Saturday, October 31, 2009

My feet are still a little prunelike...

and I am quite proud of it :) The Silver Comet Half Marathon this AM was, in a word, wet. Not drizzly but more of steady rain for most of 13 miles. The kind of rain that would keep you in bed if you were prone to bailing at the last minute for these sorts of things (which I am). I probably would have bailed if it were a 5 or 10k. I was looking forward to the race and no rain shower was going to keep me fron getting out of bed at 4:45 to do it. OK, it wasn't exactly that easy to get out of bed but ...

I was actually there pretty early. I checked the website yesterday and it said the race started at 7:30. It turned out it was closer to 8:00. Luckily, the rain didn't start until about the time the race was ready to start so there weren't 2,000 people huddled under any available shelter. As I arrived an picked up my number, it was still dark out. I get my number, pins and timing chip and make my way to a crub to assemble everything. As I am doing so I opt to walk behind the lady giving announcements in the middle of the parking lot. I guess I felt it would be rude to walk right in front of her. As I did so I stumbled on her microphone cord and there was a brief moment of silence. She was dressed as a witch and gave me a little witchy look. I apologized profusely and scampered away quickly to avoid a curse being placed on my person. So much for not calling attention to myself. In my defense, it was dark. The defense rests.

The race was a fairly small event (or smaller than what I have been used to for longer distance races - this was not ING or Disney) so there weren't corrals. The organizers did do a good job of getting people to line up by their pace. It seemed to work pretty well. Even though the trail is pretty narrow I never felt like I was constantly darting in and around people who might be walking or running at a slower pace.

The Silver Comet Trail is a paved rail trail. Very scenic, quiet and lovely. There were no bands, no cheerleaders, no screaming fans, no Disney characters. None of the things I have been spoiled with in my past races. It was me, nature and about 2,000 runners. Quite the test for someone who appreciates a lot of disctraction as she runs. Luckily, there were plenty of runners who did dress for the occasion. Wonder woman, batman and robin (both male and female versions of the duo - which made me wonder who drew the short stick and had to be robin - how do they decide), supergirl, a pumpkin and some bunnies. The costumes were few and far between. I am guessing because of the rain or possibly the distance. Running a 5k dressed up like a go go dancer or an elf is one thing but to run a half marathon in the rain, well...

All in all a good race, not a PR but wasn't really expecting one. I am kind of in a "finish with a decent pace" mode. The race might have been a little too peaceful for my taste. It was a long out and back on a single road. At the end, I could have used a church choir or local HS cheerleading squad to keep my mind off of the long, not so winding road. I will give props for the nice race shirts and buffalo sliders (YUM). At the end on the water table instead of giving out paper cups with water or bottled water, they had large sports bottles with the race logo filled with water to take. They were nice bottles and a pretty cool idea. When I got done, I was soaked to the bone. My clothes were as wet as a bathing suit even after the hour drive home. My feet, still shriveled up like someone who sat a little too long in the bath. Off to take a nap!

Friday, October 30, 2009

It is all in your perspective...

Last week was all about perspective. Is my glass half empty or half full? It might get deep. For about a second.

Where to begin... Let's go with the deep and then get to the squirrel. Yeah, I have you now, don't I?

So remember the whole saga about my thyroid? Well, I went back for the 6 month check up and my doctor this time was a little less vague about the direction I should take. She said (or I heard) that the nodule was 3 cm and really that was the size at which they consider removal. I know I am not crazy, I am pretty clear on the conversation. As any good patient, I have googled enough to be fairly well educated on the subject. Well, as educated you can be taking everything you read with a grain of salt. I was resigned to the fact that I would have someone cut into my throat, there would be a scar, time off work. Basically, convinced myself it was no big deal. So off to the surgeon we go. I get there and he is is of the opinion that it doesn't need to come out. According to his chart, the nodule is 1.3 cm and not large enough to worry about considering I have zero symptoms. Of course he left the door open if I insisted but we came to the conclusion that it really was not necessary. Hmmm... Back to square one. Initially, I was kind of put off by it. I had kind of resigned myself to the idea of the surgery and being done with the whole nodule thing. I had to catch myself for a second. Ummm, hello Mcfly? This is a good thing. No interruption in the training schedule, no scarves and turtlenecks to choke you all winter and cover the healing scar. This is good news! The side note is, I am scheduled for the "next available" ultrasound which is in December. I might put it off until next year, it has waited this long...

