Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Three Things...

First, WTF is THIS?


Is that a SNOWFLAKE?!?!? I thought it didn't snow that much up here. They told us when we were moving here that IT DIDN'T SNOW THAT MUCH HERE!!! It's OCTOBER for God's sake!

It's been freaking cold up here lately guys. I know you all think I am being overly dramatic because I'm a big baby from Florida, but no. Anyone who saw last night's postponed World Series game knows. It's wet, WINDY and very chilly.

Oh, and by the way, the 15 minute walk to the train in the morning has lost a lot of it's appeal. Oh, and don't forget my 10 minute walk to my office. Blech.

Secondly, as of tonight, I have officially lost 10 lbs since I moved to Philly. I wasn't really trying and I haven't been dieting, but marathon training helps and working keeps me from stuffing my face from boredom all day. While I am by no means skinny, I am at least back at my fighting weight. I gained 10lbs those few months last spring with all the baby drama and moving I'm happy that it's long gone. Buh-bye.

Lastly, I sucked it up and ran on the treadmill tonight. I know a lot of you suggested I run during my lunch break, but it's just not possible. The University is not in the best part of town and the campus is pretty small. Plus, since I'm part-time and hourly, my hour lunch is pretty strict. There is just not enough time.

I have a small gym where I live with 3 treadmills so that's great. What is not so great is that I wanted to stab my eyes out after about 10 minutes of running tonight. I tried to make it a bit more exciting by doing a few speed work intervals, but after about 4o minutes I had had enough. I ran a little over 5 miles and called it a day.

Hopefully it will only be about one day a week. And as I recently remembered, I am only in training for 25 more days, then I can start gaining weight and hibernating again. Haha!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekly Wrap-Up

I had a very busy and wonderful week. You know what that means. LISTS & PICTURES! WOO-HOO!!!

• Monday night - A great 7 miler (1:00:37/8:40 pace).

Another fast time and I think the faster runs are really helping me during my longer runs (duh). It only took me 2.5 years to figure out what everyone else already knows.

• Tuesday - A new job which so far, I love.

• Tuesday night - Temple Football

A former student of J's works for Ohio University and they played Temple. So we went to a game at Lincoln Financial Field (where the Eagles play) as a guest on the sidelines - but on the OU side. We met some old friends there and had a great time (even though it was REALLY cold).





We even got to go into the press room, get free food and hang out in the press box while Ohio Radio was covering the game.


Unfortunately, being on the Ohio side meant we didn't get to meet Bill Cosby when he came onto the sidelines at the start of the game on the TEMPLE side. Sigh. Story of my life. Here is Dr Huxtable on the Jumbotron.


• Friday evening - nice, easy 6.2 mile run (59:59/9:40 pace)

• Saturday morning - laziness.

I did something I have never done in all my time in training - I skipped a long run. It was pretty bad. I was dressed and out the door when J just looked at me and handed me the key. My heart and head wasn't into it so I just turned around and went back inside.

How pathetic is that? I'm not sure if it was the fact I ran 6 miles the day before or the fact that it was cold and raining out (probably both), but I just wasn't having it. I decided to get the 16 miles in alone on Sunday morning.

So J ran it by himself and he ran it pretty fast. Last time we ran 16 miles we ran it at a 10 minute pace and he gave me grief for running too fast. He ran it by himself on Saturday at a 9:11 pace, so I think he realized it wasn't all me. He came back and said,

"I guess we are in better shape than we thought."

You think?

• Saturday night - Phillies and New Jersey!

We drove out to New Jersey to have dinner and watch the games (Phillies and Buckeyes) at our friend's house. We had a great time but I was holding back on the fun since I knew I had to run in the morning. Plus, the Buckeyes lost and the Phillie's game was delayed so we didn't even get to watch that since we had to head back for our hour-long drive home. Oh well.

Here is a picture I got of Game 3 as we drove by the stadium on the way home. Crystal clear! LOL!

• Sunday morning - 16 miles

I was a bit worried about the weather when I walked out my front door and saw this:


But it quickly cleared up and the weather ended up being perfect, sunny and in the mid 40's!

