Saturday, January 31, 2009

battle wounds...

Finally, physical evidence I am a runner. In all my miles I have never fallen down running, at least not physically. This in and of itself is amazing because I'm one of the least graceful people you will meet, all gangly limbs going every which way, all awkward and skinny, always tripping and dropping things. But never on a run, somehow I always managed to stay on my feet despite many a close call. Locomotion, indeed.

Until today. And it was a darn good fall.

I mean really, check that sucker out, impressive eh? The knee is clearly the most impressive, but that hand wound was through my running glove! My knee bled all day long, through teaching class and even still tonight it's ooozzzziinnnnngggg. Too bad the pictures still don't do it justice, it is much deeper than it looks.

But seriously, if you know me in any way at all you would know that if I'm going to do something like fall, I'm not going to half-ass it. I have standards. On my early morning 5-miler today I got tripped up and I kid you not, I literally flew through the air, I knew I was airborne because I had time to think about the fact that I was falling and actually process how to land--that had never happened before.

I was all.... Mmmmm, I think I'm flying through the air, how did this happen, how am I going to land, oh hey guy driving the Jeep, WHAT UP just falling here, and then I was all OMG don't hit face, don't hit face, don't hit face, spare the foot (the one that had the stress fracture)! AND BAM, down I went. It was just....incredible. It hurt like a mother. I even tore my heavy running pants, I'm just that thorough! So here's to popping my 'falling on a run cherry'... now tell me how awesome I am.


Friday, January 30, 2009

my 'friday foto'...

I'm contributing to Nike Mom's fun Friday tradition with my Friday 'Fotos!' This is a picture that was taken by a good friend while I was spending the summer of 2001 in Puebla, Mexico studying Spanish with Wichita State University. I was 22. That summer was one of the best times of my life, an amazing experience. My friend who took it, Mike Potts, is an incredible photographer and artist. This picture wasn't photoshoped or retouched one bit! It brings back all the awesome and fun memories of that summer.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

cramping my style...

The other night, randomly, while sitting on my couch I sat straight up in terror scaring the living poo out of my poor dog, because I realized some of the upcoming races I want to do between now and April might have to be nixed from my schedule. I forgot to consider my teaching schedule when picking races all nimbly bimbly! This means I'm out for the Super Bowl 4-miler on Sunday. I also realized this means the students in my class are going to try and fly through their final in order to get to what I'm sure is their vitally important super bowl parties. I care as much about football as an 80-year-old cares about going clubbing. The race was going to be my super bowl highlight!

I guess when it comes to life there is give and take, when working toward one goal, sometimes another goal has to suffer. This is something I'm finding during the busy time in my life. Because I'm pursuing my dream and goal of becoming a college instructor, running races (which I love to do, any length) is going to suffer. In order to pursue my goal and dream of running my first marathon and eventually qualifying for Boston my goal to become a yoga instructor is going to suffer. It's the domino effect. But I'm okay with that, I've learned over the last two years to be patient and know that if it's meant to be, it will happen.

These are the choices we make in our life path though, right? I think I'll know inside me when the right time is to taper out of one goal in order to meet another. I'm feeling that now in fact, it's time to focus on teaching college and running a marathon, travel and babies will come later, one step and one dream and one goal at a time. Because within those, it's vitally important I maintain a strong relationship with my husband, God and those I love the most. And I'm at total peace with it. These dreams and goals have been handed over to God, they are in excellent hands.

So good luck to all you Super Bowl 4-miler racers in Wichita, I'll be sitting in a classroom while you are out running the race. I'm a teensy bit envious.

Monday, January 26, 2009

best part of my day...

Coming home and sitting my exhausted butt on couch to watch my TiVo'd shows while Milo snuggled next to me and Ed made Teriyaki Meatballs (thanks to a new recipe from a recent recipe swap lunch with my girlfriends, the meatballs are Kristen's recipe) and Fried Rice. OMG, yum.

10 miles. 19 degrees. stomach bug. doughnuts...

