27 February 2012

Earworm Sunday & a gorgeous sandal

While searching about for some new music tonight I stumbled upon Girl in a Coma.  Wow, just wow......I've ended up staying up later than I planned listening/watching vids of these women and after 15 miles spread out over 3 different runs today, that's quite a feat.

I'm also in a bit of love with these Rachel Zoe sandals.  While it's a higher platform than I would like, it is in proportion, it doesn't immediately scream "clubfoot" like so many of the shoes out right now.  The rich chocolate brown/black combo is one I've always had a soft spot for and while the snakeskin might be a tad shiny, it does add some intriguing texture.  Best part? There's no bloody zipper up the back of the shoe ruining the line of it!  While that adds some awesome edginess to boots, I feel it takes a great deal away from the sleekness of sandals.  Alas, I will just have to admire these from afar because they cost way more than I'm willing to pay right now.

Rachel Zoe Parton via Piperlime 
(no I don't get paid anything if you click on the link, unfortunately)

25 February 2012

My week

Spring is arriving in the mid-south area and the allergies are making their ubiquitous return along with it.  I'm sniffing and sneezing, Elsie is back to trying to gnaw her paws off, while I'm happy to see some color return to the landscape I'm not necessarily ready for the warmer weather.  I don't want any gloomy, rainy days but some crisp, sunny ones with a touch of briskness would be nice instead of plunging headlong into the 80F temps already.

In other news, I seemed to have turned another year older this past week.  Too bad it wasn't a milestone birthday that would have moved me up an age-group, lol.  I took it particularly hard this year, not the fact that I'm aging but more the loss of family members in the past year.  Coming down off the major endorphin rush of last weekend's race also exacerbated my moodiness. Note to self, don't do that again anytime soon.

Elsie and I have a new, short-term housemate in the form of Tessa, a rescue dog I'm fostering.  She's a miniature schnauzer mix that was dumped in a near-by WMA (wildlife management area) and oh, is she ever a cutie.  I think she will also make a good runner, they both kept pulling me along on our walk yesterday evening on the one mile loop so we slowly jogged the last .25 mile back.

Thanks to last week's back-to-back races, I managed to qualify for Half Fanatic status, I am now Half-Fanatic #1946 :-).  I've been wanting to qualify for quite some time but never could get up the momentum to do it so once I finally did, you bet your sweet bottom I immediately sent my info in to join, lol.  

It may not get near the publicity that the Marathon Maniacs do but you gotta admit it's still pretty darn cool and I'm 99% sure that I will never run another marathon so not a chance in Hades of qualifying for that.  

This week of running has been somewhat curtailed due to me taking off until Thursday morning to let my ankle heal up.  I have managed to get some trainer time in as well as some decent core workouts although I might have upped the intensity a bit too much yesterday.  My back was extremely stiff during this morning's 10 mile run but hey, needed to ramp up the workouts at some point, eh?  

Got Veggies?

24 February 2012

back 2 back races

Doing back 2 back races/events is not anything new for me, not that I'm saying I do it several times a year or anything but it is something I've been known to do occasionally. However it has always been a shorter race combined with an endurance event, ie running a 5k or 10k on a Saturday then a sprint duathlon, a century ride, or a half marathon on a Sunday.  This past weekend I ended up running 2 longer distance races--the Sylamore 25k trail race followed by the Run the Line Half Marathon on Sunday in Texarkana.  Yes, I know the true distance runners are scoffing at my classifying these as distance events but let's not forget that even a 5k can be a daunting amount of miles for those starting out.  Heck, a 5k still scares me and that's my favorite distance to race.  

KT Tape and my new Brooks Running Launch trainers

I had no plans/illusions/goal times for the Run the Line half marathon, all I wanted to do was get there, get the distance done, collect my Arkansas RRCA Grand Prix point, and hopefully still be able to walk afterwards.  I told Julie and Luke (who I car-pooled down with) that I would be much slower than them (btw, I'm slower than those two in ideal conditions) and apologized in advance for the longer than usual wait time they were going to have because of me.  It was so hard waking up at 0345, feeling my left ankle throb and knowing that I was going to have to run 13.1 miles after a long drive--which I was just a passenger for thanks to Julie!!!!--but I had my goal and with KT Tape snugged around the cranky ankle I was all set (sorta) to get it done.

ummm, is that a bullet hole?

