Sunday, August 31, 2008

Humble



Today I got to sit on the sidelines and watch a few friends run the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach.   What a blessing.  Running Buddy and I rode our bikes up to the start line to try to catch a glimpse of a very good friend of ours that we work with just before the gun went off. Just for history's sake, this little gal that we went to watch JUST started running last spring after watching Running Buddy finish her first marathon.  She was quite inspired by the whole event and I think at that moment decided to run the half marathon this summer.  Nope, she's never even completed a 5K.

What is with these young women full of guts and glory that they just "go out" and start running and then end up doing marathons and half marathons for the first time without experiencing little races???  Running Buddy did the same thing last spring with the Shamrock.  I have so much respect for these gals who have no fear.

We never did get to see our running gal pal in the start corral.....we actually never missed her.  We just thought she got ahead of us.  So we pedaled up the road to try to catch a glimpse after the pack thinned out.  We basically "runner stalked" for 1/2 hour and never saw anyone that we knew so we pedaled to a spot and parked ourselves and waited.  It was worth it.  After about an hour we started to see some familiar faces.

What was so humbling to me was watching all the runners and the efforts, the struggles, the pain, the joy. I'm so used to being in it for myself....I never notice anyone around me.  Today I noticed EVERYONE.  It was truly humbling.  But I waited so anxiously and impatiently for my running gal pal and I thought I would NEVER see her come up towards the bridge where Running Buddy and I were waiting.

And then there she was.....walking and sweaty and a bit worn down.  We shouted for our gal pal and she just forced a smile....and walked on so Running Buddy and I jumped in and started to run with her.  Just for a few paces but it seemed to get her going...and all she could say was "I am so exhausted."

It was warm but very humid on this day.

We watched running gal pal hobble up the bridge and over as we rode our bikes along the way cheering and cajoling......it was so  hard watching this young and inexperienced gal struggle through the pain.

She kept asking how much farther.

Running Buddy and I parked our bikes and decided it was time to pull running gal pal the last 1.1 miles.  She was hurting, tired and miserable.  My heart raced for her.

We jumped in the pack and sandwiched our gal pal and Running Buddy transformed herself into me.....she coached gal pal all the way with focal points and words of encouragement and I had to choke back a few tears as I saw all the determination and team work roll out before my eyes.  These 2 young girls who have just started their running......one coaching and one looking for encouragement.  It was the first precious moment I experienced today.

Then we let gal pal pull herself to the finish line solo.

Afterward, we met her as she walked somberly away from the finish line....disappointed that she had to walk and in shock that she hurt so much and wondering why she hurt so much.  Then running gal pal's tears started to flow and she cried......and I experienced my second precious moment as Running Buddy and I told our gal pal how proud of her we were and how great she is and I added the whole speech about how much stronger she is now.

What a day.  I have a slightly different perspective now....Im proud of my friend and I have so much respect for the journey she took today and I'm so proud of my Running Buddy for putting on the coach hat.

And now I am WAY too psyched up and PUMPED for OBX marathon.

Running gal pal did PHENOMENAL for her first time....a VERY respectable 2 hours and 33 min.  I grinned ear to ear.....she is amazing.  Looking at her stats...she definitely started out too fast.  But overall, that girl KICKED ASS.  Can't wait to see her at work on Tuesday and BRAG BRAG BRAG!

Ok, I am ready to kick the training into high gear.  We have a 17 mile long run next weekend and I'm doing Hampton Bay Days 10.  Gonna try to race it and see what happens.

Here we go with another Hurricane.  It may be something to consider for the weekend.  I probably need some rainy runs.  This would be a psychological barrier for me.  Stay tuned from the East Coast.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Demented

I'm feeling a little bit like Ren these days...this past week.....demented.

I wish that I could put a reason to the irrational emotions that I have been experiencing all week. But I can't.  That just makes it worse. It's not work because really right now, work is great.  

The school year seems to have gotten off to a normal start.  The kids come back on Tuesday. 

It's not my life.....my life is very calm and quiet. No stresses....

