Greed is good.

That's right. I am a greedy girl. For running in the warm weather, that is. It's unbelievable here! This past weekend was c-c-c-old and snowy. But Sunday was a balmy 70, and so was today. The weather being what it was, I felt this irrational, panicky urge to run while the weather was warm, so I did 6 miles yesterday, and 5 miles this evening. I didn't take my watch. I just went out and ran. I felt good on both runs. Maybe that is the trick: Running without a watch -- no muss, no fuss. None of the usual "ouch, my knee," or "oh, that plantar fasciitis," or "I should go for another 20 minutes."

As a bonus to the nice weather, my new Runner's World came in the mail today, so I will get to devour that tonight. It boasts a new marathon training plan inside, so I will be curious to see what the plan is. I still haven't decided on a spring marathon (I should probably do that soon, huh?) but have pretty much committed myself to registering for Twin Cities once online registration is available in April.

My gym will be starting spinning classes this winter. I am really excited. I can finally get back in the saddle. It's pretty pathetic at my house. I try not to look at my Raleigh, leaning against the wall, when I walk past it to do the laundry. Sadly, it has not been on the trainer since I brought it in from the garage. I just can't get psyched about riding it. I give DGC all the credit for riding the bike so much during her injury. Talk about mental toughness! Hopefully, these spinning classes will help me get my biking in this winter. There are two options: an hour long spinning class, and one called "Fire and Ice," where the class is broken up: 30 minutes spinning, and 20 minutes yoga. The classes start in January, and we have been urged to "sign up early, as space is limited." We'll see what classes I can get into.

(P.S. Bolder: Can Ben Stiller make a bad movie? Thanks for you comment re: my B.S. imitation. I take that as a compliment. ;)
(P.P.S. Mouse: GO STEELERS - the streak ends tonight!)


Back on the wagon

After a few days of eating way too much and working out way too little, I am going to try to get back on the wagon (calories in < calories burned). I did a short run Wednesday morning (2 miles) before heading out of town. Didn't run on T-day. Went for a half-hearted run in the snow on Friday (35 minutes). Went swimming this afternoon (2000 yards). I want to run tomorrow. Hopefully, the sidewalk snow melts a little bit more.

I was bummed about missing my local Turkey Trot, but I shouldn't have fretted. Get this - because of the hazardous weather conditions, the race was shortened from a 5 mile to a 1.5 mile! That's first. Gotta love lake effect snow!!


What I Am Thankful For

Thanks again, RBFers, for all the well-wishes on the half! You guys are the best! When I started this blogventure, I didn't expect that blogging would help me work out any harder, or make me want to improve my times any more...I just wanted a place to talk about my running obsession more than my "real life" friends would allow. But actually, I am discovering that my blog, and my "Blogging Friends," are motivating me more than I thought! Whenever I want to just lay on the couch, or not work out, or not run, or not go to the pool, I think: "But what will I tell my bloggin' friends about??"

Anyway, I don't want to wax sentimental all night, just wanted to say that my Bloggin' Friends are some pretty cool people, and are a few of the many things that I am thankful for!

And on the exercise front, I didn't run yesterday, because as Curly Su said, I am "stupidly sore." My quads are still really sore today. But I came home from work, and my dog was bouncing off the walls, so I sucked it up, and took her for a quick 2 mile jog. More like my suicide shuffle - a gait most likely to be seen at the last 10k of any marathon I run.

After that, I went to the pool to get a quick swim in. Here's the workout:
W/U: 200 swim, 100 Kick, 100 Pull
Fly Set: 4 x 75 (fly, fr, fly), (fr, fly, fr), (fly, fr, fr), (fr, fr, fly)
100 fly kick
Back Set: 200 swim
4 x 25 (15 sec rest)
4 x 50 (I actually swam this free, because I was just sick of backstroke)
Breast Set: 100 swim
6 x 25 on :60
Free Set: 8 x 50 on :70
W/D: 200 swim (choice)
That's about 2000 yards - took me 44:18 minutes.

I am taking off work tomorrow. I may try to swim again in the morning, or I may just try another short run. We'll see what the morning brings. Buckeyerunner, out.


Running Jacket, Capris, MP3, Chocolate Blast AND Espresso Love

Above are just a few of the decisions I finally made this morning. I probably could have gone with just a long sleeve T, but I overdressed, again. Other than that, it was a great day to run. I got there early, got a good parking spot, and yippee, there was a port-a-john waiting for those of us who parked farther away this year (the last two years, the lines at the port-a-johns were staggering.)

The weather was A-1, thankfully. Cool and sunny. Infinitely better than the weather on November 6th. I sat in my car for a bit and listened to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Fighters, and wrote down my goal time. A habit from my old swimmin' days. 1:59.

It is an out an back course through part of the Cleveland Metropark system. I love the out and back course. You can see the speedsters coming back, and cheer on your friends who are faster. I saw B. and P. (they have wings, I swear), and I also saw another little speed demon, Elizabeth! I yelled her name. I don't think she knew who I was, but she waved.

Here are my splits. I only have the first 10 miles, and my finish time, though:
mile 1: 10:00
mile 2: 8:55
mile 3: 9:44
mile 4: 8:34
mile 5: 8:51
mile 6: 9:05
mile 7: 9:13
mile 8: 9:29
mile 9: 9:19
mile 10: 9:57 (This brought me to 1:33:12. I knew then I would not make my goal of 1:59. Knees ok, feeling some pain in my low back and left hip. So now, I just wanted to be as close to 2:00 as possible.)
finish time: last 3 took 31:20, and my finish time was 2:04.

Fall Classic 2003 was 2:11:40, 2004 was 1:58:49. Better luck next year for breaking the two! All in all, a good day. I am glad I finished. I kept worrying I would have another DNF. Now I can erase that memory, for good!

Thanks for all the good luck wishes, folks! They made a difference, I am sure.

Clear and Cold

Good news people. I think that it is looking dry for the race this morning! I think it is going to be chilly, and I am still debating about many things. Long running tights or capris? Running jacket or long sleeve shirt? Hat or ear warmers? MP3 or no MP3? Chocolate Blast gel or Espresso Love gel? Carry my camera or forget about any race pics? You would think I would have had all this planned out already. Yikes. I think I am making myself more nervous by posting. I should stop.

(Just as an aside, I remember a time when I loved running for the simplicity of the sport. All you needed was shoes, and you were off. Now, it appears that I have accumulated more gear that you can imagine! MP3, gel, camera, hip sack, pace band, running watch, ortho inserts...what the heck!?)

Elizabeth may bandit the race this morning, so maybe we'll get to meet up. Race report to follow.



to get a little nervous about the half. I have to go register tomorrow morning, in order to save myself the aggravation of doing it the morning of the race. Weather outlook looks cold. I know, I know, not as cold as our friends up North, Jennifer P.'s page. Nevertheless, I think it is going to be a cold one, folks.

Also, thanks for the kind words about my runnin' shelf. I should explain...that is combined hardware for my husband, and me. So that may explain the crowded nature of the shelf. ;)

Tomorrow I would like to get up and do a quick 2 miler with the clothes I am planning to wear on Sunday. Give it a test run, so to speak. I have errands to run, and then maybe go swim later in the afternoon.

Since I always get up at dark-thirty the day of the race, I am sure that I will post about my pre-race jitters. Why is it that I don't mind getting up in the dark for a race, but I hate getting up in the dark for work?


Wednesday Whine

Well, folks, I ran on Tuesday, even though I said I wasn't going to. I just went for 3 miles...I couldn't resist! It was downright balmy last night. I was afraid that it would be one of my last t-shirt running days of the year, so I ran with sore calves. Good thing, too, because today it is COLD. Whoever nicknamed Chicago the "Windy City" never lived in Cleveland. It is only in the 40s or so, but the wind is so strong. I am glad I ran yesterday. And if you want to see something that is truly scary (at least for this non-skiier) check out the snowy picture on Jennifer P.'s blog. Brrrrrr. Glad I have a snowblower. Too bad my husband is the only one who knows how to use it!

As for today, I did stay off my feet, and went to the pool. A feat in and of itself, because I didn't leave the house until 7:30 p.m. My usual m.o. (if I don't work out in the morning) is to work out as soon as I get home from work. Otherwise, I turn into a couch potato. Or a blogaholic.

Due to the late nature of my trip to the pool, I did a quick 2000 yards. Consisting of:
Warm Up: 200 swim, 50 kick, 50 swim
500 swim, 400 pull
300 kick, 200 swim, 100 pull
200 easy warm down
This took me about a half hour. The one nice thing about going late is that I had the entire pool to myself. Pure bliss.

