Sunday, March 30, 2008

Yeech!

Lazy Bones Me (my "Saturday" name) did not get up to run with my running group yesterday morning.  I woke up at 6:30 am to feed our army of hungry cats and then promptly turned off the alarm and went back to sleep.  


Got up about 11:00 am (ahhhhh) and then hit the roads about 1:00 pm for my Long Slow Distance run.  My course took me from near our house out to Minneahaha Falls and back -- basically following a large section of the Twin Cities Marathon route.


Although the thermometer at our house read 44 degrees, it did not take in to account the blustery winds that whipped across Lake Harriet and remained as a constant "in my face" reminder for the run out to the falls.  Brrrr.

I felt pretty good on the way out and it was very nice to run the parkway.  The path, which runs parallel to Minnehaha Creek,  is quite beautiful any time of year, and yesterday was no exception.  The creek was open and there were lots of ducks huddled along side the bank.  Snow is melting, people were out and about; it was great to be outside. 

I got to the falls and took a peek at them....Lovely.  And then waited in line for about 10 minutes for three people to use the one available portapotty.  (The park pavilion -- and all its inside bathroom space -- isn't open for the season yet.)   

I lost pretty much all of my mojo waiting in line and by the time I was ready to head back, I just couldn't get my head around the run back.  

I had to do a lot of pep-talking to myself on the way back.  I vacillated between toughing it out; calling Hubby to have him come pick me up; finding a cab; finding a bus or otherwise throwing in the towel.  

I did make it back on my own, but it was quite discouraging.  I had vivid flashbacks of those very dismal miles of the marathon, where I question my sanity and my ability to hold it together.  And this was just a lousy "little" 14-mile run!

I also spent a lot of time debating dropping down to the Fargo 1/2 marathon.  I have still not exactly determined if I'll switch races, but the idea of switching really sounded appealing yesterday.

Today, I plotted the actual course on MapMyRun.  Turns out, I ran 14.87 miles -- so slightly longer than I anticipated....and I don't really feel too rough today.  Not very sore; not too tuckered out.


I have until April 11th to make up my mind about switching distances.  

The question is:  do I run the marathon to just run the marathon (with a very small chance of PRing) or do I move down to a more comfortable distance because I'm a weeny?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Holy Moley -- less than 50 days!

Till Fargo Marathon!

  • Yikes, Stripes!
  • My, oh my!
  • Mercy, mercy me!
  • For real?!?
  • Whatchu tawkin 'bout Amy?



You get the drift....

I'm still on the fence about doing the full or switching down to the half. My training has been pretty half-hearted, if the truth must be told. Traveling for work and the "flipping winter that won't end" have really cut in to my enthusiasm.

Also, since I'm on an honesty kick, I really miss running with my gaggle of running friends. We are all training for different things -- we have different schedules / commitments right now -- and I've been L A Z Y on cold Saturday mornings, preferring to sleep in and run when it is "warmer".


And yet, the hands of time tick ever forward, leaving me with 49 days until the marathon....what to do, what to do?

---

Okay, I'm done with the melodrama.

I did particpate in a swim clinic last weekend. About 15 folks met with Dave, the Total Immersion coach I've worked with from time to time. Got videotaped, learned some new drills and techniques and got re-excited about swimming.

I also met with a tri coach that I'd been considering working with -- Ben Popp. We had a great conversation and I'm seriously considering working with him as I prepare for Pigman 1/2 Iron . He gave me a couple of swim/bike workouts to do while I'm finalizing prep for Fargo.

AND! I finally bought bike shoes! Once I get the pedals attached to my bike, I'll take a picture and post it. All I can remember at this point is that they are Shimano. (Yeah, like 1 billion other pairs of biking shoes....)

Finally, although Toyota is not going to sponsor athletes in 2008, Stay Put elastics by Goody is, and I just found out I was selected for that team! Yippee! Another free uniform that can be easily coupled with "performance anxiety".... Now I have to do reasonably well this season.