Running is going fine, bills are getting paid, house hasn't fallen down yet, car is still running. SO WTF???  Why do I want to laugh one minute, cry the next, and beat the snot out of something next, then rest and repeat? 

I'm feeling looney and just a little "crazy" or just a bit out of my head.  I found this clip of Ren and Stempy that pretty much sums up the party going on in my head.  At least for now, the insomnia seems to have subsided but I think that might be from doing my workouts later in the evening, having a beer and then being so exhausted all I CAN do is sleep. Wonder how much longer this shit will go on. 

Running Buddy and I had a hot and tiring 16 mile run today.  The humidity was off the chart. We also had some head games going on around mile 12 and I had to stop and deliver a little tough love to my partner. 

Tomorrow is the Rock and Roll 1/2 marathon and I have a few friends running the race. Today's run followed a little bit of the route and yeah, I got a bit nostalgic and wished I was running tomorrow too.  It's hard to sit on the sidelines and watch the game when all you want to do is go out and play too.  But for now.....I play cheerleader and I am looking forward to that.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another Reminder

Once again, I am reminded of the true and pure definition of perseverance.  Running Buddy and I did a training run today after school.  Of course my aging mind screwed up what was on the calendar.  I thought it was just the 8 mile pace run with Running Buddy to set the speed.  Oh no, "it's track today Kel...."  Aw darn.  But Running Buddy shifted gears this afternoon despite my haggling to just "go ahead and hit the track" (I HATE TRACK).  We started our run semi-slow for us at about 9:30 min per mile.  I FORCED myself to keep my lips shut and not shout out "pick it up girl...you can go faster...etc" I also FORCED myself to stay about 5 paces behind Running Buddy so that she wouldn't feel forced to keep up.  Sure enough....it worked.  By the 2.5 mile mark, I suddenly feel a slight surge and off goes Running Buddy.....8:30 mpm is what GPS is saying.  And not just for the brief moment that I look at it.  It's an 8:30 mpm for about 3 miles.  It was all I could do to not jump up and down.  I really couldn't contain myself...I whooped a few times (nerd).  Anyway, I feel the progress and I think Running Buddy does too.  The 8 mile run ended at about 1:10.  We picked up the pace on the last 2.5 miles and we were probably final kicking around 8:00 mpm.  It was a great run and we are well on our way to getting a good pace for our next marathon.  I'm encouraged and inspired.  So here's my motivational quote for tonight as I learn lessons on this journey from the running itself but from my Running Buddy too, as she perseveres EVERY time we hit the road.....

To succeed, we must have the will to succeed, we must have stamina, determination, backbone, perseverance, self-reliance, and faith. - B.C. Forbes



Track work is tomorrow and "no please I don't wanna, I don't wanna!!!"  Yes, it is my weakness and Running Buddy's favorite.  So, I need more than a freakin' carrot to motivate me!  Maybe I can convince my pal to dangle some chocolate!





Monday, August 25, 2008

Pumped Up

Ok, how funky is it that I woke up this morning feeling all puffy and pumped up in both of my calves?  I swear, all day I felt like the damn Michelin Man.  What in the swollen hell is this all about?  Really, this is the second time it has happened to me and the last time it did, I had gone on a hard 40 mile bike ride the day before.  Well, wouldn't ya know, last night I did a hard 40 mile bike ride.  Now, the puffiness does go away, but shit man, it feels funky.  Really like I got sausages connected to my thighs. Yuck.....

I did go on another bike ride today after work.  I did an easy 30 miler on Black Beauty and she actually behaved today.  Still, there seems to be some grinding noises coming from the bottom bracket but its a brand new bike and my trusty mechanic says "oh everything perfect inside there....."  Umm hmmm....I aint imagining this shit.  Something is going on around the crank on the left side.  I can hear it and feel it.  The only bad thing is, that it usually only gets going after I have been riding for an hour and more so when I really have to mash the pedals or stand up for a sprint.  Oh well....I'm just going to take it back this week and beg and plead the mechanics to LOOK AGAIN!

Ok, here are some shots from this weekend's ECSC 5k.  I'm posting the "drool/spit" shots.  Of course you can't actually see the spit/drool...but that's what was goin' down on the final kick!

