Saturday, August 28, 2010

I did it...and enjoyed it!

Up at 6:30 and out of the house by 6:50 which was a tad later than I wanted but still fairly impressive for me given my 1am bedtime! When I stepped outside it was already humid and the sun was fighting the clouds for dominance...I was worried I might be overdressed: knee length running tights (b/c too much chafing with shorts over this distance!) and my Under Armour Heat gear "I heart 2 a days" shirt (seen here but I own it in white with teal writing and wear it more form fitted than the model) but I filled up my water bottle, set a bottle of gatorade at the bottom of the driveway and headed off!

One of the things that I finally got around to doing last night was uploading one of my Marching Chiefs CDs from my time at FSU. (I found all of the cases but only one CD...the one from 1998...I have put out a plea to my girlfriends for copies of 1997--my rookie year, and 1999-2000) I suspected it would be good running music b/c seriously what keeps a pace more in check than drum cadences? totally rocked and mentally transported me to another time. With 72 minutes of music, it's also great for passing some considerable time. I would be happy to make a copy for anyone who is looking for an unconventional way to spice up their running music!

So back to the run...apparently I REALLY don't pay attention to how hilly roads are when I drive b/c it was rolling hill central throughout my run. I tried not to pay attention to it and tried to remember that this is going to make me stronger (and enjoyed the downhills). So while I managed to avoid the "monsters" of 120+ gain in less than .2 this route was my NO means flat. This is my route/elevation map (I tried to just insert the image but it kept randomly picking 1.5 mi chunks and I'm tired of dealing with it)

I was really nervous about crossing over a 6 lane hwy (and running down it at 2 different stretches) but that part was really fun, actually! There were more cars on the road than I expected this morning but I think the idea that people might be watching me really helped me keep good form during that part and DEFINITELY squelched the desire to walk! I passed a couple of runners on this hwy at different guy had on full headphones and was running with (instead of against) traffic which made me REALLY nervous for him! I had one earbud in and was VERY aware of my surroundings...I think the 1 earbud is actually all I need for runs like this.

Overall, I really enjoyed the route and would use it again though there were a few areas where there was NO shade and it was hilly and it was just draining. It reminded me of a couple of sections of the Nashville 1/2 marathon course, actually. THANKFULLY it remained quasi-overcast for a little more than half the the end, when the sun was fully out, it was broiling out there but the mature trees in the neighborhood helped keep it bearable.

Other things to note:
--Getting up early wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and being DONE before 8:45 was really liberating! Even now, I have my errands and laundry done for the day and w/o Matt here I'm kind of at a loss!
--Chocolate chip Cliff Bars taste like ass. I choked one down this morning on the way out and by mile 3 it was feeling like a brick. It wasn't messing with my stomach necessarily, but who wants to burp fake chocolate protein bar? GAG
--I need a handheld, ASAP and after feeling the weight of the bottle, I know I would not want that around my waist
--After the weirdo and steep hills on the "Municipal Drive" portion of the run (and crossing back over the Hwy) I felt not good and was worried about the remaining distance. (This was around the time of the Cliff Bar burping) Took 3 sports beans and felt better almost immediately
--The old men in Sneaky Pete's were laughing at me (and pointing through the window) this morning (between mile 6 and 7) it made me want to kick serious ass
--There was definitely some walking going on today. I would be in the groove for 20-25 minutes and then zapped. Would walk 60 or so seconds and barely be able to keep it together for 5 minutes. Usually one more walk break solved it. I finished in approx 1:46 (including a 2 min stop to fill my bottle with gatorade and 2 different 1 minute stops to stretch and readjust my pony tail) Considering copious walking at times, I'm happy. I embrace my "speed" (or lack thereof)
--Glee's version of "Don't Stop Believin'" is awesome for running!! as is Neon Trees' "Animal" (In full disclosure, I'm not a fan of Glee...I've never seen a single episode)

Sweaty and accomplished and ready for a shower :)

I should be in bed right now...

Given that I want to be up at at 'em before traffic descends on the roads around my house tomorrow. I attempting my first OUTDOOR 9 miler (not counting having run the distances in half marathons) since I did my earlier training almost exclusively on the treadmill (yikes!) due to either extremes in temperature (cold and/or my favorite southern HEAT and HUMIDITY) and my fear of hills. My neighborhood has some monsters and they scare me, but I *think* the route I have mapped out for tomorrow minimizes these. The route takes me on roads I am familiar with in terms of driving but not largely ones that make up the routes I take with Matt and the dogs. I do loop back by my house at mile 4.5 so I feel better that I am never too far away from home. I probably should not admit this on a public forum but Matt is out of town this weekend and he would probably kick my ass if he knew my plans to run down Hwy 31 for brief intervals...good thing he doesn't read this! I will have my phone and ID though, which makes me feel better.

