Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Flash Back!

Wow. Another year gone by. This year was not like the others. Let's go back in time (...time, time, time.....) New Year's Eve 2010 when someone (not mentioning any names or pointing any fingers or taking any responsibility) decided we should take on the ultimate (for us) challegne. White Lake 70.3.

And that is how 2011 got started.

There was no time to waste. We hit the ground running, biking and swimming. I was working part time so I had all the time in the world to train. I would do about 3 hours 6 days a week, sometimes 7 days a week. Eventually I came to realize and accept that I was training too much, swimming was not a rest day, even though I enjoyed it. I came to love my swims. It was my favorite workout. I went from swimming 500m to 3500m and loving it over the course of 6 months. I joined Master's swim and found myself improving and even realizing I was a natural swimmer....I have always felt like a fish out of water.

Anyway, from Jan to May my life was consumed by 70.3 training. I learned that spin class 3 or 4 times a week does not translate to road biking. Excellent workout, but it's just not the same. I showed up for my Half Ironman feeling confident I would survive but there were many unknowns. What would it feel like to swim 1.2 miles in open water? How about 56 miles on a bike? I can do 13.1....right? Wrong!!!! The lessons I learned in stumbling through my first half iron were priceless. I learned that rest days are necessary, absolutely no excuses. Road biking is a must and fast at that, not piddling around just hanging out like we did for most of our long rides. And lastly, respect the 13.1. Yes, I had run 12 half marathons before but nothing could have prepared me for the way my bootie was handed to me by that last 13.1 of a 70.3. To successfully train for a half iron one must do bricks (i.e. bike to run transitions). That was the longest 13.1 of. my. life. But I crossed the finish line and completed one of the hardest physically challenging events of my life. Behind Portland Marathon, 2010.

Being in North Carolina during the full 2011 year I came to realize that this is a triathlon-happy state. I feel like Washington is a run-happy state (among other things). But in NC the triathlon scene is fun and just different than the running scene here. So after completing the 70.3 I was hooked and could not wait to get another tri under my belt. As a matter of fact as I type this I am already thinking ahead to the 2012 tri season....

I did a few road races here to include my first NC half marathon on my birthday weekend in March. I have signed up to do this one again in 2012. That race was followed by a trip to Oklahoma in April for the Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon where I was searching and hoping for the running high I had during the 2010 full marathon. Boy did I NOT find it this year. Instead I found freezing rain, wind and a bitter cold I was not prepared to deal with. I came home and in June showed up for the Army 10 miler in 98% humidity and 90 degrees outside. I felt really good about that race and my performance. I found that I really enjoy the 10 mile race distance but there just aren't many of them around.

In the end of June I headed to Seattle for the Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon. I had signed up for DetermiNation to fund raise and ended up raising over $1500! I was so proud of my efforts. On race day I was not prepared for the emotion I felt while meeting with others who were a part of the DetermiNation team. So many people willing to raise money to support the fight against cancer, so many people affected by this horrible, disgusting disease. I did this in honor of my Dad. I wanted to go out and run the Seattle RnR 1/2 marathon (which it holds my current 13.1 PR from 2010) and smash it, kill it, annihilate it, own it! I wanted to do it for my dad, in his honor. I don't know what happened during this race, it could have been a combination of many factors (fatigue from being on a 10 vacation, diet, lack of sleep, emotionally drained, too much pressure on myself, HILLS) but I feel like I went out and choked. My time was still a respectable 2:03 but not the PR I had dreamed of accomplishing for my dad. I had a great time running with Mel-Tall Mom and Jess Blonde PonyTail. They stuck with me even though I was running a good min/mile (or more) slower than they could have gone. They stayed by my side and shared this race with me, with my dad. For that I was thankful but I cannot deny the disappointment in myself.

From there I came home from Seattle and started my full-time job. This was another turning point for me. I knew I had it good, no GREAT and AWESOME, with my part-time gig but it couldn't last. Once I started work life/training changed. I continued to do what I could to train but my trips to the pool stopped, my spin class hasn't seen me since June, my bike was pulled out for races only. I'm still trying to figure out how to juggle it all. With a one hour commute one way to work there just isn't time like there used to be. I know people make it work and I am confident with the will to do so, I can find a way to train for multi sport while working full-time. During the summer months I continued to race triathlon, competing in three more races through July and August.

In July I also began following the 4 Hour Body diet. It was rough but I managed to stick to it and watched my weight drop from 163 to155 and then by September to 149. Cutting sugar, breads, pasta seemed to be working. I got my carbs from beans, ate truck loads of veggies and meat. I am currently on a modified version of the diet and am happy with the way I feel and pleased overall.

Mid July I amped up my marathon training with my eye set on OBX in November. I was hanging on but getting my runs in was a challegne. I attempted different plans like Run Less, Run Faster. It worked for a few weeks but getting the key workouts in was stressful and I missed the simplicity of just running. I settled in with trusty Hal Higdon for the remainder of my training. I got my 18 miler in with Natalie, who was in town visiting from WA. She and I shared over 45 miles together in three short weeks and she even did a 14 miler with me a few days after finding out she was prego! What what!!? Hard core! I was hitting my long runs, yet struggling with my shorter weekly runs. The marathon was hanging in the balance. September rolled around and near the end of September I was summoned home to OK. My dad wasn't doing well. My already weakened spirit was about to take the ultimate blow.

I traveled home in September to see my dad. That was hard. Harder than Portland Marathon 2010, harder than OKC half 2011, harder than my 70.3. All those were physically hard. They may have helped me with some mental strength somewhere along the lines but they did not prepare me for my dad's race of life to end. I was not ready for that. Saying goodbye to someone is hard. It is harder when you know it is a true, honest to goodness goodbye from this earth. My father passed away in the night of Oct. 5. I have been struggling to find my motivation since. I pretty much tossed my running shoes in the closet and shut the door. OBX 26.2 was struck from the calendar. I contemplated attempting it but I knew better. I gave up on the hope of making it to the starting line and knew that even if I did start chances were high that I would not see the finish line. I felt defeated, discouraged, angry at myself, and disappointed....

All of October and November seem to be a haze. If you asked me to recall any specific details I would have a hard time doing so. I was functioning on auto pilot and just going through the motions. Finally, in December I saw a race advertised. A 10k. I wanted to do it. The desire to run the race caught me by surprise. It had been so long since I felt an urge to run, to race, to get out there and enjoy life. So I registered. I went solo to race. One of my friends texted me about 30 min before the race start and said he was on his way, he was coming to run with me. We toed the line, I put my iPod on and told him I was just going to turn it up. They said GO and I ran the fastest race/pace I have run in my adult running career and an obvious 10k PR.

Two weeks following that 10k was a 5k I had done in 2010. I again registered and showed up, this time with a bit more of a crew, but I raced solo. I was unsure if I could push myself alone, if I had the guts, backbone, or motivation to go hard or fast without someone pushing me. But I proved myself strong and ran my way to another race PR.

During 2011 I have faced many challenges, many of which never found their way to pages of my blog. Not that I don't want to share them with you all, but it is actually quite the contrary, it was more that I didn't even have the words to express what I wanted to say. I have found myself, in the past month, slowly coming out of my dark place and finding joy in the simple things in life again. My desire to run is returning, my pleasure in racing has shown up again, and I am looking for an opportunity to excel, to push myself, and to make my dad proud(er. He always was so proud of me and my running. He always asked how it was going, what I "was up to now").

