Monday, September 22, 2014

Cleveland Rocks

Take 170 runners, a few dozen volunteers, a bunch of friends, relatives, and puppy dogs, and put them in a park in Cleveland on a sunny Saturday, and what do you get?  If you're lucky, you get the awesomeness that is the North Coast 24-Hour Endurance Run.  This past weekend, I was one of the lucky ones. 

I flew into Cleveland on Friday, promptly got picked up by someone I'd never met (it's okay, mom, I know him from the internet *cue spooky music*), and since my roommate for the evening (another "internet person" mua-ha-ha) wasn't in town yet, we drove to Edgewater Park so I could see where the race would be the following morning.  Situated on Lake Erie, it's quite a pretty park.  Flat, green, with a gentle .9 mile loop that we'd be running on for a few (million) hours.  

Photo courtesy of Jen Goellnitz

After we walked around for a bit, Eric drove me to see the house from A Christmas Story.  Who knew! It's real, and it's in Cleveland.  Weirdness.  Then the Windsor contingent showed up at the hotel, so I had Eric drop me off and I went inside to meet Lori, Anja, and Julia.  Lori's the one who talked me into the race in the first place.  Crazy lady. 

Dinner that night was pizza back at the park with some others who knew each other from previous years, but who, I believe, all originally met on - you guessed it, the INTERNET.   I love saying that, it just cracks me up.  I know it's still serious that you shouldn't just go off with random strangers, but come on, These are runners.  It's all good.  ;-)   

Angela, me, and Lori
After pizza, Lori, Anja, Julia, and I walked a loop of the park, then headed back to the hotel for some sleep.  Somehow Lori and I ended up walking to the store and buying a six pack, but I'm not sure how that all came about.  I'm pretty sure we went to the store for a hairbrush.

The next morning came quickly - fortunately I woke up when Lori did, because I'd accidentally set my alarm for 6 pm instead of 6 a.m.   Don't blame it on the six pack, I only had one and a half. (Drinks. Not six packs.) 

We got dressed and went out to the lobby for breakfast, and I just could not eat.  I think I had two bites of a muffin and thought I was going to throw up.  Not the best way to start the day.  I hitched a ride to the park with Mary and Brett, anxious to get things started.   

In a blink, all the tents and tarps were up and it was go time.  I lined up at the back of the pack but then moved forward to find Julia, who I knew would be walking the event. I wanted to walk the first lap before I started my run/walking.  Julia and I ended up finding this goof-ball guy named Harvey and I was just laughing and talking and I think I ended up actually walking the first 4 laps instead of just one.  Ooops. 

Harvey, me, and Julia
Picture courtesy of johnnydajogger

After that, I said my good-byes and started my run/walking.  I was drinking a lot of water, but not eating much, and my stomach wasn't too happy.  After some gentle prodding (thanks, Laura), I got better at eating, but my stomach still wasn't happy.  Looking back, I realize that I was drinking TOO much water, and things were just sloshing around.  At the time, I didn't know that, and the stomach upset plus a raging headache landed me in my tent, near tears, after about 16 miles.  I felt like a complete wimp, and I was feeling weirdly moody, doing so many laps on my own after having been talking and laughing through the first hour of the day with Julia and then Harvey.  I let myself have a short pity party, got some pills for my headache and a Ginger Ale for my stomach, and got back out there (again with Laura's help - THANK YOU LAURA!).   

I walked for a bit, ran some, and was feeling ok overall but  my feet were starting to bother me. Stopped by the foot care tent and got fixed up and was back at it.  I can't remember what time it was when I hit marathon distance, but by 7:30pm I'd hit 50km (31 miles), and I stopped to take a break and let Facebook know I was officially an ULTRAMARATHONER!  WHOOT!  (Hey, Facebook cares, ok?) 

After that, it was mostly walking.   And some sitting.  With a little help from my friends, I hit my goal of 60km around 10:30pm and decided to take an extended break. I was tired, not feeling well, and my feet hurt.  Everyone else was still going strong (or at least not complaining too loudly) so I just hid in my tent and tried to sleep.  It drizzled off and on, then the storm came and that's when I discovered that my tent was not waterproof.  Fun!  Actually, I shouldn't complain - it did keep me relatively dry, there were only a few puddles around the edges (and in my shoes) and at least it kept the wind off.  I got up around 5 and checked my phone for awhile, putzed around, and then realized that I smelled so bad, I ought to be arrested.  Since I figured I was done with the race, I went to the bathrooms and got myself cleaned up with some "dry shower" wipes and put on my jeans and flip flops and the race shirt.  When I got back to my tent, I picked up my timing chip, intending to turn it in.  Somehow, I ended up putting it back on my ankle instead.  I guess part of me wasn't done. 

A while later, Lori woke up and needed to go to the bathroom, so I walked with her.  She was in pain and not feeling well, but after using the bathroom and grabbing a drink, somehow we found ourselves walking on the path again, doing the familiar loop around the park.  After a few laps, I'd hit 40 miles and Lori was near 65, so we kept going till she was there.   With 20 minutes to go in the race, we crossed the timing mat for the last time, Lori still in her rain poncho from the night before, and me in my flip flops. 

Lori - 73 laps, 65.8 miles!
Me - 46 laps, 41.4 miles!

We turned in our timing chips and got our medals (though the woman didn't give me one at first, probably because I was wearing jeans and did not smell like I'd been in the trenches all day and night) and headed back to pack up.

I'm leaving out so many things, but there's just so much.  Meeting "The Doctor," who is in his 70s and has done 219 ultras. , and could swap quotes from "The Princess Bride" with me.  Meeting Angela, the most adorable 13 year old ever, who was doing her first ultra and ended up with nearly 60 miles by morning, never losing her positive attitude and helping  nature.  The AMAZING volunteers who always seemed to have whatever anyone needed (how did they KNOW I wanted grilled cheese RIGHT THEN??).   Our crew - virtual strangers to me who became SO important through the day and night and never asked for anything in return, not even kindness, which I'm sure at times I forgot to give them.  Tank, the cutest puppy in the world, that put a smile in my heart when I couldn't manage one on my face.  Watching people run at an 8 minute pace after having been up all night, running and running, and running.   The crazy guy who was doing weird exercises and jumping rope all day and into the night.  The awesome porta potties with MAGIC LIGHTS that always seemed to smell ok and be clean, even though they were being used by 170 runners a full day and night.  

It was amazing.  And even though Lori and I both said "Never again" on our last laps around the park, by the time I was at the airport Sunday afternoon, I was already planning next year's trip.  

