Monday, September 7, 2009

Weekend Warrior, 3rd Time's the Charm

Once again, I missed all of my shorter runs during the week and ran my long run on Saturday.


My 5K time this morning at the Kinmundy Lions Club Run showed it, too. My official race time was 30:22, a pace of 9:47 / mile. I'm happy that my pace was faster than 10 min/mile, but I am capable of so much better than that.

This is the Last. Time.

Alarm is set.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend Warrior, Week 2

Once again, I went last week without running during the week.

I went up and walked the new 5K course for the Labor Day run with B and A on Saturday. The old course was an out and back on a flat, desolate stretch of road. Booooring. This year will be the 12th year for the race, and B decided she would try to change it up. If the course works out well, she'll get it certified for next year. Saturday morning, we walked the course with 4 Garmins between us. Two of them read "3.11" at the end, two read "3.12". I think that's pretty good. The new course will run through the Pioneer Log Cabin Village. It is very shady and interesting with all of the cabins.

After the run, B made some stuffed mushrooms and chicken fajitas, which we paired with a bottle of wine from Blue Sky. Yum!

The pedicure/manicure that we had planned will have to wait until next weekend. I'll include my daughter on that.

Sunday morning, A came to my house and we ran my 9 mile loop. It wasn't the 12 that was on my training schedule, but I don't know if I could have done another 3 miles on my leaden legs. As usual, we were followed to my house by a random dog. This time, it was a Golden Retriever. I've seen this dog a zillion times, and it has NEVER followed me. Clearly, there is something about A and I together that is just irresistible to dogs.

When we got back to my house, I decided to take Tito for a walk. You remember Tito, little puffball?

Yeah, I opened the door to let Tito come out for a walk, and he took off after that Golden Retriever like he was going to rip him up. I never realized what a badass Tito is!

Take 3: I'm going to attempt to get my weekday runs this week!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weekend Warrior

Marathon training for Memphis officially began for me as of Monday, 8/17.

I did not run all week. Marathon training was NOT off to a good start.

This weekend, I was a good little weekend warrior; I feel like I'm all caught up for now.


I ran the Kirchenfest Strassenlauf 5K. This is always a good race, and I managed to finish in just over 30 minutes. The weather was perfect, low 60's with just a hint of the sun. I'm not sure of my "official" time. The race had a turnout of 640, the highest ever for this race. As a result, they were NOT prepared for it at the finish chute. When I finished, I stood in line outside the finish chute waiting to "finish" the race. My friend C said that the volunteers were dropping the tags when she finished, so we were not surprised when they had a problem with the results.

After the 5K, there was a 2K race that was mostly kids. I ran it with C and her grandson, it was a nice cooldown.

The awards ceremony was supposed to begin at 10am. It did not begin until after 11am. Since our friend S won the race, we stuck around and waited. NOT what any of us wanted to do with our Saturday morning. They weren't even playing music to keep us entertained! There was free beer until 11am, so I must hold my complaints to a minimum. They do need to use chip timing, though. I'll be watching for it next year.

Saturday night, my son played his second football game of the season. Of course, our boys ran all over the other team! We won 34 - 8. We were actually skunking them until the end of the 4th quarter. The weather at the ball game was football weather, for sure. I was wearing a jacket and still cold! The low temp on Saturday night was in the low 50's. Very strange for August in Southern IL.


This morning, I met my friend C at some bike trails near a local community college and we ran 13.1 miles. My marathon schedule called for 10 miles, but I went the extra 3 with her because she is still doing the "one half marathon a month" plan. The long run is just what I needed! Once again, the weather could not have been more ideal. I sure hope we don't have an unseasonably hot September to make up for this!

Now that I have my marathon training back on track, I just need to keep up with it. I have a couple of other longer races planned for the next couple of months, so I'll just have to work in the 18 and 20 mile runs in between.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Orchard View Winery 5K Report

Saturday morning, I did NOT run a 5K. I went to the high school to pick up my son's game uniform for the Junior football league. Afterwards, the kids and I headed south for a little bit of shopping. We didn't have a lot of luck, although C found a good deal on Rock Band for XBox (we had to have it before the new version with Green Day songs came out) and A got Wii Fit. The purpose of the excursion, clothes for school, not so successful.

Anyhow, we grabbed a bite to eat and came back home to play video games. OK, they played video games, I started trying to come up with an excuse to skip the race. With no good excuse, it was off to Orchard View Winery for the 5pm race start.

What can I say? It was hot. It was humid. I managed to run anyhow.
I finished in a slow, agonizing, 30:43, according to Garmin.
Luckily, it was a small town race, and that was enough to snag first place in my age group. The prize for 1st in each age group over 25.... a bottle of wine! Yay! Finally a prize I can enjoy instead of throwing in a box in the attic.

The rest of the evening, we ate bbq and listened to the band that was there. It was a nice, relaxing evening.

Sunday, I had planned a 13 mile run, but Carol backed out, so I didn't run at all.

I've been off work the first part of this week. Monday, I took the kids and a friend to the Warped Tour where we were able to see a lot of screaming bands (and screaming teenagers). We actually got right next to the stage during Aiden's set, but then we followed a crying lady out of there after A's friend almost got squished by the crowd surfers.

Getting right next to the stage: Fun
Having people kick you in the head: Not so much.

Today has been spent doing a whole lotta nothing. A registered for school today (less than 2 weeks now), and C had football practice, but I didn't even have to drive.

It's back to the real world tomorrow... Much as I hate to admit it, I do miss the normalcy of going to work, although I would be forced to give it up if I were somehow made independently wealthy.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Are You Ready for Some Football??

I've been a bit MIA lately. Things are starting to get busy around here.

This week marks the beginning of my son's football season. That means practice every night from 7-9pm, changing to 6-8pm when school starts (August 17). It also means that beginning with August 8 (first game), a large part of my Saturdays will be tied up with football through October 3.

The practices will get monotonous, I'm sure - they always do. There are some good benefits of taking him to practice every evening:

  • My daughter gets more driving experience, meaning
  • I don't have to drive.
  • My daughter and I can go to the gym and work out or to the park and walk during practice (this has happened 1 / 3 days so far).
  • I'm not sitting around the house snacking all evening.

There are also a few negative points to this:

  • It's going to be tough to get my homework done.
  • Tito (my dog) is feeling very neglected. He wants to come with us, which would be fine if we knew were going to spend the entire time at the park.

In running news, I'm running a 5K this Saturday. The bad news, it's at 5pm. It was 92 degrees at 5pm yesterday. The good news, it's at a winery and the age group awards will be bottles of wine (for those participants over 21). I'm hoping for a very small turnout.

Unfortunately, I'll have to keep the wine consumption to a minimum (even though I have a designated driver). I've made plans to run 13 miles on Sunday morning with C.


As many other bloggers have, I also recently came into a case of POM Wonderful. As much as my daughter loves the stuff, I had actually never tried any of it. I was very pleasantly surprised by how delicious it is. You know, it's healthy, there is no way it could taste good, right? Go on over to their website to see some of the many health benefits of this stuff, if you haven't heard it before.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Run for the Bagel 10K

On Saturday, I went to the Run for the Bagel again.

The race started at 7:30am, meaning I had to leave at O'Dark thirty to get there.

I left my house at 5:20am and met up at Barbie's house. We picked up Shanna and her mom and were off to the race with plenty of time to spare. Once we got there, we were piddling around beforehand and wound up, once again, running to the start. I got to the starting line at 7:29am. Ugh.

It was a cool 65 degrees, which made the race that much more bearable. I've run this race several times, but as usual I was able to forget all about the course until the morning of the race. The course for the 10K is basically two laps of the 5K course. That's all well and good until you hit the second lap. The second lap is boring.

I was actually passing people during the second lap and feeling pretty good even though Garmin was being a brat. My Garmin didn't find the satellites until about the 2 mile mark, and I hadn't reset the laps since the last time I ran. So, I was basically running blind.
Barbie came out and ran in with me when I had about a half mile left. It was with her pacing that I was able to pass the couple that was pushing a baby stroller (he was pushing the stroller, she was turning around to see how far behind her I was). Yay!

I finished in 1:02:42. Not bad. I have no Garmin stats, bleh!
Shanna was the first overall woman in 39:40. Yay Shanna!
Barbie won her age division in 49:59. Yay Barbie!
I won nothing. :(

Monday, July 13, 2009

Joker's Wild Half Marathon Race Report

Do you know how some people dread a race so much and then get started and think "hmmm, this isn't so bad after all"?

Yeah, I am the opposite. I can convince myself that a race that I have run before that is HILLY and miserable wasn't so bad. The Joker's Wild half marathon is HILLY. It is two laps of a hilly 6 mile loop.

Let me back up to the day before the race, though.

