Tuesday, December 29, 2009

another shot

christmas is finally over, and sunday will be four weeks since vegas. i was to start training for new orleans last week. after my run last tuesday, i didn't run another step, until yesterday.

christmas break + two weeks off from work = L A Z Y days. this year, however, i wanted to run, needed to run, but oddly enough i couldn't. i'm pretty sure if i felt good, i'd be trying to find an excuse not to, or just saying screw it. so in my predicament, i promised myself i'd walk and do plenty of stretching while taking a few more days completely off in order to get the rest i apparently had not given myself after vegas. i started out great by walking an hour after wednesday's spin class.

thursday, i headed to richton to visit the family for a couple of days. once at the parents, we did our christmas on christmas eve. big dinner, lots of presents, and noise. it's always fun, and now we have a little one around again so there is lots of excitement. no running, or walking.

christmas day is a quiet day for us. everyone is gone, so sleeping in is a must, which i did. leftovers are also a must, but this year, we added a big pot of soup. we spent lots of time watching movies, sports, and of course, napped. this day, i did go walk with mom and molly for 45 minutes. i felt good about myself. of course, the whole time i was thinking, i only burned 300 calories. if i had gone for the run i needed to do, i would have burned 800 or more. ugh....

saturday, time to head back home. slept in, again, packed up, loaded up, and drove home. i promised myself an attempt to run, but instead, i went to do some after christmas shopping with my mom and nephew. run later, right? wrong.

sunday came and went with no run or walk. i flat out didn't want to, and to be honest, was nervous about it. so i didn't go. decided i would just start fresh on monday. so i did. after teaching the early spin class, i went for a 3 mile run to test the waters. no pain. the afternoon class didn't hurt me either. tuesday, my trusty partner vicki was back in town, and we went out for 5. i added two more on afterward, and i felt fine! i did do some stretching in between, and later went for a 2 mile walk with molly. i feel like i ran 7 miles today after not running for a week, but the good news is, i am not having hamstring/hip/glute/knee pain.

tomorrow, gonna run a few more miles after spin. i will continue to run easy this week, and maybe introduce harder runs and tempo runs back into my training in the coming weeks. let's keep the fingers crossed!

9 weeks til new orleans!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


sunday will be three weeks since the vegas marathon. and i'm not feeling a lot better.

for two weeks, i took it pretty easy, not running a lot, and when i did, running easy. i felt a lot of tightness in my right leg, hip area, even moving up into my lower back. i continued to take it easy and not push. i even took the weekend off in preparation to start back with miles this week. yesterday, i went out for 8 miles. i felt 'ok' for the most part, however, my legs didn't feel that good. it was warm and a bit muggy, and i did start tiring out. that is still the fatigue from the marathon, which is normal for me as this point still.

this morning, i woke up with pain in my right knee. i still had the tightness in the same places, but feel it's just spreading further down my leg. it's now on the right side of my knee in the IT band area. i taught spin class and could feel it while cycling. i had planned to run afterward, but i decided on the way home to skip it and just go for a long walk. i took molly with me for about an hour and 10 minute walk, probably about 4 miles. btw, walking is a serious second place to running for her.

after the walk, i spent some time in the yard, and after a nap and some errands, i felt like i had run 15 miles. i'm not sure what's up, or really what to do, except continue taking it easy for another week. i will keep walking and doing some running, but really add in some serious stretching. i do not feel i am injured, but instead just really returning slowly. i'm a slow recoverer as it is, so this is just part of it!

10 weeks until rock n roll new orleans mardi gras marathon. i hope i'll be ready!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

my new runner

molly has become quite the runner. she loves it more than anyone i know. it is now to the point where i can't put my shoes on without her going nuts.

last night, i came home from work and had planned to run about 6 miles and take her for 3. i decided to do the 3 alone first, so i could enjoy the company at the end. she was NOT happy that i didn't take her at first, and let me know by scratching and bumping the door as i left the porch. i worried what i what i find in the house when i came home - torn pillow, chewed christmas ornament, etc. i raced back home and luckily, the house was safe. she thought i was done, and even though i told her i was going back and taking her with me, i don't think she was listening.

so i grabbed her leash, and i could see the delight and surprise in her eyes and she bound off the couch to the door. she's such a good girl, and even though she can barely sit still she's so excited, she does let me clip her leash on before she bursts out the door. i couldn't even get my garmin started back before she started dragging me across the yard!

with her ears flying, her tongue wagging, and running as good as ever, we had a blast. she had her best run last night. no walk breaks, not much slowing down, and she minded a lot better. it's consistent work teaching her to run with me, but we're getting there. and it's a ton of fun in the process.

here's a pic of her post-run, by the tree. she's truly a gift for me this year (until something gets broke).

molly says merry christmas!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

8 in the books

i came, i saw, i conquered. sort of.

