Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Time to attack the track with my BFF!

If you had told me a year ago that I would be spending an evening running at the high school track with my BFF I would have laughed in your face. YOUR FACE!!!
"A highly improbable situation" I would have said with derision...
So imagine my shock when I found myself with a date at the track with none other than the BFF last Friday night! (note to self: next time you have a 25k trail race don't run 8x800's 36 hours before.. oh well)
I ran 800's and she just ran like normal people.
I usually really hate speed repeats. I didn't feel too hateful towards them this time. Maybe because I am slow and sad...? Maybe because I have just gotten over it? Maybe because it was only 62 degrees out? Who knows!
Yes. She is at the track!!
And then she ran on it too and set a PR for her 5k :-)

It was not busy at the track...

After I had run a few repeats I noticed a few High School kids who looked aghast standing next to the track. They hollered at me so I shuffled over to see what they wanted. "What School do you run for??" They exclaimed frantically. "Um, I'm 32 dudes..." I deadpanned... "OH PHEW" they cried "We didn't know who you were and we don't want to have to run against you!" As I reflected on the challenged state of our local track team I wasn't sure if I should take too much stock in this... But thanks for thinking that I looked to be High School age (um. or no thanks. could go either way on this one.)

Editing photos is always the right choice.
My arms look crazy...

This was in my last 800 and I can't even tell you how much I hated life.
Look at my face and you will feel the hatred...
I said to BFF "I might puke" She said "PLEASE don't!" I didn't.
This is a horrible picture. Why do I put such things on the interwebs?
It really wasn't a bad workout at all. I did a total of 8 miles what with warm up and stuff and felt ok about my sluggish speed. I don't have much to base this on as I've either done mile repeats (SUCKY) or 400's in the past (which I lost the times for...)
Here's how it looked. I have no idea if these are good. I know I won't make the Olympic team this year, and here I had my heart set on that... Ahem.
1- 3:10
2- 3:08
3- 2:58
6- 2:56
7- 3:05
If nothing else my BFF was very impressed which made me feel cool and then she ran a cool down mile with me after her solid 5k effort. I'm pretty damn proud of her. She has gotten hooked and I love to see somebody enjoying my fav hobby too :-) She's also making a ton of smart life choices (I could take a page out of her book...) and finding that running is a really good addition to smart-adult-life-choice world. Again, I'm seriously, seriously proud of her!
And on that note, I have a feeling that there are more track workouts in our future!
(Just. Not. Today!)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pineland 25K: In which we outrun Sasquatch?

Back in the day (and by "in the day" I mean about 6 weeks ago...) I had zero desire to even attempt to become a trail runner. Seemed like an all around BAD choice for someone with my, shall we say, limited coordination. Does everyone remember how this went down? Let's refresh. I got a text from Danielle, my super famous, big pimpin and generally badass friend of Ooh Breathe, Just Breathe.
She suggested a trail race and kicking, screaming and protesting I basically jumped on that shiz like it was my job. I blame her for the pain and suffering (just kidding dude, you rule!)

Pre Race Pizza party. What happens when runners/bloggers get together?

OK. This actually deserves a moment. First of all, I was appallingly late, I am a tool. Super fun group of people though, pretended like I was right on time and didn't throw me into the bay...
Confusing/hysterical moments in order of mayhem content:
-Middle school girls dressed in postage stamp sized shorts raving on and on about "the place with the hayoooooge ice cream cone that gives you FREE ice cream on your birthday!! (damnit, why isn't it ever my birthday when such things are discovered...??)
-Which led to "What's your TWITTER HANDLE?
-There might have been some knife wielding that made me fear for my life.
-And of course (and Danielle, you're the only one who gets this.) CLAIRE! CLAIRE!!
Ahem. I laughed so hard that my abs hurt. Which reminded me that I could stand to do a few crunches.

The good news is that we all survived the pre race shenanigans and made it to the next day.

961 & 962, BIG pimpin!
Showing a little leg in the name of scantily clad running..

Right at the start our friendly race photographer blessed us with his presence! and scared us a little by creeping up on us and photo bombing our pic. Way to go Andy (just kidding!)

