Thursday, May 13, 2010

i'm a complete failure

Well, I've been pretty down on myself lately, running-wise. I had a 10k on the books last weekend and I had to bail out at mile 3.75. I was completely bummed because I've absolutely never quite mid-race before! I never even walk if I get tired, let along completely bail!

I pulled into the race location (Krug Park) last Friday night really nervous about the run. Not so much the distance, but the course. It was going to be 5 loops around the park which has a steep hill about the first quarter mile. Not too bad if you're doing it once or maybe even twice, but five times would be brutal. I freaked when I heard we were going to have to loop five times! So, mentally, I was already in a bad place. Anyway, when I pulled into the park, I saw a teenage couple making out in the middle of the road. So, my last two races (and within one week of each other) I see kids making out! Strange! At least they weren't 11 years old this time...LOL.

When we lined up for the race, there were only 14 of us doing the 10k. And, by looking at the runners you could tell these were SERIOUS runners! So, I didn't exactly fit in. I made up my mind to start of slow and just keep that pace the entire run. Well, I started off slow in my head (my first mile was a pace of 7:47!), which was basically just comparing myself to the other runners since I was already in last place! At that point, though, I didn't care. I was just doing it for the exercise and to finish.

The first loop was OK, but once I got to the uphill portion, it was really tough. But, I made it to the top and realized I had to do it 4 more times?! Second loop was slower (pace: 9:28) and again, I struggled up the hill. Seriously, I could hardly breathe once I made it to the top. I joked that I could feel my baby gasping for amniotic fluid, even! LOL. By the third loop, I had to walk up the hill and was still completely exhausted. I decided that since I was so out of breath and I knew my heart rate had to be pretty high (higher than I should have had it in my condition, probably) that it was in my best interest to stop.

I was so disappointed in myself, mostly and even went to the car to call Coach and started crying. Of course, he was praising me for even attempting to do it at all and he was still proud of me, but I still felt like a loser. I got over it soon enough to cheer on my friend Kerry near the finish line. She came in first in her age group (I would have come in second...out of two people:) and last in the race. All racers ran a sub-ten minute mile. Actually, I'm pretty sure Kerry even ran a sub-9:30 mile, so in my opinion, those racers were amazing!

So, needless to say, I've definitely been in a running slump lately and wondering if it's time for me to turn in my sneakers for the remainder of my pregnancy or if I should continue to try to do 5ks or even flat 10ks. I haven't decided, but am definitely in need of some words of encouragement right now....anyone?

Oh, and, it probably goes without saying that the half marathon on my schedule for Sunday morning, is now off the schedule :(

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

official 5k results are in

Just checked online today and the official results are posted from the Apple Blossom 5k.

Total Time: 27:33
Average Pace: 8:52

I'm very proud of myself as this would be a good pace for me without being pregnant. So, the fact that I am, makes me even more happy! Yippee!

Monday, May 3, 2010

apple blossom 5k and other misc items

Saturday morning was our annual Apple Blossom parade and 5k. The 5k follows the parade route right before the parade starts. So, basically, the entire town was there to watch me run....yes, I'm a local celebrity:)

The race started at 9:15 and the weather was perfect for short sleeves and shorts/capris. I opted to wear a pair of running capris which I normally love b/c they're not too tight around the waist (and that is really crucial to me right now). However, the only other runs I've worm them on were longer runs where I had my fuel belt on me. Little did I know that the fuel belt was really good at holding these capris up. Because I literally pulled those pants up somewhere around 50 times throughout the 5k! Annoying! But, glad I figured that out while doing a short run.

Anywho, the first 1/2 mile of the race was uphill...during which I thought I was going to hyperventilate and die (not kidding). My mental devil was in my head telling me that I should just quit at the top of the hill (that is where my family would be standing for the race/parade)....that I've run the first three and a half months of my pregnancy and I can no longer do it. But, I got to the top of the hill and saw my family all waving at me. Then, most importantly, I saw my 4 year old nephew Jackson waving at me (he's never seen me running before, but we talk a lot about it) and, I know it's silly, but he just had this proud look on his face and that gave me the push I needed to continue. That, and the fact that I new the rest of the race was downhill helped my mental state at that point.

Those of you from St. Joe will appreciate my observations on the race course down Frederick (from Leblond to the YMCA).

1. Dodged about 20 potholes and roadkill
2. The majority of the race/parade spectators were missing at least three teeth
3. Saw two 11 year-olds making out in front of their parents (I almost lost it when
I saw this!)
4. The entire race course, I was breathing in fresh cigarette smoke (second-hand,
of course)
5. Emmitt was dancing at the finish line...ok, this one isn't true...LOL.

