Thursday, December 29, 2011
I actually vow to use the treadmill as little as possible. That thing bores me to tears. My apologies to those of you who live where it gets so cold it's your only option. I've got room at the Inn if you ever need to escape to Florida. Yes, Coach Ken, that's an open invite.
Since it is the very last Thankful Thursday of 2011, and probably my last post for 2011, I figured it deserves a list. Why not end the year on a high note right? Today I am thankful for....
1. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. This book is a total guilty pleasure and I'm really stoked to see they are making it into a film. Score! What do you mean you didn't know Abe Lincoln was a vampire hunter? It's in the history books. Sheesh.
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Having read the book and seen both the American and Swedish films, I'd have to say that I'm impressed with how good the American film was. Granted, they switched around a few things and I'm not super thrilled with the ending, but over all it's a good flick.
3. Sleepytime Tea. My friend Jeff was really talking up tea during a long run and I figured that I give it a go. And sure enough, this sleepytime tea is a wonderful beverage to sip while reading ridiculous books in bed. I don't know if it helps me sleep but it is tasty and lovely on a cold night. You know, when it drops into the 60's. Heh.
4. Wiz Khalifa (particularly this song, makes me think "ahhh the folly of youth"). Yes, the majority of his songs are about weed but I can't help liking this rapper's swagger. As a long time hip-hop head I can appreciate his lyrics and like him as an alternative to Lil Wayne, whose voice really irritates me. (I know this is so random for some of you but I was really, really into rap/hip-hop as a teen and college student. No, I did not become a member of a gang or shave off my eyebrows. I just like the music.)
5. New running routes and some new running buddies. It goes without saying that my O.G. running buds are the best but since I've moved I've made an effort to meet some folks closer to my new pad and try out some new routes. I've been pleasantly surprised and am really enjoying mixing it up every week. Sometimes change is good.
6. My Mottoz Active Wear. They have really great running shirts and they are currently having a 60% off sale. I got a shirt from here for Christmas and it may be my Miami Marathon shirt. Head over there and check it out.
7. Arctic Ease Cryotherapy Wraps. As someone who always laments on having no calf muscle I was stunned to see those same puny baby cows featured on the Arctic Ease home page. Yes, my calves are famous. Please no photos. So of course I'm sending you over there to see my sweet calves (and I'm on the site elsewhere, it's like a Where's Waldo) but I also want you to check out the product. I've been wearing mine a lot this week because my shin has been acting up again. One of the best things about this product is that it fits nicely under my pants and stays cold for quite a while. Plus the added compression feels very nice on my niggly shin.
8. Suave. I was using a super high end shampoo and conditioner and it didn't smell that great nor did it make my hair look as good as it's claims. So a week or so ago I switched to Suave. And I saw an immediate difference in my hair. It smelled much better and looked way shinier. Suck it pricey name brand shampoo.
9. 306 days until Halloween!
10. A trip to see Red & Spike in the Mitten state in February. I can't wait to see them and snow! I've only seen snow twice in my life so it's always fun for me. Plus I think we may be running a 5K....stay tuned.
So barring the end of the world, I'll see all of you in 2012. Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
I finally got a new Garmin which is pretty awesome because I was previously using the Flintstone version that may or may not have had an actual bird inside keeping my pace with his beak.
"Hey lady, move your slow ass."
I opted for the 305 because I didn't want to blow my mind by jumping way up to the newest model and the price for the 305 is very reasonable. I also liked the features it offered and read about a billion reviews before deciding. I know everyone has different opinions on GPS watches and ultimately you just have to find the one that works best for you. I waited so long to get a new one because the 101 works just fine but I did want one that holds the pace versus moving up and down all the time. Stupid bird.
My long run on Saturday (18 miles) went amazingly well and I've got another 22 miler on deck for this weekend. I'll be taking a humongous nap afterward so that I am fully rested for the New Year's Eve festivities.
Speaking of New Year's Eve, I've decided that one of my resolutions will be to work on my patience. I struggle with being patient in everyday life, especially while driving or waiting in line or dealing with
idiots people. I know I could do better with this since I regularly startle myself with obscenities while driving. I know! I'm awful! I swear I'm going to work on it. Ok, well not the swearing part but you know what I mean.
What are your New Year's Resolutions? Are they more "health" oriented than mine?
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Best race experience?
