Sunday, October 30, 2011


Life is tough here at Casa de JunieB... My sweet Nugget

Its preeeeety huh?  I done good.

Kenyan Way Long Run - 15 Miles

Beginning temp:  45deg
Ending temp:  48deg

Perrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfect weather!!!  To be honest I didnt expect it to really go below 50 but lo and behold it did!  Not gonna lie; was a bit chilly in the casa when I woke up!  Slept with the windows open and made it a bit hard to get out of that bed!!

Slid into a pair of shorts, a long sleeve, and had a peanut butter fold over.  Yes, I am moving towards Primal and have been great at it all week, however its long run day...I had 2 gels (25c each but only 5g sugar) in my pocket and I was out the door.

I wont lie, I was a bit apprehensive about what I had been eating all week and how it was going to affect my run but I just put it out of my mind.  I did a 2+ mile warm up and then was off for the route.  When I saw the route come out on Thursday I didnt particularly like it because it included Hermann (and Rice if need be), but thats why I did a warm up because I wanted to skip Rice.  That left Hermann and the last time I ran around Hermann it was that rocky crap that I hated around a lot of it.  But I figured I could suck it up for the 2+ miles around it.

I really like this route though as its different than the usual one down H, so I concentrated on the cute houses, townhomes etc and with the cooler temps it went by very quickly.  Before I knew it I was at the beautiful fountain there at Montrose and Main.  When its dark out, its really pretty all lit up and then 5 miles had gone by and I was at the 2nd water stop and about to head around Hermann.

Little did I know that they had redone the entire path for the most part and it was glorious!  And then again before I knew it I was back at the water stop and on my way back to base!  5 miles to go and still feeling good.

I have to also mention that I did not drink Gatorade at all on this run.  I stayed with the water, managing to not take in the sugary acid of the G.  I took a gel at the first water stop on the way out and another at the park on the way back.  Granted I wasnt sweating like crazy and therefore the replacement of additional electrolytes wasnt necessary but I felt good not taking in the G that is so not Primal.  The gels were enough.

I took a couple of walk breaks of a minute or so on the way back, as my back has started to act up again and by the time I only had a mile left to go, my left foot was almost completely numb.  It happens sometimes with the degenerative disk/pinched nerve but it wasnt so bad that it was debilitating.  Just more annoying.  This morning the foot is just tingly.

Once back to base I ran the long way back to my car to finish out the 15 miles which came in at 10:34 average pace.  Fastest mile was 10:11 and that was the last 2.  Wasnt that I was trying to go faster, just kinda ended up that way.

20 days post Chicago and still recovering but doing so nicely.  Its so different this year from last.  I remember not wanting to run long anymore, but of course I had the additional stress of having to help take care of Mom and that had so much to do with it.  It was so hard to run long and then have to drive to the homeland and it was physically exhausting having to care for her.  I wouldnt trade that time for anything, just mentioning that its different and why.

The rest of the day was spent walking through many stores and 'foraging' for food with NC which was tons of fun but damn I was exhausted when I finally fell on the couch late.

Oh and one last thing to mention:  I.  CUT.  OFF.  ALL.  MY.  HAIR.  And no I dont have any pictures of it to post just yet.  :O)  But I love love love it!

Next weekend its 18 miles.  Almost to taper time again!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekend Motivation!

True story.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Over. It. Mother Nature. Over. It.

OK, seriously I am so over this hot ass damn weather.  I have been lazy in the mornings, so that means I am running after work and it sucks.  Even though I wait until around 5:45 or so when its shaded, it still sucks.  And yes 80something is better than the 90's and 100's we had all Summer, but once you a) get a taste of Fall or b) at the END OF OCTOBER, one expects to have some relief.  And once you have a cool front or two, it really makes it harder to go back to the heat/humidity.

Out of the last 3 nights, last night (6m) wasn't the worst, but it still sucked the life out of me to some degree.  Monday night (7m) I totally mismanaged the time and ended up running way more in the dark down a road I didnt really like running down in the dark.  Thats why last night I made sure to a) start earlier and b) I ran the reverse route.  Worked out great.  Also for some reason seemed shorter which makes no damn sense whatsoever; maybe because it was daylight and that it was at the beginning of the run instead of at the end where all I wanted to do was .get. home. 

Tuesday (4m) was just brutal, but it was a shorter mileage day and I did hills/sprints, so it was much easier to suck it up.

Thankfully a cool shot is headed our way today.  Yay for rain and cooler temperatures!  If I had to do 15 miles on Saturday in the damn heat again I don't know...there would have been all kinds of bitchin' up in here.  And the 7 day in general looks to be in favor.  I don't have to get up in the mornings to run and then when I dont, feel pissed off about it.

When I didnt get up Monday morning that set it all in motion.  If I run in the evening, then it makes it that much harder to get up 12 hours later to run again, then I am just stuck in the afternoon running pattern for the week unless I skip a day for a reset.  Plus the little Nugget head has been waking me up at least once every night this week.  He doesn't mean to as he is just playing with something or trying to get into something and it wakes me up.  I am a light sleeper these past few years and even more so the past month for some reason.

I am just hoping that the rain that is supposed to come either gives me a break to get a few miles in this afternoon.  I dont mind running in the rain, as long as it starts after I have started!  And if its just sprinkling it makes it easier to start as well.  We need the rain so badly though I am not going to complain if its a full blown gulley washer and it blows my run right out of the water.

Who else hates starting a run in the rain as opposed to it starting to rain after you are already out there!?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Primal Instinct

For the past week I guess it has been, maybe a bit longer, I have been making my move back over to Primal and I can already see/feel a difference.  I have on occasion still had a piece of bread here, some grits there, but only to not waste the food I need to get rid of leading up to November 1 before I make the full leap over.
I also have not yet given up my morning Diet Coke.

I am leaner, clothes fit better and the poof is gone.  So have the constant hunger pains that you are all use to hearing me whine about.  I love not being hungry all the freaking time!!!

I am about 35% of the way through reading The Primal Blueprint - 21 Day Transformation, the latest book out by Mark Sisson.  I have been reading Marks blog for probably a year now and the information is solid and I love the transformation series every Friday.

