Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lollipops and ass-whoopin's

That was the plan for this morning, but I woke up at 3:48. I know I'm crazy, but there's just something about (a) waking up before the alarm - makes me feel like I've been cheated out of sleep, so I just can't will myself out of bed; and (b) waking up before the sun is up. These two things just should not be allowed. It's pure insanity, I tell you.

So, missing my five miles this morning, I planned to maybe kinda sorta "punish" myself when I got home from work. It turned out that it wasn't so much a beating for me as it was for the pavement. Yup: I ran five miles without stopping, not to pause and not to stop. Not even to walk.

I'm getting super excited for the half!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Twelve miles. I can do this!

Yeah, I was nervous at first, but once I headed out the door, for the first TEN miles, I was great. SOLID. Here's my view at mile #2. There are always a lot of memorable sights on my long runs, but this was not exactly one of them. My idea was to take a picture every other mile. That didn't happen, because at about mile three, I ran into a friend from work walking her dog, so we walked the next couple of miles together. She worried that she was holding me back, but really, I was just thankful for the break. Mostly.


I ran through a really nice, swanky neighborhood within our little subdivision, and was sort of taken aback by this house. Like I said, super nice neighborhood. Awesome-looking house. Aaaaand...they still had Christmas lights up. And it's the end of February. Kinda crazy? Is it just me?

I almost forgot about this part. You almost can't tell, but this is the park I run past almost every run, but today it was jam-packed, FILLED with rug rats playing soccer and screaming. I kinda veered a different way after that. Just had to stop for water for a sec.

Here's my view from mile #5 (I think). Crossing a bridge over the freeway. Call me crazy, but I kinda enjoy running over bridges. Kinda cool.

It was a good run. After ten miles, I totally hit a wall, and needed someone to kick my butt. So I started walking, and texted my love asking for confirmation that he had absolutely NO faith that I could ever finish twelve whole miles. No response. Nothing. I kept checking, checking, checking...nothing. 

So I called in for backup: S. I sent a text to S asking him to kick me in the rear. He never fails (thus the BFF status, thanks): he responded right away: "Run like you stole money from your pimp!"

That did the trick. Ran the rest of the way, got home and took my very first ice bath (not fun), a shower, and game over. The rest of the day was great. Just like my twelve mile run. 

But I'm definitely sold: I'm definitely making ten miles a weekly thing. Love it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

She likes it!

I'm not a picky eater, do it should not have come as a surprise that yes, indeed I did absolutely love apple nachos (yet another amazing idea from meals & miles).

I was running late this morning (eek! I might get to the parking lot less than 20 minutes before I'm allowed in the building!), and didn't have time for a sit-down breakfast.

So I popped a Granny Smith through the apple corer, and plunked the pieces in a plastic to-go container with a few other goodies, like peanut butter, nutella, and raisins.

Next time (which I think might be Monday morning, so I can bring some to share with the group), I want to add more stuff. Craisins, maybe. Granola. Shredded wheat. Jerky.

Just wanted to make sure you're paying attention there.

My review? Amazing idea. Definitely not a boring snack. You can really get creative with it. Very fun. I look forward to hearing how my coworkers like it...or don't.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Running on less than fumes

I was supposed to do 12 miles today, but it turned out to be a sleepy day off of work. I woke up at 7:30, then woke up, fell asleep, woke up, fell asleep...until about 9:30, when I finally got out of bed, ate a healthy breakfast I knew would fuel my body more than adequately.

And then I fell asleep on the couch. At that point, I thought, "okay, I'll listen to my body. I'll go take a nap. Maybe I'm fighting an illness."

I sleep from 12 until 1:00, more or less. When I started running at about 2:00 (after my lunch had settled), it was so hot, that I only got five miles in before I completely gave up, fearing I would pass out, puke, or maybe both, and someone would find me in a gutter in a pool of my own sick. Good times.

So tomorrow, my alarm is set to ring BRIGHT and EARLY. Brighter and earlier than I had hoped, but I just gotta get in those miles! Priorities!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Next up: TWELVE miles

Tomorrow I'm supposed to run twelve miles, my longest run EVER. I'm a little nervous (which, I understand, is getting pretty freaking old by now); I need to get over that. I would LOVE to have my running book unpacked and on a shelf right now, not boxed in a room full of other boxes of books, books, and more books. I need some sort of change of mental scenery. Something to artificially motivate me to run. To remind myself why I run. So I did some googling, and found some words of wisdom:

Running is a big question mark that's there
each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you
going to be a wimp or are you going to be
strong today?
- Peter Maher,
Canadian marathon runner
Tomorrow, I am going to prove (even if it's only to myself) that I'm strong. I'm going to wake up, grab a little something, and head out. I'm going to run twelve miles. I might shock myself, but I will get it done.

