Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I got a new shoe on Monday...

OK, it might not be great for running but.... Yes, I appear to have a stress fracture. I know! How could that have possibly happened with all the running, tennis and various other training I have been doing? OK, maybe I was overdoing it a bit. There was not a particular event that happened that I can point back to and say this is where I injured myself. The short version is I ran my 14 miles on Saturday, felt fine, not anything other than normal. I practiced serving tennis balls on Sunday for about 45 minutes. Fine, not a lot of running involved there... After tennis, I went to Publix and as I was walking around the aisles, my left foot had a weird pain in it. I guess shopping is more strenuous than I realized!

I iced it when I got home and it really didn't help. It feels fine when I am seated but hurts to walk. Thus the boot... Normally, I wouldn't run to the doctor but with the schedule for the marathon and triathlons coming up I didn't want to waste a lot of time waiting to see if it would heal itself. The conclusion is that I most liekly have a stress fracture. I am supposed to wear the boot until Friday and then go back for a follow up Friday afternoon. On the bright side, I can swim and bike all I want. I think I might have been on suicide watch otherwise...

My doctor is really great, he seems to understand the torture of not being able to stay active. Depending on how things look on Friday, he said he may let me run ONE mile on Saturday and possibly TWO on Sunday. That sounds so funny to me because that feels like nothing now after crossing the 10 mile threshold on a regular basis. The guys in my group and I were just just saying on Saturday how funny it is that in March the ING half was so monumental and now we are running that distance and more every Saturday. To go back down to 1 mile is like a walk around the house. I am going to do what the doctor says, it is not something I really want to mess around with. I may end up bowing out of the Acworth Triathlon in a couple of weeks. We'll see how it goes...

For now, on my list of 14,001 things to be happy about, I can still swim!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Running on Empty

That is the way I felt when I got up this morning to meet my run club for the weekly long run. My alarm went off at 5 AM which was probably a little too early but I am notorious for hitting snooze 5 or 6 times before I actually get up and needed to be at our meeting spot with a cooler of ice by 6:30. Pretty much every muscle in my body was hurting due to my workout on Thursday (I did weights and cardio with DJ and then had what ended up being a 2-hour tennis lesson that evening). I rolled out of bed, got dressed and in the car by 5:45. Today, the scheduled run was 14 miles so I had to bring my fuel belt and a couple of GU gels for the road.

Despite my overwhleming desire to sleep late today, I was soooo glad I got up and went to run club. I would have never had the motivation to run 14 miles on my own today given my aches and pains. The group is fun too, we generally talk the whole way which helps distract you from the distance. We had decent weather, not too hot, not too humid, decent amount of cloud cover. Overall, it was a comfortable run. I would prefer running without the fuel belt but there aren't tables with little cups of water everywhere like there are at the races so you do what you have to do to avoid passing out from dehydration. :)

After the run, there was a speaker. The topic for today was self motivation and how to focus on your goal by using positive affirmations to get past the pain of running or other negative thoughts that might get in the way of completing the goal. It was kind of interesting, she touched on some kind of self-hypnosis thing. I'll have to read more on it later, at that point I was needing to get up off of the curb I was sitting on and stretch my legs. (the positive affirmations I was trying to use to eliminate the pain in my arse and legs at that point were failing me...)

Over the past two days I have had a couple of people mention the topic of ice baths to me. It has been kind of random because they just mention it out of the blue and then I happened to read another blog about someone who had tried it. After I had great difficulty getting up from the curb after the speaker finished this morning, I thought today might be the day for an ice bath! I stopped at QT for the ice, grabbed my wallet, got out of the car almost to the door and then realized not only had I left my keys in the car but had left the car running! Hmmm.... perhaps I was a little disoriented from the run... crazy..... Two bags of ice in the tub, some cold water and 10 minutes later I was feeling pretty good. I will not lie, the ice bath is not for the faint of heart. The first 3 minutes are a bit torturous but after about the three minute mark I acclimated to the cold water. It definitely helped, my legs were feeling pretty good afterwards.

On tap for tomorrow: Biking! Either at Stone Mountain or in and around the neighborhood. We'll see how I feel when I wake up...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mid-week update...

