Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Workout Update

My long run on Saturday was a rough one - I tried a couple of new things and let me tell you, they did NOT work out like I'd hoped.  I could bitch and moan about the weather, too - but let's face it:  I live in Texas.  It's hot.  End of story.  We ran 4.5 miles, as planned...what wasn't planned was a mini breakdown around 1.75 miles in.  But after a little hissy fit (Jeff can be SUCH a diva!), I made a couple of adjustments and the rest of the run went much better.

I started off wearing a Frogg Togg Chilly Pad around my neck - I saw a woman with one after the Wolf Pen race we did last month and was amazed at how cold the towel felt, even after she'd run a 10K.  So I bought one for Jeff and I.  Well, it does stay cold, I'll give it that.  But it was bulky and heavy around my neck, plus it bounced around.  I tried tucking it into my shirt but that didn't really help.  Plus, I think the extra weight contributed to my feeling suffocated, and my breathing was back to the mess of panting/panic breathing that I thought I had gotten over.  Combine that with my hat feeling wrong (I think I had my ponytail too high and the hat didn't sit right), which in turn kept hitting the top of my sunglasses, which kept sliding down my nose (thank you, sweat), and I was ripe for a breakdown.  Luckily, it was short-lived - I was able to stop, readjust, take off the damn towel (and wipe my teary, sweaty face - the towel was cool, I'll give it that), take off the hat, and get back to running.  Which went fine until I stopped for my "Gu at Tu" (thanks to Kim for coining that phrase!) - I was low on my favorite flavor, Chocolate Outrage, so I tried a different one - Espresso Love.  Now, I love everything coffee flavored, but this GU was too strong for me - I couldn't even gag it down.  Now I know - use what works, and what works for me is chocolate.  Another lesson learned.

The one thing that was great about this not-so-great run?  My legs.  I don't know if it was the extra carbs I'd eaten for the last couple of days, or just that I've been running so often, but I didn't even notice them until close to mile 4.  That was a nice realization - if I can get my lungs and emotions in order, my body should be good to go the distance!

 Looking at the picture, I can see that my hat was on funny.  And that  Just no.

And after:
Thumbs down to this run; 
Wait, let me wipe the burning sweat from my eyes; 
OK, maybe it wasn't so bad - after all, I just ran 4.5 miles.  Thumbs up!


Monday, Jeff and I woke up and ran 2 miles.  Struggled a bit with my breathing again - what is up with that?!?  Dislike.  Later in the day, we headed out for sno cones, and actually walked there.  Yes, it was 92 degrees, but we walked in the shade most of the way, and really, it was less than half a mile each direction.  One thing about running is that it's made me realize how easy it is to cover some distance by foot.

Tuesday, Jenny and I ran 2 miles.  It was funny - we were talking a lot as we ran, and at one point I was pretty breathless and said "I have to take a break" and started to walk, then glanced down at Ricky Bobby, saw that we were at mile 1.78 and said "I can't walk now!" and we started running again, with Jenny going all gung-ho trainer on me..."we'll run, no talking!" - which is what we did, and what I needed to do.  It would have been silly to stop so close to 2 miles.  Sometimes, I just need that extra push.

Tomorrow, Erica and I have 2 miles scheduled...seems to be the theme of the week!  And then, I'll run a bit with Jenny - Erica and I run easy, so another little bit should be fine.  Dribs and drabs all add up to stronger legs, though.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Continuing to enjoy the long weekend with Jeff - we had a long run on Saturday, saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in a packed theater where, as Jeff joked, many Jitterbug phones were turned off at the beginning of the movie, ate fresh corn on the cob and watermelon for dinner, checked out some new running routes, and today have a short run on tap, followed by more relaxing, enjoying the warm weather, and quite possibly, a sno cone later on.  Life is good, and I'm grateful for those who gave so much in the service of our country.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Der Misher und Der Masher

Don't ask me why I'm channeling the Swedish Chef - I blame too much time alone.  Luckily, Jeff's class for next week was canceled so he'll actually be in town for the whole week...I joked in an email to a friend that he'll probably expect unreasonable things, like dinner every night.  What??  You mean a couple hard-boiled eggs, some cheese and a mega-ton of watermelon won't cut it?  Geez.


