Monday, May 31, 2010

God Bless Texas!

Texas has the best stuff.  We have a great slogan, fabulous people, great food, lots of history and culture, and we have WEATHER! 

Monday I was sunburned and missed running hills - so sad.

Wednesday I was sick, coughing and vomiting so I missed sprints - what a bummer!

I chose to do my 5 mile long run Friday- without working out the entire week.  Oh joy!

I had been out of the house Thursday from 0500 until 2030 - I had to get to headquarters for a meeting.  So a truly long day.  I arrived home to hose out dog poo from the garage where I had placed all of the animals.  I thought it was a fine end to my day - ugh!

So I scarfed down some food, cleaned up and passed the hell out.  Only to awake at 0600 to a very foul smell.  One of the dogs had been sick, in multiple places and rooms.  And not in the easy clean-up way.  It was utterly disgusting.  So there I was 0600, not running like I hoped to be - but cleaning up dog mess.  It took me a long time. 

So by the time I was cleaned up and ready to go running the scene looked like this:

Not a cloud in the sky, nary a breeze, and the temperature was 93 degrees.  Holy crap!  But even better was that I had to wear long pants to cover my residual sunburn from earlier in the week.  Not the coolest gear to run in. 

I left the house and was moving along at a decent pace, my first mile split was 12:47 - I was overjoyed!  But then I hit a wall.  It was so hot, I was so tired from the week; that I slowed to a walk.  And from there on out the run got bad. 

I had planned on running down to the main road, jogging the shoulder, turning up Bob Smith and heading all the way to the bay, to turn and meander my way back to the house.  I couldn't do it.  I did get my 5 miles in - I forced myself to do.  But I basically watched my Garmin, and when I hit 2.5 miles, I turned around and ran the same route back home.  Well - jogged/walked the majority of it!

So I think I might have walked about half of those 5 miles.  It was insanely hot, my chest hurt, I kept stopping to choke up some bile, swig some water, and keep moving.  Some construction guy actually had the nerve to tell me that "it's a hot one, huh?!"  I could have beaned him with my bat-belt if I had the energy. 

Regardless, I kept going and I didn't take the coward's way out and cut the run short.  I finished the distance, but realized a couple of things.  If you find yourself praying for a big pick-up to pass you too closely on the street where you are jogging so that you can have a breeze - it is too hot to run!

I also realized that it might be time to add another water bottle to the bat-belt since I drank both of the ones I had by the time I was 3 miles in.  I found myself practicing how to ask for water in Spanish in case I ran across some workers with a water jug. 

Soo - sorry for the delay in posting this week - but it has been miserable here being ill while watching 4 dogs - one sickly.  Today is Memorial Day - so remember to honor those who fought for our country and our freedoms.

Wednesday is another round of sumbeetches after a week away - go team go - rah.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Redheads do not like the sun!

I need to apologize ahead of time for this post - I did not run hills today - and will have no cuss words for you regarding Coaches Leno and Dale pushing us to run up and down ramps.

I do however, have a story behind the reasons why I did not go to practice today - I am a Celt. 

If that wasn't enough of a background for you lemme 'splain - I am Welsh/Scotch/Irish.  I am a redhead.  I don't tan so much as my freckles begin to multiple and take over the snowy whiteness that is my skin.

I spent this weekend at the beach - both days - for about 4 hours each day.  Now - I did wear sunscreen, 70spf - AND I reapplied.  However I am just that fair that no matter how much sunscreen I wear, I burn. 

Honestly though, I am getting color from all this running around outside like a moron.  I still wear my sunscreen, but my arms and face are losing the glow-in-the-dark whiteness and becoming less sickly pale.  So another nice bonus to all the running!

But even as non-ghostly as I am becoming on my arms, my legs and shoulders were still pasty white.  And now they are fire engine red.  I am fried like a chicken in a rowboat.  My shoulders, legs, knees, feet, and chest are scary red. 

Knowing that I have to be at sea for 4 days next week, and that if I burn on top of this burn my chances of skin cancer climb, as well as the likelihood of a sexy looking peeling - I chose to stay at home, staying away from the sun - hiding in fact - applying some form of aloe about every 20 minutes.  Sucks!