Not much to tell. I took Monday off to rest. Tuesday, I decided nothing sounded better than returning to my roots and going for a swim workout. Lately, I have pretty much just been swimming laps. This time, I pulled a new workout off of swimplan.com and did a 2,000 meter workout (backstroke, freestyle and breaststroke). The workout was mostly drills, pulling and kicking which makes the time pass quickly in the pool.

Today I got a short run in with my fledgling run club. It is pretty much just me an 2 others at this point and the 2 others don't stay the whole time. The one person I wanted to help start running has yet to show.... I guess I need to work on my skills in motivating others! Oh well, I needed to get a mid-week run in anyhow.

We had a major storm last night. The top of one of our larger trees was blown out by the wind, It just kind of twisted off and fell into the yard... taking out the birdhouse my aunt handpainted which was occupied by a family of birds. The house was smashed into several pieces and the largest part of the branch pummeled into the ground pretty hard (as anything would from 20 feet up) so I don't know if there were any bird survivors. It is kind of sad, I really enjoyed watching the birds fly in and out of their house.

Of other wildlife interest, my Dad thinks my "foxes" are actually coyotes. He is the expert so I will go with that opinion. I saw them out in the street one afternoon last week. I am told they eat small pets. So far, they have not found the bunnies that live in the yard as I saw one today. whew... Maybe I should warn them about Wile E. Coyote living in their midst.

For the weekend: The good news is that my weekend tennis commitments are over so I can actually do my long runs with the Get Fit group! I am very excited as we are into the 14 mile range now and it is difficult to keep running for 2+ hours unless you are really self-motivated. Somedays I am , somedays not so much. I do know that if I am with the group I will definitely keep running. The other upside to being done with tennis is that not only are Saturdays free but Sundays too so I can get some bike work in this Sunday! Stone Mountain, here I come! If you see anyone chugging around the mountain in what appears to be the wrong gear, that might just be me! :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Official 1500 Time: 6:26

not too bad.... much better than I thought I did.... much better than I thought I could do.... I was hoping for 7 minutes at best.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What to say about the Georgia Games...

It was pretty much the way I had pictured. Me and 14 former track stars running the 1500. (one former star even chose to wear her old college track uniform and was lamenting the fact that it had been 6 years since she raced - at the time I thought if the uniform still fit, she was still in running shape.)

I had looked at the previous year's results and knew this was not a well attended event. DJ had encouraged me to sign up so it was just one of things worth trying once in your life. As late as last night when I set the alarm clock I was on the fence about whether or not I would actually attend. So.... the alarm clock goes off, I decide to go. The event started at 9:45 but advertised that they might start as early as 30 minutes early so I needed to get to Marietta by 8:30ish. In my mind, I know I need to do some sort of warm up when I get there, no idea what kind of warm up or for how long.

I get to Marietta High School at about 8:30, check in and get my goody bag. There are maybe 40 people in the stands or running about including the volunteers. They start the 5000m race which had about 8 participants, men and women combined. Let me just say if you prefer to blend in with the crowd when you race, track meets are not the thing for you. I decide to take a 2 lap jog around the track to kill time (err, warm up). That done, not sure what to do... continut to warm up, check in on the field, how does this thing work anyhow? At 9:40ish, my event is called so I go down to the field and check in. I am given a number to adhere to my shorts for the "photo finish". Clearly, my reputation preceded me....

I am number 3. The significance of this is that there were only 3 women in the event. I think the men's numbers went up to 11 or so. The other two women appeared to be in their late 20s and were in official trackstar clothing. Not unlike this:

I, however, opted for my favorite black Nike running shorts with the pink insets and black underarmour shirt - so no one could see me sweating in fear. (picture not available ;)

I am clearly the newcomer in this crowd. Several had run the 5000 earlier, others had just finished the 4x100 relay. It kind of reminded me of a swim meet with people participating in multiple events. Anyhow, this newcomer had spikes/cleats/shoes with pointy things on the bottom trying to look like I knew what I was doing. When DJ encouraged me to sign up for the race, that was the only thing I was told - to get spikes. I had them. What to do with them, who knows... I am checking out the other's footwear, most have regular running shoes, some have spikes. I finally ask one of the men who seemed to know what was going on. I showed him my spikes and asked him if I should wear them or running shoes. He said I should try the spikes since they were lighter than my running shoes. (At my current level of speed, I suppose anything would help.) One more question, sir, where is the start line? Could I be any more of a tourist???