It was a damn nice day, as you can see. We got Mom-ed like crazy at the start (which rules, I need a Mom ALL THE TIME to take care of my needs. thanks moms!!) I got sun screened, bug sprayed, pre-hydrated- it was awesome. We also had a tent to stash our stuff in. Basically, it was like tailgating, but cooler and awesomer because runners are fab like that. Eric & Andy showed up (eventually...) to offer moral support, take pics of our amazingly fast and undeniably stunning selves and to give us someone to pick on. Which we did, mercilessly...

I started off at what felt like a semi conservative pace and right away could tell that this was no freaking road race. There was all kinds of crap under my feet! (rocks! roots! grass! the nerve!)
To add to the general weirdness of the start I had an epic blundering slightly challenged moment... I ran by what I thought was the 1 mile marker and almost had a small stroke because it came up so damn fast. My thought process: "oh my god stupid woman. wtf? conservative start my ass! slow the eff down now, NOW!!" And yes, several kilometers later I realized my rookie move and gave myself a righteous PALM FOREHEAD. (I shouldn't admit to these things on the interwebs.)

I hated the world so much right here. Wanted to punch running in the eye.
Instead, I gave poor Andy the very angry finger. VERY angry.

And why in the hell was I so angry? I'll list a few reasons:
-So many hills. I knew about them but they still angered me.
-Hay fields. Which were oddly slanted making me feel like I was running with one very long leg?
-Yucky dry mouth. bleeeeech.
-Running alone for miles and constantly fearing getting lost and eaten by Sasquatch
-I was quite certain that I was running 14 minute miles. This angered me more than anything!
-and because I'm just one grumpy, grumpy woman. obvsssss

After flipping Andy off I ran away super fast because I was afraid he was mad.

Apparently he shouted to me that I was in the top 10 women at this point but I couldn't hear him due to my insane level of trail running rage. I mean headphones... Whatev.
Oh, and this is Andy's Blog go read it, you'll thank me.
I ran for what felt like a very long and unreasonable time. all by myself for most of it with enough spooky loud crashing in the woods to make me honestly nervous that there WAS a damn Sasquatch, Yikes. And all the while swearing to never do such a foolish thing again. And, because running never makes sense I was also secretly having a kind of good time (when there were no hills or patchily mowed hay fields in my damn way.) I thought over some big life things! Sang a few 80's power ballads to myself, and then.... Tripped and rolled my ankle over AGAIN at mile 11ish. This turn of events did not thrill me. But I ignored it and hobbled on. (and kids at the last aid station, I love you guys even though you did not have any legit painkillers or beer to give me. thanks for the Gatorade and compliments on my hairstyle/general awesomeness. too bad you were all about 12...)

Thank you Baby Geezes!! The Finish!

Jazz hands were not my first choice but I refrain from obscene gestures when children are present.
I ran thru the finish SO happy to be there, gave my ankle a little flex, cramped up my calf and basically stumbled, hip-hoppidyed thru the finish like a doofus, damn I am smooth.... I whined for a very, very long time and then felt better and manned the eff up.
Official time was 2:07, 68th place overall and 9th place woman. Usually an 8:11 pace would make me want to shoot myself in both feet and hang up my running shoes for good but I am ok with it. Something about trying not to die/fall/become lost in forest makes me feel alright about being slow as shiz...
Andy said to me at this point: "Danielle hates her life and says she's never doing this again" Me: "Shit, is she ok?" Andy: "yes but she says this sucks. she's a few minutes behind you so let's be lazy and sit in the shade and completely ignore who might be running thru the finish" (I took a bit of poetic liberty there. but you get the point)

WORST FRIENDS EVER AWARD: Goes to Andy and Me... We completely missed Danielle's finish because we are assholes. No other excuse. Sorry Danielle, I am glad you are still speaking to us, it won't happen again (until the next 80 degree day that we run and the shady spot is far from the finish, that is... I kid, I kid!!) Good thing Eric was there to get pics like a boss....
And on a side note: Danille looked pretty fab for somebody who was hating life so much, seriously! I can only hope that I look so stylish and run so fast next time I'm cussing out life the way she was. :-) Jeesh...

Best part of the whole day! Being DONE!
And, planning to do it again next year. Duh...
Beer: WHOOO! Style: WINNING!!

