Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Until Next Year!

Well folks, I have been completely swamped the last week, and there is no end in sight. I have been an absentee commenter and blogger, and it looks like that's going to continue for the next week. Our flight to NH is tomorrow at 10 am. I have a very slight hope to get a run in before we leave, but I'm gonna go ahead and guess that that's not going to happen. We get in at 4 and it will be Christmas festivities for the next two days, lot's of family and friends and even a wedding!

Now I am dutifully bringing my running shoes and clothes even though chances are they will remain right in my suitcase until I get home. At the very least I will be very rested by next week! If the weather breaks 40 degrees I will try to get out there, and hopefully not break my neck on the ice.

Regardless of whether or not I get in any running it should be a good five days with family and friends, and we will be back next Monday. Our internet connection at home is spotty at best, however, so there is a good chance you all won't hear from me until Monday, January 5th. Hopefully I can come back telling you that I have got in two long runs and am feeling confident for the marathon!

Everyone have a fantastic holiday and wonderful New Year! I am sure my Google Reader will be even more overwhelming than it is right now, so chances are I may make a fresh start with the new year and Mark All as Read. But not to worry- I will start right back up on all of your fabulous blogs on January 5!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Yep. That's how much I ran last week. To my credit, I had various extenuating circumstances, but still. I have excuses for the early part of last week, but when I went to Florida Thursday night I had explained to my best friend a MILLION times that I HAD TO RUN 17 miles (at least) on Friday. Unfortunately, my flight got in late, we were up until 2:30 talking, and when 7:30 rolled around I was feeling on edge and nauseated from lack of sleep (the three cups of coffee I immediately downed didn't help either) so I just sat on her couch all morning staring off into space.

It didn't get any better...I drank two diet cokes next, and by the time we headed out for the 2 hour drive to her mom's I was feeling worse. Then I decide to go in the car with her sister and brother-in-law (who had an important conference call to make)....let's just say I spent the 25 minutes he was on the phone trying not to toss cookies in the backseat and begging for the air to be cranked up. They froze in the front seat, but at least I kept everything down.

Unfortunately the rest of the weekend didn't go any better. I had the birthday party for her mom that night, Kate's (the best friend) graduation Saturday, and the wedding shower yesterday. Last night I went to bed at 12:30 and got up at 5 for my flight. I really really really need to run today, but I am no good without sleep. So what do I do?

The plan is to try to get in at least 5 miles in today, then if I can do 6 tomorrow and some later this week...of course I fly to NH on the 24th were they have been getting dumped with snow, so the likelihood of running outside isn't too high. HELP!! Will I be in big trouble if I don't get a long run in until next Tuesday? That will be two weeks since my 25k, with one week entirely off. I have long runs planned for next Tuesday, the following Sunday, and the following Friday January 9th....then the marathon is Feb 1.

So I think I'll be ok...I'll do 18 Tuesday, the following sunday is a 30k, then 20 on January 9th. My only concern is that that there will only be three days between the first and second, and four days between the second and third....is that too short? The only other option is to push the last one til Monday the 12th. I will have to use vacation time either way, and mentally I was just thinking it would be better at the end of the week (Friday) rather than the beginning. Thoughts? Am I in trouble?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Larry Fuselier 25k

Bleh. That is all I have to say about this race. It went horribly, for the most part, with none of the "isn't it so great to be out running" feeling I had the weekend before.

I tried to follow my lessons learned from the last two half marathons, but things aren't cooperating with me! For instance I wanted to not skip any more runs, but it poured last Wednesday, and snowed on Thursday, so one five mile run was skipped and my 8 mile was pushed to Friday. I also had a Christmas party Friday, so I didn't eat that well. Saturday I was good on the eating, no alcohol, hydrating, but worked a double (tired legs!) and then when I was about to get in bed to at least get 7.5 hours, Will told me he messed with my ipod. Our computer was running so slow, so it took forever to fix my songs, and THEN his friend (who's been away in the army) knocked on the door (with two of their other friends) at 10:45. Needless to say, they stayed til midnight and I probably didn't fall asleep until 12:30....with a 6:15 alarm. So yes, I was tired again. I also didn't get in any core stuff last week, and just felt warn out in general.

I got down to the race start about a half hour before. I had drank a HUGE coffee on the way (which would later prove to be a mistake). I had oatmeal and a banana about an hour before, and brought two gels. I hit the bathroom and lined up at the start. It was really warm, and we were running on a paved running path, so not too much to look at. I just felt kind of indifferent right from the start.

We headed out, and right away I felt no energy whatsoever. Eeach mile was a struggle, but I finally started to get into a groove at mile 4. Right then I had to hit the port-o-potty. The path follows a ridge, so the potties had to be placed WAY down the slope. Huge bummer...you are already losing major time to get to them, and then after you have to run up a hill to get back! I lost two minutes there, and all hopes of doing well for this 15.5 miles.

I tried to catch the people who had passed me while I was in there, and managed to get back in the swing of things. I took the first gel at the bathroom stop, and it kicked in and I was feeling pretty good. Things continued looking up until the turn-around at 7.75. At which point I realized that the reason I'd been feeling so good was because of a crazy tailwind. That was now a headwind. By 9 miles I suddenly was stricken with regret for the gatorade and the coffee. Why do I continue to do this? I realized a while back that I have no toleration for gatorade (or really caffeine) during races. While they both help me performance/endurance wise, both irritate my stomach REALLY BADLY. So then I went into panic mode, trying to remember which water stop would have a bathroom. Of course it wasn't until 11.5, so I had to suffer through 2.5 miles of this. I had to walk a few times and it was SOOO annoying because it wasn't my legs or my lungs but my stupid stomach! And of course I get to the rest room and there wasn't much in the way of results. I was like, "that's it??? " and then you wonder if you will have another attack...so another two minutes lost (at the same stupid port-o-potty!) and I was back on my way. I took the last gel here, and hoped it wouldn't mess with me :( I caught up to the couple of people who had passed me while I was in there, just kept thinking "please let people be around before I collapse". (I get this weird feeling sometimes like I'm going to have a heart attack or faint...scary, I know). Finally I finished. I was so disappointed in the whole thing that I just left. Normally I at least try to get my money's worth of free chips, bananas, beer and jambalaya. This time I grabbed a water and moped over to the car. My legs were killing me too! My time was 2:39 something...I didn't stop the garmin in time, but that was the time on the clock and I only started about 20 seconds after the gun. I had hoped for 2:25 :(

Anway...enough whining! At least I finished it. And I will do better this week on my 17 mile run. Yeah right! It will be a miracle if I really do it. I'm going to Florida for my best friend's wedding shower, and I'm sure there will be a lot of celebrating (she's also graduating college Saturday...something that's been long in the coming...). But I fly in friday and hope to get it in from 8-11 Friday morning. I HAVE TO because I know I won't get much running in next week over Christmas. So fingers crossed I'll do it!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

OMG they weren't lying!!!

Seriously. It was 75 two days ago!!! According to my friend, a native southeastern Louisianian, it has only snowed 5 times in the 40 years of her life! And never like this. The first picture was from a couple of hours ago too, and it has been snowing steadily since. If I wasn't too broke to pay the charge to send pictures from my phone to email I would've done a bunch more. We had tornado warnings two days ago because it was so hot, now this! Is the world coming to an end or what?
It is so exciting though! Schools are closing and everyone is going nuts! As a native New Englander I find it hilarious. There were so many accidents on the way to work, and it was only sleeting then! But yay! It feels like Christmas now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Yesterday 75 degrees...today snow??!?

So yeah. The weather is weird. And because of it I felt like I was going to faint on my run yesterday.

Regardless: Holiday Booty Buster Challenge: 5 miles = 5 pts! Hopefully will get 8 more today....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon results

The results have been posted from the half marathon this weekend, and here is how I did:

2:03: 08 chip time
25/61 age group, 358/791 overall

Interestingly, the two girls I think I mentioned trying to stay with but couldn't hang? 2:00:36. So had I stuck with them I would have been oh so close to 2 hours. Maybe I'm better off? I'm kidding, of course (sort of) but I might've been more pissed to be so close and still not make it! They also had a timing mat (Lauren said it was at 7.25 miles), and I crossed there at 1:06:16 and a 9:09 pace (see, I told you I had it through 8 miles!!), but my pace for the second half (or overall? can't remember) was 9:24. The girls I tried to keep up with at the end, on the other hand, crossed the first mat at 1:06:42, almost 30 seconds after me and at a 9:12 pace, but they finished more than 2 minutes before me with a 9:13 pace (wow- talk about even splits!). I was with them until after 11 miles, I think, so I really lost time right in the end. I swear it's the knowledge that I'm not going to make it...it just kills me! Once I know I'm off pace I lose it mentally. Maybe next time! I'm going to keep an eye on my splits this weekend i n the 25k, and maybe I'll feel better if I cross 13.1 before 2 hours.