We make our way over to the start, there is some commotion over whether or not everyone is there (at one point, I thought they might do roll call - they could have - there were only 14 of us). Then there was further commotion about whether or not the women should run first and separate from the men. Luckily, the 2 women track stars protested and the men wanted to go ahead and run too. Thank goodness.... I had a brief flash of me running against (or desperately trying to catch up with) the two track stars.

Everyone lines up, men and women, the gun fires and we are off. My intention was to try and somewhat keep up with the pack for as long as I could. In retrospect, maybe not the best idea. I did keep up with one track star and one 20ish guy for about 2 laps. After that everyone left me in the dust, no one was really around me to help pace, I just had to kind of run as fast as I felt I could while still try to save something for the last 300 or so. (That was my strategy based on my extensive viewing of the Olympic Trials).

On the 3rd or 4th lap, the guy who gave me advice on the spikes runs past me and says "good pace" and keeps going. At the time, I thought he had already finished and was on a cool down lap but Rick told me later that he had been pacing off me the whole race and then kicked it in gear at the end. In retrospect, I should have kicked it in gear with him had I known he wasn't on a cooldown lap. So my planned sprint on the last 300 didn't really happen, it ended up being more of a sprint around the 150 mark. The same sort of sprint I do when the finish line is in sight at any race - I even sprinted at the ING at the end of 13 miles. I have no idea what my time was, I imagine it will get posted online at some point and I will pass it on. I do know I was not last. There were two men behind me. The one immediately behind me said to his kids, "well someone had to be last". To which they said "No, Dad, you weren't last - the guy in the green quit!" So, thanks to that guy and the guy in the green, I was not last. I also can proudly say I did not get lapped. In fact, I am pretty sure I won my age group which makes me a gold medalist at the Georgia Games. Does it count if you are the only one who shows up in your age group? :)

The track star diva in her college outfit who had not raced in 6 years... her time was 5:09. She's still "got it" as they say. DJ, the one who thought this race would be a good idea, didn't show. Another event for the memory bank.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

slacker = me

I have done almost nothing but tennis this week. Last week's rain created a lot of make up matches which means I have played tennis every day for the past 6 days and have 3 more to go before I get a break. Luckily, after that most of the seasons are over! We are starting to practice for the USTA state championships in August so I won't get a true break until those are done. The bright side about all the tennis is it did force me to really look at my schedule and make a decision about which hobbies I want to concentrate on going forward. Clearly, I have too many interestes and need to scale back on something. The decision was to cut waaaaay back on tennis. I had gone from 7 leagues to 4 and now I am going to go down to 1 or 2. I abdicated my captain's throne for ALTA and even begged off the team which will help TREMENDOUSLY with my training schedule and gave me an immediate sense of relief when I passed the torch to the new captain!

On the calendar for tomorrow is the Georgia Games and the 1500. ummmmm..... we'll see. I have been fluctuating all day on whether or not I really want to go. Mostly a lack of confidence as I know I do not have the speed to run this event and keep up with the "real" runners. I don't think all that many people sign up for this thing so my picture of this event involves me and a handful of former track stars hoofing it around the track. I suppose as long as I don't get lapped, I will be fine :)

Next week, the plan is to get back on track with the triathlon training schedule. as I looked at my mileage for this month I have not biked AT ALL (not good!) and really haven't swam more than a few laps. Yes, slacker = me. Not enough hours in the day!

Friday, July 11, 2008

11 on the 11th

Its my Birthday, Its my Birthday.... OK, not really. My half-birthday. I have been trying for YEARS to get the half birthday thing to catch on - 2008 was the year! My Dad got me a Wii a few weeks back (I think he was just humoring me...) and today I got the wait staff and fellow diners at my local Hibachi restaurant - the Kirin House - to sing Happy Birthday and give me ice cream! (we did tell them it was my half birthday but they did the singing thing anyhow - it was pretty funny.)Finally, after 39 years, someone celebrated my half birthday! Tres exciting....