This sums up the feelings.
But honestly? We both secretly loved it. We are crazy crossed with awesome.

We then ate the most healthy lunch ever because we are legit athletes.
That's my plate on the right. 3 cookies.
And one tiny, creepy m&m. We have no idea how it got there. BARF.
We shared this feast with Andy who was later found passed out from starvation. What a wuss..

Danielle, Me and that guy named Doug, John or Shawn. Dude! I suck!
He was crazy fast though so way to rock it Doug/John/Shawn.

The moral of the story for today: Despite Danielle's legit proclamation that a Zombie Apocalypse would have been preferable to the run thru those psycho slanted hay fields we kinda started planning more trail running after 1 beer and 6 minutes of rest. What is WRONG with us? (please don't answer that.)
Despite my moaning and wailing I had a good time beating the crap out of myself running away from the Sasquatch that inhabit the woods of New Gloucester. I had a better time drinking beer and hanging with cool running friends post race but that is such an obvious statement... But! Yes, I'd do it again. Just. Not. Today!

Thanks to Eric & Andy for all the excellent pics and basically being awesome and taking so much shit from us all day long. :-)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pre- Pineland 25k Problems

Very excited for the Pineland 25K Trail Race of insanity/doom this coming Sunday.
Excited crossed with dread, at the very real possibility that I might fall down and render myself incapacitated.
My goals for this race are simple:
1- Show up on time for a change
2- Finish with all limbs intact
3- Maybe run faster than a 27 minute mile. Maybe not as trail running sounds borderline impossible.
4- To bring weather appropriate attire so that I do not have to steal another persons clothing. AHEM.

This week, post epic 52 mile week last week has been ok. Seems that summer has arrived with vengance and adjusting to the warmth and 90% (no lie) humidity always takes a few days. And those few days haven't quite happened yet...
I was running innocently enough on Thursday night when I took the stupidest step and rolled my ankle right over and toppled head first into oncoming traffic I mean a ditch. I said the F word several times and felt justified doing so.

After running 9 more miles post ankle twist I tried this first

And resorted to this... BLAH!
The good news is that all that damn ice must have done something good. In the dead of the night my ankle made a little creepy "POP" and felt much better. It was weird, icky and a relief all at the same time.
So. Onto an epic weekend. Injury free perhaps? Filled with all things Big Pimpin, clearly.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

An Oceanside Adventure!

As the rest of the free world ran Reach The Beach this past weekend I sort of did as well.
A day late, a dollar short and in the company of my trusted running buddy/cousin, Evan.
Poor kid. His weekends used to be full of rest until he decided to become a legit runner. Now we seem to be spending an absurd amount of time sprinting along the ocean side streets of his home town.
I am SO weary of pounding the pavement in my hometown. Getting out and about to put in mileage in another town (or state!) is quite refreshing. Especially along a route as absolutely-freaking-gorgeous as the one we did on Sunday!
 (and a side note- this run brought my weekly mileage to 52- HIGHEST EVER!!)

Hello! A few nice views here??

After some debate 10 was the selected mileage. I told the kid that we could do 5 for all I cared but being that everyone in my family is hardcore and crazy he chose 10...
We zipped off full of enthusiasm on Sunday AM trying to beat the heat (marginally successful!) I cried like a baby for the first 3 miles about my legs feeling like crapola. Damn 20 miler... They DID NOT want to play and requested detachment... They sucked it up after a bit and felt fine but it was an icky start. (and for me- it ended up being a fantastic run- easy pace, beautiful route, legs finally cooperated- almost a perfect 10!)
Poor Evan lost the wheels off his bus at mile 7 and looked like he was going to loose his breakfast as well. He offered to let me run ahead and I was all "oh GREAT idea, I, the adult am going to sprint off and leave you, the kid to suffer alone out alone on the barren coastline. So, no...!" See how responsible I am? Very mature in every way.
Me: "Are you OK???" Evan: "NO!!!" (duh.) Me: "Do we need to call your DAD?" Evan: "NO!!!" ME: "I'll sing to you!! (breaks into a horrifying rendition of payphone...)" Evan: "NO!!! NO!!!"
Wow. my talents remain unappreciated. Snap.
The good news is that we made it BACK! I snuck in another 2 while the kid re hydrated, recovered and manned the hell up (kidding Evan..) He was just fine upon my return so we walked down the street to stand in the ocean. It was much too cold for this old woman.
After our little outing we then packed up and went kayaking with a high level of intensity along the river for about 4 hours. Sitting still has never been a big thing for us. I managed to get a righteous sunburn despite my efforts not to (which made me feel like a tool...) Bad enought so that while walking around with a friend later that day complete strangers actually commented on it. Oh, well done me, well done... Need to get some SPF 100 perhaps?
Anyway. A few more pics to sum it up:

The boy has recovered!

The water: FREEZING!!!!

A little more scenic than the roads of my town....

Saturday, May 19, 2012

TWENTY! Big Pimpin Style...

I must admit that the best long runs for me are often unplanned. Indeed, I had planned for this run to be in the long-ish category but had no plans of doing my longest run ever on this particular day.
However, according to my training plan it was high time to crack out a 20, and since I hope to not end up disgraced at my first Marathon I knew it had to happen.

And happen it DID!
I headed out for a run late Thursday afternoon with the plan to run several towns over to my BFF's house! Running directly there would have been just a hair over 13 miles, over a mountain (as you can see) and then into the relatively flat area several towns over. I pretty much ran thru my town, skipped into Harrison, sprinted into Otisfield, put a toe into Norway, Saw the other side of Otisfield and finally made it to the booming metropolis of Oxford. Where I discovered that I still had daylight and was feeling oddly, weirdly GREAT casually tapped out a few bonus miles to make it an even 2-0.
And if prancing in a leisurely fashion across the 20 mile mark isn't straight up obnoxious that I don't know what is? 

I do not have twenty fingers so BFF helped out!

Nothing says friendship like being handed a HUGE glass of room temp water as soon as I crossed the threshold to her house. (totally serious here. lukewarm water and I are besties.) I felt pretty damn good, which is also obnoxious... She gave me a ride home (yay!) and I'm sure at that point I should have taken an ice bath, put on compression socks, refueled with chocolate milk, foamrolled, stretched and sung a n 80's power ballad. I did none of those things... I double fisted a beer and a Gatorade. I had a taco. And jumped into the shower because I was freezing and disgusting. Also, I felt fine the next day proving that recovering in a legit was is overrated..

Must admit, I'm feeling a little proud over here.

Also- little blog housekeeping note. "anonymous" users can now comment... Don't be an anonymous d-bag, OK?? :-) I know that some friends/fam want to comment though without the hassle of an account and now you can!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Multi tasking like a boss.

When you are training for an award winning, record setting, amazing in every way marathon you need to get your training in any way you can. Last week was decent in the mileage department especially when one considers the fairly awful weather, my early in the week cranky ankle and this little thing called a horse show that I had to scoot to for 3 days... Gosh! Work messing with my running? What? The good news is that my cousin was down for a 10 miler. I tricked him because I am conniving and sneaky and turned it into an 11 miler, heh heh. He has never run double digits before and he ROCKED IT OUT. BIG PIMPIN!!!! Finished with an 8:42 pace and it was easily my warmest run of the year so far. I know that 11 isn't technically long but it felt great, and was awesome to run with a friend on new roads!

I ran 1 he ran 10? No! Eleven miles done, and done!

Oh look. I'm excited. How very unusual.
I have been reunited with my favorite big sunglasses too. YAY!

Got to visit the Family while at the horse show.
We don't sit around much, but we do take yard sports very seriously.
It is rare to leave Can Jam unscathed....

Oh right. I was at a show!
Guess which boots are mine....

My barn mates and good friends! An EXCELLENT day!
Look at all those blue ribbons!

Typical end of the day barn party.
Dressage Queens know how to have a good time!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

In which I give props to the legs...

