Monday, March 30, 2009

the squeak of spring...

Wichita ended up getting pelted with a mix of sleet and snow Friday and Saturday. We had seven inches total. It was a beautiful storm, as I watched it Friday night from my window, all warm and cozy inside with yummy corn chowder and wine!

I don't know if it was the snow, or the rest I took when I was sick a week and a half ago, or just the grace of God (i'm thinking it's the latter), but this weekend has been just what I have needed. I had a ton of rest, and although I was irrationally angry that I couldn't run eight miles on Saturday, I got over it. I think I was so angry because FINALLY, after nearly a month of struggling with being sore and exhausted ALL THE TIME, my body is feeling good... really good. I feel rested, relaxed and all the deep aches and pains of training are virtually gone (for now). I did end up getting to run 14 outside yesterday though, so that was fabulous.

Instead of sitting around fuming, after a morning of relaxing with a mocha and a book, I used my energy to accomplish quite a bit around the house. I did a lot of spring cleaning, finished all my mountains of laundry, cleaned out my closet, scrubbed every surface in this house, and finished off the day with my home weights routine (I use free weights, a exercise band and ball) and an hour of power yoga on video. It was a relaxing rejuvenating weekend overall.

These pictures below show the the teensy difference of my garden from last weekend, and my garden this weekend. A little squeak of spring.

Budding Peony last weekend, and snowy Peony this weekend. This plant is a transplant I took from my Grandma's garden about two years ago, I hope it survives!

My vibrant Hyacinth, now dead and gone just like T.I. and J.T. say in their new song...

The blossoms on a flowering tree in my front yard, and the frozen blossoms on my backyard cherry tree.

Luckily Tulips love snow.

Some tree blossoms on my street last week and my street around 10a Saturday morning.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

four weeks to 'm' day...

Well here we are... the final countdown (i hope you sang that in your head). Four weeks from this moment I will have hopefully run my first marathon... I'm so dramatic. Feel free to roll your eyes here. I ran 14 miles today, and thankfully I did them outside. After seven inches of snow from Friday and Saturday, the sun came on strong to melt it all away today. I was actually planning to run inside, but while driving to the least offensive indoor Y running track in the city (only 9 laps a mile opposed to 11) to meet five other girls for our long run, I discovered an indoor OUT.

Katie called as I was leaving my house suggesting I grab some running tights and a long sleeve technical 'just in case' the roads were clear around the gym, she is brilliant! I headed to the gym earlier than the girls to get my extra three out of the way, (they are all doing the half marathon in OKC so had less mileage to do). But on the way I drove by our typical running spot and noticed people out on the paths, I looked closer and noticed that the paths were totally cleared! I picked up the phone and started making calls. The girls were going to meet me. So I sneakily changed clothes in my car and headed out for my three. I hadn't bothered with my Garmin since we planned on running inside, it was a little freeing to run those three Garmin free. It was surprisingly warm and sunny and the snow was melting like mad. I felt better on those three than I had in weeks. I made it around back to the parking lot to meet the girls and we were off for 11.

It was, per usual in Kansas, super windy. That is part of living in Kansas, we don't have hills, we have wind.... constantly, really it isn't even worth mentioning since it should always be a given I face strong winds on every run. We had to slush through quite a few puddles, which for me ended up being a little fun. We started the run trying to keep our feet dry, but really after I made a huge effort to avoid a gigantic puddle and instead landed smack in the middle of a mud hole, water up past my ankle in a sloshy gross mess, my foot soaking wet, I didn't care. From then on I ran head on into those puddles.

The best I can gauge, my time for 14 miles was around 2:08, we had a Garmin for the 11 and I just averaged our pace to guess a time for my first three which I tried to run fast in order to make it back in time to meet the girls so they wouldn't have to wait for me.

