Weight I have lost

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mid-week Wrap Up

So after that "great" 18 mile run, I really never felt like running again.

And my body felt the same way.  Tuesday came, and my blood pressure plummeted (a female thing).  When you have heart disease and stroke in your family history, doctors aren't too keen on finding something to raise your blood pressure.  Mine is usually low-normal, but once a month it plummets.  And that came on Tuesday.  I got home from work and went to bed, as I was too tired, dizzy and faint to do much else.  At 4am Wednesday I woke up with a stellar migraine.  Awesome!  So no run there.  And Thursday we had a date to go to a Bell's Beer Christmas Dinner.  It was awesome.  But again, no run.

Bell's Beer Dinner at Big Tex

So Saturday came and I got up and went for a run. It was 40 degrees and didn't look to get up past 43 for the next few hours, so 2 shirts and a hat.  Then I was on my way.  I ran to the back of the prison and then up Crack Way.  Before I got to the Crack Stop, I could smell that many people obviously thought Georgia had passed the pro-marijauna law.  It was 745 but these 3 dudes were as happy as could be.  It made me giggle.  They were very friendly and in a sharing mood, which I politely declined. 

On Graffiti Alley, the lady at the Church Marta Stop asked me if I had lost weight.  I wish the answer was yes...lol.

The rest of the run was non-exciting.  I thought I was running a decent time.  When I got home, yes it was...10 minutes faster than any other 9 mile run. 

Yesterday was hill runs.  For whatever reason it took over an hour to get to the gym.  I didn't want to go.  But then I saw a cookie on the side of the road.  WTF?

Don't you always see a Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cowboy Hat on the way home from work?
For some reason that made me go to the gym.  I'm not sure what was up with my run.  I was supposed to run 4 or 5 (I picked 5) hills at Incline 4 at 5K pace for .25 miles each (did that make sense?).  I did 1 and 2 and thought I would die.  I got through 3.  I really wanted to go sleep.  Who the hell wants to sleep while running a hill?  At Hill 4 I had to lower the incline to 3.5 and slow down.  All I thought about was my pillow.  I couldn't even contemplate doing another incline.  So I did my cool down.  Yeah, I sucked. 

This morning I got up and went back to the gym.  I had 5 to run.  My gym is 24hr/7d, but not always manned (key card entry).  When I pulled into the lot, it was completely empty.  For some reason, I thought about getting towed.  Anyway I went in.  The trainer was saying good bye to someone.  It was 515!  What time did they work out?   I realized I forgot my water but I had my Gatorade, so all was ok.  The warm-up seemed way too fast.  It was a minute slower than usual.

So I started my run.  At a little after .7 miles a strange guy comes into the gym (meaning he isn't wearing gym clothes).  The trainer is talking to him.  So I take off my headphones (there is only 1 other person besides us there).  The trainer's first language isn't English and sometimes he is a little hard to understand.  They both yell something at me.  The trainer asks if I drive a big truck.  I realize the guy is the tow truck man.  I say yes, the tow truck man says he'll take the boot off my car, and off he leaves. The trainer gives me an ok sign, and I kind of wonder if my car will be there when I finish. Miles 1-3 were really easy, both in my mind and on my HR.  I decide to speed it up for the last 2.  Still nothing that seemed strenous.  Mile 4 comes.  The trainer comes over. Now I know my run was easy because we had a conversation while I was running for 2 minutes.  He wanted to let me know he was calling the owner of the gym because he was concerned how the tow truck guy got in to the gym (it is always locked unless you have a key card).  And if the owner needed to call me, could he?  I'm kind of glad he waited until then to ask me all of this, because that freaked me out.  I know I run on a TM next to the doors that you can only exit from for my own security reasons, but it really didn't occur to me that the tow truck guy didn't have an access pass.  Apparently he wouldn't tell the trainer how he got it.   So that did make my HR go up.  And I finished the 5 miles.  And then I did a cool-down.

After, I walked to my car that was not booted.  The parking lot now had 4 cars in it.  Tow truck man was nowhere in sight.  I got in my car and left.

Monday, December 10, 2012

18 Miles- Why am I torturing myself?

So last time I wrote, I had finished 15 miles.  I'll admit, there was some excitement to run 15 miles.  Longest distance, could I do it, new toys, etc.  The next weekend, I didn't do my Long Run of 7 miles.  I'm not really sure why.  But laying in bed sandwiched by Scuttlebutt and McMenamin seemed to be a much better option.  In fact that's what I pretty much did that whole weekend.

So last week, I ran some hills and ran 4 miles.  I was the evil one and convinced D we needed to drink a beer on Thursday and not run 7 miles.  So we did.  Friday night we ate homemade pizza and prepared for an 18 mile run.  Around 9pm, we went to bed. At 3am I woke up.  I tossed and turned and by 645 decided to get up.  I ate a Clif Bar and 2 bottles of water.  I got ready.  D did the same. Body Glide was liberally applied.  We decided to go to the Silver Comet Trail, so we got everything together and drove over there.  I had another bottle of water on the way, and of course had to use the facilities once we got there.  On the way we discussed using the bathroom during actual race day.  I think if I have to go, I will just have to pee in my pants.  I don't see compression pants going back on after X amount of miles considering swelling and how sweaty my hands get.  D just laughed.  We walked to the start and he said he would see me in 3 hours.  I said more like 5.  His face was priceless.  Without saying a word, he said, "Why did we take one car? What the hell am I supposed to do for 2 hours?  Will I have time to go home and nap?"  And we started the run.

Walk .19 miles: 5:23

Immediately, I had iPod problems.  I got that all fixed and restarted.  My legs felt heavy and slow.  I wasn't really sure why.  Eh, I just need to get warmed up.  When Mile 1 came around, no I really was going slowly. I'm sure it was the iPod adjustment.  Nope.  Mile 2 just as slow.  I decided that it wasn't really bad (the miles were over 15 minutes which since I have been running 13:02 for 7 and 8 miles, I was thrown).  But I decided to just keep the pace rather than try to go faster.  That would be my plan.  Then I started thinking about when I would eat my shot blocks.  Probably around Mile 4, 8 and 12, and the Hammer Gel at 16.  There were mostly bikers out.  It was overcast but not raining.  Kind of a Seattle-like day. I actually did think this because I wondered what the weather was like for my friend I who lives in Seattle.  Anyway I got to Mile 4 ran past the Bike Depot and had 2 Blocks.

Times (Parentheses are my 15 mile times...which makes me see I held a better overall pace for the 18 miler)
Mile 1: 15:20 (14:36)
Mile 2: 15:43 (15:07)
Mile 3: 15:33 (15:08)
Mile 4: 16:06 (14:56)

At Mile 5 I decided I really didn't feel like running anymore. But since I hadn't passed D, I couldn't turn around yet.  At Mile 6 I really wondered why I was doing this.  My thighs had a strong burn on them.  D was returning and passed me at Mile 6.88.  I tried to figure out what mile he was at (11.12).  That depressed me, so I started looking around.  A couple of bikers passed me and said something, then a few more did as well. Since I was in my own world and on the side of the path, I'm not really sure what they said. I passed a place I used to contract at.  I really hated that job.  I really hated me while in that job.  Ah...such is life...each job makes you know what you do and don't want in the next one.  I crossed another road and noticed I was getting cold.  And it was raining.  And more bikers were saying something.  I went to another road crossing and the rain was pouring.  Shit! Now I'm cold, and wet.  The Garmin dinged 8 and I turned around.  I took a Shot  Block.

Mile 5: 15:26 (15:32)
Mile 6: 15:28 (15:33)
Mile 7: 15:24 (15:54)
Mile 8: 15:57 (15:57)

WTF are you doing, AL?  Where are you going to make up 2 miles (I was intending on running 9 and back 9)?  This negative self talk almost made me cry.  My hips were now on fire.  I got to the road crossing and noticed it wasn't raining and that the street itself was flat.  So I turned and decided to run .5 miles out and back to the path.  At least it would be 17 at the end.  I ran and found Patak's Sausage which is pretty famous around the area. I have never been there because the hours are odd (it was closed), but I can tell you how to get there on foot. I got back to the path and decided to go back towards the Out Direction for half a mile.  Sure enough...it started raining again.  In the same place as before.  I got in the halfmile and started my return.  The next 2 miles were just head games of it is only 8 laps around the track, that's nothing.  7 laps.  Easy.  Except I was really hungry.