On another note, while this race wasn't very full marathon friendly (the whole crowd was gone by the time the marathoners started finishing) if I had done the full I would've had a chance at second in my age group! (The first place finisher was at 4:03, second at 5:18). So who knows, with training and luck I could win my age group here next year!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not quite what I hoped, but still a PR!

Thanks so much to all of you for your wardrobe advice. I found that everyone was right about wearing just a long sleeve over a short sleeve; if I had the jacket I had planned on I would have been sweating. BUT- (for me) I was right to wear pants when everyone suggested shorts. I would have gone with tights, but don't have any yet (it isn't often cold enough here for it). I was freezing until about the third mile, and even once I became comfortable my bottom half never got hot. I find running when my legs are cold very difficult.

Ok...so leading up to the race: Friday night cookie party with the ladies. Went really well; I think I (seriously) only ate three cookies. Two whole ones, and a couple of random bites of others. This isn't too bad since we made 5 kinds! As soon as my internet connection improves at home I still have to put up pics of Thanksgiving, the Christmas tree, and now the cookies. We made snickerdoodles, peanut butter blossoms (with the Hershey kisses), sugar cookies, katy-dids, and key lime white chocolate chip cookies. We had some wine and cheese, but I only had a glass and a couple bites of cheese and cracker, which is REALLY good for me. The only bad part was we finished up late and I didn't eat dinner until 9:30, which was a mistake. I had pasta and plain 'ol tomato sauce. I had everything mostly together but still didn't get to bed until after 11...that is something else I really need to work on in the future.

My alarm went off at 5, and there were two immediate problems: my husband was STILL not back from going out with his friends, and my stomach was all on edge. The second problem was the result of the first, coupled with the cookies and late night dinner, I think. I could have killed him and blame him for my not having a better race :(

In New Orleans things don't close until 6 (if they do at all), so late nights are not completely out of the ordinary...It's also not unusual for him to be out late (he's Latin and in South America you don't even go out until after 12...). And if he does drink he will stay with friends to be on the safe side, but always answers his phone. I called like a maniac my whole ride to Baton Rouge, which is a little over an hour. I probably called 10 times. He wasn't answering and I became more and more nervous....either he had crashed and was in a ditch somewhere, had lost his phone, or was somehow sleeping through it. I figured he had lost it and tried not to worry, but come on- he knew I was getting up for my race and the least he could do is borrow a friend's phone.

Needless to say I had to run the whole race (without my phone) wondering where he was and if he was ok. After the race I borrowed Lauren's phone and found out that he had left the phone at his friends house and hadn't picked it up until he dropped his friend off at like 7 (I know- who needs to go out until 7!!). At which point he called me and left a message, but my phone was in Lauren's dad's car....so I was pissed. I asked him why he hadn't called to tell me this (from Jay's phone) and he said he didn't want me to be mad that they had gone to New Orleans (an hour drive) when he had told me he was just going up the street to hang out.....As if I'm not more mad that I had to stress out all morning and have my race ruined!!

So anyway- aside from being nervous we got to the start at about 6:45, and jumped in the Port-o-Let line and were able to hit the bathroom and walk to the start right before things got underway. It was really perfect. We only had to stand in the cold for about 5 minutes. The race took off, and it was a REALLY slow start. And I had the inevitable walkers right in front of me!! Grrr...I just don't get it; I have walked things before and ALWAYS line up at the back! The street was really narrow, and we wound through some neighborhoods. It was really cool that some local families would be out in their yards, drinking coffee and holding signs for their friends, cheering everyone on.

Miles 1-3 were good, but I was off pace from the beginning (to be under 2 hours) given that the first mile was 9:24. I think mentally for me to eventually get under 2 hours I am going to HAVE to have banked a couple of minutes over the first half of the race. I know negative splits are better, but I just psyche myself out knowing that I will have to run the second half (when I am tired) faster. Miles 2 and 3 were on pace at I think 9:06 and 9:07, and things stayed pretty even through 8, but I never made the time up.

We wound through neighborhoods, around the lake, through LSU campus, and it was a really invigorating morning and a nice time to run. There were some purely perfect moments in there too....moments where I just had to smile to myself over how happy I was to be out running...finishing 13.1 miles before half of Baton Rouge (this college part anyway!) would even be up!

The water stations were really unique too- apparently they have a competition for a 'golden egg' trophy (the marathon mascot is a chicken) for the best, most creative, most supportive volunteer station. The first one everyon was in camouflage, exercising, doing push-ups, doing jumping jacks, cheering everyone on. It was really great. Another had women dressed up as sexy vixens, another gave out candy and fruit, another had some coconut bikinis (on men!). So it was really fun.

Miles 8-10 were HORRIBLE in terms of HILLS they LIED about in the race flyer touting a FAST, FLAT COURSE. I didn't know that many hills existed around here. And these were real ones; not the baby kind I mentioned in the Ole Man River Half Marathon. They were also one after another, though luckily there WAS down hill between each one. I did laugh though at the sign someone had put up at the bottom of the last hill that stated, "HILLS, WHAT HILLS?" with a smiley face. It made my smile :)

By mile 10 the hills were done but so were my legs. On the last hill I had started following these two girls who were trucking right along. I had hoped to stick with them and meet my goal. (Not sure what their time ended up being, but if they weren't under 2 hours they were REALLY close). By 11 miles, though, I just couldn't keep up. My hip flexors and hamstrings and piriformis were REALLY tight, and by mile 12 I was again fighting a side stitch. (Same place in the race as last time!!). At mile 12 I was at 1:42 and change. Without the side cramp maybe I could have charged through it, but 18 minutes for 2.1 after already having run 11 miles would be really difficult for me; I am still new to these distances.

Regardless, it didn't happen. I was going slower and slower due to the cramp, and was really just aiming to finish running and not walking!! A couple of guys flew past me in the last 100 yards, and that was kind of defeating, but then another guy was trying and my competitive nature kicked in and I thought, "Not so fast, pal!" and kicked it in enough to finish ahead of him :)

Official chip time, 2:03:08 (I think)...Garmin had 2:02:55. I need to check for official splits, but I think I got off pace during hills, and never recovered. STILL, that's almost a minute and half off my first half marathon time. Not bad for being all nervous about my Very Naughty Spouse and going on 5.5 hours sleep! So I'll be happy with it for now, but I will get under 2 soon, darn it!!

So the night before, when Lauren called me from packet pick-up I said, "Ok, see you tomorrow...when I'm going to finish under 2 and you under 2 and a half!" (Her PR was 2:36 and change...) AND.....she did it!! Good job Lauren! She finished in 2:29:54!

Afterwards we enjoyed a few post race beers with Lauren's old friend Wendy, who missed our race because we ran too fast!! We also had some alligator sauce piquante, some jambalaya, gumbo, cookies, bananas and a hotdog (and I wonder why I wasn't hungry the rest of the day!). This race also had great stuff! The shirt was navy blue, not obnoxious in any way, long sleeve and technical fabric. Yay! We also got Brooks running gloves, and the medal is really pretty. Again, eventually I will have a picture day and put up a bunch of stuff.

Later I headed home, stopping to get some Christmas shopping done along the way. Yes, I know, probably not the nicest for the other customers in the store, but I was pretty tired and didn't want to go home and shower and then go back out...When I finally did get home I showered, layed in bed, and proceeded to eat 5 cookies while reading my book. Then I took a nap and woke up to my husband calling to see what he should pick up for dinner. He ended up finding boiled crawfish (I didn't think the season started yet, but whatever) and brought that home with corn and potatoes. I stuffed myself some more, ate more cookies, and went to bed at 9 to sleep until 8:30 am!

Ironically I was still tired yesterday...I have my fingers crossed, but think I'm coming down with something. Yesterday I worked but still felt tired and sore all day. Last night another coworker had a Christmas movie party, and we all chowed down again (cocktail weenies in crescent rolls, peanut butter pie, chocolate fondue, bread pudding, delicious queso dip and tortilla chips, popcorn, m&ms, eggnog, spiked cocoa, pumpkin beer....so I spent another night tossing and turning. Ugh. I have a wedding shower and a wedding at the end of this month (where I have to wear dresses) so I vow to tone it down from here on out. I have been feeling like crap and diet is more than half the reason.

So hear are some things I learned from the half marathon:

1) no more skipping long runs!
2) no alcohol for at least 2 days before.
3) eat better!
4) more core! I think I get my side stitches from breathing shallowly due to back cramps.
5) more stretching. For reals this time.
6) more sleep. At least 8 hours for three nights before the race (really hard with my schedule!)
7) don't become mentally undone if a couple of seconds off pace.
8) sleep more.
9) ground spouse.
10) did I mention sleep more?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Help!! What would you wear????

