Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Confessions

I haven't done a Friday confessions in a while and man-oh-man do I have some stuff for you all. As always, please feel free to share your confessions in the comments. I like to know I'm not alone as a "sinner."
1. I run in crazy ass outfits when I am not running with others or it's dark out. Yesterday after work I had a 30 minute tempo run. Picture this outfit: chevron striped tank (blue, orange, pink), purple running shorts, rainbow striped injinji socks, and black and blue Brooks shoes. It was as if Punky Brewster dressed me in the dark.
2. I was so sweaty when I got home that I just got in the shower with my running-outfit-of-many-colors on. I didn't have any other clothes to throw in the wash so I just figured I'd rinse these and let them dry so some of the stink got out instead of just sitting all sweated up in the hamper.
3. Also pertaining to yesterday's run, it was only a 30 minute tempo and while I did also run yesterday morning, it really shouldn't have been too difficult. However, within the first 10 minutes I thought I was going to die. I had to say to myself "NO! You can do this." I'm confessing here that I doubted myself, AND fought back. Go me.
4. I have touted how I'm a "writer" now and I'd like to clarify that I basically write junk mail. It's a very specific junk mail and to a targeted demographic but still...junk mail. (I'm not complaining though, writing for a good paycheck is still writing! Plus, I love my job.)
5. Speaking of work, this is so silly, but on days I wear my hair in a ponytail I wear more make up. In my crazy mind I think I'm offsetting the way I look in a ponytail (which I don't really like, even though I'm one 100% of my running life). Basically, I look like Jane Fonda circa 80's fitness DVDs. Ponytail and lots and lots of eye shadow.
6. At the advice of many solid runners and my coach, I started rotated running shoes. And I've come to the conclusion that I still prefer one shoe and I still like the really cushy "foot pillows." I can't help it. I may be a one shoe kind of girl.
7. I hate my coach. No wait. I love my coach. Nope. Hate him. Ugh. Love him. Hmmm...
8. I almost felt like riding my bike the other day. Almost.
9. I'm doing an open water swim "race" tomorrow. It's basically on a whim and I haven't really been swimming all that much. It's a mile so I figure I can handle that. We shall see...
10. I only signed up for the swim because it's sponsored by Hooters and you get free wings after.
Happy Friday everyone! Have a fantastic weekend. And if you're heading to Boston, safe travels!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Clearwater Iron Girl Half Marathon Race Report

Yesterday I ran the Clearwater Iron Girl Half Marathon for the very first time. I typically run the 5K but since I'm marathon training the longer distance seemed like a good idea when I registered. Of course as the days went by and I started thinking about how warm it would be and I talked myself into the idea of not really racing it. There were two bridges that you crossed over and back (so four bridges really) and then there was the heat...
I picked up my packet on Saturday afternoon after watching the S.O. tear it up at a sprint tri. They do a great job at this expo. Think lots of fun women's running gear plus the usual fun running vendors. Packet pick up was a breeze and I had my shirt and bag with in two minutes.

On race morning I woke up early and had oatmeal. This is a big deal because I've been struggling to eat before long runs and races so I figured I'd give the oatmeal a go and see how my stomach felt. Fortunately the race is only about 15 minutes from where I live so I got good parking and immediately headed to the porta potties. As a shout out to the race organizers, they did a fantastic job of having TONS of porta potties. (After my first "evacuation" I was good to go. Oatmeal is my new pre-race breakfast.)
I ran into a few friends prior to the race start and we chatted about goals and it being warm out and I told them my plan of taking it easy. Again, I figured there was no reason for me to go out hard and crash and burn like at Gate River, which was still looming in my brain. (I'm so good at letting things go...)

At around 6:45 I headed over to the start line with my Tribal Multisport teammate Kelly. As we stood there talking, without warning, it seemed the race had started and I said, "Well that was fast." Only to realize that it was a false start. It seems the front of the pack tried to take off with a charity group. We all chuckled and backed up. Then, right at 7 AM we heard the horn and were off.