This was the first time for the three of us to run this race so we had no clue of where it was, what the course was like, the parking situation, etc but everyone I knew who had run it last year said it was great and we had no problems locating the place and everything went quite smooth with finding a primo parking spot close to the start line and the packet pickup.  The only complaint I could make was that there were 3 porta-potties outside and 2 of them appeared to be locked judging from the constant line of runners walking up and trying the doors and not being able to open them.  Thankfully there are facilities available inside the building where packet pickup was--yay for flushing toilets and hot water to wash your hands with!! Yes, that's a recurring theme for me, lol.  

Lots of hugs, lots of talking about my previous day's adventures, and lots of good lucks later we were off and running.  The first mile was all about getting my ankle un-stiffened up but once I did I was able to settle into a nice, steady pace, the good thing about the ankle was that I did NOT jack-rabbit this race like I have a bad habit of doing.  Also since I had no time goal pressure I was able to chat with other runners, the cyclists who were riding back and forth checking on everyone, and the volunteers at intersections and aid stations.  I generally make it a policy to say thanks to those directing traffic anyways but on Sunday they got smiles and "how ya doing's?" too, lol.  What I didn't have to do thanks to me carrying my Amphipod water bottle of Heed mix was walk the aid stations in order to get fluid (unfortunately I don't get any money/endorsement from those links, it's just what works really well for me) so I was able to keep my steady pace going.  Even the long-arsed incline on the busy roadway at mile 5-6 didn't slow me down an extreme amount.  Not saying I didn't slow down quite a bit, it just didn't hit me near as hard as I expected it to. Was very glad to see it end though, whew.  

That steadiness and feeling surprisingly decent lasted right through to around mile 8 then we turned into a headwind that sapped the energy right out of me. I still hadn't walked a single step and didn't have to until just before mile 10 where I took a piece of candy from a kid to try and boost my flagging energy.  Could only get down a couple of bites of the twizzler though.  After that I played the game of I'll run to the next intersection, mile marker, person, etc then take a walk break if I need to.  I WANTED to take walk breaks but was able to convince my brain to keep going.  Yes, brain.  While my legs were fatigued and it was getting very warm, it's more a matter of my brain wanting to quit rather than my body saying it had enough. Surprisingly during those last 2 miles of sluggery I was still able to keep catching and passing people and no, there were not any further walk breaks.  

I knew that I was keeping a decent pace thanks to the teenagers volunteering who called out the time and sometimes pace at every mile marker.  Yes, EVERY mile marker! That's something a bit different than any other race I've done and I kind of like it.  However I was still surprised to see the finish line clock and realize that I was going to come in under 2:05.  Don't ask me how I managed to put in a somewhat decent half marathon time on a bum ankle and the day after a 25k trail race because I have absolutely no clue myself.  A good bit of it was probably due to the not putting any pressure on myself to "race" on either day.  

Click to enlarge--mileage splits

My garmin mileage splits were quite interesting to me.  While it's not a negative split race, they are fairly consistent and much better than I expected.  The mile 14 data is skewed because I forgot to turn it off and there is some walking about time on there.  Needless to say, I'm happy with the result and it shows me that if I hadn't have ran 25k the day prior I would probably have gone sub 2 hours and might have even come close to pr'ing. Final stats: Gun time 2:03:17, chip time 2:02:58, 231/447, 13/44 female 40-44 age group, and 75/213 gender.

I thoroughly enjoyed this race especially the portions that were on the trail, crowd support was great, fantastic volunteers, intersections were well policed, and a gorgeous medal with an interesting tech shirt.  There was ample food afterwards, fresh grilled hamburgers and chicken with lots of condiments available and free beer from Hopkins Ice House.  I didn't receive one of course but the age group awards were cool-looking too.  A nice touch was posting the results immediately and they had a monitor scrolling through the results, showing overall finishers and where you placed in your age category.  

Such a cute moment

Finish Line disassembly

If you know Julie be sure and give her a huge congrats on her sub 2 hour half marathon finish.  She killed it Sunday!!! And this is all before her first year anniversary of running!!!!! She's also a cancer survivor and quit smoking approximately four years ago so there's an inspiration to get out and move if there ever was one.  My only whinge? She's in my age group, lol!!!!!!!!!  All kidding aside, I feel very privileged to have gotten to know her this year and look forward to seeing her ahead of me in many more races.

