Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm not dead yet....

Today's miles: 0. Ran 4 miles last night. May/may not run a few tonight. I'm taking a 'recovery' week whether I need it or not.

A few days before the Carter Mill Splash 10K, my major goals were 1) do not die and 2) hydrate & 3) do not almost die.

I have no idea how hot it was Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. when the gun went off....but it was hot. (It was 88 just after the race…so probably not much cooler than that.) More than the heat…it was HUMID!

Who holds a race in July anyway??

Better yet, Who RUNS a RACE in JULY???

Oh wait.... that was me.

That's me in the skirt. I love running skirts. They look weird but who cares.

I tried to come up with some reasonable goals for this race....
1) keep an 11 min/mile pace....finish in 1hr6 min  (missed it!)
2) do NOT go to that quitting place (did NOT go there!)
3) give it everything you've got (almost, but not quite)
4) chase down that guy that breathed funny and belched and spit and pass his ass (took him on a downhill!)…and a couple of other people I picked off in the last 5K.


So, my official finish time was.....1:08:56
That put me at about an 11:03 min/mile pace. So, I missed my time goal. DANG IT!

However, it was 8 minutes faster than my last 10K….even though that was in February 2010.

Even though I’m bummed about my time….I am stoked about it…


Yes, you read that right…..I CAME IN SECOND PLACE*! 2ND* FLIPPING PLACE! WOOHOO!!!

*That would be second in my gender/age group of Females 34-39**.

**In full disclosure, there were only 2 other women in my age group, and the first beat me across the finish line by 11 minutes.The lady in third was less than a minute behind me.


The quitting place is where you start thinking…What the heck am I doing out here? Am I nuts? I don’t want to do this? My feet hurt! My legs hurt! I’m thirsty! I need to walk! Etc., etc.  Despite the incredible heat & humidity, I managed to stay away from those thoughts and push forward. I did walk through the water stations simply because I actually needed to DRINK the water and not WEAR it. And the last two stations I opted for Gatorade because I’m certain I had sweated a few buckets out by that point. And I did not want to wear Tropical Fruit Gatorade on my white tank.


I missed my goal by so close. DANG IT! Did I give it everything? Was I too conservative on the first half. I know I kicked it in on the second half (mentally at least)....but it was much easier because the first half was mostly up hill and the second half was mostly down hill. Plus it was a down and back, so I knew where I was on the back trip. Making it mentally easier because I visually knew what was coming next. I don’t think I really got this goal met. I don’t think I gave it everything. Of course that’s much easier to say 3 days after the event while sitting in the AC.


The Belcher-Hacker-HeavyBreathingSpitter was incredibly annoying. His issues kept distracting me from my pace. Impressive belcher, but Really? I couldn’t stay in front of him during the first half, but I didn’t want to lag too far behind him. So for 3.1 miles….I endured, gagged, sang to myself in my head, anything to keep my mind and ears from focusing on him. I’m just glad he wasn’t also a Running Farter since I was behind him! I saw my opportunity on the last half because he was fading. And I had to get around him! I also decided to pick off a few more runners that were in front of me while I was at it.....which takes me back to #3. How did I have that much gas in the tank if I were giving it my all from the beginning.

The green shirt lady got PASSED. You can guess who the fella is.

Well, even though I only got 1/2 of my goals met, I feel pretty good...mentally….sort of. I’m really wondering about my racing. My quads were shot for a couple of days, but I’m back out on the road after a couple days of rest. And it's FABULOUS running in 70F weather with low humidity again!! Too bad I can't bring it home with me.

Gotta run….

Friday, July 22, 2011

Too hot to think.....

Today's miles: 2.5

Maybe I should start posting the temperatures and humidity levels too. 2.5 miles doesn't sound so bad....unless you are running it in a sauna. The only place where it should be 90 degrees at 6 a.m. is on the shore....with an ocean breeze....and a cold THAT would be okay with me.

So my blog's been pretty quiet this week. I've not been overly busy. I've had my normal days...some even shorter than others. I've just lacked in all inspiration this week. Nothing has seemed funny, weird, ironic, disastrous or much of anything except too damn hot to me all week. I come back to the hotel every night and just crash in an internet surfing daze.

