“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I take it back!

Yesterday morning, I posted about several good things all happening at once.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I got slammed with first world problems yesterday.  It's my own fault, I jinxed myself.  I should have known better, after all, I wrote the post before dropping my car off to have the odometer repaired! It stopped working last week, and was showing that I had 694576 miles on my 2003 Saturn Vue.  Wow.  I'm good. (In reality, I only have around 76,000 miles).
All I hear is "Blah, blah, blah"
They had already looked at it once, ordered the part.  Estimate was $500.  They called me around 3 yesterday to let me know the new part wasn't working because another part was also broken.  They "gave me a deal" on the part, but the total is now around $1000.  At this point, pot committed, no choice.  

They called again around 5pm and said "the technician is working on getting your car put back together."  Does that sound not good to anyone else?  They asked if they could keep it over night - did I really have a choice?
Is she still yammering about the car?
I am one of those people that does REALLY bad with being out of control and/or being confined.  I was without a car all day yesterday, because Mark needed his for a dentist appointment.  When I called to tell him they were keeping my car, he told me "Mandy, turns out my dentist appointment is actually tomorrow."  Oh no.  He suggested that he could borrow someone else's car at work for the appointment or something, because he knows how I am, but that's just silly.

SO, I HAD re-scheduled my workouts to make yesterday a rest day and Thursday a tough day to make up for my confinement.  Now, however, I am trapped AGAIN.  I admit, I hit a bit of minor depression yesterday evening.  I know, first world problems.
Mommy needs a hug!
To add to it?  My trainer said last week he could switch to Tues/Thurs nights to accommodate my other training.  Yesterday, he texted me that he couldn't make the switch.  I was really frustrated.  I've been less consistent with my training since I moved to in-house training with him (instead of at a gym).  I'm ready to move on and just do my own workouts at the new gym at this point.  Problem?  We've already paid for May in advance.  We have NOT-met more often than we have met in May, so we're paid mostly through the climb trip now.  We'll probably have him work with Mark on Mondays, and both of us on Thursdays at least until the climb.  I'll do my own workout on Tuesday.

With all the changes, I sat down with my color coded schedule to try to come up with when else I would get some steps in.  And I panicked.  Relay Around Columbus is two weeks from this weekend.  So, I'll be moving into taper mode.  BUT, my climb is ONE MONTH from this weekend.  I'm worried about failure at this point because my Dam workout on Monday was TOUGH.  (Granted it was in the 90s, but still!).

Luckily, I had a 5 mile run with my friends at 5:30 this morning.  I cried/whined about my first world problems and freaked out about failing.  They listened to my drama and helped me run it out.  I have the best running buddies in the world.

One of my regular training buddies had a bunch of bad stuff happen yesterday too, so I gave credit for all that to my jinx post from yesterday as well, and promised her I would write a post taking it back before she drove to Indianapolis today.  HA!  

So, after all that blabber, I've kept my promise!

Did I jinx anyone else by talking about all things good yesterday???

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Good things come in 3's

Yesterday, I got TWO packages in the mail!

My mommy's day rings arrived - and they're beautiful!  
I tried to get all fancy and artsy with this picture...
I couldn't get a picture of the Avery engraving to come out, but it's on the inside of the ring with her birthstone.  Wearing stacked rings on my right hand will take some getting used to...and is impossible to take a picture of.  LOL
So this is on my left forefinger - sexy!
I think it almost looks better without the ladybug (Or maybe it's a whole too many rings issue?), which is sad because that's Avery special thing.  Maybe I'll give her the ladybug ring as a special prize when she's older?

Speaking of ladybugs - Back in January I ordered Ladybug knobs to cover the nails we used to hang Avery's letters in her room.  (the nails really bothered my husband - I'm not the only one that's crazy in this house!)  We ordered them from Sassafras Rooms.  Since it was a mom and daughter shop, and they custom painted everything, we were given a 6-8 week timeline.  In April, we realized we had a credit card charge, but no knobs.  I made a couple of attempts to contact them with no response - and their website said they were on vacation!  We assumed we were screwed, and the time for challenging the charge had passed.

Last week, I got an email from them!  They apologized and explained what happened.  Then they said they would ship them right away plus a free gift - giving me some options for the gift.  Awesome!  That package also arrived yesterday.
The wall hanging is the free gift!  It's gorgeous!
The knobs turned out great too!