Overall I feel good, better than the other long runs over the past month, in body and mind. My legs and hip aren't hurting. Except muscle fatigue from doing power yoga and weights yesterday afternoon, I'm feeling good tonight. My confidence in being able to run the marathon is growing, and I'm at peace with the fact that I may not hit my goal time.

In addition, I realized I need to focus on really eating a lot more directly after my long runs thanks to Runners World. So I had an organic granola bar and some Gatorade on the 15 minute drive home. Then I got home and hit the ice bath, another thing I'm trying to be better with, and had a smoothie with some organic protein powder. I've decided 14 miles is a distance that deserves the attention of 'long' run leg and nutrition care, and hoping my legs and energy levels will feel better all week for it.

On another note, it looks like I might be running the Olathe Half Marathon next weekend. I had considered it before, but I have been so busy and exhausted lately, it seemed like more work than I could handle so I dropped the thought. However, I'm feeling like life is under control again, and an opportunity may have arose thanks to Run to the Finish, causing me to think about running the race next week after all. My dilemma is that next week would mark my 22 miler. I'm trying to figure that one out, but think I have a plan, again thanks to Runners World. We'll see.

This is a long post for a long run, so I'm off. Cheers to a happy running week my friends!

Friday, March 27, 2009

where did you go...

Spring? Are you hiding from me? Trying to be a sneaky snake? Because I'm pretty sure I saw you all of last week and weekend, however I'm a bit confused.

Because earlier this week you had my tulips looking like this:
and today you have them looking like this:Actually spring, I think what happened is that you have just been 'had' by winter. Winter, I take it you are pissed off it wasn't your time anymore, that spring had arrived to edge you out, and steal your glory. So in a petty jealous rage you decided to give one last evil blast. Well bring it. Because I'm at home now since my office shut down early, all warm and cozy, in sweats, with Milo snuggled up to me. I'm listening to you throw pellets of ice against my windows. What, you call this a storm? Is this all you have my friend? Oh I know you tried to piss me off when I left work with your 30 mph sleet was pelting my face and hitting my eyeballs, but it didn't really work.

I have groceries, wine and TiVo... could life get any better? I submit that it cannot! So you take your jealous rage winter. I'll embrace it, I'm smellin' what your steppin in, and am along for the ride. I'll even happily run my miles inside this weekend, you can't keep me down. Because not-so-secretly, I love a good snow storm.

"Ahhhhh-ahhhhhh-Kansas" (you have to be a Kansan to get that one...) I took some spring pictures yesterday and last week, I'm so thankful I did. Because although I love the snow, and a good snowstorm, I am sad all the beautiful budding trees and flowers will likely die off. I'm going to try and post those soon, as a promise to all of us mid-westerners being pelted by this storm, that it really is spring!

Below are a few more pictures I took of my garden when I got home today.

my friday photo...

This is for Nikemom's Friday Foto. This is a picture of Kristen the running lawyer and I after the River Run 10K last May. The River Run is the largest race in Wichita with about 7,000 participants (I think) .

This particular race holds a lot of sentimental value for me. The race takes place during Wichita's River Festival every May. There is a 2-miler and a 10K. I have been participating in this race since I was a kid. I don't remember at what age I first did the River Run, but I know it was with my Dad. My Dad is actually the one who got me started running! There are many years when he and I would get up early, hit up Quik Trip for some caffeine and breakfast and go and run the race.

One year I ran it with my sister after zero training, we followed one of the chanting Army Guard groups and they kept us on pace, it was a blast. Another year my entire family (I come from a big family of four kids), plus some cousins and my aunt and uncle did the race as well. I couldn't find the picture in time to post it this morning, maybe that will be fore next week!

I have done the 10K three times, and I PR every year. Last year I had a time of 50:01 (according to my watch, they don't have timing chips so my recorded time was a few seconds longer) after virtually no training. I ran maybe one 6 miler before the race, and had a very late night the night before, so that was encouraging. I look forward to doing this race this year, just a few weeks after the marathon, hoping for another PR!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

best part of my day...

