Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Miles!

So August ended this morning with a run that was both strong and fast, but painful.  The blisters on my achilles are getting worse.  But my plantar fasciitis is getting better I think!  I've followed a couple pieces of advice pretty closely -- stretching before waking up, stretching after a run and trying to avoid going barefoot whenever possible.  I think I'm even going to put those orthotics into my house shoes so I can wear them instead of gym shoes in the house.  I also have a new lovely gel kitchen mat that my hubby got me for my bday, so even on days like today when I forget that I'm not supposed to be barefoot and I stand in the kitchen, it's not as painful as it used to be.  I think I'm going to cancel my follow-up appt tomorrow with my ortho.  The main reason for the appt was to determine if I wanted to get a cortisone shot in the next couple weeks to carry me over the marathon, but from what I've heard, it would be painful and I don't think I'll need it.  Right now, I have all the pain I can handle with putting that liquid bandaid stuff on my heel blisters. 

I ran on my own this morning from about 3.5 until 8.2, but I wasn't far back from the back half of the group and since I'd done race pace on Sunday as well, I had a pretty good excuse.  I also think I found a buddy to run with on Saturday at the race I'm doing.  As much as my ego needs a PR or an age group award right now, I know it's not the right thing to do -- going for it with my feet in the current shape, with the current temps, and with 18 the next day, it would just be a mistake.  But one of the guys in my weekday group is also thinking of doing the race and we talked about running it easy together, which would be great.  I hope the plan works.  I'd still like to place if possible, so maybe I can hang with him for the first few miles and then kick toward the end.  Because I think I'm going to hang out after the race for about an hour (because my hubby is going to add miles at the end of the race for his long run this week), it would be nice to get an award while I wait!  It will all depend on the competition though, because even kicking toward the end won't be enough if I start out easy and there's a decent sized field. 

Anyway, August numbers are set now.  August 2010:  184.8 (barely beating last Aug., a mere 2.3 ahead).  YTD:  837.9.  Miles needed to meet 2010 year-end goal:  462.1 (which works out to 115.5 per month, or about 27 per week).  August is traditionally my highest-mileage month of the year, but Sept. should be solid and should drive those average numbers down a bit.  Assuming I do my expected Sept. runs (allowing me to skip all Saturdays except this one, figuring 4.5 on Wednesdays, 0s on Mondays, and 1.5 on Fridays), I should be at about 155.  Last Sept. was just under 170, so maybe I should add in some more miles on Saturdays, but I'd rather just make up the deficit in October, when I try to make a dent anyway in the extra 15 miles I want this year.  And I think there will be a few days where I go over a bit. 

MTCM is one month away at the end of this week!!!  I think my husband is as excited as me to have the race be over.  He does most of our vacation planning and wants to nail down the dates for us to go to Europe in the spring, but I've asked him to hold off until after MTCM just in case I hit a BQ.  Unlikely as it may be -- again, the mental strength isn't there for me.

Monday, August 30, 2010

If I were crazy...

If I were crazy, I'd consider going for a very short run tonight after work.  Less than half a mile.  I should be out of the office by 7ish, and it's only supposed to get to 97 today, so it wouldn't be over 100 when I went.  And then I could say I hit 830 on 8/30.  My YTD miles right now are at 829.7, including the 1 I ran this morning.  But I'd have to be crazy to do that.  And I'm not crazy. 

I had a great weekend with the 15 mile run and the rest of the time with my hubby.  We got about 1 million projects done.  Even things like scrubbing scuff marks out of the walls.  Writing a letter I'd been stalling on for 8 months.  Putting away Costa Rica travel books that had been loaned to a friend but returned 2 months ago (but hadn't had time to get the ladder to reach the travel shelf on the book shelf where they belonged).  I ate a ton of cupcakes and actually baked more of them last night -- Joy's bday is today, so I gave her 16, but I still have leftovers that I brought to work.  Looking at them last night, I didn't think they'd worked well -- fudge ribbon, but it had seemed like the ribbon dissolved or something.  But I've eaten one and it was surprisingly good! 

We watched a couple movies -- Up (animated) and an Italian documentary about Di Vittorio's life story.  I cheated and read more subtitles than I'd have liked, but the language was tough.  I have to admit, I had no idea how to say what the subtitles translated as "yokel" until yesterday!  They used the word yokel a bunch in the movie, talking about how laborers and country folk were regarded by Rome.  The Italian description (nothing in English I could find):  Nel 2009 la Raiuno ha trasmesso la fiction "Pane e libertà", che racconta la vita di Giuseppe Di Vittorio in due puntate.  That means 4 hours of movie!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Four more!

Well, another solid run.  The biggest issue was that I wore moleskin over the new heel/Achilles blisters and it bunched up and was somewhat painful, but I was able to run through it.  It hurt a lot when I got home and we tried to peel it off, but we tried that "new skin" liquid bandaid, so it might be easier from now on.  Putting on the liquid bandage hurt so much but it will be worth it if the blisters don't hurt on my next run. 

15 miles this morning, 6 were supposed to be at race pace and I don't think I did that (a little too slow) but it was faster than an easy run.  The course was very hilly and it was hot again, low 80s when we started.  I'm so ready for more of those cooler mornings we had recently. 

Trying to finish my reading for book club tonight, planning to run a few errands and then bake cupcakes for Joy's birthday tomorrow.  Busy Sunday afternoon ahead of us!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Free 5 minutes!

I officially get my "free" 5 minutes for Boston today, which is nice I guess -- it will be celebrated with lots of sweets and probably dinner and many drinks tonight.  So far I've only eaten one of the cupcakes that I'm going to have to burn off at some point.  But I'm short of my distance from last year, when I hit 827 YTD miles today.  I'm officially at 813.1, so 14 miles behind. 

But strangely, at the end of the month, I don't think I'll be 14 back for the year, it just works out that way in terms of days of the week.  I'm predicting my August mileage will be 183.6 (or a little higher if I do anything on Monday, but it will be less than 2).  Last August I was at 182.5. 

And just b/c I love numbers (only when they relate to running miles though, I hate all other numbers), as of COB on 8/31 last year, my miles to date were 845.1.  If I hit my expected 183.6 over the next few days, as of COB on 8/31 this year, I think my miles to date will be 836.7.  That means I'm only down 8.4 for the year, and my goal is to beat last year by 15.2 (hitting 1300 total), so I'm down a total of 23.6.  But still planning to make up those miles in October and December, which were both crazy light last year (sick at marathon and for a week after last October, and just overly lazy in Dec, which may repeat and won't bother me assuming Oct is better). 

If I hit my goal of 1300, that will work out to 3.56 miles per day, which doesn't really sound very impressive to me.  I much prefer my August numbers -- if I hit 183.6, that will be an average of 5.9 each day this month, which does sound impressive.  I wonder exactly where my line is.  Probably around 5 miles.  But if I really did average 5 miles per day, that would put me at 1825 for the year.  Wow.  Maybe one year that can be my goal.  Maybe that will be what I need to make it to Boston without needing another free 5 minutes...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blisters?!?! And the morning went downhill from there...