Do not confuse Primal with Atkins or South Beach etc.  It is FAR from that.  Basically, Primal is in fact a lower carbohydrate driven way of eating however, you still eat and need carbohydrates but we certainly don't need them that much is clear.  Especially PROCESSED carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates should come from natural sources, not a factory.  And lets face it, bread is MANUFACTURED.  So is pasta...pasta and bread are just 2 examples of things that are not natural nor do they grow on trees or vines!! 

Primal is about eating REAL FOOD.  Something you know about me if you have read long enough is that I hate and loathe processed food.  Its horrible for your insides.  Our bodies were not designed to digest freaking chemicals.  I feel certain that its the chemicals and growth hormones that are injected into foods (even meats) that are responsible for children who are much larger and much earlier developed in their younger years than when I was growing up.  I still have a shock and awe look on my face when I see girls and boys in elementary/middle school that look like Juniors or Seniors in high school.

Inject food with all the growth hormones and chemicals into the food, feed the children the food (day after day after day) and well now the population is getting bigger and fatter just like the animals on production farms.  Sickening.

The one thing I cannot get behind, but totally understand and agree with, is that cardio overkill is unnecessary and not Primal.  Totally agree that its not the Primal way.  However, I love endurance sports (marathon and half marathon running) therefore I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. 

Primal would be more like sprints, track work or even a hill workout, which is what I did last night.  Honestly when I was doing more speed and hill workouts I was indeed in better understand it all fully, one has to read Marks work(s) and I like that the newest book seems to condense all the information into this newest release.

And CrossFit and Primal are like man and wife.  Again totally makes sense.  I am looking forward to January and my CrossFit adventure to see what transformation my body goes through then.

Instead of being a sugar burning machine, why not be a fat burning machine instead?


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Somebody's Always Watching...

I'm just an average (wo)man
With an average life
I work from 9 to 5
Hey well I pay the price
All I want is to be left alone
In my average home
But why do I always feel
I'm in the twilight zone and

I always feel like
Somebody's watchin' me
And I have no privacy
Oh, I always feel like
Somebody's watching me
Tell me is it just a dream

Blog Stalkers:  secretly reading someone’s blog with the express purpose of learning  more about them without their knowledge; to stalk via blog; also known as 'creepers' or 'lurkers'

Thing is that it is not secret.  A counter on ones blog has a hit by hit recording of everyone that visits your blog.  Every.  Single.  Time.  And for the most part I don't mind multiple hits from readers daily and to be honest there are only a couple, but just takes one for it to send me over the edge sometimes.  Especially when I don't want that person being all up in my bizNAZZ.

I think it’s important for us all to remember that the words we write might be written with one intention – but that they can be read and interpreted in a very different way.  This goes for not only blogs but also Facebook.  Personally when it comes to Facebook I am not 'friends' with anyone I don't truly know in person.  It might have been a while back or something but at least I know them.  I know a lot of people out there that have friends upon friends of people they have no idea who they are or if they are even who they claim to be.  Personally I have met people who come off as one type and are completely the opposite IRL, so online its even worse.

While I’ve seen a number of articles in recent times about how to keep your blog safe and secure from hacking and accidental loss – it’s also worth considering how to keep yourself (and those you live with) safe and secure also. When you write in a public forum you are doing so with the hope that people will read you. The unfortunate side of this is that you have little control over the perceptions of others towards you and that from time to time people will disagree with you and even become agitated towards you (apparently I agitated Anonymous which he so kindly admitted to with one or more of my previous postings).

This is both one of blogging’s biggest strengths (ie the conversation, diversity and dialogue) but also one of it’s biggest weaknesses when it goes to far.

While I’m no expert on personal online safety I would STRONGLY advise you consider what information you do and don’t reveal online about where you live and your family.  This is why there are no pictures of my new place, no pictures of any running that I may or may not do in the general area and I never ever ever check in publicly to any place near where I live and any reference I make to a particular area are so vague that no one reading this or my Facebook could figure out where I live.  I do sometimes drift from this and then I realize what I may be doing and I reel it back in.

I have most recently, thanks to new Facebook privacy options been able to create lists.  Really close friends of mine and friends that I dont mind knowing most of what I post, are on one list and see everything (there are 74 people on this list).  Then there is the list that I use for everyone else + the 74.  Those people will see some photos, Shares of articles, and generic status updates that are meaningless.  Just to give you an idea of the people on list 1?  Not even my family is on that list.  I throw a lot of 'bones' out there so no one I dont think has figured out that they aren't on 'the' list. 
Jokes on them.  :O)

I have also locked down my Twitter as to who can and cant see my tweets.  I had a person go out and just search one day, read a bunch of back tweets and made some assumptions and next thing you know, we're in a 'situation'.

One of the main reasons why I wanted to write on this topic is honestly due to how little privacy one has (as it pertains to running) and there is nothing I or anyone can do about it.  And it pisses me off to no end.