Speaking of watermelon, I am happy to report that despite the mid-90 degree temperatures, I'm staying well hydrated with watermelon.  Lots and lots of watermelon.  YUM.  Now if the price of cherries would drop just a smidge, I'd be in fruity heaven!

My hydration also took the form of a sno cone...and not just ANY sno cone, mind you, but one that happened to match my pedicure.  Obviously I like blue:
The polish color is China Glaze's Towel Boy Toy; the sno cone flavor is blue coconut.


There was some big excitement in my town yesterday - a 17-story building was imploded!  I think just about everyone got up early and came out to watch it often do you get to see something like this happen, on purpose, after all?  A little backstory:  this was built in 1980 as a Ramada Inn and apparently was THE premier hotel in the area.  Even my running buddy Jenny remembers taking homecoming pictures on the grand staircase - all the big events were held there.  But, it was sold several times and fell into disrepair, and for the last few years it was an eyesore with broken windows and massive neglect.  It sat right across from the university and made for quite the ugly sight.  Finally, some developers bought it and are planning an apartment/retail complex.  But first, they had to take down this building, and what better way than with explosives?  It was interesting watching them get the building ready - they took out all the furniture, windows, insulation, etc, and toward the end, you could see through the building.  The implosion was scheduled for 6:30 am yesterday - I put my camera on a tripod so it would be steady, zoomed in pretty close, and was lucky enough to get a couple of good shots as it came down.  I was about a mile and a half away, just for reference.  Here's the pictures (I ran them through a photo-editing "boost" to brighten them up, as the sun was just beginning to rise and it was still pretty dim):

Now you see it...
BOOM!  Now you don't!

The demo people said beforehand that it would take 7 seconds for the building to fall - and they were right!  I couldn't believe it came down that fast.  If you're interested, click here to see lots of videos of the Plaza Hotel implosion.  Afterward, a little girl who was standing near me said "that's the first time I've seen something like that" and I told her "me, too!" - her eyes got really big as I think she realized how lucky she was.


It doesn't hold quite the excitement of an implosion, but still, I was pretty dang thrilled to finish my windmill bag this week.  The handles came together quite easily, and we ended up wrapping the yarn on the opposite side for fun.  I like it and think it will be great for holding a knitting project, or a change of clothes, or who knows?  I feel so accomplished, having completed this:
 Close up of the wrapped handles.
 Bottom of the bag.


We have a three day weekend ahead, thanks to Memorial Day on Monday.  I know, you're probably thinking that every day is like a weekend for me, but this will be extra nice - it feels like the official start of summer.  On that note, I'm thinking that (even more) watermelon and corn on the cob will be on the menu - hey, I just came up with dinner! ;)

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Workout Update

Jeff was still out of town over the weekend, so I lined up my Half Homie, Julia, to run 4 miles with on Sunday.  She and I started together in our running club nearly two years ago, and I always love it when I get the chance to run with her.  Sunday was no different - we took off, chatting and just enjoying the morning...a pleasant run interrupted only once by Julia's warning of the very large, freshly dead snake that I was close stepping on, and my ensuing shriek.  Hey, whatever gets the heart rate elevated, right?
We share a love of purple as well as a love of running. 


Jenny had a busy day ahead of her yesterday so we ended up meeting very early (6:30 am) for our run - actually, I don't mind getting up so early, and the temperature difference between then and 8:00 am is usually significant, so we are probably going to continue with this start time.  Of course, it happened to be about 74 degrees when we ran, but it should have been in the low 60s.  Ah's survival of the fittest when it comes to outdoor exercise for a good portion of the year!