I don't know what the eff happened this morning but I'm feeling like a rookie.  I have blisters!  On both feet!  How did that happen?  They are right on my achilles, right where the top of my shoe hits my foot.  I wore the same shoes I've worn for weeks and actually the same make of shoe I've worn for years and this has never happened before.  I mean, I have a permanent blister on the top of my middle toe on one foot and that's normal for me (the toe next to it isn't really straight so they hit) (it's preventable if I wear a toe cap (or maybe moleskin or something like that), but that's not usually worth the risk of discomfort or new blisters, so I live with it).  I was wearing low-rise socks this morning and they seemed to be sitting lower than normal, but I don't know why they would be -- it's not like they shrunk or my feet grew.  Either way, I'm pretty sure it was my socks that caused the problem.  I tried to pull the socks up at the 6 mile water stop, but it just wasn't possible.  It's so weird though, b/c these aren't new socks and I've worn them many times with no problems.  I've started wearing thick socks this season b/c of the heel pain.  I figure the extra padding is good, so I have 3 pairs of Thorlos (including the 1 low-rise pair I wore this morning), and 2 other pairs of some other brand, and those are pretty much the only socks I'll wear on plain running days (I don't worry as much if it's running at or after camp, since that's less than 5 miles).  Ugh, it's just so frustrating. 

So the plan for Sunday is now Body Glide on my heels and higher rise socks.  And maybe short sleeves.  I need to start thinking about my ideal marathon outfit and have it ready to go for Sunday, since it's apparently going to get warm again sometime next week, so this is my best chance to try it out. 

The run this morning was lovely, again, blisters aside.  I stayed pretty close to the guys for race pace, and was less than 20 seconds back from them at the end of our 2 miles at half pace.  8 nice and cool miles.  Race pace felt great, though maybe not sustainable for 26 miles, but I was relieved to hear some of the others felt the same way.  But even half pace felt good.  It's nice to be able to finally bring some speed after so many weeks of just working on mileage. 

But the rest of this morning has completely sucked.  The run itself was nice but b/c of yesterday's rain, and my attempt to run the tangent on one turn, I stepped in mud.  No big deal until I got home and rested my shoe on the carpeted stair to untie it and left a big stain.  Anyway, with the big hurry to get my shoes off to relieve the blister pain, and to use the restroom, I felt a little out of sorts when I got home.  But I went about my normal morning. 

My hubby did an 8 mile run as well this morning but had to be at work at 8, so he'd started running at 4:30, so he'd be home in time to leave the house by 7:15.  We overlapped briefly at home and I brought my breakfast to the bedroom to hang out and chat with him while he finished getting ready.  Then I read a bit of my book, made lunch, got showered and dressed, etc. and then was ready to head to work.  Walked to the garage door and surprise, no car key. 

I am religious about putting my car key on the hook right by the door b/c I HATE losing my keys.  I thought maybe I'd carried it into the bathroom or set it on the entry table, or in the kitchen (possibly even in the cabinet where we keep the toaster and blender I'd used, or in the fridge or freezer), or anywhere else I could imagine.  No key.  Looked all over the house.  Looked in the car (possibly left in the ignition?  unlikely, but possible).  Tore everything apart.  Purse, couch, laundry hamper, everything.  Of course during the 45 minutes of searching, I was continuously trying to call my husband.  He was in a class today and not answering his phone.  I thought there was a chance he'd taken my key, but I figured that wasn't likely, but if nothing else, he had my spare key and I needed it.  But I kept calling thinking his phone was probably on vibrate and he'd likely ignore a couple calls from me but if he got about 100 he'd realize it was an emergency.  Finally he answered while I was in the process of tearing apart the bed (I'd sat there to read, and maybe set the key down and it got wedged in the covers?).  No, he didn't take my key he said.  I asked him to check and oh yes, it looks like he did.  I said I needed him to bring it to me and he said there was no way he could do it until his class went to lunch break in a few hours.  I was so angry!!  Finally he suggested I take a cab to work and then he'd come to the office and get me at lunch and take me home to my car.  So I sat at home fuming and was attempting to clean up my path of searching destruction.  I'd taken many of the contents out of my jewelry drawer -- thinking maybe I'd dropped it in there with the rubber band I use for my hair when I took it down (I know it's a stretch, but I was desperate).  And lo' and behold, I found my spare plastic emergency car key.  And I got my butt to work. 

I can't really stay angry b/c I know it was an accident, but it's just so frustrating sometimes!  Well, the day can only get better now, right?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Running in the Rain

It finally happened!  The heat has broken!  The rain started this morning and our high today is only supposed to get to 89.  And the rest of this week is only low 90s with lows in low 70s, if you can believe that.  It's lovely!

I ran home from camp this morning and was shocked by the difference.  It was raining when I started running.  My hubby had taken my hat when he left with my weights and my mat (my bad for not telling him to leave it), so I might have run a bit faster anyway since there was rain in my face, but Joy and I ran the first mile more than 30 seconds faster than the first mile in several weeks.  It felt effortless.  She u-turned and I ran toward home.  I got to my exit on the trail and decided it felt so good I wanted to keep going, so I ran an extra half mile up, and then doubled back.  It just felt that good out there this morning.  But I didn't get to walk with my neighbor after my run.  It was raining pretty steadily by the time I got home and it turned into a downpour shortly after that.  I was completely soaked.  So glad I wore my camp shoes instead of my new ones.  It's always a tough call for me on Wednesdays.  I should do what Joy does -- wear camp shoes and then change into running shoes, but that's tough on days my hubby has to go to work so he leaves early with my mat and gear. 

Anyway, it's funny that I added on the extra mile this morning b/c I'd thought about adding a mile anyway to several runs over the next few days to combat the vast quantities of cake I hope to consume in the next week.  It worked out well -- it felt so great to run that I wanted to keep going, and I wanted to run extra so I will be comfy in my clothes next week, post-cake.  But the funniest part of all this is that I was reading one of my fave blogs at lunch, Half of Jess, and she had a post today about calorie-counting being easily obsessive and suggesting it's not good/healthy to go to the gym for 2 hours to burn off extra calories you eat.  Oops! 

I've never been a calorie counter; while I'd like to lose some pounds, my main goal right now is really doing well at MTCM (in LESS THAN SIX WEEKS!!!!!).  I have a vague sense that people are supposed to eat about 2000 per day (I think from the RDAs on things?  actually not sure where I got that number), but my fave blogger (and one of the two I've read the longest), Bella on the Beach (n/k/a in Lapband Land), eats 1200 per day.  I guess it is different for everyone and depends a lot on whether you're trying to lose weight, trying to train for a BQ-marathon time, what you currently weigh, or whatever.  But  I don't really have a sense of how many calories are in things.  I'm eating an asian pear right now and don't have a clue -- 200 calories?  I eat frozen meals for lunch pretty often, usually Amy's brand, and I think those are about 400 calories each, which makes sense because that's about 1/5 of the daily total as I imagine it, and so 3 meals then would be about 1200, plus 800 calories of extra veggies or snacks or fruits or whatever.  It seems like most things I eat other than lunches don't specify calories so it's hard to tell. 

I'm super-excited about running tomorrow now.  Schedule is 2 easy, 2 race pace, 2 half pace, and then 2 easy.  If we'd had to do that last week, it would have felt like a beat-down, but race pace will hopefully feel like a piece of (birthday!) cake in the temps tomorrow morning.  Half pace will be tougher of course, but less so with 10 fewer degrees.  I have a feeling I'll be running solo a lot tomorrow when the guys pick it up... oh well!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I had another strong-ish run this morning, and am incredibly psyched to hear that more news channels are predicting lows in the 70s later this week!  It might really happen.  I reminded David this morning on our run that it's like the news using the s-word during the winter.  Sometimes they have more of a conscience and throw out the f-word instead (flurries), but it still never seems to happen when they predict, though we did get snow a couple times last year.  But oh, if we get cooler temps, I'd be such a happy gal! 

Anyway, 7 miles easy this morning but it ended up being a bit too fast b/c we ran with a Rock group the whole time and they're just starting to build up.  But it was fun to talk to some new people again.  One guy I ran with also needs to shave 9 minutes to qualify for Boston -- but he needs to get to 3:10, which is just inconceivably fast for me!

