Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Missing: GAD, Please Return if Found

I've been debating even posting anything about my lack of running lately. I fear that those of you who know me only from blogland won't know that this slug-like behavior truly isn't normal for me. Lately, it seems that I keep posting over and over about how lazy I am. I'm NOT normally this lazy, I promise.

What happened to me?
A few weeks ago, I was firmly on the wagon and raring to go.

Lately, I can't seem to drag my ass out of bed to get to work, much less get a run in before work!

Now, I do have plenty of excuses for why I'm not running...

Excuse #1 - The project I am working on right now is requiring long hours during the week, and time on the weekends to check in on the contractors' progress.

Excuse #2 - Add to that, my son's football practice has started. I have to take him straight to practice when I get off work, no time in between to even sit down and open the mail. I realize that I could run WHILE he is practicing (I've done this in the past), but I also have my daughter who wants to spend that time hanging with mom. I'm taking it while I can get it- she's almost 15 and probably won't want to spend this much time with me for much longer.

Excuse #3 - I have to be at work at 10pm on Fridays to ensure that the contractors get off to a good start, and again by 10pm on Sunday night for turnover back for our startup. I feel like I'm on standby all weekend, and the entire time is spent dreading the Sunday night return.

Sidenote: I should be used to all of this by now! My life hasn't changed that drastically from the norm. I have projects similar to this every summer, but I've never struggled with it this much.

Excuse #4 - On top of all that, I'm still the biggest I've ever been. I've always been obsessed about my weight. I always thought I was getting "fat" anytime my BMI crept up between 24 and 25. Now, my BMI has actually managed to get into the "Overweight" category. This morning's weight has my BMI at 27.1, firmly in the "Overweight" zone. This really shouldn't be an excuse for not running, but I seem to use it as one anyway.

And, I can't seem to get my give-a-damn back to do something about it. I just want to sit around and eat pizza and Mexican food and not worry about it.

So far I've only missed 1 long run, but I've missed more than a few of my normal mid-week runs over the past few weeks. I think I still have time to get this under control before I destroy my marathon plans, but I've gotta get busy NOW!

If you happen to find my give-a-damn, please send it my way... Thanks!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mud Mountain 5K

I've been looking forward to this race for so long. Everybody just kept going on and on about how much fun it was, and I had never run this one.
Friday night, I had to go in to work at 9:30pm to make sure my weekend contractors got started on the right foot. I was there until after 11pm, after which I went home and couldn't sleep. I finally went to sleep sometime after midnight.

I should have known then not to run a race for the first time when it was celebrating its 13th year...

Saturday morning, I woke up at 5:15am. I had to leave my house by 6am to meet up with Barbie and Shanna so we could ride to the race together. I did NOT want to get out of bed. Nope, sure didn't. But, I made it. We get to the race, and there are people everywhere.

First issue- not enough port-a-potties. In order to keep my bladder under control for a race, I pretty much have to go to the port-a-potty 3 or 4 times until my bladder is good and drained. This was not possible for this race. We were in line at the port-a-potty during the singing of the national anthem (!!), and there were people in line ahead of us that weren't even running the race! HELLO!! If you are there to observe, and the race is about to start, let the runners into the potty FIRST!! Especially when the race is not being chip timed.
We managed to get through the port-a-potty line and to the starting line before the race started, though. This was truly a cross country race, complete with the extremely wide starting line. We start off running across a grassy field, and narrow down to a trail through the woods. There were some brutal (brutal is an understatement) hills, uphill and downhill. I liked the downhills, but you had to be careful of your footing, since it was all grass and trail. Several areas were muddy and nasty, and me with my newest pair of running shoes.

OK, I'll give them this- it was kind of fun to run in a different type of race, but I'm truly NOT a cross country runner. But, the absolute worst part of the whole race was getting to the finishing chute, and there was a LINE there. You were trapped while waiting for them to tear the tabs off of race numbers (?) write down bib numbers (?) I truly don't know what the big hold-up was. Luckily, Barbie walked over with a fresh, cold bottle of water for me while I was standing there. That made it better.

My official finish time was 32:11. I was 4th in my age group (just out of the medals :-(

I was pretty pleased with the placement, though. There were 567 runners in all at this race, and to place in the top half of my age group made me happy.

We went out and ran a cool-down after the race, another 3 miles. This "cool-down" made me realize just how slow I am. The other two girls were taking it v-e-r-y easy, and I was struggling to keep up! I think I'll be running a 2nd marathon in December to try and get my qualifying time... I was so lazy after this race, I skipped my planned 15 mile run on Sunday morning. Gah!

The worst part- after the race, we were all standing around waiting and waiting for the results. They FINALLY started with the results, and got the top 3 women finishers WRONG. More waiting and waiting... They tried again- still WRONG. (We knew the overall winner, and they didn't have her results in there correctly). Finally, they went ahead with the men's results (the older men's results were questionable). More waiting and waiting...

Finally, they told us all to go ahead and leave (most people had already left). They posted the results on the website later and will be mailing out the medals for the women. I won't get one, barely (sob!).

This was their 13th year people! They have always been well organized and not had these issues (according to others who have ran it before).

