Friday, June 28, 2013

Running Luck in Philly

When I was writing out my responses for one of those running memes recently, one of the questions was the primary reason that I run.  As in, if all the other reasons to run weren't there, which one would make me do it. 

If you had to run the same route every day, would you run? 

If you didn't burn a single calorie, would you run?

If there were no races, would you run?

If there were no way to run outdoors, would you run?

You get the idea.

While I think I'd still run if I had to always run alone, my favorite part of running is definitely the social part.  I've written many times about my running buddies.  Many of my best friends in the world are people with whom I run.  And also interesting and notable, I think many of the people who know me best are my running buddies. 

They know the everyday and the big picture stuff.  They know what I watch on tv, they know when things are busy at work, they know when I'm planning a trip, they know about my family, they sometimes know what I had for dinner the night before, they know what the plan is for the remainder of my day most Sundays, they know about my plans for the future, they sometimes even know when I've had sex -- if it's one of "those" running conversations! 

So traveling for work puts a damper on my running life.  While I could run alone when I'm out of town for work (and I often do), that's tough right now because of my training schedule. 

It's easy enough for me to do solo "easy" miles, and I can usually manage to do track work alone if necessary, but for something like tempo miles, or any kind of faster road running, I'm much better off if I have a group.  If I'm left to my own devices, particularly in an unfamiliar city, it's very easy for me to slip into an easy pace. 

The schedule for yesterday was 1 mile easy, 1 mile easy with 5 sets of strides (20 second pick-ups), then 2 miles at marathon pace, half mile recovery, 2 miles at marathon pace, half mile recovery, 2 miles cool down. 

But it wasn't straight up marathon pace for the 2 sets of 2 miles.  Instead, what our coach wanted us to focus on was correcting for terrain.  For example, if your goal marathon pace is 8:00 per mile, and you ran mile 1 in 7:54 because there was some downhill or you'd mis-paced a bit, then you were supposed to focus on making mile 2 be at an 8:06 pace.  The goal was to take advantage of the terrain and make sure the 2 mile average came out correctly.  Even if there was a lot of variation between the two miles. 

I decided to do some research before this trip to Philly to look at running groups to meet.  One of the times I was here recently, I was running in the hotel gym on a treadmill that looked out onto the street and I saw a couple groups of runners pass by and I wished so much I was with them. 

I found a group called the Fairmount Running Club.  Most running groups in Philly seem to meet up in the evenings -- something almost no one in Dallas does.  But this group had a Thursday morning run. 

According to their website:  Thursday MORNINGS at 6am, the group meets at Lloyd Hall for a 5-mile run at a moderate pace (about 8:30/mile).

So that would be 5 miles, plus I figured it would take me about 2 miles to get from the hotel to Lloyd Hall, and then 2 miles back, which would get me to the 9 miles I had on the schedule.

I planned to leave the hotel dark and early around 5:30 just to be safe in case I had trouble finding the meeting spot.  But surprise, on Jun 27 in Philadelphia, it isn't dark at 5:30 a.m.!  That was a lovely surprise.  I got directions at the front desk and set out.  It was only about 1.5 miles to the meeting spot and as soon as I got there, I found a guy in a Fairmount Running Club shirt -- easy enough!

Turns out the very first guy I met was the president of the club.  As we waited for 6:00, the group slowly grew.  I think there were about 8-10 of us when we set out for the 5 mile run.  The first mile was pretty easy and somewhat slow, but then we all seemed to gradually pick up the pace and it was great.  I mostly ran with the Club president and for 2 miles, with the leader of the Thursday morning runs (she had to get to work early, so she u-turned after 2 miles, instead of the full 2.5).  Turns out he's on summer vacation right now and has a 17 month old daughter.  He's a health teacher for grades 6-12, which I thought was really interesting, particularly since health class at that age can include sex ed and birth control.  In Texas and much of the Bible Belt, those are very tricky subjects.  There is a very vocal group that argues that any sex ed promotes sexual activity and that only abstinence should be taught.  Obviously since I don't have kids and I'm not a teacher, I don't know much about how it works in Texas, but I know people get fired up about it.  He talked about he taught it and you could just tell that he's great at his job.  He also talked about nutrition and fitness units that he taught.  What a fun job!  He mentioned a diet that he and his wife are trying, and the miles just flew by. 

Well, in the interest of full disclosure, the miles largely flew by because we weren't running at the stated pace, but that was fine with me.  The group spread out a bit, but when he and I stopped for water on the way back, two others caught up to us.  Then I ran the rest of the way back with the three of them, talking about running, the city, everything. 

And as a bonus, it turned out that one of the women was running home after the run and she offered to run me back to my hotel.  She took me a much faster and more scenic way (along the river instead of through the city streets with stoplights).  We ran past where she works now, and we took a short detour to run to a very pretty park (Rittenhouse Park?  Square?) and she pointed out two suggested places for me to grab breakfast.  When I got to the hotel, we parted ways, and I came up to grab my credit card.  I was still about .3 miles short on distance, but I wanted to text my husband and tell him that the Fairmount Running Club is not composed of serial killers.  Anyway, after letting him know I'd survived, I headed back out to run to one of the bakeries Sue had shown me, and I finished up my 9 scheduled miles. 

Totally awesome morning.  Runners are the best.  I love my running buddies, but it's clear that there are awesome running buddies to be found all over the world.  I'm already thinking that I'll have to schedule my flights for future Philly trips so that I can join them for a few more runs. 

I feel like I really lucked out!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Philadelphia Hotel Mystery

This was just too much confusion after a travel day that turned out to be much longer than it should have been:

In order.

What they handed me at the front desk (note the room number): 

What I saw when I got off the elevator on the 11th floor:

A close-up of that sign since the photo was blurry (just wanted to show there wasn't another sign nearby or anything in the photo above): 
So yes, I was confused.  After a few minutes of wandering the hall, I actually gave up.  Oppressively tired, feet hurt, hungry, crabby.  I just went down to the lobby and asked for a room on lower floor.  Thankfully, I didn't get x10 (I got 618 instead).  Whew.  Problem solved. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Vera travel collection

I feel like I could be a walking billboard for Vera Bradley when I have to travel for work, as I do this week.  Actually, pretty much I feel like I could be a walking billboard for Vera Bradley when I travel for pleasure too (though sometimes I'll take a rolling suitcase, and I don't have a Vera rolling suitcase (at least not at this point)). 