  1. Runner Tracking:  I sent out the link to track me in Chicago to 2 people personally and to a few on Twitter.  I did not post this link on my blog, nor did I post it on Facebook.  Furthermore a person not only can just go to a race website and find the link or follow that race on Facebook or Twitter and they have the link.  And furthermore you don't even have to know the bib number and sometimes not even a persons full name.  Let me tell you; this pisses me off for the most part.  Big time.  If I wanted everyone to track me then I would let it be known.  I found out through texts when runner tracking wasnt working for me, from so many people it was insane, wanting to know "are you ok?" "did you finish?" etc.  Um.  First off, I dont run with my phone (did it ONCE for nyc2008 so my sister could find me), therefore I am not going to respond while in the race.  Furthermore why are you fucking tracking me anyway?  I'm sorry (that I'm not sorry) but I just think if I didnt ask if you wanted to or that it was ok with me if you did, then why are you doing it?  Its one thing to go and look at race finish times etc., but tracking?  No.
  2. Race Photos: Kinda like runner tracking.  Anyone with half a brain can go out and find race photos.  If I post one photo, then thats the photo I want to share.  If I dont post any photos, but my friend did and you figure out the photographer, then you go and search my name and then you can see pictures of me.  Guess what?  Not cool.  Does a person ever think that maybe people dont post pictures, links, times, events etc., for a reason?  I don't want every half-wit in my business unless I give the all clear.  I dont like it and I think its rude and its an invasion of privacy regardless if its on the damn internet or not.
  3. Decide up front how much personal information you will share on your blog – I’ve always been reasonably careful about this. I don’t post my address, I don’t post the name of anyone close to me (I use initials unless otherwise cleared with that person or I link a blog)  If I do post photos I generally ask for permission or make them anonymous.  This is also why you wont see a lot of self portraits of me for the most part because I just find it unimportant to what I am wanting to say or show.
  4. Consider your offline security – Ask yourself – ‘How easy would it be for someone to find you in real life?’ As I say I was not found directly through information on my blog (although I’m sure knowing my name and city which I reveal in my about pages helped) but through offline sources. I’m sure there are different ways to add layers of security in different parts of the world but consider silent numbers, PO Boxes for mail, being silent on the electoral roll etc.
  5. Consider the way you are perceived online – I work hard at presenting myself online in a fairly easy going, polite and well mannered person (I’m often made fun of for this even). While at times I don’t feel like being this way it is an intentional thing. This is partly because it’s my character and personality (I’m a gal who was brought up to always consider the feelings of others) and partly as a security consideration – I don’t want to inflame the wrong person. Obviously it doesn’t always work – but I do worry about some bloggers who seem intent on promoting themselves through angry, attacking and personal attacks. Consider the costs of your actions and words both on yourself and others before you post. You may still choose to take the attacking approach – but do so at your own risk and knowing the full extent of what it could one day lead to.
Sorry for the rant, but as 'open' as the internet is and to everyone, and yes I write a blog, but that doesn't give everyone free rein to dumpster dive into other areas if I didn't give permission.  It just doesn't seem right.  Do you?

Monday, October 24, 2011

2012 Destination Races

Destination races have been selected for 2012!!!

Here are some hints:
Destination #1
  • Boasts the highest population (state wide) of heathens non-religious people
  • One of the 7 States without personal income tax (State)
  • Jimi Hendrix and Bing Crosby are from here
  • Coffee is a big deal here and because of this one, most of Americans are addicted and spend hundreds of $$ a month on it.
  • Destination #2
  • This state also has no personal income tax (State)
  • Officially became a city in 1911
  • There have been 14 implosions here since 1993
  • Houses the only skeleton of an Ichthyosaur
  • I lived here for 7 years
So once you guess which ones I am doing and when, what say you?  Want to join me for either!?!?!?  (p.s. I am only doing the half's; or is it halves???)  There will be no full marathon(s) for me between Jan 16th and Dec 31, 2012.  :O)

Kenyan Way Long Run - Still Ramping Back Up

13 days post-Chicago Marathon and all is well. 

Or as well as can be expected I suppose.

I thought I had 11 miles this Saturday but upon further inspection I realized it was 10 miles and even though its only a mile shorter, a mile shorter is always welcomed in my mind.

Especially on this last Saturday.  Good grief it was back to horrible weather.  Not AS horrible as the Summer but once you get a taste of Fall, anything 70 and above and with 90% humidity just sucks no matter how you slice it.

And to add insult to injury it was a big race weekend in Houston (Houston Half) and whenever there is a big race in town, Coach tends to give what I call the "lazy route" for us that arent racing but running our long run on Saturday as usual.

The "lazy route" means running to Memorial Park (do a loop), run back to base and depending on your mileage, run either the bayou or portions, again depending on what your particular mileage is for that day.  this way all he has to do is set up 2 water stops.  Easy peasy for him, sucks for us.  :O)  What worries me about this is that the weekend I have to do my last long run before Dallas White Rock is the 26.2K here in town...and I am just hoping that he doesn't do the same thing again!!!  If he is, I might make the decision to do the 26.2K even though its horrible (3 loops) route but at least its pavement.  I can make the decision the week of which also helps.

So to lessen my frustration with these two sections of the route, I got to base a bit early, did a few miles then took off with the group for the 7.5 to Memorial, loop and back.  I made it about 2.75 miles around that damn loop then broke off from my (new) little squadron of peeps and ran the road up by the pool and headed back that way.  I freakin' hate hate hate running that surface at Memorial and all day Saturday my legs were more tired than usual because of it.  Because I cut off a bit early, I just ran the long way back to my car after getting back to base.

Alls well that ends well.

Anyway, just like after last Saturdays run, for the rest of the day and even in to Sunday, my left knee has been ouchy.  I had said last weekend I was going to start wearing the patella band again, but I havent.  I will starting this evening though.

Additionally, my PF is acting up again on my left foot and at just random times the pain surges through my heel.  Time to start rolling it again on the frozen water bottle.

I am not terribly worried about either of these issues, but I do worry about possibly getting another stress fracture.  Granted I am not on my feet 8 hours a day AND running like I was when that happened, but still.

It makes me think about it less knowing that the next 2 months I am not working hardly at all on the weekends.  As a matter of fact, in December, I have decided not to work at all at LL.

I need the break from that and with the financial front being much better now, I don't have to work on weekends if I really don't want to.  Knowing that I have the next couple of weekends free made yesterday go by even slower!

Gonna be a hot week until Thursday when the big cold front is coming and I cannot wait!  I am actually looking forward to my 15 miler this coming Saturday!!!  40's!??!?  Yes please!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Houston Half Marathon - October 23, 2011 - Kenyan Way Coach (Sean Wade)

Our Coach at Kenyan Way, Sean Wade.  Mile 5 of the Houston Half.  In the lead for Masters Men.  Making it look oh so easy.

A fellow KW'er and my neighbor SS took off on our bikes this morning and made our way over to meet some other KW'ers at the Starbucks to watch all the hoopla.  Great morning for spectators but it was horrible conditions for the runners.  Hot, and extremely humid!

And then again on the way back.  3.1 to go and still looking strong Coach!  I don't know at the time of this posting if he actually won Masters men, but probably did.  He would have dropped by the 10 mile mark I think if he didnt think he had it in the bag.  Hoping he got a 1:07 or better!  (now know he got 1:11...cruised in knowing he had the $500 in his pocket methinks!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekend Motivation!!

