Friday, September 25, 2009

Today is the first day of the rest of my life...

OK. Maybe not as dramatic as that but be afraid everyone... I am kicking back into gear tomorrow morning. After taking a hiatus around about Rick's surgery date, I am ready to get out there again. Maybe it is in anticipation of the Fall weather. I do know that the rain was a dangerous thing over the past week as I signed up for more races than I can probably fit into my schedule. The one thing I have learned about myself since I ventured into running last year is that I need goals and I view races as goals. Even the 5ks. They all serve their purpose.

Tomorrow morning I am running the Big Peach 10k Sizzler. I am hoping it is dubbed the "sizzler" because the course is blazing fast. :) It is a point to point race which I like so it should be a great morning. My goal for tomorrow is to just enjoy it.

Next weekend, I have a 5k on Saturday AM followed by a half marathon on Sunday. I am looking forward to running races on back to back days. My own mini-goofy race.

The BIG news today was that after several days of enduring flood related road closures in my area, the main road between me and the rest of my world (work, gym, tennis/my favorite grocery store) is now open! No more driving 8 miles out of the way to get to work/gym/tennis/store. WOO HOO!

Tonight, I have dishes and laundry and Tivo. Another exciting Friday. Have a great weekend :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Let the sun shine...

Let the sun shine, let the sun shine in, the su-unnshine in-nnnn.... And after what seemed like 40 days and nights, the ark came to rest in Lilburn. Noah opened the door to the ark and let the inhabitants out to run and play tennis!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Good thing I was feeling lazy today...

I don't know if you have seen reports of weather in GA (or fellow bloggers complaining about it) but it has been raining here non-stop since last Tuesday. Yesterday was no exception. I heard the lightening and thunder all night long and woke up at around 3:30 when the electricity came back one to reset my alarm clock. Don't ask me how I knew the electricity was back on, it just was a coincidence, really. Divine intervention perhaps. At any rate, I set my alarm for my usual 4:44A with the full intention of getting up and doing an interval run on the treadmill. At that hour, I am not listening to the radio or watching TV, I am just putting on clothes as fast as I can to head out the door.

This morning, I was lazy. I had been awakened several times through the night with the storm that had rolled through. When 4:44 came around, I re-set the alarm for later. Later as in just in time to get up to go to work.

I get ready in a rush. I haven't checked the weather as I pretty much know the forecast is rain for the next 7 days. I think I saw a ZERO percent chance of rain on Monday the 28th! Every day prior to that is a minimum of a 40% chance. As I am walking out the door, I notice a big pool of water in the garage. Ruh roh. My mind immediately goes to the water heater. Checked. Not leaking. Thank goodness as we just had that replaced earlier this year. I grab towels and start trying to figure out the source dreading what one would think must be some sort of plumbing disaster.

In most cases, a flooded garage would be no big deal. In our case, we don't actually park the cars in the garage, it is more of a workshop for Rick so it is lined with tools, cabinets, you name it. Think storage space as opposed to garage. Not crammed to the gills but still quite the project to drag everything out and dry it off. Thankfully, I was lazy this morning or might not have even noticed the water as I left for the gym shortly after 5a.

As it turns out there were floods all over the city, particularly in the area I travel through to get to the gym and to work. Several roads caved in due to the water underneath the surface. One lady got swept away in her minivan and died down a street I pass right by to go to the gym. I am also thinking at 5a, some of the areas with damage might not have been noticed and I could have plowed right into a flooded street or road that had collapsed. There were a couple of each along my route. For the record, I don't live on the banks of the Mississippi. I live in metro Atlanta. This flooding is highly unusual. I can't recall anything like it in my years here. Maybe the alarm clock was divine intervention, maybe not. I am pretty sure the decision not to go to the gym was an intervention and boy am I glad.

Buses toppled and pushed about by the water which was reportedly 7 feet high this AM as it rushed through. This is about a mile down the street from me.

Good call on cancelling the Beach Bash.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

a whole lotta rain...

More like a torrential downpour really. The picture doesn't do it justice. One of those rains where you can't step foot out of your car or house without a complete soaking. It has been raining like that here since Wednesday or so and is projected for more of the same for the next week. CRAZY! Who is building an ark? I need to reserve a spot on it!