I decided that we would venture over toward St Louis in the afternoon. Time kept getting away from me, and we didn't wind up leaving the house until 3pm. My daughter drove. The plan was for her to drive most of the way there and switch before we got to St Louis. She only has her permit, and she has only had it for just over a month. She was NOT comfortable driving in St Louis. As we got closer and closer, she just kept on driving and wound up driving all the way to the hotel. She actually did a fine job, especially if I didn't watch the road. :-P

We checked into the hotel and ventured over to Westport Plaza to start looking for something for dinner (I drove). Instead of dinner, we wound up at Coldstone Creamery. Just like last year, we were sitting outside eating our ice cream when we saw my friend Carol and her hubby. Deja vu.

We chatted for a bit, and they went on to eat dinner. I needed to find something for breakfast the next morning, so we found a Target and did a little shopping. $320 later, we got out of Target. How do they do that to me every single time?

After that, we ventured over to the Galeria and ate at the Cheesecake Factory. Yeah, I know, such healthy choices, right? The kids had never been to a Cheesecake Factory, so I took them.

The next morning, I drug myself out of bed at 5:45am and got to the race start at about 6:40am (race start time was 6:45am).


The first lap, I was feeling pretty good. I even ran up the hills. I started to remember how hilly the course was once we hit the first of the hills. Carol was struggling during the first lap, but she kept up and we ran the entire time together. Here we are running up one of the smaller hills.
We managed to get through the first loop, but I knew there was NO WAY I was going to run up all of those hills again. We walked several times during the second loop. A couple of the water stops of each loop were handing out ice cold sponges. SUCH a great idea. I probably looked like I jumped in a pool at the end of the race because I kept soaking myself with the water every time.
After suffering through the second lap of the race (the second lap was miserable), we finally came around the bend just before the finish line:

And finished!

Garmin said the race was 13.3 miles and we ran it in 2:34. Last year, I ran this race in 2:17. Ah, well, I'm about 15 lbs heavier. This is just one more thing to motivate me to stop being so lazy and to lay off the tortilla chips.

And, on the way home, my daughter got to drive in the rain. It poured on us all the way home. I'm glad I didn't have to drive in it! But, don't be so hard on me, she is required to drive at least 10 hours in inclement weather before she can get her driver's license. I didn't make her drive in the rain just to be mean.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Race Weekend Coming Up

Saturday Morning: Hofbraufest 5K
Sunday Morning: Joker's Wild Half Marathon

Last run: Almost 2 weeks ago.

This should be fun.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Advice, por favor

Does anybody have the answer to how to make yourself get out of bed in the morning?

I know, I know, it has to be motivation that comes from within. I just need to find an alarm clock that will play an unbearably loud noise, followed by turning on the light and TV in my bedroom. Is there an app for that?

I have had the best of intentions this week to get out of bed by 5am and run in the mornings.

Alas, it hasn't happened.

Starting next week, I will have to get my daughter to Driver's Ed by 7am every morning to drive. How will I ever do that and run too?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

This morning, I met my friend C at Rend Lake to run 10 miles. When I left my house at around 6:30am, the temperature was 78 degrees, with the humidity at 94%. The air was heavy.

When we started running, we were both struggling to catch our breath. That humidity was taking its toll. Luckily, when C and I run together, her hubby runs support. He met us several times throughout the run with fresh water and Gatorade. I think I was dehydrated after the first time we stopped, I couldn't get enough to drink. About 4.5 miles in, C asked me if I was up for stretching it to 12 miles. I was undecided. At that point, I was starting to feel a bit better than I had at the beginning of the run. When we reached 5 miles, we went ahead for the extra mile before turning around to head back.

At the 10 mile point, I was thinking that we had made a big mistake. Ai yi yi.
We decided that the last 2 miles were bonus miles and walked more than we had in the first 10.
Finally, we reached 12 miles. Hallelujah!

I'm glad that we ran the miles because my parents had a cookout for Father's Day, and I indulged in burgers, dogs, and the works.

After running a 5K on Saturday and 12 miles today, I think I shall take a day of rest for Monday!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sandoval Sesquicentennial 5K Race Report

This morning, I ran the Sandoval Sesquicentennial 5K. This was a one-time only race, they won't be having another. The course was out and back, very flat.

I arrived at around 7:45am and registered, hit the port-a-potty, and waited for the 8am race start. It was hot. It was humid. Yuck. Looking around, people were already sweating.

When the race started, I felt great, I ran the first mile in 9:13. I thought I could get a PR for 2009 anyway. The second mile was a bit tougher. After the turnaround, the sun was shining right in my face, and no air was moving. Mile 2 was 9:55.

After the mile 2 marker, I was ready to walk it in. I kept going, though, and mile 3 was 10:09. I wound up running the race in 30:33 (Garmin time). There was a decent turnout, so I didn't win anything, but I didn't mind that too much.

Here are the stats, from Garmin:

Distance: 3.13
Time: 30:33
Pace: 9:45/mile
Average HR: 177 (yikes, that's high!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

July Half Marathon

All right, so my friend who I ran the non-official "Half" with on Sunday asked me to run the Joker's Wild Half Marathon again this year. I use the term "asked" loosely, since she has now asked me approximately 10 times.

Last year, I saw C the night before the race at Westport Plaza (the race begins and ends in the Westport area of St Louis). She was looking forward to the race. She wound up getting sick that night and was a no-show for the Half.

Today, I was thinking about how I tend to cultivate a few of my friendships and don't think twice about blowing off others. On the heels of that realization, I decided to go ahead and sign up for the race. So, it's official. I'll be running the Hoyleton Hofbraufest 5K on July 11, then the Joker's Wild Half Marathon on July 12. I'm looking at the bright side... with the weather in the 90's this week, maybe I can swap and have June-like weather for these races.

This Saturday: Sandoval Sesquicentennial 5K. This is the start of races pretty much every weekend for the rest of the summer, just like last year.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

June Half Marathon

My friend C has given herself a goal of running one half marathon per month in 2009. She has been right on track until June. Her hubby had a surgery, and she missed her scheduled half marathon last weekend. She decided to go ahead and run the miles and call it a Half.

We met at 7am and drove down to the Tunnel Hill trail. We ran the portion from Vienna to the Wetlands Center. This was 13.25 miles, according to Garmin.

It was warm but overcast. When I left my house, it was 72 degrees. Ugh. Luckily, almost all of the trail was in the shade.

So, we ran the distance. It wasn't as fast as it would have been in a race, but we ran the miles. That's all I was really worried about anyway. About 10 miles in, I started feeling good. At 12 miles, I felt like I could run forever. Yeah, I'm a distance runner fo sho.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Crossroads Dash 15K Race Report

One thing about me that you may or may not have figured out is that I tend to be all-or-nothing.

It's only fitting then, that after 3+ weeks of no running, I would run a 15K race my first week back.

I was undecided up until about 10pm Friday night whether or not to run the race at all. A couple of my friends decided to go on Friday night, so I agreed to go along. There is a 5K as well as a 15K, so I figured I'd just run the 5K. On the way there, I decided to go for it and run the 15K. I know that this is a hilly race, having run it several times, but I convinced myself that it couldn't be THAT bad, and certainly there would be somebody there slower than me.

Ummm, it IS that bad, and all of the slower people ran the 5K.

Yes, I accomplished two firsts at this race. It was my slowest ever 15K, over 16 minutes slower than my time at this race last year. AND, I managed to finish dead last. In my defense, I would guess that there were less than 20 people who went for the 15K distance, and only 6 women. Yup, I finished dead last, but won first place in my age group.

Here are the stats from Garmin:

Distance: 9.41 miles
Time: 1:49:12
Pace: 11:36/mile
Average HR: 170 bpm

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Coming Back...

Wow, has it really been a month since I've posted?

Well, I could bore you with all the details of what's been happening, but I won't.

Remember this?:

Yeah, well, my running has been very sparse ever since. And, as a result of minimal running, my weight loss has stalled. But, I'm not going to write yet another "poor me, I'm so fat" blog. If I am fat, it's my own fault, and I will take care of it.

I think I've found my mojo finally. I'm running again, for real. I went out for 7 miles today in the most beautiful weather. I think everybody in the county was outside, too. And, you know I can never stop to walk when somebody is outside to see me.

My average pace was 11:33/mile. Not great, but not bad for not running for almost a month!

I really don't have a lot to say, but I'll be back here soon and often!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Love Thy Neighbor 5K mini-report

I didn't run all week.

I have no excuse aside from laziness.

Barbie and I decided to go and run the Love Thy Neighbor 5K, we had both forgotten about it before last week. It was the first year for this race, and it took place in a fairground.

I woke up Saturday morning to a cool 60 degrees. Cool only because it had been so warm the past few days. There was a chance of rain, again. At the race, it was cool but very humid. Luckily, the sun stayed behind some clouds until we were finished running, and no rain. The course was great, ran through the fairgrounds with a couple of rolling hills. Unfortunately, I was struggling far more than I should. On top of my lack of running, my eating was a tad out of control last week. According to the scale, I was carrying around an extra 10 pounds... an extra 10 pounds in one week, crazy, right?

Anyway, I got to about the 2.25 mile point when my friend Tim came back and ran the rest of the way with me. Oh how great it is when a friend comes back and runs in with me. It's really a great boost for me. About a half mile later, Barbie ran out and joined us as well.