My scheduled long run this week was 11 miles. I have tennis both Saturday and Sunday so wasn't sure how to fit it in. I decided to get up at 4:00 this morning and make the run. I started off from Lifetime at 5:00 and ran from there to Peachtree Ridge High School, in and around a few parking lots, ending up with a couple of loops around Discover Mills. All in all, a little over 11 miles in around 2 hours and made it to work on time! :) It is funny how once you get over a certain mileage point it just doesn't seem all that far. Training for the half in March, 10 miles seemed HUGE, today it seemed like no big deal. I was more worried about the time frame and getting to work than whether or not I could make it. I guess that is a sign that my training is paying off in endurance. I may lose a couple of toenails but will be able to run forever!

One more Olympic related story... If you have not seen Hitler's Pawn on HBO, you have to watch it. It is the story of Gretel Bergmann (later changed her name to Margaret Lambert) who was a high jumper in 1930s Germany. She as used by the Nazi party as a means to ensure that the United States would not boycott the Olympics on 1936. The Nazi party sent her to training camps and led her to believe that she was going to be on the Olympic team. They kept her in training as a way to prove that Germany was not discriminating and that they had Jews on the Olympic roster. Once they had convinced the U.S. to participate in the games, in fact the day after the U.S. team got on the ship to travel to Berlin, she was sent a letter telling her that there was not room for her on the team and she could not participate. The official story was that she was injured and could not participate although that was not really what happened. I have always been fascinated by the history of WWII and Nazi Germany. As a kid, I read The Diary of Anne Frank and The Hiding Place several times. It is just so hard to believe the things that were endured during that time. I am not sure if it is still showing on HBO, it was on last week. If you have a chance to see it, it is such an interesting and heartbreaking documentary.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Speed Intervals

I tried my hand at speed intervals tonight at a local high school track. I could throw the name out there but then the next thing you know the news trucks are out there and it it just becomes uncomfortable... :)

The workout was sprint 200 / easy run 200 (repeat 10 times). You know, you watch the Olympics and you realize those guys and gals are moving pretty quick but you really have no idea until you go out there and try to sprint a 200 yourself. That was tough! There were only three of us tonight, me and two guys. I really wanted to beat them on at least one of the sprints but they were too fast for me. Towards the end, there was serious consideration of whether or not I was going to toss my cookies.

I did this workout in preparation for my upcoming 1500 on the 20th. I am hoping for somewhere in the seven minute range (note I said range - 7:01 to 7:59). Tonight I felt like a turtle. I *know* I can finish the race - it is just short of a mile - I just won't be lighting anyone's hair on fire with the speed.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Olympic Trials

I spent what seems like hours over the last week watching the Olympic Trials - both the Track and Field and Swimming. Amanda Weir, trains at Swim Atlanta where I used to swim masters so I was trying to follow her progress at the trials. As expected, Michael Phelps dominated. There were so many inspiring moments, all truly amazing. Dara Torres at the age of 41 made her 5th Olympic Team in the 50 free and 100 free. Not only made the team but came in 1st in both events against people 20 years younger than her!

On the track and field side of things, 16 year old Jordan Hasay , made the final in the women's 1500M. She was just competing for the experience on her way to World Junior Championships and in the process set a new high school record. She looks so tiny compared to the other runners and has realy long blond hair, you couldn't help but cheer for her as she is making her from the back to claim her spot in the final. Way to go Jordan!

There were so many other great stories, Marshevet Hooker who literally fell across the finish line to get the 3rd spot on the Olympic team in the women's 200. It was a photo finish with her outstretched hands putting her ahead of the runners who were still upright. Ouch! I can't think of a better reason to go for the face plant than to make the Olympic Team.

Not the Olympics but... if you missed the 4 plus hour Federer-Nadal Wimbledon Final, you missed one exciting match. Final score: 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7. Insane!

In other sporting news, I woke up late but managed to get in 600m at the pool Side note, the water at the pool at Lifetime has been realllly murky lately. Even the indoor pool looks like soup. Not too appealing. The outdoor pool is so thick YOU CAN'T SEE THE LINES AT THE BOTTOM in 3 feet of water or the wall as you approach. YUCKY! I was told by a fellow swimmer that it was probably from all the sunscreen the kids have on. Still.... I like my water to be crystal clear with a touch of chlorine. Call me crazy.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sometimes it is just a matter of self motivation...