So the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon is tomorrow, and it is supposed to be 34 degrees at the start, and only 42 by the time I hope to finish!!! OF COURSE this would happen, since I've been praying for that perfect mid 50s weather...the last half was too warm (60s), and now this one, two weeks later, is freezing! No fair.

Anyway, it gets that cold here about twice a year, so I have no idea what to wear!! To all you northern runners, what would you wear in 34-44 degree weather with 76% humidity? A long sleeve and a jacket? Short sleeve to? Or instead of long sleeve? Pants and tights, or just pants? (Not proper running tights so can't wear them alone..too see through!). I have about 15 hours until I leave my house for the race....

So 5 miles didn't happen...

I didn't run a minute yesterday :( What I failed to mention (besides in a comment on Viper's page) was that I was desperately hung over yesterday (yep, on a weekday!), and ready to die. Really.

I got home and the rain had stopped, but not the pure hatred of my body for me. I actually think I might also have had some minor stomach bug (I know- excuses!), because it just seems weird. I DID drink a whole bottle of wine, but (as much as I would like to) I can't say that's never happened before, and I've NEVER been that ill. Am I just getting old? I went through extreme intestinal distress all day, periodically feeling like I was either going to throw up or faint. This odd thing happens whenever I drink to much and don't sleep enough where I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack...does that happen to any of you? (Just say yes so I don't freak out...). Seriously though..it's so weird. I will feel like my heart is all irregular, skipping beats, racing...for the whole day after a night of too much partaking.

So I got home, tried pathetically to straighten the house for a cookie decorating get together I'm having today, and then collapsed in bed to rest an hour before heading to work. And right then someone called from work who was trying to pick up a shift!! Amazing, huh? So I gave it away and instantly felt better. Later I was able to make the dough for the party, clean and mop the floors, and watch Survivor while cursing at the TV that the contestants are always so stupid! Hello, vote out Sugar you idiots!! You know she has an idol and wouldn't be expecting it now! Anywaaayyy....then I made the 'baked Christmas' (the flour/salt dough you make ornaments with) so we can paint cookies that will inevitably not be as good as the ones we made in third grade.

So it ended up being a productive night. And I even got everything washed for my half marathon tomorrow. Which, hopefully, I won't be hung over for. I told myself 1 glass of wine only!! (To say I'm not going to drink anything at my own party would just be a lie). But to get to why I drank the whole bottle the other night....have I ever mentioned how much I love Christmas?

Didn't think so! Well I am OBSESSED with it. LOVE it. Always have. The hustle and bustle, the crowds, the STRESS, the gift buying, the food, music, parties, decorations, the SPIRIT. My future children will have the best Christmases and it won't be because of the presents they get. My parents were really great about making Christmas so special when we were kids.

So in my excitement for the season, I was going through my Christmas cookbooks and magazines, drinking wine and eating cheese and losing track of time. And due to the volume of Christmas books I have, it took a lot of wine to get through it all. So that's my excuse.

While NOT DRINKING WINE last night I spent a frustrated hour trying to put my pictures from Thanksgiving up here....alas stealing internet means you can rarely do things online that require a strong connection. Putting up images (or streaming video) is something I can rarely accomplish at home. So you will all have to wait to see my Christmas tree :( I'm sure you are so sad! ;)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Well, it's raining...

...so I am losing motivation by the minute to get in at least 5 miles this afternoon. Of course, I can't run tomorrow, so if I don't go I will feel unprepared for the half on Saturday. I suppose I should also be motivated by the widget I stole from Lauren, though I couldn't figure out how to get it on the side bar...that's why it's just showing up as a post below. 58 days til the marathon!! I can't believe it's coming so fast...truly it feels like I just started the training plan a couple of weeks ago, and now I look and see I'm actually in week 16! Crazy.

New SpringWidget

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm wondering...

Funny thing...just out of curiosity have any of you ever put the foil of a gel too far into your mouth and felt that horrible pang through a filling? I have done this twice recently....how annoying, it really hurts!

12 on Tuesday

Well, I had to do 11, but wanted to do 13, so I split the difference and did 12. I was proud of this only because until 9.43 miles I had only planned on 11. This is how I often trick myself; I go out with only a certain distance in mind and find I can often get myself to run another mile or two once I am soooo close. I actually thought about 13, but it was really cold yesterday and it had all my muscles locking up on me and aching in the last mile. The feet were good, though, so I think as long as the warm weather stays away a couple of months I might not suffer such blisters and hot, hot feet as I have been dealing with lately.

I had another success as well.....the fuel belt! I didn't get out the door until 3:30. Sunset is at 4:59, so you pretty much have dusk until 5:15 or 5:20...then it's full-on dark. I knew I couldn't waste time stopping to refill at water fountains and the like, so I forced myself to wear it. It was definitely nice to not have to carry my gels and water bottle in my hand, but it was hard to get used to. It adds so much weight, it seems. And of course since I had it with me I found I only drank a bottle and a half (of three). I'm sure had I not had it I would have easily drank three bottles....but it was so cold I don't think I was sweating much or something...I just didn't want to drink. I only drank what I did to wash down the gels.

I had PowerGels yesterday...vanilla and strawberry banana. I really find I prefer chocolate flavors, but they sell only those two flavors (and only PowerGel) at the grocery I go to, so unless I go to one of the running stores I'm stuck with those. I actually think they work better for me too, and while I think the vanilla flavor is kinda gross, it doesn't have caffeine and doesn't bother my stomach at all. The strawberry banana was actually good, and did have some caffeine that helped in the end. I do like the Gu Roctanes, and definitely noticed more muscle soreness after this long run (the roctane has an amino acid blend that's supposed to help with the buildup of lactic acid), but the roctane's are over $2 a piece, so I may reserve that for races.

So it started out ok, I was resigned to having to get in 11 even though every bone and muscle in my body REALLY DIDN'T WANT TO....and miles 1-3 were ok. I had a gel at 4.5 miles, and actually found I still had a lot of energy by 8.5 where I took the second one...I think the cool weather really helped invigorate me a litte. At that point I looped through town and began heading back home and noticed I was at 9.43. I added another loop through town, and didn't look at the garmin but figured it was at a little over 10 miles. I knew from where I was to home was about 1.2, so if I added in the .6 mile loop around the block by my house I would be close to 12. I didn't look until about .5 from the house, and I was at 10.97. I added in an extra block there, and checked as I passed the house and I was at 11.6. One more block and finally, 12 miles! I was barely out of breath, but was really tight and stiff, especially through the hips and hamstrings. I am never sore or stiff in the quads...weird.

I iced for a bit, and then ate and watched the Biggest Loser. Don't bother with this paragraph if you don't watch the show....I sooo wish that Amy would've sent Vicky home two weeks ago. Then Amy was stupid and got herself voted out, and now Vicky is being just as stupid! Heba and Ed are her biggest competition, and she could have voted Heba out last week, and Ed out last night....now she will be the next to go, I'm sure...amateurs! Don't they know IT IS A GAME....don't keep people around just because they are your friends...this is for money, people!

Anyway, after that I read and was off to bed, but not before searching high and low for the camera...Will was supposed to put Thanksgiving and tree pictures on the computer, but hadn't. I couldn't find it anywhere, so I will have to put those up later. Rest day today, then 5 or 6 tomorrow before my second half marathon Saturday!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I have zero desire to run today. I had zero desire Friday, Saturday, Sunday, yesterday....what is wrong with me?? While I haven't always been dying to get out there, I usually just know I have to and go home, change, and hit the road. For some reason all the overeating and too much sleep have just zapped my will to run.

I did run 7 miles the night before Thanksgiving, and then I squeezed in a quick 2.25 on Thanksgiving morning. That felt great! It was chilly out, there was no one out at all, it was like a ghost town. I loved the thought that I was out burning calories before the day of eating that was ahead. And I didn't even eat that much! We had people over early (see previous brunch menu), and started with champagne drinks and muffins and fruit around 10. I had one pumpkin muffin, and one piece of bacon. I sipped mimosas all morning, and ate some apple slices, but not too bad....by appetizer time I had a couple of bacon wrapped scallops and a couple of crackers with cheese, but by the time dinner rolled around (4:30) I was hungry and hadn't overeaten yet! I had normal portions, and finished the meal without being overly stuffed. A first for me! I did fairly stuff myself with dessert, by having a little of each, but it was nothing compared to how I've done in other years.

Unfortunately, the rest of the weekend didn't go as well. I pretty much single-handedly put away the leftovers, including all the desserts. We had friends in town, so we also went out in New Orleans, complete with sickeningly sweet (and calorie laden) hurricanes and creamy seafood pasta...And then Saturday after they left I decided I needed chocolate, and made brownies! (Which are now all gone...a whole pan :( but I had help there...). So yeah. I need to get back on the wagon!