It is clear to me that the things I endured in 2011 were softened, if even the slightest bit, by the lessons learned in 2010 and the confidence and strength I gained previously. The things we learn out there on the road do cross over into our every day lives. They make us strong, resilient, confident, and capable. Without a doubt running has given me the strength, so many times, to push on and put one foot in front of the other....whether it be the last few miles of a race, or in the face of tragedy and heart ache, I know I can put one foot in front of the other......

Because I run.







Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Year in Review Part I

I've seen a few people posting this lately so I headed over to MissZippy to get the low-down-skinny....She asked her readers to post a 2011 Reveiw. I figured this would be a nice leeway into my in depth review of 2011. So here you have it:

Best race experience?
Hands down I'd have to say my White Lake 70.3. What an accomplishment! And when I finished, after going hard for SEVEN hours I was thrilled, elated, amazed, tired and HAPPY TO BE ALIVE.


Best run?   I'd have to say my recent 10k PR. I ran faster than than I thought possible. I was tired but fought hard against my mind and my doubts. The result is a new found competitive spirit and confidence that I can do this, and I can do it faster!

    Best new piece of gear?  My beloved Felt, Nelly CIRN.

  • 225524_209770989054180_195618007136145_632185_6074931_n.jpg

  • Best piece of running advice you received?    Just run, put the Garmin down and run.

    Most Inspirational Runner?  
    I'm kinda crushin' on inspired by Scott Jurek right now. He's the one holding the microphone.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? 
Challenging but rewarding.

So there you about you? Did you answer these questions? Let me know and I'll come check out your answers! Or you can answer them in a comment!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tis the Season....

It's hard to believe Christmas is now behind us. Just like every year past, the day after Christmas leaves me in a sort of Holiday Hangover of fun and memories. When I was a kid I was in this Hangover for a good week following Christmas. Now the Hangover includes stepping on toy pieces, boxes, scattered bows, and witnessing LB in chaos and a sort of desperation to get from toy to toy...I love it.

I have also found myself in the crossfire of a Nerf War....


I don't really think it's necessary to recap every single gift I received this year, but I am just dying to share one in particular. Of everything I received this one gift was perfect. If it was my only gift I would have been happy. My mom sent it to me, actually my mom made it....

...using my dad's shirts she cut out the quilt squares and made me a quilt! The perfect Christmas gift!


I love it! I recognize each shirt and it brings so many memories to my mind.

How has your Christmas holiday? Dodging any Nerf bullets? Testing out new gear? Or heading out to spend those gift cards?

Are you working on your 2012 Race Schedules and Goals? I am excited to get mine finished up and posted! I'm also excited to see if any of you all will be doing some of the same races! 

Will any of you be in the area for New Year's? We are planning a Football game, cookout and New Year's celebration! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What's the deal....

Recently I was asked about my blog's title: "What's the deal with your blog title? How'd you come up with that?"

Well, here is the story about 5 Miles Past Empty.

Long, long ago my blog was actually titled 5 Miles 2 Empty. As my training became more consistent and my mileage increased I felt 5 Miles 2 Empty was a little bit negative, restrictive if you will. It sent the message that 5 miles and I was done. Empty.

This was not the case, no sir-eee my amigos.

You see, I hate buying gas. Always have, always will. When my gas light would come on while driving my beloved Jeep I would look at the warning: 23 miles to empty. I would push the limit, I can make it. I would watch the warning, the mileage decrease, 20 miles to empty, 15 miles to empty, 10 miles to empty, 5 miles to empty.....0 miles to empty. Yes, I would push on, rolling into a gas station miles after the warning would read 0 Miles to Empty.

One day as I was driving across the Narrows Bridge, my gas light was on and the warning read 0 Miles to Empty, it donned on me, this parallels my running. Let me take you back to August 2, 2008, my first half marathon. I started this half marathon with confidence. My longest run had been 10 miles. I was ready for what was ahead of me, or so I thought. At mile 7 I began to doubt myself. My calves were tightening up, my shoulders screaming. It was hot and I was tired. I couldn't will my legs to move, it was like I was running through mud with cinder block shoes. At mile 8 I was thirsty, cursing myself for ever getting into this stupid sport. I was running on empty. By mile 9 my tongue was dragging, hanging out so far I was tasting the pavement. I couldn't possibly go another step, another mile, much less 4 more miles. By mile 10 I hit the proverbial wall head on....that's it. I had never gone further than 10. How the heck would I make it to 11? If it weren't for AN the RB I never would have made it. This was her second half marathon and she was by my side, pulling me along. Somehow I managed to make it to mile 11. I felt like I was well past empty, beyond empty. I needed a tow truck, or a medic. I had no energy, I had goose bumps even though I was hot. I was dying of thirst. I couldn't feel my toes, or my nose. Why was I doing this to myself? What is the payoff? Death? Will this be the end of me? Will my tombstone read: Here lies Amanda. She tried to go 5 Miles Past Empty. No, not this time. Before I knew it I was at mile 12. Wow, a distance PR! By the time my brain was able to do the math to calculate that I only had 1.1 miles left I actually only had .6 of a mile left. Me, running, and math-it's a train wreck (your brain need carbs to think, so when you are carb/energy depleted it is hard to think, hence difficulty calculating mileage and paces). I was moving slow, but I was moving. I saw the 13 mile marker and said a prayer of thanks...but that last .1 of a mile was seriously at least a half a mile long. I had no kick at the end. I stumbled across the finish line.

When I crossed the finish line they handed me my Finishers Glass. Smart. I was shaking so bad I almost dropped the stupid glass (that is now a prized possession). I had goose bumps but I was hot. I finished. I said, "Never again. Never doing that again...." That was my first of 14 half marathons and counting.

Back to my Jeep. I coasted into the gas station, miles after my warning flashed 0 Miles to Empty. I realized that often in my running, like in that half marathon, I feel like I'm empty, done, down and out but the truth is I have a reserve. I have something in the tank, enough to get me to the finish line. I felt like I was empty at mile 8 and managed to make it 5 more miles to finish 13.1 miles. Could I have gone 6 miles? 7? I don't know. Maybe. But probably not. The point is when you feel like you've given it your all there is usually still a little bit more to give. Our minds play terrible tricks on us, telling us we can't, we are tired, we need to stop, to give up. But deep inside there is a reserve, a little bit left that says "No! You can do this!" In that compartment is where we store our thoughts about our training, our experiences, our why. When we learn to tap into that compartment we then realize that we can push through, push farther than we have before. We can and we will....go 5 Miles Past Empty....or more.

So there you have it. That is what 5 Miles Past Empty means to me. It symbolizes my ability to go further, faster, harder than I thought possible. When I feel like I'm on empty, I just remind myself I can go a little bit further. Have you ever gone 5 Miles Past Empty?

Oh yeah, and Merry Christmas Eve!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve....

....and the stockings are hung by the fire(place) with care. The tree is twinkling in the corner. LB is snoozing soundly with dreams of Santa coming down the chimney... Speaking of LB and Santa, for weeks now LB has been begging for an Easy Bake Oven. I thought, I hoped it was a phase. I tried to hold off, hoping it was a bandwagon he jumped on at school while chasing the first grade girls around the play ground. But he kept at it...I opted to not get the oven and hope he would love the new mountain bike Santa is going to deliver. I have a hard enough time staying away from sugary, delicious sweets as it is. Give LB and Easy Bake Oven and I'm done for. Tonight at dinner I asked him, "So what do you think Santa is going to bring you?" I held my breath and hoped he wouldn't say Easy Bake Oven. I really don't want to disappoint him, I want to see him thrilled on Christmas morning. Much to my relief he stalled then said, "A gun that shoots out fire!" Ah, yes. We are over the Easy Bake what to do about the flame-shooting weapon?

