longer distance.

....but from the looks of things I might just get to test that theory, LUCKY ME......

Friday, December 24, 2010

I'm awesome and clearly an elite athlete!

Not that I'm bragging or anything (yeah right) but I firmly believe that you should all be proud to know me.

Yesterday, in very questionable conditions (meaning, slush and shiznit all over the roads) I ran 6.3 miles. YES I DID SUCKERS.

Did I mention that I'm awesome?? Oh yes, I expect so.

This was done over a mountain, per the norm.

In a staggering (HAH) time of 51.45. Fairly solid for a first effort at the 10K distance, over Mount Kanchenjunga in the SNOW. I guess I could stand to pick up the pace just a hair but really- I'm old, slow and decrepit. So there.

Anyhoo!! Merry Christmas to me! Running a 10K (race) was one of my goals for the Oh-Ten but I think it's legit to say mission freaking accomplished.

I believe I should add that there was no weeping involved, no vomming, no walking and most of all no sore muscles in the aftermath.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Healthy Diet. NOT! Part 3: The "P" Diet

Eating is one of my favorite things. That may have been covered a few times on here but I like to reiterate lest you all forget.

However! There seem to be certain times when I have to be very smart and cautious about what I eat: as in, before racing, increasing my mileage or speed or (oddly) when the weather warms up suddenly. If I eat things above and beyond my extra healthy and approved by the authorities (myself) diet then trouble erupts, literally. VOM. DOT. COM. Or horrific runners trots, want details? I thought NOT.

The trick, my friends is to eat a diet that encompasses all of the important foods in life that start with the letter P. (to prevent things that start with the letter P.)

So I present to you, THE P DIET (for PRE race as well! More P's!)

-Pretzels (oh pretzels, I love you but am rather sick of you.)
-Purple Gatorade
-Peanut butter (preferably on the pretzels)
-Pepto Bismol

Oh, and candied ginger. That is fairly critical but doesn't start with a P. That's OK ginger, you're still mah belly's friend!

Clearly this diet is the key to all my success! I stick a lot of these items in my face fairly close to race/run time and it has done the trick so far. Usually if it's an AM race I'll try to eat a bagel, or a granola bar, or my infamous daily feast of Greek yogurt with almonds (although that particular item has been known to cause me some pain....) Then I chow down on all those P items which can be rather tormential.

Things I can not eat without having to make an emergency pit stop:
-Fibrous fruits: as in most of them
-Anything rich and creamy. Turkey Tetrazzini is my mortal enemy!
-Lots and lots of coffee... I'll pee myself. And other stuff.
-Cold Water. UGGGH! VOMMMM!
-Fried clams (I don't know this for a fact but my Dad offered some to me before a race and I was like NO! GOD! WHY! DAD!... Typical!)
-Eggs, oh noooo. No, no, no. Just No.

After a race I can eat whatever I want. Usually a BLT with extra bacon and a side of pickles and olives (salt anyone?!) Maybe some ice cream. Definitely beer as soon as the clock indicates that it is an appropriate hour. Candy, like cow tails, sour patch kids, air heads, tootsie rolls and sour watermelons all make the elite cut. I don't eat all of this in one sitting but some combination of the aforementioned definitely gets put on my plate (or shoved directly in my mouth!) With a beer on the side. KayThanxBye.

I'm curious to know what the rest of you can and can not eat before a serious run?
Anything you especially look forward to after a super speedy race?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Epic Fail List. YAY!

The top 10-ish things running things that were complete and utter failures in 2010.
Or, at least moments when I shouted "WHAT ON EARTH AM I DOING??!! WHY!!??"

.......In no particular order.............
That training log of mine has to come up again. I type up the most ridiculous stream of consciousness thoughts post run. Like these absurd statements:
-GAHD!!!! Sometimes I try to be fast and I'm so slow that I want to cut off both my feet and throw them down the bulkhead. It was hot but that's no excuse for my epic suckage.
Or this:
-This run was pure and horrible torment. I heaved thru the first MILE AND A HALF like a 300 pound walrus before my legs woke up. And even then, they felt like lead weights on the bottom of my body. At the 0.7 mile mark I wished for a bench to sit upon and to drink a beer.
**sigh** Regardless, I did it. I had a lot of excuses in my head as to why I sucked- "I am tired" "I hate my pink shorts" "I have been up since 4:30 for the past 2 days" Blah, blah, blah.

-The shin splint of Doom. That was really crappy, painful and I was disgusted by the way it stopped me altogether and messed up my plans. GRR.

-The number of times that I had to change my plans for racing (due to the shin splint) was a bummer, but I tried to roll with the punches. I was so looking forward to my first 10K in October but I was still on the DL up until the day before the race date. Too bad, but goals were made to be changed!

-My first couple of races were a challenge, not knowing how to eat or drink properly so as not to throw up. And of course, learning to pace myself and calm my competitive spirit was tedious!

-The thought that I could crack the 21 minute mark in a 5K. Seems much more challenging in reality than it does on paper. It's pretty darn hard to shave off seconds, let alone minutes in such a short race. (unless you start off running a 5K in over 30 minutes- then improving one's time significantly is more realistic!)

-All the persnickety weather conditions. Part of life, I know! But the summer was brutally hot and desperately humid and so far the winter has been frigid, windy and snowy. WAAAA, WAAAA, WAAAA.

-Trying to beat Abs. FAIL! I did once by pure chance and blind luck. Never again... She'd best be watching her back in 2011 cos I'll be gunning for her!!

-And finally:
Trying to maintain a look of demure ladylike fashion while running in all conditions.
Ha. HA HA. Yeah, that works well for me. NOT!

I'm hoping that some of my bloggy friends post top 10-ish lists too. It will be funny/sad to see everyone else's ups and downs from the past year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Top 10 for 2010

After days of proving to all of you that I can do whatever I want with my blog (as in, ramble on about my dog and the weather) I'm finally back on track with a post about real running. Or whatever it is that I do- real SLOW running? (real FAST walking?) Whatev, you're all jealous of my uber speedy marathon time. (as in: average 5K. Again, WHATEV!) HA!

My Top Ten Best/Funny/Fab running moments from 2010:
Cos I'm the Letterman of the interwebs (and (ahem) so original.)

10-Being able to see most of my town from a whole different point of view. I live in a beautiful place and running around has made me appreciate where I live more than I already did. (awwww! how sappy!!)

9- My Epic Comeback at the October race. 2 runs after the shin splint fiasco and BOOM! PR. It's only because the Infamous Coaching Staff was threatening to leave me there if I didn't hurry back to get them out of the FREEZING weather!

8- The 4 on the 4Th where it occurred to me NOT to run like an idiot! This was a startling revelation, and was a few races in the making (hey, better late than never suckers!)

7- My first race, running like a complete idiot and living to tell the tale.

6- Finally getting back out on the road after a million weeks off from the shin splint of doom. That was a good feeling!!

5- Running in the downpour over July 4Th weekend. Having strangers offer me rides home and saying "sorry, I don't get into cars with strangers" like I was in 1st grade... But still, you never know!

4- The helpful local Fast Yellow dog, running with me in an unauthorized way last week. Me: "Go home you **##@@**" Dog!!!" Him: "I love you temporarily! You can be my master!!!" Me: "No, just.... No."

3- The kid with the bow staff, fighting "his imagination" as I ran by. One of the best roadside things that I have ever seen. You really had to be there...

2- "Run Fatty, run!" Shouted from a passing car over Memorial Day weekend. Tourists! Gosh!

1- Taunting the guy in front of me during a July race "I'm gonna get you MISTER!!!" then having him nearly kick my ass. Made for an epic finish line photo shoot.

1- TIE! (Because I can) My comments on my active trainer excercise log. Gems like this after a good run after a short hiatus make me smirk and giggle: "Because after 9 days off, 67,987 calories of pudding, lobster, tequila, crab dip, and mud pie WHY THE FRICK NOT.
And I kicked ass." HAHA. Once more proving that I am pretty awesome... Clearly!

Clearly, 2010 was a year of great success and competitive mastery. Hmmmm. At the very least it was most certainly a year where trying something new (running, duh) proved to be both entertaining and exhilarating. (for the most part. )

Stay tuned for the top 10 EPIC FAILS of 2010. That will be a good list for sure!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another post that has nothing to do with running.

We all read running blogs for the non running chit chat, correct?

I was trying to remember why I like living here and who even likes the snow, I mean REALLY? WHO? Then I remembered who.

This Guy! My best friend! Worlds cutest Doggie!