And just in case no one believes me:
Exhibits A,B, and C

My favorite part is the splotchy-ness on my left leg - how the hell that happened - I would love to know!

But I have done some calisthenics at home and plan on using the rowing machine during one of my prime time shows.  So no running hills today, but I think wrestling with four dogs to keep them off my sunburn is enough exercise!  I have been hit with huge paws, smacked right across the reddest part of my thighs with tails, and scratched on my chest from the little monster.  I think I paid my penance!

But Wednesday - sumbeetches!  Go team go - rah.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I Sooo Totally Quit!

Just kidding - but man did today's run bit!

I've been a little stressed out lately.  I have been watching four big dogs (well, one is a little monster that thinks he's a big dog).  I have projects lined up on my desk to where I have no open areas, papers just stacked.  My performance plan ends in August, and I want to have a stellar one - so that is stressing me out.  Our team is heading into the field for the first time in a week or so, and that is also driving me crazy.  So overall - I was REALLY looking forward to running on the beach today.

I love walking the beach with the dogs, it is so peaceful.  The wind, the seagulls, the water breaking - just magnificent.  I honestly thought today running on the beach would be the same. 

Ya - NO!

I made the one mile down to the beach with a pace of about 14:11/mile.  I was going slow so that I had somewhere to go in the following miles.  At least that is what I told myself!  But I ran down the neighborhood streets, feeling pretty good.  There were a few people moving around that early in the morning. and we all waved to each other.  Very calming.  I knew I was fighting the wind, but I kept thinking about how nice it would be for the jog back.

And then - I found the beach. 

Even with earphones on, all I could hear was full gusting winds.  I never imagined this kind of fight.  I didn't get to enjoy my nice run on the beach to mellow out and relax.  Instead, I fought the entire time I was on the sand.  It was rough.  I tried arguing with my head and forcing myself to keep going, but I just couldn't.  I had to walk.  I was just too tired.  I felt defeated.

But I got back moving again, only to have to walk a short time later, and again when I returned to the sidewalks of the neighborhood.  But I jogged the mile or so in.  But my splits are terrible, and I felt horrible when I finally turned into my driveway.  Seriously, my head hurt, my legs hurt, I kept asking myself how in the hell was I going to do 13.1 miles when 4.5 miles kicked my ass so badly.

But then I relaxed, stretched out some, and climbed the stairs to the house.  And you know what - I felt great!  I felt energized and happy.  I poured myself some chocolate milk, grabbed a powerade, and took the dogs on the back porch. 

And I know this picture would be better if I had moved the chair, but as good as I felt, I wasn't pushing it. 

So it is now 12:55pm, I have been up since 6am.  I have run 4.5 miles (barely), baked a cake, finished cleaning the house, finished two loads of laundry, made my own lunch, and now I am waiting for my friends to show up for the bbq.  And odd as it sounds - I am not tired, I feel fabulous, and I am not stressed (but wait for Monday).   So watch out 13.1 miles - I am coming for ya (albeit slowly). 

And if you were interested:

And it seems that not only was I running on sand, against the wind without any place to hide, but the elevation kept changing on me - I never even noticed it.  Wow!

Well - party tonight, hills on Monday!  Go team go - rah.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nina Simone and a Good Book

I was late to practice.  Not entirely my fault, but apparently if I had watched the news or read a paper - I would have known about the sea wall being shut down.  Oh well - that's what you get for not trusting the media. 

But in being a few minutes late, I didn't get to do the full warm-up mile, so I just jogged a 0.4 mile lap around the track.  Let me tell you how big those tears I cried were - of joy - seriously.  See, I woke up this morning listening to my ankle bones snap crackle and pop like a favorite breakfast cereal.  And my hamstrings were so tight I looked like I was doing the Robot Dance down the hallway at work.  I was a little sore from Monday's and Tuesday's workouts.  Ouch!

But oddly enough, the warm-up lap loosened my leg muscles and I felt pretty good.  I just used my iPod to overcome the bone noises.  What!  There are pins holding that crap together.  I'm not worried. 