4:16:24 - my race time at the rock 'n roll las vegas marathon. to me, that was conquering. as my blog up until now has explained, it's been a rocky road. being here, finishing this race, was significant in many ways. so, yeah, i conquered. what did i conquer? a host of demons at mile 14 where i quit my last marathon attempt. the nerves that i fight EVERY time i run a marathon, except they were doubled this go round. i also conquered what every marathon runner conquers - 26.2 miles. so yeah, i conquered.

friday morning, i left gulfport en route. i got in to vegas about an hour late, and was greated by my two great college friends. they whisked me off to the car, down the vegas strip, and into a casino for an amazing mexican dinner. after that, further down the strip to the hard rock for a concert. after that, home, and to bed.

saturday morning, the expo. first, a stop for bagels. yeah, i ate two. the expo was slam packed and difficult for us to get around so i mostly just got the things i needed and got out alive. the mandalay bay was the host for the marathon as well as the national rodeo. runners and cowboys, nice combo. if you weren't in one of those distinct groups, well, then you were out numbered big time. after the big fun at the expo, off for a bite to eat, then back home for rest. it was nice to put my feet up a while and chill. we had some hometown activities that night that included riding a parade float and attending church in my friend's hometown. then it was back home for bed.

super early sunday morning, about 4 a.m., i crawled out of bed, nervous and anxious and ready to get this thing going. showered, dressed, and jumped in the car. my friend was so gracious to drive a half hour into vegas to get me to the start. i hopped out of the car on the offramp of the freeway and followed the masses. did i mention it was COLD? yeah, somewhere in the upper 20's with a nice biting breeze of about 10 mph. i relunctantly took off my warm clothes, stuffed everything into my bag, and handed it over. i shivered my way to the start corrals where i waited longer than i should have. however, the arrival to the start line went very smoothly. shortly before 6, celine dion sang God Bless America...no not really...there were fireworks, and the elite women started. at 6, more fireworks, the blues brothers...no not really...some paratroopers, and then the race start. oh yeah, and there was over 1000 running elvi - people dressed as elvis to run. and one michael jackson.

the official start of the race was 6:15, so by 6:30 i was crossing the start line. we headed out away from the strip and made a turn headed back down the strip. i was feeling good, and moving too quickly. i kept trying to slow down, but each time, my miles were coming in faster than i needed them that early in the race. running down the strip was really fun, and there was plenty to see. at 10.5, we turned off the strip and headed west. and reality set in. i had a long way to go, and i didn't feel so good anymore. for the next several miles, the mental battle was more than the physical, as always. i pushed through, and kept running, and before i knew it, i was making the last loop and heading back for the last 6.2 miles. it was cold, breezy, but beautiful. my choice to wear a long sleeve and capri tights was a smart decision as i never got too warm. i was steadily slowing down, unlike my training runs where i got faster each mile. the only thing to do was survive and finish as strong as i could.

mile 26 is a beautiful site, but those last .2 seem to take FOREVER! luckily the finish wasn't in site until you were upon it. i crossed, and thanked God for helping me make it. i grabbed all the necessities...foil blanket, medal, bananas, water, and a bagel. hit the porta-potty, typical for me. then grabbed a seat on the black top parking lot. ahhhh, finished. i analyzed my race quickly, and i came up with this - i'm back and i did ok. it was not a great day in vegas, but if 4:16 is what i get on a not so great day, i'll take it!
i hobbled into the mandalay bay, changed, and watched the saints while i waited on my friends. they picked me up, and their 5 year old quickly asked me if i won, when i said no, then he wanted to know what place i got. he didn't understand 2 thousand and something. stopped off for quick lunch, then home to nap, shower, and watch lots of tv. it felt good to be finished.

monday was a site seeing day. we hit the hoover dam, and it was a dam good time. we drove down the dam rode, parked in the dam parking lot, and froze in the dam wind. it was a dam good time. did i mention it was raining? yeah, it rains 5 days a year, and one of those days was on my visit. after the dam, we looked around boulder city where my friends live, and garrett chased some sheep, or goats as he calls them, in a little park. we hit lunch in the planet hollywood, and then off for my last souvenir of the trip.

so far about a year, i've toyed with the idea of obtaining some body art, a tattoo. i've always kinda thought having one would be cool, but never thought i'd do it. then i started thinking, well, if i got one, i needed to be convinced what i'd get. then 26.2 filtered into my head, and the more i thought of it, the more i wanted it. once i decided i was going to vegas, well, it became the obvious place to do it. once my friends heard of this, well, it was a plan. so after lunch, we headed back to a place we had scoped out, and it was now or never. i could chicken out, but would i regret it? or would i regret getting it? the answer is yes to the first one, so i did it, and i am so happy i did. it took less than two minutes, and the artist said, this is the world's smallest tattoo. i believe it! 26.2 is a number that means a lot to me. whether or not i run another one ever again, it will always be a huge part of my life. the marathon has been life changing to me, and i never ever want to forget so.

so that's the story of my marathon and experience in vegas. i got up early the next morning and made my way home. i was exhausted but glad to be back in my little house with molly. i have spent the last week recovering, resting, and getting back into the swing of life at work. i'm slowly returning to running, and i have my eyes set on #9, rock 'n roll new orleans. lots of hopes and dreams will be once again centered on that day, but until then, i'm still basking in the high of another one completed.

this is why we run.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ready or not...

vegas - here i come!

where have the 16 weeks gone? for real! for the longest time i've been so excited about going to vegas and seeing my friends, and it's finally here. and oh yeah, i have to run a marathon while i'm there too! and i think i'm ready!

last week was thankgiving. i ran 3 days, and i taught 3 spin classes. i also went for a couple of walks. my legs, the week before, had been pretty tired, so i really wanted to focus on feeling better. hopefully i will! i will run a few days, some short easy distances, this week in my final days before sunday. this week the taper is no pressure, no stress, rest up!

yes, i'm running a marathon on sunday. i have no idea of what i'll do, and really no expectations. i'm excited about the run. but the best part is i'm going to vegas!!! i'm also staying with some really fun, cool friends from college who will show me all the sites. my friend garrett sent me a list of the top 17 things to see in vegas. i can't, nor do i really want to do them all, but i have a few picked out.