"My Mom says I'm slow but I'm NOT! I'm speedy and graceful with my mouth of snow, I have legs like a gazelle and the heart of a champion! And epic coordination!!"

WHOOPS!!! So much for that elegant and graceful way of running....

Too bad that I don't enjoy the winter as much as Mister Rufus does. He gets pretty pumped about the whole mess and runs around like a crazy pants yelling "BALL! BALL!" like a weirdo. Love his little face.....
(I guess I run around like a weirdo too though, screaming CANDY! CANDY! BEER! PIZZA!" so perhaps it runs in the family, How disturbing.)

Anywhoo. Back on topic tomorrow with stories of mileage in the frozen Death On Mount Everest weather conditions!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Fashion: Part TWO!

Just a quick post today because I am just about to head out to work in the freezing desolate tundra and I'm feeling pouty.

I am thinking longingly of the warm summer days and feeling that at this point they are very far away!

Rater remarkably I did manage to get in a pretty solid amount of running this week but that's a story for another day (oh WAIT this is a RUNNING blog? Whoopsie!)

This is a good day for a couple pictures.

Ahhh sweaty summer, yo! So pale! So greasy! Possibly dehydrated but who cares!!

And now for your viewing pleasure.... Todays outfit and facial expression. I have no issue posting pictures of me looking like an asshat on the internet. I'm awesome.
Please take note of the two hats. The style is undeniable.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dogs. Big life metaphors. Sarcasm. The Road.

One of my clients asked me the other day "So, What do you like BEST about running?" I expect that she was looking for an answer like this: The endorphins! The fitness gains! The epic speed! The magic and pageantry!

What she got?

"My favorite part is running back up my driveway and BEING DONE!!!!!"

Not gonna lie friends, she looked just a tad bit crushed. Feeling a little guilty I expanded upon my gloomy answer to include things like the obvious fact that I feel like superwoman when I'm done (even though I cuss the whole way around the lake) that I appreciate the clear cut way that races are won or lost (ummm, you were slow today so you lost. no mystery there!) and that I enjoy seeing my town from a runners perspective (road trash not included.)

After being in the gym all last week I was especially glad to see my town from the infamous runners perspective for the past couple of days. Running on the road is so much better than running on a treadmill, there is just no comparison. It's silly and foolish to call it the same thing (no offence treadmill lovers, they have their place as I have discovered.) Out on the road I appreciate that I am getting somewhere and that I have a clear visual that I actually AM (A life metaphor! How touching!) I like to feel all the road crap under my feet (little rocks. Sand. Salt chunks from the last storm. pine needles. and occasionally actual crap, thanks local dogs.) I just prefer the whole experience... Until the temps drop into the single digits!

Backtracking a bit.. Speaking of local dogs... Yesterday I was out and about when ZOOM out of the woods busted a stupid yellow dog. Not my stupid yellow dog, he stays home because he is a slow mother effer. (love him!!) Anywho, fast yellow dog scared the bejeebers out of me by leaping out of the woods like a monster and then refused to allow me to catch him and bring him back to safety. Well, fine... Run with me and get hit by an oncoming dump truck. I was most upset by this notion but despite my best efforts I could not get close enough to the little pest to capture him and attempt to return him to his home. He continued to run about 3 miles with me, darting in and out of traffic, giving me a massive coronary and overall being a huge jackass of an idiot and refusing to allow me to catch him (he didn't have a collar so the capture was rather challenging. awesome dog ownership skillzzzz..) We finally made it back to the approximate place that he had found me and I then tried to return him to the correct house, which took several tries. When I finally found his Dad he seemed blissfully unconcerned that his dog had been missing for a while and had just run rampant on our local "numbered highway" with me. "Yeah...." he drawled "He likes to run...." "He likes to get hit by cars!" I countered. "Nahhhhh" said the Dog's Dad "He always comes home in the end." WHAT. EVER. Off I went, shaking my head.

The great thing about having an idiot dog to run with is I put in a DAMN fast 3 miles because I was trying to catch him! Just a touch over 21 minutes- which is pretty kickass for me. The whole 5 miler that I did was quite speedy due to my microburst of dog chasing power. Maybe I should ask the dumb yellow dog to run with me everyday!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Marching to the Gym....

(ONE MORE DAY to enter my giveaway! Tell your friends! Shout from the rooftops! Make it happen!)
BTW: Being the Master of Karate And Friendship for Everyone WILL grant you an extra entry. If you can quote more songs from my favorite show bonus entries will be yours!

Thanks for the advice on adding bacon to Brussels Sprouts too- BRILLIANT! Bacon is my favorite food and I firmly believe that if improves the taste of anything.

Well, now that my sales pitch/thank you letter is over we'll get down to the business at hand. My Foray into the world of backcountry Gyms!

After tumbling headfirst into a ditch last week due to falling over my frozen feet I determined that running in single digit temps is not for me. I am a brave gal- I work in excess of 10 hours per day outside in the harsh, unforgiving elements. To be rather blunt, the last thing I enjoy is doing ANY additional activities outdoors during this ghastly time of year. And clearly it is becoming unsafe for me... Doom!

Those of you who have been following along know that a treadmill has been on my horizons of things to acquire. Two major things got up in my way: The vehicle that the Huz calls his went and died on him, resulting in a repair bill close to $400. Yowza! The propane tank needed to get filled (we have geothermal heat- which is awesomesauce- but we use propane for hot water and fill the tank yearly.) Anywho that was another $300 of pocket change out the door. No fun fund treadmill money for me at this time. No running on the road for me either, for obvious safety issued due to my epic lack of coordination. With my 10K just around the corner hanging up the running shoes and being as lazy as my Dog was NOT going to happen.

So I bit the bullet, and headed to the Gym.

We need to backtrack just a teensy bit for one moment. First of all driving to the Gym is no little thing around these parts. It matters not which direction I go in, any of the (THREE) gyms in the "area" are a minimum of a 20 minute drive- one way. This means that logically I am going to have to give up either eating breakfast or lunch, or just do so in my car (that was my end decision, not enough hours in the day damnit!) The other matter that required a bit of mulling over way my desire for solitude while exercising. I don't love chatty Cathy's on the treadmill next door (unless I know them) I'm not always a fan of the Gym owners/employees who don't understand why I do not wish to upgrade my membership to include Zumba classes and perks I will not use. I might enjoy those things but I don't have the time! AAKK! By far the biggest issue for me was the amount of time/money I'd be spending to do something that I can normally do for free..... All I could imagine was hauling my booty off to the gym during my beloved lunch break only to find that all of the treadmills were in use, and having to leave without getting a run in, shamefaced and desolate (dramatic imaginings by yours truly.)

I was able to make a quick decision on what Gym to go to based on two factors. Price (cheap as anything!) and Meathead-free factors (female owner of Gym did not harass me to upgrade membership or to pump iron!) The Gym looks to be straight out of the 80's and even has a step aerobics class, which is so charmingly retro that perhaps I'll dig up my high top sneakers and join in the fun?! The equipment is in excellent condition even though it is obviously as old as I am, but the real plus is that the place is deserted and so far I have not seen another soul. Perfect for my anti social tendencies (but bad if the coordination thing becomes a factor and I tumble off my treadmill...)

Week one at said Gym was a great success- it got me out of the sub zeros, I did a decent amount of mileage, and all of this for only a fistful of change that I dug out of the couch cushions. I'm hoping that my luck continues with the (lack of) crowds there and I'm able to do what I need to do with no waiting involved... So far, so good!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

No such thing as TGIF.... and other nonsense....

Most people look forward to the weekend, TGIF and all that jazz.
Me? I work like a fricking maniac on the weekends (and most days of the week too, because why be relaxing, seeing the Huz, eating, playing with the yellow dog when you can WORK!)
When Monday rolls around I'm typically quite relieved, especially now that school is back in session. During the summers my days are more typical- insanity rules Mon-Fri and then my weekends are a tad more laid back. As in, I might be coaching (or running a race, GO MEE) or spending 27 hours each day picking up the mess that the week has left behind and preparing for the mess that the next week is going to bring! This time of year brings madness on the weekends to the point where I don't have time to stop to eat (tragic) find my extra warm mittens (the horror!) or to go pee (not so awesome dudes.)

I had zero plans to run this weekend since I had zero time and was on my feet from the ass crack of dawn to the dead of night every day. After my death march of a run that you all heard about in my last blog I wasn't pleased- but managed a much improved 4 miles the next day.

