Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snowball effect

I am having an incredibly grumpy Christmas Eve morning here at WORK and am trying hard to snap out of it. This snow is killing me. I've let it get in the way of my workouts (I was supposed to try crossfit this week, I was supposed to go for a long run, etc.) and I haven't been further than walking distance since last Friday but now it has gone too far. How the hell am I driving to my Mom's today?

I have to snap out of it. I am so lucky and so grateful for all the things and people in my life. Feeling like I am missing out on a run is a luxury. Going out shopping is a luxury. Going to spend Christmas with my family is a luxury.

I just need to figure out how to do it with minimal stress and maximum safety.

In my attempt to de-funk I have been listening to Christmas carols and leave it to Kermit T. Frog to remind me of the most important tenant of the holiday:

(You just always learn something from the muppets, huh?)

The Christmas Wish

Kermit: I don't know if you believe in Christmas
Or if you have presents underneath the Christmas tree
But if you believe in love
That will be more than enough
For you to come and celebrate with me

For I have held the precious gift that love brings
Even though I never saw a Christmas star
I know there is a light
I have felt it burn inside
And I have seen it shining from afar

All: Christmas is the time to come together
A time to put all differences aside

Kermit: And I reach out my hand
To the family of Man

All: To share the joy I feel at Christmas time

Kermit: For the truth that binds us all together
I would like to say a simple prayer
That at this special time
You will have true peace of mind
And love to last throughout the coming year

(flute solo)

And if you believe in love
That will be more than enough
For peace to last throughout the coming year


All: And peace on earth will last throughout the year


 

Maybe we should shut down the fire department in the name of water conservation.

Maybe the next time you call 911 the dispatcher should try to arrange a carpool for your ambulance to reduce your carbon footprint.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

08, you been great

2008 is well is winding up much faster than I thought it would. It has been a great year overall. I was introduced to a new sport (triathlon) which I have come to love, new friends (TNT and others) who I came to admire, and a new outlook on my life which I really have come to adopt.

I am still not sure what caused the temporary loss of sanity that allowed me to sign up for Team in Training in January but whatever it was I am SO GRATEFUL for it and hope that everyone has a moment where they err on the side of ridiculous and have it turn out for the better.

I would NEVER have thought I could train for a triathlon AND fundraise for a charity. It is just not my thing (for example I only got the lowest tier of prizes when we sold Girl Scout Cookies because I sold so few boxes). But the TEAM made it worth it for me to go outside my comfort zone and ask people to contribute. I learned enough about the LLS to feel really committed to the cause and I was SO proud of myself and my TEAM when I saw how much we money we rose. There is something about sweating with people at the crack of dawn on a Saturday that hastens relationships.

Running in 2007 made me feel accomplished but I still did hate running; triathlon made me feel accomplished but it was also FUN! I love that I got to swim again, I am ecstatic that I got back on a bike, and running has truly become a pleasure. I saw so much more of Seattle on my bike and learned that open water swimming (even in a lake) was fun.

Marathon training was a learning experience too. I think what I am the most proud f is not running the Tucson Marathon, it is devoting my Saturdays to running long distances, by myself, with no spectators or aid stations. Just me and my feet. Learning about how far I could go if I really tried.

I joke with friends that 27 is my year of yes. I want to keep myself open to new challenges and stepping outside of my comfort zone….it has taken me 27 years to realize that some of my greatest experiences have required pushing through boundaries.

8 from 2008:

  1. Signed up with Team in Training and my life hasn't been the same since.
  2. New job which has reminded me that I'm no slouch when it comes to my field of work
  3. Moving to Seattle which has let me try out the lifestyle I've always imagined for myself (I walk to work! Awesome!)
  4. My first triathlon which revealed a fascinating world that I've not even scratched the surface of
  5. Have fallen madly in love (with my iPhone…how'd I live without it before?)
  6. FINALLY voted for a winner in a presidential election!!!!
  7. Made a new friend who inspires me to have the courage to figure out what I want and take the necessary risks to make it happen
  8. I ran a freaking Marathon

Were there let downs in 08? You betcha. Could I have done more? Sure. Worked harder? Absolutely. (hehe, this sounds like Don Rumsfield (Sec. of Defense `01-`06)) But I have certainly gotten to the place where I can appreciate the highlights and take the low points as areas that need work.

I can't believe this year's almost over…bring on `09


 


 


 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Alcatraz or not?

On a whim I entered the random drawing for a slot at Escape from Alcatraz triathlon in June.

And I got it.

Now, do I go for it?

Pros:
it is a COOL tri to do
gives me a hard date and defined goal for early in the season
I'll feel like a jerk if I got the slot and don't take it


Cons:
I would be racing alone :(
Cost? (nah, I could drive down and it would be a pretty neat trip)

Hmmm...I have until 1/9/09 to register.

Monday, December 15, 2008

World's longest race report, part 2: running

Marathons are butterflies and sunshine (miles 1-4)
A few steps into the race, I remember looking over to Speedy and saying with excitement and fear in my voice "We just started a marathon!" Carrying my iPhone was going OK so far and at 8am I got a reminder from my calendar that I was running the Tucson Marathon (it made me chuckle). The sun had just risen and the desert glowed in the morning sunlight. There were a few locals out and we waved and hammed it up for them. Around mile 3 there was a garage sale. They were selling a bike and I asked Speedy how much she thought it was going for (hindsight later made me wish we actually had bought it). We were holding around 10minute/mile pace which Speedy kept reminding me was too fast for us and for the first half but I FELT GREAT and just couldn't fathom why we would slow down.

Running is fun! (miles 5-9)
I honestly just felt in the groove here. The course was beautiful and I was just picking off the miles. I felt sort of hungry/rumbly in the tummy but I decided it was just nerves and I needed to relax and enjoy the run. Speedy and I were able to have intermittent conversation and wound up running with a woman who was also doing her first full. We all chatted for a bit which I thought was great since it meant we weren't pushing too hard in the first half (as per GuySmiley). Then I sighted the first porta-potty. I was happy to see it UNTIL I stepped in and saw that it was (so as not to be too graphic) left out of order by the previous user. Hmmm, OK, I said to myself, I'll use the next one. We had slowed a bit to a 10.5 min/mile pace which I was happy with.

Training has done me good (miles 10-16)
These miles were starting to be tough but I could feel all of the miles I'd put into training. My legs felt strong and I was THRILLED to be through the halfway point. The temperature was still pretty comfortable but I had heated up enough to the point where I had to ditch my fave fleece running vest. My stomach was feeling...heavy and a bit gurgle-y but otherwise I was having a great run. At this point Speedy tried asking me about my job and I could not for the life of me answer. I was looking forward to seeing some spectators at mile 18. This may be a time to mention the hills. This course was advertised as a downhill course but they failed to mention that there were PLENTY of rollers to contend with. I was also feeling the pavement a bit since I had been training on a mix between pavement and dirt, the slope of the road was also a bigger deal than I expected and the sligt curve was making me a bit uncomfortable.