What has been working for me lately:
  • Running without music.  I have my headphones on and my iPod ready to go, but I haven't turned it on for the last few long runs...never thought I'd want to run without my crazy playlist, but don't have any need for music right now.
  • Listening to sounds - my breathing, which for the most part has been much better on the panic/anxiety breathing front, and also, footsteps.  It's especially noticeable when I run with someone and can hear the cadence of our footsteps as we run - it's a neat sound to zone out to.
  • My new water bottle (by Fuel Belt) - it doesn't leak!
  • Don't laugh, but taking a GU at mile 2 of my long runs seems to help.  I know, another thing that "serious" runners would think is silly, but I can't eat before I run, no matter how early I wake up beforehand.  My last two miles are always faster than the first two, so it must be the GU, right?
  • Training journals - actually, I've been using one for almost two years now.  Just got my new one; I like keeping track of my running (and for a while, my swimming) in them. 
Oldest one is on the bottom; newest is on top, ready for me to fill in!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Anticipation and Appreciation

It's taken me a long time - too long, really, to appreciate myself.  It's not just a self-esteem issue, although that has been a big part of my life...and I'll get to that in a minute.  But I remember how, as a child, I couldn't wait for the next thing - a birthday, moving up a grade in school, going on the next campout - life was fun, but the next! best! thing! was just around the corner, I was sure of it.  Of course now I look back and think "why didn't you relax and just BE in the moment"?  A hard concept for a child to grasp...or maybe it was just my personality.  Any case, that was pretty much how I continued to move through life, anticipating the future and the next great thing.

Cut to May of 2008 and my weight loss...those of us who've been habitual dieters are quite familiar with anticipation, be it stepping on the scale or trying on a smaller size in the dressing room - things that can all turn out good (yay! the scale moved down/I fit into this new size!) or bad, when sometimes I didn't see what I'd hoped for.  And then, all of the work I'd put into this seemed pointless.  All of my prior victories on the scale and in the dressing room were forgotten.  I was still overweight, I was never going to get there, this was just dumb.  Rarely did I appreciate how far I'd come, and enjoy where I was at that moment, because I was always anticipating the next amount of weight that I should be losing, or the next smaller size that I could be fitting into.  That momentary thrill of a new low weight or a new smaller size was just that - momentary.

I spent most of my adult life letting myself be defined by a number either on the scale or on a clothing size tag.  Which, logically, is completely ridiculous.  But a number was something that anyone could quickly understand - and even now, when I'm asked how much weight I've lost, I still say a number, because that computes to most people.  Back when my "weight problems" started, as a teenager, I spent many years convinced that I was overweight and would be happy if I could just see a certain number on the scale.  Of course, I look back on pictures of those years and see how low my self-esteem had to have been, to think that way.

I haven't weighed myself in nearly a year.  I honestly do not care what I weigh right now.  This body is so much more than a random number on the scale, and I have never been happier than when I finally, finally realized and accepted that.  The same goes for clothing sizes...back when I was busting out of my size 24 clothes, I was thrilled to fit into progressively smaller sizes.  But now, thanks to a few years of being able to wear normal sizes, as well as seeing the absurdity of the variety of sizes that fit me (the tops that I bought when I was shopping with my mom last month were size small, medium, large and petite extra-large), I really don't care what number is on the label - I'm just thrilled that I can shop for clothes, find things that fit, and have options about what I buy. 

So this is where I am, four years into my journey to fit - and it really has become about being fit.  I have a body that is now capable of doing physical activity.  I have a body that looks cute in clothes.  I have a healthy-enough lifestyle that is allowing me to maintain my weight loss without having to be stringent about every morsel I eat.  I am in the best shape of my adult life.  And I'm determined to enjoy it now - I'm not going to make the anticipation mistake any more, because I sure don't want to look back in five years and think "why didn't you appreciate where you were?"   Today - right now - it's enough.