I.  Can't.  Wait.  

From left, front row: Eric, Chris, Mary, Angela & Baby, Angela
Back row: Me, Lori, Anja, Julia, Nelson, George 

Harvey and "The Doctor" - photo courtesy of johnnydajogger

The beach & Lake Erie

More beach

Snickerdoodles from Vegas!

Jen caught me actually running!
Photo courtesy of Jen Goellnitz

Eric and his "sweater" - you'd let this guy pick you up from the airport, right?
Photo courtesy of Jen Goellnitz

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Just 5 More Minutes, Ma...

I have been soooooo tired lately.   Is 35 the new 55?  Some days it feels that way.  I think I could sleep for about 20 hours if someone let me.  As it is, I got to sleep in this morning and didn't get up until 9:30.   That may be a record for me (since having kids, anyway!).

One thing I have been doing lately besides craving extra sleep is thinking.  I've been doing a lot of thinking.  Mostly late at night, which is probably why I'm so tired.

So what am I thinking about?  Well, mostly, random stuff like getting a job, my crazy kids, Revenge (the t.v. show, not actual vengeance).  But I've also been thinking about Cleveland.   More specifically, the North Coast 24 Hour Endurance Run.  You may remember me mentioning it.   24 hours, running and walking in a circle?  I registered for it 6 months ago, then realized I was seriously under-trained and decided not to do it.  Even got a refund from the race director.

Yeah.  Um.  After Endless Summer last weekend, I kinda...  I mean, there are these people...  And then I bought a plane ticket...

*ahem*  Yeah.  I'm going.   To Cleveland.  To run (walk) NC24.   In 7 weeks.  Because...  Well, maybe because I'm insane.  But also because there are people that will be there that I really want to meet, and it'll be fun, and the plane ticket was really cheap, and I'm going to be (hopefully) starting back to work soon, and this is my last chance to blah blah blah.

I'm going because I want to.

So now I just have to figure out the whole blister situation.  I bought new socks and some powders and things and I will be trying them all out and then, of course, giving the internet my opinion because, hey, that's what the internet is for.  Singing cats and random people's opinions about stuff.     (Also, Simon Cowell memes, apparently.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've been awake for 2 hours and now need a nap.   (Just kidding, the kids are upstairs screaming and I should probably go check that out.....) 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

More Thoughts On ES6

After getting some sleep, lancing a few blisters (ew), and looking over the preliminary results from yesterday's Endless Summer 6 Hour Run, I realized that there's another blog post I need to write.

Yesterday's post gave the bare bones, "this is what happened" version while my body was still reeling (lack of sleep, lack of food, not to mention while I was typing there was a 5 year old tugging on my shirt since I'd been away most of the day).

Today I've got a clearer head and I'm realizing how truly awesome yesterday really was.   Not so much because I hit my goals (yay me!) but because it was once again a reminder of how freaking awesome the human race - and runners in particular - can be.

Wonderful things I observed/experienced yesterday, in no particular order:

  • Constant "way to go, ladies!" and other words of encouragement every time someone passed us (that actually sounded sincere!)
  • Amazingly nice and encouraging volunteers, even at the end of the race when I'm sure they were tired and sick of standing in the sun
  • A woman spectating who offered me a band aid when she overheard me mentioning a blister problem. 
  • A gentleman with a prosthetic leg, volunteering and encouraging people along
  • Volunteers anticipating the  needs of runners and going out of their way to be helpful (many thanks to those who took care of Michelle when she decided to stop!) 
Actually, I'll stop with the bullets there because the rest of them would be about the volunteers.  Holy freaking moly, were they amazing.  Seriously cannot stress that enough.  I wish I could thank each of them again.  I'm pretty sure I said "thank you" 100 times yesterday, and each time it was truly sincere. 

Another amazing thing about yesterday was just the atmosphere in general.  Since this was my first timed event, I went in feeling like a bit of an outsider.  I'm far from an ultra-runner, and heck, yesterday I wasn't even planning on running.  Yet I never felt like anyone was judging me or thinking "Who is this chick?"  In fact, in the final minutes of the race when I was walking just waiting for it to be over (LOL), I was chatting with a girl who was part of a relay team.  When she found out that I was NOT doing a relay, she said "Wow!"  

Huh.  Pretty sure that's the first time I've ever gotten a "Wow!" in response to anything I've done since I began this crazy running (and now walking) adventure.  That felt pretty good.  (Of course, I won't think about the fact that she probably did her 12 miles in half the time it took me to do my first 12 miles of the day) 

Anyway.  I'm digressing.  Or rambling.  Or something.  (Cut me some slack, it's been a long weekend!)  My point is, yesterday was amazing.  It was fun, it was challenging, and it made me feel something I haven't felt in a long time.   Pride. 

Weird, right? ;-) 

So, congrats to all those who kicked major butt yesterday (in other words, all who participated!), and kudos to the ES6 "cast and crew" for putting on such a great event.  

Oh! Almost forgot.  Unofficial results state that I did 5 complete laps (20.5 miles) plus an additional .246 miles for a total of 20.746 miles.  That puts me at 57 out of 73 participants (not counting the relay teams).  I'll take it! =) 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Aching Feet!

In the two and a half years that I've been running, I've never gotten a blister.  Two black toenails, but no blisters.  In the month and a half that I've been WALKING, I've gotten more blisters than I care to count. Holy moly.  Today was no different.

Actually, today was wildly different because it was . . . RACE DAY!

Check out that loot! Tank (singlet?), sticker, cool flexible cup, and a $1 beer coupon (not pictured) that I gave away because I don't drink beer. 

So we got our swag, put our bibs on, chatted with George (the gentleman who encouraged me to do this race after he did it himself last year),  took the obligatory selfie:

(Must learn not to have arm in shot!)

 and after a few words from the RD regarding the rules (full laps would be counted, then towards the end you get a little flag and you plant that in the ground when the airhorn goes off at the end of the race - or you decide to pack it in, whichever comes first), a little "motivational speaking," and the Star Spangled Banner, we were off.  For the first couple of hours, it was cake.  We were going a lot faster than we'd expected, we felt good, it wasn't too warm, etc, etc. 

The somewhere around 3 and a half hours, the wheels feel off a little.  Michelle wasn't feeling well and my feet were not happy (I found out that one of the gel insoles in my left shoe was shredded, causing me to walk on a weird bump until I was able to dump it out into the trash).  We stopped for a minute or two, and then decided to proceed slowly until we could reassess.  After a little while, with some fuzzy math regarding timing and goals and the day getting increasingly hotter, Michelle decided she wasn't going to continue on after the end of the lap.  There was some back and forth but she convinced me to just go ahead with out her, so I started running.  It felt odd to run after 4 and a half hours of walking, but it felt good, too. 