This weeks training plan called for a 10-miler. I was so exhausted on Saturday morning that I could barely see to text the message to Emily that I wasn’t up for running after the week I’d had. I ended up running yesterday morning at 8a with Kristen, the running lawyer.

However, I’m thinking that despite the exhaustion and sore legs that I faced on Saturday morning, I should have sucked it up and ran anyway. Because no matter the pain, I’m guessing a run on Saturday would have been more bearable than what I did yesterday. It involved running 10 miles in 19-degree-sunless-wind-chilled weather while fighting the urge to run to the restroom every quarter mile (because yes I ended up getting Ed’s stomach bug). If you have never run with some sort of belly virus I highly recommend it, because once you do, after that, when facing a long run with a small blister, minor aches, or a sleepless night, it will seem like a breeze.

Besides the weather and the stomach, we had the pure torture of running directly behind the Krispy Kreme. And despite the evil stomach bug, I was still on that stupid cleanse and hadn’t had nearly enough sugar lately. The warm delectable smell wafting our way on the cold wind caused me to come to the point where I would have stolen an entire box of doughnuts from the next guy exiting that place. I would have promptly taken the gooey doughnuty goodness behind the Dillon’s dumpster and eaten them all in two minutes flat. Screw the run. And Kristen. I wasn’t going to share. I could walk home.

Of course I would have gratefully thanked the kind man who I stole the doughnuts from as he was surely taking them to his Sunday School class. Maybe they could have considered it their ministry for the day, offering up their warm doughnuts to a cold, sugar-starved runner (who was choosing 10 miles over church on this particular Sunday).

But that didn’t happen. Instead we turned the corner and kept running into the endless wind and up every hill in sight. At times with me clenching my stomach and screaming profanities. It was delightful. Week three of marathon training complete.

best part of my (yester)day...

Ending my cleanse by going to Knollas and stuffing my face with tasty fat filled toxic goodness in the form of cheese and taco pizza. (note: if you are ever in wichita and need pizza, although we are the city that bore the pizza hut empire, you must visit knollas. hands down the best pizza in this city). I also may have had a hot fudge sundae after, I'm admitting nothing...

The stomach bug (i ended up inheriting it from ed after all) thanked me for said delicious foods at approximately 10:18p last night. And is in fact still thanking me this morning.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

best part of my day...

Having today's 5.5 hour class go better than last nights, then heading to dinner at the best local Thai food joint with Ed, my aunt and uncle visiting from out of town, and my parents. Now it's time for more class prep and to crawl into bed to get some rest for that early morning 10-miler, and back to campus for another long afternoon of teaching! WHEW.

My husband is the best. I love him. and my aminalks. (please note ed confiscated the laptop on that very last sentence! I SWEAR!)

Friday, January 23, 2009

best part(s) of my day...

Teaching my very first college course and having it be..... well it got taught. Finally, masters degree at work.

Finding out the plumbing debacle that emerged in my kitchen and all over my wood floors yesterday afternoon was successfully fixed by Mr. Plumber this afternoon and didn't cost a bajillion dollars.

The fact that Ed's stomach flu has finally eased up and I haven't had a sign of sickness yet!

More to come, I promise, haven't had time to breathe. Exhausted. Must. Sleep. Now... How I haven't broken down in tears yet today is beyond me. It's been one of those days....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

feeling squeaky clean...

This marks the start of day four on the cleanse. I thought as time passed it would get more difficult. I assumed at this point I would be using all my concentration and effort resisting the irresistible, especially highly refined sugar. Little secret, I've been known to finish off a big bag of sour patch kids alone in five minutes flat. Okay, really I do that about twice a week, so you see my weakness here. Coffee and sugar are my biggies.

The only complaints I have are that as I continue to drop down to less and less coffee, I had a total of 2 oz. this morning, the caffeine headaches are starting, but they are bearable with a little help from my b.f.f. Aleve. However, I'm loving my newly found tea habit, in fact at this moment I'm consuming one of Starbucks new Tazo Tea Lattes, London Fog with soy milk and it's a delicious treat! I also love that I'm forced to eat a hearty breakfast of oatmeal made with with soy milk and filled with fruit. Because if I don't I end up running around the office chasing my co-workers trying to eat whatever is in their hands, or their hands themselves, before my 10a snack of fruit leather. So far there have been no co-worker casualties, thanks to said lovely oatmeal.