My total Vera Bradley travel collection for this trip:  my newest piece at the top (a brown overnight bag), my brown laptop bag, my brown purse, my brown wallet, my brown print wristlet (not even sure why I carry my purse anymore, this is usually all I need), my purple print liquids case, and my blue print makeup bag.  I guess also pictured are my other traveling essentials -- an apple, grapes, and my water bottle. 

I think for my trip next week, I'll actually have to take my rolling suitcase instead of the overnight bag, since after I'm done working in Philly, I'm going to head down to DC for the Fourth of July with friends and a possible road trip to Charlottesville to see other friends. 

Here's hoping for smooth travel and massive victory at the case that is all teed up in Philly! 

Monday, June 24, 2013

FMM: Ten Simple Questions

Can't believe it's already Monday and there's a crazy week ahead, complete with our twice-a-year audit at work for which I've been prepping for weeks, and a two-day trip to Philly right in the middle of it!  Ugh!  If I can make it to the Fourth of July, I will have survived the audit and two work trips to Philly, and then I'll get to relax and enjoy a 4-day weekend in DC with some great girlfriends.  So I just have to push hard for a week and a half.  I can do this...

The weekend was awesome.  Almost all day Saturday was a friend's pool party -- I had a fun and relaxing day, even if there were far too many jello shots involved for me to feel remotely good by the time I got home.  Thankfully hubby wasn't drinking and managed to convince me to leave relatively early, so I still managed to get up and head out for 13 miles with friends on Sunday morning.  The run was starting to get ugly toward the last 4 miles and I was running solo (if you know me, that is a very good indicator of my level of misery), but then I happened to come up on a few more people, one of whom was a guy I ran with a lot last year.  He hopped on to my pace and we took off together.  When I started slowing down, he kept me going.  That was really nice.  The rest of Sunday was laundry, cleaning, hot yoga (not Bikram, this was something called Sunstone yoga that a friend invited me to, 98 degrees, some Bikram postures but only one set, and only one hour, much fun).  And the highlight of Sunday was dinner at a friend's house.  She was the translator at our wedding (our ceremony was done in English since my parents really cared about using their priest who married my brothers, but of course we thought that a ceremony in English would be rude for all the Italians, so one of our bilingual friends read a translation, so we did our vows in both languages).  We have her and her boyfriend over for dinner every so often, but it's usually a dinner party with at least one other couple there, sometimes several, so there's less time to talk and really catch up.  So dinner at her house was perfect for that.  She made a veggie lasagna that was great and a ricotta cheesecake that was good too.  And she sent us home with leftovers, so hubby will be well-fed while I'm traveling. 

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Ten Simple Questions
1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?  No idea, I think I was probably looking at my hair to make sure my ponytail was pretty straight and there weren't any big hair bubbles.  I don't spend much time looking in the mirror before I go work out, it's mostly just to make sure I'm decent and my hair is back.

2. Do you prefer to pay for things with cash or plastic? I almost always use plastic (credit specifically).  I probably spend less than $100 cash all year.  I always pay my card off in full every month (and now I don't even have to buy a stamp to mail a check since I pay the bill online, so I really don't feel like it costs me anything).  I mostly like using a card because I love having the record of my spending (and of course the points are great too, and not worrying about losing it and being out money). 

3. What is one word that you use too often? Can't really think of one.  As a first year lawyer, at our firm we were all videotaped and critiqued, so that was a big lesson.  I cut out my tendency to speak in run-on sentences, my tendency to say like or you know or umm, my tendency to seek feedback, etc.  Now, the word I use too often is probably "sure" -- over-committing, over-promising, over-booking...

4. Who is the last person outside of your family who said “I love you” to you?  It was one of my best local friends on Tuesday night of last week.  She waited at her house for me to run there on my commute home from work, then she ran to the track with me.  We both did a few events at the track meet and I told her I loved her right before she ran back home and I drove home with hubby.  I've probably said "I love you" about 100 times since then, but all those were to family. 

5. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone and mailed it? Not sure.  Probably about ten days ago when I was doing Father's Day cards. 

6. Have you ever been called upon for jury duty? Yes, I wrote a big post out of boredom about how the collossal waste of time unfolded for me.

7. How many keys are on your key ring?   Just my car key and a tiny squeeze flashlight.  The car key ring has a little connector so it can connect to a bigger keyring with our housekey, hubby's car key, our mailbox key, and maybe a couple other random keys, but obviously I can't carry all those when I run, so basically I just keep the car key by itself.  I can't remember the last time I connected the two rings; I sometimes do it if I'm traveling. 

8. List two characteristics that you want to change about yourself. I would like to be less argumentative/opinionated, and I'd like to be more patient. 

9. Do you bring your own shampoo and conditioner when you travel, or do you use what the hotel provides? I use the hotel stuff.  I usually bring my own conditioner for those random hotels (or family member homes) that don't have any, but if it's there, that's what I use.  One thing that sucks about our new corporate parent company at work is rate caps on hotels.  I used to get to stay a lot at the Four Seasons when I travel, and they have l'Occitane products, which I love.  Now the hotels are for more mediocre.  This week is a Doubletree I think, and next week is a Kimpton Inn, which is my best friend's favorite chain and will be new to me. 

10. What is your birthstone? Do you like it?  Mine is a peridot, which is green.  It's okay.  I have some earrings and maybe a ring.  I should wear peridot jewelry more often because I think green looks pretty good on me. 

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions. Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments! Happy Monday, friends……

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Moments

On Tuesday night for unknown reasons, as I was getting ready for bed, my husband brushed my hair for me.  This is one of my favorite things in the world.  Actually, don't tell him this, but having pretty much anyone brush my hair is one of my favorite things in the world.  Very few people do that of course, mostly just my mom, my hairdresser, and my husband, but ahhh, I love it. 

I decided it was my favorite moment of the day.  And then I decided to try to recount my other favorite moments of the day, in order.  I'm sure it was more fun for me to make the list than it was for him to hear it, but oh well. 

I'm going to try to remember them now and then look back at this list if I need a boost.

June 18, 2013, happy moments.  Just a random day. 

1.  Having hubby brush my hair after I took out the ponytail before bed.

2.  The first bite of tofu for lunch at Seasons 52 with work friends and a visiting attorney.  It had a mango chutney on it and it was so good, and more importantly, so much better than I expected. 