I was also a little concerned about running 16 miles alone. I have never run more than 9 miles by myself, ever. But I figured it would be a good way to focus on my own running and not worry about someone else's pace. I decided to try and see if I could shave some time off my last 16 miler (2:38/10:00 pace) which felt really good. I knew after last week's 14 mile run I was capable of doing it but after chili and beer the night before, wasn't sure how I would feel.

But as usual, beer and protein proved to be my buddies and I had a great run. I felt strong the entire run and surprisingly wasn't bored out there for over 2 hours alone. I even left my ipod at home and enjoyed the beauty and quiet of a wonderful fall morning in Philly. Jeremy even showed up on his bike the last 2 miles to ride in with me which I thought was really sweet. :)

It must have helped because I smoked my last 16 mile time. I ran it in 2:25:52/9:14 pace.

And I felt great at the end. I probably couldn't keep that pace up for another 10 miles, but I do think that J and I are going to sit down and readjust our game-plan for the marathon. I don't want to sell ourselves short. A 10 minute mile pace just doesn't seem logical anymore and will probably end up being our Plan C. I think we may try for closer to a 9:30-9:40 pace. Our true test will be next weekend during our last 20 miler. I can't believe the marathon is so close now! It has flown by!

• Sunday afternoon - The zoo, Philly sports and beer.

We met with some friends who were taking their girls to the zoo. It was our first time at the Philadelphia Zoo (the first zoo in the country, btw) and we had a lot of fun. Later, we found a new bar by our house and drank a few beers and watched some Philadelphia teams kick butt.


Here are some of our new friends from the zoo.







Yes, the turtles are doing what you think they are doing.

Monday, 10/20 - 7 miles/1:00:37 - 8:40 pace
Tuesday, 10/21 - off
Wednesday, 10/22 - off
Thursday, 10/23 - off
Friday, 10/24 - 6.2 miles/59:59 - 9:40 pace
Saturday, 10/25 - off
Sunday, 10/26 - 15.72/2:25:52 - 9:14 pace.

Total Weekly Mileage: 28.92 (RUN)
Total Weekly Mileage: 0 (BIKE)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Show me the Thanksgiving love and help us support a great cause while we run Philly!

One day when Jeremy was out for a run he had an epiphany.

As a professor of Sport Management, he was wondering what he should be doing his research on and was having trouble getting motivated.

While he was out there pounding away, he came to the realization that if he was going to have to spend countless years on research, it may as well be about something he is passionate about.

So he decided on running.

Since then he has been reaching out to local organizations to do work with them. He contacts different races, marathons and running clubs in Philly about doing research.

In his searching, he came across a local organization that he and I instantly fell in love with (and I think all you runners can appreciate), Back On My Feet.

Back on My Feet, a non-profit organization that promotes the self-sufficiency of Philadelphia's homeless population by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.

Philosophy: Back on My Feet does not provide food nor does it provide shelter, but instead provides a community that embraces equality, respect, discipline, teamwork and leadership. There are no labels, no stigmas and no stereotypes. At Back on My Feet, all members – regardless of race, education or socioeconomic status – join together to move their own lives forward as well as the lives of their teammates. Back on My Feet is much more than just running - it is a comprehensive program that offers connections to job training, educational scholarships and housing assistance. The benefits of Back on My Feet are earned through the currency of attitude, commitment, teamwork, respect, dedication and leadership.

The founder, Anne Mahlum, has even been chosen as a finalist in CNN's Hero's of the year award. Each of this year's honorees will receive $25,000 and will be profiled in a documentary tribute. The program will culminate with the announcement of the "CNN Hero of the Year," chosen through an online vote by visitors to CNN.com/Heroes. Voting ends November 19.

The Hero of the Year will receive $100,000 and be revealed during CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE Thanksgiving night. (9PM ET)

Please take 2 seconds and vote for Anne and Back on My Feet here. It's easy and you can vote as often as you want until November 21st!!!

You can read more about BOMF and watch the videos that CNN created about Anne and her organization here.

