Thursday, August 31, 2006

Great MN Get Together

The Minnestoa State Fair Draws approximately 1.5 Million Every year...Tuesday there were 106,000...

Just a quick little update before my day gets way too hectic…My last week in review was OK, my body was dragging by the end of the week so it’s good this is a fall back week. Last week I had wanted to be close to 60 miles, I ended up with 56, same as the previous week…all because of that change from my run on Thursday, but that’s OK. I still have a few weeks. This week is easy, I had planned 40 miles, but I think I’m only going to get 35, depending on if I feel like running tomorrow or not and I’m fine with that. I might end up with 3 days off of running this week, but when your body needs it, it tells you. It’s a good thing this week was an easy week though as I just had too much going on and have been tired all week. I was up later than planned on Sunday watching a movie, Monday I was tired and took a nap and went to bed early instead of running, Tuesday I ran in the morning but was busy at work all day and then made a trip to the Minnesota State Fair for the Poison/Firehouse concert. Now I know I’m going to hear something about that one, yes, I did say Poison and Firehouse. I have a friend from South Africa I have mentioned before, he LOVES rock, he has played in rock bands and is quite knowledgeable about rock music, all of the hair bands of the 80s are part of his music he loves and he never had the opportunity to see most of them because they didn’t tour to his part of the world. And right now Poison is on a 20 years of rock tour (of course you have to question the 20 years when they haven’t had a new album since the 90s but oh well!!) and they played all their good stuff, although unfortunately Bret Michaels isn’t looking as good as he used to…but oh well. I had seen Firehouse at a small venue a few years ago and they are very good live so seeing the two together was actually quite fun. And Glen got the chance to witness the Great MN Get Together, or as I like to call it, the Great MN Pig Out (and most people don’t need to be there eating the crap), he experienced cheese curds, a foot long hot dog, mini donuts and I let him taste the great gelato I found. We didn’t get the Sweet Martha's Bucket of Cookies or Deep Fried Candy Bar or Twinkie on a stick, but that’s OK…Every year there is something new on a stick and the most fattening foods you can imagine. My favorite place though is the birthing center…they have animals giving birth and babies from day old to just a few days. We saw a calf that was born that morning, day old pigs, sheep, chicks, ducks…all so cute!!

After a late night I didn’t feel like getting up early yesterday but got into work and did a strength session during lunch and an easy 6 mile run with a friend yesterday afternoon…it was over hills, but very easy (about a 10:30 pace, I’m fine running with her on recovery days though, keeps my legs fresh and relaxed since my recovery pace is sometimes a much faster pace and slower can be good). To bed early last night and up for a 4 miler today that my legs are still loosening up from earlier this week, so a 9:10 pace, but that’s OK. Going to be a long one today though. I’m here till 4:30 and then working tonight at B&N…oh well.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Busy Weekend

And no time for posting. I kind of hate that. Anyway, I had my long run of 16 miles on Saturday, it didn’t quite go as I had hoped, but I still managed an OK pace. My plan had been 8 at MP + 60 and then 8 at MP, but the 8 planned at MP didn’t happen…first mile I had to take a longer break because the last water stop before the 6 mile run home was busy…ughh…but I still managed to get the whole run in (even with a few stops for traffic and the business around Lake Harriet, I have to remember that and stop with the running later in the day through the busy areas!! Sigh…Pace was 9:11 overall though, which is still MP + 60 so not bad. Had a busy rest of the day by meeting up with friends and going to a place on Lake Minnetonka for dinner and a few drinks, hung out there until I mentioned something about the naked guy in the shower that dances at The Saloon, a well known gay bar in downtown Minneapolis…well the girl driving thought that sounded like fun and we decided to run into downtown and hang out a bit. It was early when we got there so we stopped by Gluek’s and said hi to a friend there and took advantage of some cheap drinks (courtesy of Cordell) and then off to the Saloon we were getting tired so didn’t stay long enough for all the real interesting stuff to start up, but there was one quite interesting feature of the night witnessing the two guys having sex over in the corner of the bar…this isn’t the first time I’ve witnessed something like that though. Last time was a guy and a girl, this time two guys, so I guess now I’m due to see two women…the interesting entertainment of the downtime life though.

Sunday was an interesting day. My friend from South Africa (SA) is a huge rugby fan and South Africa was playing New Zealand (his favorite team) on Saturday and a friend of mine could get the broadcast so she recorded it and we hung at her place (I was dog sitting while she was out of town) and he was explaining rugby to me. He was the one with the tickets for the Vikings on Friday (which was a fun evening and yay, we won, they have yet to lose when I’m in the dome…hmmm…) so it was a fair trade…I’ve decided rugby is football on speed with some hockey (there were a few fist fights) thrown in. Gotta love rough sports!! I had gotten a 7 mile run in early in the day and then a walk around Lake Harriet so good exercise day.

This week is an easy week, 20 miler on Saturday and maybe a race on Monday, but for the main week, I’m just running easy, was going to do 4 or 6 yesterday but was really feeling tired so I just vegged and got up this morning for an easy 5. Tonight I’m going to the state fair, taking my SA friend to see it and to the Poison concert…yes, I know, but hey, they were good in their day, and he loves rock and most of these bands never toured in SA so with his birthday being this month, I bought tickets and said we could go. Great thing is he even managed to get us free state fair tickets so we will go tonight to see the big pig, eat deep fried cheese curds, all the food on a stick and who knows what other junk, take in a little of the fair and then watch the concert. It should be fun. Tomorrow I even get to sleep in a little as I’m just strength training since I’m running an easy 6 or 7 tomorrow night with a friend.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Tempo Thursday on Friday, August 18

I was done with the bone density scan by 5:30, got my Target Gift card, will learn the results of my scan by sometime next spring when the study concludes and should see results from the study as well, but in the basic look, she said my ankle bone tissue looks very good in comparison to what some people end up with, it’s spongy matter versus the more dense bone further up.

