Sunday, January 25, 2009

Back in the Saddle

I finally picked up a cheap frame from Target a couple of days ago to frame the poster and medals from the Philadelphia Marathon. I try to pick up the race poster from every race I do (if they have one). Sometimes I frame them, sometimes I don't. But as far as the two full marathons I have done, those deserve a frame. Plus, it's a good way to showcase the medals.

Here is the newest addition to the collection.


It goes with the poster from last years Columbus Marathon.


Here is the shadowbox I made from Jeremy's very first Marathon , Miami/06.


All leftover medals go here. I wish I could say all these are mine, but 65% are J's. The horse is an old medal from when I used to show horses when I was 14 :)


All in all, it looks nice on the landing between the 3rd and 4th floor of our townhouse.


The poster helped get me back into the right frame of mind. HA! FRAME of mind! LOL. really did help a little. Sometimes, looking at the old medals brings back all the hard work and good memories of past races and gets you inspired to try it again.

So, Thursday after work I dragged my lazy butt outside for a 6.5 mile run up Main Street. The run was good and my legs felt great the whole time. I think my body (and mind) just needed a rest. Between getting sick and random stress at work, I just wasn't feeling it.

I think another problem is sheer boredom. Because of the lack of light when I come home after work, I just have one route I can run (and out and back on Main Street that I run twice for 6.5 miles), there is literally no where else that is safe to run. Sometimes when I am walking home from the train (the same route I have to run) I can't stand the thought of running back up there again. It's just something I have to get over.

So Saturday we had an 18 miler planned, but decided it would be better for me to just try and get out 16. J started a little earlier than me and ran a mile out and back to get an extra two miles in before meeting me at the start. The run felt pretty good for the most part. It was cold and really windy at the end again, but at least I stayed dry this time. The last two miles were really hard, but considering my recent lack of training, it wasn't as bad as I thought. We had planned on keeping it slow with a 9:30 pace, but as usual, we had a hard time keeping our pace in the cooler weather and ended up running a 9:20 pace overall. I guess that's better than the alternative, so overall I was really happy.

Thanks to all of you for all your kind words when I was feeling sorry for myself a few days ago. I'm going to try to catch up with all of you now, but it may take a few days. I know how much you all like to write ;)

After finishing 16 miles, I felt much more confidant about being able to do the marathon. I think I might even be getting a little excited again. It looks like I might need to make some extra room for another poster in my stairwell :)

Time to suck it up and get into some regular workouts routine again though. I'll never be able to run a marathon with these weekly stats:

Monday, 1/19 - off
Tuesday, 1/20 - off
Wednesday, 1/21 - off
Thursday, 1/22 - 6.5/58:38 - 9:01 pace
Friday, 1/23 - off
Saturday, 1/24 - 15.79/2:27:46 - 9:20 pace
Sunday, 1/25 - off

Total Weekly Mileage (8 days): 22.29 (RUN)

P.S. Congratulations to all my old friends in Miami who ran the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon today! I wish we could have been there!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter Blahs?

Doods, there is something seriously wrong with me.

Besides all the normal stuff. I have been totally out of it for the past week.

My fever went away last weekend, but since then I have been exhausted! I haven't run in over a week (not good for someone who is supposed to have a 16-18 mile run on Saturday), I have been super-stressed at work and the cold weather that I normally LOVE to run in, just leaves me wanting to curl on on the couch in my jammies with a bowl of soup. My eyes are REALLY tired and swollen every night when I get home from work and the thought of going in the computer or watching TV makes me cringe.

So, sorry about the lack of posting/commenting. I'll have to pick it up in a few days after I rest. I have ZERO motivation and am just too exhausted when I get home at night to read. I just want to go to bed, which is what I am about to do in a few minutes. Before 10pm!!! Seriously, something is not right.

I have gotten over 8 hours for the past three nights (way more than normal) including all the rest I got last week/weekend when I was sick. But I just can't seem to catch up. This is not sitting well for the Marathon in two months. I essentially have zero training in and most importantly, my heart is so not into it right now. I am seriously thinking about dropping back to the half and just trying to race it (which I think would be a lot of fun actually). We'll see. I think I just need a few more days and a good run under my belt before I make any rash decisions.

