Saturday, October 25, 2008

Spooky Running

Found this YouTube clip and thought it was appropriate for the spirit of Halloween! I think Running Buddy and I are going to dress up in tacky Halloween wear on our runs next week.

Running Buddy and I have had a great week of running. We are officially on taper and I am having on and off bouts of nerves and anxiety for the marathon. Running Buddy is picking up the slack and planning activities for the next 2 weeks to help me keep my mind occupied. She is such a good friend. 

We are on for a 15 miler tomorrow and then that pretty much wraps up any long running we have until we meet the 26.2 in North Carolina. We are both tremendously excited.

Have a great weekend blog buddies!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Light at The End of the Tunnel

Running Buddy and I completed our last 20 miler today and I think we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We have been struggling with these last few long runs and Running Buddy has been mostly compelled to stop dead in her tracks just before or slightly after the half marathon point. She gets discouraged and then well, the run just sucks from there and mentally its over in her head.

But, this time, knowing it was our last shot at a good long run.....and the last time we will flirt with the marathon distance until the marathon......I planned the pace out just right based on her 1/2 marathon time from last weekend's Fleetweek race.

I crunched out some numbers and came up with a 3 hour and 10 min finish based on a 9:45 mpm pace for the first 13.1 miles and then a negative split time of 9:30 mpm for the last 7.

And BAM! We did it without stopping (except for a brief period to drink and eat some shot blocks). Not only did we make it....we did the last mile at 8:30. I have NEVER seen my Running Buddy finish so strong. We knocked out the 20 miles in 3 hours and 12 min.  I have to add that there was an extremely stiff north wind blowing today at 15mph sustained with gusts up to 20 at the beach.

It was the confidence boost Running Buddy needed for OBX coming up in 3 weeks.

I got a little emotional in the car on my way home as this last 20 miler is a little bitter sweet. I have put so much of my own heart and soul into helping Running Buddy achieve her goal and at the same time get myself to a better level of running that I am completely emotionally drained as much as I am physically tired from the rigors of this training cycle.

I just can't believe I did it without quitting because, unfortunately, its a nasty little character flaw of mine (quitting). Many times, I was ready to quit and let Running Buddy handle her own training. But after today's's been all worth it.

Now, I can sit back and taper with a smile....let Running Buddy go do her thing at OBX and know that I was a part of getting her to her goal.

As far as the emotional emptiness goes......I know I gave it all.....the advice.....the motivation.....the pushing and coaching and just being there for every run....knowing when to let go and when to stay. It has brought me to my knees today. As of this last run, it's out of my hands and Running Buddy has to make the rest happen on her own. As far as the race goes.....we decided to run at our own paces. It's not what my heart wants because for's all about the love of running and the camaraderie NOT about speed. But it's what my partner would prefer to do for for fear of holding me back. 

Well now, on a lighter are some pictures to make you laugh. They are indeed a little better than the last race but still....I just DONT take a good picture!

Hope everyone had a fantabulous weekend!

                                            BEFORE (Fleetweek 2006)                                                                            

 AFTER (Fleetweek 2008)            

HAPPY ME! Another PR!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

YAH! I have been tagged! Thanks Joy! So, here are a few random but boring things about me...the REALLY is boring but here goes:

1. I am an absolute Soap Opera freak. I am obsessed with All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital.  I have been watching them since I was in the 5th grade. Um...if my math is correct that puts me at wasting several hours of approximately 30 years of my life engrossed in soaps.

2. I once fell through the ice when I was little and nearly drowned. My first brush with death. Oh, that's a bit morbid.

3. I'm a certified diver but I'm terrified of drowning. See #2

4. I once rode an elevator with Michael Jordan. Yummy...

5. I hate cooking and I don't know how. If it doesn't come in a bag, can or box, I don't mess with cooking unless someone does it for me. I am blessed to be in love with a "man's man" who loves to eat and cook.