3.  Getting a PR by 1.5 inches in the long jump at the track meet.

4.  Hearing my name being called during the first event in which I competed at the track meet (the 1500 meter race) and recognizing the voice and realizing that unexpectedly a very good running buddy (who has since ditched me to run his sub-3:00 marathons) was there cheering for me.

5.  Getting a PR in the 800 meter race (still not a fast overall time, but this is not a good distance for me). 

6.  Having two people to run with on the way to the track meet after work -- my accounting buddy (who set a new personal distance record for non-stop running of 1.2 miles) and one of my longest time friends in Dallas, who was coming to compete in her first track meet and met us at her house along the way. 

7.  Having a piece of blueberry icebox pie that had been in the freezer for dessert around 9:00 on Tuesday night.  When I made the pie and it was clear the 5 of us wouldn't finish it, my local bestie suggested I freeze a few individual pieces for "hot summer night" treats.  And after a track meet, it was absolutely perfect. 

8.  An unexpectedly easy morning run since the group run, which was scheduled to be tough, was cancelled for lightning in the area, so it was a solo short and easy run, and some nap time at home before getting ready for work.  It was almost like finding out about a snow day when I was a kid.  Except I was all dressed and ready to go before I realized it was cancelled. 

9.  Feeling like I finally made a dent in the huge list of files I need to review before our twice-a-year audit at work next week.  As of Monday, I hadn't even scratched the surface, but by Tuesday evening, I felt like I'd made progress. 

10.  Hubby went for a run.  That was great news to me because it meant he felt sufficiently recovered from his surgery 10 days ago, and the second procedure the day before to remove the stints.  It meant he was not on pain meds, which meant I could go to the office rather than attempting to work from home. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Kicks

For several days last week, I was hurting.  My right hamstring seemed really tight, and the biceps femoris on that leg was tender.  Usually I can identify where exactly it hurts by probing my leg, but this didn't seem to be one spot in particular.  But when I bent my leg at 90 or more degrees, ooh, lots of pain.  I also noticed it when going down stairs. 

I did what any stupid runner would do -- I followed my schedule.  It was sore on Thursday, but I ran the scheduled 8.2 easy miles, plus I ran to work for another 3.7 miles.  Friday, my day as Superwoman, I ran the 6 mile hill loop (aka the mountain route).  It was tender the first quarter mile, but then there was no pain (well, pain in my lungs, but not the same).  I ended up resting on Saturday (which is actually okay per the schedule), and I ran 12 miles on Sunday, which ended up a bit of a train wreck due to poor pacing (90%) and leg pain (10%).  Monday was boot camp, Tuesday was a few solo miles since there was a thunderstorm, then my run home from work, and the track meet. 

In between the running times, I was being pretty good about icing it and using biofreeze (or actually something called Freezepain I think, whatever they had when my husband asked for biofreeze at the store).  Not so good about the RCE part of RICE. 

At some point, a light bulb went off in my head. 

Pain sometimes means it's time for new shoes.


I am currently rotating two pairs heavily, and two pairs lightly.  But both the heavy rotation shoes were more than 4 months old.

This year so far, I'm at about 850 miles of running.  I haven't tried to break out shoe totals, but just a rough guess is probably about 375 miles per heavy rotation shoe, and 100 miles for the light rotation running shoe. 

And for me, shoes usually max out around 400 miles.  If my calculations are a bit off, then my heavy rotation shoes are done.  If my calculations are right, I could wear them for about another week or two.  I really need to be better about tracking the shoe mileage. 

So I bought new shoes. 

I planned to run in them Tuesday morning, but it was threatening rain and I always like the first dozen or so runs to be dry.  But I finally put them on to go to work yesterday, and I was pain-free.

It could be coincidence, the pain in my hamstring and biceps femoris was already getting better I have no doubt, but either way, it's a fairly simple fix and one I can't believe I didn't think of sooner.

In exciting shoe news, after about 2 years of cheating on my Brooks Glycerin by flirting with Mizune Waverunner and Adidas Supernova, my new pair is Brooks Glycerin again.  Ahh...

Unfortunately, there are 3 color choices, only one in stock at my local running store.  I decided to go with the "in stock" color because I am going to order another color to be my marathon day shoe (will match my outfit better).  So that means my new kicks are hideous neon yellow.  I feel like I'm not fast enough to pull off this color, but oh well. 

Oh, and double unfortunately, with the redesign, the price went up another $10.  That means $150 a pop on shoes now.  Oh well, it's the cost of doing business I guess, and since running is my main hobby, it makes sense that I'd spend money on it. 

Bright yellow, with my Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon socks!

"Yeah, I got on sneaks, but I need a new pair..."  (Name that tune!)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Delayed post, but I have to memorialize my day last week Friday, 6-14-13, as superwoman.

There was an awesome quote on American Dad some time ago -- the two main characters go over to someone's house for dinner and it's an awesome meal and the hostess looks lovely.  The woman says something like, "oh, this?  It's nothing.  I just worked all day, came home and put down my lawyer briefcase and threw this together." 

That was me on Friday.  Superwoman. 

I got up early and ran the 10k "mountain" loop with my friends at a pace that I was proud of -- about 30 seconds per mile slower than my goal marathon pace.  Star athlete.  Superwoman element 1. 

I came home and took a shower -- not alone.  Wink.  Sexy wife.  Superwoman element 2.

I went downstairs and started working around 7 a.m., and didn't stop.  I have to track my time for work (most lawyers in law firms are used to this, but I work for a company so it's kind of unusual that I have to track time).  We don't have minimum hours or anything like that, but my goal is usually to account for 8 hours per weekday.  Well, on Friday, I sat down and promptly worked for 12.3 hours.  Power lawyer.  Superwoman element 3.

Just after 7, I got up to whip together dinner just for the two of us, nothing complicated, just heating up stuff from the fridge, but a delicious and nutritious dinner.  Personal chef.  Superwoman element 4.

Then I finished making a cake for hubby's best friend's wife's 44th birthday that night.  I'd baked the layers earlier in the day, so all I had to do was the filling, the frosting, and the assembly.  Easy enough.  Fantastic baker.  Superwoman element 5.

Topping the third layer of cake, it was a total of four layers: 

Finished product:

And then we drove to their house for a little birthday party for her, where we stayed far later than we've been out in recent memory.  Drinking, eating cake, laughing with friends.  Social butterfly.  Superwoman element 6.