Grande Soy Caramel Machiatto on this stupid cold 30-degree SPRING morning. We are in a winter advisory now, looking at 6" of snow tomorrow and Saturday, possible blizzard conditions. Lovely.... pretty sure we were in a 70 degree Tornado warning last week. I heart Kansas.

Speaking of Kansas. Here's to Kansas going all the way in the big tourney for another year. GO HAWKS!

I may be a K-State graduate (the "other" big Kansas University, known for football not basketball), but I'm going to root for any Kansas team with all my heart no matter what--it's just how I roll.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

best part of my day...

Running five good miles and going to yoga right after. I met Kristen for yoga, it had been too long since I have had the time to go to that class. I felt so fantastic and relaxed after the total workout. Bliss.

what's your song: version 1.2...

I skipped doing this last month and am now desperate for some new tunes. I need to beef up my long running playlist. My picks this month are a little random, they are songs I've just picked up along the way and am currently enjoying. On those long runs all I need is variety, so random is perfect. Right now I'm working on packing my marathon list full of great stuff. Feel free to share your current favorites.

In no particular order:

  1. High and Dry -Radiohead
  2. Blinded by the Light - Manfred (yep, there's my no shame song of the month)
  3. Single Ladies - Beyonce
  4. Eye of the Tiger - Survivor (this is my shout out to Julie and my mad RockBand skillz)
  5. Walking on Sunshine - Katrina & the Waves
  6. Flume - Bon Iver
  7. Wanna Be - Pussy Cat Dolls
  8. Dead and Gone - T.I. and J.T.
  9. Comes and Goes (In Waves) - Greg Laswell
  10. Boom - Flight of the Conchords (and for good measure and a little entertainment, I give you their music video, it gave me too much enjoyment not to share)

My "I Just Don't Wanna" Pick (the song I hit when I need major motivation):
Let it Rock - Kevin Rudolf (this get's played the last mile or more of my long runs)

Here are links to the past two versions:
version 1.0
version 1.1

And Travis I know you aren't a runner, but I have a feeling you could suggest some excellent songs seeing how your blog is mus-tacular. Waiting sweetheart.... just waiting....

Monday, March 23, 2009

five weeks to 'M' day...

Just writing the title sort of grounded me. Five weeks, only FIVE WEEKS to my first marathon. All the struggle of training for previous marathons only to get hurt, the heartbreak of all it all, finally I'm going to reach my goal. I hope anyway, as long as my body holds up.

I took it easy last week, I skipped runs like no ones bidness, but I had no choice. I was down with the sinus junk and it wiped me out. I was wiped out period. I was pretty frustrated, beating myself up over missing my runs. But I woke up this morning feeling fabulous, no aches and pains for the first time in three weeks, no exhaustion. I feel really good today, I think the rest was worth it.

So instead of beating myself up, I'm moving on with a positive outlook. The thought of working all week, teaching class in the evening and training in between doesn't seem so daunting this week. In fact, I'm looking forward to pushing ahead and making some stuff happen. Because on top of all that, we are finishing up some home projects thanks to a little appraisal looming over us in two short weeks. More on that later.

I have major fears setting in about the marathon, I'm worried I will be far slower than my goal time of four hours, after the lax training and a slow 20-miler. I'm worried my body will fail or I'll get hurt in the next five weeks. I'm concerned I haven't done enough speed or hill work. But I can't let that stop me.... pressing on.

I have to run six miles tonight between work and teaching. I have to head to the gym for my run, currently the land of oz is in a tornado watch.The thought of a tornado wouldn't keep me from running outside, the climate over the city doesn't really allow for a tornado touch down anyway, so I feel safe no matter what. It's just the current 40 mph wind gusts that I fear! Cheers to a happy running week!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

best part of my day...

The trees in my front yard have buds! There are happy yellow and purple flowers blooming in my garden. I'm a happy girl.