But the funny thing is, sometimes I realize that I'm now what I used to consider inconceivably fast.  And when I overhear a slower group talking about me or my group, sometimes I remember that I've only gotten faster the last few years, and that I ran several years at a very easy pace (though I guess it wasn't always easy at the time!).  So this morning, toward the end of the run, probably about mile 6.5ish, we passed a slower group.  I was running up front with a Rock guy, but because this group was wide (taking up almost the entire street!), we passed them single file on the right and I went ahead of him.  I overheard a conversation -- one guy (a coach for the group) was talking to another (who I don't know).  Coach said, you know, we might burn 500 calories on a run like this, but she'll only burn 300.  Because I was right there and the only woman, I know they were talking about me.  Too funny!  Sadly, I think I still eat like I'm burning 500!  But sometimes I love hearing stuff like that, there's one group that we pass that always says something like, "here come the Kenyans."  It's just interesting how your perspective can change over time.  Bottom line though (at least for me, not so much for someone like Paula Radcliffe), is that there's always going to be someone faster.  Even if I qualify, thousands of women qualify every year.  David mentioned (he's very good friends with the coach I overheard) that the people in the slower groups are just convinced we're not having any fun and that all we do is kill ourselves on the runs.  Which is odd, because I feel like at any pace, I've always developed strong, close friendships with my running mates.  I love my morning chats with these people. 

One of my favorite running quotes is something I can only paraphrase and unfortunately I don't even know the source.  Someone who'd broken the 4 min mile was being interviewed and one of the questions or comments during the interview was something to the effect of what does that feel like.  The runner asked the interviewer what his best mile time was, the interviewer said something like 6 minutes, and the runner said, it feels to me the same way it feels to you to beat your mile time by a few seconds.  100% for me feels just like 100% for you, my time might just come out faster, but giving it your all is giving it your all, no matter what your ability level is. 

I love that sentiment.  And I need to start getting my head in the game to give it my all in less than 6 weeks!!  I spent a lot of time yesterday rehashing our weekend 20 milers with Adam.  We both struggled some, though I think I struggled more, and we posted roughly similar times.  I'm hoping the weather will really be able to carry me.  I'm trusting 20 miles at 85 degrees will feel a lot harder than 20 miles at 60 degrees.  And the last 10k is going to suck no matter what.  But my reaction is frequently to give up and stop pushing, especially if I have a PR in the bag even if I slow down, instead of ignoring the PR and focusing on my end goal.  But in addition to the weather break we'll hopefully get, Adam reminded me not to underestimate the effect of fresh legs.  I can't even remember what fresh legs feel like, though I've really felt great during the recovery from Sunday, aside from my heels of course...

Monday, August 23, 2010

20x2, check.

Well, my second 20 miler is in the rearview mirror now.  It was less than stellar, but it's over.  We tied the record high yesterday of 105 and the low was 83, so clearly not ideal conditions to run 20 miles. 

Our group started at 5:05 and ran 2, then met up with those doing later races like Marine Corps and NY and set out for 18 with them, but it wasn't an out-and-back.  Instead we went out 11 and then took a more direct route back for 7.  The highlight sadly enough for me was just before mile 2 of the second run (so mile 4 for me).  We ran right past my house and I'd told my neighbor we'd be running past and to stand outside with her coffee on her porch if she was awake.  And she wakes up early, so she was there.  I ran past and yelled "Ciao Anna!" and she yelled back to me.  Others in my group also yelled ciao, I'd told them she was Italian.  That was fun, it made me feel like I was in a race. 

I stayed toward the front of the group all the way to the airport, which was our 11 mile u-turn (actually 13), but we were a bit short on distance b/c of an earlier road closure.  The way back seems to have more uphill and I was dreading it.  The sun was already coming up and I didn't want to get finished and be short on distance and then be stuck running loops in the parking lot, so I told my running companions that I was going to double back for some extra distance and meet up with the slower bunch of our group, so I backtracked a block or so but didn't see them (though they had to be close since I'd seen them after our u-turn).  I u-turned again and was basically running solo for the rest of the way. 

I was kind of wanting to quit starting at about 16 for me but knew I wanted to make it to at least 18.  At that water stop, the wonderful woman who meets us with cold washcloths asked how I was doing and I told her I was struggling.  I'd just had a small bottle of water and was getting ready to set out again and she asked if I wanted some super-cold water.  I declined, then changed my mind figuring the extra water wouldn't slosh too much and the cold would be good.  It was like heaven and motivated me to get back out there for the last 2.  I focused mostly on how I was going to replenish the extra 2000 calories I'd be burning -- Mexican food for brunch with hubby, then my half-pint of Ben & Jerry's, then a caramel brownie.  And I also thought about what I'd eaten the day before in preparation (including an entire box of mac & cheese for lunch) and figured my hips would never survive the weekend intact if I didn't finish the full distance. 

I got back to the store and grabbed a bit more water, then headed out just for a couple more minutes and then u-turned to make sure I hit 20.  Turns out, I ended up at 20.4, which is good. 

I got home and took an ice bath, if you can call it that.  We'd bought 30 pounds of ice on Saturday but it had all melted less than 10 minutes after I added it to the tub.  I think I only have to do one more ice bath, after our 22, and maybe I'll keep the ice in the large bags and just lay it directly on my legs in the tub with less water instead of opening the bags. 

The rest of the day yesterday was more of a struggle.  I managed to get in and out of the shower and out the door for brunch on time.  Brunch was delicious.  I ate two baskets of chips, one with salsa, one with guac, and then had artichoke-avocado enchiladas, which were great.  I was supposed to go to work right after that but when I stood up, my legs were stiff and I had a monster headache, so I decided to go home to ice my ankles, read my book, and rest a little.  Two hours later...  I seriously felt like I'd been knocked out!  I woke up twice during my nap b/c of phone calls, but fell right back asleep each time.  I finally got to work and finished up the doc that's due today, but that meant I got home so late I didn't have time to make dinner really, as I'd planned to do.  Fortunately my sweet hubby reheated the leftover pasta that Anna and I had made for Sat night, and that was good.  I'm so glad next weekend is only 15 miles, I need some time to be productive on the wknds, though really we got a lot done on Sat.  There's still going to be a big list for next wknd though...

Anyway, I hesitate to give book recommendations in general, particularly when I haven't finished the book, but I'm reading a book now for book club called The Thirteenth Tale.  It's not my typical choice.  I usually prefer non-fiction, but this book is just pulling me in!  I'm only about halfway done, but I don't want it to end.  I told both my mom and my neighbor to read it, and so far others in book club who've finished it also seem to have loved it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Feeling strong

I'm thrilled with how great I'm feeling lately.  Still some heel pain, but it seems to be getting better finally.  I don't know if it's the new stretches I do before I get out of bed or what, but something is helping even though I'm not cutting my mileage.  I was killing it at camp this morning -- probably 2d or 3d person overall, first woman, to finish the drills, then after camp I ran a leisurely 1.5 in the direction of home until I met up with my neighbor, then we walked the rest of the way together. 

I can't wait for this weekend.  We don't have much planned really, but there are a million things on my list that I want to get done.  And this weekend I'm taking the list home with me so there's no excuse to overlook things like I did last weekend!  The only fixed time things are minimal -- taking my car in tomorrow at 10:30 related to some recall/inspection/class action notice, friend coming at 11:30 to pick up some things our neighbor is donating to the non-profit where I used to be on the Board (and we'll hopefully have time to play a quick game of Scopa with him and our neighbor before he leaves with the items), having our neighbor over for dinner tomorrow night, and then the big 2-0 on Sunday morning and its aftermath (ice bath, shower, out with hubby for Mexican food, followed by half-pint of Ben&Jerry's to replace the calories).  But seriously, about 1 million other things on the to-do list.  Here's hoping for productivity...

