Sunday, September 28, 2008

Toenails and Beer

So, today I was taking off my dark pink toenail polish for a long overdue pedicure when I noticed the polish on my second toenail would not come off. I scrubbed and scrubbed to no avail, then remembered how badly my nail had hurt after a few runs a couple weeks back. I looked closer and realized this was NOT toenail polish (I have bad eyes).

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Sorry about the scary foot shot, but I had to show you guys.

Looks like I may be losing this bad-boy in a little while. Although it doesn't hurt anymore, it's pretty badly bruised and the nail is awfully brittle. So I did what any clever female runner would do, slap on some darker polish and hope for the best. But I did make a mental note to change my toenail polish a little more often so I would notice these things.

Other than that, it's been a busy weekend. Saturday morning J and I headed out for our 16 mile run. It was my first 16 miler in over a year and with all the bad luck I had been having with my long runs, I was a little worried.

So what's the best way to calm pre-run jitters before a 16 miler? If you said drink 6 beers and eat Shepherd's Pie at a local Irish bar, you would be correct.

I didn't drink all 6 beers at once. I had 2 at lunch and the other 4 at dinner. We had some friends from Miami come stay with us for the weekend and they got here on Friday morning so I didn't want to be a bad host. And to my credit, I made myself drink Miller Lite and water with every beer, so it actually wasn't that bad. But the Shepherd's Pie, while delicious, was probably not the best idea. I felt like I had a cinderblock in my stomach when I got home. For a few minutes, I really thought this was the prefect excuse to get out of my morning run.

But when 5am rolled around I was suddenly cured, so we headed out around six. And wouldn't you know it, I had a FANTASTIC run. I ran strong the entire time and felt pretty wonderful. We started in the dark, which I LOVE but am usually too lazy to get up and do anymore. And with the exception of a quick rainstorm around mile 6, the weather was nice. It was cool but not cold, breezy but not windy and overcast skies and mist made it feel pretty comfortable. And while I was soaked when I was done, I was never hot or miserable. Those nagging thoughts that I have been suffering from for so long never entered my mind this weekend and I even got scolded for running too fast by J when we were done (we weren't running too fast but I don't want to get into that).

Was it simply the weather, the boost of confidence from my success at the Distance Run the week before, or does beer make me a better runner?

I wish it were the beer, unfortunately, I probably will not be filling my fuel belt with Amstel Light for my training runs. I'll just chalk it up as a fluke, consider myself lucky and go back to water and pasta before a big run.

But AFTER a run is a WHOLE different story. And where do you go in Philly to gain back all 1,800 calories you burned on a 16 miler?

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We had to show our friends some classic Philly! Like I said, I wouldn't want a to be a bad host!

We have another day of eating, I mean showing them around Philly tomorrow before they head out. After that I will have some time to check in with all you guys. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Monday, 9/22 - off
Tuesday, 9/23 - bike -18 miles/1:23, core
Wednesday, 9/24 - off
Thursday, 9/25 - 6.2 miles/59:24 - 9:34 pace, core, weights
Friday, 9/26 - off
Saturday, 9/27 - 16 miles/2:38 - 10:00 pace
Sunday, 9/28 - off

Total Weekly Mileage: 22.2 (RUN)
Total Weekly Mileage: 18 (BIKE)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More Phun Photos Phrum Philly

So, Action Sports International sent us our pictures today from the Distance Run. And here I am in all my glory, I think it's my best race picture yet...

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I told you it was cold out.

OK, I'm being silly. I had to post it though. I love costume runners. Except the fact that they are all faster than me. Anyway, here are the lovely shots.

Not too bad. I look like I might be thinking about smiling.

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Either dancing or meditating...

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I look sort of bootylicious in this one (not in a good way), but whatever.

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As I was looking through some of the race pictures, I found my new soul mate. Sorry Jeremy, I'm leaving you.

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Hells YEAH! I LOVE crazy old people. For real, I am in love with this guy. I need to meet him.

And he probably finished the race in like 1:45.