Kelly took off like lightning and I told myself to relax and take it easy. I'm not really racing this, I told myself. Before the first mile was over my friend Lee ran up next to me and she and I ran our second mile over the first bridge at 8:38. I immediately told her I was going to slow down and it was hot. So off she went and I slowed it down. I was passed several times at this point.

I ran along and tried to keep it just under a 9:00/mile. I didn't want the 2:00 pace group to catch me because I felt like coming under 2:00 was a good enough goal for the day. I allowed myself to pick up the pace around six when I took a gel. Part of the course runs through a "park" called Sand Key. It sort of sucks in there because there isn't much of a breeze but it was good to see the runners in front and behind of me for the first time. I saw the 1:50 pace group up ahead and the 2:00 behind so I felt fine with where I was positioned.

At mile eight I felt really good. It must have been the gel. I cheered for others and smiled and commented to spectators about their signs. There were plenty of aid stations and I drank water at every single one. I was having fun and started passing a few women here and there. Then I hit the 3rd bridge and passed a few more ladies. I always have the goal of running up the bridges. Even if I'm not sure what I was could be classified as a run.

I started getting hot right after I got over this bridge. Fortunately this is my home turf so I knew every crack in the sidewalk and every landmark and exactly how far I had to go to get to that final bridge. I continued to play pass that person to motivate myself along.

It started getting tough around mile 10. I think the "goal of running up the bridges" (Yes, I did just quote myself.) was starting to sink in. My quads were quite grumbly and on the way up bridge number four I slowed significantly. As I Three Little Pig Wolfed (huffed and puffed) my way up the bridge I spotted a familiar figure at the top. The S.O. was out on his recovery run and was running the race backward to catch me. I was really happy to see him.

It was all downhill after that and the S.O. tried to give me coaching tips as we ran but I told him to hold those until after the race. Heh.

I saw the finish line and picked up the pace. I came in at 1:55 and some change. I do love the sparkly iron girl medals, even if I did wear black in a sea of pink.

I'm saying "Why is it so hot?" Bridge behind me can suck it.
After the race I grabbed a banana and talked with some friends. I had a major hankering for pancakes so the S.O. and I headed off to a local diner.

Post race "ussie"
So here's the thing about this race...

I quit before I even started. In texting with Coach Jon after the race I told him I didn't race it and he asked why. I explained it was hot and there were bridges. When he told me "we treat every race as a race and give our best effort" I got offended. I responded with my reasoning that I thought starting a race at "good race conditions" pace would have been a mistake. And like a good coach he saw right through me. His response was spot on. He agreed on adjusting efforts based on weather conditions but not giving up all together before I even started. So yeah, I did let those factors get to me and those lingering thoughts of Gate River made me wimp out and use the bridges and heat (which wasn't exactly un-race-able weather) as an excuse.

So after thinking about it last night I gave in this morning and told him the truth. (Even though I'd venture a guess he knew that already. Dammit.) I'm still working on run confidence and I think I may have left it somewhere in Chattanooga.

I supposed admitting your problem is the first step. I've got a couple months to find and regain this run confidence and I intend to do it. If I have to start writing mantras on my arms and listen to the Rocky Theme on repeat then so be it. I just need someone to dress up as an old man and squirt water in my face as I run. Any takers?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Kettle corn is the devil.

Now that I actually get to write and get paid for it (finally!) I find that my blogging time has gone down. This week snuck up on me and I really thought today was Tuesday. Ha!

Last weekend was so much fun! Well, with the exception of my long run. I made a few rookie mistakes and I'll get into that in a bit.
On Friday night the S.O. and I headed to a local brewery to celebrate a friend's birthday. This brewery has a big open space that they make the beer in AND offer guests a variety of lawn type games to play while they drink and socialize. We played giant connect four, knocked down a giant Jenga, all while trying fun new types of beer. I had a "Wheatermelon." It was delicious.

