Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In which I fail at long runs, but win at life.

The time has come to discover the answer to the age old question... What is worse? Big hills? Chapped knees? Muddy roads? Or what? The winner of this diabolical question is all of the above... And just a bit more for good measure.

I was looking at my long run with a bit of trepidation as I have really been pushing it a bit lately and henceforth, feeling it in my knees, my shin, and especially my brain which was just tired! I took a day off after my muddy hilly dirt road 6 miler over the weekend (which, despite the sounds of things was a solid run! go figure...)

My plan for the infamous long run of torment was to bypass all the mountains, avoid the 30 MPH wind and 25 degree temps, and baby my poor little knees along on the treadmill (which hasn't been blessed with the presence of my feet in weeks!) Alas, it was not meant to be. Things got busy and before I knew it my driving to the gym time had been absorbed by what I like to call "answer impossible question time". This is the time of day when my clients ask me to solve their life problems for them. This presents something of a challenge for me as I am only well versed in a few subjects- but what the hell- I always give it a good shot.

So... Armed with the knowledge that I had another happy client who was more tech savvy thanks to my instruction off I went. Gusting winds in my face. Frozen ground under my feet. An attempt to maintain a positive mindset... in my brain? Yeah....

Things felt just fine until I got to mile 4 and then I discovered that I was freaking starving. Evidently, it was a lot later that I thought it was and was nearing my snack time. Which is one of the most important times of the day for me, thank you very much. You should not get between this girl and her food unless you want to have an epic battle in which I win, and then steal your candy! HA! So... I reached for my Clif block shit thing only to discover that in my haste to depart I had neglected to put on my vest which normally carries all my valuables: aka: FOOD. Damnit.

Things did not end well. We'll leave it at that. After 9 wimpy miles I crept back into my parents driveway completely worked over, sore, starving and really grouchy. What a complete shit show, I was irked by my complete lack of planning and general incompetence. Upon witnessing my dive into the dirty snowbank and hearing my agony my Dad did the only sensible thing.

He brought me a beer. Good thinking!

I am so delighted to see that despite my MANY layers of clothing that I still am roughly the size and shape of Justin Bieber. Why, WHY?!

Anyway. I survived. For the rest of the week pre race I am going to do the easiest runs imaginable and try to nurse my sore body parts back to good health. I think this is a good lesson to all: nothing- bad weather, sore muscles, idiocy- NOTHING- can resist the medicinal purposes of a good old fashioned beer. Cheers!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mega Tangent Monday OR: Why people pay me for advice

In my last post I mentioned in passing my goals for my upcoming race and how I plan to achieve them (essentially, I have kicked the crap out of myself physically for the last month. well done me!)

This got me thinking about goals in general, how they can be useful and how people manage their own personal world domination. ....which in turn made me think about my job, where I get to yammer on quite extensively about all of this!....

It is my job to help my clients set and reach goals, boom! plain and simple. With the horses there is an extra challenge of having a 1500 pound four legged beast with the approximate maturity level of a preschooler on crack. There has to be a crap ton of flexibility in any "plan" where a horse is involved because they are fragile creatures who occasionally need a change of scenery or pace in order to stay fresh. Top priority, in a nutshell, is to maintain the happiness and soundness of our furry little problems. I mean friends, bless 'em.

Throw a few high maintenance, slightly eccentric equestrians into the mix and things start to get interesting! Add me to the equation and (believe it or not) logic and reason always prevail. Really!

I always have endless words of wisdom for my clients when it comes to goal setting. I have been doing this shiz for years!

It is good to have a BIG goal: "I have competitive aspirations! I wish to earn xyz award over the course of the next few years!"

Some smaller goals: "To earn this award I will need to compete in several recognized shows at two different levels and get x score."

Add in some personal goals: "I have lingering show nerves... I will take time for positive imaging before I ride, will schedule weekly lessons and practice in front of a crowd in my home environment to overcome my fear."

And a dose of reality: "I am going to need a lot of money/time to manage to reach my goal. However, it is important to me so I will commit to making this happen by cutting back on social outings/careless spending (booo!)"