DROOL.....                                 MORE DROOL........                  


                                                          SWEET SUCCESS!


Well, school started today.  Actually it wasn't as bad as I made it out to be in my head Sunday night.  It never really is that bad is it?  I told my mom...it's just the anticipation of "getting started."  Otherwise, it was a rather uneventful but productive day.

I even managed to leave work on time, get home for some grub and a quick nap before my workouts.  It's going to take some getting used to cramming all my training in after work.  I'm way too comfortable having time to eat, sleep and train.  My other issue is the eating thing.  I'm still trying to figure out how to space out the fuel during the work day for my runs and workouts after school.  Oh the challenges.  The new mantra is a quote from Larry the Cable Guy...when it comes to sticking to the training plans and such it's going to be "JUST Git ER DONE!'

Tomorrow will be a nice steady pace 8 mile run that I will be making Running Buddy lead.  I really want to get an idea of what her "hard but comfortable" pace is.  I think I go out too fast for her on some of these runs and she is toast by mile 7 or 8.  Anyway, we shall see.  The weather will cooperate tomorrow so there should be no issues.  Stay tuned......


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Support Crew Part 2

I probably wouldn't feel as good about what I do and who I am if I didn't have the love and support of a good man.  Yes, I do believe that a "good man is hard to find."  I think I got very lucky that a good man has entered my life.  I'm one of those quirky believers in fate, karma, destiny, blah, blah blah....and that things don't "just happen" but they happen for a reason. People come and go out of your life and I believe it's not just an accident.  I was introduced to Wonder Boy by a friend of mine at work that thought we "might like each other." Hmm......destiny??

Wonder Boy is truly a good man.  He is so supportive and understanding and he is more patient than any person could ever be.  Does he PMS sometimes?  Sure he does.....does he yap like a girl and drive me nuts sometimes?  Absolutely.  But when I have my irrational breakdowns and cry like a 2 year old, he is patient and understanding.  He never judges me or thinks I'm being silly or sensitive.  He listens to me and gives some of the most amazing advice.....words of support.....and words of encouragement.  It makes me feel better every time.   He is also being very supportive and patient with all my running, swimming and biking.  He is after all my biggest fan and cheering section.

The amount of thoughtfulness and unselfishness of this man is unbelievable.  He builds me up....treats me like a QUEEN....and loves me warts and all (and I got me some pretty ugly warts.)  I'm learning to be a better person because of him.  He is protective and supportive and gives me space and time....I don't do well with commitments.....Daddy issues and all.  If God said to me "here is a piece of paper....I want you to write down all the things you find valuable in a person who you would fall in love with and spend the rest of your life with...." all I would have to do is write down Wonder Boy's name....he is every thing I could have ever hoped and wished for in a man I would fall in love with....and certainly devote my life to.   It's been the best 2 years EVAR!!!!  Here's to my Wonder Boy and our 2 year anniversary.....

damn this man is HOT!

Wonder Boy in a pose            He makes me look good




Saturday, August 23, 2008

Near Miss

Well, after my long yesterday with Running Buddy, I decided to round off the day with a lovely 30 mile bike ride.  I was still feeling energetic and I really wanted to get 2-3 hours of training in yesterday, so I took Ol' Speedy out for a spin later in the evening before I got to the dreaded yard work.  

I went my usual 30 mile route and 9 times out of 10, my rides are uneventful.  I live in a "relatively" low traffic area/neighborhood and although I have had a few close calls with cars, yesterday's close call was nothing short of a HORRIFYING experience.  It was the mother fucker of near misses let me tell ya.....what's with people not looking in the rear view mirror or from side to side before backing outta their driveways???  Especially when your house sits on a busy rode.  

I came within inches of my life and I nearly t-boned a car backing out of its driveway.  I had briefly looked down at my bike computer and when I looked up the car was RIGHT THERE.  I think I even felt the exhaust coming from it's tailpipe as I swerved to the other side of the rode. 

