Mixed Bag

Hello, all! Happy Wednesday. I decided to mix things up a bit, and instead of running, swimming, or biking today, I went to step aerobics class! Ha! I haven't been to step in quite some time, so it was pretty hilarious. I think that trying to follow the instructor and her constant eight count moves across the step helps keep me coordinated physically and mentally. I don't think my heartrate got up as high as if I was swimming, or running, but it was fun, and it kept me moving for 60 minutes. I also like that at the end of class they always do an ab workout, and some weights. Sometimes, I neglect those things if I just go do a run.

And I haven't forgot my vow to become more fit, overall. Now that the marathon is done with, I feel like I can broaden my focus a bit more. After class I came home and tried my hand at sit-ups (which I almost never do - I am a cruncher, and pilates gal) and push-ups. I did 31 sit-ups in one minute, and 20 pushups. I really have to work on the sit-ups, and try to eke out a few more pushups. This weekend, I am going to take a trip to the track to see how I fare on the 300 meter run, and the 1.5 mile run. I'll post my results.

Hope everyone is having a good week. At least it's a short one, huh?


It's Getting Hot In Here

Ah, the new video says it all. It's vintage, and took me a while to find it, but it is perfect for this time of year. This is what I have waited for all winter. No more bundling up to go run outside...it's hot hot hot. A perfect weekend to start the summer with.

This weekend has been good for getting some yards in the pool and some miles on the road. I went for an easy 7 mile run (1:25) yesterday, and felt totally fine. No work today, so I have the whole day to decide how to fill it. It's days like today that make me wish that adults had summer vacation, too. I hope that everyone is enjoying the long weekend, and getting their long runs/rides/swims in.


Hour and a half bike ride in the park, followed by 1600 yard swim.


On The Road Again

I am taking it easy this week. I took off Monday and Tuesday. Today, the pooch and I went for a slow 2 mile jog. I was pretty ginger at first, but felt ok towards the end. My quads were really sore in the beginning of the week, but now it just feels like I did a long run this weekend. After the jog, I headed to the pool for a quick 1500 yd. swim. I did a 500 warm up, and then 2 x 500 (SKIPS - swim, kick, IM, pull, swim.)

Tonight, it's all about t.v., and the season finale of Lost. I have to admit, the show is losing me. I was really interested last season, and the beginning of this season, but now it has just gotten absurd. But I do want to see how they end it for now.

Have a great rest of the week, and thanks again for all the visits and well-wishes on the marathon!!


Welcome To The Suck

6 a.m. Race day. Headed out the door. Rainy, cold. Scrapped the shorts and tank I was planning on wearing. Now going with capri running pants and long sleeve tech shirt under short sleeve tech shirt. Bringing an old running jacket that I won't feel bad if I have to toss.

Here we go.


My race recaps are never as good as Rae's over at Running Into A Brick Wall, and I am tired this afternoon, so here is my attempt to cover the marathon today. When we got downtown, it was still really overcast, with a light shower. Nothing I couldn't handle, though. At least it wasn't a driving downpour. That would have really sucked. I waited in line for a port-a-john, and when I finally got one, and did my biz, I had to hurry to the start, which was imminent. There was no waiting around, allowing time for the dread to sink in. GO!

As soon as I started out, I knew that bringing my water bottle belt was a mistake. I have never run a marathon with it, and probably shouldn't have started now. But it was too crowded to do anything about right then. I waited until about mile 3 to take the bottle out, and just carry it. And now, I'll post my splits and add some little diddies to it to make it interesting.

Mile 1 (10:04): Water bottle belt - mistake. Is that my knee that's hurting?
2 (11:18): Still crowded. Too many 10K and half people going out like gangbusters.
3 (10:21): Taking the water bottle out of the belt. Carrying it for now.
4 (10:20): Did I really need this rain jacket? It isn't really raining anymore. Around the waist it goes.
5 (10:20): Getting into a groove, heading west of the city, and into some neighborhoods.
6 (10:33): A fair amount of people braving the cold and wet conditions to cheer.
7 (10:44): Turning back east towards downtown area.
8 (10:28): Racers are starting to thin out, thankfully.
9 (11:22): The clouds start rolling out, and blue sky is opening up.
10 (10:46): Is that the sun? And hey, lookee here, it's TriAl out to cheer people on!
11 (11:18): Over a bridge coming into the city, sunny, great view of the city.
12 (missed this split): This is near where the half people divert off. Not sure how I missed the mile marker.
13 (21:48): Ok, no turning back now. Not quitting. All systems functioning.
14 (13:42): Now begins the long stretch into the eastern part of the city.
15 (11:40): Long boring stretch of road known as Chester Avenue. Not many spectators.
16 (12:12): Rounding the bend onto the campus of Case Western Reserve University.
17 (12:09): Passed the Art Museum, and other cultural landmarks of the city.
18 (13:51): A general feeling of discomfort. Legs are tiring, feet starting to ache.
19 (14:09): A TNT group with bags of pretzels, gummy bears. Grab 2 handfuls, and say THANK YOU!! I needed some gas. I finished my 2 gels, and feel I need nutrition.
20 (12:50): Here's the wall. Only 10K left. I can walk if I need to, but that seems to hurt more. A water stop handing out CarbBoom gels. I grab two.
21 (12:12): Hey!! It's Elizabeth and TriAl again. Woo Hoo. They run with me for a bit, until the next water stop, and the company was just the push I needed. Thanks guys!!! Elizabeth took my picture, I can't wait to see it up on her blog.
22 (12:55): The next few miles take place along the lake. It's windy. Damn windy.
23 (13:11): The lake is rough, choppy, and full of whitecaps. Did I mention how windy it was?
24 (14:56): Getting closer to the city. Rounding up into the city, passed Browns Stadium. Feet are really hurting. Eat my apple cinnamon gel, and pray it doesn't make me sick like the Hammer gels.
25 (13:26): Into the city now. I can't wait to be done. Doing a fair amount of walking, mixed in with my suicide shuffle. A water stop handing out orange slices, and I grab two. Ah.
26 (13:00): Thank God. I see my husband (who finished in 3:38) He grabs the damned water belt, gels, and rain jacket, thankfully, and I keep going.
.2 (02:45): Hey, I see TriSaraTops cheering people as they cross the finish - "Hi Sara!!"

Watch Time: 5:12:32: I didn't come in under 5, which was my goal, but oh well. I feel pretty good this afternoon. I don't feel sick, I feel really sore, but all in all, feel ok. I plan to just walk this week, and do some swimming. I am glad this monster is behind me now...I can just focus on triathlon now!!

An extra big THANK YOU to Elizabeth, TriAl, and TriSara, and all the other bloggers that were out in force cheering and supporting racers today. Seeing you guys made all the difference for me. THANKS!!!


T-Minus 5 Days

until the marathon. Just readRob's 50K race report. It was a study in mental toughness, and a riveting read. It also foreshadowed the pain that I know is about to come for me. I finished my last 8 miler this past Sunday. It didn't feel as good as I thought it would feel. I still felt tight, and leaden. Slow, no spring, and just plain tired. Not sure what that means for Sunday. I am dreading a race in which I have to fight for every mile. It is supposed to rain Sunday, as well. That should be fun.

I have to concentrate on getting psyched up, now, but it's hard. Hopefully the next couple of posts before the race will all be motivational and hard core "get your game on" posts. I need some of that right now.

Easy running this week. I ran 3 last night, and will do three milers the rest of the week, and hope to get some swims in, too. I swam last Saturday, 2200 in a blissfully empty pool. It was great.

Hope everyone has a great week!!


A Remembrance Of Things Past

Although I never made it through cover to cover, I lifted my subject line from Proust's classic book. It's appropriate, because today, I was digging through an old wallet, and found something I had completely forgotten about. It was an old photograph of a plaque containing the words "I have not yet begun to fight." I had taken the photo during a visit to the Naval Academy as a high school student. John Paul Jones is interred at the Academy Chapel, and his words impacted me greatly then. I carried that photo in my wallet for many years. Those words, their sentiment, resonated with me.

But somewhere between then and now, I forgot those words. I didn't think about those words at all during my training. I feel tired and listless this week. I don't feel like running, and when I do run, I feel like I am running on fumes. I can't wait for the marathon to be over. Hopefully finding this photo and remembering that I used to have a fighting spirit back in the day will get me through these next couple of weeks, and the 26.2 miles to come.

My back is feeling better. I managed 12, not 14, this past weekend, and this weekend is 8. I hope I can remain injury free and back-pain free for the rest of the month.

I spent the rest of the week catching up on everyone's races. Congrats, everyone - great job!


How Fit Am I, Really?

This question has been on my mind lately. While I can swim, power through a long run, and stay upright on a bike, I still wonder...how fit am I? What prompted this question was my lame attempt last week to do a speed workout. I started out the door with good intentions. I was going to jog the mile up to the local high school track, and do some repeat 800s, just to see what kind of times I can post. Well, I got up to the track, and there was a "track meet" going on - all really little kids doing different track events. It was pretty chaotic, with a million little kids running around, and I knew there would be no track workout for me. So, I headed the mile back home. But on the way back, I would sprint to different landmarks. Like "fast as I can to that stop sign," and "fast as I can until the end of the street" stuff.

I almost passed out in my driveway, and my face was flushed for the rest of the night. Needless to say, although the marathon is in 3 weeks, I didn't feel very "fit." So I have been looking at how different military/government branches measure the fitness of their peeps. I found the fitness test that the FBI uses for their special agents here. I would like to give this a try and see how I score. I tried some pull-ups on the pull-up bar we have installed in our basement. I couldn't do one. Meh.

I have got to get some practice in, and then do this test. I will post my results, and then we can truly see how fit I am.


As for the running skirt. Let's just say I am not happy with it. I am not sure whether it was the brand, or the size, or the fact that I am not a girly girl. It was really *short* and the built-in underwear was really *tiny*. Way to tiny to even go out of the house in. I tried it for 5 on the treadmill last night. While I must say that I liked the fact that it didn't bunch between the legs, the underwear kept riding up in back, so I felt like that girl in the running skirt in Rae's 5/1/06 post. The size was a medium, which according to the measurements on the company's website, should have fit me, but they obviously run small. Anyway, looks like I will be sticking to the Nike tempo shorts.


And in other news, my lower back has chosen to act up again. I woke up Monday morning to a low back spasm. My last one was in January - what is this gonna be - a regular occurrance? Ever since January I have been doing my back exercises, and stretching regularly, and now, again, my low back seizes up on me!! So, it's back to the muscle relaxant, heat therapy, and waiting. This time is not as bad as January, though. The discomfort is moderate, so I took off Monday, ran 5 on Tuesday, and ran 5 today. I had pain both days, but managed to run through it. I'll tell you one thing...this pain better make like a tree and leave well before the marathon, or else!!

Have a great rest of the week, everyone!