I have found myself reflecting on 2011 a lot the past few days. My road has had some rough patches. I have faced many challenges, haven't we all? Over the past year I have learned it's not the fact we have challenges, rather how we manage those challenges. I was thinking this morning, randomly, about my dad. I wondered if was watching me this month as I ran my 10k and my 5k. Mel told me if I watched out, paid close enough attention, I would see him, sense him with me on the road, like she did with her dad at Boston. I haven't yet.....But I can't wait for that day to come.

Through the rough spots in 2011 I have had some outstanding, shining moments: Race PR's in the 10 mile, 5k, 10k, sprint triathlon, and 70.3. It was Sarah reminded me of this in a text:  


Sometimes things just need to be put in perspective.

I have done some amazing things this year. I'll admit it....Maybe it is for this reason that I am allowing myself some time off from true, rigid training. I do miss training though. I have been looking forward to the new year when I will ramp up my training for a 5k PR and a full marathon in April. That's not all I have on my 2012 To Do List but I will do a detailed post on that later.

Have you been mulling over your 2012 Goals, or as I prefer to call it the 2012 To Do List? I can't wait to share mine and hear yours!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Glory Days.....

.....are they truly over? Or just beginning?

I love this time of year. This has been a really great week, even though I've been working all week and still have to work tomorrow.

Last night I had dinner with the girls. Girls night is awesome! I needed it so bad! I am feeling a little bit more plugged in here lately. I am feeling less and less alone in this town. Wow, a year and a month and a half later...sheesh. It takes times to get settled and connected and to get life in a routine. That is why I was SO excited when the newest fellow PNW transplant joined us for dinner. She blogs at Navy Wife on a Diet but has just recently switched over to wordpress and is now CackalackyTransplant. Man can I relate to her misery and lament. North Carolina is not horrible, don't get me wrong. It's just not Washington. Coming to NC from WA is a serious culture shock. I might compare it to going from small town North Carolina to New York's just different. It takes some adjustment and getting used to. But the good news is that she, I am not alone! We will all get along just fine! Dinner was a blast and the conversation hovered around running, our recent 5k, upcoming races, training, shoes or lack there of, high heels, and of course diet. I can't wait for our next girls night! I can't come soon enough!

I know I told you all I am reading Born to Run. Right? Well, I am. You should too. Seriously, it's a good book. Anyway, I have been thinking back to my glory days, high school cross country. I was slim, fast, in shape, and naive and lazy. I had no clue what my potential was. I turned down running cross country in college because the race distance was 10k, twice the HS race distance of 5k. I thought a 10k was impossible. Too far. I would die! Right? No way could I do that.....

If I could go back to talk to my 18 year old self there is a lot I would say. Not all of it about running but that would be a nice talk we would have. I wonder what kind of look would be on my face when I told my 18 year old self to buck up, lace up, and get out there and run because someday your gonna run a marathon! You're even gonna do a half iron man! I didn't even know what a marathon or half iron was back then. I was that person who said, "Oh you did a marathon? How far is that?" There is a part of the book in Chapter 28 that has been on my mind. In short there is a discussion where they are talking about the evolution of humans and how we are literally born to run....I'll attempt to summarize. The results of the 2004 New York City marathon were monitored and all the finishing times where compared by age. What they found is that starting at age 19, runners get faster every year until they hit their peak at 27. Does this mean I missed my peak? I was pregnant at 26, nursing, fat and out of shape at 27! No!!!! I don' think so! I still have plenty of time to improve!! And here is why. The question is presented: At age 27 we begin to decline. So how old are you when you are back to running the same speed you did at 19? Wow! You mean I can actually get back to running the way I did at 19? Wait a minute, what you are actually saying is that I could have run BETTER than I did at 19? When I was running sub 7 minute miles, or 7 min miles for 13 one mile repeats? What? Yes! My glory days have just begun? Yes! I think so....Back to the question, we start declining at age 27 but our decline is much slower than our climb to the peak. I'm not sure I want to give you the answer, since this was a cliffhanger for me but if you want to know then just let me know in a comment, or read the book. Essentially we have the ability to improve and if we started out late it's ok, keep running!

So I'm looking at some 5k training. There is another 5k in Feb and I think I'd like another PR. I'll be working on a 2012 goals post but I think from the 5k in Feb I'll move on to training for a 10k, 12k, 13.1, then 26.2. I rarely have ever trained for anything other than a 13.1 or 26.2. I think training, actually training for shorter distance races could be fun. As it is now, both my 5k and 10k finish times predict a sub 4 hour 26.2. Boom!  Oh the places you'll go!! 

I sense a 2012 goal about to go in the books!

The only problem is this Big Sur Marathon I have the end of April. It's not really a problem per say, I am looking forward to it like no other it's just NOT a PR's a Sunday Drive of marathons for me. So I will be looking at the calendar and planning out my races and I can't forget the killer tri season! from about May to August I'll be tri-ing it up......

So are you all ready for Christmas? I am!!!! I am ready to watch LB's face light up as he checks out what Santa Brings him! This year, for some reason, it seems extra exciting. LB gets it and really believes in Santa! I remember believing in Santa and being so excited I couldn't fall asleep. Oh to be six years old again......

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My 5k Race Recap

So much is going on this week but I wanted to give a race recap! Let me start by saying:


My calves were so sore. I mean sorer than they have ever been ever in my whole entire life. So sore I felt like maybe I had torn the calf muscles on both legs. What happened? What went wrong? Or right?

I decided to wear my New Balance Minimus shoes. No biggie, or at least I thought. I have been wearing these quite a bit during my shorter runs and a 5k is short, right? Right. It is short but this particular 5k was short and FAST! At least faster than I ever run in training, which is the way it is supposed to be. But it made for some sore calves. I could hardly walk on Sunday and Monday. Just today I am at a point where I am only a little bit still sore. On Monday I frantically dug through my Workout Basket, a basket where I keep samples that are mailed to me to sample or given to me in race goodie bags. I knew I had to have something to relieve my sore, aching, dying calves. Sure enough, at the very bottom buried under GU, Chomps, and some random Butt Cream was the glorious samples packs of Biofreeze ! Hallelujah!


Holy Moley! Can you say Miracle Worker? This stuff is the bomb dot com! No kidding and no exaggeration! I am going to replace my 15 samples with a huge, industrial size. No kidding. After applying it this morning I was like a new woman with new legs......

Anyway, back to the race day. Not only did I wear my minimus shoes I wore my CEP socks. I don't usually run in these. For me it is often annoying and given the pain I had in my calves after the race I am not convinced the CEP Compression socks did much good? Weird. I also wore my 2XU Compression shorts under my running skirt. Strangely enough I had no pain in my quads, glutes or hamstrings. So verdict is: continue to run in my minimus shoes, love the compression shorts, take or leave the CEP Socks.

