Wednesday, March 31, 2010

it's great to be a golden eagle

a day in history i will never forget. i'm tired and exhausted, and my feet may never be the same after working for 13 or 14 hours, but the centennial celebration day was a day to remember. thousands came to celebrate, and it was truly a success.
we celebrated our founding first by recognizing our students and their accomplishments. then we dedicated our centennial gateway and its donor. we announced the time capsule. we invited our VIP's to a special lunch. we recognized our faculty and staff for their accomplishments and dedication to our university. we were joined by our governor, lt governor (a southern miss grad), and other guests at a formal convocation with full regalia. then we partied...a picnic on our green space. we ended the day with the photo above.
a day i'll never forget. a piece of history.
p.s. i am in the photo above. first row of the first zero, on the left side, beside a guy in a brett favre vikings jersey (yes, brett is an alum along with jimmy buffett). i'm in a black dress, and the girl on my right is in a bright blue shirt. maybe i'll post a better picture later.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

calm before the storm

i had hoped for a relaxing weekend, and for the most part, i got it. i finished up my marathon week of spinning thursday, and i was ready to get back to normal starting friday.

after work, i joined a couple of friends for some mexican, margaritas, and then alice in wonderland in 3d. what a fun night to unwind and escape. i haven't seen a 3d movie since jaws in 3d i think! i'm a johnny depp fan so i really enjoyed this movie - total fun!
saturday morning, back to running! vicki joined me at my house for a run in my neighborhood, but before she met me, i did an easy 3. i got in a total of 9 miles. it was a little tough since i hadn't run in over a week, but i did it. it was a gorgeous morning, and it was good to be out of the pedals and on my feet! after the run, i got dressed in a hurry and went to hubfest, which is a yearly festival in our historic downtown. it's complete with stages for bands, vendors selling all kinds of things (artwork, jewelry, crafts), tons of bad for you food that's oh so good, etc. it was a beautiful day which i assume contributed to the larger than ever crowd.
my primary reason for going to hubfest was to help out a little bit at the southern miss stage and tent. i work for the university of southern mississippi alumni association, and our university is celebrating the 100th year on tuesday. this whole year has a full schedule of events, but tuesday is the anniversary of the school's legislative founding so therefore a huge day for us. we played a special role at hubfest, complete with a mini-eagle walk featuring part of our marching band, dancers, mascot (seymour), football players, and other athletes. (eagle walk is the walk our football team makes each home game through campus to the locker room, it's kind of a big deal). it was fun seeing all the black and gold.
it was a busy, but fun weekend. after hubfest, i did lots of yard work and house work, which left me exhausted and feeling a little under the weather. i woke up sunday feeling the same way, but was determined to get out and about. after church and some time in the sun, i gave up, came inside and slept. i have a really busy week so i don't want to take any chances! still don't feel well, but all is ok.
i will miss a few more days running due to teaching tomorrow and work tuesday, but after that i hope to get back to a normal schedule.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

spinning marathon week

this is a marathon if a different kind. the spinning kind. this week, i'm putting running aside to conquer a new challenge. 7 spin classes. doesn't sound like much? well, trust me it is!

i teach 3 spin classes a week which fits in nicely with my running schedule and offers me a great opportunity for high intensity cross training. i love my classes, and that i can express my personality through the music i play and the style of class i teach. often, i sub for the other instructor (a class here and there) who has 5 classes a week. this week, he's on vacation! at the gym, i consider myself a bit of a spin class beast. so he asked about subs for this week, and as a self proclaimed 'beast', i was like give em all to me!!! i ended up taking all but 1 of his classes as another sub wanted to teach one.

so today, after teaching my 5th class, i am finding myself a tired legged beast! i have had 4 really solid, tough classes, and one fairly easy class. this morning, i wondered if i'd make it, but much like running, as class moved along the legs loosened up and got better. i'm happy i'm on the downhill slide of this subbing thing! tomorrow i have two more, back to back, after work. i will be one happy spinner once that last one ends at 7:10 p.m.!