I am not opposed to running in the rain. If the rain is more of a drizzle and not a soaker to the point where I would have to wear a jacket, I am all about it. Today was not a light rain drizzle running kind of day. Too bad. I had planned to get in at least 10 miles today at Stone Mountain. I had. I am not lying. :)

After screwing around on facebook for way too long, I motivated myself to the gym to get in a treadmill run. I actually have run 15 miles on a treadmill before when I was on a marathon schedule and needed the mileage. Today was not that day. I was thankful for two things today (there are others but these are the two that came to mind first). One, I am thankful I have access to a treadmill to get a run in at all and, two, I am thankful I am not trying to build mileage for a marathon or I would be testing my mental endurance on that treadmill as we speak. (unrealted. EVERY time I type the word 'marathon', I accidentally type it as 'marathong' first. what is up with that?)

Going to the gym worked out great as I got to do a 5-mile interval workout varying between 2 minutes in HR zone 2 and 1 minute in HR zone 3. It is next to impossible for me to do that on the road so it was a good excuse to get a good HR based workout in the books.

While I was there I saw three different people that I have not seen in months. I really need to try and work in a Saturday trip to the gym more often. One of my friends just started taking swimming lessons 4 weeks ago. She previously did not know how to swim and cranked out a 400 this morning before I ran into her in the locker room. Very impressive! Her long term goal is an ironman. If anyone can do it, I do believe she could.

The only downside to the gym was I realized I forgot to bring a shirt to put on post-shower. I hate to brag but I sweat A LOT. Putting on a sweaty shirt after a nice shower is not one of my favorite things to do. Again, not bragging but the stinkiness of it was offending me, I can only imaginge th pain of those around me :) The stench did not keep me from the grocery store but I did choose to go to a store other than my "regular" place. I have an image to maintain and all. Or maybe not...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

These things I know to be true...

Over the past two weeks whilst my legs were dragging the ground and perilously close to falling off the healthy living wagon, I had plenty of time to contemplate my situation. I discovered several things about myself. Maybe not discovered so much as just a big "DUH" moment or things that make you go hmmm. For your review:

1. I can't just "work out" for the sake of exercise. There must be some sort of goal attached. I have to be working towards something. Something bigger than the grandious idea of just looking and feeling better. A marathon, a 12 week challenge with prizes attached, you get the idea.

2. I wonder if people who eat healthy food as a general rule ever ate junk food at any point in their life? I read blogs raving about green monsters and various healthy grains and it just makes me wonder considering I can't seem to shake my love of sugar and fatty foods. Did these people grow up with parents who fed them carob instead of chocolate? How can I break my addiction to cake and ice cream?

3. How do people work out at night? I think I may be a morning person in that respect. Over the past 2 weeks I have had every intention of working out when I got home from work but always found some excuse to not do it. If I don't get up and do it in the morning it ain't gonna happen.

I had to drop out of bootcamp due to the economic situation in my home. Not to worry, that same week I received an email about a 12-week challenge at my gym. Basically, they tell you what to do for 12 weeks in terms of exercise and there is some sort of prize at the end. There are probably 80 people doing this challenge which is quite impressive considering there were maybe 9 in the last one I did.

My interest in the challenge was the accountability (see bullet 1) but also I wanted someone to help me plan out strength and resisitance training. I figure I have the cardio down, I got the nutrition component from the last challenge I did and now I need the 3rd piece of the puzzle. More details on it all later but am pretty excited about it. It was the kick start I needed.

Lots of rain on tap for this weekend but hopefully can still get a run in and a tennis match on Sunday. Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Hunter!

I spent a couple hours Saturday at my nephew Hunter's birthday party reacquainting myself with the world of 9 year olds. It was quite entertaining to watch 15 or so 9 year old girls and boys chase each other around the park. No organized games, just ice to occasionally put down an unsuspecting kid's shirt and a big field to keep you entertained for two hours. Ah, the carefree life of a 3rd grader!

Hunter is the one testing out the fire on the candle.

My niece, Hollie.

My sister, Amy and Yoda.

Bro-in-law, Chris and Hollie kickboxing...or something.

Hollie never left Hunter's side during the gift opening excitement.

the medals!

How could I forget to show you??? The one that is all gold was for the half. The other was the coast to coast for running at Disneyland and Disney World.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Disney, Disney, Disney....

This week has been insane, I intended to post an update on Disney waaaay before now. For a short week, it felt like the longest week in the world at work. Enough about my time issues, on to Disney...

I am really glad I did it. Overall, I would have to give the edge to the Disney World races over the one at Disneyland. Having never been to Disneyland, I was surprised by how close together the parks are on the property. If you have ever been to Disney World, you drive for what seems like miles once you take the exit to get itno the park area so there is a lot of land for running within the park. At Disneyland, it is more like driving up to a mall. It is right off the road and if you blinked you could miss the entrance. Just not what I expected based on what I knew Disney World was like. The folks in CA are quite proud to have the original!