FINALLY reinstalled my iTunes (it wasn't AS bad as I had imagined but still a little bit of a pain to recreate playlists) and downloaded a few new songs. Still haven't gotten around to purchasing a hand held water bottle but I'm thinking the 24 oz camelback bottle will do for tomorrow. My Garmin also has not arrived yet, but I will manage. Knowing general mile markers around the route will hopefully keep me in check. I am kind of excited to see who else will be on the road early tomorrow. I am notoriously an evening runner during the week, so I'm entering new territory! And with that, I really should go to bed...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Just got an email that I was accepted off of the wait list for the Wine and Dine Half! Let the vacation planning begin :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Saturday streak is still alive

Despite my best intentions to run on Saturday it still didn’t happen, though I am trying no to feel too badly about it. Friday afternoon (which was supposed to be a rest day), Matt texted and suggested we take the “babies” (read: dogs) for a run/walk before going out to dinner. It was HOT and HUMID on Friday and I had psyched myself up for a rest but I figured since we didn’t have a set schedule we could take one of our longer/tougher (read: HILLS OF DEATH) routes and maybe I could make that count for my scheduled 5-miler…or I could push the 5 miler to Sunday since Amy was out of town this weekend.

We clocked a little less than 4.5 miles in a little over an hour (see, longer than I would have spent running 5 miles!) and were completely drenched afterwards. (I’ll spare you a photo, but imagine my shirt completely soaked…not even my boobs were dry). When I woke up Saturday around 7:00 to find it BROILING outside, I knew I was not going running that morning. The rest of Saturday was busy running errands and then driving to Montgomery. My cousin’s game was supposed to start at 7:30 but did not start until after 8:30! We had a great time, but it was STILL HOT and HUMID and really sucked the energy out of us. Not to mention sitting still on metal bleachers for hours, our feet totally swelled up. We had bona fide cankles and took pictures to prove it (again, I’ll spare you!). I pulled out of the parking lot to drive home at 11:30, pulling into my driveway just shy of 1 a.m. on Sunday (and you know I didn't go straight to bed...I had to unwind!). When I got up Sunday morning to let the dogs out, I felt (and looked) like death warmed over…tired, sore, still swollen. I laid on the couch, willing myself to get out and hit a shaded trail but I could barely hold my head up. I ended up falling asleep on the couch, dozing in and out of consciousness until after 1 in the afternoon. That is really very much unlike me and I think Matt was a bit worried b/c he didn’t even encourage me to get up.

I am not one to make excuses; even as busy as I get, I am going to find a way to sacrifice and get it done. However, I think after I had come so close to hitting 5 miles on Friday, that mentally I gave myself a pass long before I even knew it. I also know that Sunday it was not mind over matter; my body was simply NOT going to handle anything else. I actually felt really rested and refreshed today and had an awesome 3 miler after work and another almost 2 with Matt and the dogs.

AND...I just ordered the Garmin! FINALLY! Got a really great deal (I think) on Amazon, so now I can finally stop stressing about it and just wait for it to arrive in the mail!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Feeling a little more centered

Definitely feeling a bit more sane in the week since my last (frantic) post. Don't get me wrong, things are still busy and crazy as hell but I'm feeling a lot more centered...and I've even managed to get in all of my scheduled work outs this week instead of having to cram in extra mileage or walks to "get the time on my feet".

Week #3 is a step-down week in the program I'm following (my rest days are different but this is the mileage plan) so I should be done fairly "quickly" on Saturday before going to get a pedicure. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I do feel bad for the poor girls at Aveda Institute that have to deal with these feet but at least I know they won't talk about me to my face! This is actually my first Saturday run in a while...the past 2 weeks I've been running long on Friday night after work b/c of other commitments and let's face it, I did not do much structured Saturday running during the summer. I've really debated cramming it in tomorrow night but it might be nice to actually eat a relaxed, warm meal with Matt (instead of a warmed up meal that Matt cooked earlier and has waiting for me when I get home).

I'm headed to Montgomery Saturday afternoon to meet up w/my mom and aunt to watch my cousin (who I think of as my nephew more than anything) march in his first high school football game! As a musician and someone who marched in both high school and college (and majored in music as an undergrad) I am so excited and proud of him and hope that he enjoys it as much as I did.