The race started rather abruptly. We were all gathered and they sang the National Anthem and then GO! Wow. It was really sudden and no one was really ready. Everyone was still hand over heart and facing the flag. It was chaos for a second until everyone figured out what was going on. I fumbled with my headphones, hit start on iMapMyRun app, and hit start on Garmin. That's right, I ran with both my Garmin and iMApMyRun iPhone app. Overkill? Ya think? Yeah, me too. I decided to go ahead with the Garmin and vowed to myself that I would not not look at excessively. I surprised myself and actually only looked when I heard the mile beeps.

My first mile was decent, considering the first mile had two significant hill climbs. I logged mile one at 7:53.79. The first 1/4 miles was killer. Who starts a race uphill like that? Check out the course elevation below....


The second mile had a nice up, some down but this mile ended up being my slowest mile at 8:02.24....What? That is nuts, my slowest mile was 8:02.24? Who am I?

My third mile was my fastest, but no wonder, check out the nice, long downhill. I finished the third mile at 7:46.45. My Garmin logged the race as 3.46 miles and my final .46 average pace was a 5:35 min/mile pace. I WAS DYING AND FLYING....but it was a significant down hill and I used it to my full advantage. There was a glob of women in front of me and one had her hair down and flopping all over the place. Seriously, she might as well have put a target on her back saying Pass Me. There is no way I was going to let her beat me. Nope, no beauty runner with beautiful, flowing, unkempt and untamed hair was going to beat me. Not. Over. My. Dead. Panting, Breathless. Body.

I ran. I ran faster. I knew the final 300 yards can be detrimental to some. From experience I knew that if you get passed by someone who looks weak or like they are struggling you can muster the mental power to overcome, to come back and beat them. BUT if you get passed by someone who's poise and body language says "I eat runners like you in the last 300 yards for post race protein replacement." It defeats them. It sucks their mental ability to fight. They give up. You win.

I passed the glob of women and it was a brutal fight. They were not going down easy. I had to dominate.

Here is a snap of the result times for the glob: I was 24:33, then there was 24:34, 24:35 and was close!


I knew it wasn't good enough for an AG placement (since the age group was 30-39. I HATE that, it makes the groups too big) but it was a nice PR for me. My previous 5k PR is 25:46 which means my new PR of 24:33 was more than a minute faster! What's next? I'm thinking I may train for another 5k PR. That sounds fun. Kind of..... I

was 8th in my age group and the 21st female out of 347. The first female came in at 20:23....that is pretty darn fast. That is like High School X-Country days fast...I got 90th overall out of 589 total male and female. That is crazy!

Here I am, coming to the finnish....


The cheering squad:


There you have race recap!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New 5k PR...

Yes, you read that right! I have a new 5k PR!! 

My unofficial time is 24:28 or a 7:48 min/mile pace. What? Weird.

I will have a complete race recap to come but for now I am going to drink my coffee, catch up on blogs, read some of my book, Born to Run (BTW I have a total celebrity crsh on Scott Scott, if you read my blog....) and whine about my calves hurting...and get my shoulders rubbed.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Ryan's Reindeer 5k

No pressure...

Tomorrow is the 5k that I did last year and it holds my current 5k PR. Am I expecting a PR tomorrow? Eeeeesh....To be honest I'm not feeling it. It is 12:05  AM and I am blogging, not sleeping. Not exactly my idea of a decent pre-race nightly routine. In fact, check out my "Race Pile":

It's a mess, even by my standards. This is a true pile....


If you have been following me for a while then you know my piles are usually at least a little bit of a controlled chaos. Here are a few of my previous piles for comparison:

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But not tonight, my pile is a mess. It may reflect my inner feelings surrounding this race tomorrow. Don't get me wrong, I am excited and I think it will be fun but I am not putting any pressure on myself to perform, to get another PR. I plan to show up and run. Have a good time. My pacer, Heezie, wont be there tomorrow so I'm completely on my own. Truth be told I'm not sure if I can push myself to another PR. Not to mention this course is kind of tough. It has a good, or bad, uphill that has the potential to kill you off in the first half mile. If I can just make it up that hill......

I am debating on whether or not to ditch my Garmin for tomorrow. I am certain that had I been wearing my Garmin during my 10k I would have psyched myself out when I saw my sub 8 min/mile pace and slowed myself down. It felt good to run by feeling and to feel my body pushing the limit. It felt good to teeter on the edge of run-till-I-puke. I am still a stats freak and need the stats, but I can get them without wearing my Garmin by using my iPhone in my arm band and the iMapMyRun app. It worked well for me last time.

Another random thing about tomorrow's run is that I am on call for work. This is weird and new to me. I have to have the crisis on-call phone with me and I cannot miss a call. So I will be running with an old school cell phone. Great. And what if it rings? Yeah, hi, what's your crisis? Oh ok, let me finish this last mile and I'll get right back to you.....What do people do when they are on call? Not race? I mean obviously I wouldn't be on call during a marathon or a triathlon but I figured a 5k was safe. Right?  Let's hope.....

And finally, I went and picked up my medal for my Third Place Age Group finish!!! Check out the newest addition to my bling!! My first 10k Medal!!! And it says Winner!? Maybe they gave me the wrong medal, it should say third place winner but whatever, I'll take it.


How about you? What have I missed the past 10 days? I can't wait to catch up tomorrow afternoon!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Green Baret 10k- PR! A Recap~

I decided to do a local 10k about a week ago. I needed a race. I hadn't raced since my last tri in Aug. A 10k seemed like an ok distance, not too long and certainly not short....and I hadn't done one since 2008!

Race day came and I didn't have a race crew. J-Ninja had done a 10k on Saturday and wasn't up for a second one. I checked the race website and saw that I had to be there before 7:45 AM for a 9 AM race start to get my race packet. I got there at 7:40 and easily got my bib. They didn't have the race shirts, for whatever reason, so I have to get it later, somehow. There I was, an hour and twenty minutes early. I don't do early.

I was sitting in my car prepping for the race and grabbed G. Money (my Garmin). It was OFF. It would't come on. FAIL. I sat and thought about how much it was going to stink to not have stats for my first 10k since 2008, how much it was going to suck to not have stats from a PR race. Then I grabbed my iPhone and searched the apps for iMapMyRun. SCORE! I downloaded the app and instantly felt better. At about 8:30 I got a call from my buddy Heezie-he was on his way! YAY!!! I would have a running buddy! Heezie made his 5 Mile debut when ran me to a 5k PR last December at Ryan's Reindeer 5k!

I met Heezie and we headed to the start. I had no idea where the route would go but was relieved to know there would be a pickup to follow, you know, in case I was first. We inched up a bit closer to the start, it wasn't a big race, only 221 total runners. The race started with a bang. Literally. They set of a cannon or huge fireworks or something. I hit start on my iPhone iMapMyRun app and shoved it in my arm band, where it would stay for the remainder of the race, and turned on my iPod. We took off running. I had no way of knowing how fast I was going but I felt ok, and I felt fast. Heezie stayed beside me and up a little bit. He would surge and hold, forcing me to keep up.

My breath came easy and my legs felt good. I kept waiting for a side stitch. And that was in the first mile. A mile in and I was still fighting my britches. It took a mile and a half before my skin was sweaty enough to cling to my waistband and stop the inching down. Around mile two I ditched the hand warmer that Heezie had given me. My hands were beyond warm. About two blocks after I chucked the hand warmers I felt nauseous. A wave of puke-ness came over me. This was it, I thought. I'm gonna puke. I knew I was running faster than normal. Faster than I normally do. Heezie was not slowing and I swallowed my stomach and told myself there was no time to puke. I kept going. By mile three the urge to throw my breakfast on the curb had subsided. a block later Heezie asked how we were doing on time. I had no idea and told him so. A dude just up from us shouted out, "24:12!" Ugh......I don't do 24:12 for 3 miles. A 5k PR perhaps? In a 10k? Dang!!!