I finished the race sometime between 27:30 and 27:59. I'm not sure yet as the race results haven't been posted, I wasn't wearing my Garmin, and because someone was standing right in front of the time board blocking the seconds! I'm pretty certain it was over 27:30 though. But, I'm pretty sure my average pace was UNDER 9 minute miles, which is good for me even not pregnant! So, I was thrilled!

As for the most recent pregnancy news....we got to have a sonogram last Monday. A friend of mine is a nurse practitioner and works at a local non-profit where abortion minded girls go for counseling regarding options they have other than abortion. Well, this friend offered me a free sonogram at that clinic! I was of course really excited and of course emailed her (and texted her!) to set up an appt. So, we went last Monday when I was 13 weeks, 3 days. We heard the heartbeat again (172 bpm), saw the spine and femur bones, saw the baby's hands...the baby was really moving around a lot which is so surreal to see b/c you can't feel a thing! Crazy! She measured the head and it measured at 13 weeks, 5 days (to which I responded "oh, our baby's already advanced!"..again, those of you who know me will know that I WOULD say something like that, jokingly.) It was too early to tell the sex, but she said I could come back at 15 weeks or anytime, and she could tell us the sex. I'm a little torn about what to do b/c I don't want to have our sonogram with the doctor at 20 weeks and not be excited about hearing the sex for the first time. She'd probably think I was a freak if I was like, "oh, I already knew that. I've already had two sonograms!". Coach, being the patient one of the two of us, thinks we should just wait until 20 weeks with the doctor. So, we'll see......

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

picking up momentum

Well, I'm trying to jam pack as many races in my schedule as humanly possible before it gets to hot and humid for this pregnant lady to run (and I promise that I won't milk the pregnant thing too much on this blog:). I'm HOPING I can make it through May and maybe some of June before it just gets too hot for me. And, considering I complained in STL when it was 55 degrees at the start of the race and probably almost 70 when it finished.....I'll be darn lucky to still be running in June..LOL.

Anyway, I just updated my race list (to the right) and added three new races. The first is a 10k here in my hometown around one of the city parks. What reeled me in was the fact that Olive Garden will have salad, breadsticks and spaghetti at the finish line...LOL. The second race is another half marathon on May 16th in Leavenworth, Kansas. I'm pretty sure Leavenworth is about 45 minutes away from my town, but I've never been there. So, I have no idea what the course is like. The website did have an elevation map and it looks like there are a couple big hills. But, hopefully nothing too horrible. The last race is a 15k. I've never run a 15 k, but I'm kind of excited for the fact that I know exactly what to expect. It's in my hometown and I've actually run the entire course before (though not all at once). The last 5+ miles of the 15k meets up with the half marathon course I did last Saturday. So, I know exactly where all the hills are...up and down.

I tried to upload a couple of photos from my race last weekend, but it wasn't working. I'll try to post those later.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

half marathon redemption

Yesterday, I ran my second half marathon of the week. I finished in I shaved off about three minutes since the STL half. I was pretty pleased b/c there were some KILLER hills...not as many hills, but they were steeper. I felt pretty good most of the race, but was pretty beat by the time I finished.

So, my news about why my training hasn't gone as well this time around????? I'M PREGNANT :) I'm 12 weeks now, so the cat's out of the bag! Needless to say, I get fatigued more easily and therefore can't run as fast as I used to. But, that's ok...I'm still getting exercise and it's kind of cool to be able to say I ran two half marathons while I was pregnant.

Last night we went to our friend's engagement party and spent the night in Kansas City and had a great time. We told all our friends about our news the afternoon before, so it was nice not to have to keep lying and act like I was drinking when I wasn't. A couple of them definitely suspected it since my lower belly is already pooching out a little...LOL!

Well, that's all the exciting news I have for now. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

another half

Last weekend was my STL half. It didn't go as well as I had hoped, but was somewhat expected. The hills, the heat...they both led to me running slower than my previous half in November in the upper 30s weather. I'd much rather run when it's 30 than when it's 70...weird, I know!

Anyway, I ran the half in 2:11:44. This is over 7 minutes slower than my last half = bummer :( This picture below pretty much sums up how was I feeling afterwards....defeated and tired.

A friend at work, Kerry, talked me into doing a half marathon here in my hometown with her on Saturday. So, this is two halves in back to back weekends. I'm hoping I'll be able to redeem myself a little this Saturday, but we'll see. The temps will be a little cooler than last weekend, but the course is still a little hilly. Not AS hilly, but still hilly. This will be Kerry's first half marathon....and I think, first race period. She runs about 4 miles a day and does the elliptical for 30 minutes a day...everyday. And, she's recently been throwing in longer runs on the weekends with me. So, she is in great shape. The most she's ever run at once is about 7.75 miles, though. I know she's a little nervous, but I know she can do it.

