Wednesday, December 31, 2008

You'll Do Just Fine in 2009

Easy three mile run today and ran into Jen! She joined me on the rest of my run over to a friend's house...we departed then I went to yoga for an hour. Jen and I realized that this was the first time that we had run together...which is totally odd considering we live in the same city and do other stuff together and talk about running all the time.

Anywho - today I learned that in yoga, the new year's practice is one of the most important of the year. This the time you decide your intentions, not resolutions, for the new year. Resolutions imply that there is something wrong or negative that needs to be fixed. In yoga apparently they believe that all people are good and stuff, they just might not know it. Intentions only reveal an aspect of yourself that is already present and needs to be uncovered.

So there you go, you're all beautiful and holy and perfect and godly. (So don't worry about that 3rd bottle of champagne or 17th jalepeno popper or that random guy/girl that you're about to hook up with because you are perfect and going to heaven.)

Namaste and Happy Almost New Year fellas.

5 Mile Doozy

After my Nike store bonanza I put on some of my new gear and procrastinated for literally 2 hours before getting myself out of the door. I just couldn't get it all together - I kept checking stuff online, doing some work, setting up my Garmin, etc. etc. I felt like I hadn't prepared to run in a really long time (it has been since last Thursday, which is a long time) and didn't know what to do. It was really weird.

My objective was to do 5 miles, each mile at a varying pace:

Mile 1 = 8:45
Mile 2 = 7:30
Mile 3 = 8:15
Mile 4 = 7:30
Mile 5 = 8:15

(Actually I was given more of a range; the numbers above are at the low end of that range because I am an overachiever [sometimes].)

Here are my actual results:

Mile 1 = 8:37 (128 bpm)
Mile 2 = 7:07 (182 bpm)
Mile 3 = 8:08 (172 bpm)
Mile 4 = 7:27 (183 bpm)
Mile 5 = 8:19 (181 bpm)

Total Avg Pace = 7:56

(Then for good measure I ran the rest of the way home, which was about a mile at a 9:16 pace)

Mile 1 is always weird for me when I start from home. It is down hill and there are a lot of stop lights, so as evidenced by my HR, it was an easy mile. I know my pace was faster than prescribed, but next time I should probably pick it up a bit given the external factors. (Right?)

Mile 2 was TOUGH. It has obviously been a while since I've run and couldn't figure out the pace. Looking down at the Garmin is not helpful either because I do not believe the pace shown is necessarily correct (I do agree with the avg, just not the current pace it shows). I clearly ran much faster than I should have, but how could I know? I think next time I will program the Garmin so I can see the time/distance on that specific mile (lap), that way I'll have more of an idea of my pace. Anyway, it was hard and I could feel it but I kept going because I wanted to make sure I'd finish under 7:30. Oops, I guess now I know.

I'm not going to lie I stopped BRIEFLY after this lap for several reasons, mainly my wardrobe. In my excitement to wear the new stuff I bought I put on way too much and was really hot. I had to re-adjust, but I swear it didn't take long.

Mile 3 was okay. You can see by my HR that the break allowed my heart to slow down a bit. I bet the point of this workout is to NOT stop so I kind of screwed that one up. Oh well. Again, I went 7 seconds faster than I should have, but that is my amateur ability to pace myself shining through yet again. This mile felt totally fine, I remember thinking that it actually felt too slow.

Mile 4 was another bust-ass 7:30 mile and I just about hit it. This time it felt more comfortable and I was getting into the pacing groove a bit more. I did not stop at all after this mile!

Mile 5 was great. I was just over what I'd wanted to hit and it felt really smooth and easy. I loved this mile and actually didn't want to stop. I felt like I had a lot left in the tank and I'm not sure if that's how I was supposed to feel after this workout? Hopefully Coach Shawn can provide me with some guidance on that.

Now that I'm getting closer to the actual race I'm starting to wonder how possible it is going to be to do 13 (point one) consecutive miles under 8:00. Can I do it? Am I ready? The only other half I've done I finished in 1:53 (this is 4 years ago) and I definitely want to beat that time. But can I finish in under 1:45? I would really like to, but don't want to psych myself out about that part of it too much. I always have trouble with performance anxiety type crap.