The cake was too tall for the dome to fit over it, so I just held it securely on the floor while we drove to their house: 

How about that?!   A total superwoman kind of day.  I was kind of in awe of it myself.  The keys really were getting TONS of work done and making a cake from scratch.  Without those, it could have just been any given day. 

Instead of being able to share the actual American Dad quote that I was thinking of, this has always been a favorite:

Friday was the closest I've been in ages to being not in the "pick any two" category. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

FMM: Just Wondering

Had a crazy good weekend that I will have to write about later.  And I'm working from home today because hubby had his surgery follow-up appointment this afternoon (and we're already back from the hospital and it went very well!). 

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Just Wondering

1. Do you wear glasses and/or contacts? Yes, contacts usually but on the rare day when I don't workout, then sometimes I'll wear my glasses instead.  I really can't imagine running in regular glasses, and I can't imagine running without them (too dangerous).  I've thought about doing Lasik or something similar, but now I'm just a few years away from 40 so I kind of want to wait and see if my eyes change at all. 

2. Do you have summer vacation plans? If so, where are you going? Well, a couple trips to Philly for work in the next few weeks.  A trip to Pittsburgh at the end of July to visit the in-laws.  A trip to Kansas City at the end of August for my 20th high school reunion.  But nothing big or long -- our big trip starts on Sept. 25 to Europe, and we'll be back in the middle of October. 

3. What is your favorite food to eat for breakfast? I do smoothies almost every day with spinach, peaches, strawberries, blueberries and sometimes other fruit, plus soy milk and protein powder.  But in terms of favorite foods, my mom makes an amazing bread that we eat on Christmas, and she also makes a now vegetarian version for me of creamed chipped beef on toast, and in general, I looooove a good order of blueberry pancakes or some fancy french toast.  But 98% of days, it's the smoothie...

4. Do you enjoy window shopping?  Not particularly.  I don't like shopping in general, and when I do shop, I'd rather buy.

5. What is your favorite candle scent? I'm not a summer candle person -- it's like 100 degrees here already.  In general, I like vanilla candles and I love the usual fall scents. 

6. If you had to choose between going to a zoo or an aquarium, which one would you pick?  Hmm, growing up (actually until I was about 26), zoos were some of my favorite places in the world, but I've started to have second thoughts about keeping animals cooped up like that for human enjoyment primarily.  Aquariums have always been fun though and don't bother me in the slightest! 
7. How many times do you plan to exercise this week?  Probably all 7 days.  Did a long run Sunday and nothing else, boot camp today and nothing else.  Tomorrow will be running with my friends, then running to work, then running to the track, then the track meet (4 workouts!), Wed. will be boot camp, running to work, running home (3 workouts!), Thurs. will be running with friends then running to work (2 workouts!), Fri. will be running with friends.  Not sure yet about Saturday -- probably running alone or with hubby, and possibly yoga. 

8. Do you speak another language fluently?  Yes, Italian.  I minored in French in college, so I also understand that, but I haven't spoken it in years really.  I have some very basic functionality in Mandarin, but that's mostly just communicating what I need to say (understanding is hard), and it's not even close to fluency. 

9. What are you currently reading? I’m finishing up Lean In, and the Lost and Forgotten Languages of ShangHai, and I'm just starting Olive Kitteridge. 

10. What are you looking forward to most in the coming week?  Either the track meet tomorrow night or a pool party with friends Saturday. 

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions. Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments, and say hi to someone new this week. Happy Monday! 

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Monumental Shift

Okay, for about six years now, I have had the same basic breakdown of training days. 

Sundays -- long run with my running buddies
Mondays -- boot camp, sometimes at a very easy effort if the Sunday run was long/tough
Tuesdays -- group run with my running buddies
Wednesdays -- boot camp
Thursdays -- group run with my running buddies
Fridays -- boot camp
Saturdays -- race or rest

And since November, I've tacked on 7.5 commuting miles on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 3.75 commuting miles on Thursdays. 

But still, the routine was the routine. 

It's official to say it has now changed.  It's only been a couple weeks, but the plan is that this change is permanent, at least until after the Berlin marathon.

I am now skipping boot camp on Fridays and instead doing a 10k hill loop with my running buddies. 

In some ways, this sucks because a.) I pay for boot camp, even if I'm only going two days per week, and b.) one of my favorite things about boot camp is working out with hubby.

But I'm serious about hitting my goal time in Berlin, and hills are a major running weakness for me (it doesn't help that I live in pancake-flat Dallas).  So this is what must be done.

And I can no longer say Dallas is pancake flat.  There is apparently a mountain range right in the middle of the city that I somehow never noticed.  It starts on "Mount Flagpole" and is a huge range of six mountains with very steep climbs.  Or at least that's how it feels on the 10k mountain loop.  Haha.  Someone who runs somewhere with hills would probably still laugh at this loop, but it seriously kicks my @ss, and that can't be a bad thing! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vision Check

I almost didn't even see it...


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Back to Work

My husband had surgery on Thursday morning and today, Wednesday, is going to be my first day going back to the office since.  He was in a lot of pain until yesterday.  Yesterday morning he took Tylenol instead of pain meds, but by lunch time, he was hurting and was back on pain meds.  I've been reluctant to leave him home alone while on the meds.  We have two flights of stairs and while he's not drunk loopy on the meds, part of me worries so much that he'll fall or something.  His follow-up procedure to remove the stints is set for Monday, but that should involve less blood/bandaging and less pain hopefully.  He's set to go back to work at the end of next week.  He's been going a little stir-crazy.  Lots of tv and lots of napping.  So I think he'll try hard to stay on just Tylenol today so that he'll be able to drive if he wants to go anywhere.

One bonus of his time at home -- we have booked almost all our hotels for our trip in the fall.  We prepaid a room in Berlin for 4 nights.  We booked a room in Venice at a hotel that looks amazing.  And we booked a room for our one night in Amsterdam to break up the trip home and give us a direct flight.  When we're in Lamezia Terme, Italy (Nicastro), we'll stay with hubby's family.  And when we're in Munich for Oktoberfest, we'll hopefully stay with a friend of mine from high school, but we need to book a back-up hotel just in case. 

Anyway, I'm ready to get back to work.  I can do a lot of my job from home, but for the cases where I have to confer with my boss, I much prefer to do that in person, so I've saved all those matters for today. 

