Sunday, January 31, 2010

8 mile run with the KreW today...Ran from MP pool to Uptown, down NPO and back; Megan, Amber and I added on a mile at the end (I was being a slave to the schedule!)

1 hour on the trainer (just now finished) while watching the Grammy red carpet coverage. 

Tomorrow is full on weights training (2 hour session!) cardio whatsoevah!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Texas Med Center 5K

No PR today.  WAY too windy; fighting a head wind the whole way; but I still did alright considering its been 13 days since the marathon and no short distance speed training.  28:something or other...

Legs felt dead too, and with a 27deg wind chill it was just too cold.  Not to mention I was an idiot and put my dtag on my trainers and not racers.  Mentally I was really pissed about that.

Coach SW won and I got to see him making the turn for the finish with LA just behind him, but I knew he wasnt going to catch him.  This race must be getting popular for some reason because this was the first year I have seen that many heavy hitters out there on the course.  With the Rockets Run tomorrow, that made it even stranger...

After returning home I hopped on the trainer for 30 mins of an 8 mile run tomorrow with ALL of the peeps!!!  So excited about that!!

Anyway, people fasten your seat belts because I am going to be blogging about something near and dear to my heart in the next week or so, and you're either going to hate me (disagree and make the usual excuses too), or you'll agree with me, or it is my intent to make you think about what you are doing to your bodies by what you are eating (and how much) and moreso what you are doing to your children...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Easy Yummy Good for You Food

2 things that I have recently seen on Rachel Ray are to die for (and yes I have fixed them myself already)!!  Low fat and just tasty tasty tasty!  So I am going to share!

Any box of whatever kind of boxed broth (I like beef)
Fresh pasta (tortellini; whole grain of course)
Lemon zest
Fresh spinach leaves

Boil the broth, then add in the tortellini.
Once the tortellini bobs to the top its almost done
Add in the fresh spinach after the tortellini is done and just let it droop down

Done!  Add a bit of lemon zest (adds a wonderful flavor!) and circle in; top with parmesan!!

Chicken Dish
Boneless chicken breasts cut into nice size strips or chunks
Fire roasted whole tomatoes (you might want to cut them into smaller chunks)
Pepper flakes (the kind you use on pizza; I like spicy food!)
large container of fresh mushrooms

Warm the EVOO and garlic in the pan
Add the chicken, salt and pepper flakes
Brown really well, then add the tomatoes
reduce heat and simmer
about 10 min till done dump the mushrooms in; cover and let them soften

DONE!  super duper.  Eat over brown rice, couscous, quinoa, or whole grain pasta of your choice!  I personally LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE quinoa!!!


In other news, I put my older Trek bike on Craigslist yesterday and today I am $200 richer and the bike is GONE!  Fabulous!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Easy run to Rice and back.  Breezy out.
Rest tomorrow.
Race Saturday.

'Not a date' night tonight.  Greek food!  Yay!  Hummus and tabouli!  Two of my favorite things!!

For you Pasta Lovers (and think you're eating healthy)...

You need to watch this.

Now I don't eat pasta often, maybe once or twice a month...and I buy the good stuff, but what stuck out at me in this segment from the Today Show was the restaurant 'serving' (4 cups!!!) and because it was the icky pasta, what you were basically eating!!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrross!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You might as well be just injecting sugar into your veins (and fat onto your ass)...

What gets me is why are Italian style restaurants serving this crap (and why are some of you still eating it!!)???  I can't think of one Italian place that has whole grain pasta that I have ever been in...and I am NOT talking about 'enriched' she states, thats a load of crap.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Fast and the Furious

6 miles.  Hard.  Fast.

Loved it.  Now I just need that same type of performance to be there with me on Saturday.

A lot of fury in that one, that much is certain.  It was perfect.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday:  45 min run; 15 min elliptical; 1 hour on weights
Tuesday: Rest day.  1st one in 7 days.  I don't know how people do this...and by that I mean DO NOTHING.  I feel like a huge slug...

Go Sell Crazy Somewhere Else...

I read a lot of blogs, and this one in particular always has an interesting post more often than not.  I don't get to them (all the blogs) as often as I should, and by the time I do, I have a lot of ground to make up.  This week I found this little gem of a read...

Its odd that this post should come around now, because I have been thinking about this very same thing and wondering how to put it into words without coming across as crass, or even holier than thou...fine line you know?

I think, by nature, first off, OCD tendancies don't occur out of nowhere.  They may be hidden for a very long time, and not rear their head till such a time as with health, fitness and food etc.,

For me, I have always had OCD to varying degrees, and honestly, in my case, as its been pointed out, I am more 'addicted' than 'obsessed'.  I have always had an addictive personality, and because of that, yes, have always traded one addiction (or obsession) for another...And yes now I realize that that is EXACTLY what I have done. 


Since October, I have been completely off the charts as to my weight and the loss of it.  Initially its because I wanted to get faster (at running).  Then it was to look better [read: skinny].  But also underneath it all it was to be able to 'control' something as it seemed as if I had no control anywhere else in my life.  The one thing I had focused on completely for a couple of years was no longer a source of frustration, constant feelings of defeat and worthlessness...I had nothing but myself to focus on and fret about for a change. 

I could control what I eat.  And how much I run.  And how much I exercise.  And how I look.  The added bonus was that even though I hadn't realized it for so long, I could control how I feel.  I had let someone dictate that for way too long.

This I believe was a turning point in my life.  And more than likely one that might have saved it, if just my sanity and overall well-being.

Now before I go any further, remember the disclaimer I made a while back...I am not writing this blog for anyone in particular other than myself, and my thoughts and opinions are exactly that.  Mine.  Also remember that in no way, shape or form, are the majority of those directed at any one person in particular, so if I offend anyone, my apologies in advance.  I think I have a lot to offer, so for those that take advice away from here, apply it and succeed thats great!  I know some of you do, and have, and will continue to do so...

The writer of the blog posts makes several statements to which I immediately responded to; and when I say responded, I mean I either took a deep breath, said "yeah!" and so on...I mean that what he had to say, at least to me, had some merit.  I know that there are some of you out there, right now, reading this, and if you know me, you might have even experienced some 'concern' about my 'obsession' with getting thinner (faster), and my over-zealous desire to do more, more, more in the way of exercise.  And I know...I know...I can see the wheels spinning already...

And I get why you might think that.  And I also get that some people will be concerned for maybe what might be ok to be concerned about, and then others, not so much.  I think there lies some 'ugh, you shouldnt be doing that, you're going to get sick, hurt, etc., when really its just a way of attempting some sort of sabotage first off, and secondly to make it seem ok that you dont think like me, or have the willpower or desire to make a better life.  Or rather, be concerned with my health and longetivy .. You should be concerned, and quite honestly, healthy, active people like myself worry more about those that aren't than you do about us!!!

