Thursday, November 11, 2010

A belly full of ice cream...

In the middle of November, no less :) Granted, it's been unseasonably warm in Central Ohio this week, but you won't see me complaining! Getting to go on a run this morning in a tank top and shorts was pretty awesome, I won't lie.

Things have been ridiculously crazy around here lately, hence my lack of posting. A couple of days after my race, we adopted another dog...he's a 10 month old whippet mix named Eddie, and he's put us through the wringer over the last few weeks. The poor guy was woefully undersocialized, and though that has gotten a lot better he still has his moments of being a bratty puppy. Unfortunately, J and I did not prepare ourselves nearly as much as we should have for adding another dog to our family, and as a result of that and not recognizing when the dogs needed some time separate from one another they got in a small fight two days after Eddie joined our home. Said fight resulted in a cut under Georgie's right eye that ended up needing three stitches (and two weeks in the cone of shame), and mini breakdowns on J and I's parts. After much talking, and some tears, we came to the mutual realization that while shipping Eddie back to his foster mom would be the easy way out, we owed it to him to beef up the training and exercise, read he and Georgie's signals better, and set all of us up for success.

So with the help of Eddie's foster mom (who is also a vet, and knows a ton about training and behavior), a great message board for pet owners that I frequent, and a few baby gates...things are 500% better. The dogs love playing in the backyard, and are even sharing their toys well. Eddie still has his punky, pushy, bratty puppy moments (usually when Georgie's getting attention and he wants to play) but when that happens he gets put in "timeout" (on the other side of the nearest baby gate) to settle down and all is good. Luckily, he can be trusted to be upstairs while we are downstairs without tearing anything long as the bedroom door is closed. Little brat has destroyed four pairs of my underwear, and the underwear-type lining out of one pair of running shorts. He's definitely a work in progress, but he's adorable and so eager to please...sometimes, it's like his little face is just looking at us and saying "Love me, love me, pleeeeeeease love me?". And we're in love.

I do have to say, the last three weeks personify my classic response when someone asks "Why do you run so much, anyway?" My response? "It's cheaper than therapy, and better for me than drinking." It's so true though...running/working out has been such an outlet for all the anxiety I've been feeling over the last few weeks, and I have a strong feeling that I'd be far worse off if I didn't have a healthy outlet for said anxiety.

Now onto something a little more lighthearted...Central Ohioans, what do you think the chances are that we'll have this gorgeous weather in two weeks for Thanksgiving? Specifically, the Turkey's always freaking cold that morning and I'm sure this year won't be any different but a girl can hope, right? Beyond that, I'm tentatively planning on doing a 5k in downtown Columbus the first Saturday in December but that's going to depend on the weather so it'll be a last minute decision. I realized that there are three months of the year that I haven't raced in yet-December, January, and I'm trying to fix that. Let's see if Mother Nature cooperates :)

Anyone else planning late fall/early winter races?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's a great day for a PR!

So yeah...I finished my half today in 1:52:10! My tentative goals were to: 1. run sub-1:50, 2. beat my time from last year's Columbus half (1:55:42), and 3. Beat J's friend B, who was running his first half on very little training. While I didn't break 1:50 (this was an extremely lofty goal for me, and I knew full well my chances of doing it were slim), I did PR, and sort of beat B so I can't complain. By "sort of", I mean that while I crossed the finish line before he did (My clock time was 1:56 something and his was 1:57 something), his chip time (meaning time elapsed between crossing the start line and the finish line) was two minutes less than mine. He started after me (we were in two different corrals) which is why though he had the better time, I crossed the finish line first. I'll take what I can get, and so will my competitive streak! :)

All in all, though, I couldn't have asked for a better race. The weather was GLORIOUS (mid 40's at the start, clear and sunny by the end), the crowd support was great, the twinges I had been feeling in my knee since yesterday evening didn't slow me down, and I managed to see my parents and high five my dad right before I made the turn down the street to the finish line. Plus, I got to see my friend Emily finish (she was running her first half, and did AWESOME despite some knee issues and a line at the bathrooms), and was able to stop and talk to my friend Stevi and her hubby Chris (both did the Chicago Marathon last weekend and their training group worked at one of the water stops on the course today) on my way to my car. To quote Ice Cube, today was a good day :)

Right now, my legs feel pretty good-sore and stiff, but no more than I expected. I came home and had a lovely shower, pizza for lunch, and a nap...and now, life is glorious!

Next up on the race calendar is probably a Halloween weekend 5k, my usual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5 miler, maybe something between those two races, and probably an early December race-I've never done one in December and am trying to run a race in each month of the year so we'll see how that works out :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A week from now...

I will be happily eating my way through the house after finishing my 4th half marathon (at least, I hope I finish...barring any major mishaps I should at least finish :D). Wheeeeeeee! And WhereTF did the last three and a half months of training go?

Right now, I'm cautiously optimistic. Aside from a brief injury that was remedied with some rest and a new pair of running shoes and training during the hottest damn summer in recent years, my preparation for this race has gone pretty well. Well enough to break 1:50? That, I don't know but I'm sure as hell going to try!

Now, the question remains...what next? I always find me asking myself this as I prepare to run a big (for me) race and continue asking myself the same question after the race...and right now, I think I have a tentative plan. This winter, I'm going to make an effort to rededicate myself to some much needed strength training and broaden my crosstraining horizons some more. Meaning more swimming and biking (albeit indoors, because Midwest winters aren't particularly kind to bike riding). You guessed it kids...I'm thinking about training for a sprint triathlon next year. Which should be interesting seeing as I haven't done much swimming OR biking (aside from spin classes and the odd post-bar close pool crashing) in a long, long, LONG time. Neither one is particularly scary to me, I just haven't been motivated to do it. Plus, the gear can be expensive so I'll be doing some price comparing and shopping around.