Anywhoo - that's it! Today is an easy 3 miles, then tomorrow is what appears to be a nasty track workout with 5x800! That is motivation not to drink too much tonight, right?

(SIDE NOTE: Starting Jan 1 I am on a spending freeze on all non-essential items. I have blown it out of my kazoo lately on crap and it needs to stop. I spent more time at the Nike store than anticipated, then got caught in traffic - zip car charged me $50 for the 39 minutes I was late! Crap, considering it is only $9.50/hour.)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nike Bonanza

I think I did something bad. I was allowed to go into the Nike Employee Store is the result:

  • 10 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of kick ass casual kicks (I love these!)
  • 1 awesome to-become-a-staple-in-my-life black jacket
  • 1 pair of long tights
  • 1 pair of 3/4 running tights
  • 3 short sleeve dri fit tops
  • 2 long sleeve dri fit tops
  • 4 pairs of running shorts
  • 2 hats
  • 1 reflective vest (now I'm safe!)

I have enough to last me for quite some time. I can't even promise that this will be my last post today. I still to report my to-be-completed run!

I don't know what transfer of energy just happened in the last couple of hours, but there is a little voice inside of my head saying, "JUST DO IT!"



Merry Holidays! Me in my special xmas dinner shirt. No one thought this was quite as funny as me.
Trying on some tool's white Emporio Armani spectacles:

Dancing with my friend to Barenaked Ladies:

The problem:

The result of the problem. This, by the way, is my favorite model/Paris Hilton-pose:

Towards the end (shoes off, eyes rolling back, slumped in booth) - so classy!

Back to Reality

I'm back! I'm back home in my comfortable bed and with my stuff and my people. I had a wonderful holiday but am glad to be back home.

But wait! There is another holiday coming up, so I guess I can't rely on getting back into a real routine quite yet.. Hoping to do a low key NYE night and spend some time in the woods over the weekend. It should be just what I need to hunker down, think about 2008 and plan for 2009. I think I had a pretty good year, but as always there are new things I want to do to improve myself and be happier in 2009. More to come on that.

Recap on my training last week:

  • Sunday: 2.86 miles/11:18 pace (in the horrible snow until I had to turn back)
  • Monday: 11 miles/8:24 pace (treadmill terror)
  • Tuesday: 3 miles @ 10 min pace (I basically re-enacted the entire Karma Police video on this run)
  • Wednesday: nada
  • Thursday: 4.64 miles @ 8:04 pace (really nice & fast xmas day run)
  • Friday: Slacker
  • Saturday: Loser
  • Sunday: Hangover/travel home
  • Monday: 1:15 of yoga (I'm sore today)

I am pissed at myself and really disappointed that I messed up my training once again. I wanted to get in the scheduled cadence run no matter what but I didn't. I know I shouldn't beat myself up over it, but I still feel very guilty. I did get in over 20 miles so that is still pretty good (despite the weather and holidays).

I've also been eating like shit. Not really bad foods, but bad quantities. I don't want to think about how many pounds I possibly gained over the last 10 days. I weighed myself right before that and discovered that I'd lost 6 pounds since the end of October. This is a big delta for me, especially considering that I know I gained some muscle too. However, I was pretty out of shape and have been working hard. I was just surprised to see that difference. And now it doesn't matter because I've been a sloth...


This week is fresh and while I did NOT do my strength training last night I did do yoga, which I'm calling it a wash. Today I'm supposed to do a funky 5 mile run with different paces at each mile. I am currently procrastinating. I know I'll do it eventually but I have some errands to run too, so will probably go when I return.

I've been in kind of a foul mood the past few days and trying to ignore it enough to just move on. I know it'll pass soon but these type of days suck.

Wasn't that a positive post?

I am going to put up some photos of my holiday and aforementioned night out in Ann Arbor. You can witness the shit show for yourself!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ann Arbor Is, In Fact, A Whore

I don't even know how to title this post. I am so out of sorts I can barely see straight. I feel like I've been on a week long bender but in reality I only really went out last night and am still hurting from that.

I saw my nemesis* face to face and gave him a hug. Then I realized that he wasn't trying to make amends so I walked away. Then I had an Irish car bomb (I know, not politically correct).