As he states, we become the habits we choose and practice.  It becomes a part of life, and no longer a question on this or that?  While some may think that I am the crazy one, am I really?  I feel great, I require less sleep, I'm active, I look younger than my age (or so I'm told and I tend to agree), I'm never can any of this be bad for me?

Yet I see more and more words like "I am soooooooo tired"...."I need a nap"...."I dont have any energy"...."I am so hungover"...."OMG I ate soooooooooo much"..."My knees (or insert any other body part) hurt"..."I dont have time"...thats my all time favorite..."I need to lose weight, or exercise, but I am too full, tired, sick, hungover, dont have any energy to do so, and plus I dont have the time (but I do have time to lay around and watch 14 hours of tv, or go out and drink or sleep in cause you're hungover"....guess what...?

I worry about others who don't take their health seriously...  A little obsessivness (addiction) goes a long way...go on...try and convince me I'm wrong...

Most recently I read this and thought, wow, that is so true (and will sign off with this as well):  It's the same reason that people tell me that running is "bad for my knees" or that I'm "crazy" for running every day. I should tell them that they're crazy for drinking beer, smoking, and watching television. Drinking beer is a lot worse for you than running, right?

One thing that I find funny (but also troubling) is that making fun of people for smoking, drinking, eating gross manufactured non-food items or being overweight (especially women) is taboo, but making fun of people for dedication to fitness is widely acceptable.
If a female boss sarcastically remarks to me "Ooohhh, Mr. Big Marathon Runner, thinks he's all important because he ran eight miles today" she's likely to be greeted with a roomful of laughs. If I reply with "So, did you always have a huge gut, or did you just pack on the freshman fifteen for four straight years?" - most likely I'll be greeted with audible gasps and harsh stares for making fun of her weight.

Monday, January 25, 2010

10 Things that Make Me Happy

I was tagged my the great pink one over the weekend at some list 10 things that make me happy...

  1. Well let's just start with the obvious why don't we?  Running.  There is nothing like running that makes me feel more happy.  Even when it sucks, I'm still happy.  Sorta.  ;)
  2. Spending time with my sister, even when its just over email or the phone; its just that wonderful.  We are so close now, these past few years, and even though sometimes I wish I could go back and have more wonderful years like these have been, I know that this is the way it was supposed to be.  And besides we have so many more to look forward to!
  3. Love.  Love makes me happy when its true; when its reciprocated; when its not taken for granted; not even just the romantic kind of love, but love when its between friends, between family, and yes even self-love.  I just recently gave myself that all important gift after a couple years of deprivation.  
  4. Seeing the scale move.  Downward!  Yippee!!!
    1. See previous post for most recent 'happy' moment!!!  YAY FOR DETERMINATION AND WILLPOWER!!
  5. Shoes.  Any kind!  High heel, ballerina flats, trainers, sandals, peep toe, racers, stiletto (my favorite!), strappy, conservative (with a flair of course), cowboy boots, over the knee/hoochie mama/Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman kind of boots (most recent purchase ;o), you name it, and I've got it!  In spades too!!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE SHOES, THEY MAKE ME SWOON (except for Uggs and Crocs; they are NOT my friend, nor should they be yours)!!!
  6. Sunshine.  Especially on a hot day in the Summer when I can be outside, laying by the much as I hate to run in the hot, humid weather in Texas, I do indeed love me some sunshine.
  7. Cake.  If you have been following me at all over the past couple of years on my other blog, or know me personally, you know how happy cake makes me.  But not Red Velvet cake.  Thats icky and does not make me happy.
    1. Cupcakes also make me really REALLY happy...they are like the perfect individual size cake...and no leftovers or additional calories to tempt you with!
  8. Ice Cream.  See #7 with the exception that the icky factor here would be ice cream that tastes like coffee.  Blech.  I dont care who you are, that's just wrong. 
    1. I do not however really like #7 and #8 at the same time.  Ice cream goes better with pie.  Hot, fresh out of the oven pie.
  9. Dance music.  And dancing to it.  Most definitely stuff that makes me happy!  I have been doing a lot of dancing lately; makes me feel alive and totally uninhibited.
  10. #10 will remain a secret; but it involves the day of Sunday...and I do it every Sunday that I can just because it also makes me feel alive and uninhibited...
    1. In lieu of this though, I give you this one:  it makes me happy when I can say to others "I run marathons; I'm a runner; I'm a triathlete; I'm a duathlete; or just simply "I'm a runner."  Most recently in a big team meeting where some groups came together, we all had to stand up and blah blah blah, but list one thing we do outside of work, in our free time.  My answer was:  I run.  :)

Time to Give Back...

On March 3rd, I will be embarking on a new venture; as a Coach!  I really, REALLY love inspiring, leading, motivating and encouraging others when it comes to health, wellness, nutrition and RUNNING!  So when the opportunity presented itself, then I chose to go for it!

Its a program geared more towards new runners, a Couch to 5K sort of thing and I think its just wonderful!  The program is called Power in Motion, and I am just beside myself to begin! 

I can't wait to be more involved, and so many people have helped me along the way, and yes, I have helped others here and there (pacing for KW, helping out an individual here or there), but not on such a scale as this...I am super duper excited and I hope that my enthusiasm for the sport I hold near and dear to my heart rubs off on at least ONE of the newbies!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Busy Girl!

Friday:  1 hour of upper body weights
Saturday: 6 miles; usual route.  Very humid and muggy out and 68deg.  Yuk.  Legs feel good though.  Still in awe about my recovery success not even a week after marathon.  Very sore though from the weights work this week.  A good kind of sore though.
Sunday: Very windy and I wanted to ride this afternoon when the temps would be mid 60 and hoping the wind would die down.  It didnt.  Was tough to ride and sometimes the wind was so strong I could barely maintain a 10mph pace.  I was digging deep for it too, but me against that sort of stuff from Mother Nature...tough stuff.  Came off the main drag of Main St and just rode parts of the 'official' bike route to get the mileage in.

On the weight front, this morning I finally broke the scale 'barrier'!  I went below my goal mark and was so happy!!  9 lbs lost since my Dr. visit back in early November.  Now only 4 lbs to go to the next goal which I had set a time goal of the 1/2 in Dallas mid-March.

BIG week coming up...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

40 min easy running today.  Was a bit warm out, mid 70's...want the cooler weather back pretty please; but the no humidity was nice! 

Went to dinner on my 'not-a-date' :) at The Black Walnut and had the seared tuna (which basically is raw tuna steak), and it was fabulous!  Wanted gelato for a treat, but refrained.  :)  I chose this dish mainly because its low cal/low fat/excellent protein source and the portion is smaaaalll... always easier to not overeat when you don't have a choice!!