In addition, it's time for me to really crack down on the amount that I've been indulging my cravings for sweets/fatty foods/fried food/salty food/cheesy stuff/all of the above. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about not depriving yourself and not feeling guilty for eating food you enjoy-but I've been doing that a little too much, and it's showing. Meaning, my gut is showing. So it's time to lay the smackdown, so to speak. More planning meals (and cooking them) at home, and less eating out...and all the fun stuff that goes along with it.

In non-running/fitness news...fall is here at last! Pumpkins, trees changing colors, glorious cool mornings and evenings (though they haven't been as much here in the last few days, we're having a heat wave), and getting out Georgie's pink sweater.

Yes, you heard that right. My dog wears a sweater. A pink one. When she's on the loveseat shivering, it's sweater time. I don't have any pictures right now, but let me tell you she's damn cute and she LOVES that thing. She loves her coat too, but she only gets to wear that in the winter :)

Plus, it's college football season which always makes life just a teeny bit happier in my household. Okay, it makes J a teeny bit happier, which makes my life easier. Win all around!

Okay, one more running-related item...a big fat CONGRATULATIONS to my sister Alli, my friend Stevi, and all my other friends and everyone else who finished the Chicago Marathon today in unseasonably warm temperatures! You guys kick ass and I'm so proud of all of you :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Less than a month...

until my half (it's October 17th). And you know what?

I'm actually getting excited. Training has been going pretty well thus far (minus some knee discomfort that was cured by a new pair of running shoes) and the weather is finally, finally, FINALLY cooling off. I'm even starting to think that maaaaaybe I do have a chance at breaking 1:50 next's still a lofty goal, but I have a little bit of hope this time.

Plus, I found out yesterday that one of J's friends has decided that he's doing the half also. Even though next weekend's 7 mile run will be the farthest he's ever ran. And he'll be in Europe for 10 days leading up to the race. He just wants to see if he can do it...and I want to see if I can beat him. Priorities, people. :D

Yesterday was a 6 mile cutback run. I've got an 11 mile run next Saturday, 12 the week after that, and then I start tapering. That 11 miles next Saturday is going to come in handy when we go out to dinner for J's 30th bday that night...japanese steakhouse, here I come!

Happy running!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Four years...

Four years ago, I went over to my parents' house for a Labor Day cookout. While I was there, I was looking for something in their bathroom and decided to step on the scale (sadly, I have never been one to resist stepping on the scale. I need to work on that. I swear, they put magnets in those things). To my dismay, the scale said a number that I had always said it would never get to. I said to myself "Goddamnit, this has got to stop. I'm getting married in two years, and that's plenty of time to get my butt back in shape." So on the way home, I went to the gym near my apartment and pretty much walked in and said "Sign me up, I don't care how much it costs." I started going religiously and eating healthier, and even decided to sign up for a Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5 mile run (thanks to my sister's cajoling).

And now here I am, four years and almost 30 lbs lighter. I actually like going the gym (especially if there's a spin class involved) and like running outside even more. Hell, I've run more 5ks and 10k's than I can count, and have three (soon to be four) half marathons under my belt (and still no desire to train for a full marathon). I still love my junk food, but have finally learned to show some restraint (sometimes) and do other things when I'm stressed besides eat. Like go on a run.

I will not post before/after pictures because I still don't really like to look at the before pictures very much, but you get the idea. I'm still not at my ideal weight, but I'm pretty close (within 10 lbs) and have been for a couple of years so I'm starting to make my peace with that. If I lose the weight, awesome, but if not that's okay too. The biggest thing is that I'm happier and healthier than I've ever been, and I will never let myself get back to where I was four years ago this weekend.

And that's enough about that. To recap this lovely long weekend-Football has returned to my life (Go Bucks!), my friend and her adorable puppy came to visit from Pittsburgh, I fell and scraped up my knee real good about 7.5 miles into my 9 mile long run on Saturday (no running w/running group due to my car getting a new transmission), my friend and I ran around Columbus a bit, I made it through a recovery run this AM without hurting myself, and I have to go back to work tomorrow :(



I got a blog award? Whaaaaaaat? You mean people actually read this thing? Apparently, Colleen at Irondiva does, because she gave it to me! Look how cute it is!

Along with this award, I have some things to answer, so here goes...

1. If you had a chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be? I wouldn't consider this a regret, but I wish I would have taken up running and stuck with it earlier in my life. I picked up running in fall 2006 (more on that in my next post) in an effort to help me lose the 25ish lbs I put on during grad school. My sister Alli had gotten bit by the running bug right around then, and she convinced me to do a local Turkey Trot 5mile run with her that Thanksgiving. How could I turn down a chance at a free pumpkin pie (the first 1000 male and 1000 female finishers got one)? So I started running at the gym more, in addition to the elliptical and bike work I was trying to adjust to, and lo and behold the Trot went far better than I anticipated (and I got my pie!) The next spring (2007), Alli and our youngest sister Julie decided to do the Flying Pig 1/2 marathon in Cincinnati...I knew I wasn't ready for that yet but happily tagged along for their 5k races here in Columbus, and even joined them for parts of their training runs while we were on Spring Break in Myrtle Beach. Somewhere along the way, I started to look forward to going on a run...four years later, countless 5ks and 10ks, and three (soon to be four) half marathons later, here I am. Much healthier, and a lot less stressed :) I feel like if I had picked up running in college, or even in the year I took off between getting my BA at Ohio State and starting my MA program in Cincinnati, I would have been able to head off the stress eating that was a big part of my weight gain and overall kept myself in much better physical shape. And I likely would have quit smoking a lot sooner than I did, too.

2. The second thing you have to do is pick 6 people and give them this award. You then have to inform the person that they have gotten this award. Oh jeebus. Here goes... Emily at A Day in the Life of Em, Brit at Duke's House , Katie at Vegetarian Lunchbox, Andrea at This Year's Love , Jill at Happy Hopefuls, and Sarah at TBDBITL-OT. These are all blogs I love to read, and therefore they're all awesome :)

3. The third and final thing is, thank the person who gave you the award. Colleen, thankyou for the super cute award! I've really enjoyed following your journeys through training for your Ironman races-what you and Tom do is an inspiration to us all. I know Louisville didn't go the way you planned, but you have so much to be proud of and I know you're going to keep on kicking ass!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year... in, the days leading up to the start of Ohio State football season! Only 5 short days until the official return of tailgating and college football to my life (okay, and tailgate food too). This will hopefully mean the steady return of fall weather, too but considering we had gorgeous weather all week only to have it get hot again yesterday and today with no end in sight I don't think that's going to happen.

