Thursday, December 30, 2010
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce
Every year, I debate whether or not to make "resolutions". As much as I hate them, I just can't help but feel like the new year is my chance at a clean slate. As 2010 comes to a close, I have spent a lot of time beating myself up over my failures of the year. I haven't lost any weight, in fact I've probably gained. I haven't been doing much running at all. I've probably ran the least miles I have ever run in a year.
On the other hand, I have made a lot of changes this year, and some accomplishments. I may not have run many miles overall, but I ran
5 Half Marathons,
1 Full Marathon,
1 8-man/80-mile relay,
and various races of shorter distances.
I also moved myself and my 2 kids 300+ miles from the area we've lived for the past 15+ years (and 300 miles away from all the help from my parents). I've started in a new position at work where I travel about 50% of the time (which I love, by the way, the job and the travel).
So, what does 2011 hold for me? Well, clearly, I get to start a fresh new chapter. I can't wait for that.
I'm not going to set any arbitrary goals for myself (although I have already committed to at least 2 marathons for the year and various other races).
Instead of saying I will lose xx pounds or run yyyy miles, I'm going to take it as it comes. Of course, it's crazy to say that I don't have some hope in mind for what I think I want to accomplish. I'm going to make it my #1 new year's resolution to forgive myself if I don't meet all my expectations.
I also have some goals in mind for work and for my personal life. I can pretty much boil it down to this: Focus. I have so many things that need to get accomplished, that it's impossible to think I can get it all done when I would like for it to get done, at work and at home. My second resolution is to focus on the task at hand and cross things off my to-do list one at a time without getting overwhelmed.
That's it. I feel good about giving myself a break. Hopefully, I'll follow through with it and have a more positive outlook in 2011 than I've had in 2010.
Monday, December 20, 2010
I purposely scheduled no running yesterday. The way I had it planned, I would have 0 runs on days I have to be in the office for the first 2 weeks of my plan. This way, I can be miserable in peace while I try to get back some level of fitness.
Week 1, 12/20-12/26
Tuesday, 12/21: 6 miles (work from home)
Thursday, 12/23: 5 miles, include 3 miles tempo run (vacation day)
Sunday, 12/26: 10 miles
Week 2, 12/27 - 1/2
Tuesday, 12/28: 5 miles (vacation day)
Friday, 12/31: 5 miles, include 2x1600 (holiday)
Sunday, 1/2: 12 miles
As it turns out, today I wound up shoveling snow during the time I would have normally been running.
Soooo, for week 1, I will either run later this afternoon (unlikely), or change to Thursday and Friday running, with the long run remaining on Sunday. Honestly, I really could have ran this morning and shoveled during my lunchtime, but I elected to sleep in instead.
Was it worth it?
Absolutely not. :/
Maybe I'll remember that the next time I hit the snooze button...
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I'm already looking at the plan that I printed out last week and deciding what changes I will make so that it will fit my schedule. I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to work from home a day or two every week (when I'm not traveling). I will be planning my longer mid-week runs on work from home days when I don't have to worry about getting dressed for work afterwards. :)
Also, my long run for the first week falls on Christmas. One thing I learned from Thanksgiving, I won't do my long run on a holiday when I'm staying at my parents' house.
I will be posting my Week One plan on Sunday. Let's see if I can go from Couch to Marathon in 16 weeks. (I know I can, let's hope I can do it gracefully)
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Everyone was doing it, and I had plenty to say.
At the time, I had been running for about 7 years but never really considered myself a "runner". Even at my fastest, I was the slowpoke of my running friends. (Yes, I run with some speedy people.) So, here I am, 3+ years later feeling like less of a runner than ever.
So, what has happened to me? That, I am trying to figure out.
Three years ago, I was in fine shape, running pretty regularly.
Today, I'm running intermittently (that's an understatement) and I'm 60 pounds heavier. Heavier than I've ever been. This isn't because I sit around and eat cheetos and bon bons all day. I eat pretty healthy 85-90% of the time. The problem is, the other 10-15% of the time, I am completely out of control.
Here's one my my favorite running photos, taken in February 2006 at the Fly with the Eagles Half Marathon. It was 20 degrees and windy that day, but I felt strong and looked strong. I have to get that back.
So, what's my point?