I'll post sometime soon (probably early next week) about why I think I ran slower in this past half and what was different in my training this go-around versus the half in November. I know you all can't wait for that!

Hope those of you running Boston have a great time and all get your PRs!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

three more days

I'm getting very excited for this weekend for not only my half marathon, but more importantly to hang out with my best college friends! Tomorrow night we're staying in KC and going to the George Strait/Reba McEntire/Leanne Womack concert and then heading to STL first thing Saturday morning. When we arrive, we'll head downtown to the expo to get our race packets and shop around a little (I'm sure). I'd also like to drive the race course to see what is in store for me. Then we're throwing our friend, Alison, a baby shower....she's expecting her first baby...a girl! Not sure what's in store for Saturday night, but I'm guessing whatever it is will be low key for those of us running in Sunday's race.

I just checked the weather and they're calling for a high of 78 and sunny. So, I'm seriously stressing out that I'm going to get too hot! Thank God the race starts at 7 AM, so I'm hoping it will be cool and cloudy for at least the first half. Not sure why I can't run when it's over about 65 if it's sunny, but I seriously get a headache and feel like I'm going to wet my pants every 10 minutes...weird, I know.

Tonight I'll be packing all of the race gear I could possibly ever need, just in case the weather forecast changes. I'm planning on running with my fuel belt so I don't have to get in the mess of people fighting for water/gu. I like to drink and fuel when I want to and not rely on the race volunteers anyway.

I've really been slacking in working out this week, meaning today is the first day I've done a darn thing! So, again, yet another thing to spaz out about. My last long run before the race was last Saturday and it was six miles. I was pleased with the pace (9:04) so hopefully I'll be able to do that for another 7.1 on Sunday!

Good luck on the races this weekend ladies!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

one week and 4 days

I've really been slacking at posting. This may have something to do with not being 100% happy with how my training has been going :( But, I've been doing the mileage I need to do to be ready for race day, so I guess that's all I can ask for.

Last Saturday, I ran the Rock the Parkway 10k. I actually had 10 miles in my plan for that day, so I ran about 3/4 of a mile before the race, ran the 10k and then added on a little over 3 miles.

When we got to the race location (about 30 minutes before the race started), the weather was cloudy and a little chilly. I checked the radar on my phone in the car and supposedly there was a big green/yellow cell right over Kansas City, but it wasn't raining. I debated on whether or not to wear my rain jacket and a hat and decided I wouldn't. As if the Lord was listening, it immediately began sprinkling, so I changed my mind and ended up wearing the rain gear. Thank goodness I did because it rained the entire time! I'm talking water-running-off-the-bill-of-my-hat, raining. And, I haven't really run more than just a couple miles in the rain, but I secretly loved it! It kept me nice and cool, too. And, I do believe it's good to train in the rain because you never know what it will be like on race day. I know last year, it was raining the entire STL you never know!

My overall pace for the 10 miles was 9:36. Not as fast as I would like, but I definitely wasn't pacing myself very well. Before the race I told myself I wasn't going to do the 10 full out since I had to tack on those extra miles. Well, after spending the first mile going slow due to weaving in and out of people (I've never understood why slow people get in the front of the race start line!), my competitiveness kicked in and I picked up the pace. My total time was 59:34, which I wasn't thrilled with considering I ran three miles under an 8:45 pace, but I also know that first mile really slowed me down. So, it's ok. Also, we ran a little before the race and I didn't reset my Garmin so that I could track the entire 10 miles I had to run that day. Then, after I crossed the finish line of the race and stopped running for probably 5 minutes to recover and talk to a couple people I saw that I knew, I totally didn't stop my Garmin. So, that really threw off my overall pace for the 10 mile run.

But, I ran the 10 miles and felt pretty good after. I was a little nervous that I'd have some digestive issues during the race, but thankfully, they held off!

Yesterday, I had to run a quick three miles. It was beautiful weather here....77 degrees and sunny, which was wonderful after the harsh, long winter we've had here in the Midwest. But, it was also a tad bit hot for me. I know that once I got going, it probably felt around 90+ degrees. Thank God there was a little breeze! I swear, if it's that hot on race day in STL, I don't know what I'm going to do....other than constantly be dousing myself with water (note to self: do not wear a white shirt on race day). I'm sure a running drowned rat will be a nice sight!

Anyway, just wanted to give you all an update and hope everyone enjoys their Easter weekend. We have a busy weekend planned: a long run on Saturday, engagement party Sat night, church Sunday and the Royals home opener on Monday! Can't wait!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

training week #3

Well, the first day of spring has arrived in the Midwest and it looks something like this.....