And if this video doesn't make you cry (or want to cry), then you aren't human  :O)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

You Might as Well ... Jump! (Van Halen for you youngsters!)

This was me this morning when I woke up and saw that the outside temp was 49deg!!!

Silly photographer snapped the picture the first jump!  Oh well my face is all janky but whatev!

Suited up and headed out by 5:10am?  Yep.

I ran a different route today (important for safety too! Never run the same route over and over!), and I really enjoyed it.  What was the best part about it (besides it being 49deg!) was that for whatever reason I never noticed that there was another bike path (one that I knew about just not that there was an entrance that close to me) for either running or biking.  The one right by my house is awesome for sure, and I love that it goes on forever (to the West) but this one is close too and will take me in the opposite direction and into Downtown.

I guess I just never noticed the darn thing before for whatever reason, but this morning I did, more than likely because I just happened to stop to squat down for a second and realized I was basically squatting in the middle of it!  After an inquiry I realized that this was in fact the same path that KW sometimes runs on but obviously not this section.  Very cool!

One of the best things about running first thing in the morning?  Not having to run after work!  Was going to go explore the new bike trail, but you know...I think I will just save that for another day!

5 miles for the day and tomorrow is a scheduled rest day (necessary!) and then 11 miles on Saturday!

One week closer to Dallas White Rock!

LtoR:  Marathon Relay, Half Marathon and Full Marathon (individual)  LOVE!

So Easy A Caveman Could Do It

Probably not....  :O)

If I had to break down 2010 I would say that I was 75% a primal/paleo/caveman eater (with heavy emphasis on lacto ovo vegitarianism).  And I felt and looked fantastic.  Then something occured (and I won't go into it here) and I back slid just before Chicago Marathon 2010 and I pretty much didnt recover from that, putting back on the inches/weight/whatever you want call it.  All in the middle section.  Welcome to your 40's ladies!  Fight it now or it will only get worse I promise you!!!

Off and on, I vasilate being PPC and being a carbivore.  All the stress of this year too with Mom and all didn't make it any easier, then another personal blow of losing someone from my life forever I think that I loved cared very deeply for...well it just created stress and sadness, and I am one of those people that given the opportunity, I will 'stress eat' and that means carbs for someone like me...Then also after about July brought on another challenge which prohibited me in some degree  and I went for the cheaper options which means too many times I opted for the somewhat processed options which included pasta/rice etc.  And even though I only drink 1 DC a day, its a 40oz'er and it adds to this middle thing I have going on.  Oh the joys of getting older and gravity!

And while I dont think its awful, my appearance, the puffiness is SO there and getting worse.  The past 2 weeks I have done muuuuuuuch better and thankfully my earlier situation is no more, so that frees up more $$$, but I still have some things in my house that need to be consumed because I refuse to waste $$$.  Thankfully there isn't a lot, but enough to where if I space it out between now and November 1st, I shouldnt see any consequences on my body because of it.

This time though I am throwing myself completely into Primal, with a 21 day challenge (Mark Sissons new book just out) where I am basically going to treat that 21 days as my detox and back to the person and BODY I was in 2010.  I was slim and trim and just overall felt great about myself, my appearance, and more than that, my insides felt better!!!!!!!

As I said, right now and for the past 2 weeks I have been slowly moving in that direction, and would say that 60% of my food on a daily basis is PPC.

I am excited because I know how quickly my body responds to this lifestyle, and that alone makes me giddy!

Countdown to Primal = 11 days!

And for those who are curious, while Primal/Paleo generally scoffs at the long distance runners (saying that its unnecessary and not conducive to caveman days), there are plenty of endurance athletes out there who are primal/paleo.  Some I even know IRL.

You just make 'sacrifices' during training/marathons and ingest the Gu or whatever you have to, but a lot of vendors out there (Nuun for example) are very low sugar/low glycemic which is awesome!

And then of course there is always No Meat Athlete who goes against the norm as well for endurance athletes as well!

Don't Cross(fit) Me!

This morning when I got to work, as usual my email box had quite a few of my LivingSocial, Groupon etc. types of emails, but finally one that I had been keeping an eye out for!!!

Universal CrossFit!!!

Cely over at Running Off The Reeses just bought and started the same thing down in her neck of the woods and here is her post on it on how it is so far.

I bought my 8 classes and so excited to try it!  Although it will have to wait until after Dallas White Rock and the Houston Marathon, because I know how tough this would be and Cely pretty much solidified that in her post.  A few other people that I know are also going to do it after Houston since I posed the question on my Facebook so excited about that too!!!

Damn!  Planks are freaking hard enough but with a freaking 25-50 lb weight on your back?  Thats CRAY CRAY!  Maybe with a 5-10 lb weight to start?  :O)

Have you ever done CrossFit?  If so, do you or did you love, like or hate it?

Also Groupon had the Turkey Trot for either $15/$18 (untimed/timed) on their email this morning.  Applies to 5K or 10K.  Not buying this one because a) I loathe the crowds and b) I usually decide the week of if the weather is going to be perfect.  Otherwise I run at home so I can still see the Macys parade and not miss the Rockettes!  :O)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Today's News

Blogger has been down most of the morning, which really pisses me off sometimes, but since I don't really have a lot I want to write about today, it wasn't that big of a deal.

I did want to share these articles with you though!

  • Lindsey is going back to jail!  Stupid meth head.  I just sat here and watched the hearing live.  Her attorney made me want to vom, and deets don't lie Li-Lo.  You are a passive-aggressive nutjob who for whatever reason thinks the rules just don't apply to you.  I found it convenient that her bailbonds dude just happened to be in the court room, but the judge said 'nope.  cuff her and take her.'  Good job judge!

What do you think?  Should Meb be doing both or will trying to win NYC hamper his chances at making the USA Olympic Marathon team?  Do you think that a sub 2 hour marathon is right around the corner?  Personally I still think it will be a few years...To knock 4 minutes or so off the current record, it would have to be a phenomenal athlete, phenomenal course condition and phenomenal weather.

I won't even ask what you think about Li-Lo, but if you want to chime in, go for it.  Cannot wait for that November 2nd hearing.  Thats 2 weeks she has to do at least 16 hours of work at the morgue...and considering her excuses up till now and getting FIRED from the Womens Shelter for no showing 9 times!...well it should be interesting.