Until it didn't.  

I finished the 4th lap feeling good and then once I was into the 5th lap, I started feeling awful.  My feet hurt, my back felt weird, it was hot, I was tired, blah blah blah.   I'd picked up my flag after the 4th lap, thinking I would not make a full 5th lap before the end of the 6 hours.  I had over an hour (laps were 4.1 miles) but I couldn't do math by that point and couldn't swear that I'd be able to keep up any kind of decent pace, though I was going to try. 

Michelle and I had set out to try to get 20 miles, so I kept thinking I HAD to do it, since I'd left her behind.  I was not allowed to quit.  The funny thing (or not so funny, really) is that my last run/walking miles were actually slower than our beginning walking pace.  I did not realize how flipping tired I really was until I was out on that 5th loop by myself, with the sun beating down and my feet screaming at me.  

When I hit the last mile, I just kept slowing down and then I'd speed up.  I was completely unable to figure out if I was going to make 20 miles (my Garmin was "off" of the official race measurements, but I never could figure out by how much), or if I was going to finish the lap,  all I knew was that I had to keep moving.  

I powered (as much as I could!) up the last hill to the start/finish area and I still had 5 minutes on the clock! Now, I think that's great, but at the time, I was so defeated.  I had to KEEP GOING?   I considered stopping, since completing the 5th lap meant I'd hit our 20 mile goal, but everyone was so encouraging I just kept going.  I ended up slowing to a walk, and then almost to a crawl.  I think the last bit that I walked was at almost a 22min/mile pace.  Snail-like.  I was just DONE.

Airhorn blew, I planted my flag, then I made the slow journey back to the pavillion.

I did it.  I made it through all 6 hours, and I made our goal of 20 miles.  I was happy, but practically whimpering, wanting to get my shoes off.

I will spare you pictures.  They are not pretty.  Oh my goodness.

I won't know my official results for a few days, but since I did 5 full laps plus a little, I know I did at least 20.4 miles.  Previously, my longest race ever was a Half Marathon, and my longest training walk was 14 miles.   I am super happy with how this all turned out (though I wish I could figure out my blister issue!), and I am so grateful to Michelle for allowing me to be selfish and continue on.

There are so many things in life that I have allowed myself to quit on - I am so thankful that this was not one of them.  6 hours, relentless forward motion.  I'll take it.

"Finish" line - where I didn't get to stop! 

Me and George after the race. 

Walk the Line

A few months ago, way back when I was suffering from temporary insanity more confident in my running abilities, I signed up for the Endless Summer 6 Hour Run.   Then I gained some weight, stopped running, blah blah.  In short, I did what I always do.  I gave up on myself.

(Remember this?  Apparently, I don't.)

Fast forward to today.  Today I woke up at 4:30 (why is it that when I have to get up ungodly early, I end up waking up even earlier than planned? My alarm wasn't set to go off until 4:45!) and got dressed in the dark, trying not to wake my husband.  Puttered downstairs, got some coffee and breakfast, and now I'm sitting here, wishing I'd had more faith.

I'm still headed to Endless Summer.  And don't get me wrong, it's going to be fun.  Well, as fun as walking in a circle all morning can be.  But a little part of me does wish that I was going to be running it instead of walking it.  BUT.   If I were running it, I would be alone, and walking it allows me to spend 6 hours with a good friend.  So really I can't complain.  Besides, we're going to rock it - and that's always a good thing, right?  =)

So here I go.  Off to my first ever timed event, my first non-ultra ultra.  Let's do this. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Walk This Way

I may be a slacker when it comes to running lately (though I am getting back on track!), but you can NOT say that I was slacking today.   Behold.

Yes, that says 14 miles, and yes, that says 4 hours and 3 minutes.  Michelle and I walked the crap outta that park! =) 

While we were walking, it was just nonstop movement - some miles faster than others, but go, go, go the whole time - and I felt fine.  Then we finished and I kind of just wanted to fall down a little bit.  I did not realize how tired I was until I got home.  Thankfully my kids are still little enough that we mandate "rest time!" in the afternoon.  Once they were ensconced in their rooms, I pretty much turned into a slug, and even napped a bit, which I never do.  I will say I'm a tad bit worried about how tired I'm going to be next weekend after an additional 2 hours, but whatever.  I'll caffeinate more or something.

My feet held up, which is good, because since I started this walking endeavor, I've been getting blisters.  I never get blisters running, so I'm really not sure what the deal is.

This is also new:

You can't quite tell as much in the picture as in real life, but my feet are super red and blotchy - and this picture was taken hours after we stopped walking and I had cooled down significantly.  It's not sunburn, since obviously I had on socks and shoes, but they were kind of hot to the touch earlier.  And splotchy, like I said.   This happened 2 weeks ago when Michelle and I did our 3 hour walk, too.  Only two times ever that I've had weird reactions on my feet.  So. Strange.  

Who knew walking would make my body fall apart?   Ok, ok, I'm exaggerating.  But the blisters and the splotches are weird and I don't like it.  Knock it off, feet! 

That being said, I am soooooo looking forward to next weekend and the Endless Summer 6 Hour Run (walk).  We did 14 miles today, and I solidly believe we can do 20 on Saturday.  Fingers crossed the weather doesn't get super hot like in past years.  

It sees surreal that we did 14 miles today.  Previous to this, I'd only ever done 13.1 - and that was in races.  This was just a Sunday stroll in the park.  Felt good. =) 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Smoothie Criminal

Oh. My. God. Ya'll!

A while back, I tried making smoothies with my daughter.  I used yogurt because I thought that's what you were "supposed" to do.  Neither of us liked them (neither of us likes yogurt, duh).  I even added honey to try to sweeten them.  Nope.  Yuck.    So I quit my smoothie making endeavor.

Fast forward to a day a few months ago when we were at Costco.  A woman was demonstrating a super duper fancy schmancy blender.  I can't remember the name of it for the life of me, but it was $600 or something so why would you want to know the name of it anyway? Who has that kind of money for a blender?  Anyway.  The woman made smoothies.  No yogurt.  Just fruit and some ice. My daughter loved it!  The lady also made ice cream out of CARROTS and my daughter ate that, too, so it's possible there was some sort of weird vortex over Costco that day, but I digress.

Fast forward again to a couple of weeks ago when I remember that my mother in law had gotten my husband a Nutri Bullet for his birthday, and it was still sitting in a corner, unopened.

While not nearly as fancy as the one I saw at Costco, I figured I'd give it a spin.  Smoothie with only fruit, coming up. 

Mind. Blowing.  