It was actually nice to join the group, Jean said hi, and Annette seemed happy to see her fellow back-of-the-pack friend.  Seriously, this lady is way faster than I am.  But in sprints I seem to have the power (thanks roller derby) - just no endurance. 

Anyway - SSDD - warm-up, idiotic looking warm-ups back and forth across the small patch of grass, followed by 8 sets of 45 second sprints around the track.  Oh yea - that's gonna happen.  And Leno said just be patient and hold back for the first sets and you will have something left in the final ones.  Yea - I totally laughed in my head at that. 

And one of the Go Fasters was like you can do anything for 45 seconds.  Let me submit my objections to that argument -

You could not ride Cocktail for 45 seconds
You could not last 45 seconds in a MMA fight (if you were me)
You could not play chess for Stephen Hawking for 45 seconds
You could not walk in a straight line for 45 seconds after a 4 car-bomb night

I'm just saying - there are plenty of things that you can't do in 45 seconds, but there we all were lined up to go for it.  Rah. 

But Dale blew the whistle and we went out, I tried to go slow-ish - but seriously - I don't have that many gears to work through! I actually enjoyed the first couple sprint sets, the ones in the middle I felt - owie, and the final ones, well - let's just say if I had breath - the softball and soccer teams on the field would have heard some very colorful language.

But I made it.

And the best part - we so totally did PLANK and side angle - bring on more yoga and less running please! 

When it was all said and done, I slunk away back to my chariot, cranked up the 80s music, and drove home.  All I wanted to do was immerse myself in ice, biofreeze, aleve, and a book.  But the dogs foiled my plan once again.  Darn pesky kids!  So now my plan is biofreeze, aleve, Nina Simone, and a book. 

Still not a bad plan. 

Stay tune faithful readers (Mom and Dad - hi!) - Saturday is a 4.5 mile run, and I will attempt my first run on sand!  Eeep!  This could be interesting!

Go team go - rah.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cicero once said:

"Great is the power of habit. It teaches us to bear fatigue and to despise wounds and pain."

I say - bullocks!

Monday was hills training.  I wasn't really feeling up to going to running club in all honesty.  I had a VERY long weekend, I was still sore from Saturday's race, and I had just picked up my truck and driven four insane dogs back home to the beach.  All I REALLY wanted to do was unpack and relax. 

Instead, I laced up my trusty, and now absolutely filthy running shoes, and left the house.  I know I wasn't hydrated as I should have been, in that I drank soda during the drive back from town, and not water.  So I tried to drink a whole Nalgene bottle on my way to practice.  This comes to play a little later. 

The crowd at running club was noticeably thinner today - I think people were in hiding, and if I had been smart - I would have hid with them!  But I was already there, and then the good news - the warm-up is ridiculously short today.  YAY

Because we are running hills out on East Beach.  Booo

We jogged the 0.4 miles over there, and we even had THREE coaches - crappola this cannot be good.  So there we are with Kim, Leno, and Dale telling us that we are going to start in the parking lot of a condo complex on a down slope, sprint up hill and across the main street, down hill into another complex, flip a U-ey, sprint back up hill, across the street, up a giant hill, run down a fence line, down a grassy hill, up grassy hill, down a fence line, down a hill, across a dried up bayou, and up a monster hill. 

Holy freakin hell!  This was gonna suck - and it did - why do you think the blog is a day late!

Here is our path, the jog from the UTMB track to the condo site. 

In sum total, is was only a 2.49 mile day - BUT - it was hell.  Remember all that water I chugged before I arrived at practice - ya - it tried to make a reappearance on the FIRST set of hills.  Seriously, and we had three circuits to do. 

We ran for 5 minutes of hills, now the Go Fasters were able to complete 2 laps of the hills in the time it took me to make 1 - and that was quite a feat for me - trust me.  Monday was rough. 

It doesn't seem like a lot in elevation, but when you look at the changes up close it really does hit home how hard this kind of training is. 

The green is the change is elevation.  Totally sucked.

Interestingly enough, as we were leaving one of the girls, Kara I believe, said how much fun that was.  And for a second I was thinking what a nut she was - and then it hit me - I actually enjoyed that as well.  Holy crap!  I had fun (other than the slight vomit in mouth bit); I actually liked it!