Then think about what needs to be WORKED on to get to step one:

"I am not in good enough shape to ride my horse as well as I can. I will improve this by going to the gym three times a week."

"I have never ridden at the highest level that is required for the award I am aiming for. I understand that it will take at least another year before I/Horse am ready for this challenge."

You get the picture, and how this (honestly) directly relates to running goals as well! For me, because riding goals are almost second nature at this point I find myself taking my own advice when it comes to setting (foolish. unreasonable.) goals for my running. ...take the horse out of the picture and I only have my own silly legs/mental health/fitness/attitude to worry about. It is really so damn easy......

It is discouraging for me when people present goals that are not.... mature....

"I want to go out this year and kick so and so-s BUTT in the show ring!"

"I just want to win ribbons so I'm going to move down a level, even though it presents no challenge to me."

I imagine that this relates to the running world as well and is equally **ahem** productive. It is good to wish to come out on top, right? But at the end of the day meeting a personal goal is more important.

One seriously good thing about competitive running is that there is NO question of how you did, or why you finished up in 288th place. No mystery, no head shaking, no nothin'. It is also easy to have a look at your personal results and see improvement (or not...) It is the tricky thing with horses- you might go out and have your best go EVER- but if the judge does not agree you won't get your best score. And yeah... there are serious judging standards but at the end of the day it still boils down to personal preference. It's part of it and we all accept it for what it is and don't moan and wallow. We just drink a few extra beers...

So! In horses, running, or fabulocity in general there seems to me a common thread. In order to improve, reach goals and see progress one must work hard, smart and fair (in regards to horses.. oh and yourself, I suppose!) You need to know not only where you want to go but how you are going to get there, and what can help you to get there in the smartest, happiest and healthiest way possible. And you always, always, need to have a Plan B to fall back on if Plan A goes to hell in a handbasket. (these are good rules to live by. perhaps I'll write a book of inspiration! NOTTTTT.)

Anywhoo! I promise no more long preachy posts for a while. Honestly, I think that the setting of goals is an interesting topic and one that I deal with every day so I have a lot to say on the matter!

Next time: what is worse: big hills? chapped knees? spongy dirt roads? or something far worse!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Final Countdown. Version 2.0

One week until the Great Bay Half in Newmarket, NH. I have not looked at the forecast because it really doesn't matter to me- I will run in anything as long as I can get there! Let's all hope for some sunny warm non-snowy business though- I'd really appreciate it.

One of the perks of being in a Mainer... Ability to be the master of the weather... Or Not...

3 miles of this half is run on a dirt road. Excellent! A new way to add challenge to the already impossible mission of running an absurd distance. No big deal though, I have mud filled, squishy, rather icy and hilly dirt roads to practice on around here. My shoes are officially ready for retirement now...

I was mulling over the past month and how I have prepared for Half Marathon: Round Two. After Half Version One I identified a few issues that I had to address.
1: Lack of outdoor running left me ill prepared to deal with the reality of the roads. Amazing how 6 weeks indoors (even with hill challenge days thrown in) can leave you soft and traumatized by a frost heave. Humph.
2: By mile 8 I had shredded my hip flexor. Lack of terrain training played a big part in this, I am sure. Suspicious that the minimal hill work I had been doing weakened all important parts of my leg and it reflected in the H/F strain. I am hard core. I know that in order to improve, one must actually get on top of things and take responsibility for some serious ass kicking. I have to listen to people's confused feelings all the time about why they plateau for weeks, months, years and really, it is easy. You need to work, harder, better, smarter to improve at anything!! And you need to get the eff out there and work in horrible conditions, rain, muddy roads and big stupid hills so that they don't bother you on race day. This is what I have been shouting at myself lately and it is a solid train of thought for sure.