Seriously.  I am now freaking addicted to these things.  Throw some frozen strawberries, an orange, some pineapple, and a little water into that baby and a minute later, you've got an awesome tasting smoothie and your "daily recommended" fruit needs are taken care of.   I've also tried blueberries, raspberries, and cherries.   The strawberry/orange/pineapple is definitely my favorite, though.  You can also toss in some spinach and it doesn't really change the taste much, but it does make the whole thing green and I know that's a turn off for some people (like my daughter!).  

I realize that this "revelation" of making fruit-only smoothies is probably preschool level thinking for some.  But for someone who normally never eats fruit (unless it's in a pie or shortcake!), the idea that I can have something that actually tastes like "cheating" but that is actually not bad for me is pretty awesome. 

Plus the Nutri Bullet is super easy to use and clean, and anything that involves minimal work is awesome in my book!**

Do you like smoothies? What's your favorite fruit (or veggie) combo? 

**I was not paid or encouraged to write this post, Nutri Bullet does not know I exist. I just like talking about things I like! =) 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cutting The Fat

Although I have been stressing out plenty over having to look for a job after 7 years of being a stay-at-home mom, one of the things that I'm truly looking forward to about going back to work is the fact that I won't be 10 steps from my kitchen anymore.

I won't be able to constantly snack all day (unless I pack a billion snacks to take to work, and let's be honest, I am way too lazy for that), and I won't be able to mindlessly consume all the extra calories that have landed me back in my fat pants.   (Ok, that's a lie.  I'm not so much in my fat pants as spilling out of them these days!)

Since I am terrible at "dieting," I (as most Americans are wont to do) decided to ask Dr. Google the easiest tricks for cutting calories and losing weight.  99% of them are no-brainers, but since brains often get shut off in the weight gaining process, I figured I'd share them here.

Di's 5 Tips to Eat Less and Lose Weight

  • Use Smaller Plates - Smaller plates fill up faster, tricking your mind into thinking you're eating more than you actually are. (We actually started this last year, when we donated our old plates and bought new ones in a smaller size.) 
  • Eat Protein For Breakfast - Protein helps fill you up and gets you going in the morning. (I am terrible about this, as I usually don't eat breakfast, or if I do, it's mostly carbs. This morning, I had a Dr. Pepper.  Eep.) 
  • Drink More Water - A lot of times when you think you're hungry, you're really thirsty. Water helps hydrate you, and can help you feel full without needless calories. (I am terrible about this.  Really, really horrible.  I rarely drink water at all.)
  • Chew Your Food - Ok, duh.  We obviously chew our food.  But do we chew enough?  Studies have shown that people who slow down and chew their food 20+ times before swallowing actually consume less calories per meal.  (I have never paid attention to how much I chew, but I probably don't do this, either)
  • Don't Eat in Front of the TV (or computer) - Again, studies have shown that "distracted eating" leads to consuming more calories.  Sitting down at a table for a proper meal instead of mindlessly eating in front of your favorite show will help ensure that you pay attention to what you're eating. (Again, shockingly, I am bad at this.  I'd say 95% of my eating happens in front of a computer or television)

So....... it's obvious why I've gained weight, right?  I don't take my own advice.  Well, we all know the hallmark of being a parent is "Do as I say, not as I do."  Right?  

No.  It really is time that I set a better example - for my kids and myself.  So starting right now, I follow my own rules. We'll see what happens. 

Oh, and I may as well add on a Rule #6.  RUN!   I did so, in the rain, last night.  It was the shortest run ever (it was REALLY raining!!), but it felt good and I was happy to be out there.  Plus I burned a few calories, and that's always a good thing! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sweaty Mess

After the kids were in bed last night, I called to my husband, "I'm going out for a run!"  His response? "You are????"  

*sigh*  You know you've been a lazy slacker for entirely too long when your husband actually sounds incredulous when you tell him you're going for a run.  I will admit to a snarky reply, but I won't repeat it here.

I headed out, deciding that I would just see let the entire run happen organically.  No plan, no pressure, just moving feet and a general idea of about 30 minutes.  Turns out that not having ever been fast, and having always been fairly inconsistent in my running actually turned out to be helpful.  I had no ego to contend with, no expectations to meet, and I was just able to cruise (plod) along, enjoying the silence and the time outside.

I was a sweaty mess when I got home, due to the temps and humidity, but it felt good.

While I was out there, I remembered thinking last year that I just wanted to get to the point where I was running 3 - 5 miles, a few times a week, at a "decent" pace.  I just wanted to go out for a half hour to an hour each night, enough to clear my head and keep my weight in check (though at this point, I need to lose 20 lbs before I can worry about keeping things "in check").

It was never my plan to be a long distance runner.  I once railed against the idea of running a half marathon, and then all of a sudden I'm signing up for timed events and talking about going on hours-long training runs?  I'm not sure what I was thinking.  I guess talking to so many talented runners who truly "go the distance" got to me, and I wanted to be like them.  To accomplish something great.  The truth is, though, that it's just not me.  Or, at least, not right now, not at this point in my running "career."

I just want to run.  Whatever that looks like.  I have nothing to prove to anyone, and trying to do things that are not really in my nature is only going to leave me discouraged (or hurt).  I'd rather just run a few miles here and there and be happy with that.

I will likely still sign up for races every now and again, but my sights are set lower, and I'm reminded of why I fell in love with running in the first place - because it makes me happy.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Fat Lady Sings

Apparently, I can stop running, stress eat, grieve the dog we had to put to sleep, binge-watch Netflix, sleep too much, move as little as possible, and then. . .   Rebound.   Apply for jobs.  Have a great vacation with my husband and kids.  Start moving again.  Feel hopeful for the first time in ages. 

I suppose it's the circle of life and all that crap.  Or maybe the circle of my undiagnosed, probably not really real, mood issues.  Highs and lows that aren't high and low enough to really amount to much, other than some times when I just kind of  - pause.  Stop participating in my own life.  Usually it doesn't last as long as this recent bout, but hey, like I said.  Dead dog.  Stress.  It's been hectic. 

Not that I'm looking for pity.  Just maybe a nod, an understanding, and a mutual agreement not to talk about it and to just move forward.  We can do that, right, interwebs?  I mean, it's not like there haven't been other bloggers, other women, who have disappeared into the ether.  At least I have the decency to come back.  Wait, did I say decency?  I meant hubris.  Because, really, it's kind of egotistical to think that you're still reading, right?  That's ok.  I like talking to myself. 

