Monday, December 29, 2008

I must have some seriously bad kharma...

How else do you explain getting sick over the holidays two years in a row?

I thought my horrible plague from last year was enough to warrant me at least a few years of health at the holidays, but apparently not.

On Christmas Eve I started feeling like crap. My throat burned, my head pounded and my sinuses felt like little drummer boys were practicing for the next day. Of course, all this strikes in the middle of my favorite Christmas party of the season. The hostess was nice enough to offer me some Sudafed and Advil so I could make it through the rest of the party and to church.

Christmas wasn't much better, but my family was going to my uncles house to celebrate and there was no way I was spending it at home. So more Advil, more Sudafed and off to the dirty Jerz to visit my uncle (and his two insane Jack Russell terriers.)

The rest of my time off was more of the same.

I'm not much better today, but I'm to the point where it wasn't absolutely necessary for me to do the Advil/Sudafed combo to get out of bed and get to work. I guess that's progress.

Needless to say, I have been completely unable to run over my vacation, which sucks so bad because I had some nice long runs planned to rack up points in the HBBC. Instead I had to settle for some walking, playing Wii with my cousin and building furniture (all under the influence of Advil/Sudafed). Not the best workouts ever, but I guess it was better than nothing.

I'm hoping to kick this thing in the next few days because the temps have been so beautiful (think high 60's) that it's killing me to not be out running!

Side note: It's awfully demoralizing to get destroyed in Wii by your 7-year-old cousin in front of many other relatives.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Looking back on 2008

I was reading through some of my posts from the beginning of the year and couldn't find one where I specifically stated any goals, but I had a few in my head. I knew I wanted to run another big race of at least half-marathon distance and I wanted to focus on increasing my speed in 2008.

I'm happy to say I accomplished both.

I ran the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon in April and shaved about 11 minutes from my previous best half marathon time, which qualifies in both categories.

I also ran a 5K PR at the Komen Race for the Cure and a five miler PR at the Celtic Solstice Five Miler.

Those are definitely some of the highlights from this year. I'm really happy with the progress I've made. I am consistently running faster and stronger than I was in past years.

Before, I'd often punk out in the winter and fade away from running a little bit because of the weather. This is the first year I've run fairly consistently from the end of November through December, and it's something I plan to continue in 2009.

The only real negative from this year was my knee injury that happened back in May. It was nothing I could have prevented, just a strange problem where my knee doesn't track straight up and down in the socket but instead pulls to the left. Unfortunately though, I missed the entire summer of running. I did almost two months of physical therapy before I was back on my feet.

I had to DNS the Baltimore 10 Miler in June and I couldn't register for the Virginia Beach Half Marathon over Labor Day weekend for the same reason. My knee also forced me to miss the Philadelphia Distance Run, another race I had had my eye on.

I think I recovered stronger though. I still tape my knee in longer distances as a precaution, but other than that I haven't had problems. Since the injury I have posted some of my fastest race times since I started running regularly and racing two and a half years ago.

I'm still working on my goals and planning my race calendar for 2009, which I will update with later.

This will most likely be my last post before the holidays so I hope you all have a great holiday season!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I love PRs...a Celtic Solstice Five Miler Race Report


There's nothing like an early morning PR to start the weekend off right.

I ran the Celtic Solstice Five Miler this weekend in Baltimore and smashed my time from any five miler I've ever done in training by several minutes. Let's just say I was a little excited when I crossed the finish line.

My only let down was not having anyone to celebrate with. The two girls I ran with from York had to book it out of there pretty quick (although I did bump into one in the food tent briefly) and the BF punked out and didn't go because it was too cold/early/dark outside. So I celebrated myself and called my mom, who appreciates these things.

The race course wound through Druid Hill Park and wrapped around the lake before heading back to the start line. It was an enjoyable course, but there wasn't too much crowd support except for right around the start/finish. There were a few hills, one long one at the start and a few others throughout, but nothing too terrible.

I felt good for most of the course, but definitely felt a struggle in mile one (the first mile always sucks) and between miles three and four. When I hit mile five though I felt good and I was just cruising looking at my watch thinking there was no way I could be going that fast.

Is it bad that when I saw my finish time I assumed they measured the course wrong?

47:36!!!! That's like 9:30 minute miles!

For me, that is lightening!

The spread of food afterward was insane! Seriously I have never seen so many post-race yummies. I just grabbed a pack of PB crackers before I booked it out of there to go home, shower and head to Ocean City for the BF's friend's grad. party.

Race positives:
Fun course
PR
Tons of runners
The freakin' awesome fleece you get for running

Negatives:
It was freezing waiting at the start line
You had to park a mile from the start so it was a cold walk back.

I'd definitely do this race again and plan to work it into my calendar for next year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Nutrition is important in training...you'd think I'd learn

You think I'd learn....seriously you think after being a runner for this long that I'd know that eating right before, during and after runs is important. But for whatever reason I just don't.

After last weekend's 11 miler I didn't eat enough. Not on purpose. I just wasn't paying close attention. Sunday I was running around all day and ate at really irregular intervals. I thought I was eating more than I actually was because of that.

So needless to say, Monday's three miler sucked. A lot. I was gassed after 1.5 miles.

But don't worry after two parties this week, my calorie deficit is completely gone and I've probably crossed into calorie surplus lol.

I haven't run since Monday because Tuesday I felt nauseous after getting off the Metro and running would have just made it worse. I wanted to get something short in after work today, but I may have plans now that interfere with that.

It's sort of a taperish type week for me anyway because I have the Celtic Solstice Five Miler in Baltimore on Saturday. I'm hoping for some nice weather. BF even said he might come to the race. (Which is pretty impressive because BF is NOT a morning person, especially on the weekends.)

I'll have a bit of a challenge getting in my 12 miler this weekend. I'm going to be in Ocean City for a graduation celebration and I'm not sure which hotel I'll be at yet. So it makes it a little hard to hit up mapmyrun.com for a route. I'm sure I'll figure something out though.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friday sixer and Saturday 11 and Terps win a Nattyship!

My Terps are soccer national champions and I am super freakin' excited about it. I was thisclose to buying a plane ticket to Texas after we beat St. John's in the semifinals Friday night, but the cheapest I could find was about $350 and I'm a little too poor to be able to drop $350 bucks like that. So needless to say I had to watch it on TV, which was a huge let down. After we won all I wanted to do was go jump into the arms of my two friends on the team and give them the world's biggest hugs ever. But we won and I'm so excited!!!!

We won the National Championship in 2005 when I was a sophomore and I was there for that one and it was seriously one of my favorite memories from college. There is nothing like rushing the field and getting touch the trophy. I hope we make it back next year because it's in Cary, NC, which is definitely driveable.

Anyway, on the running front. I had a six miler at pace Friday night. It pretty much rocked. Those two rest days I took in the middle of the week were just what I needed. I finished six miles in 58 minutes and change, which is awesome for me.

My legs were tired afterward, but not too bad. I was a little nervous about Saturday's 11 miler, but I wasn't worried about speed just about getting the distance in.

I slept in for the first time in weeks and left for my run around 11 a.m. (Sleeping in is definitely one of the perks of training in the winter. It only gets warmer as it gets closer to noon, not hotter.)

I planned an out and back course and the first 5.5 miles I felt really good. I was hitting my splits between 10 and 10:30, which is definitely a faster than I wanted to be going. I tried to pull back the speed a  little bit so I'd have energy to get me through the second half. I was pretty successful and was able to crank out the next few miles around 11 minutes. I took a Gu around mile 5ish, which I think helped me out, but I didn't have water with me to wash it down. It probably would have worked better if I did.

The course I ran was pretty hilly and I ran a lot of downhill from mile 4 to 5.5 that was all uphill on the way back. I was able to run really solidly through mile 9, but I hit more hills in mile 10 that forced me to walk for a little bit. I was bummed because my goal was to run the whole thing, but my legs were just having none of this hill.

So I walked for a little bit and then picked it back up to running when it flattened out a little bit and finished the course running. If I had to guess I'd say I walked no more than a half mile the whole time, maybe three quarters of a mile at the absolute most. 

I finished the 11 miles in 1:58:25, which is a time I'm really happy with.

When I trained for my first marathon, I would have had a hard time finishing 1o miles in an hour and  yesterday I managed to crank out 11 miles in under an hour. 