In case you think I'm exaggerating, here's a few pictures of me when I needed to "lose weight":
In costume for my tap dance recital at age 19.  See how I was trying to cover my huge thighs?   I remember being grateful that the t-shirt covered up the rolls in my stomach, too.  Yep.  The ship has sailed on those legs - too bad I didn't appreciate them back then.
Shortly after I graduated high school - 18 years old and feeling quite large.
I put this one in because I remember the guy I was dating at the time wanted to buy me a polo dress from Land's End, and I was horrified at the thought of how that jersey knit would show every fat roll on my body.  I know, I want to slap me, too.

My hope for you, whether you're just partially into your weight-loss journey, or nearing the end, is that you will stop and enjoy where you are, right at this moment, and not worry as much as I did about the final number.  Because I doubt very much that our (far in the future, hopefully) obituaries are going to include our final weigh-in.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Mishmash

After four years of blogging, I finally reached my photo upload limit.  I blame my week-long Beach Palooza recap (side note - I just reread those posts - dang, that was fun!). Nah, it's all good - basically I've used Blogger for free for all this time; now it's going to cost me $2.49 a month for the photos.  Well worth it to support my crazy habit!


Speaking of four years of blogging, thank you so much for the sweet comments on Monday's post.  I love that not only did I hear from my regulars, but also from some people who I had no idea were reading my blog!  Which is nice, because sometimes I wonder if it's just me and the same 10 I know - there are more, they just rarely comment.  Which is perfectly fine by me - I get "comment overload" when I read blogs and don't always comment, either.  I'm just glad y'all are here, whether you say anything or not.


I finally got Jeff his medal hanger!  It took me forever to figure out what to have it say - I had the word "tenacity" floating around in my head, as that described how he was toward training for his first half marathon, but it wasn't long enough for the hanger.  I got some great suggestions from many of you and those eventually led to "TENACITY + SWEAT = MEDALS" - I worked with Joel at Allied Medal Displays to get the sizing and symbols right - as usual, he was wonderful to work with and I can't recommend this company enough if you want a really special medal hanger.
Sorry for the flash - it's the only way I could get the shot without the shadow of the letters on the wall.
 A runner's wall.


Sometimes I struggle with how much to put "out there" on this blog, because it's fairly easy to figure out where I live, and what stores I might be talking about...and I really try to not speak bad, publicly, about small businesses - I know that it's not easy being a business owner, and they are only human, after all.  I said all that to say that things did not go well with the last class on my windmill bag - suffice it to say that when we started to sew up the sides, it became apparent that something major wasn't right.  And you know, after paying a decent amount of money for the class and the yarn, I was pretty peeved because honestly, I could have made those kinds of mistakes on my own and spent the class fee on something fun.  Sighhhhh.  We ended up leaving our bags with the instructor at the store so she could figure out how to fix them.  I had additional frustration because I'd already started a second bag, so I knew that one was messed up as well.  I was able to pick up the first bag a day later, and brought the other one in so she could take the two panels apart and get them reattached in the correct direction.  So now I'm supposed to do on my own - sew up the side panels - what we would have done in class...and we'll have yet another class this coming Tuesday to deal with the handles.  One of these days, this bag will be finished, but for now, this is what it looks like:
Not any different from last week!

Here's the second bag I started - I used some different yarn (that I already had) - it doesn't have the texture like the yarn in the first bag, so I did the seed stitch on the pink, for variety.  Guess what I discovered?  Seed stitch is kind of a pain - it's boring, but you have to pay attention or you'll mess up (note the hole near one edge - oops, but I'm not too worried about that, as it should be hidden once I sew the panels together).  Anyway, it's a good thing I discovered that I'm not a huge fan of that particular stitch, because I was considering doing a baby blanket with that as the border - which would have driven me crazy.
Pink for my favorite girl, who I'll be visiting in about 6 weeks!

I finally decided to do a diagonal baby blanket for my next project - I played with the pattern over the weekend making a washcloth, and liked that I could pretty much zone out while doing it, and still end up with a nice design.  Here's the start:
With every row, you increase by a stitch until you get to a certain number, and then you start decreasing all the way down to the point...for such a simple pattern, it sure looks nice!
This is James C. Brett's Marble Chunky yarn - it comes in huge skeins so I only needed two.  This color is Rosebush and it will sort of stripe/pattern itself as I knit.  I like mystery yarns like this, and can't wait to see what the finished blanket ends up looking like!