But I need to get my thinking cap on because I've got to come up with some goals for tomorrow's race! I read once that you should set 3 goals for each race. Sometimes you can meet them all, but not always. It just may be my 'off' day tomorrow. That's why you need 3 - you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket....because they may all be poached by the end of the race.

Here's my first attempt at goal setting:
First not die.
Second goal......start hydrating today!
Third not almost die

But other than that, I'm having a hard time setting my goals. I need/want to be conservative because of this incredible heat. But I don't want to cross the finish line with regrets, thinking I could've done more (like at the 5K in May).

Maybe a 6 hr drive home in the air conditioned car will allow me to think some today.

Gotta run....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Add Penn State to my resume.....

Today's Miles: 3x1600m with 800m recoveries

I realized a long time ago that I like to learn. There is just so much information out there that intrigues me and I want to absorb it. Unfortunately, my absorption capacity is limited by 1) the length of time my butt can sit in one place and 2) the physical amount of space I have available in my brain.

#1 is obvious…If I’ve been sitting so long that my butt aches, I will NOT be paying attention to your presentation. I don’t care how interesting you are.

As for #2…I often imagine my brain is like a filing cabinet. Each file has a piece of information that I can retrieve at a later time if needed. But at some point, my filing cabinet gets stuffed full and in order to file another piece of information, I have to throw out (a.k.a. forget) a file to make room for more.

I’m certain this is true because there are things that at one time I....just.....knew and now, I cannot remember. It’s just gone. When I look it up, it seems like new information to me all over again. So that file got trashed somewhere along life’s way. And let’s face it….my filing cabinets are stuffed to the rim because I went to college and grad school for 7...long... years.

Unfortunately, it seems that the new files (new pieces of information) are just useless pieces of knowledge. These new files may be interesting, cute, funny, entertaining, or just one of those “Hmmm” things. But they aren’t going to help me when a customer asks me about the description, cause and treatment of Arcanobacterium pyogenes mastitis. And I JUST KNEW that 5 years ago! Sadly now, my tidbits of knowledge don’t come close to that level anymore.

With that being said….I can’t help but pick up new pieces of info! They’re so new and shiny!!

I’m in State College, PA for a few days, and this is what Penn State has taught me…

#1 - The Facility Planning people at PSU have a wicked sense of humor…

I had the pleasure of completing my track workout at the beautiful Nittany Lion track. The track is DIRECTLY across the street from the university’s hog farm. So what? I’ll tell you SO WHAT! Go to your nearest hog farm and take a REALLY deep breath. Then continue to breathe heavily for an hour! Pig smell stains your nostrils....and your tastebuds. I’m still smelling pig and worse things – and yes, I took a shower & brushed my teeth. Also, now I have this hilarious (at least to me) mental image of the hogs escaping to the track and running some races!! 

Now these ladies don't look like REAL RUNNERS...
 #2 - Barefoot old men can run really fast.....

Yes…BAREFOOTOLD…and slightly overweight men can apparently outrun me. I’m so ashamed. I think I’ve lost my Real Runner status. 

#3 - Self Spray Tan at night plus a large volume of sweat in the morning is not a good combo....

I literally look like my skin is melting off of me. I have runs on my legs like I over-painted a wall! Luckily, I took a towel to wipe my face between sets. So my face isn’t runny looking. But my sweat towel (a.k.a. a white hand towel from the hotel) looks like I stopped by the farm and bathed a couple of pigs with it! 

#4 - Though it may sound funny to hear a story about an Army recruiter making ROTC cadets run until they puke……’s not so funny in person...... 

(Please see previous blog regarding my adversion to vomit.) They really should talk to those kids about appropriate breakfast choices before working out

#5 - Running at the butt-crack of dawn has its advantages.....

The Butt-Crack of Dawn is defined as that few minutes before day actually breaks. It's not really light yet. It's that time when you think - "WTH?? It's not even light outside and I'm up and out the door!!???" It's not a 'pretty' moment in time. It's the butt's crack - not really pretty, but necessary for function.

1) it is really quiet and peaceful. It’s only you, your thoughts & the pounding of your feet (that is, until the Army shows up) and 2) you get to see the sunrise from the beginning of first light through the end… word….BEAUTIFUL....(moment in time not captured because I was in the middle of a 1600m repeat!)

#6 - Running at 60°F and 20% humidity is SOOOO much easier and enjoyable than 72°F and 70% humidity.....

Yeah…..I knew this at one point. However, this summer it has been 70-80°F at the butt-crack of dawn which has caused that valuable piece of knowledge to melt from my brain. 

#7 - Chick-fil-A Mini Breakfast Chicks are N.A.S.T.Y.!!!! ...

I was expecting a chicken nugget (it was) wrapped in a miniature biscuit (it WAS NOT). These good little chickies were semi-stuffed (mostly semi) into a Mrs. Schubert’s yeast roll and soaked in some type of sticky, gooey NASTY glaze. What the H*%$!?? 

#8 - I LOVE little town diners that serve homemade pumpkin pie year round!!!!

Gotta run.....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Today's Miles: None. Resting up for a track session at butt-crack dawn tomorrow. 

  1. headache ranging from nagging to raging migraine
  2. nausea and occasional vomiting 
  3.  EXHAUSTION to a level I cannot begin to describe
I KNOW what you are thinking. I’m pregnant. Right?? Is that it?? Am I expecting??

Not a chance on earth. Well, I’m sure there is one small tiny statistical chance – but not likely.

I never entertained the thought that I was pregnant. However, my sisters and mother sure did! I told them my symptoms, and the first thing that popped out of their mouths “You’re pregnant!” …with a little bit of shock and a lot of enthusiasm that I wasn’t quite comfortable with. After trying to convince them no – it was ruled that I:  1) was carrying the next Messiah 2) had Mono 3) had a gallbladder problem or 4) just a virus.

Apparently it was just a virus. I’m calling it the Miraculously-Preggar-Kissing-Indigestion Virus.

Thank the Lord it is over. I do not want to deal with a gallbladder problem or mono for the next month. And I certainly DO NOT want to be pregnant!

I know some women LOVE pregnancy, and would have babies all the time if they could afford them. I do not understand these women.

Moms will tell you, “Oh, when you take your first look at that baby, you’ll forget about those unpleasant things that lasted for 9 months, and you won’t remember the pain of childbirth.” 

And they say that with a straight face! I do not understand why more women are not participating in those poker tournaments on ESPN.

Let’s think about this for a minute…..

Numero Uno. I HATE to throw up. I’m a sympathetic-puker. I gag if my dog gags. Mark has to clean up the dog vomit in the house because I can’t do it. I will make myself throw up again, just because I heard myself throwing up. So I will not forget being sick for weeks on end.

Numero Dos. I HATE pain. I will endure self-inflicted pain from running, but that is not equal to the amount of pain caused by childbirth. Though I have never personally experienced childbirth, I have witnessed live birth in the animal world more times than I can count. I have had to pull calves out of their mommas, and I never once saw a cow enjoy the experience. And I have witnessed the birth of a child up close and personal…..what I saw was a hairy cantelope coming out of a vajayjay…..and I don’t care what you Mom’s say….That… Ain’t… Normal. And there’s nothing ‘beautiful’ about that. And good grief - dislocating my knee makes me throw-up....refer back to Numero Uno.

How could you possibly forget that???? I DO NOT forget.

It’s not just the fear of pregnancy that keeps me from being a Mom. I’m not a Mom because I’ll just admit it……I’m just not normal.

I was never the girl that played house, and played with dolls, and knew growing up that I’d fall in love, get married and have 2.4 kids. And we’d raise the little tikes in a quaint little house and watch them grow and become little people and then teenagers and then young adults….blah…blah…blah.

That ain’t me. I don’t like babies. There…..I said it….May all the other women in the world kick me out of the Sorority of Utero. It’s not that I hate babies. They just aren’t my thing…like some people don’t like green beans. I don’t mind babies….I just don’t want one.

I’m always amazed when friends/family have a baby and they bring that baby into a room of other women…..women of all ages are strangely transformed into a weird pack of baby sniffing dogs……They want to get a close look at the baby, smell it, touch it, hold it, feed it, burp it, change its diaper….

I… just… don’t… get… it.

I’ll hold your baby if you need me to. I’ll babysit if you need me to (which you probably won’t now after you’ve read this blog and that’s okay). But I just don’t go gonzo over babies.