Needless to say it was pretty smart of me---alright, it was my running buddy, Katy's, idea---to move my 8 mile run from today to this past Thursday when it was 65 degrees and sunny. Now, normally I need to mentally prepare myself before my long runs (I some of you 8 miles isn't a long run, but it kind of is to me). And, this mental preparation usually starts the day before. So, when Katy emailed me mid-morning on Thursday with this proposition, I had a minor freak out but then decided that she was right. We should move our run. And, it went pretty well. I was hoping for a little faster pace, but I'll take it. Here's how the miles looked.

Mile 1: 10:05
Mile 2: 9:17
Mile 3: 9:40
Mile 4: 9:42
Mile 5: 9:27
Mile 6: 9:34
Mile 7: 10:08
Mile 8: 9:13
Total: 1:17:13 @ 9:39 pace

I'm a little bummed I had two miles with over ten minutes b/c that doesn't happen to me very often anymore. Both miles with over a ten minute pace were mostly uphill, but still....I really expected a little bit better. I'm not going to stress, though, because my body felt great at the end. So, I probably could have pushed myself a little more during some miles.

As for the rest of this past training week...

Monday: totally planned an elliptical workout, but it didn't happen :(
Tuesday: 3 miles @ 25:33 (8:15 pace)
Wednesday: 35 minutes on the elliptical
Thursday: 8 miles @ 1:17:33 (9:39 pace)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 40 minutes elliptical, abs, free weights

I was hoping to get out and run about 4-5 miles today, but that's not gonna happen. I'm hoping that I can tomorrow afternoon/evening. It's supposed to hit about 41 degrees tomorrow so hopefully at least the running trails will be clear.

As for fun stuff this weekend, Coach and I have been watching basketball pretty much non-stop. Also, an old high school friend is in town this weekend to visit her parents, so I'm going to head over there soon. I'm really excited to see her and her baby. I haven't seen in her in almost 8 years which is crazy to think time flies!

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend and is seeing better weather than we are here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

half marathon training - week #2

This morning I did my long run of 6 miles. The miles looked like this....

Mile 1: 9:17
Mile 2: 8:57
Mile 3: 9:18
Mile 4: 9:17
Mile 5: 9:18
Mile 6: 9:32 (uphill)
Total Time : 55:37 (avg pace = 9:16)

I was pleased with this run and felt pretty good afterwards. I've been doing pretty well sticking my training program this week.

Sunday, my rest day, I did 40 minutes on the elliptical since I knew that Monday I wouldn't have time to get my workout in. Turns out also, Monday I came down with some sinus issues, so I ended up not having the energy the workout anyway...nor did I on Tuesday. Tuesday night I went to bed at 7 PM, was asleep by 8 PM and slept until 6 AM! It was glorious! Wednesday I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and Thursday I did my short run. Friday was supposed to be another cross training workout, but I decided to get a pedicure after work instead. And, then my nephew came over for a couple of hours in the evening. So, my workout was basically shot!

Today, Coach and I have had some free entertainment around our house. Turns out there's a opossum (sp?) hanging out in our back yard so we've been watching him. They are such nasty animals and I really hope he leaves soon! I thought they were nocturnal?! Anyway, Coach has been outside with his BB Gun hoping to at least scare it away. He almost pulled out his 22, but then we'd have to find something to do with the dead carcass so we nixed that idea.

Tomorrow, my nephew Jackson is turning 4 years old so we will be attending his Batman Birthday Party. Should be a lot of fun.

On a sadder note, my running buddy Katy and her husband just bought a house in Kansas City so she will be moving away :( Sad for me, happy for them.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

half marathon training week #1...down

On Tuesday I mentioned that my run kicked my butt and I wasn't sure if my Garmin was right since I lost signal in a couple of places. Now, I'm pretty sure it was right because I was so winded afterwards. And, my Tuesday pace was definitely fast for me at 8:48, which explains why I was so winded.

I ran two miles on Thursday as well and finished at a pace of 9:07. My elliptical was FINALLY delivered on Thursday night and Coach spend about a total of 5 hours putting it together on Thursday and Friday....he's awesome! It's pretty massive and heavy duty. I tried it out on Friday for my cross training workout and did a 30 minute interval workout. It was a good full body workout and I definitely feel like throwing those cross training days in my training plan will be worth it.

Today was my first "long" run for my half marathon training. I had to run four miles, so I opted to run all hills since the mileage was short. It was tough in some places, but I actually felt pretty good the entire time. I did 4.18 miles in 37:47 for an average pace of 9:02. Not too shabby. So overall, I've been very pleased with my pace this first week and I hope that I can keep it up throughout the training. If so, I'll easily PR the STL half.

Tomorrow is a rest day, but I may end up doing an elliptical workout...we'll see. I'm also going to see the movie Dear John tomorrow, which I've been dying to see. I love ALL Nicholas Sparks movies/books!

This morning I started my day volunteering at this event called Cinderella's Closet. It's where girls in and around my community can shop for prom dresses that have been donated. It was so much fun seeing those girls in their prom dresses and seeing their face light up when you tell them how beautiful they looked! It's sad because a lot of them seemed to be shy, quiet and probably have low self-esteem. So, it felt really good to see them realize how pretty they looked in their gowns. It was such a fun event.

Hope everyone had great long runs today!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

commence training program

Yesterday my training program began for the STL half. And, yesterday was the first workout I skipped :) It was a cross training day and my elliptical STILL has not been delivered! That's another story, but I've been promised it will be there Thursday or Friday. Therefore, I had no cross training I could do--I totally could have done yoga and some weights, but didn't do that either...FML.

Today my training called for a 2 mile run which is what I did. My pace was 8:48 which I was really happy with, but I know I had a weak GPS signal in a couple of spots, so I'm not sure if that somehow affected it. I felt like I was going slower my second mile and my Garmin said I was quite a bit faster. Oh well. I'll just trust my Garmin :)

The weather has gotten fairly nice here and is supposed to be in the low 50s and rainy all weekend, but I'll definitely take it!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

love 2 run 4 miler - recap

Sunday morning, Valentine's Day, I ran the Love 2 Run 4 Miler with The Running Worm. I was planning on leaving my house at 6:45 AM in order to be at the Worm's house by 7:30ish and then at the race location by 8 AM so that we could get checked in. My alarm was set for 6 AM....or so I thought. I woke up at 4:30 AM, looked at my clock and fell back asleep. Awhile later I woke up again and laid there for a few minutes thinking that surely it must be close to 6. When I looked at my clock it said 6:18! So, I had to opt out of taking a shower before the race which was ok, but I really need a shower to wake myself up and get my blood flowing. Luckily, I made it to the Worm's house in plenty of time to get to the race start.

When we got there, we checked in and went back to the car in attempts to stay warm. The temperature outside, including wind chill, was -3 degrees. I made a promise to myself to not run outside if the temps are below zero with the wind chill, basically b/c I didn't want to freeze to death or lose any fingers/toes. But, in the name of "Love", I had to break my promise. I had on two layers of running tights, three shirts (one of them fleece-lined), smartwool socks, a neck gator (I think that's what it's called) and a stocking cap.

I know...I look pretty effing sweet, don't I?! Oh, did I mention that black is my favorite clothing color?

Here's the Worm sporting her favorite color, Pink!

I seriously think we laughed for about 10 minutes straight at our outfits and how bundled up we were. It was fun since we had about an hour of time to kill. Note to self: do not get to a race that early again when it's sub-zero. The race took place at the downtown airport in KC. It's mainly just used for private planes now and there is a 3.6 mile track around the perimeter of the airport. It was such a boring route and I had absolutely no concept of where I was the entire time or how far I had run (other than I had my Garmin on) b/c it was just one huge circle. I didn't even try to PR or anything b/c based on my current 4 mile PR, I really didn't think it was possible....especially b/c of the winds that day. So, I'm a wimp and didn't even attempt it.

Overall, the race was OK. They didn't have much for entertainment....just a little music at the end and b/c it was so cold, we pretty much just finished the race and then went out to brunch:)

Here's a pic of us after race. You can actually see our faces...LOL.

On another note, this past Saturday, I met up with a couple of friends to get a run in. Normally, I wouldn't run the day before a race, but since I wasn't wanting to PR on Sunday I really didn't care. Actually, let me back up even more. I met my friend Katy for a short run last Friday after work. I basically wanted to get some sort of running in since I had been sick with the flu last week and hadn't run in over a week. We ran 2.5 miles of mostly hills and I was completely winded at the end. Also, my pace was only 9:33 which is slow for me on that route. So, I was feeling very defeated after that run. I didn't know whether my body was still fatigued from having the flu Tuesday and Wednesday or if I was just slow and out of shape already from not running for a week.

When I met up with Katy and Kerry on Saturday morning to run, I told them I might not run as far as they were going to run or I might run slower as I didn't know how my body would feel. I started off ok and after about three miles was feeling really good. I was a little bit slower than Kerry (we normally run about the same pace), but I tried not to let it bother me....I can get a little competitive :) At the round-about in the trail where we normally turn and do our last mile of the 6 mile route, Kerry decided she wanted to keep going straight to add on about 1.3 miles to our usual route. At that time, I still felt pretty good so I continued with her while Katy headed back. She had an injury a couple months ago and really didn't want to overdo it. Once I hit about 6 miles, however, I completely ran out of gas. I know that had I known I would be running 7.3 miles I would definitely have eaten breakfast and probably carried a GU with me just in case. I ended up running a 9:21 pace which isn't bad and actually was quite surprised I was that fast because of the last mile, but I was still frustrated with how I felt after the run.