Here is the latest item that I had my handy husband do:

I've had this little shelf forever, hiding in the back of a closet. I had a fair amount of running hardware and marathon medals hiding in the back of another closet, so I put the two together!

Have a great rest of the week, people!


Tell Me Where It Hurts

My faithful friend and I went for a chilly, dark, 3-mile run this evening. Before we got her, I hated to run by myself in the dark. But now, she is my courage. Isn't she gorgeous?

Anyway, back to the substance of this post. I'll tell you where it hurts. The soleus of both my legs is so SORE! See below:

I rarely get sore there, so I am wondering what I did this weekend, or what was wrong with my running gait to make it so sore. I may not run tomorrow, to see if it gets better for Wednesday. The Stick would be a good gadget to help rub out some of that lactic acid in my calves.

Bolder's idea of 'what I bought this week' is a great one. The Stick could be my buy of the week! Meb uses it, so it must be good. Meb Keflezighi - Stick User Article. I would definitely have at least one new running gadget, gizmo, or outfit to boast about each week. I'll stretch tonight, and lather on the Theragesic. Will keep you posted on my progress.


Weekend Wrap Up

Here is how the rest of the weekend shaped up, in terms of exercise: Saturday, I headed to the pool, and went for a simplified workout of 9 x 300.
4:28, 5:24, 5:49, 5:21, 5:16, 5:22, 5:19, 5:25, 5:31, for a total of 48:05. Times for laps 2-9 include my rest period.

Saturday night, I went to look for new running shoes. Here is what I picked:

Sorry for the poor resolution, but you get the idea. They are the Nike Shox 2:40, and mine are yellow and pink. I took them out for a 3 mile spin today, and they felt pretty good. I am still a little sore from the 12 miler on Friday, but overall, they felt good. I hope I feel the same after the half next weekend. I also hope that the weather for next Sunday is as nice as the weather this Sunday is (windy, but warm and dry.)

Plans for tonight include watching the Steelers/Browns football game. As I told
Mouse, I am not really a football fan, unless the Steelers are playing, so...


I Should Take Fridays Off More Often

Well, I am sorry to say that I didn't do a track workout today. But I am happy to report that I ran 12 miles today. It was a great morning to run, so I figured I better take advantage of the weather, and log my long run. It was so nice to run in the daylight, and see what everyone is doing during the day. Lots of yard work was getting done, as was a lot of dog walking.

I finished the first six in 1:01:02. At the turnaround, I stretched, had a Power Gel, and some water, stretched (4 minutes, 17 seconds) and headed back out. I finished the second six in 1:00:51. I really think I need to get some new shoes, though. I have Mizuno Inspires, right now (my last 2 pairs were Mizuno Wave Riders), and I felt like I had concrete blocks for shoes! I hate to get new shoes, as I have only had the Inspires since August, but they just aren't feeling good. I will troll around for some new kicks this weekend. I'll let you know what I end up with.

An especially delicious part of my Friday off was sneaking out to a movie at 4:00 p.m., when usually I would be counting the minutes until quitting time. I saw "Derailed." Pure entertainment for a couple of hours. It wasn't cinematic genius, but it grabs you, and keeps you guessing. I liked it.

Tomorrow I will log some yards in the pool. I'll post my workout later this weekend.


Mid to Late Week Update

This week ended up being a little on the sparse side, in terms of running. Ran 3 on Monday and Tuesday, and 5 on Wednesday. I was supposed to go to the pool tonight, but I was sucked into the black void of Sloth. I couldn't help it. I am off work tomorrow, though, so my plan is to make up for it, and do a double workout. I can join my husband and his training buddy for their 6:00 a.m. speed workout (gulp), and then swim later in the day.

I am a little leary of the speed workout. I haven't put in a quality track workout since the summer, so I know I won't be able to keep up with the boys on this one. We'll see what I can come up with. Additionally, as my husband reminds me almost every day ;), there are three disciplines in triathlon. I know, I know...It is time to bring my bike in from the garage, and get it on the trainer. Other than that, I do want to try to get in a 12 miler this weekend, as the consolation half marathon is on the 20th. Saturday looks to be my best bet weather-wise.

Stay tuned...


Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

Here are some pictures of my husband's cousin. I am posting them because THIS KID CAN RUN and I think he deserves some props for his performance in his state high school cross country championships! (#1928, in the purple)

This kid is crazy fast. He finished in 15:58.85, and his splits were 5:01.95, 10:15.10, and 15:29.70. He is being wooed by schools such as UPenn, and Dartmouth, among others. Way to go!!



I woke up at 6:30 A.M. to wind, but no rain. On the way to the race, it started raining.

No problem, said I. This will be good for me! Mental toughness.
By the time we got to the race site, it actually looked like it was clearing. Windy, but drying out. Thanks Mother Nature.

Everyone was in good spirits at the race start.

My first mile was on track, a good steady pace of 9:41, second mile was 9:33. And then it all fell apart. It started raining...then it started pouring...then it started hailing. It was so bad, I can hardly describe it. It was like a million little pin pricks all over your skin. I only had on shorts and a t-shirt, so I had a lot of surface area exposed. It was so painful, and there were no shelters, homes, barns, nothing that I could run to and huddle against. The only thing I could do was crouch down in a ditch on the side of the road. I thought this is ridiculous. I can't sit in this ditch forever! As I was crouching, and trying to protect my ears from the hail, a woman came up to me and said "here's a car - do you want to go back?" At this time, I had already mentally checked out of this race. There would be no finishing for me. So I hopped in the car of a Good Samaratin (his wife was also running the race.) There were about 15 people crammed into his SUV, all soaking wet. I sat in the front seat, on the lap of the woman who stopped with me. Here are some of the car pictures:

The dashboard, as well as the rest of the car was completely soaking wet.

Driving back to the start.

The carful of runners.

The car that saved me.

So back at the start, with my tail between my legs, I waited to see if my husband would bail. And waited. And waited. Apparently, I was going to be the only quitter in the family today.
So I waited with the other runners that decided not to finish, and 1:38 minutes later, as the weather began clearing (figures), he comes running to the finish:

Amazingly, he got first in his age group. Amazingly, there were a bunch of people finishing the race!

There is another local half-marathon on November 20. Looks like I will have to redeem myself then. For now, I am going to wallow in self-pity for the rest of the day, and mope around the house. That seems like the right thing to do after my first-ever DNF.


Weather Outlook: Does Not Look Good

Welp, here is the weather forecasted for tomorrow: Windy. Mostly cloudy with showers and thunderstorms likely in the morning...then partly cloudy in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 60s. West winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts approaching 45 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent. Oh well. On the bright side, at least it will be in the 60's.

Hopefully, though, the rain will stop just long enough for me to finish the race in dry shoes. We'll see.

As for running this week, I took it easy. I ran 3 on Tuesday and Wednesday, 2 on Thursday, 3 on Friday, and today I got in the pool for a quick 1700 yards. Tomorrow is the half. I am hoping to come in under 2:00.

To update you on my ever-evolving 2006 race schedule, I REALLY want to run the Twin Cities Marathon in October. It is touted to be the prettiest urban marathon, and is capped at 10,500 participants. Most all the reviews on Marathonguide were very positive. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we may have a winner! Twin Cities 2006! I am still thinking about a possible spring marathon, as well. If I travel to one in the fall, I will likely do Cleveland, again, in the spring. My old stand-by.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!!


Reflective Vest?

As I was out the door tonight, my husband reminded me to put on my reflective vest. It was pitch dark out at 6 p.m.! I dread the early evenings, and can only look forward to longer days. But I went out anyway, and tried to embrace the darkness. I tried to think of it as mental toughness training for triathlon. Trying to enjoy that which you don't (e.g. getting up early to work out, riding the bike in traffic, a freezing cold pool at 6:00 a.m. etc. etc.)

On Sunday, I ran long. I can't say how many miles, because I varied my route from my six miler. I can't even really say how long, time-wise, because at 49 minutes or so, I accidentally hit the reset button on my watch. I started my watch again, and finished at 42 minutes. So I went for about an hour and a half, at about a 10 minute/mile pace, so I am guessing that I went about 9 miles. How's that for guesstimation! I didn't run on Monday, as it was Halloween, and by the time I got home from work, it was time to start passing out candy.

I, like Runner Susan, will try to take it easy towards the end of the week before the half.