Perspective lesson 2. One of my eighteen or so tennis teams that I am on got an invitation to the state finals. The catch is you have to have at least 6 players to commit to going. We found out last week and the finals are November 14th. WOO HOO. For about a second. It turns out mid-November is a busy weekend for half the team and we couldn't scrape together 6 people off the roster. BUMMER. On the bright side, I can still get my marathon (marathong... there we go again) training in wihtout having to sit at the courts for 3 matches a day that weekend AND I can hang out with my new favorite running group. Downside, I miss going to state. Upside, I have PLENTY of other things to do.

Perspective lesson 3. I ran 10 miles at Stone Mountain on Saturday. I had not strung together 10 miles in several weeks (or maybe longer) so it was quite the feat for me on this particular day. It actually felt pretty decent all things considered. For those who are not familiar with Stone Mountain, the map doesn't really do it justice. Basically, it is a 5 mile loop around the base of the mountain. Think hilly. Very hilly.

ADHD moment. Check this out, I googled to try and find an elevation map for the run and came up with a picture of my shoes I took a couple months back when I made those sofsole inserts in the oven. LOVE THAT. LOL.

Back to the story. So I am on my hilly run at Stone Mountain, somewhere between mile 8 and 9. My legs are starting to hurt a little bit. Not enough to stop but the first time I had noticed them starting to tire in this run. I pass this guy in a wheelchair. Not a racing, running type wheelchair, this was a regular hospital issue type chair. He was by himself. He was missing a leg. It appeared to have been recently amputated only because he still had bandages on it. He was wheeling himself around the mountain. Insanely impressive. I wish you all could picture the hills to know how impressive that it is to be able to wheel yourself around it. He gave me a high five as we passed. My legs didn't feel so bad anymore.

The squirrel! I know you have been dying for it. It is actually pretty funny. We had a squirrel try to make his home in our fireplace one night last week. Had he not pulled down insulation, we probably wouldn't have seen him. I walked in the den and notice white stuffing in the fireplace and the door slightly askew. I immediately slammed the door shut and peered inside to see the furry tail of a squirrel. Much discussion ensued from Rick about he could get the squirrel out. My end of the discussion basically consisted of "that sounds like a bad idea, let's call critter getters". In the end, we barricade the squirrel in the fireplace so he couldn't poke the glass door open again and called critter getters. Crazy squirrel. It took them 30 minutes to get him out of the fireplace. Apparently, the squirrel enjoyed his new home and was as strong as Samson. He kept grabbing onto the grate and could not be pulled off. I think he eventually got tired and came around to our way of thinking. They toted him to another neighborhood. Hopefully they are a little more welcoming of squirrels as roommates. Me, not so much.

Have a great weekend! I will be up bright and early for the Silver Comet Half Marathon. They are encouraging costumes. It is supposed to be rainy so I am not sure how much fun a wet costumed run would be in those conditions. I may have to leave the tutu at home this time. I will let you know.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Running in groups...

I found a group of runners not too far from me and was able to hook up with them for the first time this morning. For those of you paying attention (not to assume... maybe my Dad was...), that meant I scratched the 15k and opted for the group run instead. There were two reasons. One, the group run was sooooo much closer to home and two, I was anxious to hook up with the group and meet everyone.

The run started at 7:30 - not too painfully early which I LOVE. It was unusually cold this morning (around 45 degrees - I am in Atlanta people - that is crazzzzy). I couldn't even remember where I had stashed my long sleeve shirts this morning. We aren't supposed to have this until MAYBE November. The cold temps meant their normal pre-run parking lot chat was a bit painful as I normally dress for the run as opposed to the standing around in the parking lot. Luckily, the chat was brief. I am sure had it been warmer we would have all been much more interested in hearing what the chosen one had to say about negative splits and predicting race times but I guess it was not meant to be today.