Ask yourself: 'Can I give more?'
The answer is usually: 'Yes.' 
- Paul Tergat,
Kenyan professional marathoner
This is always a struggle. Yesterday especially, when it was just a rough, rough day for me to run. When anvils were attached to each ankle. It's funny how it's usually harder to go the whole distance for a shorter run; but when I plan a longer run, I'm better at completing the full distance, even if I don't technically RUN the entire distance. I wonder why that is. Am I a born distance runner? I think not. It's like they say - "it's not a sprint; it's a marathon." I appreciate the perspective.
The miracle isn't that I finished.
The miracle is that I had the
courage to start."
- John Bingham
And this is what I'll say to myself when I cross the finish line at the half marathon next month. I'm still trying to decide whether I want to do the follow-up half two weeks later, on March 25th.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pop quiz

Where do I live?

I took this picture in my very short run today, because it liked so out of place. Let's get this straight, first of all: this is NOT a private gate to the driveway of a fancy house. On the other side of this gate is dirt, nothing more.

Could this not be confused for Las Vegas? But I'm nowhere close to that hot spot (thankfully enough).

One of the things I like about running, especially longer distances is that, the farther you run, the more you see. And the more you see, the stranger stuff you see. And those things make life interesting.

So a crazy person (like me) might say, longer runs make you less likely to experience shock.


Determined, I started running after I'd vacuumed almost the entire downstairs. So I started off, got about a half mile before I was VERY tired (and why wouldn't I be? There were anvils attached to each ankle)!









FAIL. Total FAIL. I know what the problem was, though. I have NOT been fueling properly. Especially not for the amount that I've been running. And I've been dehydrated recently. I'm great at hydrating during the week, but on the weekends, I'm not so great about it. I don't have a water bottle right next to me at all times during the weekend. So then it impacts me even more, because I run the most, the longest on the weekends. 

Must focus on hydration and fuel on weekends.

Friday, February 17, 2012

TEN miles!

This was LAST weekend, on Sunday. I still haven't run yet today. Boo.

I was really nervous when I started out on my run today; it was supposed to be twelve, but I'm going to try that distance next weekend, then maybe eight or nine the week before the half. Not really sure how it's going to work, but it's worth a try, right? I've never done this before. I really have no idea.

But I DID find some pretty decent sights along my way. I kinda live really close to the country...you know, farms and tractors and all that. The skies were really nice just before the sun set, but my cell phone camera didn't exactly express the thousand words.

Oh yeah. A ditch. Lovely. And a whole bunch of hay and farm stuff.

Once again, lovely. Say what you will, but there is a certain thrill (for me, anyway) to running between fields.

This was about at mile three or four. I was stopped at a traffic light, and quite frankly thrilled to be stopped for a second.

I really do enjoy these paved trails. The hot sun, however...not so much.

Do you ever wonder what life would look like if it was sketched? I did, and now I know: not nearly as exciting as in color. Here's proof.

Run, shmun

It's a long weekend, so my missed run yesterday (and every other run this weekend) just got pushed back a day. Thanks to US Presidents, I'm just fine about missing my run yesterday. So I should be thrilled to be up and running, right? 

Well, I woke up bright and early slept in (naturally), and now I'm getting dressed in my running clothes eating a nice healthy breakfast donuts and watching The History Channel Teen Mom. Oops.

At least I'll start running right after I finish my "healthy breakfast," right? Yeah, probably not. My hubby wants to go to see a couple of movies today, the earlier the better (before kids get out of school).

Okay, so a couple of FAILs already today, but I'm not defeated. Yeah, I'm eating donuts. Yeah, I might be in a movie theater for five hours today. But I will run today. Six miles. Hell or high water.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Okay, so maaaaybe I'm giving in to the whole three things thing. Today, it's gonna be three things on my running bucket list:

Run with my husband, T. Maybe I can convince him to run a 10k? He already consented to run Bay to Breakers with me, and that's a 12k I think. I hope he likes it; I know I'm liking forward to it!

Run at least 1,000 miles in one calendar year. This is my first attempt. I might not make it, but I'm trying. I know I'll get there one day.

Run a 10k in less than an hour. The last time I ran that distance, I did it in something like 1:03. I've gotten a lot faster since then, so I'm convinced. I can totally do it.

Foiled again

I have this alarm ringtone. It's a British voice, a male voice; his name is probably Jeeves. When it's time to wake up for a run, he says, "pardon me, sir, but it's morning..." Something along those lines. I chose it, because it makes me smile, and I can always use something that makes me smile.

