Friday, February 25, 2011

Running Randoms

I signed up for my first official race! I'll be running a 10K next Saturday for our short run week.

I haven't really spent much time thinking of a specific goal, but it would be really nice to get in under an hour, which I think is pretty doable, since my 6 mile runs are all right around 9:30/mile. We shall see.

I'm in desperate need of good running song suggestions! The music I like to listen to most often (Cake, Rage Against the Machine, Bright Eyes, etc.) doesn't really have a good beat for physical activity. I've got some Beastie Boys, Goldfinger, and an assortment of punk rock songs, but I'm finding myself strangely drawn to Lady Gaga, Outkast, and Katy Perry. What else would you recommend?

Tomorrow is another big run, and I'm aiming for 16.5 miles. The route hasn't been posted yet, so I'm being optimistic.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

15 Miles

A new personal awesome best distance!

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15.3, to be exact. Shockingly, most of it felt pretty good. The last .75 mile stretch was pure freaking torture, though. That's why it helps to have a running buddy - someone who will make sure that you don't just throw in the towel when it gets too difficult. I guess from here on out everything is going to be a new personal awesome best distance. It's funny to think about how not even 3 months ago I was practically dancing in the street to celebrate running 6 whole miles. Now, that just means it's a Monday. And those hills in my neighborhood? When I started running I couldn't make it up one of them without stopping, let alone both of them. Now I can run both of them TWICE. It's amazing what the human body is capable of when you put your mind to it.

Things are moving along well with my running cause, too! I have the website up and running, and as soon as we get the fund-raising bank account set up we'll be ready to go. I met with Rachel and her mom over the weekend and they're both just so excited about it. It's going to be great! That's part of what keeps me going through those mental moments of "WTF am I thinking??" - I bitch and moan about some minor soreness and the toughness of running up those hills, but that's NOTHING compared to what Rachel has been through and what's still facing her in the coming months. It's nice to be running for something.

67 days to go!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Our Flying Pig group is divided up into two sections: the "fast" group (9:30/mile and quicker) and the slow group (everyone else). I run with the slow group, and that's ok. I'm not trying to set any records, here.

On Saturday, I opted to run with the faster group because their route was closer to my house. It was a down week, anyway, and I figured I could just fall in with their back-of-packers, since 9:30 is my average pace, anyway. It went swimmingly, and I ended up running 10 miles at a 9:34 pace. I also allowed them to talk me into joining them again for the weeknight run, and that turned out to be a giant, confidence-killing mistake.

The whole point of last night's run was speed. We were divided into pace groups and instructed to run a 1.5 mile warmup and then regroup for interval runs, where we would jog for 70 seconds and then run for .6 mile at a speed 45 seconds below our goal pace. I knew I was in trouble when we took the "warmup" run at a 9:20 pace. We stopped at a light before starting the intervals and my head was already pounding. I knew it wasn't going to end well. It didn't. We were supposed to run 6 sets of intervals (plus an optional 7th). I made it through two and a jog before I started to seriously lag behind the rest of my pace group. Then I forced myself to do one more, but I ran at my own pace. By the time I got back to the start line the rest of my group was already on the fifth set. I wimped out and ran back to the car, instead. I was afraid that if I ran a fifth loop, I wouldn't be able to make it that last 1.5 miles.

In the end, I still covered 6 miles in under an hour. Only in my own warped sense of reality is that a "total freaking failure." But the fact that I struggled so hard to get it done coupled with the fact that I was running waaaaaay behind everyone else was a real blow to my confidence. Plus I'm battling a cold and some sinus issues, so I just haven't been feeling like myself this week.

Anywho. Just needed some time to bitch and moan. Today is a new day, it's going to be 70 degrees, I'm going to get in a pleasant 6 miles this afternoon, and then on Saturday my running buddy and I are going to run 15 freaking miles. It's going to be awesome.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's Official! And, Big Plans.

As of 10 minutes ago I'm officially registered for the Flying Pig marathon. Whee! (I do feel just a little nauseous thinking about it)

When I decided that I wanted to run the Pig I briefly considered signing up with one of the charity teams, like Team in Training or the Race for the Cure group. I knew that I wanted to do something good with my time and raise money for a good cause, but I was afraid that I wouldn't actually be able to cross the finish line.