Seen during a bathroom pitstop

Quick ankle update, I took Monday thru Wednesday off from running. Monday there wasn't much choice since I was limping and hobbling about but by Wednesday there was only a little stiffness left so all is good.

Race bling

Sylamore 25k report

Wearing my Dirty Girl gaiters

The late, more thorough recap of Sylamore..........I absolutely love this race and I put in a respectable time considering I didn't go in to do it for a certain time goal, my only plan was to have fun and finish it uninjured. Well, I succeeded on the fun part, lol.  And  really the injury part was fairly minor considering what I could have  ended up doing, this is NOT an easy trail to navigate.  For some reason my left ankle kept turning out on me, I counted 6 times that it occurred. The first time was fairly bad and that just set it up to happen again. And again. And again.  I was literally counting the occurrences out loud to Brenda but it was never bad enough to put me out of the race thank goodness.

Despite the ankle business, I adored this race. It's a gorgeous trail with lots of climbs, rocks, views that make you sigh at the beauty of nature.  Seriously cannot come up with the words to describe the awesomeness of it all.  This was basically a play day for me, I was there to finish but it was FUN.  The event pictures reflect this--all of mine show me with a goofy grin (we'll not discuss anything from the neck down though, grrrr).  The knee-deep creek crossing was as leg and foot-numbing cold as promised (which worked out great on the return crossing!) and slowed us down quite a bit on the way out........I'm gonna estimate that Brenda and I lost a good 5-10 minutes on the bottleneck here.  Robert & Michael on the other hand crossed over on a deeper section and got way ahead of us.

Once we finally got back on the trail and moving, Bren and I had 3 women in between us that were walking all the way up which brings me to my grumble about trail etiquette in the previous post.  If you're significantly slower than the person behind you or you have a faster runner flying down the hill towards you on his/her return section, step aside please.  It won't take but a moment, I promise it's not going to slow you down significantly and it's just good trail etiquette to do so on the single track stuff.  Oh and say thank you when someone does move over for you.  If the lead runners can say thanks, us slower runners have no excuse for not being equally as polite.  Another thing, mp3 players have no place out on the trails, you most definitely need to hear what's going on around you.  What if you go off the main trail (which happened to us more than once) and you can't hear people trying to tell you? There's also the not being able to hear runners coming up behind you and guess what, we are out in the woods, there IS a bear population in Arkansas especially in that area.  Ok, so the last is not a likely scenario but we do have bears.

The aid station rocked!  Great volunteers and yummy food, I've discovered that a small homemade brownie with a few salty chips (crisps for the UK crowd) makes an EXCELLENT snack for me.  No way could I do that on a road race but bring it on for the trails!!!!!!!!!  However, it does take a mile or 2 for me to get my breathing and pacing back on track after eating, feel and sound like I'm pushing it on a hard sprint but I'm lucky to be doing 15 minute miles, lol.  I gotta have the food though in order to keep my blood sugar from bottoming out.

Did I mention the scenery? It was almost enough to keep you distracted from all the climbing.  We were eventually rewarded with this fantastic, long, WIDE, albeit very muddy downhill, I felt like I was flying down that baby to get to the turnaround point.  Oh yeah, the turnaround.........it's this piece of pipe hanging from a tree with a plastic stapler thingamajig that you use to stamp/perforate your bib with. Only problem was that I didn't know what to do and I had to wait for the next couple of runners to get there and explain it to me.  I wasn't complaining though about waiting, we were right next to the creek again and there was a gorgeous waterfall to ogle just beyond.  I want to do the 50k just to see what it looks like, apparently the trail only gets more spectacular.  What I will complain about is the rushing water of the rapids made me have to pee like crazy and it was a couple of miles back to the aid station.  Yes I could have peed out in the woods but I really try to avoid having to do that if possible.  Besides there were REAL bathrooms available and hot water to wash my hands with after so I was determined to make it back, lol.

It was almost scary how great I was feeling at this point, I kept catching and passing people and was not showing any signs of fatiguing yet.  Yes, my lungs and legs were screaming with the uphill climbs but that was normal, I wasn't hit with the ohmygosh I'm not going to be able to go a step further feeling. I will say I was extremely happy to get back to the park where the aid station and bathrooms were though..........any further and I was going to have to drop my drawers out amongst the trees.  Bathroom business done, another small brownie square and some more chips, chat with Brenda and we were off again.  I do really enjoy running with her but especially so on the trails :-).