How exactly does a person get fired from a volunteer (comm service) job?  :o/

The Abyss

This perfectly describes me this week

Imagine all these little dudes and their voices in my head

The hunger is excruciating and keeping my mind off not eating (over eating I should say) can drive a girl crazy.

Ur...I mean, crazier..  :O)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Whatever Blows Your Skirt Up

Awwwww....finally....Fall has arrived in Houston!!!

Even though the forecast was calling for 30mph winds and even gusting higher all day and into tonight, I knew that I wanted to wait to do my run today.  When I got up around 5, it was 70deg outside.  Before I left the house at 6:30, the temp had begun to drop and the winds were crazy!

The cold front was pushing through!

By 8am it was 60deg.


During the day I got on my favorite site for mapping runs to map out a route that ran East and West.  I had dealt with enough of that N/S thing when its windy thing where I use to live and I don't want to do it again!  Where I live now I have a lot more options with nice neighborhoods all around and sidewalks all over as well, no busy intersections to speak of like before, so I just love, love, love it!

Here in the Fall and Spring we generally have a lot of very windy days (this past Spring was one of the worst I think), so having options to run with a cross wind is welcomed.

Which no matter what, when its windy out, no matter what direction, wearing skirts is really never that great of an idea, which is sad for me because I love my dresses and skirts!!!

This picture has Reese's signature all over it, but I actually grabbed it by googling and not stealing off of her blog :)

Had I been wearing a skirt on my run this afternoon, this would have been me.
According to the news the winds were 'sustained' at 25mph.

I still was sweaty afterwards, just not as sweaty.
It's the little things.

Supposed to be in the 40's in the morning.  The question is will I actually get up and run in such fabulous weather?
Hard to say.
Do you think I will or won't?  Or did or didn't?  Depends on when you are reading this.  :O)

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Beautiful Thing

Oh yes...come to Momma!!!

Although as you see that 90?  That was today when I went out to run.
The original plan was to get up this morning, run a few miles and then go to hills with KW after work at 6pm.
What ended up happening was this morning:  Run - 0   Bed - 1

So that meant I didnt want to go do hills AND do miles in 90deg after work.  Therefore I laced up and headed out just before 6 when I knew 95% of my run would be shaded.  I did incorporate a bit of hill work by having to run over 'the bridge' going and coming.
Total miles was just under 6, so I will call it a success.
But DAY-UM Gina, I was a hot, sweaty mess.
Recovery from Chicago is going well.

Here's to cooler weather for the next 7 days!!!

For all of you in taper right now for MCM and NYC, how's it going????

And To Finally Tie all This Chicago BizNAZZ Up Once and for All...

After finishing, it was not as bueno as this picture would paint...This picture was taken much farther from the Finish line than one would imagine...I believe if you squint really hard you can make out the Finish line waaaaaaay off in the distance.  Trust me its farther than it appears.  Actually looking at it now, it does look really far, even in that picture!  (Its where you see that elevated section way off in the background; it had peeps in it for photo purposes etc.)

I crossed the Finish line, stopped my watch and began  moving forward.  I had been here before and I knew I had a ways to go even just for water.  And I was emotional.  I was sunburned.  I was covered in salt.  And I was fucking tired.  But mostly I was that first thing:  emotional.

However, within probably a minute I was unable to breathe.  My chest locked up on me and I was gasping for air, which sounded a lot like ... heck I can't even explain it; like a heaving/wheezing noise.  I had it happen once before, on a long training run when training for Houston 2010 and it was because of an incident at a water stop where I was overcome with anger, hate and sadness.  It was the first time I had ever had it happen and it was not fun!  It basically took me the last 2 miles of that run before I felt better as it kept happening.  We'll just leave it at that.

I knew what was happening at this moment was an anxiety (panic) attack.  More anxiety driven obviously due to my state of mind/body.

The volunteer grabbed me and I was bent over just trying to breathe, and trying to tell her what was wrong but I couldnt talk.

She managed to convince me it would be easier to breathe and get air in my lungs if I was in an upright position instead of basically closing off airway by being bent over.

Duh.  I'm not an idiot but clearly was not thinking straight.  But thinking straight enough to know I didnt need the wheel chair she was trying to put me in.  Unless you are going to wheel me all the way back to the hotel lady, I ain't sittin' down, or its possible I might not be able to get back up.

She got me calmed down and I concentrated on taking deep long breaths and eventually within 5 min or so, I was much better.  Thankfully she had a spare water bottle and gave that to me, so that was a +

I thanked her and started moving forward again, having the medal put around my neck, and yes, I grabbed one of those icky draft beers but man it did taste good.  And cold.

This year I remembered that I could cut through this one part, so I made my way towards Michigan where I stopped at the bus stop and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I had the exact amount of $ for the bus (our cards expired at 10:36 that morning), but waiting (probably only 5 min but seemed like forever) was just making it worse.  So off I trudged.  Making it to State St and then heading 'home'.  Its a good mile to a mile and 1/2.  13 blocks. 
Thir.  Teen.  Blocks.
Not itty bitty blocks but loooooooong blocks like NYC blocks!

But I made it but not without 2 different homeless people asking me if I had any money.

The 2nd one was told "Dude.  Do I look like I have any money?  I am pretty much naked."

And why oh why must some people insist on asking "oh.  Did you run today?"

[insert 'confused look' on my face first.  then insert a 'are you that stupid' look on my face after that]

Once I got to the hotel, before even getting on the elevator I walked straight into Wow Bao and got a Diet coke fountain drink!  I wanted a Big Gulp from 7-11 but that was another block away!

Once I got up to my room is when I realized that basically everyone was freaking out to some degree since they had only gotten the 10K split time and then an estimated finish time.

They were going to have to wait.  I had an ice bath to take!!!  I had kept my clear LARGE expo bag and the ice machine was right near us so I just filled that sucker up with what probably amounted to about 15 lbs of ice?  Good enough.  I had run the tub full of cold water before we left but gah!!  It had all seeped out while I was gone!!!  I finally got my ice bath, took a nice hot shower, put on my baggy cutoff sweats and began texting people back.