It's going to be busy, but it will be nice to be back into a routine.  Thus far, I haven't left hubby alone at all except when I've gone to run or to boot camp, so I have a feeling I'm going to feel a need to check in quite frequently, but hopefully he's turned a corner. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Race Bibs

I am a horribly sentimental person who is overly attached to "things" -- possibly because I have a poor memory, possibly because I live in a fairly spacious place so there's no need to purge, possibly because I'm cheap and try to reuse things, who knows why.  The end result is that I keep too much stuff.  Fortunately, I don't like shopping much, so my house and closet are full of things I've had for a long time, many of which has sentimental value.  And because our house is not excessively cluttered, there's no particular reason to purge.  I need to force myself to do it anyway, but the mood seems to be rare...

One place that is becoming overly cluttered however is the corner of the tall dresser in our bedroom over which I drape my medals. 

Hanging medals wouldn't be bad if it were just marathon medals, since I only have 16 of those.  But I hang ALL medals there.  Half medals, age group award medals, random 10k medals, whatever.  And the stack is out of control.  My husband is now afraid to hang any medal up there because he doesn't want to be the person who topples the stack.

So for a while, I've been brainstorming what I wanted to do with all those medals (probably just the non-marathon ones). 

Somewhere, probably Pinterest, I saw the idea of a "motivation wall."  And the more I thought about it, the more I thought I'd like to do that in my garage.

Basically, I would mount all of our race bibs, which I have also saved, on the wall, and then I was thinking I would hang any medals from those races nearby.  I think I will likely keep the marathon medals in the bedroom, but all other race medals can go in the garage.

One pre-project was to get our race bibs in order.  I decided to combine all our race bibs (so if we ever get divorced, among the many other things in my life that would fall apart, the garage motivation wall would be a disaster) and put them in chronological order. 

I have done over 100 road races so far, and I have almost every single bib.  On the back after the race, I'd usually write my time, any comments (like weather, mile splits), any AG award, whether it was a PR, etc. 

So within the last week I finally pulled them all together (they were in a drawer already and in rough chronological order), and put them onto a large ring. 

I'm so glad that I have my bib from my very first race -- it will be a decade old later this year! 

So next step I think is to buy a gazillion of those command strips so I can hang the bibs without damaging the wall (in case the project sucks).  And then I just need to find a long weekend day to get to work. 

The ring of bibs:


First adult race bib:
Guess I will put those command strips on the grocery list so that I can complete step 2 of this project, then there really will be no excuse not to move forward with step 3 (unless it gets really hot, then I'll have to wait until the fall since our garage gets warm). 

Monday, June 10, 2013

FMM: How Do You Celebrate

My weekend was wonderful -- hubby is all drugged up from his surgery, so we spent tons of time just hanging out and watching TV yesterday, but he was okay on his own for a few hours when I left to do my long run.  Saturday was "Uptown Blueberry Festival 2013" with my local bestie and her sister.  We had a 5k, then blueberry pancakes, then a special video viewing of Cowboy Max, a craft project (shrinky dinks), ice cream, napping, and then a big blueberry themed dinner. 

Our craft project -- five participants (mine's in the upper right if you turn your head sideways, with the cowboy hat, an ice cream cone, a squirrel (eichhornchen in German), a blueberry, and what was supposed to be a picture of blueberry pancakes):

Our blueberry pancakes breakfast prepared by my local bestie, with bacon and veg sausage, and eggs as supplements to the pancakes: 

Bestie's sister's boyfriend, sister and niece, all eating ice cream, and her sister is wearing the blueberry shirts we made for last year's craft project: 

The blueberry dinner I made (mushrooms, tofu topped with blueberry compote, and blueberry risotto):

Salad (avocado, mango, onion and blueberry): 

And dessert, blueberry icebox pie: 
So now it's Monday, but I'm staying home and working from here today since hubby is still drugged up and I don't want him to be by himself.
If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

How Do You Celebrate?
1. When is your birthday?  End of August, it was actually on my very first day of law school, and I was paranoid I'd be cold-called because of my birthday, but Virginia isn't a big cold-calling school fortunately!

2. Do you like to celebrate it or do you prefer to keep it quiet?  Half-and-half.  I'd be content if no one at work knew (usually they hang up a banner outside your office and you get a bunch of birthday emails).  But growing up, we always got to pick what was on the menu for dinner (I always chose steak (yes, pre-vegetarian, I LOVED steak!), peas, and macaroni and cheese and/or baked potatoes).  And I always picked lemon pound cake for dessert.  Now, usually we go out for dinner (I usually pick a taco place or pizza place in our neighborhood), or occasionally hubby brings in dinner from our neighborhood tapas place, and then he usually brings me a single Sprinkles cupcake for dessert.  One time he had a special no-nut carrot cake made at the bakery next door to our place -- that was my favorite and we shared it that night with about 10 people with whom we had dinner. 

3. Have you ever had a surprise party? No, but it would be fun.  But I'm a planner, so it would be tough for hubby to pull it off.  Maybe for my 40th?

4. What sign are you? Does it represent you well?  My sign is Virgo and from what I know about it, organized, clean, demanding, picky, focused, it's pretty accurate!  

5. Do you tell the truth about your age? Yes, as a runner, it's hard to keep it a secret!  I'm 37 and that shows up in my age group results pretty much every weekend.  It's odd, because I think of 37 as being pretty old, but I don't feel old and I'm very content with my age -- having an older husband helps, I'll always be a baby to him! 

6. Share your best birthday memory.   My 30th was a lot of fun.  Hubby and I had just started dating (we'd move in togther a few weeks after my bday) but he was out of town.  I went out to dinner at this fabulous restaurant called Abacus on the block where we live with about 12 of my closest friends.  We had the chef's table and we ate and drank the night away.  It was so much fun! 
Hard to say if that's my best birthday memory, but definitely a fun one.

7. Share a few item that could be on your birthday wishlist.   I just posted my entire current wishlist a few weeks ago here.  Since then, I bought (and used) the Tofu Xpress, but I'd love to get any or all of the other items on the list.  Particularly the garment bag, the bike, the Vitamix, and the floormats.  I also have a beautiful loose sapphire that I bought in Thailand that I'd love to have set into a necklace, and I'd love to have my charm bracelets done and supplemented. 

8. What is your favorite kind of cake?  Very tough question.  I'm not too picky about cake except I don't eat nuts and I don't love chocolate cake.  But white cake, fruit flavored cakes, etc. all good.  As I said, I think my long-time fave is lemon pound cake, and my current fave is really good nut-free carrot cake. 