My goal is not to run a much better time in a week but to finish pain free. Or, with a different pain (OK to make errors, but not the same one twice!) I think with the hill work, long runs, dirt roads and extremely variable terrain that I am oh-so lucky to have around here I'm well prepared. I have felt less and less discomfort in my hip every run- even after 13.1 miles last Monday. (I was sore as s**t, don't get me wrong, but it was much better!)

Miraculously I have yet to throw a screaming fit about anything. Evidently I am a calm and zen like person, filled with remarkable inner poise and having no need of a taper tantrum. Perfection, people... Perfection...

So, we'll see how this week goes. Only a few more runs until I get to see if the hard work has paid off or if I should hang up my muddy shoes in disgust, in favor of a calmer lifestyle. We shall see..

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Beach To Beacon, 2011

Last Tuesday I woke up (per the norm) had some coffee, fed the dog and 9 absolutely starving to death horses then made my way to check my email.

My eyes drifted to the calender... March 15th.... Why does that date sound important??!!

OH CRAP. It's the day to register for the friggin Beach To Beacon.

In something of a panic I checked the clock- 7:08- and dejectedly, I knew that I had blown it. Registration had opened at 7:00 and fills in the same way that I fill myself with candy. (a good comparison, honestly.)

I. Was. Pissed!

I did the sensible thing and threw my name into the lottery- for 5 bucks I would have a chance to get my name drawn, along with 1200 or so others out of the million or so people who were delayed in their registration reactions.

For the week that I waited to find out which way my fate tide would turn I mulled over the "whys" of this race. Why in the hell did I want to do it anyway. Case in point.

-It will be 10,000 degrees out
-There are legit elite runners at this little bash. those crazy Kenyans run a 4:28 mile and don't break a sweat. It is absolute madness!
-The town that B2B is in really can't handle it. It is a shit show.
-No parking. No escape once you have parked.
-You have to arrive 4 hours early due to said parking situation.
-No way to win my age group unless I can miraculously manage to cut a minute per mile off my 10K time. Run a 6:40 average 10K? I highly doubt it!

When I received confirmation in my email box yesterday that I was one of the lucky ones with my name on a bib I was positively ecstatic! Which proves once more that I have descended into the depths of running insanity. I am looking forward to B2B fervently, 6:40 MPM time of not!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday Morning Mountain Mini Marathon....

I was so hyped up about my hills yesterday that I completely forgot that I was the Featured Runner over at Run Courtney, Run! I am excited about this- go check it out!

In other news.... I mentioned a few days ago that I had planned my long run to be held on the treddy of terror in the climate controlled gym (haha) on a FLAT (or 1.5% incline) surface.
Well... My plans changed. I ended up running over the mountain of doom because I just didn't have the extra time to drive to my gym! I ran an abysmal first mile- if there had been a bail out button to transport me straight to a couch I would have hit it. Gladly! looking at my watch at mile 1 I was truly horrified (but not shocked- my legs, although not painful, felt like garbage) the time was 9:57!!! WHAT? When do I EVER run an almost 10 minute mile!

Luckily I did not call it a day at that point.....

I ended up running the first 5 miles in 44:28. Not great. Not too gross considering that I started out on the wrong foot. Or pair of feet.

I ran the second 5 miles in 41:45. Uphill. Boom.

Then... I threw in a 5K for good measure. In 27:32. (As I made the choice to do the final 3.1 I said "I'm going to shoot for 10 min per mile just to get extra time on the road- I shouldn't over do it!) I came close, and the last 3.1 were- AS USUAL- very hilly.

So... You run 10 miles then add in a 5K. What is the total?

13.1 suckahs. Take that stupid legs. In 1:53:05 which is nothing to cry about given the 67% incline that I was on for the whole freaking duration.

I came home and promptly threw my body in a snowbank because, as expected I had pushed the hip flexor to its limit (it did not hurt until mile 10-ish, and was much better that last week.) The snowbank was cold and unforgiving. Most unpleasant. I had some coffee milk which is much more palatable to me than any other kind of milk. I hate milk with a passion to be honest but am trying it, since it seems to so popular as the recovery drink for you hardcore runners! then I ate some cadbury eggs, some real eggs and some toast.