I so don't want to post a picture from this race. My boobs look funny and lopsided... OK, I'll post it. I can't help myself- I love pictures on blogs... maybe you all won't notice my lopsided-ness!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lesson Learned... Again!

My training has not been going as swimmingly as I would like...
Yesterday, I overslept for a morning run. I decided that I COULD NOT skip another run, so I ran in the evening- after work, but before my son's football practice. It was cooler yesterday than it had been for a while, so I figured I could manage.

I knew better than that.

I ran 7 miles, it was 84 degrees and sunny when I started - 86 degrees and sunny when I finished. I. Was. Miserable.

I have learned, yet again, that running in the heat of the day is not a viable option for me. I completely fell apart right after the 5 mile mark. I think I walked more of the 6th mile than I ran. That mile was an average of 13 min/mile, and I still finished up at a 10:35 pace. So, I'm not completely disappointed, but more interested in how I would have been earlier in the day.

So, what's on tap for today? Another 4-5 mile run in the heat! Yup. I had to be at work at 6am this morning, so no run again this morning. I hope I can gut out another mid-day run today, then I'll be getting an industrial strength alarm clock to rouse my lazy ass out of bed in the mornings!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Run for the Bagel 10K

This race was the small town race that thought it got too big...
Let me elaborate.

I have ran this race several times in the past. It's always been a well organized, well put-on event. This year, they decided to use chip timing. This is a race with between 350-400 participants between the 5K and 10K events.

I went there with 2 other friends, who had pre-registered. I, as usual, put it off until the last minute and didn't pre-register. Race start time was 7:30am. We arrived at 7:05am.

They told me that they weren't going to time me, since I wasn't there before 7am. O-K. So, I don't get a chip, but they time me by the clock, right?

NOPE! The results are on their website today, and I'm not even there! GRRR!!

Excuse me, but they should put that on the form. It said on the form that they would stop giving chips at 7am *sharp*. Well, a lot of races say stuff like that, but NEVER have I been told that I'm too late and they aren't going to time me, AT ALL! So, I bought a $25 t-shirt and ran with a bunch of people, basically.

I did enjoy the run. It was overcast, so the heat didn't get to me too bad. I felt good throughout the entire run and never really felt like I was pushing myself too hard. At the time, I held back a little bit because I thought I would be doing a long run Sunday morning, but I decided to flip flop next weekend's 6 with this weekend's 14. OK, so I decided that when I got up Sunday morning at 6:15am and the heat and humidity was already so oppressive that it took your breath away.

Luckily, I didn't place in my age group, so the timing was not really a huge deal. I know who finished right before and after me, what the clock said as I crossed the finish, and what Garmin said, so based on all of that, I'm calling my "official" time 59:58.

I went to the race with Barbie and Shanna- Barbie won her age group, and Shanna was the overall female winner! Yay! She ran the thing in 42:01. Can you believe it? That's a 6:47 pace! That girl can run!!

Here's a picture of us from the Hofbraufest run the week before:

Monday, July 14, 2008

My First Sunday Long Run

When we last left our heroine, she was contemplating whether or not she could complete her marathon training by running races on Saturdays and long runs on Sunday mornings. This week was her first attempt...

Sunday morning, I met up with my friend Carol and we ran 15 miles on the Tunnel Hill trail.

Well, RAN is a strong word. It wasn't pretty, but we got the miles in.

We chatted and enjoyed the scenery the entire time. Since Tunnel Hill is quite a distance from my house, we met up at 6:30am, about 30 miles south of home. By the time we got to Tunnel Hill, it was 7:30am. Luckily, it was much cooler on Sunday than it was on Saturday, and the trail is mostly shaded. It was a pleasant run; we chatted and had a good time. This is a good way to keep in touch with a friend that I normally wouldn't get a chance to spend much time with. By the time we had 13 miles, I was ready to be done. I gutted out the last 2 miles. I am really glad that we got together and ran the distance, though.

The verdict: Not so bad. I think training this way will be just fine...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hofbraufest 5K

Well, this morning's race had some highs and lows...

The highs:
Everybody was there! There were about 300 runners, so I got a chance to see a lot of the runners that I don't normally see at races. There were a lot of runners from the St Louis area that I've met over the years but only see a couple of times a year.

The atmosphere was fantastic! This was the village's Sesquicentennial, so the festival was bigger this year than it has been in previous years. You could really tell that they had put a lot of effort into it.

Free beer.

The lows:
It was HOT! The race didn't start until 8am, and it was already over 80 degrees and humid.

The race was in the open, there was NO SHADE on the course at all.

I ran my slowest 5K time ever. Garmin said 31:14, but I haven't seen the official results yet. I did wake up this morning with some stomach issues, so I didn't eat or drink ANYthing before the race. No caffeine and no fuel. This contributed to my bad time. I didn't have anything to give after the first mile.

All in all, it was a good race. I had to leave before they gave the awards, but one of the girls that went to the Flying Pig with us won 2nd place overall and there was a cash prize!

On tap for tomorrow: Long run, somewhere between 13-15 miles...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Off to a Stellar Start

My marathon training, that is...