Ohhhh, the pressure! (back to the melodrama).

Tomorrow, if I can drag my butt out of bed early, I'll run with my friends for part of their training run and then do an addition lag on my own.

Tomorrow night, Hubby and I have a night on the town with my good friend Mary and her beaux, Tom. Dinner and the theatre....

Maybe having the theatre on my brain is why I'm so melodramatic...

The end......(applause, and....curtain!)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring Snow

It is March in Minnesota and that means SNOW.

We never seem to escape this last ditch effort made by Miss Winter to blanket the landscape (and roads) ONCE AGAIN with the white stuff.

The WET, HEAVY white stuff....

The good news is that the temps are warm enough that it doesn't stick around for too long and it is really quite pretty.

The bad news is that it is SNOW and, if I may speak for all Minnesotans, by this time of year, we have HAD IT.

It also makes running a bit of a mess.

We had a snow shower earlier this week that dropped about 3 inches -- which promptly melted the next day. Last night, the flakes started falling again and they haven't stopped yet. Looks like we have had about 2 inches fall so far and it isn't scheduled to stop until late tonight. By the time this ends, we could have 6 inches to contend with, just in time for my Long Slow Distance run.

I've got scheduled a run of about 14 -15 miles. If it is really snowy in the morning, I will decide if I should go out for 2 plus hours and get wet feet or potentially do the run on the dreaded treadmill.

I'm hoping to get outside and to even run with some of the folks at my club...but...my Evil Twin is trying to convince me to not get up early, not get wet feet and to spend the morning in bed, under the covers with Hubby and the kitties.

I also have a swim clinic tomorrow afternoon, which I'm looking forward to. It has been awhile since I've been at a clinic or had a lesson, so I'm looking forward to some structured time in the pool.

I've been doing a lot of research to try to find some structured programs to help me with tri training and general fitness issues. (I'm on a personal strike towards my Health Club at this point, being a little self-righteous and sanctimonious for a multitude of real and perceived reasons, which means I'm in no mood to hand over any more cash to them then I possibly have to right now....)

There are some options I'm considering, but have not made a commitment yet.

I'm also having a really hard time (still) with regulating my weight. I've been off the sugar for about a month and no weight loss has materialized. I've been counting my portions and the issues seem to arise in the afternoons if I don't plan my food well enough and also in the evenings after I get home from running.

I'm going to give it one more more week of accelerated workouts and going back to counting Weight Watcher points to see what happens. If there is no result then.... I'm not really sure what I'll do.

For now, I'm going to log off, get a cup of tea and watch the snow fall.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A little speed....workout, that is

Back in Tempe and actually had a good workout last night.

I did a nice warm up for about 20 minutes and then did four pickups.

I started at the corner of Alameda and Priest and ran to Broadway (.48 miles, according to MapMyRun). Got my heart rate up to a hair below AT (171 bpm) and then shagged back to Alameda. Repeated this three times in total with the pickups equating to:
4:16 min
4:10 min
4:10 min.

I felt good about the pace. I felt as if I actually was running and not just plodding along.

I started my last shag back to Alameda and decided to do my pickup from Alameda to Southern, which -- magically -- is also .48 of a mile. My pace was slower 4:21, but I got it done!

Then just a little jog back to the hotel, feeling good.

---

Glad to be going home tomorrow. Still no sugar has passed my lips and it has been very hard. There are cookies and candy everywhere I look in this office!

---

Also found this cool count down timer thingie (see sidebar). As if I'm not worried enough about Fargo Marathon, I can now count down the seconds until I line up for the race.

As the young people I know would say: Sweet!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Slightly over 11 and apparently, I'm IT!

I spent the majority of the week in Tempe, doing some final work for a systems conversion project that I've been part of for several months.