Yes, maybe I was responsible too (thank HEAVENS for good bike handling skills) and I should have been even MORE alert than I normally am, but for shit's sake.....this fool wasn't looking.  I shook like a leaf and thought about how badly I could have been hurt.  It would have knocked me out for sure not to mention what would have happened to Ol' Speedy.  

I have a brief recollection of the whole incident but I think I heard angels saying "not today.....not today....."  and then I could have sworn I heard Dirty Harry saying to me...."Do you feel lucky?  Well do ya? Punk!"


Of course the rest of the ride was ok, I was just a bit nervous and jittery....but I made it home to tell the story.


Today was the ECSC 5k down at the oceanfront and I must say I'm pleased with my results.  It was a gorgeous morning and I drove down to Running Buddy's condo and we rode our bikes down to the start line.  When I got to her condo, my dear partner came out looking way too fresh and pretty and put together to be racing this morning.  Way too much smiling and perkiness.  So, I asked her fiance and he promptly informs me that Running Buddy had just rolled out of the bed.  Ummm hmm......countless times I have told her to get up early enough to eat breakfast and poop and generally just get the blood flowing and brain awake.  Running Buddy blames it on the alarm clock that didn't go off.  I guess it's time for some very RUDE wake up calls from me....the coach from hell.  

Anyway, we made it down to the race start and did a warm up run.  As we gathered at the start line, I gave Running Buddy some tips on practicing mental strategies and breathing.  It's what I really want her to work on at some of these smaller races since she likes to psych herself out sometimes.  When the gun went off it was every man for himself.  I hit the first mile marker at 7:28 mpm and the second mile mark at 15:00 min on the dot.  I followed a very young girl for the first 2.5 miles and then she fell back and even my pace slowed.  The sun was hot and the wind was at my back so I was sweating like a champ.  I was pushing my pace limits for sure on the last mile......I started to drool because I was breathing too hard to swallow and all I could do was a modified spit drool...kinda like the kind you do at the dentist's office after your first shot of Novocaine.  

I tried to hold the pace all the way down the line and I looked at my watch and it clicked over at 23:00 min.  I wanted so bad to finish that last .10 and come in under 24:00 min.  I just barely made it I think at 23:55......not sure for sure......I forgot to hit stop on my watch as I crossed the mat.....I was still doing the modified spit thing.  I couldn't even muster a breath to get my timing chip off.  But I did place 3rd in my age group and I was happy with that.  Running Buddy did very well too at 25 min and some odd seconds.  After I got my award, we decided to finish up the morning run with another 3 miles which pretty much de-fueled us both.  We rode our bikes back to the condo and mapped out next week's running/workout schedule.  Running Buddy is on a mission and doing some double workouts next week.  We also start school on Monday.  Tomorrow is an easy day....probably just some surfing, a long bike ride and hopefully no near misses!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pretty and Powerful in Pink


Ok, Running Buddy has REALLY gotten me hooked on the color pink.  Yup, it's her favorite color and although I wouldnt call it my favorite color....it sure is symbolic to me as Running Buddy and I venture forth on our running endeavors.  I think to me, the color pink has always symbolized "girliness"  something I never really was growing up.  All the froofy girls with make up and pretty hair always adored pink when I was in school.  I suppose I never really cared much about color or clothes or matching or make up.  I still don't, even at age 40.  You should see how I dress sometimes...SHEESH....

But running and biking has done something to my overall image.  Really, when you run or bike, there isnt much "prettiness" going on with all that sweating and hair sticking to your face and snot running from your nose, boogers and just the general ickiness of the well.....sweating and smelling like a man!!  There's the dirt and the grime......and you just don't feel so pretty.  But wear some pink and WHAMO....ya feel like a girl!  That's right!  Nothing like feeling pretty and powerful all at the same time.  So, I'm embracing my inner pinkness....and Im starting to collect a nice ensemble of pink things such as this cute little package:

Cute running skirt, bra and ipod holder with pink personalized Polar water bottle

Hells bells.....I even drink pink stuff


This was not intentional...but even both Ol' Speedy and Black Beauty have pink pedals

So, here is to my pink and powerful Running Buddy who has brought out the pink lady in me!  It's all good stuff.