Then I lost my credit card (I think), then I did vocals on Rock Band until 4 a.m. Then drove home 2 hours (I slept, he drove). Now I have to pack, shower, say goodbye and fly across the nation. I'm really looking fwd to the headwinds. F the man.....

I got my next and last training plan from my coach last night and need to check it out. I'm gonna be sad when it is over with. He told me in the email that the next 2 weeks are going to be tough. It is probably because I was such a slacker this week. Speaking of which....I ran some, then I didn't. All will be reported once I stop seeing double.

Happy holidays bitches!!

*My nemesis being the bouncer that called the police on me a few months ago because he didn't believe my Cali ID was real. Do you seriously think I look less than 21 you fucker? Asshole. Long story short cops came and verified. It is not my first run-in with the Ann Arbor police.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Xmas Present to YOU: Vintage Running Ephemera

Merry christmas and happy holidays to all! As my gift to you, here are some old dandies that will hopefully tickle your fancy whatever you may be up to today:

Interestingly, there was much focus on women's running - ads and articles:

I would DIE for a singlet like this:

I believe that the 1st Chicago marathon was in 1977, so this must have been the 3rd running:

This ad confuses me but whatever:

This is what my boyfriend and I look like when we go out running together:

I love everything vintage so this totally speaks to me right now. Have a great day - hope everyone is warm with something or someone they love.
I'll report running updates soon (I have some!).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fun Times On the Suckmill

Last night's run was possibly one of the hardest runs I've done in a quite some time. I paid $8 for a day pass to the YMCA to torture myself on a treadmill in a dank room with nothing to look at.

I set my Garmin to record my HR but don't quite have the results yet. I would estimate based on looking at it that the first 4.2 miles was avg 170-172, the fast middle 5 miles was 185 and the last 2 miles was 177. Once I download I'll update.

I ran the 1st 4.3 miles at (according to the machine) a 8:27 pace. After I finished my conversation with a nice man who has kids that are married to people that I know, I kicked it into higher gear - the next 5 miles was done at 7:53. After that I dropped it back down to 8:27, then after almost dying there, I dropped it down again to about 9:00. I did this until I hit 11 miles. I was supposed to go 12 but I honestly couldn't stand it anymore. I had to stop. I kept thinking "just pull out that last mile; do it for the internet!" but I wasn't strong enough.

Miles = 11
Pace = 8:24

I still feel like I got my ass handed to me a little. Treadmills are not my favorite. The pace never really matches, it always feels harder, nothing is varied. It is boring!

I talked to a guy there that oversees a weekly group run and it turns out he became the next track coach at my high school after I graduated. He was excited to talk about running and I found it fascinating that there were people around here that were into that. The group run is tonight but I need to figure if my training plan fits into this. It might be fun to get out there, but it also might suck.

I came home and had dinner and almost passed out on the couch afterwards. I was so exhausted. I slept like a baby last night too.

I bought an awesome vintage running magazine at a thrift store yesterday that I am going to share with you soon. I love this type of stuff!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bitter Cold

This picture was taken about 5 minutes ago outside of my window:

Since I last reported upon my arrival on Friday the conditions here have only become worse. I did get out on Saturday for my easy 3 mile run, which was just kind of a fun run. I ran down to what is normally a rail trail to find one lone pair of tracks through it. I decided to run on the partially plowed road and jumped from the road to sidewalk whenever it was possible to run in less snow. I was totally slip sliding around. I averaged 9:58 miles on that run.

Sunday I hemmed, hawed and worried all morning. At least 6 more inches had fallen over the night and nothing was clear. No gyms were open either. I decided to attempt to run over to a friend's house about 10 miles away and do an extra loop once I got there to get in the 12 miles. Boy, was that stupid. Some of the roads that I was going to run on are major roads, and I'm not even sure if they have sidewalks. If they did no one shoveled them, in fact they were huge drifts from the snow plows dumping everything to the side. I got about 1.5 miles before deciding to turn back. It sucked and I felt bad about it but really there was no option. It was about 5 degrees out, 50% of my run was in snow deeper than my knees and the wind was blowing abt 30 mph. It took me 32 minutes to run 2.86 miles. Can you imagine how long it would have taken to do 12?