I got home and due to massive storms I ended up bagging the run last night…I wish I had been able to get pictures myself of the black, black clouds moving in…some areas had massive hail too. This is a picture I found on-line, you can see the hail is at least tennis ball sized! Thankfully not in my area. And this other picture is not near me, but it's the color sky I saw as I was driving home!! It started to pour 1 1/2 miles from home and I just prayed no hail would hit me before I got there!

I didn’t want to get up this morning but since yesterday became my day off I ran this morning, my tempo run of 9 miles (planned 10, but was OK with just 9 and 7 at faster pace instead of just 6).

My first mile was warm up, last was supposed to be cool down. I wanted to have an 8:00 minute mile going, although faster I would’ve been happy with (MP – 30 would be ideal and it’s what I’m working toward). This is a fairly hilly place that I run in, one of these days I’m going to get some pictures. Anyway, mile 3 was going up some hills and just after that fast mile 2, so I guess I can see why it was slower…although Mile 5 was over the biggest, longest hill (probably close to .5 mile of uphill at a good grade) and I was 20 seconds faster over it than I was last week which pleases me. The rest speak for themselves.

Mile 1 - 9:20
Mile 2 - 7:45
Mile 3 - 8:31 (hilly area and don't think I was awake for that last one!)
Mile 4 - 8:00
Mile 5 - 8:17 (big hill)
Mile 6 - 7:48
Mile 7 - 7:59
Mile 8 - 8:03
Mile 9 - 8:39

So rest of the weekend is a 16 mile long recovery run, recovery from today, but I plan to do at least the last 6 at MP just to test myself. I might take it over an easier course though, just to give the legs rest. Then an easy morning recovery on Sunday and probably a second run on Sunday afternoon to finish up my 60 mile week…unless I have time to get a 2nd run in tonight before I go see my Vikings in action…go Brad!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


…I was really bad this morning…I mean really bad…I was going to get up and run 10 mile tempo run, but I talked myself out of it. I let the alarm go off and was awake, but chose to go back to sleep for another hour and was then going to get up and run a fast 5 miles. Nope, didn’t do that either. I got up, put my contacts in, got my GPS going, and then crawled back into bed for 2 more snoozes. I feel like crap of course because of it. I'm used to a morning workout of some kind and not doing one throws off my system. I’m running after work, still not sure how long or how far though. After work I’m getting involved in a research study. I am an MDRA member (Minnesota Distance Running Association) and as a member I get RunMinnesota magazine bi-monthly…last month’s I actually read, on-time and everything and they had a thing in there looking for subjects. It’s a distance running study on women and to qualify you had to be 22-35 or something like that, run 35 or more miles a week and I think that was about it. I meet these qualifications so I contacted them. It is a bone density study and this is something I’m interested in as some research seems to show running as building bones and some says that women need more calcium when running…Anyway, I go in for a bone density scan and questions being asked tonight. It’s at the University of Minnesota, which shouldn’t take me TOO long to get to if I leave early enough from work, and then I’m probably going to run somewhere around there just so I can save time and let traffic calm down before I head home. I also get a Target Gift Card for participating so that’s cool too. Now just trying to figure out miles for today…I planned on doing 10, 6 at 8:00 or faster pace. Now I’m thinking I’ll go about 8, probably the same plan though for pace, then tomorrow I’ll run maybe 6 instead of just the 5 I was going to do, and maybe I’ll even run a bit on Sunday just to recover from the long run and take Monday off…next week is a cutback week anyway. I’d just like to be close to 60 this week because next week is a bit of a cutback and the week after is my half, wow, already, and then I’m gearing up for the last hard cycle before the marathon…

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Last night I met with a guy from Home Depot about my deck. He was going to come to my house last night, but he had been in my neighborhood earlier in the day and had taken a look because he knows there can be weird issues with associations so he wanted to see what the deal might be and from the stop he could tell me right away that they wouldn’t be able to do the work as it didn’t meet their minimum requirements. Home Depot doesn’t do deck work for under $4400…so I asked him how much he thought it would take, based on size and the wood they use which is guaranteed for life (not like the cedar they are supposedly doing on mine) it would be probably $3100 or less…and when I told him my dad’s estimate on the materials to redo it at $500 he said that sounded about right and suggested if it was possible to spend the $500 and 12 hours on a weekend he would recommend doing that (if I can get around whatever the Association requires for licensed contractors and all that) I also told him I had been told the permits would cost $300-400 and of my figuring on it being $100, he said that $100 sounded right for Edina and the project I was looking at. He also told me that he had looked, the posts were fine, there were a few boards that could be replaced but that that balcony was in no danger of falling down anytime soon (the note I had been given was that it was in dire need of replacement and would be one of the first done). So nice huh? Would this be embezzelment?? Something is going on, that's for sure, and that something is defintiely not favoring the residents of Manor Homes of Edina. Someone on the board or maybe the entire board, is trying to pull a fast one and I’m really ticked now…not sure how to proceed on this one, but I think everyone needs to go. They have been squandering money for way too long and giving assessments here and there that are ridiculous (like the $410 I had to pay 2 or 3 years ago for a garage door because they decided to replace all of them, even though the only ones that really needed to be replaced are ones that had panels in them, which mine did not) and the $510 assessment this year because they didn’t have enough in the reserves, or didn’t think there was enough cause they overspent, from what I can determine, on landscaping. Next summer we are supposed to have our road resurfaced…I wonder how much they are going to charge us for that one. I don’t think the association fees I pay cover anything. We used to have good snowplow service but the place we had last year, the few times we needed it, sucked. We used to have good lawn care, now I swear it’s never cut and when it is, it’s not cut enough to even notice it (definitely not the once a week it used to be done). Oh, also the Home Depot guy told me he would recommend waiting till spring, that I there is some dry rot and I could do some repair work, but he thought it would be better to replace it as it will eventually need that and it would keep from dropping the value of my home. And this was from a guy who can’t do the work anyway…so I know he’s not telling me bad information!!