Speaking of Running Buddy.....we had a hard 11 mile run today.  I think that progress is just too slow for my friend.  I totally understand too.  We are both trying to shave time off our running pace and it's very hard to be patient with your progress when all you want to do is get faster right at the moment.  The summer has been a bit of a challenge for my partner as she doesn't do too well in the heat.  The heat and pace have aggravated runner's trots in her and its about to make her a looney running freak.  At first, its just annoying.  Then it just turns her angry....all the stopping we have to do when all Running Buddy wants to do is run and run fast and furious.  Today, she thought she might turn into this after the first few rounds of stomach cramps:


It was very frustrating.  I'm helpless too as there is really nothing either of us can do until the temps cool off a bit more in the fall.  I think the combination of dehydration and intensity is more than her digestive system can handle.  It's been going on all summer.  But I watched her closely as we ran through the miles today and I really thought she looked like this:   

That's right, Blossom, that cute little pink PowerPuff Girl.  Running Buddy might be too young to remember these cute little super heros.  I got a little choked up today when I thought about how wickedly hard this young woman has worked since her first marathon in March.  I would have quit by now with all the little issues she has dealt with this summer.  And today when the trots (aka "poop monster") appeared I thought she sucked up pretty damn good and Blossom looked just like this:



Especially after I suggested we pick the pace up to just under 9 mpm for the last 5k after she had just experienced some stomach rumblings.  What a trooper.....pretty AND powerful in pink and that's why I love having her as my Running Buddy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Up Up and Away


Today was hill work at Mt. Trashmore in Va. Beach with my running buddy.  We actually did a very good job at keeping a steady pace up the silly hills and mountains of this beach town.  We did a 6 mile loop around the park and ran up several of the man made trash hills.  This park has been around for as long as I can remember.  I grew up in Va. Beach and I have vague recollections of when the park was actually built but I was just a kid.  It is a wonderful place to run, walk, picnic and basically take your family for a fun day at the park.  There are several 5Ks that go on at this park as well.  The top of the highest hill is rather pretty as it overlooks the "downtown" Va. Beach area as well as its lakes.  Standing at the top with my running buddy after our run was nice.  We stood quiet for a few moments and cooled off in the stiff North breeze.  We contemplated our long range goals.  We soaked in the scenery.  Then we headed to the beach for a well deserved afternoon of relaxation.  Just a few more days before both of us return to our classrooms.
Mt. Trashmore

Just around the city seal and a steep climb


Tomorrow is a cross train day and friday will be our "short" long run of 11 miles.  Then Saturday we have the ECSC 5K.  I'm very glad running buddy signed up too.  It's time to get serious.  I am anxious to see how we both do.  We have trained hard this summer and have done a good bit of speed work.  Time to see if it will be paying off.  Stay tuned....


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Support Crew

I just wanted to pay tribute to the real true and unconditional love of my life and all the lessons he has taught me.  He has made me appreciate running for the act of movement and freedom that it is and swimming for the love of being in the water.  I adore the spirit of Bailey-enjoy!
video
10 lessons I've learned from my Golden boy:
1. Home is where ever mom is.
2. Sleep when you are tired...play when you are awake.
3. When it comes to delicious, food the "5 second rule" always applies.
4. When life gets too crazy just walk away.
5. Savor every meal and every treat.
6. Always soak up the sun.
7. Put your head out of the window and let your tongue hang out...who cares what you look like?
8. Run with a purpose.
9. Swim, swim and swim some more.
10.  Live life like there may not be a tomorrow.

Monday, August 18, 2008

BEEP BEEP!!!