Why I should never listen to SpeedyDMD (miles 17-18)
Mile 17 is where my stomach started yelling at me. I was so sick to my stomach. My feet were performing fine but my innards were rebelling! I didn't know what to do. Speedy wasn't feeling too hot eaither, her legs were hurting and she wanted to walk. My idea was that we try to get to mile 20 running and then figure out our next move but in teh middle of mile 17 my stomach was so upset I had to walk. Speedy was glad for the break but we were both slightly freaked. We made a plan: we would run to the mile markers for the marathon then walk the 0.1mile between the marathon and half marathon marker.
So we did...

1st Marathon DNF (mile 19)
Mile 19 I was SO SICK. I didn't know what to do. I used a porta potty again and tried to breathe through it a bit. I was scared though. As much as we joked about not finishing I honestly never thought I wouldn't. I always felt like I would cross the finsih line on my own two feet. As much as I joked about dying on the course I never really thought I'd have to be driven back. But at mile 19, I did. I just didn't know how to make myself feel well enough to run anymore.
But Speedy started running at the mile marker and so did I and once I got running I could maintain it. So we carried on like that, I would keep us running then we'd walk that 0.1mile and she would get us going again. I have never needed a friend as much as I needed her that morning and I felt like she needed me too. It helped a lot.

Why I should never listen to SpeedyDMD, part 2 (miles 20-23)
Here is where I started getting mad. I was pissed at the freaking race. the was NO WAY I was going to let it defeat me...I am WAY too stubborn for that. I wanted to just get it behind me because it was really annoying me to no end. I was mad that I had spent so much energy being sick to my stomach when my legs were performing exactly as I wanted them to. I was mad that I couldn't get myself back on track physically or mentally. I was just mad.
Si Se Puede (miles 24-25)
Here is where we realized it would take a miracle to finish under 5hours. For me this was deflating, fopr Speedy it motivated her (we would have had to do the last 2.2miles in 18minutes in the condition we were in). But I did relish in the fact that the home stretch was in front of me and I had come WAY too far not to just figure out a way to finish. Speedy's bpyfriend caught up with us and ran with her, which mad eme smile and gave her a bit of a kick and we seperated for the first time that day.

Did I accidently sign up for an ultra? What if mile marker 26 never comes? What if I throw up and die with less than 1/2mile to go? (mile 26)
OK, I started feeling defeated again...WHERE WAS MILE 26? I started walking around 25.7miles and was inconsolable until I saw mile marker 26.


HOLY CRAP (and please don't pass out right after crossing the finish line)! (mile 26-26.2)
Jubilation, I ran that mother in. Speedy had finsihed ~1minute ahead of me and we smiled and took breathless pics. We did it! It wasn't perfect and it wasn't pretty but it really did feel sweet.




Stats and deep thoughts to come tommorrow.











World's longest race report, part 1: pre race

**the focus on food will become clear later
Thur, 12/4/08: Left work at 4:45 for my 6:30pm flight to Pheonix. Grabbed a burrito at the airport and hoppend on a plane to get my marathon adventure started!
Saw Buddy1 for the first time in a year. SO GREAT!


Fri, 12/5/08: Bagel for breakfast then spent the day shopping and hanging out with my buddy and her girls. We got costco for lunch (which is my FAVE!) and hung out waiting for buddy2 to drive in from CA. We held dinner for her and by the time the tortilla soup was served I was FAMISHED.



Sat, 12/6/08: Up, grab a bagel and ready to head over to Tucson. Before we left I was saying goodbye to buddy1's girls. The 2 year old asked me where we were going. I told her that I was going to be running REALLY far the next day. She thought for a second and then said, "maybe you can borrow my mom's car!" Ah, from the mouths of babes comes true wisdom.

I bought myself and my 2 college buddies tickets to the pasta dinner where we were going to meet up with Speedy and her man. As per usual at these events the pasta dinner is an early bird special and started at 5pm. My friends wanted to skip lunch and wait until pasta time before eating; there was NO way I could make it that long so I insisted we stop and I grabbed a bagel and latte at the 'Bucks.

We found our hotel which was super nice, a great pool and sauna (which we did not use) and fire pits outside the bar area. Then it was time to see SpeedyDMD and meet her new beau. She looked great! And, even better, she felt good. Her foot wasn't hurting and now we could focus on the sheer terror of running a marathon.

We hit up the expo and chattered about our fueling regimines. I said these words "I think I have come to the conclusion that fueling is not as important as it seems, I did my 18miler without anything and felt fine."

Then came the pasta dinner. We LOVED our pasta dinner experience from last year so we went into it with high expectations.
IT ROCKED! GuySmiley, the M.C. was there again and there was a guest speaker. We sat at a table with a creepy old guy (we both thought so) and a creepy younger guy (although I think he was just hard of hearing or uninterested in our witty banter). Then we got showered with love and a door prize for being 1st time marathoners! There were games and questions and a lot of emphasis that on this course you MUST take it easy in the first half and try to have a negative split (cue music indicative of something important). As the place cleared out we got personal good wishes from some hottie Canadian runner boys and I thought, "too bad they'll be finished and home and showered before I get to the finish line...on 2nd thought, better that they don't see me post marathon."

My Buddies wanted to rush back to the hotel to do nothing which bummed me out and made me sit around being nervous. I pinned my bib on, attatched my timing chip and laid out my clothes. Then we decided to go sit around the cute fire pits at the hotel to kill time before I went to bed (SpeedyDMD slept at her own place). Sleep was good and I sprung out of bed at 4am, threw on my clothes and went to the lobby to wait for Speedy. But instead she called me sounding frantic! She lost her timing chip! She was freaked!

We SEARCHED her car and all her bags and I emailed the race director in vain hopes that she has a fancy pants phone too. But alas...nada! The line to park was a mile long and not moving so she dropped me off and I jogged (ugh...just shows I love her cause I was NOT planning on doing a warmup mile!) to find a race official. When I did he basically told me she was screwed. We boarded the bus, dejected. I was sad that Speedy was sad. We attempted to make the best of it and decided to run together and then my time would be her time. I was scared about this plan. She had finished the 1/2M 25minutes ahead of me the year before (I was ~2min/mile slower than her...hence her nickname) but I felt like we could give it a try and if she needed to leave me she was free.

At the start line we went to the stage and Pam Reed herself relived all of our stress by getting Speedy a new chip and a new perspective on the day.

We were ready!

We hit the porta-potties (where sadly I had performance anxiety) and dropped our gear.



As I ran I kept rewriting the tittle of my race report, so I will break the report down into those discreet segments:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Self-esteem of the Rich and Esteemed

I just read this article about Oprah's most recent weight gain and it makes me so sad and somewhat upset and somewhat relieved.

Whether or not you drink the Oprah Kool-Aid you have to admit she is pretty BAD ASS. She is a powerful and influential woman who drives her own agenda and has used her success to better the lives of others. But even she feels ashamed of herself and uncomfortable with her body. Even for her, what historically/biologically, is a basic need for all living things, food is a demon. If Oprah were my friend I know I would be so sad that she let her body image cloud the amazing person she (appears) to be. I would be livid that something as simple as her weight made her feel ashamed even for a minute.

It upsets me that we've been pestering this poor woman about her weight for >20years and that some people almost revel in the fact that All-Powerful-Oprah can't get her weight under control. I hate how women treat each other and themselves. A firend and I discussed the other day how absolutely shocked we are that friends don't consider themselves beautiful yet, if you asked me about myself, I would NEVER describe myself that way either. It disgusts me that when insults fly one of the first and often most hurtful thing a woman gets called is FAT. How did that become a slur?