Around the 4 mile mark I could feel my breathing getting heavier and my mind getting heavier too. I knew I was going faster than normal and it was getting hard. Hard is ok, though, right? Heezie kept going and I had to keep up. We got passed by a dude, then eventually two more dudes. No females passed us. I couldn't see who was ahead, I had no idea how many girls were ahead of me. We passed one girl and kept going. The route had us twisting and turning around downtown. I was ready to head to the finish. Where was the finish? Are we there yet?

With a bit over a half of a mile left we passed one more girl, on an uphill. The sun was to our backs and I realized I liked this, it made for big shadows. I could see if a shadow was coming to pass us at least a good 5 feet before it was actually going to make the pass. I only saw one, it was a dude.

The finish line came into view and I went as fast as I could.....the finish clock said 50 something....a certain PR! I couldn't believe it. Actually I could, it felt like I was going that fast, I was uncomfortable and tired. What I couldn't believe is that I had actually done that, without whining or dying or puking.

We wandered around for a bit and attempted to find out the results with no luck. Heezie decided to head home and I headed to my car. I put my stuff down and decided to go back one more time to check for the results. This time the guy put my name in, gave me my time of 50:33 and said I was 4th in my Age Group. Dang. Missed the podium by one place. I decided to head home.

I was proud of my race! With a 50:33 time that gave me an 8:10 min/mile pace. But with the distance on the iMapMyRun of 6.48 miles it gave me a 7:46 min/mile pace. I'm not sure how accurate that app is, I'll be curious to test it and compare it, running it at the same time as my Garmin. But either way, a PR is a PR and I was pumped!!

Today when I checked the results page I saw that I actually got THIRD in my Age Group! What was that guy smoking? Why would he tell me 4th? So who knows, maybe I missed a cool prize. Oh well......

So there you have it, my 10k PR and THIRD in my Age Group!!! And 76 out of 221 total runners. Next up, Ryan's Reindeer 5k! I smell another PR!

And check out the course map, Tall Mom pointed out it looks like a gun, a pistol to be exact. So what do you think, did they do that on purpose?? It was, after all the Green Baret 10k...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Weekend in Pics....

Friday night we had a gathering/party and things got WAY too crazy....

4-up on 2011-12-03 at 09.02.jpg 4-up on 2011-12-02 at 20.04 #13.jpg

Then Saturday LB and I went to pick out our Christmas tree! LB found the perfect one!


Then we threw in the Jeep.....oh wait, I don't have a Jeep any more. No biggie, we threw it on top of the car!


Then Saturday night we headed out for a train ride through some Christmas lights, with a small carousel detour!


This morning I headed out for the Green Baret 10k and blazed my way to a sick PR! This is the only picture I was able to get.   How's that for a teaser???


Then this afternoon we headed to Raleigh to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra!


It was awesome!!


There you have it...our crazy weekend! And I'm spent!

I'll get my race recap up tomorrow night, hopefully! I'll just tell you this much, I was shocked by my time! Most of you probably already know if you follow my Facebook page, if not and you can't wait then head over to check it out!

Good luck to all the Las Vegas Rockers and Rollers!!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

All confused and whatnot....

It's been one of those days. Actually one of those months. I thought it was OCTOBER but no, here it is dang near DECEMBER. I mean I didn't really think it was October, but November is a blur. A complete mess of days and hours that I can hardly recalll. How in the world did it come to be November 30th? I have been confused all month long. Seriously. November has flown by. Kid you not-it feels like we went from Halloween to Thanksgiving to today.

All day I thought LB had a program at school. I even called the school this afternoon to find out the details about when to be there and what to wear. I somehow missed the details with him out for an entire week with his arm and then out the next week with Thanksgiving. Long story short I juggled my day so that I could make the hour commute in time to see his program at 5:30 just to find out that his program is actually tomorrow night. I hate it when that happens.

When I got home I was starving and The Hubs had dinner on the table. SCORE! So I didn't run. No biggie except LB's program is tomorrow and directly after that I am meeting J-Ninja for dinner and (not just any) movie-Breaking Dawn! I can't wait! So no run tomorrow.....That leaves me with Friday. No run Friday. We are having company and I have to prepare and all that jazz. So the days are packed full and there is hardly time to take a breath, which is good until I come up for air and a whole entire month has passed by.

With the next few days being crazy busy I probably wont have a chance to update the blog but I didn't want you all to think i was slipping back into my slump! No way Jose! I'm crawling out, and staying out! It's just getting to be that time of year I guess. And since it's December I guess I should start my Christmas shopping. Oops.

Have you ever blinked and a whole month passes by? I hope that doesn't happen again!!

I am off to curl up with a good book! Tall Mom-the amazing Mom on the Run sent me not one but TWO books to help me come out of my slump! And this is not the first time she has thrown me a life-line. Mel has such a special place in my heart for many reasons, not only was she my first blind running/blogger date, she came and subjected herself to pain and agony for 26.2 miles with me in Vegas nearly a year ago. Only a true friend would do that! I can't believe it has nearly been a year since we last saw each other. Too long.... I am so blessed to call her friend. I continue to be amazed by the friendships forged over the miles run together.

Have you ever read either of these books? 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Eyes Wide Shut Part Deux

....would you take a look at that!?

My neighbor(ing)hood isn't so "boring" when all my lovely neighbors have their Christmas lights up! It gives me some visual stimulation and makes me less inclined to run with my eyes closed, which apparently, after reading all your comments, I am not the only one who frequently closes my eyes while running. Thank goodness! It's good to know I'm not , er....weird(er than I feared).

This evening, once again in the rain-but much cooler this time, I got in a good 3.5 mile fartlek run. I enjoy fartleking around my neighborhood. It helps me mix it up a bit. I can run fast to the end of a cul-de-sac then slow to the stop sign, then fast up the small hill, then slow to the seconds white mail box, then fast to the end of the street and back to the big bush that rips my legs if I get too close, then slow to the house with the dog that bit me once, then fast....and you get the point. It really helps to pass the time and makes my run less ho-hum. Not to mention fartlek runs are a very valuable part of training and can be done on the sidewalks or streets. Getting your heart rate up and letting it fall again is an important part of building cardiovascular strength, endurance, and anaerobic threshold-which means, ideally and eventually, you can workout/run harder for longer periods of time. I was surprised to look down and see my pace, during my speed up, at a 7:10 min/mile pace. I of course wouldn't hold this pace long, maybe 400 yds. Even though a fartlek run may seem simple and fun and done only to pass the time and mix things up, this is considered a hard day in your running schedule, like speed work, and should be followed by an easy day of running or rest. So tomorrow I'll do a nice, easy run. I think I'll be ready for my 10K this weekend, the Green Baret Jingle Jog!

That's right, I registered for my first 10k since the Tacoma City 10k in 2008. This was the day before Mother's Day and the day before The Hub's deployed to Iraq. I pushed LB in the stroller and it was one of the toughest races I can recall. Not to mention The Hubs took first in his age group....that stings. It didn't sting at the time but it stings now...I want to win first in my age group.I would like to promise a PR this weekend but since my previous 10k time is 56:32 (9:05 min/mile pace) I'm not sure I've got that in me right now. Plus I believe the route is quite hilly, not Tacoma hilly, is significantly hillier than my little neighborhood. I'm excited nonetheless to see how I do and to get a more recent 10k on the books.