I'm trying to think of one. :)
Seriously, I've been considering whether or not I should continue blogging or just give it up altogether. Today, as I was running (yay!), I was thinking about what I've been doing to myself. I have signed up for the Go! St Louis Marathon next April, and I'll be doing the River to River Relay with friends again this year the week after the marathon. I'm also considering another marathon in May (Madison, WI?).
There is no doubt in my mind that I can not accomplish these races back-to-back without losing at least 20 lbs (preferably 30) and DOING THE TRAINING. That's a biggie for me. I've never really been big on following the training for any race 100%, but I've never been 60 lbs overweight, either.
So, my plan is to be accountable here. I'm not going to be one of those people that complains about being fat all the time but does nothing about it. I'm sick of feeling the way I do, I'm tired of being exhausted all the time, and I'm ready to DO something about it. At the beginning of this month, I plunked down the money and my daughter and I started going to Weight Watchers meetings. I have to lose the weight, I can't afford to keep paying Weight Watchers indefinitely (and I won't give up).
I've got a 10 mile race coming up the Saturday after Thanksgiving, then there will be 3 weeks before marathon training for St Louis will "officially" begin on December 20. I'll be checking in with my training plan for each week and results. Feel free to cheer when I follow the plan and heckle when I don't. Or if you really want to make me uncomfortable, ask me whether sleeping in was worth missing a necessary training run and why I did it. That will really make me squirm.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
October has been the month from hell for me.
First, my kids both have birthdays in the same pay month. For that reason, I generally try to keep spending to a minimum in this month. This October, nothing has gone right.
My daughter, when backing out of the garage one morning early this month, broke the rear view mirror off her car. I decided to pay for the repair out of my pocket. It was only a couple hundred dollars, and I didn't want to turn it into the insurance company. Little did I know, that was just the beginning.
Later the same week, my refrigerator quit and the drains in my upstairs bathroom became clogged to the point where we couldn't take a shower up there. Both had to get taken care of the same week. Ugh.
Back in February, I committed to running the Chicago Marathon with some friends. There was no backing out, even though I did absolutely zero training for the race. SO, the day before the marathon, my friends came up and picked me up and we went to the Expo.
So, I ran the Chicago Marathon in the 80+ degree heat, with zero training and a new pair of shoes. Suffice it to say it was ugly. I finished an hour and 45 minutes later than my normal marathon time, but I finished. I was glad to be done with it, and too stubborn to stop until I finished. The beer at the finish line never tasted so good.
Later that evening, we all got cleaned up and went out to celebrate:
All of that pain was worth it, we had a great time.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Since the last time, I've moved into my house, traveled for business 3 out of 4 weeks, and ran the Chicago Half Marathon.
Yes, the Chicago Half Marathon, great course, well organized, and I did much better than I expected. I was pleased with my performance that day.
As for training runs, well, I won't even talk about it. Even I get tired of hearing my own excuses. I will be running the Chicago Marathon in under 3 weeks, but it is going to be rough.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Now, since my training has been hit and miss for the past 8 weeks, I must piece together 8 good weeks of training leading up to the Chicago Marathon. I'm committed to this race.
Also, back-to-school clothes shopping has sent my daughter back to the gym. We have been hitting the hotel fitness center the past couple of weeks, and I'm back to tracking my food. Look at my ticker! I'm down another 3 lbs! 8 lbs down, 59 to go. Ugh. That's actually my ultimate goal, though. I'd be pretty happy with losing 40.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
My kids drove back down to our old house today, so I'm living alone in the hotel again. :)
It's only Wednesday, but this week has been very long already. This is the first night that I haven't spent the entire evening shopping for school clothes until the stores close.
Last night, my daughter and I did venture down to the hotel fitness center around 9:30 or 10pm. I was on the dreadmill, she was on the elliptical. We have both gotten pretty bad out of shape (I've been a poor example the past couple of years). Next week, I plan to drag her down there at least 2-3 times. OK, so I didn't drag her down there, I told her where I was going and she wanted to go.
Next week, we should be able to get enrolled in school and my son can join the football practices. Maybe between that and the hotel fitness center, I can keep the kids tired enough that they won't want to run me ragged the entire week!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
My new address is at the Embassy Suites.
Living in a hotel week 1: Not so bad, I did a lot of reading and enjoyed the free breakfast and happy hour.
Living in a hotel week 2: I brought my kids. Yeah, not so much fun.
We still have to live in a hotel for one more week next week, the closing for the house is supposed to take place on August 20. Let me just say it here, as I've said it everywhere else, I will never never never attempt to buy another house that is a short sale. This has been nothing but pain and a whole lot of waiting. I pray that it actually happens on the 20th. If not, I'm in big trouble.