However, as I may have mentioned in the past, training in this hot weather should mean great things for my overall pace and race times come fall. Barring any major mishaps, that is. I was afraid I had a mishap on my hands a couple of weeks ago, in the form of some nagging pain/discomfort in my left knee that started up during a 4 mile run and refused to go away no matter how much I rested my legs. I picked up a new pair of shoes (I was due for some, anyway), made plans to have my athletic trainer sister take a look at the knee when she was in Cinci that weekend, and crossed my fingers I could at least make it through part of my scheduled 9 mile long run that Saturday (after having rested my legs since that Tuesday). The 9 miler came and went...with only minor discomfort. That continued to diminish throughout that day, and was gone completely when I woke up Sunday morning. I don't know if it was the new shoes, or the thread of being poked and prodded by my sister (which we never got around to doing), or just a coincidence and me getting nervous over nothing, but I haven't heard a peep out of my knee since and I am SO relieved. When training for my spring half, I strained my right quad about 2 months before the race and my speed and focus never really recovered so needless to say when this nagging ache came along at the same point in my training I was NOT amused. Thankfully, my speed and focus are sloooooowly starting to come back to me so hopefully I can stay healthy and kick some ass in October :D

Speaking of kicking some ass, my friend Colleen is at this very second undoubtedly kicking some ass on the running portion of her third Ironman triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) in Louisville. I am totally in awe-she and her husband Tom have trained like crazy for this and I know they're both doing awesome. However, I also know that their course covers a good part of the same course I ran for the Derby Festival Mini and my sister and her BF ran for the Derby Festival Marathon in April and that its a tough course. Plus its roughly 90 degrees here in Columbus so definitely hotter down south...I guess this is one of those times that training in heat and humidity comes in handy :) Keep kicking ass, Colleen and Tom-we're all cheering for you!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

C'mon, Mother Nature...

...haven't we had enough? Ohio has had humid, oppressive hot weather from pretty much May 'til now, save the random couple days of "cooler" weather and teases of 60ish degree 7am long runs. Damnit, I have a half marathon to break 1:50 in a little over TWO months from now and doing some much needed outdoor speed training is going to be much easier once it cools off a little bit! I should not sweat as much on a 3 mile easyish run (meaning, long run pace) as I did tonight. Jesus H.

On that note, I have officially joined that running group I was talking about. I've gotten to chat with a few people in my long run pace group, which definitely makes the long runs go a lot faster...and am forcing myself to do my necessary speedwork either on the dreadmill or the track at the gym. Both of which I HATEHATEHATE but it's better than doing it outside because with the aforementioned heat I know it would not go well.

I'm also trying to make an effort to rededicate myself to eating better, to improve my overall health and to lose the 5-7lbs I've gained since my half last fall (also Columbus). I know I CAN do this, I just have to remind my willpower of that :) All the veggies we're getting from our garden (hooray for ripe tomatoes) has helped somewhat, as has a couple of trips to local farmers markets. Mmmmm, peaches...

In other news, we are eagerly counting down the days until the start of Ohio State football season aka the hap-happiest season of alllllllllll...less than a month now! Between that and the hoopla surrounding TO joining my Bengals (don't worry, I still hate TO but just slightly less since he's a Bengal), things are good in my household :)

So cross your fingers things cool off here can't stay this hot for THAT much longer. Right?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Goodbye, vacation ::sob::

I've been enjoying my supremely lazy vacation this week, and now it's Saturday. I go back to work on Monday. Sniff. It's amazing how fast time flies when you've done diddly squat all week.

Now that I think about it though, this whole summer has gone pretty fast. WhenTF did we get to the end of July?! On the upside, this hopefully means that this godawful hot summer will be over before I know it. I swear, it's been 80-90 degrees with 95% humidity since May. Enough is enough, damnit...I want to be able to run outside later than 7am!

Speaking of running, I have officially decided that I'm going to do the 1/2 version of the Columbus Marathon again in October. I'd still love to break 1:50 in a 1/2 marathon this year, and Columbus's nice flat course and great racing temps are going to (hopefully) help give me a good chance. To shake things up, I'm joining a local running group that does their group runs from a high school about 10 mins from my house. It motivates me to get my ass out of bed before 7am on Saturdays, which is always a good thing. Except today, but that's because I drank too much beer at a local golf tournament yesterday afternoon and still had a pounding headache this morning. It's amazing how getting $1 beers after every birdie on the 13th hole can be both a good thing and a VERY bad thing...either way, J, his cousin, and I had a blast and that's the most important thing, right? I tried running @ the gym today but that wasn't happening either so I'm going to try to get up tomorrow morning.

In other news, our downstairs bathroom is done!!!!!!!!!! Squeeeee!!!!! Thanks to my super awesome wonderful father, without whom J and I never would have emerged from this project with our marriage intact. The bathroom looks great, and we are SO glad it's done. I'll post pictures one of these days. Next up, painting the family room this winter. Now that the bathroom is a color we like, the yellowness of the family room walls (the bathroom is right off the family room, and they used to be the same yellow color) is driving us nuts.

40ish days 'til OSU football season begins-yahoo! I was able to get alumni tickets for the OSU vs. Marshall game this year, which is a night game, on a Thursday, and the official kickoff to the college football season. This means I get to take the next day off work, because I know I'm not gonna be in the mood to work. My sister managed to get alumni tickets for this game also, so needless to say we're really looking forward to this. Come onnnn, college football (and the fall weather that goes along with it)!

Time to go water the veggie garden, and see if our tomatoes are getting any more red. We've got a crapload of 'em, so once they do ripen something tells me I'm going to be learning how to can out!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ah, summer in Ohio...