It's hard for me to watch these videos and not be a completely moved. Like most of you that read this blog, I started running to try to improve my life both physically and mentally. Running and training has provided me with the confidence and positivity that my life was lacking before. It have improved my life in so many ways I cant ever imagine a life without it. When I run, I feel like I can do anything.

This is why Back On My Feet is such a special organization. They are trying to help provide these things to the people who need them the most.

So, Jeremy and I decided that this year we would run the Philadelphia Marathon for this wonderful cause. We have set up a page where people can sponsor our run. We are trying to collect only $1000 by the Marathon, which we will run on November 21st. I know times are tough all around and I HATE asking anyone for money, but if you feel you can, please click here to see our page and contribute. Any amount, small or large will help us reach out goal.

Here is our page on active.com where you can help sponsor us.

Even if you can't donate the money right now, please take a moment to vote, vote, vote for Anne and her organization so that they can be supported in the way they deserve!!! You can vote as often as you want and be sure to watch for it on CNN in Thanksgiving!!!

Thanks in advance everyone!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Workin' 9 to 5...


I swear I had it running through my head when I was getting on the train for my first day of work on Tuesday.

I know - LOSER!

The good news is: so far, my new job is great!

I have my VERY OWN office (a first for me). I enjoy riding the train to work and dressing professionally for once. I really like getting off work at 5, instead of 6pm like I used too. The work seems like it will be fun and a new challenge for me, which I'll enjoy. And I LOVE the main woman I work with, she is just about the nicest person EVER which is helpful.

Actually everyone has been pretty nice so far. It helps that I know a lot of people in one of the departments because of J.

I may have forgotten to mention that I work with Jeremy now. We are not in the same department, but I will be doing a lot of work for his department which is fun and weird all at the same time. Sometimes I think it's a little too close-for-comfort, me doing work for his colleagues, but I think it will be OK.

I think my biggest obstacle will be figuring out how a university works. I am coming from an advertising/marketing agency, so working at a university is a huge change. I am completely clueless to how things run, especially since I didn't even attend a university, I went to a small art school-totally different.

But once I am there for a bit, learn all of the 50 million people's names that I have been introduced to and their titles, I think I will be OK. I'm really looking forward to it.

One of the best things about my job is that today I got my very own, fully-loaded MacbookPro! It's shiny and new and filled with ALL BRAND NEW PROGRAMS including Adobe CS3!!! WOO-HOO! At my last job I would have had to wait 6 months for this. At this job I waited a day and a half and was apologized to for the wait. Talk about culture shock. I think I can get used to this.

However, the one thing that sucks about the job, or any job for that matter, is finding the time to run. Because I have to take the train, I have to leave the house about 50 minutes before I have to be there. Which means to run in the am, I have to start running a little before six. HAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!! Right. I only do that crap on Saturdays.

There is also the problem of the weather. I know I have been going on about how awesome the temperatures have been, but this past week, my inner-Floridian wimp has reared it's ugly head. It's effing cold out there! AND WINDYYYYYYY!!!! It's going to be in the THIRTIES tonight!!! (I can hear you Canadians laughing at me from here) Except it's not funny. I just don't know if I can wake up and get outside when it's that cold out. Especially since J REFUSES to turn on the heat. So it's actually cold in our room too. Sigh.

At night it's too dark already. I wouldn't have a problem with this except there are no neighborhoods to run in here that aren't EXTREME hills. We normally run on a bike path which goes through the woods and I refuse to do that in the dark. Hellllllooo Blair Witch!

So what do I do people? I have Mondays off so I can do one run then. I also have Fridays off, but we do long runs on Saturday mornings so I usually don't like to run the day before. I may just have to suck it up and do a treadmill run when I get home at night one day a week. Grrrr...

What is up with Blogger tonight? I have been trying to post comments on a lot of your posts, but for some reason when I click on Post a Comment, it just moves your comment stuff around. Stoopid blogger.

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Half Marathon PR!!!