So besides being a big, tired, stressed out slob, I do have some good news. I bought a ticket today to go see one of my very best friend's and her 4 month old baby! I have been best friends with Jackie for THIRTY years and I am so excited about meeting her lil peanut. YAY! So I will be leaving in the middle of February for a weekend in warm, sunny Sioux Falls, South Dakota where their winter will kick my winter's ass.

Also, we had a beautiful snowfall a few days ago. We actually got a couple of inches that STUCK! It's been really beautiful. Here is a photo of my running trail. Not while I was running on it though...lazy bones.


Oh yeah, and there was this one guy that became the new President...what was his name?!?! That was pretty awesome too :)

OK, I'm off to sleep for 3 days. I'll catch up with all you nerds later.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Saturday Night Fevah!

What a difference 2 weeks makes.



Jeremy said something quite poignant after his 16 mile run on Saturday morning.

"You know you're in trouble when the distance of your run is higher than the temperature."

Truer words have never been spoken.

Not that I would know. While J was out there pounding out 16 miles in 9 degree temps (he came home with icicles in his beard), I was sound asleep underneath my down comforter, recovering form a nasty fever I had somehow come down with on Wednesday afternoon.

You always forget how bad fevers are until you actually get one. I was miserable all night Wednesday with achy bones, pounding headache, chills, sweats, lethargy, dizziness, stomach pains, etc. No fun. I apologized to J for not being nicer to him when he had a fever the week before.

I woke up Thursday morning, drenched in sweat and thought the fever had broken, but still in no shape to go to work. I decided to stay in bed and worked from home. Since I didn't actually get much rest (I was stressing trying to meet a deadline, an awful time to miss work), I was still feeling awful Thursday night. The fever came back and I almost passed out when I tried to walk up a flight of stairs. So I stayed home Friday too (and did more work from home). By Friday evening the fever was gone, but I was just very tired. I made the decision to just rest all weekend and pick up where I left off on Monday. Honestly, the super-low temperatures helped me make that decision.

Although I have to say, I'm a little bummed I missed out on Saturday. There is a sick, twisted side of me that loves to get out there in ridiculous conditions just to see how it will effect me (and to feel like a badass when I say I did it). It would have been cool to say I trained for my marathon in 10 degree temperatures. Oh well, there's always next weekend.

Hey all you 2008 Philadelphia Marathon runners! Don't forget to fill out your marathon survey they emailed you this week. Someone I know (who just so happens to be very sexy when there are icicles in his beard) wrote it with a couple of colleagues and is working on doing research with the marathon folks. You'll get $5.00 off your entry fee for next year and if you look close enough you just might see a familiar face on one of the pages :)

And finally, thanks to Bobbi over at N Her Shoes for picking me (along with a few other fine folks) as one of the lucky winners in her snacktrition giveaway! YAY! I love free stuff, especially when it's food :)
Thanks Bobbi!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


So, JoyRun tagged me the other day.

At first I was kind of hesitant because this is such a positive post and I honestly didn't think I had many "favorite" things to talk about. But then I figured it was a good way to look at 2008 in a different way. It wasn't all bad.

4 favorite memories from 2008
1. The Philadelphia Marathon
2. My going away party in Miami before I moved.
3. Philadelphia Distance Run
4. Thanksgiving in Philly at the parade, at our friends house in the afternoon and making dinner with just Jeremy at night. It was the prefect day.

4 favorite movies watched in 2008
So, I only saw a handful of movies this year and they all sucked. I am changing this to be TV shows.
1. Project Runway
2. What Not to Wear
3. How I Met Your Mother
4. The Office

4 of my favorite foods in 2008
1. Salad (I am a salad junkie)
2. Soup (Any kind, I am a soup junkie too)
3. Ritas Water Ice "Wild Cherry" (Being new to the area, I am just discovering the wonder that is Rita's.
4. Surf and Turf Tacos from El Vez in Center City.

4 places i loved in 2008
I haven't really gone anywhere this year. But I have loved discovering this beautiful new city.
1. Wissahickon Creek (Philadelphia)
2. Reading Terminal Market
3. Fairmount Park (Philadelphia)
4. Center City (Philadelphia)

4 events i loved in 2008
1. Philadelphia Marathon
2. Philadelphia Distance Run
3. Miami Half Marathon
4. Moving to Philadelphia (Is that an event?)