We broke off into groups based on our pace and took off for the Suwanee greenway. The greenway is basically a trail that was built for runners, walkers, bikers along the Suwanee Creek. It is a really nice trail in that pieces of it are shaded. I haven't run on it in a while as Stone Mountain is more convenient but it is a nice choice for a run. Since it was so chilly, attendance was a bit down and there were only 3 other people at my pace. I ended up running with a guy who is training for his first half marathon. It turns out he is doing the half at Disney. I wasn't up for a long distance today so his suggestion of 5 miles was perfect. All in all, a great run. A little muddy in spots from all the rain lately but not bad. The trail was in surprisingly good condition considering all the flooding in the area.

After the run, we hung out at a coffee shop on the square. The group is making plans to run the rock n roll in New Orleans in February as well as some other local outings. I am so glad I went today. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed running with other people. Over the past year I had kind of gotten into my own regimen which is great for keeping to a schedule but sometimes you just need the company of others for motivation. I guess I had forgotten what I was missing!

In addition to the Saturday runs, they do a Tuesday/Thursday run at (GULP) FIVE AM. It is tempo runs and speedwork which would be nice. They swear that you get used to the time once you get into the routine. I definitely could make the logisitics of getting ready for work post run and all that work out but WHEW that is early. I am thinking that might call for a lunchtime nap. I am going to give it a try this week and report back :)

Does anyone out there have a Garmin? I know, that is like asking if anyone has shoes... If so, which one do you have and what is your experience with it? I love my polar heart rate monitor but think on days where I am not really doing zone training and just trying to get in a long run, it would be nice to see distances and pace.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Too Much Cardio?

Here is the link to the article about scaling abck on the cardio for weight loss....

Step away from the treadmill

Monday, October 12, 2009

Where does the time go?

I am pretty sure I could start EVERY SINGLE BLOG post with that line! The "first day of the rest of my life" was over three weeks ago. Me oh my... Halfway thorugh October and it seems like just yesterday I purchased my Paula Deen desk calendar with much anticipation of making the recipes printed on the side pages each month. I have yet to make a single recipe and here it is almost time to buy another calendar. Maybe next time I will go with one from the Sierra Club as it will mean less guilt at the end of the year since those don't have recipes only lovely pictures.

As I perused my calendar today, I realized I have a marathon in 90 days not to mention a 15k next weekend followed by a variety of 5, 10 and half marathons that I signed up for in a fit of boredom one rainy weekend. WOO HOO! Racing season and cooler weather is in full force. Bring it on :) I still love remembering how stressed out I was over training for the first half marathon alomost 2 years ago. Now, I hardly give a second thought to building up the mileage for a half. Not that I am arrogant about it. It is still quite the feat in my book. It is just nice that I have been able to maintain a certain level of endurance that training for a half is not the monumental task it was for the first race. Love that.

The Big Sizzler was a fun race. It gave me the kick start I needed and for that I am grateful. It was a familiar route that I have run in various races. It was not a PR but I wasn't really expecting one this time around. It was more about finishing. In the days post-race, I kicked off quite the regimen of daily running right up until I had to go to Dallas for work last week. Tomorrow, the running will resume! I had forgotten how much I love running in the fall. We are starting to dip into the weather that makes a mid-afternoon run truly comfortable.

I was reading somewhere on line yesterday about how too much cardio can actually make you gain weight or at least inhibit your ability to lose weight. I had heard that before but for whatever reason it caught my eye this time. Maybe because I had recently dropped boot camp and am pretty much solely doing cardio at this point. Not by choice necessarily, mostly because it is easy and it has just worked out that way. I may insert some P90x in the evenings or every couple of days. I'll keep you posted.

Over the weekend, I went to my niece's 7th birthday party at the Build-a-Bear workshop. I am only sad that the whole "build a bear" concept was not my brilliant idea. You could spend a fortune in there... Hunter, her brother was the only male in attendance and was truly bored. I can't remember if he said it was better or worse than the american girl party the previous year. LOL.