In the midst of all this I was supposed to run 16 on Friday. I should have gotten it in. Our friends took my car to hit the sales (they actually brought a suitcase to fill) and I slept in. I woke up at 9:30 thinking it was too late to squeeze it in, and then sat around til noon waiting for them to come back! So I totally could have gotten it done. Saturday after they left there wasn't enough daylight, and then Sunday same thing. I worked until 4 and we put up our Christmas tree. Yesterday I swore I was going to do it. I had laid out my stuff the night before, and needed to get home from work, jump in my workout clothes, and hit the streets. I had to do it right away, because I would need to leave at 3:15 to have two hours of daylight. (Well, almost. The last mile would be in the dark, but could be around my neighborhood, not on the running trails which are way too scary in the dark!). Needless to say, didn't happen. My husband was off, and I just didn't want to leave the warm house.

So today it's on. I have all my stuff laid out, and have to go *at least* 11 miles. The FIRST program says 14, but my other two plans (one a novice I the other a novice II) say 10 and 11 miles respectively. Of course the novice II said 15 for last weekend, when I had the half marathon and only did 13....so I had adjusted it to 16 for this past weekend.....but I highly doubt that is going to happen today, so no reason to set myself up for failure, right? I will try for 13 but am willing to settle for 11. I should really do 13 though, because then this weekend I'm supposed to do 12 (FIRST), 15 (novice I) or 17 (novice II), but have another half marathon so will probably only do 13...have any of you had any luck with 2-a-days? My competitive nature won't let me run 2 or 3 miles before the race...I want to see how I can do, and would be more tired that way...and then the likelihood of running 2 or 3 after is, well, nonexistent, let's be honest. So I was thinking maybe trying to get a couple of miles in that night. Is it even worth it if it's not continuous? I don't really see how that would help endurance....or should I just write it off as a short week and try to get the rest of the long runs in?

Anyhow- it's in writing now...I have to do at least 11 today...no matter how cold it is! Unfortunately that means I'll only get 3 runs in this week....today, a short run Thursday, and the half on Saturday....but next week back on track! OH- and pictures to come later...Thanksgiving and the Christmas tree...

Monday, November 24, 2008

pics and splits

So to recap on the half from Sunday, my chip time was 2:04:30. I had 2:04:28 like this:
1: 8:54
2: 9:02
3: 9:01
4: 9:21
5: 9:08
6: 9:04
7: 9:09
8: 9:08*
9: 9:42
10: 9:31
11: 10:13**
12: 10:00
13: 10:02***
.23: 2:14

* at this point I thought I was behind and kind of quit. Looking now, I realize I was still in it, if only I could have fought for it. But who knows; hindsight is 20/20, right? And the effort seems a lot easier now, of course.

** this was the attempted bathroom break, not only did I not get to go, but I lost .13!
*** I actually made up some time on this mile and was feeling good until I got a killer side cramp and actually walked about .2.

Here is Lauren finishing fast!
And Lauren and I showing off one of the race walker's awards!
This has been plaguing me for a couple of weeks, and I swear it is bigger than it looks ;)

Damn autofocus is trying to focus on Leo (behind my foot), but this was the lovely blood blister I got. How this happened when my shoes are a FULL size too big (not just a half) and I have at least an inch to spare...weird, huh? Super painful too!
In the end it was a good first half. There were about 1,000 participants (about 40% more than expected) and I was 80th out of 200 (according to Lauren...seems a little low for 1,000?) women, and 16/33 in my age group (ha! top 50% at least..) We'll see how things go later this week because my toes are pretty sore....two weeks until the next one!!

Ole Man River Half Marathon

Well I finished my first Half! It didn't go quite as swimmingly as I planned, but it was good. I found the course ok, kinda blah, and the minor hills annoyed me, but it was a beautiful sunny day in New Orleans and there were some really great moments.

I felt rushed getting down there...it's about a 45 minute drive, and I had gotten to sleep late (of course!) and took half a sleeping pill to fall asleep fast (otherwise I'd have been up two more hours). While it worked to get me to sleep it wanted to keep me there, and I had trouble getting going. I grabbed the Quaker Breakfast Cookie I was going to eat and stopped by the gas station for coffee. I had a great Saturday morning three miles (8:48, 8:52, 8:44), and felt like I had a fighting chance at my goal.

I was nervous about breakfast, though, because even though I've eaten these oatmeal breakfast cookies before tons of 5ks, I made the mistake Saturday night of looking at the side of the box...5g of fiber!! No! And mentally this just convinced me I was going to have a bathroom stop.

I had breakfast and coffee on the way down, parked, picked up my number and timing chip, threw my shirt in the car, hit the bathroom and lined up with only a couple of minutes to spare. No anthem, nothing, and we're off. OF COURSE the people right in front of me (near the front, no less) are walking immediately. They had just finished saying that the walkers were supposed to start a half hour before and should not be starting now...GRR!

The first 1-3 went great. I was feeling good, it was still cool, and I thought if I could just keep pace (and bank a few seconds) until 8 miles I should be able to hang in there. The fourth mile, however, started to give me some trouble. It was an ever so slight incline, and the wind was at us the whole way. Plus a man in front of me staggered over to a police officer and collapsed, so it was kind of nerve wracking.

I was still on target, and miles 4-6 were ok. I wasn't feeling as great as I started, and I began to have some self doubt. The seventh miles was tough, with another slight hill, but just before 8 miles we hit the turn around, which for me mentally is good. I wasn't running great anymore, though. My blisters and the ends of my toes on my left foot were acting up, my back was killing me and my shoulder was really tight. I tried to loosen up, but once I saw I was about 5 seconds behind pace at the 8 mile mark I just lost it. This isn't even off by that much, but I had counted on having about a minute or so banked at this point, so seeing that I was at a 5 second deficit with the harder miles ahead of me just took the wind out of my sales.

I decided then that I should try to just enjoy it, and while I lost 10 seconds on the 9th mile and 20 on the 10th, they felt a little better. Then in the 11th mile I had the sudden thought that I needed the bathroom. I saw a port-o-potty about 100 yards away across a HIGHWAY, but decided to go for it. OF COURSE I get halfway across and realize it's locked. Rats! I turn around feeling like an idiot (there were some families here on the side of the course), and just try to tough it out, slowing every time I REALLY feel like I need to go. But the feeling finally passed, and I knew I could make it til the end. Too bad it cost me about a minute and a half!

Mile 12 I started to feel strong again, and kicked it up a little picking my targets...I passed back a couple of people who had passed me on my bathroom dash, and then I decided I would pass at least two girls. I came up on one girl, and proudly passed her, only to see she was about 12! Then I felt bad. But not bad enough to let her pass me back ;) Of course since I was JUST THINKING the other day how I haven't been plagued with side cramps in ages I should get one. Now. At 12.67 miles. I was so mad! I had to walk, it was crippling me, but I tried to keep it short. This is what I get for smirking to myself (upon passing a walker) about a quarter mile before about how anyone could walk that close to the end. Finally I was able to start up again, and finally finished, barely out of breath. 2:04:30 (chip time). Boo :(

So I didn't quite meet my goal. I will put up the exact splits tonight, along with pictures of my injuries (I hate my shoes!). Garmin time was 2:04:28 for 13.23 miles...I was pretty close to the front, so the lack of two timing mats didn't hurt me this time, but I gotta say, I hate that! How much more does it cost for races to have start and finish mats? Is it expensive? I just don't see the point....sometimes when you're in the back it could cost you a minute or more in really large races ... Anyway, I only lost 2 seconds due to the lack of a mat, but considering my bathroom jaunt cost me .13 miles I suppose I should care more about that! ;) The measuring was surprising accurate; at each mile marker the garmin was ticking off the mile at the exact same spot.

So all in all it was a good day, I got me second goal. Going in I figured realistically I could get 2:10, my hope was 2:05, and my reach under 2, so two out of three isn't bad! Plus it was only my second time at this distance. The first was en route to 14 miles total on Friday 11/14, and my time at 13.1 mile that day was 2:13 and change. So I took 9 minutes off! Now if I can only take off 5 more by December 6, I will be at my goal for the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon.

Lauren (who did yesterday in 2:36 even though her previous longest was 10 miles!) and I are doing that one as well, and I'm hoping for perfect conditions.

Things I learned/ Things that could have been a little bit different:

1) Get more sleep (the day before's three miles felt great because I slept 10 hours!!)
2) Try not to work the night before (worked a double waiting tables on Saturday...)
3) Give more time (if I got there earlier I could have stretched, relaxed, calmed down)
4) start slower (I know- the oldest trick in the book...but hard to do!)
5) cooler weather (probably 65 by the start (8 am) cooler would've been better..)
6) no hills! (I know this is wishful thinking; it's so flat around here that the slightest hill kills me!)
7) don't give up mentally when you are still IN it
8) eat lighter the day before (I had a huge plate of pasta at 10 pm...bad idea!)
9) better hydration (weekdays I sit next to a water cooler...at the restaurant I always forget..)
10) have fun!!! (I was concentrating so much at times I forgot to have fun.)