Aka time for lovely, disgusting humidity. We've been spending lots of time in air conditioned comfort, plodding along with the bathroom remodeling project (with LOTS of help from my dad) and only going outside when absolutely necessary. Said bathroom currently has tile and paint, so now we need to get around to putting in the small fortune's worth of fixtures (sink, vanity, faucet, toilet, lighting, etc.)...sometime before the cookout/anniversary celebration we're having on July 17th. In three weeks. Cross your fingers, people :D

Work is going pretty well. We "went live" with a new electronic medical record system a few weeks ago, which on one hand has been a PITA b/c we were all used to the old system, but good because now we're on the same system as the rest of the hospital so that comes in handy. So far, so good though...and by that, I mean I haven't tried to throw my computer out the window yet :)

On the health/fitness front, I've been a lot better about going to the gym or running at least 5x/week and resisting the urge to be lazy all.the.time. I'm trying to get back into the routine of working out before I go to work, which means getting up at an ungodly hour but makes the rest of the day SO much easier! I managed to do it twice this week so we'll see how this week goes :)

Plus, I actually ran a 5k yesterday. I try to avoid summer races at all costs b/c of the heat, and this summer has been no exception. However, this race was at a park I hadn't run in yet, and was starting at 8am so I thought it'd be cooler. WRONG! I still managed to pass everyone I wanted to pass, and got 3rd in my age group! (Before you ask, yes it WAS a small race but a medal is a medal damnit :D) My finishing time was 27:00 even, which is a good two minutes slower than my PR (25:02) but that was set in March 09 when it was significantly cooler outside. Ah, spring I miss you!

Otherwise, not much is going on around here. Our vegetable garden and potted herbs/lettuce are growing nicely-maybe we'll have some edible veggies here soon! We've been trying to get stuff done around the house to get ready for the upcoming par-tay, so that's been keeping us on our toes. Add in two weddings, and you've got a busy June. Bring it on, July!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Some updates, and a race report.

First, the race report.

This morning, Stevi, Colleen, and I did the Columbus 10k. I woke up at 7am to the sound of torrential downpours hitting my roof and thought to myself "Oh, crap. Really?". Luckily, by the time I left the house almost an hour later, the rain had stopped and we haven't seen it since. Once I got parked, a little voice in my head told me to put on sunscreen even though it was overcast, and it was a good thing I did-the sun came out shortly after the race started, and stayed shining for pretty much the rest of the race. I would have gotten ROASTED if I hadn't put on the SPF 45-it takes work to maintain this shade of translucent white, damnit! :D

Between the heat, humidity, and the hills (which aren't necessarily "big", but they were for superflat Columbus), Stevi and I decided pretty quickly that we needed to run to have fun and not to break any speed records-she starts her marathon training program tomorrow and neither one of us have had a good transition to warm weather running so we knew that trying to haul ass just wasn't a good idea today. Despite a short walk stint to let Stevi's burning calf muscles rest, we both finished in right around 1:00:00 flat, which given the conditions was FINE by me! Plus, we got postrace pancakes, and those always help :)

Now, onto the other stuff...despite today's tough race, I think my body's transition to running in warm weather is starting to come along. In Columbus, we went from spring temps in the 60's to temps in the 80's with 90% humidity, with maybe a few days of temps in the mid 70' the abrupt change has NOT been kind to me. Add in a lovely chest cold and you get a few weeks of craptacular running, which I am finally done with.

My eating healthy endeavours are starting to take hold, as is my plan to work out more consistently-I actually made it to the gym or ran 6 out of the last 7 days! YAY! Strength training is still not happening much yet, but I did buy the 30 Day Shred DVD so that's a start :) I haven't been able to do it yet since our family room is taken up by the fixtures we're putting in the bathroom that's in the process of being remodeled, but I AM going to try it soon...promise.

Other than that, not much is new in my world. We've got a couple of weddings coming up, and need to finish this bathroom before our big summer party in the middle of July. I don't have any races on the horizon at this point, but there are a couple of races I've come across that look interesting-one of which is a 5 mile run+obstacle course. Hooray, mud! All in all, I'm just glad winter is over and summer is finally here :D

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

So, what now?

That's what I find me asking myself. My spring race is done (see below post), and I haven't even decided for sure if I'm doing a fall race, let alone which one. There are tons of 5ks and a handful of 10ks coming up this summer that are easily within driving distance of my house, but I also have a busy wedding/house project/yard project/party season ahead of me-there are easily three upcoming 5ks that I've thought "Oh, that would be great to do", only to find out there's a wedding or bridal shower or something else going on. So for now, I'm playing things by ear. For me, that means trying to keep my weekly mileage from tanking (I'm hoping to maintain 15+ miles/week, schedule permitting) and adding some much needed elements to my overall fitness routine. If you know me and what I do (or in this case, don't do) on a regular basis, you know this means...

Strength training.

You see, I have the wimpiest.muscles.ever. My core strength sucks, and my arms aren't much better. My lower body strength is okay, thanks to running, but still needs to improve. So that's what I'm going to be slowly rededicating myself to. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do that with weights at the gym? 30 Day Shred? Something else? Using the weights at the gym has it's pros and cons, as does 30 Day we'll see. I'm working on it.

Another thing I'm working on is reining in my love of all food that is crappy. Fried food, sweets, cheese-you name it, I love it. As a result, I put on almost 10 lbs after my fall half and have only been able to take off a couple lbs of that weight so far. So needless to say, I need to work on my restraint, and eating a more balanced diet.

So, that's what now. As I mentioned, I haven't decided what, if any, "big" fall race I'm going to do. I do think that, assuming I do one (and I probably will, lets not fool ourselves here) I'm going to try joining a running group this time. Lord only knows Columbus has a few for me to choose from, but I'll probably look into the Marathoner In Training group (no, this doesn't mean I'm doing a full)-mostly because their weekend runs start at a high school near my house, and from what I've heard a lot of their group runs are on my side of town. But fall's a long time away, thank goodness...bring on summer! Happy running!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Race Recap

Scratch that. Let's call this a general weekend recap.