Anyway, not too much to report around here. My achilles, actually the entire bottom half of my body was pretty sore for two days after the race, which surprised me a bit. I had run a few 14 milers leading up to the event that were pain-free so I didn't think it was going to happen. I suppose it was from the lack of running I did last week and pushing myself the last two miles. Either way, I was pretty worried about the achilles. It still hurts a bit but it's not as bad as it was on Monday. I decided I would rest up and not risk it. I have my first 16 miler in almost a year this weekend and the last thing I need is to get injured. I've won the battle but not the war, I still have the Philly Marathon coming up!

Tuesday I was still sore so I decided to get out for a bike ride. I rode a nice, easy 18 miles (1:23) to loosen up the legs and it actually helped a lot.

Wednesday I was going to run but ended up getting sidetracked with other randomness. I went to talk to an agency about some freelance work and it ended up being a pretty good meeting. Not sure if they have a ton of stuff for me yet, but it sounded promising and they seemed like great people to work with (you never know what kind of weirdos you will meet when you freelance). If nothing else, at least I got a little networking in and got to show my portfolio. I hate job interviews, so any practice I can get is great.

Today I cleaned the entire four floors of my house (ugh) and ventured out for a 6 miler. I started out slow and picked it up just a little as the run went on. The ankle hurt a bit, but after about 3 miles it felt much better. The weather was prefect (65 degrees and overcast) and I finished the 6 feeling strong (6.2 miles/59:24). It's amazing how different 6 miles feels in Philly than the blasted heat and humidity of Miami. I've cut about 30-45 seconds off of my pace without even trying.

The night ended well. I made Thai peanut chicken and coconut rice for dinner and J and I snuggled under blankets on the couch with hot tea and watched the season premier of The Office. Good stuff :)

Oh, and here are my workout stats from last week since I forgot to post them.

Monday, 9/15 - off
Tuesday, 9/16 - 7 miles/1:05:15 - 9:19 pace, core, weights
Wednesday, 9/17 - Bike ride - 32 miles
Thursday, 9/18 - off
Friday, 9/19 - Bike ride - 16 miles
Saturday, 9/20 - off
Sunday, 9/21 - Philadelphia Distance Run! 13.1 miles/2:04:22 - 9:33 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 20.1 (RUN)
Total Weekly Mileage: 48 (BIKE)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Philadelphia Distance Run, 2008.

Well folks, I did it!!

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What a race. The weather was PERFECT, the course was beautiful and the race was very well organized. Because of all those factors and my pure awesomeness (LOL, we all know it was the cooler weather), I had a great run!

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That's right!!! 2:04:22!!!

That's OVER FIVE minutes off my PR in Sarasota 18 months ago!! AND almost FOURTEEN minutes off my crappy Half Marathon in Miami in January (nightmare). Also, it's almost TWENTY minutes off my first Half Marathon in Miami in Jan/2007.

You know, for all my bitching and complaining, you would never know I am actually getting better.

The day started out fine. I took a bath last night, laid out my gear and drank some Tension Tamer Tea.

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This ritual always helps to relax me a bit, but I still had a hard time falling asleep. I couldn't stop thinking about the race which led to weird dreams all night (something about Jeremy and his friend not helping me do dishes after I cooked for a huge party, then Jennifer Garner coming to my wedding...). Anyway, I ended up with about four hours of sleep.

When I finally woke up I was shocked at how cold it was outside. I think it was about 52 degrees, which I know for most people is not a big deal. But honestly, I think it may have gotten to 52 degrees TWICE in Miami last winter. And that was a nighttime low. Yeah, I was definitely wearing capris.

I ate a Cliff bar with some water and coffee and we headed out. We had no problems finding parking because there are a million lots downtown. We actually found one about 1/2 mile from the start. I was still freezing. I actually had on a light jacket and GLOVES! LOL, I am in for some serious shi%t in a a few months.