So, that's my pity party story. Not really anything I could do about it I suppose. Today I really plan to go to the YMCA, buy a day pass and grind out the mileage on the t-mill. I am trying to look forward to it.
Another weird thing happened yesterday before my run - out of no where my right knee got really really sore. This was completely out of the blue, happened right after I changed into my running clothes. I have no idea why? Perhaps it was from the unsteady footing on my 3 miled run the day before? It got better when I ran and feels better now, but I can still feel it a little bit. Nothing freaks me out more than knee pain!

Here is what I looked like out there yesterday - not sure if you can see, but there is snot completely running down my nose. Hot.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Made It

Home Sweet Home
I don't know why I feel it, but I have a weird dedication to report my happenings real time here. I'm hoping it will pass because it is taxing.
I was really worried about my flights and the conditions but everything actually went pretty much okay. Getting to O'Hare wasn't terrible, then my 2nd/last flight seemed to be on track until they made us sit on the tarmac for about an hour, but whatever. At that point I was just antsy.

Worst part is my checked bag did not arrive at my final destination. This has happened to me before during the same time of year and when my bag was finally located and shipped to my parents' house, there were items taken/stolen from it. Way to go xmas cheer! I am hoping that this bag arrives w/o any such issues, but who knows. I'm not really that bent out of shape about it. Last night right before I went to sleep I anticipated this exact thing happening and thought...why don't I put some running gear in my carry on bag? I am SO glad I did because I have no excuses.
Do you hear that people - NO EXCUSES!

Meanwhile I will leave you pictures that are fresh out of the oven...

Our front porch and *real* snow:

We have an award-winning fireplace:

I don't know how I'm going to slog through it, but 3 miles easy tomorrow and 12 on Sunday!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

No one at Westerberg is going to let you play their reindeer games

I started the day just dead in my bed. You know that feeling when you mentally wake up but you haven't moved yet and know you're screwed? If I was sore last night from yoga I was even more sore this a.m. (Never mind the psychotic dream I had about missing the start of my triathlon then getting caught in an oil spill eventually being poison-darted by a native.) I started with a few finger twitches and eventually brought the rest of me to life. I loooove being sore like that.

Today is my track/speed workout day so I called my coach for advice on where to run. Would the track be clear? Should I go to the treadmill? How does one do quality speedwork on a machine? We decided I should run to the track, check the conditions, then run to my gym if necessary. They're all close together.

Got to the track and this is what I found.................

One side clear:

And the other side snowy.

I determined this was the best I was going to get so started my drills. After getting warmed up I moved into the real stuff. I was to do two 100s as strides (start fast, then gradually build up to faster at the end). Wait 30 seconds and go into a 1200 interval @ 5:20, rest 2 minutes, do a 400 @ 1:30, rest 3 minutes, do another 1200 @ same pace, then another 400 @ same pace. Here's how it turned out:

100s = 0:13, 0:14
1200s = 5:29, 5:24
400s = 1:29, 1:29

Argh....I was really pissed that I didn't hit the 5:20s on the 1200s. I know I know I know that the conditions hampered this. I was completely slipping on that back half, but STILL. I hate not hitting my goals. The 400s were designed (and correct me if I'm wrong Shawn) to throw a little lactic acid into the mix. The 400 pace equates to 6:30/mile and the 12:00 pace is 7:08/mile, so obviously the 400s were a lot quicker. I felt it, but I also felt great. I felt relaxed and good, so this is an improvement for me on my track workouts. (I am already thinking about February when this is all over with, how much I am going to miss the track workouts!) Afterward I took some pics (below) then trotted home. I was not as exhausted as last week but I felt worked out. It was a really good session.

Photos.....starting line:

My weathered training plan:

Nike owns Portland:

So that is it for Portland for 10 days. I'm all packed up and hopefully leaving tomorrow to travel to Michigan for the holidays. I have tons of cold weather running gear packed as the high will not go above the 20s while I'm there. Awesome! There's a ginormous storm hitting Chicago right now that is supposed to last for 12 hours. When Chicago predicts an Arctic Blast they are not fucking around - the shit's going to be off the heeeourzy. I guarantee you that I will end up getting stuck somewhere and lose my luggage. At least I have friends there and can take the blue line downtown if I'm trapped!