Tim had a 5K PR, yay! He ran a 21:06.
Barbie won 1st place overall for women.
I got nothin'. According to Garmin, I ran a 30:52.

This race had a good turnout, there were probably upwards of 75-100 people there (yes, this is a good turnout for these small-town local races). There weren't very many people from our local run club, we actually talked to quite a few first-time 5K runners after the race.

I'll definitely run this race again. It's like Tim said, I now have a PR on that race course.
And, I know I can beat it by next year.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Waited Too Long...

It's the story of my life.

I'm a procrastinator (in case you didn't know that already).

For the past few weeks, I've been toying with the idea of running the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Chicago on August 2. The kids haven't been to Chicago in a couple of years, so I thought we would go up during the summer when it's actually warm. I found out yesterday that the project I am working on that had a launch date of August 3 was going to be postponed to mid-August. This makes it much easier for me to get away for that weekend. So, today, I went to the website to check it out. Registration for the Half was $70 through April 30. It's now $85. There isn't another increase before the Expo, so I'll probably just hold off now until I'm absolutely 100% sure that I'm going to go.

Another example of me, procrastinating... I'm just now getting around to uploading the pictures from our mini-trip over Spring Break (week of April 6). Here are a couple of them from the wax museum. The wax museum was a lot of fun, but taking the pictures was the best part!
I got to "meet" Johnny Depp!

They call her Bond, Alex Bond...

Don't ask him about his business...

I was far too entertained by the Wax museum. We actually took more pictures there than anywhere else on our trip!

This weekend, I've planned a 5K at the last minute. It's tomorrow.

I'll be continuing the P90X. The soreness is mostly gone, now, but I admit I haven't done the Legs and Back workout yet.

I'm hoping to get ahead of the homework situation for the class I'm taking. My final project is already due next week! The accelerated program seemed like a good idea at the time, but now it's more like a runaway train...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Not Meeting the Plan

On Sunday, I started the P90X program. From my last post, my schedule for Sunday-Tuesday was going to be:

Sunday AM: Chest and Back
Sunday PM: Ab Ripper X

I completed these workouts back-to-back, since I put it off until late afternoon. The Chest and Back workout was about 50 minutes of pull-ups followed by push ups followed by pull-ups, and on and on. I used a chair to assist me for the pull ups and was on my knees for the push ups. This workout was tough, but I figured that gives me something to work toward.

The Ab Ripper X was different. I have tried so many ab workouts on dvd that you would be shocked. While some of them are tougher than others, I have NEVER before P90X come across one where I couldn't complete all of the reps. This 16 minutes was beyond tough. I love it! It gives me a goal to work toward.

Monday AM: Run (yeah, that didn't happen. I was sore and tired)
Monday PM: Plyometrics

The Plyometrics workout was an hour of jumping. Jumping lunges, jumping squats, bounding, etc etc. I thoroughly enjoyed this dvd although it was go go go from beginning to end.

Tuesday AM: Shoulders and Arms
Tuesday PM: Ab Ripper X

Are you kidding me? I couldn't even straighten my arms all the way when I first woke up, they are so sore, and now I have to do another arm workout?? Yeah, I didn't get up and do it this morning. I will do the workouts tonight, back to back.

For tomorrow, I need to get up and run in the morning, and I have Yoga X scheduled for the evening. I'm hoping and praying that the yoga is relaxing, since it's 90 minutes long! I have to run at least a couple of times this week, since I'm now planning a 5K race on Saturday morning.

Please, somebody tell me this will get easier? Oh, yeah, I know it will. I just can't believe that I've let myself get so far out of shape that a little weightlifting has made me this sore. Just wait, 90 days from now, I'm gonna have my body back.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Reality setting in

It's quite fitting that Carly posted about Time Management today. I have been seriously thinking about this for the past couple of days.

Based on hearing about it from another blogger, Kelly and watching the infomercial 2 or 3 times, I bought the P90X program back in January. It has been collecting dust ever since as I was marathon training. Now, my marathon is behind me, and my workplace is in the midst of a "Health and Wellness challenge" based on lowering body fat % and waist measurement that my colleague and I are in to win. This seems like the perfect time to break out the P90X dvds.
OK, so now that I have planned to start it, I should check out the schedule for it and figure out how to work it into my running plan. Oh, and don't forget that my daughter will still want to go to the gym on occasion, completely in addition to P90x and running. And, (yes, I'm starting a sentence with "and") I've started on my MBA program, so I have homework every week that also takes a large chunk of time. Am I going to give this up until my schedule can get easier? Um, no way. I'm going to suffer through it. That's what I do. It will get easier, I'm just gonna have to cut most television from my life.
So, this is going to require an hour each morning, and anywhere from 16 minutes to an hour in the evenings. My first week will look something like this:
Sunday AM: Chest and Back
Sunday PM: Ab Ripper X (16 min)
Monday AM: Run
Monday PM: Plyometrics
Tuesday AM: Shoulders and Arms
Tuesday PM: Ab Ripper X
Wednesday AM: Run
Wednesday PM: Yoga X
Thursday AM: Legs and Back
Thursday PM: Ab Ripper X
Friday AM: Run
Friday PM: Kenpo X
Saturday AM: Run
Saturday PM: Rest or X Stretch
After the first week, I will either feel great and continue or I will turn into a puddle of jello and give up.
I have just a few pictures of the crew from our trip to Boston:
Barbie and me on the tram to the airport in STL

Me just before the BAA 5K

5K Finisher:

Barbie and Me, and Shanna is sitting on the statue's lap:

Shanna and me waiting for the subway

And, here we are with a couple of others from our running club

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Boston Recap

Here are a few of the stories from my recent trip to Boston, pictures coming soon!

Pre- Marathon trip bullet points:

  • Saturday afternoon- left STL, ate Chili's at the airport. Note: Chili's at the airport is NOT Chili's.
  • Saturday evening- Arrived at hotel around 9pm, saw two members of our local running club. Small world. We tried to go to the hot tub, but we waited too late. The hot tub closed at 11pm.
  • Sunday morning- 5K Race Day. We slept a little later than planned, but we managed to make it to the race start in plenty of time. I went into the tent where they were handing out the packets and picked everything up. Barbie held all of our stuff while Shanna and I ran the race (Shanna ran as a bandit, she just wanted to stretch her legs a bit). It was 45 degrees and sunny- great weather for a 5K. I finished in 29:16. My biggest problem was that I didn't line up until the last minute and just started in the back. I was weaving around people the entire race and ran part of the time on the sidewalk. The scenery was amazing, and it was an unbelievable feeling finishing at the Marathon finish line. Barbie, meanwhile had gotten to see Joan Benoit Samuelson speak before the race started and snapped some photos. All of the 5K finishers received a medal (score!) and some pretty nice goodies afterward.
  • Sunday afternoon - Boston Marathon Expo. What can I say? There was SO MUCH to see. We walked the expo, picking up freebies and shopping ALL DAY. We had pasta with roasted veggies for lunch at the expo. We caught up with a few of the members of the local running club for a picture for the newsletter in the afternoon.
  • Sunday evening- went to the hotel restaurant and found that they didn't really have any pasta. The hostess suggested a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant in East Boston, near the airport since we didn't want to travel far. We ate dinner there and it was DELICIOUS. We had a very hearty pasta dinner. We had a hell of a time getting there, since the cab driver had no clue how to get there. $17 later, he got NO TIP!
  • Back to the hotel and Shanna went down to the gym and lifted weights. Yes at 9pm, the night before the marathon. Ah well!

Marathon Race Day!

  • Woke up at O'dark thirty for the girls to get ready to catch the shuttle to the start in Hopkinton. No family or friends were allowed on the shuttle, so I didn't even get out of my pajamas. I helped them get everything together and get out the door, then I caught a couple more hours of shut-eye and had a leisurely morning.
  • Race start was 10:30am for the 2nd wave. I watched the start on tv, then I started riding the subway. I caught up with Barbie at the 17 mile point (Shanna was too fast, I missed her!).
  • I caught Shanna at the 25 mile mark and snapped a picture. She looked very determined.
  • Shanna finished in 3:34. She BQ'ed again, at Boston!
  • I talked to Shanna on the phone as I started trying to make my way through the crowd to the finish line. Let me just take a moment to say how incredible the crowds were for this race. Barbie said later that the roar of the crowd was overwhelming for the last 8-10 miles of the race, and she got choked up several times on the course thinking about it all.
  • Before I could get to Shanna, I got a call from the medical tent- she was a little dehydrated but OK.
  • Barbie finished in 3:55. She BQ'ed again, at Boston too! Awesome!
  • I got in touch with Barbie and we met up near the buses where the runners picked up their bags from before the race.
  • Barbie and I then asked a police officer how to get to the medical tent. The streets of Boston make NO SENSE! We got turned around a couple of times and found the medical tent about 2 miles later. Oh, great news, she's OK but she's in Medical Tent "B", this is Medical Tent "A". UGH! About another mile later, we finally found her! At that point, we just wanted to get back to the hotel.