I really like the 10k race distance. I don't know why I don't do more of them. What race distance do you like but have little experience racing?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Do you ever run with your eyes closed?

Yeah, me either. Usually.

Tonight I came home from work and changed into my running clothes immediately. It seems to be the best method for me so that I actually get a run in. Otherwise I sit down and lose motivation (instantaneously-how does THAT happen?) or walk into the kitchen and get overwhelmed by thoughts of what on earth to make for dinner-then the run is off....and I get grumpy(er). So it seems that if I come home and run to my room and change I am more likely to actually head out for my run. We'll see how long I can keep this up.

Anyway, so there I was, on my evening run. It was dark. Warm...what? Yes, 65 degrees on Nov. 28, and raining. What is up with this weather here lately? It is too warm. It's almost December for crying out loud. As I ran along in my neighbor(ing)hood I felt the soft pitter patter of rain on my cheeks. My shirt was getting wet and my hair was turning into a tangled rat's nest mess of wet hair. I closed my eyes, for just a few steps, or feet, or yards, and let the rain hit my face. It reminded me of my time running in the rain in the PNW. I wont beat a dead horse with that, but it felt good...then I almost ran into a basketball goal and had to open my eyes. Yeah, I would not recommend running with your eyes closed. It's not safe.

Our Thanksgiving weekend was great. We hung around the house on Thursday then headed to Colonial Williamsburg for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Just to show you our unseasonably warm weather here is The Hubs and LB playing soccer in the road on Thursday:


Check out his patriotic cast!


And here are some of Colonial Williamsburg:

Me and LB in the jail sell that held Blackbeard's pirates in 1718! Cool!!


LB at the Yorktown Battleground


Have you ever been to Colonial Williamsburg? Are you a history buff? If you could take a weekend trip, on the East coast, where would you go?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Running Thankfully.....

This evening I was able to go for a run when I got home from work. After fighting the I-95 north traffic and the crowd at the grocery store (procrastinate much?) it was nearly dark by the time I got home and dressed for a run. I don't mind running in the dark. Thankfully I feel safe in my neighborhood, aside from a few dogs that always startle me when I run by their fence. Actually in their defense I am sure I startle them when I run by their fence....Either way, our neighborhood is quite around 6 PM, not many cars coming or going, and if I didn't know what time it was I would think it was 10 PM. It's a pleasant place to run. I just wish it had better scenery and offered more distance. BUT, I ran and for that I am THANKFUL!

As I ran I felt really good. My heart rate was low, my breathing good, and my legs felt fresh...well they should since they have done nothing for who-knows-how-long. I began feeling like I could just keep going. Run far. Do a long run! I felt so good! I wanted to keep going. I thought I could easily knock out a 10 mile run, until....UNTIL I got bored out of my gourd. My neighborhood is about as exciting as vanilla. I know, vanilla is delicious, but you get my drift, it is no mint chocolate chip or chocolate chip cookie dough. I lasted 4.5 miles before I headed home, bored stiff.

I've looked for any kind of Turkey Trot for tomorrow morning but haven't had any luck finding one with people, or turkeys (how come you don't spell it turkies??? WEIRD!) for that matter. I guess I'll head out on my own in the morning for another run. My goal is to run 5 days in a row. Do you think I can do it??

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Will you be in the kitchen tomorrow? I will be! I love cooking for Thanksgiving! I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Have You Done Lately?

Nothing.....I have done nothing.

Well that's not true, I did 40 kettle bell swings this afternoon, sat in the sun (it was 70 degrees today) and I drove by a CrossFit gym to "check it out" yesterday. Other than that I flaked on my yoga date with J-Ninja and skipped my weekend runs.

Last week was a doozie for me. I missed work on Monday and went in late almost every day after that due to LB being home and out of school with his broken arm. This had me working later-than-usual hours  and playing catch-up which in turn had me feeling like a Lazy Lima Bean all weekend.

I can't snap out of it.

My trial gym membership purchased 2 weeks ago has been used exactly ONCE. Not good. I just don't have a traditional schedule that allows for lunch breaks. If I have a chance to make it to the gym it is a last minute hole in my schedule and it may or may not be long enough to get my scheduled workout in. BUT I guess something is better than nothing since it is clear I come home and do nothing.

I did register for the Tobacco Road Half's March 18th. Lets see if I can actually train and complete a 13.1. It will be a busy spring. Why is it that all the races I want to do are within about three weeks of each other? Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is April 29th, Big Sur (registered) April 29, White Lake 70.3 is May 5, Blue Ridge Half Marathon is April 21... Do you notice that your favorite races are clustered into one mess of a month?

Anyone doing any Turkey Trots this week? I MUST do one, whether it's my own or an organized event I need to do a Turkey Trot....

And what's your favorite small Thanksgiving Dinner recipe? I'm doing a small dinner for just me, LB and The Hubs, nothing big. I've got my trusty Cranberry Sauce Recipe, I'm debating between Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie. The Hubs is lobbying hard for garlic mashed potatoes...and I'm opting out of the trusty Green Bean Casserole. So any veggie suggestions? I think I should stick to running....

Friday, November 18, 2011

Knee Deep...A Margaritaville Review

Wishing I was knee deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky breeze and it don't seem fair
Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair
Sunrise there's a fire in the sky
Never been so happy
Never felt so high
And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise

-Knee Deep, Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffett

Have I ever told you how much I love Jimmy Buffett? No? Wow, surprising. Well, I do. I love Jimmy. He just sings songs straight from my heart, he speaks seemingly from my soul. I think I was born to be a beach bum, to live in a hut on a beach, with the sun on my skin, the salty wind in my hair and sand in my toes. Not a care in the world....Doesn't that sound nice? How can this small town, Oklahoma farm girl feel such a draw to the ocean? Weird.

Imagine my excitement when I was given the opportunity to review of pair Margaritaville/Jimmy Buffett polarized sunglasses! Of course I pleaded for some concert tickets, a ride on his boat to/from/around Margaritaville, a meet and great...but I'll take what I can get, the sunglasses are a good start.

Here they are, the Calypso in red!   Love them!


Funny story about why I chose the red sunglasses. When I was dating The Hubs, about 8 and a half years ago, I had a sweet (cheap) pair of red sunglasses. I loved them. They looked cute. That was about it. We were at the lake and chilling on a dock when somehow, for some reason, he had me peering over the edge of the dock and PLOP! My beloved red sunglasses sunk to the bottom of Clear Lake. I have missed them ever since. So of course when I saw that Margaritaville had a pair of similar red sunglasses I chose them immediately.


But maybe you aren't the red sunglasses kind of guy/gal. Not to worry! There are other colors like white, tortoise, black and blue or even a lot of really awesome different frames to chose from! Like these sweet, fighter pilot looking aviator-ish Hemisphere glasses:


Things I liked about my Red Calypso Polarized Sunglasses:

-They passed The Hat Test. Yes, they fit on my face while wearing a hat. Many times hats have to be worn high on the head, or at least my head, because the glasses hit on the brim. Well these fit nicely with different types of hats with no problems at all. SCORE!

-They are light weight. I thought they might be heavy. I have a pair of Maui Jim frames that are comparable in style, price, and quality except they are HEAVY. Not the Margaritaville frames! They are light weight and don't leave red patched on the bridge of my nose like the Maui Jims.