I did start to flag a bit on the extremely rocky areas before the creek crossing, it takes a lot out of you having to pay that much attention to your footing and to make sure that you haven't wandered off the trail but again I was passing people, mostly those who didn't stay as long at the aid station as I did.  The lead guys from the 50k were also catching up to us 25kers so there was a fair bit of stepping aside to let them by.  Extremely inspirational, they were working hard but still looked like they were enjoying themselves.  Surprisingly I caught up to Michael during this section just before the creek, he was suffering from some calf cramping unfortunately :-(.

Ahhhh, that creek crossing. I was actually looking forward to it in order to numb my left ankle somewhat before the last push to the finish and boy did it do it's work.  It had also risen to be mid-thigh deep so I got more wet than what I'd planned for, eek.  I wasn't the only one who'd been anticipating the numbing effect, there was a guy just standing there when I entered the water who said he'd been needing that for the past mile or so because his knee was giving him trouble.

Out of the water, through the field past a group of teenagers who were all loaded up with packs for an overnight hike and I get to the parking lot and have no clue which way to go!!!!!!!!!!! One of my bad habits when I run with a group is that I don't really pay much attention to the route.  I had to wait for the next runner to catch up and ask, so embarrassing!  The route by the way was straight up a dirt road, with a near vertical climb, a level spot, then a climb again.  There was a Camaro and a Dodge Charger--parents of some of the teenagers who were camping overnight-- and they were having to crawl up that hill.  I walked part of the first climb then ran the remainder up but it was a struggle.  I think I impressed the guy driving the Camaro though, he waited at the top of the dirt road for me to reach the pavement, rolled down his window, and told me "good job!".  Even if he was taking the piss, it is still awesome to hear something like that at a hard part in a run.  Made my day anyways.

I thought I would hate the pavement section, I certainly did on the way out to the trail but once I got on it I knew it was the home stretch and I just let my legs do their thing.  It felt so good to be on an area where I didn't have to worry about where my feet were gonna land and just go on auto-pilot.  Even cooler than the guy in the Camaro was kicking it in and over-hearing a couple of people talk about how strong I looked headed for the finish line and actually feeling THAT strong.  Huge kudos to Robert who had an amazing race & time, he looked like he could have ran another 25k easily and he beat me in by over 20 minutes.

Final stats: 3:54:10 total time, 3:30:26 moving time. 123/202 finishers, 27/64 female, 9/19 female 40-49 age group.

The ice bath aftermath

19 February 2012

Sylamore 25k

I adore trails. What more can be said? Not sure I'm up to a full-blown race report tonight but I am a very happy albeit very sore runner tonight.  Oh and I get to get up even earlier in the morning and head for Texarkana to run a half marathon on the road. Don't think I'm gonna enjoy it near as much because I'm nursing some achy muscles tonight.

So in the interest of trying to go to bed early, I'm only putting up a few pics & stats tonight.

Out and back course

My garmin charts 

The splits

Watching the 50k runners head out

Amazing house on the hill

I'm a finisher :-)

There will be a longer post tomorrow night or on Monday with waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more details and a bit of a brag and nag about trail etiquette.  My tired arse is off to bed. Hope everyone's weekend runs/workouts have rocked.

18 February 2012


I debated on whether to post this about the road rage incident in the UK or not since it's a fairly divisive issue but decided to go ahead and put the vid up as well as my thoughts about it...........First off I am a cyclist and have been subjected to some abuse and dangerous situations while out riding and many of my friends have as well.  But after viewing this clip several times in full screen mode and watching the cyclist's actions I am of the opinion that he should have been charged as well as the bus driver.  His actions were just as deplorable and endangered lives as well.  Don't get me wrong, I am NOT defending the bus driver, he is damn lucky he didn't kill the cyclist or anyone else (chain reactions) and his conviction is well-deserved but I do not think "oh poor, innocent cyclist" after watching this either.  Just because you are on two wheels doesn't mean you are exempt from safe road conduct any more than any other vehicle.