But there were a couple of great moments...actually the first three miles were perfect, and there were moments after that of true enjoyment, too. And to see some of the people on there way back (the ones ahead of me) with huge grins just really pumped me up. So yay! First half down...

Friday, November 21, 2008


I'm sure you can figure out what the extra 'F' stands for. I needed the emphasis. I am so tired, had a crappy run yesterday, and am just soooooo glad I don't have to work tonight.

All I want to do tonight is lay on the couch, finish the rest of Breaking Dawn, and eat junk food. Unfortunately I can't eat junk food, and before I lay on the couch I need to run 4 miles and run several errands. The annoying part is once I'm home I hate to leave, but with it getting dark so early I really need to go home first, run, then do said errands....aggravating!

Oddly, I'm surprised I'm not excited to go shopping because most of the errands are holiday related, and even if I'm wiped out I can usually muster energy for ANYTHING having to do with holidays. I love it; the stress, the lines and crowds, the music...I live for all of it. I know- strange. But I have annoying tasks today, not fun ones. For instance I have to hit BB&B to try to find a replacement carafe for my coffee/espresso maker because that stupid idiot (my husband) broke it. And I have to rent a carpet steamer to get things ready for Thanksgiving because same stupid idiot husband whose klutzy with the coffee carafe is klutzy with everything else, and has spilled anything and everything imaginable in two spots: in front of the couch, and on the floor on his side of the bed. Seriously- the carpet in these two areas is DESTROYED and the rest of it isn't even dirty. Don't even get me started on the suede futon...that thing just has to constantly be covered with blankets he's spilled so much on it! (Mostly water stains, but still looks disgusting).

Anyway, before I get even more stressed out and aggravated by how he is a one-man accident waiting to happen, I suppose I should think of the couple of fun things I have to do. Like picking out wine and liquor and champagne for Thanksgiving! Yay! I come from a big drinking family, and while I know it is sad, I am much more excited about my holiday alcohol menu than the food. Here is the menu:

Coffee, espresso, cappuccino, pumpkin muffins, fruit, BACON!
Bloody Marys (with all the fixin's)
pointsettas (champagne, cointreau and cranberry)
bellinis (peach schnapps, vodka, champagne)
flirtinis (vodka, pineapple, champagne)
cranberry bog champagne cocktail (cran and champagne)
french martinis (vodka, pineapple, champagne, chambord)
champagne cocktails (sugar cube, bitters, lemon twist, champagne)
Kir royales (I will substitute chambord for creme de cassis, and champagne)
grand champagne martinis (champagne and grand marnier)

If no one has passed out:

bacon wrapped scallops, chips and dip, cheese and crackers

Thanksgiving dinner:
turkey, ham, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, sweet potato casserole, green beans
chardonnay, pinot noir, zinfandel

coffee, espresso, cappuccino, layered pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cherry pie, bread pudding
baileys, white Russians, grand marnier...

Ugh. I don't know if it makes me excited or sick to look at it! As you can see, I have a minor obsession with champagne. When we lived in California, I belonged to the sparkling club at Laetitia, and bought Tobin James Dream Weaver by the case. So I am more than excited to watch the parade mimosa in hand. Of course I will not be sampling all of the possibilities, I just want them to offer. It may also look like a lot of food and drink, but it's for 11 people, so I think it won't be as gluttonous as it seems! My goal is to eat and drink responsibly, try to get a run in in the morning, and hopefully a walk that night. I DON'T want to get overly full, as I did the day before yesterday at our work Thanksgiving. I felt like crap the rest of the day and all I wanted to do was sleep!

So on to yesterday's run....It went horribly. I set out for 4 miles, and wanted to just take it easy because (again) I haven't been getting that much sleep, and right from the start I knew my socks were going to give me trouble. They felt dry and scratchy, like they hadn't had fabric softener or as though they didn't go through the dryer. I had forgotten bodyglide, and my blister flared up immediately. I always have blisters. I hate it; they never pop, just fill with liquid and gradually drain between runs. But this one just in front of my arch on the right foot, is HUGE and painful. So I was feeling that right away, and my legs felt stiff, my neck hurt, blah blah blah...and I quit after 2.6 and walked the rest. Totally frustrating, but I figured at least it was on a short run.

The sad thing is, I'm not expecting today to go much better. Had a whopping 5 hours sleep last night, feel like a zombie, and have too much to do. :( But I really need it to go well mentally, otherwise I will psyche myself out for my half on Sunday. Sigh....

I also forgot to record Survivor last night, so it's an altogether bad day! So cross your fingers my run isn't horrible today, and good luck to everyone with races this weekend!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


So Marcy was tagged, and while she didn't tag others she left it up to us if we wanted to tag ourselves... Here was the deal: Go to your fourth photo folder and post the fourth photo...explain it and tag others. Well I'm also not going to tag anyone, but would love to see your pics too so you should take it upon yourself. My fourth folder is of a wine tasting party in June, and the fourth photo is this one:
This is my friend Brooke and I (I know- weird huh? both tall both blondes and both named Brooke!) before things got Out Of Hand. The rest of the night looked like this:

and this:

and no, our hair wasn't like that...we were just jumping...but hey- this is just us you should have seen everybody else. (Ok..so we might have been the only ones acting like fools, but whatever).

Let's see yours....

What I want for Christmas...

So over at the Runners' Lounge this week's question was about what kind of gifts you can get runners. While the possibilities are endless, and there were so many great suggestions, the one thing I really hope to have one day is a t-shirt quilt. I would love this. You can bring it to race starts where it will act as your automatic converstation starter, and it will always remind you of how far you've come. I as of yet don't have enough pretty or interesting shirts, but I'm starting to sort the potentials separate from the others. What I hope to someday have is something like this:What is your ideal running gift?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Ok. So thank you all so much for the congrats yesterday regarding my age group win. But let me clarify- the 5ks I do around town are very small. The bigger ones have about 200 people, smaller about 100. So if you guesstimate even sex ratios, there are usually only between 50-100 women, then dividing those by age groups...you see what I mean. I'm just usually not up against that many other people. But hey- a win is a win and I'll take it!

Because I wanted to be faster, however, I went out for yesterday's 7 miles intending to push myself a bit. I find that I prefer to run anything over 3 miles totally in my comfort zone. I don't like wondering if I'll make it to the end. I tend to run at a pace where I don't even need to open my mouth to breath. In thinking about it, I'm assuming this means I'm not pushing myself enough. So yesterday I tried a little harder, and the result was: 9:45, 9:17, 9:14, 9:13, 9:05, 8:52, 8:34. I actually felt like I could've done one more sub 9 mile too, so maybe there is hope for under 2 hours at my half marathon on Sunday? I hate to say that, because I know I shouldn't have any goals for the first one, and that's a pretty serious goal (about 13 minutes under what I predict I can do it in), but we'll see. I would be just as happy about 2:05, so maybe that's more reasonable.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Three Rivers Art Festival 5k

So all last week I barely got any sleep. I had a couple of functions at night, sometimes I worked, and sometimes I was just up reading or watching TV. I usually get by on fairly little sleep, but generally I have at least a night or two a week where I can try to get a full 8 hours. Last week I think I did the entire week with around 6 per night. Ugh. That is too little for me, and by the weekend I was dragging.

After my 14 miles on Friday, I went out with girls from work for some wine tasting and to check out a new wine bar. It was fun and it wasn't a late night. I headed home around 11, and should have gone straight to bed. Instead I ate a crunchwrap supreme my husband had leftover from taco bell. :( Those things have to have about 800 calories...so depressing to undo all the calorie burning I did on my run! I stayed up reading and probably didn't go to bed until 1...then had to be up at 7:30 to get ready for a a Saturday meeting at work before having to work a double.

I got home from work at 10:30 or so, but again, probably didn't make it to bed until 1. So when the alarm went off at 7:20 for my 5k, let's just say it took EVERY OUNCE of will power I had to get up and head out. Especially since it was like 30 degrees! That is the coldest it has been here yet this year. I hit the gas station for some coffee since my husband broke the carafe to our coffeemaker the day before, and headed over to the art festival.

I didn't know exactly where it was, and had a couple of moments of panic trying to find it and having to go to the bathroom REALLY bad. Luckily I came across it eventually, and ran over to registration. I registered, hit the disgusting Port-o-Potty, and was at the line ready to go freezing my butt off.