Monday Evening:

  • HOT TUB!! Don't even say it. I just read an article on the plane on the way to Boston that said that ice baths were not necessary for anybody except elite runners. I used a hot tub after my marathon, and I was feeling fine by the next day.
  • We ate dinner at the restaurant in the hotel. We ran into yet another runner from our local running club. What a small world!


  • Due to a snafu on our first night (the hotel put us in a room with a king sized bed instead of 2 doubles, so the three of us became veeerrrry well acquainted), we got a free breakfast that we used on Tuesday. They had a huge spread, and we all ate our fill.
  • We went into Boston and did some sight seeing. I wish we had another day, one day wasn't nearly enough!
  • We ate lunch at the Union Oyster House, the oldest restaurant in the country. Yum!
  • Our flight was delayed, due to the weather, so we would have had some extra time anyhow. With the extra time, Barbie and I drank a couple of $8 glasses of wine in the airport bar.
  • I got home at midnight. My Tito dog sure missed me! The kids are already texting me today to make sure I buy the concert tickets they are wanting. Yeah, I guess they missed me too. They missed my credit cards anyway.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Boston Bound

OK, so we're not really leaving until tomorrow afternoon... but I have homework to finish, laundry to do, packing to do (yuck!), and I haven't eaten dinner yet. I don't imagine I'll be around tomorrow to post!

My two friends Barbie and Shanna will be running the marathon. We are hoping for cool weather, no rain or wind!

Alas, I am a slowpoke, but I'll be running the BAA 5k on Sunday morning, with the same finish line as the marathon! One day, I will run the Boston Marathon. It may have to wait until I'm 45 and the cutoff is 4 hours. If I lost the extra weight and did the speedwork, I could run a 4 hour marathon, but I can't see me running a 3:45!

I'll post all of the details when we get back on Wednesday.

My goal- nada. I'll probably run tomorrow morning for a bit and then just take it easy and enjoy the sights on the 5k.

Barbie's goal- another sub-4 hour marathon.

Shanna's goal- 3:15. Her track coach believes this is what she can achieve, so she is setting her sights high. She recently ran a 39 minute 10K, and she has been running crazy miles so there is no telling what this girl can do!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Illinois Marathon Pictures

I was able to get some pictures that Barbie took while we were in Champaign for the Marathon...

Here is a picture of the three of us with Bart Yasso at the Expo. This one was taken with a cell phone, so it's a little fuzzy.

Here is one of Barbie and me getting ready to leave our hotel room.

Here I am entering the stadium. Feeling great!

Here I am coming around the bend. I'm the little bright blue speck to the left of the goal post, with my arms in the air... they had just announced my name. Look how far I got ahead of the runner behind me!

And, finally, some pictures with the girls after my finish! Notice how I can't seem to wipe the smile off my face. I felt so fantastic!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Illinois Marathon Finisher

I have finished my third marathon. Maybe I won't wait another 3 years to finish my fourth.

The weekend was a lot of fun. We left for Champaign around noon on Friday. This was the Inaugural Year for the Illinois Marathon, so we weren't sure what to expect. When we got into town, we went straight to the University to pick up our race packets. There wasn't much of a goodie bag, but the race shirts were very nice. They were a long sleeve, technical fabric shirt. The full marathon shirts were half-zip. The only problem was that I ordered a Large, I tend to order Large because I have long arms. The shirts were clearly in Mens sizing because my shirt is like a tent on me. They wouldn't exchange it until all of the runners had picked up their packets. I didn't bother checking back, since the expo was going to be going until 9pm.

The expo was pretty small, in comparison to others, but it was spread out so you weren't all crowded in like at most race expos. Bart Yasso and Dick Beardsley were at the Expo. Since the race was small, they were pretty much available for chatting, which we did. We got a picture with Bart Yasso. I won't get the pictures until Monday when Barbie can e-mail them to me. I'll post pictures later.

We went back to the Hotel and ate dinner there. We split some potato skins, and I had a giant plate of fettucine alfredo. Yum! We then went to our room and started checking the weather. I had planned to wear shorts and long sleeves, expecting it to be around 40-50 degrees. Wrong! It was windy and colder. I didn't pack my cold-weather running gear, but I had bought an Illinois Marathon jacket and was wearing some comfy nylon lounge pants on Friday. I had NO plans to run in those, as I had never run in them before. We decided to put our chips on our shoes and found that there were NO zip-ties in the envelope. UGH! So, we rigged them onto our shoes with safety pins, fully expecting the volunteers to have a struggle with them the next day.

Race day morning, turn the TV back on to check the weather. It is 34 degrees and WINDY. Oh no!! After much debate, I decided to run in the lounge pants and my new jacket. We left the hotel in just barely enough time to park, make one last trip to the restroom (indoor restrooms at the start, yay!), and get lined up. The race started and we were off! My first mile was too fast (9:42/mile). I decided I needed to slow it down! My goal for this race was just to finish under 5 hours and not to set a Personal Worst (my first marathon in 2003 was 4:58:42).

As the race wore on, I kept a pretty steady pace and felt great throughout. I was glad for the jacket several times throughout the race, as there were several areas where the wind picked up. I feel like the extra long runs were very helpful for me (I ran 20 miles 3 times during my training). There was never a point in the race where I felt like I couldn't or didn't want to go on. In fact, I picked up the pace during some of my last miles. I only wish that I had been able to lose more of the weight that I've been carrying around for the past few months. Next time.

My official finish time was 4:57:05, exactly what I expected (11:20/mile pace).

The race course was extremely flat, just as they advertised. The support on the course was fantastic for an inaugural marathon. There was even an Elvis. My only complaint about the support was the wastefulness. Many of the water stops were handing out full bottles of water, the 20 oz size. We would take a bottle, take a few sips, then toss it down. It was a real waste of all that plastic.

And, the chips weren't an issue. The timing chips were commemorative for the first year, so we got to keep them. So, I was the one who had to deal with unhooking that thing from my laces.

Barbie ran the Half, she took it easy since she is running Boston next Monday. She ran it in 1:52:44. She had planned a 2 hour race on the way up. I predicted 1:52. Am I a good race predictor or what?
Angie signed up late, so the 5K was the only race available for her. She ran it in 29:03.

I'm feeling great today, a little sore but much better than after my previous marathons. I think I will be ready to run by Tuesday or Wednesday. My next race is in Boston next Sunday morning, the inaugural B.A.A. 5K.

I'm already plotting my next marathon. I'm hoping I can take off at least 20 pounds this spring and summer and post a PR at Memphis in December.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

On the Road Again...

I do have some awesome photos of me and the kids with various movie stars, but I don't want to get my camera out right now so they will have to wait. We happened upon a wax museum whilst in the Ozarks over Spring Break and hilarity ensued. Of course, the pictures don't do any of it justice but all the same...

I'm leaving tomorrow morning for Champaign-Urbana for the Illinois Marathon. The race is on Saturday morning! Less than 2 days away! I have been having a lot of crazy marathon dreams. My last marathon was in 2006, so I guess I'm a bit more nervous than I thought I would be. Here are some of my random dreams:

- My friends and I oversleep, I show up at the race start in my flip-flops and pajamas. I don't have time to go back for my running shoes.

- I can not get any pasta the night before and wind up sharing a Lean Cuisine with another friend (who is not even going to be there, by the way).

- I show up at the race ready to run, and everybody else is all decked out in dresses and full make-up.

- My friends and I oversleep and show up for the race on time but can't seem to get to the starting line. By the time we get to the starting line, the race has already started and we are about an hour late. Oh, by the way, this dream takes place in St Louis for some strange reason- I guess because I'm more familiar with St Louis.

Hopefully, there will be no drama and we will arrive at the race without a hitch. I'm glad all of my crazy dreams have to do with getting to the race on time and not the race itself. The last thing I need to be doing right now is second guessing my training.

I probably won't post again until after the race, so wish me luck!

Here are some pictures from last weekend's 10K race...

3rd place in age group!

We're all winners:

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Southern IL 10K

Just a quick recap of yesterday's 10K race... I'm getting ready to head down to the Ozarks for a couple of days, the kids are on Spring Break so I'm off work all week.

I dreaded this run for some reason. It was 48 degrees at the start and sunny with a slight breeze off the lake- perfect weather for a run. I was going to take it slow and run with Angie. When the race started, I was feeling pretty good, so Angie told me to go on just before the one mile mark. I caught up with Carol quickly and ran alongside her for the next 3 miles or so. I kept feeling myself pulling back to stay with her.

At around the 4 mile mark, I noticed that I kept trying to carry on a conversation and Carol kept giving me one syllable responses. I realized that she was struggling, so I went on ahead at that point. I was feeling really good. I hoped that I could break the one hour mark. At the 5 mile mark, I realized that it was going to be close. My 6th mile was a 9:09 min/mile according to Garmin. Clearly, I could have easily run harder the first few miles. I finished in 1:00:13. Fourteen seconds short! Bleh!

I won third place in my age group. Yay!
Of course, Barbie took pictures as usual... I'll post them later this week.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Is it Still Winter?

So, my very last post was about running in the perfect, spring-like weather.

