Sunday, August 29, 2010

Getting in the long run...

The irony of my life is that while I LOVE plotting out my training schedules and penciling in each future workout in great organized detail, I find myself rarely sticking to the plan. I try to remember if I followed "the plan" for my last marathon but it has been longer than 24 hours ago and simply cannot recall. My guess would be no. Don't get me wrong, I follow the long runs religiously, it is just the mid-week runs that suffer. You know, the ones that really make the long runs easier. Or at least that is my theory... The mid week base building would make the long runs less of a torture test and more of "slightly longer" run.

My week usually ends up as a juggling act. Fitting in tennis, fitting in dishes/laundry/insert household needs here, fitting in strength classes at the gym or whatever I think I might be lacking or strikes my fancy. If I have tennis practice until 10:00 PM on Monday, my Tuesday AM run becomes a no go. (Unfortunately, I am one of those people that requires a minimum of 8 hours of sleep. Anything less and by Friday I am a walking zombie.) As always, I have too many things I want to do (i.e. group runs on Saturday AM conflict with Zumba on Saturday AM) and not enough time to figure it all out.

I think today's 15 miler was a victim of not enough base building, too much personal stress and anything else I might like to blame. I knew when I woke up that my legs were feeling overworked but also knew I had 15 miles in pencil on the calendar that I could not ignore. OK, I could ignore it but as we all know the miles just keep compounding so you know the issue here. I set out on my run and did get my 15 miles in but wasn't happy with the way it went down. A whole lot more walking than running. In the end I got in the miles. I don't really count it as a successful training run but... at least I kept my legs moving. I am not really sure what the issue was, I KNOW I could do better at mid week runs. I also know that I am under a ton of personal stress right now so I wonder if the mental part is what might be bringing me down. In the end, I am proud that I kept going regardless of how it got done. Sometimes, half the battle is just overcoming yourself, right?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Do I Smell Bacon?...

After 19 years of marraige, the anniversary gifts become less and less creative. At some point you kind of have everything you need or maybe you are just content with not exchanging gifts. Last weekend's anniversary offering was me making bacon and pancakes for breakfast. CR literally has no sense of smell since the accident so it was odd that he thought he smelled the bacon as it cooked. That was last week. This Saturday's exchange went something like this:

CR: Do I smell bacon?
me: No.
CR: Do I smell pancakes?
me: Nice try...

My CSA pick up is on Saturday mornings so I typically roll out of the house around 8:30 to make my pickup and then go on my long run. Today's pick up was looking pretty good.

A couple of unusual eggplant looking items. Odd looking and no real idea of what to do with them. I guess my non-farming experience is showing this week...

As I pulled out of the farmer's market, there was a light drizzle and cooler than normal temperatures. My plan for heading back for a long run session with Raven and Hannah Montana suddenly seemed less than tempting. Something about running in the rain seemed to be just what I needed. I pointed the car to Stone Mountain.

I pulled in to a spot, tied my car key to my shoe for safekeeping and turned on my ipod. Today's plan was to knock down 12 miles. On my Ipod I have been listening to The Help by Kathryn Stockett. At this point I am half way through the book and absolutely love it. Honestly, I hate to turn the ipod off at the end of my workout. I have always loved reading since I was young. I can remember reading for entire weekends. It feels like a cop out to listen to a book but it is so enjoyable on a long run. This particular book is set in Jackson, MS in the early 60s during the civil rights movement. My Mother was born and raised in the Jackson area and still lives there so I think that connection might make the book all that more fascinating to me.

The first 5 mile lap around the mountain seemed to go so quickly. I made a quick stop at the car to pull the sweaty mess that was my hair into a ponytail. The temperature was starting to heat up and the humidity must have been 100%. Seriously. I munched half a Marathon bar and took in some water then took off for lap number two. Oddly enough, I normally use GU gels to refuel but the last two weeks I have refueled with Marathon bars and it has worked very well. I was not sure how they would digest on the run but I haven't had any issues.