Mile 9: 15:56 (16:36)
Mile 10: 15:56 (17:00)
Mile 11: 16:14 (17:12)
Mile 12: 16:47 (17:10)

I took another shotblock and told myself, you only have a 10K.  Perhaps I'll call D at the Bike Depot and ask him to pick me up.  My running now was not a walk and not a run.  More of a Slog (Slow Jog).  I got to 13.1 at 3:25, which was faster than my first half, barely.  I about cried when I realized that in a real race I had to go 13.1 more.  I really wondered why I was doing this to myself.  I thought about my friend John who did an IronMan that I don't think even exists anymore because it was so hard (St. George).  He said that all he ran for was the beer.  So I decided to run for beer.  At another road crossing, I texted D that I had 4.5 miles and I was running at an 18 minute pace.  I wasn't but I decided that would give me some leeway.  I decided to run 4 minutes walk 1.  That worked for about 2 cycles.  I would lose track and couldn't remember where I was with that.  So then I just ran 10 minutes, I think.  It seemed to fly by.  I also realized I would feel euphoric (delirious?) at about 1.5 miles after I ate a Clif.  I passed the Bike Depot.  Perhaps the 40 oz of Gatorade on my back was what was making me run so slowly.  I took a walk break but realized my legs hurt a ton more walking than Slogging.  So I went back to Slog mode.  When I did walk I kind of wondered if I was going to be arrested.  I'm sure I was rubbing my thighs and regions around a little too much and a little too hard.  I got to 3 miles right before a tunnel so I took the  Hammer Gel.  It was pretty good.  Very sweet.  12 more laps.

Mile 13: 17:31 (17:43)
Mile 14: 17:24 (17:36)
Mile 15: 16:57 (16:22)

The last 3 miles were pretty much a countdown. I got passed by 2 walkers, which was demoralizing, but I told myself they probably hadn't run 15+ miles.  I really hated the mile markers.  Finally I was to Mile Marker .9.  I decided I would run to Mile Marker .6 and take a break.  Except there is no Mile Marker .6.  So I got to Mile Marker .3. I actually only had .2 left.  I started walking. Then I asked myself what the hell was I doing.  So I started running.  I realized I would be done in less than 5 hours.  I realized I would probably be on the SAG Wagon if I don't learn to speed it up.  I realized if I eat 1 Clif Bar for a 5K run, I probably need at least 2 for an 18 mile run.  And with that, the Garmin beeped.

Mile 16: 17:55
Mile 17: 17:06
Mile 18: 17:55

Total: 4:54:40- 18 miles

I crawled to Mile Marker 0 where D met me with a cold Gatorade.  He was walking pretty normal.  Me not so much. He decided to go get the car to bring to me.  I went to sit down and intense pain went into my knee, so I decided not to sit.  Plus I wasn't sure how I was going to get up.  He brought the car around, and I got in and we decided to go get pizza.  There were Doritos in the car. I ate 24 (yes I counted).  We got to the Interstate and I decided I wanted to go home, which D was cool with.

Crawl (.23): 6:09

We got home.  The Foam Roller...that was my savior.  I actually am walking more normal from 18 than the 15. 

Things learned:
Where Patak's is
Eat 2 Clif Bars
Bring another Shot Block or 2 more Hammer Gels
Silver Comet is incredibly boring (that is more of a remembrance than a learning event)
Take Advil before and after the run
Foam Roller is your friend.

Friday, November 30, 2012

15 miles? No way!

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.  Once again we went the non-traditional route with Boudin, Chaurice, red beans and rice, ribs, cheesecake stuffed chocolate cake, Reuben dip and Cheesesteak Dip. This was the first time my brother helped make the sausage.  We did an awesome job. 

Chaurice is the dark one. Boudin is the light one
As you noticed, there was no turkey in sight. I am allergic to turkey, so there is never one in our house. My dad did make one "disparaging" remark when we told him about the cake for Christmas..."Why do you all love chocolate so much?"  So I guess I'll have to make 2 cakes for 4 people...haha.

True to form, we didn't run on Thursday morning.  We had talked about it, but I guess it is engrained in our heads not to run on holidays (D and I have rules).  So no run...it couldn't possibly have been the multiple beers Wednesday night.

Saturday was a 15 mile run.  Friday night, I was very nervous.  My new shoes came in.  I decided I would wear them. I prepped them and got them ready.  D was fine with taking money for a drink, so I cut off part of my Camelbak Straw (the part that McMenamin ate) and put D's Camelbak mouth grabby thing in it, and it worked.  Then we went to bed.  Saturday started off shaky as it was 39 degrees and my thermal compression pants were in the laundry.  I had multiple issues but finally got everything together.  D and I both grabbed a Margarita Flavored Clif Block and went on our way.  He ended up running to Clayton County and back.  We didn't know we were "that" close to Clayton County.

I ran out to the prison and up Crack Way and Graffiti Alley.  When I got back to Crack Way, I decided to go check a cemetery that D told me about.  I got to the point where I would have to go downhill and decided to turn around so when I came back I wouldn't have to run back up the hill.  Then back to Crack Way.  

I ran down Hill, and and then down to "Why did I think this road was flat" road.  Still was doing ok.  It was cold and I was out in capri pants and a long sleeve shirt (short sleeve underneath) and my Camelbak.  I had some of the Shot Block. It tasted like Lemon-Lime.  With Blue Gatorade, it tasted like a margarita. 2 guys asked what was in my bag.  They looked disappointed when I said Diet Gatorade.  They were walking to a house party.  Yes at 10am.    I turned around and ran back the other way to the petstore, but turned the opposite way.  Ran a little and turned onto Stadium Street.  I was getting tired now.  I was wondering how I was going to get home. I really didn't want to run back up Hill, but the main street has a bigger hill, so I wasn't sure.  I decided when I had 4 miles to go, I would decide.  I had some more Shot Blocks and continued (Gatorade was continuous, so I don't feel the need to mention that).

While on Stadium I remembered a really flat street so I ran up and down that.  Today's drug deal was a guy put something behind a tire wheel.  He walked up the street and got some money from 2nd guy.  That guy went and got the stuff behind the tire wheel.  And this is in a better part of where I run.  It was right in front of a school.  So I ran out and back of the flat street and to the stadium.  I came back and ran down the flat street again.  I decided I would add a little bit to Hill.  I had 4 miles left.  I forgot I actually had to run up a hill to get to Hill.  Finally got there, and noticed I had now passed a 3rd mailman in a 4 mile block.  Seemed a bit of overkill.  I ran down this part of Hill.  Got back to Stadium Street and went up Hill.  I had 3 miles to go.  Some movers told me to stay strong.  I took a small detour and got back to the pet store and ran back to Hill.  I hit 13.36 and was slower than my first half marathon.  More down hill.  A lady I went by asked if I was ok.  I gave her a thumbs up. 

I really hate this street, is all I thought.  Going the other way, the road doesn't slant, but on this side the road almost falls off.  And there are no sidewalks.  I kept going.  A car slowed down and asked if I needed a ride.  This hill is the longest freaking thing ever.  Keep moving, I thought.  The miles will tick off.  I finally got to the top and another car asked if I needed a ride.  I was able to turn onto Main Road.  It had to be late by now, because the road was full of cars and trucks.  I mostly had to walk because my legs were tired and I didn't have the wherewithall to keep jumping on the crumbled ankle-sprain-inducing sidewalk.  Keep going, I thought.  A man asked if I was ok.  I began wondering how bad I looked.  If you walk it will just take you longer than the 17 minute mile you now completed, I thought.  Finally got to the Prison.  Less than .4 miles away. Distances lessened and finally the Garmin beeped 15!  OMG!  I ran 15 miles.  I never thought I could run 15 miles.  I almost called D to come pick me up.  I was .25 miles from home.  But then I remembered he had just run 15 miles too.  So I crawled home. Yes, it took me over 10 minutes to walk .25 miles. 

But did I tell you that I ran 15 miles?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New Balance WR1340 Running Shoes Review

So I think it is known I am a New Balance loyalist.  I have been fitted for other shoes, but they never feel right, and sure enough I'm back at New Balance standing on their machine to get my "perfect" shoe.   But they are really trying me.