This weekend, I had a 13 mile run on tap. I planned to do it first thing Saturday morning. I knew that it was going to get colder over the weekend, but it was pouring rain ALL DAY Saturday. I skipped my run.

Sunday around midnight, the rain was supposed to turn to snow briefly and end by 7am Sunday morning. After that, it was supposed to warm up and get in the 50's again. I decided to run Sunday after the cold was over. What really happened: It snowed until around 8am. Then, it continued to be extremely windy and cold all day Sunday.

I almost decided to forgo the run again, but somehow I talked myself into getting out the door. I ran at 11:30am, and it was 34 degrees and windy. Ugh!
My first 6.5 - 7 miles were into the wind. Absolute torture. At about mile 1, I picked up this chic:

Just call me dog lady. She followed me until around mile 5 when she was chased off by a couple of Irish Setters. Yes, I run way way out in the country, where people tend to let their dogs roam free. At around mile 6, I run past my parents' house and my mom came out on the porch and waved at me! :-)

I was then able to check out their new gazebo from afar as I ran past. Oh, how I wish I could have just ran up their driveway and checked it out and hitched a ride home. But, there was no turning back, I had to run these miles... only 2 weeks until the Illinois Marathon.

I did finish my miles. The second half of the run was uneventful. I got warm when the wind was at my back and had to take off my gloves. The stats:

Total Miles: 13.3
Total Time: 2:34
Average HR: 154

Illinois Marathon, here I come! Next Saturday, my schedule calls for an 8 mile run. I have a 10K race scheduled instead. I may or may not run the extra 2 miles.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lovely Day

This week has been another lazy week, for the most part. I have gotten outside and walked a couple of times, but nothing worth talking about. I also talked my daughter OUT of going to the gym on two consecutive days. NOT my most shining moment...

Then, this afternoon, I had a vendor coming in to show me the latest in packaging (exciting stuff, let me tell ya), so I got to come out of the dungeon that is my office and up to where there are actually windows. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, it was a gorgeous day!

I decided then and there that I was going to run after work. After my 20 miles on Sunday, I took 2 days off on purpose. Then, Wednesday morning, I was tired (lazy) and decided not to get up and run. This morning, more of the same.

I talked my daughter out of going to the gym, again. Once we got home, I tried to guilt her into taking the dog for a walk or going for a bike ride. I changed into shorts and was on the road for 7 miles. I felt great! It was about 60 degrees, with a slight breeze- perfect!

Total Miles: 7.0
Total Time: 1:11
Average HR: 154
Oh, and my daughter did go on that bike ride.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Legs for Life 5K + 20 miles for kicks

Over the past week, I was reminded of a local 5K to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I knew I had a 20 mile long run on my schedule for the weekend, so I was toying with the idea of skipping it.

Eh, I couldn't in good conscience skip it... so I planned to run it on Saturday and do my 20 mile run on Sunday. Let me just say I HATE running on Sunday, so this race had a lot to live up to.

The last race I went to in this town, using this course, was very poorly run and only had ~35-40 runners. In fact, the last time I signed up, it was cancelled at the very last possible moment. The Legs for Life race had a different race director, and a different cause, so I decided to go ahead and give them another chance...

They did great! The run was well organized and had probably over 200 runners. For this town, that is HUGE! There were a lot of the regular runners from the area, and of course Barbie and Angie were there... I ran the entire race with Angie, and finished in 29:24 - good enough for 3rd place in my age group, believe it or not!

I threw on the sweatshirt after I ran. I didn't run in that thing! It was warm when we were running, but I was freezing afterwards and glad I had an old sweatshirt laying around in my back seat.

Barbie won 1st in her age group, and Angie won 2nd in hers. So, we were all winners! :-)

For some reason, this race WORE ME OUT! I slept like a log all night, and didn't get out to run until 10am Sunday morning. Yes, I'm a heathen, no church for me yesterday...

Angie came down and ran the first 11 miles with me. I decided to run out and back for the first 11 on a route that I normally won't do by myself (it runs past the Interstate on-ramp). Yeah, that was a big mistake! Those were the hilliest 11 miles that I have run in a LONG time.

About 4 miles into the run, I HAD to go. So, Angie stood watch and I trotted out to the woods. After I was done, and pulling up my shorts, I found that I was too close to a vine with thorns in it, and they got pulled up in my shorts. Ouch! Got that straightened out and we went on.

About 7 miles in, this guy started following us:

Clearly, I don't know how to make a dog stop following. I could NOT get him to go home. About 8 miles in, I was shuffling my feet, and hit a pothole just right and went down. Yup, scraped my knee. Luckily, that was all. I wasn't hurt for real. In all the years I've been running, I have NEVER fallen down. And, now, I have to have THAT happen when somebody else is with me. UGH!

After we finished the first 11 miles, I was tempted, very very tempted, to call it quits and not finish the 20 miles. Then, I started thinking... I have told everybody that I was going to be running my last long run. People are going to be asking me about this. I can not wimp out! So, I stopped in the house for a potty break and grabbed a bottle of water to carry. By this time, the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds and it was starting to get hot. All right, just get out there and finish it! So, off we went (me and my friend the black Lab). He followed me for the entire 9 mile loop! Grrr... Much as I tried to tell him to go home, he was enjoying the beautiful day, chasing squirrels and running through random creeks and ponds. I would like to forget everything else about those last 9 miles. Luckily, they were uneventful- no falls, no thorns, no dog fights.

When I got home, I had my daughter give my friend a dish of cold water and went inside to change. I was going to come back out and try to take him back home where he first started following, but he had left. I'll bet he slept well last night! I sure did.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's ON!

I have had a very hectic couple of days.

Work is crazy busy lately, and my hours have been long.

So, my weekend... Yes, I ran my 20 miler on Saturday morning. I had planned to take off around 7am, but I was piddling on Saturday morning and didn't get out the door until around 8:30am. The temperature was in the 40's by that time, and near 50 by the time I finished, 4. Hours. Later. UGH!!

I really can't complain about anything except for my slowness. The weather was perfect, and I felt great.

After the run, I went to my BFF's house and we had various appetizers and green martini-type concoctions. It was a fun time. Later, I came home and went shopping with another friend and got a new pair of sandals. Yay for shoes!

Sunday afternoon, I went to the movies with a girlfriend to see "Last Chance Harvey". I enjoyed this movie, but the best part is that it was a chic flick with characters that are not young and stick-thin. After the movie, we went out for Mexican and drinks (of course). I took it upon myself to try and drink all of the chardonnay in the restaurant, I think. Ugh! Too much wine on a school night.

So, I've got some good things going on this week.

1- This coming weekend will be my last long run before I begin to taper for my marathon.

2- My colleague is in town, and we're going to wrap up some outstanding work from my long, long, long list.

3- My friends from work and I have "officially" started our weight loss competition. I did it up right, as I pigged out last night before our first "official" weigh-in. I'm sure I was packing on a few extra pounds this morning that will easily come off for next week.

4- I've somewhat signed up for online classes toward my MBA. This is something that I've always wanted to do, but I was always waiting until the kids were older. I say somewhat because I reserve the right to bail... not sure about the online thing.

Now, I just have to get back into workouts. My daughter and I haven't made it to the gym since Thursday. I haven't ran since Saturday's long run. I plan to get back on the road and in the gym immediately.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Weigh In Day

What a difference a break makes.

I stepped on the scale this morning, after taking a few weeks break from it. I did step on it last Friday when I joined Weight Watchers online, but I have been off of it since then (even though it's been killing me!). I stepped on the scale this morning and was down 6 lbs! Woot!!

But, then Weight Watchers reminded me that I was still +6 lbs from my "starting weight". Remember my starting weight in 2006? Whenever I got SO FAT that I just couldn't take it any more and joined Weight Watchers to lose that pesky 20 lbs? I had pigged out for a WEEK before that original starting weight and probably was up 5-10 lbs from the "I-can't-stand-it-anymore" weight that prompted me to join WW in the first place. Yeah, I'm still 6 lbs over THAT weight. Thanks for pointing it out, Weight Watchers!

*eye roll*

Regardless, I'm pretty pleased with the loss. Maybe I can get back to my "starting weight" before the Illinois Marathon next month.

As for my marathon training, I missed one training run this week. Ugh!
But, I have a 20-miler on tap for tomorrow. No worries. I'm already visualizing that stop sign where I get to turn around at the 10 mile mark...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Paying Member

After an out of control episode (major binge) on Thursday, I decided on Friday to join Weight Watchers (online only). I had been tracking my food before, but I was just trying to keep below a certain number of daily calories. The thing about Weight Watchers is that it gives you an extra weekly allowance. I know that I could keep track of this on my own, but somehow just having it tracked for me with all the bells and whistles seems to make it easier. The only other time I've had to lose more than 5 or 10 pounds was right after I started dating my last ex. We were going out a lot, and I put on 20 pounds or so. I joined Weight Watchers back then and dropped 30 pounds in less than 4 months (I also realized that the drink I had been favoring was a whopping 400+ calories each). It worked so well for me back then, I decided to give it another whirl. I'm hoping I can get back to my "goal weight" in time for a Fall Marathon. If I run Memphis, that will give me until December.

I ran my 16 miler yesterday morning. I need to remember how difficult it was this week when my alarm goes off for a morning run and I want to hit snooze for the third (or tenth) time. Going for a long run after skipping all of my weekly runs? NOT fun.

I woke up Saturday morning late and looked at the temp. It was 65 degrees and rising.

"Oh, I'm not used to this warm weather, I had better wait and run earlier on Sunday morning."

Sunday morning, it looked overcast and windy. Hmmmm... better check the weather.
Oh no! The local news won't be on until 8am. Guess I had better wait. At 8am, the weather lady told me that there were severe thunderstorms headed our way, but they weren't expected to hit until around noon.

All right, all right. I had better get out the door and get this run over with, then.

So, that's what I did. I managed to get my run finished about 30 minutes before the storm hit.

On tap for this week: A total of 10 or 12 miles during the week with a 20 miler on Saturday morning.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday is Here!!

This has been an endless week for me. I woke up on Tuesday thinking it was Wednesday, and it's been all downhill from there.

Luckily, Friday is really here this time. I swear somehow an extra day got stuck in this week somehow, but I can't prove it.

It's going to be a beautiful weekend! I'm so excited that the temperatures are going to be so mild that I'll actually WANT to spend time outside this weekend. Woot!
I have a 16 mile run on tap for the weekend. With all the skipped runs the past week or so, I may run tonight after work and do the long run on Sunday. It's all up to my daughter and whether or not she pushes me to go to the gym tonight after work. We are planning to start a new lifting workout that I've put together for us twice a week, instead of going to the gym and winging it on lifting days. She's anxious to start.

In other news, I signed up for the B.A.A. 5K for the day before the Boston Marathon (one week post-marathon for me).

So I got an e-mail today that included a link to an article about iPhone apps for runners. Now, I don't own an iPhone, but reading through the descriptions of some of the free apps makes me want one! I've always heard that the service for one of these phones is outrageous, but jeez! if all of this stuff works the way it describes, it would be worth it! I know that some of you peeps have iPhones... is it really the greatest thing since sliced bread, or should I just stick with a regular old phone this year when I'm due for my upgrade?

Guess I'll need to do some actual research before I make a decision one way or the other.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hump Day - Cardio Boxing

Aargh! It has now been several days since I ran.

I'm having one of my off weeks. Every night, I go to bed earlier and earlier. Every morning, I wake up completely exhausted. Then, I spend the day in a groggy haze.

Luckily, I haven't been letting this keep me from the gym after work. At least I am not a complete slug. Wednesday evening, my gym has a Cardio Boxing class. Last week, my daughter and I tried this class for the first time. It was a LOT of fun, but I was certainly sore the next day. We are planning to go again tonight. I just have to decide who I will imagine beating the crap out of tonight whilst pummeling the bag. That should be an easy decision.

This week, they announced a 5K that will take place the day before the Boston Marathon. The 5K finish will be the same finish line as the marathon. We will definitely be in town that day, but we won't be there in time the night before to pick up my race number if I decide to participate. I do have some colleagues in Boston, so I could probably get past that. I'm undecided about whether or not I will sign up for the 5K. It will be about a week after my marathon, so I know I'll be able to run it, but I'm not sure if I want to deal with one more thing that weekend.

Our next marathon (yes, already looking ahead) will probably be the St Jude's Marathon in Memphis. I have never ran that one before, but I love all things Memphis. Who doesn't love Elvis, Beale Street, and singin' the blues?
A fall marathon would give me time to take off a few more pounds and actually complete the training like I should (including the dreaded speedwork that I'm skipping this time around).

Monday, March 2, 2009


Well, I'm late to the party on this one...

I was just checking out some other blogs and found that the Biggest Loser contestant Dane DID NOT finish a marathon in 3:53. He did not finish a marathon at all. He and his wife hitched a ride for 3 miles so that they could get the dramatic finish line shot in time, at a clock time of 5:53.


I knew there had to be something screwy going on with that story.
So, now I feel just a little better about my marathon times. For this April, I'm not expecting to PR what with the extra weight and all, but I do hope that I don't run slower than my first marathon. I think my first one was 4:58 and change. I know it was just barely under the 5-hour mark.

Other than that, I got nothing. I had a very un-productive weekend, unless you call sitting in a recliner and alternating reading and watching TV whilst eating peanut butter cookies productive. No? All righty then.

Now, I have to un-do the damage before my 4 weeks is up.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Friday!

Today, it has been one full week that I've been off the scale.

I got up this morning and put on a pair of my least favorite pants, thinking they were going to be just falling off of me. Hoping they would be falling off of me, so I could pack them away and get out some of my smaller pants.
Ummm, nope not yet. If I reallly try, I can convince myself that they are looser. But, it may just be in my head. I feel great, and that's the most important thing. I'm not beating myself up on a daily basis over the number on the scale.

Last week, when I was on the scale, it was upsetting me so much that I was skipping a lot of workouts. I felt like the workouts weren't really getting me what I wanted so why bother. This week, I have been at the gym every. single. night, in addition to running 3 days in the morning. Maybe the number on the scale is good, maybe it's not. But, in 3 more weeks I think the scale will catch up with the workouts and show me some good news.

This weekend is a cutback weekend for my marathon training. I only have to run 8 miles on Saturday morning. I'm actually looking forward to tomorrows "long" run.
That being said, do any of you watch the Biggest Loser? I was BLOWN AWAY that the guy who was eliminated this week ran a marathon in 3:53. A couple of weeks ago, I watched "Marathon Love" where the guy pushed his wife in a HOSPITAL WHEELCHAIR through the Chicago Marathon in 3:15.
I guess the question at hand here is, WHY am I so SLOW?? Am I holding myself back because I don't "think" I can run any faster? Or, are those guys just that gifted? I really want to BQ, and my friends all think that I am capable if I am consistent in my diet and running. I would have to run a 3:45 marathon. I am planning a fall marathon this year, maybe going to Boston with my friends will inspire me to do the work for this fall's marathon.

Other than the easy 8 miles, this weekend will be a kid-hauling weekend. My DD wants to see "Friday the 13th". Joy. So, I'll be taking her and her friends to that after the gym tonight. Tomorrow night, she wants to go to a local teen hangout where they are having a band that she likes. I'll be hauling her and her friends to that tomorrow. Maybe Sunday, I can talk her into going with me to see a chic flick.

Hey, Tam, Don't you also have a son? Why don't we ever hear anything about him?
Why, yes, yes I do have a son. He's 14 years old. He is in his room.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Jeez, it seems like these days all I have to post about is running. It's almost as if my life revolves around it or something.

Ummm, OK. I admit it. It sorta does.

This week, I've been struggling with that silly alarm clock again. Today is the first day that I managed to get out of bed and go for a run since my long run on Saturday. I have, however, gone to a couple of classes at the gym. I went to step aerobics on Monday night and boot camp on Tuesday night.

Regarding the boot camp, it was my first time doing that particular torture. Let me just say "Ouch!" The lower body stuff, squats, jumping, etc was EASY. The upper body stuff, situps, pushups... not so much. My upper body is WEAK! I need to work on that.

Anyhow, I got up this morning after trying to talk myself out of it and got dressed for a run. It's been warming up again this week, so it was 40 degrees when I got up. I got dressed in long sleeves and NO jacket! Yay! Then, I went to turn on my Garmin. Low battery. WHAT? I just charged this thing after my 20 miles and haven't ran since. How could the battery be low?
Ah, well. I'll just run without it. So, I took off out the door, feeling naked without all the electronic gadgetry and got about a half mile when I realized that I forgot my ipod, too! UGH!

How did I get this way? I didn't start running with an ipod until 2 or 3 years ago, which means that I ran for 6 or 7 years without music. I suppose the bigger question is, how did I ever run without it?

I was faster then... I wonder how fast I would have been if I had used music back then? The world may never know...

I thought of a lot of these conundrums during my run, without the music to keep my mind diverted. Don't let me run without that thing again. UGH!

Monday, February 23, 2009

TGI... M??

Marathon training continues...

I ran my first 20 miler of the year on Saturday morning. I knew when I woke up that it wasn't going to be the carefree, meandering, sunny 20 miles that I had dreamed. Nope, it was grey and gloomy when I woke up Saturday morning, with temperatures in the mid-30's and a strong wind. I kept getting text messages from a friend telling me to get out the door and run.

So, I got dressed and ready to go. Then I went to turn on my fully charged Garmin. Nothing. I started freaking out. I finally realized that it probably just needed to be reset. Duh!
I reset Garmin and headed out the door.

By that time, the snow had started. Snow and heavy wind out of the northwest. My first 10 miles were north and west. There were so many times that I considered just turning around and cutting my run short. It was SO miserable. The best thing I can say about my first 10 miles is that they are over.

I begged and pleaded, PLEASE snow OR wind, one or the other.

I got my wish. It stopped snowing. It started sleeting.

NOT what I had in mind.