So. To recap.  Here's what June looked like for me:

  • Dealt with a steadily declining incontinent elderly dog
  • Finally met, in person, 3 of the most awesome women on the planet (also discovered that Kansas is not flat, but that's all a story for another time)
  • Stopped running
  • Tried to withdraw from the 6 hour race that's at the end of this month, but got talked into walking it (thanks Michelle)
  • Officially withdrew from the 24 hour race in Cleveland
Then came July:

  • Started taking training walks with Michelle, during which I developed the worst blisters I've ever had
  • Had our dog put to sleep, ate everything in sight
  • Hit my highest ever non-pregnant weight
  • Started applying for jobs
  • Went on vacation with my family and decided to get over myself
  • Got a partial refund and a nice hand-written note from the race director in Cleveland
  • Started this blog post
That's all I've got so far.  I don't know what tomorrow's going to look like. But today I feel good.  Clean slate-y.  I think it's going to be alright. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Coloring Outside The Lines

What's a running blogger to do when the running's not going so well?  Write about painting, of course!

Over the weekend, I attended a fairly non-traditional baby shower.  Instead of sitting around talking about the upcoming munchkin and opening presents, we all painted instead!  Wine and Canvas is a company that pairs artists with groups of average folk and teaches them how to paint a specific painting, step by step.  Usually, you go to a set location (restaurant, bar, club, etc), but they also do private parties, which is what happened this weekend.

This is the painting that we were supposed to paint:

It was set up at the front of the room, and our artist (Gene, I think his name was. I am terrible with names, but he was super nice!) painted a new one, along with us .  When I first saw the painting, I was 100% convinced that mine would look nothing like it, and that it would not even be recognizable.   I have NO artistic ability, whatsoever.  It's embarrassing, really.   But!  After a few hours (with a decent break in the middle for dinner and more alcohol), I ended up with this: 

Far from perfect, but I kinda like it.  And I really liked the whole experience - so much so that I convinced my husband that we need to do one for a date night.  There are a bunch scheduled in our area, so I'm sure we can find one that we want to do.  They even post the paintings on their website, so if there's a painting you particularly want to do, you can choose that one! 

I will never be a "real" artist, but I can see myself doing this kind of thing a few more times, just for fun.  It's neat to see how it all comes together in the end.   Plus, there's wine involved!  


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Running While Female

You're probably heard or read the news - another tragic mass killing occurred last week.  Among the discussion of gun violence has been an underlying conversation about fear, and the fact that "all women" fear that they'll be physically assaulted.  (#yesallwomen)

It got me to thinking about the precautions women can - and should - take while running.  There are, of course, precautions that men should take, too, but let's face it.  The brutal truth is that women are more susceptible to violent attack, and we need to take steps in order to protect ourselves as much as we can.

Let's start with general safety:

  • Carry ID - a driver's license fits easily in the pocket of most running shorts, or you can purchase a Road ID like the one I have (love!).  They're inexpensive, easy to wear, and come in plenty of colors if you feel the need to match. 
  • Run Against the Flow of Traffic - even if you're running on the sidewalk, it's a good idea to be able to see the cars coming towards you.  You never know if someone is texting while driving, or driving drunk.  It's your life, don't take for granted the idiot in the speeding metal box sees you. 
  • Wear Reflective Gear - this one's pretty simple.  If they can see you, it's less likely they'll hit you.  Wear bright colors and items with reflective strips.  
  • Don't Run with Music - With the advent of the itsy bitsy teensy weensy music players, more and more runners are running with music.  If you're one of those runners, make sure you can CLEARLY hear sounds over your music.  The goal is to avoid accidents, not cause them.  Be aware. 

There are other "rules" that women should follow, in addition to the  basics.  

  • Tell Someone - Let someone know where you're going and when you expect to be back.  
  • Alter Your Route - Don't run the same route every day.  If there is some sicko out there watching you, you don't want him to know which bush to hide behind at 3:12 on a Tuesday. 
  • Get A Running Buddy - If you can, run with a friend.  
  • Trust Your Instincts - If you're paying attention, more than likely your "gut" will tell you who or what to stay away from.  If something feels sketchy, run in a different direction.  Slow to a walk.  Speed up.  Trust your instincts.
  • Carry Mace - Consider something like this if you run at night or in remote areas. 
  • Learn Self Defense - Knowing how to fight off an attacker could save your life.  But even if you have never taken a self defense class, there are things you can do to help yourself.  Yell, kick, bite, do anything you can not to be taken anywhere.  Scream as loudly as you can.  

Running, for many of us, is an outlet for our stress.  I didn't write this post intending to add more stress, just as a reminder to be aware.  Be safe.  Be well.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

I'm Not Dead, I'm Just Boring

Ugh. Are you supposed to apologize to your blogging audience if you don't post anything for awhile?  Or is that just hubris, to assume that anyone even noticed your absence?  I guess it hasn't been that long, just a few days, but I feel like it's  been a year because I have been seriously slacking on the running front.  Granted, Saturday I spent nearly the whole day in bed with a stomach bug, and yesterday we did a mini road trip with the kids, but still.  I have missed valuable running time. 

Hubby is home today so I may be able to sneak out for a run later.  We'll see.  

In the meantime, just wanted to say that I'm still alive, still boring, and still promising to do better.  

And as for this "holiday" today........ 

Peace and love to everyone. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

End Of An Era

Well, this is it.  My daughter's last day of preschool is tomorrow.  I won't lie, I'm heartbroken.  Completely shattered.

Since September, I've had every Tuesday and Thursday to myself.  I could run.  I could nap.  I could watch bad t.v.  I could eat nachos with no one judging me.   And now that's all over.  *sniffle*

Of course, I'm also sad because my daughter's growing up and blah blah blah.  But, really, I'm going to really miss having free time.  Damn kids.

Truth is, after this week, I'm going to have to seriously revamp how I schedule my training runs.  And considering that Endless Summer is a mere 9 1/2 weeks away (*insert hysterical crying here*), I can't really afford to be lazy.   I am envisioning a lot of early morning runs, and runs at night when the kids have gone to bed.  Which means I'm also envisioning a coffee i.v. because I do not handle lack of sleep well.  Mama needs her rest!

My daughter being finished with preschool also signifies something else.  It's the end of my time as a stay-at-home mom.  The job hunt starts soon, as I'd like to be employed once the school year starts.

Jeez, typing that hurt.  What a lie.  I would NOT like to be employed once the school year starts.  I have grudgingly agreed to attempt to be employed once the school year starts.  My husband has been the sole breadwinner for the past 7 years, and it's time I start pulling my weight.  *sigh*

Lots of changes coming up.  It really is the end of an era.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Not Meant To Be

Although I may have recaptured my "mojo" on Thursday, Mother Nature and my respiratory system had other plans for me.  Thursday night was sleepless, Friday was uncomfortable, and thus, Saturday's Half Marathon never was.  Well, it was.  I just wasn't there for it!