The third good thing???  Last week, the Longhorn Foundation contacted us because they were going to be in town and wanted to take us to dinner.  We donate to them every year because we both went to the University of Texas and it's pretty much required to be season ticket holders.  :)

We weren't sure what to expect, but my friend Deb graciously agreed to babysit Avery.  Turns out - we had an awesome night out!  Added bonus? I dressed up in something other than running clothes and got Deb to take a picture of us when we got home!
Looking awesome!
This is the first picture, where I actually see myself as looking good!  Double-win!

Did I say three????   I forgot to mention that last week, at Diva night at my local running store Fleet Feet, I won a $25 gift card.  
And yes, they also had free wine!
As y'all can see, I dressed up that night too, and also earned 20% off.  So, I got what I've been wanting for a long time....
A pair of Newtons.
I tested them out for the first time with a 3 mile run on Monday, felt pretty good!

Not too shabby, eh?

But, no post is complete with out an Avery picture....
I'm why people read this blog Mom.
Anyone else with some good news to share??

Monday, May 28, 2012

Rainier Training: I'm a great friend to visit

Quick Look Weeks of May 21-May 27:
# of Workouts:  9
# of miles ran/walked/climbed:  27.73
Starting Weight: 220.8
Current Weight: 169.4 (Down 1.4 lbs from previous week!)
Total Lost to date: 51.4 lbs
Chest: 39" (No change)
Hips: 44"  (No change)
Monday: 2.2 mile walk; 40 minute ST
Tuesday: 5 mile run; 3 mile weighted walk (26 lbs)
Wednesday: 0.53 weighted stair climber (20lbs); Spin class
Thursday: 5 mile run
Friday: Rest day - Walked the mall
Saturday: 12.01 mile run (split into two runs)
Sunday: Rest day - walked the Zoo
Woohoo!  I am in the 160's for the first time in 9 years!  It's humbling to think that I haven't been at a healthy weight for THAT long, despite having run 3 half marathons in that time frame.  That's okay though, I'm working on it.

My friend Cynthia, who has known me since I was 8 years old, came to visit this weekend.  She arrived late on Thursday and left Sunday evening.  It was a great visit!

I'm such a fun friend to visit - On Saturday morning, I made her get up early to meet my running group at 7:15am.  We ran 6 miles in hot and humid conditions.  She was ready to stop a little before mile 5, but stuck it out to the top of "Killer hill."  (All of my MiT runs end with Killer Hill).  Luckily, MiT is awesome and had cold towels for us after the run.  Fantastic!
I took her out for breakfast afterwards, so she still has to love me.  It's in the rules.
To show what an AWESOME friend I am, I did not make her come out for my 2nd 6 miler at 8pm (when it was 80 degrees and still crazy humid).  So, she got to miss the crazy bug run.  (Nothing like wiping bug carcasses out of your sweat for 6 miles!).

To make up for those things, I did walk all over Easton mall with her on Friday.   She almost had to check a bag for her return flight as a result!   We also spent time walking all over the zoo on Sunday.  I'm not sure that counts as being nice though - since it was 95 degrees by the time we left.  I blame her, she brought it with her from Texas.  :)

She also got to experience some Avery drama, which I'll post separately to keep this short.
Me? Dramatic? Never!
Only 2 Rainier focused workouts this week - in my defense - I took yesterday off to hang out with Cynthia knowing that today is a holiday and we have a big Rainier workout planned for today.  I did add the weighted vest and mountain boots to my stair climber workout this week!

The split runs for RAC are going great!  12 miles is the most miles I've ever run in one day outside of a race, so that's pretty exciting too.
Good job Mom!

This week it should cool off, thank goodness!

How is everyone else handling the heat?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Rainier Training: 50 LBS!