1. buffet - post marathon of course. i mean, i have to refuel, right?

2. bellagio fountains - cause they are super cool! expect some cheesey tourist photos!

3. the stratosphere - i'm horrified of heights, but not when i'm enclosed. i'm super excited about seeing vegas from above!

4. steal mike tyson's tiger

this one is self explanatory. everyone in las vegas steals mike's tiger at least once. not only that, but we all get involved in hilarious hi-jinx while trying to return it. don't be the only person to forgo this ritual. for bonus points, attempt this caper in a stolen police car while high on the fictitious drug known as roofilyn. if you get caught, smile, pop a mentos into your mouth and shout "What Happens Here Stays Here!". the cops will laugh and release you so long as you consent to be electrocuted in the genitals by a 12 year old boy. (no not really... you have to have seen 'the hangover' to appreciate this one.)

of course, there are others, like the vegas sign, red rock canyon (maybe a hike), and the volcano at the mirage. i can't go to vegas without trying my luck in the casinos either. there is also one more thing, but you will have to stay tuned to the blog post-marathon to find out...

what happens in vegas, stays in vegas!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

stop - taper time

most marathoners don't like tapering. the mental stress, the potential for weight gain, missing the energy of the hard training, etc. i actually love it - tapering is part of training. i don't have the mental stress, i love the break from the hard training, and i don't mind an extra pound or two.

today, i am two weeks out from vegas, two weeks left of tapering. i feel ready, as ready as i can be. yesterday i ran 12 miles and did about what i wanted to do. during last week's 20, i worried that i was hitting my peak that day. i have done that before as i'm sure many marathoners have. two years ago, when i was in the best shape of my life and had great potential marathon day, i peaked too early. the day of my race, nothing. i knew i had a problem one week after the last 22 miler, that should have been my marathon, when i could barely run. i felt good after yesterday when i ran the 12, even though i was tired, i still had something in the tank. i'm hoping, counting in, that i have even more in the tank after these two weeks of tapering.

i will be 37 in about 2 months. it's crazy, and i wonder how i got here so fast. i feel my age more now than ever. like needing more sleep, aches and pains in places i've never had them, etc. for the most part, i'm as strong as i've ever been. i'm not worried about my age yet really as i feel i have lots of running in me. i have lots left to do!

today, i will enjoy my tapering , and hope it provides the recovery i need for my race in two weeks!

viva las vegas!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

training molly

i've had molly about 5 weeks now. when i got her, the lady who i adopted her from told me she was not trained very well on a leash, she had been 'free to roam'. molly is a very smart, well behaved, and well trained dog (she had been through obediance school as a puppy) so she did surprisingly well on the leash. i started taking her out for walks immediately. she adapted very well, in fact, to every aspect of life with me. except for those moments where she wreaked a bit of havoc in my house (a pillow, some mail, and a couple of shoes), and we figured out some solutions to those things. and in her defennse, i felt she was acting out of depression, adjusting to the new place, etc.

being a runner for years now, i've always thought having a dog to run with would be so fun. i loved jack, but he wasn't a running dog. so when i got the lab, i immediately wanted her to be my newest running partner. i also knew that knowing she wasn't trained on the leash, it wouldn't be immediate. so we walked, and she LOVED it. she's the typical curious dog, sniffing at everything, but she has tons of energy. this past week, she seemed a little extra clingy to me a couple of days, and she attacked two pair of shoes, ruining one of each pair. forget the fact i was mad, i decided it was time to get her out running. the next night, we attempted a couple of miles and made it 2 1/2. she had a BLAST. after i brought her home, i went back out to finish my 6 miles. when i got home, she was out cold on the couch. i snapped a phot cause it was priceless. it was like she was meant to run with me. the next night, we went out for two more, and again, loved it. i rested on friday for my big 20 on saturday, and after my 20 on saturday, i was way too tired. today, she accompanied me on a recovery run. i was just going to do 2, but it was such a pretty day and my legs felt oddly good after the hard 20 that we went for one more. yeah, she was tired, but she did very well.

she's getting better and better. still working on her fitness and her focus though. she tends to want to sniff a little, and she also gets distracted by dogs in yards and people sometimes. as we run, i talk to her, tell her she's doing good or tell her no. i also keep the leash short so she has to stay near me. we're getting there, will just take practice! the good thing is she loves it and so do i. i look forward to the day she can go the distance with me. what a great future running partner i've got!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

finally...i'm back...and so is my running

not sure where i've been for the last, what, month? i actually have had a busy fall - work and football season, which the two have gone together for a all but one game this season. anyway, i'm here and hoping to get back to blogging on a regular basis.

so today, i finished the core of my training for vegas. i'm not officially in the taper. let's recap these last 13 weeks. i would describe my training as all over the place. motivated and not motivated. good runs and plenty of bad runs. warm weather and cold weather (not enough cold). as i've blogged many times previously, this marathon is a comeback for the most part. for the good part of a year and a half, i struggled to like running. i felt like i was ready to return with this marathon, and i pretty much was. what i did find was i still struggle with that motivation and liking running. it's amazing what a few good runs will do for that motivation though. but for as much as a good run helps, a bad run is devestating.