Meanwhile, do you think I've been running?
If you said yes, you would be dead wrong. On the weekends, I'm driving 5 hours each way to go home, do laundry, visit my pets, etc. I am not doing my long runs.
So, in less than 9 weeks, I will be running the Chicago Marathon with pretty much 0 training. If I start training today, maybe I can minimize the pain, but it ain't gonna be pretty.
Stay tuned, I'm actually starting to feel settled already. I'm loving working up here, I'm excited to actually get moved into my house and feel like I really live here. I think this is going to be a great change for me!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Unfortunately, running 9 miles on a Sunday, then skipping 2 full weeks of running does not allow you to maintain the same fitness level as you had. Now, add to that temperatures that are just shy of 100 degrees and bright sunshine.
Saturday's long run was no fun. Brutal is an understatement. I went out on Saturday morning at 7am and completed 13.4 miles. Notice, I didn't say that I "ran" 13.4 miles. I "ran" about 10 miles, walked about 1 mile and trudged home the last 2.
I even attempted to call my kids to come and pick me up after about mile 11. My phone was wet (I was dripping sweat), so I could only manage to place the two phone calls. Neither of my kids answered, so I had to get home on foot. Ugh!
I contemplated crawling up under a tree and resting for a spell a couple of different times, but I suffered it out. I made it home. I got the miles. Now, I feel like I can continue on my marathon training where I left off. Next weekend, my schedule calls for 14 miles. Unless it cools down by 20 degrees or so, I'll be out the door by 5am for that one. Lesson learned.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
*cross your fingers that my current house sells soon*
We were on the ground level about 20 rows back from home plate. And, we were in the shade. Awesome seats. I drank too many $8 beers.
I start at my new job on August 2. At this point, I'll be living in a hotel until I can get the house situation figured out. I feel like I'm in limbo, I just want to be moved already! I'm hopeful that once I get settled, life will get back to normal. I haven't felt normal for quite a while now, a couple of years really.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Somebody check my temperature.
My friend Ang texted me last night and said that she was going to go and run the 15K. She hasn't been to a race since the Fly with the Eagles Half in February. She claims that she isn't running much, so we can finish last together. However, I know her too well. She will say that and then run off and leave me.
Oh well, bring on that pity applause at the finish line because I'm ready to come in last.
Ah, well, I'll probably still win first in my age group.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
The rest of the day: sunny, with no clouds in sight.
Run in the evening? Ha!
Once I get off work, I go straight into couch potato mode. Running later in the evening does not appeal to me at all. Maybe if I had a training partner, but certainly not alone.
It seems I have a choice to make for Saturday. I usually run the Crossroads Dash 15K every year. Last year, I finished dead last at this race with a pace of 11:36/mile. I don't foresee running the race any faster this year than last year. There is also a 5k distance that I could run, but I wouldn't get my planned distance that way. Time for a good old pro-con list for my 3 available options.
Option 1: Run 15K race:
Get 9 mile distance for the day.
Run faster than I would at home
Likely to win an age group award, since most people run the shorter race
Spend time with friends
Likely to be last finisher, which I HATE
Pay $20 to finish last
Option 2: Run 5K race:
Run faster than I would at home, speedwork
Spend time with friends
Don't get very many miles for the week.
Pay $20 to run a shorter distance and probably not win anything
Option 3: Run 9-10 miles at home:
Get 9 mile distance for the day.
No embarassment of finishing last.
No need to wait until 8am to start running.
Will run slower
Won't get to see my friends at the race, although we could always get together later
I'm leaning toward Option #3, even though I may have led some of my friends to believe I was going to run the 5K. I really can't get myself motivated to think that it's a good idea to go to this race this year, especially when I start thinking about the killer hills near the end.
No. Thank. You.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
On Friday, I went and saw Sex and the City 2, in the afternoon, when there were only a handful of others there. OK, so I had to take my 16 year old daughter, since my friends were all at work, but it was worth it.
Saturday morning, I ran the Odin Sesquicentennial 5K race. At 8am. In the heat and humidity. My only goal for this race was to NOT run my slowest 5K ever.
Result: Pass! I ran a 32:18, which is very close, but not quite my slowest ever. The course was ok, just the right amount of sun and shade, but the weather was so hot and so humid that I was just glad that it was over.