9. If you could be anywhere on your next birthday, where would you be?  Well, as with any given day, I'd say in Calabria, Italy!  Really looking forward to going there after the marathon.  I think we'll get there on about Oct. 4. 

10. Do you make a wish when you blow out the candles?  Always.  I suspect there's a good chance this year's wish will relate to the marathon in Berlin about a month after my bday! 

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments! Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Dodging a bullet ... literally!

Insane events on Tuesday night of this past week.  Insane, I tell you!  It's taken a few days for me to even get my head around it. 

As I've mentioned, I run to work Tues, Wed and Thurs mornings, and I run home on Tues and Wed nights (hubby picks me up on Thursdays so I can bring my laptop to work from home on Fridays). 

This week was weird because yesterday hubby had surgery, so he actually picked me up Wed night so I could work from the hospital waiting room yesterday, and then from home today. 

My commute home is slightly more downhill than up, and I leave work anywhere between 5:45 and 7:30, with most nights being around 6:30.  The commute takes me roughly 30 minutes.

On many Tues and Wed nights lately, my accounting buddy heads out with me, so it takes longer than 30 minutes.  We run and walk about half of the way back to my house, then she u-turns and walks back to the office solo and then drives home. 

Well, for the last few weeks on Tuesday nights, instead of running all the way home, I have stopped about 1.5 miles short of the house.  One of our local running stores has a track meet every summer one night per week for six weeks in a row. 

Since the track is seriously right on my way home (no joke, I run past it every single commute), it's hard to have any excuse not to do the track meets.  There are two event schedules and they alternate weeks, but the events I usually do are the long jump, the high jump (well, I've only done it for two weeks in a row now and I completely suck, but it's fun trying), the mile or the 1500, the 100, and the 400 or the 800. 

And for a couple of the meets so far, hubby has come out to cheer for me. 

Well, this week, probably while I was waiting for my heat of the 100 meter race, THERE WAS A SHOOT-OUT LESS THAN A QUARTER MILE AWAY FROM THE TRACK AND RIGHT WHERE MY HUSBAND WAS!!!!


Apparently the local police (it's a little city within Dallas called Highland Park) had stopped a guy on a stolen motorcycle (the green one in the picture below).  He had outstanding warrants so they cuffed him and put him in the squad car.  But, collosal failure, they failed to search him (or at least failed to search him well).  He had a gun and he should out the window of the squad car and got out and tried to flee while shooting at officers.  So they shot him and killed him right there!  And my husband was right there, stopped at the intersection coming to watch me run! 

Exhibit number 4,752 that we are different people:  almost as soon as the shooting stopped, he got out of his car and went to see if he could help.  They were doing CPR on the victim and the ambulance was already there, so the police said no, it was all over, so he just walked another couple minutes to the track.  I couldn't believe it when he told me about it.  I would have absolutely stayed in my car. 

I of course had missed the whole thing.  If I'd been alone at the track running, I might have realized what was happening, but of course there are gunshots going off all the time at the track meet, and so you just kind of ignore.  There were several runner spouses who witnessed the shoot-out, not just my husband (all the runners were already at the track, but lots of spouses show up later to watch different events). 

But I still can't help but think about all the "what if"s.  What if it had happened one night later?  There would have been a very high chance I would have been running through the intersection exactly when it happened (7:00).  What if hubby had left the house a minute earlier and had been in the gunfire?  What if the guy had fled toward the track instead of into the intersection? 


Thursday, June 6, 2013

National Running Day questions

So here are belated answers to a National Running Day post I read on hungryrunnergirl.  I didn't see it until pretty late last night, so I actually missed the official day.  I largely echo Amy's sentiments when it comes to National Running Day, because yes, it's just Wednesday and that means I run.  Same as I ran last Wednesday, and the Wednesday before that, and same as I will do next Wednesday and the next Wednesday (God-willing). 

But who am I to shy away from a set of questions already written for me that I can just answer without having to think about topics? 

1. On average how many races do you run a year? 
On average, I run 14.333 races per year. 
In 2013, I've done 13 so far -- but that was due to my crazy plan to make sure my speed training in the spring had tangible results.  That pace is slowing down markedly now that marathon training is underway, but I will still be well over 20 races for the year I expect, my highest ever.  I didn't count this year in my average.
Past years:
2012 = 15 races
2011 = 13 races
2010 = 19 races
2009 = 17 races
2008 = 19 races
2007 = 16 races
2006 = 11 races (still seriously injured first two months of the year)
2005 = 13 races (seriously injured last two months of the year)
2004 = 6 races
2003 = 1 race, my very first road race as an all-grown up and full-time employed adult (I know I did some races in college, maybe even law school, but certainly not with any frequency).  I didn't count this year in my average. 

2. Head accessories, things you have to run with: a hat, a visor, sunglasses, chapstick, sunscreen, head band, ponytail, braids, sweat band?
The only must for me is a ponytail.  During my commute now, I will sometimes wear sunglasses.  If it's raining, I'll wear a visor.  If it's cold, I'll wear a hat.  I try to be better about sunscreen, but face sunscreen as a runner is tricky, tricky business.  You don't want most of that stuff anywhere near your eyes when you're sweating buckets.  I like to wear chapstick on my evening commute runs, but if I wear it in the morning, my lipstick for the day doesn't stick well. 

3. Where do your workouts come from? A training plan, a coach, whatever you feel like doing that day or what your training partner is doing that day?
I train with a group organized by a local running store, so my coach with that program puts together the schedule.  I'm actually a certified coach myself, and I've coached for this store before, but it's like an attorney representing herself -- just not a good idea.  I'm much better off with a coach looking at what I'm doing and coming up with a plan for me. 

4. How many miles on average do you put on a pair of shoes? (I am in mourning because my beautiful purflow 2s are being retired today. We had a great relationship together for 400 miles).
Lately, I've been getting close to 500 miles.  I think it's because after I'd traditionally retire shoes, I now will just move them to a "lesser" category so I use them for boot camp or for commuting. 

5. Cell phone= do you bring it with you on your run or leave it at home?
I leave it at home or in the car during races and when I'm running alone or with friends in training, but I bring it along when I'm commuting because I need to have my phone with me at work (and thanks to "find my phone" if I ever didn't get home within half an hour or so after I left work, hubby could track me to see where I was). 

6. What was your last running related injury or have you been an injury free runner?
I've had some calf pain sporadically over the last few years, but the last real injury where I had to take a few days off was a calf injury in March 2011.  I had plantar fasciitis, but I was able to keep running -- it only hurt when I walked.  The only serious injury I had was in late 2005 and early 2006, a pulled groin muscle that took months of no running to heal. 