So, as you can see, this is why I was really not in the mood to even try for a PR on Sunday. And, my confidence with running and getting ready to start my half marathon training program in a week as definitely been put in check a little bit. I guess we all need that from time to time, but enough already!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, February 12, 2010

what a nightmare

Last night after I finally fell asleep, I had the strangest dream. It started off with me getting ready to run my half marathon. My friend Cookie was in the dream with me, running, so I assume this was supposed to be at our STL half marathon.

Anyway, at the start of the race, I realize I forgot my Garmin....I was pissed. Then, we started running and about a mile in, Cookie needed a bathroom break. Again....pissed. Then, while on the restroom break, we noticed some shops. So, we shopped. Then we ate lunch. Then, in my running gear, suddenly I was at the Gynecologist's office...receiving my annual exam!!!! After that, I decided I better start running again so I could actually finish the half marathon, but it was dark. It was already night time!

This is a random post, but I seriously hope this is not a foreshadowing of what the real race day will be like.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

under the weather

Today, I am staying home from work---sick. I'm having some stomach issues, the details of which I will not disclose. We got snow on Friday - Monday and now are having frigid temps. Needless to say, I haven't gotten outside to run since last Thursday and I'm feeling it. Whenever this happens I start stressing that I'm going to have to completely "start over" and work my way up to easily running 6 miles. To some, this may not sound like much, but I felt pretty accomplished getting to this point.

Also, the STL half marathon filled up last week, so my two friends who were also running this race didn't get in. One of them just signed up for the full marathon and is going to run the half. The other one can't decide whether or not to do that (you're "strongly" discouraged to do this by the race committee and this friend doesn't like to break rules:) I tried to convince her to sign up for the full and run the half, but she informed me that she was told her chip timing wouldn't be accurate if she did this, nor would she get a medal. And, this being her first half is really a bummer.

Hopefully next week, I'll have some running updates for you. Other than that not much is going on. Coach is taking me out to dinner on Sunday night for Valentine's Day in Kansas City and neither one of us has to work on Monday, so that means I'll get to enjoy a glass of wine...or two :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

ellipticals, running and VD

Coach and I went elliptical shopping Saturday and after a slow start finally ended up making a purchase. I love it when you're looking at exercise equipment and the employee helping you is an overweight 50+ year old man trying to show you how to use the machine. He started in on how ellipticals keep the impact off your knees unlike running on a treadmill, blah, blah, blah. Apparently I looked like I had never worked out a day in my life! I was utterly annoyed, but got over it. I ended up ordering my elliptical online and it won't be delivered for three weeks max, but with free shipping (which would have been over $200 for an overweight item) it's worth the wait. I'm sure it will be in about a billion pieces when we get it too. Good thing Coach is handy!

I started a new goal a few weeks ago to run at least three days per week up until my half marathon training starts on March 1st. I ran three days the first week, but only two the second week which was last week. So, to make up for it, I've already run three days this week with another run planned on Thursday (hopefully 6 miles or some speed training. I haven't decided yet) and 7 miles planned on Saturday afternoon. So, I feel that more than makes up for it. I've been logging 6 miles fairly regularly now, which used to seem daunting when running alone. Now it seems that the time flies by and after the first couple of miles I get into my groove. That being said, I have this notion running through my head that if I'm easily running 6 miles when not even doing a training program right now...and since that's about half of a half marathon, maybe I need to train for another full marathon???? Maybe Chicago???? I'm really scared to do the training alone as I cannot imagine running up to 22 miles alone during training. Also, I'm nervous about doing over half of my training during the summer here in the Midwest. The humidity kills me when running and I'm just not a warm weather runner. So, I still have a lot to contemplate on whether or not to do it.

Also, I've started a spreadsheet logging my miles, total time, average pace and my time during each split so that I can see if my time is improving. I'm hoping that it does and welcome any suggestions of how to speed up :) For the most part I average anywhere between a 9:00-9:20 average pace/mile and each mile is pretty all over the board. I'd love to be able to pace myself better, but I think that will just come with practice.

The Running Worm and I just signed up for the Love 2 Run 4 Love four mile race on VD (Valentine's Day). It's at the downtown KC airport and completely flat. Should be a good run and I'm looking forward to it. I didn't realize it, but when I signed up it's actually a couples run and you can run it with your spouse or a friend. Had I known that, the Worm and I could have signed up as a lesbian couple and saved about $5 on registration. We talked about crossing the finish line holding hands, which would be hilarious. The Running Worm is running at least one race per month this year, so although I didn't run anything in January, I'm signed up to run a race in Feb, March and April already and am looking into another half marathon (of hills..eek) in June. Guess I need to find something to run in May too!

On an unrelated note, please share your favorite running/workout songs on your iPod. I need to add some new stuff to my running playlist.

Friday, January 29, 2010

my life in a bubble

I'm a member of a women's community volunteer organization here in town, for those of you who aren't aware. Part of being a new member in this org requires you to do a project, locally. This project must include finding a need, coming up with a plan to help those in need, obtaining PR about org and our project and reaching out to area people/businesses to help with our project.

Last night, my group met and we were brainstorming project ideas. There are a couple of elementary teachers in my group, so we started talking about schools and wanting to focus on Middle Schoolers since many of them fall through the cracks. It seems like most people want to help out the younger kids (this is just my opinion...not factual:) But, seriously, most of the time I was sitting here listening to the stories these teachers told (both of them teach at or have taught at Title 1 schools...the low income schools) with my jaw on the floor. I mean, I grew up in this town and have lived here the majority of my life. Could I have been so naive and not seen the needs within my own community? I grew up in a happy little bubble where everything was roses with my home life and my friend's home lives. I made good grades and had two parents at home with me every night who were able to help me with my homework and give me baths and teach me how to take care of myself and it's importance. And, for these reasons, among many others, I have been blessed with a life for which I am very grateful. I realize now how lucky I was when I hear stories like these.

1. These Title 1 schools have washers and dryers so that teachers can wash their student's clothes. Many of the students continuously come to school in dirty clothes as I imagine their homes don't have these appliances and it can get very expensive washing your clothes in a laundromat if you don't have the money.

2. Some of the kids continuously have lice because of unclean living conditions. Although there is shampoo that will get rid of lice, their parents can't afford it.

3. There are kids that don't even have socks or have shoes that fit them. In gym, kids wear flip flops since those are usually just a couple of bucks. Or, they wear shoes that are too small, too big or shoes with holes.

I know that most of your are probably aware that this is a problem and I was too. I just thought it was in larger communities or those really small towns. I didn't really think this was going on in my mid-sized community of around 75,000 people. I've lived my life not leaving a radius of a couple of miles from my home. And, even within this small circle, there were areas I avoided because I had no need to go there.

So, I have decided that I'd like to volunteer some time with the lowest income school in my town and either tutor or become a mentor to one of those kids. I seriously believe it when teachers say that there are some kids who may only see one smile a day...and it's from their teacher. And, this just breaks my heart.

What are you doing to help those in need in your community? Prior to yesterday, I was doing nothing, so don't feel bad if you're in the same boat.

Monday, January 25, 2010

weekend recap

Once again, we had a full weekend. Friday after work I met up with my friend, Katy, for a run. Katy and I ran the Gobbler Grind together, but she was injured and had been off running for the past two months--kind of like me, only I was just lazy...LOL. So, this was her first run back. We just went out and ran a quick three miles, but it made me feel better about eating the pizza Coach and I had for dinner that night. Coach and I had a Netflix night at home and went to bed rather early since we had an early morning and long day on Saturday.

At 7 AM, Coach and I got on the highway and headed to Joplin. Coach, who never speeds by the way, ended up getting pulled over doing 81 mph in a 65. I was annoyed because we were making good time without him speeding and there was no need for him to be going that fast. I was also annoyed because of course the cop was waiting right where the speed limit changed from 70 to 65. On a positive note though, he reduced the ticket to 75 mph in a 65 mph zone. The reason we left for Joplin so early was because I had to attend a baby shower at 11 AM. One of Coach's college friends is expecting, so I went to her shower and then we all went out that night and stayed in Joplin. It was just the girls....and Coach.

Here's a pic of us girls at the beginning of the night. Please forgive my appearance...I was already tired and did not feel well the entire day!

After partaking in some morning mimosas and afternoon beverages, I opted out of drinking Saturday evening and became the DD. Like I said, I wasn't feeling too hot, but I also had plans to meet a friend to run 6 miles at 4 PM Sunday. And, I didn't want to be hungover. We went to the new casino in Joplin (it's actually in Oklahoma, but just right over the border) where I lost $20 playing blackjack. But, the casino was really nice for a small town like Joplin. Some people down there were comparing it to Vegas and were very serious about this comparison. However, I didn't even think it was as nice/big as the Kansas City casinos, but almost....LOL. Silly people!

Sunday morning, my plan was to wake up and get on the road. However, since I was the only non-hungover one, my plans were altered. We ended up going to eat breakfast (at 10:45) at Cracker Barrel where I ordered the cold cereal breakfast (I'm not much of a breakfast person...especially at 10:45 AM. I'd much rather hold out for lunch) which might be illegal to order there. Finally, we got on the road at 11:30. I was kind of bummed because we had plans to stop in Kansas City on the way home so I could check out--and possibly purchase--an elliptical down there since the selection is bigger than in my town. But, needless to say, that didn't happen since I wanted to be able to shower (for my running buddy's sake) before my 4 PM run. We walked in the door at 2:45 and then I hit the shower and got ready to meet Kerry for our run.