4 things i liked in 2008
1. Blogging
2. Facebook
4. beer/red wine

4 things i am looking forward to in 2009
1. The National Marathon in DC (March)
2. Growing at my new job
3. Discovering more about our new city
4. New beginnings

4 people I tag
1. Lil Runner & baby
2. D10
3. Beachy
4. Sonia

All in all, not a bad year.

Made myself get out there in the 24 degree temps after work for a 6.5 mile run. So glad I went. I was dry this time, wore my jacket so I was warmer and ended up running my fastest pace for that route which is full of hills (8:55 pace). Woo! Go legs!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ice, Ice baby...


I'm sitting on my couch in flannel PJs, a long sleeved t-shirt, hooded sweatshirt, wool socks, fur (faux of course) lined slippers with a blanket wrapped around me, hot tea in my hand and a warm macbook pro on my lap. The sun is out, the heat is on and I'm freaking freezing!

Why you ask? Oh, no reason...just almost died from hypothermia on our 14 mile run this morning!

OK, maybe I am exaggerating just a tad, but it sure felt like it. The sad part is, next weekend, when we run our 16 miler it's going to be about 20 degrees colder. Who's idea was it to sign up for another marathon anyway?

It was supposed to snow here yesterday, but all we got was a light dusting and some rain, nothing too intense. This morning when we headed out, the sun was coming out so I knew it would warm up a bit. I got dressed in my normal cold weather running outfit: tights, long tank, long-sleeved tech shirt, gloves and hat. The run started out OK. It was cold (20's), but it didn't seem that bad. The first mile we ran over some wooden docks and had to really slow down because of the ice. It's normally icy there, so I didn't think to much about it.

Two miles into the run I went to take a drink from one of my water bottles and noticed it was almost empty. The water had been coming out of the bottle as I ran and soaked the whole right side of my lower back, rear end and leg. I was annoyed that I was running out of water so early in the run, but little did I know the damage being soaking wet was going to do to me later on.

As we headed up to Fairmount Park, I was surprised at how desolate it was. Normally, the path around the river is filled with runners, walkers and bikers. Not this morning. Soon I figured out why. The path was covered in ice for miles. Not the kind of ice that you see coming either, but the kind that is sort of melted, so it looks like it's just wet. Then, just as you get brave and start running fast again, you almost bust your ass. It was like running across an ice-skating rink!

I know most of you are reading this and cracking up right now. Most of you are used to these conditions since you deal with it every year. But for this Floridian girl, it's my first experience "running" in ice.

But even with the ice, it really wasn't too cold. That is, until we passed the Art Museum and headed back up Kelly Drive to Manayunk.

We got a nasty 20-30mph headwind the WHOLE. WAY. BACK. Not a slight breeze, but an awful, frigid blast of arctic air blowing off the frozen Schuylkill River into our faces and all over my wet clothes, almost halting us to a stop every 30 seconds.


So basically the rest of the run was spent shuffling headfirst into the frozen winds with my legs tightened so I wouldn't do a face-plant. By mile 9 I was done. My hamstrings were burning, my glutes were screaming in agony and my whole body was stinging. I know I am going to be very sore for a few days.

When I got home I tried to stretch, but I couldn't get warm so I headed up to take a hot shower. Now, if this was the type of blog where we show nudie pics I would have loved to show you what my ass looked like when I stripped down. Not the whole thing, only the side that was soaking wet. It was a shade of red you don't normally see in nature. Like I had been beat with a wooden rod for about 2 hours, which is pretty much what my whole body felt like.

Can't wait till next Saturday!

But more than the cold, I am a little nervous about how difficult this distance seemed. I foolishly thought a 14 mile run was no big whoop considering we "just did" a marathon. I have been running 10-12 miles lately with no problem, but today the distance seemed really difficult. Needless to say, I choked down my humble pie and tried to get my head back into the game for this new marathon training. No more 2 days a week running. I need to get the milage back up to where it was. I think this run is what I needed to wake me up and get me respecting the distance again.

Other than that, week's been good. Super busy at work with a huge new project (they even upped me to 30 hrs a week for the next two months, yay!).I got in some ab work and a day of lifting (still sore from that). I took down the Christmas decorations (except the naked tree, it's still sitting there). And now we're watching the Eagles, lounging in our PJs and I'm going to make a huge pot of chili.