Today was supposed to be a cross training day, but I took a rest day because I needed it. I did some stretching to help loosen up my calves because they're still tight although otherwise I feel perfectly fine. 

Overall it was a pretty successful few days of running. I got some decent miles in.

Tonight I picked up my fleece for the race I'm running next Saturday. It's super nice and I'm so gld I paid the more expensive registration price to get it. My camera battery is dead now  but I'll try to get a picture of it up at some point!

Hope you all had awesome weekends!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Six miler leads to two rest days

Tuesday night I ran a solid six miler in 1:02 or 1:03ish. I felt tired before I headed out and the first three miles felt hard, but after the turn around I felt better. Maybe it was just the mental thing knowing that I was on the way back that let me pick up my pace in the second half of the run.

The first three miles I hit all my splits at almost exactly 11 minute miles. By if you'll notice from my finish time, I must have picked it up a bit on the way back in to finish with that time.

I stretched really well after I got home, but still woke up sore the next morning. (Not like super painful sore, but my legs felt really heavy walking to and from the Metro.)

Because of that I skipped my Wednesday scheduled three miler. I just wanted to relax my legs. I had thought about maybe rescheduling it for yesterday (my normally schedule rest day) but I didn't want to run three days in a row with a pace run tonight and a long run tomorrow. So no running for me.

Tonight I have another six miler at pace and this weekend I've got 11 on the schedule. I'm a little nervous about the 11. I haven't run that kind of distance in a long, long time.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Running, earning points and what I want for Christmas

Last night I got in my scheduled three miler, which ended up being closer to a 4.3ish miler, but I'm not complaining. Overall things went well. I was tired when I got home from work, but I knew I wanted to get out and get this run done.

It was definitely chilly went I started and for a while I was wishing I had layered one of my lighter fleeces over my Under Armour, but after about the second mile I wasn't feeling too cold anymore and by the end I was really glad I hadn't worn the fleece.

I did try out this new pair of running gloves my mom bought me at an expo. I'm not a fan of running in gloves because they usually make my hands all sweaty, but these gloves rocked and I only found myself wanting to take them off at the very very end.

I did the same route on 16th St. that I did last week and it worked well except for a few a street crossing right at the beginning and end. There's a traffic circle separating D.C. from Silver Spring that is a true pain in the ass to navigate in car or on foot. Lucky for me, a very nice lady stopped and let me cross the street when I had the right of way after a whole of bunch other cars hadn't.

Adding my commute (1.5 miles of walking round trip!) and my stretching to my run, I earned 6.4 points to kick off the HBBC! Not a bad start!

I've got a 6 miler on tap for tonight. Time to hit up MapMyRun for a good route.

Edit:
I was looking for awesome night time/early morning running gear so that I can see where I'm going. I always think head lamps look clunky and I just can't bring myself to strap something on my head. But then I stumbled across this:


It's a running hat, with a little light built into it. How perfect! I want one so badly. Hint, hint Christmas is just around the corner and it's less than $20.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Finding my groove

Things are starting to calm down in my world right now. I'm finally feeling like my new house is actually a home. I've got my morning routine pretty much down to a science. (Roll out of bed at six, get dressed, brush teeth, put in contacts, walk to metro, get to work at 7).

Because of my early morning work hours, I'm still trying to get used to this running after work thing. Although I am most definitely a morning person, there is absolutely no way I can drag myself out of bed at 4:30 a.m. to run in the freezing temps. I'll reevaluate 4:30 running when it gets warmer out, but for now, I'll stick to running after work.

Last Thursday, I was able to get a solid 4.5 miler in. I did an out and back course along 16th Street mainly because it's the only road I know that has street lights so I can see and not trip and doesn't require you to cross many busy roads.

Tonight I have a three miler on the schedule and today also kicks off RunToFinish's Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge. So as long as I go out and get my run in, I can start earning some points!

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Moving update:

I bought a bed this weekend! And dropped obscene amounts of money at Ikea. Who knew mattresses and box springs were so freakin' expensive. Not me.

They are also a pain in the butt to carry up stairs (or just carry in general) but BF and I managed somehow.

Seriously, BF deserves a medal or something for helping me yesterday. We borrowed his stepdad's truck to load up the bed and dresser from Ikea, took it all home and then spent like 2.5 hours assembling the bed. We were both so sick of building furniture by the time we finished we didn't even start the dresser. (Plus BF wanted to watch the Redskins game...too bad they lost hehe...that may sound mean, but I'm an Eagles fan and now my team isn't last in the division anymore.)

But man was it nice to sleep in a real bed last night and not on an air mattress! The obnoxiously expensive mattress was so worth it.

So basically I'm forever indebted to BF for his help. I started by paying him back with pizza for dinner. They way to a man's heart is through his stomach right? lol!

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Also congrats to Frayed Laces on her BQ!

Hope you all have a fabulous Monday and good luck to everyone participating in the HBBC!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Back to our regular scheduled programming

Again more apologies for being so absent of late. I hate letting the blog slide this much, but I should be getting back to my normal routine soon.

These past few weeks have been absolutely nuts and I haven't gotten a single run in since two Fridays ago I think. Not good for marathon training.

I don't think I've ever explained really about the whole new job-moving thing-trying to find places to run, but here's a quick rundown of what I've been dealing with the past three weeks.

I moved out of York Nov. 14th and went to stay at the BF's place. He and his roommates very graciously offered to let me stay until I found a place to live. I had a week off in between my old job and my new job and I used that time to kick off marathon training and spend most of my days on Craigslist looking for houses and most of my nights visiting those places.

It was crazy and stressful and I hated that I was homeless and bumming off the BF and his friends.

By the middle of that week I had found a nice townhouse with reasonable rent and two nice roommates so I at least had that ironed out. Only problem was, I couldn't move in until Nov. 30 and my job started Nov. 24.

My new job is in D.C. a couple of blocks from the White House. The easiest way to get there is by the metro. My new place is two blocks from a metro station, unfortunately BF lives much closer to Annapolis than D.C. and is about a 30 minute drive from the closest metro station.

So that means last week I had to wake up crazy early, drive to the metro, then ride the metro for like 45 minutes before I even got to work. And then do it all again on the way home. I was leaving the house a little before 7 a.m. and getting back after 7 p.m. Long, long days.

All I wanted to do when I got home was curl up and go to sleep, which is basically what I did.

Unfortunately I had to work the Friday after Thanksgiving so I didn't get to go home and spend Turkey Day with my family. It's the first Thanksgiving in my 22 years that I wasn't with them so that was a little weird. I spent the day with the BF and part of his fam though and we had a great time.

Last weekend I was so glad to sleep in on Saturday before going to watch Maryland soccer in the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament (they won 2-1 and play again this weekend). Sunday was moving day and then collapsing on the sofa and watching football.

Now that I'm in my new place my commute is slashed in half, which is so nice. I still haven't had a chance to run in part because I haven't found a place where I won't get run over and in part because I'm still settling in.

I have no furniture yet (that's this weekend's goal) so I'm living out of boxes and sleeping on an air mattress. I feel like a squatter.

Last night was BF's birthday so I took him to dinner after work and then we walked around downtown and got back kind of late. Tonight I'm going to watch his volleyball game, so more no running for me, but I'm OK with it because I know I'm still settling in and trying to figure out my schedule.

I'll be back to running soon and I'm still fairly confident that I'll be ready for this marathon. I've still got plenty of time.

Just wanted to give you all a quick update on where I've been. I think I've finally caught up on most of your blogs (although I definitely didn't have time to comment on all of them, so my apologies.) I'm so looking forward to getting my furniture and having my parents drop off the last of my stuff this weekend so that I can be moved in for real and settle into a routine. It will be awesome.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

About time I'm back

Well it's about time I catch up with my blogging a few minutes before I head out to lunch.

As some of you may remember from wayyyy long ago when I last posted, marathon training started last week.

To recap:
Monday's run was crappy.
Tuesday's 5-miler was better
Wednesday's three-miler was pretty good.
Thursday rest.
Friday wa five at pace.

I wanted to my pace to be between 10:30 and 11 minute miles, with the idealist in me really really hoping to whip out some 10 minute miles. I don't remember the exact time, but I finished the five in 51:10ish I believe, which is just a little bit slower than 10 minute miles. Not too shabby.