My Monday morning dream:  waking up not overly sore to a clean well-stocked house and a to-do list with everything crossed out.  I might be cheating a little on the list -- instead of saying "Xmas shop" as I've written the last few weeks, I picked one specific gift that I'm going to work on.  I need to do some online pricing research and then swing by a local specialty shop for some advice and to compare.  By the end of the weekend, hopefully it will have been purchased and then one brother will be basically done. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cutting it Short by Mistake and YTD stats

Small crowd for hill repeats this morning -- just me and David.  But he's one of the best people ever to run with and we settled into a nice relaxed pace and talked about all kinds of stuff -- health, spouses, procreation, running, etc.  We had 6 miles on the schedule with 6-8 repeats.  So we ran the first half of our warm-up loop, which included 1 repeat of the hill, then we cut out the second half of the loop and went straight to the hill to do 6 more repeats, for a total of 7, then headed back to our cars but came up a little short so we decided to be the losers/novices (I was definitely like that when I started) running around the parking lot to finish up the miles. 

Normally I don't care at all about being a bit short or a bit long (so I'd never make up .15 miles in a parking lot), but last year I remember that I hit 827 miles on 8/27, so that's a little gauge for me lately.  I'm going to be short this year in all likelihood (at 767.5 now), it's just a question of how much.  Assuming I skip my Saturday run (as I do almost every week) but get in 1-2 tomorrow, and I only do 4 next Wed. instead of the 5 on the schedule (also common, but the sched is usually 4, not 5), it looks like I'll be at 808.5 on 8/27.  Maybe I'll be around 810, but no real chance of being at 827.  Oh well.  But overall, I think my miles for the month of August will be pretty close to last year's, which at least means I won't add to my deficit for the year -- or if I do, it won't be by more than 5 miles.  I'm currently (not counting August numbers) down by 9.5 and my goal is to beat last year's miles by 15.2, making me currently down almost 25, but I figured I'd make up the 15 in Oct or Dec, which were low miles last year, and I think I could easily make up 15 each month, so as long as my deficit doesn't grow much this month or Sept (or Nov I guess), should be no problem-o.  That will average out to more than 3.5 miles each day all year! 

Anyway, the most interesting part of the run this morning was afterward.  David and I were standing around after our cool-down walk, stretching, talking to other people, and I overheard someone ask him about when he was quitting his job.  I was shocked!  I've run with this guy for years and I didn't know he was doing it.  We've seriously talked about crazy personal stuff but somehow I'd missed this major detail.  Apparenly he just decided for sure about a week ago and told people about it on Sunday, but I run with a group that's 30 seconds per mile slower on Sunday's than David's group, so I was out of the loop.  Anyway, now we have something to celebrate at happy hour tonight!  Such exciting news for him.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Weather Stats

Shorter post earlier today, so thought I'd supplement with some proof of how hot it's been lately.  With yesterday, we tied for 7th longest streak here of 100+ days.  Today if we hit it (there are real clouds in the sky so maybe not?), we'll be tied for 6th. 

Date High Time of day

August 17 102 5:26 p.m.
August 16 102 5:44 p.m.
August 15 103 3:13 p.m.
August 14 102 5:52 p.m.
August 13 103 3:58 p.m.
August 12 103 5:25 p.m.
August 11 103 3:51 p.m.
August 10 101 3:49 p.m.
August 9 100 5:35 p.m.
August 8 100 5:14 p.m.
August 7 101 5:20 p.m.
August 6 105 3:49 p.m.
August 5 104 6:56 p.m.
August 4 101 5:44 p.m.
August 3 102 5:10 p.m. (night of my evening run w/ a friend -- felt every degree of it)
August 2 104 5:00 p.m.
August 1 104 5:55 p.m
July 31 102 5:18 p.m.

So the last column there solidifies my resolve to run at 5:15 a.m. instead of after work any day.  Anyway, these numbers were also interesting: 
Dallas's top 5 100-degree streaks

Date Number of Days
June 23rd - Aug. 3rd, 1980:  42 days
July 6th - Aug 3rd, 1998:  29 days
Aug. 2nd - August 26, 1952:  25 days
July 28 - Aug. 20th 1999:  24 days (I was here for this one!  Actually, I left town before it ended.)
July 9th - July 28th, 1954:  20 days

I just have to remind myself that it's all worth it come November or so when it starts getting miserable at home, and that it's really worth it in February when it's still miserable there.  And I'm going to hope for good weather at MTCM!  Overcast, low that day of 40, high of 55.  Oh, I dream of it! 

Getting slower

Funny how yesterday was so great and today was so slow.  I had 5 on the schedule today, normally pretty easy b/c I can usually count on 1.5-2 at camp, plus 2.8 on the run home, and I can easily bump that up a little to hit 5.  But camp this morning was less than 1, so even with 3.8 going home, I was short on distance, but worse yet, it was my slowest run home yet.  And there was the tiniest breeze, so I feel like I really should have done better, but oh well, I got some miles in, even if they were slow. 

My new stretches before I get out of bed seem to really help my plantars in the morning.  That's nice.  Not much else to report here.  Hill repeats tomorrow.  Running happy hour tomorrow night right by our house, which makes it highly likely I'll attend.  Ducking out of work tomorrow briefly to shop for supplies for my taper-madness project.  Not that I'll finish it during the taper weeks, but at least I can get started, then use it as a random weekend busy project.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sailing Along

Lovely run this morning -- 9 miles, close to my dream (BQ) race pace.  And I could have kept going easily, though not necessarily for 17 more miles!  It was still low to mid 80s this morning, but the humidity was down and that made a big difference.  I love mornings like this! 

We're at 17 or 18 days of 100+, which apparently makes it the 8th longest streak here, the only question is how much longer it will last.  Now they're saying maybe it will break on Monday, which does not say good things for my 20 on Sunday...  I read an interesting post on one of the blogs I read often (Seattle Runner Girl, not sure how to make that into a link).  She's building back up in her running and ran 4 the other day but struggled mentally with the first 2, likely acknowledging that while 4 isn't the furthest she's ever gone, it would be the furthest recently, and then she got over the mental part and kept going -- and did the full 4.  That's how I feel about these 20s.  They make me nervous.  Partially justified (that's no walk in the park, many possible ways the plan could be derailed before the finish), partially unjustified (I just did it successfully two weeks ago, not like it's my first 20 of the season).  But in reading and thinking about her post, it made me think I just have to do it, while doing all I can in advance to ensure my success.  But if it's a bust, it's a bust, not the end of the world, or even my MTCM dreams. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Page Three

I know full well what week of training I'm in -- it's marked on my schedule.  But for some reason, I feel like I'm officially starting the second half of training.  The way our training schedule is written, it spreads over 4 pages.  For someone doing NY, it is 6 weeks on each of the 4 pages.  My first two pages are 6 weeks each also, but my next page (for MTCM people (and St. George, Wineglass, etc.)) is 4 weeks, and my final page (again, for MTCM) is 3 weeks (the taper schedule).  Those of us doing MTCM or something else early skip to the taper earlier than someone doing NY, which is the latest marathon on our schedule.  So technically the full plan for a NY person is 24 weeks (a bit on the long side), but for someone like me, it's only 19 weeks (still a week longer than some other plans).  And now I'm in week 13 (into the second half), but since i've turned page  2 and I'm finally starting page 3, I feel like I'm finally moving into the second half.  Woo-hoo!  The final approach feeling is also b/c speedwork is coming.  I see it there, starting next week Thurs with a couple miles during our run at half pace.  Wow!!  It's getting close. 