Maybe the Chili will finally warm my ass up. Literally.

Here are my stats since I got back from Florida.

Sunday, 1/11 - 10/1:33:11 - 9:09 pace + Abs
Monday, 1/5 - off
Tuesday, 1/6 - off
Wednesday, 1/7 - off
Thursday, 1/8 - 6.5/58:45 - 9:02 pace
Friday, 1/9 - 45 minutes elliptical + lifting + abs
Saturday, 1/10 - 7/1:01:14 - 8:44 pace
Sunday, 1/11 - 13.72/2:08 - 9:19 pace

Total Weekly Mileage (8 days): 30.4 (RUN)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

And I thought running in Miami was bad...

Did any of you happen to catch the documentary Running the Sahara that aired Sunday night on Showtime?

It follows three guys who decide to run across the Sahara desert (duh) to the Red Sea.

On February 20, Charlie, Ray and Kevin touched the Red Sea, just a few hours before sunset. Their quest had lasted 111 days and taken them through 6 countries: Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya, and Egypt. By the team's daily GPS record, they had traveled over 4,300 miles (6,920 kilometers). They fought through injury and extreme fatigue to reach their goal, which changed them forever.

These jokers ran across six countries, everyday for 111 days, about 2 marathons per day, through 130 degree temperatures, sandstorms, injuries, land mine-ridden territories, for no other reason than just to do it.

Pretty amazing stuff. But be warned, it will make you feel like a big baby for ever complaining about 20 (or 80) degree temps, rain, chaffing, yucky Gu, your iPod breaking during your run, a nagging pain in your knee, etc.

Definitely watch it if you see it on.

Also, did anyone happen to catch the great (super-long) article in RW about Back on My Feet this month? Pretty awesome! J just met with Anne yesterday to discuss research work with them. Good stuff. check out the article if you can. (I know most of you running maniacs have already read RW cover to cover this month, lol).

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Welcoming 2009 with Open Arms

So long 2008, you jerkface. I can not begin to tell you how happy I am to see you gone.


While I was driving back to Philadelphia and J and I ran out of things to say to each other (about 5 minutes after we got in the car), I was left with plenty of time to think about 2009.

I was going to do a brief synopsis of the past year on here, but ultimately decided against it. A lot of you already know about how shi%ty 2008 has been for me and it's time I stopped dredging it up all the time. It's a new year. Time to look forward, not backward. While I know that Dick Clark and the stroke of midnight will not magically change the direction of your life, it sure is a good time to refocus and move ahead.

While I don't normally do "resolutions" I have been thinking a lot about things I need to work on. So here it is, my personal inventory for 2009.


So here it is, the big announcement. Last week J and I signed up to run the (drumroll) Suntrust National Marathon in Washington DC on March 21st. It got great reviews, is in a city I have never been in but is very close and is soon enough where we can sort of piggyback off of our Philly training.

J and I have been running pretty regularly since Philly, are feeling healthy and still have a good base. J wants to redeem himself from the "sickness" he endured in Philly and figures while we are still in pretty good shape, we should try it sooner than later. I have to admit, while I had a great time running Philly, there is a little piece of me that is disappointed I didn't run it to my full potential. Now that we are back from vacation, we are going straight into marathon training mode again. It's almost hard for me to imagine.

There is one catch. I am still suffering from a bit of Posterior Tibial Tendinitis. I have had it for about 5 months now and while it didn't bother me too much, it hasn't gone away. And I can feel it flare up a bit, especially after a long run. So while I am signed up for the full, at any point I feel like the tendinitis is getting any worse, I am going to cut back to the half and let J run the full by himself for a PR. I plan to run the full, but if I have to cut back now to keep myself healthy for the future, then I am OK with it.

Then there is the Broad Street Run. It's a race that runs 10 miles down Broad Street and is supposed to be a blast. When we were here last year looking for a place to live, we were staying in a hotel on Broad on the day of the race and watched them all run by. We promised ourselves that day we would run it next year if we moved here.

Finally, Back on My Feet puts on the 20 in 24 Relay in July.

This is Philadelphia’s only 24-hour relay race that takes place around the Schuylkill River Running Loop. The event is created for teams of five that can choose a participation category ranging from 8.4 miles to 33.4 miles per member.

