Monday, March 28, 2011

three weeks to oz.

Three more weeks until Oz. After being sick and running so very little I've had my doubts about the race. However, after running a "still-not-100%-coughing-my-lungs-out-scare-the-crap-out-of-other-people-in-the-gym" tempo run last Thursday my confidence is restored. At least I know I can keep a decent PR pace for 7 miles.

Despite being sick I had my fastest tempo run to date. I was stunned. Apparently taking time off of running, being sick, and the need to blow off some steam = good fuel for my tempo's. Really there isn't much to report on my running week, it was still a moderate attempt to get back in the game. I'll take my three runs, my lingering cough and congestion and go after it again this week.

I'm excited and really nervous about tackling my longest/hardest speedwork to date this week: 10 miles, with 5 x one-mile repeats at a 7:20-ish pace. If I do it fully I'll be amazed, but it's something to shoot for. And even if I don't hit every mile, it will be such a gratifying feeling to accomplish my longest set of speedwork yet.

Lastly, the fact that Edders and I spent the weekend at Lake Tenkiller (in Oklahoma) at my in-laws and I ended up sleeping an unprecedented (for me) 10 hours a night was an indication that I clearly needed some quiet time away from the insanity that has been our life lately. So I'm back today. Well rested, well fed, 90% better and ready to focus the next three weeks on kicking some running tail!

Week 10 of training:
Monday - Kept by force from working out
Tuesday - 1 Mile walk with Milo (my dog)
Wednesday - Yoga
Thursday - 3 Miles and Yoga
Friday - 7 Miles Tempo - 3 at 7:54, 2 at 8:00
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - 10 Miles

Friday, March 25, 2011

spamsies. i'm getting better.

SPAMALOT. Let me first remind you I am a theatre nerd through and through. I dream about taking a trip to NYC and London just to go to shows. Yeah, THAT level of nerd. Last night I got to finally go and see Spamalot, my date was The Lawyer of course. We share the same level of nerd when it comes to theatre. The show, wow, it's a winner. Really there is no point to that information other than if you know anything about Monty Python and the Holy Grail you will understand when I spout off that "I'm getting better." Because Spamalot is basically the Holy Grail on stage... it was

So the truth is that "I'm getting better." Slowly but surely. I still sound absolutely awful, but I feel far better than I sound. The good news is that I did run inside on the track with The Lawyer yesterday morning. I ran almost three miles, there was some walking because my breathing is still a bit off thanks to congestion. But overall the run was better than I was expecting.

Which leads me to the fact that I decided I'm brave enough to try a tempo run today over lunch. At the gym . Until I'm 100% I'm keeping my running inside. My setback of the past two weeks is making me nervous about trying to PR. But I'm going to pick myself up, dust the allergies and sickness off and give it a go in Oz. I'm not good at backing down off of my goals unless there is good reason. Being sick for 7 full days isn't reason enough for me. So what's a week off of running in an otherwise pretty solid training cycle? Meh.

In other news I'm running a half marathon for fun next weekend with The Lawyer, and we run the 44-mile relay race Brew to Brew the next day. It's a relay that goes from one Brewery (Boulevard) in Kansas City to another (Freestate) in Lawrence, KS. The Lawyer and I organized two teams from the running club we founded with Shelley, Joggers and Lagers. With a name and running club like that (we basically run to a bar to enjoy beer!) how could we not do Brew to Brew? I'm also thrilled that one of our team captains is this girl, who will also be celebrating a birthday next weekend. It's going to be a fantastic weekend full of running, friends and celebrating, all with zero pressure.

Oh, and we will represent during B2B! I designed our running club t-shirts, which came in this week, right in time for Brew to Brew. Check 'em out. TA-DA.

*my first attempt at designing and making t-shirts. we decided to put the design on nike tech t-shirts. i maybe had a slight bit of anxiety over these shirts... to say the least. but the hard work and end result was worth the anxiety. also, i decided i look a LOT like a waitress in this picture, with that hat and all... anyone need a drink?!*

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

minimalist. opinion requested.