I decided on my run this morning (I needed it!!) that I’m going to draft a document up for the board to read, I’m going to make my requests on the bill and everything for this deck they are trying to force me to replace, I’m going to require the name and information on the person that did the inspection that said mine was so bad off, also going to find out how many estimates were received and I’m going to let them know in no uncertain terms that I’m doing the work on my own, when I decide it is necessary and that any increases in our fees and/or assessments in the future I will want to see itemized spending details to know exactly why these things are necessary. If we don’t have the money, don’t do the work! And if any of this isn’t met, well, I do know some attorney’s and I’ll have the whole board investigated and impeached if need be!! This is ridiculous. I so wish I had a house instead of a condo…

On another note, isn't he adorable? My friend's son, he'll be one in a few weeks.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tuesday, August 22 Intervals

Well, I did sleep last night, not long enough since I had to work, had I been home I would’ve been in bed much earlier…and while early on customers sucked last night, at least the ones I dealt with at the end of the evening were pleasant and made the last couple of hours go fast. I didn’t get enough eaten last night to fuel for today either. Dinner was a bagel and peanut M&Ms…yes, not the best but it was what I had since I was at the store and hadn’t had anything to bring. Sleep is good though…I hate when it eludes me.

Today, 5 x 1 mile repeats. Actually on my plan I had it written still for 7:45 pace…OK, so not as terrible as it turns out, but while running them, I thought of last week and the 7:00 or so I managed to probably average and that is what I was trying for…1 mile warm up, a little stretching and off:

Mile 1 – 6:51 (fairly even in ups and downs for the hilly pieces)
Mile 2 – 7:34 (a bit hilly but again seemed even, was very disappointed in this one)
Mile 3 – 7:09 (still bummed not 7, but better than last one)
Mile 4 – 7:19 (not sure what happened)
Mile 5 – 7:09

So seems 7:10 was better thought for the average. OK, yes, eating wasn’t good last night and each mile was over a slightly different section of road, although honestly why that one was so slow…I mean it was maybe a bit more uphill, and there was the van incident (decided not to run that section again) but still. Oh, and half mile recoveries and 1 mile cool down for total of 9 miles in 1 hour 20 minutes, just under 9 minute average. Doing a 6 mile easy recovery tonight with a friend…

Working out other things right now too. Think I have the roommate thing resolved, going to discuss with a friend tonight, but I think she is going to move in with me end of October and I’m going to stop with the people I don’t know (at least for the 9 months that my friend wants to live with me, no she’s not pregnant, that’s the time frame she wants for deciding to find and buy a place).

In other news though, my association has told me I need to replace my balcony, at my expense and they were good enough to find me a place to do the work…at the cost of $4500…This deck is 16 x 5…they plan to do cedar…this is a deck that is painted…my dad does woodworking, he priced it out with cedar and without…he found materials should come to about $900 for cedar and about half that for green treated lumber which is better and lasts longer particularly if you are going to PAINT IT (why have cedar if you paint it??). Is someone gouging us…I think so…Oh, and they are planning to have the work completed yet this fall, by September 15, and we have 30 days after that to pay for it…yeah, $4500 in less than 2 months…cause I’m rich and just have money laying around for things like that!! Ughh…it’s a non-necessity item and I’m not doing this this fall (can’t afford it anyway) and I think it’s way too high a price for that. Especially in just hearing what others have maybe paid on things like that. I want to have my dad do the work, but he’s not a licensed contractor, trying to find a way around that…I would trust his work and know he’s not gouging me, he probably wouldn’t even charge me enough…ah, the joys of an association…but then again, you live on a city street and a city can assess stupid things to you too that you have to pay for. It sucks though as I had it worked out if I have a roommate until next summer I can have one major loan paid off and big chunk of another gone as well. I’d LOVE that…and then something like this crap comes up…sigh…

Monday, August 21, 2006

No Sleep...Thank God it's Monday...

Yes, that was right, Monday's for some reason always seem fast to me, Tuesday and Thursday are the drag days so it's good it was Monday today as the day has gone fast (maybe because I did come in a bit later to adjust to the new hours and I went to lunch with a friend which helped)...I literally got no sleep though last night. I didn't get quite enough sleep on Saturday cause I was out late, then got up early to go to the farmer's market with a friend, then her and I got her dog and went to Lake Calhoun to lay around and then go for a walk...then we headed back to my place at which time another friend called to let me know he was leaving work and would be to my place in a little over an hour (we were going to dinner). Got home, talked to mom and dad, complained about my balcony situation (will have to wait till tomorrow for more details on that) and then my friend got there and he and I headed out to have our "nookie" burgers...these are also known as juicy lucy's at other places in the area, but it's a burger stuffed full of cheese that melts and oozes out when you bite into bad but sooooo good...and they have home cut fries, double yummy. After that my friend has never been to Barnes & Noble before (he's from South Africa) so we went there and looked around a bit and then rented a was a bit late when we finished it and he decided to crash on my living room floor, I insisted he at least sleep in the bed in the spare room since I don't have a roommate as of yet which he did and he was snoring happily away in about 20 on the other hand, who was exhausted, COULD NOT SLEEP!! I saw 12:00 am, 1:00 am, 2 am, I might have dozed in there but saw 4:00 am, 5:00 and finally got up around 6:30, did my run and headed to work...ughh...I'm functioning slightly today but also have to go to Barnes & Noble till 10...I am not going to survive the evening!! Need to be up early for 5 x 1 miles tomorrow...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

22 Mile Long Run...2nd 20+ In the Bag

Long run today…planned 22 miles, had thought of running the last 8 miles at marathon pace, but alas, that wasn’t to be today…this is only my 2nd at least 20 miler so I can’t expect that it would be perfect, I’m still building up and I did run a hilly course, intentionally, since I know that MCM is hilly at least at the beginning and end…I’m doubting it is as hilly as what I ran (and it was mostly uphill, now I understand the stories of walking uphill both ways to school in the snow that I used to hear). Anyway, I averaged a 9:18 pace, even though I had to take a few walk breaks near the end, and had a stop for filling water bottles at a sprinkler, and one other stop to cool my face at a sink in a bathroom along the way…Oh, one other thing, I didn’t get going that early, which means it was warmer, although not nearly as humid as it has been. It probably got to 80 by the end, so it’s warmer, but it was still an OK run…I learned one new thing on it…Cliff Block Shots in Black Cherry (with caffeine) are really yummy and better than a gel…although they do take a bit of chewing and sometimes it wasn’t quite what I wanted…I drank almost 3 7 oz bottles of endurance Gatorade on the run, but only took the 2 servings of Cliff Shots and know I needed more calories which I’m sure was a big part of the slow down and somewhat “bonking” that I had. I have 3 more 20 milers and one 24 miler planned for this training session…time to resolve some of these issues.