We got to the race with about an hour to spare. We wandered around and took a few pictures. We used the port-o-potties before the lines got out of control. By the way, if the door is RED, that means it's OCCUPIED!! Some douche tried to break his way into my potty while I was in there. He was jiggling on the door so hard I thought the whole thing was going to knock over! When I got out, Jeremy told me he was just walking along them all, wiggling all the doors trying to find one that was empty. Idiot.

About 20 minutes later, of course I had to go again, but the lines were suddenly 3 miles long! We ended up going into the woods to cop-a-squat. Isn't it funny in these situations how the trees seem to somehow get divided into a "men's"and "women's" section? Some girls played lookout for me and then I was good-to-go.

We lined up in the corrals. Everything was very well organized. In other races I have been to corrals have been kind of a joke. Pretty much anyone can go into any corral and it's no big deal. These were actually separated and your number indicated which one you were in. It seemed to work out well.

The mayor of Philadelphia said a few words, we heard the national anthem and we were off. The weather was perfect (low-mid 50's and sunny) and downtown Philly looked beautiful! There I was. Finally happy to be running again with 15,000 of my closest friends.

Immediately I noticed my achilles. Not really a "pain" but more like an irritation. I figured as long as it didn't get any worse, I could deal with it. I tried to press down on my big toe as little as possible. Normally, changing your running pattern on gameday would not be considered a good idea. But it actually worked for me and now after the race, my foot and achilles feel fine. Or at least no worse than they did before I ran.

In spite of this, I felt pretty good. My legs were nice and warm, I had zero wardrobe problems and I felt pretty strong. We started out down Ben Franklin Blvd and ran the first four miles through downtown. We ran through some of Philly's most charming Center City neighborhoods, past Rittenhouse Square and back up towards the Art Museum. It was a little difficult trying to manage my way around the other runners (it's been awhile since I ran a race) but pretty soon I managed to get my groove.

Around mile 5 we headed out on West River Drive which is the loop Jeremy and I run for our long runs on Saturdays. It felt good knowing there were no more surprises on the course since I already felt I have run this route a million times. The road widened and I found it hard to keep myself under control. I felt so good I just wanted to take off. Thank goodness Jeremy (and his common sense) were there to reel me in.

"Slow it down."

"We can speed up at mile 8 if you feel good."

"I said, slow down."

"No, not yet."


This was pretty much the extent of our race dialogue.

So I slowed it down a bit but still ran it a nice, steady, speedier pace. I know this ultimately helped me later on.

I took a GU at mile 6. Still felt good. Got a good burst of energy at mile 8. But after we stopped for a walk break at mile 9, I noticed the first onset of fatigue after we started to run again. It scared me a bit, but luckily it never really came back as bad as I feared.

I took another GU at mile 10 and tried to distract myself with songs in my head. At mile 11 I felt pretty good and made myself zone out into a "runners high" because it usually helps me if I can completely empty my mind. I remembered something someone once told me about how when you get tired, you should focus on a persons back in front of you and sort of use their energy to pull you along.

I started noticing peoples calves ( I have no idea why). I picked a girl in front of me with strong, muscular calves running a steady pace and I just focused on them. I emptied everything out of my head and focused on the energy of her legs pulling me along ( I know this sounds hokey, but it actually worked!). Pretty soon I was passing her and I found another runner, this time a guy and used him. Then I passed him, etc. This went on for over 10 minutes. It helped.

Mile 12 we were suddenly running face first into the sun. The temps weren't as hot as I am used to which is good, but the sun was definitely putting a damper on my runners high. For some reason though, I didn't slow down. It was really the first time I have run a race where I really pushed myself to stay as strong as I could. Even though I was doing this, I never felt like I was exhausted and I always felt like I could maybe go a little harder.

Until mile 12.

I always have problems with the last mile but this time it was for two reasons.

1. The first half of this mile was on a slight incline.

2. I saw some orange construction stuff up ahead that I mistakenly took for the finish line.

When I saw the orange I started booking it up the hill thinking "Why the hell would they put the finish at the top of this incline?" When I got to it and realized it wasn't the finish and I couldn't see it anywhere, I started to panic! I literally felt myself slow way down. I saw Jeremy turn around and give me the "You're kidding me" look. The one he always gives me the last mile of every race. Poor guy.