I've been contemplating for months now about trying out a more minimalist shoe, mostly for shorter runs and races (up to half mari's). I dabbled with the Nike Lunar Glide last fall, took them on one short treadmill run and wasn't a fan. They were adorable and bright shiny obnoxious pink, but didn't do the trick for me. Even still, since last fall I've wanted to slip my feet into minimalist shoes. Seeing how I wear flip-flops (or go barefoot at home) nearly every day between the months of March - October, I figure my feet can handle running in some reduced cushioned kicks. My toes love freedom!

Recently, my dear friend Lea got some Newton's and loves them. I know a few other runners who run shorter miles and have raced in minimalist shoes. So they are working for others. And since I'm not an early adopter, I have clearly waited it out to see how these shoes work for others. Plus, I'm just curious, wanting to try something new, see if lighter shoes make me faster (let's hope) and/or stronger. Or just mix it up a little on the running front. Plus, I just plain love me some shoes!

All of this begs the question, what is YOUR opinion on minimalist shoes, and do you wear them sometimes, or all the time? And if you do, which brand? I'm requesting advice here interwebs, please don't fail me now. I'd like to gather some ideas of different shoes to try on.

Monday, March 21, 2011

four weeks to oz. down for the count.

Oh dear. The last two weeks of training have been less than stellar; perhaps that's why I haven't been blogging about it! Guh. Needless to say when a runner is aiming to PR, that person might want to attempt:
a) running more than once in the past eight days
b) running more than 20 miles in the past two weeks

Just a thought. In my defense I am currently one sick puppy. I have some of the worst spring allergies of any person you'll meet. Most people look forward to spring, I hide indoors literally cowering. While everyone else is out enjoying beautifully sunny runs, working outside in the yard, or walking their dogs. I'm inside peeking out the window with my pasty skin and puffy face hoping the allergens go away. It's pitiful. I can usually nip them before they get out of hand, but this year that isn't the case. They got out of control really quickly and now I'm just in damage control mode. This means no running and no being outside, all while enduring the misery.

So there you have it, hardly any running for this girl lately. And now of course I'm just sitting here twitching like an addict, my legs all antsy. I was hoping to go to my killer spin class tonight, maybe get some elliptical in. However, I got the evil eye from the Edder this morning when I attempted to pack a gym bag. It was the stare off of the century as I slowly put my running shoes and clothes into my gym bag, hacking and blowing my nose all while maintaining the stare off... annnnnnd then slowly un-packing them again as his eyes got more and more evil until the bag was fully un-packed and set aside, when he finally resumed eating his cereal. Right. I am apparently not working out today...

MUST. RUN. SOON. Am going nuts!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

breaking 23. st. patty's day 5k.

I never thought I would be able to break a 23 minute 5k. My ultimate 5k goal was about a 23:30, which I attained in December of 2010. However, throw my new running nemesis (please note it used to be fanny pack) into the picture and ultimate goals change. Especially when your running nemesis is a boy. Are you with me here ladies?

I won't give AP credit for pushing me (because that would be too nice of me, and nemesis'... nemesi... nemesises.... ?? don't roll that way), I'll just say I broke the 23 minute 5k barrier. And for me that was a huge deal. The sweet taste of PR was only slightly tainted by the fact that after weeks of trash talk (i give him full credit for running a great race), my nemesis beat me. We live to race another day. Next time a 10k. Where my endurance will put his speed to crying shame. Do you hear that AP? You will shed man tears. After losing to a girl.

This was the second year for the St. Patty's Day race and there were a lot of friendly familiar faces. However, I made the mistake of waiting until race morning to regi, and sadly they ran out of bibs and chips. So thanks to my stellar procrastination, I couldn't get chip timed. But no complaints, I was just happy I could still run the race (for free no less). Because I wasn't chipped my time isn't official, but no love lost. It was all in good fun. Again, I was overjoyed that I simply made it into the 22's. Even if just barely. Even if unofficial. At least I know I have it in me!