those of you that know me know that my body doesn't quite rebound from tough or long runs that quickly. it's not my age, it's just the way it is. i was giving a more aggressive training schedule a try, with more miles per week and longer tempo runs. i kept up with it, but when the schedule really started kicking in with midweek runs of 10-12 miles, i had to keep it more on the 8 mile level. that's still good considering my midweek runs worked up to 6 of 7 in the past, and only in the very end of training. i also did 3 20 mile runs and 2 18 mile runs. i had several weeks at 40 miles per week and a few that went over. i think doing tempo runs at those 8 mile distances is one of the best things i could do, and i had several really good ones. my long runs were what were really all over the place. basically, i had 2 long runs that were good. and 18 about a month ago, and today's 20. the 18 was at an average of 9:14 per mile and today's 20 was 9:08 per mile. both of those runs started out with me hitting around 10 minute miles decreasing to sub 9 minutes miles, in the 8:30 to 8:45 range. i'm all about some negative splits. i feel that's the best way to run a long run or a marathon. since i'm a slow starter, those aren't difficult for me.

so here i am, 3 weeks from the race tomorrow. i've done all i can do. vegas is my return to the marathon, my comeback. i don't expect anything great or a PR, but of course, i'll try my hardest. the plan is to let this training, which has gone well, continue on into new orleans in february. that race, in 2008, was my demise, where i fell apart. so like my good friend jim, who went back to ironman louisville a second year after dropping out the previous, i want redemption. for now, my eyes are on vegas and having a GREAT time!

in my next couple of weeks, i'll taper, continue training on a lesser level and start to prepare mentally. i'll also continue to train molly to run. she has gone with me twice for runs of 2 to 2 1/2 miles. she loves it, and i'm excited about this new running partner.

so, here we go! viva las vegas!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

long time coming

man, i don't even know when i last wrote! life's been good though. training is still up and down, but so is the weather! and i blame i on the weather!

after i last wrote, i was getting over a few bad runs and some aches and pains. the day i wrote was a tuesday, and we were enjoying a wonderful cool snap. i went out for an 8 mile 'easy' run with jim and kily. it was no such thing! it was an AMAZING run. 8 miles at 8:26 average, or 8:29, can't remember. first 4 were 8:55, and the last 4 were 8:05. my last mile was a blazing, lung burning, 7:42. wowza! what a good run! the next night, took it easy on 5 with vicki. thursday, took it easy on 10 with terri! friday was rest, and saturday was try #2 for 20. it was painful, but i finished. had more aches and pains, but i had a pretty hard week so it's to be expected. i finished the week with 3 spin classes and 43 miles running.

this week has been slower and easier. i might have to alternate like this - hard week, easy week. i ran 8 on tuesday and 7 on wednesday. both were uncomfortable so i ended up taking a break yesterday. i had planned to go to yoga, but i find out that it's fall break (i didn't notice cause i'm at work!) and there were no classes. today i had thought about running as well, but, i didn't. the next paragraph will explain that one. tomorrow, i will do something at some point, depending on weather and reason for not running today.

after i lost my sweet jack, i swore, no more dogs. it's been 5 weeks, and i now have a 1 1/2 year old black lab named ashley. via my insurance agent, i found out about a lady who needed to find a good home for this dog. the dog is well taken care of and very well trained. this is the way to get a dog! i'm having lots of emotions - missing jack, getting used to her, and wondering what have i done! it's nice to have company in the house again. i do miss jack a lot right now, but i think ash and i will be great friends. i will upload pictures when it's not moving so slowly.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

bumps in the road

it's been a few days since i blogged, maybe because i was trying not to beat myself up, or maybe just cause i was lazy all weekend.

i left off last week on thursday with a sore leg and a day off from running. thursday evening, i rested and did some stretches at home. grey's anatomy was really good btw. friday, i took a complete rest day in prep for a 20 miler on saturday. it was hard to tell how my leg felt until i started running. my plan was to run 8 miles with vicki and her man, bill. then meet kily to run 12 to finish out my 20. it was a perfect plan, but everything else was much less than perfect. first of all, it was muggy and warm still. second, i felt the tightness in my leg upon the first step of running. it wasn't halting stiffness so i kept on going, and we were having a great run. near the end, however, i got that feeling we runners dread the most. dead legs. i honestly feel my dead legs were a result of the pain and stiffness in my right leg. my gait was off, and i know i was compensating big time. kily showed up, we headed out, and i was no better. not even 2 miles into it, i decided to scratch 20 and stop at 12. running became impossible. pain developed in more areas of my leg, and i wasn't willing to risk anything.

kily was great. he talked me through the guilt, frustration, feelings of failure, etc. i'm 8 1/2 weeks out so i made myself understand that i have time. i already have one good 18 miler under my belt. so i left with positive feelings about everything. however, it was difficult to walk the rest of the day. i took it easy, napped, watched football, and ate as light as i could. sunday, i rest some more, stretched, and tested it out on a 4 mile run. i took it SLOW and EASY and then came home for more stretching. it was a bit tender on the run, but seemed to loosen and feel better.

