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.