I'm relieved because it reminds me that weight is a struggle no matter who you are. I need to stop wishing that I could have a different body and remember all of the incredible things I can do with the one I already have. I guess it is also nice to know that we are all works in progress, even when someone looks completely polished.

So Oprah, my fellow marathoner (hehe), stop being so hard on yourself.



Disclaimer: I have never been an Oprah fan specifically, I've not ever seen The Color Purple, I don't reader her books and I've never been a regular Oprah Winfrey Show watcher.

Back to normal except for

I have now RUN a MARATHON!!!

Had some unexpected technical difficulties toward the end (ok, last 9 miles or so) but I am still very happy to be a part of the marathon club.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Point/Counterpoint

Well, I leave for AZ in 8.5hours and I must say…I am tired.

I feel kind of numb about the whole situation. It feels like it has been too long since my 20+ mile runs and I just am scared that my body will let me down or worse that I've not prepared it the way I should/could have.

It doesn't help the situation that I have a weird mucus-y throat and am just overall not feeling 100%. I am also not excited that they are calling for a high of 73F on race day.


 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I am so excited to get down to AZ and see my friends and one friend's little girls. They are such little characters and I love hearing her talk about them. They were so fun to be around last year and I can't wait to see them again. 1 year is a LONG time in a 3 year-old's life. Then we get to drive to Tucson and I sprung for a pretty nice hotel that I am jazzed about. SpeedyDMD will be there and we can snark away at the pasta dinner.

My playlist is established, though I never figured out how to link 2 tracks together so that my podcasts will play continuously. I brought my old nano as a back-up iPod.

Shoes, hat, sports beans, vest, shorts, jogbra, shirt are all packed and raring to go.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Speed-ster

My virtual running buddy SpeedyDDS (which BTW I just noticed that her credentials are actually DMD) called me last night to say her foot is still hurt. I am SO bummed. I'm sad for her and kind of sad for me too. Her plan is to still sign up for the race but rest her foot completely until race day and decide how she feels.

Since I've been thinking about her a lot I wanted to share a bit about her.

Number one, I feel like I owe my running life to her. And really a good piece of my sanity too. The story (I tell often) goes that our housemate from college got married during the Vegas half-marathon 2006! Well when Speedy and I got together with Roomie afterwards we were sad that we hadn't been in running shape to be a part of her big day, so Speedy said "Let's be ready to run her anniversary half-M next year!" For whatever reason, this motivated me enough to get started and I truly can't tell those two how much it has changed me.

What I love most about Speedy is that we are kindled spirits in our levels of sarcasm and good-humored cynicism. She is one of the few people that I could talk to about my fear of dying on the side of the road where I simultaneously feel better about it and more certain that it is going to happen. I think we both thrive off of negative motivators (which is TABOO with Team in Training!) so I love her for that.

She is one of the most internally motivated people I know so I have deep respect for that. I have no doubt that she has the determination to be an IRON-woman if she set her mind to it…even though right now she says she swims like a rock (hehe). Sometimes I worry that she pushes herself too much; I am certain (in my medical opinion) this injury is from overtraining because she is a workhorse and pushes herself pretty hard.

She is also amazingly supportive. When she heard that I was training for a tri with TNT she passed my donation letter to her family and got them to contribute in my name. She was always interested in how it was going and, even better, she let me snark about scary Tri-stuff like cycling in the rain and swimming in lakes with dead bodies.

It was so much fun last year to have a snarky buddy to go to the expo and pasta dinner with. Together we don't move past our fears but instead see the humor in them. Tonight we're signing up for the race together at the same time so our numbers will hopefully be next to each other. This was her idea to make remembering our numbers easier for our loved ones should they need to identify a body.

Darn her foot! If she isn't there it just won't be the same.


 


 

+++++

Ran 15miles on Sat, felt really good.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Piece of Cake


Had a short little run of ~12 miles on Saturday. Yes, I just wrote a short 12mile run. It was a really fun run. I spent the night at my Mom's house on Friday and went running on a trail that runs behind her house that I'd only ridden my bike on before. It was a gorgeous day and I really enjoyed the crunchy leaves under my feet.


I wanted to do ~13miles but since I don't know the trail very well I decided to go off of time rather than distance. I started a 1hour podcast and headed out. There was a gnarly downhill before getting on to the trail and I decided to try something new. I RAN down the hill! I know, what a concept. But I always really lean back going downhill and kind of over-control it. But that day I just leaned forward and tried to make my feet faster. It was pretty fun. I ran the entire podcast plus one song before turning around.


It was a nice run, a run I can imagine even after the big-M!

____

2 weeks ago when I ran around the lake a few times and then walked it with a friend we were both totally freaked out when we saw-->

It totally looks like a person calling for help in the water! It was the Sunday after Halloween and a prank that will give me nightmares for many open water swims to come.

Thanks prankster whoever you are...it took me 4 months of lovely open water swims to get over images like this!

Mental


I am so mental right now. Actually, I am realizing I am that way all of the time but its feeling especially pronounced right now. I am having the hardest time convincing myself to run these days. I will push it off- telling myself I'll run in the afternoon, or before dinner, or right after dinner-until I wind up dragging myself to the gym at 10pm and slogging through a run. Last night however I couldn't force myself out of a funk and made it only 10 minutes before a faux-coughing fit made me call it quits.


Tuesday, despite putting it off until the wee hours of the night I did have a great run. I was able to hold my 10K pace for 4miles and included a few 400m speed intervals. Then (!) I hit the pool and got in a 30minute swim. The swimming was hard, due in large part to the fact that I haven't been in the pool since my birthday.


While I was swimming I realized what a self absorbed headcase I can be. It used to (and honestly still does) make me SUPER anxious when I am doing laps in a busy pool area (and for those who haven't had the joy of swimming at a 24hr fitness there is a whole AARP social scene on the pool deck). Here are just a few of the thoughts that swim through my mind:



  1. Are they looking at me?

  2. Are they talking about me?

  3. Is there something going on and I look like a jackass cause I am too busy swimming to notice it?

  4. Do they think my technique sucks?/ Do they think I rock? (this is very dependent on the specific group poolside)

  5. Do they think I am lazy?/Do they think I rock? (see above)

If you notice, the highlight is "me/I/my" and my main concern is what "they" think.


It has gotten better. There was a time when I would get so freaked I'd get out of the pool. Or, more ridiculous, I'd want to get out of the pool but be so worried about what "they" would think that I wouldn't. Now it is more of passing thoughts that kill time but on Sunday my friends pointed out that I need to get over myself. Nobody cares.


In so many areas of my life I am so concerned about looking foolish that I fret over it until the opportunity is lost. In 27 years I have gotten good at convincing myself that I dictate my own actions but I'm starting to see that, often times, the decisions I make are guided by fear.