I would definitely say the Cleveland Half Marathon. I got to stay the weekend with Red & Spike and ran a PR that I pulled out of my butt. I had no real expectations for this race and ran with two random guys that helped pull me along. The overall trip was awesome and I really enjoyed the cool temperatures and course.
Hm. This is a tough one since I did some travelling this year. But, I have to say the ten miler I ran while visiting a friend in California. The scenery along the beach was gorgeous, the weather was perfect, and the post run meal at Patrick's in Santa Barbara was amazing.
Best new piece of gear?
Since I did buy Dolly (my road bike) this year, I'd have to go with her. Even though we had some trouble getting used to each other (SEE: tipping over repeatedly) and she's currently getting dusty, I'm very eager to get back out there after Miami. I just don't trust myself to not fall down and go boom before that race. I know I probably wouldn't since I haven't in a while, but just in cases....In any event, she's helped me get through some tough tri's and I hope to get better on the bike in 2012.
Best piece of running advice you received?
"Trust in your training young Jedi." -Coach EK
"You're going to eat lightning and you're going to crap thunder" -Jason from Cook Train Eat Race quoting Rocky(not really advice per say but along the lines of believe in yourself!)
Most inspirational runner?
For people I know in "real" life I've got no choice but to go with KC on this one. She really amazed me with her time at IMFL (Ironman Florida). The girl hauls.
Also I'd like to give a special shout out to Red who has struggled with a stoopid injury and showed real grace getting through it. She's been supportive of all of my races even when she couldn't run and I can only imagine how tough it's been. Happy to report that she's back at it! Hallelujah!
And for folks I don't actually know I'm going with the lady who had the baby after the marathon and that really old guy who ran a marathon. HA!
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?
If I could sum up my year with regards to racing I'd say, "Fun with friends and perservering!"
What's your year looked like? Feel free to leave your responses in the comments too if you don't want to blog them.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Ever notice how the first five miles just fly by? My running bud Chris and I chatted during these first five and stopped to take our first gels. Speaking of gels, I've decided to go with Powerbar Gels. They are thinner than both Gu and Hammer and even though I don't love the way they taste, they are easier to stomach.
Again, not much to report here. Although we did see a runner in front us take a little spill. I felt bad for her but she joked about how she had too much beer the night before and got right back up. We ran by a lot of other runners at this time and I felt a tad tired at mile 10.
For whatever reason, miles 10-15 are always tougher for me. I start getting tired and thinking about how much longer I had to go. Fortunately, with a little self pep-talking I can get myself right again.
By mile 16 I felt normal again and Chris and I had to stop at about this point to help get a lost beagle off the road. A woman driving by stopped and scooped up this cute beagle that was playing frogger across the roadway. Hopefully he got home safe and sound. Too bad he wasn't wearing a collar. (Reminder to pet owners out there! Collar your pets!)
At about mile 18 my lower back started hurting. We had stepped up over a curb and I think I tweaked it. I stopped to stretch it out for a few seconds and then it felt better.
Also by mile 18 I was pushing the pace and found a second wind that was pushing me right along.
I caught up with C Steve and got to run with him for a bit and this was a pleasant surprise since I hadn't been able to chat with him lately. His lower back was bothering him too so we helped each other out by chatting and finishing up the run.
My overall pace for this run was good. I'm in line with my training plan but can't help thinking about how much slower it is than my intended goal pace. I know it's supposed to be slower but it's one of those thoughts that I'm sure we all have during training. In any event I am STOKED that this is a step down week for me because last week I hit 52 miles! I don't think I've EVER run that many miles in one week. It's not a lot for some, but dang it's a lot for me!
I hope you all had great weekends. I'm off to stalk you all now.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
It's been a pretty busy week for me and for that I'm a tired B.o.B. I had a holiday get together with the track group on Tuesday and I have three holiday events this weekend. I'm stoked but I have much to do to prepare. I also have a secret Santa at the office tomorrow. Whew! I feel as though the older I get the busier I get during this time of year. It's bananas!
I do like the holiday stuff but I am one of those people who gets a little blue a la' Elvis around this time of year. I have never been a huge holiday person since I REALLY love Halloween, but I must admit that I enjoy the parties and food. Man oh man, the food. Heh. It's also tougher because I miss my dad more around the holidays.