Mile 1: 8:55
Mile 2: 8:49
Mile 3: 8:55
Mile 4: 8:55
Mile 5: 8:57
Mile 6: 8:54
Mile 7: 9:01
Mile 8: 9:01
Mile 9: 8:44
Mile 10: 9:18
Mile 11: 9:05
Mile 12: 9:28
Mile 13: 8:44
Mile 14: 9:07
Mile 15: 9:14
Mile 16: 9:54 (getting water on my face)
Mile 17: 9:48
Mile 18: 11:32 (playing in the sprinklers for more water)
Mile 19: 9:14
Mile 20: 9:56
Mile 21: 9:39
Mile 22: 9:14

OK, it’s actually much better on consistency…although planned pace is 9:12, and I’d like to be running the last half at 8:12 pace…but today was an OK run.

In other news…the roommate I had lined up suddenly decided he can’t afford it, now I’m not asking that much for rent, but OK, so he can’t afford it, WHY DIDN’T HE KNOW THIS?? Seriously, how can you not know how much you can afford BEFORE you look at places, he had put down a deposit on a place that was $300 more than I’m asking and didn’t include utilities right before he got out of that and was going to move in with me…that should’ve been my first clue. So anyway, I put up an ad on craigslist again and am looking through, the place I have used before as well and ended up with an email from the last freak that lived with me, the guy that I kicked out, and he knew very well that it was my place and he tried to go through this whole thing how it was divine intervention that had him finding my listing when he’s looking for something cause his sublease is ending…umm, yeah, I kicked him out…I want nothing to do with him, I told him to never contact me again and since that time he has sent me a card with an apology, (again not respecting my wishes of never contacting me again), and then he sent me an e-mail wondering if I had received the card and told me that he had tried to call me but I didn’t answer (that was when I was at my parents and don’t get service in their house which I had told him if it goes right to voicemail, the phone isn’t on and I don’t see listings of missed calls either…idiot…but as we know, if I even see him again, I will commit a crime…what a freak…

Friday, August 18, 2006

Early AM Company

I had such an excellent morning run this morning that I just had to share it…got out the door at 5:27, that was even with getting up and deciding I needed to wash my sheets so pulled them off the bed (yet make the bed back up without new sheets, as I didn’t have time). I had gone to bed early last night so I was awake before my alarm and actually felt awake for the first time all week (at 5:15). I was out the door and we are under rain storm threats right now, so it was humid, which was actually good cause it was warm, probably 65, feeling to me, it’s been kind of chilly all week (remember I don’t like the cold running!!). Anyway, I got about 1.5 miles into my run and saw a deer in the street ahead of me, as I got to the point where it had been running too, I was looking for it and saw it now running the same direction as me, across the front yard of one of the houses I run past often, and then it stopped and as I came up to where it was stopped I noticed a fawn standing next to it, and as I was going PAST where they were, I noticed a second fawn…right there in the middle of the city I live in, a first tier suburb of Minneapolis, a city of 350,000 or so people (entire metro of about 2 million) was a doe and two fawns…I wish I had had my camera, but the picture shows what I saw, only imagine a nice suburban house behind them instead of the woods!! This isn't the first time I've seen deer (saw one a couple of weeks ago on a Friday long run) and I've also seen, at different times, red fox...I tell you, the city I live in is where everyone wants to live!!

I finished off the 3.75 miles I was running at an easy pace of 8:41 and headed off to strength train and get to my desk, still just before 7:30 even with the hours change I have to make (tonight my boss and boss’ boss are gone so I’m leaving at 4!! I’ve been given a week to adjust my hours). Tomorrow is a planned 22 miler…it’s supposed to rain…starting tonight at 9…continuing into the AM tomorrow…oh well…good thing I like running in the rain!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tempo Thursday, August 17

Another early morning, was up and out the door at 5:35, so I was finished by goal time of 6:45, although it still would be good to get up earlier, even with this so called change to my hours, I still want to keep going at the same time so eventually I can hopefully talk some sense into someone and get my regular hours back, not to mention a HUGE part of why I like to come in then is traffic before 7:20 is not bad, after 7:20 it adds another 10 minutes or so to my commute and granted, my commute is only about 15 minutes anyway, but I intentionally have that where I live near work cause I don’t like to drive in stop and go!!

Got up and heard that it might be raining, not a big deal but it has been cooler, went out to set the GPS to get a signal and it wasn’t raining but was cool again, but not as cool as Tuesday so I was comfortable in the shorts and coolmax t-shirt. Set out for an easy warm up and wanted to do a tempo run of 8 miles, 6 at tempo pace, and the pace I had in mind for today was 8:00, I didn’t quite get that, but I was fairly close and that’s OK. I still have time to build up and the speed will get there, I’m doing two things on these tempos as I’m trying to keep a higher speed but I’m also running it over some pretty decent hills, sure I could take the tempo to a flat area, but that’s not going to help me at MCM, so I go hills and make myself work. As long as I’m keeping under MP, and keep getting faster, I’ll feel OK. I ended up adding some interesting loops to my regular run just to get the mileage in too. Anyway, these are the splits:

Mile 1: 8:48 (warm up a bit faster than I usually plan)
Mile 2: 7:11 (there is no way this was this fast, I lost signal a couple of times and I think it averaged into the next mile, so I figure both mile 2 and 3 are 8:00, this one was flat)
Mile 3: 9:02 (this was up and over a couple of good hills)
Mile 4: 8:17
Mile 5: 8:34 (big hill later in the run than last week and faster, even though I did wimp out and have to walk a tiny bit of it)
Mile 6: 8:01
Mile 7: 8:16
Mile 8: 8:31 (supposed to be cooling down)
Mile .25: 2:25 (a little more than the planned 8 cause I was still a bit from home)

Overall not bad and it did start sprinkling, then actually had a pretty good rain, was wishing I had my hat yet again…but the run was good. I like the rain as long as it’s not terribly cold out. I just checked my plan and found I had wanted to do the tempo part at 8:10 pace, looking at it, I was close to that, although I did do the 5 tempo miles last week at a better pace...need to work more on that!