When I crossed the double digit mileage mark a few weeks ago and started to get pretty confident in my ability to finish the race, I started thinking again about what organization I wanted to run for.

Then I had the perfect idea - one of Charlie's favorite daycare teachers is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. She's super young - only 24! - and is missing a lot of time at work. We all know that care work doesn't pay super well to begin with, but to have an entire month of no income has to be rough. So I've decided to turn my marathon run into a benefit for her. I talked to her about it yesterday and the center director about it today, and everyone is totally on board with the plan. I need a website and a paypal account and... what else? I've never done anything like this before, but I'm really excited about doing something good.

Details to follow!

And of course, all I can think about is the Michael Scott Fun Run. Anyone for carbo loading?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Running Randoms

I feel like Charlie grew into a little boy overnight. One day he was a little toddler, and then he woke up one morning and was a tall, outspoken, independent little person. Of course there's nothing better than watching them grow and develop, but it's still kind of sad at the same time.

Of course, if you ask him he'll tell you "I'm not a little boy, I'm a tiger!"

We're getting more snow tonight. MORE SNOW. I know I shouldn't complain, since we were (mostly) spared the massive storm the rest of the country got this week, but I'm not looking forward to running in the snow. Not just IN the snow, but while the snow is falling. That stuff stings!

I guess snow is better than sub-zero temperatures. I snapped this one two weeks ago when I pulled up in front of the Running Spot.

It's Girl Scout Cookie time! I submitted my usual order for one box of Thin Mints and one box of Samoas. Yum!

It probably won't surprise anyone that Thin Mints are the best-selling Girl Scout Cookie, accounting for 25% of sales. What is somewhat surprising is the second best - it's Samoas, at 19%. I would have thought Tagalongs were the second best, but they only bring in 13%. Samoas always seem so polarizing - you either LOVE them or you hate them. Mmmmm, cookies and statistics. What a delicious combination.

Did you know they've trimmed the Girl Scout Cookie lineup this year? They cut it down to six! I don't really mind all that much, as I thought the expansion of the product line had gotten a little out of control, anyway.

I was a Girl Scout for 10 years and Cookie Season was always my favorite. I loved selling cookies. Those 10 years also included an incredibly disastrous stint as a camp counselor, but that's a longer post for another day.

I was all set to revive my Office QOTW, but the last two episodes have just been disappointing.

I DVRed a program called Yoga for Runners last week and tried it out over the weekend. It's really freaking hard to do yoga with a cat in the house. He had no interest in sharing the yoga mat and then decided that it would be super fun to attack my feet and calves. Kitten teeth are like needles through the skin.

Sometimes C says things that surprise me, in the "I thought I knew you!" sense. We were giving Charlie a bath the other night and somehow Brooke Shields came up. I think it was in the context of Charlie Sheen. I don't know why we were talking about him, either, but that's irrelevant. Anyway, so C said something about Brooke Shields, and I said something about "who is she, anyway?" and he said "You don't know who Brooke Shields is? She was a model. A Revlon model. And then she had a TV show."

We had a date night last week. It involved Five Guys and UC Bearcat basketball. You know you're jealous....


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Flying Pig Training - Update

I've been trying not to let this turn into a running blog, so I haven't posted all that much about my Flying Pig training. I thought I deserved an update and brag session right about now.

I ran over 100 miles in January. 101.8 according to Daily Mile, but I ran two other days in January before I started using their program. Of course, I didn't write it down, so we'll just call it over 100.

Got some new shoes after my first long run when I realized that a proper pair of running shoes was pretty much a necessity.

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I'm able to run at a much faster pace than I was anticipating. On short runs I can run 9:30ish miles with no problems at all. Sometimes, I can even run a sub-9:00, which is exciting. Given that, I'm still of the mindset that "slow and steady wins the race," so my goal for the actual marathon is a nice, consistent, comfortable 10:30, which translates to about 4.5 hours. I don't like running faster, I like running longer.

On Saturday, I ran my longest run ever, with the help of my running buddy. We ran 12.64 miles. Sure, sure, we only got that extra .64 because we made a wrong turn, but we still did it. That's a half mile short of a half marathon, or just about five more minutes of running.

I decided that I'm going to run the Heart Half Marathon in March. I'd like to have an actual race behind me before going into the Pig. That way I'll know what to expect.

I'm excited!