The other parts of my day have been partly good, partly blah. I'm home sick with a sinus infection, it's all stopped up in my head, ears and head throbbing. But as Ed pointed out unless I'm sick I'm not good at resting, my body is trying to tell me to slow down right now. I'm listening, I have no choice. I would have been useless at work today anyway. Plus no class to teach this week, I'm so thankful the University is on spring break this week as well. Total relief.

The other good, no, great part, of my day is that I went to my doctor this morning per said sinus/ear problem and to talk to him about my hip. Thankfully my doctor is a runner. Sweet. My doctor in fact laughed a little when I said... well I did run 20 miles on Sunday. He smiled and nodded, asked when the marathon was and said ice, ice, ice and stretch, stretch, stretch. Duly noted. The most awesome part of my day is the fact that my hip hasn't hurt ONE BIT!

This post wore me out. Time for another nap.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

best part of my day...

The fact that my legs don't hurt anymore! It's a St. Patricks Day MIRACLE... My Irish luck is kickin' in.

However, I am going to PT this week for my hip, it is still hurting for the first 20 steps I take whenever I get up and start walking. I am nipping this in the bud, so we'll see. Hopefully a little PT will keep it going for the next six weeks.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

six weeks to 'M' day...

I ran 20 miles today. It was a battle of the wills, me against the dreaded 20. And thankfully I won. That was the most brutal run I have ever done. The Kansas wind was pure evil, it was like running against a wall, sustained winds at 15 mph, with gusts more than 20 mph. We ran into the wind for probably a good six miles, if you have never done that, it takes it out of you like none other. There were many tears involved in several miles of this slow and painful process. But the 20 miles are over, and I know I'm that much closer. Needless to say, my time on this run was significantly slower than my past two long runs. That makes me nervous.

This past week has just been one of those bad running weeks overall. No matter what I did, no matter the rest I had, what I ate, running was just plain hard the entire week. I finally came to terms with that fact that I have had what all the kids like to call 'burnout' (not just in running, in everything) lately. I knew that was probably an indication the 20 would be difficult, so I was prepared. Not to mention my hip has been tweaky all week, the same hip 'thing' that kept me from doing the marathon I originally wanted to do several years ago.

Kristen the running lawyer and I met up and ran about 14 miles together, I peeled off for my last six and she went in a different direction for her last four. She was only doing 18 (since she ran the Princess Half-Marathon last week, her first half ever, MAD PROPS!) It was wonderful having someone along for the windy ride today, I'm so thankful she was there.

I finished my 20 to find Kristen and Ed (they went to law school together and work together, so they are good buds) in the parking lot waiting for me. I started doing my ugly running cry. I was so thankful to see them both. Ed is a road biker and had done a 40 mile bike ride with a buddy, 16 miles straight into the wind, so he was feeling pretty wiped out as well. I had sent him a few texts saying I was doing okay (he is always concerned about the well being of my foot, rightly so) but the run was brutal. He was close to the park anyway so he decided to stop by to cheer me up after my run. It certainly did the trick.

We headed home and I instantly hit the ice bath, then ate--no--inhaled a pita sandwich, stretched, took a shower and took a nap. Then an hour later had dinner and am now icing my hamstring and hip while drinking a smoothie. I really do feel better than I thought I would. I'm sure tomorrow I'll be really sore, but it's the price I have to pay. The price of stupidly deciding I should run a marathon... sigh. It's worth it. I just hope I'm ready.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

TIaRT: only in running...

This is for the Runners Lounge "Take It and Run Thursday."

Only in running would you spend more money and time obsessing over clothes that will get disgusting, dirty, sweaty and gross every time you wear them and spend more money on those clothes than what you wear in 'real life.' Honestly I have acquired or bought more running clothes than anything else in the past year. And I spend more money on a running shirt than I would ever even think of plunking down on a regular everyday top. I would be appalled to go and slap down $60 on a regular old shirt when just last week I spent that much on a new long sleeve technical shirt that had a great waterproof pocket in the back, without blinking an eye. Because it was CLEARLY necessary.