Saturday afternoon, I spent at my BFF's house for a girls day in. Ang, Barb and I spent the day drinking margaritas and eating chips and salsa. Yum!
One more race- Herrin has their Herrinfesta Italiana over Memorial Day weekend. The race takes place on Memorial Day and is a 10K. I knew what to expect, as I have done this race many times before. As usual, I had talked myself out of how bad it was. I'm good at that selective memory when it comes to race courses. My goal for the race was once again to NOT run my slowest 10K ever.
Result: FAIL! I ran a 1:14. My slowest 10K prior to Monday was 1:05. The race is one giant loop, most of it taking place in the hot hot sun. And, let me tell you, it was HOT on Monday. I think it was in the mid to upper 70s at the race start, and humid. I was miserable and just didn't care that it was a race. I just wanted to get it over with. And, finally, I did. :)
So, even though I failed at my goal, I was not disappointed with my time. I really didn't care.
My friend C had her grandson there and wanted me to come out and run the 1 mile race back with him. I've run with him before, he hasn't quite learned to pace himself yet so there is a lot of walking involved. I agreed to help, and wound up getting in another 2 miles- one out to the 1 mile start and then the mile back.
After the race, we went to G's house and took showers and got ready to go out for lunch. Who would have thought that every place we decided to eat would be closed for Memorial Day? We were on a wild goose chase! We tried 3 different restaurants- all closed. Then, there were signs up all over talking about a wine and arts festival that was taking place Memorial Day weekend. When we found the park where the festival was to be held, we saw one last truck packing up one last display. Ugh! Seriously, isn't Memorial Day a part of Memorial Day weekend?
We were all craving pulled pork, so we finally settled on a little hole in the wall place that was actually open. So disappointing. The barbecue was dry and not very good. The side dishes all tasted like they were served directly from a can. Yuck!
Later, we went to a Southern IL winery. That made up for the race fail and the lunch fail.
It wound up being a fantastic day, I'm glad we stuck it out.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
This summer, I will be making a move. The kids and I will be moving to the city. Well, probably more like the suburbs, of Chicago.
I'm ready for change, and the opportunities in the new location will be much more plentiful than they are here.
Stay tuned for the relocation saga.
The other upcoming change is the always present weight loss dilemma. I sound like a broken record, I know.
I recently met up with some old friends for lunch.
Problem #1: I hate the way my hair looks. That will be easy to fix, and will be fixed very soon.
Problem #2: I am twice as big as everybody else in the picture. Granted, I am 5 inches taller than they are, so I will never be as small. I do want to be confident in the way I look, however. Right now, I am not.Over the weekend, I decluttered my house, including my closet. I found more clothes than one person could ever want or need. The only problem is that these clothes are in 5 different sizes, and I have the least amount of clothes in the largest sizes, the sizes I wear now.
My regularly scheduled races will have to be changed.
This makes me sad.
I'll miss the Tunnel Hill Trail Run, all of the tiny little 5Ks, the Turkey Trot 15K that is 3 loops of the same 5K course, and many others. I may travel down here for some of them, but not all.
I do have two races on the schedule in Chicago for this Summer/Fall already ~ the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon on August 1, and the Chicago Marathon on 10/10/10.
I'm considering a local 10K on Memorial Day in the meantime, and possibly one of those small 5Ks this Saturday the 29th...
Friday, May 7, 2010
My 2 most recent races were the River to River Relay (8 runners - 80 hilly miles) and the Flying Pig Half Marathon.
The Relay was on April 17. The relay team that we put together was the bestest relay team ever. I've run this relay 5 times, and I've never had such a good time. Every single person made the day that much better. We couldn't find 8 runners that were fast enough and uninjured, so we wound up running the race with 7 runners (2 of the runners split up the 8th leg).
Here's Mustang Sally and the Tipsy Rousers at the finish:
We finished the entire 80 miles in 11:03. That's an average of 8:17/mile. And, I was a slowpoke. Our goal was 12 hours, and we smashed it! Mustang Sally and the Tipsy Rousers rock!
A couple of weeks later, four of us went to Cincinnati to run the Flying Pig Marathon. I hadn't done the training, and I've been continuously gaining weight, so I decided to run the Half instead of the Full.