Finally, I saw the real finish and looked down at my watch. It was 2:03!!! Holy crap! I actually almost considered slowing down when I realized I had beat my PR by so much, then had to shake those thoughts out of my mind (I am so lazy sometimes). I said "O.K" to J and took off. Later he told me he got pissed cause he thought I was going to ditch him at the end. Haha. That's what you get for not helping me with the dishes in my dream, sucker!

So, 2:04:22 is our final chip time. And we did a pretty decent job with getting a negative split (no thanks to me, lol!)

Mile 1 - 9:37
Mile 2 - 9:46
Mile 3 - 10:01
Mile 4 - 10:09
Mile 5 - 8:26 - Um, no...
Mile 6 - 10:43 - Must have been a mile mix-up
Mile 7 - 9:36
Mile 8 - 9:24
Mile 9 - 9:28
Mile 10 - 9:15
(oops) - :42
Mile 11 - 9:14
Mile 12 - 9:17
Mile 13.1 - 9:28

Afterwards we wandered around, got our Liberty Bell medal ( I almost told the volunteer my medal had a crack in it, but refrained when I realized how lame that joke actually was) and got some refreshments. We took a million more pictures, ate breakfast at some dive diner in the city and now I am sitting on the couch, in my race shirt contemplating walking to main street for some beers.

Yes folks, life is good.

Here are some more pictures from my new favorite Half Marathon!

A view of City Hall in the morning.
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Staying warm.
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The Art Museum where Rocky ran up (Yes, they played the Rocky theme at the start).
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Me, feeling like a badass.
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Jeremy on top of the Art Museum steps.
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My newest treasure (and an awful pic of me)
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Either my feet are huge, or Sly had some tiny Chucks.
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The finish from above.
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We had to do it.
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ready to Run.

Well, this is it. I guess I'm as ready as I am going to be.

Sounds pretty confident, huh? Haha.

I'm not sure why I am getting so nervous about this race. Maybe because it's the first one I have done since January. Since that one was awful (first trimester fatigue, no training and serious IT band problems), I really want this one to go well. I need to get my mind right for the rest of my marathon training.

My goal originally was to PR (2:09:32) which I totally think I could do with the beautiful weather conditions and new course. But now with this sudden achilles ache (it hurts when I press down with my big toe, wtf?) I am wondering if this will be possible. I guess I'm just going to run the first 6 miles and see how I feel. If I PR, I PR. If not, it's a great training run for the Philly Marathon and as long as I beat my last Half Marathon time (2:18:29) I'll be happy. I guess instead of a PR, my goal should be to stay healthy this time. Haha, stupid common sense!

So the weather is amazing outside. Right now the conditions for the start of the race look fantastic.

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While it would be nice to be about 5-10 degrees cooler, this is still VERY cool for Miss. Former-Miami-Runner. I think I can totally handle this.

I have also decided that I am going to go with the cotton capris for the run. As long as the start is under 60 degrees, it's cool enough for me (I know I am a total wuss). However, my legs really don't get that warm. And my PT last year actually told me I should run in pants to keep my legs warmed up because they seemed to tighten up easily. Of course, then I was running in 85 degrees and 90% humidity at 4am and there was NO WAY that was going to happen. Anyway, I can deal with cotton better than I can deal with creepy shorts and jacked-up thighs right now (sorry for the visual).

So yesterday I thought I would try to get in a slow 4 miles if my achilles was feeling better, but alas, it was another day on the bike.

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I did a nice, easy 16 miles to Wissahickon Park and back. And it was beautiful! A great day for a ride in the woods.

Today Jeremy and I rode the train downtown to pick up our gear for the race.