And hoping for under 25 minutes. I thought I should have a shot; at the Crescent City Classic 5k a couple of weeks ago I hadn't given it my all, and extrapolating my 23:55 time for 2.95 miles to what it could have been for a true 5k I think it would have been just over....So I thought I could do it. But as soon as I started I knew this wasn't going to happen. It was tooo cold. I couldn't breathe, my lungs were aching and felt frozen, and there were hills! I should have remembered that from a 5k I did in this part of town last spring, but I had forgotten. Granted when I say 'hills' that needs to be taken with a grain of salt, because there aren't REALLY any SERIOUS hills in Louisiana, but there was just enough rolling up and down (mostly up on the way back!) that I knew my shot at under 25 was blown.

I finished in 25:48, a big disappointment, but I guess the circumstances predicted it. It was the first 5k in ages, though, where I didn't PR, so I wasn't happy about it. With my mileage increasing I figured I would only get faster at these short distances. To be fair, though, I don't do that much speed work so I don't know why I would expect that I should be fast.

Anyway, I did win my age group! And a door prize! I have been lucky lately, I'm telling you! I swear, powerball here I come...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Running IS NOT low maintenance!

Above are all the things I required for my 14 mile run Friday. And here I thought running was nice because it required such little 'gear'. Haha! I suppose I am lucky that I live in the south, at least, or the above singlet and shorts would have to be bolstered with various long sleeve layers, neck and ear warmers, gloves, hat, and potentially tights! Yikes...even more stuff?

So anyway, I had taken vacation time to leave work early enough to get in my 14 miles before dark. (Isn't that pathetic? It gets dark so early now!). So I left at 1:30 planning to be on the road by 10 minutes to 2, so I could be back around 4:15 (I had a friend picking me up to go out at 5). Well, let's just say that didn't happen. I ate a powerbar in the car on the way home...(I was a little worried that this was too close to running, but more on that later). I got dressed quickly and then proceeded to spend 20 minutes messing with the fuel belt.

Seriously. Am I doing something wrong? I put it on (it only velcro-ed), and then did a little test jog around the house. even with only one of the bottles on I just felt the weight of the thing going up and down..all the sloshing was so loud, and no matter where I tried to put it on it either rode up or felt like it would fall off. How do you run with these things? I was sure it was going to chafe or something, so in the end I ditched it and just brought one bottle (in hand), gels in the other hand (yeah, I couldn't even get it comfortable only wearing the belt and the pouch for gels!). I won't lie; there were a couple of tears over this because it was just so frustrating and was eating into my running time.

Finally at 2:15 I started out. I had planned on a slightly different route, but now that I was going to have to carry (and refill) a water bottle, I had to plan it out to go by a fountain. Things were bad right from the start. I had developed a really painful blister a couple of days before, and even with all the faith I had that bodyglide would work, it didn't :( 2 miles in it was already KILLING me and became a mind over matter sort of thing. Later in the run other things bothered me much more, taking my mind off of it. Ironically, it doesn't look that bad, it just really really hurts. I've had others that are all open and like raw meat, that don't hurt at all...so strange.

My stomach was also immediately off, and would be for the WHOLE run. My legs were tired, and I actually thought about quitting several times, but it did give me a little boost each time I thought about it, because I knew I WOULD NOT quit. Yay! I do love the strength to persevere that running has given me; starting something that seems difficult and knowing that I WILL do it. Hopefully it over flows into other areas of my life also.

So I was plodding along really slowly..oh yeah, it was also like 80 on Friday and really humid. Go figure. It's been cold for a couple of weeks and then right when I have a long run decides to warm up. Fan-effing-tastic. I refilled my water bottle at four miles, and was just thinking 'man, how am I going to do this?' I continued along and had an Espresso Love gel by Gu at mile 5. I did not like this. It burned my stomach and made me feel like air was trying to bubble up through but couldn't get through the gelatinous state of the contents of my stomach. Yuck! For the rest of the run I felt like I needed to burp but couldn't without throwing up. Ugh.

I also emptied the water bottle soon after forgetting that I had three miles to the turnaround and then three miles back to the fountain. Big mistake. I think having about 5 miles without water wasn't a good idea. I was really struggling from miles 7-10. Luckily, being past halfway always gives me a huge mental boost, so each mile that went by I knew I was that much closer to finishing.

I hit the fountain again at mile 10, and stopped for probably 2 minutes to eat the Gu Roctane (blueberry pomengranate flavor) and chug some water before filling up and heading out. I also stretched a little which really seemed to help. At this point I knew it was only four more miles and that I could definitely make it. Being in a race against the clock definitely helped too; I had someone picking me up at 5!

I did get a little boost from the caffeine in the Roctane (oddly I didn't see caffeine listed in the Espresso Love, which was the only reason I bought that flavor...could have been there though, I was reading on the run..), and it renewed my energy at least for a bit, but my STOMACH!! Ugh. I though I was going to puke (and almost did) several times on the last 4 miles. I think my eating plan for this day wasn't good.

I had gone to work at 7, and started with coffee. I never eat early, so I had oatmeal at 10. I then had a Yoplait light yogurt at 11 (I've never had dairy before a long run before), and even though I wasn't really hungry had my lunch (one of those lean gourmets) at 12. I definitely wasn't hungry when I left at 1:30, but was worried about my energy level during the run, so I had the PowerBar Engergize smoothie bar in orange. I think this was all too much food. My stomach bothered me the whole run, and then for several hours after! How annoying. I think I will definitely err on the light side with eating from now on.

So I struggled a little the last mile, but only walked from 13 miles to 13.1, and then from 13.6 to 13.7. The good news was I could have run it all, I was stopping at those points to avoid throwing up. I have to check the Garmin for the mile splits, but I think the total time was 2:23 minutes and some change. I had been aiming for 2:20, and I think it would have been close if I didn't walk at all. But it was over and I was happy!

The bad part was I started late (2:15), and then took a couple minutes longer than planned (I had stopped the Garmin twice, once when I filled the bottle and darted in the restroom at 4 miles, and once when I refilled and stretched at 10 miles), so by the time I got home it was 4:45!! I had to be ready to go out (wine tasting, no less) in 15.

I chugged some water, jumped in the shower, and quickly got ready. Luckily my ride was late, but I was out the door at 5:15. We went wine tasting with a group at a wine shop, then headed to my hair salon that was having a customer appreciation night with door prizes and a free cut and color to one lucky customer. They had wine, champagne, and an awesome spread of food. Too bad my stomach was so jumpy that for the first hour we were there I could barely stomach anything.

None of the five of us won any door prizes, but it was still fun and after we headed to a new wine bar/ art gallery in the same parking lot. I had one more major bout of 'oh my gosh I am about to barf' and then finally got over it. I was proud, however, that I tried to stick to my new eating/drinking philosophies, and had peach Absolut and soda water instead of wasting calories on juices and sugar sodas. I also only had 2, (instead of like 5). Yay! Progress!

In review, I learned several things on this run:
1) don't eat too much (or anything weird) before a new distance.
2) even $10 socks and bodyglide might not cure the evil blisters.
3) give more time than you think you need.
4) sometimes stopping to stretch can really help.
5) expect the unexpected from the weather.

On the Gu Roctane- I think I really liked it, stomach issues and all. I think eating was primarily responsible for my stomach problems, and I think the rest could be blamed on the distance. I hear many people talk about not even being able to stomach Gatorade on long runs. As for whether it helped the soreness, I can't really say, as I have never gone that distance before, but I was pretty sore after my 12 miler, so I think yes, it did help! Especially since I had to head out immediately and didn't ice, and I was never sore even a little! They are pricey, but I think it's worth it for the long runs, at least as the last gel you take.

My next long run is the Ole Man River Half Marathon in New Orleans this weekend, and I'm aiming for about 2:05. I would LOVE to be under 2, but I don't think it's going to happen...yet. Maybe by the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon on December 6...we'll see. Later I'll fill you all in on the Three Rivers Art Festival 5k, which was yesterday morning...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Oh yeah one more thing

I almost forgot, thanks to joyRuN who mentioned that Marcy told her how to save race pics by adding them to your cart first...excellent! I had never figured out how to do that....of course we should all support our race photogs and buy some pictures too, but anyway...

So here is one of me and Lauren from the Disney's Women Run the World 15k in May. (And no, I am not that sweaty..that is water that I kept dumping over my head thankyouverymuch). And Lauren actually DID purchase this pic for the two of us, so I don't feel as bad about stealing it ;)

Dread and a New Challenge

Today I have to run 14 miles. The good news is this will be a new Longest Distance for me. I also finally have a dorky fuel belt (I know- supposedly I will get used to this), and $10 socks that supposedly guarantee not only comfy dry feet but the fastest run of my life (what? that part's not true? Dang it! Duped again..). In addition I finally got some BodyGlide so I will unfortunately not be able to blame the possible poor performance on blisters or chafing or lack of hydration. Or an uncharged Garmin or ipod...