I ran v-e-r-y slowly on Monday morning, only 4 miles.
I had to travel to Boston for work on Tuesday morning. My flight was at 5:40am, so I had to get up at 2am to get to the airport early enough. My return flight from Chicago on Wednesday was delayed (big shock), and I didn't get home until 10pm. Thursday, I was still exhausted- no run. This morning, I was lazy and my AC is still acting up - no run.

Is it just me? I can NOT get out and run when it is hot inside and hotter outside. I've called a different repairman to come and look at it today, since the first guy couldn't find anything. Grrr!

Today, one of the managers at work brought me some pictures from our company wide Manager meeting/outing 2 years ago. I looked at the pictures and thought, "YUCK! I was fat!" So, I checked. At that time, I weighed about 10 lbs less than I weighed this morning. Yes, now you are all going to know how OCD I am about numbers... I have a spreadsheet that goes back through January of 06 with all of my weigh-ins. Before that, I was tracking it manually in my running logs. Ahhh, Excel, now I can graph it and look for trends.

I am truly sick.

I have a 5K tomorrow morning. Then, I will stop in to work and check on my project. Sunday, I plan a long run. Then, I will stop in to work and check on my project again. This entire project continues for 7 weeks before they finish up. I may go insane before it is over.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fab 4th Weekend / Joker's Wild Half

My weekend started on Wednesday, since I took Thursday off as a vacation day.

Wednesday night: The kids and I went to the Cardinals game and saw the Cardinals beat the Mets, 8-7 with a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 9th.

Thursday: Such an exciting day off... I got up and went for a 7-mile run in the rain. It rained the e-n-t-i-r-e- time. It has been hot hot hot, so the rain actually felt pretty good.
In the afternoon, I took the boy (my son) to the dentist for his root canal and went to the eye dr for myself.

Friday (4th): The kids and I went to St Louis and checked into our hotel at Westport. We ate at Pujols restaurant in Westport Plaza and went for ice cream at Coldstone Creamery. Yum! We saw Carol, and we confirmed our plans to run together the next morning. Sweet!
Then, we rode the Metrolink over to Fair St Louis and saw Joss Stone performing and the beginning of the fireworks. My daughter was worried about the crowded Metro on the way back, so we watched the fireworks as we walked to the Metrolink station. Got back to our hotel around 11pm, and of course I couldn't sleep.

Saturday (race day): The race start time was 6am, so my alarm was set at 4:30am. I didn't want to get up, but felt ok once I got moving. I went to the race start around 5:30am and started my pre-race ritual of hitting the port-a-potty repeatedly. I saw Ed, who is also a local runner from our run club, and we chatted for a few minutes. I hadn't expected to see anyone I knew except for Carol. I never did see Carol on Saturday, and she didn't have any results posted today. I assume she must have gotten sick or something. This is a normal occurrence for Carol, backing out of races at the last moment.

I went ahead and lined up and the race started at 6:15am (yup, 15 minutes late). The course was 2 loops of the same 6.5 miles. There was also a "quarter marathon" that was one loop. The first loop went great, I finished the first 10K in 1:03. My goal for the race was to finish in under 2:20, so I knew I was well on my way. There were a couple of pretty good hills in there, one of the hills was very rough and killed me on the 2nd lap. I knew at mile 11 that I was going to make my 2:20 goal, even if I fell apart for the last 2 miles. My official finish time was 2:17:46. That's a 20 minute improvement over the Flying Pig 2 months ago, and I'm still not really training. It's embarassing how little I've been running this year! Aside from the 7 mile run in the rain on Thursday, the only running I've been doing for the past couple of months, is races!

After the race, I went back to the hotel and the kids were still sleeping! So, once we got cleaned up and checked out, the kids and I went to the zoo to see the penguins (the penguins are a fairly new addition to the zoo). Let me just say how much I love the St Louis Zoo. My favorite part: it's free!
Then, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Union Station for a late lunch/early dinner. I had a big, juicy cheeseburger. I deserved it! Then, we headed home and went to the movies to see 'Get Smart'.

Sunday: I enjoyed a day of rest. And, my air conditioner quit at some point yesterday. It was hot in the house when I went to bed, and it was almost 85 degrees in my bedroom when I woke up this morning. I did NOT get up and run. Grrr!

Tuesday and Wednesday, I will be in Boston for meetings. I'm hoping to get a run in on Wednesday morning. And, hoping to have my AC fixed by the time I get back!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Change in Plans

Okay, so we must all be open to change, right?

My ride to this Friday's 5K has an injury. I wasn't real excited about running this 5K anyhow, as there are no post-race wine-swilling activities planned. Meanwhile, I found out this week that there is a tiny 1/2 Marathon in St Louis on Saturday morning (race start time 6am- yikes!). Another running buddy is signed up for it, and we're running about the same pace these days. So, I decided to strike while the iron is hot and sign up before I had a chance to talk myself out of it.

I'm going to take the kids over for the Fair St Louis on the 4th, run the 1/2 on the 5th, and give myself ZERO excuses for not getting a long run over the weekend. So there!