Eventually Tracey showed up, then Amanda.  Tracey was not doing well, severe headache and peeing like crazy.  Like every 5 minutes no lie.  Amanda went off somewhere to get food and I waited to see if Tracey would feel better.  Eventually I set out on my own (probably best anyway), and ended up at this pub we had gone to previously.  I ate the best damn hamburger ever! a large order of french fries and a pint of beer!!

Damn was that good!!!  If you know me at all you know that I didnt finish my meal, but I did get all the beef part of the hamburger eaten and I finished that beer too! 

It was nice to just chill out, relax, gather my thoughts, watch some football and talk to the bartender (I sat at the bar since I was by myself).

I then made my way back to the hotel, changed back into comfy clothes and tried to sleep...

This basically never happened, so when Monday morning rolled around by noon, I was like the Walking Dead. 

We didn't leave Chicago until late afternoon on Monday, Tracey and I (Amanda left very early), so we just had a wonderful buffet breakfast, walked/shopped and just tried to stay mobile.  We were both in pretty good shape if I do say so myself.
And there you have it internet people.  I am even sick of hearing about Chicago!

Now 7 weeks to Dallas White Rock!!!  I'll ramp back up to 20-21 miles to be run on November 12th, then taper back down again!

Marathon Day - October 9, 2011 - Chicago

This day started out pretty much like any other long run day.  Only today it was going to be a much longer long run and there would be all daylight.
We had all set our phones for times between 4:45am and 5:00am and we were up at the first beep beep beep.

We had all laid out our things the night before so as like with any other long run, honestly there wasnt much to do.
We dressed, my 2 roommates did what I was unable to do (bathroom doody duty) and unlike me, they both put make up on.  I don't know...seems silly to me.  But we are each our own.

I had Amanda write "Mom" down the back of my left leg and the date of her passing "3-10-11" down the back of the right leg.

I looked at my phone and saw the temp was 65deg.  FML.  

Right before heading out.  Throwaway shirts and all. And  no we all didnt sleep in one bed.  I had my own and they shared.  I lucked out!

As we walked out of the room, we all double checked for our train pass and our room key.
Good to go.

I was perfectly fine with walking to the Start, but we just hopped on the Red line and rode the few stops to Jackson and hopped off and just made our way towards Columbus where the start of the Open corral would be.

When we arrived it was basically empty and we situated ourselves right up front.  This is basically where the 3:45 pace teams situate, but since I had done this last year I knew that we would be fine and in no ones way as well its 45000 people at the Start.  No one is going anywhere fast for a few miles.  Just stay to the right girls and we'll be fine.  Tracey and Amanda are +5.5 hour marathoners (this was their 2nd go at the distance), so I knew we would be separated early on.  We all knew that each of us had our race in our heads and never was there any expectation of anything else.

Amanda and Tracey both went out at different times to use the potties, but I stayed firm until it was too late.
I tried but the lines were just too long.  However when searching for another bank of them, a bunch of guys recognized me from Kenyan Way and said hello.  Unfortunately I had never seen them before in my life, but not surprised.   This would not be the first time such an incident occurred on this day.

About 10 minutes before the Start of the Elite field, we all stripped off our shirts as everyone around us was doing and tossing them as far to the side as we could.
We then slowly were being allowed to move forward towards the Start as the A, B, C corrals were released to go.

I was dying of having to pee, and I had my strategy already, knowing that within the first mile, you go through a tunnel and last year I knew that when going through it there were tons of guys on either side peeing against the wall.  I also knew that I had attempted last year to see if there was a cubby hole for a girl to perform this same act, but I never did see an opening and waited until almost mile 2 before I was able to go in a small parking lot behind a car.  :)

And before I knew it, we were off and Bruce Springsteen was singing (Baby I Was) Born to Run.

And as soon as I hit that tunnel I veered off to the right and thought, I dont care, I am going to pee.  There is a retaining wall so at least I knew I would be covered by the field seeing my bare behind!  But there are also concrete pylons and lo and behold if you just go around it, its indented and perfect for hiding.  As I was about to pee a guy was going past, saw me, looked back and I simply said "dont look!" and off he went!  I stood up, pulled up my shorts and took off, crawling right back into the crowd and directly behind Tracey.  As I passed her I said "go get em" and I was off.  I heard her say "lucky!" knowing that I had been able to relieve myself and she had to go but not as brave as I am.

I dont really remember much about that first 10K other than thinking my Garmin was off on the pace because I didnt think I was running as fast as it was saying I was, but I wasnt sure if I wasnt caught up in the I conciously made myself slow my roll.  Within the first 2 miles we run right past our hotel and I think...I will be seeing you soon...

I also remember that I was already sweating in the first 10K and that last year this had not been the case until much later in the race.  I dont know what the difference was because it was even warmer at the start last year.  Then after passing the 10K timing mat I wondered if the athlete tracker was working and if the few people I had sent the link to, had gotten word of that split.  I would find out later that they did, and it was the last one that they would get.

I dont remember when I took Endurolytes or when I took Gu.  All I can tell you is that I took 8-10 Endurolytes and I ingested 4 Gu's.

What I can tell you is that Gatorade Endurance makes me nauseous.  It was either too strong or it was the heat, or both.  It was especially bad in the 2nd half as my body was being fried from the sun and I knew I was going to have one helluva sunburn because ... well apparently they didnt have sunscreen at any medical tent and I had forgotten to apply it before I left the room.  Fail.

I always put it on my face.  I cannot STAND for my face to be sunburned and I rarely expose it to the sun without protection of some level.  The whole 2nd half of this race you are 98% in the sun.  There are small opportunities to be shaded by one side of the street or the other, but its rare, and its prime real estate and I am certain that I added mileage on due to me moving from one side of the street to the other to take advantage of it every chance I could.  And also thankfully, the last 3 miles or so, the sun is at your back and your front side gets a reprieve.

But before I even got to the 2nd half of this race, it was just as I was about to approach the 13.1 timing mat when I looked down at my shoe for my DTag, and it wasnt there.  Dammit!  Why doesnt an outfit as large and as prominent as the Chicago Marathon not gone to BTags???  (timing chips in your bib).  The only hope I had was that the little bar code thing in my bib that I remember scanning it for verification it was me at the Expo would somehow record me.