I was mad, crazy worried about running cross country with my ankle.  I still have this inane fear of falling and hearing that "snap" again.  Some nights I can hear it when I sleep.  Trust me, not a good thing to dream about.  But even with all of the fear, and pain, and general feelings of crap - running that hill felt pretty good.  I even got a sweaty fistbump from Coach Leno as he jogged past me. 

But what made me feel even better was after jogging back to the track to stretch out and do plank (yay! seriously - I like plank), Leno talked to me about my run this past weekend.  He had read my blog, and said that I should be proud of what I have achieved - that I chose to run one of the hilliest courses in Houston (who knew!)

But when I went and looked back, this was the elevation of the course.  No wonder I was exhausted by the time I got back to the finish line.  I went out too hard, pushed too fast, and had nothing left at the end.  It turns out that running is primarily mental (or insane), and that I have to control my mind and keep to a strategy. 

But regardless, I think we can say goodbye to 14:00/mile girl and hello to 13:00/mile girl.  She is still the same whack-a-doo that writes this blog in remembrance of her insanity - but I think she is getting faster, feeling stronger, and a little more confident!

Week 4 of the 12 week training began yesterday - go team go - rah.

Oh and Cicero - shut it!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Drowned Rat

There are certain things in life you shouldn't have to learn - things that are just inherent in your make-up.  I, however, seem to have to learn these things that hard way. 

I drove to town last night excited for today's race.  I have been working very hard at the USA Fit training and had hoped for a personal record this morning.  I was so sure of myself!   However, I arrived in town only to have my car taken to the shop for new brakes, belts, etc - totalling $1500!  That was a fair amount of stress to handle the night before my run, but the good thing is that the car made it to town! 

I went to bed last night at 10:00pm, after spending my Friday evening peacefully with the dogs.  I penned up the two mystery poopers (I still haven't figured out which one is the culprit), and went to sleep.  Only to hear my brother's mutt, Oliver, cry the ENTIRE night.  Yay!  So, I alternated good sleep with yelling at a dog three rooms away.  Throughout the night a thunderstorm hit the area, and I was worried that today would be rained out.

But I woke up at 6:15am this morning, got dressed in one of my new tech shirts, pulled on my compression sleeves, and my running shoes, strapped my Garmin to my chest and arm - and left the house (in my Mom's car - Volvos are very safe you know).

Now, just in case you don't live in the Houston area, this is what the weather map looked like when I left the house: 

That looks kinda menacing to me, but I was so pumped up from Coach Leno's "Inner Warrior" crap, that I just KNEW I was gonna kill today.  I got to the race site and began to realize a few things:

  1. I forgot my deodorant

  2. I forgot to eat breakfast

  3. I forgot my sunglasses and/or a hat

  4. I was not wearing waterproof mascara
Maybe not big things to most people, but to me - all huge items.  Regardless, I picked up my chip, dropped my superfluous crap back in the car, and strapped my bat belt on.  I am now carrying two 6oz water bottles, my cell phone, some id, lip chap, my bank card, my insurance card (I never leave home without it - never know when you might break your leg), the car key, and my bib is attached to the belt.  I look AWESOME!

Doesn't that sky look inviting!  It was a neat send-off though, with a Marine color guard, and some vets on bikes.  The National Anthem was sung, and the gun fired.

I actually didn't do too badly.  But here is another thing I learned today, when rain has threatened a race only the most intense actually show up for it.  So there weren't that many of my 14:00/mile friends around.  I lined up in the middle of the pack, I swear it - but the middle of a damn small pack wound up putting my up with the 8:00/mile people.  Are you freakin' kidding me!  And then to add to that - we had to climb a ramp for the first 0.1 mile.  Hahahahahhahahaha

I was crazy winded, and had no idea why - so then I look down at my Garmin and realize I am running a 7:30/mile.  WTF!  And for second - I was like I can keep this up.  And then my body went - no you can't.  So I forced myself to slow down to a 12:30/mile, which was the pace I had wanted to keep.  I waved goodbye to my starting friends though as they left me behind. 

And then my people began to surround me.  The heavy mouth breathers, and walk/runners, and fitness walkers, and all the other slow-ass people.  It was like coming home! 