Thank you goes out to TWBrit for sending me the link to this incident

seize the moment

............and blog when the mood hits you otherwise you'll end up like me this past week and have some great ideas but then lose them or the "want to" to write anything at all.  Bah. 

I've had some great runs this week, all of which have challenged me to go faster or longer than what I felt or thought I could, all of which were with some amazing friends.  That always makes the miles go by faster even on days like yesterday morning when I was feeling light-headed from not eating enough on Wednesday (not on purpose, just had a lot going on and kinda forgot that I needed to eat occasionally).  Even with that and a walk break, Isabel and I managed to kick out 6 miles in 56 minutes with the last 2 miles being the fastest.  Throw in a couple of short but fairly intense trainer sessions and some major core work and I feel like I'm getting back in serious mode with training. Finally.

My new Brooks Running kicks--the 2012 Launch

Hopefully I will have some great posts to write up over the weekend. Tomorrow I'm running the Sylamore 25k for the first time.  It will be my 2nd trail race and I hope it goes much better than the Full mOOn 25k did back over the summer.  I'm certainly better trained for this one distance wise but the creek crossing kind of has me worried since there's been so much rain here.  Apparently it's just slightly longer than 25k too, as in 17 miles as opposed to the 15ish it should be.  Guess I'll find out tomorrow, lol. 

As if that wasn't enough, I decided earlier in the week to sign up for Sunday's Run the Line Half Marathon in Texarkana since it's also a grand prix race. I am NOT trained up for back-to-back long runs, eeek.  But I'm not planning on "racing" either event, more just getting out to get the distance done and see if I survive.......Yep, color me stupid.  Please cross your fingers and wish me luck!

15 February 2012

Reaching goals and an earworm

I'm sitting here still on a bit of a high from last night.  I managed to reach a goal of getting my chin up over the pull-up bar much, much, much sooner than I expected. Not only did I do it once--after a bit of shouting all about it on twitter--I was able to pull up 3 more times.  Sorry, I realize I'm doing a bit too much bragging about it all over the place but I'm incredibly stoked to have been able to do a full one less than a week after putting up the bar.  May not be able to do it again for another 2 weeks but I'm totally ok with that :D.

Blurry pic via a webcam still

Right enough about that.  This week's earworm is from The XX. Such a hauntingly beautiful song, can't get enough of it.

13 February 2012

shaking things up

This past week, this month even, has been all about trying to shake things up fitness and food-wise mostly because of the frustration I've been experiencing with the birth control pill weight gain and puffiness.  I've not had any soda, beer or wine since the middle of January, I drink 1-3 cups of coffee in the morning then for the remainder of the day it's all water, all the time.........which means lots of trips to the bathroom, lol.  Oh yeah, the water thing is for trying to ease the constant dry mouth side effect from the bc pill too, my next dentist visit is gonna be soooooooooo fun.  

The fresh veggie intake has gone up (even MORE trips to the bathroom! yay?), I have a kale smoothie mix for breakfast nearly every morning which consists of whatever I have in the fridge and freezer and I've started purchasing homemade energy/snack bars from a friend who makes them (incredibly delicious and healthy) for my sweet tooth cravings. 

coconut and chocolate, mmmmm

Quinoa is my "new" favorite grain (technically it's not a grain as I just learned from WHFoods) , I use it in lieu of rice. Not only is it tastier, it packs a fairly mean nutritional punch.  My only complaint is how bloody expensive it is around here.

Since I mentioned the unmentionable of the increased bathroom trips (well, unless you're a runner then you know we talk about that quite often, lol) earlier, that kind of brings me around to a neat little fitness challenge that was going around on twitter--do 10 push-ups after every trip (please wash your hands first!!!!!!! ick!). Depending on how much you're hydrating (or how many cups of coffee you've had) it's easy to get in a good 50-70 push-ups a day.  