Dear Legs, There is no doubt about it. I abuse the ever loving bejeebus out of you. I force you to run me around all day at my freakishly active job and then I force you to actually run some more. I cuss you out, calling you short, stumpy and slow. I wonder why you are not longer or faster and I then I call you a pair of slacking off jerks... I dress you terribly and do not care for you as I should.  I question how it is that you work so hard and to my (clearly unrealistic) brain are still so damn out of shape. Legs, I am sorry for being such a raving asshat to you. I vow to smarten up.
Left ankle, you have been very sore and sad this week. I am sorry about that and will give you a lot of love and attention if you get better on the super speedy. I will placate you with bags of frozen peas, green compression socks, advil, kisses, whatever you want pretty much....
Anyway legs. Thanks for getting me around. Running would be a real challenge without you!

See what I do to them? At least there are nice compression socks involved...
My knees look creepy.

The ice bath of a true Mainer.
See legs, I DO take care of you. NOT...

If I were my legs (hang on. what?) I would refuse to work until given far better attire.
This is just absurd!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What I do on my day off....

I'm kind of a huge Sox fan. Have I mentioned that? Snagged some pretty sweet tickets to last Sunday's game and took my beautiful and brilliant cousin. (she's single boys! And she is smart, funny, and a HUGE sports fan! and is going to kill me now, hahaha..)

Anyway. The thing about this game... 17 innings. SEVENTEEN. And we lost.
BUT IT WAS AWESOME! And yes, in inning 16,567 we did indeed talk our way into Monster seats. And YES we did stay for the whole game (we are fans! extra innings is FREE baseball!)

Anyway. Our day in pictures:
Disclaimer: We might talk smack about being so darn good looking but we didn't add this cute caption. A friend of my cousin's stole it off FB and added it.
(yeah right, you all say.. No really!!)
(and our faces got weird and long in this edited pic. see below to view how we really look..)

Inning number 11 or so. Walked into empty Monster seats like we owned the place.
Fneway Park: We own you, bitch!

Out actual seats under the Coke Sign. Still big Pimpin.
It was only warm for 5 minutes of this game.
This was it, good thing we have a pic!

I am a Dork.
But I love baseball.
Even when we loose after 17 innings.... 7 hours...
Pretty much a double header. Yes. they ran out of pitchers... GAHD!

This is why you should NOT steal Monster seats.
You get hit in the face by balls (haha that's what she said!)
I was literally in mid DUCK here throwing self to the ground.
(we were on TV! hahahahah!)
And THAT was my day off. Can't wait to do it again, ASAP!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Big Pimpin': how to dress to get catcalled...?

After last week's long, long run of 18 (which I managed despite the fact that it was just. so. hard. that's what she said... ohhh...) I was glad that for this week and next week the long runs are shorter. I was supposed to do 10 but my weekly mileage looked like such pathetic shiz that I added 3 in order to feel legit. It was a much better run than last week.
Honestly, this week was only so-so. I thought my mileage was a little low and I struggled a bit like a lame, old, out of shape, emphysemic woman. **sigh** But I got it done.

First sunny day since 1979!
Per the norm the first 10 were easy as pie...
Avert your eyes from the ghastly pale I mean dead sexy legs. I shouldn't be let out in public...!

The last 3 honestly weren't bad either other than my toe started gushing blood.
Nothing says "fun" like a hemorrhaging toe...

In the course of 13 miles I got "whoo-whoo'd' multiple times.
I can only imagine that it was done in jest, come on people!!!
I know I bring an unprecedented level of hot but...
Whatevs. It's the sparkly shorts. Or the odd knee muscles that I didn't know I had?
I like my slight expression of horror in this pic. Daayum, I am the coolest....

Friday, May 4, 2012

Things I mull over while running....

Time for a word heavy and picture light post friends.
A real change of pace for this week.
I felt that I was getting lazy, ya know? So: WORDS!!!

Even when I listen to music while running and sing along fabulously (meaning, horribly out of tune or not at all because get real dudes- I'm running) I tend to ponder the bigger problems of the world like hunger, war and politics.


Between focusing on avoiding a traffic accident with speeding oncoming dumptrucks and laboring over every tedious footfall I hardly have time for profound thoughts. Or many thoughts at all, to be honest. (is this the norm for me? honestly, no. I am a girl with many, many thoughts. I've said it before: be glad you can't read the bubble over my head...)

So what DO I ponder over in between laborious heavy footfalls??