This weekend was my race-the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon (aka half marathon). The 10 days leading up to the race were filled with much obsessing over weather forecasts on, some good painfree runs (and one crappy but pain free 10 miler), and many efforts (some failed) to eat more good food and less junk. We (J and I) drove down to Louisville on Friday, met our friend Jess for lunch, and hit up the race expo so I could pick up my race packet and see what other free stuff they had (not much). Oh, and plopped our butts at a nearby bar where J could drink some beers and I could drink a couple of beers and a lot of water. My sis and her boyfriend (who were doing the full marathon) met us up there for a little bit after their own expo trip, and Jess met us there after she left work before we all headed back to the house she and her fiance share (aka where we were bunking for the weekend). We took it easy for the rest of the evening-went to one of their favorite restuarants for an appetizer and a glass of wine, and another restaurant for dinner. Mmmm, lasagna. I stuck to my plan to be in bed around 10pm, and all was good.

Despite all my obsessing over the weather and my praying for nice, cool, non humid weather, we woke up Saturday morning to...drizzle. And humidity. Humidity+temps in the 60's=uncomfortable running weather. Thankfully, the drizzle pretty much stopped for the start of the race but picked up again shortly thereafter and got progressively heavier until around mile 6 when it stopped for good (well, for the duration of the race at least). The drizzle didn't bother me as much as the humidity, though. And the hills. Oh, the hills. The first 4 miles of the race wound through a local park that just did not look that hilly on the elevation map...WRONG! We went up, we went down a little, we went up some more, down some more, back up some more...and so on. That, plus the humidity, took a LOT out of me-I ended up sucking it up and taking a fair share of walk breaks throughout the race. Which I HATE, but you gotta do what you gotta do, and I did what I had to for my own sake and so I could finish the race. (But hey, I didn't hear/feel a peep out of my balky quad at ALL, which is a huge relief)

My chip time was 2:07:44-which is 12 minutes off my PR (1:55:42) and almost 7 mins slower than my slowest half thus far (2:01:02). And I'm okay with that. I'm not thrilled with it, but I'm okay with it. Plus, I got a free beer afterwards to keep me company while I waited for Jess and J to come find me after the race :D

After the race, we made our way back to Jess's, got cleaned up, relaxed for a bit, and headed to a great local restaurant for lunch. By then, I had talked to my sister (who had the same difficulties during the race that I did) and she and her BF had decided to take us all up on our offer of dinner so they made their way out to the house and we cooked out, drank beer, and hung out for the evening. Which was exactly what three tired runners needed!

Lessons learned-the Derby Festival Mini Marathon and Marathon course is NOT flat and fast, as my sister's running group friend had told her. Not at all. In fact, the Marathon was even worse than the Mini-they went through another (even more hilly) park in the second half of the race and according to my sis it was miserable. Plus there wasn't as much crowd support in the second half of the race, which made it tough for the marathoners.

-if you're looking for a flat, fast race, do more research on the elevation changes of the course before you sign up. Looking at the elevation map provided on the race's website is not enough.

-most importantly, high five the kids holding their hands out for high fives as much as you can...even if you're having a crappy race. It's amazing how doing so puts a smile on your face, even for a second. Plus, seeing the kids' faces light up is a great little energy rush :)

Next up-who knows? There's a local 5k that I may do this coming Saturday, depending on what the weather ends up doing. Otherwise, I don't have any races planned and am still debating what I want to do for my fall half. In the meantime, I'm going to try to step it up with the strength training and improve my overall fitness in the hopes of losing the rest of this pesky weight I've put on since last fall :P

Now, time to take it legs are a little sore but not horribly so but I took tomorrow off work anyway in case we decided to stay in Louisville through Sunday, so I have another day to relax. Hooray!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

11 days? Oh jeez...

We leave for Louisville a week from Thursday...eeeeee! Now that it looks like my quad pain is under control and I can run at a reasonable pace again, I'm starting to get excited for the race guessed it, 11 days. More importantly though, I actually enjoy running again. I think making an efford to run different routes+new shoes+little to no quad pain=happy legs and a healthy uncranky mind while I'm running, and for that I am grateful. I've never been in a funk like that before and it sucked butt.

So I've got one more long run left before I start tapering-10 miles on Saturday. I'm tossing around the idea of doing what I did a couple of weeks ago, which is run a 10k+3.8 miles, but I'm not sure. Unlike the last 10k I did, the one I'm thinking about is NOT a trail run which would be a huge relief. I am NOT cut out for trail running, that's for sure :)

Other than counting down 'til the race and stalking weather reports for Louisville, not a lot is going on. I'm going to try REALLY hard to eat well over the next couple of weeks-starting tonight, because my whole dinner last night was pretty much deep fried (fried pickles, buffalo chicken sandwich with fries) or dessert (ice cream and cookie combo). It was delicious, but I can't keep eating like that less than two weeks before a race! So I resisted the urge to indulge beyond the food I brought to work with me today and got Chipotle on the way home from work-but put half of my Burrito Bol in the fridge for lunch tomorrow, and did NOT get Chipotle's delicious but oh so bad for you tortilla chips. It's a start...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The good, the bad, and the ugly

The good? I ran a 10k this morning, as part of my scheduled 9 mile long run (did 2.8 mi before the race, then the 6.2 mile race) and got third in my age group! There were only about 50 runners total, but who cares about that :p Plus, my quad didn't act up at ALL, and my new shoes did great!

The bad? Well, not bad per se, but you'd think so if you knew my 10k PR (which I will divulge momentarily), but my clock time was 57:15. By no means bad, but I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a teeeeeny part of me that was aggravated at that, given that my PR is 51:20. However, this was my first trail race, the course was really hilly (well, hilly for Central Ohio, and more hilly than I expected it to be), and since I've had to forgo speedwork in favor of babying my sore quad my speed has gone to crap. So of course, my time wasn't as good as it's been in the past...and that's okay.