About 8 miles into my run, the sleet stopped. I had another 2 miles into the wind, then I got to turn around and run the 10 miles home with the wind at my back.

When my run was over, I drove up to Barbie's to drink some wine and relax for a bit.
Later, I took my daughter and her friend to see "Coraline". Very cute movie, good for young girls.

Sunday was housework day. I feel like I was on my feet all day.
I never thought I'd be so thankful for Monday.

Oh, and I still haven't stepped on the scale. I have 25 more days in my 4 week hiatus from the scale. The not knowing is driving me crazy. But, I will not step on that thing.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Out with the Scale!!

I've been trying to keep as much whining about my weight out of my blog as possible, but this is the last straw. Let's recap, shall we?

I'll start from when I began this journey of becoming a runner.

1999-2002: Best shape of my life, running is a breeze.
Nov 2002: Laid off from my job, promptly gained 20 lbs, running is keeping me sane.
Aug 2003: Started my current job, lost 10 lbs- running is fun again.
Oct 2006: Decided to buckle down and lose the last 10, back in the best shape of my life.
2008: Gained 40 lbs. Ugh! 15 of them were in December.

OK, this seems like a minor setback, right? Right?


I have been busting my hump since New Year's and still haven't lost the 15 lbs that I gained in December! Ugh!

After my 18 mile run on Saturday, I got on the scale the next day, hopeful. I had eaten healthy all day Saturday, and burned over 2500 calories.

I was up 4 lbs.

This fact caused me to spiral out of control all week. It just put me into a funk that I have not been able to shake. I say out of control, but it's more my mood. My eating has been different, but not completely out of control. This morning, back on the scale again.

No Change. Still up 4 lbs.

I think that the best thing I can do at this point is just stay away from that thing. I'm considering just throwing my current scale out and weighing myself later on down the road when my clothes start fitting me again. Back in the days when I was in my best shape, I wasn't obsessing about every morsel of food the way I have been this past 2 months.

OK, OK... /whining over. I'm going to start focusing on the positive again.

On tap for this weekend, my first 20 miler of the year.
I'll be glad to get that run under my belt, and get the monkey off my back.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fly with the Eagles Half / Long Run

I had the best 18 mile run ever on Saturday. It had been 3 years since I've run 18 miles, but I've committed to the Illinois Marathon, so I had to get out there. Barbie and I had registered for the Fly with the Eagles Half Marathon on Saturday, with the understanding that we would each get our extra miles beforehand.

In order to make this easier, we stayed over at her son's house on Friday evening, which was closer to the start of the Half. There, we got the long run preparations underway early:

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!! We wound up drinking one bottle of wine and then a martini after dinner, not too bad.

The next morning, we got to the race an hour and a half early, no small feat for us. We're usually the ones who come squealing in 10 minutes before the start. The race started at a visitor center for the wildlife refuge. The door was still locked when we got there. Registration was supposed to start at 7am. So, there we were, waiting for somebody to come and unlock the door (we desperately needed a restroom before starting to run). Luckily, the race director got our race numbers and sweatshirts (very nice sweatshirts for this race) out of his trunk so we wouldn't have to deal with that later.

We wound up driving up the road to a gas station to use the restroom, then came back and started running. I had to get 5 miles prior to the race, and Barbie had to run 7. I think they waited for Barbie to start the race, since we got such a late start. We didn't start running until 50-55 minutes before the scheduled start of the race.

Here we are between our pre-race miles and the start of the race, along with a couple of other friends:

My early miles went great, I had a hard time keeping it slow enough. I have developed a blister on my big toe (this is a first), so Carol helped me get it sorted out before the start of the Half Marathon. My Half Marathon went surprisingly well also. I felt fantastic the entire time. I even picked off some runners in my last mile! Mile 17 of my long run, and I'm passing people. Amazing.

I did slow down for 2-3 miles. I met a runner before the race who was fairly new to running and was talking about my training run that day. As I was passing her around mile 7, she asked me to stay with her for a while and chat. I gladly slowed my pace to do that. There were only about 100-150 runners in this race, so it wasn't like there were people around the entire time. We had just come out of the wildlife sanctuary, which for some reason was BRUTAL for this race, it's usually my favorite part.

Eventually, she needed to slow down, and I wanted to get going, so I broke away from her around the 10 mile mark.

My overall pace for the 18 miles was 11:25. I think I could have kept it under 11 min/mile if I would have pushed a bit more. The run was extremely easy for me. My Half Marathon time was 2:31.

I felt so great the next day, I think I could have ran. I didn't, but I did go shopping with the kids all Sunday afternoon. My plan was to run this morning, but I woke up with some stomach issues. I haven't been able to keep anything in my stomach all day. UGH! Hopefully, I feel better by morning, I need to get running!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Glorious DOR

It seems that the happening thing to do on Fridays is to post pictures. I have one that I absolutely must share. This is my dog, sleeping in the cat bed. Obviously, cats never sleep in these things. He probably thinks he is supposed to sleep there!

"I Is A Cute Cat"
Let me just rejoice in the fact that today is my DOR. I went from almost NO activity in December to two-a-day workouts most days this week.
Tomorrow is long run day, and I have a doozie planned. I'm going down tonight with some friends to spend the night at my BFF's son's place. Tomorrow morning, we are running a Half Marathon. I will be running 5 miles prior to the race start, then running the race, to get in my needed 18 mile long run.
UGH! Keep your fingers crossed that my legs and feet survive. It's been a long time since I've ran 18 miles. And to throw a race into the mix makes it oh so much more interesting...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Get in Shape or Die Trying

Yesterday, I mentioned that I had gone to the gym and done an upper body workout Sunday evening following my 16 mile long run that morning.


Last night, I left work and went to a step aerobics class. My first step aerobics since I stopped instructing step back in 2003. My daughter's very first step aerobics class.
It was a pretty good size class (for small town), 16 people. The instructor did a good job of cueing, I only got off once or twice. My daughter had a tough time keeping up, but she really enjoyed it. We're planning to do step again on Thursday evening. The time of the class is perfect for me to leave work, pick her up at the library and go straight to the gym.

This morning, I was up and out at 5am for a 4.5 mile run. It was 54 degrees and breezy, so I got a little warm. The run was tough. My legs are still just a little tight from Sunday. I am so glad I got out there and did it, though. I feel fantastic today!

Tonight, my daughter and I are planning to go to Chen Tai Chi. I'm not really sure what to expect, but it was that or boot camp. I really didn't want to brave the boot camp tonight.

Now, if only the scale would catch up with my workouts. As of this morning, it was moving in the wrong direction again... I have to stop stepping on that thing every day.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Easy Peasy 16 Miles

My plan this weekend was to get up Saturday morning and get my 16 mile long run out of the way. I had a loop near my house in mind that I was going to run, but I wasn’t sure of the distance. The last marathon I ran was in 2006, just before I got my Garmin. I figured if it was 15 miles, I was going to be happy with that- especially since I skipped my long run last weekend.
Saturday morning, I woke up around 7:15am. I did NOT feel like running, so I figured I would give myself a couple of hours and then head out...

Then I took the dog out. The wind was crazy. I. Hate. Wind. Knowing that the forecast for Sunday was a little cooler, with no wind, I managed to talk myself into waiting until Sunday for my long run.

My BFF did her 18 miles Saturday morning, then called me and told me how horrible it was running in that wind. This reinforced my decision to wait and run on Sunday. I then went out for Mexican with her, and a couple of glasses of wine. Saturday night, I went with my daughter and a couple of her friends to see "Uninvited".

Before the movie, I was piddling around on Facebook and checking movie times when my friend Carol called. She said, "Did you get your long run this morning?"

Ummmm, nope.

She had actually hoped that I was going to say that, and we planned to meet up on Sunday morning to run. She was only planning 8-9 miles, but agreed to be support for the rest of the run (bringing water, etc). We started out around 9am on some local biking trails. The weather was fantastic (around 40 degrees with only a light breeze off the lake), and it’s always great running with a friend. The chit chat keeps you going- I didn’t even use my ipod. Carol actually wound up running the entire 16 miles with me. Her hubby came along and supplied the water. He would park at intermittent spots near the trail, then walk up onto the trail and bring the water and Gatorade. That made the entire run that much easier.

It was tough finishing up the run. I was dragging by the end of it. But, we walked about a quarter of a mile afterward, then I drove home. Once I got home, I got cleaned up and my daughter and I went shopping a bit, where she asked me if we could go to the gym later. Ugh! But, two things I will never say "No" to when it comes to the kids- books and working out. So, I went to the gym around 7pm with her and worked my upper body and abs.

My legs feel pretty good today, no soreness at all. But, my daughter has another trip to the gym planned tonight. Ugh! I’m thinking I’ll probably go to the step aerobic class and take it easy.

On tap for this week-
Tuesday- 4-6 miles
Thursday – 4-6 miles
Saturday – 18 mile long run consisting of 5 miles + the Fly With the Eagles Half Marathon

Plus, the gym as many times as my daughter wants to go. Heaven help me.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Heat Wave!

Yesterday morning, when I woke up it was 7 degrees.