In any event, tonight I'm hitting up a local pub run that is Christmas themed. I'm gonna don(ner) some fun socks and dash(er) about while checking out twinkly lights. And that's all I've got by way of reindeer puns.
One of the other awesome things that typically happens around this time of year is the annual work review. In looking back at my jobby-job this year, I definitely busted my hump and had a great review. I'm thankful that I got a raise from that review because living by oneself ain't cheap!
So today I'm thankful for: holiday themed runs, Christmas socks, reindeer puns, lots of fun events, amazing holiday food, a perfectly timed and mucho needed raise, and Elvis.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
So what are you thankful for today?
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
We had an Ugly Sweater/Ornament Exchange over dinner. Red's shirt says "Grinch better have my presents!"
After the exchange we changed clothes and headed to our favorite Orlando bar to dance and laugh the night away.
As most of you know I've been hitting my training runs hard during this marathon cycle and I have made mention of a "lofty" goal. Before I get into this "lofty" goal (AKA The Elephant) I need to tell a little story of my actual most controversial post.
Picture it. Florida, 2009 (or early '10, I'm not an elephant. I forget.). A new-ish runner/blogger named B.o.B. writes a post about what all the hubbub is surrounding the Boston Marathon. Said newish runner hurts some feelings, gets folks all riled up, feels really bad about it and takes down post.
Honestly, I used to think the Boston Marathon was a crazy obsession. (SEE: why I hurt some feelings.) And since I was no where near being fast enough I would joke that I'd have to get there when I was 80 or when my age and the time just converged organically.
The thing is, after the that post, I talked with my running buds about it and they all had different reasons for wanting to qualify and most of those reasons were really just about setting a goal and reaching it. Or qualifying with friends. Or just flat out feeling good about themselves and using it to get through rough patches in life. Hell, isn't that what running in general is all about? In my naivety I didn't understand this and still feel sheepish for having written that post. Who was I to crap on someone's dream?
All of that being said, I started getting faster. I started looking at those qualifying times. I started wondering if I could do it. I wondered if I should just push myself or keep my goals more manageable. But of course, like my typical maniac self (SEE: ran first
Granted, I have to cut A LOT of time to qualify. I went back and forth on writing this post because I wondered how I would feel if I didn't qualify and had to face you all and also how I was basically eating my words from a few years ago...but then I remembered how awesome and supportive this blog community is. I am human! You all are human! What the crap am I so worried about? People make mistakes and if I don't qualify, it's OK.
As I said in my first look at this BQ stuff, if it happens for me when the stars align then that's when it's supposed to happen. And the beauty of setting such a lofty goal is that even if I don't hit the goal time needed to BQ I'll still have a shot at a killer PR. Not to mention, a wonderful trip to Miami with about 30 of my running buds. It's really a win-win regardless of what happens.
What are your thoughts on the BQ stuff? Are or were they the same as mine?
Thursday, December 8, 2011
In a sense those great runs are like the golden children while the not-so-great runs get shoved aside like runts of the litter. But today I'd like to honor those shitty runs because they really do help make us stronger. I'm thankful for each and everyone of them.
And of course, I'm drawing on reality here because I've had a few butt kickers this week and after each one I think, "I did it!" And it truly helps me get some confidence boosting that I need before a big race. SEE: Miami Marathon.
On Tuesday's pace run I felt awful. I had the PC's (poopy cramps) and I was tired. I had to run 7 miles at race pace with a mile warm up and a mile cool down. I almost didn't even do the pace run but I kept telling myself that I'll look back on my training and either be proud of the work I put in or I'll be upset that I didn't push myself through these tough days. As soon as my Garmin beeped for that first mile I picked it up and made it to the two and half mile mark, all the while praying for an open bathroom. Fortunately, I just so happened to come across a rec center I'd never seen before and it was open. Hallelujah! I managed to gut out the rest of that run and let's just say my cool down mile was very cool. I may have been passed by an actual turtle. But I got it done and I thank that run for showing me that I can get through those low points.
As another example, this morning's medium long run was also tough. I stupidly scheduled myself into a corner and had no choice but to run it this morning since I have dinner plans tonight after work. Let me point out that scheduling an eight miler after a serious track work out isn't the smartest idea I've ever had. The track work included three intervals: 1,200 then 2,800 then 1,200 again. Holy crap.