So last September right before the Smuttynose Half, I suddenly despised running.  It wasn't really a sudden thing, it was that my feet constantly hurt.  The bottoms burned.  I went and got new shoes and I was a new person. (read here).  So it has been over a year and I have almost 400 miles (399.67, but who's counting), and I decided to get a new pair.  D would get a pair too.  I went out on-line and found out that both of us have expired shoes.  WTF?  The NB 1012's just came out last year.  My previous shoes the 1123, I was able to get 4 pairs of  before they expired.  Oh my.  A few weeks passed, and D commented about his legs, and I went out on Amazon and they had his shoes. New Balance finally posted the replacement for the 1012's on their website, which was the 1340, and I did a little research.  It seemed to go up half a size and out a letter.  Which seemed ok because before the 1012s, I was a 10.5 2E.  The 1012s were good though at 10 D.  So I ordered us shoes.  D said his were great.

The 1012, photo from newbalance.com

The 1340, photo from newbalance.com

The first time I ran on the 1340s, my left leg (the one that is shorter and the one that has the knee issue and the hip issue) felt fine, but I knew I needed an arch insert or my knee would be done before long.  The right leg...I should have just put glass in my shoe.  It would have been more comfortable.  I went over to the New Balance Store, and got some inserts (New Balance has gone really cheap with the thin inserts in their shoes). Since now my legs would be the same height I also got a heel lift for the left leg (it is shorter...hence the hip problem).  In the 1012s I only needed the insert in the left shoe, so no heel lift.

After that my feet really hurt when I was walking and my right foot started slipping out of the shoe.  Fixed the laces and it was better.  Then the left shoe would cause intense pain in my heel. Fixed the laces and it was better. 

At the 5K my left foot fell asleep.  It really felt the toe box was too narrow.  WTF?  This is a EE!  The right one felt ok for 4 miles but after that, the ball of my foot would start burning.  I found my newest pair of socks and tried them for the 12 miler.  Like I said in my previous post, I drank a beer because having a soda would require going down the stairs and my feet couldn't handle it. I already have about 50 miles racked up on these shoes, and I notice my feet a lot in them.  And that typically isn't a good thing. 

So yesterday, I got to work early.  I googled the 1012s, and of all places, the only place that had them in my size, it was newbalance.com.  I KNOW I checked New Balance before ordering them.  I know that the store said they were discontinued.  So again confused.  I talked to D.  He said order them.  So I did.  They are on their way (I would have gotten more than 1 pair, but we have a shower repair bill that is a little higher on the $ list than ~$300 for 2 pairs of shoes).

I ran 4 miles yesterday on the Treadmill with the 1340s.  Left foot started falling asleep.  Right foot fine. I think for 4 miles and less I can stay with the 1340s, but higher requires the 1012s.

So when I started writing this post this morning, I went out to newbalance.com to get screen shots of the shoes.  What is really interesting, is a few weeks ago, New Balance had on their webpage that the 1340 was the replacement for the 1012.  It no longer has that.  Hmmmm.

Disclosure: New Balance didn't pay me, ask me, or tell me to write this review.  As far as I know, they don't know I'm unhappy with the 1340, unless they happen to read this post.

Monday, November 12, 2012

12 Mile Saturday in the Neighborhood

12 Mile Saturday.  Finally a long run with no deadline.  No football game to rush to.  No plans.  Just sleep in and then go run.  I got up at the late time of 7am.  I found my Camelbak and looked at the straw.  Sure enough, McMenamin had eaten it.  No problem.  I'll cut off the chewed part and put D's mouth chewy thing on it and go.  What is wrong with the lid?  Ah McMenamin had somehow chewed that too.  After 35 minutes, a lot of cussing and declaring him the worst dog ever, which then made me burst into tears, I decided that I was just going to have to grab $2 and go to the Shoot 'Em Up Gas Station during the run and get a Gatorade (some Boxer was shot at that gas station a few years ago). 

I got ready, and saw that I only had $1.  It was now 8:10 and I wasn't even going to finish running by noon (not quite but almost).  I yelled at McMenamin that this was all his fault and cried again.  Of course, Scuttlebutt was my darling angel, during all of this.  In fact while I was getting a Clif Bar, he put his head in the drawer and pulled out Clif Blocks that I had gotten free somewhere sometime.  I put them in my belt with my $1 and left. I put my Gatorade on the front step wondering if I was really going to come back and get it and continue running. 

Miles 1-5 were uneventful.  I couldn't go the way I wanted because the train was stopped on the tracks.  So I went down what I now call Crack Alley.  (Shoot 'Em Up Gas Station connects Crack Alley and Graffiti Way).  One man told me I needed to sweat more, and 2 men told me to "Work it. That'll get the weight off."  I probably should be offended, but what are they saying that isn't true.  And hell, if it makes them go, "I saw that fat woman running, I probably can walk .5 miles," more health to them.  I had one of the gummy Clif things at Mile 4.

So I finished the out and back and decided to head toward Turner Field, but I really wasn't feeling it.  I got to Hank Aaron, but I could tell I was getting thirsty.  I decided to go to the pet store, because I was pretty sure I remembered them selling water at Free Beer Night.  I got there and sure enough $1 with tax included. 
I ran back up Hill and then had to figure things out.  I was at Mile 8.  I had 2 more Clif things.  I finished the water.  I decided I would run some flat streets and hopefully hit at least Mile 11.  The sun was getting hot and traffic had picked up.  I was running down a street I always run and wondered why I never ran the whole street.  So I did.  Then I saw D's favorite street.  Being the kid that I am, I giggled when I saw it.

Yes, I laughed when I saw the name.

I ran back down Prison RD to the railroad tracks.  A different train was now stopped there.  It hadn't moved since I turned down Prison RD.  A car pulled up to the tracks as I was turning around.  I let him know that the train hadn't moved.  So he turned around. Then he let the next car know.  And then that car let the next car know.  It was funny to hear, "The runner said the train was there when she started down the road," repeatedly.

I ran up Mosque RD.  When I was running back, I stopped to finish my Clif thing.  I wasn't completely paying attention and then this chicken crossed infront of me on the road.  It made me laugh. 

It had to get to the other side

I ran passed the "Lady with No Pants" Gas Station. She now wears pants.  She asked how my dogs were.  Then I did a quick loop through the neighborhood to finish up the 12 miles. 

I did complete it and under 3 hours. I don't think I have ever run 12 miles in the 'hood before.  Now I have.  I was so happy to see my Gatorade on the front porch.  It was done before I even got inside the house.  Later in the day I had a beer.  Why? Because the soda was in the basement and stairs were not on my agenda.  D brought home a pizza after he got off work, because neither of us wanted to make dinner. 

I still have work to do, because I'm getting in a "finished" mode at mile 7.  But it is coming.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Romp and Stomp 2012

So earlier in the week, D and I were discussing our running plans for the week.  We knew we had the Romp and Stomp 5K planned and that we were going out on Saturday meaning that any possible thought of running 10 miles on Sunday was laughable.

Me: We have 10 miles to run on Saturday.
D: So we run 7 after the 5K?
Me: I guess. I'll have to ask A if she can drive us to the race.

The next day, A emailed me.
A: We have to go separately. I have to finish my run after the 5K.
Me: Us too.

A little further thought, and I decided to drive to the race, and D and I would run home (A was running to and from the race), and go drive back later in the other car to get the first one.  

Friday came, and I told D I would pick up the race packets.  Because I've only been to the packet pick-up 4 times, I decided it would be a good time to get lost.  So D went and got them and I went to get a beer (he met me there).  Afterward we went and had BBQ from one of our places for the last time, since they were closing their storefront (but still catering).  I had a Bahn Mi and D had a French Dip.  Yes, unusual things to have at a BBQ restaurant, but that's why I liked it.  I like creative ways of showing what you can do with pig (as D and I did when we smoked a pig in August and ate pork for the next week).  Anyway we came home and got ready for bed.

In the morning we got up.  50 degrees.  Quite pleasant...I wore my Saturday uniform of Compression Capris and Green Half-Marathon Shirt.  I put on my shoes and retied them 50 different ways.  I finally got them comfortable.  A texted me she was leaving.  I was happy she was waiting until 720 to do so, since it was a bit dark outside.  I had worried she was leaving at 6am and running in the dark.  Anyway, D and I are definitely out of race practice.  No pre-race picture. I grabbed a Gatorade on the way out just in case I decided to run after and go back to the car.  D grabbed a house key so he could run home and get in the house.  In the car, I saw my iPod.  That would be nice...so unprepared...