7. Is your current running goal about running a farther distance (adding more mileage) or getting faster or BOTH?!?
Getting faster.  Specifically, getting faster at the marathon in Berlin on Sept. 29, 2013.

8. Speedwork—-> at the track, on the treadmill, on the roads or never do it?
I prefer at the track, but I will sometimes do it on the roads.  I usually do it with my training buddies and it's usually on the roads in the early stages of training, then at the track in the sharpening phase. 

9. Stretching after a run: hit the ground after a run and get stretching, stretch in the shower, stretch once you get to work/school, skip the stretching?
After every run for training, I walk for about 3 minutes to cool down and I do a few high knees, butt kicks, and front kicks after that.  After a long run, I'll add real stretching about 5 more minutes.  After morning commute runs, I'll stretch some in the elevator at work if there's no one else there or I'll just inconspicuously stretch my calves.  After evening commute runs, nada.  I get in the house and I am done.
10. What was your reason(S) for starting to run? 
I was talked into signing up for a marathon by a friend. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Weekend Change of Plans

Last year, my husband and I went for a little road trip to Nacogdoches to meet up there with my local bestie and some of her family for the Blueberry Festival held there annually.  I posted about it here and here (it makes me realize that I'm much more of a writer about what I'm looking forward to than what I've actually done) (hence I haven't finished any of the China recap posts from our trip that was now more than six months ago).

I'd been so excited to go this year, particularly since this year feels vacation-less.  We went to Pittsburgh to see my in-laws in January, and in February we went to Mardi Gras in Mobile with my best friend and her family.  And I've traveled for work (mostly to Philly) a couple times in April, but none of those were really vacations.  I only get 2.5 weeks of vacation at my job, so I just worked remotely when we were seeing my in-laws and at Mardi Gras.  I'm saving all my vacation days (except one) for our trip to Germany and Italy in September and October.  And then I'm using the one remaining day for our trip to San Fran and Napa in October/November, or for the week of Christmas. 

So even though we've had a couple trips this year for vacation, it's been a long time and I'm ready for a break from Dallas, so I'd been very excited about a weekend in Nacogdoches. 

But given that hubby is having surgery tomorrow, it doesn't seem like it's in the cards.   He really didn't want to go, but I can be whiny so he basically assented.  He said I'd have to do all the driving and he'd probably just hang out in the hotel the whole time aside from going with us for pancakes in the morning.  But in the end, it all worked out -- my local bestie's family isn't going to be in town this year anyway, so she and I have agreed to plan our own version of the Blueberry Festival this weekend! 

The activities of which I am aware are blue pedicures on Friday afternoon, and then a blueberry themed dinner at our house that I'm making Friday night. Then Saturday morning, a blueberry 5k followed by blueberry pancakes.   The cool thing is that when we go to Nacogdoches for the real Blueberry Festival, we have to choose between the 5k and the blueberry pancakes (if you did both, you'd be in line for hours).   And of course we chose pancakes last year.   The pancakes there are so good!

But since we're doing our own blueberry festival, we'll be able to do both a 5k and pancakes!  Score!  If my husband feels well enough, he can be the race official.   Then Saturday during the day, there will be a blueberry-related craft planned by my bestie.   My bestie has two other surprises planned, I'm hoping one will be ice cream sandwiches, which are also featured at the blueberry festival in Nac.

So I think this coming weekend will be one of my favorite weekends in Dallas all year!  Hope hubby feels well enough to enjoy it.  And then next year we'll go back to the official blueberry festival for sure.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Restaurant Calorie Surprise

I pretty much never go out for lunch when I'm working. 

My office is in a strip mall and is also directly across the street from a big shopping mall (4 department stores, tons of other store).  In the strip mall, there are 2 restaurants (Cheesecake Factory and Blue Mesa), a fro-yo place, and a big grocery store.  Across the street at the mall, there are a bunch of restaurants and a food court, but it's a very busy street to cross (3-4 lanes each direction), and I've only walked to the mall once (to buy something for my niece, never for lunch). 

Since we've been in this office location (just over 6 months now), I've been to Blue Mesa once for lunch (just last month) and to the fro-yo place twice.  I've certainly been out for lunch other places too, but those have generally been visiting attorney lunches where a big group of us goes.  And I've possibly gone to meet my husband a couple times. 

But generally, since I only have a car at work on Mondays, I don't go out for lunch.  On Mondays, when I drive to the office, I bring lunches for the week.  90% of the time, it's a frozen meal and an individual serving of frozen peas.  The other 10% of the time, it's leftovers. 

As far as frozen meals go, there is a pretty steady rotation but the only regular brands are Amy's and Lean Cuisine.

Well, yesterday, since it was Monday and I had a car, I had made lunch plans with a former colleague from the big firm where I worked the first seven or so years after law school.  We went to Gordon Biersch, which is less than half a mile from my office but not walk-able. 

As a vegetarian, my menu choices are somewhat limited at most restaurants and that's usually kind of a good thing -- back when I ate meat (or now, at an all vegetarian restaurant), it could take me FOREVER to decide what to order.  I'm not the most decisive person when it comes to ordering food, particularly if there are lots of options.  My ex-boyfriend used to joke that I became a vegetarian solely so that I could be ready to order at the same time as everyone else because I'd only have to decide between 2 or 3 things.  He had a point!

Anyway, at Gordon Biersch, there appeared to be 4 vegetarian options on the menu:  vegetarian tacos, a goat cheese and artichoke flatbread, a veggie burger, and a grilled cheese sandwich.  There was also a mixed greens salad that was veg I believe, but I can't remember.  I'm not really a "restaurant salad as an entree" kind of gal most of the time.  Either way, a vast majority of the salads on the menu had meat or fish, so they were also out of the running. 

So I'm not particularly watching what I eat right now.  I mentioned before that I ate a lot more crap than usual last week, but things should be pretty much back to normal this week.  And my mileage is pretty solid lately.  Here's what the last couple months have looked like:

3-17: 38.4 miles and 3 BC (boot camps)
3-24: 49.6 and 3 BC (plus treadmill walking w/ coworker)
3-31: 28.7 and 2 BC (low because no long run for Easter) (plus treadmill walking w/ coworker)
4-7: 40.6 and 2 BC (plus treadmill walking w/ coworker)
4-14: 31.8 and 2 BC
4-21: 32.3 and 2 BC
4-28: 35.8 and 2 BC
5-5: 31.3 and 3 BC
5-12: 40.8 and 2 BC
5-19: 31.2 and 3 BC
5-27:  54.8 and 1 BC (big jump, I know, I know)

Using a rough conversion rate of 100 calories per mile, that's more than 5,000 running calories burned last week. 