-Work for casual wear and active wear! I wore these for a run AND to the local Veteran's Day parade! I can work out in these and wear them for normal, not running related activities. They are my new go-to driving sunglasses!

-They are pretty darn cute. Self-explanatory.

What Margaritaville says about their polarized lenses:

MPT® polarized lenses by Margaritaville® are where state-of-the-art optical science meets fun-in-the-sun protection. Optimal visual clarity is our mission and we offer performance unmatched by any other lens technology on the beach or at sea.

We craft our optics with your lifestyle in mind. MPT® Polarized Lenses exceed industry standards for safety, and our fused MPT® Polarization Technology exceeds all existing eyewear industry standards for optical quality, value and durability. For more read HERE.

These sunglasses are awesome, down to the smallest detail! Like the Integrated Leash Loop and Low Profile Leash! Who would want/need that? you ask....well, recall my Sunglass-In-The-Lake story? Yeah, if I had had a leash on my glasses they would not have made their way to the bottom of the lake!


There is way too much info about these to include here on my single blog post. All you need to know is they are having a KILLER sale right now so visit their website and peruse around! Who knows, maybe youll find the erfect pair of sunglasses for yourself or someone on your Christmas list!!! Check them out HERE.....

Now excuse me, I have a plane to catch....heading to the beach!!

Not. I wish though......

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Marathon

....of sorts. A post about LB for the family....and you all too since you are like family too....

I think I'd rather have put myself through a brutal, untrained-for marathon...

Sunday afternoon, when I was supposed to be recovering from a marathon LB was being a 6 year old boy tying to walk on a fence, balancing like a squirrel, or maybe Spiderman, I'm not sure. I had a difficult time explaining the fence to people then I decided to just post a pic. It was this kind of fence:


I looked out my kitchen window and saw our neighbor setting LB over the fence into our yard, he began hobbling home. Then there was the tears and the "where does it hurt?" game. After about 40 min of looking at his arm, trying to conduct some tests (that I have no business conducting, but I've played a doctor on TV) I concluded that I should at least take him to the ER, get an x-ray, receive some Tylenol and be sent home as an over-reactive mother. Better safe than sorry.

After about 4 hours waiting in the ER we finally got a jillion x-rays around 9 PM.

Yes, of course I took pictures...I'm a mom.


By 9:30 the verdict was in: supracondylar type three fracture of his humorous. Ouch. I was shocked. I figured it was just bruised....Then the kicker-the only way to fix it was surgery and inserting three pins.

LB was a trooper and decided at that point he just wanted to go home. I agreed, let's go....But we had no choice, he was prepped for surgery and by 10 I was in the waiting room and he was in surgery. I called The Hubs to let him know what was going on and from Boston there was nothing he could do.

By 11 LB was in recovery. By 2:30 AM I was watching some sort of Batman cartoon with LB who was spaced out on morphine.


We made it home Monday by noon and the rest is history. We've been chillaxing, watching cartoons, eating popcorn, drinking know, all the important things.

He has to go back in next week for his hard cast and I will be first in line to sign it.

As for training/running...I did get in a 4.5 mile run this weekend, before the incident! My awesome neighbor and I traded kid-sitting so each of us was able to get in a run. I'm hoping this is the beginning of a beautiful runlationship! This coming weekend I think, I hope, I can convince The Hubs to sit on three kids so we can actually run together! Mark my words-I will have her running her first half-marathon with me before the Army takes her and her family away from me in 6 months.

How was your weekend? Any advice on how to deal with LB's arm? How the heck do I put a shirt on him? This is still a mystery!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This Time Tomorrow...

....I will have missed OBX marathon.

I have only registered and missed one race since I began doing road races and that was an Iron Girl 10k in Seattle. I registered but for some reason I decided to go home to OK to see my family that weekend instead. Missing that 10k was hard....missing this marathon is down right depressing. On one hand, I am proud of myself for making the smart choice to sit this one out. But, yes there is alway a but, on the other hand I am totally disappointed in myself for letting my training slip, for just not doing it. Each and every day I made the conscious decision to not follow my plan. I kicked my shoes under my bed, or maybe in my closet (it's bad that I have no idea where my running shoes are) and just ignored them. They would call to me and I would cover my ears. And squeeze my eyes shut. And rock back and forth....ok not quite that bad but you get the drift.

A few things are going on here.

FIRST: My flame is so weak, although it gets going at times-see Tuesday's post-but it just has nothing to sustain it for more than one teeny tiny moment. I have lost my mojo, my spark, my desire. I know where it is and why it has gone and I can't really beat myself up for it.

I had a dream that I was walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Weird I know. I hear a voice that said to me, "You are in the Valley of the Shadow of Death." And I looked around and it was beautiful. Green and lush. But it was dark and in the shadow of a very large mountain that looked cold and smokey. It was weird but I knew in my dream that I had to just keep walking, away from the mountain and out of the valley. I knew once I got out of that valley every thing would be different. So I walked....with the tune of Gansta's Paradise thumping in my dream. I know it just sounds crazy but I feel like this dream pretty much sums up where I am right now. Everything around me is beautiful and good, but I am in a dark shadow. I'll get through it, it's just a shadow, if I keep moving.

SECOND: I kinda like tri's now, like I like them more than just road races-and yes, I did say "just road races". The road running here in this part of the state I live in is, how do I say this...lacking, disappointing, lame, boring, not satisfying....I have tried for over a year. I got here on October 20, 2010 and have been tying to keep my flame going since then. It has been a struggle with the lack of sidewalks, road shoulders, trails, running partners, you name it. To put it plain and simple-I was spoiled by the PNW. Running will never be the same for me. Period. The only thing that came close to filling the void of my running buddies, routes, and favorite races of Washington is the triathlon scene here in NC. That lit a fire in me and I was happy this summer. I felt the rush of energy as I held on for dear life-literally-down hills on Nelly CIRN, as I swam through flailing arms, and I collapsed crossing the finish line. So maybe I have truly been taken to the dark side....triathlete. I can't wait until tri season rolls around again! But I don't think this means I can't enjoy a road race here and there.

THIRD: Absence of racing. I haven't done a race since my last triathlon in mid August. Even that one was not supposed to be my last. I had a few more on the calendar after that but once school started and my job kicked in life got difficult to juggle. But either way I have an urge to race. I should be racing tomorrow but I'm not. You, or at least I, can't just show up for 26.2. I think the next race I'll do is Ryan's Reindeer 5k in December. We did this one last year and it was fun. So I'm looking forward to it.

FOURTH: I need new shoes. I miss my Asics Kayano. My Saucony's have been nice but I think I have heard my feet complaining and I swear my left one said something about the good ole days with Kayano....So maybe it's time.

SO there you have true confessions this OBX, I sure wish I was lacing up for the marathon tomorrow. Guess I'll have to wait until April 29, 2012.

So any true confessions out there? Did my dream totally creep you out? Or maybe you have had dreams that you could analyze perfectly, where you knew exactly what it was telling you?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

On Track...

...not literally on a track, that would have been cool, but I'm talking about being on track with my new training plan.

Day one of Big Sur Marathon and White Lake 70.3 training.... and I already messed up on my training plan....Don't worry though, instead of missing a workout or not completing the workout I totally OVERACHIEVED.