Then I got back to work.... Thank you Monday for being quiet enough to allow me to take 2 hours off!

I was thrilled at the end of the day to have almost zero discomfort in any part of my body. I don't know if I should thank my mad skillz, the snowbank or the coffee milk...

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Hills. Need I say more?

As many of you have probably noticed I often complain loudly about the fact that I can not run any distance in my town without encountering a few pesky hills. while I'm sure that those of you who live in Vermont, for example, encounter much worse than this my feeling is that I am forced to do some solid hill work on the regular.

Or, perhaps I am just a whiny little weenie? I ask you to be the judge of that..

For your consideration, just a few of the local speed bumps.

See above for the hill that is honestly referred to AS the "speed bump." There is no avoiding this hill and it has become small enough not to even register in my brain. It is a real bitch at the end of 10 plus miles though, not gonna lie here....

OK! So, if you get to this point you have already climbed up a small mountain. On this route there are 3 hills this size plus the infamous speed bump (really, you can't avoid it.)

What you don't realize about this little hill is that there is a hill on the side of this hill. You can almost see it between the first two phone poles. The picture does not do it justice- this hill means business. Come to visit me and the bumps in the road will kick you in the face!

That is just a small sampling of what my town has to offer in the incline department. Go ahead, tell me I'm wimpy to fuss about having to scale those beasts on a daily basis, I can take it!
I feel that I should put out a "beat my hill" challenge. Email me pics of your mountainous nemesis perhaps and I can create a "my hill vs your hill" challenge! (maybe I'll rename this post "Ways to have fun with your hills" or "this is your brain on incline" or something of the sort...)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A sprint around the neighboring town

Hey, I'm back!

Sorry fans, I disappeared form the blogosphere rather suddenly. Damn work. Damn busy schedule!

Not such a busy running week but luckily not a complete bust. In the name of repairing my stupid hip flexor I took 4 days off from pavement pounding. Since I am now an old, seasoned Half Marathon pro (emphasis clearly placed on the old) I was not in the slightest bit worried about messing with The Plan. I was also getting really sick of the old hip starting to go "twinge twinge" at mile 1.5! I did a super short and easy run mid week- like 3 miles of the flattest surface that I could find (not easy to locate) with no pain.

Yesterday I headed 2 towns over to get a change of scenery. I am so sick of all of the roads in my town, even though I have only been back outside off the dreaded treadmill for a couple weeks.... I ran a 4.4 mile route that I have done 4 miles of before (it is the 4 on the 4th route) which is literally done over a mountain. The first 2 miles are straight uphill (and the last 1/2 mile is thru town- which requires showing off and fast running) which I thought would be a good test for my leg. The sun was shining enough to make me feel OK about the 20 MPH winds blowing in my face... Even better though was that I didn't feel a peep from the hip flexor- it is a tiny bit sore today but I'm hoping that I'm now on the other side of the problem. The showing off sprint thru the town made for a decent finishing time too- just a hair over 32 minutes which I consider acceptable for a loop that is half 10% or greater incline....

I'm going to do a long run on the treadmill tomorrow since it is going to be a rainy mess. I'm hoping that I can manage to do it pain free or to at least make it past the 5 mile mark with no agony. Fingers crossed....

I promise that there are more posts to come in the following days- don't stop following me because I have been so bad at blogging lately... I vow to do better in the coming days!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The run of torment...

I'm back!

Before I departed on the trip that lasted an eternity I took a large chunk of my Saturday and ran all the way across my town.

I had contemplated hitting up the gym for my long run but the much improved weather and slightly better road conditions changed my mind for me. I gave some thought about which direction I should travel in to avoid the worst of the hills. Bottom line, there was not a single route that I could design that was anything close to flat. **damnit!**

Throwing caution to the wind I headed out the door, fueled by pretzels and bravery/insanity. It was by far the warmest day that we had seen in quite some time, I think the thermometer might have hit a scorching 42 degrees at the height of the day. Very decent running weather in my opinion.... The first 5 miles were tolerable, if you call climbing Mt Everest while dodging huge puddles and periodically loosing your footing in sink holes tolerable... I knew that 10 miles was an ambitious goal under the conditions that I was dealing with but my basic feeling was that it could be done with a minimum of swearing and agony.