I never used to have allergy issues.  In fact, when my daughter's allergy testing started, I adamantly insisted that no one in the family had any issues at all.  Turns out, I may not have had allergies in the past, but I certainly have them now - and they've been kicking my butt all over town for the past 2.5 years.   Unfortunately, it's taken me awhile to really realize that's what's going on.   I usually think of allergies as runny nose, itchy eyes, not chest issues and coughing.  It wasn't until dealing with all of my daughter's breathing issues lately that I realized that it could all be connected.

In case you're wondering, this is all a long-winded way of saying that I have issues (you knew that, right? har har) that are not under control, and they flared up on Friday so I decided that I would not be running the St. Michael's Half Marathon after all.

Part of me is completely bummed, and another part of me is quite relieved.  It is what it is.  It's done.  Nothing to do but to move forward.

I got some extra sleep this weekend (thank you, awesome family!), and I'm feeling better.  I'm going to get an appointment with my daughter's allergist sometime soon to get things figured out, and hopefully this won't be an issue again.

Tuesday, training gets back on track.  Only 10 weeks until Endless Summer.   God help me.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Return Of The Running Mojo

My week has not gone according to plan.  Not according to my running plan, anyway.  Too much "life stuff" in the way, so even though it's Thursday, when I laced up my Brooks this morning, it was for the first time since Sunday.

I knew I wanted today's run to be short, so I told myself just run to the pool and back, no big.  (Our community pool is about a mile from my front door.)  I started out, and was thinking about my upcoming half, how I'd decided to think of it as a supported training run rather than a "race" (thanks, Susan), and how it was nice to not have any real "pressure" (though it's all been internal pressure anyway).   I was just kind of bopping along, and I realized that I was actually feeling....  ok.  Mentally, there was no "this sucks" like there has been in most of my runs lately.  Physically, except for a mildly annoying hot spot on my right foot (it comes and goes), nothing hurt or was sore or felt out of whack.  I was just kind of smoothly going along.

So.   Weird.

Best run I've had in ages.  Sure, it was only 2 miles, but I will take it!  AND! I figured out what I'm going to wear for my non-race on Saturday.  Exciting, no?  Well, ok, no.  But still.  At least I won't be scrambling around at 4 in the morning trying to figure out what to wear while trying not to wake up my husband and/or dog.    It's a victory.

Now I just have to get through the rest of the week and not oversleep when my alarm goes off on Saturday, and I'll  be good to go.  Just a 13.1 supported training run with a few hundred of my closest friends.  Ok, they're strangers.  But they're all silly enough to get up at o'dark 30 and pin on a racing bib, so they're ok in my book.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How Not To Train Your Dragon

Half Marathon #3 is coming up this weekend, and I just realized how truly unprepared I really am. I mean, I knew I was under-prepared, but I just looked at all my running for the past couple of months, and oh, man, is it dismal.

So, I present to you a list of things not to do if you are training for a half marathon.  I call it "Di's Idiocy, part 600."

Step 1:  Sign up for a Half Marathon
Step 2: Run sporadically, maybe 2 or 3 times a week, something like that.
Step 3: Don't do any cross training or strength training.  Except maybe a half-assed attempt at walking lunges that hurt your knee.
Step 4: Gain some weight.
Step 5: Periodically forget you signed up for the race. (You say denial, I say early onset dementia.  Agree to disagree)
Step 6: Do one 10 mile run - but make it a long time before the race, say...... six weeks.
Step 7: Do no other runs longer than, oh, maybe 6 miles.
Step 8: Develop shin pain.
Step 9: Stretch maybe, if you think of it, for a few seconds, sometimes.
Step 10: Wonder, not for the first time, WTF is wrong with you.

Easy peasy, right?

Yeah, pretty much! 

In all honesty, I'm not too worried about this race.  I mean, if nothing else, I will have a new personal worst Half Marathon time.  I'm sure my ego will survive.  Probably.  And I'll have a shiny new medal to put with my other shiny medals.  Of which I do not have nearly enough.  They should give out medals for other stuff.

For example:

  • Getting up at 3 a.m. to deal with a half-awake 5 year old who doesn't know why she's screaming. 
  • Answering "Why?" for the 3,745th time.  
  • Being able to locate every single item that any child has ever said they've looked "EVERYWHERE" for. 
  • Cleaning up various bodily fluid (that isn't yours). 
  • Being able to unclog an overflowing toilet in under 60 seconds. 
  • Knowing all the words to every Disney and/or Pixar movie soundtrack.  
  • Not throwing up on your kid when your kid throws up on you. 

I'd have so many frickin' medals.  It would be awesome.  But, no, motherhood is supposed to have its own intrinsic value.  Whatever. I want my bling, darn it.

This post took an odd turn, didn't it?  Hmm.

Anyway.  Train better than I do for races.  Don't be a dummy.  Peace out.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Chain Gang

Being fairly new to the whole blogging world, I'm always looking for ways to expand my readership (not that I don't love you guys).  The other day, one of my fellow Sweat Pink Ambassadors asked if anyone wanted to be involved in the whole Liebster Award thing that's going on right now.   Have you heard of this?

I'm up for anything, so I said "Oooh, me, me! Pick me!"   So Jennifer (The Runner's Feet) did - me and 9 others.   After reading her post about the "award," I realized that it's essentially a chain letter.  You "tag" 10 bloggers, then they tag 10 bloggers, then they tag 10 bloggers.... etc, etc, etc.  Sure, it may be a way to meet new bloggers, but it's not exactly my cup of tea.  

So I will not be answering the questions Jennifer gave me (sorry, hon!), nor will I be asking questions of others.  But in the spirit of the award (why is this thing an "award," exactly?), I do suggest that you go check out Jennifer's blog (she seems like a nice enough girl).   

Also, just a friendly reminder that when you read someone's blog, if you've got some extra time, check out any blogs that they have on their sidebars.  Chances are, if a blogger you like likes something, you'll like it, too! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I Am What I Am

I'm feeling a bit like Popeye today.  Minus the muscles, pipe, and spinach.  So, really more like Olive Oyl. Except with a gut.  And slightly smaller feet.

Apparently I am really bad with analogies today.  Goodness.  Moving on.......

I had a craptacular run today.  It wasn't even a run, really.  It was mostly a walk.  Partly a shuffle.  Occasionally, I think I actually did something that could qualify as running.  In the hour that I was out at the park, walking and shuffling and running, I was doing a lot of thinking.