OK, so maybe it wasn't a REAL Half Marathon. I mean, there were no t-shirts, or medals or timing chips. But on Saturday morning during our "slow" 14 mile run, J's Garmin told us we hit 13.1 at a whopping:


Holy Crap! A SUB 2 hour half marathon!!! Why can't I do that during a race?

Well, reason number 1: The weather.

We woke up to 43 degree temps on Saturday morning. Something I haven't seen in years. I didn't even know what to do with myself. Or what to wear for that matter. So I layered up with a thin tank, a long sleeve, my new capris, gloves that J made me buy at our last expo and an earband that J had tucked in the closet from his old mountain biking days. And I have to say, with all this gear on I was actually the most comfortable I had ever been on a run. No chaffing, or tugging, or riding up, or flopping around. Other than my hands being a little sweaty, it was perfect.

Reason 2: My stomach.

My parent's were visiting this weekend and my dad made his famous Swiss Steak with Mashed Potatoes for dinner. For once, we ate something besides pasta the night before a run and my stomach felt great (same thing when I ate the Shepherd's Pie a few weeks back). Maybe I should steer clear of pasta and just eat potatoes, they seem to agree with me more.

Reason 3: I was well rested.

I actually got about 7 hours of sleep the night before. Wow, what a difference THAT makes!

Reason 4: I was totally lazy last week.

Sooooo lazy. And you know what? I think it's perfectly fine to be lazy every now and then. I ran over 40 miles the week before with a 20 mile run thrown in. Last week I was just tired. Not only was I tired, but I was bored as hell. The thought of getting out there on the bike path for an hour made me cringe. So I rested. I rode my bike one day and MADE myself go for a 7 miler on Thursday (which by the way was REALLY hot and miserable). Other than that, I just let myself relax a bit and not worry. Come Saturday, my legs felt fantastic and I was ready to get out there and run again.

All that together made for a perfect run on Saturday morning. The weather was great, no clothing issues, I wasn't tired, no GI problems, I felt wonderful. I knew we were going a bit faster than usual but J didn't say anything and I figured I had rested so much all week I may as well go for it and see what happened. Our pace for the whole run was 9:06. Definitely the fastest I have ever run 14 miles.

And about 2 miles from the finish we passed all the people who were walking the Philadelphia Breast Cancer 3-Day Event as they started their second day of 20 mile walks through Philly. These brave souls walked 60 miles over 3 days through the streets of Philadelphia and CAMPED OUT in between walks (did I mention how cold it was?) to raise money for breast cancer research.

As we ran up the street, they all passed us on the sidewalk. We cheered them on as we ran and thanked them for walking. It was funny to be running and cheering on the people who weren't, but they were great and cheered us right back with giant smiles on their faces. It was fun to see the hundreds the women and men dressed in pink walking along Main Street Manayunk and an inspiring way to end the long run. I also think all their cheering for us helped us run a little faster at the end.

So maybe I didn't get a medal at the end of my new PR, but the experience was pretty wonderful anyway.

Other than that, it was a great weekend. Just hung out with my parent's, showing them around Philly and eating more Cheesesteaks...

...enjoying the Phillies Phever. (Although, I am also happy about TB making it, but I have to go with the Phillies on this one)...

...and of course, loving the beautiful fall weather.

Tomorrow I start my new job. EEK! No more mid-day running and blog-reading for me. Wish me luck!

Monday, 10/13 - off
Tuesday, 10/14 - Bike - 15 miles (walked 3 because of flat - ugh!)
Wednesday, 10/15 - off
Thursday, 10/16 - 7 miles/1:04:43 - 9:15 pace (thought I was running waaaaaay slower than this)
Friday, 10/17 - off
Saturday, 10/18 - 13.72 miles/2:05:02 - 9:06 pace (J yelled at me when we were done for running too fast...oops)
Sunday, 10/19 - off

Total Weekly Mileage: 20.72 (RUN)
Total Weekly Mileage: 15 (BIKE)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More Philly Phall

O.K. people, I know this is a running blog and not my photo blog, however with all this time on my hands and the awe of my first fall in almost 10 years, I can't help it. I haven't been able to put my cameras away for weeks. Unfortunately for you that means I am going to make you look at pretty leaves whether you like it or not.