I wouldn't say I was completely correct!

As hilly as the first 5 miles were they were basically flat compared to the final 5. By mile 7.5 or so I was being troubled by my pesky hip flexor- it is really becoming a terrible nuisance to me! I was covered in mud and my feet were completely soaked and I could feel them becoming more pruney with each passing step. By mile 8.5 I was starting to drop the eff bomb on the regular due to the ever increasing incline, my drenched feet and the traffic that kept almost running me off the fricking road.

My sneaky rage spiral came to a head when with at mile 9 that STUPID local dog (who I have had encounters with before) came bursting out of the woodd scaring the bejeebus out of me and refusing (as usual) to go home or allow capture. That dog is my nemesis and I have extreme dislike for the fact that he is allowed to run rampant on the town with no collar or tags. We were well over a mile from his home and I had zero interest in backtracking that far to tell his negligent parents that their naughty yellow child was about to become road kill. I got a large number of dirty looks and unhelpful comments from passing cars as they advised me to put my dog on a leash. No s**t yo, he isn't my dog!

After laboring, sweating and cursing violently while hopping on one leg for the final stretch of my run (with the dog yapping and circling me in a most annoying manner) I finally made it home. Thinking that I would catch the idiot canine, throw it in my car and return him to his home was good in theory but not in practice. Fully wound up he refused capture and continued to prance around like a chicken on crack. I felt murderous... So I called animal control and had them take him away. (now, before you all get wound up know that this is a small town and the dog catcher knew who he was and returned him home. I knew that would happen. I'm not an asshat I swear!)

I must say that for a variety of reasons that was hands DOWN the hardest run I have ever done. If I was gearing up for my first half I think I might be a touch freaked out to be honest! However- 10 miles on my roads in much more impossible then 13.1 on relatively flat surfaces.

Anyway! I survived. The dog survived (miraculously!) and after a couple days off I'm ready to test out the old legs again. We'll see how it goes...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'll be back!

Hello Blog Friends! I will be MIA the next couple days due to very busy work stuff and an insane 1 day, 16 straight hours of driving, trip to NJ starting at 2:30 AM tomorrow. Yikes!

I'll be back to the interwebs late on Tuesday to catch up with all of you cool kids and to fill you in on the most arse whooping, muddy, pot hole filled (and MOUNTAINOUS) 10 mile run that I managed to survive. Barely...

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Another exciting week in my world...

Another week almost over!
The weather has been persnickety, typical for the Northeast at this time of year but not particularly desirable for much of anything that pertains to life.

Despite the delightful and never ending deluge of snow/sleet/rain/all of the above mixed with any of the above I managed to get in a couple decent workouts.

Tuesday I donned the dreadful Easter Egg like outfit and hit the surprisingly dry roads for a quick little 3 miler. No problems on this run, 3 miles seems to be easy for my still recovering left hip flexor (stupid thing...)

Wednesday I discovered that my normal 6 mile route was more or less under a floodplain, which had turned into a skating rink of terror. A trek across that would be sure to lead to a broken hip, concussion, or significant blood loss for for yours truly... Yes, my coordination is well known across the countryside. After a bit of consideration I settled upon running back to my house after executing a hay collection errand on the other side of the infamous hill. I don't think that many people appreciate the magnitude of hills in my little town, they really provide a certain element of excitement/horror that a treadmill is not capable of. While the route I chose bypassed the worst of them it still left me with a series of rolling and somewhat icy and still occasionally steep terrain. A definite challenge to my slightly shredded hip flexor.... Not sure if it was the constant incline, the inability to freely move my left leg after mile 3 or the occasional (read: constant) need to prance across icy death cookies but I was feeling a touch whipped before I reached the end. Not "OMG I'm going to stop, die, vomit and drop the eff bomb" whipped but plain old sucky "that kicked my trash" whipped. Not my best effort but a solid 6.2 of HILLS at a decent pace.
Thursday was a "rest" day- I had planned it and the ultra rotten weather confirmed that I had chosen the correct day to stay off the roads. Of course, the weather continues to labor along in a rather offensive manner which might spell trouble for my sprint to the gym later today... But we'll see, where I live if you don't like the weather this minute it will give you something else (unpleasant) the next minute... Delightfully diabolical!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Fashion: Part THREE!