Then on Saturday I got up early for my tempo run. It was tough because my legs were SHOT from Thursday's strength session. I managed all but the final mile and decided to cut it short. After my run I got all gussied up for some new blog photos. It was a blast! The super talented Darryl Wilson took my pictures and a Tribal Multisport teammate and friend, Lindsay, is actually a full time make up artist so she made me pretty. (As a side note Lindsay also completed Ironman Chattanooga.) I love how the photos turned out and can't wait to add them to the blog.

Once my photo session (I just like saying that) was complete I headed over to the little festival going on nearby for some kettle corn. I KNEW this was a bad idea. I said to myself, "Self. Don't you get that kettle corn. You know it upsets your stomach AND you have a long run tomorrow." But then my bitchier, hungrier self said, "Shut up Goody-Two-Shoes. We wants our precious...."


Fast forward to Sunday morning. I woke and immediately noticed my quads were still sore. And I felt a wee bit gassy. (TMI. So sorry.) I met my friend Teresa and had plans for a two hour, thirty minute run. The first two miles were rough. I had to stop to use the restroom not once, but twice. Ugh. My legs felt awful. I tried to push through it and fortunately, Teresa was kind enough to deal with all of my issues.
I made it exactly one hour and a half. I had to stop running after nine miles. Womp womp. I held on as long as I could and got in a few bridges but between my rookie mistake of eating something known to upset my stomach and having dead legs, I knew I had to hang it up.
I was only a tiny bit bummed because I knew I had lots of time to get in long runs before Grandma's Marathon in June. Ok, maybe not lots, but enough. I discussed my strength sessions with Coach Jon and I'm going to cut back on them. Going once per week isn't giving me enough time to really acclimate and they are hurting some of my quality runs. Coach Jon offered the solution of doing some pre or post run plyo and "mini" strength drills that don't completely knock me out. I can work with that.
The rest of Sunday was spent with family and a delicious Easter meal. I'm ready to rock n roll and really hoping for a cold front for Sunday's Iron Girl half marathon. It's probably not going to happen so I will just think cool thoughts...and avoid kettle corn.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March Stats/Recap

Run 108 miles 

Bike 0  (Ok, I felt a little bad for my bike this week. It looks sad.)

Swim 3 miles
Strength 4 sessions with Coach Jon & my Tribal Multisport buddies

Yoga 1 yin yoga class (and it was fabulous)

Current Reads I finished The Girl on the Train and oh my goodness it was amazing. I enjoyed it more than Gone Girl and it's got that creepy, "what the hell is going on" vibe. I've got a few options for April and I need to get started on one. I just haven't decided yet.

Current Obsession Is this always a food, or what? Ha! This month it's Kind bars. Specifically the dark chocolate nuts & sea salt. It's my favorite.
Current Song Flo Rida's GDFR. It's just so catchy and it's going down for real....

Current Need More hours in the day. I'm not sure why my Spring has been so busy. I'm hoping for a slow down because I don't love the glorification of busy. I like the glorification of my couch.
Current Triumph Hitting 100+ running miles in March. And it's only going up from there.

Current Bane of My Existence Spring Break traffic. Go away Spring Breakers! (I am happy they bring my city revenue, but dang they drive like maniacs.)

Current Goal Burn fat. build muscle. I know, I know, I'm thin BUT, I would like to lean out a bit since I put on a few pounds during/after the ironman. Last night I got in the Bod Pod to see my body composition (body fat,  lean mass, etc.). I was pretty close in what I guessed I'd have in these numbers so at least I wasn't shocked. I fall in the "moderately lean" category, but a little bit on the higher end of it. I'd like to work on that, so the numbers I learned will help me get a more accurate count of what I should be eating calorically to keep muscle and lose fat.

Space. The final frontier...

Current Indulgence I'm having some new photos taken for the blog and doing an re-design. I don't really want to monetize but I do want it to look purty. (And my pictures are so old!)

Current Blessings The S.O., Redhead, my seester, my mom, my stepmom, and Lloyd.
Current Excitement Planning for Grandma's Marathon trip and a possible mini vacation for Memorial Day.