My friend, Kerry, is actually my old boss here at work. We're the same age and know a lot of the same people from growing up in the same town even though we attended different schools our entire lives. Well, she runs about 4 miles EVERY day, but does this on a treadmill (dreadmill). So, I convinced her to meet me for a run on Sunday, outdoors. By the time we ran, said the temperature felt like 26 degrees and it was very windy. I didn't notice the wind the first three miles, but it hit us like a ton of bricks the second we turned around! Anyway, Kerry is used to the treadmill pacing her so when we started out she was running very fast. Faster than her usual pace (and mine) anyway. So, I immediately told her the pace she was running, per my Garmin, and we slowed down...LOL. Overall though, the run was great and I seriously shaved 30 seconds per mile off my average running pace. She shaved a minute off hers! We ended up running 6 miles in 53:48 for an average pace of 8:58/mile. I was very impressed with her running because I can remember only running on the treadmill and then taking it outside to the wind, inclines, etc and it kicking my butt!

So, I met my goal last week of running three days a week. I've already run one this week and have another run scheduled for Tuesday so it'll be easy to squeeze one more in later in the week to meet my goal.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

back on the saddle

Well, I'm pleased to announce that I've worked out twice this week! Yippee! For some, this would not be an accomplishment at all, but for me it is. You see, until this week I have only run one time (2.5 miles) since my half marathon. And, I really don't count this run since it was one time in two months. So, I've run twice this week with another run planned with a friend tomorrow after work.

Monday, The Running Worm and I met up in Platte City which is about halfway between our houses. We ended up running four miles on a really pretty trail with snow surrounding us and even a little creek (crick?) with some running water and water falls. I struggled the first two miles, but after that I found my groove and ended up running a decent pace. Yesterday, I ran on my favorite trail at home and planned on running four miles. When I got to the 2 mile point, I decided to run a little further and ended up turning around at 2.5 miles for a 5 mile run. I felt even better during this run and ran a 9:26 pace, which was definitely within my pace range while I was doing my half marathon training. I was actually pleasantly surprised with this pace since I had taken those two months off...I figured it would take me awhile to get up to a pace like that regardless of the mileage. So, I guess I now need to raise the bar on my goal time for my next half marathon! I'm also planning on incorporating some more speed training into my training this time around.

Speaking of half marathons, I registered for the St. Louis half marathon in April. I'm getting very excited and am ready to start training (even though I have awhile). So, my goal over the next month is to run 2-3 days per week and get in some weight training at home. Hopefully this will get me ready for the training since I plan on PRing! And, some more exciting news.....Coach and I are going elliptical shopping on Sunday. Hopefully I find something I like that isn't ridiculously expensive! Knowing me, I won't like anything less than the ellipticals at the gym! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

and....I'm back!

Welcome back! I know, I know...I've definitely been slacking on the blog posting. Truth is, it doesn't seem like much has been going on since the holidays. Well, actually that's not true because I have a new hobby of eating horrible foods in enormous proportion. Seriously, I've gained 7 lbs since I ran my half marathon. I know the fact that I've only run 3 miles since then has definitely played a role, but so have my eating habits, my portions, what I put it my's all horrible.

To portray the severity of the situation, before Christmas I went over to a friend's house. She was in town and I hadn't seen her in awhile. So, she starts asking me if I'm pregnant. I tell her no and she asks again....I mean, she thought I was lying because she asked me like four times! I practically had to swear on my life that I was NOT pregnant (which I'm not), but it's really b/c I have put on weight. And, I can't even use the excuse one who works out might be able to know, Muscle Weighs More Than Fat because there's NO MUSCLE HERE!

Anyway, on a less disgusting and depressing note, I got my arm warmers for Christmas (which I obviously haven't used:), my new camera and a healthy amount to go towards my elliptical which I'm hoping to buy next month. I can't wait.

Please let me know who is really in for running the STL half marathon and who will be spectating b/c this is really still in my plans. Hopefully the snow holds off here starting next month so I can train adequately since I'll be starting from scratch...hopefully it's like riding a bike!

I'll leave you with a pic from one of the Christmas parties Coach and I attended. These are a couple of guys Coach grew up, so I'm not claiming them! Oh, and no, your eyes are not deceiving you...they re-pierced their ears (apparently this was a big thing to do in High School in Nevada, MO) and were wearing Christmas bell each. This was taken during a break while playing Survivor Flip Cup where the losing team votes one person off the island after every round (I passed out shortly therefore--I think drinking excessive amounts the past two months may have played a part in the 7 lbs too, but that's just a guess). Stay Classy!