Funnily enough the above questions could be the ones that I ask myself all the time:



  1. Are they looking at me?

  2. Are they talking about me?

  3. Is there something going on and I look like a jackass cause I am too oblivious
    busy swimming to notice it?

  4. Do they think my approach
    technique sucks?/ Do they think I rock? (this is very dependent on the specific group poolside)

  5. Do they think I am lazy?/Do they think I rock? (see above)

It isn't to say that I never make decisions even when I think the above answers are yes but the more self conscious I am about things the closer I keep them to my chest. And usually it is ridiculous. Examples: (a)When I applied to graduate school I didn't tell anyone that I had applied to Yale because I figured they'd be rolling their eyes inside (and this is despite the fact that I was a damn good student and cracker jack researcher, hehe); (b) I was ~1month into training for my first 5K before I told anyone


But there are too many times when I let my interpretation of answers to the above questions get in my way. Examples: (a) Making a decision about where I want to be career-wise/going back to school; (b) Almost any romantic instance :P


The bottom line though is that if I want to meet my goals (like a marathon or a triathlon or…happiness) I need to stop letting my interpretation of things cloud the fact that I am in charge.




I'll close with a picture of a person who, despite wanting to impress him more than almost anyone, I never feel stupid around. My little SuperNephew.




Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nutrition (and I'm going to be a total girl for a minute)

A note on nutrition

I find that I am WAY less hungry marathon training than I was in the thick of Tri training. I'm not sure why that is. I know swimming seems to bring out the hunger monster in me but I just remember days when I couldn't go more than a few hours without having a snack; it honestly got out of control. But I felt like it was true, honest to goodness hunger and, for a while, I really felt like I was getting good at knowing what I needed. I had worked out how, when and, more importantly, what i needed to eat before a workout. And it was all good.

Then I started mostly running. And I got less hungry. And then I just started eating because I thought I could and because I wanted to. It started out innocently enough, a "reward" type meal after my long runs. Having lunch or dinner the day of my long run at a restaurant I had practiced avoiding. Then the slacking (snacking) continued on for the rest of the day. Then it all went to hell and I'm one step away from having bacon wrapped bacon with a side of gravy for a midday snack.

One of my earliest joys in running was that it let me eat a bit more and still either lose weight or maintain. It was that thought that pushed me through some of my very rough first runs. Even now that I enjoy running MUCH MUCH more it still makes me happy not to have to sit on my hands when I go out to happy hour.

I think though that it's time to get a handle again on the mental side of eating. Eating for hunger=OK, eating for other reasons=not so good. I need to get back to not only eating less but also thinking about nutrition again.


Now, on to being a girl. Despite the above, and despite the fact that the scale says I've not lost one pound, by some miracle of God, I just bought size 6 jeans.
WTF?!?!

Since forever I had always dreamed of a perfect 10.
Then, after some triathlon training, I though WOW! 8 is great!
Now, I can't wash these jeans for some time and the pockets are not so roomy. But wowza (I still feel chubby though and the glass doors on the cubes at work don't help)

_____
today's workout was a spinning class and a 3mile run with a smidge of speedwork. I have been having a low volume week this week because of the weird pain in my leg. I have just done 2 cycling classes this week and an attempted run on Tuesday. Tomorrow I'm gonna try to get a run in after lunch.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Indulgences (and the LONGEST RUN YET!)

I had the a rather thought provoking (and honestly, slightly hilarious) one of my coworkers. He is relatively new at my company but he came to the states from India ~3-4 years ago. My boss was telling him about my marathon and he later came to me to talk about it. It made me reflect a bit about how indulgent these sports can be.

I'll list his questions:
1. Do other people do this?
2. Do you make money off of this?
3. (When I explained that no, indeed I will pay a good chunk of money to enter the race) REALLY?
4. Why?

I thought these were all pretty interesting. Firstly from the perspective of someone who comes from a country (to be fair, he explained to me that his province specifically is overall impoverished and this is not necessarily true everywhere in the country) where people do not have the luxury to waste the time and MONEY on something as trivial as running 26.2 miles to nowhere I imagine it must seem absolutely bizarre. He was honestly shocked when I told him that these events can be huge and you can find a "fun run" type event nearly every weekend day.

The prize money question CRACKS ME UP. I have no idea how the finances work for professional athletes or even serious front of the pack/elites. I have never even been curious enough to find out what the prizes are (though, I did win that one tri and I got a $25 GC!).

The cost of some of these events still shocks me and I did find myself somewhat ashamed to tell him how much I am actually paying for the privilege of running until I want to die.

The last question is not specific to the international set, I have been asked this questions many times and asked myself this question as well. I'm still not sure why the marathon. Pride maybe, health sort of, the ability to eat a ton of crap at happy hour and not sweat it too much, sure. But I definitely know that in the process of training for this marathon (and my Tri TNT training) I have drank the Kool-Aid. Running has changed my life and I never miss the opportunity to evangelize it. The feeling you get when you finish a specific distance or cross a finish line is UNBELIEVABLE. I want everyone to feel that feeling.



++++++++++++++++++++
Separate note:

So I ran 22miles. What a disaster. i think I get why all of the plans have you only go up to
20miles. I feel a total wreck. It took me forever and i was hurting (a weird pain in my right lower leg).

But I finished. Since then I have indulged like never before. I don't think I have stopped eating. It is a weird chain eating that I have got to shake.

+++

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My favorite day

Today is my favorite day of the year!

Election Day is a most special holiday that (usually) only comes once every 2 years. I've always take the day off of school/work because I am useless there on Election Day anyway.

I am all aflutter the entire day because there is such a spirit of togetherness (even though some sour it with dirty Election Day trickery) and a building pulse of change (whether it is the change you want to see or not). I also love it because it is the great equalizer day; we all have one vote. Do what you wish with it but on this day your one vote is your only official word.

Election Day is a great chance to reflect on what the last 2 years have brought, for you, your community, your nation, our world. The last few years have been rough to say the least but I am so looking forward to the change I envision in DC and look forward to what the next few years bring us.

Since this blog is supposed to be documenting how I fit running into the lifestyle equation I have my day planned as such:

7 am

VOTE!

X

7:15

Get into work and start my experiment

X

11:00am

Leave to GOTV in Bellevue

 

Noon-8pm

GOTV!!!

 

8-9pm

go for a run
(while watching returns)

 

9pm-?

Democrat's VICTORY party

 

?-2010

Who knows…

 


 

Good luck to us all!!

 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Back on the horse

Long overdue long run report



well, it is about 4 weeks out until the big marathon. I have missed reporting on my last and longest long run but i want to note it for my record. So I will do so in bullet fashion



18 miler about 3 weeks ago:

This was my hardest long run yet. I'm not sure what my problem was but it was a toughie and I was dragging at the end like never before. My back was killing me afterwards which I hadn't experienced before. I did however find that fantastic bathroom.

2 weeks ago I slacked off for my birthday weekend and had a hard time getting back in the groove.

Last weekend: 20 miles!
I was really nervous about this run. It is the biggie in my training plan. In fact, there is only one 20 mile run included in Hal's plan and I had placed quite a lot of weight on it in my mind.

But it was...ok. Here is a picture of the lovely scenery.

I tested out my iPhone GPS for the first time and was bitterly disappointed in it. I used the fancy bathroom only once (!) but I had to wait FOREVER to get in. I debated running along but figured it was good practice for the actual race (when I did the 1/2 I had to wait in line for the Honey Buckets at mile 6 for ~5-10minutes) .