Here are the successes from the week:

1) I did not have any candy, cookies, desserts or other refined sugar during the week. Honestly, it was very hard. (see below)

2) I worked out several times: I went to the gym twice (first workout was treadmill and weights; second was weights and a 600 yard swim). Also did a run of about six miles or so.

3) Played nice with others. (see below) The project has been stressful and many people are involved. That means many personalities, many opinions, many opportunities for problems. Fortunately, every one involved is very dedicated and, outside of the project, they are a lot of fun, so it went very well.

4) Enjoyed very nice weather. Sunny, in the 70s and 80s. I was very grateful to be out of the cold.

I go back to Tempe tomorrow for the final phase of this part of the project. I'll be there until Wednesday. Although it will be nice weather (again), I will be glad to be home for a while, with Hubby and the kitties and some normal routine.

It was GREAT to come home for the weekend -- although poor Hubby has been sick all week. Still, all in all, nice to be comfortable with him and the cats, in our own little house.

I had to get in a long run today and was considering going with my running club. The class that will train for Grandma's Marathon started this morning. But, I had not slept well all week in Tempe, so I elected to enjoy being home.

I did go out this afternoon and got in 11.37 miles, according to MapMyRun.com. The temps were in the low 30s, but it was very pretty out and there is just the slightest hint of spring in the air.

I also stopped during my run to watch one of those Polar Bear Plunge charity events that was taking place at Lake Calhoun. A very large number of people elected to jump in to a section of the lake that had its ice layer removed.

I watched the first several groups jump off a perfectly good wooden pier in to freezing water, bob up like corks and then high-tail it out of the lake and in to one of several waiting, bubbling hot tubs.

BRRRRRR.

I've done plenty of seemingly crazy things in my life (see below), but jumping in to ice cold water has not -- nor will be - one of those things. I absolutely hate to be cold.

Anyway, my run was okay -- but I'm still not running very fluidly or comfortably. I'm getting a little concerned about doing a full marathon. I'll have to give that some serious thought. Anyway, here is the route.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com

Below

So my good friend, Nat, has tagged me and I'm supposed to write down 7 "interesting" things about me....

Here were the rules are as follows (I'm required to post them):

# Link to the person who tagged you

# Post the rules on your blog.

# Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.

# Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.

# Leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged.

So here are my weird things:

1) My enough-o-meter is broken. By that I mean I really don't under what "enough" means. Be it shoes, chocolate, food, alcohol, whatever, I don't seem to have the normal regulator that tells most of you that you've had enough. I've had to completely give up some things in order to "regulate" them; for others things, its been sheer will or pain that has enabled me to stop. (For example, the realization that I just can't bear the pain any more of squeezing my feet in to those oh-so-sexy spikey heeled shoes any more...I still lust after them every day, though...)

2) I am much better in a crowd. I can do presentations in front of hundreds of people at a time, but have a very difficult time feeling comfortable with small numbers of people or one-on-one. It is a weird, low-self esteem thing, I'm sure. Enough said.

3) I peeed on a State Capitol building when I was 17 years old and drunk. I thought, at the time, that it would be one of those really "cool" things that I could share with my grandchildren. Since I don't have kids, and therefore will not have grandchildren, I get to share that "fun fact" with you.

4) Famous people I've met include: Gloria Steinem (cool), Todd Rundgren (WAAAY cool) and Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick (don't ask). I'd gnaw tree bark for an opportunity to meet John Cusack.

5) If it weren't for the math part of the GMAT or GREs, I'd take the tests and go back to Graduate School in a heartbeat.

6) I've recently moved in to the 21st century and enabled my cell phone to allow me to text.

7) I'm a secret MTV/VH1 viewer. Programs I love to watch include: Celebrity Rehab, Celebrity Fit Club, The Flavor of Love, that really bad show with Brett Michaels, True Life and Made...

The folks I'm tagging are: Megan, Dennis, Waddler 26.2 and RunnerGirl