I am such a trendsetter, both in the blogosphere and the fashion world.
All together now: HA. HA. HAHHHHHHAHA.

I think a fab new thing to do with our blogs should be something like this: Fashion Fail Friday? Wise Words Wednesday? Oh Hell I'm So Sassy Saturday?

Until I figure out what the next big thing on the interwebs will be I'll leave you with this gem. As my running outfits continue to veer towards the absurd I feel the need to get my Mom's reaction towards them. It is a great boost for my ego and delightfully amusing.

"How do I look TODAY?" I shouted at her, detouring from my run to find her in her house.

What did she say?

"VILE. Just VILE. Like some kind of crazy Easter Egg.... the neighbours are going to call me to complain, I hope that most of them are still at work...."

I was oh so offended at her harsh assessment of my gorgeous self.....

Monday, March 7, 2011

I fought the treadmill... and the treadmill won?

Despite spending the week declaring that I was going to bypass my weekly long run what did I end up doing yesterday? Well, besides spending my day teaching a gazillion riders in truly horrific weather (thank you indoor arena, for keeping the business trudging along) I went to The Gym to log in a 10 miler.

Disaster! The best treadmill (and the only one with a fan) was occupied by one of the infamous slow walkers. Get off the good treadmill, slow walker!! Go and use the ones that LIKE to go at 1.8 MPH, come ON!

I digress. Not wishing to wait 3 hours for SW to complete his 0.45 walk I hopped on the second to worst treddy. The very worst one bounces and will make one bleed because it has little bolts sticking wayyyy out which I tend to smack my hands into. Needless to say I make every attempt to avoid that one as I do not wish to need stitches at the end of a run. It seems at this point that the 2nd worst Treadmill is inches away from becoming the WORST. It has about 3 feet in the grave as it was not just bouncing, but it was also grinding in a worrying manner and would occasionally let out a whoop of fury.

I got about my business, ignoring the wild protesting from the dreadf***er and attempted to ignore its moans of anger/impending death. At mile 6.9 after treating it gently and with love (avoiding the incline! Not going over 7.8 MPH!) it had had enough. Letting out one last shuddering gasp it came to a screeching halt and died, unceremoniously throwing me off the back end in a surprised and sweaty heap.

OH SHITBALLS! I exclaimed, trying many means of CPR in a valiant attempt to breathe life back into its cold, still features. After having zero luck in the life saving department but with a keen desire to salvage my workout I sprinted to the better Treadmill which the slow walker had fortunately disembarked from.

Feeling decidedly nervous that I was going to have my membership from THIS gym revoked I mentally penned the note that I felt the need to leave for the owners. "I might have killed your treadmill....." "your treadmill almost killed me...." "It was on its last legs anyway!" Feeling paranoid about the whole situation I pounded out the last 5K of my workout in 23:22 which is astonishing since it came at the tail end of a distance run. Nothing like a little speed on the last stretch, right?

After my epic sprint to the imaginary finish I walked back into the main room, prepared to pay my penance (or at least leave a "I'm Broken" sign on the TreadStupidFace.)

WHAT did I FIND? The little AssHat running along JUST perfectly, with a slow walker marching along on it. What was THAT all about? Did it just need a little break? I was completely baffled by the strange second life that it had found but also relieved that I was not going to get given the boot for treadmill murder.