i'm looking forward to being back on my routine next week!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


you always hear that a big part of the running battle, mainly in distance running, is mental. for me, nothing is more true. i get really, almost freakishly, nervous before a marathon, or any race for that matter. in school, i had test anxiety, so i'm sure it's related. the night before a marathon, i'm a wreck, but when the morning comes, the anxiety and jitters turn to a focus. the thrill of the start of a marathon is something only those running the race can experience. the thousands of people shivering in the cool morning air, the talk about what pace everyone will be running, and the sound of the cheers from the runners as they cross the start line are things that only a runner truly feels. pretty much everyone in the race, thousands, have traveled completely different paths to get there - training, experiences, and even motivation. some by weight loss, some because of a demon in their life, and some cause they love the challenge.

i think about what motivates me. i only started running about 7 years ago. i started running because a friend wanted to 'get a little fitter' because of a guy she was dating. she is not one who enjoys exercise at all, but she wanted to try so running was what we were going to do. about 2 weeks later, i was on my own. i kept going, and soon found myself running 5-6 miles several times a week. then wham, a year later, i was doing my first marathon. over the years, my motivation has changed and evolved. what started as a way to 'get fitter' turned into 'let's see what i can do today'.

after 9 marathons, and periods of struggle, burnout, and even dislike, i am finding myself feeling motivation again. motivation like when i ran my second marathon and bettered my time by 1 hour and 20 minutes. and motivation like when i wanted to break 4 hours and missed it by a few minutes. and motivation like those days when frustration and disappointment ate me up for having to miss a run.

how do i know i'm feeling the motivation again? well, this week, i'm teaching spin 7 times because of subbing for a fellow instructor. pretty much 2 classes a day, some before work and after, and some back to back both after work. running will be tough with this schedule combined with my work schedule. not only am i busy with teaching, i'm facing one of my busiest weeks of the spring at work. at best, i will only be able to run 2-3 times this week. i will survive the week, and missing a few days will be ok. and hopefully when i have the opportunity to run, i'll take it! i'm still easing back into a routine after new orleans, but i'm finding myself itching to get at it! i have goals, and i know i won't get there unless i do the work. that's how i know i'm motivated.

motivation. it's good to know the feeling again.

track on tap - st. patty's style

as promised, here are a couple of photos from last wednesday's track on tap. (see previous post for details).

shout out to chris and jenny maul for the photos.
from our first stop at mugshots. yeah, we got some lucks in there. best burgers ever!!! too bad we didn't eat any. :(
from our second stop at the alumni house sports bar. yeah, we got some looks in there too!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

spring break!!!

i work for a university, and typically we don't get spring break. the last two years, due to the budget crisis, our president has been gracious to give us the week. one as a cost saving measure for the campus, and two, to boost morale during tough economic times. i didn't go anywhere last year or this year, and both years i used it as time to clean house, do yard work, and REST!

i have no issue with sleeping in, but since i've been a runner, those days are rare and treasured. during my spring break, it was the same, although i got in plenty of naps. i still had to teach my spin classes, but i was able to get in some great (and fun) runs.

monday, i had my morning spin class as usual. after that i met my friend vicki for a short 4 mile run. i was pretty tired. no one showed for the afternoon class (no surprise considering spring break) so i was glad to go back home and relax.

tuesday, just a 6 mile run around my little neighborhood. i wasn't feeling very well (stomach issues) so it was a tough day. i spent the rest of the morning doing a lot of yard work and the afternoon doing some work work.

wednesday, i was back to teaching that morning. let me note here that my morning classes start at 6 a.m., so i get up at 5:15. after that class, a short 4 mile run with my buddy terri. we kept it short because the running club was hitting the streets for track on tap. let me explain track on tap. we have some super fun, and crazy, runners in our club. track on tap was started a few years ago, and we simply meet at a location and run from bar to bar. we typically get 3-4 miles, easy, with 2-3 stops in between. at the stop, you can partake in the beverage of your choice, from beer to water to diet cokes. often, these runs have themes...halloween, christmas, and yes, st. patrick's day. we were all decked out in green, some had some cute accessories as well. (hopefully a pic to follow if chris maul will post them online for us! :)). so at this track on tap, we got in 3.5 miles. a total of 7.5 for me that day.

thursday, SLEPT IN!!! took it easy most of the morning, watched tv, napped, etc. that afternoon, did some more yard work which consisted of a lot of raking and bending over. i count yard work as a workout any day!