The ugly? Like I said, it was my first trail race. On gravel, which I thought would be so much better than grass/dirt. I was wrong. Gravel sucks. So did the geeeeenormous hills (like I said, geeeeeeenormous for Columbus. The Eden Park hill that is part of the Flying Pig in Cinci was definitely worse, but still). And the heat. The sun came out about 2 miles into the race, and since it's still fairly early in the spring there's not a lot of shade. Which leads me to my next ugly-the course surroundings. I knew they wouldn't be particularly scintillating, seeing as the metropark the race was held in is called Prairie Oaks...emphasis on prairie. As in, some trees and lakes but overall a lot of grassland. A lot. Which is only nice to look at for, oh, 15 minutes or so.

Another good? Those lovely, wonderful Boy Scouts in their bright orange T-shirts that were handing out Dixie cups of wonderful delicious water at a couple of points along the course. I love you guys...I don't know who you are, or which troop you are, but I love you.

Another good/bad-I made a postrace trip to Old Navy to try to pick up some cheap polos for my pregnant coworker who is in New York for her baby shower this weekend and therefore unable to take advantage of the $5 polo sale. Since men's size polos are the only non-maternity polos that are big enough to accomodate her rapidly expanding belly, I hit the men's section first. And found that of the $5 polos, there was a lot of smalls and mediums, and one large. In red. So I grabbed it. Then found a couple of different polos for J. And a skirt, four tank tops, and a short sleeved shirt for me :D Oh, and an ice pack shaped like a baby chick. $100 later, I left. Hooray for new clothes! And let's ignore the fact that I didn't even go in there for stuff for me-this tank top I'm wearing is comfy, damnit :)

Now, I've had a shower, lunch, a nap, and a healthy dose of HGTV in preparation for dinner with my parents and sister later. And Easter brunch tomorrow...Happy Easter, all!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

OMG you guysssss

My stomach=full. From brunch. At 12:15. And it's 5:11pm. I'm still full. D'you think I ate too much? :D

We had brunch with my coworker and her hubby today at a place over by their house, about 20 mins from us. The restaurant had an enormous buffet, plus a dessert table one can only dream about. So needless to say, we all packed it in...hardcore. I really need to take the dog on a walk, but am having trouble motivating myself to get off the couch for more than 3 minutes at a time. So we'll see how THAT goes. At least I went to the gym this morning, right? RIGHT?!

Speaking of brunch, we discovered the greatest word ever today. TRANWRECK. No, I did not misspell "trainwreck". Let me explain.

The four of us are sitting there, minding our own business and eating our breakfast, when we all see something out of the corner of our collective eyes. A person walking towards the buffet, who we decided were 100% certain was a person who may have been born a male but was choosing to live their life as a female. No big deal, right? In our eyes, no. Here was the issue...said individual was strutting through the restaurant in four inch heels, a pair of jeans that were easily two sizes too small and just looked uncomfortable, and a top that was 1. too tight and 2. too short. Hoooo buddy.

Now, we were by no means at a fancy restaurant. There was a mix of people who had just come from church (dressed nicely) and people who hadn't (like J and I-in clothes that fit and were appropriate for going out in public on a Sunday). But this getup caught EVERYONE'S attention...including the lady and her preteen daughter next to us. Said daughter was heard to comment to her mom "Mom, that lady's outfit is just all wrong. She looks like a trainwreck." And her mom's response was "No, honey, that's a tranwreck." Resulting in the four of us doing a HORRIBLE job at not laughing. (Mind you, said wreck was in no way near eye/earshot when this exchange was occurring. We may notice inappropriate clothing, but we're not assholes.)

The moral of the story? If you have found that you were meant to live your life as a member of the gender that is NOT necessarily the one you were born with, that's totally cool. Do what makes you happy. Buuuuuut-please, oh please, pretty please dress appropriate for the occasion. By not doing so, you only call negative attention to yourself. (NOTE: this goes for those of us who do live our lives as members of the gender which we were as, too. Call it a general rule of thumb, regardless of your situation).

Regardless, I will remember the word "tranwreck" forever. Thank you, random woman at brunch.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Catching up...

It's been almost a month...oops. I be a bad blogger. Oh well. On with the updates-

Oh, wait, there's not a ton to update on. Race training is going better-taking a week off from running really helped my right quad pain. It's still there, but hasn't hampered my running at all...I mean, I had a shittastic long run (9 miles) this past Sunday, but that was due more to general burnout than pain. Thankfully, I have a well placed cutback week going on this week and am working on getting out of this rut that I've been in. Hopefully some changes in running scenery will do the trick...and some new shoes. I may switch brands, but haven't made up my mind yet-it could do more harm than good which is NOT something I want happening a month before the race. So we'll see.

Unfortunately, the weight loss piece (as in, the 10 lbs I put on after my half in October) is not coming along as well as I'd like it to...and it's all my own fault. Me and my love for crappy food :p I'm starting an "Oh shit, one month 'til my race!" diet crackdown-meaning no crappy food aside from a cheat meal 1x/week and NOT the day before tempo/speedwork or long runs. This may help me bust out of this running funk, least I hope so. I'm planning on incorporating some reviews of or recipes for healthier foods into this blog...keep an eye out!

Speaking of healthier eating, it's official-Spring is FINALLY here! This means flip flops, and capri pants, and Georgie laying in her favorite sunning spots in the backyard, and for the first time ever...planting a VEGETABLE GARDEN! Last year, we didn't get the backyard fenced in until it was too late in the planting season to really have any success with a veggie garden so we decided to hold off until next year. Well, next year is HERE :) So far, we're thinking heirloom and/or roma tomatoes, red peppers, butternut squash, jalapenos, spinach, strawberries, basil, and cilantro. The last two will probably be in pots, and J wants to put the tomatoes in hanging planters. Maybe, just maybe, my black thumb is gone for good? Let's hope so! We're hoping to make the garden as organic as possible-environmentally friendly pesticides and fertilizers, I'll be crossing my fingers that everything grows well. If not, I'll just have more stuff to pick up at the farmers markets (that start in May, woohoo!). We've been slowly incorporating more organic and/or local food into our diets-for now, mostly produce and milk. We'd love to do more, but it's just not in the budget. Meaning, that shit's expensive :p And since we don't live in an area that has farmers markets year round, we've got to pick our proverbial battles.