For some reason, I have been having a hard time getting out for a run this week. I think with upping the mileage last week I am just a bit worn out. I know it's going to be too cold to ride soon, so today I MADE myself get on my bike and ride out to Wissahickon Park for a 16 mile ride to loosen up my legs.

That was fine and dandy until I got a flat tire right when I turned around to come back...8 miles from home...with no pump...or cell phone. UGH! I swear to you, it was the ONLY time I have never had my phone on me (it needed to charge this morning). Anyway, I walked for a mile and a couple of nice bikers came by and offered to help. They just pumped up my back tire and told me to ride fast. Haha. So I got to about 2 miles from my house until I all leaked out and I had to walk again. Oh well. At least it wasn't the whole 8 miles.

For a little while, I seriously considered running next to the bike to get home faster...luckily I didn't have to resort to that.

So while my dumb-ass didn't have a phone OR a pump, I did bring the most important thing...that's right, my camera. Thank goodness. Sigh.

Anyway, I got some nice shots of Wissahickon Park today. This is where J and I will be doing our 14 miler on Saturday. Enjoy.























Monday, October 13, 2008

A Busy Week.

So many thing have happened since I last posted. I'll try to fit them all in as quickly as possible.

I had three more great runs since the last time I wrote, bringing my weekly milage up to 41.73. That's the most I think I have ever done, or close to it.

I got a job!!! YAY! Basically I'll be working in the Business School at a local university doing graphic design. It's only part-time which kind of stinks, but I think it will be fun and it may be way for me to start building up more freelance work which is my ultimate goal. Hooray for a paycheck! I start next Tuesday.

I had to get a drug test for my new job, which was interesting. Not that I was worried about passing it or not, but I just never had to take one before. It was funny. "Don't flush the toilet or wash your hands!!!" Um, ok.

I also had to get a physical, which I used as an excuse to talk about my achilles problem. After some questions and basic tests he concluded that I did not have any achilles problem (thank goodness) but rather Posterior Tibial Tendonitis. Still not great, but I really didn't want problems with my achilles. I just need to be vigilant about icing, stretching and go get some decent inserts.

Friday night J and I drove to Atlantic City for the first time to see my favorite band, The Black Crowes play at the Borgata Casino. It was my 11th time seeing them and once again, it was a great show.I wish we could have spent the night, or more time in AC, but until I start getting that paycheck we are trying to not spend as much money. But AC looked like a lot of fun and it's great knowing it's so close. Here are a few shots I took at the show.










We ran our first 20 miler of this training season on Sunday. I have to say, I wasn't really feeling this run too much. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't fun either. For some reason I got only about 3 hours of sleep the might before and my stomach wasn't feeling all that great. But, we were right on our training pace the whole time and it was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL outside! The weather was perfect and the leaves are really starting to change now and are beautiful on Kelly Drive, where we do our runs. So basically, I just kept myself busy looking at all the beauty of autumn and reminded myself the entire run, "It could be worse, you could be doing this in Miami right now." which seemed to help.






After our 20 miler, we came home, showered, ate and napped (the best feeling after a long run). Then we drove around to a couple of different fall festivals in the area. We ended up at the Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival which was a blast, where we proceeded to wander all the booths, eat Indian Veggie Samosas, drink beer and meet new friends at a local bar.

P.S. Light beer after a 20 mile run tastes very good. Too good for your own good actually. Drink with caution, not with abandon!


Hope everyone had a great weekend too! Great job to all of you who ran races this weekend!!!

Monday, 10/06 - off
Tuesday, 10/07 - 7 miles/1:00:15 - 8:36 pace
Wednesday, 10/08 - off
Thursday, 10/09 - 8:43 miles/1:19:59 - 9:29 pace
Friday, 10/10 - 6.2 miles/57:45 - 9:18 pace, core, weights
Saturday, 10/11 - off
Sunday, 10/12 - 20.1 miles/3:20:51 - 9:59 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 41.73 (RUN)
Total Weekly Mileage: 0 (BIKE)

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