friday, today, was my ridiculous day. i met terri for 10 miles this morning. i can't say no, and i wanted to do 10 miles! we ran it easy, and we really had fun talking and catching up. back home to relax before the 5k tonight! i finally had a sunny day where i could get in my backyard and get some sun. i enjoyed that then finished up my afternoon with a little more work work and a nap before the race. i had mixed thoughts on what i'd attempt to do....race it or screw it and run it for fun. i hadn't decided until they said go. i ended up starting with a friend jodie, who is pregnant. i ended up staying with her, and we ran about a 10 minute pace and just laughed and chatted the entire race. i'm sure those around us who were really struggling hated us, but we had a good time. i had 4.5 total after a 1 mile warm up and a .5 mile cool down.

so, tonight i'm tired. i'm at 32 miles for the week, just 3 weeks after the marathon. i'm feeling good and excited about how i feel mentally and physically. tomorrow, if the weather is kind, vicki and i will jump on our road bikes for an easy ride as it will be my first time on my bike since the early fall. next week, i will be subbing for 4 spin classes, in addition to my regular 3, for a total of 7 that week. i doubt i will be able to squeeze in a run, maybe 1 or 2, but that's probably good as the spinning will exhaust me. i won't let it phase my current motivated state, but allow it to be a break after a harder week.

so, staying true to my 2010 goals, i have completed my first short race of the year, even though i technically didn't race it. at least i'm in the game!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

what's next

it's funny how for weeks before the last marathon i was so excited to not have anything to train for, to just run. now that the marathon is two weeks behind me, i'm finding myself wanting to train for something.

this week i'm finally feeling better, and i actually have had a couple good runs. the change in weather (sudden feel of spring) and the time change has me feeling a bit recharged. plus, it's spring break, and i'm enjoying a few days off from work.

saturday, i bumped up the miles to 8, then ran a quick 4 yesterday after the baseball game. when i say quick, i mean a tempo run, and an unplanned one. i headed out thinking, 'this isn't going to be a good day', but my first mile was a surprising 9:25. so, i got a little adventurous and decided to see what i could do. second was 8:48, so then i wanted to see what else i could do. the third was 8:38, and i was definitely feeling it. i was grateful for a couple of stops for traffic when i needed to cross a street. my last one was 8:25, and i averaged out at 8:49. and even though i was sucking wind, i felt great. an unexpected run like that is a thrill. it does something to you that nothing else can. it boosts the confidence, and it motivates.

so, what next? i will continue with my 2010 goal of doing more shorter races, and i'd like to find a half or two to do over the spring or summer. during that time, i'll be thinking of what fall marathon i'll do. i have a few ideas, but no decisions yet. as usual, i will have to wait until the football schedule comes out which determines my work schedule for the fall as well. we'll see!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

recovery, spring, and molly

it's been about 11 days since the marathon, and i've run twice. this is what i've been up to!

the day after the marathon, i had to teach my monday morning spin class. it actually wasn't that bad! the first few days after, i was mostly just sore. tuesday, i took an entire day off to get some much needed time off my feet and sleep. i felt completely exhausted for 2-3 days after the marathon. i ended up calling in sick for my wednesday morning spin class, but i had decided to go to yoga that afternoon after work. what a great yoga class! and i felt great in class! thursday, i got called in at the last minute to pinch hit for the other spin instructor so i taught his two thursday afternoon classes which are 10 minutes apart! by this point, i wasn't really sore, but i definitely felt the fatigue! the first class was fine, but in the second one, my legs were on fire. i survived.

friday, i took sweet molly girl for a 45 minute walk. it was for me and for her. sadly, my poor friend started limping after the walk. she has done that before, but after a longer run or sprinting in the back yard while playing. i was a little concerned, but not overly. saturday morning, my first try at a run with my friend vicki. we did 6, and it was about as i expected, not hard, but not easy. i enjoyed the run and the gorgeous spring weather we were treated to that weekend. saturday was also molly's 2nd birthday so i spent the day with her. she got treated to lots of backyard time while i did yard work, and a special birthday meal, meaning not dry dog food. she was not a fan of her birthday hat, but she looked so cute.

sunday morning, i debated a bike ride with an afternoon group that goes at 1:30, but i decided for another walk instead. i was still feeling tired and fatigue in my legs, and i just don't want to push it. so i took molly out again, this time for only about 30 minutes. she started limping early in the walk. i got concerned. we headed home and rested.