Thus this AM when I got to mile four I was feeling it. Even though I had great company on this run I had to ask for a water break at mile five and was seriously considering throwing in the towel. But at that water stop I again asked myself about my training and how I'd feel if I quit this run. (It also helped that said running buddy started humming the theme from Rocky.) You know how this story ends. I finished the run and stayed within my target pace. Thank you sucky suck run!
Today I'm thankful for runs that suck. I'm thankful for those difficult runs that you just gut through and feel even more awesome for having finished them.
What are you thankful for today?
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Thanks to help from running buddy Jeff I managed to hold a nice long run pace and only turned into a merchant marine with a mile left. Fortunately, Jeff told me he still likes me even after a 20 mile run which is difficult to do sometimes since I do venture into the bite me zone at that point. Cute K knows all about this....
In other awesome weekend news I volunteered at the BRA half mary and 5K on Sunday. I love volunteering at this race because the running group has done so much for me and I consider each and every one of them family. Everyone who ran did great and I was SO proud of my cousin Mark who ran his first ever 5K. I ran him in almost to the finish and then told him to kick it in and he did. Way to represent Cuz!
Other than my run and volunteering I got some stuff done around my new pad and went to the annual extended family holiday party. I must admit that going to a party with a plethora of food after a 20 mile run does not do much by way of "healthy eating." Let's just say I made our Cuban food buffet my bitch.
Now about that honey badger...
A little motivation for the racers. What was really hilarious was this young guy, maybe in his early 20's, was in the top ten finishing the half when he saw my sign. He turned around and ran backwards all while yelling, "Look at the honey badger! He runs backwards!" Oh my lord, it killed me. I was cracking up.
Some of the lovely ladies from the BRA who showed what true honey badger gangsta faces look like. And finally P-Funk and I debating the age old question of who is most awesome. She says me, I say her. It's really quite the debate.
And of course, I'm rocking my Punk Rock Racing tee. I love the question about what the HTFU means. I'm not telling. You'll have to figure that one out on your own. Peace!
Friday, December 2, 2011
Anyway, I haven't run that distance since my last full marathon so it's only normal that I'd feel a wee bit anxious about it. I've got my meals all planned out for today and am mentally preparing for those last few miles that are probably going to be somewhat painful. It is afterall, TWENTY FRICKIN' MILES!
For this long run I'm going to channel none other than the honey badger. This honey badger attitude seemed to help out KC on her amazing Ironman so tomorrow, I'll run that 20 and not give a shit. Cause the B.o.B. don't care.
If you haven't seen this video already you may be living under a rock. But just in case you are a rock dweller it's NSFW (not safe for work) so enjoy it at your home and don't let the kiddies see!
Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend. I'll catch you all on the flip flop.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
We did 4 x 1600 (1 mile) repeats. And if that wasn't crazy enough we did them at our 5K pace and cut five seconds off each repeat save for the last one. So, for me, it was 7:10, 7:05, 7:00 and then we got a little reprieve back to 7:10 for the last one. Sheesh! Talk about a workout!
I did love the break from the 800's and really appreciated how this coach times each one of your laps and watches your form. (He yelled for me to lower my arms a few times since I tend to run with them up high. Not sure what that's all about.) This workout out is sort of like having a personal trainer at the track. And yes, I pay for it, but if it helps me get stronger, it'll be worth it. I'm investing in me!
Today, I'm thankful for a butt-kicking-non-puking-track workout.
But wait! There's more!
This morning we Floridians woke to some much colder temps then we've had in a while and I personally LOVE it. It was a little below 50 degrees as I headed out to my morning medium long run and I wasn't too surprised to see the running route, which is normally full of people, a little bit sparse. Wusses. Heh.
Today, I'm thankful for cold fronts.
But wait! There's still more!
My stepmom and I recently went shopping and she purchased a cool new running outfit for me. I'm calling these pants my Flashdance Ass Pants because they are so flashy and tight on my behind. Heh. They are super comfortable and great for those aforementioned cold fronts. Please disregard my post run sweaty pit. Gross! (Said like Napolean Dynamite)
Today, I'm thankful for Flashdance Ass Pants. Get your very own HERE.
But wait! There's one more!
Notice what I'm holding in the photo above? Yup. It's my Advent Calendar. It's December 1st and I had a lovely breakfast that started with...CHOCOLATE! Om nom nom nom!
Today, I'm thankful for the Advent Calendar and it's tiny but delicious daily chocolates.
What are you thankful for today?