Yet another upside to this cleanse is getting super creative with my meals, making variations to my typical weekly staples has been interesting, but it works! I'm going to post some of my recipes soon, they were surprisingly good. YOU BETCHA. Can't wait can you?

Lastly, I'm loving this cleanse because, and trying not to get into too many details, details which happen to be a topic my sister and I discuss on a regular basis, to our husbands disgust. But when I say I'm on a cleanse, wow, I mean it. There are toxins coming out of my body in ways that are just purely wrong. Things are happening to my intestines, but it makes them happy it seems. I feel so light and clean with zero bloating. But like I said, I'll just leave it at that. Just know that I feel squeaky clean on the inside.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

farewell my delicious beef and assorted cheeses....

Despite my better judgment I have decided to go on a cleanse this week. I started Monday, I've never done one so I figured it was worth a shot. My sister just finished one and she said it made her feel amazing, and in our family, we NEVER exaggerate. I was finally convinced to try one after hearing it could help my running and my sleeping habits, both have been suffering. Plus I'm competitive, so if my sister can do it, of course I'm going to do it and clearly try to one-up her.

This is what I have eliminated from my diet for at least this week, I'm going to shoot for two weeks, but don't want to fail, so for now I'm saying a week:
Salt (except kosher/sea)

Red Meat

Today marks day three of my version of a cleanse and I already so desperately miss amazing beef, assorted cheeses and my favorite, highly refined sugar. And wine and beer. And bread. All delightful and staples in my weekly diet. I am not going totally off coffee, instead I have a small mug in the morning before work (because the headaches would be unbearable if I didn't) and take hot Green Tea with me to work instead.

In fact I'm actually starting to like the tea habit, it just seems so pure and cleansing compared to the evil black sludge (i.e. coffee). I never thought those words would leave my fingers, I am a self proclaimed coffee addict. Really for me I think it's more about having a hot drink in the morning than the coffee itself. I might actually stick to the tea after this is over.

If I end up passed out on my living room floor amid a clutter of beef, bbq, cheese and sugary goodness I will never admit it. So I'm forcing Ed to promise he will keep me honest and post on my blog if I have failed. That alone is enough to make me not want to give into the cravings for all things delicious, yet untouchable...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

best part of my day...

Getting up in the quiet dark of early morning to run four miles with my running buddy Emily.

That and the fact that despite dragging Milo out of bed trying to get him to come on the run, he went back and plunked himself firmly on his bed while I was putting my shoes on. That chubby spoiled dog clearly had an opinion on going on a morning run... it involved him pooping on the idea and then demanding I make coffee for him before I left.

Friday, January 16, 2009

my 'friday foto'....

This is one of my two chubby rescue kitties, Frank. It was taken during election season and he is clearly saying, "please, for the love, no more CNN, can't we just get back to watching our regular pointless television...."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

best part of my day...

Modern mode of conversation. Talking with Ed this evening through Facebook even though we are sitting right next to each other on the couch. Turning our heads is too much effort.

evil hamsters are waiting for my head to explode....

Monday's run was pretty hideous, I have a few theories, the first is that I had to do my run on the hamster wheel (i.e. indoor track) at my gym. Fellow runners, I don't' know if you encounter this problem or not, but hopefully you can relate. Maybe it's just me, but a run on the hamster wheel always spells 'disastrous run' in my book. Does anyone else get utterly irritated that you have to 'hamster' dodge on the indoor track? Seriously, the lanes are clearly marked, runners lane, share lane, walkers lane.

Why do walkers decide it's okay to stay firmly walking in the runners lane, content to cause all the runners stop dead in their tracks behind them, mayhem abounding? My guess is that they are trying to ruin a runners day one slow step at a time. I'm thinking there is some evil hamster wheel walkers club out there. My other theory for my bad run is that perhaps the delicious meaty gut bomb in the form of a cheese filled bierock minutes before hitting the gym contributed to the horridness. I'm still blaming the hamster wheel walkers, my love affair with beef requires it.