But this morning, I know my alarm must have gone off, but I honestly can.not.remember turning it off. So I missed my six mile run. Such a bummer. Again.  I'll have to run tomorrow instead.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Half goals

The last race I ran was a 5K in December this past year, in New Orleans. It went by really quickly, because of everything I had on my mind, and because it was unfamiliar territory (physically); I'd never been there before.

This time, this race, it's a half marathon. So many people say to have multiple goals: an A goal, a B goal, a C goal. So here are mine, in order of importance to me, for THIS race:

Finish. After I finish, at some point I will get a 13.1 bumper sticker. I might not put it on my car (although I might), but I want to have it. Primary goal, though: FINISH.

Finish in 2:30 or less. I know I can do it, so why not make it a goal?

Keep running. By that, I mean yeah yeah, take a couple of days off, but definitely don't lose motivation. After all, I have to start training for Bay to Breakers after this!

Wait, no. Switch B and C. Definitely continuing running is a higher priority than finishing in a certain time. I mean, if finishing is my primary goal, then...

Oh well. Nobody reads this anyway.

Twelve miles should be interesting this weekend...

Feelin' great!

I can't believe I really feel this great after ten miles this weekend. I was really starting to get nervous for a while there, thinking there's no way I can do this. I even scheduled time off for the day after the half, anticipating that I wouldn't be able to walk.

Overdramatic? Who, me? Never!

I'm even liking forward to my four mile run tonight. I love check lists and charts and stats, so I got this app for my phone; it reminds me how many miles I've run so far this year.

So, question: is it completely pathetic that I'm liking forward to running tonight because it means I can update my total mileage?

Monday, February 13, 2012

X: 2 months

"Each morning
when I open my eyes
I say to myself:
I, not events, have the power
to make me happy
or unhappy today.
I can choose which it shall be.
Yesterday is dead,
tomorrow hasn't arrived yet.
I have just one day, today, and
I'm going to be happy in it."
-Groucho Marx

Today marks two months since my life changed forever, and I was thinking about X today. I've had a number of moments since that day where I thought, "that would be a great job for him," or "I haven't talked to him in a while; maybe I should call or text or something." But it's only fleeting moments, thank goodness. I haven't completely lost it. Wait. No. Scratch that.

Sometimes I feel guilty for leaving on vacation the day he died. But what help could I be? None. It's not as if he was there. He didn't care one way or the other, and it was great to have a fun distraction.

Running is another great distraction. I want to keep running, stay healthy, live my life. Because if I don't do things that make me happy, what point is there in life?

I'm tired of crying, and being sad. I'm tired of making excuses, and not just doing what I say I'm going to do.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Me, today

This was my longest run, ever. Not just recently. Not just this training cycle. EVER. But considering how nice it felt afterwards, and how long it took me (much less time than I ever could have anticipated), I think I may just have to make ten miles a th least a somewhat semi-regular thing. My legs will thank me. I hope.

The thing that won't thank me so much? Yeah: the rest of my body. My head. I was literally dripping sweat at mile 2.5. It was freaking hot.

Now, I'm getting nervous about my half in March (yeah, NOW I'm getting nervous). I'm not a fan of oppressive heat. Then again, who is?

I'm crazy

It's a statement, not really a question. When I told my friend I had ten twelve miles scheduled for today, and that I was kinda scared, he said he'd hate having to force himself to run (he's not a runner anyway). I told him it was only for training for the half marathon next month, then I can do whatever.

But the truth is: I signed up for the half. I WANT to do this. Maybe I don't jump out of bed at 4:15 am on Tuesdays and Thursday, but I want to at least TRY a half marathon. I want to be able to say I've given it a try. Maybe it's not going to be my favorite distance (so far, my favorite is the 10K distance), but I want to JUST DO IT.

Isn't that a decent reason for doing something? A new job. A new activity. A new town. A new restaurant. Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt. Isn't that what it's all about?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The power of thoughts

"The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results." 
-Norman Vincent Peale

So tomorrow morning, when it's humid and overcast, and 60° or more outside, I will remind myself of this. Because I know I can do it, I WILL do it. I WILL run at least ten miles tomorrow, and next weekend I WILL run twelve miles.

The weather gods

I looked out my front door this morning and saw clouds.

"Oh, this us going to be a great day for a run! The weather gods heard my prayers!" I thought foolishly.

I quickly dressed in my running gear and headed out the door. The first quarter mile or so was great, and then it hit me how insanely humid it was. Don't get me wrong: I kept running, but it really was unbearably humid.

I ran a few miles before I hurriedly rushed through a shower to get ready to meet friends for movie and an early dinner.