I have to say that the point in this round goes to the treadmill, despite the fact that as I was picking myself up off the ground I was having an evil "HA! I killed you suckah!" thought. It managed to throw me, get a break then was resurrected in time for me to see that I had not managed to sink it... so very odd!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Returning to Reality

After the drama and intrigue of my last post I am unsure of my ability to create such a buzz today...
Thanks for all the comments, and for a slew of emails that I got as well! As tempting as it is to throw Captain Asshat and his Gym of Discrimination under a bus I'm going to take the classy road and leave him and his disgraceful "business" well enough alone. Obviously I told all of my closest friends, the Internet and might have mentioned it to a few people who have been known to talk a lot in public... But really, I am a nice lady and have no plans get all lawerly on him.

(I do enjoy that I have just claimed to be classy yet have no intention of washing my hair or putting on makeup today. Thank heavens that I am blessed with such epic natural beauty and can get away with such things.)

Anyway! After leaving The Gym Of Stupidity in complete consternation I somehow managed to lay the smack down on a 3 miler. I killed the thing- somehow pulled it off in 22 minutes which is truly peculiar since I haven't been throwing down the numbers in my speed work lately. I am certain that I was able to execute this fabulous fleet footed feat (oh snap!) because I was a touch pissed off. Better to take it out on the road, correct?

Yesterday I went back to The Gym That Welcomes Me With Open Arms. I felt as though I entered the building in a way that made it obvious that I had been trying to cheat on them. I had... The face of an adulterous? Luckily there was nobody there to see me do the walk of shame, or to hear my confessions of transgressions.
I did some particularly restrained mile repeats. My hip flexor wasn't flexing in a pleasant manner so I was a bit more careful than I would have liked to be. I did 5 miles, 3 repeats in 8:41 (suck-a-rama) 8:20 (wouldn't want to try to hard, would I?) and 7:53 (a bit better.)

Hit the road in my very best garb today in an attempt to frighten the people in my town. I said to my Mom as I was leaving, that I thought I looked rather well put together, all things being taken into consideration. She disagreed. My Mom... She always knows what to say!
Her words: "Well.... Nobody will try to rape you!" AHAHAHAH. HAHAHA! HA!.... Well, I certainly don't want to be thrown into a windowless van of terror so I simply couldn't see what was so bad?! Once I got past my non-rape-ability hysterics I managed to terrorise about half of my town (why was everybody out on the road? to see me? in pink fleeced horror garb??) and did 6 miles of hills and doom on legs that kept whining like little bitches. It was a pretty good run though, with no rape- thank goodness!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

DENIED! My Bizzaro Gym Story.

Welcome to the winter of my discontent..... And what might be the Best Post Ever!

I have remarked several times on my general dislike of all things Gym related: driving there over miles of treacherous roads, having to wait for the slow walkers to remove themselves from the treddy, having said treddy bounce and rattle like it is one second away from exploding when set over 7 MPH.... You all know, you feel my pain and I'm SURE are very sympathetic.

With the road conditions between my house and my gym rapidly circling the drain and the belts on all 3 of the Gyms treadmills progressively becoming looser I concluded that perhaps it was time to give The Other Gym a try. I felt a touch guilty, cheating on my empty, airless and straight out of the '80s place of exercise but what's a girl to do.

Read on to find out....

The Other Gym is open 24/7 so is locked, members are given keys and it is all oh-so very formal. I scheduled an appointment to pick up said key and to be "given a tour."
Upon my arrival the owner seemed very frazzled and appeared to have quite a bit going on. Ah, the stress and strain of owning a business that actually has a client base. The poor guy. Taking into account his particularly stressed out expression I let him know that we could bypass most of the weight rooms and such as I only needed the cardio equipment.

This is when things took a turn for the worse.

Eyeing me with suspicion he inquired "So. Training for something?" Without thinking (and I'm sorry. But with PRIDE beeyotches!) I replied that I was indeed gearing up for a Half. He STOPPED DEAD in his TRACKS. "Well. We don't usually allow people like YOU to join the gym." was his shocking statement. "OhKaaay" I said "30 minute treadmill limit, right?"
Instead of just coming out with it and saying that yes, the gym had a 30 minute limit that he was not willing to budge on he hemmed, hawed and threw some real gems at me that I am feeling compelled to share.