Here is all I have for stats:
Time = 22:58

So maybe it counts, maybe it doesn't. I'll claim it as my unofficial PR to be fair and aim to make that official (minus a few seconds...smiley face) later this year.

*AP made some high class regalia for himself to wear, saying that it would be what i'd be looking at the entire race. he was right, i kept him in my sights the entire time. to clarify, i am BR. i am 0. my strategy was that i expected him to bomb at mile 2.5. um, that didn't pay off. because it didn't happen.*

*post race with the brain trust. shelley gets mad props, she always dresses up for 5ks! the rest of us never do. but we have plans. the group WILL dress up next time and it. will. be. spectacular. group theme! milo, of course, needed in on the picture action, that's my boy!*

Monday, March 7, 2011

of bloody knuckles and unicorn tears.

Regarding Unicorn Tears... mostly that's for all those Lulu loving girlie girl runners out there. HOLLA'! Yes, I admit, sometimes I am one of THOSE chicks. I like running skirts and pink... and glittery Sweaty Bands for my hair.... and Unicorn Tears print from Lulu. Don't hate. Just accept. That is all on my new obsession that topic.

Bloody knuckles however, unlike unicorn tears (although i choose to believe they exist), those are real. And the antithesis of Unicorn Tears, no? I was sporting some pretty hardcore bloody knuckles last Thursday at the gym. The thing is, thanks to my current desire to sleep in instead of getting up early to run, I usually do my speedwork at the gym over lunch. Let's be honest, no one wants me at work after speedwork, un-showered. Because while I may like girlie running gear, I sweat like an overweight man reaching for his last Cheeto when I workout. So really, it's just easier to do speedwork at the gym most days.

That said, I am not a coordinated person. When I run on a treadmill more than likely I walk away with slightly skinned knuckles thanks to the fact that I'll hit them over and over and over....and over.....sigh. And over again on the handles of the machine. That takes a special level of uncoordinated, people. One that clearly only I have reached. Usually it's just a little skinned knuckle or two, nothing awful.

Thursday however, I was in fine form. I was tired and was getting sloppy during my last of four one-mile repeats and BAM. I busted my knuckles so hard on the handles that there was instant gushing blood. And maybe a little wimpy yelp from my mouth. Just a little one. Good thing I had a towel, which was white. Um, right. Not sanitary. Not cool. I had just become that gross girl at the gym. The gross one who likes Unicorn Tears no less. UGH.

Thankfully I only had a mile and a half left. So I tried to be as discreet as possible, keeping the bleeding knuckles under control until I finished. It was pretty awesome. I was just hoping anyone who noticed would think I was hardcore and had maybe just gotten in a wicked fight instead of... you know. Busting open my knuckles on a treadmill while running in a skirt and yellow top. And yes, I absolutely sanitized that machine after, along with my hands. GERMS!!

*me and my bloody knuckles, the other hand was bleeding too, but i'm not that talented with my camera phones skillz. HOTT. you're welcome.*

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

the first annual beef stroganoff-off.

So you know those runs with your running buddies when you inevitably get onto the topic of food? Or is that just me and my running buddies? If it is, you should seriously consider discussing food on the run, because it results in eventual genius. Just trust me here. Back to the running and the food talking. It's no secret around here that I love me some food. I love me some beef. And I love me some Alec Baldwin.

Random aside: You know what I'm loving? Now when people balk at my little Alec Baldwin obsession and comment on his sheer awfulness, I can respond with this. "Well, you have a point. I mean, he's no Charlie Sheen." Badda Ching. And I'll say it just like that. Badda ching and all. Just to be even more obnoxious.

Onto the genius. During a run I began talking about a recent batch of (what i thought) fantastic beef stroganoff I had made for dinner. It all starts so innocently. To which two of my running buddies (AP and Shelley) spouted off about THEIR fantastic beef stroganoff recipes. A few crude jokes and four miles later, BAM. The First Annual Beef Stroganoff-Off was born. We just needed judges. And being the brilliant runners we are. The first two people we asked to judge were... wait for Vegetarian. Right. Regardless, we found our judges, scheduled a night and the great Stroganoff-Off commenced. What? We are totally THOSE runners. The ones who run, but also stuff their faces shamelessly with beef and wine. And cheese.