6. I was a band geek and played the clarinet from junior high school until high school. It was the most amazing experience.
This one is for my blogger friend hair isn't as big but it's still a lot of hair!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wardrobe Make Over

I had a rough start to my morning today. First, I stayed up way too late reading tons of blogs. It's like I have become obsessed. Plus, I had two bloody mary's. And, I did a tempo run with Running Buddy yesterday for 7 miles followed by a 1 hour spin in front of Dancing With the Stars.

When the alarm went off this morning, I felt like poop. I dragged myself to the shower, ate my breakfast and poofed my hair. Then, I ironed some clothes for work. I wore a my gray capri pants, 'cuz it's still summer around here. The capris have a zipper on the side. Well, this zipper has been giving me grief for awhile, and well today it decided it was done. 

It jammed up, got caught in part of the pants and wouldn't budge. It would have taken a pair of pliers to get it unstuck. I was breaking a sweat trying to get it unstuck. 

I had 5 min before I needed to get out the door and I was still arguing with the zipper. I finally said F-it, and I ironed another pair of pants. I was pissed.

And it made me realize, it's time to go clothes shopping. OH THE HORROR!

I hate shopping for clothes. Nothing ever looks good on me, I'm fashionably retarded and well, I just don't have the patience.

Do I see things that are cute? Yes. Do I think they would look cute on ME? No.

But, my current wardrobe is showing its age along with its owner.....and it's time for a wardrobe make over.

Now if only I had the money.

In honor of the dreaded dressing room experience, I found this HILARIOUS video about trying on clothes.  Enjoy...

Fleetweek pictures to follow tomorrow......

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hitting the Mark

What a great day and awesome race the Fleetweek 1/2 Marathon was!! Honestly, I couldn't have prayed harder for the amazing weather conditions and flat route. It made a PR that much easier to obtain.

The day started out like every race Running Buddy and I go to together. She came to my house just a few minutes late and had just gotten up as usual. It was a bit cool in the morning with a breeze but otherwise, perfect conditions for running.

We got there in plenty of time to warm up, walk around, make one last potty stop and get a good spot at the start line.

So the big decision for me was which pace group to follow. I chickened out of the 1:45 pace group and went with the 1:52. I guess I was just too afraid of starting the race at an 8 min mile. I think it might have been too much for me to handle. Part of me says I could have done it, but I don't think it would have been a very pretty ending.

There were a few familiar faces in the 1:52 pace group and that was good too.

Running Buddy got into the 2:oo hour pace group. She has been fighting funk all week but is much better this weekend than last with just some lung chunks and loose nasal drips. I'm still trying to teach her the fine art of dry blowing......

I have to admit I got choked up leaving her behind in the 2:00 hour pace group. It was very hard not running with her but she completely talked me out of letting me go slower with her. For me, it's all about the camaraderie and friendship. But Running Buddy sees it a bit differently and well, we just ran our own paces and I'm finally ok with that.

The 8:25 mpm was EXTREMELY comfortable for me. I had no trouble keeping up, breathing or pacing. It just felt so easy. One of the group leaders started to get a bit ahead of that pace and I stayed with her. Then the other leaders yelled for her to slow down. And she did.....and I kept going. And at that point, I was no longer with the pace group.

I was on my own.

Not that I was afraid, but I had to be VERY aware of my speed. I wasn't wearing Garmin so I had to do the stupid math in my head with just my watch.

I had no trouble pacing myself at all for the whole race. 

I did get a bit of a belly ache around mile 9 when I took some water. I got a little nervous that maybe the water had some funk in it. My belly ache started to get my attention and I thought to myself......"how could I be nauseous after being hungry at the start line??" 

Then I burped.

And it was all good.

Oh, and I got a stupid blister too. It felt like a rock at first. Then I knew after about 10 min I was working a blister.

At mile 10, I decided to kick it up.  My split was an 8:14 mpm after a steady tempo of 8:24.

I finished the race in 1:49:53. My age group place was 6th out of 60 women. I couldn't be happier.

And....I am so happy with my training up to this point for the Outer Banks. So far, it's all falling into place.

And as far as my Running Buddy goes.....its a shout out to her....she is FINALLY starting to show some awesome progress and I am so encouraged for Outer Banks and Shamrock in March. Lately, we have been having some tough runs.

