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'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 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. ( 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 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 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 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 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 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 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''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 husband's advice is 'more pictures'. He says my blog is too boring...all words ;)

Monday, November 3, 2008

OMG..holy soreness!

So my 12 miles went good yesterday, but then I had to head to work and run around for 4 hours...bad idea! Most of us wear non-slip nurse clogs at the restaurant (for comfort and tread) when on your feet all day, and while they are comfortable standing still they KILL when you have to run around. Mostly I think because the sizing is a little off and they are a little big on everyone, so you have to sort of clench your toes to keep them on. So by the time I got home my shins and the tops of my feet were killing me. Does this indicate I had some poor form in the end of my run? I've never had shin pain before...

And then this morning my calfs are aching. I'm actually walking kinda funny, it's embarassing :) So luckily my schedule this week is only 3 tomorrow, 6 Wednesday, 3 Thursday, and 9 on Saturday. We'll have to see how the 9 goes Saturday...there is a 5k I was considering in New Orleans (45 minute drive across the bridge), and then I'm going tailgating for the LSU game, so I'm not sure I'll squeeze it all in.

One thing that I will stay on track with this week is nutrition. My 21 day Habit Challenge took a nose dive after two birthdays, two Halloween parties, and a marathon eating day yesterday after my run :(

So this is nose to the grindstone week food wise. No cheating until Saturday. Anyone have any healthy-but-yummy recipes?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Almost halfway to marathon distance...

So after my pseudo-successful 5k yesterday, I napped, headed to work, and planned my route for today's 12 miler. I got home late, of course, but thanks to the time change I went to bed at 1 and woke up at 7, but still got 7 hours.

I had some coffee, and a Powerbar Energize Smoothie bar, and was so happy to discover that the orange flavor is SO MUCH BETTER than the berry! I didn't even feel a little bit pukey! So I sat around about 45 minutes to digest, and headed out about ten minutes after 8.

The time change made it nice and bright, but unfortunately also warmer. Regardless, the miles went by relatively easily, with the exception of the guy that stunk. Seriously- I passed this guy coming towards me, and he must have turned around right after passing me and quickly passed me again. Only to then slow down to my pace, about five feet in front of me. I didn't want to pass him and play that back and forth game, so I stayed right on his heels...or should I say his stinky feet? Seriously- I've never been able to smell someone when behind them...the wind was blowing a little I guess, but come on! If I can smell your feet it's either time for some new shoes (or socks) or some better hygiene. Of course I suppose who knows what I smell like after a few miles, but I'm particularly sensitive to the smell of feet barely sweat and my shoes never smell, but my sister's and husband's are HORRIBLE so maybe it's uncontrollable? Not sure...

At the six mile mark I had a Powerbar gel, in vanilla. It was ok, but I don't think I've hit on the right flavor yet. Any suggestions? I actually carried water this time too, but I still felt a little sluggish. Should it have been two gels? Not sure. The miles went like this:

10:14, 9:49, 9:47, 9:50, 9:48, 10:02, 10:36*, 10:11, 9:57, 9:40, 9:55 and 10:15 average: 10:02

* I stopped to eat the gel and drink some water...still not great at drinking on the run!

So it could've been worse, but I was actually hoping for a little better. The average pace was only 7 seconds faster than my average pace for my 11 mile run Monday, but I did this one in the morning before work so I was actually expecting it to go a little better. I'm also a little disheartened at how much my knees and right hip/glut HURTS after about 7 miles. Hopefully this is just because these longer runs are new to me, and I'll become more confident with time. The last mile was tough, I had to run/walk it due to a crazy ache in my hip....but was 12 miles! Done by 10, so I can't be too upset.

I had to head to work 15 minutes after...seriously- I ran in the house, iced my knees for 10 minutes and had to jump in the shower for work. I had a food running shift today to, which made things waiting on tables, just delivering all the food from the kitchen. I normally love these shifts because for once you can zone out and not have too much interaction with customers, but today I was hating life. My shins hurt so bad! So this may be my last long run before work. I might have to figure out how I can take the day off on my long run days.

Anyway- hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Redbull really DOES give you wings!

Alternatively titled: That certified course was way short. But either way- 23:55! Yay! So I qualify for a seeded position in the Crescent City Classic spring race, which is the 10k, and one of the bigger races around here. That will be cool- getting to start ahead of all the walkers who ignore the announcer telling them to line up at the back...

Only too bad it isn't legit. I finished in 23:55, but unfortunately it was for only 2.95 miles. I knew the third mile was short, and I thought they just somehow messed up the measuring. But then I heard people say that one of the leaders might have missed a little turn that should have brought us a little wider on the loop and made up the difference. I'm not sure, because the director never mentioned anything being amiss, but it definitely was. I don't think it affected order, because everyone just follows the person in front of them, but either way it resulted in some 'fast' times!

I wasn't sure how things would go, because I had a couple of roadblocks to having a great race. I got home too late last night, finally hitting the sheets at about 1 am, with a 6:45 alarm set. I had been to a little get together, (two, actually) and eaten a bunch of junk food (boo- things aren't looking good for the 21 day Habit Challenge after yesterday). The first was a pumpkin carving happening at a neighbors, the second at a friend's house later. At the first I ate a bunch of chips and dip, had a glass of wine, and won the contest with this:

Not the clearest picture, but you get the point. Then at about 7 I headed to another friends where a few of us from the restaurant were getting together. We have a pretty tight group of nine girls plus boyfriends/spouses that hang out. Here everyone brought a dish, and I ate far too much of all of it, mostly of the chips, dips, and cheese variety. And I had two glasses of wine, and came home too late.

So I hadn't had much sleep, had strange food in the system, and was running late. My coffee didn't do it's usual trick of taking care of business before the race, so I had that to stress about too. I didn't want to have to quit! I also was drowsy, and bought a redbull on the way about 30 minutes before race time...probably not the best idea since I had never had this before. I was confused as to where registration was, but eventually made it the start during the anthem with only enough time to get my headphones on and throw the t-shirt over a tree.

The first mile I knew was way too fast, at 7:46. I tried to slow down a little but not too much, and the 2nd mile was 8:13. I was right on target to be at 3 at 24 minutes, and have a minute to get to .1, but I felt like I was about to throw up. It was warmer than I expected, and much of the course was in the sun. I was trying to hold the pace until 2.7 or so, at which point I could probably kick it up a notch and finish well. Of course the redbull did give me energy, but was sloshing around in my stomach and I worried I was going to gag.

Anyway, right where I was about to look at the garmin expecting it to be about 2.7, I could see the 3 mile marker. This made no sense, and I checked the watch and sure enough it was early. Because I was about to lose my breakfast and now knew I had plenty of time I let off the pace a bunch. I finished (by garmin) at 23:52, with 7:52 for the last .95 miles. Yep- that's right...the course was short by .15! That's huge!

Still, I think I would've made 25, because I had slowed down a lot once I knew I was going to make it, and I'm actually glad I did. Had I gutted it out and made 23:30, I would probably never touch that again in a 'true' 5k, and it would be disappointing. So at least I can hope that I might be capable of 23:55 again on a course of proper length....just not right now!

Either way I'm happy, but kinda a crappy way to PR, you know? Hope everyone had a great Halloween!