I will say that the absolute coolest thing about the Garmin is that I could look down, see my pace, and speed up to compensate.  I was tired about halfway in, and looked down and saw a 14:30 pace, so I tried to speed up and keep it under 13:00/mile.  I really wanted to beat my time from the Azalea Trail 5K, which was 40:09. 

I didn't quite make it, at least according to the Garmin, but then again the Garmin tracked 3.15 miles. 

When you look at the lap splits, my first mile was a 12:07/mile - holy crap!  I think that is my best split yet!  The second mile was slower, and closer to my comfort zone.  And the final 1.14 miles took a little more time, but was still in my 13:20/mile time.

The rain chose to bless us at the end of the race.  It wasn't a downpour, but it wasn't friendly either.  I felt bad for the runners in the white race shirts.  Poor things! And at the finish lines, we all looked like drowned rats - and since I was wiping rain out of my eyes - I looked like a drowned rat someone had punched, thanks non-waterproof mascara!

See where it says "Houston", yea - that's where we were. 
Downtown Houston - right about where the yellow is.  Awesome!

But overall, not a terrible race.  If I use the website that I always use to calculate my pace, I am told I ran an average of 12:51/mile.  That means that I did hit my personal record!  Insert Rocky theme song music here!  Now I just have to wait for the actual chip timers to be uploaded. 

I even asked a kind soul to take a picture of me for my blog post, but with the rain, humidity, and my overall cell phone technical abilities - this is what you get:

Sharky and I - best buddies!

I got back to the car and tried for another image to show off my mascara-punched eye, my tech shirt (which received a lot of compliments), and my Imma Punchya face (which was now my Imma Cry face). 

Seriously, all I wanted at this point - was hash browns.  I was HUNGRY!  So I left downtown Houston and headed back to the west side looking for a Waffle House.  Now here is something else I learned today - apparently Waffle House is not very welcome in Snob-urbia!  Who knew!  I drove 20 freakin minutes around my part of town, and wound up on Westheimer at a dive Waffle House. 

I ordered my eggs, hash browns, and chocolate milk.  I scared the poor waitress because even before she could get me a straw, I had successfully chugged the entire glass of chocolate milk.  It does a body good!  And yet, here is where I learned my final lesson today.  Running 3.15 miles, chugging chocolate milk on an empty stomach, and trying to force-feed yourself hash browns does not make your stomach your buddy.  I had to get a doggie bag at the Waffle House.  But at least the dogs will get leftovers!

So now it is 11:50am on a Saturday, I have been up since 6:15am.  I have run 3.15 miles.  I beat my previous personal record.  I wore an awesome shirt.  I learned a few life lessons today.  I hear a dog snoring (Oliver), and I am GOING BACK TO BED!  G'night race fans.

Tune back in on Monday - it's hills training again.  Yay!  Go team go - rah.

Update - I ordered my pictures from this race through Sporting Image, but until the physical version shows up and I can scan it in:

I swear that almost looks like a smile on my face!  Holy crap!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Windy Sumbeetches

As I was driving to the track I decided two things - that if the American flag in front of a store is absolutely ramrod straight and you have to actually use two hands to drive your SUV - then it is windy!

I knew that today was gonna suck - big time.

But I was presently surprised!  Today was Crazy Sock Day - now you may know that last week was Crazy Sombrero Day - which I rocked!  And today I was hoping for a win as well - I have been collecting socks since I started my roller derby career, and now that I don't play anymore - I have no use for goofy socks. 

Except - today these precious babies scored me a new pair of high-tech running socks.

Yes, I look like a goob with my compression sleeves on.  It looks like a shark is trying to eat a tube worm - whateva!

So today after the sock-off (Dale won for his toilet paper socks and Margaret for her margarita socks) we started our warm-up lap.  And I would be lying if I didn't tell you I had the group in sight the whole time, and not from across a football field and I had to use a rifle scope to spot them - I mean with my nekkid eyes.  It was again a shock for me!

I mean, let's not lie - I was still way behind them - but I think I might be changing from 14:00/mile girl to 13:30/mile girl.  Fingers crossed!