I saw this on Facebook yesterday and had to share - it describes, with absolute perfection, how my brain looks at math:


Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday Workout Update - Dribs and Drabs

I can tell that all of my dribs and drabs of running are making a difference - I had a FANTASTIC 4 mile run on Saturday.  The same 4 mile route that, last time I ran it (on March 10th), I was still doing 4:1 intervals, fought every hill, and only ran the last mile without stopping.  This time?  Not only did I run the entire distance, but the "hills" that were so challenging two months ago were nothing.  Amazing how things have changed in two months.  It really shows me how if I just keep at this, even with the little bits that I do, improvements happen.


Monday's run was nice in that it was only 63 degrees...relatively cool!  I'm sure that helped contribute to my best time so far - two miles in 24:15.  In order to avoid that panic breathing, I start out pretty slow, but even my "slow" is getting faster.  My first mile was 12:28; my second mile was 11:48!  Woohoo!!!  I broke the 12 minute mark!  I realize that to most "real" runners, this is still incredibly slow, but for me?  I'm thrilled.


Commitment? the form of a, well, it would flow better to say "check" but in reality, it was a credit card since I did it online.  Did what, you ask?  Register Jeff and I for the BCS Half Marathon.  I'm excited!  This time around, I'll have a lot more time to train for the race, and plan on really easing my way into the longer distances - that, plus being a little more proactive on taking care of my legs and any aches and pains I have, will hopefully get me to the start line in one piece.  Hurray - finally, I have another half marathon in my future!!!


I quit the gym over the weekend - with all the running, I just have no desire to swim.  Had the gym been closer to my house, I might have kept my membership, but it's a 20 minute drive each way, and that's not what I want to spend my time, or money (both gas and membership fees) on.  Glad I had it when I couldn't run, but it's just not needed now.  In the words of my son Max, "see ya, see ya, wally wally be ya!" *


So after last Saturday's run, Jeff and I met my uncle for breakfast at Blue Baker - he went for a bike ride while we ran.  It's still amazing to me that we do this...just a few short years ago, planning a run/bike route was not anywhere on my agenda.  And look at us now:
Uncle Phil and me - sporty and stylin'!

*He came up with that phrase a long time of the many "Maxisms" that we still repeat to this day!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Four Year Blogiversary!

This kind of snuck up on me - the anniversary of the start of my last diet and the beginning of my blog.  Oh, and my new lifestyle.  Minor thing, right?  Actually, I think the fact that this date wasn't looming in my mind speaks volumes for how normal my new way of being is, and that in fact, it's not so new anymore.  It's just something that I do - eat right most of the time, exercise several times a week - and not something that I stress over.  Somehow, along the way, this has become my new normal.  However, I don't dare let myself forget my past, because four years ago, if I hadn't tried one last time to lose weight, you know where I'd be?  Still where I was.

I wouldn't have started blogging, and in the process, met so many wonderful people - and yes, I'm counting the online friendships as well as the in-person friendships.  Since starting my diet and this blog, the size of my body has shrunk, but my world has expanded greatly.

I wouldn't have become a runner.  I wouldn't have a half marathon medal and a bunch of race bibs hanging in my office.  I wouldn't have had the confidence to go to the gym and swim for fitness.  I never would have joined up with my trainer and flipped a tire, jumped on a high box or challenged myself the way that I did.

I'm grateful for the reprieve I seem to be receiving from my 20 year battle with food, dieting and weight gain.  As with other addictions, I know that it is only a daily reprieve, based on the work that I put into it, but this has been the longest time I've ever gone, as an adult, at a normal weight.  I look like a normal person from the outside.  Inside?  I know that deep down, I still have the ability to go on a food bender - and that was evidenced for several months last year when I was dealing with my ankle injury and my mom's illness.  That said, I didn't throw all of my hard work away, and I was able to not lose my mind completely when it came to food, but that was a good reminder that I am not, nor will I ever be, cured of my tendency to be overweight.