Last week was freakishly high miles, but I was feeling good and there was the half marathon race for the Memorial Day holiday.  I'm usually good about not bumping up mileage by much in any given week, but I thought the one week was safe. 

Anyway, where was I going with this post?  Oh yeah, not super worried about calories right now, but still happy to make healthier choices where I can.

There wasn't nutrition info on the menu, so I was left to my own devices to just guess about which of my 4 options would be healthiest. 

Vegetarian tacos, a goat cheese and artichoke flatbread, a veggie burger, or a grilled cheese sandwich? 

I figured vegetarian tacos or the veggie burger would be healthiest.  On closer inspection, the grilled cheese had bacon, so that was out of the question. 

I went with the flatbread because it sounded good.  It was!  I didn't think I'd eat it all, but I did. 

A conversation this morning on our group run about nutrition made me wonder how I'd done in my choice, so I just looked it up.  Gordon Biersch has nutritional info available online, which is totally awesome.

Vegetarian tacos:  about 600 calories, 26 grams of fat, and 11 saturated fat
Goat cheese and artichoke flatbread:  about 425 calories, 20 grams of fat, and 6 saturated fat
Veggie burger:  about 900 calories, 40 grams of fat, and 6 saturated fat
Grilled cheese sandwich:  about 1100 calories, 30 grams of fat, and 30 saturated fat

So I'd decided not to worry about nutrition, chose what I thought was the least healthy of the 3 options that remained (I would have guessed correctly that grilled cheese would be the worst), and surprise, I chose the healthiest of the three!  How bizarre! 

But seriously, would you have to be a nutrition buff to guess that correctly?  Or am I just that bad at guessing what is and is not healthy?  Were maybe the fries included with the burger in the stats?  I don't know, but it blew me away.   Lucky choice on my part -- even if I'm not super worried about calories, I don't exactly want a 900 calorie lunch on a given weekday. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

FMM: Eventually?

It's Monday, but there's no Friend Making Monday topic posted yet, so I'll have to update this post later today if there's time.

I can't believe it's already June!  The next couple weeks are going to be weird for me.  My husband is having a couple surgeries on Thursday this week (related to his nose/sinuses), so I think I'm going to be working remotely for Thursday and Friday, and then probably all of next week.  I'm just kind of paranoid about leaving him alone.  If our neighbors were in town, I wouldn't mind going to work, but they're in Michigan for a few more weeks. 

I actually just read a little blurb (for work) about a medical malpractice case about a guy who died after having these same procedures done.  My heart almost stopped beating when I read the blurb.  The man who died weighed about double what my husband does, so that may have been a contributing factor, and of course there are a million other variables at play too.  But given that he'll be under for the procedures and then on a lot of pain meds for a week or two, I'd rather be there. 

My weekend wasn't very exciting.  The big news was a PR and another age group award.  I'm starting to think that my decision to race every single weekend for six straight weeks may have been a good decision after all!  It officially resulted in two PRs and it kept me motivated and excited.

Next weekend I have an unofficial race (a 5k, more about that later this week), and the following weekend I have another 5k.  Neither of those have any PR hopes -- the first isn't an official race, so it doesn't count, and the second is a 5k in June, no chance for me. 

This weekend's race was 4 miles and my PR was a few years old, so I figured I had a good chance of breaking it.  This is one of the only 4 mile races in the area, so I was competing against my old PR on an equal course and with roughly equal weather (Dallas in June).  But I lucked out Saturday morning with temps around 79 and high humidity -- which both suck -- but pretty solid cloud cover!  Sun is a big nemesis for me when I run, so the clouds made me happy.  My PR was from 2009 and I remember that it was a sunny and hot June Saturday -- my in-laws were in town and they were cheering for me.  As I ran past the big tree near the finish line where they'd set up their folding chairs four years ago, I missed them a lot.  We'll go visit them in July, but I wish they'd come here, it's just hard for them to travel. 

I was worried the race wouldn't go well because my warm-up felt hard and I was soaked with sweat after only a mile.  But I got on the course and decided to acknowledge that positive splits were pretty much a given.  It was an out and back course, and miles 1 and 4 were pretty flat, 2 was downhill, 3 was uphill.  So I went out fast, almost 30 seconds ahead of PR pace, and mile 2 was just 5 seconds slower than mile 1.  Mile 3 was ugly -- 2 seconds slower than PR pace, but I knew I had some cushion from the first two miles.  The last mile was all about just holding on.  I felt miserable and wanted to walk, but I kept saying that even if the mile was slow, I'd probably PR. 

The funny thing was that there was commentary by the annoucer as we neared the finish -- he was encouraging us to break a threshold time.  And I know I was working hard because I thought he didn't know what he was talking about -- I was imagining that we'd be about 7-8 minutes faster than that because somehow I was thinking as I approached the finish line that I'd only run a 5k (despite the fact that I'd seen three mile splits and I knew it, and the last mile split felt like it had been an eternity ago).  So I was confident that we were well-below the time he was discussing, that he was just mistaken.  Then I came within sight of the finish line and sure enough, the clock was as the announcer said -- ticking up to the threshold time.  My mind was blown.  I thought I'd screwed up my math during the run somehow and was going way, way, way slower than I realized.  Thankfully, I kept running just to be done, then finally it clicked in my mind -- oh yeah, this race was 4 miles, not 3.1.  So of course I'd be many minutes slower than I would for a 5k.  Der... 

I told my coach about that and he agreed the confusion was a good sign of a solid effort.  Math and numbers get all messed up in my head when I'm running at a solid effort and I know I'm not alone!  Anyway, I managed to eek out a finish a couple seconds under the threshold, which meant a PR of about a minute (15 secs/mile) and that was exciting.  Plus, I ended up with an age group award as icing on the cake. 

The rest of the weekend was uneventful.  A long run, naps, cleaning and errands, some cooking.  Very low-key, but nice. 

And now it's Monday again...  Ready for a crazy week, going to try to set it up so I have a few distinct projects to work on during the surgery and his recovery.