But man - that last turn was into the wind - and I remembered what happened the last time I turned into the wind, so I kinda ducked my head down, closed my mouth and tried to breathe through my nose - that didn't go well.  But hey - I didn't swallow a bug - so SUCCESS!

Anyway - the standard drills followed the warm-up, and after some stretching we lined up on the track for our sumbeetches.  This time we would have to push through for 30 seconds each.  I know 30 seconds doesn't sounds like a long time - but think of it this way - if someone was beating you with a bat for 30 seconds - it would seem like a long time - right - same concept.

But another surprise today - I actually got ahead of a couple of people and stayed ahead for the most part - I did walk between the sprints - but I pushed hard, fought the wind, and even gave it the finger when it was all said and done.

I walked away with a new pair of socks, and a pat of my back from my coaches!  That is worth the torture any day.  

I tracked today again with my new tech toy - and it is still freakin awesome!   If you look at the time and the heart rate charts you can see everything I did today.  First there was the warm-up, then the warm-up calisthenics, then the sprints, and finally a cool-down lap. Too right - that's awesome!

Anyway, I came home, cooked dinner, ate it sitting on the counter top while my legs were wrapped in ice, and now I am heading to bed!  Good night race fans - and stay tuned - I am hoping to put some of this torture in to practice.

Saturday is my return to the 5K circuit for a run at the Houston Aquarium.  If you feel like it - come meet me at the finish line (with a beer) - I should be crossing at about 0839.  I WILL have a PR, and since my current PR is 40:09 for a 5K at the Azalea Trail Run - I must come in under 40 minutes.  I will make good use of my new tactics, or I will die trying!

See you after Saturday's race - go team go - rah!

Inspiration - off topic

It occurs to me that if I could get the All-Blacks to come to my training and races - I might be motivated to run faster. Just a thought!  Plus - I just love this video - so from me - to you - with rugby love.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hellacious Hills - Part Two

It's Monday night - and I am sitting here with my legs wrapped in ice. 

There are so many things wrong with that statement I don't even know where to begin!  A normal person does not leave the house to have someone push them into running up ramps in a parking garage - and yet - there are a dozen of us that seem to want just that!

I was still reeling from my escapades this weekend - too many cervezas - not enough rest.  I had spent the weekend catching up with high school friends that I hadn't seen in damn near 15 years - so there were quite a few stories being tossed around and beers being tossed back. 

I really could not get excited about this Monday's hills training - EXCEPT - two awesome things happened, which wound up helping pump me up.  First, this was going to be my first time using my Garmin 305 so that I could monitor my heart rate during training - technology truly does geek me out. 

Second - I spent about 20 minutes trying on different tops trying to find one I wanted to wear (this is like a fish looking for water - I have a TON of clothes).  But for some reason, nothing set right.  I pulled on a blue top that coordinated with my headband (hey - I'm a girl) and realized I was late -  ran downstairs, and found a bag of new wicking, running shirts delivered!  YAY!

So now I am zooming down FM 3005 trying to change tops, while eating a granola bar, singing to some Missy Eliot.  But that new purple shirt made me feel happy - it said "If it weren't for me, you wouldn't have anyone to pass."  I think that damn near sums up my running.

But there we all were at 1800, standing around the UTMB track - stretching, chatting, preparing for hell.  Coaches Leno and Dale jogged us over to the parking garage - a 0.9 mile distance - and I couldn't have been more surprised than it monkeys flew out of the Prius keeping time next to me - I could see the Go Fasters the ENTIRE time.  In fact, I think I showed up just a little bit into the first stretch instead of the last one.  But I think they are messing with me - I have a feeling they are all just running slower to make me feel better. 

And then the torture - now - I like my coaches - they seem like nice guys - but anyone who can tell you that you have to charge up parking garage ramps for a full four minutes - WHILE SMILING - ought to be smacked with a running shoe.  But off we went. 

I'm not gonna lie - I felt like I was only gonna barely make it up the first time, and there were two more sets to go.  The wind was insane.  You would think in a parking garage you would be sheltered, but no.  Right as you were straining at the top of a ramp, whammo - wind.  Seriously I think there were times I was stationary between the slant on the ramp and the wind. 