Instead I will blame it on being soaked. By pouring rain that is supposed to come RIGHT when I need to run. I am taking a vacation hour to get this stupid run in too! It is raining on and off right now, so my only hope is it will be more off than on come 2 pm. I'm excited to get it over with, though, and also to try the Blueberry Pomegranate Gu Roctane that I got free with yesterday's purchases.

Incidentally, I was just recommended this flavor by Maggs, who is also hosting a new challenge for anyone who's interested (each person contributes to the prize, so the more that enter the better the prize!). It starts Monday, so hurry over to her blog and comment if your interested!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Next stop...BodyGlide

So the 7 miles yesterday didn't happen. :( I got home, got changed, and opened the door...to pouring rain. It had been sprinkling on and off all day, but had stopped after lunch, so I thought I might be able to squeeze it in. I headed back to the couch to mindlessly watch Made while I debated doing pilates first or just getting in the shower for work. I checked the door several times, only to see that yep- it was still raining. Just when I had finally become as lazy as possible (and now only had 50 minutes before I had to get ready for work) I checked one more time...

And it had stopped. Mostly. This annoyed me as I had now talked myself out of running, but I forced myself out knowing that at least I didn't have to go the whole distance, because I didn't have enough time. I was planning on 1 easy, 2 hard, 1 easy, 2 hard, 1 easy, but now only had time for 5 miles, so changed it to 1 easy, 1 hard, 1 easy, 1 hard, 1 easy.

The miles went like this: 10:02, 8:29, 9:57, 8:21, 10:24 (where I had to walk for about a minute because of KILLER blisters). I was sad that I couldn't try the 7 miles, but I don't know if I could have done 2 faster miles in a row. I do think I could have done 1 more hard and 1 more easy at the end if it wasn't for blisters. I need new shoes, I have always gotten blisters from these, but usually not until 10+ miles. I think it was because the roads were wet enough even if it wasn't actually raining to soak through my socks.

I have 14 miles planned tomorrow, and I'm even taking a couple of vacation hours at work to squeeze it in in the afternoon before it's dark, so I'll be damned if blisters are going to stop me. Which is why today I am finally going to pick up some BodyGlide. And I'm caving on the dorky water belt too. I really really really didn't want to get one, but I carried a bottle on my 12 mile run and found it very annoying.

Regardless of the how well slicking down my feet goes, I really need new shoes (ugh- again) and good socks. Socks in particular have given me trouble...any suggestions for either of these?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

3 miles and a gel review

Yesterday only called for 4 miles, which I was happy about since I didn't have much time. I left work at 3:30 (a half hour late due to having to make up time for being late...thanks, alarm clock!) and had to swing by the hair salon to enter the raffle for a free cut at this Friday's customer appreciation night. Seriously? Can I not just do this over the phone? OH....I get it. By requiring my cheap ass to go in in order to enter you hope that I won't do it, and will instead just pay for my haircut like a normal person. Well you thought wrong! I have no money as of late (ok, I never do but anyway) so any chance at something free is good. Besides, I have been lucky lately, so who knows? We will find out Friday, when I drink my fair share of free wine and eat far too much free cheese and pretend to browse products I am not going to buy*.

Then I had to stop by the local running store, Varsity Sports, to get some gels in preperation for Friday's 14 miler. Now this should be quick and easy, right? Gel selection for me, however, is rather painstaking after my bad experience with Gu Triberry. So I deliberated for an inordinate amount of time before selecting four different gels. I'll let you know how they all go. Can't remember exactly what I got (and no, not all for Friday!), but I think I grabbed a Gu espresso, a Clif Shot double espresso, a PowerGel in chocolate?, and a Gu Rocktane in vanilla orange. I am the least hopeful about the Rocktane, but it's supposedto reduce muscle soreness post run, so we'll see. A little pricey, I think (over $2, can't remember) but I'll let ya know if it's worth it.

So by the time I got home it was 4:45, and I didn't get out the door until 5. So I had about 20 minutes of daylight. Great. So the 4 miles changed to 3. Then the Garmin wasn't charged...so I just glanced at the clock at 4:58 and headed out. I tried to keep some speed, and think I did okay because the clock said 5:23 when I got back. The second hand was about 5 seconds further than when I left, so I estimate about 25:05 for the three miles. Not bad for me, who has immense trouble really picking up the pace unless it's a race. So quick workout in and still time for the Biggest Loser!

Now as for the product review...a few days ago on my 9 mile run I had Clif Shot Gel double espresso. I am hoping to try all different kinds/flavors of gels to settle on some that I like. The flavor of this was ok, though I found it more reminiscent of molasses than espresso. Maybe that's from the brown rice syrup base? I shouldn't have read the ingredients because that definitely turned me off, though I do like that it's 90% organic. I think caffeine in gels does help me, so I liked that part too. I definitely felt a little boost, but it didn't sit as well in my stomach, however, so I wonder if I will find that true of every flavor? I would basically say it ranked under Gu chocolate (my favorite) and PowerGel vanilla (second favorite) but above Gu triberry. It was thick like the Gu gels, which is ok, but I actually prefer how the PowerGels are a little more watery. I'm excited to try the PowerGel chocolate, because I think I may like that best. I'm still keeping my eyes open for Hammer Gels, but haven't found them yet. More to come on gels Friday when I try the Rocktane!
* I feel the need to do this at places like Sam's Club and Costco too. I'll eat a sample and then feel obliged to peruse the box intently as though I'm seriously considering buying it...I wait until the sample-passer-outer starts talking to the next victim and then quickly drop the box and move on...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I have a bunch of things I've been trying to remember to put up here, so this will be kind of a mish mash. :)

A Prize:
First, Lacey Nicole has reminded me that I never posted about the shirt I won from One More Mile! Been meaning to for a while, so here is a picture of what I chose:

It is lightweight, totally breathable, and of course comes with the saying of your choice. Mine, too, came gift wrapped like Lacey's, so it was such a nice surprise. As was the magnet and the hand written note; it really felt personal...thanks Aubrey and everyone at One More Mile! This was a prize for a runners' lounge contribution, so thanks so much to Amy and Tom for hosting the giveaway. I love the sayings, and during the two runs that I've worn it I've had a few smiles from others out exercising which is great.

An Update:

I mentioned that my festivities over the last three days of last week sort of ruined my 21 Day Habit Challenge...so here is the final number: I forgot to weigh myself yesterday, but this afternoon I weighed in at....154.6. I think my initial weight was 158.8, so that would be 4.2. Not quite the 5 I promised, but close enough for me! (Especially considering three parties in the last week!). One of which was...

Tailgating at the LSU/Alabama game:

LSU lost, but it was a really good game!

Afterwards, I even got a bathroom shot for Marcy:

And finally on being tagged:

I was tagged by Lacey Nicole, to write six random things...and then tag others. Well, I recently tagged some people already, so I'm just going to write my list, and you can write your's if you'd like:

1) When I have money I will get botox for the wrinkle between my eyebrows that drives me nuts. (Don't bother giving me the whole 'age gracefully' speech...it's something I can't stand every time I see it and I have no problem with cosmetic procedures...)

2) I love champagne. Everything about it...(including sparkling wine, and yes, techically there is a difference).

3) I have four cats and would probably have more if it wasn't socially inappropriate...don't want people thinking I'm crazy just yet.

4) As a child I was obsessed with leprechauns. As in I still sort of think they might exist ;) I used to set 'traps' in our attic with those little gold coin candies my parents used to get us for St. Patrick's Day...I had a couple of close calls, but they all escaped. With my gold. Damn greedy little bastards.

5) I take pictures EVERYWHERE. I will start to include more, but trust me, I have a very well documented life. My husband is worse. We look like tourists even in our own town.

6) I was once mistaken for a prostitute in a Canadian casino, but that's a whole other post....

Monday, November 10, 2008

21 day Habit: the good and the bad

So last night was the conclusion of the 21 Day Habit Challenge, and it was both good and bad. Overall I do feel I've become a little better about eating, but I think mine will have to be a 42 (or 63!) day habit for it to really stick, so I'm just going to continue with it.

I was up and down (both with weight and how good/bad I was eating) over the entire three weeks. I found I do very, very well on days when I just have work/home, but any sort of 'activity' and it's all over ;) As of last Thursday I was at 152.8, a full 6 lbs down from the start of the challenge, but I knew it wouldn't stick.

I had one of our Around the World dinner parties on Thursday night (South Africa- yum!), and then tailgating at the LSU game Saturday, then a double birthday party last night :( Needless to say, I avoided weighing myself over the weekend because I KNOW I am definitely up now from Thursday. So I didn't officially achieve my challenge goal of 5 lbs, BUT...