Oh

and I also ran. A lot.

the running was fine I guess. I have no idea what my pace was doing but I did the 20miles in ~3:45 with the long bathroom break which I am OK with.

I have been trying to notice my stride and turnover but all it did was crack me up. The last few miles I was hardly lifting my feet at all. I tripped every ~100meters. I looked drunk or like I have a neuromuscular disorder.

But overall I am really glad to have done that distance.

This weekend:
The plan was to do a short-long run of about 13miles. I tried on Saturday and it was not happening. I only made it 1.5miles out before turning around. Today I did 8.5miles and walked another 3 or so with a friend. Not what I wanted but it will do.

The plan for the next few weeks:
Next weekend (11/9), 20miles probably on a new path (one with a few hills so yikes!)
The weekend after (11/16) 15miles (I want to find a half marathon for this weekend)
The weekend after (11/23) 19 miles (this is according to Hal, though to me 20 is more mentally satisfying)
The weekend after (11/30)- 8miles cause I should be tapering now!
The weekend after (12/7) AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH


That's the plan. Now if I can keep mentally and physically healthy all the better!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My B-fit-day challenge video

video

With the help of my crazy (nightowl) Mom, I did my Gold challenge from Midnight-~3:30am on my birthday. It was such a fun way to spend my birthday and a fun time with my mom. PLUS, we went to breakfast right afterwards and they gave me free birthday pie. can't go wrong with that.

27 has started out hectic but if it is as great as 26 was, it's fine by me!

I wanted to post a list of the things that Triathlon has brought into my world but time slipped away from me. Just looking around me in this room, there is a wetsuit hanging on the closet door, a road bike and a set of old tires (that were changed with my own hands), Team in training paraphernalia galore, and these are just the material items...it would take a lot longer to list the intangibles1

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Slacker

For shame, I have not run (or biked or swam) in 4 days. And I just realized I only have 6 more weeks until the marathon.

My last workout was the equivalent of an Oly Tri. I did my B-fit-day challenge and got gold! It was fun and silly and a great way to spend the day. I will post later because my Mom was there as SAG support and cheerleader/photographer.

I gotta get back on the horse and my nice little 4mile run tonight oughtta do it. Then I'm hitting a spinning class (may reverse that order but we get the drift right).

My Team in Training teammates are all signing up to do the Victoria 70.3…I want to do it with those guys again SO bad but I just can't imagine fundraising $3000. It is so daunting. Even more so than a half ironman.

Monday, October 13, 2008

For reals

I for real, for real ran 18miles this Sat and it was…pretty awful. The majority of the run was pretty nice. It was a gorgeous day and, despite heading out kind of late (12:50pm) I was ready to run the day away. Again I didn't carry water, because I HATE IT. I need to figure out a method, be it the water fanny pack or handheld bottle, to carry some liquids. Instead I brought some cash knowing there was a grocery store at the ~5mi mark where I could stop for a drink and to hit the potty.

My first 5 miles really flew by. It was nice and by the time I saw the market ahead of me I wasn't necessarily ready for a pit stop. BUT knowing there were no potties ahead for many miles and knowing how much better I felt after stopping last week, I pulled over.

What happened next may be the proudest moment in my athletic life: There was a Halloween Extravaganza in the parking lot of the market where there were all sorts of yummy foods samples and **FREE CUPCAKE ROYALE CUPCAKES TO DECORATE WITH CANDY** and I DID NOT INDULGE! I am sort of sad about missing cupcakes now but I was proud of myself at the time.

I zipped into the store, got some water, used a CLEAN bathroom with FLUSHING toilets and SOAP AND HOT WATER (these are caps too since the joy of using a clean bathroom instead of a Porta-Potty was as delightful as cupcakes).


 

After this small diversion I was back on the road. The last few miles were pretty rough. My legs were hurting and I really just wanted to get home.


 

Once there I was in more pain than I have experienced post run; I iced and (semi)stretched and tried to recoup. For the first time ever the first thing I ate did not sit well with me. It was touch and go for a minute there. Touch and go.

But I survived, and really felt fine the rest of the evening. Still feel great today.

Bummed that my time for that 18 miles was 3:20 (11min miles on avg). I'm glad that I figured out my runs were shorter than I was counting but it was sort of a let down to not feel as good after the true 18miler as I did after last week's 18(actually 16-17).


 

Ah well, at least 18 is in the books for real. For real, for real!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Serene Tiger

It happened. I had an amazingly zen-like long run. I was not planning on running very far. I was tired and sort of aching and it was early and I was meeting my sister and nephews later in the day. Since I had done 15 miles the last 2 weekends I had decided to do ~10miles or so but that morning I wasn't even sure I would make it 10minutes. I was sure I'd turn around and call it a day. So sure was I that I bet against myself by not carrying water or money or fuel and my Nike+ has been on the fritz, so I was +-less. But as I started running, it happened! A peace came over me and I was just loving the run. The quiet of the trail on a semi-rainy morning, the moist air, the fall colors that were starting to appear. I was having a great time and I just didn't want to stop or turn around.

At about 5miles (characteristically) I needed to find a restroom, the best I could do was a horribly up kept Honey Pot (ew!) but it sufficed and I was back on the road an feeling good. Now, since I have been marathon training I have been doing my best to soldier through any stomach rumblings and not stop for bathroom breaks but what I learned here is that I feel WAY better after I take a pit stop and it allows me to refocus on the run.

I ran blissfully until I passed section of trail I had never been to and, even though I was still feeling good, decided I should turn around. I did one extra loop of a beach park that I had never been to before and headed back.

It was a good long run. Not because it was fast and not because it was far but because I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the road.

A good long run.

Of note:

Totally not running or tri specific but it is new and I wanted to put it out there where I can see it:

I am really happy with my life right now. Not all the time and DEFINITELY not in every aspect but I am appreciating what I have and the fact that it has been pretty hard-earned.

I'm happy.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The horror

I just found out yesterday that I am considerably off on my estimation of distance. For example what I believed was a really awesome 18miles was somewhere between 16 and 17. I think my Nike+ is off by ~5-10%, which is not too big a deal when only going a couple miles but adds up quickly on the long runs.

I am actually not sad about for the physical side of things, I have plenty of time to put in more miles and I feel like they'll come if I keep at it. What I am really bummed about is the mental toll it is taking. I thought I had done 18miles and could check that milestone off. But now it is still ahead of me.

I was planning on doing a short-long run this weekend (11 or 12) but now I am considering making 18 official this weekend. How do I tell SpeedyDDS that mine was not a full 18?

Friday, October 3, 2008

One woman’s Brooks are another woman’s Manolos

I used to not be able to watch Sex and the City. The amount of excess in Carrie's fashion annoyed me and the money she spent on shoes sent me over the edge. I just couldn't fathom spending so much money on shoes. I actually still can't but I do now know what it is to lust over pricey shoes and to decide to buy shoes without looking at the price tag. For Carrie she fell in love and had to have them based on form, for me it is function.

I love my Brooks Glycerin5. I've had 2 pairs and they're awesome. They are comfy, provide just a bit of stability without feeling too bulky, lots of room in the toe and have a miraculous way of venting such that my sweaty feet don't stink too much. It is WAY beyond time to replace them (read: 3 months beyond time) but they moved into a new model number and no stores seem to carry the new ones and I can't find the old ones anywhere. Now, while I want to love the new model (because they are purple!) I'm not sure I will. They are super bulky in the heel which I am not stoked about.