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It was a decent expo with lots of great gear. There was a HUGE booth by One More Mile which I had to DRAG myself away from (You don't have a job, quit spending money, remember your SHOES!) It was hard because their stuff is hilarious. It was a toss-up between these two:

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But I walked away empty-handed. Mainly because I had no money, but also because I had just bought a dry-fit long sleeved Philly Distance Run running shirt. LOL! Either way, I was proud of myself!

After that we headed to the Reading Terminal Market to grab some lunch (homemade Chicken Noodle Soup for me), pick up some gourmet pasta and salad stuff for dinner tonight as well as some dutch cherry cobbler for tomorrow night's dessert! YUM!

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So the bib number for tomorrow is 12320 and there are live results posted on the Philadelphia Distance Run website. That way you can keep up with me, J and my achilles. BLASTED ACHILLES!

Now I'm off to ice, ibuprofen, rest, eat, take a warm bath (pre-race ritual) and hopefully get to bed at a decent hour. Good luck to all you other runners out there racing this weekend, especially N.D. who is running her first race "with child"! Haha! Good luck to you! Look for me, I'll be the one sweating my butt off in the dark blue, cotton running capris! LOL!

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Cure for the Common Running Ailment...

Immediately after my "totally awesome" 7 mile run on Tuesday, I started to notice a pain in my right achilles tendon. I didn't write anything about it in my last post in the hopes that it would magically disappear. You know, the whole, "pretend it doesn't exist and maybe it will go away" school of thought?

Well, it didn't go away. My achilles is "a-killing" me.

Lol, my friend Jackie told me that joke, I can't take credit for it.

Anyway, I was planning on doing another 7 today and 4 tomorrow but decided the best thing to do is just rest it until Sunday. I don't want to make it worse before the Distance Run. So ice and ibuprofen are my new best buds.

Yesterday was beautiful and I was itching to get out, so I jumped on my bike and rode up to Valley Forge National Park. The whole ride was about 32 miles, which I think is the longest I have ever ridden. It was a beautiful ride. I took my time but stayed at a decent pace and enjoyed the time alone outside with my thoughts.

Of course it was the ONE time in my life I didn't have my camera. It's too bad too. The park was amazing and I saw all sorts of crazy wildlife. I saw chipmunks, deer, even a groundhog!

I know these are normal woodland creatures, but I don't think I have ever seen a real groundhog in my life. On my runs in Florida I would see lizards, iguana, snakes, bats, toucans, parrots, gators, armadillos, squirrels, naked guys, prostitutes, crackheads, etc. But never a groundhog! It really is nice to have a peaceful, beautiful setting to run in with creatures that wont bite your leg off, fly in your hair, ask you for money or shock you with their penis.

While I didn't have my camera to take any photos yesterday, I do have this little video I shot a few weeks back while i was riding on the bike path trying to catch up to Jeremy while he was running.

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The video really doesn't do it justice. It's beautiful out there and I love it.

So today instead of running or biking I decided to get my exercise the good-old American way. CONSUMERISM!

I walked around the mall for about 4 hours today to pass some time and look for running capris. I didn't find the capris, but I found a way to ease my pain...

I LOVE DSW!!!

And here in Philly they have the most BEEE-UU-TEE-FUL DSW I have ever seen over in the King of Prussia Mall. This place is huge and awesome and has the best selection of any DSW I have been to yet.

Today I ventured out because I needed some new shoes for any possible jobs that may come my way. Normally, people buy clothes for jobs after they get paid. I am not normal. At least not when I walk into DSW.

But all in all, I did pretty well. Three pairs of shoes for under $100. All can be worn to work (well, the boots are really more for play, but I can wear them with some brown slacks) Not too shabby.

First pair:

I needed a FLAT pair of black shoes to wear with slacks for when I need to walk to the train and around the city. Something I can wear to work. Right now when I go on interviews, I wear my flip flops and keep my heels in my purse until I get there. Very "Working Girl" circa 1988. Also a pain in the as%. Here is what I found.

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Very cute and comfortable.

Next, I found these shoes in red and I have ALWAYS wanted a pair of red shoes. The price was right and the heel was low, I can definitely wear them to walk to the train and in the city. They are really comfy.