Back when my sister, my BFF and I were kids we'd all hang out and chatter on endlessly for hours about the following pressing matters:
-Bon Jovi
Then, tiring of that we'd throw on some Hammer pants, go out in the yard singing (no lie) "I'm too sexy" and ride our bikes all around like a bunch of geeks. It was a good time, a good time...

Now when I'm running I think of similar things:
-I think about when we were little and things were so simple! This was before being geeky got awkward and I spent many, many years being awkward. OH! Snap, I never grew out of THAT!!
-I think about horses/ponies for sure. It's my job after all...
-Boys cross my mind. Is it still boys? I'm old. MEN??? HAH! (whatever I'm a girl and can think about boys/men/whatev)
-Bon Jovi? Not so much... Although he's still pretty hot and fabulous.

-I wonder who the mother of Ted's children actually is.....
-I think about Lost. Yes, I still think about Lost. Admit it, so do you....
-It usually crosses my mind that running kind of sucks.
-I tell myself to man up and get over myself....
-I think about the romance novel that I'm going to write in order to get rich quick!
-I then think about how I fail at romance and so, most likely would fail at romance novels.
-Then I think about actually reading a romance novel and the hell that would be....
-I might think about adult stuff for a while. But not fun adult stuff, more along the line of bills.
-I think about how I'll NEVER EVER feel the need to do a Tri.
-I think about my excellent fashion. HAH.
-I think about how I could use a little cross training picking-things-up and putting-things-down style. And how unlikely it is that I'll ever motivate to do that...
-Then I usually think about how I'm hungry and wish that I could magic a grilled cheese out of thin air. Or some cookies.... That would be pretty rad.

I wish that I had a USB port in my brain and that I could download cool, new stuff to think about before each run. That would be pretty fantastic if you ask me. Maybe I could become smarter? Less geeky (unlikely) listen to a romance novel (oh gahd) Honestly, the possibilities are endless...

Anyway! There is an excellent look into my (slightly left of center) brain and what goes on in it during the endless time I spend running the roads of my town... Clearly, I am not going to be the next great mind of our generation despite the ammout of time that I could be putting into becoming that guy. Sad, sad....

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Equestrian Tangent

Sometimes I feel the need to blog about my real job.

 Day 1: 30 degrees 40 MPH winds. Thank heavens for indoor arenas!

Sneaky jump standard getting in the way of my photo shoot..
 Just a little non running tangent today. Last weekend I was one of the lucky few invited to participate in a fabulous Sumposium with Shannon Dueck. She is a fantastic high caliber Canadian Dressage rider who is pretty much a sure thing for the 2012 Olympic team.
My coach (who is also amazing) trains with her full time in Florida, and I was pretty pumped to get the chance to ride. I brought my mid-level horse Chauncy hoping that he would keep it together and not blow a fuse. Riding infront of an audience in a strange place (with heinous weather) can cause the best horse to loose their nerve. No worries meeded. He ROCKED IT.
Had two fabulous sessions and got some of the most gratifying feedback about my training that I have ever recieved. Apparently, I am legit.

Day two was a little warmer. I whopping 36 degrees.
Damn I have a nice little horse...
And I might not have any fashion sense in the running world but I'm a sharp dressed rider!

Shannon is 6 feet tall. No lie.
She's also super famous and amazing.
And told me my riding was "textbook" BOOM!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

More insane choices...

Why are there back to back posts about crazy choices?
Strange decisions made by seemingly logical women?
I feel a sudden frantic need to line up some health insurance, or at the very least, locate the nearest urgent care facility. OH NO!

As soon as I agreed to this I dropped my Running Friend (the one who is not Danielle) a text which indicated that I had needed to be talked into this absurdity... Guess I'm a liar?

As you can see it does not take much into talking me into something that could be quite physically detrimental to self. Have any of you met me? I am NOT coordinated. Trail running sounds like certain death and I just can not believe that I did not put up a fight....

Here is is. The BIG Event.
Another quality text from my Running Friend pointed out that the best thing about this race are the M&M's at the aid stations. To which I countered that there will also be free beer!

This will be quite an adventure. A big day in Big Pimpin' training.
Watch out New Gloucester. Looks like we're gonna take over your town with our hot as hell outfits, compression socks and ass kicking attitudes....