Somehow I feel like there is a conspiracy against me right now, like maybe there are just evil little hamsters (not just the hamster wheel walking ones) trying to make my week utterly miserable. So far this week I have encountered the evil driving hamsters, evil Barnes & Noble hamsters, evil gym going hamsters and even evil Chipotle employee hamsters. Not to mention the fact that I have a multitude of evil co-worker hamsters milling around me this week.

It doesn't end there either, I'm pretty sure even Milo has turned a little evil this week, he refused to eat his hummus covered dinner last night. I swear, that little shit loves him some hummus. However, he was so irritated that I didn't give him the hummus on a carrot, per usual, but instead put it in his bowl, that I kid you not, he sat there and stared at me silently threatening to poop on my pillow. Oh I could see it in his eyes. It was a mad scramble of fur and gangly limbs to race to the bedroom to see who could get to my pillow first, I won. It was the last straw when I tried to lay my wine soaked depressed little head on his flank later that night and he growled at me! HE GROWLED. This is a dog who doesn't even growl at the mailman! He growled at my patheticness with no mind to the fact that I will find errands to run just so he can have his obligatory daily car ride, that I will stop what I'm doing and play with his slobber soaked rope toy, that I put up with him climbing all over me just so he can snuggle when he decides he wants some love, none of this mattered. That evil hamster dog growled at me.

I'm giving up on this week. I'm pretty sure that the ugly little sharp toothed hamsters and their wicked thoughts are focused on and waiting for that moment when they literally get to see my head explode.... it's really just a matter of hours now.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

my latest adventure, part one...

Christmas for Ed and I was spent in Winter Park, Colorado skiing. We had a great time, although our trip ended up being a truly interesting adventure, we got some great skiing in and had a pretty amazing vacation alone together.... with the dog of course.

Milo loving the snow
I just wanted to share some of the pictures, which don't even start to do the beauty of the WP mountains justice, even if it is nearly a month later! We headed to Winter Park on Christmas Eve and enjoyed a full six day vacation, the first we have had alone in three years.

Warming up Christmas day!
It was glorious, if not scattered with a few debacles, like the fact that we were met with a frozen mess (windows open, others filth abounding) when we got to our condo on Christmas Eve, and then of course the brand new oven didn't work so we had to cook our Christmas dinner of a lasagna (I had made it before our trip) on the stove top, or the fact that our first day skiing we were directed into a snow drift instead of a parking spot and had to be towed out and then realized we left our poles at the condo. But the skiing was amazing.

An amazing view of WPApres Ski (this is in honor of Rachel)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

what's your song, version 1.1...

It's that time again, feel free to list some of your spectacular new running tunes, from old favorites to new stuff, just share! My picks this month range from songs that mean something to me that get me thinking and reminiscing, some throw backs to old school runs, some are just old school, and some I just plain love right now so added them in.

All of the below songs are on my 'long run' list because I have to mix it up with more than just fast paced, hard core and hip-hop tunes during those endless miles.

In no particular order:
  1. Fake Palindromes - Andrew Bird
  2. Stand in the Rain - Super Chick
  3. Float On - Modest Mouse
  4. Don't Stop Believin' - Journey (yes, you read that right, and I have no shame)
  5. The Light - Mason Jennings
  6. Such Great Heights - The Postal Service
  7. Under Pressure - David Bowie
  8. Mexico - Cake
  9. Politik - Coldplay
  10. The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived - Weezer

Friday, January 9, 2009

it's all coming back to me now...

The wheezing, the sucking of the air, the pain, the near vomiting on the guy on the dreadmill next to you. All of it has returned to memory, it's been four months since I last did speedwork, and how quickly I forgot the pain of it all. WHEW. I did a five-mile tempo run last night on the dreadmill and I was positive that throwing up on the guy next to me was inevitable. I ran the first mile easy, then bumped up to a 8:27 pace for two miles, but I was sucking air so hard that I had to slow down to a 8:40 for mile four, then I finished with mile five at an easy pace. Not gonna lie, that was pure evil.

It's official, I am out of running shape, I'm thinking this whole getting back in running shape thing is overrated. I suppose the good thing is that I have progress to look forward to. I know I'll see results quickly in speed and endurance, it's just that the pain of starting it all over again is so miserable. In fact, it's so miserable that at this point I would rather be locked in a room with Bill Gothard and his banjo for three hours while he lists his rules and reasoning for how women should look and act, than do speedwork again, and that's saying something.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

marathon training has officially begun...

This week marks the start of my marathon training, 15.5 weeks to 'M' day. I trained for two marathons in the past only to get injured at some point during training, it's been one of the most frustrating aspects of my life. So much so that I became the demon child who's head would spin round and round and round and spew filth and vomit at anything who walked her way. This time around I'm going to take it easy, only up my mileage 10% per week, do some speedwork, and go easy on myself if I'm not as fast as I'd like and of course try to refrain from spewing pure evil.

I'm a little nervous though, training officially started Monday, and just tonight I did Monday's run. On Monday I had to do my long run that I didn't manage to do this past weekend. I don't know that it's the best way to kick off training, but I'm catching up and will still start week two next Monday, right on schedule. Ed and I ran three tonight, it wasn't fast but we ran up as many hills as we could in our neighborhood, of course these "hills" are just baby slopes, but it's better than nothing. Plus my body is so sore from weights and yoga I can't even move without hurting, it was a nice calming easy run. The good news is that I have already reached my yoga goal for the week, and only have one more day of weights to meet my weight training goal for the week, so in that regard I'm doing well.

As a treat to kick off marathon training I ordered my Road ID today (a christmas gift from fellow runner kristen) and am scheduling a massage for sometime in the next week. The massage (a christmas party prize i won at work) is more for my aching muscles, I think I torqued something skiing, I figure it will get my muscles all worked out for the weeks to come. Also, in hopes of making it to marathon day, I have reserved my hotel in Oklahoma City.

So here's to praying my guts out that the third time really is the charm!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

best part of my day...

Ed motivating me to get off my butt and go to the gym with him tonight. But even BETTER was watching the dude who was on the recumbent bike next to me sleep, head dipping, feet twitching, without a doubt asleep on the bike, for 20 minutes. Incredible.

deep thought for the day...

On Sunday I was suppose to meet some people at the park to run, because of one lost text message, it got confused and we ended up not running. So Julie begged a deep thought since she missed the text I sent her on what time to meet, and assumed I was standing her up or ignoring her.

How different circumstances or aspects of life would be if we saw all the "missed messages" we have lost over time. I found it to be a thought provoking question. I wonder how many missed messages are floating out there in cell phone space and how cool it would be to see all of them, and looking back on them, seeing what may have been different if we had received them. That's it, just wanted to share the deep thought, thanks to Julie.

Monday, January 5, 2009

safety first...

As I was running this evening I was thinking about a blog post, wondering what to say for today and I was basically going to say that I was just happy I did my long run of six miles that I should have done this weekend. But as my run progressed, that became the least of my worries. In fact I didn't even make it my full six, I went only four, but today, I'm okay with that.

Since I refuse to do my long runs indoors, I left work a few minutes early so I could start my run right at 5p. I set out and decided to do my two-mile route, then do my four mile route in order to get to six. I called Ed to tell him my exact route and took off, without Milo, but with my iPod and cell phone (I heart running pants with pockets). A little over a mile into my run, a tan, two-door car with a man in it drove by me very slowly, I noticed him but didn't think too much of it. He turned off onto another street and I noticed when I caught up to his fumes, it smelled horribly of cigarettes, gross.

Then I hit the two mile mark and was still on the same street, and the same car turned from a different side street onto the street which I was running, driving even more slowly in the same direction as me. At this point I was directly in front of my own house so I slowed to a walk and kept going, kept my eye on him until he disappeared around the corner and turned around to start the four-mile route, this time taking greater note of his car. It had a 30-day tag, and was a early-90's Honda. I told myself if I saw him again, I would go with my instinct.

At mile four, I saw him again. This time I was running east down an almost ally-like street, not a lot of light, and only driveways facing it, no house fronts. I was about 100 yards away when I could tell it was that same tan car. I knew there was a woman walking behind me, we turned onto the same street at the same time, so I felt a little better. But the car was not sitting in front of a house, just directly on the corner of an intersection, lights on, car running, just sitting.

I knew the chance that he was following me in particular was slim. But to see the same car three times, in as many miles, made me think twice and I decided not to take any chances. So about two seconds after I realized it was him, I stopped short, grabbed my cell phone and called Ed. I told him to come and get me right away. It took the guy in the tan car about 30 seconds with me walking toward him while on my phone before he drove off, I'm wondering if he noticed I was on my phone and was blatantly glaring at him.

You know, I could have rationalized that he was looking at homes, but there were no homes for sale on the streets he was driving by me on. Or thought maybe he was looking for a particular house, but he had crossed a major street, and I thought he would not have crossed the major street looking for a house. Or maybe casing the houses, either way it just didn't seem quite right.

Ed made me stay on the phone with him as I turned onto a well lit street and started in the direction of the house where a partner at his firm lives (about a block from where I was). Luckily I know a lot of people who live in my neighborhood (which spans four square miles), so if nothing else I could always make it quickly to someones house.

I feel a little silly relaying this, wondering if I was being a drama queen, but my instincts smelled foul, and it was instinct that reached and grabbed my phone before I knew it. Ed has reassured me it sounded shady and it's always better safe than sorry, especially since it was getting dark. I was relieved that Ed made it to me in less than two minutes, he pulled up and I hopped in. We didn't see that car again.

So all in all, I didn't get my six miles in, only four, but I don't feel to bad about it. Like Ed said, better safe than sorry. So we were home within minutes and I immediately took a toasty shower to calm my slightly jittery nerves, stretched out and am now sitting here drinking an enormous glass of 'Relax' Riesling (how appropriate) while watching Ed make some yummy, healthy, chicken stir-fry. I'm so thankful for Ed, I don't find it surprising that his name literally means protector and provider, it fits him to perfection.

On that note, I think it's wise to share safety tips, Ed and I came up with a few rules tonight that I'll now follow while on runs alone:
1. Always take Milo (no matter the distance) if it will be or get dark
2. Carry a small can of mace
3. Have my cell phone
4. Don't turn my iPod up so loud I can't hear cars around me
5. Carry a small light if it will be dark

Feel free to offer any safety tips you use on your runs, alone, at night or in groups.

Friday, January 2, 2009

new years day, frosty 5k...

After sleeping in on New Years day, I got up, made coffee and breakfast, cleaned the house, forced Ed out of bed and we got ready to run (the race wasn't until 11a). We met Katie, Liz, and Kristen, and together the Fair Weather Runners ran the Frosty 5K in downtown Wichita, which supports the YMCA Strong Kids campaign. This isn't the first year for this race, but it's the first year any of us decided to do it.

We all had a great race! This was Ed's first 5K and he didn't stop to walk one time! It was seriously impressive since he hadn't yet run three miles up to race day. It was my first 5K since 2006 and I got a PR, which surprised me. I finished in 26:45, I was shooting for anything under 27:00 and since I hadn't run faster than a 9:15 mile since my injury, I couldn't complain. It was sunny and 36 degrees, but it got a little chilly as we ran along the river into the wind and up the hills. I think I have a chest cold coming on because my chest burned for quite awhile after the race, I'm attributing it to the cold air, my lack of running in the past week (yep, didn't run a step on vacation), the chest cold, and perhaps all the gasping I did during the race...

Kristen also got a PR, Liz and Katie finished close behind and we were all there to cheer Ed to the finish line. I was so proud of him, he ran one-minute-per-mile faster than his last race (which was a two-miler), and I was excited that he had done his first 5K. He later told me that he even did the race listening to "shuffled" music on his iPhone which consisted of mellow music that he couldn't change because of his gloves, so he gets more mad props for that. After the race we headed to a local breakfast spot and had brunch. In all, it was a delicious and perfect start to 2009!

(race pictures will be added soon)