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Lastly, these boots are made for walking and kicking butt! They are soooooooooo pretty. Not completely for work, but I can definitely wear them to work if I want to. (LOL, what work?) The heel is pretty low AND they were boots for $34!!! COME ON!!!

They look good with pants...

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and without!

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I'm in love! Who needs running clothes and a healthy achilles when you can have these bad boys?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Who knew fashion was so important in running?

I had a great run this afternoon. I went out at 1pm. Yes, ONE PM. I don't think I EVER ran at 1pm in Miami.

The weather today was perfect. High of 73 and overcast (no rain this time). So I did some core work, weightlifting, then headed out for my 7 miles. It was fantastic. I felt strong. I felt cool. I felt confident. FINALLY. I was in love again. Yes, I have a severe case of bipolar running.

And while I tried not to focus on time, I actually ran it at a pretty good pace (7 mile/1:05:15/9:19 pace). This made me pretty happy.

I think one of the things that helped me to focus on running and enjoy myself more was my choice of wardrobe. I decided with the cooler weather I would bust out the old Nike cotton capri's. I figured if I could wear them at 1pm today when the temps are in the low 70's, I may be able to pull it off this Sunday during the Half Marathon when I am guessing the temps during the race will be in the 60's.

The capri's were perfect. They kept my legs warmed up and they weren't hot at all. Best of all, no chaffing or bunching. The only problem is that they are cotton and I HATE running in cotton. But I hate running with ripped up thighs even more, so I may just have to suck it up.

All in all, I think the capri's may work out well this weekend. Maybe I will run to a store and see if I can pick up a inexpensive version in a wicking fabric. Any of you runners in colder weather have any suggestions or recommendations? I am totally clueless to running clothes other than shorts and tanks.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Soggy

So, by Friday I had only gotten one running day in for the week. So much for my chart.

Even though I knew I had a long run on Saturday scheduled, I decided I needed to get out there and get in a few miles. It had cooled down a bit on Thursday and Friday (mid 70's) and it had been overcast as well, making for ideal running conditions. But of course, I found an excuse to squander away Thursday (hangover), so Friday I needed to suck it up and run.

I left the house thinking it was going to be another wonderfully overcast day and headed out for 7 miles (3.5 out and back). After about 30 seconds I felt a slight sprinkle. No big deal. But of course, the running Gods decided to punish me for skipping out of my run on Thursday. By the time I got to the turnaround, it was absolutely POURING! And I was literally in the middle of nowhere (bike path out to Valley Forge, nothing but trees). The only way out of the soggy mess was to run back. I had no choice.

Here is a picture I took from my couch after I had taken a warm shower and was drinking a cup of tea :)

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Actually, other than my headphones dying from becoming soaked, the run was not bad. It was kind of fun to play in the rain and I really wasn't any more wet than my run last Saturday when the humidity was out of control. It was definitely a lot cooler too. I even saw a few other psychos, I mean runners, out there with me.

I wish I had the same wonderfully positive things to say about my long run the following morning.

Jeremy and I headed out for a 12 mile run at 7am. Our last "long run" before the Philadelphia Distance Run this coming Sunday. It started out OK, and by started out, I mean mile 1. After that it was all downhill. Well, I wish it would have been downhill. It just sucked. It was humid, my legs were tired from the run on Friday and I was miserable (whine, cry, sob...)

I really don't know what my problem is but I have been having a really hard time lately on my long runs. The shorter runs in the middle of the week don't seem to bother me but for some reason, I am NOT feeling it on Saturdays. I get all these negative thoughts in my head that I can't get rid of while I'm running and I literally am on the verge of tears the entire time.

I don't know if it's because I miss running with my old friends and running group or because we are trying to run our longs runs a bit faster this year and I am just not in as good of shape as I was last year. I don't know if it's an accumulation of everything that has happened all year and when I run it all comes tumbling out of the back of my mind. I have no clue. All I know, is all I can think of when I run my long runs lately is how much I hate running.