I wrapped up lap two to complete 10 miles and was starting to feel it. I had that internal debate you probably know very well. Should I keep going and be happy with 10 or just suck it up and do the 12? I decided to suck it up. I ran another mile past the car and turned around and came back to make it 12 miles. WOO HOO! While it wasn't overly easy, it did feel easier than the 10 miles I did a few weeks back so I am making progress. While it is so easy to lose running condition, I guess it is just as easy to get it back. I think the trick might be to set yourself up for a good run by being attuned to what will get you through any given run. Last week, for me it was the treadmill. Today, it was a run in the rain with a good book. Do what works and enjoy it.

Oh and when you are done, enjoy that runner's high. I did. I used my runner's high spurt of energy to make some treats...

CR: Do I smell cookies?
me: No.
CR: What are these?
me: cookies.
CR: Will I like them?
me: No. (I kid...)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Getting back in the groove...

First things first, congratulations to Lindsay (chasing the Kenyans), she won the CSN giftcard giveaway. Thanks to everyone who entered... I am still waiting to win one of those cards myself so I might be a little jealous!

I wasn’t particularly pleased with how my long run last week went down. I was supposed to run 10 miles according to the plan but ended up heading home at the 5 mile mark. I got a later start than anticipated that morning so I could blame the heat, the hills, my lazy training plan or any and all of the above. This weekend I was determined to turn that all around. I knew a change of venue was best but I was afraid to try anything too new and set myself up for failure two weeks in a row. With my easily shaken confidence, two weeks of failures would mean nothing but a lot of ice cream and TIVO at a pity party for one. ;)

Given that the previous week was a sweatfest, I decided to take my 10 miler indoors. As much as people dread the treadmill I knew under the right circumstances this was just the distraction I needed to kick it back into gear…. and it worked like a charm. The first 30 minutes, I spent working on hills by varying the inclines, the next 30 I did some speed intervals and then the remainder of the time was spent kicking back in a slower than usual pace watching That’s So Raven. Don’t judge… It was the TV I happened to be parked in front of (right...)
About halfway through, I ate half of a Marathon Energy bar and felt great for the rest of the run. It felt surprisingly easy and I even contemplated running a little extra (but then the Suite Life of Zach and Cody came on and I just couldn’t do it…). A great run, just what I needed to get past the less than stellar attempt last week!

In other news, today is my 19th anniversary! It is also the day Elvis died 33 years ago and Kathie Lee Gifford’s birthday but most importantly my anniversary :) The husband is pretty cute, sweet and an overall great person who wouldn’t want to hang out with him for 19 years?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Power lunch...

Yesterday, I received a call from Nascar driver Greg Biffle practically begging me to give blood. OK, it wasn't really him but one of those recordings... Anyhow, he sounded kind of desperate so I went online and set up an appointment to give blood. Did you know you could make an appointment? It makes it so much easier than standing in line at a blood drive. Kind of like the fast pass at Disney World. Sort of...

I have O negative surging through my veins. O negative is the one blood type that can be given to anyone universally, regardless of their blood type. In situations where they might not have time to check someone's blood type (i.e. a trauma situation), they can be given O negative. My blood is pretty popular like that.. Since it is so popular, they tend to run low on it and have celebrities call me to give like they did yesterday.

I made my appointment for my lunch hour and was in and out in about 40 minutes. Snagged some juice and nutter butters and was back to work.

If you want to give and need help locating a donation center or blood drive in your area, go to

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My July Staycation...

So since it has only been a month since my vacation, I might as well go ahead and post my pics, right? As I may have mentioned, the week I took in July was just a stay at home type deal but enjoyed it just the same. The most exciting event of the week was the Ladies Day tennis event I attended at the Atlanta Tennis Championships.

Basically you paid $30 to attend a tennis clinic and luncheon. The clinic was just OK. They had tons of ladies there so it probably the best they could do given the numbers of players. The best part was post-lunch. Most of the ladies vacated the premises but my friend and I decided to check out the practices and got to see several top players in action - very exciting!