I volunteered this wknd for packet-pick-up for a race (Hottest Half, wouldn't it be crazy to do a race with such a name?!) and my hours overlapped a bit with an older woman who is uber-fast and has been on our local team for years (I think she's raced for about 30 years b/c I think she ran before she had her son, who is now about 25).  We chatted, she asked how things were going for me and I told her about my plantar's issues.  She said she ran 2 marathons with plantar's and guessed I'm looking at 6 months recovery, regardless of whether I keep running or whether I take a complete break.  She echoed what my doc said -- if it doesn't bother it to run, running won't make it worse.  She later emailed me her set of tips and I think I need to get pretty serious about following them.  Stretches, icing/heat regimen, orthotics, never being barefoot, etc.  That last tip will be tough for me.  We don't usually wear shoes in the house, but I tried this morning and it seemed less painful to stand in the kitchen preppring breakfast and lunch.  This morning I also tried her "before you set a single foot out of bed" stretches and I think that helped as well.  She said she still wears orthotics in all her shoes including her house shoes/slippers because she's so paranoid about getting it again. 

Based on her comments (and some other discussions about shots and how much they hurt), I think I'm less inclined to get the cortisone shot when I go back for my follow-up appointment.  My doc said he could give me the shot a few weeks out from the race to minimize the pain, but it sounds like no fun -- the shot hurts a lot apparently and this is going to be around for a long time. 

Anyway, tough run on Sunday.  Quite warm.  93 heat index at the 5:30 a.m. start apparently.  16 miles, decent pace though I don't think I really did race pace for 6 miles -- so many people decided not to do race pace b/c of the heat.  I kind of halfway did it.  Anyway, I was fading out toward the end (and my cadence twin wasn't there), but I ran miles 12-14 with a guy I'd never talked to, and then ran into a weekday buddy at the 14 water stop.  The 3 of us left the stop together, walking up the hill talking about who was going to start running first, so I finally did.  My weekday bud came along, the other guy fell back a bit.  We talked the whole time and the final stretch is about a mile up this street that seems endless (you can't see the top/turn from where you start, which is mentally tough) and it seemed to flash by.  A couple blocks from the finish I told him that it was so great running with him b/c that street had never gone so quickly.  He credited me with his finish too, said he surely would have walked some if we hadn't been together.  I told him how Adam is training alone this year and he said he trained alone for his first couple years and now could never go back to it.  But I finished my 16 at the very front of my group, though that's not saying much.  My best friend in our group dropped out very early, she wasn't feeling it.  Lots of people had very elevated heart rates very early.  I thought the heat was going to break last night or today, but the forecast is 80 for the low all week and 100 or more for the high each day, but maybe some relief on Sat -- funny how it's always the last day of the forecast that looks cooler, but when that day gets here, it's never any cooler.  They've been saying this for about 3 weeks now, cooler weather coming in one week, but it never shows.  Ugh.  We have our second 20 this Sunday, so I'm going to really hope it breaks before then.  20 in the 90s would be insanely miserable.  20 in the 80s will also suck.  So I'm going to hope for 20 in the mid-70s with 0 humidity.  A girl can dream...

I refrained from my caramel brownie yesterday and instead ate a HUGE chunk of birthday cake, but at least it's gone for good now.  Well, until next week I guess!  Hopefully...

The rest of my wknd was lovely, largely b/c I forgot my to-do list at work!  I didn't get most of what I'd planned done, but all the critical things happened, including having our neighbor over for dinner, and going to dinner at a friend's house last night.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sadness, major sadness.

Ugh, I don't know if I even want to write this. 

I don't really want to go into detail, but there is frequently drama around my office, most usually caused by the person known as Bla.  If she's not angry with me, she's angry with someone else (in which case she's nice to everyone else).  Well, I'm getting along with her fine, but someone else isn't.  This someone else is someone I generally get along with, but sometimes once a year or so, it seems like we'll be on each other's nerves for a few weeks.  But it goes away, and it's fine right now, and has been for weeks.  Through all the drama, the office manager seems to smooth things over, and generally seems sympathetic to me (though I would guess she does this to everyone -- like when I complain that Bla didn't file something that needed to be filed, she agrees that Bla was wrong, but I'm sure Bla tells her I should have done it or told her directly to do it, and I'm sure she tells Bla that I was wrong).  Ofc manager was involved with drama with our old receptionist, they hated each other, but the receptionist is gone now.  And ofc manager also seems to really dislike Bla, but most people here do. 

I came to work this morning and it felt like everything was fine with everyone and me.  And today was my birthday lunch (not my birthday, just the month's celebration for two of us in August).  Lovely day.  And donut day (which happens every 5-6 weeks here).  And then I found out that ofc manager said something to someone about me that was not very nice at all.  I was completely shocked.  I'm not sure why I thought she was above that kind of thing, but for some reason I did.  If anyone else in the ofc had said this, I don't think I would have been upset -- it's just par for the course of being in a small office, and it seems like each of them has been pissed at me once (or more in a couple cases) in the last few years.  Everyone except ofc manager.  But it turns out that ofc manager is one of those nice-to-your-face but talks-behind-your-back types.  I guess I expected more.  I was in tears when I called my husband this morning and told him.  The problem is, she doesn't know I know and I can't let her know without compromising my source, which I just wouldn't do.  So I feel like I need to get over it on my own.  I was almost unconsolable this morning, but birthday cake fixed it. 

I had mentioned a month or so ago to our receptionist that her return address stamp was so pretty.  She said it was a gift from ofc mgr, who walked in during that conversation and told me about it.  Ofc mgr emailed me and the other Aug bday and said she wanted to get us stamps like that, we just needed to pick our favorite designs and decide how we wanted them to read.  That seemed awkward to me, I don't want ofc mgr to feel like she has to get me anything, and it seems so odd and uncomfortable to tell her what I'd like my stamp to say -- I think I'm just awkward around receiving gifts in general.  She doesn't have to get me anything, and I didn't mean I wanted one when I told receptionist I'd liked hers.  Well, ofc mgr sent us another email this week saying she still didn't know how I want my stamp to read and she'd like to order it.  I don't know how to reply, yesterday my thought was to write something like "That is so sweet of you to offer, and I appreciate the sentiment, but you really don't need to get me anything.  But thank you!"  Today, I'm thinking of writing "That is so sweet of you to offer, you really don't need to get me anything.  What I'd really like this year is to be left out of all office gossip, so all I'd ask is that you just don't talk or write about me behind my back this year, and it will be one of my favorite birthday gifts."  I should probably sleep on it over the weekend. 

Camp was good this morning though, lots of arms, which I love.  I ran about 1.5 toward home and then ran into my neighbor who was walking south on the trail to meet me.  She u-turned and we walked home together.  She knows about some of the ofc drama from our past discussions, so she might be a better sounding board for me than my husband on this.  She's coming over for dinner tomorrow night (pasta to carb-load for Sunday's 16!), and she said maybe she'd come early to help me make the sauce while my husband is at work. 

Anyway, I've been really tired all week, so I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow and hopefully plugging away at my wknd to-do list.  Having our neighbor over tomorrow night, and taking dinner to a friend's house Sunday night since her mom is in town (and I like her mom a lot), and hopefully we'll get to play a game or something.  Not going to be a weekend with lots of outside commitments (only must do at a certain time things are volunteering 10-12 Saturday morning, dinner Sat night at home at 6:30ish, running 16 Sunday at 5:30, and then making and taking red lentil curry to my friend's), but I hope I'll get lots of the list projects done. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


After feeling so good yesterday, I think I feel worse today.  I'm trying to stay seated at work as much as possible and to keep icing.  Maybe I'll do some stretches in a little while too. 