My weekend long run was eight miles. I couldn't get it done on Saturday because I was packing and driving back to Maryland for our last home football game of the season (which we blew to FSU) so I planned to do it Sunday.

I ended up having to go to the leasing office for my new place on Sunday and had to wait by the phone for the rest of the day for a return call, which left me zero time to go running. I was kind of bummed because it was a gorgeous day for an 8-miler, but that's life and unfortunately making sure everything is squared away with the new townhouse is a priority.

I won't be getting my runs in this week either because my commute is about an hour each way until I can move to my real place and it's too dark before I leave and when I get back. For now I'm just crashing with friends in Annapolis until I can move.

I do have tentative plans to run a Turkey Trot 5K on Thursday though, so I won't feel like a complete slacker. (Ok that's a lie, I already feel like a complete slacker.)

I hope to get things back on track with the running soon, but I know I'm in a big transition right now and just need to take things one at a time until I get settled in. Missing a few runs probably won't kill my training.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Learning why nutrition is important...the hard way

First off, I have to apologize that I haven't read a single blog since last week. I'm so far behind and I'm a little afraid to look at the damage in my Google Reader. I will catch up soon though, just as soon as my life starts to settle down a bit.

To update quick on that. Friday was my last day at the newspaper in PA. I moved everything out and gave a bunch of my stuff to my parents when I saw them Saturday for the Notre Dame vs. Navy game in Baltimore. (ND won! WHOO!)

I basically kept two duffel bags and now I'm crashing at friends' places until I find a place to live. I have tentative plans to see a place tonight and definite plans to see a place tomorrow. Cross your fingers for me.

Marathon training officially started today. I'm following Hal Higdon's intermediate plan, but I shifted some of the days around because I like my long runs on Saturdays and he has them on Sundays. 

Today was supposed to start with an easy three miler, but I felt horrible from the moment I started moving. My legs felt like dead weight. I pushed through a little more than two miles and then took a walk break. Started running a little more and then walked again. I ran the last .2 or .3 miles or so in the 3.5 mile loop I had mapped. 

Because of things being packed in strange places, I think my watch was in a box that my parents took (or else it's lost because I can't find it) so I didn't have a time for this run.

I realized though the reason I sucked so much was because yesterday I ate about no food. Not on purpose. It just happened. I was going down to North Carolina for the day for the ACC Tournament to watch Maryland vs. UVA in the finals. (You may remember from last year that day trips to North Carolina are fairly common during soccer season.)

We left around 7 a.m. and I had a pack of trail mix with me. I wasn't super hungry, so I didn't crack open the trail mix until about 10ish. We stopped for food at a BoJangles (for those not familiar, it's fried chicken and lots of sweet tea). I'm not a big fan of fast food and there was no way I was going to be chowing down on fried chicken so I just got a water. 

One of the other kids in the car wasn't eating it either. He was smart though and packed a sandwich. I hadn't. He had a whole box of granola bars though and offered me one so I took him up on it.

After the game (which we won by the way...whoooo ACC Champs!!!), the coaches gave us two of their pizzas so, I had two slices on the way home. We stopped at Sonic on the way back, but I wasn't super hungry because I had eaten the pizza only about two hours before then and plus it was more fast food.

I ordered a strawberry smoothie with low-fat yogurt because I figured I'd get hungry at some point. I only ended up having half of it.

So that was all I ate, all day: Granola bar, a few handfuls of trail mix, two slices of pizza and half a smoothie. Definitely not enough. No wonder my three-miler sucked so bad this morning.

I'm making pasta for dinner tonight. I've got a five miler tomorrow that I'd really rather not bonk on.

If anyone has a good nutrition plan that they followed during marathon training, let me know!

I promise to catch up on my blog reading ASAP! (Pics from the ACC tourney to come as soon as I find my camera connector cord....but it might also be with everything that my parents took...oh brother...I need to find a place to live soon.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Busy busy busy

Man I feel like I haven't had a second to catch my breath since this weekend. I've been filling in for one of my co-workers at work who's out for a family emergency and I've been trying to finish up all of my work that I need to finish by my last day on Friday.

I spent about four hours packing last night and tonight I'm going down to D.C. to look at another place to live. Then I'm going back down again Thursday night to look at another one. I really hope one of them works out. I'm starting to stress out about being homeless in a few weeks.

In the workout world, I haven't had much going on. I ran a 5K with my friend on Sunday.

We did OK, but the course was kind of crappy. It was an out and back, which I don't mind. Except this course was completely downhill the first half and up a huge hill on the way back. We clocked out first mile in 8:36 because we gravity was pulling us down the hill so fast. Unfortunately we hit mile two at 19:46 and then finished at at 30:50 according to the official times. The hills were brutal and there was just no way I could sustain my normal pace over the race course. 

I was disappointed in my time, but Amy and I  had a really great time and it was a beautiful day, so I can't complain too much. I'll just need to find a different race to Shave my 5K.

Oh and in other news...it's official.

I registered for the National Marathon on March 21 in D.C. Training starts next Monday. I sure as heck hope I have my living situation figured out by then. I don't want to be skipping runs at the beginning of training because I'm busy looking for a place to live.



Friday, November 07, 2008

So long shoes

To my beloved turquoise Mizunos,

You have been so good to me for the past six months, getting me through a half marathon, my knee rehab and my return to running. Sadly you are old and worn out and now I must let you go. I'm sad for us to part ways and I will miss our time spent together on the road. I apologize for replacing you with a new flashier (and way cleaner) version. It must be hard for you to know that your twin is going to be going with me on my long runs, tempo runs, short runs, all my runs from now on and you will be demoted to my cross-training shoes. It was a tough decision, but I promise, it's not you, it's me.

-- Jess

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Last night I picked up my new Mizunos and they are all kinds of bright colors. I've been running in the Wave Inspire for a long time and I've had blues, oranges, yellows, but none of them as electric as the blue/purple comb on my new ones. I know you're supposed to break in your shoes before races, but I'm breaking that cardinal rule. I've got a 5K on Sunday and probably won't be able to get a run in before then.

I also finally registered for the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler in Baltimore in December. I'm really looking forward to it.

And I put together a marathon training schedule last night. I haven't registered yet, but I've got the schedule. It starts in earnest on Nov. 17th. So from now until then I'm not going to follow anything really, just going to do some runs when I can.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Some big news and some odds and ends

I decided to scrap the gym last night and get my run in outside after work. It was starting to get dark when I got home, but it was still decent, plus my neighbors have all kinds of lights and stuff. By the time I got to mile two though it was pretty much pitch black and it was hard to see the road in front of me. I was worried I was going to trip and fall. (Maybe that's why my time was so crappy...32: something for 3.2 miles...way slower than I have been going lately.)

But I got it in and I didn't sprain an ankle. It's probably a good thing my iPod died in the NOT cold again because I could hear cars coming and such. Seriously maybe it is time for a new iPod or something. It dying every time the weather is not 70 degrees is getting a bit old.

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My Big News:

Well I've been sitting on this news for a long, long time because nothing was official until this week. But it's official now.

I got a new job! In Washington, D.C.!!!!

I can't put into words how happy I am to be getting back to the D.C./Md. area. You guys know I've been going back there almost every weekend since the end of July because I love it and miss it so much.

So yea, new job working for the government starting Nov. 24. I'm super excited.

I'm currently in the midst of trying to find places to live. It's not easy let me tell you. I saw two places last weekend. Neither was great. I'm going to see a place tonight (yup driving down three hours in rush hour traffic after work, looking out a house, and then driving another two hours back home so I can be at work tomorrow...ick) and then I'm going to see another place next Tuesday and I'm sure a few more this weekend.

It's stressful to say the least, but it's got to be done. I've been a hobo on my friends couches on the weekends for long enough. I don't want to further impose by not having my own place to live!

I have high hopes for the place I'm seeing tonight. The girls living there now seem really friendly so I'm hoping they'd be good roommates. Cross your fingers for me!

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Also a few of you commented on the "cute blind ref" from the Halloween pics. Man, I can't slip anything past you guys! He's the BF. He's a real nice guy that I met...where else...at a Maryland tailgate.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween fun

Nothing too exciting to report in the way of running. My calves were really really tight after Friday's 8 miler so I took the rest of the weekend off. It was darker than I realized when I got home from work tonight so poor planning on my part led to no run. I might try to hit the gym after work tomorrow. I'd go before but I'm going to be busy waiting in line to vote. (I think the running gods will forgive me for missing my morning work out to vote.)