Still upset about the work hours thing. I just wish it was in my boss’ hands as he’s laid back and cool about it and has been quite accommodating with me working part days and extra hours to make up time so I can leave early a few times when needed since I have limited vacation time left this year…He very much knows the help me and my co-worker are to the department and appreciates us, he even said he hoped this wasn’t something that was going to make us want to quit…sigh…problem is his boss and honestly, I’m not sure why she is having the problem as I get along with her and have always thought she was cool as well…I’m going to discuss it more in 2 weeks at my 6 month and see if this can’t be a temp thing, I mean I can understand them wanting me here later for the time being with the acquisition we just had, (we pretty much doubled our company and quadrupled our work load) my hope is they will let me get back to “normal” hours once things settle in a bit and we MAYBE add extra staff.

Anyway, busy day, busy week so best get back to it. I have soooo many things to do.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tuesday, August 15 Intervals and Frustrations

So even though I was up a bit too late with a friend last night, normally I go to bed early, he goes to bed pretty early normally too as he gets up quite early, but we were semi watching the Vikings pre-season game and I was explaining football to him, (he’s from South Africa and is of course not into American Football, I was explaining it and he was telling me about rugby in fact) and it got later…so I was asleep by 10:30, but I do need more sleep with my training…it’s interval day.

Intervals were pretty good although I was in shorts and short sleeved shirt and was COLD this morning. I don’t complain about heat, but I do complain about cold. Granted I ran a bit better, but I really could’ve been in long sleeves and tights and been comfortable, I don’t like this at all. I did do a pretty good workout though. I warmed up with 1 mile, cooled down with 1.5 miles and in between I bumped up to mile repeats with .5 mile recoveries, total time was just over 1:08 for an 8:30 pace overall. I’m going to work up miles for the next few weeks and will go back to 800s one time later to check them against Yasso’s idea/theory just to see how well trained I am at that time.

Mile 1: 6:58 (was shooting for 7:45 originally but thought 7:30s this AM)
Mile 2: 6:54 (OK, this and the first were downhill for some and the rest flat)
Mile 3: 7:12 (intentionally put in a good hill, it felt tough but still not bad for pace)
Mile 4: 7:11 (was beat, more of down hill, but I was feeling a side cramp even)

Not a bad workout, I feel good about the results and will try to maintain this pace and keep it up for the next few. I’m also intending on doing them mostly over hills just to maintain things.

So now the frustrating thing. I normally work 7:30-4, have done this for the year and 8 months I’ve been with the company now and it’s been nice. Most everyone else works later, my new boss was here around 8/8:15, now it’s more 8:30 (he moved further away), my co-worker is in anywhere between 9 and 10 and here later and my boss’ boss is here around 9…and she works a lot of hours…Suddenly now it’s mandated that everyone has to start work between 8 and 10…so now earliest I can leave is 4:30, heck, my boss even mentioned my co-worker here 9-5, which huh, that’s not the same as me, and she takes smoke breaks a couple of times a day. Apparently my boss’ boss has tried to get a hold of me after 4 a few times, not necessarily for urgent things that couldn’t wait till I’m in ahead of everyone else, but suddenly I have to be here later…which messes with Barnes & Noble and my being able to be there by 5…my boss is OK with letting it stay a bit flexible on occasion, and you know, I’d be fine with it if I was given a good reason, or told that after this monster amount of work gets worked through (we just acquired a company) I could go back to my earlier hours, or something…but this upsets me. Something I’ve liked from day one is my flexible hours and being able to get out early. I’m not a morning person, but I like to leave early so I force myself to be and it’s nice…Now for no good reason that I can understand, I’m suddenly having to stay later…and my more productive time is the morning. It always has been, by 3 pm I’m so fried I’m just ready to leave…I barely struggle with filing and basic things in the last hour…plus I’m most likely going to just be here at 7:30 anyway as traffic sucks coming in at 8, it’s fine if I’m here by 7:30/7:35, but sucks later…and going home, same thing…I’m suddenly not so happy in my job…oh, and the thing is, it’s not like I’m doing overtime, we have to be approved for it as we get paid for it (at least I do) although I haven’t ever been one to claim overtime even if I am there a bit later or work through lunch…such a simple thing to make an employee happy and they take it away from me…makes me feel less happy about my job and the company by a lot. Prior to this announcement, even through a lot of crap to deal with, I could say I really do like my job, now I’m not feeling so loyal or needing to stay, I could probably get more money elsewhere, but I liked the hours I was working and the way things are, this change just makes me wonder what else might change…

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Long Run in Southwest MN

Back from a weekend at my parents. Aunt and uncle were in town from Alaska and I wanted to see them of course, but it’s such a boring place to run…flat boring farm country. If I still lived there there is no way I would end up running marathons as there is just no where to run!! So my run this weekend was a 14 miler, I decided to run from Heron Lake, my home town, to Okabena, the next town over, just over 3.5 miles from my parents house…Anyway, ran there and around the town and back, then around my home town to make up the 14 miles…I somehow managed to survive it. The weather was actually pretty decent, cooler, but a bit windy, at least I only had to run fully into it at the start. It was a bit humid though. Before going to for the run, as I ate breakfast, I was reading in the latest Runner’s World about long runs and the pace…there were a number of ideas and theories and I decided to try a new one. The idea of running half the run at MP + 60 seconds, then I ran the second half at MP. It was much faster than I ever run long runs or have tried…and it wasn’t too bad. I won’t do all of them that way I don’t think, but a few here and there, particularly if they are shorter runs like 14 miles. The splits went down like this:

Mile1: The first mile I kind of missed, I was .7 in before I started the watch
Mile 2: 9:09
Mile 3: 9:13
Mile 4: 9:01
Mile 5: 8:52
Mile 6: 8:46
Mile 7: 8:44
Mile 8: 9:28 (a quick stop for water and powerade)
Mile 9: 8:21
Mile 10: 8:14
Mile 11: 7:58
Mile 12: 8:04
Mile 13: 8:04
Mile 14: 8:01

The last .3 was at 8:12 pace I’m guessing around 9:15-9:20 for the first mile, and overall finish for the run average an 8:40. My planned MP is 8:12, but anything faster than 8:24 is acceptable as it gets me the BQ…so the last 6 and the fact that the last mile was on pace for it, I’m pleased with the results.

Anyway, I need to get stuff unpacked and get ready as it’s a friends birthday today and he’s going to be here in a bit to go out for coffee, drinks, ice cream or something. Just wanted to get a quick update in.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tempo Thursday, August 10

OK, originally I was only going to do an interval workout this week since I ran last weeks race faster than planned, but I decided to keep mileage up and keep my workouts going, I would just shorten it from the 10 miles planned total run with 8 at marathon pace (working these up to a bit faster than marathon pace) to a 7 mile run with 5 at marathon pace. My goal time is 3:35, to give me cushion to achieve BQ. My pace I need to run to get that is 8:12 I think (can’t quite remember for sure) so I was shooting for the 5 MP miles at 8:10, eventually working those up to 7:45. I ran over the hilly areas in my neighborhood this morning for this run to conserve on time.

Mile 1: 9:22 pace (warm up and over some hills)
Mile 2: 7:47 (all flat and felt a bit harder, but didn’t realize it was that much faster)
Mile 3: 8:21 (hills)
Mile 4: 8:42 (has a very long, probably just under a half mile, fairly steep hill)
Mile 5: 7:44 (this had mostly down hill motion, although a few climbs)
Mile 6: 7:52 (again some ups and downs)
Mile 7: 8:08 (oops, this was supposed to be cool down)

Again not real consistent, but it was a good feeling run and the 5 MP miles were at 7:59 which is better than hoped for and I didn’t feel burned out or dead at the end obviously or I would’ve slowed down more when I could’ve. I could’ve gone at least another mile or two I think with the way I was feeling. And again, this isn’t flat terrain, I should take some pictures of the area.

Anyway, better get to doing some work. I only ran 4 yesterday easy in the morning with a strength session after. Took last night off to rest the legs and saw a movie, which I honestly should’ve skipped since I was tired and should’ve gone to bed early since I’m working tonight till 10 and then am getting up 45 minutes earlier than I need to to drive my roommate to the airport.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tuesday, August 8 Intervals

I have an offsite meeting today but wanted to do a quick update of my morning workout…and actually even last nights right was good. OK, so cooler temps might be helping and the rest of last week (even if my race wasn’t really a rest). Last night was going to do 5, but ended up doing 6 because I was feeling good, had a yippy annoying poodle run up and bark at my ankles at one point and I must’ve sped up a bit due to annoyance cause mile 3 was 8:15, but the rest were in the 8:40s or so (one a bit slower as it was up a long hill) and averaged 8:40 pace, and that was just an easy run that felt good. This morning was interval day, Yasso 800s, well, half miles so I figure if I’m a couple of seconds slower than the predictor pace, that should still be OK…anyway, 10 x .5 with .25 recovery and mile warm up and cool down. Was between 3:00-3:10 for recovery and the intervals went like this:

1 – 3:36
2 – 3:38
3 – 3:30
4 – 3:30
5 – 3:38
6 – 3:37
7 – 3:32
8 – 3:29
9 – 3:28
10 – 3:41

Still not the consistency I’d like, but I’m getting a bit better and all but the last one were under 3:40 (if I have kept going straight instead of doing a tight turn that slowed me down I would've been under 3:40, probably 3:38 again), while I’d like to be running 3:30-3:35 (my goal marathon time) I’m still under the 3:40 I need to get my BQ sooo….guess we’ll see come October. Anyway, the temps were quite cool this morning, almost considered light tights. I’m going to do a 4 mile easy after work today (will need it after 8 hours of testing that I’m involved in today…ughh…). Today’s intervals did feel easier than the last two weeks for the most part too, so that’s good. I’m still contemplating if I’ll do the tempo run on Thursday or not, had considered not doing it, but I might just cut it shorter and do both workouts this week. The long run this week is only 14 miles (I’ll be in my hometown and it’s so boring running there, seriously running around the town only gives me 2 miles so I have to get creative where I run).

Oh, and I found a roommate...(Kurt, hopefully this one will be good and you won't have to be digging any holes). Met him on Sunday when he came to look, we talked a lot, he seems cool, I think we'll get along well and he works a 2nd shift, 4 pm - 1 am so not like we'll be there together a lot anyway to get sick of each other and what we talked about I think will put us in a good living situation, we both like clean, respect for each other's stuff, etc...and he works for Comcast which just bought Time Warner, my cable company, and gets free cable phone, cable internet and all cable...I get basic cable, but we'll get the digital tier and movie channels along with DVR!!! Plus he's paying me rent...I think this is going to be an awesome situation!!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

20 Miler, A Race AND A PR!!!

Alright, so today, 20 mile long run, first of 6 planned, but this one was a bit different because I had a half marathon race in the middle of it…so the breakdown of the day.