Well, I had another amazing run tonight.  Again, just like yesterday, I only wanted to do an easy run this time 7 miles.  I got a late start tonight because I had to go to work today.  It put my body in shock being at work so when I got home I was starving and then I had to take a nap. Whoa.....not used to working!  I got myself together around 6:30 and when I went for the ipod (aka "happy place") it was dead as a door nail.  Thankfully, it charges quickly. So I just set it on the charger and waited 30 min.  I did a warm up jaunt up the street and some drills and then headed out the door.  I took it nice and easy again just going by how I "felt."  I got to my 1.7 mile mark and again JUST like yesterday the GPS time read 14:55.  I knew I was on my mark.  I kept the pace up all the way through 3.5 miles feeling absolutely strong the whole way.  So at 3.5, I decided to go ahead and do a negative split.  I just ran a little faster but not to the point of death.  I never did get tired.  I felt a little bit of the twinge on my right side from the stupid butt pain...but not enough for me to perseverate on it.  I felt strong for the entire final 3.5 miles.  I clocked in at 57 min on the second for 7 miles.  The GPS pace read 8:09 mpm.  Even better than yesterday.  Wow....all I can say is WTF???  Im not sure but I think the track work and speed sessions plus all the bike cross training is REALLY starting to pay off big time.  I'm feeling slightly more confident that an 8:30 mpm pace might be soon my comfort pace.  Wow....that would certainly be ideal. Tonight, I felt like ROAD RUNNER!!!  BEEP BEEP!!!!

School sucked.  Basically, I spent my time cleaning and talking.  Yuck....how utterly nonproductive.  How utterly disgusting my room was.  School buildings have to be the most horrifyingly filthy places on the planet short of a dumpster.  I'm certain that if you were to take some "cultures" of the junk that lives around, behind and under some of the furniture you would find several new and undiscovered diseases.  It's amazing teachers can keep their rooms as clean as they do.  All I can say is yuck...

I'm not sure if I should cross train tomorrow on the bike or just run and swim.  I know I need to swim.  I only have just a few more days to do that at my leisure.  Once school starts, it will be hard to get out in the ocean.  Oh the dread....time to use my mental strategies!


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wonder Woman






I had the most amazing brick workout today.  I just wanted to go out and do my "recovery" 6 mile end of the training week run.  I laced up the shoes and I felt pretty good today after being wickedly depressed yesterday for no rational reason.  I did do a 30 mile easy paced bike ride yesterday afternoon, but it didn't seem to undo the "prickly" and emotionally uneasy feeling I had all day.  I got up today a new woman.  So I went out for my run.  The goal again was to do an easy pace, come in and grab the TT bike and do a 20 mile tempo ride (backwards brick) and round off my workout for the week.

Off I went for the run, GPS and ipod all cookin'.  I try really hard not to look at my pace/time at least for the first 2 miles of my runs and just go by feel, but when I got to mile 1.7 I had to look and I was at 14:55.....I was feeling good and digging it.  I went 3.5 more miles without looking. When I got within minutes of my house, I looked and the GPS time was 45 min.  So I cranked up the pace and decided to just make the run a 10K.  Well, I went to 6.2 and I felt good all the way...not tired and I didn't really have to concentrate.  When I looked at the GPS pace it said 8:30mpm!!  Yipee skippy man!!!  I am finally getting my "comfortable" pace at a sub 9 min. mile.  I'm moving up!

So then I'm so pumped and full of gusto...I grab the TT bike which I call "Old Speedy" and I cranked out a 20 mile ride at 20.5 mph with very little effort.  I didn't get hungry and my legs did not feel like crap.  Now, I realize it WAS reverse brick...but it still did not hurt as bad as it normally does.

After my epic effort, I'm wondering what the HELL did I eat to get that kind of energy?  It sure wasn't the oatmeal, bananas and strawberries I had for breakfast or the coffee.  I have that every day.  Then I thought about the depressive manic state I was in yesterday and the demonic hunger I experienced.  The only thing that would calm the demonic hunger cravings was the multiple servings of Edy's Slow Churn Yogurt Blend ice cream (cappuccino chip) and Captain Crunch cereal which I couldn't get enough of (by the way, it IS my drug of choice). Hmmm.......maybe THAT wicked carbo load yesterday gave me Wonder Woman strength!

Tomorrow starts a new training week and I have to go into work for one day.  We don't "officially" go back to school as teachers until August 25th, but our school system is a little quirky with its requirements.  So I have a one week window of time to put in "8 hours" of professional development time before I "officially" go back.  WhatEVAR........