P.S. I registered for the GW Law School 5K I mentioned a few posts back this afternoon. Attempt No. 2 at Shaving my 5K this Sunday!

Anyway, here's some pictures from the Halloween festivities this weekend.

Indiana Jones and the TV Guide. (My roommate works in the TV dept. at the Washington Post. She got a ton of interesting comments about her costume, including one from a creepy guy who was like, "Hey, so what's on tonight." Not creepy by itself, but totally creepy the way he said it.)

A blind ref, a fallen angel and the Hamburgler (without her mask on)

Emily, me and Sam getting ready to go out.

Soccer player and a ref. (It wasn't planned, I swear.)

Me and my fave! (AKA my college roommate Emily!)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Crofton 8-Miler

I think the town of Crofton, Md. was designed by a runner. I'm 100% serious. There are sidewalks everywhere including on all the busy roads. There are tons of neighbors with lots of shady areas that make for fabulous mileage.

The Crofton Parkway is a giant loops that is almost exactly a 5K. I mean seriously, who designs stuff like that if they aren't a runner themselves or a very runner friendly person.

Well anyway, I'm down in Maryland today because I have a vacation day (whoo!!) that I used because this afternoon a bunch of us are driving to Charlottesville, Va. for a soccer game. So I decided that I would use the morning for a nice, easy long run.

I planned out an 8.33 mile course. (Why can I never find a course that ends on an even mile or half mile lol) and hit the road around 8:30ish. It was still a bit chilly, but in a good way. I was pretty comfortable in my Under Armour tights and a long sleeve tech shirt with my ear warmer on.

I was cruising along the first three miles feeling really great and absolutely loving running in Crofton. Everyone else out is so freakin' nice. I think every single person I passed waved and said, "Hi." People with dogs were so nice about pulling the leashes close and stepping out of the way so I could get by. A super nice crossing guard helped me across the busiest road with a bunch of school kids.

Right around mile 3 my iPod died because it was cold. Does anyone else have that problem? iPods dying in the cold? (Like not dead, dead it's fine now, but it just turns off and won't turn back on outside.)

Well right about that time I passed a mom and her son going to a Halloween party at what looked to be a kindergarten. The little boy was dressed up as a PowerRanger I think. And I ran past him and he started running right along side of me. So I chatted with him for a little while, told him I liked his costume and that he was super fast. He was such a cutie. (I also told him not to get too far ahead of his mom, I didn't want her to panic.)

They veered off to go to their party and I headed on my way on the Parkway, which is an awesome place to run. There's plenty of sidewalk room and its not too hilly. There were a couple big ones in the middle, but nothing too bad.

Miles four and five I was still feeling good. Around mile six, I was exiting the Parkway and I could definitely feel my legs were getting tired. I also noticed a twinge in my knee. It was nothing serious. Just annoying.

I pushed through mile seven and was really really tired by mile eight. It sucked not having my iPod here. The music helps me zone out and not focus so much on how tired I am. I had one line from the last song I listened to stuck in my head so I was like singing it over and over again haha. Not out loud though.

I finished 8.33 in 1:27.43. I think that's about a 10:30 mile. I was hoping to average 10 minute miles, but I'm still not disappointed in the run. It felt great except for my knee acting up at the end. I think I'm going to tape my knee from now on runs over 6 miles. That's when I seem to notice it start to act up. I also think I would have been able to push the speed a little bit more had I eaten more before I went out. I only ate half a PBJ because I just was not hungry enough to eat a whole one. I kind of wish I had though. Oh well, I know for next time.

Anyway, I'm off to go get ready for this soccer game. It's Halloween so we're all dressing up. I'm going as...a soccer player...creative, I know right haha!

Hope you all have a great Halloween weekend!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WORLD CHAMPS!!!!

THE PHILS JUST WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!! WHOOOO!!!!!!!

I am doing a happy dance around my room!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The gym's becoming relevant again

After months and months of shunning the gym for the warm summer months of running outside, lately I've been finding myself heading back indoors.

It's been pitch black when I wake up in the mornings and I don't have very much daylight left by the time I get home from work.

It started out with a few spin classes here and there, a couple times each week. This morning was the first time I forced myself onto the thrillmill though.

I met my co-worker Michele this morning and did about 20 minutes of elliptical with her before she had to head home to get ready for work (poor girl starts an hour before I do.)

When she left I switched over to the treadmill and thought I'd be adventurous and do some intervals. I know they were on the treadmill so it's not the same as doing them on a track, but these days track access is not really an option. So it looks like I'll be doing most of my speed work on the treadmill. (Does anyone have thoughts on this or suggestions on how to adjust the speed to make it most mirror the effort I'd be putting out on a track?)

I didn't have much time left so I figured I'd try to do 4x800 with an 800 recovery in between each. (I never know how long to recover after my intervals. Is 800 too long? It seems to work for me...again thoughts?)

Well I ran out of time and only did 3x800, but I figured it was something. I did my fast intervals at an 8:57 pace and my recovery was at 10:54. I could definitely feel that the effort was challenging so I think I did an OK job picking out speeds, but as always your thoughts or suggestions are helpful.

By the end with cool down and everything, I had done a little less than 30 minutes on the thrillmill and 20 minutes of the random hill setting on the elliptical.

A solid workout in my book.

P.S. Thanks for everyone's input on my last post about my marathon worries. After today's workout I'm feeling better about things and I'm going to see how I feel in another week or so.

P.P.S. How annoying is it the Game 5 got postponed last night? And how really pissed was I this morning when I found out the commish was going to suspend the game either way and not call it after the 5th and magically make the Phils win. (Which I think was the right decision, a World Series shouldn't be decided by the rain.) But why did they even play the top of the 6th then? The conditions were crappy. They should have called it after five and the Phils would have had a one-run lead. No way the Rays second run would have scored if it hadn't been for the rain. OK end rant about baseball.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Marathon anxieties

I've been putting off this post for a few days now because I know it's going to be a bit rambly and long. It's also a big look into my mindset and I was a little nervous about sharing that with the world. (Don't say I didn't warn you)

After my awesome 5K last weekend, I got all excited to register for races again. So I started looking for anything of any distance.

I put together this list:

GW Equal Justice Foundation's 5K Race for Justice (Nov. 9) -- My friend's a GW Law student and wants me to do this one. Plus I could potentially use it as my smooth time for the challenge.
Celtic Solstice Five Miler (Dec. 20) -- This comes highly recommended from a girl I work with and apparently the race jacket is sweet.
National Marathon (Mar. 21) -- We'll discuss this in more detail below.
Frederick Half Marathon -- (May 3) I want to do the Maryland Double (The Frederick Running Festival and the Baltimore Running Festival)
ZOOMA Annapolis Half Marathon (May 31) -- Annapolis is a beautiful city, I think it'd be sweet to run a race there.
Baltimore 10-Miler (Mid-June) I DNS'd this last year because I hurt my knee and I'd like to go after it again.

I love my entire potential schedule (I don't however love the dent it will leave in my wallet, but whatever, I'll deal.)

Except thoughts of the marathon are almost making me sick to my stomach. I have five million questions running through my head about it.

Here's what's going on inside my brain:

I want to do another full.
But do I want to dedicate all the time to training?
Do I have a reason not to dedicate the time?
Football season and tailgates will be over and won't get in the way of Saturday long runs. Therefore I have no real excuse not to run.
Running in the winter sucks because days are shorter and forces many runs to be done on a treadmill.
It sucks running in the cold, but it also sucks running in the middle of summer heat.
Do I want to commit to it?
If I don't will I feel like a slacker for doing the half when a bunch of other people are doing the full?

Training for marathons makes me really selfish.
I have to block out large chunks of time to do training runs.
It puts a strain on all my friendships and other relationships.
Do I want to do that?

I'm also worried about my travel schedule.
My friends want me to visit on the weekends and I love doing it.
Will they love it when I have to get up and run and someone has to give me a key or wait for me to get back to their places before they can start their days?
Will I or my friends by happy with the alternative of me not going to visit?

But really why am I so worried?
My friends were nothing but supportive last time.
They made me signs and cheered for me.
My roommate bragged about me to all her friends.
They thought it was so cool I was running a marathon.