It's amazing what I can justify buying as a runner. This is why I have my running buddies though, because as a group, the Fair Weather Runners have decided we feel SO MUCH more official and like "real runners" now that we have nice running gear somehow it makes it all okay.

I think the government should consider a tax write off regarding this matter. I'm writing that new president of ours a little note about it! This calls for my Strawberry Shortcake stationary for sure.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

best part(verbal vomit) of my day...

Sharing about 846 gallons of verbal diarrhea with the fabulous running lawyers Kristen and Emily. They aren't just running buddies, they are two friends I couldn't live without at this point in my life.

Not to mention the slow and easy three miles I did over lunch where I refused to force myself to run faster or harder, I just didn't care! In fact, take that running plan, take those easy measly three miles and shove it where you may, cause I'm totally over you right now. In fact I'm at that point where I think I might want to break up with you for awhile. You make me hurt and make me want to cry, you are making me tired and emotional. At this moment you have me feeling like a failure.

You take and take and aren't giving much back at the moment. I'm afraid you will fail me, you evil turd of a plan. I might just crumple you up and throw you in the trash, yeah... you don't even get the recycling bin because I don't want the paper you were printed on to resurface in some other substance.

Putting training plan in safe place. Walking away. Must eat Girl Scout cookies. Must find Sour Patch Kids. Must have Mocha.... Need bed, down comforter and all seasons of Sex and the City to make world right. I apologize cyberspace, the above verbal vomit left my fingers involuntarily.

Monday, March 9, 2009

best part of my day...

Driving home in a good old fashioned Kansas thunderstorm! I also probably had a chocolate milkshake after dinner which made my evening of teaching much more fabulous. I know we are supposed to eat perfectly healthy while training for a marathon, but some days it's okay to give in, and it was so worth it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

seven weeks to 'M' day...

I'm pooped. And I hurt. And I probably cried a teensy bit today, all of one or two tears, they were present around mile 16. I'm not trying to whine, just trying to be honest. And I'm not gonna lie, I was nervous about the 18. I was still sore from my 16 and the hill last week and feeling a bit of burnout on everything this week. I was certain this run would be fugly. BUT.... yes there is a but. Good news, It wasn't fugly.

To my amazement my time was faster than my 16 miles last week, I have a feeling that was thanks to the fact that I just wanted to be done running. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the Kansas wind wasn't too horrid. It did provide some resistance on the six miles we did right into the wind, but other than that it wasn't bad.

Katie and Jenn had to do nine miles and I only ran four before they showed up because I was so tired this morning that my body felt heavy so I took it easy. Those first miles alone weren't easy, miles one - three were rough for me, I was tired and my legs were aching, but after mile three they finally loosened up. After those first four I set out with the girls to do 14 more. They ran about 7.5 miles with me, and I'm so glad they did! They helped me keep my pace up. I peeled off from them with 6.5 miles left.

I was carrying sport beans (I just can't get past the consistency of Gu) and finished off one and a half pakcages total during my run. I also managed to finish off an entire 32oz. bottle of PowerAide through those 18. After I left the girls I just wanted to have those last miles over with so I pushed through sore legs and finished pretty strong, but was spent after I finished. I went home and took an ice bath, stretched and surprisingly feel a little less sore than after my 16 last week, but I'm still pretty sore.

I kept reminding myself this is the price I have to pay, these miles count for something and that kept me going. I ended up running those 18 in 2:44:37... a pretty big victory for me.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

best part of my day...

Sleeping in, snuggling with the dog, having the house to myself and getting a gigantic, delicious mocha!

I plan to get in a four mile run at some point today, it will be nice and easy since I have my 18 tomorrow afternoon and am sore from hill work last night (more on that another day, because yes we actually do have one hill in this city, just the one though). Luckily I'm meeting the girls tomorrow and they will do the last nine miles with me, no more lonely running. Plus they can help me keep my pace for the last half of that run when I'll likely feel like sitting on the path and crying.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

just like prom...