We ran some at camp this morning, including a fairly quick mile, and then I ran home with Joy.  I slowed a bit after she u-turned because I knew there was more coming.  I ran into my husband a few blocks from home and we walked back together, he went in to get me a drink, and I rang our neighbor's bell.  We'd planned to go for a walk and I'd asked my hubby yesterday if he wanted to join us, but he said no.  But he changed his mind this morning, so the 3 of us walked about 1.6 together.  I felt some soreness while we were walking, but when we got home, it got worse as I was standing in the kitchen.  Crazy painful, but only 7 more long runs before MTCM!  And only two of those are over 19!  I think I can suck up a lot of pain for 7 weeks.  Especially when I try to have some perspective and think about people dealing with real problems.  As long as I'm not going to do any permanent damage or lengthen the time needed for recovery, I am just going to deal with it.  And then in sweet, sweet October and I can get some sweet, sweet rest.  It would be lovely if I qualified at MTCM and could let San Antonio just drop off my radar screen.

Found out this morning that one of my besties is going to do her 3d marathon -- White Rock again!  She ran Chicago in 07 at my suggestion -- I'm glad we're still friends after that!  I tried to tell her it was unprecedented, that there'd never been a major marathon like that before, that it was anything but normal (yes, people die in other marathons, but with the cancellation, the helicopters, the sirens, the police grabbing you, the insanity in general, this was unlike anything else).  I'm not sure if she believed me, but she definitely felt like she'd been robbed.  She was manhandled by some police but did manage to keep going and finished the race.  But it was clearly not the experience she anticipated, so she ran WR a couple months later and that was much better for her.  And now she's going to do it again!  I'm worried about her since she's starting a new job soon and said she won't be able to train with our group (she'll be working nights and her sched will be irregular), but hopefully registering for the race will be enough motivation to make up for the lack of group accountability/friendship that make me show up even when I'm tired or don't feel like it. 

I'd love to go out and cheer for her (and my husband if he decides to do the half).  But if I don't qualify at MTCM but get closer, I might feel compelled to run it again.  Then I'll have to wait for December to rest my feet!  That would be awesome since I hate training that month anyway -- too much fun food, too many drinks, too cold, too much snow when we go home.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Infomercial Purchase

I had a good run this morning, just under 8 miles, a bit too fast (and I started to lag the last quarter mile), but it was overall good and particularly nice to get to talk to a couple of the new guys from the Rock group who joined us for the first few miles. 

Last night I am embarrassed to say we started watching Bachelor Pad.  But fortunately we turned it off midway soon.  My husband was begging for mercy.  It's funny b/c he seemed to really like the Bachelorette, and we've watched the Bachelor together in the past as well and kind of enjoyed it together, but this was just too much.  At one point he asked me to put on something else, anything else.  So I scrolled through the guide and saw something called "Relieve Foot Pain."  I thought the infomercial would be sufficiently painful to watch that he'd be okay with going back to Bachelor Pad.  But the infomercial sucked me in.  Yes, I too want to walk pain-free!  I want to be like the guy who walks across the country!  So I called to order Walk Fit Platinums.  What a mistake!  I think I bought something off an infomercial about 10 years ago (Touched by Love compilation CD, purchased in about 1997).  The process has changed.  Now when you call, it's fully automated and they take your credit card info up front.  And then they keep offering you things that will automatically charge to your credit card unless you cancel -- replacement Walk Fits every 6 months, some glucosamine supplements, magazines, etc.  And each time the voice says "I'll add that to your order, okay?" and you say no, then you have to wait through another pitch for the same thing a second time, when you say no again, then it says offer declined and you move on to the next one.  The whole process took about 15 minutes and I will NEVER do that again -- I would have hung up if I hadn't already entered my credit card info and was paranoid I'd be automatically signed up for stuff.  Also, shipping and handling was insanely expensive.  The orthotics are $20, and s&h was another 10.  Not really a big deal b/c I don't mind spending $30 trying something new in my shoes, but I'd much rather know that up front rather than feel like they're nickel and diming me the entire time.  Well, lesson learned.  But ... if the orthotics get here in 2-3 weeks (what?!  another $10 for "expedited" processing to get them in 5-10 days, which I declined) and they really are as magical as the people on the infomercial said, I suppose I may look for an online ordering option...

But since I've been wearing these gel things in my work shoes, my foot pain seems to be reduced.  I've been thinking I'd really like to get one of those gel cushion kitchen mats like our neighbor has.  I've wanted one for a while but never gotten it, and now I really notice when I spend half an hour standing on the marble/tile/whatever floor preparing a smoothie for breakfast and making my wrap to bring to work for lunch.  I feel so old -- when I think about what I really want for my bday, the things that come to mind are the gel kitchen mat, new boot camp gloves and a mat, a new Brita for the fridge and maybe a new rack to hold bottles in the shower.  Way too practical!  Maybe I should mention those ideas to my husband though -- since otherwise I'll probably get running clothes, jewelry, or plane tickets, which have been gifts of choice the last few years.  I know there won't be any plane tickets this year since we're pretty short on vacation!  I told him I really don't want anything, maybe just a special dinner that he cooks and a relaxing night together, but he never listens when I say that...

Monday, August 9, 2010

First 20 -- check.

Sunday's 20 miler went pretty well.  I did some major carb loading on Saturday, which may have shocked our Italian guest.  I made waffles for breakfast and ate about 4.5.  She was IMing with her mom and told her mom that I was feeding her well, which was nice b/c they always feed us so well when we're in Italy.  Then we went out for pizza for lunch -- fairly good, but the place isn't as good as it once was.  I think they're Americanizing their style, which is a bummer.  We have a couple good authentic Italian places within a mile or two of our house, and this always counted as one but may have to go off the list, despite the fact the pizza guy and owner is Italian.  The place we went Thurs night is actually owned by Moroccans but they lived in Italy for over 20 years before coming here, and we think their pizza is more authentic than the place we went on Sat, though I wouldn't have said that a couple years ago.  Anyway, after pizza lunch and some time visiting with our neighbor, who is finally back in town, we relaxed and watched a movie -- Time Traveler's Wife (not as good as the book, but still good).  Then dinner was more carbs -- hubby was carbed out, so we didn't eat the same thing, which meant I got to enjoy macaroni and cheese for dinner!  I love it, but he hates it (at least he hates the boxed kind; he does like homemade), so I usually just eat it for lunch on the weekends if he's not around.  Having it for dinner when we're both home is rare.  I also ate one steamed zucchini with the macaroni, which is unusual for me.  I try to avoid veggies for at least 12 hours before the run.  I also avoid protein and dairy and fruit for the most part -- there's just to much risk of having an upset stomach over the course of 20 miles.  My pre-long long run dinner is usually pasta in red sauce with a piece of garlic bread, and if I'm just dying for it, sometimes a small amount of spinach or green beans on the side. 

But the carb-fest worked!  We started at 5 a.m. on Sunday, ran an easy 3 miles, then met up with the rest of the group and ran another 17.  By the time we were at about 13.5 (the rest of the group at 10.5), we realized the course was about 2 miles short.  I've run with this program for years and it's been short before, but never by more than half a mile.  This was crazy.  The course wasn't exactly an out and back.  We ran to the trail the long way (about a mile), down the trail, through downtown, up to the main hill street for a short little loop, then back through downtown on a different street, back up the trail, and then back to the start the short way (about .5 miles).  We realized how short we were when we got back on the trail.  Since it's the trail right by my house, I said I could come up with a little loop to add 2 miles.  We got to the water stop very close to my house, turned off the trail and ran down a lovely little side street for about a mile, then got back on the trail and ran north again back to the water stop, then finished up the route as planned.  The only bad part about our detour was the stairs to get back on the trail.  It's a new trail entrance, so I've never taken it.  I knew there were some steps, but I guessed about 8, maybe 12 at worst.  Surprise!  It was two flights.  Not a big deal normally, but the very last thing you want to see after running about 17 miles and knowing you have 3 to go.  Pretty much everyone in our group was great and able to easily get up the first half of the first flight, then it got slower and considerably more painful and difficult.  Good thing there were railings! 

We finished the run strong, or at least a few of us did.  It was a tough, hot morning and lots of the group struggled.  I finished the last 6 miles or so with Fred again.  We discussed something we'd apparently both noticed last week -- we have the exact same cadence.  Step for step, I can't tell if the sound is his feet hitting or my own.  Even when we realize we're going too fast and decide to slow down, we still step at the exact same cadence.  Even when accellerating to get across an intersection, exact same cadence.  I told him that if hubby and I win the lottery in the next few weeks, we're going to fly Fred to MTCM to run alongside me for the last 16 miles or so, it's just so comforting to be in step with someone.  I think it might be because Fred was/is a Marine and like my husband, easily falls in step with others from lots of training and marching.  Anyway, he's going to run Marine Corps and it will be his first marathon.  When we ran up the final hill in our 20 miler I told him to visualize the hill at the end of Marine Corps, since it's similar in steepness and in the fact that both have a turn at the top. 

After the run I stretched a bit and went to meet friends for breakfast.  We had so much fun.  "Double D," his nickname, wasn't able to come meet me for the final part of my run b/c he's been sick pretty much since he got to Dallas.  Unfortunately, his fiancee also tripped over some luggage one night and split the bridge of her nose open -- oh, I felt so sad for her, esp to have that happen right before her bridal shower.  Nothing like 2 black eyes and a big open cut to make for some lovely photos.  Luckily for her, she's still beautiful and has a good attitude. 

I spent the day relaxing at home first, then at our neighbor's house.  Then went to the running team party last night, where I tried to remain seated as much as possible. 

This morning the first few steps were insanely painful again -- plantar's seems to be worse than ever -- but it loosened up as I got going.  I went to boot camp but didn't really run.  I jogged about a quarter mile and walked the rest, then called my neighbor when I got home from camp and she and I went to the trail and walked a mile there.  By the time I got home, my feet felt great. 

I wonder if the plantars is just so painful that I don't notice normal 20 mile soreness, or if I'm just not sore, but my normal tight spots feel great, despite the fact that I went straight to breakfast yesterday and never took an ice bath.  Normally I'd feel a really long run in my quads a bit, and sometimes my back or glutes, but all those areas seem to be completely pain-free!  I've been good about core work, so no back pain is no surprise.  And I stretched and drank my recovery drink promptly, but I feel like I always do that and I still usually have some quad soreness.  This year it's just all-plantars-all-the-time!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Rest Day with Houseguests!

Well, house renovations didn't quite wrap up yesterday as hoped, but they're in the final stretches today it appears.  After a very late and exciting night last night -- featuring the circus followed by going out for pizza and drinks, and then followed by making up the rollaway bed, finishing rehanging pictures on the walls, etc. -- I decided to skip camp and running this morning.  I may go tomorrow if I wake up early but I think that might be unlikely since we'd like our foreign guest to return to Bella Italia with fun stories of Dallas and Fort Worth. 

I might bail on work a little early and aim to bill a few extra hours over the wknd or something.  I think they're planning on an indoor zoo/aquarium today, which would be fun.  Tomorrow my vote is going to be Fort Worth to see the cattle drive (in Italy, the image of Texas seems to be well-represented by Fort Worth) and lunch at what I think is one of the coolest Mexican restaurants around.  Unfortunately, it will have to be VERY early to bed for me on Sat night since our group has decided to break up the long run a bit on Sunday.  Since MTCM, St. George and other early marathons have to go 20 miles, while Chicago and others only have 17 or 18, those of us doing 20 will have to start running at 5 a.m.  We'll do 3 miles and end up back at our start point around 5:30, then pick up the bulk of the group for another 17 miles.  And my Cali-based running buddy is going to start whenever he wakes up and gets ready and is going to run the course backwards toward me, then u-turn when we meet up and run the final miles in with me. 

The post-run plan on Sunday is going to be wonderfully fun, but not wonderful for recovery.  I'll make sure I have my recovery drink available and I'll try to stretch a little, but there won't be time for an ice bath or a massage, instead we'll just head straight to breakfast.  Mmm... crepes -- they have build-your-own crepes at this place and that's usually my first choice for breakfast there.  Zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, corn and jack cheese.  Sometimes I add spinach too.  Almost everyone else gets migas there, but I'm not really an egg person.  Occasionally I'll do french toast with fruit, so that may also be a contender.  Then I'll go home to shower and clean up and hopefully put my feet up for a while.  And I'll get to enjoy 2 caramel brownies and half a pint of my fave B&J ice cream.  Yum...  The flavor (oatmeal cookie chunk) seems to be hard to find, so I've had my hubby keep his eyes open for it for a couple weeks and he found it.  So I have 1 pint that is for this Sunday and two weeks from now, and 1 pint wholly reserved for after our 23 miler.  Sometimes I think the best part of doing these long training runs is getting to make up the calories.  Oh, and not crashing and burning during the marathon!  Haha. 

Okay, time to bill some hours since I just got comments from the client and I want to scoot out early oggi, to transition to my Italian frame of mind...  It's fun speaking, but she is trying to improve her English, so we actually speak that more than anything.  It will be nice next time we're in Italy to have someone to talk to in English -- she'll be able to translate for us.  We both speak Italian quite well, but unfortunately neither of us speaks dialect, which is what the older generation uses primarily.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Yesterday I unexpectedly ended up with my first (and maybe only) two-a-day for the season!  I was feeling good after my 8.5 yesterday morning and was at work when I got a message from a friend who's just trying to build back up to about 8 miles -- he's at about 1-2 right now.  He kind of knows that I'm something of a miles whore these days, that unless I have other plans, I'll pretty much run any number of miles at any pace with anyone, as long as it's someone to talk to.  His Tues PM run partner had cancelled but he had his gear at work and asked if I wanted to run with him.  So I left work a little early, went home and changed, and then ran south on the trail by my house about a mile to his office.  We then went about 2 miles together at about an 11-ish pace.  Then we walked about a mile together since we were caught up in talking about his dating drama and about our jobs.  We met while studying for the bar through a mutual friend and then ran into each other at a bar a few months later and he recognized me, so we've been friends since.  Anyway, after he u-turned to head back to his office, I ran the rest of the way home. 

I think I have a better understanding now of why I put myself through such a beat-down to get up early.  Running after work when the heat index is 105ish and the actual temp is 100ish is downright miserable.  I felt thirsty after less than a mile.  But I only went about 3.3 miles total, plus the mile of walking, so it was bearable.  But since we have hills tomorrow and Tom and I both have other early morning commitments, our group has decided to start the run at 5 a.m.  But-for last night's experience (and the fact that our whole group is getting up early to accommodate us), I'd maybe be tempted to sleep in a bit and attempt hills on my own in the evening.  No chance of that now!  Plus I'd never be sufficiently motivated to do hills alone in the evening, even if the weather was perfect. 