But for some reason this one feels different and I don't know why. But it's got me worried. I want to do 26.2 again. I read somewhere once that your brain had to forget the pain of last marathon before the body let you train for another. I think I'm there. I think I'm ready.

My times have been improving, my running in general has been improving. I've come a really long way in 2.5 years of running and I know I can improve my marathon times if I were to tackle another one.

So why the hell do I have all these reservations? What is holding me back from being as spontaneous as I was sophomore year of college. When I signed up for that marathon, I sat down at my computer, pulled out my credit card, punched in the number and hit submit. At the point it was done and I was in training. Why can't I do that now.

I've studied the race course, I've read everything on the Web site numerous times. I've sat on the registration page and then hit the X.

Sometimes I wish I could be more like Frayed Laces. Seriously that girl is like my running hero. Somehow she manages to be a 20-something running superstar and balance her social life and her PhD program and her training. The girl is dedicated and motivated, and isn't afraid to put her running above other stuff. I used to be like that when I was marathon training, but somewhere along the line I think it started to fade. I'm not sure where or why or how, all I know is I need to get it back if I want to do this marathon. (P.S. Frayed if you can bottle that up and send it my way that'd be awesome LOL!)

I guess that's my rant. Apologies for the length and thanks bunches if you stuck through it to the end.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A speedy six and a spin

This week at work has kicked my butt. I have been drop dead tired every morning when I've woken up and every night when I get home I've wanted to collapse into my bed. Last night I fell asleep around 9 p.m. And it's only Wednesday.

But last night I also managed to get in a speedy (by my standards) six miler. I'm not sure where I found the energy. I literally dragged myself out the office collapsed in my car and thought I was going to fall asleep on my two minute drive home.

But the crisp fall air must have invigorated me because I got home threw on a long sleeve tech top and some shorts grabbed my iPod and was out the door. I clocked the six miles in 1:02.10. I felt great the entire time. My left knee hurt for a second in mile five, but went after that.

When I got back home though, my right knee was acting up a little bit. Nothing too serious, but it caught my attention.

I slept a lot better last night and I have to credit that to taking the melatonin. I had stopped for a while because I wasn't having any problems and I don't like taking stuff if I don't need to. But man it makes all the difference in the quality of sleep I get. I'm 99 percent sure I'll be taking it again tonight. (I mentioned the melatonin in a post a while ago, but just a reminder, it's not a sleeping pill, it's a supplement my doc. recommended that helps your body sync to circadian rhythm.)

Anyway, after an awesome night sleep, I woke up this morning to meet Michele at the gym for spin class at 5:45. Except Michele wasn't there when I got there. Turns out she had way overslept. No biggie though. I didn't stay for the whole class because I had to bounce out to get home to shower and get ready for work, but I did about 45 minutes and felt pretty good. My legs weren't too tired from last night's run.

However, when I got home my right knee was acting up. It buckled three times when I was walking around the house getting ready for work. Not cool.

I'm skipping my soccer game again this week because I don't want to aggravate the knee. Instead I'm going to ice it down and watch my Phils in the World Series.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pics as promised

Here are a handful of pictures from my cousin's wedding, this weekend's 5K and me in a Redskin's jersey because that was the deal if the Redskin's beat the Eagles.

 Me with my cousin (on the left) and the other flower girl.

Sarah and her parents walking down the aisle.

Sarah and my cousin Tony exchanging vows.

Lighting the unity candle.

My cousins Pat (on left) and Nate walking out with the maid of honor.

Kissing outside the church.

Going for the garter.

Stuffing cake in each other's faces.

Busting a move with Sarah and one of her bridesmaids.

The girls that ran the 5K with me. (L to R: Randyl, Laurie, Emily, me, Amy, Sam)


Me and Sam after the race.


Me showing my true feelings for the Redskins while Brad shows is true feelings for Philly fans.

Matt thumbs upping the Skins while I give them a big old thumbs down. (Just ignore Brad flipping me off again.)

Brad does the Heisman while I hate on the Skins.
 
My thumbs down is being overruled.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

A good excuse for bad boob jokes: A Race for the Cure race report

Let me get to the quick stuff. I saw so many hilarious shirts with boob references on them at the race today. I wish I could remember all of them, but two I remember seeing said.

"Running (or maybe racing?) for Someone's Name That I Don't Remember's hooters."

"Men have a breasted interest."

As you know my big goal for this race was to improve on my stubble time for the 5K challenge. Well I certainly was successful.

This morning I woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:45 a.m. to get ready for the race. I was tired and didn't really want to get out of bed, but I was also really looking forward to the race. So I took one look at my clothes, knee tape, sneakers and watch laid out neatly on the floor and that was about all the extra motivation I needed.

I'm spending the weekend in Maryland again (shocker, I know) and I packed a pair of running shorts along with a short sleeve and long sleeve running top because I knew it had the potential to be chilly.

Chilly would be an understatement. It was 45 degrees when I got to the start. My legs were numb in about 10 minutes of waiting for my friends. I was really wishing I had packed my running tights. I was fine once the race started though. But waiting at the beginning and the end was definitely cold.

I met up with my friends (Sam, Amy, Emily, Laurie, Randyl and Chris) who were all doing the race too. Chris ran the timed race (and kicked butt with a time of 24:something) with me. Sam and Amy ran the untimed race and Emily Laurie and Randyl walked.

I've got to give a HUGE shout out to Sam and Amy for running their very first race and finishing in about 31:08! How awesome is that! They both said they had a really good time too!

As for my time: 28:29.28. (That's by my watch, official time hasn't been posted yet) WHOOO HOOO! Check it out that's more than two minutes faster than my stubble time.

I smashed my previous PR.

I hit mile one around 9:02, but didn't feel like I was overextending myself so I tried to keep a similar pace in mile two. I did well, hitting that one around 18:20ish if I remember correctly.

The course was the exact same as last year so I think it helped that I knew when to speed it up and what was coming next. It's a hilly course with lots and ups and downs, but nothing was really unexpected.

I was hurting by the last couple tenths of the race though. I had a side stitch and I could feel that my breathing was off, but I forced myself to push it hard to the finish line. I didn't want to slack off at the end of the race. I almost couldn't believe it when I looked at my watch afterward.

Needless to say I am completely psyched about my time. I have pictures, but don't have camera connecting cord with me in Maryland. So those and pics from my cousin's wedding are still to come.

I have every intention of spending the rest of my Sunday curled up on the sofa watching football!

Good luck to everyone else who was racing this weekend. Can't wait for your reports.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Practice 3.2

After not a ton of running this week and mostly cycling, I decided I wanted to do a practice 5K tonight to make sure I'm ready for my upcoming race. I didn't have a course completely mapped out before hand so I ended up running 3.2 instead of 3.1 and clocked a time of 31:04.

That's slower than my stubble time, which makes me think maybe my stubble time course was shorter than a true 3.1 because seriously I was booking it tonight. I finished my first mile in a little over 9 minutes and then the second around 18:30ish.

That's like lightening for me.

I know I did definitely slow down in the 3rd mile because I could feel my calves tightening and going up one of the hills on my course I had to start walking so obviously I lost some time there.

Oh well, it's not a big deal. I'm usually not that worried about my times, I just thought it was a little strange because I was working hard tonight and I don't remember pushing that hard in my stubble time race.

Anyway, the whole point of tonight's run was to make sure I am ready for Sunday's race. I think it proved I am.

I taped my knee as a precaution because I plan to do that in the race and everything felt good there. I wore an outfit very similar to the one I will be wearing on race day to make sure all the kinks are worked out with that and everything was comfortable. I think you're allowed to run this race with an iPod and I plan to.

I plan to pack a loaf of bread and peanut butter so I can have toast with PB as my morning energy because I guarantee the place I'm staying this weekend won't have whole wheat bread. Hell they might not even have a toaster, I could just be eating bread with PB.

I'm starting to feel the nerves about this race already and I think it's because I haven't raced in such a long time and it's my first race coming back from my knee issues this summer. Also, I know a lot of friends are going to be either running with me or there to watch, which isn't something I'm really used to. Plus I'll be staying not at my house, driving to the race without my mom (who usually runs things with me) and having no one to sympathize with my night before the race nervous rituals of laying out all my stuff and making sure everything is ready, etc. etc.