True to form, I was boiling hot before the movie started, frozen throughout and when we walked downtown, and fine at dinner.

Maybe, just maybe, the weather gods won't tease me tomorrow during my long (to me) run. Fingers crossed, anyway...

Friday, February 10, 2012


"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

I guess I should start believing in myself more. I know that health us a great reason to run, and since I enjoy the after-effects, I might have to keep on doing it. I know a half marathon is in my very-near future, but what else? I'm trying to speed myself up. I don't know if I want to try a full marathon, ever. I think I might try for some PRs in lower-mileage distance races.

The sun'll come out...

It's been a little (read: a LOT) warmer than I would like recently, especially for this time of year. It's only the first half of February, and already we're having 70+ degrees weather. No rain. No clouds. No break in the heat. This MIGHT end up being a horrible, horrible summer.

We have an awesome day planned tomorrow, with friends and a movie, maybe some snacks, dinner. Tomorrow should be great. 

However, I am still struggling with getting out of bed at all early. I didn't run today before my dentist appointment like I should have (and like I was planning to). I didn't run on Thursday morning before work like I should have (and like I was planning to). Clearly, there's an issue here.

Tomorrow, though. Tomorrow is a new day. "Fresh, with no mistakes in it." Well, "no mistakes in it YET." 

I'm beginning to wonder how I'll do at the Shamrockin' Half in March. I know I CAN do it, but I am starting to worry about the heat, my tired legs, cramps, proper hydration and fueling. Especially the night before, because the plan is to stay in a hotel close to the starting line the night before the race. 

Yes. I am indeed THAT nervous. What was YOUR first big race like? Isn't everyone nervous? I wish I had access to my book about women's racing, but it's in a box in another room, and quite honestly, even though I LOVE that book, I'm not sure I want to incur the wrath of my hubby (what does it tell ya that he loves to play first-person shooter games all the time?).

Hm. Speaking of TOMORROW. My goal really is to wake up and have enough time to run a longer distance (maybe ten miles? Maybe? Hey, for me that's long) before meeting up with friends for some crazy fun. Here's to a bark-free night! A night of sleeping the WHOLE time! And a subsequent morning of waking up completely refreshed, with energy to attack those ten miles! So, to bed I go.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Three things

I don't usually do this (I like to buck trends), but here goes nothin'. Today, I'm doing three things (that are on my mind) Thursday.

Negativity spreads, and it's like wildfire. Especially around here. Especially over the past year, which happens to coincide with another event that happened about a year ago. And the two things are not NOT related. What to do? Definitely some thinking to be done soon.

Money. When times are tight, isn't that what everyone thinks about? What else in life is so in-demand? And by everyone?

Running. I seriously need to up my mileage, especially during the week. Yes, it super-sucks to wake up to an alarm at 4:15 a.m., but it should be worth it. In the long run. Or so they say.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Did you run today?

I did!

Not this morning like I had planned (because the dog decided to stay barking at midnight, and didn't quit until after my love gave him a whole Benadryl). I ran tonight, after a ten-hour work day, and (obviously) less-than-stellar sleep.

It wasn't as far as I'd hoped, but hey - I got out there. I ran. I did it. And it was...okay. So the plan (at the moment) is to wake up early tomorrow to run before work, because (as we all know) Thursday is DATE NIGHT (it's in all caps because it's that important). No, really.

I need a new playlist

What do you listen to while you run? I have some lists, but they are filled with very similar things, and over time, I've gotten bored (that's probably the reason I haven't run with my ipod in a while).

But with my half marathon coming up in just a month, I'm getting nervous. I need to have some tunes for such a long run.

I'm considering injecting a few of my little brother's pieces in there, because there are some that have some kick to 'em. And maybe some Queen, too. I already have a "pop bitches" playlist that I might just shuffle for a change of pace, but what else?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Great run

We had a hot double date this past weekend with my brother D and his wife J. D always threatens that he's going to run with me, but because he's something like 6'4", I try to avoid having him (inevitably) kick my butt.

Until this weekend. I told him I shouldn't run far, because I had ten miles (a very long run for me, at this stage in the game) scheduled for the next day.

He said he didn't think he could do more than a mile, so it was perfect. One mile before we hit a tasting party would be perfecto!

Now usually, my pace varies, from 9:00 to 9:45, sometimes even 10:00. For this mile, though, I kicked it up a couple of notches, sending D a clear signal that I was gonna be the one kicking his bootie, and not the other way around.

We finished the mile in 8:51, a personal record I haven't hit since high school. Total score.

He might give me a run for my money at Bay to Breakers in May!