We got down to Cabbagetown (less than 3 miles away)
, parked and walked to the start.  I said there was no way we would find A, and immediately the crowd separated and there she was.  We chatted mostly about my shoes.  They really hurt to walk in (damn arch support!).  I said I was just going to run the 5K and call it a day.  We were still talking when the race started and so there were good-byes, headphones to be put on, iPods to turn on and attach to the shirt and watches to start.  Somehow I did all this, although I'm not sure how,  The starting mat was infront of Milltown, which is further back than it used to be.  Not far off.  We turned up at the Lofts and the race had not required the cars to be moved.  So 1000 people on an already narrow street with cars parked.  It wasn't that bad for me, but D and A were both aggravated by it.  I figured A was aggravated because I was still on her heels all the way up to Krog Street Tunnel.  Then she pulled away.  I was not really paying attention to much but there was a lady beside me (Pink Shoes).  She ran a nice pace so we ran together for awhile.  Then all of a sudden she stopped.  Oh well.  There was a guy who was walk/running and at first I thought he was a pizza guy (PG) I knew, Ryan. It made me laugh because Ryan always says how nuts D and I are for running. Then I realized this guy was not him.  He went on a walk, and I passed him.  We turned and passed the dog park/coffee shop/bar and Mile 1 was done.  It was 12 something.

I took a 30 second walk, and PG passed me. I started running again.  A lady with a dog (DL) and a lady with Harlequin Tights (HT) both passed me.  I thought DL was my friend Steph, but then realized it was not. And I thought HT was N from Creating a Runner Blog but again, no.  I was pretty busy making people into people I knew.  Before I knew it we were up the hill and past the water (1.7 miles).  We turned again and more of a hill.  I took a minute break, and DL passed me.  She hit me on the back and told me to pick it up.  It made me laugh because my break was scheduled, but I truly get when you are pacing someone and they stop, you want them to go, because a) it messes you up, b) if you aren't going to be number 1 in the race, you want that other person to do well.   So PG and HT passed me during that walk too.  Somewhere in there we passed Mile 2.

Started back running and DL was now a pretty good clip ahead, but PG, HT and I were all at the same area.  I ran.  We got back to Milltown and HT stopped and posed for pictures for someone.  This made me truly think it was N from the blog, because of the personality.  I really had to look at her to make sure it wasn't which probably was a little creepy.  Anyway, I passed HT again.  PG and I got up to the Krog Street Tunnel and I'm not sure what happened to him, but he faded.  So I was back by myself.  I couldn't figure out my foot. It was sound asleep.  But the bad shoe felt good except for the heel...really just something to fix in tying the shoe differently.  I ran around some people, and right as I was leaving the tunnel (it is out and back), Pink Shoes was entering.  Anyway I got to the 2nd to last street, and HT came back into the picture.  She was determined to beat me.   So we decided to race.  We got to the last turn and could see the finish line.  Both of us did it balls to the wall.  She would get a leg in front of me, and I would pull forward. Then vice versa.  She probably crossed a milli-second before I did.  People were probably like WTF but it was fun to have actually have run with someone the whole race and just have fun with it.  We both laughed when we were done, so I knew she had the same thoughts as I did.  38:54.  Not a PR but a course PR for me.  18 seconds faster than last year. 

D and A found me pretty quickly.  D hadn't tried to run hard because of the extra miles.  A was 1 second faster than last year.  I fixed the both shoes.  And I had some water.  I told A I would walk with her up to a street and then run a mile and turn around (I was cutting my run from 10 to 5).  D decided to walk with us.  At .5 miles we all decided to run.  Said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.  I got 1 mile in.  Still strong...I'll keep going.  3 miles.  Still strong.  3.5, I better turn around.  Mile 4.5, WTF is up with all of these hills.  A little walk.  More running.  Really these hills?  My pace was slow, and I was tired, but I'm almost done.  1 more hill to go up. 

And the funny moment at 5.5 miles: I came to a corner where an elderly lady came with a red pit bull (a building blocked our views of each other).  Anyway, I said hi and told her, "You have a great looking boy." (I could see his penis...no balls).  Her response was, "How'd you know he was a boy?  I had his penis cut off!"  It was all I could do not to fall over laughing, since of course I can't correct my elders.  I told her it was a good guess, and left it at that and went and finished my run. 

After I got home, D and I took the boys out to celebrate the life of Porter (She died the day before the Romp and Stomp in 2009, so we always celebrate this day). 



Me and McMenamin (he thinks he's people)

McMenamin and D - yes, McM is in his own chair

Scuttlebutt on a break from chasing bugs

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Seriously, You are not that important!

Kind of an odd title considering I write a blog in hopes everyone will read it.  haha.

So my long runs have been kind of ho hum.  Perhaps the APD is reading my blog, because the drug dealer and his watchers were not out on Saturday for my 8 miler.

I got new shoes.  I still haven't decided how I like them.  The New Balance 1340 which replaces the NB 1012.  I didn't get fitted for them but did some online research to know to go half a size bigger and wider.  Which is good, because I don't think my feet would fit in the C/D.  But I'll review the 1340 for later.  Just if anyone is looking to see what how the shoe fits, there you go.  My PSA.

Before I go any further... I am addicted to my phone.  I will stop the washing machine to make sure the phone isn't in there when I can't find it. I sleep with it under the pillow.  My heart starts beating faster when I don't know where it is. Even driving, I have to know where it is (charging usually).

OK, so we have long known I view the gym as my church. I go there to get things done, to think thoughts through, to think about how to better myself, and mostly self-focus.  So I can usually be fine in my deep trains of thought until about 6pm when I'm jolted from them.  I adjust my headphones.  I make sure My Chemical Romance is playing at deafening levels.  Yet, there is no mistake. 

"Like, really.  I can't believe you wore that.  OH.MY.GOD!  Can you like believe I slept with him? He was such a lousy lay seriously." 

Yes, this is what jolts me out of my painful blissful runs.  There are a group of unrelated women (I use that term loosely) who talk non-stop on their phones.  They walk at 1.5 to 2.5 mph.  They don't break a sweat.  And they talk so loudly about things that just leaves my jaw dropping.  Without fail it doesn't matter which room I'm in, one will get on the treadmill or elliptical next to me and pick up that phone. And usually also bitch that such childish programming is on the TV by her (yes, it is on Futurama, Sunny in Philadelphia and South Park). 

Yesterday's conversation was (at 6pm) "I can meet you at 645.  I'm at the gym.  No, I'm just walking so I won't get sweaty.  I'm only going to walk for like 5 minutes, because I CAN.NOT. STAND. South Park, and some idiot turned that on." 

It was clear I had the remote.  I thanked her for calling me an idiot.  She was like, "I did not." I said, "I can hear you as can the whole rest of the gym. Really, you aren't that important.  You aren't the leader of a country or in a war. You don't need a phone on you at all times."  A guy smirked. 

But really, you aren't that important. 

When I got in the car, I took my phone out of my gym bag.  I put it in the charger. I texted D that I was on my way home.  Then I started on my way home.  It was Halloween and a ton of kids were out. The phone rang. I let it ring.  Because really, I'm not that important. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Guilted into 7 Miles

So running and having Georgia Tech Football Tickets is hard.  I'm not exactly sure how tailgating came to be, but whoever invented it should get a prize.  Last year whoever scheduled GT football games all at noon should have been shot.  This year, alumni must have used their money because most are scheduled for 3.  No problem to get a run in, right? 

Friday afternoon emails:
J: Do you want me to pick you up?
Me: Yes, what time? I have to run 7miles first.
J: 11.
Me: Ok

The alarm goes off at 630.  Who is the insane person getting up on a Saturday at 630 I wonder, and hit snooze.  At 730 I figure out that I have to be out the door by 8 so I have plenty of time to take pictures (of course), run, come home and get ready.  Luckily I already have beer and cash.  Patted myself on the back for remembering to be prepared. 