I must keep telling myself that I just need to have fun and not worry about my times...but it's so hard not to focus on them!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Why F.L. rocks my socks

Read this. It pretty much sums up how I feel about life. I know I wrote something similar a while back (but I don't feel like finding it in the archives) but man Frayed Laces really got it right.

Sometimes it's exactly the way I feel. (Don't worry non-running friends who read this, I don't love you any less...sometimes I just need my running to be a priority.)

-----

Anyway, this weekend pretty much was awesome. My cousin's wedding was beautiful. (I have pictures to post later). The weather was amazing and Sarah (my cousin's new wife) looked gorgeous in her dress.

My sports massage on Friday was great, but definitely painful. I still have some bruises, but it's way better today than it was Saturday. My IT Bands are still really tender because she worked them out well.

Unfortunately because the massage was so good, I was too sore to run this weekend. I danced plenty at the reception though, so that definitely counts for something.

Yesterday, I was down in Maryland to hang out with some friends and watch football. The highlight of my day was watching the Redskins and Cowboys lose and the Eagles win. All I need for a truly awesome football weekend is for the Giants to lose too (but if Toomer could score like five touchdowns and the Giants still lose that'd be great for my fantasy team haha!)

I'm hitting spin class tonight with Michele.

My 5K is this Sunday. I'm nervous but excited to get back to racing. I've assured some people (well really only one person who's worried I might re-injure myself) that I won't race this race, that I'll just run it for fun. But last night my competitive edge got the best of me and I looked up my Shave Your 5K stubble time and now I really want to beat that.

We'll see what this week holds as far as training and I'll probably make a game day decision about how I'm going to run the race.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Soccer and tag

Soccer last night was a good time. Our team played a great game. Personally, I only did so so because my legs were still sluggish from Monday's six miler and I started the game at midfield before moving to forward and then finally back to my normal defense.

We were tied with one of the best teams in the league 3-3 and our defense was shutting down a lot of their attacks. They managed to send in a slow dribbler that slipped past our goalie making the score 4-3 with plenty of time for us to come back. But literally as soon as the ball went in, the official called the game for darkness. Grrr. Talk about majorly frustrating.

------

In other news, I was tagged by teacherwoman yesterday.

I'll tag these 10 (I'm trying to not repeat too many of those of you who have already been tagged...it's not that I don't love you because honestly I do!)

1. Jamie
2. Viv
3. Frayed Laces
4. Amy & Tom
5. J- Mom
6. M*J*C*
7. Aron
8. P.O.M.
9. Bill
10. This is me totally cheating and having a three-way tie for those who crack me up daily (Marcy you'd be here too, but you've already been tagged) Vanilla, Nitmos, RazzDoodle

And now for my six random facts:
1. I have an unhealthy love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Or maybe it's just the peanut butter. I eat it straight from the jar.
2. I'm a closet tech/Web nerd. I love playing with HTML and CSS.
3. The beach is my favorite place in the entire world. It's also one of my favorite places to run because there is some much great stuff to look at. When I'm old and retired that's where I want to be.
4. I love this time of year when the weather starts to change. It's perfect for running, and I love just being able to pull on a hoodie and a pair of jeans and being comfortable.
5. My cousin is getting married this weekend and I'm doing one the readings at the Mass. I'm hoping I don't trip walking up to the altar. That would be embarrassing.
6. My College Park friends are my second family. They know me better than anyone and I love them more than life. It's the reason I waste so much gas/money to drive to Maryland every weekend.

----
Today is my last day of the week because I took vacation tomorrow to get home for the wedding. I've got a sports massage planned for tomorrow morning with my lady back home. It should be good to get the muscles worked out. I'm also hoping on getting one or two runs in while I'm home, but I'll just have to see how the legs feel after the massage.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Another six in the books

Last night I was supposed to go spinning with a girl from work, but her back has been bothering her so she needed last night off.

I wasn't too upset because it gave me the perfect opportunity to get my first fall weather run in. I couldn't have asked for more perfect weather. It was brisk with a slight breeze and still a little bit of sunlight.

I decided it was the perfect night to get in a nice six miler.

I started out telling myself that the goal was to just get the six done, take it easy, see how things feel and not worry about time.

That's pretty much exactly what I did. I just ran, zoned out to my music and enjoyed the weather.

Everything felt good, except for a slight twinge in my knee around mile five that faded pretty quickly. I may re-start taping my knee on longer runs just for the extra support. My legs started to feel a little sluggish toward the end of the run, but I was still able to finish strong.

I stretched out really well afterward and I have no pain, tightness or soreness today.

I was also pleased to find out that even though I wasn't paying attention to the time, I didn't go that much slower than normal. I finished in 1:04:54ish.

I'm taking a rest day today and have soccer tomorrow.

ORN:
6.07 miles
1:04:54

Monday, October 06, 2008

5.3 in Arlington

One good thing about traveling every weekend is that I get to run in new places. This weekend was no exception. I was staying with my college roommate in her apartment in Arlington, Va., and was excited to check out what kind of running atmosphere the city had to offer.

In past weekend visits, I'd always seen lots of runners out and about, but this was my first weekend to hit the streets. Overall, Arlington is not a very runner friendly place (or at least not the streets that I ran on). I almost got hit by cars twice and one honked at me...how rude, I was in the cross walk and had the right of way!

I mapped out and memorized a five mile course Friday night, but due to a memory fart I missed a turn and ended up running down a dead end street and having to turn around and find my way again, hence the .3 miles.

It was a great run and I was really happy with it. My legs were a little tired, but nothing too terrible. I felt a little twinge in my knee somewhere between miles three and four, but it went away pretty quickly.

I was able to power through the run and felt good afterward. Five miles is the longest I've gone since the knee injury and it was something I was really excited about.

Since things have been going well on the running front lately, I've been eying a marathon in March. It's been two years since my last full marathon and I'm thinking maybe it's time to go for it again. I'm not sure though, I still have my doubts, like what if I'm not really over this injury and I make it worse tackling longer distances. What do you guys think?

In a quick weekend update, almost all my sports teams got embarrassed this weekend. Terps soccer dropped 5-3 to Clemson (so long top 5 ranking...) Terps football got spanked by UVa 41-0 (I think that was the final...maybe not...either way it was a shutout...keep in mind UVA lost to Duke 31-3 last weekend...) The Eagles lost to the Redskins so I lost my bet. In two weeks I have to don a Redskins shirt/jersey in a house full of Redskins fans. It will be a painful experience.

This weekend I also learned how to properly wash, polish and wax a car (not mine, even though mine could use it...), played some fooseball and was super pumped about the Phillies winning the NLDS.

I think that pretty much sums it up.

Friday, October 03, 2008

A spin and a run

Last night was my spin night with my co-worker Michele. I was super pumped when Angie, my most favorite cycling instructor in the entire world, walked in to sub for Thursday's normally ho-hum instructor.

I knew immediately that it was going to be a great class. Plus I was antsy as heck and couldn't sit still all day so I knew I needed an serious energy release.

Angie's class was awesome. It was hard, but fun, and loved it.

When I was driving home I was thinking about how super nice the weather was, no sun, in the low 50's or high 40's, perfect running weather. So when I pulled into the driveway, I ran into the house, dropped my bags, grabbed my watch and headed back out for a run.

I ended up doing 2.09 miles in 20:46 without my iPod! (I never run without my iPod!) I was really happy with the run. Everything felt great. My legs were tired from cycling but they stayed strong through the run and kept their normal pace for the most part.

Today I'm planning tennis on my lunch break.

I'm headed back to Maryland again this weekend (really who does this surprise these days?) No home football or soccer games, just want to see my people. I'm hoping to get a run in on Saturday. I'd love to get one in Sunday too, but I don't think that's going to happen.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

ORN:
2.09 miles in 20:46

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My legs are toast

All this tennis and spinning have caught up with me and totally killed my legs.

I played tennis Sunday in Maryland. My legs had been tight that morning so I stretched out a little bit when we got to the courts and they felt fine when I was playing. Unfortunately it started pouring on us, so we made a mad dash to the car before heading home and sitting around watching football (to be read: no post-tennis stretching).

I could feel my legs tightening up as I was sitting on sofa so I tried to rub out some of the tightness. I don't think it did much good though.