Then?? My ankle started killing me. Which directly irritated my SHIN. What WHAT?? I had to reflect for a bit on my shenanigans and what I possibly could have done to myself that I had blocked out, forgotten, or just not noticed. My suspicion is that I must have given it a good twist when I fell in a hole.. Yes, I fell in a hole- so what? It could happen to anyone. Stop laughing. Yesterday I barely noticed it anymore but still could feel a twinge so I took all the doggies for a few miles of walking exercise, stretched that sucker out and crossed my fingers to get back in the running shoes today.

One thing I've learned this year: If something hurts in an abnormal way stay the EFF OFF IT for a few days (not taking into consideration the 1.2 million miles of moving around I do while working. That doesn't count.) I think it's better to miss 1 extra day then six weeks, DUH!

Counting down to the 10K on January 1st. Trying not to feel pressure/impending doom/flabby and unfit. In my epic "training plan" I listed "not getting sick or hurt" tops of the list as far as being prepared goes. Hopefully disaster has been averted.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bad legs! Bad!

I imagine that we've all had those days....
The sun is shining, the rain washed away all the pesky snow, the stars are aligned perfectly for what you expect to be the best run ever!!! Then you get out there and suck, sucksucksuck. BOOOO!

An actual conversation that I had with my legs yesterday:
Me- HELLO? Anybody home down there? Because it feels like I'm running on concrete blocks, not legs.
Legs- Eff you dude.
Me- Seriously? After all I've done for you? You can woman up and get me around this 4.5 mile loop without such drama.
Legs- Nope... Don't think so. Maybe you can drop me off at the corner and I'll get a ride home.

That was the story of my day yesterday. Coming off 3 of the most stressful work days that I've had possibly ever things weren't working quite the way they should. I was so exhausted that I considered skipping my run altogether and sitting on my Mom's couch eating toast and whining. Alas, this was not an option as my Mom is not interested in my 31 year old whining (WHY?? MAN!!!)

In the long run, the run of torment helped me to feel better (which I knew going into it) and I then had a more productive afternoon than I had expected. (well. I knew it was going to be busy regardless- I just enjoyed it more.)

It's interesting to me that I notice body issues related to stress so much while running. I have been an athlete for years and have always been able to power thru any situation- broken tailbones, cracked ribs, busted noses, torn muscles, days of sleeplessness (weeks actually- I had whooping cough 3 years ago and after 3 weeks of being deathly ill I figures that I had been sleeping less than 1 hour per night. niiiiiice.) I have been able to overcome many obstacles and have rarely paid them any mind so you all can imagine my surprise that 3 days of work stress is so noticeable when I hit the road for a silly little run. Humph.

The good news? Things are looking up in the work department, the weather is going to be acceptable thru the weekend and I have a huge loaf of english muffin bread to eat for the next couple days. That alone is enough to make me feel like superwoman!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Fashion

The weather makes me feel like this:
That is not a good thing by the way.
The Huz dislikes my hat and says it makes me look like Toadstool from Super Mario. I tell him to kiss my Toadstool behind.
Ah well, despite my cranky pants face and obvious freckles (sigh) I dodged the snowflakes, donned my fleecy knickers and went for a good old fashioned run in the inclement weather. I found that by keeping my lady bits warm (HA!) and using my 70 cent purple gloves as Kleenex (ewwww) I was able to stay fairly happy on my little adventure. I kicked it up a teensy notch and turned my out-and-back route into a lollipop. Total mileage about 4.5 miles in the 34 degree nasties.
While putting on my shoes I noticed a particularly lovely and ladylike crack in my heel. It was jagged and bloody, a real testament to my moisturizing habits not to mention my sweaty feet. I am a lovely and charming woman, and my huz needs to recognize how lucky he is to sleep next to my alligator skinned body every night. At least I take off the spotty hat, right?
It appears that we're in for a couple good days in a row so I am filled with joy and motivation. About to break into song, Ah la Disney style and skip down the road kicking up my (cracked) heels with songbirds and fluffy bunnies in my wake. Or maybe I'll just go for a few good runs like normal people?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bad Running Conditions (probably part one)

No negative repercussions form the 4 miler on Turkey Day Possibly because it took me 5 hours to run it, but more likely because I'm in slightly better shape than when I last raced.

Feeling rather.... buoyant... after gorging on pie, etc on Thanksgiving and all the surrounding days I planned a good solid run on Saturday morning. The weather had a completely different idea and it blizzarded with reckless abandon, sending cars careening off my road and keeping me the eff off them. Still fully treadmill-less I trudged over to my sisters to use her bike. A stationary one, obvi since the roads were covered with snow and frozen ice death cookies. It was a different, and sweaty kind of workout but a good one. I think I worked off a great deal of gravy in the process and did something productive on a day of disgusting weather. (A good day to hide inside, read and eat more pie. OH NO! Must STOP!)

Sunday was better in the weather department. Let's all remember that better is relative- meaning that while it was not a horrible snow squall it was 32 degrees, windy and the roads had not exactly recovered. Regardless, I put on my big girl britches and headed out for a few cold, dangerous and adventurous miles. UGH. My feet did not freeze because I put on winter socks. I put big fluffy fleece knickers on under my tights and put shorts on over them. And a t-shirt and a fleece. Gloves. Hat. DOOM.

The quest for a treadmill is still on and I'm feeling a touch discouraged as every used treadmill seems to be from 1456 and new ones with decent warranties and ratings are freaking 1500 dollars. Maybe that's not much for a gosh darn elite marathon runner but it is for me. Needless to say, the quest is still on for the correct equipment to get me thru the winter.
We'll see what the weather brings for this week. If nothing else I will continue to get a heckuva workout walking to my fridge to collect Thanksgiving leftovers.

.... By the way, I kid. I am freakishly active. I'll post eventually about my normal job- but it's no sitting at a desk, let me tell you.....

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Race Recap

It was a damn cold day for a race yesterday if I do say so myself....

My Dad (half of the epic race coaching staff, minus the Huz) and I headed out the door bright and early to get to the Holiday race in time to beat the worst of the crowds. (this meant that I had to get up at the ridiculous hour of 4:45 AM. Not my best time of day.)

By the time we arrived the temps had climbed to a balmy 26 degrees. OH. MAH. GAHD. Our plan to beat most of the mobs worked though- I was able to get my number and shirt right away and then we got to walk in circles, freeze, and be bored for close to an hour.

There is nothing more unpleasant that having to take off multiple layers before lining up for the start of a race. No matter how chilly it is I always manage to work up a sweat so running in 2 shirts, a fleece, a vest and a jacket is never on my agenda. BOOOO! Which means that 3 minutes
before the gun goes off I do an unhappy unlayering, every removed layer causes me to scream in agony and dance around spasmodically to keep the blood flowing to my extremities. No lie kids, it was BRUTAL....

This was a big race- over 2000 starters and 1650 finishers. A solid turnout and a bit of an overload for the narrow streets of our so called city. I tried to position myself close to the front to avoid the 20 minutes of accumulating time as the crowd crawled thru the actual starting point. Needless to say my effort was in vain and I was firmly stuck in the middle of the pack. Thoroughly wedged in between a couple of pilgrims and a few turkeys (dangerous situation, for the turkeys that is....)

Once the gun went off we all crept thru the start and got down to business- and a fast business it was for the people in the front. The typical set of super fit, blindingly fast, college age, out for blood people who so intimidated me last year. I fell in with the much slower group of average non super hero citizens and we all ran elbow to elbow, bumpah to bumpah for the first couple miles. Not only was I keenly aware of the traffic around me and it's unrelenting quality but I was still super cold and was fairly certain that my lungs were getting frostbite. IT WAS FREEZING!!

I passed by my Dad right before mile two and informed him that my feet were frozen solid and that I was not feeling my toes anymore. In his opinion that was good- because I could not feel any pain! Evidently though I had not lost all feeling in my feet.... As I passed the mile 2 marker I felt something whipping around my toes and ankle and looked down to see disaster- my shoelace had undid its double knot and had come untied. This crisis dominated my thoughts for several minutes (as I dodged the spit balls that the runners in front of me were launching. you know, there are people behind you! YUCK!!) I weighed the options and did not like any of them... Continue to run and take a tumble and break my face? Or merge out of traffic, tie the offending shoe, and merge back in with the masses after loosing 45 minutes. As always, logic and reason prevailed and I left the damn shoe untied and tempted fate to knock me on my face. (and for the next 2 miles all I heard from the other runners was "shoelace!" which was very nice.)

I had one other surprising moment with about 3/4 mile left to go. As the running traffic thickened thru the narrow streets I was keeping my eyes pealed for a space to do some passing- I had just found it when BOOM! A spectator, evidently unaware that there was a race happening stepped out right in my path. Unable to stop I put my hands up and crashed into his side, exclaiming "DUDE!" He looked at me with surprise- there weren't too many lights on in THAT house- as he appeared to be quite mystified by my sudden appearance. Hello? There are only 2000 people running right now buddy!

The last half mile or so was particularly crowded (why didn't the crowds lighten up at all- it was crazy!) but I managed to work my way around a good number of people. The clock read 31:43 as I ran over the mats so I was confused later in the day when my placing showed 31:50. My watch read 31:18, taking into account the fact that I started my watch when I ran thru the actual start. I placed about 440th- a decent finish in a large crowd. I think I was around the 100 mark for the ladies- out of over 700 of us.

The race, despite the cold and the crowds was still a ton of fun. I prefer the crowds to running by myself in the smaller races- I like to pass people and it's a huge motivator being able to stay in the passing lane for the better part of a race.
It was a cold one.... I have reservations about my January 1st race and the weather- but I remain hopeful that t won't be much colder or snowier out. I'm living in a dream world.)
Despite the fact that my time was not my best I felt it to be a solid effort all things being taken into consideration- especially the fact that due to the weather I had not been able to run in several days.
And finally- I certainly improved on my finish from last year which was the start to this running insanity (maybe that's what I should have called my blog, I like the ring of that "Running Insanity" Hmmmmm.)

The best part of the day? Eating an outrageously good Thanksgiving dinner with family, playing games and having a helluva good time. And feeling completely justified in my decision to eat 3 slices of pie and to have a post meal sandwich.... YAY!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Healthy Diet. NOT! Part 2: Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving is almost here! In honor of my favorite activity (eating, for those of you not in the know) I'm going to dedicate this post to my food musings of the past couple weeks.

I wrote a post a little while ago on my concern over my lack of a well rounded diet and my ignorance of foods which are now trendy (chia seeds?). I got a lot of helpful responses to that post and also made a startling revelation (seriously, it was like a mystical light shining down into my brain!)

Despite being in a food rut I have a pretty darn healthy diet.

It has been years since I have eaten "fast food" as any sort of meal. I genuinely hate all food from the typical chain "restaurants" so this is no great leap of self control for me. Mickey Dees makes me vom a little in my mouth, and usually on my shoes later in the day. As much as I love candy, ice cream, pizza and donuts I do not eat them every day or in large quantities. I have a diet that encompasses all the food groups, except fruit which I always forget about. Fruit: you are not important to me!!

The middleaged huz and I have decided to go on a mission to try new things, especially if we don't think that we'll like them. Brussels sprouts and tofu being tops on the list. I have added a heaping helping of veggies to the weekly shopping list, and I have dutifully eaten a banana a day in my yogurt (my normal breakfast when I'm not shoving cheese danish down my face is vanilla greek yogurt with a handful of almonds- and now a banana.) I am trying to make a couple of meat free dinners a week much to the dismay of the huz who is a voracious carnivore. So far so good though, he hasn't declared shenanigans on my dinner prep skillzzz just yet. And he remembered how much he likes hummus so the world is a happy place.

The huz and I are skinny people. We don't need to loose weight (if either of us do we will no longer cast a shadow... really...) but I am not in any way pleased with the idea of unhealthy eating leading to piles and piles of plagues and strife down the road. I think a few little changes will help us to live to be old crabby married people. HAH! In addition, I am a big naysayer to the concept of eliminating any one thing from a diet. (unless it is something absurd, if I ate a big Mac every day eliminating that would be smart. Except I would eliminate it no problem, as has already been covered in this over sharing chapter of my life.) So we continue to drink beer, eat cashews, have a pizza occasionally and carry on like the norms. Whoot!

If anyone has inspired ideas regarding delightful preparations of the dreaded brussels sprouts (or tofu. polenta. brown rice.) I'll be happy to listen!

Happy Thanksgiving to all, I'm going to indulge in a 4 miler, a pound of pie and a big tall beer.... Ahhhhh!

Monday, November 22, 2010

More moanings regarding the worthless weather...

It has been an interesting week around here in the running department.

When I was a kid I was somewhat outspoken regarding my likes and dislikes (in all areas.) Exhausted from the constant need to patrol my desire to vent my feelings, my Mom instructed me that the only acceptable thing to do was to say that something was "interesting" instead of the less PC horrendous, gag worthy, horrifying, appalling. You get the picture (not only of the kind of outspoken little bugger that I was but on the so called conditions here in the north East.)

I had several lovely runs around the (ahem) interesting weather last week including a 4.3 miler which was a snap. I headed out the next day for an easy run and the conditions were horrible- snow and ice on the road, people flying all over everywhere in their cars, complete chaos and bedlam. Not wishing to die I chose to head back in with barely 2 miles under my belt. But with my life and limbs fully intact... With better weather the following day I was thoroughly disgusted when I felt some distinct twinges from THE SHINNNN. Something about dodging, slipping and flailing on the ice the previous day had rattled some shiz loose in there and I know better than to go gallivanting around when there's trouble a-brewing. I'm back to feeling 100% now and the weather has taken (AGAIN) a tragic turn for the worse. It has not crept above 32 degrees in 3 days and it is alternating between schvitzing and schmucking out. Bad dark times....

I am looking around for a lightly used treadmill as I feel that my salvation from the impending winter depends on being able to run indoors. So far, no luck. I have found a couple in my general vicinity but from the looks of them they are from the early 80's and rather dilapidated despite being "lightly used." The search will continue as I try valiantly to squeak a few more runs out of mother nature/my local DOT.

I have a 4 miler on Turkey Day morning which I am looking forward too. I'm not looking to PR at this one and I'm genuinely fine with that (REALLY! really. Really??) It is a big race and the clusterfudge at the beginning really slows a gal down- and it's gun to finish, so the 20 minutes waiting to go thru the start do in fact count. It's a race that takes you on two loops of the downtown district of what we like to call our city- which is really a pretty place! I did this run with no practice last year with my sister and had a rip roaring good time, despite the fact that we were en route for close to 40 minutes (and I was sore as all hell for 3 days afterwards...) I know I'll do better than last year for sure, and I also know that I'm not as fit or as motivated as I was when I PR'd my 4 mile time back in July. Regardless people, running 4 miles gives anyone permission to pig out later on the day on the biggest eating Holiday known to man!

Hope that all of you out there in the interwebs have been lucking out with good weather and great runs- and a big thanks once more for the Birthday wishes!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hello Middleage, you are officially HERE!

Today is my birthday where I elegantly (per the norm) step into my 30's. 31, you just sound so much more adult that 30....

I had a fantastic plan to take my middleaged legs on a good old fashioned birthday run around the lake today. At 5 miles I felt that this would be a good way to see if I still had it in me, or if time was finally taking its toll on my speed/endurance. (yes. since my last run I am sure that I have aged rather horrendously.) The weather, however, has a different plan for me. It is disgusting times a million out! Being that I am smart and proactive I hit the road yesterday- but only for a quickie 3 miler due to my ridiculously busy work day. Oh well! 3 miles is better than no miles.

This of course brings me to my next valid point (or would it be my first valid point?) What on earth am I going to do in a few weeks (or a few minutes depending on what the weather Gods are thinking) when it starts to snow? The roads around here have no shoulder, much less sidewalk and when the snowbanks start to pile up there is no room to walk/run whatever without putting your life in jeopardy. I refuse to pay for a gym membership to do something that I can do for free.... I'm cheap, it's hereditary OK!!? I hate treadmills from the bottom of my heart but am thinking that obtaining one might be my best option. NOOO! WHYYY do I live in this frozen wasteland of doom!!!!

Anyway, I'm off to try to work in this heinous weather and to avoid drowning or becoming completely waterlogged. My longer than average run will just have to wait until tomorrow....

Friday, November 12, 2010

I AM: Going to be a 10K winner. Or finisher?

Well, I did it.

Signed up for my first 10K, Jan 1st 2011 in Lowell Mass.
(completing my 2010 goal 12 hours late. Damnit!)

Asking the running Gods to kindly send me some good weather, won't be able to get there in a nor'easter. Wicked. Pissah. All fetched up. (insert some cliche saying from up Nawth heyah.)

I'm relying on all of you interwebbers to tell me that I'm going to be fine and will not fail horribly, vom on my shoes, or take 3 hours to finish.

Oh dear. I'm nervous already....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Things I see while running in my town. Part 2.

As you may have already noticed I tend to be exceptionally observant while on my runs.

I like to think that this is because of my quirky and inquisitive nature and not that I am being lazy and taking time to smell the proverbial roses.....

(and yes, I did post a couple months ago about the various bits of trash that I noticed. Needless to say, they were hard to miss...)

Lately I have been noticing more in the way of activities, or scary objects and slightly less rubbish in the ditch.

Today's Stories:
Oh alright, you and I both know that it is most likely a van for a roofing contractor or similar but something about the windowless double back doorness of it just screams Silence of The Lambs. Did I just date myself? Perhaps... However, I avoid this van in the same way that I avoid cholera. I will run completely off the road, up a hill into the puckerbrush and thru the swamp to avoid getting close enough to this vehicle to be snatched, thrown in a well and told "it rubs the lotion on its skin... Jeepers, so scary! I am waiting for the day when this van leaves town so that I can run a straight line down the road again. Until then, no amount of logic and reason will cause me to run any closer to it than is absolutely required by the lay of the land. Kthanxbye.

I live in a town where crime is a rare thing. I have never heard of the cops having to come around and break up a gang of street fighters, or much else to be honest.
You can imagine my surprise when I came running around a corner one day and heard the distinct sounds of some kind of battle being waged just out of my line of vision. As I neared the scene of the crime there was no doubt about it: somebody was getting his arse kicked... I was having visions of myself having to pull off a heroic rescue (or, running for my life while calling 911) Then..... The perps came into my vision. And there he was, one boy of about 13 years old violently beating with a bow stall his enemy: HIS IMAGINATION!
Creeping to a crawl I looked at him, agape. Unimpressed by my curiosity said boy continued his quest to take down his imaginary foe, grunting, sweating and swinging his staff wildly around.
I thought to suggest that he take his Dungeons and Dragons to the backyard, perhaps slightly off the street but chose to keep my words inside and to quietly enjoy the spectacle....

Just one more reason (and a less scary one that the Rape Van) that running in my town is always a fun adventure...

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Healthy Diet. NOT!

As I expected the weather is remarkably heinous.
Which gives me time to ponder my existence. Or my eating habits...

I have been reading a couple of blogs this morning and have come to the conclusion that either I am either A: markedly flawed (which I seriously doubt because you just can't match this fabulocity...) B: Painfully unhealthy living in a world of JENK (again... meh) or C: I march to the beat of my own drum y'all and maybe the rest of you should hop on board for some fun good times?? or D: I need an ambush diet makeover..... DOOM!!!

Case in point.
(or... THE REALITY...)
-I have never eaten a chia seed. Those are for chia pets, sorry... I don't want chia grass growing in my digestive system. AGGGHHH!
-I have also never eaten tofu that did not make me vom a little in my mouth....
-I just ate a huge cheese danish. With real honest to goodness cheese, all sorts of wheat, preservatives galore and a high kick of joy (from me. not the danish cos it's in my belly.)
-Oh, and I also chugged a big coffee with 1/2 and 1/2 and sugar. And felt no guilt about not consuming whatever the trendy cancer fighting bevvie du jour is (green tea? with chia??)
-I like to drink beer. Period.
-I eat healthy stuff on the regular, for sure or I'd die. But I also eat steak. And potatoes. And chocolate. And cake. Whoot!!
-Luckily my blood pressure is quite good despite this nonsense.....

The potential challenge: (....not sure I'm up to it...)
-I would love to have an organic, health conscious possibly vegitarian chef come on over to my humble abode and cook for me for a few days. I would enjoy that very much and would probably develop a glow-from-within proving that a diet consisting of unprocessed veg and dairy free milk is the way to go.
OR maybe I'll try a week of healthy living (personal cheff free, boooo) just to see how it works out for me? If anybody wants to toss me a few easy starter recipies that would be the bombdiggity.
What defines a healthy diet? Organic? Vegitarian? Or just tossing a few veggies onto a cheeseburger? (I know that the answer to me is a balanced diet with a bit of everything. But that's me!)
What could I do to ambush makeover my diet in the name of an epic experiment for the ages? (eat tofu and chia seeds, OH NO!!!!)
Any thoughts are welcome.

(-I have to make this a huz friendly experiment. Let's remember that the man married me for my ability to make such delicious meatballs...)

(and don't ask me to give up beer..... but I'd give up cake for a week in the name of science.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Epic Fail 2010

A very odd week.

After having such a good run on Sunday I had normal running plans for the week. Monday off, about 3-4 miles on Tues and Thurs and then a longer run over the weekend.

Sounds like a good well thought out plan, no?

Apparently the running Gods did not think so because between the fully horrendous weather that we were so lucky to have this week and the fact that I felt rather MEH for a couple days my plans went down the crapper.

I was irked that on the good weather day I wasn't feeling that great. But I wasn't and that was that. No good story here, but you sometimes know that you should just stay away from the running shoes. Grumble grumble. Piss and moan.

It is now a new week. The weather still looks tormantial!!! WHY??? And I am still not feeling 100%. Tomorrow looks to be an epic washout but on Tuesday I will go and run 39,678 miles to make up for my epic fail of last week.

Luckily I am getting plenty of exercise lifting Halloween candy into my mouth. Excellent....

Monday, November 1, 2010

My ponderings and reflections

I was tremendously pleased to have a great run yesterday after a fully craptastical week. .....and while my week was not really the best most glorious ever I'm actually referring to the fact that I had a BAD running week.... I gave some serious thought to why I was having lead legs and super slow feet. I am a fairly smart girl and came up with the following multi part conclusion:

1- I am exhausted as I have not slept well in weeks
2- It is freezing out so I am stiff and slow to warm up
3- It is freezing out so I forget to drink... Water...
4- I am over the euphoria of returning to running and have settled into the drudgery of improving my fitness

I was not particularly well rested yesterday but spent a few pre run minutes stretching and was sure to pound some high quality H2o. I felt considerably better and finally (and I mean, REALLY) was able to up my mileage without feeling like I was going to break my femur doing so.

I believe that I was the only runner in the world not to run a race this past weekend. In my perfectly well designed plan for 2010 I was scheduled to run a 5K trail race on Saturday. The 7ish weeks spent on the DL made me change my mind about that one which is a good show of unusual logic for me. Something about slamming down 5K over roots, stumps, wildlife and swampland on a just recovered and still not fully fit leg sounded nothing short of retarded. So I stayed home.

With 2 months left in the year I'm suspicious that my goal of running a 10K might go unfinished... Mostly due to my geography the race season is grinding to a halt because people are becoming hypothermic. I am toying with the idea of driving a couple hours south (which will tragically not improve the temps by more than 3 degrees) to run a 10K on January 1st. A good New Years resolution but it might be sub fricking arctic!! I'm having a tad bit of trouble wrapping my head around this one.
I am also fairly certain that I will not be cracking the 21 minute mark in any 5K's. It is painfully clear that shaving seconds off the time on a 5K is challenging. Knocking off another TWO minutes? It might as well be two hours!!
I will revise my goal by saying that if I can manage a 5K in under 23 minutes I'll be very happy. (I'm not giving up on my 21 minute 5K. No way, Jose. But I'm allowed to make changes to my ridiculous goals because I'm a grown ass woman, damnit!)

I'm a geek so I looked back at all my race results for the year so that I could mull over my VAST and DRAMATIC improvements...

This year's results:
-Day after Thanksgiving, 2009: 4 miler- 39:11 (the race that started the madness and introduced me to the fact that practice is important to ward off impossibly sore muscles.)
-June... 2nd?? 2010- Tri For a Cure 5K- 23:11 (ran a 6:14 first mile. enough said. and an over 10:00 last mile- so not enough said?) Placed 12th. Celebrated.
-June 25th or so- Ridge Run 5K- 23:19 (ran mile 1 in 6:03. I had not learned my lesson yet. spent the rest of the day wishing to die. lesson learned.) 1st place woman.
-July 4th- 4 on the 4th- 31:20- First time I ran smart enough to claim negative splits! In almost 90 degree weather!
-July 7th- Run by the lake 5K- 23:33- my slowest 5K time to date but ran negative splits in 94 degree temps. Won age division.
-July 17th- Old Home Days 5K- 23:14- another very smart race, neg splits and hot weather. Won age division.
-July 31st- Another "Old Home Days" 4 miler- 30:29- Ran the last mile the fastest- not a lot of gas left at the end but another smart run. Finished in top 100- big race.
.........Time off due to various shit in life plus insane shin splint............
-October 16th- Fall Foliage 5K- 23:00. Still a mystery as to how I managed this, but time off did not hurt evidently. 2nd place woman. by a hairrrrrr....

Upcoming events:
Me vs. the Thanksgiving day 4 miler. Rematch bitches.
and.... nothing else. I'm going to hunt around for some festive fun 5K's and continue to ponder the logic of a New Year's Day 10k.

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Middleaged Runner... You never stop, do you?"

Chaos has once again been an all consuming trend here in my little world. Unlike last time things went down the crapper I have continued to run. I figure that not only will it perhaps assist me in the holding together of my mental state but it will ward off the major pounds that repeated family dinners might bring on.

So what on earth has been going on???

My Grandfather passed away completely unexpectedly, and rather frighteningly last week....
Yes, the Grandfather who was married to the Grandmother that we lost 5 weeks ago.

WHAT??? WHAT????

Oh man, what a hot mess.

The tsunami of absurdity pretty much continued on from there with many more (relatively) minor life issues clanging down around my head. All stories for another day...

I prefer to keep the emotion laden fraught with tears dialogues to a minimum on the interwebs so I'm not going to carry on much with this post. but I do have one recent memory to share (proving, that even in the toughest times my Grandpa was keenly interested in what the grand kids were up to, and what sort of mischief we were causing...)

When my Gramma was first diagnosed last summer we went to see family as fast as we could. Making my way thru the throngs of cousins, Aunts and Uncles I spotted my Grandpa. Clearly the strain was taking a toll on him but he opened up his arms to me and heartily said "Middleaged runner! You just never stop, do you?" We chatted briefly about my introduction to the world of running and how I enjoyed it. He closed the conversation with another very Grandpa like thought. "I have no doubt that you're going to take the running world by storm" he said with authority, as I laughed at the silliness of such a statement (being that I'm 30 something and 5 feet tall- unlikely!) "Nothing usually stops you, so go out there and show 'em what you've got!"

There is no doubt that at the times when I feel like crawling back under the covers, or skipping a run to eat the insides of cinnamon buns and buffalo wings I'm going to think of my Grandpa, and remember that "I never stop, do I...."

No, I don't.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Non Running Related (but awesome none the less..)

Want to get a taste of what life was like for me before I married the Huz?

Go on over to

She is hosting a competition for the most awkward dating horror stories of all time. No doubt I clearly have a winner....

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Foliage 5K update. OR: My Epic Comeback

I won't come right out and admit to it but I may have been toddling around my house for a few minutes on Saturday morning gloomily moaning about my upcoming race FAIL. Clearly tired of hearing my bellyaching my Huz said to me, with irritating and completely unreasonable logic "Really, if you think this is going to be such a mess why don't you just STAY HOME???" Looking at him in complete disgust I replied that that certainly did not make any sense, who would do such a thing?!, and that was not how I operated thank you very much!! (which he knows. but the man can only take so much of my agonizing before he can't take it any more.)

As is the norm around here my Huz and Dad accompanied me to the start of this (now infamous) race. They are a highly skilled, not to mention highly paid coaching team. The helpful words that come out of their mouths are priceless and without them I might not know to "Run fast because it's cold and we're going to leave without you..." Or "Hurry back so we can drink a beer." (wiser words were never spoken.)

Despite my dubious level of fitness and my firm conviction that the race was going to be pure embarrassment I felt better as soon as I took off my 145,000 layers and headed to the start. I lie, in reality I felt freezing, slightly horrified and concerned that my butt was going to sustain serious frostbite, or at the very least some serious muscular pain. I digress.....

I had a good start with none of the ipod or shoelace issues that I had been bothered with earlier in the year. A bunch of boys took off for the front and since I don't bother chasing people who run a 5 minute mile I trudged along and set a decent pace for my freezing self.

It was a fairly flat course, with a medium sized speed bump around mile 1.5 Since I regularly trained on the icy and oxygen deprived slopes of Mt Kanchenjunga this summer this hill was no big deal, even in my current flabster condition. It did get the best of quite a few runners though so at this point I was able to start passing people. Which I like. Since it was an out and back course I was able to see the competition heading back to the finish like as I heaved past the first 0.1 mile marker (noooo, it wasn't that bad.) This was the point that I discovered that I had passed all but one girl- but the lone lady in front of me was a solid 15-20 seconds ahead. Doooom!!

My breathing got a little heezy and wheezy around mile 2.5 which I blame fully on 3 things- my horrible out of shape cardiovascular system, the remnants of The Sick that I have had and the fact that the wind was whipping in my FACE at 60 MPH. No shit, I have never felt wind like that while attempting to run. It pretty much tried to shove me back along the race course, which was met with my frantic cries of agony as I did not want to run any farther then absolutely necessary.

As I sped wildly to the finish I could easily see girl #1 in front of me but didn't have enough gas left in the tank to even take a stab at chasing her down and kicking her ass. Oh well. Next time?

I did, however, have enough energy to showboat like a fool as I ran to the finish line- seeing that I was going to come in at no more than 23:00 got me excited! (what can I say, I'm a show off and not afraid to fist pump and shout WHOO HOO for myself. Yeahhhhh.) I probably need to stop carrying on like that if I am ever to be seen as a serious, highly competitive and feared runner. (pffft...)

The post race festivities were very cold. It's always fun to run in one's own town because you see your friends and neighbors and can catch up with them and all that good old fashioned small town nonsense that I'm so cornily fond of. Good times, good times. I was terrifically pleased to win a gigantic jug of maple syrup for my mind boggling achievements, and a medal as well which has been proudly hung in the best place imaginable (the bathroom. Yes, really.)

All in all a good day. I most definitely could feel a few sore muscles the next day- very unusual post 5K but this was an unusual race, so I'm not shocked. No big problems from the Shin Issue though which was my biggest concern.

I did run in a brand spanking new pair of shoes too- Mizuno wave precisions- which are the freaking bomb diggity thank you very much..

So. I'm back in the saddle so to speak and hope to continue forward with a good Fall of running. (please running Gods. please!)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sometimes I am wrong. Rarely, but it happens....

I guess I just need to shut the heck up?

After my agony yesterday morning, my gloomy predictions of epic humiliating failure, and my repeated bashing of my head off my desk as I imagined my last place finish, this happened.


Oh no you didn't!!

23:00. After 6 weeks off. 3 runs. A lot of moaning and groaning.

It WAS EPIC. 22nd place overall, and 2nd place female finisher. That really pissed me off but there was no catching the other girl in my current feeble and jiggly condition (13 seconds is insurmountable.)

It was freezing (very unusual for a race day...) 60+ MPH winds for the last mile made things oh so delightful and easy. Like running into cozy comforting arms (of an angry, bitchy nor'easter that is.) Pretty decent sized crowd all of whom looked taller, faster and fitter than myself.

I'll catch up on some details later- like the new shoes I wore, my profound thoughts and feelings (ha ha) and other juicy details. But after yesterdays pre race pity party I wanted to update with the shocking news of my re-entry into the racing world and subsequent success!

Go me. I'm cool.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Positively pathetic pre race premable....

After just a handful of runs post DL it might seem reckless to run a 5K today.
But if you don't live on the edge you are taking up too much room suckah!!
I kid, I kid! This race is literally right around the corner and I'm looking at it (grumpily) as a training mission and not a place to PR.
In truth, I'll be quite delighted if I can drag my sweaty, heaving, hippo self across the finish line in under 30 minutes.

Goal: To finish with no pain. A realistic time is around 27-28 minutes unless I have to walk due to pain. I am sure to post my worst time ever today and I wish that I didn't care- but my competitive nature is in quite a tizzy today.
I hope to obtain a positive "have fun" mindset in the next 90 minutes, throw my stopwatch in the hopper and pop around my town slowly, forever to be remembered as the slowest runner ever. (**sobs quietly**)

OK. I guess I have some work to do on my "have fun" mindset!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm BACK!! For real...

I have been able to get my lardo butt off the couch and get back to the sensible business of running rampant about my town. (sadly, despite my lack of running the couch and I have actually had very little quality bonding time. bummah)
I'm being smart about my re-introduction into the world of pavement pounding. I have restricted myself to runs that log in at just over 3 miles, despite the fact that the weather is perfect, the foliage is freaking gorgeous and the effing road is literally calling my name... (people, I might sound crazy but if you run you totally get it. You look down the road and it screams "run on me fool!!" yeahhhh....)
I still have a little left over lung garbage from The Sick but other than that I FEEL GREAT.
Somehow I missed the transitional period that we have in this neck of the woods that takes us from: HOT, HUMID, TOURIST TRAFFIC EXTRORDINAIRE!!!! To: cold, cold, no traffic what-so-ev. Need I even bother to take note of the fact that I love this time of year times a million? Gone are the days of having to pre game with ten thousand gatorades! I have bid farewell to the constant need to run in the puckerbrush at the edge of the road to avoid getting hit by a reckless speeding out of town driver. And with great sorrow I have said goodbye to all my good friends (ahem) who drive by me and catcall, or holler "fun fatty, RUN!!" So sad...
I have noticed the undeniable need for new shoes. Already?? Already..
I also noticed that since the temps are now 50 degrees cooler I can't scoot out the door in zero clothing. WTF? So I got a kickass and attractive pair of CW-X tights. Attractive? I jest! But functional they most certainly are. I really love those little buggers- they are just warm enough and the totally contain the butt jiggle. It is eliminated fo' sho!!
So. That's where I'm at for right now. A middleaged runner back on the road to recovery and world domination. Yay!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One step forward.....

Oh Maaaaaaaannnnnn. You think you're getting ahead again after a million years and THEN....

I headed out for my first "run" on Monday after being freed from the DL. (finally!) I was extremely pleased with how I did (although per DR's orders I took several walk breaks and did NOT run down the huge hill at mach 10.) I felt really good, and ran like a gazelle or similar bandy legged creature (haha. at 5'1" that is unlikely.)

I awoke the next day with one of those disgusting, pustulating, all consuming head/chest colds that make it near impossible to live, let alone run. Can't breathe thru my nose because apparently it is filled with concrete. Can't breathe thru my mouth because that triggers a fit of coughing up lung chunks.

Well, isn't THIS annoying!!

After staying up allll night last night trying to find some place in my body that would allow oxygen to enter I'm not feeling that I have recovered quite yet. This is ridonkulous, and I am suspicious that some running God has it out for me and wants to keep me off the streets.

Not gonna happen running God. I'm getting back out there the second that vile Floridian Cold leaves my system!

Monday, October 4, 2010

You're not a REAL runner unless....

"Real runners run Marathons or Half's. 5 and 10K's are just sprints or a fun few minutes for distance runners, and anybody can do one one of those with no training at all."

Really? I mean, REALLY??

Perhaps it is because I'm middleaged. Maybe it is because I took up running late in life. Or maybe I just don't know what I am talking about!

BUT HERE IN THE REAL WORLD a 5k is a worthy accomplishment, and a 10k is a big goal for big fricking dreamers like myself. (I do agree that a 5k is an attainable goal for even the most out of shape- but it does require some work!)

Yes, in the long run I would love to and plan to, run a half marathon. Perhaps in 2011 if life doesn't not get in the way. But does the fact that my running resume only contain 5K's mean that I am not a real runner? I certainly don't think so (well, right now after the 6 week recovery from the shin of doom I'm no runner. but I was and will be again stat.)

I just laughed off this silly comment from an otherwise well meaning acquaintance but it stung enough to make me reflect on the absurdity of such an offhand comment.

Maybe all of us can't to the 26.2. But we're still runners, damnit.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Important lesson learned and a big long talk about my feelings...

I'm finally fully recovered from the Shin Splint of Doom, back from vacation, done with my competitive season in my other sport and ready to get back to it.

How do I feel?

-Honestly a little bummed. I wish that I had had the common sense to take a week off when my leg first started bugging me and had saved myself the 6 weeks of recovery time. A lesson learned, I suppose. The final feeling on the injury is that it was not sustained from the accident but rather trying to gimp/run around post trauma. A great big DUH to myself and my stupid over achieving head.

-I am extra disappointed because had I not been shin splinted I would be looking forward to my first 10K on October 11. I had signed up for it and was really feeling like my OH 10 running goal would have been met. I simply can not see that there is a logical reason for running that race unless I feel like being crippled for another long period of time. So I will not do it.

-The race season in my area seems to be winding down. There are a few fall races and Holiday events but it will be snowing in about 5 minutes and that effectively shuts down the running community.

-BUT. Amidst all my negativity there are some good things too. I clearly learned a valuable lesson about listening to my body a heck of a lot better. In the long run this setback won't make any difference because I'm certainly not training for the Olympic trials or similar.

However, I'm sure that other type A people can understand the frustration of a set back such as this!! RAWR!!

I'm going out for an easy walk/run this afternoon. I'm sure it won't be pretty but it will be a step in the right direction- of putting the left foot in front of the other- faster than I have been for quite a while.

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's business time... Almost..

HAH! I'm still here.

After a diagnosis of an inflamed medial (hmm is that right? I think so) shin splint and a clear X-ray (yay!) I still had quite a bit of pain for a week or so.

Then, just as I was about to get out the old running shoes again I shipped off to a big Regional Final in my "real" sport. Which went quite well, thank you very much.

I managed to sneak in one nice, easy run while off at my competition and it was GREAT. No pain for the first time since mid August which was a nice and welcome change.

The Huz and I am embarking on a big vacation this weekend which will include zero running from this old lady. Unless I'm running towards something I want to do/eat/drink that is..

When I get back it's business time. I have my eye on a number of fall races and plan to get back into shape as quickly and painlessly as possible!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Trash Talk

I have found that running around my town has made me appreciate many things about it. It is quiet (for the most part) has beautiful views, pretty lakes, quaint little towns and that good old fashioned small village feel.

Other things I notice while running, not to include the crumbling shoulders of most of the roads in town....

-The usual trash on the roadside. Dunkin Donuts cups, Bud cans, cigarette cartons. It makes me want to drag a little cart along with me and clean up after the slobs. Like a Small town Sherpa, cleaning up our little Mt. Everest!

-Now the more interesting.... Ladies Underwear. Several pairs!! WTF??

-One condom. Sweet Baby Geezees, I wasn't getting within 10 feet of THAT thing!! (sadly, I already was. Almost stepped on the slippery little sucker. Bllllergh!)

-While walking yesterday I noticed a discarded used pregnancy test. I assume from the same person who first lost their knickers on the roadside and then flung the condom from the window?? I chose not to investigate the results of this test. Disgusting.

It seems as though my hood is a hot, steamy place where people take their affairs to the streets and limited shoulders of our poor town. I'm sure they think that their left behind items will go unnoticed.... Evidently they had not counted on the keen eyes of certain middleaged runners?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

To the Doctor we go, we go....

My leg and I will be taking a trip to see my Doctor tomorrow, much to my dismay.

I was very patient (not so much) and gave the stupid shin FIVE days off. No running what so ever. I didn't even run inside for snacks/lunch/beer like I have been known to do. I walked around in a most sedate and VERY slow manner. Downright ladylike if you ask me.

I took the leg out again last night for a walk/run/tranter/hiphoppidy of doom.

Since the leg (I need to just give it a name, it has caused me enough annoyance to deserve a name of its own. Suggestions welcome.) Anyway, since the leg has been feeling mildly better I was downright offended when after an EPIC warmup a HALF MILE of walking- all this after lots of stretching- it still kicked up a big old fit when I started to run (run is so generous. it was pathetic.)

I sucked it up and ran close to a mile- it did relax a bit but not enough to make me happy.

My sister (world famous massage therapist) does not notice anything odd going on in the muscles.

Which brings up the question: What the HELL is going on??? 23 days and counting.... and only about 21 miles run in that time (awful!!)

Race plans for Sunday are OFF. BOOO.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

"Sneakers are for feet. Gloves are for hands"

You know, if you want to run barefoot go right ahead. You are crazy!! (but good for you. the world is full of choices and this is yours, but not mine Mo' Fo's!! I likes mah shoes!)

On facebook the other evening I noticed a status update from my BFF's Hubs that was most disturbing. To paraphrase it said something to the effect of this "I'm gonna get some Vibram 5 fingers and OMG I'm so excited!" Or a more manly version of the same....

Rolling my eyes I immediately sent a message to put the kibosh on this silly toe-separation madness. "HEY!" I cyber shouted "If you get those I'm going to tease you and call you a sally-Mary!!" (or something close to that....) Many other people responded and except for a few misinformed supporters it was all out warfare of BFF's Hubs and his bad, bad choices. Some extra special mud slinging between the two of us (Which he has to take, I have been his wife's BEST friend for 20+ years. Henceforth, he doesn't stand a chance.)

Some examples:
-What's Vibram Five Fingers???? Sounds obscene!

-Geek. Sneakers are for feet. Gloves are for hands. Don't be confused.

-If I ever see you wearing those things I'm going to slap you. (from yours truly)

-I did get them. For half of the retail price. Bring it on MA-Runner. I ain't scared!!!! (from BFF's Hubs)

-OMG. Dork. Go ahead and run in them. Imagine the way that I'll beat you while you flip around with all your toes separated. Creep-O! (from me!)

-Oh now its on. Why don't you go ride a horse or something and wear a top hat while you're at it. ha ha (To me, from BFF's Hubs)

-HUBS!!!! i want to see u both run around in top hats! (from my BFF)

-when and where is this taking place?

-Dear BFF's Hubs. It's on. You, me, the stupid frog shoes, top hats and oh, say 5 miles or so. ASAP. (or as soon as I'm officially off the DL. BUT with those stupid shoes you love so much I could still beat you broken and all...)

So, the gauntlet has been thrown. At a yet undisclosed place and time BFF Hubs and I are going to don Top Hats (?) running shoes (me) frog flippers( him) and duke it out in a battle for the ages.
I declared a 5 mile run because I don't stand a chance in a sprint but feel that I can beat him in a longer run, especially since his feet will fall off by then. BWA-HAHAHAHA! HAH!

Stay tuned for developments on this battle of shoes VS barefoot. We shall see who reigns victorious!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Musings of a Middleaged Runner

On top of coping with my shin agony of hellacious doom, this week has also been a flashback to July of the Oh-Ten. Meaning? Hotter than the hinges of Hell. Quite dreadful, really and most uncomfortable to do much of anything in (oh wait. I have an outdoor job! one that requires feats of athleticism all the while dressed in the warmest clothing one can imagine. Unfair! I declare shenanigans.... on myself...) I digress.

I had a glorious, albeit painful on the front end 5 miler last Saturday. I did a very beautiful loop around one of the many lakes that my town is so proud of (and that our property taxes reflect, ahem.) No problem with that, which will lead me to my next post (to follow next week) about my final decision regarding a 10K in the Oh-Ten.

On Monday it was hot like WHAT so I retreated to the basement to pound out some elliptical training time. This was bad and not fun. I hate how that machine spreads my legs in ways that they/I protest about (perhaps I need to ask the Huz to post a guest blog on this subject?? Kidding, kidding....!) I found that despite the "low impact" of this activity my leg was more sore than it had been- most bothersome not to mention confusing!

I did another 3 miles on Wednesday morning as the sun attempted to rise around the smog, haze, whatever you want to call the stagnant layer of humidity that we are currently immersed in. I gimped pathetically for the first .5 mile or so and then fell into a pretty decent rhythm as my ass hat leg gave it up. No worse for it afterwards. I had my Sister do a bit of work on the leg the next day and the results were inconclusive- no obvious appalling muscle problem, she applied a lot of pressure to my various leg bones with only moderate yelps of pain from myself, and she declared a tentative diagnosis of a bone bruise. Hmmmm.

The past two days have brought more heat and unbearable humidity but the threat of a hurricane, much shin aggravation (which for whatever reason has faded to a dull background noise this morning) and a flare up from my ruptured toe tendon. I am giving the old bod a break until Monday morning when I will emerge from the ashes of my disabled list fire, and take on the world ready to kick some serious booty! (or. just not go totally lame again.)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Shin S**T

I am rapidly growing weary of my shin issue. Can't quite put my finger on what the problem is because it is strange, to say the least.

In short:
-It is always much worse in the morning
-It is always worse the day after I DON'T run (like 48 hours)
-As I run, it gets better. But hurts at first.
-It does not feel like a shin splint in the least.
-It is located on the inside of my right shin-bone area. But there is no one place of "intense" pain. Seeming to rule out a hairline fracture.
-I can fully rotate my ankle and flex my foot up and down with zero pain. Further ruling out a hairline fracture.
-I am annoyed by this. Very much.

AND I have a 5K in 9 days. Which I had fully intended to set an epic personal record in. Hopefully I make a full recovery very soon.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Race Day Notes

A quick PS to my original July 31st race report. These are the original unedited notes that I took in my training log post race. Anybody that uses's training log knows about the "faces" that they create for you, depending on your well being and what have you. That is what I'm talking about...

I love the little blue face that active trainer put up when I recorded my daily feelings, or whatever. This was a Very Bad Week. I had not slept properly in days. My stress was very high. My feelings of well being were lowwwww.
It was a beautiful sunshiney low 70's and dry day, and I actually had a running buddy! (my BFF's Hubs) so I made the best of it.
My original goal was to come in in an even 31:00, but after I heard many people moan and agonize over the hilly terrain (and after my lack of speed on my own personal hell, I mean hill) I said eff it. If I can't do my own hills in less than 35 minutes than what will make me faster on this day?
It turned out to be quite hilly- the first 2 miles were ALL uphill but it was manageable and not retarded like I'm used to. Awesome! I felt good and it was fun having a running buddy (for the 1st 2 miles, than I made him eat my dust.)
The first mile was slowwww (8:23) but it was a large race with lots of weenie campers running arm in arm and clogging up the interstate. The pace picked up nicely after that and I beat my original goal by 30 seconds. I hit the wall in the last 0.1 but recovered in less than a few seconds once I stopped. The final hill was a bitch and owned my slow ass....
Ended up 95th out of over 600. Only 16 women were in the top 100- it's absurd how much faster the men are. I'm used to a female dominated sport so this really makes me say "WHAT??" I was 5th in my age division (it was 10 year divisions instead of the usual 5. Excuses, excuses.)

Delayed July 31 race report

Awwww shoot. I really need to tell all of y'all about my race that took place 3 million years ago...

Back in the day when dinosaurs roamed the earth and men lived in caves I awoke, excited and energised to run a 4 mile race on a course straight up a hill.

OK, stop the crazy train so that I can get off. Let's have a reality check.

Said race took place about 48 hours after the family had heard that bad news about my Gramma. I was in a terrible head space, as my Gramma is one of the most important and beloved people in my life. "Go run" said my wise Mom "Your Gramma would not want you being a quitter and running creates positive energy. Or something!" I concluded that these were indeed wise words, and vowing to A: not be a disappointing slacker and B: to try to send all my positive energy in the right direction off I went.
I met my Best Friends husband at the start of this mad, insane race. Not being much of a runner my BFF had informed me that he would be finishing in no less than 48 minutes, which I seriously doubted. The two of us collected our numbers, waved goodbye to the excellent coaching squad of my Dad and Huz and boarded a bus for the Other Side of The Mountain. I had never run (or seen) this course before but had been warned excessively and hysterically about the never ending hill. As we came around by mile 2 we started to go down, and down. My ears popped as we dropped below sea level in a most leisurely fashion. Looking back I concluded that these hills were not of the Mt Everest quality that I run in my normal training but were many miles long. (post July 4- 4 miler I had set a goal of 31.00 for my next 4 miler. After hearing all the talk about the difficulty of this course I backed off and set a 35:00 goal.)
There were a million people at the start (well. 600) most of whom were from various camps and would obviously be sticking together in a pack and clogging up the road like cholesterol. BOO! As the BFF-Hubs and I made an epic race plan getting by/around/ahead of those fools was top on the list.
We decided to stick together for as long as we could, with the plan to run the first 2 miles in about 16 minutes. For a non runner this is a blistering pace when set on a never ending mountain of doom but BFF hubs is in fine shape otherwise and said he'd be just fine.
We got caught in a moderate clusterfudge of chaos, churning bodies of campers and general mayhem at the start but escaped quickly. Despite the fact that the 1st mile ran a little slow we were right on target at mile 2. I knew at this point that I had plenty of high octane fuel (aka purple passion Gatorade and pretzels) in the reserves and was going to try to book it the hell out of there for the final 1/2 of the race.
To this point BFF Hubs had been doing just fine, he was puffing a bit but had kept right up like a rockstar. Just after mile 2 I looked around and the poor kid was GONE. I had a moment of thinking about waiting, looking, stopping, whatev but I'm an asshat so I shifted into high gear and set off to kick his ass.
Things went really well for the last 2 miles, I kept up a very steady pace and was able to pass a very high number of people. I was concentrating on all of those positive mindset shenanigans that my Mah had pep talked me on (and of course concentrating on not falling down, vomming, whatevs.) There was a bigass hill about .01 mile from the finish which was not my friend in any way but I finished up just fine in 30.29. Since this blew my goal finish time out of the fricking water I was quite pleased. I placed 95th- in such a big fast crazy crowd I was more than happy with this result.
Not too long after my BFF's Hubs came thru the finish- also beating his wife's expected time and coming across the line in 32.30. WHAT, WHAT!!! Good for you BFF Hubs! He looked a teeny bit green around the gills but smartened right up with some water and manly words of congratulation from the coaching squad and some of his friends. He really hadn't dropped behind me all that much at all and we all had a laugh about my robo-cop cyborg running style. Hey, chin up, chest up people!!
And the best part.... NO pictures of either of us in awkward poses the following day!!