Running Buddy went out too fast in the beginning and started to slow after mile 10. She learned a lesson. But overall, girlfriend finished in 1:59. The goal was 2 hours. I'm one proud partner....and one very blessed friend to have such a great running pal.

The Fleetweek 1/2 Marathon continues to be one of my local favorites. There is nothing more humbling and inspiring then running past the huge air craft carriers parked up on the docks at the Naval Base. It's so amazing and so beautiful.

Tomorrow, Running Buddy and I will do a recovery run and then I hope to sit down and plan out the last 2 weeks of real running before taper madness begins!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Stupid Nerves

I have been sitting on pins and needles since Wednesday about the half marathon coming up tomorrow.  Ugg....its randomly wreaking havoc on my digestive system too.

Not that I don't think I can do this thing tomorrow....lord knows I have run several half marathons. But my expectations for tomorrow are making me nuts in my head and causing me to have obsessive thoughts about pace and time and performance....and lions and tigers and bears oh my!

I went for a 7 mile race pace run last night to try to ease my jitters. There was a TERRIBLE head wind up the boardwalk for the first 3.5 miles but I managed to hold an 8:30mpm. Of course the turn around was great and I held a 7:30mpm for the rest of the way. Total time was roughly 55 min. Although it should make me feel really doesn't because my mind always wanders to the "cup half empty" side.....and I start saying to myself "what if my ankle starts to hurt, what if there is a headwind, what if my hammies start to slow me down??"

I WHAT IF myself to DEATH.

Then the nerves roll in when I think about trying to run somewhere between an 8mpm and an 8:15. Just don't know if I can do it.

So I was in a nervous funk last night that ruined my evening with Wonder Boy.

I made the mistake of watching "Spirit of the Marathon" in the middle of the night last night which gave me freaky dreams.

An absolute MUST SEE for those of you obsessed with the Marathon

I'm beginning to sound like a nut case!  AH....just breath......

Well, off to go pick up my packet for tomorrow's race.

If nothing else, I'm very excited to be running this 1/2 marathon knowing there are so many others out there pounding the pavement too this weekend! I look forward to stalking everyone's race reports!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday Morning Reflections

First, let me say how SUWEET it is to sleep in. The 5:30 wake up time for work is a killer. So, when I get to stay in that wonderful heaven called THE BED until 8 snuggled with the stinky Golden's all good.

I just realized I haven't blogged all week. 

My life is boring.

The running is good and I am only 3 weeks to *taper madness*. I actually went social last night and ran with a group of local folks (mostly dudes) for a 4 mile recovery run and then we stopped at a local beach watering hole for a beer. That was a huge treat for me and a major milestone because #1....I'm socially retarded and #2....I am always intimidated running with dudes....especially young ones.

I am pretty sore and tired this weekend from the massive amount of miles I have accumulated in the last 2 weeks. I ran 20 milers for the last 2 weekends with Running Buddy and had two 10 mile mid week runs. I totalled 58 miles in the ol' Asics last week and this week I pulled off another 7:50 mpm 9 mile tempo run. I do feel some tightness in my hamstrings and soreness in the left hip....SURPRISE! Yeah Yeah, I know...I am backing down big time this week. I do have the 1/2 marathon to consider next Sunday so it's going to be all about biking but still running with fewer miles next week. Gotta freshin' up!

Ok, I'm posting these pictures only so I can give my blogger buds a good laugh. The Neptune 8k photo finish shots are the worst pictures EVAR. They are so bad they almost deserve some kind of trashy award. Here they is:

         I call this one WHAT'S THAT SMELL??!!

Do I look like a man?

Ok, a little better but SHEESH! What kind of facial expression is going on?

Really, its the rain

I am really getting excited for the Fleetweek 1/2 marathon and I can't decide if I want to try to get in the 1:45 pace group. That means an 8 mpm run for 13 miles and not ONE SECOND slower. I'm afraid if I get in that group and I can't hang on I will hate myself. 

Oh the pressure!

The jury is still out on the East Coast. Have a fantab weekend friends!

Summer Vacation