Here's my journey, in pictures, from May 2008 to May 2012.  Know what I see?  Someone who, for the past 3+ years, has looked like a normal-sized person.  Not a super-thin person, not a super-buff person, but just a plain old regular person.  After two decades of being really overweight, I'll gladly take this.  And I fully intend to keep doing what it takes to look like this for the rest of my life - that is a promise to myself.
Left - May 2008; Right - May 2009
Left - May 2010; Right - May 2011
May 2012 

Finally, I have to thank you, my sweet readers, for all of your support, comments and friendship over the last four years - I seriously don't think I would have been nearly as successful with my weight-loss journey had it not been for blogging, and therefore, you!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Mishmash

Dear Kip,
I know you are a cat and act on your instincts, but when you actually catch a bird, I DO NOT want to see you with it in your mouth.  That muffled meowing that I can hear is bad enough!  And please, do not bring your prize to the back door.  Although maybe I shouldn't assume you are showing me your fine hunting skills...are you trying to tell me something?
(image from this hilarious quiz)


So did anyone happen to hear the angels singing around 4pm CST on Monday?  See a rainbow, perhaps, or even a unicorn?  I'm just wondering, because it was a magical moment for me, as I FINISHED THE BABY BLANKET!!!  Yes, the bulky baby blanket, that I thought was so cute and wanted to knit it for my cousin Jill and her new baby - me, the new knitter, taking on a project like that - I actually finished it!  I swear, my hands were shaking from excitement when I was done...the edge on this was quite a challenge, and I spent three separate days last week, for a total of 10 hours, at the knitting store, getting help with it.  Plus I worked on it at home.  The last step was to fold the edge over and pick up the stitches on the other side of the blanket and attach it as I cast off.  I read and reread the directions over the weekend, and decided to try it on my own on Monday - and wonder of wonders, it worked!  Here's the blanket - it measures 24" x 25.5" - almost a perfect square:
This will work as a squishy place to lay the baby, as well as a blanket to cover her (it gets pretty cold where Jill lives).
I loved the edge of the blanket when I first saw it - luckily, I was too new of a knitter to realize how much of a challenge it would be, or I probably wouldn't have taken on this project.  I'm really pleased with how it came out, though.
Backside of the edge - the way the pattern had you do the attachment/bind off, it looks braided, which I think is cute!  The knitting store woman thought I'd crocheted it, but no, it's knitted.

This was a labor of love, for my cousin, and her soon-to-be labor of love!  My uncle (Jill's dad) will be here this weekend, so I'm going to wrap up the blanket and send it on with him as he travels to Jill's place.  Nothing like a hand-delivered baby gift, right?


I'm looking for my next baby blanket to knit (I have two more babies coming up - how exciting!).  While I love love love how the bulky baby blanket turned out, that edge took a lot of work and I'm not ready to do that again anytime soon.  However, what I loved about the blanket, though, was the edge - well, and the chunky look.  I know, based on remembering what it was like with my babies, that I don't want to make anything "holey" as their little toes and fingers can get caught in the blanket.  I also would like for the blanket to be fairly simple so I can knit while watching TV and not have to concentrate too much on the pattern.  But I don't want it to be boring.  Here's a couple that I found on Ravelry that I'm considering - any thoughts/suggestions from my knitting readers?

 Chunky stripes - cute, and I'd get a lot of practice with starting new skeins/changing colors.
 This is called the "eight-hour blanket" - somehow, I don't think I'd finish it in that time.  I do like the edge stitch, though.
 Seed stitch blanket - looks cute, right?
 This one is called the "very easy" baby blanket.  Again, I would not take that name literally, but I like the pattern.