Alarm at 4:30…ugh…was out of bed just before 5 though, had a new breakfast, scrambled eggbeaters with a little lowfat cheddar cheese (one serving), and 2 kashi waffles with light maple syrup and some water. I headed out the door at 5:45, and was to the race start line just before 6. I took off through the neighborhoods for a nice slow 5 mile run pre-race. Splits were 9:56, 9:38, 9:48, 9:16 and 8:59 for an average of 9:33, which was about what I wanted. I finished about 6:47 or so, had just enough time to go in, use the bathroom (love this race the flush toilets actually have a shorter line), do a little stretching of the IT Band and eat a fruit bar before the race started right at 7 am. Now I knew I could potentially PR on this race (this is the same course I got my PR last year, although the prior half I had run I knew had a very soft time on it) and still not do damage to my quest for a long run at a light pace…plus if I did race it, there is plenty of time to recover in the 11 weeks left before MCM!

We headed out and first mile was slow at 9:13, but it was a crowded start, I think there are about a thousand runners in this race, it’s a nice little race that I like to do because proceeds go toward classes where elementary school students learn about nature at a reserve area in the city. Parts of the course is through the city of Richfield's neighborhoods and parts are around some small lakes and the nature reserve so it’s a nice course, fairly flat, very shaded and while light on spectators is well run. This year they even managed to make it a “waste free race” by having cups that are biodegradable (which I expected to be recycled paper, but they were actually hard plastic, and kind of short, NOT good for trying to drink on the run out of, but oh well), food that was all organic and all waste is going to compost heaps, even the gear bags were made of recycled stuff, and the shirts are nice, light weight tech shirts, I LOVE my one from last year for training in and this year it’s the same one only green, my favorite color. Anyway, the only slight complaint I’d have about the race is that the first trip around a lake on a smaller path happens after the first mile, so the crowd hasn’t thinned out a lot yet, so it can be a bit tough trying to keep a nice pace and work through the crowds, but it’s not bad and I managed to keep a fairly good pace, just not real consistent (I’ll post splits in a little bit). Anyway, it was a nice day, cool, (probably upper 50s low 60s, I never heard a forecast that said morning temp) and overcast, it sprinkled off and on from mile 4 on and felt really good. It was humid though as I was dripping at the end…ah well. I started at the back and mainly moved up on people, only had a few pass me and around mile 10 I had one girl pass me but I kept her in my sights, there had been another girl I had been eyeing to move up on as well, and when I hit the place where there was about .5 to go, going into the last nature area we run through, I took off, flew past the girl who had passed me and the other girl I had been eyeing and a bunch of other people, but I guess an advantage of having run the course before is you know how much further you have to go and you know how much you have left in you…it felt so good too…just all out sprint, I hit the 13 mile mark and heard someone yell that if you sprint now you can just make it in clock time of under 1:54, I knew I was at least a minute faster than clock time, but I really pushed it and hit the mat at 1:54 on the nose…I grabbed some water, checked Garmin which told me I had just run 13.30 miles, so I jogged out and finished up my 1.7 so I could have a total of 20 miles for the day, that was at a very slow average pace of 10:30, but I had just raced, so the slower time was acceptable.

My previous PR, on this course last year, was 1:57:30, I ran 1:53:08 official chip time today and that was with a 5 mile “warmup” prior to the run…I think next year I’ll really race this course and see what I can do!!

Mile 1: 9:13
Mile 2: 7:53 (oops a little fast)
Mile 3: 9:05 (water stop and first with those cups that kind of slow you down)
Mile 4: 8:21
Mile 5: 8:33
Mile 6: 8:34
Mile 7: 8:26
Mile 8: 8:47
Mile 9: 8:41
Mile 10: 8:56 (another water stop that kind of slowed me down a bit, kind of busy)
Mile 11: 8:24
Mile 12: 8:19
Mile 13: 7:51
Mile .1 (actually .3) 2:04 (mile pace of 6:38, I knew I was flying!!)

I got one of the free massages after, told her I had a tight IT band, but I think she was tired of doing it by then as I didn’t get a very good one, I think I need to get in and get this taken care of soon though, it’s been tight a while and part of the goodie bag had discount things for a massage at a few places…also had $2 toward a treat at Dairy Queen…I think I might have to go there before work tonight!!

Oh, I finally got the times added together now too, I had an 8:56 average pace for my “20 miler” today…I think I can count it as a true 20 miler too as the only break really in there was about 10 minutes, and bathroom break would’ve been something I needed at some point anyway…without the race, I am hoping I would’ve had an average of 9:10 or so, which is my goal for the long runs. The really great thing though is this showed me I can run a 15 miler the week before and still run a good half, so I can really race Disney and still run the 25K I want to run (as long as I take it slow and take an easy week before which I have planned) that I want to run. It’s the 25th Anniversary of this 25K and they are giving out beer steins as a keepsake…I want something other than a T-shirt!!

Alright, I’ve rambled on enough, I’m going to go lay in the sun and/or clean up my car and maybe take a nap before I have to work at 6 tonight and then head out at 11 for a drink with a friend…At least this week has gotten a bit better on the runs, I’ll take it easy tomorrow, maybe something light to loosen up the legs after today, but going into a hard week next week, although I might move intervals to Wednesday and take out the tempo run this week just to have a slight recovery.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Finally, a Decent Run