The second set of ramps hurt - I reached the top and walked and there was Leno telling me to keep going.  It got me moving again.  Damnit.

The third set was the hardest and the longest - but I had a goal in my head.  Like all good parking garages once you reach the top, there is a parking area.  In all the the ramp sets we have done I have reached the top, only to walk/jog a couple hundred feet before it was time to go back down.  My goal on this one was to make the full loop up top.  And I swear - freakin Rocky theme!  I made it all the way around - now don't jump out of your cars yet in glee.  I did it at a crawl - but I did it.  Next time I might be able to jog it.

And the hits just keep coming - normally on the jog back to the track or store at the end of the workouts - I walk and shuffle back.  Today I jogged the entire distance - well, clodhopped - but I did it.

And then I came home to download data from my new gadget!  YAY!

Here is a map of the workout today - a total of 3.26 miles.  Very cool!

This one has all of the cool data!  Distance, time, heart rate zones, % max heart rate (and I was actually where I should be for hill training), even elevation (fat lot of good that does in Galveston).

And yea - even though I felt pretty ok today - I was, am, and always will be (hopefully not) 14:00/mile girl! 

But by far the coolest are these charts - You can actually see the hills intervals. 

Sadly, I actually can't wait until Wednesday to wear a new fancy shirt, strap on the heart rate monitor, and run some sumbeetches.  Plus Wednesday is crazy sock day - I SO have this in the bag.  I have a collection of skate socks from my derby days.  Go team go - rah!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

In the Immortal Words of River Tam . . .

I think I swallowed a bug.

I have already learned a few things on my road to the half marathon.  I have learned that if you go to bed before 10:30 on a Friday night you are either a loser, over 45 years old, or in training; and I am only 34 - so guess which ones apply to me! 

I have also learned that my 95 pound lab is scared of my 10 pound Siamese cat. 

This is him, waiting for his turn at the water bowl.  Sad.

But more importantly, I have learned that when running into the wind, SHUT YOUR MOUTH. 

I actually woke up this morning around 0700 - slightly later than I had hoped, but still not too bad.  It was cloudy and looked like rain this morning.  I fed the dogs, let them out, and dressed in my small fortune of gear.  I was super excited because today I was going to try out my new (4 year old technology) Garmin Forerunner 305.  I wanted to track my heart rate and pace.  I have been super jazzed about it all week. 

I geared up, slathered on the 70 spf (yes, even on a cloudy day I burn), bug spray, and icy hot - and walked out the door to stretch.  I turned on the Garmin - and the battery was low - WTF!  I had charged it on Wednesday.  Damn.  Oh well - guess I will have to run tomorrow to play with it!

But I left the house feeling pretty good, running a subliminal message in the back of my head saying that I had already done 4 miles and could do it again.  I hit play on the ipod and took off - ok ok - I clodhopped off.

But still - I was in motion.  It was truly a pretty day.  The weather was nice, a little sun poked through the clouds, the humidity was still fairly low, but the wind - wow!

I turned up Bob Smith and had my eye on the prize, the last house on the street, it was there that I would turn for my loop to come back.  I was out of the full push of the wind and enjoying the view.

Nice view right? 

Well, I made it to Marina Drive (without getting lost), turned to the right, and BAM - hit a wall of wind.  Everything I have read says that runners should breathe through the mouth because they can't get enough air breathing through the nose - for me - it wouldn't matter - I am a mouth breather while running - loud, heavy - not graceful at all. 

See how the palm trees are leaning with the wind - sucks!  And what I was trying to show were the white caps in the canal.  Dang! 

And there I was loudly mouth-breathing, when something hit my lip and I swallowed it.  Truly I think it was a bug.  But hey - I am supposed to have a lot of protein on this traning diet!  Protein and carbs - maybe I will only eat bugs and drink beer from now on. 

That wind was crazy - but it did mean that I would have it at my back on some of the run home - YAY!  I hit two miles, grabbed out a water bottle from my bat-belt, tipped it back to drink, and choked.  Awesome.  So now I have swallowed a bug, and choked on some water.  I nearly swallowed my gum as well, but recovered that with a cough (I am a pro at gum-chewing), spit out the offending water, and tried again.