Today I went to what was the equivalent of my running prom, all dressed up fancy like. Okay so I can't say for certain that today's run was just like prom, because point of fact I have never been to a prom, or any school dance, or really any dance period (until I was in my early 20s and started going to wedding receptions that had music). I grew up in a very conservative homeschool family, dancing, music, the whole lot of it was pure evvviiieeeelllllllllll. Don't you worry, I would sneak in some of 'the rock music' every now and then and would dance quietly in my bedroom alone. Come on, what nice homeschool girl hasn't rebelled in such a horrendous way!

My point is that I broke in my running skirt today, and I wore it with my new hot pink running tops (yes plural, it's just how I roll people, I am 30 now after all). I felt so dressed up just to be running. And around mile three my run even asked me to the prom after party, I'm sure he was assuming I would put out. I quickly corrected my presumptuous run and let him know I'm a nice post-homeschool girl and it takes at least three dates and a bevy of martinis to get me to put out. Plus, doing that on prom night is so cliche... right? Because seriously it's not like I would know.

So despite the fact that the running skirt clearly hasn't caught on in Kansas yet (I gathered that from all the confused looks I got from other runners and random people at the park) I was really pleased with my attire. I wore it proudly! Seriously it was like I was some sort of odd side show in my fancy runnin' clothes. You really would have thought I was wearing a prom dress for my run. I have to admit I did feel I a tiny bit flashy and self conscious at first, but I got over it and decided I officially love that skirt, especially combined with the hot pink tops.

I would have taken a picture of me in my running prom outfit, however, Ed is out of town and Milo doesn't have opposable thumbs. So I'm giving you the next best thing and offer you a picture of the prom outfit sans me:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

eight weeks to ‘M’ day….

Less than eight weeks now and I will run that first marathon that has been eluding me for years now thanks to injury. I’ve been a blogging slacker and I apologize to all 12 of you who read this! I’ve had a bit of a week or so and have taken the stance if I can’t write something nice then I won’t write at all. Frankly I just wasn’t in the mood. But now I will blather on and on and on all about me and how I run, so hold on and enjoy.

Last week I decided to do all my runs alone and try and push to see what I could do. It paid off and I learned what I needed to know. I can push myself to run faster and further. I’ve only been back to running since the first week of January because of my injury, and I haven’t had times I’m happy with yet, so last week boosted my confidence and helped me feel like I might be able to finish that little OKC marathon!

On top of that I had a spectacular 16 mile run on Sunday. I have previously done all my long runs with Emily and Kristen the running lawyers, but I was solo this weekend, just me and the Zoo Park 4-mile loop. The 16-miler was a milestone for three reasons: it is my longest run to date, it is the same run last year on which I acquired my evil-was-on-crutches-for-five-weeks-metatarsal-stress- fracture, and it was my fastest long run in the history of me!

The first four miles were brutal and lonely, I ran all four thinking to myself how can I get through three more laps of this four-mile route. I will be here forever. I am going to die in the middle of the Zoo Park, no one will know, and the monkeys are going to come and find me and steal me away to eat me as a snack. I’m doomed. Luckily I made it back around to the parking lot in tact, no being stolen by the monkeys. I stopped for some Gatorade and Watermelon Sport Beans (thanks to my sister Kris, she sent them as a birthday present, I highly recommend them) and something in me kicked into gear and I hit negative split after negative split for the rest of the run. I was stunned, and confused, but happy to be hitting my stride and feeling great! I finished those 16 strong and like I could have kept going.

I got home took an ice bath, stretched and proceeded to go stuff my face full of delicious taco pizza at Knolla’s with Ed, trying to replace the 2000 calories my Garmin says I burned. It was a good day. Cheers to marathon training, my friends.