There's also a pull-up bar installed in (on?) the doorway of my downstairs bathroom as of this past week.  Can't believe I've lived here over a year and just now got around to putting one up.  What's a bit discouraging is that last summer I could do 15 consecutive pull-ups and now can't even complete one, I can muscle my way 2/3 of the way up but can't quite get that last little bit done :-(.  At least it's there for the attempting now.  
My newest obsession is a 2.5 pound weighted hula-hoop. After struggling with an el-cheapo .97 cent hoop for months I finally googled "why can't I hula-hoop?"--yes, that's the exact term I used--I discovered that adults need a larger and heavier (thus slower) hoop to hula with. Ohmygosh, that thing is amazing!!!!!!! I went from not being able to spin more than 15x to doing 5-20 minutes at once (after getting warmed up) and ended up with extremely sore abs in the process. It's hilarious how incredibly fun it is, I end up giggling a good bit of the time using it.  

working on my technique

I think I've already mentioned the mini-trampoline in a previous post but it's another "toy" I've got sitting in my living room--which is starting to resemble a mini-gym what with the bike trainer, foam roller, and everything else scattered about.  Again, it's kinda like the other things, very easy to just take a couple of moments and do a bit of playing.  Elsie certainly thinks it's fun to chase me about while I'm jumping around on the trampoline.  Oh, and do 100 jumping jacks on one.........gets the heart rate right on up there fast. 

Why am I doing this again?

Since I ran a 5k on Saturday I guess I should do a quickie race report before I forget all about it...........What I won't forget is how freaking cold it was! 20F/-6.7C with a windchill of 9F.  For a southerner that is brutal cold, we're just not used to those kind of temperatures.  This was one race where we weren't standing around talking beforehand or even going for much of anything resembling a warmup run (or maybe that was just me?).  Nope, lots of huddling about in giant coats or in idling vehicles trying to stay warm.  So why in the world would I drive an hour and run in miserable conditions?  For the points! The Valentine's Day 5k is the 3rd race in our state RRCA Grand Prix series.

We did manage to leave the warmth of the pickup long enough to go for a 1 mile shuffle to loosen up the muscles but I felt like my feet were gonna fall off and my sinuses decided to go into outflow overload, ewwwww.  Since the Valentine's Day 5k was split up into four heats this year (male masters, female masters, female open, and male open) the start line was MUCH less crowded than in years past--I also think the brutal cold and winds kept a lot of people home.  I'm not sure how I feel about the division but I will admit that not getting kicked or accidentally kicking people was a very nice change from the previous time I'd ran this 5k.  There was no guessing about who in front of you was in your age group, you KNEW that everyone there was female and in the masters class.


The actual race?  Despite my lack of speed and saying I wasn't "racing" I did the first mile a wee bit too fast, 7:58 if I remember correctly from the garmin data afterwards but darn it, I was cold and wanted it over with already.  The problem with jackrabbiting is that the remaining 2 miles feel incredibly, interminably slow.  Then comes mile 2 and I'm feeling nauseous--which is my gauge of knowing I'm racing a 5k right--and I start burning up.  Oh yeah, frigid air, extreme exertion, burning lungs, and sweat..........either the best combination ever or the worst depending on what day you ask me, lol.  Mile 2.5 and my damn stomach starts cramping again--this is simply me pushing my body at a pace I'm no longer used to hitting and why I need to start doing speed work.  The temptation is strong to look at my garmin (I try never to look at it in a short distance race) and walk but I keep pushing on at a slightly lower level of exertion.  

Going into this I was hoping to be around 26-27 minutes finishing up but imagine my surprise when I come around the corner see the finish line clock and it's showing just over 25 minutes...........that my friends is what my fall-back time was on the couple of years when I was faster and having a bad 5k.  Oh yeah, I'm well happy with a finish time of 25:19 right now.  Looking back over my splits, it showed there to only be one second of difference in my miles 2 & 3 times, so while not a negative split race, it was evenly paced after I settled down.

Even with that I wasn't expecting an age group award but because quite a few of the faster women stayed home I managed to snag 2nd place in the 40-44 women's division, 11th place overall in the masters.

Gotta send a huge shout-out to my friends, quite a few of them ended up with personal records despite the conditions.  Well done!!!!!!! Shoot, it's well done for us to have gotten up and driven that far for a 5k in below freezing temps but to combine it with your faster time ever? Amazing stuff, proud of everyone.

Patti & me (isn't she adorable?!?!)

On a more serious note, Saturday, February the 11th was also the Virtual Run for Sherry.  I'd heard about this from twitter and then our running club president posted up a link to it on facebook. Several of us wore our Running For Sherry bibs during the 5k and even more of our running club wore them on their runs that day. I encourage you to go read about what happened and while it's too late to participate in the virtual run, you can still have a thought in remembrance on your next run (or next several). Please leave a note of encouragement and if possible donate to the fund that's been set up for her children.  