Between that and all the other fun landscaping projects we're got plotted for this summer (on top of the projects INSIDE the house that we haven't gotten started yet)'s going to be a busy spring/summer/fall. All I have to say is, bring it onnnnnnnn!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Injuries suck.

(Brace yourself for some whining. A lot of it. Yes, I would like some cheese with my whine.)

I have an owie :( It's a fairly minor owie in the grand scheme of things-pain in my right quad that might be coming from the quad muscle itself and might be coming from the bone, I don't know yet. Its not a severe pain, and doesn't make me limp or anything, but it's a nagging pain that I'd like to get nipped in the bud now, before I get further into my training program and closer to my race on April 24th. I had a lengthy talk with my sister, who's an athletic trainer, and she suggested some rest, stretching before and after runs, actually doing some strength training (which I haven't been), and making sure to ice after each run. This week was slated to be an easy mileage week, so taking a break from running isn't going to completely screw my training. Hopefully this stupid pain goes away soon, and I can get back to business :D

Speaking of training, Mother Nature needs to cut the crap. No.more.snow. I hate running on the treadmill with a passion, and dislike running on the track at the gym only slightly less. But running on slushly, yucky snow isn't exactly good for my balance and lord only knows I have a habit of falling and hurting myself while running.

In the meantime, I'm trying to be really good about doing my crosstraining and taking it easy. Eating healthy has been going a little better, but there's nothing like cold crappy weather to make you want to sit on your butt and eat all day. We've been talking about what kind of veggies and fruits we want to plant in our garden this spring/summer, which is strangely motivating. So far, we're thinking heirloom tomatoes (in those hanging planter things, if Jason gets his way), red peppers, cucumbers, butternut squash, potentially strawberries, and basil and cilantro in planters. Maybe a couple more, but we'll see. We're hoping to find a couple of good organic bugkillers and fertilizers if possible-we try to eat organic produce as often as possible but it's not exactly easy on the budget. If we could be successful at growing our own, that'd be awesome.

So those are the latest goings on in a nutshell...hopefully this pain decides to give it a rest and I can get back to training hard!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm a lazy blogger, aren't I?

Yeah, pretty much. We've gotten a fair amount of snow in Columbus over the last couple of weeks (of course, just as my half marathon training has started), which is really cramping my style. Lots of treadmill running (which I hate) and lots of hanging out at home, which equals snacking. Thanks to my friend Katie, though, I was able to get out for a snowy, slushy 7 mile long run on the streets around Katie's house today. We have a feeling we're both going to be sore tomorrow, but that's okay.

Speaking of sore, I've been having a twingy sort of pain in my right quad after I run. It's not really anything I notice while I'm running, and it doesn't keep me from's just sore afterwards. So I'm keeping an eye on it for now, and hoping to sweet baby Jesus that it doesn't get worse. Other than that, training is going well. I've come to the realization that the paces my training program says I should hit during my speed and tempo work are just a liiiiiiiittle too fast, and once I sucked it up and slowed down by 15-20 sec/mile those runs have gotten a lot more productive. I have another 7 mile long run next Sunday, followed by a cutback week of 4 mile easy on Tuesday, 3 miles easy on Thursday, and another 4 miles easy on Sunday...but the Sunday run is getting pushed up to Saturday since I'm doing a spinning class fundraiser at a local gym for the Livestrong Foundation that Sunday. It's basically either a 2 hour spinning class or 4 hours-I'm doing one of the 2 hour blocks. My sister Alli and I have done this two years in a row, but Alli doesn't feel like being a glutton for punishment with me and that's okay :D

Really, not a lot else has been going on here. Yesterday, Georgie and I visited with Katie and her foster greyhound Roxie at their rescue's meet and greet at a local PetSmart yesterday, and had great fun meeting all the doggies. In addition to the greyhound rescue, there were a couple of other dog rescues plus a cat that equaled lots of doggies for Georgie to meet. She was POOPED! Afterward, Katie and Roxie came over for a little while and Roxie napped while Georgie acted like a crazy girl...she crashed later though :D All in all, it's been a good couple of weeks. I just wish the snow would stop! I know we're in Ohio, but enough is enough damnit.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

And here we go...

This week was the first week of my training program for my next half marathon-the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon on April 24th in Louisville, KY. So overall, my week went like this:

Monday: rest. Went to WWE Monday Night Raw with the hubs and had a blast.

Tuesday: rest. I was supposed to do a 2 mile easy run but got lazy.

Wednesday: the 2 mile run I was supposed to do the day before, plus some other cardio.

Thursday: was supposed to be a tempo run of 1 mile warm up, 3 miles @ 8:00ish/mile pace, 1 mile cool down. Turned into 1 mile warm up, plus some walking, then some intervals. I hate the treadmill...I hate it I hate it I hate it. Next time, I hit the track.

Friday: almost an hour doing intervals on a spin bike.

Saturday: 45 mins of cardio at the gym. It would have been more, but I got up late and was on a time crunch (my parents were picking me up at 10:30 to go to Cinci for the day).

Today: 6 mile long run in the freezing cold with Katie and her pup Cal.

Oh I am so glad I invested in running tights. I don't know what I'd do without them. Not run outside, that's for sure!

So overall, I did work out 5x this week...hooray! Now, I just need to work on making my tempo runs actual tempo runs, and not let my boredom on the treadmill get in my way. Oh, and not eating crap. Why does crappy food have to be so yummy?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Le sigh. One of these days...

I'll actually succeed in getting to the gym or running outside at least 5 days in a week. This week went like this...

Monday-went to the gym with Anne. 45 mins of intervals of walking for 2.5 mins @ 4.5 mph with running 2.5 mins at 7.0-7.5 mph. Hooray!

Tuesday-rest day

Wednesday-Fully intended on going to the gym, until I ended up with a daylong bellyache courtesy of the stupid danish I inhaled that morning. I forgot, yet again, that sweet baked goods+empty or almost empty stomach=bellyache and general yuck feeling. So, no gym.

Thursday-ran 5ish miles at Antrim with Katie and her dog Cal

Friday-rest day, since we went out to dinner at El Vaquero for our friend John's bday. Mmm, El Vaquero. I tried to get up before work to go to the gym, but it wasn't happening.

Saturday-ran almost 4 miles.

Today-half an hour or so on the elliptical with Anne followed by our usual Sunday 75 minute yoga class.

Me and my lack of will power...this week's goal? NO bellyache inducing baked goods!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Running in the snow, and other stuff

Lately, I've had the itch for a good outdoor run. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided to dump around 5 inches of the white death upon us on Thursday (and a little more on Friday), and my neighborhood is particularly abysmal at road clearing. Couple that with my history of falling and hurting myself on runs on perfectly clear roads (which for the record hasn't happened in about 2 years), and you understand my trepidation. (Thanks to my running tights, the cold had nothing to do with it...more on those later). So today I headed out with my friend Katie and her dog Cal for a run on the streets of Clintonville (where Katie lives) which really weren't much better than my own but Clintonville is prettier than my neighborhood...and no, I did NOT hurt myself! WOOHOO! Some of the snowier areas were a little hard to navigate but all in all it was fun, and definitely made me VERY aware of where my feet are going. Which is never a bad thing. Cap it off with a cooldown walk with Cal and Katie's foster dog Roxie the greyhound, some hot tea, and snuggles with Roxie (who is a lovebug) and you have one productive workout.

So, my running tights..I have these , and for my first pair of running tights ever I LOVE them. They make running in the cold so much more comfortable! I could do without the ankle zippers but overall they're great.

In other running news, I think I've made up my mind about my spring half marathon and am going to do the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-Marathon at the end of April. My sister Alli is thinking about doing the full, plus my friend Jess lives in Louisville and I've been wanting to go visit her and see Louisville this is my chance! One of my goals for this year is to run a sub 1:50 half marathon, so maybe this will be my chance...and if not there's always fall!

Speaking of goals for the year, my goal to go to the gym or run at least 5x/week did not go so well this week, thanks to an upset stomach on Friday. I ended up taking off Monday/Tuesday/Friday and working out Weds/Thurs/Sat/ overall I'm pleased, but have some room to improve next week. Plus, I'm really trying to eat less processed stuff and more fruits/veggies. I'm hoping this helps me be more motivated to actually prepare things and not just throw a Lean Pocket in my lunch bag (there's nothing wrong with LPs, I just find myself relying on them more than I should)...I mean, how could you NOT want to put yummy food in containers that cute? :D If you want to see the Bento 2.0 in action, check out Katie's blog here-seeing all the pics on FB of the awesome lunches she's put together have motivated me to try out my very own Bento we'll see how it goes!

Now, off to rustle up some grub...either leftover Chicken Tortilla soup, or Tofu Shiritaki pasta with some sort of sauce. We'll see what I come up with!

Friday, January 8, 2010

La di flippin' da

Thanks to Mother Nature, I am one bored girl. We got a bunch of snow last night and as a result I have seen two kids today and don't have another one scheduled for another couple of hours (I will be calling my three remaining kids to make sure they're coming in). All my paperwork is done, so here I am.

(Remotely) new and (remotely) interesting things going on in my life...

-New Year's Resolution (to work out at least 5x/week) is going okay so far. I skipped the gym Monday and Tuesday this week so as long as I stay on track for the rest of the week I'll be good to go. I've been trying to eat less junk too, but I also spent two days at home with my recently de-wisdom teethed hubby and as a result have been catching myself eating out of boredom. And because I love pudding, which we currently have in copious amounts. Mmmm, butterscotch pudding...However, I did just discover the joy of mixing ranch dressing with Tastefully Simple Fiesta Mix to dip veggies in so hopefully this motivates me to eat more of the green/red/orange stuff.

-Also, in an effort to branch out in my fitness habits and try to strengthen up my wimpy upper body, I have been to exactly TWO yoga classes with my friend Anne. They're on Sunday afternoons for 75 minutes, and remind me just how wimpy my upper body is. But yet, I like long as I get in some cardio before or after.

-I have been trying to get on the treadmill more, since the road conditions in my area are not exactly amenable to running (not even with my running tights on). Plus, I have a habit of falling and hurting myself while running, and since there's snow and ice all over I'd rather not tempt the fates. Here's the thing, though...I hate the treadmill. HATE HATE HATE. I'd rather run around the track (which is either 9 laps/mile or 12 laps/mile depending on which Urban Active I'm at that day). But the treadmill has tv, which is key if NCIS is on. I love that show. So I'm making the effort...I need to keep in running shape in order to train for whatever half marathon I decide to do this spring. Sometime this year, I REALLY want to run a sub 1:50 half. I ran my first (on a hilly course) in 2:01:02, and my second (on a nice flat course) in 1:55:4something so it's not out of the realm of possibility...but that means no slacking on the speedwork like I did for my last half. Yes, that's right, I slacked on my speedwork. But no more, I say.

-Jason has told me that he's going to do our local Race for the Cure this May. He's claimed he's going to run this race or that race with me but I think he'll actually follow through on this one...our city lost a prominent resident to breast cancer shortly before Thanksgiving (she and her husband both went to OSU, her hubby played football for Ohio State and the Lions before retiring to take care of her after she was first diagnosed) and Jason is a huge fan of her husband's radio show so he wants to do the race in honor of this family. This time, I think he'll follow through...this particular death hit us both kind of hard for someone we've never actually met. Maybe I'll be able to make a running buddy out of him yet!

Other than that, not much is going on. Jason is recovering from his widsom teeth removal really nicely (better than I expected, honestly...he's whiny when he's in pain), work is good (though boring right now), the house is good, and Georgie is of course great. So...yeah.