Off for 7 miles.  It wasn't very easy start.  My legs didn't want to move.  They hurt on the warm-up and they felt like lead on the first mile.  My time confirmed that with the 15+ minute mile (yes, I was running, or so I thought).  I had already decided I wasn't going to the drug gas station so I would have to run up Macaroni Hill (the hill smells like Mac and Cheese).  I actually did it decently.  A little out of breath but nothing running on a flat wouldn't take care of.  A new Grand Opening of some restaurant was occuring. They had a DJ. He informed me over the loudspeaker that they would be open until 1 so I could come back and get a post run breakfast.  I crossed the road, so I would be on the other side of the road at the drug gas station and kept on going. Mile 2 was in the 12 somethings (the rest of the miles went between 12 and 14).

I have worn the same thing for the past 3 long runs (capris and a green shirt).  So when I got past the firehouse (home of the Scream Machine...it makes me laugh when I see the SM), I heard a man yell out, "You need to stop. Your butt is getting too small."   That added a kick to my step.  I was going to stop and take pics of some graffiti I like, but I was on a roll and realized I passed the art when I thought about it. 

My route wasn't totally laid out (why I love the Garmin) so I did a "What's down this road?"  Really I had no clue but when I got up a slight incline I came to this. 

The New Schools at Carver Mile 2.56. Photo by ALB

It was just beautiful.  I knew what it was when I saw it but just didn't realize where it was. The New Schools at Carver which are tops in the city.  The campus is awesome.  I think it is under the Public School System, but not really sure how it works...I don't hear people clamoring to go there but the graduation rate is in the 90s (which for GA, in general, is WAY about the average).  Anyway, I was still unsure of my route, so I ran twice around the track, which was all paved nice. I finished my tour of the campus and went back down the road I was on (it wasn't the main road to the campus).  I decided to do an out-and-back of the road I was on and turn earlier than the gas station. At a walk break, I hit this lady's house.  She is always outside.  She said I was inspiring and she is now walking.  Also asked if she should have water for me.  I thanked her but said that was ok.  I need to know my drink limits without her aid, plus if she puts out water and I'm not there, or I expect water and she's not there, what happens? 

For some reason, I got into another zone and missed the Post Office Turn so once again I was at the gas station.  The MARTA bus came and honked, because apparently it has to drive on the curb for 200 feet before it can stop at the stop (there was another stop across the street).  I turned and there the drug dealer was. I just put my head down, like I didn't know what was going on.  But really it was so cliche.  I think that bothers me more than the drugs...Guy in raincoat (no chance of rain) with a lookout guy on the corner, and everyone around frantically looking around.  The APD must have changed routes though.  I used to see them all the time on my runs.  I haven't seen them at all.  So I got passed that and the rest of the run was uneventful.  I did have to check why the flag was half-mast (Memory of Arlen Spector).

US Penitentiary Mile 6.44.  Photo by ALB
Got home, saw I burned 1200 calories, goofed off and  then got ready.  I figured I had 10 more minutes left to do stuff at 1050.  Of course J called at 1051.  I managed to get everything but a sweatshirt.  So woohoo!  Calorie free beer and a win!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Training or Beer?

We already all know I like beer.  We also know I really hate my commute on Thursdays.  To go 30 miles takes somewhere between 60 and 150 minutes.  Usually running gets cut out of the mix.

I'm into week 2 of training. It should come as no surprise I have missed both Thursday runs.  Last Thursday I couldn't find a parking space by the gym (2 block limit with street lights is a requirement since a carjacking occurred there), and there was free beer at the pet store.  "Oh, I'll go at 5am," I told D.  Set my alarm and at 745 the next morning I woke up to my friend calling me about something.  I sat in my chair all day at work and prayed no one would ask me a question.  I don't know what a Farmhouse Saison is, but the pet store served up quite a kick. 

The rest of the runs from last week were ok.  I have to find a new 6 mile route.  It might be just cutting the gas station corner out of the mix.  Too many drugs on the corner (and I got offered some this time)!  So this week I did a fartlek and a 5 mile run.  I don't think the 5 miler went ok. 2 trainers asked me if I was ok.  I was...just walked a little more than I wanted to...HR is still getting too high (I know, slow down).

Thursday, well I had a Groupon to go to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for the Fest-of-Ale.  So D and I did that.  Can I say I thought it was a total rip-off?  It was pitch black (it did say bring a flash light, but come one...put up some white holiday lights).  I mean even with a flash-light, you couldn't see scarecrows.  They ran out of beer (the plus was they had good beer).  We were there less than 30 minutes, because parking only cost us $2.  But it was $18+dollars with the Groupon.  Can you imagine paying $36+ for this and then being asked to buy beer ($5 or $6 depending on which line you got in)?  Needless to say, this is my PSA that I found the whole thing to be a rip-off and I don't need to go back.  It would have been cheaper and more fun to go to the bar down the street. 

Apparently we weren't the only ones who felt ripped off.  The couple behind us were very eloquent with, "That fucking sucked."

Tomorrow, 7 miles on tap.  And then Sunday. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

SPIbelt Review on a 6 Mile Run

So awhile ago, several people commented on my stupidity lack of remembering to carry ID with me on my runs.  While sometimes it is ok to forget, it shouldn't be when I seem to find the places to run where someone has died, due to unnatural means.  So it isn't good that I forget.  Several people (Delane and Elizabeth) kept telling me I needed to run with a phone and/or ID.

And I started remembering.  But my compression pants have no pockets, so my phone (I still don't carry ID) has to go in the pants.  Last half-marathon, that was a pain, as they kept falling deep down the leg.  And my sweat would also cause the phone not to work a lot.

Because someone got attacked in a totally different part of Atlanta, I went and got a Road ID.  If you find me by the side of the road, you know I live in Atlanta, have contact lenses, and to call my husband or brother. I bought it and it works fine (it doesn't turn off my Heart Rate Monitor).  But still that phone issue.

So along come OpenSky.com.  I have not yet figured out their pricing structure.  They had SPIbelts for $18. So I put 2 in my cart.  My bill was $24.  With shipping it was $29.  They sat in the cart for a couple of months.  The price stayed at $18 with me paying $29.  I finally decided I needed to get these (D one too).  Ordered and arrived.  (The pricing thing has happened with some other items too...I don't have coupons, so I don't get it).

I went for a 6 mile run on Saturday.  As I tried to remember how to get ready for a "long" run, certain things came back.  I didn't want that damn phone down my pants.  "Oooh  I have a new toy, the SPIbelt."  I put it on, and immediately thought, "No way in hell will this work. The clip will ride up, the belt will ride up...I'm going to be cut up."  I put it on and made the belt snug. It was over my pants, so ok.  I did a few jumping-jacks and no movement.  Ok. Put my phone and $2 in there, and off I went. 

The run was a bit hot.  I started later than usual (945) so the sun was out.  So were all the people hanging at every convenience store near my house...and most I didn't know existed.  I ran down to the prison.  The "mural" or "pussy painting" as my friend eloquently called it has been removed.  Some art thing in Atlanta, and the whole city gets colorful paintings of children, and my 'hood gets a grey, black, and white thing of a naked woman, with full bush walking with a dog or a wolf or some crap.  I guess you can see I thought it was hideous, especially at 7am, driving to work...I don't want to see bush.  But it is now gone, so yay. 
Here is a picture of the much better looking wall to me (I get beauty is in the eye of the beholder...but this crap was ugly, not to mention not what the painter turned into the city...and you know how I don't like processes to be broken/not followed.).

Painted-over Mural of the Pussy Painting,  Photo by ALB
 So that was my first time taking something out of the SPIbelt.  I should have paid attention to where I put my money because it flashed and I shouldn't be flashing money in public even if it is just $2.  I ran down to the tracks, and a train was there, so I turned around and went down a road I hate running on because one has to takes one's own life into her hands...no sidewalks, narrow road.  But I got to the road that is big and wide and ran down that.  It was very busy. Lots of people loitering, waiting for buses and walking places.  A few comments about my ass (both for and against it).  My run was slow, but steady. It did get faster when I was chased by a dog.  He was not neutered (if you aren't my friend on FB, you know this is something that is a major issue with me).

Considering I ran 6 miles in June, I knew it would be tired.  I turned and ran down another wide road.  This road had lots of dog walkers on it.  From what I could see, either the dogs were neutered or female.  AND LEASHED!  Yay.  I was now on mile 4.  The SPIbelt felt a little like it was tilting (hanging low in the front, high in the back).  I checked and the belt was still around the back of the pants, so no issue.  Perhaps just a bit tightening.  By now I had made a big Lolipop loop and was coming back to the stick part.  Mile 5 the wheels came off my legs.  They just shuffled their way home.  But the belt stayed in place.