I think it may be time to find new ones that make me say, "Hello lover"

Speed, I am (not) speed

When I was running the 1/2M last December I kept remembering my little nephew's hero Lightening McQueen (mainly because I wanted to skip the potty pit-stop because there was a line but I remembered in Cars, Lightening skipped his pit stop and it ended very badly for him) and his mantra "I am speed"

However, I haven't talked much about speed work because…I haven't been doing too much of it.

I had the best of intentions to use my short runs as speed work. I even printed Hal's intermediate training schedule which has some pace/speedwork included. I was OK about it at first but have slacked off for 2 reasons.

  1. I don't really know how to do it
  • For example I have NO IDEA what a 5K pace means for me. I just assume it means run-faster-as-though-you're-only-running-3-miles pace. But how fast is that? In my personal opinion my steady pace has gotten LIGHTENING fast (for me) I consistently run sub 10minute miles on my long runs and the last tri I did I clocked a 26:44 for the 5K run (which brings me to the question of whether or not I feel like triathlons have well measured run courses, but another time, another issue). A year ago I was averaging 12min miles so I do feel like my running has gotten WAY better but I should still focus on improving and knowing my pace.
  • When training with TNT our dear coach had us do either hills or speed work once a week but even then I faked it. We would do 1/2mile repeats but sometimes I honestly couldn't tell if my pace was different on the intervals or not. This is the only place that I find a treadmill useful. When I am listening to Hal I set speed intervals on the Treadmill and really try to stick with it…which brings me to

2. I am lazy

  • I fall out of my intervals so easily. For some reason more so running than in the pool. I'm not sure what it is. In both cases it is hard work (which I don't mind too much) so I'm not sure why going full out running is more mentally challenging than going all out swimming.
  • I also get worried that if I go too hard. I won't complete the distance. This is especially daunting now that my "short" runs are either 4 or 5 miles


So, bottom line is that it is time to start re-implementing the speed work.

Now, hills, those are a story in themselves. I love my running trail, it help tremendously to have somewhere that I know is populated, a straight shot, no excuses type of path with lots of real estate for my long runs (and only 3 stop lights max). But it is pretty darn flat. Time to seek out some hills. Sigh, isn't it always something?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Putting the tiger in the cat

"The long run is what puts the tiger in the cat."
          - Bill Squires


 

I ran 16 freaking miles on Saturday. 16miles. That is like a HM plus a 5K.

And it was pretty good, I did still get that tight feeling in my legs and stopping for a red light was kind of torture, but it was really good. I didn't plan ahead very well and didn't have my sports beans to take with me so I improvised by buying a bag of candy corn and taking a few pieces of those. It worked out really well, it may just be my new bean alternative, or maybe I will shun beans altogether (those suckers are 1.00/bag and candy corn will be on clearance for 90% off in 5 weeks or so.)

One thing I need to read up on is arm pain/fatigue. My arms started to really get tingly and crampy around mile 14 or so. I assume this is normal from having them in the same position for so long but shaking them out didn't really seem to help. I have pseudo-hypochondria moments sometimes and on Sat I kept teasingly reminding myself that the first sign of a heart attack is arm pain. But, I'm happy to report, no heart attack and I made it home as pleased as punch with myself for running 16miles!

I do need to come to some sort of decision about a few pieces of gear.

My water bottle: I HATE carrying it. I also have nothing but disdain for fuel belts. They irk me in so many ways. The number one and silliest is that running and running clothes are already terribly unflattering so putting a fanny pack on makes the image even more ridiculous.

My iPod: My beloved nano is dying and they just came out with a new super cool nano, BUT the new ipod touch can support Nike+iPod! But I kind of think I want a tactile control so that I can change songs or volume or whatever without looking at the device because, let's face it, running is hard enough without trying to multi-task.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Running is boring

Well, marathon training is boring.

I took a BYE last week on my training schedule. Not on purpose but I was tired from my 15mile run but not really physically tired. I was mentally tired.

I have come to truly love running and the benefits it has brought to my life are so real that I don't have the words to express it. Paradoxically however, I hate running. It is hard on your body, it can be hard on your mind, (for me here in Seattle especially) it can be hard to overcome the weather obstacles.

These long runs have really taken a toll. I like Pro/Con lists so I will include one here.

Pro

Con

Reaching running milestones I would NEVER have imagined

Getting bored of the music in my iPod or, more frequently, of the thoughts in my head.

Pushing myself to go just a bit further.

HURTING and PUSHING

Realizing that I am not hurting and my pace and stride is coming naturally

Running a long distance takes a long time

Seeing your fellow runners and other pretty cool sights on a long run.

People think you're insane

People think you're awesome

People annoyingly trying to scare you away from running with the following phrase "it's bad for your (fill in the blank)"

Helping convince people that it is less scary and more rewarding than they might ever have known.

Devoting a lot of time to training can alienate some friendships

You meet some AWESOME people!

The cost of gear, races and other paraphernalia.

Um…a variety of T-shirts to choose from for PJs and to paint in.

Feeling so hungry you are afraid you'll eat everything in the fridge.

Being able to eat everything in the fridge…and ordering a pizza (kidding!)

The dread of looking at your training schedule and having NO IDEA how you'll ever accomplish it

Completing a nightmarish workout or work out week.

Etc., etc., etc….


So, by careful balancing of above, I will keep running (and running and running). I will realize that this funk is a passing phase and the sheer act of pulling myself out of is an accomplishment.

It's Tuesday, so 4miles here I come. Back on track.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Can you take sick days to run a marathon?

Because running a marathon must mean you're sick in the head.

The tickets are bought à

AZ HERE I COME!

Dec 4-8 for the Tucson Marathon.

Yikes! I am still terrified of the prospect of actually running a marathon. That still sounds perfectly awful. But seeing my friends and their kids again sounds perfectly awesome. I really like using these personal challenges as an excuse to travel to new places or as a deadline to visit with old friends. I am starting to plan my 10 year high school reunion and have thought how much fun it would be to do a 10year/10K fun run and maybe raise some money for my alma mater. This thought would never have even occurred to me 2 years ago.


And going to AZ from Seattle in December will be a very welcome change in scenery even if just for a few days.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pulling a Britney and other genius moves of the day

So, I only mentioned a few of these in my race report but I had some serious Dumb ass moments.

1. Trying to use the porta-potties I must not have locked the door and totally got exposed to the world (I am consoling myself by saying it was too dark for anyone to see anything)

2. I decided to wear a long sleeve tech shirt on the bike and run so i pinned my number on it. Luckily i decided to try it on (mainly to see if it was placed correctly) but I struggled putting it over my head because...I had pinned the shirt together.

3. Got DQ'd for not having handlebar ends which made me SO MAD at myself because I have extras because I know this can be an issue but they were in the car.

4. I lost my phone, socks, sports beans all in the span of ~15min. (Luckily I found the first 2)

5. My timing chip was cutting into my left ankle fo rthe last few miles of the bike and for teh whole run. Probably should have tried to fix that in T2.

Oh well, at least most of these things were remedied and not overly embarrassing. And 2 of these things could have been remedied with small purchases like a race belt and a chip strap.