This week is actually a "fall back" week on my marathon training plan....so no real long run or at least what I would consider a long run.  So I think I will try to concentrate on some swimming in addition to my runs this week.  It's gonna be a bit more hot than it normally has been and there is of course tropical storm "Fay" churning out in the ocean.  I have the ECSC (East Coast Surfing Championship) 5k on Saturday.  Hopefully it won't rain...but I say BRING IT ON...if it does...I will just scarf up my ice cream and Captain "crack berries" and bust a move!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

In the beginning




I have finally arrived.....after months of reading so many blogs I have decided to create one of my own.  I have truly been inspired by so many other bloggers that I want to join in and be a part of the blogger world.  Kind of scary......so much like a diary.  I'm from the old school.  "Dear Diary" was always private and personal.  I actually had one that I kept for over 10 years and it had a key. I have always been fond of journaling and writing down my thoughts.  It seems to clear out the cob webs at times.   My hope for this blogging is to inspire a few others who are on the same journey as me.

I am primarily a runner but I started out as bike rider from the time I was able to coordinate a pedal stroke.  I became more of a runner several years ago as a result of some incidents and accidents on the bike.  I am still a pretty hard core bike rider but I have eased up a bit and become more of a multi sport wanna be.  Unfortunately, I hate swimming.  I have completed a few triathlons and swimming is the worst for me.  Oddly, I grew up at the beach and adore the ocean.  I am a competent swimmer, I just hate swimming and I am trying to devise mental strategies to help embrace this discipline....such as "oh you are swimming with the dolphins, hear the water roll across your swim cap and get in the zone etc" Its not working.  I've even tried applying some spiritual aspects.....I just can't seem to get into it.

All this crazy training stuff and multi sport obsessions began many years ago when I moved back home from North Carolina after several years following the completion of my master's degree.  I hated my job but fell in love with a wonderful man.  Boy did I fall hard.  So moving back home and accepting the fact that my relationship was long distance and possibly not going to survive the miles and time apart shoved me into athletic endeavors.  Seems to have kept the demons at bay.

I managed to move forward despite the upheaval of my life after moving back to Virginia and focused on biking and running.  My first real "event" was the Bike Virginia 2000 tour of the mountains of Virginia.  HA!  It was week long bike ride that covered probably 500 miles through the "rolling hills" of NC/VA.  I learned quickly that a rolling hill meant LUNG BUSTER.  Im from the beach baby.....rolling hills around here mean speed bumps.  I learned a lot about endurance on that ride....what to do what NOT to do (more of what not to do).  I was addicted after that event.  My next major event was the Rock and Roll 1/2 marathon in 2001.  It was the first year it came to Virginia Beach and now its a major event every year.  Following my R and R 1/2 I took on the challenge of a full marathon.  It was the inaugural Chesapeake Bay Bridge Marathon in 2002 and what a killer it was for me.  Once again, learning hard lessons in endurance and poor training.  I will always remember the ride across the Bay Bridge Tunnel the morning of the race.  It was dark......it was early and I was scared and alone.  The bus took us the entire 26.2 miles to the start and only then did the magnitude of the distance sink in.  I thought to myself "I will never be able to run this far." with tears in my eyes.

Since that first marathon I have run 4 others, completed 4 1/2 marathons and 3 sprint level triathlons.  I have run numerous 5ks, 8ks, and 10ks.  Too many to count but since I turned 40 this year I have been placing in my age group.  Who would have thunk it??

My latest lofty goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  This blog will definitely follow my journey to that goal and a few small ones along the way.  I am in training for the Outer Banks Marathon in November, the Fleetweek 1/2 in October and the Sandman Tri in September.  I am also in the process of training a friend of mine who started her running career with the Rock and Roll 1/2 last summer.  My running buddy and I ran the Shamrock Marathon together last spring and the idea to qualify for Boston was born....oh and she is 25 years old......and I'm um......40??? What am I thinking??  Yes, I will be blogging my adventures with "running buddy."


Summer Vacation