And folks - the important thing here to note - is that I never once broke stride.  I mean I am not a super-fast person, or even a remotely fast person - but I never stopped to fix the problem - I just kept going.  It might have been my new head band that says - I think I can - and I was channeling the Little Engine That Could - but whatever it was - I made my 2 mile turn. 

The rest of the run was fairly uneventful, and seriously how much more could happen to a person who just swallowed a bug, choked on water, and coughed up her gum?! 

I have decided that I made a mistake when planning the run.  Any time you can see your house twice during the run, but still have a ways to go before you can stop running - there is a problem. 

In the first picture I have about 1.5 miles to go before I can stop moving.  In the second one there is only a yard, a canal, and a second yard keeping me from my couch - but I went around on the roads - stupid expensive gear!

I made it home, stretched, grabbed a Powerade Zero, let the dogs out, and took an Aleve.  Now don't tell Kim and Leno, but I think this whole running thing is getting easier.  I haven't thrown up yet, I was not crying at the end, and I felt pretty good for all four miles.  My ipod says that I average 13:30/mile - but that sounds kinda fast for the Queen of Clodhopping.  

Stay tuned race fans - because Monday we do hills again - go team go - rah! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Long Day with Torture

0500 - First alarm goes off - hit snooze
0509 - Alarm beeps and shakes bed (seriously) - hit snooze
0518 - Repeat above
0527 - Smack snooze
0530 - Second alarm clock goes off
0531 - Cuss, chase it down, hit snooze
0536 - Get up from first alarm, turn all alarms off (I had three clocks set)
0537 - Let four dogs out
0542 - Let four dogs back in

Sophie (Mom's Lab), Oliver (my brother's dog), Bobby (my handsome boy), and Beignet (my cow dog that digs and jumps in the pond - and yes, she has Yoda ears - hard to sneak up on her)

0545 - Feed four dogs
0545 and two seconds - Stand back to not get trampled
0545 - 0600 - Dress, wash, makeup
0600 - Let four dogs out
0605 - Put four dogs in garage
0605 - 1640 - Hope dogs don't eat garage
0610 - Drive to work, cuss slow people in high speed lane
0655 - 1545 - Work at desk
1550 - Drive home
1551 - Let four dogs out
1552 - Check garage for damage
1552 - Thank God there is none
1600 - Let four dogs in
1600 - 1630 - Play with dogs
1630 - Dress for running
1640 - Feed four dogs
1650 - Let four dogs out
1655 - Order Garmin Forerunner 305 so that I won't take wrongs turns during this Saturday's long run
1659 - Plan Saturday's 4 miles on

I wrote down directions this time, and notice I even followed through with a plan to "pass out" after the 4 miles!

1710 - Let four dogs in; corral muddy, wet one into the bathroom
1715 - Leave for running
1800 - Arrive just in time for the Crazy Sombrero Contest for Cinco de Mayo - I won (thanks Mom for letting me borrow the hat).  Of course the only other contestants were Kim with her pink, furry, pimp hat; and Leno with his MASSIVE sombrero. 

Hells yeah - I am 14:00/mile girl with a kick ass hat!

1805 - Our 1.2 mile warm-up run - actually could see the Go Fasters the majority of the run - they must be getting slower, because I certainly didn't feel any faster!
1820 - Time for sumbeetches - 25 second sprints, 20 second recovery - oddly these too felt better.  I even jogged (well, shuffled) for the first couple recovery times
1829 - Sumbeetches over - would have done a happy dance if I had the energy!
1830 - Clodhopped through a "cooldown" lap
1840 - Stretching - except now there are push-ups - wait a tick??!!
1900 - Drove home singing to LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" - because - why not!
1910 - Hit the Taco Cabana for a little Mexican food in support of the holiday
1930 - Arrived home
1931 - Let four dogs out
1935 - Let three dogs in
1940 - Let fourth dog in as she likes her "privacy" for her business
1945 - Firmly planted on couch with ice packs on both shins, eating tacos, drinking water, watching Monday's Castle.

I plan on spending the rest of my torturous day showering, crying, reading, and fighting the four dogs for space on the bed.  And the good news is that tomorrow is circuit training with my personal trainer at the gym.

Go team go - rah!