Today I checked out a gym near my job and was able finagle a one month trial to see how much I am able to use it during the week and if I like it before purchasing an official membership since I actually live an hour away. I will say it was a pretty awesome facility and even more awesome to get in a swim and a run on my lunch hour. Maybe this is why I overachieved today?

Today's workout was to be a 2 mile run and 500 m swim.....


But I accidentally ran 3 miles and swam 1100 m. Ooops....

In creating this plan I started out very conservative, as you can see. Week 1's total mileage is only 17 miles. If you recall my last post though, I am starting over at square one. It feels like I am completely rebuilding my base. I am trying to be smart in my build so I can avoid injury (and burnout). Also, if you will notice I have TWO rest days. This is pretty awesome! Lets hope I can keep the momentum! Tomorrow its a 5 mile run and a bike ride on the trainer.

It feels good to be on track again. I know it wont always be easy and I may miss a day-or two, but hopefully not three- and that's OK. Sometimes, these days, I just don't feel like doing anything (except finding chocolate). My struggle with the run over the last year has been a difficult one, but I am doing my best to hang on by the skin of my teeth (what does that even mean???) and I know one day it will all fall into place-again. 

When did running fall into place for you? How did you know when it fell into place?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Square One


I just got back from a 3.25 mile run.

The only thing I was thinking the whole time is "Wow, is this really how I feel? This is me starting over. At square ONE. Ugh...."

But it is time, I must get back on track. My diet has gone to pot, sugar and carbs galore! My running has gone to pot...sporadic at best. Who is in control here? Certainly not ME! Not the me I know I am....this is the lazy, sluggish, down-in-the-dumps me, the me who is moping because I am not going to toe the line at OBX next weekend....I have never missed a registered race before and let me tell you, this is a blow to my moral.

I know that attempting 26.2 next weekend is asking for trouble. The smart thing to do is to sit this one out. Maybe next year....

In an attempt to jump start my motivation J-Ninja and I devised a plan that will train us up for Big Sur Marathon on May 1 followed by White Lake 70.3 Redemption on May 7th. That's right, I am going to have a repeat of my half ironman! With one under my belt I am hoping for an improvement.

Yes. We realize this is going to be nuts-a marathon then 6 days later a 70.3. BUT-our training plan starts tomorrow, with a rest day of course, and spans 26 weeks. This will be ample time to train up for the 26.2 with conservative bike and swim workouts throughout. Unlike last year's plan, this year I actually have not one but TWO rest days scheduled in. Boooyow! The plan is realistic, smart, conservative, and perfect! I have full confidence it will get us to the finish line of both races.

We discussed our strategy for completing Big Sur 26.2 with our 70.3 in mind. With proper training and race strategy it shouldn't be a problem. So here's to hoping having this ambitious goal will snap me out of my training rut. I will not miss Big Sur!

So what do you think? Crazy plan? Of course it is!!

Congrats to everyone who ran NYC ING Marathon today!! I can't wait to read all the recaps!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Winter stinks......

....but with a fireplace, preferably with a warm, cozy fire glowing, a cup of coffee, some deliciously frumpy fat pants, a hoodie, and a good book, the dark and cold winter months aren't so arduous.

I thought I would share some of my favorite running-themed books in case you were looking for a good read to snuggle up with.

The first book on my pile is Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives , by Mina Samuels.


Talk about a pick-me-up, feel-good book! This book covers topics that certainly could have been taken right out my mouth, and from any the conversations heard during any and all of my runs with a close running buddy. I love this book because it takes the stories of real women and their experience of coming to terms with themselves, as women of all shapes and sizes and talents, and discovering that "fit is the new thin". It speaks to being proud of our accomplishments and seeing them for what they are...Its' chapters capture the female audience's attention with titles such as, Rising to the (Almost) Daily Challenge, Fit is the New Thin, and Chicking the Boys. If you are looking for an easy, entertaining read that will have you lacing up your tennies and longing for a sweat (even if it's dark, cold and wet outside) this this is the book for you! And "our mission..."according to one of the athletes in Mina's book, "..should we chose to accept it, is to do our best, and let our accomplishments speak for themselves..." So there you have, go run like a girl and be proud!

Second on my reading list is Long May You Run. All. Things. Running. by Chris Cooper.

One word: Awesome. 


And for cool points he wrote me a little note on the inside.


This book is pretty much like a perfectly thought-out random conglomeration of running! It's like a go-to running guide for noobs and oldies alike, with topics like Run Under a Full Moon. What? What a random, glorious idea! As a matter of fact, when is the next full moon? And to stoke your running fire a bit more he talks about the Mystic Runners Full Moon 5k in Wakefield, Mass. Anyone live near there? He has awesome quotes sprinkled throughout to get you where you need to be, mentally and physically, such as "Refueling within thirty minutes after a run is key." (Hazel Clark, 5 time US 800 m champion and member of the 2008 Olympic team). And another great quote by Pete Pfitzinger "If you feel great during a run, go farther than you planned. If something hurts do not force yourself to keep running." Excellent advice that I know we all could hear....This is just a fun, interesting book that brings the excitement and newness back to running, if you find yourself in a rut (like me...). This is a great bedside or coffee table book that can be read all at once or in bits and pieces. You'll be sure to walk away from it with a smile and a new item for your Bucket List.

The third book on my list is Lynda Drews' Run at Destruction, a True Fatal Love Triangle.


I received this book from Lynda quite a long time ago. I started reading it and kind of walked away from it for a while. Not to say it wasn't good but mostly I got busy and had a lot of other things to do (like study for my licensure exam) and reading for pleasure went by the way side. It is a true story set in the early 80's when women were just emerging in the running, recreation and competitive scene. This story kind of hit home since it was about runners, women, like you and me (and men for my male readers), who met for long runs and training runs, they went to races and socialized togehter. But this story has a  sad, deadly twist that truly disturbed me. So if you like suspense and mystery books then this one is a real treat because it is not only a mystery but it is about running and the characters could be anyone among your or my running crowd, seemingly normal, happy runners....So look around you....this book makes you wonder. Some people don't like murder mysteries. I know it was a little much for me to read while The Hubs was in Afghanistan and I was home alone, meeting my running buddies many times a week. But otherwise, I would say it was an enjoyable read and it made me truly appreciate my running buddies.

The last book I will review for you is Runner's World, The Runner's Diet: The Ultimate Eating Plan That Will Make Every Runner (and Walker) Leaner, Faster, & Fitter by Madelyn H. Fernstrom, PhD, CNS


Pretty much, I haven't been able to implement a lot of thngs in this book, yet. But it does provide valuable information and pointers on analyzing your eating habits and activity patterns so as to really honestly look at what we are putting into our bodies. The book discusses the Best-Choice Carbohydrates and serving sizes. In it's pages I found pointers such as: Calories count, even when you'll be exercising and using some. Duh...but really, guilty! It also states: Carbohydrates give you quick energy, but you will need to avoid sugar/fat combinations or other refined-carbohydrate sources -BINGO!!! This step alone resulted in a 13 pound weight loss for me since July. It works people! So if your looking to to tweak your diet and avoid the Marathon Training Weight Loss Plateau, or worse the Marathon Training Weight Gain (GASP!!! It happens!!) or are wanting to figure out how to shed the last, hardest 5 pounds, this book may just have a few tips and sound advice that will help you become leaner, faster, and fitter.

There you have most recent reading list. What do you think? Have you read any of these? Any of them peak your interest? What have you read that I should put on my list? And seriously, do you curl up by the fireplace in the winter?


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