So I got 6 miles on the legs and a new accessory that I will use.  Woohoo.

Disclaimer: SPIbelt didn't pay me anything for this review.  Neither did OpenSky.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Slowly Coming Back

I kind of took a hiatus from blogging, because I took a hiatus from running.  It started with a really bad race.  Not in terms of my time...but it was the 34th Something 10K in June.  And they ran out of water, in Georgia, in June.  OK, so I'm very thirsty, and D and I go to get T-shirts and they didn't have those either.  It killed everything.  And we had to walk a mile back to the car.  So Quik-Trip was my saving grace that day.  Having race people practice 34 times and get it wrong is just argh...but I know I'll be there for the 35th because I was 2 seconds off a PR, D got a PR, so there you go.  I'll just continue to bitch about it.

Then we fostered a beautiful girl Elsa from the county pound.  I didn't really like the pound vet, and I thought that  Elsa needed a really special family and that should be us.  I couldn't imagine never seeing her again.  So we adopted her.  Yes, first time out and I was a foster failure.  But seriously, look at her.

Photo by Eve Sadler

Then my dad informed me he had been sick.  He is fine now, but let's just say don't email potentially life altering news to people, and not understand why they may get upset.

A bunch of other little stuff, and basically my summer was spent drinking and caring for dogs.

Then running bud A and her husband J decided they really liked Elsa. And Elsa is HW+ with a 2 year old maniac (McMenamin) in the house.  After a lot of soul searching, tears, and tough decisions, we knew Elsa would have a better life with A and J. Plus they live down the street so we get to see her.  Plus they use the same vet that we do.  Basically everything I wanted in an adopter for her came in the form of A and J.  And they love her to pieces (as does their 8 year old daughter).  So we are back to 2 dogs, Scuttlebutt and McMenamin.

With a date of 10/8 looming as a start date for training.  In August I managed to get my shoes on twice to run.  I think in September I got them on 6 times.  So far in October, I have gotten them on 4 times for 20 miles.  I bought a Spibelt to motivate myself.  I'm going to have to look at my Camelbak. I know for a 10K, I can't rely on others, so I certainly can't do it for 26.2 miles.  

I'll give a review of my Spibelt soon.  I think it will work.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

National Running Day 6.6.12

National Running Day was yesterday  6.6.6 6.6.12.  And it was all over the place yesterday...well if you follow umpteen running blogs, like umpteen Running Facebook pages and such.

Well, back up...Monday I went to the gym.  Not to run, but to pay June's dues.  I keep getting nasty emails when I'm late (I refuse to give them a credit card or my bank account number, so I just pay in cash).  So I met the new gym manager.  She is very nice and asked me if I wanted a printout of when billing happened (the emails are automated).  I told her no, that was ok.  I had been a member since 2007 and I wasn't going anywhere.  I  mean, hell, my Unemployment Money paid for the gym at one time (and I enjoyed their heat). She asked how long I was unemployed and why I chose to pay for the gym.  I told her for the heat, because I didn't have money to spend on clothes for when I gained 30 pounds (like the first time) and for some socialization.  She laughed and said she did the same thing.  She seems like a cool gal.

So Tuesday, I was just in a foul mood.  Some work stuff.  Not really work but schedules...Why do people book you at 100% when you are on 4 projects that are happening simultaneously? I can't be 400%.  And why is there no sign-off or review of schedules (actually there was, but no one thought that the manufacturer would delay one project by 3 months, one by 2, one by 1, and one by 1 week, thus all landing on top of each other).  So that basically is my life for the next few weeks.  Having PMs wanting to know why I haven't tested their project yet.

Back to Wednesday...being that it was National Running Day, I had to run, right?  Yes, I did.  I ran 5K at the gym.  I didn't feel like looking at the mileage and for some reason, I constantly doubt how far I've gone when the odometer is in kilometers.  So that's what I did.  It was a little too fast but my legs kept at it.  My HR was to high, so I had to walk some at the end.  I'm really trying to listen to the heart by feel.  I'm getting pretty good at it. I

My weight was stagnant over May and the beginning of June. I will take it.  With the amount of beer I drank, which led to drunk eating, I'm really shocked I am staying the same.  But I want to be smaller.    So I may or may not know that yesterday a certain running series had a $20 coupon for when you sign up for 26.2.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Role Models

So Friday I was testing something and while waiting for the test to finish, I checked Facebook.  There was a message from one of my friends that started, "I regret to inform you that JL has passed away."  I was all alone in the lab.  My face contorted as I tried not to cry.  That worked for all of 30 seconds and then the tears flowed.  I let some of my friends know our friend had passed of a sudden brain aneurism.  Then sat in shock.  Another engineer came into the lab, and got me some Kleenex and was really happy that I was not crying over a failed test (the test did fail).  He was really uncomfortable and I thanked him for the Kleenex and packed up my stuff and we walked back to our desks.  I told him to have a good weekend and left.

D was out of town, my friends M and B were out of town and I really was at a loss. I ran over to the bar because I won a T-shirt that I had to pick up.  Of course I had a beer.  I sat in the corner and cried and email-chatted with my friends about our dear friend.  We have all been friends for 8 years.  Yet, invisi-friends.  We have never met.  But we have chatted late at night about hopes, dreams, fears, divorces, new loves, family, deaths.  We have debated about politics, books, music, jobs, men, etc.  All the while, we may have disagreed about everything, but we knew we were good friends. Although like most friends, we forgot to let each other know.  After I got my T-shirt (a small that won't even fit McMenamin or Scuttlebutt), I started home.  I passed the Ice Cream Store.  I told D 2 years ago that I would go when I lost a certain amount of weight.  We haven't been since.  I still haven't met that weight goal.  I stopped and had some ice cream.  I tried the Rosemary Olive Oil ice cream. It is as awful as it sounds.  I ended up with Salted Caramel.  Then I went and got a Sonic Blast.  Yes, ice cream was dinner.

I talked to my friends and D some more and then went to bed.  Saturday morning started off shaky thanks to McMenamin being up at 2AM.  I got out of bed at 6 and we walked.  At 7 I got dressed for a run.  I couldn't find my iPod so I went without it.  It turns out I didn't really need it.  I sang some songs to myself.  Since my friend was an English Professor, I thought about my college English Class and I sang a lot of Tori Amos to myself (my first English Class was all about analyzing music).  My running was slow but well paced.  I went past the prison  and up to the gas station where the boxer had been shot.  Someone yelled, "Your ass is too big for those pants."  I waved.  As I ran past the gas station, someone else yelled, "You have a nice butt."  I again waved.

I went down a new road. It was flat. It was wide, because it had lanes to park your car in.  The only problem was there is an assisted living place there and 2 ambulances passed me.  With no headphones they are loud!!!  I got to one of the zillion churches.  A man was waiting for MARTA.  He yelled, "You go, baby!"  I waved again.  I finished that road and turned back onto the one I usually run.  There was no way I was ready to go in.  I still hadn't decided how far I was running.  I got to Hill St, and ran down.  I wondered how I was going to go home.  Would I turn? Would I go out and back?  I ran down the street and Tori Amos played in my head again. I thought about my friend. JL reminded me of the Little Earthquakes Album.  I thought about our last "disagreement" which was not the last time we spoke, luckily.  We fought over the book Twilight.  She was a feminist and thought it was a poor book as a role model for young girls.  I thought it was a trashy beach novel and no one in their right mind would think someone who was trying to choose a vampire over a werewolf would be a good role model.  Obviously we had a different take on the book.  I remember laughing at how we were disagreeing over it, and I could "hear" her exasperation at my taking the book at face value and applying no deep meaning to it. I could just hear her going, "Typical Engineer."  She laughed when I read the same books that she did and she would think they were deep and I would ask why they couldn't have just told you what they meant, why did I have to search for the meaning.  In my English Classes that would have gotten me a "F."  Of course I took Technical Writing, so you never wanted to imply anything. 