monday, early spin class, but monday night, no one showed for class so i went home for more rest. tuesday, molly was still limping so i called the vet, and took her in. after what i went through with my last pup, i was a nervous wreck thinking all the bad things - arthritis, displaysia, and even worse, cancer. luckily, the vet thinks just bursitis, so we're taking anti-inflammatory and resting. as of today, she's a lot better. hopefully we can put off worrying about those other things for another day or never.

i met up with vicki again for 4 miles. my legs felt great! i was excited, but the next morning, yesterday, in my attempt to bike in class, i discovered i was not as recovered as i thought. luckily it was storming after work so i went back to yoga instead of running. i felt better at yoga last week, 3 days after the marathon than i did yesterday, 10 days after! today, i'll hit the pavement again and give it a shot. maybe 5-6 miles, we'll see. either way, i'm taking it easy.

i am going to allow myself complete recovery before i start pushing anything again. i have signed up for a 5k next weekend, but i will play my effort in that race by ear. i do not want anymore IT/hip issues like last time. once i'm recovered, i am determined to have a GREAT spring / summer running season!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

the bright side - a memory made

it's better to look for the bright side of things in life. find the silver lining. that's how i'm looking at sunday, february 28. the day i ran my second worst marathon in 5.00.56. :)

i have a good attitude about it for many reasons, which i'm going to list for you.
1 - i barely trained so you get what you pay for
2 - i had a great time with my fellow hattiesburg runners
3 - i had the opportunity to run all 26.2 mile with a friend i've known my entire life
4 - it was a GORGEOUS day in south louisiana!

i headed down on saturday with jim, terry, and charles. jim would be running the marathon, like his 12th or something, who knows. terry was going for fun, no running for him. charles was going for his first. we hit the expo, met up with james and jodie and did our thing. and i shouldn't forget to mention the UHmazing parking spot charles got for us at the convention center. his ability to get in perfect position in the first go (parallel parking) was something to behold as well. we were happy with the parking spot, but unhappy to find out only 2 beers PER person at the finish party. we'll hear about this for months i'm sure.

to the hotel for a little rest. i was bunking with ginny, and she was coming in later, so i just chilled and watched tv until dinner. i met back up with the same crew for a good dinner down on bourbon street. as always with this crew, there was LOTS of laughs and smart comments. it's a good time hanging with these folks. after a great dinner, back to the hotel to get my things ready for the morning and for bed. ginny made it in later, and we stayed up probably too late chatting, but it was fun. we never get to do that so i enjoyed it.

alarm goes off 5 a.m. sunday. i got up, showered, got dressed, headed to the start. it was a little bit of a walk, but i didn't mind. after i finally found the bag check, i headed to the start corral to meet my friend barry, who i've known pretty much my whole life. he is a mississippi state alum, and i am a southern miss alum and employee. we were decked out in our collegiate gear, which seemed to amuse only us! we enjoyed chatting and catching up on life for a while. we were running a good, comfortable race for probably 8-10 miles, then it got quiet. it's funny how runners chat it up big time, and then when the moments get tough, silence. we were both concentrating on feeling better! we never hti the wall, but it was more like slow running in mud that got higher and higher each mile, making it harder to run.

yeah, we both fell apart, and early. this was barry's second marathon and my 9th. we were doing it for fun, only for fun, and to try to help barry PR. the fun ended, ha, and we started to ask each other, jokingly, "why are we out here again???" later, barry thought my attempts at humor and motivation were waisted, so i put him out of his misery and stopped. after a while, i accepted this day was in the toilet for good, so i just went with it and started having fun, whether we were walking or running. after about mile 22, we really struggled - nausea, cramps, dehydration, etc. you name it. we decided to run/walk it in, finding points or landmarks to run to. this worked, and we made it to the finish. we were greeted at the finish by barry's wife and oldest son noah, who is 4 i believe.

yeah, we were both disappointed. i knew that day wouldn't be a PR for me, by no means, but i didn't expect it to be quite that bad. but, i was determined not to beat myself up about it. i look at it as another marathon finished with one of my oldest and dearest friends, and i loved spending time with him and seeing his family. this marathon was about the experience, and it was a great one.

hopefully, i'll have some pictures to add soon!