Tomorrow is simply a gym day/weights only workout as I want to run for an hour on Saturday.  I could feel some residual tightness in my hamstrings on todays run, so I will not run tomorrow in hopes that on Saturday there is no soreness anywhere whatsoever!

Do You See What I Seeeeee???

Well by now you all know that I am doing wonderfully in the few days post-marathon (with the exception that yes, still today, I have that tingly, numbness feeling in the 2 toes/left foot)...I have never recovered as well as this and last night via email Coach had some encouraging things to say about that...anyway, the hardest part is being so darn hungry but yet not being able to eat.  Embrace the hunger, embrace the hunger...

Well I can eat, don't misunderstand, its just that now, more than ever, I have to be very, very careful about what goes into my body since I am not running as much, but, I did bike already, and in addition to running yesterday, I did weights full on; which I havent done in forever.  Still, I have weight to lose, and it isnt going to just fall off without me being diligent.  Being super cautious as to intake, but man am I hungry a lot this I drink the hot tea...

I lost track of the days, but well its been since late September that I have driven through a drive through, went into a place with a drive through, or eaten anything anyone else may have bought at a place with a drive through.  Again, not that I was ever a fast food person, but I did like my occasional Whataburger and french fries.  In addition to that, I havent set foot into a mexican food restaurant, and as much as I love mexican food, I doubt I ever will again (it would have to be a special occasion that I wouldnt pass up because of the occasion it represented)..I also have not had alcohol, minus the sip of champagne on NYE and the celebration wine one night while out with friends. 

The proof is in the pictures...I know what my pics looked like at my triathlon in August (awesome), and then the 10 miler race in October (gross and fat) and I almost fell out of my chair at the was disgusting to me. 

In a few short months, with diligence (and support from a dear, dear, dear, friend), the fat is definitely leaving the building.  I am happy with those photos from the marathon on Sunday.  There are so many things that I just wont eat anymore, but yes, I still crave them, and will at some point, indulge (perhaps) but it will have to be a super special occasion. 

And because of those pictures, I will not veer off the course...I havent weighed since the day before marathon, and won't either till this coming Monday...too much icky stuff to alter the results this week and I dont want to be pissed off   :o)  I want to hit my (first) goal by March 14, 2010 which is the half marathon in Dallas.  Gonna be tough to do, so I will cut myself some slack; as long as I see the scale moving, I'm good...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Recovery Score!!!

I wanted to see if I could run today...3 days after marathon. 

Started out walking for about 5 minutes and then decided to give it a go!  SCORE!  No pain whatsoever!

My hard work might not have been reflected as it should have been on Sunday, but it sure paid off today with a wonderful recovery so quickly!

Ran for 35 minutes; wanted to do more, but Coach said 30 what if I went over by 5 minutes?  :)

Soooooooo excited!  Felt wonderful!!

Now for some more bike time on the trainer!!

Chevron Houston Marathon pictures
Click Link to View  :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Post Marathon - Day 2

Woke up with more mobility of course than yesterday.  No ill effects from the deep massage either.  Good stuff.

1 hour on the (bike) trainer tonight while watching Biggest Loser :)
Used small hand weights intermittently (biceps, shoulders)

Getting on the bike helped tremendously to ease out the last bit of soreness in the quads.  Was careful not to go too fast/hard as the last thing I need is to build up any LA in the quads again :)

P.S.  Got the elevation chart for the RnR half in March.  Lord help me.  Its freakin' hilly as all get out.  Much more so than anything I have EVER done before...

At a Glance...

Official Spring training starts Feb 6.  Already have my schedule, with guidance from SW on exactly what I need to be doing.  Getting faster at the shorter distances is the short term goal, with eyes already on where I need to be come July and August when marathon training starts.

5K next weekend.  Not sure how that's going to go, but he says I'm good for it as long as I take the next week and do what he says.

End of February:  Duathlon.  3 mile run, 15 mile bike, 3 mile run.  Never raced these distances together.  Should be interesting and I hope its freezing cold, as its called Frost UR Fanny.

Mid-March: Dallas RnR Half Marathon.  Tough course.  Hills, and from what I understand not like Houston 'hills'.  Still waiting on elevation course to be posted.

Other than those, it will be spattered with short, local races here and there, just have not yet been determined.

Every Wall Has a Door - Chevron Houston Marathon RR

I loved that saying and on Sunday if I saw one sign with that on it, I saw 50.

And to apologize in advance, but I am typing my blog posts lately about races much like I am getting faster at running them.

You all know I trained and trained and trained, 4 training runs of 20miles or more ; yadda yadda yadda...but on that morning, and even not till much into the race can you ever be certain.

43ish deg at the start.  Blah.  Unless it was going to stay at 43 deg, thats too warm for 26.2 miles (and you're a mid of the pack kind of runner).  But of course that did not happen, and the sky was cloudless too and bright sunshine as you make your way through the last 5.5 miles while you're at it.

Miles 1 - 13: right on pace for sub 4:30; maybe just a few seconds off, but make that up on the last 10K was Megan and I's thought process.  We so got this.
Miles 14 and 15: Westpark 'hill'; Legs are for whatever just prior to that are seeming to be building L acid up...After the 'hill' it was very apparent this had happened and my legs felt like lead and I didnt know what to do; kept going.  First signs of GI issues as well.
Miles 16 - 18: Stopped at 16.5 when I saw my family and by then I just needed to do something about my legs but didnt know what to do, so I stood there talking for about 3 minutes.  Lost Megan during this obviously.
18-24: More GI issues; several stops; losing time each stop and becoming more mentally out of it knowing I wasn't going to get to my goal.
Mile 19:  Shook hands with Pres Bush Sr.  Also started now attempting to stay with the 4:45 pacer since the 4:30 guy was long gone now...trying so hard to mentally come back.
Mile 20:  Really?  if you are going to have belly dancers out there can you at least make them hot?  Training run over.  10K race.  Dying (in my mind). 
Mile 22: Saw sister again; wanted to quit.  Talked for another couple of minutes.  Legs dead; cramps (both in legs and stomach);  Also saw Robin and Stephan; talked a minute with them too.  Almost there...can't.  quit.
Mile 23: Potty break again.  Shit.  Really?  Had to; knew I wasnt going to make it with clean shorts otherwise :)
Mile 24ish: done with the 'hills' of Allen Parkway.  Cut my legs off please.  Quads are on fire.   See Britney.  Britney jumps in to run me into downtown.  For 2 miles she talks.  And talks.  And talks.  Love her.
1.5 Miles to Go sign on the bridge above:  LIAR.  I know its farther... :o)
Turn on Rusk: House music playing....WOOHOO!!  Running faster now...Can see Finish line; why is it getting farther and farther away.  Dying but still running as fast as I can.  Hear announcer calling HERE COMES JUUUUUUNEBUG!!!  Pump hands in the air for like 100 yds I think.  Don't hit your watch; get good finishing picture for a change.  Done.
Finish: from the video it looks like I am ok.  What they dont show is me then almost falling down from the cramping and the dizziness.  Thankfully Pony finished after me and helped me along with a couple of the volunteers.
Get pictures taken somehow....more cramping.  Can hardly walk.  Blah blah blah.  Find friends.  Chocolate milk.  Only thing of substance that I would have until the next morning...unable to eat and retain.

As I said, I cannot complain, but I can be disappointed.  However I know that I did everything right and that I in much better shape than my time shows.  I cannot control what happens on race day but I can control what I take away from it.  Coach and I have talked and some adjustments need to be made (try some things differently and well we're going to be running/training much faster starting February); It certainly helps when you have someone of his caliber offer you compliments and helps you to remember how hard you worked and that 'all is not lost'.   The day just wasn't mine but it is in no way a reflection of my ability as a runner as I am someone 'who just keeps getting better.'

Today I am no longer disappointed.  I ran that race as best as I possibly could on that day.  And I didn't leave anything in me either.  It was splattered all over that 26.2 mile course.  I earned every second of that PR, even if it wasnt the one I wanted.

There were walls all along the way, maybe not the proverbial 'wall' runners speak of, but walls just the same, and with each wall, I found a door to go through.

7:09 exactly off my marathon distance PR.  And 43 minutes off the course from the last time I ran Houston in 2007? 

Yeah.  I kinda rock like that.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Post Marathon - Day 1

I know, I know.  I will get around to a full race report...

Didnt sleep well last night, too many times waking up whenever I would move and something would hurt.  When I did wake up this morning I tried to assess the damage before letting my feet hit the floor.  Not too bad.  Just the pain still in my quads, even after an ice bath yesterday, but I am certain it helped tremendously.

Had a massage scheduled for today and that was painful.  I am a big wuss and have a low tolerance for pain (unless its self inflicted of course), but she had me grind through it, but man once she hit the abductors and the quads it wasnt pretty.  So much build up of junk and pooling that it hurt like a mo fo.  Still she got me through it and now I just have to make sure I drink A LOT of water to flush out all the crap before it settles in making me feel worse :)

I finally was able to eat and have my body not reject food this morning.  I was able to eat a tiny bit last night, but nothing major; not that I felt like eating anyway.

So now its hopefully nappy nap time for me...gonna eat me some more protein and a bit of carbs and then invite the Sandman over to let me fall fast asleep...I'm hoping for a good, solid 2-3 hours maybe? 

Pretty please.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Was on pace through about 15, but the GI issues started and because of that (all the stops I had to make) I started falling apart mentally just past mile 17...

Too much salt loss and cramps as well, but somehow still managed a 8 min PR at the half, a 43 min PR on the course, and a 7+ min PR on the distance.

Official time: 4:48:45.

I did the work, and did it well, but you just never know what the day will hand you and today it handed me a lot of crap (pun intended).  I can't complain, but I can be disappointed.  Eh, time to regroup and get ready to try and get a big PR for the half in Dallas mid-March.

Had issues at the finish, lots of cramping up in the legs, had to be be assisted off...lots of dizziness as well, but thanks to ALL the support I had along the way on the course; I couldnt have asked for more than those that were spread out and especially to Brit who jumped in with me with about 2.2 to go; without her I might not have made it as well as I did...

More later...Still not feeling well AT ALL...and trying to 'fix' things...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

T Minus 1 Day...

Took Tylenol PM last night to insure good sleep.
Up this morning, to Lukes to get Isaac all settled with everything for his race; bib, DTag, etc.
My peeps (Amber and Megan) are ready.
Family etc., all ready to be at several points along the way.
Drinking LOTS of water.
Toast for breakfast, egg whites/bean taco for lunch. I wont eat much more today. 

It's show time.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tramps Like Us...Baby We Were Born to Ruuuuuuuuuuuun...T Minus 3 Days

Blog title credit goes to Bruce gotta love that song...

So last night I decided to watch Spirit of the Marathon.  Again.  I went to the theatre back when this came out and saw it both times it showed here in Houston.  Then right before I left for the NYC marathon (2008) someone gave me the DVD as a gift, and of course watched it prior to that marathon as well.  That was over a year ago now and since then I have watched it many times off and on.

But each and every time I watch it, it seems I take something more away from it than I previously did.

While I am certainly no Deena Kastor, or even any of those folks highlighted in the movie, there are pieces of each of them that are in  For the most part I am talking about why I love this thing we call marathoning so much, why I do it sometimes, what it gives me on any given day in training, or there at the finish line on race day.

There are so many reasons why I have run in the past, and why I continue to do it...Sometimes its to overcome heartbreak, staying fit, extending my limits, because someone said I couldn't...

To put a goal in my honor those who've receive a sense of accomplishment that so far, nothing has been able to give me...

Sometimes its as if the finish line has the ability to give me a gift...maybe it does...wait...I know it does..

The emotions that the finish line brings are something of pride...and yes, eventually pain.

But more than that...the finish line, regardless of your speed, your background, your problems...that white line with a clock flashing red digital numbers, brings all of us together...

And myself, along with countless others, on Sunday, while we put everything we have into it...each of us will leave a bit of our souls out there ... somewhere on the pavement of some neighborhood you might never have ever been in before...but from now on, you will be a part of eternally.

The completion of a long journey, no matter how many times you may have done it before, nor how many times you may do it in the future..that completion is very powerful.  Power you wish you could bottle up for life...

During training I sometimes think of 100 reasons why I should quit, but then there is always that 1 reason that keeps you may change along the way, sometimes on a daily I have said before, its not always the training that gets you there, but your guts...

All I know is that after todays little 3 miler, the last before the marathon on that on Sunday, among all other things, pain is inevitable...and everyone will experience it...

But also, everyone will... when we cross that line... no one can retract it...

I will have done it.
We will have done it.

And regardless of who is around you, it was all singular...And I for one will be reveling in that for some time...

Right up till its time to start doing it all over again...

To everyone that is running this weekend, who may be running in the Spring, Summer, Fall or next Winter, or whenever it will be...Remember one thing...

Your chest may contain a piece of paper with a number on it...but in reality, we are so much more than that.

We. Are. Runners.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

T Minus 4 Days

3 tiny miles.
20 min stretching/yoga poses

Piece of cake.

Nerves are shot.  But the run certainly helped; I think for the first time in weeks I ran with thoughts other than race day. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thoughts are Running Amuck!!!

There are so many areas of my life that are out of my control.  

I daily seek to maintain and build an even stronger relationship with my friends, my family, and God, but I know that it takes a lot of little things to see the effort pay off.  I clean my house constantly, only to turn around and find it in shambles (well I might be exageratting a bit here).  But my life it seems, that in just an too, is in shambles.  I've spent pretty much of the past couple of years in shambles...that's better over the past ooooh, 4 months or so, but there are those days...

But, running, ah, running. I see those benefits immediately. I can look down at my feet (not for too long, though) and see the miles disappearing behind me.  And if its really quiet, I can hear them too...

I get fresh air, and I get to see how the scenary sometimes changes daily (and sometimes not at all) and seem to become more beautiful (or not) all the time. I can track my progress and see if I'm running longer, or faster.

I feel it in my body when I have had a good run. Running to me, is a cathartic, euphoric experience.

Everything is quiet, and my mind can wander. I can finish a thought, which is normally so hard to do with sometimes people or things pulling me in so many different directions.  And sometimes its only myself doing the pulling, applying pressure...Running balances me.

I can pray and think and relieve stress. Some days, looking forward to my run is what motivates me to get out of bed and put in the effort that life requires.

Something about my feet rythmically hitting the pavement settles something deep in my soul.  I feel like when I am running, I am the best of who I am. I feel strong, confidant, and satisfied.

Running is like a drug for me and I am thankful every day that I get to go out and pound the pavement.

Life is good when I can get in a good run.  This last week of taper and very little running does a number on me...It seems I have no outlet for my thoughts, frustrations, victories, worries or whatever happens to be swimming around in this little cerebrum of mine.

T Minus 5 Days

Still have sore throat (Tony Bennett voice) (and now a bit of some crud in my chest).  More Vicks and Nyquil last night, but I still woke up with it...

So I stopped off at the corner store, got some Halls to suck on all day...

I most certainly would have stayed home today but I have 3 client conference calls today, so that was not an option...

I still don't 'feel' bad, its just annoying and has me a bit nervous...

I am just glad I have at least Friday off (from work); A full 2 days of complete rest is going to be good for me.  (plus Monday is a holiday where I work, so no burning of a vacation day for post-marathon...)  Everyone here at work is sniffly, sneezing, has colds, coughing and hacking...ugh...makes me sick at my stomach listening to it...

No run tonight; schedule calls for a rest day; I am going nuts and feel like if I still lived in my loft downtown, I'd be on the ledge, ready to jump...I dont understand why my mind is racing and I am more anxious than ever before, before a marathon...

Is it too late to just throw in the towel???  :o)

Monday, January 11, 2010

T Minus 6 Days

Woke up with laryngitis this morning.  I suspect it has everything to do with the breathing in of such cold air on Saturdays run.  I started feeling it a bit late yesterday afternoon, so before bed I slathered on Vicks (sexy...I know) and drank Nyquil...but still this morning I sound a lot like Tony Bennett.  Or someone who went out all night drinking bourbon and smoking cigarettes.

I don't feel bad, but its annoying.  So I have my hot tea and cocoa to get me through the day and hopefully my normal voice will have returned tomorrow.  I am just glad that I dont have any conference calls today.

Well, lost basically another pound this past week.  Down 7.2 lbs now since mid-November...less than a lb to go and I drop below the 'line' I've been targeting.  This will still not be my goal weight, but not far off.  Should be interesting to know what the scale says on race day morning :o)  I still cant believe that the weight is dropping off!  Most of my pants don't 'fit' anymore.  Even yesterday my 'skinny' jeans which have always been my 'scale' were completely baggy.  Most of my jeans I just look ridiculous in...but I dont want to buy anything new till I lose the rest, as on me, losing even a little is drastic when it comes to how pants fit me.

Warmer temps here this afternoon, but my car was COVERED in ice this morning.  Guess there was some moisture in the air and it settled on the car, turning to ice as the temps yet again went well below freezing again last night. 

Due to the laryngitis, and even though its warmer out today, I have been advised to just run inside. 

So 5 miles on the treadmill it is.  Hopefully I will get to run my last 2 runs (3 miles each) before marathon outside (Wed and Thurs).

Forecast for Sunday is holding steady...  :o)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

T Minus 7 Days

The day is upon did it get here so fast? 

The reality of it all is setting in yet again.  I've been here before.

Rethinking said strategy.
It all just starts to make you a bit crazy.

I'm at the point where I am questioning "can I run that far?".  But I also know that yes, yes I can.  I have done the training...but then I also know that no matter what was so great in training does not always mean that marathon day will be as great.  Or even good for that matter...Anything can happen out there.

Or I can wake up that morning and just not be 'on', and everything can just end up being all for naught.

Well enough of that nonsense.  Trust in the training.

The first weather forecasts are on the news and every local channel this morning (and yes I watched all three), are referring to next Sunday as 'marathon day', and letting us runners know what we 'might' expect.

So far.  So good.

40's in the morning, with highs in the 60's (which means of course much later in the day).  Apparently there is a lot of rain forecast at the end of the week, but they are all saying 'it should be all out of here for you marathon runners'.

So there is that.

No running today.  No yoga today.  Just stocking the house up with food, dropping clothes off at Goodwill, Target (spend gift card! New cute cute cute brightly colored trench coat!), nails, bank, pharmacy...

I have to tell you this 'taper worm' is driving me crazy.  The level of hunger is off the charts, and I am having to dig deep I tell you to stay the course.  They tell me hot tea or cocoa helps, so I bought both tea bags and cocoa at the grocery...we'll see.

However, I was also told that when you dont feed your hunger (as just about everyone does), your body starts feeding off whatever fat you have.

This is great news.  I wonder if its true?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?

In non-running stuff, we finally got the bike trainer all set up yesterday!  Its a CycleOps 'fluid' and man I cannot wait to start training on the bike again!  Being able to also ride inside the house is a plus as well!  I can just ride while watching television for when the weather is not conducive to outdoor training or just for the heck of it!  Its the best best best gift EVAH!!!  I cant wait till its time for the seasons first duathlon!!  I am having a hard time not getting on it though, but I know time to start that 1 week out from marathon...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Hills are Alive, Part Deux

With no group run this morning, and only 8 miles on the schedule, coupled with 20 deg weather, the girls and I decided early in the week to just meet up around 9:30 this morning for our last 'together' run before the marathon next Sunday.

When I left the house it was 26 deg.  Unheard of in Southeast Texas, but with 3 shirts, 2 pairs of gloves, a pair of pants I felt ready.  Thankfully the wind has stopped and we didnt have the wind chill factor.

Megan and I decided we were going to introduce Amber to the cloverleaf.  8 miles of the cloverleaf kind of introduction.  Even I had never done more than 4 miles of the leaf myself on hill training days...

I had cleared it with Coach and all was a go.  Easy on the ups, moderate on the downs.  Since there are 4 leaves, you basically run 2 of them uphill (400m each) and 2 of them down (also 400m each).

After a couple of miles I was down to 2 shirts and 1 pair of gloves which the 1 pair would come off and then be put back on. 

I was ready to stop after 7 miles, but as good running peeps do, they spur you on...fine, I said.  But I am walking this one uphill...  :o)

16x400m uphill
16x400m downhill.



Friday, January 8, 2010

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence. ---- Eddie Robinson

It doesn't really matter how fast, or how slow you may walk, run or jog...everyone has their own goals and in my opinion, speed is relative. 
Sometimes I have to force myself to remember (and accept) that not everyone out there has the same work ethic, regardless if it has to do with their profession, their relationships (boy don't I know about this area), or their effort as it pertains to their 'sport' and its training...I have to remember that some people are just content to keep doing what they do, being average, finishing, never caring to improve, although I think secretly they do want to, most people just aren't motivated to do the hard work.
Personally I get bored when I see or read about this person or that person that did another [insert event] and finished.  It gets old to see the same thing over and over again with no improvement or even if there was a hint of 'trying' it would be interesting.  Not everyone can improve over and over, not saying that, but one can try...
I have single handed kicked my own ass for over 3 years now, and because of that, is documented in my times at all distances.  And I am still going...and I know when I will have most likely maxed out.  I will admit, there was a short period of time where my motivation was not for personal satisfaction so much as it was due to the fact I thought I needed to impress someone; 'maybe if I was faster', is what I would think...only after I realized that no matter what I did (running or otherwise) that was never going to be the case, did I start doing everything for me. 
Yes there are times that anger, hurt or disappointment may fuel my passion but what would I say now???
Passion fuels my passion.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Well, looks like I might just be part superwoman afterall...

Woke up this morning with NO soreness other than in my butt where I swear that shot-needle (anti-biotics) had to be the size of a turkey baster!   This means one thing:  I CAN RUN TONIGHT! 

I was afraid that the soreness, which the Dr. said would be intense for at least a day would prevent running, but so not the case!

Of course the extremely cold temperatures and the very high winds were going to keep me inside on the treadmill today!!!  Hey we're in taper; its ok...  :o)  Saturday morning will provide enough cold (18deg) to make up for me not running in (feels like) of 20+ this afternoon..

So nothing special really; 1 hour at goal marathon pace (on the treadmill) to make up for yesterdays missed run pre-surgery.  Will still take tomorrow off as usual, then as mentioned, 8 miles on Saturday...

9 days to marathon (not counting today or actual marathon day)...

I can't believe its THAT close!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Then the real work begins...Coach already knows I pretty much hold him responsible for me BQ'ing in the next year :o)


In other news, I am down 6.6 lbs since mid-November...I would like for 2.1 more to be gone by marathon day, but that might be kind of tough, seeing as how I need to fuel correctly for the race.  We'll see...and no I dont weigh every day because it would drive me nuts...Next weigh in will be Monday.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Surgery Update

At first we thought we were going to have to postpone after the Dr. looked at the size etc., would require quite a cut and a total of 13 stitches.  There would be no running she said for a while.

So then she said she could 'drain' it now to shrink it, and then later come back and she could do what she needed to do to get it all to have it not return.  I wanted her to do that because I have had this cyst for some time and its annoying and I always worry about it getting inflamed from the jeans I wear to whatever aggravating it.  It resided right on my tummy where say a bikini would hit.

Anyway she shot my stomach up with numb stuff, and once she got to work she said that she actually was able to get it ALL with a minimal cut, 3 stitches later and a big ass needle shot in my booty I was shooed on out the door!

Best part is that I am able to run whenever.  It will be quite sore tomorrow so I will more than likely walk on the treadmill for an hour, then do my 8 miles as scheduled on Saturday!!!  SO SO SO HAPPY!

Whats even better is she took a look at a few 'spots' that I wanted to make sure I didnt need to be concerned about due to melonoma being the initial starting point of my fathers cancer and ultimate death.  And she said they all are fine; no cause for concern!!!!

That makes me even happier!!!

Now to just wait for the pain of the incision to kick in....

A lot of new readers when I checked my stats this morning!!!  Awesome!  But why isn't anyone commenting??  :o)

Anyway, I was supposed to run at 5:30am this morning.  I had everything ready, etc but when the alarm went off I just couldn't; I wanted to stay in my bed.  Eh, not a big deal. 

I am not able to run this afternoon and probably for the next 2 days as I am having some outpatient surgery this afternoon.  Nothing major, only requiring a few stitches at most.  I asked when I made the appointment about running the marathon 11 days out and running in general, and the lady told me no problem.  I would suspect that the area will be a little sore from the incision, and that should subside by Saturday when I have my last "long" run before marathon.  Our plan this Saturday is to run 8 miles of hills!  Easy of course.  8 loops of the cloverleaves...and at a decent hour of the morning too!  We get a reprieve from the 6am roll call at KW; thankfully so as the temps here on Saturday morning are going to be about 20 deg!!!

However, if I get there this afternoon and the actual Dr. tells me otherwise (that I can't run till stitches are out), we will be rescheduling!!!  :o)  I am not going to not run for 7 days!!!

If its not sore at all on Friday, or at least minimal, I plan to at least walk an hour on the treadmill or something!!!  ha! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Let the "Games" Begin...

Not really 'games' but the little weird things that start this close to marathon for me.  I slowly start to become a 'hermit'; which isn't hard to do right now because its so darn cold here for us SE Texans that you don't want to go out unless you absolutely have to. 

I could also equate it to 'nesting'.  I start doing what some may call OCD or just odd...but over time, I have learned what works for me in all aspects: mentally, physically, nutritionally...I know its less than 2 weeks out but I start 'rain-man'ing'.  I start thinking about the course I am going to run (in this case Houston so I have an advantage of having actually run it before and also trained on all of it as well); I know where the hard parts are and I know where I can make up time if I have to go slower or I have to stop for any reason. 

I start thinking ok, miles such and such, go about this pace...slow down here, go faster here...and I know the ppm of each in my head as well.

While running, I become a mathematician.  Which anyone who knows me, knows I hate math.  But when running, I am excellent at it.  But then again, its pretty easy calculations and a lot of 'averages'.

I start thinking about different scenarios as it pertains to clothing.  What do I have that is going to be my throwaway stuff if need be.  Its all in my head and yes about 7 days out, 2 different 'outfits' will be ready to go and folded nice and neat on the dresser.  The socks will be placed on top of the shoes... You get the picture.

And the fascination with what goes into my body has already begun (stricter than usual).  You won't see me eating anything that is not cooked or prepared by me, especially since I am in the host city.  I don't trust any pasta party or get togethers of the sort.  It doesn't bode well for me.

In NYC it was a different story as I was there 3 days before race day, but still I ate fresh and what I knew wasn't something that tended to almost always induce some degree of botulism (e.g. lettuce; worst culprit ever).  I still brought things that I knew my body responded to with no issues and about 36 hours before, you didnt see me each much of anything.  Yeah the wait staff didn't always 'appreciate' my exactness on what I wanted and how it should be prepared.

Even now I am bringing my breakfast, lunch and snacks to work.  I normally do, but I stray to the cafeteria a lot.  Not for the next 2 weeks at least.  Think about it...every time you either got any level of food poisoning (includes bad gastro) was it because of something YOU cooked or because you ate it somewhere else (as in a restaurant)...I dont trust restaurants or carbo loading pasta parties at this stage of the game.

In the past couple of years, I didn't always have the circle of friends I do now, so because of the past (being usually with one person leading up to the race) gave me my time to focus a lot on just resting and honestly not a lot of social activity outside of him.  And because of that I find that I am now starting to 'withdraw' into my cocoon where I have complete control over every aspect leading up to that morning.

I do have plans to get together with my 'peeps' that I blogged about yesterday beforehand (outside of running together that is), but in moderation (and I won't be eating thats for sure!).

You see last year, 4 days before I was to run the 1/2 in Houston (after having to switch from the full), I got full on, worst kind of sick you can imagine from something I ate.  For 3 days I could not eat OR drink without throwing up.  3.  Days.  I lost 6 lbs and was only able to finally eat 1/2 turkey sandwich at noon the day before the race.  I was severely dehydrated etc.  Since my boss got it too, and we both ate the same thing that morning at our meeting...if I remember correctly it was from Starbucks...

I also become a germ-a-phobe.  I wash my hands constantly...I dont touch stair railings unless I pull my sleeve over my hand; same for the escalator in one of our buildings...I have alcohol wipes for the grocery carts...It almost killed me over the weekend being in a theatre that ended up being full to capacity and people all around me sniffling and sneezing...ugh.

Heck I will even have picked out exactly what lot I will be parking in on race morning.  You won't see me driving around aimlessly looking for a place to park.

The one thing I have changed though is my obsessing over the long range forecast.  Its the sole thing that drives me the craziest and stresses me out.  This time I am only seeing the 7 day forecast on the news and going with that.  Houston weather is ridiculous and it can change from one day to the next.  Therefore I am eliminating that stress from the process...what will be, will be.

We all have our rituals I think...well most do I would suspect, but then there are those fly by the seat of your pants kind of runner/racer. 

I'm just not one of them.


4 miles easy tonight, on the treadmill
Yoga (home): 1 hour

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Hills are Alive!!!

PSA:  Long gone are the days when I would 'censor' what I write on a public blog.  I have a lot of opinions (and proven methods for me) about training (running), weight, cross training, etc.   Therefore I apologize in advance for any future postings where a) I offend someone b) you think I am talking directly about you or c) a combination of A and B. 

OK onto the daily training stuff...

Mondays are still hill training workout days.  And today I still had 6 miles on the schedule.  Yes, I am tapering but still...6 today; other than Wednesday and Saturday of this week, the mileage is minimal at best.

Anyhow...its rather chilly today...About 45 deg when I started with a 2 mile warm up before starting the actual hill workout.  Today was 25 min, working 2 hills as opposed to 4.  And of course one of them was the hardest IMHO.  We call that one cloverleaf #2.  And to make matters even worse, that one on the uphill is directly North and with a North wind, well it was cold as all get out!  Megan and I went over the allotted 25 minutes but we figured an extra hill never hurt anyone...  :o)

When I got back in the car, the 'droid said 38 deg.

A very encouraging run at this point and I am trying desperately to not become over-confident about marathon day.  Things are just gel-ing at every turn it seems...I know that anything can happen in the next 11 days and even ON race day...but still...oh and of course we still have to wonder about what Mother Nature will hand us on January 17th.

And I am super excited that tomorrows schedule only has me down for 4 miles!  Whaaat?  4 miles?  Excellent.


You DO Walk (or rather run) Alone Some of the Time...

I heard this quote on something I was watching on television last night, and because of one of my most recent posts, and the fact that Pony (it immediately made me think of her) was inspired by it, I give you this today:

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Which brings me to the topic at hand today which more blabber about will and heart, etc. 

If you train in a group, whether it is small, medium or large.  Whether its one you pay for or just a group of pals that meet up at regularly scheduled days and times, I think ultimately, in most cases the outcome is usually the same.  I will use my recent marathon training season as the example.  Not all of these things pertain to this marathon training in my personal experience, but if you observe like I do, you see it amongst others.

First off in the beginning, everyone and I mean everyone is gung ho!  Yay!  Its marathon training time!  And we all first are excited for each day we have scheduled workouts and long runs.  And we more than likely have just about the same goal time in mind as well, and more likely than not, we all start with the same paces give or take.  You make plans to eat after, meet here on this day for this, that or the other...etc.

Then after a month or so, here in Texas, in August or September most will start grumbling about the heat.  And then someone will have some sort of injury.  Maybe a bad one, or maybe just a small one, but now you lose 1, 2 or more of the 'group'. 

In October-ish, some will start hitting their groove, finding their stride, and maybe even start playing around with running with the one up faster pace group...just to see, because you know, its obvious that there are varying levels of will, strength and determindation amongst everyone.  Some that are faster, and then yes...some that are slower...than everyone thought.

So now the 'crowd' is thinning.  Then you have some that just don't show up all the time, sometimes hardly ever.  Another 1, maybe 2 are injured, and the ones that were previously injured might be back, but they have to re-build their endurance or speed...

Still you see what is happening.

And the ones that might experience running with the faster group, do indeed stay there, but then there are those that go back and forth between the 2 so you just never know what group they might run with this week...

And see where this is going.

Eventually though it will all 'settle' usually about the time the really long runs start...there are now those that have either a) dropped to the shorter distance or b) have just dropped out completely.  And there are those that become divided due to other issues, varying from your basic personality differences to your approach to training and running...

But what is left standing are 'your peeps'.  You run about the same pace, have no injuries to speak of, have a lot to talk about, have the same overall time goals...