Quick Look Weeks of May 14-May 20:
# of Workouts:  14
# of miles ran/walked/climbed:  31.5
Starting Weight: 220.8
Current Weight: 170.8 (Down 4.4 lbs from previous week!)
Total Lost to date: 50.0 lbs
Chest: 39" (Down 1" from previous week)
Hips: 44"  (Down 1" from previous week)
Monday: Ran 3 miles pushing stroller; 1 mile Sanity walk; ST with Adam 40 min
Tuesday: 5 mile AWESOME run; 1 mile walk with Bjorn; MT on elliptical (33 lb pack)
Wednesday: 2.2 mile walk with Bjorn (18.5 lbs)
Thursday: Arms ST workout 1 hr; 2 mile horrible TM run
Friday: Rest day; 1 mile walk with Kelty pack (26 lbs)
Saturday: 6.1 mile MIT run, 4 mile Bonus run for RAC
Sunday: 2.2 mile Kelty pack (26 lbs); 2 mile MT/TM 12% (33 lbs)
I'm fairly certain that last Monday's weight reflected some TTOM bloat, since on Tuesday I weighed 173.  Regardless, officially, I lost 4.4 lbs since my last weigh-in!!!

I'm excited about this particular weigh-in for two reasons.  (1) I leaped off that plateau.  (2) It brings me to EXACTLY 50 lbs lost since I first weighed myself post-kiddo being born.  FIFTY POUNDS!

In other words - even though my mountain pack at 33lbs last night felt ridiculously heavy....it doesn't weigh as much as the amount of weight I've lost.  It's 17 lbs lighter.

It also feels great to be back at a full strength training week (even if my trainer had to cancel our Wednesday session).  I had one workout that felt bad this week, but otherwise I feel strong!

I returned to normal running mileage this week, had at least 3 Rainier focused workouts (and even more times of carrying weight), and did my first official 2-a-day run day for the relay.

That doesn't mean that I didn't want to quit about 10 minutes into each Rainier focused session!  HA!  I keep reminding myself of this quote from RM"Training for mountain climbing should be neither easy nor comfortable because mountain climbing is neither."  I'm not sure that the quote is exactly "encouraging" so to speak...but it gets me through the hard parts for some reason.

Saturday was the kickoff of my running group's spring/summer session.  The full marathon group was running 6 miles.  The group dynamic for my 12 minute pace group was simply awesome.  I haven't had a run that awesome in a long time.  The weather was cool (until the end), the conversation was continuous and I fueled properly.   Major win for the official start to my full marathon training!
Our group pre-run, photo from the Fleet Feet Facebook page.  I'm on the far right in the pink tank.
The second run that day (RAC prep) was HOT.  
Car thermometer pre-run.  Does this count as a blog mirror shot?
Luckily, some genius decided we should meet at Sharon Woods for the run, where there was lots of shade on the path. I won't name names or anything.

I'm looking forward to another full-steam week.  The bonus being that a good friend that I've known since I was 8 years old comes to visit (from Texas) on Thursday for Memorial Day weekend!  WOOHOO!  


How was your training week???

Any fun plans coming up for this weekend?  For those local to central Ohio, suggestions for fun things to do when my friend arrives?

What's your perfect outside run temperature?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

What a crazy week this has been.  I have been failing on keeping up with almost everything.  I have started numerous blog posts (at least in my head), and commented (mentally) on many others.  I will strive to be less mental about my comments in the next couple days.  HA!

On Tuesday, I broke up with Urban Active.  
Of course, despite the fact that my contract is month-to-month, I had to pay a $10 fee for the pleasure of giving them 30 days notice of my quitting the gym.  Say huh?  When I said I wouldn't pay it - they ignored it - and told me that if I didn't pay, there was no guarantee that my contract would be canceled.  I understand why they are being sued.  

I then, stupidly, signed up for a 30-day trial membership at a local community center.  What I SHOULD have done, is wait until after the climb (and the 30 days notice required at UA passed) to sign up for this, since I'm basically now paying for two gyms simultaneously.

Does that mean I'll be extra fit and extra buff?

Maybe it was the pool that inspired the stupid decision?  The pool at this community center is AWESOME.  In addition to the cleaner and nicer lap pool (compared to the ex-gym), it has a nice activity area complete with a giant slide, lazy river and a playground with a zero-entry pool.  They even have toddler hours for different age groups so that Avery and I can go together with other moms!!!

I may be a little over-excited about this - and rushed out to add to my over-spending while the spouse is out of town....but Avery has some cool new stuff!
Whatever Mom, this weird new toy is tasty
I promise to take pictures when we go to this awesome pool!  Given Avery's love of all things water (especially the dog's water fountain), hopefully it'll be a successful and fun trip...
Mommy let's me do the best things when Daddy is out of town and I'm fussy!
Avery got a couple of other new toys as well.  A fun little piano and a garden activity gym.   Um.  I admit, the garden activity gym hasn't been opened yet.  This was my effort to make sure I stay married.  I'm waiting to open it until he gets home in a couple of hours and is okay with that particular purchase. HA!  

Beautiful weather this week in Ohio!  Part of the reason for that last purchase - I want to have more things for Avery to enjoy outside - so that I can play outside!  


How is the weather where you are???

Do you enjoy playing in water? If you have kids - how did they like their first introduction to a pool?

Have you ever broken up with a gym?  Did they make you jump through hoops as well?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rainier Training: 7 weeks to go

Quick Look Weeks of May 7-May 13:
# of Workouts:  10
# of miles ran/walked/swam/climbed:  18.07
Starting Weight: 220.8
Current Weight: 175.2 (No change)
Total Lost to date: 45.6 lbs
Chest: 40" (No change)
Hips: 45"  (No change!)

Monday: Walked 1 mile, swam 20 minutes
Tuesday: Stairclimber 0.5 miles; weights 10 minutes; 2 mile run
Wednesday: Rest day/1 mile walk
Thursday: 4.1 miles (2 hours) TM walk (12% incline, 28 lb pack)
Friday: Ran (Stroller) 3.1 miles Nike BBQ Fun run/walk
Saturday: Ran 6 miles
Sunday: Unintended rest day - mother's day
Apparently,  I have a fabulous view from a nice plateau.  Nonetheless, not a bad week for the week after a half marathon.  I won't bore you with my strength training experience this week since I already wrote a post about it: I hate mean people.

I did not train with my regular trainer this week because my husband left town on business early Wednesday morning and I took Monday off because of Cap City.

Thursday was my added Rainier workout - and required ingenuity with the husband out of town.  Luckily, Avery was kind enough to take two over an hour naps that day.  During the first one, I did an hour and 2 minutes on the treadmill at 12% incline with pack (28lbs) and boots at around a 25-30 minute pace.  I learned that I can not do 15% incline on my cheap treadmill with my pack as the weight caused the belt to go faster at that incline regardless of speed setting.  During Avery's second nap, I stuck it out for another hour even though I wanted to quit almost immediately.  Mental toughness is something else I'll need for the mountain, so I count that as a double-win.

On Friday, my local running store (Fleet Feet) hosted a fun run sponsored by Nike and City Barbeque.  Basically, everyone ran whatever distance they wanted and came back to the store for free BBQ afterwards.  They even had free shirts for the first 50 or so people.  Of course that meant I got there early for a shirt!  I had 3 miles on my schedule, so Laurie and I did a 5K.  That way I could say it was the longest distance I'd run with the jogger.  I even got to run with my friend Sarah for a bit who is coming back from having a pretty cute kiddo!  Here are some pictures that Fleet Feet posted on Facebook.
The whole crowd pre-run.  Yes, I'm the only one doing it with a jogger.
The start of the run - I kind of stick out for some reason
By the end of the run, Avery had her feet resting on the cup holder
After the run, we hung around to watch a handful of contestants (including Sarah's husband) participate in the BBQ mile.  Basically, they ran 0.25 miles, ate some barbecue, ran 0.25 miles, ate some barbecue....you get the idea.  There was definitely puking involved.  Avery and I had to go back inside though because she was very tired of being confined.

When I got home, I realized that they'd mistakenly given me a size small shirt.  Even at my ideal weight, I'm not a small.  At first, I was disappointed, but then I figured out what to do with it.  Since, this was my first "event" running while pushing Avery in the jogger (Mark didn't get home until later that night), it will be Avery's shirt.  I hung it in her closet and everything.  

Hopefully, I'll break through that plateau this week as I step back up the training!

How was your training this week?

Would you run a BBQ mile?

Anyone race this weekend?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

First Mommy's Day

Today is my first mother's day.  Both as a mom...and without my mom.

It's hard to really know what to feel.  Happy? Sad?

I told my husband way ahead of today that he needed to make a big deal out of mother's day so that I didn't get sad and so that he didn't get in trouble.  LOL.  His definition of a "big deal" and mine are not compatible, for the record.  

I ordered a mother's day gift for myself yesterday - a ring with Avery's birthstone with her name and birth date engraved on it.  It's a "stackable" ring from James Avery, so if I decide that she deserves a sibling, we could always add a ring.  I'll post a picture once I get it, but here is a picture to give you an idea of what it'll look like from their website.
And yes, Avery's room is done in Ladybugs, so this image sold it for me. 
This morning, after I complained multiple times about being hungry, (I am not fun to be around when I haven't eaten since around 4pm the day before!),  we went to breakfast at Bob Evans, where I attempted to eat my entire calorie count for the day in one meal.  Sausage Biscuit Bowl and a side of pancake.  Yum.  Avery even mostly behaved.  (She has hit that age where confinement is her least favorite thing in the world.)
They have cleverly tried to trap me by not leaving enough space for me to crawl between here.
When we got home - after we'd been awake for 3 hours - I finally demanded to know if I got a card.  Ha.  So, my husband left the room to fill it out.  Seriously?  After 15 years together, you would think he would know to give me a card as soon as my eyes open for the day.  In his defense though, he did get two cards, one from Avery and one from him.  He also had a picture of Avery and I together framed in a cute little frame.
Good job Daddy!
The rest of our day was a bunch of truly exciting stuff.  We watched shows off of the DVR.  I went to Toys R' Us for diapers, baby food and sleep sacks.  We played with the kiddo.  I washed bottles.  Fun, right?  

I also had to rescue Avery after she crawled herself into a little conundrum.  Of course, I had to take a picture first.  Yes, while she was screaming.  Mom of the year - right?  
Put that stupid camera down and get me out of here!
Mark made me steak, potatoes and carrots for dinner.  And, even though our usual strategy is whoever doesn't cook, cleans....Mark also did the dishes!  Way to go Daddy!  Meanwhile, Avery demanded more puffs instead of letting me EAT said dinner.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some, right?

I have to admit - I keep laughing just seeing the conundrum picture above while trying to finish this post.  Does that mean I have to give back my mother's day presents?

All in all, I have to say, it was a very nice First Mommy's Day.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Life is Better When You're a Dog

At least Avery seems to think so.  All of her favorite things seem to do with being a dog...

A day in the life of our dog, Avery.
I am innocently crawling in the kitchen mommy
Just turning a corner, that's all
Nothing to see here....
Success!  Cool and refreshing!
And after she's had a long day of playing, what can be more relaxing than a nice nap in her favorite bed?
It's more comfortable when you dive in head first!
What??  This is WAY softer than my crib.
Play?  Did you say play?   Turns out, all that money spent at Toys R Us would have been better used elsewhere.  Cassie has the best toys in the house!
Who doesn't love a good tennis ball for breakfast?
But, I will say one thing.  As much as I love my dog Cassie, Avery, dog or child, is way cuter.
I bribed her to say that.
Editor's note:  It just dawned on me that Avery is 9 months old today, and celebrated by calling her a dog.  Worst mom ever?

Avery says that when I'm done calling her a dog, I should say a couple of other things.  

Thank you everyone for all the comments, FB posts, private messages, text messages and phone calls of support after my experience with a not-so-good or nice trainer at Urban Active.  I have the best friends and readers that anyone could hope for.  I wound up taking a rest day yesterday, but will be back at my workouts during Avery's nap today.  


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I hate mean people

Today I had plans for a free strength training session at Urban Active.  After my first half marathon in October 2010, I bought a training package from them for 1 year.  Most of that time wound up being while I was pregnant.

Last week, Joey called me from the Trainer Desk there.  He asked why I no longer trained with them.  My answer "I finished the program and can now train on my own."  (I do still train with a trainer, just not through UA.)  He told me that I still had 2 sessions left from my previous package and wanted to know if I could come use one of them to work out with him.

I'm fairly certain this was just a sales ploy.  I figured that I had no sessions left, but  he wanted to get me in so that he could try to sell me more sessions.  I decided to go in anyway.  I figured - why not get a free strength training session out of it?
This was my philosophy, I suppose.  You can change "no one ever" to "Mandy"
He wanted me to go in that week - but I told him I had a half marathon on Saturday, so no.   Then he wanted to do it on Monday.  What part of "I am running 13.1 freaking miles is not computing?"
What everyone should do after a race....at least for one day.
He then asked about Tuesday - and I agreed.  For timing, I told him since I had an infant, it would need to be when the child care thing was open.  Fine. 10am it is.

I got there early, warmed up on the stair climber for 10 minutes (0.5 miles), stretched out, then got on the elliptical because I was still early.  My knees were tender both yesterday and the day before (from the half), so I did not increase the length of time on the stair climber this session.

I went over to the trainer desk and told them who I was.  He wasn't quite ready for me yet, said he wanted to set up some equipment.  Without knowing ANYTHING about my physical capabilities or any potential injuries.
I stopped him to tell him about my knee issues.  Most of you know that I developed patellar tendonitis from over-training in bad conditions a few months ago.  I told him about this injury and that my knees have been a little tender since the half marathon, so we would need to be careful of my knees.  He nodded like he understood, but in hindsight, he probably wasn't even listening.

The first exercise was a full body workout - a step up onto an exercise bench with a shoulder press.  Great for sore knees. (And if you believe that....).  Did this to both sides.  Next exercise, one arm plank with the one arm on the black side of the bosu ball.  While doing that, row in a 10 lb dumbbell with the opposite arm, then turn and press it above your head.  All holding the plank.  This hurt the arches of my feet.  I mentioned that at one point, and he either didn't hear me, or ignored it.  I modified the exercise to be flat footed.  He stopped me and said I was actually making the exercise harder.  I told him that made it easier for me, but whatever.  After this exercise, he stared at me and said "You trained with someone for a year???  Because your core is pretty horrible if you did."
I stared at him at said "I just gave birth 8 months ago, I know my core isn't where it should be yet."  He responded with - Oh I didn't know that, you didn't tell me that.

Um.  Isn't that why you should talk about workout/physical history first?

He started me doing a squat chest press with the chain pulleys.  Afterwards, he was just staring at me.  I now envision it as - he was staring at my fat.
He said: "You ran a half marathon on Saturday?" in a very incredulous voice.  I was very tempted to actually suggest he pull up the online Cap City results, instead I merely said "yes".  He asked me why I run half marathons.  Because I like them, I like having goals, it helps motivate me, etc.

He said it's good to have goals, but....and began "explaining to me" how much pounding there is in running and how much stress and pounding it puts on your body.  He said, "People that are not anywhere near their ideal body weight really shouldn't be running.  That's probably why your knees hurt."  

I was shell-shocked and speechless.  This is not a common occurrence for me.  I think he kept talking about not running while overweight, but I stopped listening.

And then I did what I have previously only ever done because my water broke during the workout....I walked out.  I told him, I'm done with this and walked away.  I'm embarrassed to say that my eyes started leaking as well.

He tried to follow me and started saying "if there is anything I said that offended you,"  but I just told him to back off and that he didn't know anything about me.

Something to keep in mind if I see him again.
I then NEEDED to run.  I loathe treadmills, and had originally planned to give myself one more day off of running post race  Instead, I made a beeline from the treadmills.  Sweat is good tear camouflage.  I got myself together after about a 0.5 miles, but stayed on the treadmill until 2 miles.  Near the end, I realized that I wasn't even wearing my running shoes.  Oops.

On the way out of the gym, I filed a complaint on Joey.  (They have already called me about it).  I admit, on the way home, I called Sarah and cried to her about it.  I kept saying "I shouldn't let this get to me."

But.  I did.  

I get that I am overweight.  I'm working on it every day. I don't like being overweight.  In fact, I'm positive that I am overly sensitive about it and it is a big gaping hole in my otherwise healthy self esteem.  Nonetheless, I can't sit on my butt and not exercise because my body is too fat to work out.  That doesn't seem helpful in the slightest.  My sports doctor and physical therapist didn't even hint that I shouldn't be running at my weight or that my knee issue was in any way weight related.
Take that trainer dude!
This experience also drives home to me, that for some crazy reason, I really, really, really like running.  Whenever someone suggests that I shouldn't run, I lose my mind.  And cry, apparently.

It blows my mind that this is someone the gym hires to motivate people and encourage them in workouts.  Then again, now that I'm tear free, I am motivated to prove myself to myself.  I'm already making mental plans to push harder in my strength training sessions and find ways to add in more core work.   Hmm...maybe he is good at his job?

Thank you for "listening" to me vent!

What would you have done in a situation like this?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rainier Training: Detour

Quick Look Weeks of April 30-May 6:
# of Workouts:  9
# of miles ran/walked/hiked/climbed:  25
Starting Weight: 220.8
Current Weight: 175.2 (Up 0.6 lbs from previous week)
Total Lost to date: 45.6 lbs
Chest: 40" (No change)
Hips: 45"  (No change!)

Monday: 2.2 mile walk, 40 min ST with Adam
Tuesday: 1 mile walk, 4 mile run; zoo trip
Wednesday: 1.5 mile run; 40 min ST with Adam
Thursday: 2.5 mile walk
Friday: 1.17 mile run
Saturday: 13.23 mile run - Cap City Half: RECAP
Sunday: Rest/carried Avery in Bjorn 30 minutes
Another week, another gain.  I also feel the need to admit, that when I first weighed myself it was 175.8.  They say if you hydrate properly for a race, you should gain about 2-3 pounds...but I don't want to see it on the scale after the race!  HA!

It's hard not to get bummed about a little bump on the scale for a second week in a row.  Especially when I actually counted calories for the first time ever.  I have to remind myself that I almost always gain weight the week of a race, and that I'm in this for the long haul and long term conditioning, not the weekly scale.

Other things I've learned this week???  Don't write a race recap when you are TIRED.  I focused more on the negative in my recap than I should have.  This perhaps reflects what I wasn't admitting to anyone out loud, that I was bummed I didn't meet my post-Knoxville time goals.  I know, I KNOW it was hot and humid....but I'm competitive, especially with myself.  :)

Positives of Cap City that I feel the need to share even if I've already posted that recap:  
  • Nice relatively flat course with LOTS of crowd support.  It is a nice loop that starts downtown, goes to the Ohio State campus, and back to downtown, with an extra 5K looping the German Village (the home of the cobblestones).  
  • The post-race food was just what I want after a race: water bottles, orange slices, and bagels.  They also had Calcium Chocolate truffles and chocolate milk courtesy of Snowville Creamery!   Because I stayed until the very end cheering in friends and chatting, the Snowville Creamery people gave me one of the extra cartons of chocolate milk to take home.  I also got an extra pile of chocolates. 
  • My absolute favorite part???  Cheering friends in at the finish line.  
  • They also had lots of fun family and kid activities at the Finish Line that would have been fantastic for Avery if she were just a bit older.
  • One of the best looking (and largest) medals in my collection.  Perhaps it's true what they say, it's all about the bling.
Thank you for all the nice congrats on my race!!!

Now it's time to shift gears.  I try to give myself a couple of days of little to no work the two days following a big race.  Then, I ease back into it, listening to what my body says.   As such, this week will be considered a "fall back" week for running, but next week I will actually be increasing my mileage in preparation for Relay Around Columbus.  I also will be splitting my long runs into two shorter runs as a relay leg prep.  (the total distance will approach distance records for me though).
For mountain climbing???  As my wonderful friend's countdown email showed this week, I only have 9 weeks left.  I can't baby my knees any more.  Time to build up the Rainier workouts.  My plan is to ramp up the intensity on days I workout, but give myself one extra rest day a week to compensate.

Any one else ever prepped for a long-distance relay??  Suggestions?

How long do you usually give yourself off after a race?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cap City Recap

Race: Cap City Half Marathon
Distance:  13.1 miles
Date:  May 5, 2012, 8:00 am start
Finish time:  2:26:48, 11:13 min/avg  (official time/pace)
What sets this race apart:  Being local

I finished it!!!  No more will I say that I register for Cap City and fail to finish it!

All week long the weather was an issue because our temperatures were way above normal.  A few days before race day, we received email warnings about the symptoms for heatstroke and the need to slow down and hydrate.
The dog fountain is an excellent way to stay cool AND hydrate Mommy.
I modified my race plan and intended to slow down, but I couldn't give up the idea of PRing. Turns out, I did both.  Slowed down compared to the Scioto Mile 15K a few weeks ago, and PR'd by almost 3 minutes compared to the Knoxville Half a month ago!

Once again, this race made poor Sports Drink decisions.  Last year, they served Ultima (I forget the exact name - but it was disgusting - everyone was spitting it out).  This year, they served GU electrolye brew.  I'd never had it.  Thus, I'm glad I read the program guide the night I picked up my packet, and filled all 20oz of my fuel belt with power aide instead.  Nonetheless, I wound up taking a couple cups of the Brew during the race - and it was AWFUL.  Now that I've finally finished this race, I think I'm taking it out of the race rotation because of bad sports drinks.