Last Sunday night while the world was watching (or sleeping through) the Oscars, there was an intense battle brewing between three runners and their 'noff. Each confident their 'noff would be superior. Just waiting for sweet victory and the prize of gloating over the losers. And publicly humiliating them of course. The stakes were high. Sounds intense, no?

It. Was. Epic.

I present to you, the First Annual Beef Stroganoff-Off. In photograph:

*some fierce competitors. we look so intimidating.*

*sending out my stroganoff to the judges, just a little sniff test first*

*some of the judges. the lawyer completed the trio, she just didn't get a picture. she pouted. but who can resist a picture of a baby? seriously.*

*and my dog milo, he was a wannabe judge. pitiful.*

*and the other wannabe judge chloe. she used her best smile to beg for a taste*

*THE STROGANOFFS! mine is 'A.' 'a' for AWESOME.*

*standing by our beef. the contenders. shelley, me and AP.*

I didn't win, but I also didn't stand a chance. Shelley used an Amish recipe she "borrowed" from a girl at work. I'm choosing to believe she pummeled the girl and threatened to beat the Amish out of her if she didn't hand over the recipe. That's my interpretation anyway. Regardless, Shelley's Stroganoff was amazing and I will never again make my lame Stroganoff. Because even if she did get the recipe on questionable terms, at least she's sharing it!

Next stop, the Lasagna-Off sometime this spring. That poor Edders is going to have to eat a LOT of lasagna the next few months... I have a competition to win!

That said, If you have an amazing lasagna recipe please share. You'll get total credit for it. Well, maybe half credit. Honestly, probably like a third of the credit... but still.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

seven weeks to oz. and sore.

Have I mentioned on this blahg of mine that I'm incredibly happy I'm only training for half marathons right now? Not sure if I have or not. My running buddies have heard nothing but constant glee coming from my mouth during runs regarding how incredibly happy I am that I'm not doing 16 or 20 milers.

It's seven weeks until that goal PR at Oz comes around, I'm feeling fairly ready. The speedwork is definitely making me sore. The kind of sore that I haven't felt in years (unless you count after a marathon), muscle sore, like I've gone and lifted weights. Please note, I never lift weights. It's not my typical and constant aches and pains from knotted calves, it's just plain muscle soreness. And I like it. I thought it was the Yoga last week since I hadn't been in two weeks. Then realized it was most likely the seven miles of tempo run I pounded out last Thursday.

I'm still a little sore. Again, just muscle soreness. In fact my typical and constant calf/shin pain has disappeared this week. Despite an 11 mile run at a decent pace on our "hilly" route with the last two miles at a faster pace. And all the speedwork, which usually aggravates the constant shin/calf issues even further. My new running plan doesn't seem to be doing anything other than making my quads and calf muscles sore. I can handle sore quads and calves over the incessant shin pain and knots. In fact it's almost a relief.

*In fact, here's a picture I took on our 11 mile run on Sunday. It was really, really foggy here, and I loved it. So peaceful and so wonderful to run in. Pretty.*

That's all I've got for last week's training. Although, I realized I should probably actually sign up for all of these races I have coming up at some point... right.

Week 6 of Training:
Monday = 2 miles and killer spin class
Tuesday = 5.5 miles with a mile of hills
Wednesday = Yoga
Thursday = 7 mile tempo with 5 @ 8:06 (success. i didn't feel like throwing up.)
Friday = Rest
Saturday = Rest
Sunday = 11 miles with last two at a faster pace

Total miles = 25.5

February Total Miles = 64.5
This mileage is so much lower than I was planning on, but I don't really care. Plus I was on vacation for more than a week of February. So, meh. Excuses, excuses.