07 February 2012

Things that leave you stunned

Very articulate and humorous (with a very serious edge) rebuttal video response to a woman who chose to put her ranting about Laredo out over the interwebs via youtube.  Apparently she's since taken her vid down but hey, in this age nothing ever truly disappears.

Yes, Laredo does have a crime problem but as a "minority" (and female), I've gotta say that I always felt safer and more comfortable wandering about the city than I did staying at the truck stops north of town.  I always took a lot of flack for not being fearful but like all cities you have to use some common sense about where you go and how you carry yourself.  I even ran before dawn in several areas with absolutely no problem--again the common sense about where comes into play and always carrying pepper spray and/or a phone.  Is it wrong for me to be glad this woman is from Colorado instead of one of the southern states though?  

05 February 2012

Plan, what plan?

I'm slow this year. Yes, I realize fast is a relative term, I wasn't really terribly fast before, but this year I'm slower than usual.......it's really odd having people come up and comment on me being fast from before and asking what my plan, goal, time, etc is this year.  In reality, I have none, my only real goal is to finish the distances I've signed up for.  I'm not gonna say it's not frustrating but then again one can't expect to pull fast(ish) times out of their arse if they haven't done speed work in many, many months.  Shoot, half the time I go out to run now and I don't even have a specific mileage in mind other than anything over 3 miles much less having a set pace to do it in.  
But I do think after the past 2 races the "fast" reputation is long gone, LOL!!!  

So this brings me to the second race of the RRCA Grand Prix season, the Rivertrail 15k, I've never really had a great time at this race. It's always windy, rainy, or cold. Usually all 3........this year, we had moderate winds after the turnaround point, misty rain beforehand and 58F temps.  Short sleeve shirts and shorts were definitely the appropriate wear once you got moving and I was nearly begging for the mist to resume after about 3 miles.  And the no plan? Well, I'd settled in behind Brenda and one of the younger Cruisers (who IS speedy!) into a comfortably hard pace when after our first loop in the soccer fields, we spied Alise walking back towards us.  She'd been on some antibiotics and wasn't feeling well but after asking if she felt like she was in passing out kind of trouble I talked her into resuming and ran at her (slower) pace for a while.  Well, she's an amazing runner and her slower pace nearly killed me, lol!!!!!!!!!!  I knew I would crash and burn after that, even said so to Brenda when we passed them, but it was well worth it to get Alise back into the race. 

Click to see larger image

Looking at my splits, you can see where I lost it, taking water at the first stop combined with the faster than I'm used to/capable of sustaining speed resulted in some nasty stomach cramps and I ended up having to walk several times after to let them ease.  I'm not grumbling (other than about the worry of having to maybe make an emergency portapotty stop) but this does show that I need to start adding a day of speed work if for no other reason than to be able to survive little bursts like I did in the beginning of the race.

Oh, and even if I'd kept at the pace I was at near the beginning I still wouldn't have placed, there are some VERY speedy women in my age group this year. The top 3 masters women were 6th, 7th, and 8th place overall with 2 in my age-group and times that ranged from 1:04:11 to 1:07:28, I was 14th in the female 40-44 age group this year.  No way I can even come close to those times when I am closer to race-ready.  This year's time by the way, was 5:18 slower than my 15k pr.

Other news, Patti and I have decided to start meeting every Tuesday at 8am to run together.  I've missed her an incredible amount, didn't realize just how much until we met back up this past week.  Studying for the Comp-TIA A+ is going ok, at least it was until today when I had every intention of hitting the books after the race but instead got waylaid with a blissful nap.  My weight in the LoseAThon challenge keeps going up and down the same 3 freaking pounds.  I am seeing a slight change in body composition though so trying not to be discouraged.  Another fun little challenge that was put out is to do 10 pushups after every bathroom visit, I did so many on Friday I thought I was gonna face-plant on the last 2 sets (hydrate much?).  

Elsie "helping" me study

I seem to have made peace with the trainer, I've found that if I read a magazine for the warm-up bit, which for me is longer than what most require, then I can get through the session fairly easy and the intervals or hard steady sections seems to fly by.  Loud music helps too, I'm sure I'm not helping my already extremely poor hearing out any :D.