It didnt, and I would find out later by first all the texts I had on my phone when I got back to the room and then verifying that online through the results page.

Well thats when I thought "I did say time wasnt important today"...and I trudged on.  I remember that I crossed the 13.1 at 2:16.  A minute slower than last year, but I was still fine with it.  I had my Garmin and I had the clock at certain mile markers to go by and just subtracted how long it had taken me to cross the Start from the official time of 7:30am.

There isn't really a whole lot to write about honestly.  I will say that the biggest difference between this years heat-fest and last years heat-fest is that last year I seriously considered DNF'ing at around mile 22 or something like that.  This year the thought never entered my mind.  If I had to walk and it took me 6:30 then that would be what it took.  And furthermore it didnt enter my mind because my mindset was completely different in 2011.

Anyway, what I can tell you is that there were lots of sprinklers,  there were lots of people with water hoses.  There was even one intersection where someone had opened up a fire hydrant!  That was cool.

When there wasn't a water stop, there were people outside of their business' or homes with pallets of bottled water to give to anyone who was in need.

There were kids pools filled with cold, cold water and lots and lots of green sponges at 3 different spots, which then turned those water stops into land mines of sponges.  As AWESOME as that cold water felt as you wring it out on you, manuevering 100m+ of spongy pavement isnt always easy.

I took in so much more of the course this year than last.  I enjoyed seeing the people outside enjoying the lovely Chicago day (if not for the runners at least for the cheering fans!)  I high fived and fist bumped a lot of little kids.  I read signs and laughed.  I said thank you to a lot of people.  I paid special attention in ChinaTown (mile 21ish) as I made that right hand turn so that I could really see the wonderful dragons in all their costume and glory.

And there were a couple of other neat points, one that was very poignant.  I cannot remember now what mile it was, but for some reason I believe it was before the 13.1 mile mark...where a woman came up along side of me, caught my attention and I realized she wanted to talk to me.  I pulled out my right earbud and she said to me "What is that date on the back of your leg?  For your mom, is that her birthday or something?"  I found that to be an odd question since it had an '11' for the year, but I simply said "No, its the day she passed away."
She looked at me and said "thats the exact day my Mom died too".  She said "shes very proud of you I hope you know that" and before I could say anything, off she went.
Still brings tears to my eyes.

Then around mile 18 or so, another girl, much younger than the previous one came up alongside of me on the left and again, out with the ear bud.
"You're with Kenyan Way right? I recognize you"
Her name was Lisa and although I had never seen her before in my life (like the dudes from above), we struck up a little conversation.  She was dying and wanting to quit.  Her exact words were "I have never wanted to quit so bad in my whole life."  I looked at her and said "last year, I wanted to quit too, it was later on but I was going to, I was ready.  But I didnt, and you shouldnt either."  I had switched to run/walk at this point so together we ran along side by side until I took an extra walk break and told her to go on ahead.

I hope Lisa did indeed finish.  Something tells me she did.
And I hope that I see her at Kenyan Way.  I really need to do a better job of paying attention apparently.  More people know who I am, than vice versa.

Now for some not so some point, and now I cannot remember exactly when this happened, but it was much later in the race (mile 20 or so?), but I looked down at my Garmin and on it was this wacky screen.  The screen where its split into 4 different sections and I was like WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK????

And on top of that screen were the words that basically told me that my watch was 'full' and did I want to clear any history?  Are you freaking kidding me?????  Lesson:  Always clear out your history before a marathon. 
It seems like I just freaking did that not too long ago, but apparently I have a sorry sense of time.
So for the next few minutes I frantically try and clear out all my data, only saving the past month and then we're golden yet again.  Yes I had to start the watch over.

So now I was really dependent upon my mathmatical skills to know what my time was going to end up being.
I had no chip.  And now my Garmin was janked.

Was someone trying to tell me something?
Was this some sort of intervention to make certain that I stuck to my words about this race not being about time?

It was, at the time, the only logical explanation. 

Moving on...

I remember thinking oh halleliljah when I hit that stretch where the sun is finally at your back and not running directly into it.  And I remember the mile 25 sign and I remember thinking, well this is it.  You are just roughly about 10:30 minutes away.

Then the 800m sign and the iPod blaring Blondie and I picked up the pace as best as I could.
Then the turn towards Columbus and that final little 'hill'.
I walked up that 'hill'.  Yes I did.  I got as far over to the left as I could knowing it was a left hand turn and just as I was about to crest I started running.

And I ran down Columbus, with one earbud out so I could hear all the people cheering and it was like everything was in slow motion.

I saw a man go down just in front of me and to my right.  The paramedics engulfed him faster than I could ever imagine and I just put it out of my mind.  Its roughly 100m and you go down like that.

Tragic.  But it was so damn hot, and he was not the first casualty I saw that day.  I saw a lot of people in wheelchairs and stretchers.  And one guy collapsed on the sidewalk with paramedics around him too.

It was just yet another one of those days.

It was one of those days finish another marathon.
No matter what.

4:42 ish is as best as I could guesstimate based on the finish clock and when I crossed the Start line

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saturday in Chicago - The Mostly Boring Day

Saturday morning I had plans to meet up with some other Texas bloggers for breakfast; Running off the Reeses, Bitchy Runners and Tin Can Treader.   My roommates asked if they could go, and well how could I say no?  So off we went, taking the train to the nearest stop to the Famous Pancake House and when we got off we were smack dab in the middle of a wonderful little Saturday Farmers Market!  I wish Houston had one this awesome!

Thats Amanda there in the shot

Cely from ROTR found this place and it was in the quaintest little neighborhood!  I wanted to just stay there all day!  We had expected the line to be really long and when we got there I didnt see the others so we just got in line before it got crazy.  The others showed up a bit after that and I went out to visit.

This spinach/feta omelet was as big as my head!  And it came with mushroom sauce which was unexpected but thankfully it made the dish.  Otherwise it was missing something.  It came with a little pancake and you can see how much I actually ate of my breakfast!  I was stuffed!