Him: "It isn't so much the wear & tear on the Treadmills but the fact that people who spend more time then that on the treadmills are basically stealing from the gym because they use too much TIME."
Me: "Well say a client of yours spent 30 minutes on the treadmill, 30 minutes on the elliptical then did some circuit training? Is that a problem too."
Him: Lost for words

Me: "Honestly, I only need a longer period of time on a treadmill once a week- I'd be happy to swap treadmills and leave if a line formed. Or, just tell me that it is your policy to refuse access to "people like me" and I'll head on out."
Him: "well... there are never people waiting for equipment... but people would start to see you coming and get angry."
Me: Lost for words... Completely lost for words...

Me: "I'm not going to ask you to change your rules for me. But you won't just come out and tell me no, so perhaps there is a loophole that you have not mentioned" (at this point it was almost fun to watch him squirm in discomfort.)
Him: Well, ermmmm, ummm. Well I don't know. We really try to avoid "people like you" because of the way that you "abuse" your membership rights."
Me: (haven't we covered this??) So you have an overall time limit on how long ANY gym member can be on location?
Him: Clearly dying inside.

To make this long story short (or no longer) He Denied my membership request. In retrospect I clearly should have told him that I was a casual runner, putting in 4 miles per week tops. (then just continue to do my thing...) At the time though I certainly saw no SHAME in being a real runner, and no need to deny what I frickin do! BAH!

I know that many gyms have a Treadmill (or cardio equipment) time limit but also know that there are many ways to get around this rule- unless there is a mile long line forming behind you! It was pretty clear from the get go that this business owner did not want my money or for me to be "abusing my membership!"

One part of me wants to get seriously offended by this blatant discrimination. The other part of me is laughing it off, feeling a bit sorry for him, and feeling like I will continue to run at my normal (and so charmingly dated) gym until the weather improves...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Family, My Bestfriends, My Hay Guy and Me...

Catchy Title today. Rather poetic?
It has been a fairly uninspired week of running. Non running is the most accurate term since I have been avoiding it like the plague. Back to it today, perhaps, and hopefully my legs will decide to behave.

In honor of my 4 days of non running fun this post is dedicated to the interesting people who keep my world going round. And round.... Making me dizzy.
But really! In the horse world one needs a plethora of people to keep things operating well. These are "people" that most "normal people" might not have around (well. with the exception of BEST friends!) I have ommited my possee of Vets, Farriers and all the others who take large clumps of cash from me and do not amuse me in the least. I'm picky- in order for me to give a shout out to somebody (especially if I have to pay them) I must be entertained by them in some fashion. So here we go!

My Mom (on the left!) My friend JWH (on the HUGE horse) and ME! (looking a touch mystified.) I love these guys. We have tons of fun at shows together and have been toughing it out since 1995. We are the coolest ever.

Looking dead sexy with JWH again. See why we are so awesome? It's tha boots!

The Excavation guy. Gotta have one with all this bullshit snow. My Excavation guy might not be the very most entertaining person but he always shows up with huge machines which I like. And big dumptrucks which I like too. I am a hick?

After the Hay Guy brings hay, blinds me with his sarcasm and vanishes, My BFF's and I drink a beer in the hay cart. Snap. There's my Dad creepin in the background. It should be noted that I give my Hay Guy more money per year than anybody else. HMPH. Good thing we are friends. Do I have to pay people to be my friends? No. Clearly not.. Right??

My Dad! I didn't want all of you to think he was a creeper in the back of a hay cart. (well, about that...) No really! My Dad is the bombdiggity and fixes a lot of the things that I break. And I break a lot of things so he's always busy... Lucky!

I promise that I'll try to get back on topic in the next few days, being that this is a RUNNING blog and all. But HEY, every now and then it's amusing to go off on a tangent (is it Tuesday? No...) find a bunch of old pics and throw caution to the wind.