I think I definitely did make some progress on not being a total pig at functions with food, and also how to handle parties and get togethers where there is a lot of food. For instance on Halloween I brought chicken wings to a party (in honey, butter, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce). Luckily I didn't eat any, but still ate a lot of junk food because everyone else's dishes were just as bad for you. Yesterday I was smarter- I brought a fruit tray and a veggie tray and ate almost exclusively from that. Not perfect, but a step in the right direction. So hopefully the holidays won't have their usual hold over me this year. And in general I am eating better, and at least avoiding junk food for the house (to my husband's chagrin). I will do an official weigh in tonight, but it's not looking good people!

On the running front, I was feeling hip pain since my 12 mile run last Sunday, and while it isn't severe, it is annoying! My husband came with me for a three mile run on Thursday, and totally annoyed me with his antics. You know, the whole I'm so bored we're going so slow so I'm going to do strange exercises and drills while we run'. He swears these are soccer drills, which they may be, but cut the crap! If you want to run through orange cones and the like, do it at home, not while you're out running with me. He kept urging me to hurry up, which also greatly irritated me as this was literally his third run, like EVER. How can men just go from the couch to a run on a whim and not struggle? Though to be fair it was only three miles, and he is a soccer player, and I am plagued by this damn hip pain....If he had come with me yesterday for the nine miles I'm sure he would have quit. Ha! So there.

I was particularly proud of getting in 9 yesterday. I wanted to get it done in the morning, but after my 12 hour tailgate Saturday that wasn't happening. I worked at 9:30, and knew I wouldn't get off until 4 and had a party at 7....I stopped by the grocery for my healthy snacks, headed home and was outside by 4:30. Totally forgetting that with the time change it was going to be dark by 5:30. I run on a running/biking path, surrounded by woods. While very safe during the day it is 'closed' at night and probably not a good idea. I did the first 5.5 on the trace, and then stuck to the neighborhood streets. It was a little difficult to come up with the mileage while trying to avoid major streets I might have to cross. I prefer out and backs, so this circling around zig-zagging felt like it took forever. But I did it! Like this: 9:41, 9:31, 9:26, 9:35, 9:58, 10:03, 10:24*, 10:02, 10:15 (*had to stop and tie my shoe). So I was pretty happy with that, and then could go to the party after having burned near 1,000 calories!

This Friday I have my first 14 miler, so stay tuned...I'll finally be over the hump and more than half way to the marathon distance....

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Proud of a VERY slow run

Yesterday was a very definite test for me to try to get in my 6 mile run. The day hadn't gone well nutritionally, for starters. I had no lunches in the house, so I went to Smoothie King and got my usual: Pineapple Pleasure. Unfortunately I was also feeling sleepy, so when the employee asked me about 'enhancers' I said, "Sure. How about caffeine?". Big mistake- apparently the caffeine enhancer adds a bitter taste? Or at least there was some additive in my smoothie that made it impossible to drink. I was so disappointed! I came back to work and added two packets of splenda to it and it just got worse. But I had no lunch so I choked it down anyway with an apple.

I felt ok for a little while, then at 2:30 I had a hot flash/ bout of nausea that always happens to me when I'm too hungry. I forced down the Power Bar Smoothie bar (in that gross berry flavor- I still have a couple left) and tried to wait for it to kick in. I head home at 3, and I felt faint and nauseated. I just couldn't imagine I was going to be able to run. Once home I had a couple of handfuls of Tostitos. I am trying to eat really well this week, but it was the only quick calories I could think of that wouldn't KILL me on a run. I thought about lying down for a few minutes, but quickly realized I may as well kiss the run goodbye if I did that.

So I headed out, and was immediately forced to slow down due to my right hip. The outside of my hip has been KILLING me the last couple of days running, but is ok walking. I played my 'just make it to the (fill in the blank with a nearby landmark)' game, and slowly the miles crept by. I had to walk for a brief couple of seconds at about half a mile because I truly thought I was going to throw up. This feeling came and went several times, but at least became less frequent and intense. My hip was also ok if I continued really really slow. So I plodded along, never thinking I would actually finish the whole thing. I was really dizzy, and the light coming sideways through the trees made me feel like I was about to have a seizure. I hate that...the flickering light from the side I mean. (Though I suppose I hate feeling like I'm going to have a seizure too, but since I've never had one it's just my approximation of what right before must feel like....anyway I digress).

But I finished it! And I am actually really proud of myself because it would have been so easy to quit. I learned two things: first, when I go really slow I don't get tired! I know- common sense, but I was actually amazed at how not tired or sore my legs were. And two- I am an excellent pacer. Really. I never look at the Garmin except when I hear it beep the mile marker, and here's how they went: 10:51, 10:50, 10:51, 10:51, 10:50, 10:46. And the funny thing is, the only reason the last one isn't right on too is that at 5.99 miles I glanced down (I know where in the trail I hit 6 miles), and started to think I was slowing...I didn't want my last mile to be the slowest, (even if they were all slow), so I sprinted the last 10 yards and probably cut off 5 seconds. Otherwise all six would have been right on.

I looked at the data on the computer when I got home, and compared it to dates earlier this year, and while I've always been a good pacer now I am damn near perfect. Seriously- I don't even need to smooth the data, and when I do the pace is almost a completely flat line. towards the end of runs it bounces up and down a little, but truly still not much. So I am glad to know that even if I am slow I run evenly and controlled.

Speaking of the Garmin, though, does anyone know how to graph progress over time? Every time I open up the training manager on the computer I lose interest before figuring it out. Basically I want to see the dates on the x axis and pace on y. So I can see how my average pace has improved over time. Any thoughts? I also need to figure out how to upload stuff here, but as I've mentioned, technology isn't my strong suit. Anyway...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hurricane Gustav '08...very belated pictures!

So I have a pretty boring running week on schedule this week, and nothing too exciting to write about on that front. Last night I was messing around with our pictures, trying to finally get some very old stuff off the camera and on the computer. I wrote about Gustav back in September, and I credit that storm with my complete near 2 week fall off the running/healthy eating wagon, but never really wrote much about what we did.

Basically, warnings around here were severe....up until about 2 am (of course the last time we checked the news) they were predicting a huge storm surge possibly putting much of southeastern Louisiana (including our neighborhood) under water. They thought (at that time) that Gustav had the potential to be worse than Katrina. We had planned on sticking around, and it wasn't until that night that there was a mandatory evacuation for the area we lived. I still probably would have stayed, but our house isn't elevated and the thought of a week plus in LA summer heat and humidity with no electricity was unappealing to say the least. My parents were going to be in Nashville on business, which is about 8 hours, so we thought why not? We headed out the next morning without listening to the news (which would have told us the storm had shifted slightly and predictions weren't nearly as bad, but whatevs), but WITH our four cats. Yep- I am that crazy cat lady. Who only has one pet carrier. It was so embarrassing! At every gas station we tried to go as far away from other cars as possible...I didn't want them seeing all our cats climbing all over the car...fur flying... But anyway....
here is our 'last' picture of our little house...had it swept away in the storm...please ignore the overgrown lawn.. :)

and here is Pagan 'navigating' for Will (the hubby). I adopted this cat from a shelter in Salem, MA in October of 2000 (hence his name), and he has driven cross country to CA (I have pics of him on Beale St. in Memphis, in the Ozarks of Arkansas, in New Mexico, at the Hoover Dam, and on the strip in Las Vegas!). He lived happily there for four years, from 2002-2006 (with the unpleasant interruption of a hip replacement...damn cars!) before I ripped him from his happy life to drag him once again cross country to Louisiana (this time he visited Vegas again, hung out in Fort Collins, Colorado, Kansas City, Missouri, and back to the Ozarks again before arriving at his new home with his younger brother, Pocho). So Pagan is an experienced traveller and he knows where he likes to sit. Right between us always. The cats are always loose while travelling because I can't stand the yowling. I know- a horrible safety risk, but if it stops me from driving off a bridge it's a chance I have to take. This trip he was joined by Pocho and his newer brothers Leo and Milo:

So it was an adventure to say the least! Not to mention that we then had to sneak four cats into the Holiday Inn! But we had a ton of fun, hanging out with my parents in Nashville, visiting the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg (a dry county...can you believe it? You do the tour but get no taste!), and going out downtown with my sister who flew down for her birthday (the low cost vacation option..anywhere with mom and dad!).
So a good time was had by all...the Gaylord Hotel (where mom and dad were staying) was beautiful. The weather was great and it actually didn't rain! (We never get through a summer day here without rain). So yeah. There are my two month old pictures. I think over November and December I am going to try to recap a couple of our other trips from 2008 too. So you may see some CA and Jamaica pics at some point. Who knows- I may even go back to 2007 and throw in some Peru and Japan pictures also....my husband's advice is 'more pictures'. He says my blog is too boring...all words ;)