I want to spend time alone with my husband. I don’t want to share him. I love my sleep. I NEED my sleep. I want to have a job….and one that doesn’t involve scheduling around everyone else. I want to be able to do what I want to do, When I want to do it. I want to see the world and go places I never dreamed existed, in which packing a kid along isn’t either possible or very convenient. I want to spend money on building a house, not another college fund…I’m still paying for MINE!!

Don’t get me wrong…kids are great – as long as they aren’t mine and I can send them home. I love my nieces and nephew dearly and would do anything in the world for them….except raise them. Unless for some unspeakable reason I needed to.  Which I guess now if my sisters read this, then I will not be chosen as a God-parent….

In reality, I am normal…I’m just selfish. And selfish people should not have kids. That never leads to anything good. Current headlines prove that point.

And FYI - Mark has been really tired this past week and had a migraine today.....He's Pregnant!!!

Gotta run……

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What was I thinking??

Today's Miles: NONE. I'm recovering....
I’m brilliant an idiot. That’s my blessing curse. Just bloody brilliant stupid sometimes.

Last week I was off of my 10K training because I was sick. I’m not talking ‘just feeling a little under the weather’ kind of sick….I was ILL. But I’ll get to that another time.

So last Tuesday, June 28 was the last run I completed, and it was a train wreck. I shouldn’t have been running at all last week.

I started feeling better on Saturday but decided to give it a couple of days just to be sure….I did NOT want a repeat…plus it was a holiday weekend and hotter than hell...excuses, excuses. On Monday morning, I laced up my runners and hit the treadmill – b/c I could at least control the temperature and humidity in the house and it was MISERABLE at 7am on Monday. I just did a 3 miler with some walk breaks at each mile…just an easy run to ease back into the training. Smart right?? I told you....I'm brilliant! I know better than to go balls-to-the-walls after being sidelined for a week! That short 3 miler felt pretty good! I was a little sore later that day b/c I haven’t used these muscles in a week, but still felt good!

Yesterday is when the brilliance ended. I decided to get back on my training schedule, which included my normal Tuesday speed session at CHS track at the crack of dawn (okay, actually 7am b/c I couldn’t get motivated). Thank you Lord for making yesterday morning cloudy and foggy!

So on my schedule was 8x800’s with 800 recoveries. Translated = you run 800 meters (2x around track) at a fast sustainable pace, then do 800m at a slower “recovery” pace…..8 times. Sounded ambitious, but I’m feeling better so what the heck. Go for it!!!

4th rep: “Man, I’ve been out here a LONG time. Wonder what time it is??”

5th rep: “Holy crap, this is a long track session, what rep am I on? Crap! The insides of my thighs are getting chaffed – THAT’S GOING TO HURT!”

6th rep: “I can keep going all day like this! My legs have suddenly become numb to the pain! Wait….I can’t feel my legs? How slow/fast am I going? Oh wow, faster than I had planned. Yay!”

7th rep: “I need a banana. I’m starving.”

8th rep: “Jeez, I really hope this is the last rep b/c I can’t make it another round. Is this the last rep? Crap I've lost count. Hope my Garmin is keeping up. I think I’ve lost 5lbs in sweat and I look like I’m in a wet Tshirt contest. Wow. White shirt + blue bra can make you stand out. The guys walking around the track may enjoy this, but I look ridiculous. How long have I been out here!? Wait a minute – I don’t give a rat’s butt what I look like. I’m not walking out here – I’m doing a speed workout! Kick it in and finish this thing!”

I spent the rest of the day on the couch with the laptop doing market research and realized at some point….I haven’t peed in a LONG time. Let the rehydration begin!!

And with every trip to the refrigerator for water/Gatorade/OJ my legs reminded me of what a strenuous fabulous workout I had completed that morning. When I downloaded my Garmin later I realized what an athlete idiot I really am!

8x800’s w/ 800 recoveries sound ambitious??!! Maybe that’s because it turns out to be 8.5 FREAKING MILES!!

I just spent a week lying on the couch hoping death would visit soon, and I go out for a 8.5 mile run???!!!

I must be A Real Runner Idiot!

One that has REALLY sore legs today, but not as sore as I had anticipated… now I’m a proud Runner Idiot! I ran 8.5 miles yesterday!!

Me trying to rock a fuel belt. And yes, I run in a skirt.
Gotta run.......or just sit at my desk today....