The race was 65 degrees and 93% humidity at the start.  I was thankful, that it was foggy and thus, the sun wasn't shining down on us as well.  I'd intended to run with my friend Amy during the race, but pre-race she was saying that she was going to run with the 11:30 pacers for the first 6 miles.  So, I moved up to join the 2:25 finish pacers.  I stayed with them for about half of the race.  I fell back from them because of the water stops.
About 2/3 through the race, I'm the one in yellow.  Photo Courtesy of Sarah
The course had an awesome number of water stops, which is great considering the above average temps and humidity.  (I sweat more in this race than I ever have at a race, and I have the odd chafing injuries to prove it).  At least 4 of the stops though, did not have water cups ready when I came through.  Runners were having to wait in line to get water.  This is why I took the nasty sports drink a couple of times.  (I drank all of my poweraide by mile 10).  Perhaps it was the heat and the size of the race, I don't know, but it felt like I waited FOREVER at a couple of stops to get water.  At one stop, I actually had to leave the course, go up onto the sidewalk to a table in the back where they were pouring water into cups one at a time.  (There were 13,000 runners in the race!)  To top it off, a lot of the cups only had a gulp of water in them.

Given the fact that I was sweating outrageously by the end of the FIRST mile, I didn't feel like it was a good idea for me to skip many of the water stops (I skipped the first one because it came before the end of the first mile).  So, I waited.  Honestly, I wish I had timed how long I actually waited!

This race brought home how awesome it is to run in a local race when you belong to a couple of different running clubs.  The crowd support was AWESOME.  My friend Sarah, who got injured a few weeks before the race, showed up on her bike and was that added boost I needed several times during the race.  The last water stop was packed with my Run DMC (Daily Mile Columbus) group - and they had plenty of water cups ready!  HA!  On the course, I ran into two other good friends that were also running the race. Imagine that - out of 13,000 runners, I run into those two.  Very cool.
Some of the gang post race!  From left to right: Me, Laurie, Amy, Deb, Suzi and Nita
The only thing I didn't like about the course was the cobblestone streets in the German Village.  I definitely slowed down in that area because I was worried about turning an ankle.  They've changed the course several times in the last few years, I would've loved it if they'd removed this section.  It is a big section for crowd support though, so maybe that's why they don't.

I'm sad to say that I saw more people down on the ground: in the street, on the side of the street and in the back of ambulances, than all the previous races I've run combined.  Many were hooked up to IVs.  I hope that all of them are okay today!

Despite the weather and the water stops, I still PR'd by almost 3 minutes, so I'll take it.  Turns out my friend Amy didn't stick with the 11:30 group, and she PR'd by 13 minutes and beat me by 3 seconds!  She also was prominently displayed in a picture in the local paper!
Hob-nobbing with the Celebrity.  (I was chilled post-race, that's why the extra shirt)
Several of my regular Tuesday/Thursday night group completed their first half marathon in the race:  Sue, Andrew, Lynne, Kumar, Gail and Nic!
From Left to right: Amy, Andrew, me, Kumar and Lynne
So, all in all, a good day!  What else do you need to know???

The goodie bag wasn't much.  A bag, a chocolate and a lot of ads.  The shirt was pretty awesome though.
I also got a few fun things at the expo.  Some Super Feet inserts and some bondibands.
Blogspot loaded it sideways - so annoying
Maybe one of the other best parts of the race???  The Cap City medal is big enough to eat all my other medals...
The empty spot is reserved for my first full.
I am probably done with running the Cap City Half Marathon now that I finally earned my medal.  There are a lot of other Spring races I want to do, and the Sports drinks continue to be nasty.  It is usually a target race for my group, MIT, though, so I will probably enjoy being cheerleader or volunteer in future years!


Editor's note:  I should never write race recaps when I am as tired as I was writing this one.  Tired makes me focus on more negatives than positives.  I left out a lot of great things about this race.  It was a nice loop course from downtown to Ohio State and back.  It was relatively flat.  They had great post-race treats: orange slices, bagels, chocolate truffles and Snowville Creamery chocolate milk.  Because I stayed to the end, I even got an entire carton of chocolate milk to take home with me and a bunch of extra truffles too!  I will comment on these in my Rainier training update tomorrow as well!

Anyone else race this weekend?

Any other stories about heat or sports drinks at races?