In other news, Disney has opened up a wait list for the Wine and Dine half marathon (which would serve as a training run for me on a day when I need to log 15 miles), so I hope to hear something soon. Southwest was running a fairly kick ass special fare from BHM to Orlando ($89 ea to FL almost never go on sale) that ended today, but I couldn't make myself pull the trigger without knowing for sure that I have an entry. I'm not sure if I could have just applied to $$ to another flight in case I needed to 'cancel' but no here, no there. Keeping fingers crossed that I will get in!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pleasing Everyone and Noone

I am under so much stress at work and I am about to explode. I am routinely going in early (like 6:30 am early), eating through lunch and staying late (regularly til 5:30 or 6, sometimes much later). Despite this, I still feel like I can't get it all done, the work keeps piling in and I feel stressed trying to keep everyone happy. I've recently been privileged to have more responsibility and I feel flat out exhausted trying to manage the expectations of all of several different personalities, all while hoping that I am also meeting the expectations of my actual boss. I feel really good and confident about my decisions, yet I second guess myself in the same breath b/c I worry about how boss or committee chair or whoever is going to react and be unhappy. PHEW!

All of that being said, it should come as no shock that I am feeling exhausted and we're only halfway through week #2 of training! My running has been surprisingly fine but I am struggling to balance WORK, the running side of my life and the "personal" side of my life. Running has become a large part of my life and Matt is completely supportive but I feel bad rolling in after 7pm every night (some nights a bit later). I end up scarfing down some dinner (luckily we meal plan and since Matt works from home, he is great about cooking most nights) and then Matt wants to head out for a long walk (usually 45 min-1 hour) with the dogs. I love the time with Matt and "the girls" but I feel like the day is so FULL...and truly, this work schedule is on par to continue through mid-December, given the expectations and structure of the committees and everything else that's going on. It's not going to get any easier, mileage is going to build, daylight is going to wane...

Luckily I am no stranger to the distances of training right now (and it should be that way until early October) b/c if I had the anxiety of "unknown distance" on top of everything else, I might just be drowning myself in a jar of Nutella (best stuff EVER, btw). I also know that I am going to have to be flexible in my training schedule, if I have to miss one of the shorter runs b/c of obligations, SO BE IT. Respect the long run and make sure to get in all the other runs that I can and listen to my body.

Thanks to anyone who has made it this far. I just feel overwhelmed and needed to get this out.
(Retail therapy at Dick's tonight...after working til nearly 7pm...gear update to come!)

**edited to remove some of the extraneous work stuff**

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hunting and Gathering

Well, with week 1 of marathon training stumbling along, I am officially in "hunting and gathering" mode...for running gear, of course.

These beauties arrived from Zappos Monday afternoon, just in time for breaking in on a nearly 3 mile walk (after a 3 mile run at the gym). (Although I must admit I only paid $110...and I really did want the pink ones but they weren't on sale AT ALL and I can't justify a $30 price difference when I am buying for function, not form. Oh how I *heart* my Mizuno Wave Nirvanas...this is my 4th pair!)

I put about 500 miles on my "Mercedes Shoes" and knew I needed a new pair, but didn't realize how beat they were until I had something to compare to:

Guess which one is new? LOL

Poor stretched out shoes!

I'd say the soles are pretty worn down, though not as bad as some previous pairs!

On the list for this weekend (or the near future):
--The Garmin Forerunner (I don't know why I am having such a problem dropping the cash when A. I have it set aside and B. I know it's a HELPFUL tool that I will USE)

--Handheld water bottle (Thought about a hydration belt but I don't know how I feel about that given that I already feel thick around the middle)

--A couple more sports bras. Still not totally sold on the Nike compression fit (is it really supporting all it can?) but don't want to drop $50+ on a sports bra when I know I need to purchase multiples!

--1 or 2 more pairs of running shorts. I have 4 pairs but I have to time laundry just right and I have enough stress at work w/o having to worry about that I ran the load of darks on just the right evening that week.

--A small stock of Mojo Bars (I really like the Mountain Mix and I tried the Peanut Butter Pretzel for the first time today. I love that they are a low glycemic food and that they have natural and healthy ingredients.) My Publix has them fairly reliably at $1/bar and I was hoping to find a deal online to buy bulk, but it's looking so far like Publix actually has the best price!

--Gatorade/G2 (Which Publix actually has on sale this week) I used G2 when in "half" training but I am wondering does it offer the same benefit as regular, full calorie Gatorade when I am actually trying to replace carbs/calories and sustain myself for HOURS on the long run. (I may be ~1min/mile faster on my long run pace now but I'm still not fast so the time I know I will be spending on the long run is of very real concern/anxiety for me!)

--New music! I have some songs in mind but I have to re-install my iTunes library before I can get started and though I'm sure it won't be horrible, I have it built up in my head to be a major, stressful ordeal and I keep putting it off.

Any other "marathon must haves"?