So this morning I didn't run after camp.  We had enough during camp, including 1 fairly good-paced mile, that I figured I'd take a pass and Joy said she didn't mind. 
I'm thinking of taking Fri and Sat off from exercise for a couple reasons.  First, I've been dying for a break from boot camp.  I feel like just a bit of rest would be good.  Second, we're going to have our Italian houseguest in town and I'd like to be able to stay up late and spend the maximum amount of time hanging out with her.  Third, if I had to pick anywhere to add rest days, the two days right before our first 20-miler might be ideal!  I'll wait and see how I feel on Thurs night and see what we're doing, but if I want the day off, I'm going to take it.  Either way, odds are very high I'll take Sat off since I almost always do and since I know we're going out Fri night. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Great run this morning, best in over a month probably.  The run was hot (85* at 5:15 a.m. for the start, 83* close to 6:30 for the finish) and the pace was fast (apparently 8:35ish).  But the humidity was low (under 70%) and the shoes were new!  It seriously felt like I was sailing.  We were aiming for 8 miles (schedule said 7-9) but ended up doing 8.5 because we had to go a little further past the u-turn point to get to water, and then on the way back, Tony and I doubled back for a few minutes b/c we worried Tom would get lost behind us and he'd stopped for a couple minutes.  I think the opening pace was fast b/c we ran with the Rock group again for the first 3 miles.  And Tammi is still out another week with her injury, so it was me running with 8 guys.  And yet somehow, the primary topic of conversation among at least half the group for at least the first 2 miles was last night's Bachelorette finale!  It was so funny.  I know David watches b/c his wife likes the show and he always gets suckered in.  He, like me, was rooting for Roberto, so we were happy.  Tom didn't know what we were talking about, guessed it was some chick flick and then admitted to being into the Twilight movies (not books though).  Too funny!  Anyway, after the Rock guys turned back, it was me, David, Tony, Tom and Read, and it was great -- they're all friendly and talkative, so it just felt easy and effortless.  Have I mentioned lately how friggin' lucky I am to have such a great running group?  There are a couple hills on the way back, and by the time we got to the second one, I realized that I was surprising myself at how well I was keeping up.  It just felt great out there today. 

I was rehashing the run with Adam and he agreed that humidity can be worse for a run than heat.  But I've concluded that for me, the order of evil is as follows:  Sun, Humidity, Heat, Icy, Windy.  If it's dark or overcast, even if it's hot and humid, I seem to do better than if it's bright and sunny but cooler and less humid.  The sun just seems to sap my strength sometimes. 

I also had less foot pain when I woke up this morning, which was nice.  I think wearing the gel inserts in my work shoes might have helped even though I barely walk during the day.  Seriously.  It's less than 15 steps to the water cooler, less than twice that to the restroom or the big and fast printer.  And those are the main places I go.  Sometimes up to see the receptionist a couple times, but that's not far either.  It seems like my heels hurt a bit more right now than they usually do during the day, but still feels good during the run, so I'm still ignoring. 

The other good news is that the pound I lost is gone again.  It came back briefly for the wknd, but it's gone.  There are a few weight loss blogs that I love reading and those have definitely inspired me to keep track of my weight more than I did before, so I usually check it most days but try to write it down on the first day of each month (though I missed July).  Of course the first day of the month was over the weekend when the pound had reappeared, but I was still content to be back at my New Year's Day weight.  Maybe in Sept the pound will really be gone.  Might have to do my October "weigh in" a day early since we leave on 9/30 for the marathon.  OR... I could do it on Monday, 10/4, the day after the marathon -- I'd probably be really low then since I'm sure I'll be dehydrated that morning no many how many gallons of water I drink after the race and on the plane ride home!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Race Pace and Growing Family!

The 15 miles yesterday went well.  Normally our pace leader likes to do marathon pace during the middle of the run, or during the second half, but due to the extreme heat (low 80s when we started at 5:30 a.m.), we did it on the beginning of the run.  We ran easy to mile 2, then race pace to the u-turn at 7.5, then race pace for another half mile, then easy the rest of the way back.  Any given Sunday, I couldn't care less when we do the race pace, and I suppose I might even prefer it from a strength/mental point to do it at the end of the run, but yesterday's route was a long gradual downhill into downtown, then a long gradual uphill all the way back.  So it was kind of like cheating to do race pace only on the downhill, but I'm not complaining!

I wanted to try out my MTCM outfit but it's a short-sleeved shirt and by Sat night I realized that I'd have to be on crack to wear short sleeves in the morning instead of sleeveless in temps over 80.  So trying out the outfit will have to wait for Sept. probably.  I've worn it on several runs over 13 before, but never over about 16 as far as I can remember.  It's the outfit my husband got me for my bday last year -- Brooks navy and teal shorts and shirt. 

But the best part of the day Sunday came after the run.  I got home and relaxed for a little while, icing my feet, stretching, delaying taking a shower.  Our phone rang and it was my baby brother calling to say he'd gotten engaged that morning!  I'm so excited for them!  He and his fiancee have been dating since college, about 4 years?  Maybe 5?  She's really sweet and will make a stunning bride I'm sure.  She's from Michigan and they're thinking the wedding will be there next summer.  I'm not sure where they're going to live.  She currently lives in Milwaukee, and my bro lives in Chicago with one of my other brothers.  Maybe they can live somewhere in between.  I am a big believer in birth order stuff as it applies to families with 4 or more children in particular.  I married the baby in a big family, and the brother who got engaged is the baby in ours.  And I honestly believe the babies are the sweetest and nicest.  I told my bro's fiancee that she definitely is marrying the best of all of us.  She's a lucky girl, but he's also a lucky guy. 

The other big family expansion happened overnight last night.  We got a text that we became great-uncle/aunt again overnight.  The crazy thing is, it's another boy.  That makes 3 straight generations comprising 11 births and 100% male in my husband's family.  He has brothers, no sisters, all of their children are male, and now the one nephew who has had kids (second last night) has only had boys.  If I were a math person, I'd try to figure out the odds of that! 

Anyway, the weekend was quiet and productive, which was awesome.  I didn't do any Xmas shopping but I kind of started researching.  I didn't connect with all my besties but I at least left voicemails.  I still have to dig out school supplies to donate.  I'm wearing the heel cushions today and they feel good.  I went to pick up 3 orders of prints, including 1 order that was an 8x10 and three 4x6s.  The guy at Walgreen's had trouble finding that order (the other two orders were all 4x6s and were ready).  I said it was an enlargement and then he pulled it off the printer and put it in an envelope.  I asked to confirm that the three smaller prints were there too and he looked at the scanner tag and said yes.  My mistake for not trusting.  People who work at the Walgreen's photo counter are not bright or reliable, particularly less so when you interrupt their flirting with a co-worker to pick up your order.  I got home and started working on dinner; while things were cooking, I got out the prints to organize them and of course realized the smaller ones were missing.  I called the store and the idiot eventually found them and said I'd have to come back to pick them up while he was working b/c he didn't know how to make sure I'd get them after he was gone.  Of course that didn't work b/c of dinner -- I was so frustrated!  But my husband picked them up on his way home, so not a big deal.  It's just irritating that some people do their job so inattentively.  But I should have known better and checked myself before I drove home.  I blame it on being too distracted by the cute engagement card I picked out for my brother's fiancee.  Either way, now I just have to put the pics in the frames and then wait to get the all-clear on our renovations so I can rehang things on the interior walls that were impacted.  Hopefully that will happen in the next couple days before our lovely Italian houseguest arrives!