I'll be online while I'm out, probably more than I am now, so will post my adventures in mid-Michigan.


So it turns out that my little venture yesterday afternoon was just what the doctor ordered. Coming home last night after a run, pedicure, yoga and a nice dinner I was in great spirits. It is amazing what a little perspective (and nail polish) can do.

The run: I ran over to my friends place through snow falling all the while talking on the phone! Has anyone ever dared to do this? I had my hands-free on and talked with my sister the whole way. At times it was windy and loud for her, but my panting and rhythmic slapping of feet did not come through on the other line. How awesome huh? I think I ran about 3 miles, but I didn't track any of it. It was great.

Pedis: awesome. I went for a festive sparkley blue that turned out more like the exterior of a speed boat but whatever. It is cute.

Yoga: Vinyasa 2...This was a more advanced class, but the only one happening at this time so there was no choice. It ended up being not as hard as I was expecting but very challenging for me. This chick had us twisted all over the place for an hour and fifteen minutes and I am sore today. But good sore. This was at an actual yoga studio, not 24 Hour Fitness, so the class was great. I really want to go back there and might do this more consistently once my half marathon is done at the end of January.

Today's workout: is a speed workout planned for the track. Debating if the track is going to be icy. If it is I'm going to do this on the treadmill. God knows how I'm going to program the machine to do what I want it to do. I'll figure it out. The workout looks hard and I'm kind of intimidated.

In other exciting news, I found another Jordan shot in my pictures from Chicago! Never mind the guy in argyle below, he's got MJ coming out of his cheek! Sweet eh?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Keggers With Kids All Next Year

Maybe I should have added another item to my Goals List this week - to not completely fall apart from work stress. Last night I had a personal breakdown and not feeling too much better today. Thank god I am keeping up with running because I can imagine I'd feel far worse without it.

I've woken up in the middle of the night almost every night for about a week. I end up thinking about work and completely blowing everything out of proportion and I can't stop. Sometimes I get back to sleep but I always lose a couple of hours. I need a lot of sleep too, so this totally sucks.

I am in a new position and running a project that is totally new too. There are processes, politics, people that I cannot even begin to describe. Plus, much of the content is way beyond my level of understanding. The funny part is that all of that is part of the deal - everyone in my position pretty much deals with it and I'm not sure how. It is times like these that make me want to be in a position where someone is just telling me what to do all the time. And then I go home at 5 and stop thinking about it.

I think I am just going to have to tough out this one and see how I feel when it is done (May 2009). If I'm totally dissatisfied I am going to look for different work or secretly stop taking birth control and sneakily get preggos. Probably the former.

I also found out today that a good family friend has cancer. WTF? I'm sad and scared for her and hopeful it can be taken care of. I've never had to deal with this so not quite sure how to react. I just know that it sucks.

It is snowing out and I feel like I'm in the center of a snowglobe right now. My cross town friend suggested that we ditch work this afternoon, get pedicures and go to yoga. Doesn't that sound awesome? I think I need this to recharge so I agreed. I am also going to knock out my easy 3 miler by running over there. Nothing like multi-tasking, eh?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good Times!

They're real! Last night we had a Portland/runner/blogger meet up in the Pearl. Attendees included:

Many glasses of wine were consumed and 2 pots of fondue were licked clean. I think we ordered almost every app off the happy hour menu. It was yummy, but more fun was to get to know people that so far have only really existed on screen to me. (I take that back, I already know Jen and her husband and met GOC and JM at the Turkey Trot this year.) I didn't get down to the end of the table to chat w/AA and her crowd, but that just ensures that another meet up will be necessary very soon.

Everyone proved to be just as funny, witty, smart, attractive and intriguing (if not moreso) in person as they are in 1's and 0's. You know like 001101010111000111010101010100011110?

And to prove that it all!

Zach and non-blogger (Susie, I think is her name?)

Alisa and her other half:

Jen and Sarah:

Ms. Junk Miles:

Deep in running-related conversation:

Me and Amy (I look to be afflicted with Bell's Palsy here, but Amy looks cute so I'm posting it):

Uber Close-up of me and Amy (my lips stained with red wine):

Settling the bill: