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?