Bitchy Runner, Not Sure, Tin Can and ROTR; all first time marathoners!  BR and TCT are also NOW doing Dallas White Rock and Cely is off to Vegas for #2 the same weekend or we would have gotten her to Dallas one way or the other!  And yes ROTR, I borrowed a photo from your blog!
After leaving and to cross the street a group of casual cyclists came through.

More Farmers Market on the way back to the train

Waiting on the train....

Yay!  Here it comes!!

Tracey and Amanda on the ride back

Another shot of the Apple store; 2 days after the first photos.  We had gotten off to go back to Niketown so that Tracey could return the shirt she had gotten because she had found another one she liked better at the Expo

We got back to the room after Niketown and Tracey and I were lazy bums, staying inside mostly watching college football, leaving only around 4 to go grab an early dinner (salad and fries for me!) then back to the room for more laziness.  Its pre-marathon day/night and we took full advantage of staying off our feet.  Amanda went off to meet a friend for a visit to the Aquarium.  I warned her, but by the time she got back she was bitchy about being on her feet too long.  :)  Like I said, I tried to warn her!  All those runners/tourists in town and a major Chicago attraction?  Crowds and looooooooooong lines.

Next up!  Marathon day!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Recovery Run - Kenyan Way - 6 Miles

Well we were supposed to have temps in the 50's today and I was so excited however I was met with 65deg and humidity this morning!  Gah!  Stupid weather people! 

I am beginning to wonder if it will ever be cold again here!!!

Even though I could have slept in and ran 6 on my own, I didnt want to have to carry my handheld or depend on myself to actually do the mileage and not cut it short.

So I showed up, and started off with the 4:15 group hoping that my quads would cooperate.

And cooperate they did.  That is not to say that I could still feel 'junk' in there but I just tried to put it out of my mind and knew that I just needed to go 3 miles of the 10 mile route, turn around and head back.

Overall I felt surprisingly good and kept a good pace, picking it up 2 miles from base. I had switched my iPod over to my faster playlist, and with about a mile left Blondie came on with "One Way or another...I'm gonna get cha..."  Something I havent written about yet is that this is the song that came blasting on my iPod with about 800m to go in the Chicago Marathon last weekend.  When it came on this morning, thoughts came flooding back with a vengance of how I was feeling at that time just 6 short days ago.  It was very emotional during that time knowing that I was so close to it being over...and it definitely added some 'fuel' this morning as I picked up the pace just a bit more.

The only thing that I noticed this morning (after I was done) that I havent felt in quite some time was knee pain.  Not terribly painful but a bit of just uneasiness that makes me think I need to possibly start wearing the patella bands again just to be on the safe side.  I have beat my body up a lot these past few months and I need to be cautious so that nothing crops up between now and Dallas White Rock.

Peace out!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Weekend Motivation!!!

I will be returning to Kenyan Way tomorrow morning for a short 6 miles.  Sure I could do it on my own at a decent hour since its supposed to be cool this weekend, but I like the familiarity of KW, not having to worry about fluids etc., plus regardless if I run with anyone there, I do have lots of friends there and it will be nice to see their faces!

I actually went out and 'ran' last night even though I had come home early from work due to allergy crap that just was beating me up, but it was a mistake.  I had taken Nyquil to put me to sleep and while that was all well and good, it has a decongestant in it, and well I am not supposed to run with decongestant since I take thyroid meds.
My HR was going through the roof in no time, therefore the 4 mile recovery run became a recovery run/walk.

Hope you all have safe travels, runs, or whatever it is you do this weekend!  Enjoy the weekend!  But remember...a body in motion, stays in motion!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Friday in Chicago - Expo etc. - Another Picture Story

When I returned from my run Friday morning, Tracey was up and we both got ready to head out to the Expo.  First we had breakfast downstairs which was included with the awesome package Tracey got through her work, so we both opted for the buffet which was INCREDIBLE!!  At $22 a person it better be!  But for us?  Free baby free!!!  I was starving too since I had had a salad (Thai Chicken) at lunch at the Elephant and Castle, and the antipasto salad at Giordanos.  I was ready for some yummy breakfast which included scrambled eggs, bacon, a small pancake, a couple of tbsp's of hash browns and a few cubes of sharp cheddar!  That filled me up and then some!

Then we were on our way!  We had bought the 3 day pass for the CTA at the airport ($14), so we walked up to Michigan Ave and hopped on the 3 bus to take us to the Expo.  The pass includes all trains and buses.  Great deal for transportation and so easy to manuever the city this way!

The flash on my camera just really brought out the reflective nature of RUN NAKED on my tshirt!

Runners Wall of Names

The 'wall'.  I loved the symbolism of the large brick wall inside the expo area...

We walked out on the deck to get some air and what a beautiful view!

....including this hot runner guy...running towards us...

and then running away from us.... :)

I was so excited to meet 'Xaarlin' who we had read each others blogs all training season and we met up at the Expo.  Excuse my hair; I just didnt want to fix it... :)

After catching the bus back to our neck of the woods I wanted to show Tracey the 

I took several goofy reflection pictures of myself in the 'bean'.  Such a tourist!

Here I am actually underneath the bean and I thought it looked like one was looking into one of those things we had has kids that were like a kaliediscope.  I know I spelled that wrong but whatev.  :)

We then headed back to our room for some rest and to wait for our other roommate (Amanda) to show up.  She finally did, then she ran off to the Expo while Tracey and I took naps.  :)
Still loving this sign...view from our hotel room before heading out to dinner at Italian Village

About a month before arriving in Chicago, I had made reservations for us at Italian Village.  We had eaten there twice last year during marathon and I just absolutely adored it, but you definitely need reservations on marathon weekend!  There are 3 different restaurants inside, each with a different price point and selection on the menu.  We ate at La Cantina.

I didn't take a lot of pictures but here are a few.

We walked down the hallway into the back room which was very cozy, dark and fantastic.  Our room was full of runners!  Big shock!

Bread with oil and spices.  Yum!  Followed by mostaciolli with italian sausage and a FANTABULOUS glass of Pinot Grigio!

Outside as we were leaving
We walked back to the hotel and fell into bed for a wonderful nights sleep!