It was POURING the morning of the race, and a part of me was hoping that they would cancel it. It had been storming just prior to the race, but the lightning and thunder managed to move on just before the race start. Yay. :(
So, we all started the race soaking wet. On top of that, I had some stomach issue going on and wound up in the port-a-potties along the race course 5 times. Yes, 5 times in the port a potty with soaking wet clothes. One of those times, I had to wait in a line for 15-20 minutes. My goal became to beat my friend G to the finish line. He was planning to run a 3:10 full marathon. Ugh.
It was miserable.
It is over. Hallelujah.
I must drop some weight and get back in running shape this spring and summer. I'm registered for the Chicago Marathon on 10/10/10, and I intend to have a good race there.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
So far this year, I have run 49.1 miles. I'm considerably short of my goal at this point. I will need to make up almost 80 miles throughout the rest of the year.
I know that I can achieve this.
There are 318 days remaining, and I have 950.9 miles left to run. That averages out to just a hair under 3 miles per day, or 21 miles per week.
(I'm a math geek, I can't help it).
21 miles per week, I can do. I have two marathons planned for the year, I have no excuse for not running an average of 21 miles per week. Never mind that I did it last year. If I can do that much training, my speed will have no choice but to improve, and as promised I'm not even going to mention my weight.
This weekend, I'm headed to Florida to run the A1A Half Marathon in Ft Lauderdale. I'm looking forward to it, hopefully the short vacation will re-energize me.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I woke up yesterday morning after approximately 3 hours of sleep. I could not sleep Friday night and didn't bother to try. I drank my coffee and forgot to eat breakfast, so I ate a banana in the car with the girls on the way down. The temperature was 30 degrees and sunny. Knowing all of this, along with the minimal amount of training that I've been doing, I estimated my finish time at 2:32.
When you go to a race, do you know what your finish time will be?
I almost always know within a minute or two what my finish time will be for any given race.
On the way down, the girls were talking about how slow they would be, but they had NO idea what to expect. This absolutely boggles my mind.
Several miles of the race are inside the sanctuary on a trail that was "soft". My shoes were covered in mud after this race. Yuck! I hate getting dirty. I'm such a girl about mud. I hate it. Several runners reported seeing eagles while we were in there, but I never saw them. :-(
I felt good the entire run, but I was being careful not to run too hard, since I do have another half marathon next weekend. At Ft Lauderdale!
Given the muddy conditions, I wasn't as close as I thought to my prediction, but I still ran a 2:34. I was happy with this finish time, even though I finished LAST in my age group and was very close to being the very last finisher. Yup, these small-town races have their benefits and their drawbacks.
Benefit: It's very easy to win an age group award
Drawback: Run slower than a 9-10 minute mile and you risk finishing last.
So, the question, do you know how you will finish a race, or am I alone in this? Does predicting my time this way become a self-fulfilling prophecy and keep me from running faster?
Thursday, February 11, 2010
No running Monday - Friday, long run on the weekend.
I wish that I could find a magic cure for this problem. I don't like running after work, but I can't force myself out of bed before work. OK, Clearly I CAN force myself out of bed before work, or I CAN run after work. The fact is, it's not happening. After a long day of work, I want to snuggle into my warm clothes and rest. And, the mornings? It's dark at 5am. And, I'm lazy.
Obviously, if I'm not running, I've gotten away from strength training too. For quite some time now. I come back to it occasionally, but I slack off almost immediately.
Unfortunately, over the past 2 years, I've gained 40 lbs. I wonder if the non-running and the gain in weight are related? Hm. Seriously, I'm tired of hearing myself complain about it, as I'm sure all of those around me are tired of it as well. It's time to put up or shut up. Yes, you heard it here. I'm no longer whining and complaining about being fat. If I'm not willing to DO something about it, I'm not going to waste my time whining about it.
Half Marathon this Saturday.
Then, I travel to Florida next weekend and run the Half Marathon at Ft Lauderdale.
Hopefully, I can manage a couple of runs in between the two.
Now, does anybody have that magic cure for sleeping in?
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I'm also trying to get back into my weightlifting routine, slowly. I'm getting a late start, but I intend to make 2010 my year.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
I'm not going to try and catch up on everything that has happened since the last time I posted. I did run another marathon in Memphis.
That was a lot of fun. Even more fun than running 26.2 miles was going out with friends on Beale Street afterward, though. The marathon was December 5. From December 6-December 23, I ran 0, nothing, nada. Then, I ran 4 miles on Christmas Eve with the best of intentions to get moving again.
I went to a concert earlier this month. Lady Gaga was amazing!
Nope, still no running.