It sounds like a lot of fun. If we can get some local runners to be part of a relay, we may do it. If not we can always participate in the "Glow in the Dark" 8.4 mile loop at midnight or the "Pajama Loop" at 5:30am.

Other than that, I'm not really planning anything yet. If something good comes my way, I'll do it, if not, I'll just run for fun. Hopefully when it warms up a bit, I'll be biking more anyway.


As far as running in general, the only thing I really want to work on is getting in more hill workouts. I live in such a hilly neighborhood that I should really take advantage of it while I'm here. The hills that I have done since moving here have really helped me become a stronger runner so I need to step it up.


I definitely need to focus on lifting more this year. While running has gotten me into pretty good shape, my upper-body is a mess, totally out of proportion with my lower body's fitness. I am not worried about losing any more weight (although I wouldn't mind) but I have been this weight before while being about 2-3 sizes smaller from all the weightlifting I was doing. I need to get back to that. I also want to start doing more push-ups. I need to figure out my own "Push-Up Challenge".


J and I eat pretty well for the most part. We don't keep junk food in the house and never eat fast food. We drink tons of water and eat lots of fruits, veggies, etc. But I really need to focus on eating smaller portions. It does no good if you are eating two huge portions of something healthy - you are still just being a pig. This is a major reason I still have problems losing any additional weight and toning up. I also need to stop eating so much of my "danger foods". I ate enough cheese over Christmas to become and honorary citizen of Wisconsin. Also, beer, sweets, candy, hummus ( I can polish off a tub with crackers/chips in two days, easy) all need to be reined in.


I really need to try and get to bed a little earlier. I am a total night owl and usually stay up till 1am. Which makes for a very tired girl when I get up for work in the morning. I unnecessarily get only 5-6 hours a night. That's stupid, especially since I LOVE to sleep. (P.S. I'm typing this at 12:40am before an extremely busy first day back at work. Sigh.)


J and I have decided to really focus on spending less. We don't spend extravagantly now, but we could definitely find ways to cut back, mostly with going out. We know we will not be able to buy a house this year like we had planned but if we work hard, we can get our savings back to where they were a year ago.


I am going to really try to be more confident at work. I know down inside I am talented at what I do, but for some reason I always second-guess myself. I guess it's just hard for me to sometimes process that I am an adult with a career. Sometimes I think people are going to figure out that I shouldn't be there or something. I'm not sure why I am like this, especially when I always get great feedback and recommendations from my employers. This is the year I start actually believing what people tell me about myself. Maybe that should also carry over into other aspects of my life.


If I learned anything from the past year, it's that no plans are ever set in stone. In the immortal words of John Lennon,

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."

This phrase sums up the last 365 days of my life so well that I think it may be my new motto.

No matter what lists I make and races I decide to do, anything can happen and I need to be OK with that. I got so worked up with everything that I thought was going to happen last year because of "plans" I made at the start of the year, that my whole world was shaken when they didn't happen. Sometimes rightfully so, but other times I just made it worse than it needed to be. I guess everything really does happen for a reason. and 2008 was definitely a life-lesson for me.

Hopefully I learned enough to just sit back and enjoy 2009.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Photo Update Part 2 - Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!!!

I hope everyone had a happy and safe New Year and is recovering happily surrounded by loved ones.

We're still in Florida but getting ready to head back to the arctic tundra in the morning. It's been a a good trip, but busy and I am ready to get back to the normalcy of everyday life.

Here is the photo-tour of the second half of our trip. I have to warn you people that are freezing your butts off up north, there are quite a few beach shots in here. Don't shoot the messenger...

Just remember, I'll be up there soon enough in my scarf and gloves dealing with the snow and ice just like the rest of you.

But for now, we are wearing shorts :)


These pictures were taken while wandering around after our 9 mile run the other morning.











Drinks and dinner with old friends and a beautiful Florida sunset.








Crazy Auntie Laurie.


I miss these sunsets.








Best friends from high school :)


Just another day at the beach.



This is not snow.







Happy New Year!!!


I promise once I get settled back in I'll get back on the commenting. Until then, enjoy your new year!

Oooh, I almost forgot, I have a future marathon announcement to make :)

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