Peer pressure=impromtu race report

So, i wasn't planning on racing this race. But my TNT peeps were going to do it. And some of my Thur night cycling folks were doing it. And it was the last one of the season. And I had been getting bored of running.

WHAT THE HECK...Let's doooo it!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Race Report: Kirkland Triathlon at Carillon Point
September 21, 2008

Total: 1:36:15 S: 0:15:47 T1: 2:42 Bike: 0:49:52 T2:1:09 Run: 0:26:44
Age Group place: 21/74
Overall: 417/899
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sign up/packet pickup: I was volunteering in the Campaign for Change Bellevue office during the day and ran over to packet pick up with the intention of registering and possibly racking my bike but it was POURING and COLD. I was having some serious second thoughts about the whole thing and honsetly considered not registering. (Un)Fortunately my cycling buddies saw me at the registration spot and further coerced me. So, 80 bucks and a cotton T-shirt later I was committed.

I couldn't access the handy dandy "tri-checklist" that my TNT coach had given us and I had to pack my gear on my own and pray I had everything I needed. I slept better last night than I ever have before a race. Start time was 7am, T closed at 6:30. I had set my alarm for 5am and managed to go to bed at 8:30pm(!) and woke up naturally at 4:30am. This was actually great since I hadn't decided what I was going to eat for breakfast and needed to stop and get something.

This being the least planned out race I have ever done (well there was a 10K that I wandered into once but...) I ran into the gas station and bought the breakfast of champions: Poptarts and a diet pepsi.

It was pitch black setting up transition and since this was my first rainy weather race i had to figure out the wardrobe of the day. I finally got settled and wandered around to find old TNT buddies. When I got back to my bike I had been DQ'd! I got busted for a missing handlebar plug and (with ~15min before start) had to remedy it.

With that all taken care of it was time to get going...

Swim:
The wave starts were VERY spread out so we stood out in our wetsuits for a very long time. Finally my wave went out. I positioned myself towards the front and outside of the group. This worked out fairly well. My goal was to just stay consistent on the swim and not push overly hard. i wound up in one small tussle. In the past I would fall back and let the other overtake me but I felt like I was in the best position to do the overtaking. I had a soft goal of finishing under 15minutes (which I missed) but I haven't had a swim durinng a race where I felt as in control so that was good.
S:0:15:47

T1:
Since I was only wearing a jog bra and tri shorts under my wetsuit I was too shy to start stripping the wetsuit which was LAME since transition was pretty far from the swim out.
T1: 2:42

Bike:
Didn't start off great because I had to stop to fix my bike computer sensor which was hitting my spokes (see lake Padden post). This ride was pretty hilly the first half and then it leveled out. But yikes if I didn't very nearly fall off of my bike on the big climb.
Bike: 0:49:52

T2: Uneventful
T2:1:09

Run: I was VERY optimistic about the run. I mean, sheesh, I just did a 15miler. I have been running like crazy. But the run felt somewhat hard. I wanted it to feel great and, while I did recover slightly in the 1st mile, I didn't feel like I could really pick up my pace like I would have wanted. My run time however was AWESOME. I almost don't believe it was an actual 5K. Becaus eif it was, then that was sub 9min miles. Who, me?!?!
Run: 0:26:44

Now for the very imoprtant, the post race food/swag. The food was really yummy. They did fruit parfaits with nilla wafers, YUM! Swag was minimal but oh well.

Take home Lessons:
1. I need to sign up for races beforehand so that mentally/equiptmentally I prepare.
2. I need to hydrate on the bike, even during a sprint tri
3. Get my prerace breakfast figured out well before 4am race day.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I may be semi-bad ass


I successfully changed BOTH of my bike tires. And, I rode on them ~15miles to prove their integrity to myself.

Oh Yeah!

It all started way back when I had my first flat L, I noticed that the actual tire had a small hole/crack/imperfection in it which I was told was acceptable and I "should be fine."

Well, I have an aversion to riding out to the middle of nowhere where the "should be fine" turns into "completely FUBAR" so I bought new tires. And, I decided to put them on all by myself (or at least make the attempt!).

DAY 1: The front tire

Obviously easy to remove but HOLY HELL I had such a hard time removing the old tire and the new tire was folded up in the package so it was tough getting it to shape up. The new ones were 700x23 (old ones 700x25) and I have never missed 2mm like I did that night. They were so tight, I could barely have any air in the tube and I was SURE I'd get a pinch flat with the shabby job I was doing corralling the tube. It seriously took 1.5hr and my wrists were aching afterwards. I was too tired at the end to properly check for a pinch so I half-assed looked around the rim and pumped it up. SUCCESS! After 100PSI of air it was hard as a rock and shiny as a new penny.

I put off the rear until

DAY 2: THE (FEAR)REAR

I had never taken off the rear wheel ever so I was worried. My TNT coach had dazzled us with his on/off skill but I had never actually tried it and had forgotten where you were supposed to shift, etc. So I found a handy-dandy video which scared the crap out of me (saying if you do it wrong you can mess up the rear derailleur) and got to work. I had to walk away a few times but TADA! The rear wheel was off and I was set out to battle that tire (which I hadn't had the foresight to open up so it could take on a better shape). To my surprise, this was WAY easier than the night before and I had that sucker changed in a few minutes. Putting it back on the bike went smoothly too and I even took a short ride to see if I had jacked up the shifting…all seemed good.

DAY3: The test ride

Went out on my Thur evening ride (which is probably not going to happen much longer since it will start getting dark at 4pm) with only a prayer and a tube. These skinny wheels felt kind of shaky downhill but that was probably mental.

Bottom line: mission accomplished!

I love getting more hands on with my bike. I have never been terribly mechanical but I think that may be because I never tried. It baffles me to think how many things in my life I just assume I'm not good at. I am just getting used to the idea that something I fixed has enough integrity for me to trust with my life (or at least with a pleasant ride). It is a good feeling. Maybe I'll attempt installing that bike computer with cadence that stumped me 6 months ago.

Next bike mechanic mission (which I'll probably save for when I won't be riding outdoors as much) is doing a really thorough cleaning.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pride, slide, snide

That is my Saturday in 3 rhyming words.

First thing sat morning I dragged my sleepy booty out on a much anticipated/overwrought 15mile run.

that's right. 15miles. My LONGEST RUN EVER.

I was SO freaked out about this one. I had to move it from Fri evening to Sat thanks to the earlier and earlier sunsets that i am trying to cope with. And I couldn't decide what to do as far as timing, playlist, nutrition, hydration, etc.

I decided to go 1st thing saturday and run my normal route bringing along 2 packs of sports beans with the intention of taking one at 6mi and 12mi. Hydration was my biggest worry since I HATE carrying a bottle for such a long distance but I decided to bring it along with the intention of tossing it if it bugged me.

The run was pretty great. The TNT marathon team was doing a long run (complete with aid stations and spectators) which completely motivated me. It was so awesome to see all the TEAMmates out there and yelling "Go Team!" as people passed. They completely motivated me without even knowing it. I wanted to find out what distance they were doing but we were running in opposite directions and I never got the chance.