I hadn't even realized I turned back around and had been going back up Hill Street.  Did you know Hill Street has hills on it?  It is actually a harder road to run than it looks.  I got back to the main street.  The Lady with No Pants who now wears pants saw me. She asked if I lost weight.  I waved.  I finished up my 6 mile run and came home.

I did some errands around the house and went up to see my brother and my dad.  I was really happy to see them.  I had been putting it off, because there is always something in life that comes up.  I had a very good time hanging with my brother.  We cooked potato salad with bacon, chicken with bacon, and chocolate bars with bacon.  On Sunday, we had pizza.  I could have eaten to the point of getting sick, but I thought about my friend, and the ice cream and the whole "Enjoy life while you can, because you won't always be around."  It is an alright saying, but you have to do it with moderation.  Should I wait 2 years to get ice cream from the ice cream shop?  No.  Should I go every day?  No.  Everything within moderation.  I have to learn that.

I think JL would have been happy that I went all deep and grasped that all by myself...being the "Typcial Engineer" and all.  She was a good role model to have.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Volunteering, Running and Drinking

Kind of like last weekend but in a different order.

Friday, I had a lot of fires at work. At 2pm, most of them seemed to be out, mostly because the office cleared out.  By 3, after a chat with Wells Fargo who has lost my mortgage but has a record of all my payments and the declining principle, I gave up.  I decided to go see some pups.  My favorite of course is someone else's.  I think she is already adopted (her 7 days for her owner to find her wasn't up).  Anyway, she reminded me of Guinness.  Went immediately to the gate to leave, carried on like I was torturing her for not letting her run away, and really enjoyed running up and down the parking lot.  Perfect dog for a runner.
Cindy...Someone has applied to adopt her

Saturday, I got up and decided to go for a run. At 7AM it was 70 degrees and humid.  I went out to the prison.  I was drenched. Crossed over the train tracks and climbed up the big hill.  Then I did some rolling hills, and turned around and came back.  I went down the really big hill.  There is a huge hill after going down. How did I never see this?  I will own this hill. God I hope the train doesn't come while climbing (the top of the hill is the train track).  I got up the hill.  Slowed slightly as I crossed the tracks.  All of the sudden, "Ding, ding, ding"  Red blinking lights.  Train horn. I look to the right and the train is barreling down from behind the prison and coming at me with me in the middle of the tracks.  Let's just say, I did pick up my pace, and my heart rate flew up. I got over the tracks safely. I was happy that the train decided to come when it did and not while I was on the hill. The trains right there are usually long (like when you are in the car, you turn around and go another way).

I finished up that street and turned onto the main street.  A young man was walking.  Right as I turned, 9 minutes was up so I started walking.   The young man informed me I was cheating. I started laughing. I told him I had cheated 5 other times before that.  It was a steady 5 miles.  It was hot.  But my legs felt good.

While tooling around at home, my friend IM from Seattle texted to let me know he had a few hours to spare (he was in town seeing his family). Since I rarely get to see him, D and I met him at the local pub.  Another friend who I hadn't seen in about 15 years came to see us as well. Unfortunately we only got to see them for about 45 minutes.  We had plans with M to go to Brew at the Zoo.  That was fun.  We saw animals, I danced (not a pretty sight), we had beer and listened to Arrested Development.
D, Panda, Me and M

Yesterday D and I didn't do much because he didn't feel well.  Today, I'm the one who is sick...sore throat.

Overall good weekend.

Happy Memorial Day, and thanks to all who have served.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Drinking, Volunteering and Running

So remember how I said my ankle hurt after playing tag in 3-inch platforms?  Well yeah, that caused me not to run for the rest of the week. I was pretty sure I was going to run on Saturday. But D suggested with the amount of walking we were going to do (we were going to a beer fest), it might not be a great idea.  So I took him up on that. 
Me and the Beer Bear...he is reaching for my beer...I thought he was reaching for my breast
 Sunday we went to Volunteer Orientation at the County Pound.  I wasn't sure about it, but the Coordinators were really great.  D and I ended up walking and playing some with some dogs.  Just so cute. The Coordinators want the volunteers to take pictures of the dogs, and walk them.  You can also do other things like clean out cages, and stuff, but really, they just want the dogs to get some play time.  They have a yard for them to run in (one at a time...and a lot of rules of which dogs can go in there).

Giving Daisy a Belly-Rub
I don't think Kay is 2 years old
 I was going to go back on Monday and give one a bath.  D and I discussed this on Monday at 4pm as I drove home from work.  At 430, the skies opened up and it poured.  At 445, I called him.  Since the place closes at 6, we decided to do our grocery shopping that we didn't get done on Sunday.

Later in the night, I was looking on the Pound's web page.  The precious babies were no longer listed.  They weren't on the adopted page on FB either.  I cried for about 2 hours.  I can't bring myself to call and ask about them (and I purposely didn't give you all their Animal IDs so you can't ask either).  My friend did point out that they probably got the best hours of their life with us, and that was ultimately what was important.  And there are more there that need our help.  So our plan is to go back on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday. 

I made it back to the gym yesterday.  I am really hoping Dish TV messed up and the gym didn't go to the most basic channels of Local News and QVC and MLB Network.  I will die.  I ran 2 miles at a steady slow pace, but no pain in the leg/ankle.  Back to the gym today.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wrapping up Wednesday

I've run twice since the HM. It is shocking.  I still felt crappy on Saturday but I told D I was going to do it. After all I've run 10 miles sick before. What's 3? 

So Friday night I started playing with my new Ipod Nano that I won from Mycokerewards (I won a $125 giftcard). Did you know they are the size of a quarter now?  Not long. And they have a clip, so that if you don't have pockets you can clip them to your pants?  And they are touch screen, not that circular knobby thing? And there is no lock?  And you can shuffle a playlist?  I did not know any of this until Friday night. It's pretty cool.

So Saturday I ran my 3 miles which turned into 3.5 miles on the road WITH MUSIC.  I kept it low so I could hear the cars (except those stupid hybrids).  It rained a little but it was a decent run. 

Later in the day our friend J came over and we ate (homemade spaghetti, homemade meatballs, homemade sauce, homemade compound garlic-basil butter and store-bought bread) and drank way too much ( Ah, our life.  And somehow at 330am on Sunday J and I were taking a tour (running) of the neighborhood looking for McMenamin.  He was on the porch watching us.  Ah, us...

Tuesday came and I wore these to work.
Product Image
Can I just say, don't play tag with your coworkers in these.  I don't know why we thought it would be a good idea to play tag. But we did (we weren't drinking).  I turned my foot in these twice.  Neither time did my ankle hurt.  Finally a Director came into the lab, so we thought he might not think it was  a good idea to play tag around 5kV equipment (you think?).  So later in the day, I went home.  D and I had dinner.  Then off to the gym.

We went in the same car which you know means D dies of boredom while I die trying to run fast so he doesn't die of boredom.  I finished 2 miles in 23 minutes.  Still no issues.

This morning, my ankle hurts anytime I use it.  Of course it does.  So I'm going to go to the gym.

After I turn in 6 more codes to MyCokeRewards.

Monday, May 7, 2012

So Where Was I?

When I got back from my half marathon, 7 of 9 of my group (including me) were all sick.  We have the same symptoms of runny nose, hacking cough, general malaise and a "just get through the day" attitude.  Our boss is just so proud of our little group...that is, as he calls us on the phone as to not pick up what we all have.

As the week went on, we all got sicker together.  2 people did go to the doctor to find out we all have a cold, so we all are just riding it out on Claritin.  To give you an idea of how bad it is, I missed a Kentucky Derby Party and Cinco de Mayo.  (And thank you, Georgia for no OTB, since for the 3rd time I have picked 1 and 2 in almost 9 years of marriage). 

Somehow this cold makes me feel even better about my half-marathon.  I have accepted my training was not where it should have been.  I also accepted it just wasn't my day.  Shit happens. 

26.2 is back in my thoughts.  Weight loss is in my thoughts (more of it).

My brother lost 65 pounds this year.  He did it through this miracle diet.  You know. The one you don't hear on TV or on the popups on the internet.  He watched his calorie intake, cooked better, and started walking (he is up to 7 miles a day).  He is a big inspiration to me when I feel like I could find an easier way to do everything.  There is no substitute for hard work. 