I didn't want to do it!

But I did it!

I decided last night that I would sleep in today - so I woke up at 7:30. My internal clock as really changed since I have started early morning workouts. Nine AM often feels like noon to me now. Anyhow, I am slow to get started this morning, checking tennis scores online, reading a few blogs, looking up how to make brown sugar bacon and a pumpkin souffle pancake (I am not proud - I have not yet crossed over to the girl who thinks fruit is candy....yet. I did buy a lot of grapes yesterday so I am trying). Shortly after printing off my recipe, I decide to get my butt moving. By now, it is 8:45 which could spell disaster if you are planning on running 13 miles in July in Georgia.

I have never felt so unmotivated. I had to force myself to get ready. I am mulling over routes in my head (Stone Mtn, Lifetime to Peachtree Ridge and back, run around the neighborhood). I finally settle on running in and around Mountain Park. The thought being it was relatively flat as compared to my second choice of Stone Mountain. I got a new foot pod yesterday that works with my Polar Heart Rate monitor. The park is the ideal place to calibrate it so that was in my head too.

I drag my butt to the car, bring along my amphipod for water, a couple of gel packs and my ipod. I am geared up and can only imagine what I look like. I get to Mountain Park put the watch in calibrate mode and run the required mile. The footpod can't calibrate. UGH! Second try, run another mile. Success! Calibrated and ready to go. Spend a few minutes figuring out the settings and take off. The plan was to run 6 miles in one direction and then turn around and come back the other 6 which would give me 14 miles total since I ran 2 miles messing around with the foot pod.

The weather turned out to be decent. A lot of cloud cover, no sun. I got soooo lucky. My route took my past Mountain Park, past Mtn Park elementary and in and around the neighborhoods eventually ending up on Pounds round near Wal-Mart. I didn't quite get the six miles in one direction and had to keep making detours until my mileage came out to 12 but I made it work. (Actually, I ended up with 13.25 ... close enough) I even saw a couple of people I knew along the way, my Dad's friend Steve (see photos from Peachtree) was exiting Brusters around mile 9 when I was daydreaming about Butter Pecan ice cream and then Vanessa was getting a walk in at Mountain Park when I was doing my last mile.

I am not going to lie, those last 1.5 to 2 miles were HARD. Between the Peachtree on Friday and then the stair workout yesterday, my legs were feeling it. I did the final mile in Mountain Park just to make sure the foot pod was calibrated right. I was a sweaty mess but made 13.25 in about 2:20. Definitely not a personal best but today was just about running down the miles. Funny how conquering your own mind and doing what you set out to do makes you feel instantly better!

The foot pod was dead on with the mileage. I *LOVE* it. You don't have to map out your runs for mileage or drive them in your car or go somewhere where the mileage is already marked. This is the best investment. I wish I had investigated a bit more before buying the nike one, although I will probably end up sending that to my niece, Clare. She has been running quite a bit and has even done a couple triathlons. Her Mom clocked her on her cell phone last time much to Clare's dismay so hopefully she will get some use out of it.

This also was my first run with the Amphipod, it does take some getting used to having bottles of water strapped on your backside. I was glad I had them but you do feel the weight. The one I have has a little pouch for your car key and gels which is very handy since I rarely have pockets.

All in all, a good day. So glad I got my long run out of the way; so glad it wasn't brutally hot! Now I must go take a shower and think about whether or not I really want to eat that bacon :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I think I got bit by the TRI bug

Everyone says it happens and it did. Even after the "iron girl incident" (which Rick says I should refer to as a motorcycle crash because it sounds cooler), I have this need to do it again, for a longer distance or a different course. I KNOW I can conquer this bike thing, I just have to get out there and practice to get more comfortable with gearing and increasing speed. It is frustrating because the other legs of the race are all me and how hard I can push myself for speed. The bike leg relies more on coordination and ability outside of how fast your legs can pound the pavement or how fast your arms can pull you through the water.

The consensus, with me and my many personalities, seems to be that I might need to give up tennis or at least really cut back. I know... Should I feel guilty for wishing that the team had not been invited to compete at the state championships?

Right now, tennis feels more like an obligation than something that inspires me so that might be the route I need to take to give myself some more time. For example, this weekend I am supposed to fit a 13 mile run in to keep up with preparation for Chicago. I ran with DJ and his group this morning because I really want to be ready for the 1500 but that was only a couple of miles at best (don't get me wrong, it wasn't easy, unless you enjoy running up and down about 25 flights of stairs in a stadium but it wasn't the 13 miles I needed). I had tennis immediately afterwards. Once I got done with that, it was really too late to think about running due to the temperature. I could do it tomorrow but wanted to get a long bike ride in. I could do it Monday but I would have to be running at 5 AM. It is a dilemma that I need to solve. Other people make it work. I just need to figure out how...

Peachtree Re-cap

So, the much anticipated details of the Peachtree.... I got up at 4:30, met my Dad, off to Marta by 5:20. We caught the train at the Avondale station. There was a pretty light crowd there so we were able to catch a seat on the train. Not to be once we transferred northbound to Lenox. The train was paaaaaaaacked. There was no way to fit another person on it. By the time we got to Lenox, all of the oxygen was depleted from the train and several people were already sweating from the heat.

We wedged ourselves out of the train at Lenox and made the trek to our corral. After a last minute stop at the "Happy Cans", Dad met his friend Steve and they took off walking shortly after 7:00. I head to my corral and take a seat on the asphalt. I was in time group 1A which was definitely a different class of runner. These people clearly took running very seriously or at least were just naturally fast and fit to boot. I felt like a fish out of water. I down a GU gel (Side note, I was really sick immediately following the ING half and have been experimenting with what food works and what doesn't pre-race. I think the main thing that has helped is to avoid any type of diet soda 24 hours prior to the race). GU gel down, wait for the start.

The benefit to time group 1 is that you are able to cross the line within a minute or two of the start (as opposed to time group 9 which I hear was over an hour after the race started - there are that many people). I tried to pick a person that I felt I could use to pace myself. That worked for about the first mile and then I just kind of went on my own pace. I think I saw the Kashi guy that is running in the commercials - could be wrong - he had a Kashi shirt on, sort of looked like him and he was high fiving kids that were on the sidewalk as we passed. He stopped/slowed down significantly at mile 3 so maybe it wasn't Mr. Marathon Kashi man after all. Either that, or all the celebrity obligations might have slowed him down.

Overall, the run felt pretty good - or as good as it can feel. Do you ever get past that feeling that you might not be able to make it to the end? It doesn't seem tot matter what distance I am running, I always have to mentally psych myself up to keep going. My only other experience was my last Peachtree in 1998 so compared to that one, it felt like I was done in no time. I will say the last hill was BRUTAL. On first approach it didn't appear to be all that long and then I got a better look at the top and it just kept going. So cruel as it was right at the end. Towards the end people kept yelling, you are almost there, almost there. I guess their idea of "almost" anmd mine are two different things... That last mile seemed really long. Time: 55:53. I really wanted to break 55 minutes. Oh well. I definitely did better than my last Peachtree effort in 1998. :)

After the finish, you go through the various areas (turn in the timing chip, pick up the shirt, grab a water). I was supposed to meet my Dad back at the Mich Ultra Party. Somehow I walked right past it and on to the civic center. On the bright side, I was able to grab a couple of free Larabars. I HEART larabars, especially the Key Lime and Cherry Pie flavors!

The funny thing about not being able to find the Mich Ultra party was that my Dad was very specific in telling me how to get there before the race. After the rave, I had not a clue where it was. I asked a couple of volunteers at the civic center, no idea. I finally happened upon one with the official race map and she told me how to get there. Headed back through the crowd like a salmon swimming upstream and eventually bumped into it after several wrong turns. I still managed to make it back to the tent before Dad and Steve so I just hung out and watched the people go by.

They finally showed up and we went in to take advantage of the 3 beers and all you could eat for $10. Pretty good deal. If you were hungry... We hung out there for about an hour, caught a ride back with Steve to the car at Avondale and were back home by 11:30.

The Peachtree is not about setting any kind of records, it is more about being part of the event. I definitely enjoyed the sights and am glad I did it. Maybe I can break 55 minutes next year ;)

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Peachtree

More details later... the goal was to beat 55 minutes. My time... 55:53. A personal best for a 10k sooooo close.

Some pictures from today:

The shirt

Me and Dad pre-race. This was his 29th race, my 2nd. My first one was 10 years ago. His was in 1979. WOW. Not too bad for 72.

Dad and his walking buddy, Steve, pre-race.

My view from the start. Note the wall to wall people.

Shortly after the finish. Still wall to wall people.

The crowd outside the Mich Ultra party as I am trying to find my Dad.

Enjoying some of the party food.

And a good time was had by all....

As we were leaving the Michelob Ultra party after having our fill of burgers, BBQ and beer. There were still people crossing the finish line at 10:15 - close to 3 hours after the start. If you are in one of the time corrals in back, it is close to an hour after the gun goes off before you even cross the start line. Insane numbers of people.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A moment of silence for Bozo...

Bozo the Clown died today. Who didn't want to be on the Bozo show as a kid? the chance to drop the ping pong ball in the line of buckets to win a prize and see Bozo in person - too much fun to deny! Unfortunately I learned disappointment early in life. Bozo lived in Chicago. Too far to drive from Atlanta for a chance to drop a ping pong ball in a bucket.

My new trainer/co-worker Theresa and I worked out this morning. It was fun, hopefully we can stick with it. She is coming up with a tougher regimen for Tuesday when we hit the weights again.

The Peachtree Road Race is tomorrow. Me, Dad and 54,998 other folks will be pounding the pavement for the coveted shirt. I am going to try and take some pictures to capture the essence of the race and all the sweaty people in my midst.

I had one more person sign up for my Wednesday morning run club. I have myself and 3 others now. It should be interesting to see how long every sticks with the program. I am going to try and talk them into signing up for a 5k to get started.

I got my photo proofs from the Iron Girl today. I must look straight down at the pavement when I run, every picture I ever get from a race looks like I have my eyes shut. I must work on being more photogenic as I am gasping for air and passing the photographers.... something to aspire to at the race tomorrow I suppose. :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

While I was running I came up with a plan...

You know my Dad told me you could get lost in your thoughts running. Today was kind of one of those days. Several of the ladies on my tennis team talk about wanting to run. I *think* they want to run, they just can't seem to get started. Today I came up with a plan. I decided that since I was out there running every Wednesday at 6 am why not get them to come out there too? One of them lives a half mile down the street and should have no excuse, right?

The plan is no in action. I have one definite and two seriously considering it. I am sure it will be slow going at first but maybe I can at least get them to commit to a 5k in the not too distant future! I kind of feel like I am paying it forward. DJ got me started, now its my turn.

Speaking of DJ.... I called him today to make sure he was going to be there tomorrow. He is not. He was fired. Bummer. New plan, my friend Theresa is going to help me with weight training on Tuesday and Thursday in his place. He is still running with me on Saturdays at a local high school, just no outside training which is really what I needed.

me and the duck

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I had a revelation ...

Today was a day of self evaluation. Mostly non-sport related which I won't go into here. Overall, a day of reassessment, cleaning out the cobwebs in my mind and trying to get re-motivated.

I played a tennis match tonight. I lost 6-3, 6-3. I should have won. I could have won. It could have least been closer. She was good, don't get me wrong but I just wasn't into it. Maybe still tired from Sunday, who knows... Up until this match I was in first place in my division on track to move up another level (which is the golden ring everyone ultimately is trying to attain in this league). So the revelation... Who am I trying to impress? I lost. So what.

Yes, all my recent activities have proven to me that I am competitive (which up until this point, I would have honestly said I was not). Ultimately, who cares if I lose a match to someone I should have beaten? (OK, maybe the girl who is now in first thanks to my loss does but...) Who cares if I finish a few minutes slower on teh bike leg due to a minor crash at the start? (OK, maybe the guy whose motorcycle I crashed into but....) My big revelation today was ... I don't need to impress anyone but myself. If I am OK with it, who cares what other people think? Deep, isn't it? :) Were you expecting something more?