The last few miles I started feeling really tight in the legs. i refused to stop at stop lights or anywhere because I thought if I stopped I would lock up and be stuck in that position forever. When I got home (2:25) I followed all the appropriate proceedure: stretch, ice, rehydrate, reaosnable refueling, shower.

I was so proud of myself. 15 miles!

I didn't have much time to waste though, I was meeting up with my sisters and nephews to go to Wild Waves water park (aka my happiest place on earth). I was DREADING all the endless stairs leading to the waterslides but since I LOVE WATERSLIDES it was fine and I had a great time.

My nephews are getting so big! The oldest (3yr old) even went on a rollercoaster! Too stinkin' cute.

It was a great day. We headed back to my Mom's where the exhaustion began kicking in. Thanks to the livliness of my baby nephews though I perked up a bit and went out to dessert with my mom and sister. Totally fun too. Until I made a snide remark to my Mom, hurt her feelings and have been feeling like crap ever since.

There is no one I would less want to hurt especially when she is already down in the dumps. Also, I wish she had something like triathlon or running that could make her feel as good as I do when I do those things. She deserves it. She deserves to feel strong and in control. And free and complete.

so it was a bummer end to a bitchin day but I'm a work in progress and set backs are part of the game I guess.

I did still run 15 miles though.
15 MILES!

Friday, September 12, 2008

You’re never sorry when you go

This is what I tell myself every time I finish a workout and is the most valuable weapon I have against laziness.

Tuesday night I was SO TIRED and had no desire to go for my scheduled run. No desire. Except for the voice in the back of my head that said "You're never sorry when you go." And I went and had a great run and a short swim.

Wednesday night I was SO TIRED and got done with work happy hour pretty late. No desire. Except for the voice in the back of my head that said "You're never sorry when you go." So I went out for a great 6miler.

Thursday night I was SO TIRED and was stuck across the lake until late then had to go back into lab to finish up at around 8pm. No desire. Except for the voice in the back of my head that said "You're never sorry when you go." So I went to the gym, got road-raged by someone who happened to be going to the 24hr Fitness too (awkward, I didn't know if it was road-rage or `roid-rage). We carefully avoided getting into the same elevator but I was worried he was using that time to key my car or something then, after only being able to get the crappy treadmill, I ran exactly one lap and went home.

Well it works 2 out of 3 times.

Another thing you won't be sorry for doing is getting on the national bone marrow donor list.

You have to order a mouth swab kit to get HLA typed and that usually costs ~50bucks BUT

Through September 22, the National Marrow Donor Program is waving the
normal fees for registration (usually about $50).

http://www.marrow.org/HELP/Events/NASCAR/index.html

You may need the promo code: NASC262101


 

Monday, September 8, 2008

New Monday motivation

I just found a new motivation to drag my Monday self to a spin class. The instructor is total eye-candy. He isn't my typical type but he makes busting my butt a bit easier. I'm 80% sure he is same sex oriented but that doesn't matter.

There also happens to be a yoga class right after the spin class. I am going to try to work that in some weeks. I think I'm trying to transition into my inside workouts now that it is starting to get dark earlier and earlier.

last week was pretty good and ended in a 13mile run on Fri. I felt really good until the last few miles I started feeling really tight in the legs. I think taking a stretching break wouldn't be the worst idea ever. I did the yogurt covered pretzel thing again but it felt more harsh on my stomach this week than last so I may continue tweaking that. Maybe plain pretzels?

My new battle though is with diet. after my long runs I eat like a crazy person. For the next 4 days. It is really bad. I need to get over the mental reward system I have in my head. I am frustrated that I'm not making noticeable physical progress anymore.

Mountain Climbing

Climb ev'ry mountain
Ford ev'ry stream
Follow ev'ry rainbow
'Till you find your dream

A dream that will need
All the love you can give
Everyday of your life
For as long as you live

On Sun I went on a bike ride with my family, so it was my Mom and Emily, my sister and her 2 boys (2 and 3yr old) and I. It was totally a scene from the Sound of Music which we acknowledged by referencing most of the songs from the movie. My mom (as we grinded up a 0.25% incline) began singing "Climb every mountain," and, I don't know if I was just sort of hormonal or what, but the lyrics really hit me.

Work hard to find what you want in this life and then don't relent on making that happen.

Sometimes it worries me that at 26 (and RAPIDLY approaching 27) I am still on the dream finding part.

Running has helped me turn over new rocks and look for more within and outside of myself. Doing things that you never imagined you could (like running a killer 13miles on a Fri night!) does slowly begin to realign the boundaries that you set for yourself. So I am easing up on myself and trying to see where life takes me. But man is that hard!


 

It all goes back to reminding myself of the poem that was read to my incoming college class. The copy that was printed in the matriculation program has been with me ever since and is now hanging on my wall.

ITHAKA

As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon - don't be afraid of them:
you'll never find things like that one on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon - you won't encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbours you're seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfumes of every kind -
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But don't hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you're old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you've gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean

An alternative translation of "Ithaka"

Constantine P. Cavafy

And I think Mother Abbess is in agreement with the sentiment of Ithaka. While on this journey you should be looking for what you want but in the end, it is the journey that matters most.


 

Friday, September 5, 2008

Is the definition of insomnia

watching an entire episode of The Tyra Show because of your inability to sleep?

Ugh, I went to bed 3 hours ago and can't get to sleep. I am SO tired all the time lately and trying to make a concerted effort to get some zzz's. i want to get back to running and lifting weights in the morning but as is I am having a tough time dragging myself out of bed to get into work at a decent hour.

This is way too early for my winter hibernation routine!

Long run tomorrow, i am actually kind of sickly looking forward to it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Are you Palin my leg?

Ok, I had no intention of letting this become a political blog because...well that would take WAY too much research and factual information rather than me just blabbering about running/biking/swimming BUT this has been killing me and, since this is mainly for my own edification, I wanted to relate my general feelings about this VP pick. and I am going to use a triathlon analogy.

People out there train years for Ironman. It seems like most of those people take it upon themselves to learn everything there is to know about the sport. They train each discipline and seek out the expert advice. They spend countless time and money. The investment is HUGE and none of it guarantees success but it gives them credentials before they even set up their transition. I personally am in awe when someone tells me they are TRAINING for IM.

And I imagine I would be slightly disturbed by a person who has NO IDEA what a huge task it is strolling up to the starting line on a Huffy with P.F. flyers and water wings. At first it would be almost humorous and slightly pitiful. And then it would be frustrating and slightly insulting.

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Ok, analogies are hard so I am going to be more direct. On my 3rd grade report card my teacher wrote "stands up for her gender whenever she sees fit" so I have been a slight F-word as long as I can remember. I have always been proud of those who broke the glass ceiling from Lucretia Mott to Nancy Pelosi. I have always been in awe/enraged that women have begun to take it all on. and I KNEW one day that would mean President of the US.

But I am not proud of this pick. It feels like an absolute insult. Her credentials are paper thin and choosing her said that the main concern was pandering to their base whilst trying to appear progressive. As much as I looked forward to the day when a woman was in a Federal executive office there were lists of people more qualified, both male and female.

Clarence Thomas was no Thurgood Marshall but at least he wasn't the first.

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And if anyone has shown up to an IM as described above and was successful, then great! At least that is proof that what looks to be an unmitigated disaster can turn out OK.