And just in case you weren't entirely sick of reading about knitting, here's a shot of my windmill bag - this Tuesday we have our last class on it, and we'll learn how to sew up the sides and graft the handles - et voila, eet vill be dun!  (no idea why I turned French there...really, with a windmill bag, I should be speaking Dutch.  Fran, any help?)
Sigh.  Well, I THOUGHT I was almost finished with this bag...notice anything wrong?  The stupid handle on the dark pink is on the wrong side, and I didn't see it until I laid the pieces out for this picture.  You know, this is pretty much par for the course with the way I little distraction (in this case, a rain-soaked Kip trying to climb into my lap) and BAM - I'm off.  I'll undo it and make it right.  This is also why I like to have a few different projects going at the same time, so when I get frustrated with one, I can set it aside and move on with something else for a while.

Speaking of knitting (oh WERE we???), you'd think that with all this knitting I've been doing, my Sit and Knit diet would be working wonders and I'd be all svelte and such.  I'm very sorry to report that you would be wrong...even though I've been too busy to eat much, apparently knitting burns so few calories that it doesn't seem to be making a big difference, dang it!!!  There goes my great diet plan, and my claim to fame.


Remember when I called Jeff and Will "twins" on Monday's race recap?  Further evidence exists in the official finish line shot:
I'm thinking they should take up synchronized swimming since they're so good at synchronized running!


Not much else to report on today, as this week has been all about two things for me - running and knitting.  Jeff and I are going to run 4 miles tomorrow, just for fun.  I know, it even sounds a little crazy to me!  Our goal is to get me up to a good 5 mile long run base by mid-June, when running club starts back up.  And then?  More running!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Workout Update - I am TIRED!

I am tired, and I really don't know why...yes, I've run a lot of days, but not a lot of miles, really.  I ran about 9.5 miles last week, and this week, starting with Sunday's race, I've already run a little over 7 miles.  Like I said, not really a lot of miles, but I ran three days in a row, so maybe that's it.  My quads are tired, and until I ran yesterday morning, my ankle wasn't an issue, but it kinda started hurting more than it has been, so I guess it's a good thing today is a rest day.  Tomorrow, I lost my mind and agreed to run with both Erica and Jenny - separately.  My calendar says:
  • 5:45 am - run with Erica
  • 7:45 am - run with Jenny
  • 9:00 am - die (or at least take a nap)
What can I say, I'm a social runner!  Given the opportunity to run with someone, I'm going to take it...I never know when my next lonely run will be, so I choose to be with other runners whenever possible.  Anyway, since a post about how tired I am is boring, I thought I'd include some pictures of my mom that I took when she was here last month - we went for a walk and run (well, me) around the scary statue park one day, and after we were done with our speedwork (seriously, you should see my mom walk - for a short person, she is insanely fast), we took a leisurely walk and I made her pose with the statues - and how much fun is it that she was game?
Revolutionary war soldier - I kept thinking the statue seemed short, until I got some perspective... ;)
Texas soldier - this is the statue that startles me just about every time I run around the corner.
That's right, my mom was making friends with Texas!
The World War II airman modeled after the first President Bush.  Mom is trying to figure out what he's looking at.
Korean war soldiers on guard while Mom stands at ease.

There was one more statue, but it was on a granite rock and I couldn't convince my mom to climb up so I could take her picture with it.  Next time...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wolf Pen 5K and 10K Recap!

Yesterday, Jeff and I ran the first annual (hopefully) Wolf Pen 5K and 10K - this race was held in the same park where Jenny and I like to run, so it was quite cool to actually race there.  The race benefited seven non-profits in the area, and I liked that when we signed up, we got to choose which organization we wanted our share of the fee to go toward (while all were very deserving, we picked the local animal shelter, former home of Paco, Kip and Henry).  This race had some minor issues, like no safety pins for the bibs (and there weren't even holes punched in them), and no one on the course directing the racers - just orange cones - but overall, for the first race done by a fairly young race director, Pam, it was a good one.  I have to give her big props for being open and willing to change, because when I saw the course she originally chose, I emailed her about it, as it looked dangerous to me - she had runners sharing a single lane with traffic on the access road, where vehicles travel around 60 MPH.  I was pleasantly surprised when, about a week later, she emailed me back saying she'd changed the!  I loved that she put runner's safety above her ego, and to me, that speaks volumes about her character.  So well done, Pam - I hope you do this race again next year!