Most of the thinking went like this: "I SUCK at this! I've been doing this for over two years now, you'd think I'd be better at it by now.  I mean, really.  Oh, crap, here comes a runner.  Should I speed up, or would that be totally obvious? She's not looking at me anyway, and oh - she passed me already. Right. Because she's running.   What am I doing? How long have I been out here?  God, only 40 minutes?  No way am I making it to two hours today.  As soon as I get to the car, I'm done.  I'm not doing another loop.  I can do a two hour run on Saturday.  Or Sunday.  Sunday is Mother's Day.  I get the day "off."  So I can go for a two hour run and not feel guilty, right?  Or I could just sleep in.  Sleep is good.  Holy hell, where is the damn car???"

When I got home from the park, I made myself a huge salad and sat on the couch, eating and feeling sorry for myself.  Then an old friend called and while we were chatting, I started to feel better, until she mentioned these "crazy people" that were doing run/walk intervals during the half marathon she just did.  I spoke up, trying to explain that it's actually a valid way to race, and that I've done it.... but my heart just wasn't in it.  I was feeling so crappy that I couldn't even defend myself, so I just shut up.

Last fall, I ran 12 miles with only one (60 second) walk break.  Lately, I can hardly run 1 mile without walking.  I've finished two half marathons, two 10 mile races, a bunch of 5Ks.  I've run over 900 miles since I started running, and yet today I'm sitting here feeling  like a fraud for calling myself  a runner.

Why?  Because I walk sometimes.

Then I got to thinking.  Jeff Galloway has a bajillion followers (give or take a few gajillion).  That means that there are plenty of people out there running races using run/walk intervals.  Fast people, slow people, old people, young people.

There are also people who run Ultras - people who can run 50Ks, 50 Milers, 100 milers.... and they walk during them, sometimes.  When the terrain is rough, or when they just need to give their minds and bodies a break.  Could anyone dare say those badasses are not runners because sometimes they walk?

So what's my problem, exactly?

I guess I'm just having a bad day.  I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll wake up and feel differently about things, because I certainly don't enjoy feeling this way.  Maybe I'd feel better if there was another term I could call myself instead of a runner.  Maybe ...  endurance athlete?  Idiot ? Either of those could probably apply.  

Either way, as Popeye says, I am what I am and that's all that I am....   Whatever that may be. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Oh, Right, I Ran A Race

I keep starting and deleting this post.  As excited as I was about my kids' race, I was less than thrilled about my race, and now that it's behind me I kind of just want to move on.

Other than crippling shin pain and some adorable karaoke singers, there was nothing remarkable about this race.  But. I did promise a report, and really, what else are you doing right now?  You have five minutes to spare, right?  Right.  So, here we go....

After my kids finished their race and we hugged and high-fived and found a donut for my daughter, I said my goodbyes and headed to line up for the 5K.  This 5K was billed as being for runners and walkers, so when I lined up in the back of the pack, I assumed I'd be with all the slower runners and the handful of walkers.

Ever heard that saying about assuming?  Yup.  I'm an ass.

"Ready! Set! Go!"  . . . and we're off.  Down the school drive, turn left, turn right, and we're running down the only real hill in the neighborhood.  (Thank you to the race directors who realized that going DOWN this hill was preferable to running UP it)  While I'm running at what seems like a relatively fast pace (but can't be, after all, I'm with all the back of the packers, right?), I'm hearing this guy giving non-stop instruction to his young son.

How to hold his head, how to place his feet, how to run tangents, how to breathe.  It was rather excruciating for me to listen to, I can't imagine how it was for his son.  After a few minutes, I realized my shins were hurting.  Why are my shins hurting?  *glance at my watch*  Ooooh...  10:xx pace.  THAT's why my shins are hurting.  That's my "I feel great!" 5K PR pace. I was supposed to be running this thing at 12:xx.   Back of the pack pace, people.  What the heck?

So I slowed down considerably, but still hit the 1st mile  marker at 11:3x.   Whoopsie.  The rest of the race was a fairly agonizing run/walk, with my shins hating me, me wishing I was not in my own neighborhood having a rather crappy race, all the while smiling and waving to neighbors that were sitting outside of their house cheering us on.

I knew going into this race that it would not be anywhere CLOSE to a PR, but I was kind of hoping that I could at least run it feeling ok.  It wasn't to be.  Fortunately, even going slowly, 5Ks are super short and over fairly quickly.   As I neared about the 2.5 mile mark, I came upon a pair of girls with a karaoke machine, with the soundtrack from Frozen blaring.

I love Frozen.  (Yes, I'm 35 and I like kids' movies.  I'm ok with that.)  Hearing the music (I swear to you, I'm going senile, because even though it was YESTERDAY, I cannot remember what song was playing), I started to feel better about the day - though my shins still really freaking hurt.  Plus, the girls were really cute (though the one holding the microphone wasn't singing at all, just kind of staring off into space).

Rounded yet another corner, walked some more, then started running when I hit the school again and headed towards the finish line.

Anyone else turn magenta when they run?
Since I wasn't really paying attention to my pace after my disastrous first mile, I was surprised to see 37:xx on the clock as I finished.  My PR time is 35-something, so considering the huge amount of walking I'd done, I was expecting to be a lot slower.

Results haven't been posted yet (and I probably won't bother to search for them anyway), but my Garmin said 3.08 in 37:36.  12:13/mile.   Not my worst, not my best - I'm just happy my shins stopped hurting after awhile.

The funniest thing about this whole day was that my husband and I were walking around looking at all the booths that were set up at the school and we passed a sign that had my name on it.  Turns out I'd won a raffle that I didn't know about.  5 names of volunteers were randomly drawn and I was one of the winners.   So for my 4 minutes of service, I got a $15 restaurant gift card!

All in all it was a fun day for the community and my kids had a great time, but it was certainly not a real "race" day for me.  Even if my shins hadn't acted up, I'm not sure I would have put my all into this race.  My heart was certainly not in it.

On to the next.   St. Michael's half marathon in 2 weeks.  Hoping my shins cooperate for that one!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

They're My Kids And I'll Brag If I Want To

Oh. My. Goodness.  I never realized before that there are so many fast kids in my neighborhood.  Holy moly.  I also never realized that some kids, like some adults, will push themselves so hard that they'll actually puke at the finish line.  But let's skip over that part of the day....

This morning, my family and I headed to the local elementary school for their annual 5K and 1 mile run.  I was signed up for the 5K, my kids were signed up for the 1 mile, and my husband had the task of photographing the day.  The weather was gorgeous and everyone was excited.

20 minutes before the race, ready and rarin' to go! 

A few minutes before the 1 mile race was set to start, I said good-bye and good luck and headed to my volunteer spot in the woods.  I heard the "Ready, set, GO!" and peered through the trees to see the kids coming down the road.  They took the turn into the woods and I started clapping and cheering and "Stay on the path, please!"  Then I saw my munchkins and gave high fives and hugs and they were off again.  About  minute a later the bike volunteer rode by and said "That's it, thanks!" and I got to take my flag and head back to the finish line.  Shortest volunteer stint EVER! 

I found my husband and we watched as the kids came in.  First finisher crossed the line in 6:32.  Darn impressive for an elementary school kid!  (No racers over 5th grade allowed in the 1 mile run) Then more kids came in, and we kept cheering....  As the clock ticked forward, I started to worry a little.  I knew my kids would be on the slower side, since they've never run before, but since most of the course was through a wooded area with lots of ups and downs, I began to wonder if  maybe my daughter would fall.  I don't know why I wasn't worried about my son, maybe because he's older an has longer legs? I don't know.  Anyway, I started to wonder what if.... So I walked a bit down the road to see if I could spot them coming out of the woods.  When I saw them I ran back to my husband and told him to get the camera ready.  

When they came towards the finish line, I started cheering like an idiot a happy mom.  My son got a little ahead of his sister and turned around and went back for her, encouraging her, and they both sped up.  (I swear to you, my heart will break into a million pieces the day that they are no longer best friends.) 

Nearing the finish line! 

They ended up finishing the race in 14:09, together, happy as can be.  So proud of themselves and of each other.  I have a feeling this race will be a family tradition for years to come! 

Next post, I'll tell you about the 5K.  Spoiler alert - there was karaoke involved. 

Have you ever watched a Kids Fun Run?  If you haven't, you should! =) 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Baby Steps

When I started running, I was half thrilled, half terrified to find out that the elementary school in our new neighborhood puts on a 5K and 1 mile kids fun run every year. Last year, when someone asked if I was going to run, I was able to casually say, "Nah, I've got a half marathon that day."

Somehow, running my very first half marathon was actually less daunting than  the idea of running a 5K in my own backyard. 

I was not relishing the idea of being sweaty faced and sloppy in front of all the moms at my son's new school. Where I got the idea that any of them would even notice me, I don't know.  Insecurities plague me, though, and I decided that I needed to be in "better" shape to run this particular 5K.

Fast forward a year and not only am I not in better shape than I was last year, I'm actually heavier and more OUT of shape than I have been in awhile.  And, oh, look, it's the weekend of the Tech Trot and I haven't been running much this week because I strained a calf muscle last week following my new handy dandy "run an ultra" training plan that I pulled out of my ass.

So here I am feeling sorry for myself and not wanting to run this race and blah blah blah.  Then, after picking my son up from school yesterday afternoon, we head to packet pickup and I realized that for the first time ever, I'm not just picking up my bib.  I'm picking up bibs for my son and daughter, as well. The 1 mile fun run held just before the 5K will be their very first race.

Not quite the baby bibs I'm used to! 

Suddenly, I'm not even thinking about me.  It's all about the kids.  My daughter, who is not yet in elementary school, is excited to be doing something with the bigger kids.  My son, who is in first grade, is excited that he'll get a "No Homework" pass for completing the race.  Walking home, they started to "practice" their running.   My daughter announced that her brother was going to win the race this weekend.  (Never has she ever made that proclamation about me, btw)  Excitement was definitely in the air.

Will my two  "babies" end up with a love of running?  Will they continue to race?  Time will tell.  Either way, I'm excited to share something that I love with them, and I am looking forward to seeing their smiling faces cross the finish line!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Do You Sweat Pink?

One thing I love about being a runner is the sense of community that I've felt since day one.  It seems like every day, I'm meeting new people and learning new things about running, fitness, and life in general.

Today, my "new thing" was becoming a Sweat Pink Ambassador for Fit Approach.  What's Fit Approach, you ask? It's a community of women (and sometimes men!) who are working together to build a healthier world.  A group of fitness bloggers dedicated to making a change - and if we happen to look fabulous while doing so, well, so be it.  

Here's the Sweat Pink mission:

We believe that kicking ass is best done in pretty shoes. We’ve learned that real women sweat, and sweat hard. We know that assertiveness, strength, and ambition are the ultimate feminine qualities. We concede that sometimes it takes hours to get ready, but we’re also no strangers to just rolling out of bed and going. We’re convinced that we run faster in pink shoelaces. We believe in pushing ourselves, and we believe in giving ourselves a break, too. We’re all about the rush of endorphins and the thrill of the challenge. We’re all for looking great and feeling even better. We’re committed to finding our best fit, and making it stick.
We sweat pink.

And now, yours truly sweats pink, too.   But don't worry - I won't get any on you.  ;-) 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

I'm Making It Up As I Go Along

Week 1 of my completely made up and likely-to-be-changed training plan for Endless Summer is in the books, and I am freaking tired.  Granted, it doesn't help that I've been sick for the past couple of days (allergies + a cold or just allergies or maybe it's the black plague, who knows).

What does my made up training plan look like, you ask?  Well, it looks like a whole hell of a lot of running and walking and very little time for things like naps and piñatas.  To be more specific, my week looked like this:

Monday - Rest
Tuesday - 1 Hour Run
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - 1.5 Hour Run
Friday - Rest
Saturday - .5 Hour Run
Sunday - 2 Hour Walk + .5 Hour Run

Saturday's run and today's run were supposed to be an hour each, in theory, but with the way I was feeling, it just wasn't going to happen.   So all told I spent 3.5 hours running, 2 hours walking, and covered roughly 24 miles.

Going forward, the runs will increase and the walks will increase and hopefully my tolerance for a piñata free life will increase.  (Please, don't ask what's up with me and piñatas today, because the truth is I have no idea.  Sometimes a word just gets in my  head and since it took me entirely too long to figure out how to type a tilde on this stupid laptop, I'm just going to keep using it, mmkay?)

Though I'm not exactly sure how it'll all flesh out, I think that my training will peak at something like 11 hours of running and walking per week.  After Endless Summer I'll probably scale back for a week or two and then ramp back up even higher before I get to North Coast.

Or, maybe I'm completely full of crap and have no idea what I'm talking about.  This, truthfully, is much more likely.  Fortunately I have lots of very smart friends who have been at this way longer than I have, and I can pick their brains when I realize mine are falling out of my ears.

Aaaannd I have a 5K next weekend and a Half Marathon 2 weeks after that.  I keep forgetting about those races. I am NOT looking forward to the 5K, but the Half Marathon in St. Michael's should be fun.  Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.  We'll see.

I also just registered for another 5K that's in August.

Hey, it's cheaper than gambling, boozing, or doing drugs.  (And better for you, I'm told.)