Yesterday I played tennis during my lunch break and my legs felt heavy and tired. That should have been a warning sign that spinning last night was going to be tough.

But I had plans to meet my friend Michele from work, and I had no intention of blowing her off.

You may remember the last time I went spinning, I wasn't super in love with the instructor, well last night the instructor was evil. She kicked my butt. But it felt good to ride really hard, and I was dripping with sweat by the time the class was over. (Get your minds out of the gutter people, I don't mean that to be dirty.)

It was a great workout, but I realized just how stressful cycling was on my IT Band. I could definitely feel it tightening a lot when I was riding. We hit the sauna afterward and I worked on my IT Bands a bunch in the heat, which I think helped. I also rolled them out with the Stick when I got home.

Today is a much needed rest day. I'm heading down to College Park for our soccer game tonight against Binghamton. I'm hoping the boys can rebound from Friday's loss and get a convincing win tonight.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Greetings from Maryland

Happy Saturday blogland!

It's rare that I'm on here writing a post on a Saturday morning when I'm not in serious training, but it's still kind of early (at least by college kid standards) and none of my other friends are really awake yet so I figured I'd report in on my run now.

I got sort of lucky with the weather. After monsooning last night for the soccer game (which we lost 4-2. Wake Forest is No. 1 in the country for a reason, they are definitely a legit. team) the rain cleared up for this morning. Unfortunately though the humidity is still hanging around.

Because I'm a real working person now, my internal clock thinks it's super cool to wake up at 7 a.m. on Saturday mornings. (This is fabulous for when I'm in hard-core marathon training...not so much so for a random Saturday when I wanted to sleep in.) I ate a bowl of cereal, waited for my friend to stir so I could get her access card to her building and then hit the road.

I did one of my old loops around Maryland's campus that I knew was close to three miles, but I couldn't remember the exact distance. Much to my surprise when I mapped it out when I get back home it was 3.5 miles. I was happy to see that because I had been able to maintain a pretty consistent pace during the entire run even after having been off so long because of my knee.

I guess all the soccer and tennis I've been playing have at least helped maintain my fitness level.

Nothing super exciting to report about the run other than it was a steady effort, I had no knee pain (SWEET!) and the only discomfort was an achy left arch toward the very end of the run.

All in all it was a run I'm happy with and definitely gives me some confidence about the upcoming 5K.

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend and good luck again to everyone racing!

ORN:
3.5 miles
37:48

Friday, September 26, 2008

So good to be back to spinning

Spin class last night rocked. I had been away far, far too long.

My co-worker Michele and I headed to the gym after work, both needing to de-stress and get some endorphins flowing. With everything going on in the financial world right now, this business reporter has been up to her eyeballs in work and was in desperate need of blowing off some steam.

The instructor was alright. I don't love her as much as I love Angie, who teaches my early morning spin class, but last night's lady gave me a workout, so I can't really complain.

I thought I was going to be hurting a lot more than I was, having been away from it so long, but I felt really good and was able to crank the tension back to my usual levels.

This weekend's festivities include an awesome soccer match between my No. 2 Terps and No. 1 Wake Forest (soccer fans out there you can catch the game on Fox Soccer Channel at 8 p.m. tonight). Tomorrow is my roommate's birthday so we're going to dinner and then out in D.C.

It's supposed to rain all weekend, but I packed my running stuff anyway because I'm craving a run around campus on my old stomping grounds. As long as the weather isn't too miserable I'm going to try to get out there.

Hope everyone has an awesome weekend and good luck to all those racing!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another soccer bummer

My soccer team lost again last night and it wasn't pretty. It was a 4-0 drubbing, which is seriously disappointing because we played the better game, took the better shots, etc. etc. They took about four shots the whole game and all of them went in. We took about 20 and none of them went in. (Ok, maybe those numbers aren't quite right, but you get the point.)

Anyway, I was pretty happy with my performance for the most part. I played a decent first half and a solid second half. They had me at midfield for part of the first half. Oh lordy, I am so not a midfielder. I was happy to settle back into my role on the defense later in the game.

The game was definitely a physical one and I got beat up last night. I took a header and collided with a girl on the other team. Then not long after I jumped to deflect a ball off my chest but timed it wrong and the ball smacked me in the side of the head (I think I totally played it off as a header...or at least I hope so lol). Then a girl drilled a ball at the goal and I jumped in front of it and got nailed in the chest. They didn't score though so I guess it was worth it.

Anyway it was a fun game despite the outcome.

I'm super excited for spinning tonight! It's been way too long! Hope you all have awesome Thursdays!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monday night tennis

Last night I played tennis with a friend of mine from work and I'm happy to report my tennis skills have seen some serious improvement in the past few months. We had some good rallies going on where I was able to dig a few balls off the ground that I just wouldn't have had a prayer of getting to before.

We don't keep score we just rally back and forth for fun, but we were both running all over the place last night. It was some good times.

Another co-worker of mine came over to my desk today and asked me if I would commit to working out with her one night a week after work. She has a wedding come up in a few weeks and she wants to get moving and likes working out with people.

Sounds like a great plan to me. So for now our plan is to hit a spin class together Thursday night. I haven't been to a spin class since I hurt my knee in the summer, so I'm excited to get back to it!

I'm heading down to Maryland for our soccer game tonight and then tomorrow I've got my rec league game. I'm busy as a bee lately, but I'm happy to report that I'm getting more workouts in than I was before.

No real quality running though, but I'm enjoying my break from it do to some other things and just fitting in runs when I get a chance. It's nice to not be a on a training plan.

I know I have that 5K coming up in a few weeks, but I'm not too worried about it. I figure as long as I can fit in a couple good runs in in the next few weeks I'll be fine. I'm not looking to shatter any records on that race.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Such a close game

My soccer team played our first really close game in a while last night, but too bad we ended up losing 3-2.

It was a good game though and it was fun to play a team that we were more evenly matched with. Turns out high school soccer teams kind of kick our butts.

I played an OK game. One of the goals was partially my fault, but otherwise I made some good stops and such as a left back.

Something's been going around my department at work and sadly I think I'm getting it. I'm all congested and stuff and have all that nasty drippy stuff down the back of my throat.

I'm hoping it's just that the seasons are changing and it's nothing more serious than that.

I had a bunch of errands to run after work and unfortunately it was dark by the time I got back home, so no run today. Hopefully, I'll have more luck fitting something in this weekend, if I'm not super congested.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Weekend update a day late

Yesterday was busy, busy so I'm just getting to my weekend update now. Apologies.

Overall it was another fabulous weekend in Maryland.

Quick highlights:

Soccer beat B.C. (more at terpsoccer.com)

The alums came back so we got to catch up with some of the guys who know play for D.C. United and FC Dallas and some other alums we haven't seen in a while.

Football beat Cal...whooop whooop!

I got wicked sunburn...with some unfortunate sunglass tan lines...here's a pic for your amusement...have a good laugh...everyone else has haha!



Didn't manage to fit any running in this weekend (or yesterday or today....crap...that's not the kind of streak I want)

My Robbie Rogers national team jersey finally came today!! I am sooo pumped! I love it!

Friday, September 12, 2008

This and that

Sorry for the lag time between posts. I haven't had much free time lately or well I guess I have, I've just been using it to get my life together. (i.e. working on completing the switch from the old computer to the new computer, trying to figure out why half my music disappeared in said switch, etc., etc.)

I'll do a quick update bullet point style:

  • Wednesday night my soccer leauge started back up. Because we had a ton of defenders, I saw a little action at forward in the first half. That was an interesting experience to be sure. I haven't played forward since I was in like 6th grade. I was able to switch back to my normal defensive position half way through the first half though. Unfortunately we lost 3-0. I guess that will happen when you play a high school team that just joined the league to keep in shape in the off season.
  • My doctor has me taking melatonin to help me sleep better and maybe figure out the cause to some of this fatigue stuff. I should mention that melatonin is a supplement that helps your body sync to natural circadian rhythm and isn't one of those addictive sleeping pill dealies. I've been taking it for three days so far, and I definitely feel like I've been getting more quality sleep. So score one for the doc!
  • I'm meeting a co-worker for tennis during my hour and half lunch break today. I think it will be the first time in the eight or nine months since I started working here that I will actually use the full hour and a half. Usually I only take an hour at most.
  • I'm heading to Maryland again this weekend. My soccer boys play Boston College in their ACC opener. It should be a good and close game. Tomorrow Terps football plays Cal. That unfortunately, has every potential to be a blow out in the wrong way. Tailgating tonight for the soccer game at 5:30 p.m. Tailgating tomorrow morning for football at 6 a.m. Oof! I hate noon kick-offs.
  • Maybe getting free tickets to Saturday's D.C. United game. A guy my friend knows apparently has two he might not be using! That would make for an awesome, sports-filled weekend.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! I'm taking my running stuff with me to Maryland again, we'll see if I have time to cram in a run at some point.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Lack of energy getting me down

I went out for a run last night and was hoping to get in an easy three miles or something close to that. Unfortunately my calves rebelled against me and cramped like wooow. I had to slow down and walk around mile 1.5 for about two minutes. I picked it up again though, but the tightness was still there so I just walked back home for a total of about 2 miles.