Some pics from the day...

They had several items in a silent auction. This was one of the items, John Isner's shoe from the French Open.

A racquet made of chocolate.

We caught a few minutes of Robby Ginepri practicing as we were leaving.

We were VIPs for the day :)

Me and Leyton Hewitt.

Me and John Isner. For you non tennis types, he is the one who played that 3-day match at Wimbledon. I am not standing in a hole, he is not standing on a step. He is that tall. To give you some idea, I am 5'5". WOW.

John Isner. We got to see a lot of his practice session. THere were maybe 10 other people in the stands.

We were THAT close. My friend, Joan, is giving coaching tips to him (or not).

At the luncheon.

More of John Isner.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Buitoni and Blood Pressure...

CR and I went to the grocery store together today. Trust me, this is RARE. When we do go we always check our blood pressure. Yes, we are 85. Actually, Rick checks his because he is on medicine for blood pressure and me, well it is my chance to one up him. Guaranteed. Not only are we 85 but are blood pressure numbers are a contest. Today's results, winner by a knockout - Karen!

Rick stepped up to the cuff. A few seconds later he got a high normal, 138/81 heart rate 71. My turn. 91/59 with a heart rate of 57. To quote Rick, just one beat higher than a corpse. Lol. He is jealous... :)

While we were at Publix, we picked up the newest Buitoni frozen dinner. I was lucky enough to be given a free coupon from Buitoni to try it out. I guess if I have to eat lobster and shrimp ravioli, I will. Twist my arm...

As you would expect, it is easy to heat up. It is a stovetop prep and takes more like 10-15 minutes as opposed to the 5 minutes advertised on the bix. Still fast.... Even CR liked this and he is a red meat sauce and pasta kind of guy. This really tasted like something you would get in a restaurant which is saying a lot. The box says it serves 2 but it is really could serve 3. All in all two thumbs up.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Five Races for Friday...

Run with Jill had a post today with her Bucket List of races to do someday. The post got me to thinking about races I would like to do in the not to distant future. I quickly realized my "bucket list" is not much of a stretch. I guess I don't dream BIG. Stretch goals... not really my thing. I guess I like the idea of my dreams being within reach. LOL. My top races I would like to do at some point are all within 6 to 8 hours of my house. Truth be told, if my financial house were a little tidier I probably would have done them already.

My local bucket list...

1. 70.3 Augusta. I would be completely satisfied with a 70.3. An ironman? Not going to happen for me. Really.

2. Iron Girl 15k, Clearwater FL. The distance is far enough to be worth the drive, oh and, there is a beach.

3. Women's Running Half Marathon, St. Petersburg FL. Noticing a trend here? Same reasons as above but also like the tote bag designed for the race. I think they give crocs too. I don't even like crocs but it makes the race enticing. It is a sickness...

4. Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. I love to eat. I love to run. It just makes sense. What is cooler than a half marathon that starts at 10:00 PM? I almost hit the registration button several times on this one before it sold out.

5. Virginia Beach Rock N Roll. Another Beach half marathon. Enough said. Next year, the RnR is coming to Savannah. I DEFINITELY will be signing up. I heart Savannah! (No offense, VA Beach!).

AND... if we are going to push the envelope, dream a little bigger and travel a little further, these would be my races:

1. London Marathon. I am obsessed with London and England in general. Sadly, I doubt that I will ever get there.

2. Marine Corps Marathon. Washington DC. It would just be cool to run past the monuments. Never been there either. Must.go.soon.

3. NYC Marathon. I would love to see NYC on foot. The crowd support, the city, all would be awesome!

4. Leading Ladies Marathon. Spearfish, South Dakota. This one just sounds cool. I have heard some great things about it and the scenery, well... awesome!

5. Big Sur Marathon. For the scenery. Breathtaking!

Someday, someday I will check these off my list! Which ones are on your list?

P.S. Don't forget to enter my CSN giveaway! Your odds are pretty good... :)