On training runs, when one of you has to pee or whatever, you all stop.  If someone needs to tie a shoe, you all stop.  If someone needs to walk a bit, you either walk with them, or you slow down till they feel better, and you let them catch up and resume.  If someone needs you to spur them on, you give them tough do what it takes to keep you all together.

There may be more than one of you, but you are a pack.  You feed off of each other.  You give someone one of your gloves because she took hers off  (hey one warm hand is better than none!) and left them at a water station and now her hands are cold.  You share gels, pain reliever and Endurolytes if they run out or forget...

You are a training group within a training group within a training group.

It is during training that you are never alone it would seem.

But then comes the time and you are in taper and you start talking about race day.  It is on race day where everyone (for a lot of the time) is on their own.  You know, as well as the others do, if you have the same mentality that is..that on race day, all bets are off.

You have to pee?  See ya if you catch up. 
You need to tie your shoe?  See ya if you catch up.
You need to slow down? Wow.  That sucks.  Maybe you can catch up later.
You need to walk?  Dude that REALLY sucks.
I'm not passing up this water station.  I don't need any water; I am going to keep going.

You see the trend right?  As with us, we talked about this very thing on Saturday.  We all know that if one of us has a wheel or two come off, the others are not to be like our military, and pledge to leave no man (or woman) left behind.  We aren't leaving you to die on the battlefield...its a marathon, on the streets of Houston...its going to be OK. 

And we know that each of us that might be left behind, will be thinking of 2 things:  a) man this sucks for me and b) damn I hope he/she makes her goal !!!! 

You also know that there will be no banter back and forth like on Saturday training runs.  There will be no male bashing, talking about Greys Anatomy or anything of the sort.  There will only be the murmur of 'slow down, we're way over pace, hey pick it up the next 2 miles or lets take these next 2 slower because we got Allen Parkway coming up'...

When you are together, and if you're lucky enough to make it to the last .2 miles together, you also know that that is where one of you is going to make your move.  Regardless of it all, there is still competitiveness in each of you and each one wants to beat the other.  Actually more like the last 1.2 miles is where I plan to make my move, but don't tell them...  :o)  JUST KIDDING GIRLS!!!  wink wink

There was never any pact or secret code about ooooooooooooh...lets all have the EXACT SAME TIMES!!!  We aren't girly like that...

In the end, on race day, regardless that you might be surrounded by thousands of others, and even in your remaining pack of training buds, you are alone.  Its you and the pavement, maybe your thoughts ... always your alter ego though, and quite possibly your God...

You will have nothing else to get you through this other than your sheer determination.  Even the best athletes out there may have a bad day, maybe even rougher than again, in the end its not always about the physical, but the mental.

I know, I've been there.

12 days and counting to race day.

And I got my 'peeps'....and I hope and pray every day that we will make it to .2 left to run part as we started... together...then I expect that I will have to smoke them both :o)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tailgating Doesn't Suck...

And this was just 'part' of the spread...those grilled shrimp were to die for!

And what a game!  Whew!  So exciting!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sparkling Run - Kenyan Way

A nice, crisp morning for a run.  So much so that when I went out to my car this morning, there was a nice, thin layer of ice on the windshield!  For some reason I have not been able to acclimate to the cold this year (maybe I've lost that layer of fat afterall!), so I have been having to experiment with different types of clothing (layering and such) on the runs.  My one pair of tights that I bought several years ago are too big now, and Lukes is out of tights in anything smaller than a large :(  ... so this morning I ran in some Nike pants that I had bought last year and they worked out perfectly!  Thankfully I have them in 3 colors too!  A Nike Pro long sleeve and a Zoot zip up and I was perfectly fine the entire run.

Since I am in taper mode, the schedule has me down to 12 miles for today.  The route, as I mentioned was not one that I am fond of, but SW suggested at each pace group to add on an extra loop of Memorial as opposed to actually doing the bayou.  So 1/2 way into the first loop we decided to do just that.  The frost and ice all over the grass there around Memorial etc made it very sparkly this morning!  Off in a distance it gave the impression of snow.  :)  It went by so fast as the 3 of us were such chatty cathy's this morning, it flew by.  We talked about marathon day, our 'strategy', etc.  I have to agree with Megan as she thinks that with the right weather (i.e. cold) we should rock it out, no problem.  That is...barring that anything horrible happens to us along the way.  After the 2 loops and heading back, we had to do extra there at base to hit the 12.  Then it was off to breakfast for more chatter about tapering and race day!

I really needed a perfect run today and thats exactly what we got.  Legs are still in recovery mode, but I can feel that they're on the mend.  This week still had me at 37 miles, and next week is 25.  I have to run tomorrow as I cant run on Thursday of this next week due to a little 'surgery' I am having done on Wednesday.  I will have to run my Wednesday run before work that day.  Poo!

Now its off to a movie with B, some good rest tonight, short run in the early morning and then the Texans game/tailgating tomorrow!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day One...

...and sixteen to go before I face the pavement of the streets of Houston.

Where 3 years ago I ran my first ever marathon.  Where I hit the wall so bad that I don't remember a couple of miles.  Where I trained completely alone, and went into it thinking I knew what I was doing.  Where I did OK I guess for my first time and finishing 29 minutes before the cut off time. 

And where I found something that I love to do.

I've come a long way since that January day in 2007. 

I have no natural talent.  I was never a runner.  And some may still not consider me that, but I would call them wrong. 

Sometimes its not the legs that make you a runner, but the will.  And the heart.

And because of that I am a runner.


Yesterday was the last day of the year, and the decade.

I met up with Bob to run an easy 6.  We met at Jackson Hill and ran the short Heights route (to 20th and back).  10:23 pace kind of easy, but it was tough for me.  I have not been eating as I should have, so as to avoid the weight gain that sometimes accompanies the 'taper', and yesterday it bit me in the booty.  Bob was a trooper as he always is and spurred me on, sometimes me just letting him be a bit ahead of me, as I fell into step behind him.  And then I would surge a bit and he would pull me back and thankfully so...It was my stubbornness that would drive me, and then reality would rear its ugly head. 

Since Friday's are my day off from running, and I honestly wanted to run a short 3 miles today just because it was the first day of the new year, I did the smart thing and didn't run.  I want to have an exceptional run tomorrow (12 miles), so today I am resting my poor, tired body; letting the muscles heal as they are supposed to at this point in time, and just be ready for tomorrow morning.  I am not thrilled with the route, as it includes Memorial Park and the bayou; not conducive to any fast miles for me, but I suspect I can get in half of them at marathon pace if I should choose to.  Or maybe I should do as Coach says and run tomorrow as I would be any other Saturday "long" run.  My schedule doesn't call for any marathon pace miles, so there's that.

Now is not the time to be overly aggressive.  Or stupid.