That's not really going to help me in breaking my mileage goal in this month's challenge.

I figured tonight I'd make up for it and get something a little bit better in after lots of stretching and rolling out the muscles.

But this excessive exhaustion thing is killing me. When I got home from work I was feeling pretty sluggish so I ate some dinner and figured I'd wait until I had some energy, but I wasn't really feeling any better.

I figured I'd force myself to at least take the lady I live with's dog for a walk then, just a short one, just to do something, but when I stood up to get changed I felt like I was sleep walking or like in some crazy hazy state of mind. (And no Marcy, I haven't been trying some crazy drugs because, I know you were so going to go there in the comment's haha!)

So I nixed that plan. I'm going to head to bed early again and hope that I have more energy tomorrow.

Really this is starting to get old. Blah!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Hannah ruined my run

Remember how I said I was finally packing work out clothes to take to Maryland so I could run?

Right, well Tropical Storm Hannah had other plans. Plans to the tune of five inches of rain on Saturday. Needless to say, I didn't run.

Instead my friend Sam and I camped out on her sofa and watched Notre Dame football, followed by Maryland football, followed by D.C. United soccer. (W-L-L...not so good!)

Sunday the weather was beautiful so Sam and I played a little bit of tennis before I headed back to College Park for another Terps soccer game.

The Terps were awesome this weekend, winning 3-0 on Friday and 4-1 on Sunday. (You can read more here.)

Got some mixed news back from the good ol' doc today. No diabetes (whooo hoo!!!) but most likely I have a sugar intolerance so I have to be extra careful about what I eat. Still no sugar, but carbs are OK as long as they are the whole grain/whole wheat, high fiber version.

I also have to write everything down, as well as all exercise, and my energy levels so we can monitor it and then I go back in six months for a re-check.

So some good news and some just plain annoying news because I wanted an answer for the sluggishness and stuff and didn't really get a solid one. Oh well, at least it's not diabetes!

Friday, September 05, 2008

No running this week

I didn't get any runs in this week, which is frustrating, but I've just been so run down. I get home from work and literally collapse. I had every intention of running on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I just feel dead tired.

I'm looking forward to getting the results of my blood work re-test back on Monday so I can finally figure out what's going on with everything.

I'm spending another weekend as a hobo living out of my duffel bag in MD/D.C/VA, but this time I packed running stuff because I'd like to try to get a run in sometime.

Two soccer games this weekend. Tonight against Hartford and Sunday night against Davidson. I'm super excited.

P.S. If you've got two seconds, check out www.terpsoccer.com. My soccer buddies and I finally decided we were sick of not being able to find a quality Maryland soccer blog/site so I built one for us. It's still a work in progress, but I'm happy with the way it looks so far.

Happy weekend to everyone. Good luck to everyone racing! Can't wait to read your reports!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Another fabulous weekend in the city and a race

Well as the title may suggestion, my long weekend in the city was awesome. Birthday dinner, tailgating, Terps (football) winning the home opener, tennis with a friend.

It totally rocked.

It was nice to finally have a day off from work. I get a whole two vacation days in my first year at this job so let me tell you how much I love holidays.

On the running front, I think I've found a comeback race. It's just a 5K in the middle of October, but I did it last year and it was a lot of fun. It's the Komen Race for the Cure in Maryland.

The best part about it is I convinced a bunch of my friends to do it with me. None of them really run regularly, but a couple of them have said they'd like to do a 5K sometime, and they all like that it benefits breast cancer. So they're in.

So it will be a blast and I'm really excited. Plus I haven't followed a training plan in so long.

I know I don't really need to follow one for a 5K, but I think I'm going to just for the heck of it. I'm thinking Hal Higdon's intermediate plan, but I have to look at it a little more closely and then format it to my schedule. I'll work something out in the next few days! Hooray for having a race on the agenda! I'll register in a few weeks, just want to make sure the knee holds up through the first few weeks of training.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

What have I gotten myself into?

So I was reading the D.C. United blog this weekend, to get the scoop on the game last night (tied the Red Bulls 0-0) when I happened across this video.

Pay special attention to the picture that's shown after the dude says, "She's wholesome." You may recognize it.



(P.S. if you missed how I ended up in this random video, you can read all about it here and here.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

You know you're falling behind on life when...

Your Google Reader is exploding with close to 200 unread items and you haven't had a chance to respond to any of the birthday notes you got on Facebook. (P.S. Thanks to everyone who left me messages! It made my day!) Eekk! I have been a busy bee lately.

Let's catch up shall we.

Tuesday I went for another four-mile run after work. It felt good for the most part, but my legs were definitely tight afterward no matter how much I stretched and rolled them out with the Stick.

Wednesday I wanted to do another four miler, but my super tight legs would have none of it. I did manage about 1.5 miles of running and another half mile of walking before they were too bad.

Yesterday was my birthday. (So long 21, hello 22.) I celebrated by going for a sports massage, which was a little wimpier than I needed it to be. I'm used to a massage therapist who will really work those knots out, unfortunately, the lady I had last night didn't hit them all.

I spent the rest of my birthday night listening to the radio broadcast of my friend's football season opener until they cut it off to air Obama's speech. (Sidenote: Yes, I'm following the presidential race pretty closely, but don't cut into my football time with it. That's almost as bad as all this bird porn stuff Vanilla keeps telling us about.) My friend's a punter and I missed him having a great game and even making a tackle, which is something that punters don't get to do very often.

Then of course was the Half-Fast fantasy football draft. (Geeze two Vanilla plugs in one post, what has the world come to?) I got some good players and some really not so good players. I'm just going to have to cross my fingers and hope a few rookies have really awesome breakout seasons.

As for my weekend plans?

Back to D.C. tonight for birthday dinner with my friends. Then heading to a bar to catch the Terps soccer game against UCLA. Saturday is our football home opener so I'll be tailgating the day away.

It's a good thing it's a long weekend. I have a feeling I'm going to need it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Updates of all kinds

First off, you all convinced me that I should definitely enter the soccer contest....so I did.

You had to submit a picture (I used the one below) and answer a bunch of questions like if you prefer cats or dogs (dogs), what your favorite books is (To Kill a Mockingbird) and what your hobbies are (training for marathons, rec league soccer, tennis and reading). I felt like I was on some ridiculous dating game show, but if nothing else it's good for a laugh and maybe I'll get some free D.C. United tickets.

Picture I used for the contest.

In other news, I ran 4 miles last night in 41:38. I went out at around 7 p.m. and although the temps had definitely dropped, it was still warm. There was a pretty strong wind at points and lots of hills, but I felt good for the most part. My legs were definitely tired at the end though. I stretched out and relaxed afterward, and this morning I made an appointment for a sports massage on Thursday evening because I got a $10 off thingy in the mail for my birthday.

My weekend was awesome. I was in six cities and three states in three days. Soccer unfortunately pulled blew their lead late in the game and lost 2-1. Good thing it was still preseason.

I got to see my friends' new condo in Crofton. They have a super comfortable sofa, great for sleeping on. I went to see another friend coach his high school soccer team's game on Saturday afternoon and then headed to Arlington Saturday night to see my three other friends' new apartment.

Saturday night we went out to Mr. Smith's, a piano bar in Georgetown, and then Sunday I came home, had two friends visit for a few hours and then played tennis that night with another friend.

I was definitely busy, seeing tons of friends (and their new apartments) and watching/playing lots of sports.