so here i am in week 7. i plan to attempt the 20 miler again on saturday so the days leading up to it will be important. monday, i taught two spin classes where i felt some tightness during certain aspects of the class, mostly tempo work. today i will run. my fingers are crossed, and i am prepared to stretch, stretch, and stretch some more after the run. tomorrow should be a tempo run, but that is currently tbd. let's hope the week continues on as it should. the good news is, we FINALLY have a taste of fall, and i'm encouraged by that. i know that will help my legs to feel lighter and give them a bounce that only cool temps can give!
this pic is from my drive home yesterday morning from teaching. the sunrise was as pure as it could be. no clouds, bright sun, and the promise of good things to come!

run for your life!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

week 6

i'm about 1/3, a little over, of the way into my training. i knew my training would be aggressive, and now my body knows it too.

this week, i started with teaching a spin class on monday. i had decided that after the tough 18, i wouldn't run until tuesday. spin was good, pretty tough class, but it felt good on my legs. tuesday was the day i was going to do my 3x1600 meter repeats at the track. of course it was raining, but i went on out, even though i DID NOT want to. i made it through one repeat, 7:44 pace, but the second one, i strugged, 7:50. still happy with those times, i had been debating the third 1600. after encouragment from ginny and vicki, who were doing 800's, i went on with it. i suffered. 7:56. i was a bit discouraged with that time, but it was honestly all i had. legs were tight, especially the right one, and my gait was way off because of it. the cool down even hurt. the air was as thick as it could get, and it never stopped raining. the rain is a blessing, keeping it much cooler than it could be. all in all, i was proud of that workout because i did it when i didn't want to, and i kept going when i wanted to throw in the towel. 6 total miles.

wednesday morning was my weekly class, which was more on the moderate side, but still a good workout. that afternoon, yes, more rain. i had a 7 mile run to do, easy pace, and i wasn't expecting anything great. jim went out with me to do about 5, with the option to leave me if i got too slow. i kept it around 9:40, and i was pretty ok with that. the down side, my right leg is not in good shape. the 18, speed work, and steadily increasing miles over the weeks are catching up with me. my body doesn't react or recover like a lot of other runners. i tend to have to be conservative which is usually ok with me. my leg isn't injured, but it's very sore, tight, and it makes running difficult.

so today, i had wanted to wake up early to run my 7 for today. no one could go with me, so i opted for bed instead of doing it alone. probably a good idea since that will give me a full 24 hours of rest before i attempt another run. i will decide today what i do after work, if i run or go to yoga instead. i might have to drop my miles back and run 4 or 5 instead of 7. sucking it up and going with it would be ok, but i have 20 miles on saturday to consider. this run is TBD.

either way, grey's anatomy's 2 hour season premiere is tonight. something to look forward to!

stay tuned!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

stalkers, dogs, bathroom breaks, and football

today was my first 18 miler. someone told me recently on twitter that the first 18 miler seems more nerve wracking that the first 20 miler. i agree. something about 18 and over that just stirs the mind. the flip side is that when you're finished, what a feeling! any of you who do this often know EXACTLY what i'm talking about. you might feel sick, tired, pain, or something else, but you feel an incredible feeling of accomplishment to have overcome something big that day. today, there were several things.

stalkers - don't be alarmed, i'm fine. vicki was running 13 of me 18 with me, but she was coming after i had completed that extra 5. i hate finishing alone if i'm running with someone so i always do my extra miles first. we ran off the trail, on the bonhomie loop, so i went out early, dropped water and then parked. i didn't run down bonhomie at 5:40 cause it is DARK. i kept it on the roads where there are lights...running between highway 11 and 49. it worked out nicely, except for this car i saw about 4 times. it was probably nothing, but i was thinking i had a stalker, the entire time. this caused me to run a bit faster than i needed to that early in the run, but i wasn't playing around either. i was armed with pepper spray, but i took it mostly for the dogs! which is a good segway into my next obstacle.

dogs - the last time i ran the bonhomie loop was back in may, with jim and ginny. we made the turn that day onto jervis mims and were ambushed by two mid-size dogs. i was the one who kept jogging along, not worried about them, and i was the one who got bit! still got the scar. so, vicki and i met and headed out down bonhomie after a couple miles in the other direction. we were both quiet, which isn't a great sign usually. you see, it was HUMID and on the warm side. i didn't list that as one of my major obstacles cause it's always an obstacle if you run in the south. vicki knew of my dog attack, so she grabbed a stick a few mile down the road. we weren't expecting to see two little dogs on bonhomie, but we got ambushed early! these dogs were small, but aggressive and had sharp looking teeth along with a pretty nasty snarl! i sprayed, vicki swatched. we were spared. i was mostly ticked off by the owner in the yard laughing! so we pushed on. the site of my attack was quiet, to my relief. on the way back by, we saw my attacker, but apparently he had been napping so wasn't ready for an attack. he just barked and looked at us from under a bush. i remember that one as the one who left my scar. we turned back on bonhomie several miles later came back across our previous ankle biters. just as aggressive. vicki was hilarious. i heard her growl, 'go on you little bastard' and she was DETERMINED to make contact. she about knocked herself on the ground trying to get a hit. we were in the last few miles so that perked us up a little, and as usual, we shared some laughs.

bathroom breaks - i apologize for anyone not reading this who isn't a runner. runners are very open with each other about most things while running, bathroom issues being one. you know where i'm going. and you know that because i wasn't on the longleaf trace that there were no restrooms. i'm from the country so i'm not scared to do what i have to do. and i did, 3 times! i have no shame, and feel like what needs to be done must be done. long hard runs are tough on the body and....well, it happens. vicki was proud of the last bathroom spot she found for me. it was a good one...good leaves too. ok, enough.