Is this normal for anyone else? Am I going nuts? Does anyone else experience this? I would say I need to take some times off from training but I really haven't been training that long this year. Oh, who knows...

By the way, the skirt wasn't so hot on my long run. It tore up my thighs. I swear I am running this half-marathon nekkid on Sunday. Or in jeans.

Monday, 9/8 - off
Tuesday, 9/9 - 6.2 miles/59:41 - 9:37 pace
Wednesday, 9/10 - elliptical/40min, weights
Thursday, 9/11 - hungover :(
Friday, 9/12 - 7 miles/1:07:10 - 9:35 pace
Saturday, 9/13 - 12 miles/1:57:10 - 9:47 pace
Sunday, 9/14 - off

Total Weekly Mileage: 25.2

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A little bit of Miami in Philadelphia

You know, one of the reasons I was excited about moving out of Miami was the idea of enjoying a long run in crisp, clear weather with LOW humidity and dry clothes. That and getting the hell out of dodge right before hurricane season hit. Five years in Miami and dealing with Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma were enough to drive me over the edge.

So imagine my surprise when I woke up Saturday morning to Tropical Storm Hannah coming for us!

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Maybe I am an idiot, but I really had no idea these storms sometimes made their way all the way up here. When you live in Hurricane Alley you get so much media overload every time a storm comes through that once the storm passes you stop paying attention to it. I guess I just never noticed.

Well I noticed Saturday on my 14 mile run. Not because of the nonstop rain and wind, that would come later. I noticed because of the insanely HIGH humidity that suffocated us during our miserable run. I guess I have quickly become acclimated to the lower humidity because I seriously forgot how difficult it was to run in those conditions. I really have no idea how I did it for so long.

Probably the most irritating aspect of the run was my shorts. Lately I have been having a really hard time with my running shorts creeping up on my runs to the point where I am spending half of the time trying to yank them out from between my legs. Saturday I switched to an older pair that was fine until I became SOAKED my from sweat. After that, forget about it. There was a moment at about mile ten where I seriously thought about just ripping them off and running home in my underwear. What a sight that would have been. A bitchy, wet woman running down the street in running shoes and white underwear.

So the next day I broke down and did something I told myself I would never do. I bought a running skirt. I have no idea why I figured I would never get one. I guess maybe the fact I don't like being "girly" while I run had something to do with it. When I'm running I like to feel like a superhero, not a cheerleader. Of course, lately I was feeling less superhero-like and more nerd-who's-fat-thighs-can't-keep-her-shorts-down. I guess cheerleaders aren't so bad.

I ventured to Target since I figured I would buy one on the cheap before making a commitment. To add insult to injury, the only one they had in my size had PINK shorts and waistband.

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Anyone who knows me knows I am not really a "pink" type of girl, but whatever. Hopefully the skirt wont be blowing up for everyone to see anyway.

I took it out for a test run tonight and I have to say, I am pretty much sold on it. I had a fantastic 6 mile run and no digging out material every 10 seconds. YAY, SUCCESS!

Not only that, but I have to admit, I felt kind of cute in it. Hehe...

Other than that, my game plan is going pretty well. I had to rearrange my workouts a little bit due to birthday plans last Thursday (my 33rd...ouch) and a job interview I had yesterday (YAY!) But I got some good workouts and decent mileage in.

And after my run tonight (in my cute, pink cheerleader skirt) I am sold on running again.

Monday, 9/1 - 7 miles/1:06:46 - 9:32 pace, core workout
Tuesday, 9/2 - Bike Ride/18 miles, weights, core workout
Wednesday, 9/3 - 7 miles/1:04:32 - 9:17 pace, core workout
Thursday, 9/4 - Bike Ride/17 miles
Friday, 9/5 - off
Saturday, 9/6 - 13.72 miles/2:20:47 - 10:15 pace
Sunday, 9/7 - off

Total Weekly Mileage: 27.72

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Game Plan

So, the past few months have been weird in the exercise/running department.

Last October when I ran my first marathon, I was in pretty good shape. I knew I still needed to lose a little weight but for the most part I was pretty fit. Then I got injured and instead of a steady training plan for the Miami Marathon in January, I had to coast along on a bike with my group while I healed enough to run the half. Coasting is not good exercise, by the way.

Then about 7 weeks into my pregnancy I got so nauseous that I could barely move, let alone exercise. The impact of how sick I was really took me by surprise. I would try to workout or run a slow three miles maybe 2-3 times a week but for the most part I just tried to stay still since moving made me feel like I was riding the Gravitron.

The one good thing about being nauseated though is that you can't really eat. In the three months I was pregnant, I didn't gain a single pound.

But that all changed after we lost the baby. A mixture of depression and actually being able to enjoy eating again turned me into a freight train out of control. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, not to mention drank whatever I wanted. Hey, I had taken such good care of myself for two years and look where it got me. I got injured, missed a marathon and lost a baby.

Never mind that I had a great first marathon in Columbus, when you are feeling sorry for yourself, those things don't matter.

Beer and wine became my friends. My fattening friends. And I felt like I deserved it. I deserved food and fun and a little time off. And let's face it, I said I wanted to work out to feel better but I was just feeling sad and couldn't find the energy to get out there.

So I ate, drank and made every excuse not to work out. Since I hadn't been on a steady schedule, this was pretty easy. Once you fall off the exercise bandwagon, it's pretty hard to hop back on.

Then one day I realized I hadn't weighed myself in about 3-4 months. I also realized that my jeans would barely button and all my clothes were getting tighter than they had in four years. So I forced myself on the scale, knowing full well what the outcome would be. And wouldn't you know it, I am the person who gains no weight while 13 weeks pregnant, then TEN pounds afterwards. TEN POUNDS PEOPLE!!! Come ON!

I needed to take action before it got too far out of control. I told Jeremy I needed a race to focus on. Something to make me work out while also taking my mind off of everything I seem to had lost in the past year. A full marathon seemed like the only answer. You can kind of get through a half-marathon with minimal training if you needed to. But if I paid money for a full marathon, that meant I HAD to run. It's not like you can just show up and wing 26.2 miles. Since we had already decided at that point to move to Philly, we decided the Philadelphia Marathon would be our best bet.

We started our training while we were still in Miami. It was hard to get back into again, especially since summer was back in full-force, but we did it. We ran a few times a week and got on a steady routine of lifting as well. We even managed to work our way back up to a 10 mile long run before we left.

So now we have been here for one month. When we first arrived we were so excited by all the fantastic running/biking paths and the low humidity that we jumped at every chance to work out. And with all the walking we do around town and living in a house with FOUR floors, we definitely are a bit more active than we were in Miami. I even lost 6 of the 10lbs I gained. But after we settled in a bit and J went back to work, I started finding excuses to be lazy again.

Not that I haven't been running, it's just been pretty inconsistent. (Two weeks ago I ran 26 miles, last week I ran 4, etc.) Basically, it's pretty simple. I have been feeling kind of down since I left all my friends and have been having more trouble than I thought finding a job since we got here. (Anyone need a graphic designer in Philly?) I was letting my disapointment get me lazy again. But I finally sucked it up and realized I have ALL the time in the world now and I need to take advantage of it. So if I do NOTHING else during the day, I am at least going to get in my workout in. So I made a game plan people. And I'm sticking to it.

And to prove what a total dork I am, I even made a workout chart (in color of course) to put on my fridge so I have no excuses.



I wont hem and haw and say "Maybe I will run today, maybe I will lift, maybe I will just eat this whole container of hummus and watch HGTV all day...." I'm a virgo, I need structure and lists to keep me going. So now it's, "Today is Tuesday and I have to do core, lift and ride the bike or the elliptical, it says so RIGHT HERE!" Then I can eat hummus and watch HGTV. But at least I will have gotten my workout in.

Nineteen days till the Philly Distance Run and 11 weeks, 5 days till the marathon. I think I can do this.

 
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