I left my house around 6A for an 8:30 flight to LAX. I arrived in LAX and by the time I got to a car it was around 12:00. The packet pick up was the quickest I have ever experienced at any race. I don't know if it had to do with the time of day or what but I was in and out of there in less than 5 minutes with no waiting. The EXPO was the usual stuff. I think the only thing I remember that was something I had not seen before was ABC studios were there pimping the fall lineup and giving away prizes advertising some of the shows. There were also screenings of some of the new shows at various times throughout the day. I didn't stick around for the screenings but thought that was kind of cool if you didn't have other plans.

After picking up the race swag, I checked into my hotel and got to see the end of the Melanie Oudin/Maria Sharapova match. Very exciting! I met Melanie a couple of times at a tournament here in GA where I was a volunteer. She is truly a genuinely sweet girl. It is so exciting to see her hard work paying off.

After the match, I decided I at least wanted to see California Adventure while I was there since they don't have that one in Disney World. When you first walk in, there are a lot of similarities to Disney's Hollywood Studios but they do have a pier area with traditional type carnival rides that makes it unique. I ended up making a whirlwind tour of it as I was afraid to walk myself out on Saturday night and have nothing left for the race.

California Adventure.

and when you turn 100 yards in the other direction, the entrance to Disneyland.

You think you have seen palm trees. These are gi-normous.

As with the other Disney races, they start EARLY. They want you to be in the corral at 5A for a 6A start. The upside to the California race is that you can walk from your hotel to the race start so you can leave much later than you would be able to in Florida since walking to the start there is impossible. In Cincinnati, I was able to walk to the start too and really love not having to worry about parking or transportation or adding extra time in for that aspect. Love that.

I was lucky to get in the 1st corral so within a few seconds of the race start I was rolling past the start line and the crowds were breaking free. The California race also gets points for their placement of people based on time in the corrals. For whatever reason in the March half at Disney, there were A LOT of walkers in corral A which made for a difficult start. Lots of running around peopl in limited space.

The route of the race went through the parks, out into Anaheim to Angels stadium and back to California Adventure for the finish. My favorite part is running through the parks. We went through both parks within the first 3 miles which left a pretty big 5 or 6 mile gap of running along the road with not a lot of distraction. (Here is where I start to sound spoiled but it is Disney and I am used to a certain level of distraction from them when I run). They did have high school bands and local entertainment here and there. For whatever reason it just seemed a little bit less than the Florida races. Florida did have A LOT more of the characters out for pictures and maybe that is what seemed to be missing. Not sure...

I ran with Tinkerbell for several miles. She even ran a bit like I might imagine Tink would run, up on her toes. Her heel never hit the ground. I couldn't help but wonder how that might feel at the end of 13 miles.

WOW, those reflective strips on my shorts sure are reflective. who knew?

Can't escape HSM3

The backside of Disney.... I think you have to pay extra for this tour :) They had hundreds of old bicycles back there that the employees must use to get around the park. They all looked like something Walt Disney would have ridden back in the day.

Hey... this race was supposed to be flat...

Mary Poppins and Bert out for a ride

Sleeping Beauty's castle. Cinderella might have one upped her but I do like the pink.

The Toy Story crew were oddly excited that someone noticed they were standing there. I think that is the main difference between the CA race and one in FL. Most of the characters were not where you could get a picture with them.

Headed towards Angels stadium

California Adventure

Me and Lilo.

My running partner for the last 8 miles, Vicki.

Mickey and Pluto welcoming me back.

Peter Pan picking up his Coast to Coast medal. Not sure if he took Delta or used pixie dust to fly to California.

As for the run itself, it actually felt pretty good. I had not trained like I wanted to going into it so the last 3 miles were a test in mental fortitude. I hooked up with another lady who had run the race before and we ran together for at least 8 miles. If it had not been for her, I probably would have slowed down or hit a run-walk pace those last three miles. I ended up running the whole way with the exception of a few quick picture stops which is great considering I was off my training plan by quite a bit. My ended up being 2:09ish. Not a PR but I wasn't expecting one at this race. Overall, a much better result than expected :)

In Nike news, I had to scratch it from the schedule. The economic forecast in my household is starting to look a little sketchy so we will have to do it another time. I have PLENTY of other races in the area to fill my time over the fall .