football - not an obstacle, but a challenge. we had a good run, tiring, slower than i wanted, but overall good. it was warm, muggy, dogs, bathroom issues, but we lived. i basically came straight home, showered, swallowed a couple of pop tarts, and left to go to work. i had to be there for noon. we are doing some membership promotions so i had to help manage the people hired to man the membership tables in the football stadium. part of the job was assisting them in set-up, on the upper and lower levels. the only way to get there? walking stairs!!! i think i went up and the stadium steps 5 times, not to mention the walking back and forth to my seat, the office, etc. each time was harder, sweatier, and increased the pounding in my head. it wasn't great for my recovery because i'm sore today, and i know it's mostly from the walking. however, the game was UHHMAZING! i got to hang with some great friends and lose my voice!

so far this week, 39 miles running, 3 spin classes, and 1 yoga class. if i get out of bed anytime soon, i'll try to get some walking and maybe a mile of running to get an even 40. good to rest today. tomorrow, back at it!

run for your life!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

yee haw!

boy am i tired! last week was nuts as well as the weekend. we hosted the ogletree house ribbong cutting / grand opening events thursday through saturday. they couldn't have gone better! it was a big moment in my job, and i'm happy to say it was pretty good job. the moments where the alumni are thrilled are what make the job worth it..the stress, lack of sleep, worry, fatigue, etc.

last week was a down week, but this week, back to it! i promised to hit it hard, and i'm doing my best! monday was my double spin class day, and i survived. tuesday was an easy 7 miler, and i survived. it was one of the muggiest runs i've had in a long time! i took the opportunity that i was presented last night and came straight home after work to REST! it paid off. taught a great spin class this morning to a male outnumbering group (rare), and tonight was a tempo run. now, i was a bit nervous cause i knew this was the time i really needed to start working hard. i've justified half-assed attempts at tempo runs or mile repeats in the previous few weeks, and it's time to put my money where my mouth is. so i did. i headed out for 8 total and decided to make 5 of those tempo miles. vicki joined me for 6 miles. i told myself, no expectations, start out the first mile shooting for a 9 min. mile and go from there. first mile was 8:52, then it started raining, and then it started storming! the second mile was 8:32, cause i was running for the rain shed! the lightening got scary so we had to seek cover for 5 or so minutes until it passed. we headed back, and the third mile was 8:24, and the fourth mile was 8:33. vicki decided 4 tempo was enough, so i ran in the last mile - 8:15. i finished 5 tempo miles at an average of 8:32, total time 42:44. i was very happy with that considering i had low expectations.

i always say if i can make it through wednesday (that's usually the hard workout day), the rest of the week is gravy, including the long run. tomorrow, i will run an easy 6 after work, then do a yoga class right after. i imagine friday will be a total rest day in preperation for saturday's 18 miler! i know, 18 already??? vicki will be running 13 to prepare for a half marathon in a couple of weeks. we'll be heading to bonhomie for this run, the scene of the dog bite back in may. i still have the scar! i will be armed this time.

i feel like i'm becoming a runner i used to be. i'm waking up and going for runs even though it's raining. i'm going after work even though it's hot. i'm not finding excuses to skip. vegas is probably not going to be a PR or a stellar race, but it will be a huge return to marathoning for me. i'm excited and gaining my mental strength.

run for your life!!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

out of control

to quote my friend margie, life has been 'out of control' lately. it's been a while since i last wrote and so much has happened. to avoid crying, i probably won't dive into too much detail.

in the time i've been away, i've continued tending to a sick dog, working hard, and running when i can. also in the time i've been away, i had to make the hardest decision ever. to put my dog out of misery. this is where i won't go into much detail to avoid more tears. i will say that after everything that could go wrong went wrong, i had to make the hard decision to put my best bud to sleep. there just wasn't much more we could do that we hadn't tried. it was one of the hardest days of my life. i will leave it at that.

during these times, i've tried to keep running. i have missed a run or two, and made up a run or two. last week, i ended up with 33 miles, but was supposed to hit 36. my long run was 16 miles. i did 13 of those miles with a friend i've never run with before, and it was a very pleasant and enjoyable run. it started out dark and rainy, so me getting out of the car was a big deal and giant step toward my old running self. celebrate the victory!

this week is a down week, and i've already missed a 7 mile run, but after a 12 hour work day, there isn't much i can do about all that. tuesday's and wednesday's runs were both 8 miles. tuesday, which was the awful day, was a pretty good run. for those who don't believe it, running really does help the mind as much, if not more sometimes, as the body. tuesday's run was a HUGE help in dealing with my grief. wednesday's run, not so great. i was thrilled to be running with vicki who i hadn't seen in almost a week, but i felt terrible. i blame it on work stress and grief fatigue. i will keep plugging this week, hitting a yoga class tomorrow, and runs when i can. next week, maybe life will begin returning to normal so i can return to normal training. i should say life will become a new normal. the old normal would include my dog, who i'm missing tremendously.

this week has also been joyous. a co-worker and his wife, also my friends, became parents to beautiful twin girls. i'm thrilled for them and this wonderful new addition to their life. they've had a long, and often exciting journey to parenthood.

this week has also been stressful and exciting at work. my building, the Ogletree Alumni House, which was built in 1912 and housed the university president until the 70's, was recently reopened after an 18 month restoration and expansion project. for weeks, we've been preparing for this week's festivities. tonight, we hosted upper level donors for a special reception, which was wonderful. tomorrow, we cut the ribbon. tomorrow is the BIG day, and to say nerves are on fire is an understatement. so as i write this, my mind is racing for all i need to prepare for mentally tomorrow. i'm also propping up my feet to allow them recovery from the 3 inch heels i wore today and will again wear tomorrow.

i'll never forget this week. the week i grieved and celebrated all at once, literally. the same day i began grieving to my best friend for 9 years, i also rejoiced with friends for the birth of two new lives. the same week i cried and shed more tears than ever in my life, i laughed and smiled with friends in celebration of exciting times with the alumni association. it's been an array of every emotion possible, but that's when life is it's most challenging and rewarding. you learn how strong you are for sure.

i truly hope this is the end of my trials for quite a while. i'm ready for something good!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

no rest for the weary

what a week! it was minimal as far as exercise and workouts go, but i got my runs in, pretty much. the day isn't over yet, but this week i had 31 miles running, 1 spin class (due to the dog, got a sub for wednesday morning), and 1 yoga class.

wednesday was supposed to be 5 miles with 2 x 1600m repeats. it had been a horribly stressful week up to that point so i just couldn't muster the strength to run what i needed to run for those 1600s. vicki and i decided to save our workout and run some hard hills instead. i don't like modifying workouts to that degree, but it was exactly what i needed to do. thursday was an easy 6 mile run, and i felt good about how i felt. friday after work, i did my weekly yoga. i found out during my 14 mile run that yoga before a run isn't bad! my hips felt open and my legs felt loose and strong! i was worried during the class that i might be making a mistake so i was careful on some of the hard leg stuff where you really put weight or pressure on the muscles. my body really responds to regular yoga so hopefully with the membership at the payne center, i can get on a weekly schedule much easier now. i do miss kelly's class though!

let's talk about the 14 miler briefly. i wasn't dreading it, but i was just ready to get it over with. the week has been so tough, that this run was the last thing on my mind. i got up, went out for 4, then met vicki for 10. i'm not killing the pace, but i'm definitely trying to pick it up. no more lolly-gagging (is that 1 work or two?) though. with the temps and humidity supposed to be higher, i wasn't planning on it being a good run so i didn't take my garmin. i feel like i ran it right where i needed to, and in the last mile, we stretched out our stride and ran it in harder. all in all, i was pleased. i felt strong, even though it definitely tired me out.

this week will end with a 16 miler. no more gravy runs! i plan on hitting my tempo run this week and getting back up motivationally. time to get moving!

update on jack - he's having some trouble, but hopefully the docs are getting him straight. he has an unexpected infection(s) causing him not to be able to eat. he's been at the ER overnight and might stay another night. he's on an IV and getting antibiotics. they won't let me take him home until he can hold down solid food. please let us get through this so we can move forward. it's stressful enough going through this with him, but another side of the stress is the cost. i think dogs cost more than people. i'm just piling it up, and will figure it out after we're through it. anyone know where i can find a sugar daddy or a sure thing lottery ticket?

run for you life!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

hump day

wednesday is appropriately called hump day. you are crossing over the top of the hump, the first part of the week, and sliding down the other side, the rest of the week. normally it's a positive day for most. for me, hump day couldn't have started off any worse.

i was pleased to get my 7 miles in last night because it was the last thing i wanted to do. i started out running on campus and the trace and planned to get it all in there. i actually stopped at 5 miles then broke my neck to get home to see about jack cause i just needed to see how he was. finding he was 'ok', i forced myself back out the door to finish my last two miles. i hate splitting it up, but this week, everything is a challenge. jack was so weak yesterday that i could almost feel my heart breaking in half. it was like getting an elderly person up to get him out to use the bathroom. it broke me down into tears seeing him so weak. i had to keep reminding myself, it's just the treatment and that it's helping him.

i woke up in a much better frame of mind. i got a sub for my morning spin class that i teach so i could focus on jack, then get to work early since i had to be in a training seminar all day. it should have been perfect, but it was not so much. i got jack settled into his confined space, my kitchen, and then headed off to work. on my way to work, i apparently was everywhere but in that car because i rear-ended someone about halfway to work. luckily, it was just a bump, and there was no damage to her car and only minor scratches on mine. she was THE nicest lady and she actually hugged me before we drove away. ugh, more tears. i survived the reamainder of the day at work, which started out with lots of griping.

after work, the training plan was speedwork. the day has been so draining that i was skeptical. vicki met me at home so i could check on the boy before we headed out. we started out our run and neither of us were feeling it. i hate dumping scheduled workouts, especially when training, but today, it wasn't going to happen by any means. we 'saved' the workout and opted for the 5 miles in hills instead of speed. there is a hill by my house that is a bi-otch! we ran it, and i made myself like it. even though it wasn't my mile repeats, i still was pleased with the run. i look at days like this as days i could easily skip all together, but today, i did it.

hump day made a surprising turn for the better. none of my days are stellar right now, but i'll take what i can get. i found a perkier dog at home this evening, although still very shakey on his legs. he got treated to a small bit of canned dog food (he hasn't much in days, so he only ate a tiny bit), and some tasty dog treats! we'll try that again tomorrow! just happy to see him starting to feel a tiny bit better.

let's hope the slide of the rest of the week continues with the positive. fingers are crossed!

run for you life!

Monday, August 24, 2009


as a general rule, monday is a hectic day. over the summer, the mondays got more hectic, the weeks more stressful, and the quiet times at home, well...they got much lonelier. summer of 2009 will go down in the books as a pretty crappy one.

the happenings of my summer caused me to neglect a lot of things in my life...for a while diet, running, job responsibilities, but mostly the little things. even though i didn't give the proper amount of attention to him, i could always count on my jack (my dog) to give love and attention no matter what. today, i found out he has heartworms. apparently he was one of the things i neglected too. he has started his treatment, and everything should be ok, but i can't help but feel like i let him down. he gave me his love and attention, and i failed to supply him with his needs. it's a good thing i have no children.

this summer has been one of the worst of my life. i'm finding that i'm a late bloomer on adult things...mortgage, love, hurt, in that order. just cause it happens later in life, doesn't mean it's any easier. they say life gets better as you get older, and it does, for sure. as much as it gets better, it gets harder. you definitely learn a lot of life lessons. i am sitting here as i write dealing with a ton of emotions and trying my best to fight a few urges as a result of those emotions. all stemming from a summer of hurt and a monday from hell.

days like today and summers like i've had are what normally drive people to run or work harder at something. i, on the other hand, tend to pull away. tonight, i am also fighting the urge to climb back into a shell that doesn't include running. december 6 is what will force me to be diligent and fight that urge. tomorrow, i will drag myself out of bed, i will run, i will go to work, and i will push the emotions away. i will pick up my dog, and pray that i have not neglected him too long.

didn't mom say there would be days like this? she did, but she didn't mention there would be more than one....

Saturday, August 22, 2009

week 1 of vegas training

ok, so i just started back training, after a semi-retirement of over a year and a half. the road back to training has been a long one.

fall of 2007 was some of the best marathon training i have ever had, EVER. i was really sticking to speed work and running my long runs harder. i slimmed up a little, and found a boatload of confidence i have never had. philly was a PR by 7 minutes. i had hoped to crack the 4 hour, but i think i owe that 6 minutes over 4 to a hilly course (after they promised it was flat - good thing i did some hill training though), rain, and temps that dropped during the race. it was less than ideal, but an amazing day for me.

my plan was to run the mississippi blues marathon in january of 08 for 'fun'. fun is a termed used way loosely when talking about marathons. looking back, it was fun. at the time, i wanted to die. at mile 18, after running the first half with a friend and a few miles on my own, i met up with another friend. we grabbed our cameras and planned to finish the last 8 miles goofing off. and we did just that, after a few beers, lots of curse words, plenty of walking, and some tell all photos. that was just a moment in my training because the next race would be new orleans where i'd really go for it. and up until my 22 miler, training couldn't have been more perfect. new orleans was one of the worst days of my life (running wise) cause i dropped out at mile 14. i fully believe that i peaked a few weeks too early in training and my 22 mile run was my marathon. on that run, i averaged 8:35 and total time was 3:08. what a day. still my best run to date, training and racing.

so, after new orleans, i hated running, but i thought that if i pushed through, had some fun, i'd be ok. wrong. two or three different times, i took more than a week or two off, and struggled to find my groove when i was running. i decided that training might help so i signed up for the houston marathon. a few weeks before, i decided to not go. i just couldn't run a marathon, wasn't ready.

spring came around, and i was having a blast in life. will keep that to myself cause it led to the worst summer of my life. but, my recovery from that has led me back to training. i finally feel like 'i'm back'. for weeks now, i've been consistent, hitting weekly runs, long runs, etc. so here i am, signed up and beginning my training for vegas. this week, i added speed work back. it was terrible, but what can i expect right? i haven't done speedwork since the spring. but i did it, was out there running hard again. as bad as it hurt, it feel great! my first long run was 12 miles, and it might be my best long run in months. i didn't knock it out the park, but i felt stronger than i have in a while.

so this week, i got in 31 miles of running, taught 3 spin classes, and did 1 yoga class. sunday ends my training week so a bike ride tomorrow is still possible. week 1 is in the books, let's see what i can do for week 2!

run for your life!

my first time

i have always viewed blogging like i used to view using a cell phone in public. i swore i'd never do it. years later, i find myself now using my cell phone in a variety of public places, and now here i am, creating a blog. funny how things comes back on you.

i have been a runner for a few years now, probably almost 7. a few years before i started running, i was about 35 - 40 pounds heavier than i am now. i was mostly a gym rat at that time until a friend decided she wanted to try running because she was dating a new guy (her now husband) and she wanted to 'tone up'. this friend hates exercise, raising the heartrate, sweating, you get the idea. so the idea of running coming from her was stunning, but i bit. we started running, but after about 2 weeks, you guessed it, i was on my own. i kept plugging along and was finally able to run 3 miles without stopping. from there, well, that's how i ended up where i am now. 7 marathons later, and now working on my 8th.

7 marathons taking me from new orleans, to memphis, to chicago, back to new orleans, austin, philadelphia, pa, and jackson, ms. next stop, vegas! all these stops have the ultimate location in mind, boston. any runner will tell you that running is full of ups and downs, good runs and bad runs. maybe i'll share some of those with you!

run for your life!