Packet pickup was the morning of the race - I was surprised that we all received technical shirts as part of the package:
My lack of sleep before a race is pretty evident with the bags under my eyes, gah!
Twins!  Will and Jeff, ready to run!
Me and my original half homie, Julia - hard to believe that we started running together almost two years ago!
Dramatic pre-enactment of how we looked crossing the finish line (never mind that we were facing the wrong direction, lol!)

Before the race, they had a 100 yard "boot dash" for the kids, although only a couple kids actually wore their boots.  They were so cute!
Lined up, ready to run...
The final finisher - she was adorable!

The little kids made it look so fun that some of the bigger kids wanted to have their own race:
The guy in the cowboy hat was wearing boots...
...which apparently aren't the easiest things to run in!
Jeff and I, pre-race.
Julia and I having fun, waiting for the start.

So I ran the race, and I have to tell you, this whole "running" thing is getting easier for me.  I didn't have the panic breathing problem at the beginning, and that first mile felt really good!  Although it was really warm (about 77 degrees), it was overcast and there was a slight breeze, so it didn't feel too bad.  Jeff wanted me to slow down a bit, but honestly, I was feeling so good that I didn't want to.  Which kinda came back to bite me toward the end of the race, but oh well.  It was fun!  My finish time was 37:43 - average pace was 12:38.  My first two miles were 12:14 and 12:27.  We shall not speak of that third mile, lol.  Nah, it was fine...13:01.  I'm happy with it, and quite pleased with how much I've improved in just two months of racing.

My new favorite post-race position:
 Ahhh!  If I only had a pit crew to lay out a blanket and a pillow, I'd be completely set!

We trailed Will the entire race, and after Jeff and I finished, he decided that he felt good enough to jump back on the course, catch up to Will, and run with him for the rest of his 10K.  I know Will appreciated it - it's dang hard to keep going on a 10K when most of the runners stop after 5K - and this course had you running it twice if you were doing the 10K, so he'd seen the finish line and had to keep going.  While Jeff was off running, I hobnobbed with the winner of the 10K, who had passed us as we were getting close to finishing the 5K - yes, he's quite fast!
Gustavo Roman, Jr. - pretty much, if you see him at a race, he'll be the winner.  And he's still in high school!  This young man has talent...I wouldn't be surprised to see him on the cover of Runner's World soon.  

Yesterday was also Lemonade Day, and after the race I bought the best tasting cup of lemonade I've ever had from these two cuties:
Luckily I had my emergency $5 in the pocket of my water bottle - I've been carrying it around since the fall of 2010.  My need for lemonade was definitely an emergency!  The bigger kid even made change for me; I was pretty impressed with the salesmanship and service they provided.

Here comes the 10K finishers:
Julia, beating the boys...nice job, peeps!
Our USAFit BCS gang - racing diehards.

Oh!  Remember how Julia kept winning a doorprize at every race we did last month?  Well, guess who was the winner yesterday?  ME!  I know!  I was pretty surprised too...and really, she probably only didn't win because it was a drawing, and Julia was still out running when they were taking the entries and announcing the winner.  So what did I win?
Four pint glasses and a tour for four at a local micro brewery!  Cool!!!  Now, I don't drink, mind you, but still - I'm just thrilled to win something!  I'll set up Jeff and three friends for the tour one of these days...I'm sure they'll enjoy it.  I've already had some iced tea using my new glass - how fun!

Unless there's a surprise race in town that I haven't heard about, this race will finish our racing season.  We've had a lot of fun with these 5K's and it's been so wonderful to be able to race again, and nice to actually race with Jeff - something I never imagined we'd be doing back in 2010, when I started doing 5K's.  I guess you never really know what's around the bend, right?  Anyway, thanks for putting up with race recap after race week, I'll be back to some more normal posts.