I need to remember that for training.  That and what Tammy and Delane have told me in the past.  You can fake 13.1 miles. You can't fake 26.2. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My 3rd Kentucky Derby Half Marathon

So D and I headed up to Louisville, KY on Friday morning.  Unlike past trips, this one was uneventful. The most eventful thing was that women in Smyrna, TN seem to like to show plumber’s crack.  I don’t mean Coin Slot. I mean Credit Card Swipe.  Purposely on the way home, we didn’t stop in Smyrna, TN.

Right when you cross the line from Tennessee into Kentucky, Verizon 3G and 1X service goes away. My friend J got to hear all about First World Problems for 90 miles (texting still worked).  I guess I could have talked to D, but yeah, I didn’t.   We listened to his playlist and looked at a lot of tree covered mountains.  I really am not a nature person.

We finally arrived to Louisville.  We went to the Expo twice.  We got our numbers and got out and then realized we forgot our posters.  We had to re-loop which made me re-look at a T-shirt, so I bought that (just like their evil plan wanted me too).  Then we went down to 4th Street Live.  We went to Red Star only to find it was now an Italian Restaurant.  So we went to The Pub.  I asked for a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter.  D asked for a Belhaven Scottish Stout. Out of both, on a Friday.  We got Old Reliable… Guinness.

We finished up there and decided since Red Star was closed, tradition had been thwarted and went to a new pizza place.  Bearno’s under the bridge.  More Guinness and Bacon and Sausage Pizza.  I was concerned about the race.  Besides not having run for a week and a half, I had a cold and a sore throat.  D had a cold and a runny nose.  I decided my plan was to try my best and if my time was off, to relax and have fun.  D said that was a good plan.  We got back to the room and went to bed around 9pm.
Guinness at The Pub

Me and D at The Pub
At 11pm I woke up.  My left shoulder hurt.  I thought I was having a heart attack. I wondered if I should put on my heart rate monitor to see what it was reading.  I remembered I had carried in all my bags on that shoulder and that’s why it hurt.  What if it hurt during the race? Maybe I should put on the HRM.  I played on my phone. I went to the bathroom 3 times.  At 1am I finally decided to try sleeping again.  At 2am, I decided I wasn’t sleeping.  I wondered if I didn’t cross the finish line how D would know to go look for me in a hospital. That thought must have relaxed me because it was 615am with the alarm going off.
Having a good hair day pre-race
We got up and had breakfast of Clif Bars and Water (well, I don’t really know what D had, that’s what I had).  At 650 we walked to the race. D wondered if I put his time down wrong because he was in Corral B.  I was in F.  We walked to E and stood (no one was in E).  Then D said he wanted to go.  I looked at the Green Lantern for awhile.  The 13:10 pace group lined up ahead of me.  We listened to the National Anthem and then we stood for awhile. Then we moved and stood, moved and stood, finally moved.  About 20 minutes later we crossed the Start Line. 
Scared shitless like at every race!
I  ran not really thinking about much.  I think the course was slightly different than last year because we seemed to run on Main Street forever.  The 13:10 pace team was going at 12:30 and kept having to walk.  I stayed with them for awhile.  They passed me.  At 1.5 miles I was completely dehydrated.  My head hurt and my lips were stuck. I drank 3 glasses of water at the water stop.  We turned and ran on 18th (I think) for awhile.  Then onto the road with the McDonald’s.

I had some Powerade and some more water.  I was thinking I was going way too fast.  I was also thinking my nose was running way too much for any good snot rockets. My sleeve was my Kleenex.  It was massively used.
Mile 1: 12:48
Mile 2: 13:07
Mile 3: 12:45
Mile 4:13:06

The 13:10 pacers had long passed me.  I turned and went up towards Mile 5.  Again, I just spaced out.  I got to Mile 6 and found 2 women to pace because I was getting tired.  Somehow I ended up passing them.

Mile 5:13:16
Mile 6: 13:48
10K: 82:03 (PR by 5 seconds)

After I crossed the 10K mat I walked for 2 minutes. I had some oranges and was so happy that I was either running faster so I got food or they supplied more food for the slower people (I think this was the case).  I started running again, but now was insanely tired.  And my 4th toe on my left foot started hurting.  At Mile 7 I had some almonds that I had in my pants (nuts in my pants…lol).  I decided that wasn’t a good idea so I put them back.  I turned and was running next to Churchill Downs.  I don’t know if it was psychosomatic or what, but my hip started hurting because we had turned off asphalt and turned onto cement (or is it concrete?).  Mile 8 was into Churchill Downs. We ran under the stands and then right as we were about to run under the field, horses came flying over the field. That was an awesome sight.  Then I ran down the hill, and I thought my hip was going to come off.  I decided I would have to walk because the pain was excruciating.  I got to the infield and it was all asphalt.  I decided to run 30 seconds.  I felt fine so I ran the rest of the way through the infield, looking at the horses.  Back to the cement to go under the field and Mother of God!  More walking.  Came out and all concrete (I’ll just use them interchangeably).  I tried to run and my toe and my hip…Again, let’s just walk to the Marathon Split.

Mile 7: 13:44
Mile 8:14:11
Mile 9: 15:23

Ok, I decided I didn’t know what was up so to have fun and look at T-shirts.  The Marathoners rejoined us.  KDF did a good job (to me) this year and had cones up to keep the HM and Full separate.  It looked like they really listened to people and took advice.  I ran next to a pirate for awhile.
This was the Pirate I ran next to. I don't know who the woman is.
My butt/hip felt fine, but my toe was killing with every bend.  Still I tried not to notice it (with ever  flinch of pain).  I came across the College Beer Drinking Team and had some Busch Light with them.  Then I had some Powerade at the table ahead. 

Mile 10: 15:32. 

The idea of having fun left my head.  The thought that I even entertained running 26.2 seemed shattered.  I tried to keep going.  I wanted to cut off my toe.  A song I routinely hear in Mile 11 came on.  I got upset.  I was stupid to keep this up.  I had to switch arm sleeves because the right one was full of snot.  You have less than a 5K. Keep moving.

Mile 11: 16:10

I realized I wasn’t making it under 3 hours. I was a complete and utter failure.  People qualify for Boston in less time than it takes me to run 13.1 miles.  Who runs a mile in 16 minutes?  What is wrong with you?  You suck.  Keep moving.  You get a beer when you are done.  People who suck don’t even run 13.1 miles.  You are doing it with something wrong with your foot.  Keep moving.

Mile 12: 15:15.

I came out from under the tunnel and turned back on Main.  Lots of people. I had realized I had tuned out a lot of people and didn’t know if there was good fan support or not.  So selfish of you not to realize people want to see you succeed.  I was watching a man ahead of me struggle. He had a Christopher Reeves Foundation Shirt on.  He had 2 canes, and he was clearly struggling.  His arms were wavering and his legs were buckling with every step. He was crying.  2 men who had finished and had their medals jumped the race gates and became human crutches.  I was still behind him, and it was powerful to watch.  Just then the Green Lantern passed me.  I decided I couldn’t let him beat me (the Green Lantern).  I actually don’t know if I caught up to him, but I got to the final turn without it being Mile 13.

Mile 13: 15:22

I ran down the last part of the race. This man is running next to me with a video camera in my face. I was so confused. Then I realized he is taping his wife on the other side of me.  I decided to run as hard as I could and if I puked oh well.  They called my name as I was finishing.  I crossed the line.

Mile .18: 1:58
Total: 3:06:20

I got across and they gave me a foil blanket.  And then I got a medal.  Then I heard my name and saw D.  He had Powerade for me.   
I wanted to kill my feet.  I was so mad about my time.  I asked him how his time was.  He had PR’d one minute faster than his last one.  It sounds wrong and weird. This made me happy.  He had been training so much faster.  I knew he has been sick too. So I could blame being sick. (I know the complete lack of training probably had something to do with it as well).  We got our pics taken.  We went and got a free beer and sat for awhile so I could relax my foot.  The people by us were nice.  I think the guy was ill, as he left the table looking quite pale and came back even paler.
I drank about half
My Medal
The Sheer Look of Disappointment

Back to the room for a nap.  Then we went drinking and watched Hockey.  
The Maturity of Us and the Future of Education
Dark Star Porter at BBC
I was making fun of people who pose like this, because I hate this pose. But Damn! Look at that calf muscle!
D and the Colonel
Love this place
Blink and you might miss it! Another fun place