Today, the high temperature is expected to be in the mid-50's. It will stay this way all of next week. I am SO glad that I don't have to do my 16 miles tomorrow morning in single-digit temperatures! I couldn't imagine running 16 miles on a dreadmill.

My daughter and I joined the gym last night. My son is also a member, but he refuses to go... yet. I'm so excited that I just have to share this. My daughter told me last night that she was thinking of walking and working up to running! Woot!

She tried this a few years ago, in the 5th grade. She was in Cross Country that year. Cross Country is one sport that has no "try-outs" in our schools. If you want to run, you can run. She was one of the last finishers at every cross country meet. I told her back then that it isn't about winning, it's about beating yourself. But, that's a difficult lesson for a 11 year old. Since then, she has become more health-conscious. She became a vegetarian a 2 or 3 years ago, and has stuck with it (which really shocks me). She is interested in fitness, now. I hope she sticks with it, too. I know that it really would have helped me at her age (15), but I didn't get serious about fitness until 10 years later.

I've got no plans for the weekend. It feels strange to have so many weeks in a row with no races planned. Luckily, the Fly with the Eagles Half Marathon is next week on Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Joining Up?

I didn't have to worry about Day 2 getting up early today, since my work hours are out of whack this week. I'm working evening shift tonight for testing at the end of the shift, then back to normal tomorrow. It sure is nice to have the morning off, but tomorrow is going to be rough getting up early again.

It was 7 degrees when I woke up this morning. I got a text from my BFF at 5:30am saying that she was packing it up and heading to the gym for her 7 miles this morning. I decided not to brave the weather, either. I did some strength training instead, at home.

Yesterday, I received a card in the mail, an advertisement for the newest gym in the town where I work. OK, it's not really new, they just relocated. The new location is more convenient for me. The gym is small, but it is a 24 hour location, also convenient for somebody who aspires to working out at 5am. The "special" rate that they are advertising is $12.50 per month. $12.50 PER MONTH! There are family packages available, but I don't know any details about the cost for that.

I'm torn about this. I have a friend at work who is already a member. Somewhat motivational, but I think I would be more of a motivation for HER than the other way around. She is not very dedicated to fitness at this point. I have everything I need to work out at home- free weights, treadmill, countless dvd workouts. But, I do miss the gym. And, you sure can't beat a price of $12.50 per month.

I have an appointment at 6pm tomorrow evening for a "tour" / sales pitch. I'll probably take the kids (or at least my daughter) along and check it out. We can decide from there.

My plan is to get up tomorrow morning and run again. It's supposed to be 7 degrees again tonight, so it's gonna be tough. The forecast has changed again. It's going to be near 60 degrees by Saturday. I am so ready for spring to get here and stay.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

21 Day Habit - Day One

If it takes 21 days to make something a habit, I suppose I'm on Day 1.

I managed to drag my sorry arse out of bed this morning for a run. I didn't get up a lot earlier than normal- I didn't get out the door until around 5:45am. In order for me to get a 4-5 mile run done and still make it to work on time (7am), I would have to be out the door by 5:15am at the latest. Luckily, I'm working late tonight, so I was able to come in a bit later this morning.

Also, luckily for me, I did NOT turn on the weather forecast last night or hear the wind howling this morning before heading out. If I had known how cold and windy it was, I surely would have talked myself out of running.

I ran 4.5 miles, and only 2.25 miles of it was into the wind. It wouldn't have been nearly so bad if it hadn't been approximately 9 degrees. When my alarm went off the first time, my thermometer said 19 degrees. By the time I got home from my run, it was 9 and dropping.

It's going to be in the 50's by Friday.
Gotta love Southern Illinois.

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's Official!!

Three steps forward and two steps back.

That’s how I’m feeling today. I had lost 9 pounds as of one week ago. Then came last week. Last week was rough. I was struggling with so many cravings, I wound up gaining 2 lbs throughout the week. Not so bad, I can recover from 2 lbs. Then came the weekend. I gained another 2 lbs on Saturday. I decided to watch it on Sunday and try to recover. Well, I didn’t really eat that much on Sunday. I was within my target calorie range. It was obviously sodium-packed calories, since this morning’s weigh-in was up another 3 lbs. That’s a 7 lb gain since last week! What is going on with me?

As of today, I am back. I think that a large majority of those pounds are water, due to the mass sodium that I consumed yesterday. I also was not on the ball with running or working out at all last week. It was pitiful. If I’m going to make this work, I’m going to have to get back on the ball.

As if I needed another reason to kick it in gear… As of Friday afternoon, I’m officially registered:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Cravings

I’ve been well on my way to losing the weight that I gained last year. As of Monday morning, I was down a total of 9 lbs so far out of the 40 that I have to lose.

So, here I am, in my 4th week of eating healthy when, BAM! The cravings have hit. I NEED some good old comfort food (or so I’ve convinced myself). It’s cold, I need to snuggle up in my fleece jammies and not worry about getting out there for that workout. (yeah, right). Plus, I’m HUNGRY! On top of all that, we got hit with about a foot of snow yesterday, on top of the couple of inches from Tuesday. We’re not used to that much snow down here!

And, my treadmill is acting wonky. My repairman (my dad) is snowed in, living in the middle of nowhere like they do. Well, they can probably get out today, but I hate to ask them to come out and work on my treadmill when they are getting ready for a vacay. What to do? What to do?

All right! Enough of this! Yesterday, I did eat a lot of junk that I shouldn’t have (non-whole wheat pasta, buttery popcorn, and too much of both). I have fired pasta and buttery popcorn from my everyday life, they tend to cause me to crave other things, so I’ve banished them.

I’ve also skipped my runs this week. The snow is no excuse, I know others are out there running in it. I’ve run in it in the past. There’s no reason to skip a run just because of a treadmill problem. I’m just lazy, and enjoying those fleece jammies when the alarm goes off. Plus, with the kids out of school, I’ve been staying up and hanging out with them later than usual.

This morning, I was studying my marathon training plan and talking to my BFF. Being the athlete of the year and all, I figured I’d ask her for advice. I’m going to forgive myself for missing my run this week. According to the training plan I have, this week should be a cutback week, long run of 6 miles. I’m going to go ahead and run tomorrow morning, then do another run Saturday morning and get back on the schedule next week. That would mean a 16 mile long run next weekend, and 18 miles the weekend of the Fly With the Eagles Half. She will be running 20 miles that day, so we will go to the Half about an hour early and run the extra 5 and 7 miles prior to the race.

Disaster averted. Now, to get these cravings under control…

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Awards Banquet Photos

Enjoying the evening:

Runner of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year:

Yay, Barbie!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No Turning Back

Last night was the Awards banquet for our local run club.

The banquet was held an hour away from me, so my friend picked me up and we made a day of it. I have been a member of the club for 8+ years now, and this is the first awards banquet I've attended.

To start the day off right, I had a long run planned, 12 or 13 miles. When I woke up at 6am, it was 14 degrees, with a breeze. Ugh! I know I've run in colder weather, but I just couldn't get myself psyched for it. At around 7am, I got a text from Barbie saying that she was headed out for her run, and dreading it.

I decided that I didn't want to go outside, but I HAD to run. I have a perfectly good treadmill and can run on it. I talked myself into breaking the distance into 3 sections of 4 miles each. I got on the treadmill and was watching some of my Tivo'ed shows from last week. The first four miles were OK, so I went for 5 in the first segment. I took a quick break, opened the sliding glass door next to the treadmill (I got hot quick in the house), changed my shorts (at what point did I start getting chub rub? Must. Lose. Weight.) and back for another 4 miles. I took a second quick break and finished up with 3 more miles. I ran 12 miles on the treadmill! Woohoo!

After the run, I got ready to head out for the banquet. We left just after noon, as Barbie's son lives in the same area as the race, and we had plans to do a bit of shopping beforehand.

First, we went to the liquor store. Who ever heard of a dinner where it was BYOB? Ah, well, we got our wine. We had a late lunch (Mexican, of course), since none of us had really eaten much yet. Next, we had to shop for black pants. Yup, we came so prepared. Anyhow, we found some nice ones in the mall. At that point, it was already after 5pm! Social hour was 5-6pm, and we still had to change clothes and get to the banquet hall that was about 20 minutes away! We rushed back to the apartment, threw on our dressy clothes, and we were off. Very. Late.

We wound up getting there just in time to sit down for dinner. Whew!
Barbie received the Female Athlete of the Year award! It was very unexpected. I knew about it, but she did not. Let me tell you, it was TOUGH to keep my mouth shut about it! She had an excellent running year in 2008 and has been running better than ever.

I do have pictures from the banquet, but I'll have to post them later. I can't believe the dang cable for my camera is at work! Ugh!

During the course of the day and night yesterday, I told several people about my plans to run the inaugural Illinois Marathon. I also told some people at work last week. One colleague that was in town from Chicago even marked it on his calendar (he's a runner, too). This means that, come hell or high water, I have GOT to do the training for this marathon. I can't back out now, lest I have to explain to everybody I know that I'm a lazyarse. THAT is NOT going to happen!