Yesterday after work I went for a run that was going to be 4.5 miles, I’m having a cutback week this week and am trying hard to keep mileage under 40 (preferably even closer to 35-37) and have a 20 miler this week…Tuesdays run in the rain was OK, I went .5 miles further than planned because of where I was in the run, so I was cutting back yesterdays wanting to run today as well (which I still might do, but can’t go further than 2.5)…I have 2 days of rest scheduled into this week as well, right now I might even have 3, which I really hate!! Anyway, I got out after work yesterday, it was cooler, low 80s, which is still fine for me, only a light wind but no humidity (well very light) which is what the drain factor for me is…I started out and it felt good, I had also taken Wednesday completely off so my body should’ve been fully rested and it was. I hit the first mile at 8:30…The next mile, a bit hilly, came in just under 9 and the rest were slowest of 8:40 and fastest of 8:25…all feeling easy, in fact it felt so good that I turned it into a 6 miler (average pace for the run was 8:36), which is why I really mean no more than the 2.5 today (I'm at 16.5 already for the week with a 20 miler tomorrow). I am running a half marathon tomorrow, mostly as a training run that gives you a nice technical shirt, I’m going to get to the start line early enough to get hopefully 4-5 miles in before the race, and then I’ll run the race and get another 2-3 in after to complete my first 20 miler of this training cycle. Weather should be good, slight chance for rain I think, but it should be cool. I’m figuring on running a 9:30 or so pace for the warm up run, then the marathon at or around 9 minute pace, maybe picking up the pace at the end see if I can PR this from last year and then the cool down slower to try to get an average closer to 9:10 or so for the entire 20, but we’ll see. I just hope the legs feel good tomorrow…it is a pretty nice course and is only a 15 minute (if that) drive from my house to the start. There was decent food after and even free tickets into the pool that is located by the start. I didn’t use them last year but maybe this year I will!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Discontent...and some lingering Sadness

There is a discontentment that I’m feeling right now…a need or lacking of something in my life and I’m not sure how to go about correcting it and/or finding what is missing or causing this discontent.

On Tuesday night I was so excited, my friends were going to be in town and we were going to get to spend some quality time together before they continue on their journey to Idaho. They got to my place about 8:15 and we then went to meet up with other friends for dinner. We had good food and wine, a few drinks at another bar and then home and Leesa and I sat up, while Dan went to bed, and talked till late…it was just a really nice chance to catch up and so refreshing to find her and I are still so on the same wavelength about so many things. See, Leesa is one of those people that you never know where you are going to find them, but if you do, and are lucky enough to have them come into your life, you will forever be changed. She’s generous and fun, always concerned about others feelings and making sure what she is doing isn’t an inconvenience or burden to someone else, she is a beautiful person, inside and out. I love being around her as we just click so well when it comes to what we enjoy doing and our thoughts and philosophies on life and maybe it’s because it seems she has really lived while I feel like I have been watching so much of my life, that I have even more admiration for her. She has ended up finding things and takne me on excursions I never would've experienced otherwise and I'm so glad I Have. She is the kind of person that draws people to her because of the fact that she is so easy going. It’s when she moved to Minnesota and had complaints about the fact that it was so hard to meet people and find new friends that I realized exactly how true that statement was and how closed off the state is as she is someone you can’t help but like and enjoy being around. We met at a job orientation. It was a complete fluke as I was starting my internship (which really wasn’t supposed to start for at least another 2 months) and she was starting her first “real” job out of school. We started chatting during a break and she asked me for thoughts on things to do around the city…well, I went one better on that and gave her my number telling her I would be happy to show her around…thus started our friendship, in March of 1999. We went to Hawaii together, Italy, I visited her in Cincinnati, and will be going to see her in Idaho…we don’t talk on the phone often, e-mail some, but not as often as I would like, but no matter what, when we get together it’s like we were never apart and it’s so easy and I love that. After they left yesterday and I headed off to work, I just wanted to cry, because while it’s no different them being in Idaho than it was Kentucky where they are moving from, the time I spent just reminded me how much I miss seeing her. She is so much of what I want to be and I think that’s where the discontent is. She wasn’t happy in Minnesota, or at least not at the job she was in, so she found a new one and didn’t think anything of moving. Her and Dan are into the outdoors and wanted to move to Idaho, Oregon, or Colorado and when she found the job a few years sooner than planned, but 32 hours from their families (they were only about 7) she went ahead and went. It's so opposite of me and that brings me to my discontent…I’m jealous of that. I admire that and I want to do that…I don’t like Minnesota, I never really have. I hate cold for one thing. It’s not an area for single people (and no, I don’t want to move to meet a man, I want to move to have other single’s to hang out with and who understand my lifestyle as while some look at me funny for not wanting to be married and have kids, I look at them funny for wanting to be married and have kids, well at least the have kids part and that’s all part of the Midwest mentality). It’s not an area for those that don’t like cold yet hate running indoors…the cost of living is pretty high with not a lot to show for that either. I’d like a bigger place in a different area, but reality is I can’t afford it. I want a better climate, yet good culture, lower cost of living (or better pay) and a great area for those that aren’t attached with families…anyone know of anything?? To be honest, San Diego is where I want to be, but the cost of living isn’t a reality I don’t think unfortunately…where I’ve been thinking is Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver/Boulder, DC/Baltimore (or even south into VA, but I think those areas are probably all expensive for living), maybe Seattle (but the rain and cloudy days would get me), Raleigh/Durham is listed as a great place for singles, but I don’t know anything about it there…The big thing is finding a job though…I need more networking and people who can point me to headhunters and/or job openings…and I’d love to be someplace where I can potentially pursue my MBA and/or JD eventually…I just know I need to get out…and I’m about at the 2 year mark I set for myself when I started my job here. Honestly I like my job, I wish I could take it with me…

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Finally Some Rain

Yes, I woke up this morning and it was raining!! It was supposed to, and when I woke up at 2 I had looked outside I saw some lightning so knew the storms must be coming in, but wasn’t sure if they had, I had forgotten to bring the towel in that I had hung on my balcony last night to dry too (so as not to have to run the dryer) and when I set my GPS out at 5:30 to get a signal, it was drenched…oh well. I knew it was going to be fun to run in the rain again. I actually really enjoy a nice rain to run in in the right conditions. Today was the right conditions, but body is still acting out. I ran 4 miles last night in the heat, yes we hit 100 at one point yesterday, no idea what it was when I ran, but it was hot, I walked parts of it, but I wanted to get out so I did, 3rd run in a row without the GPS or a watch, I estimated time to be 9:30-10 minute pace…Today’s run I wanted to be easy tempo, nothing too hard, planned 6 miles (ended up with 6.5 due to a miscalculation in the distance I had come and no way to get back to the house sooner) and wanted 3 miles at tempo pace of 8:15 or so, the rest just easy, this is a cut back and easier planned week, plus I am running a half on Saturday (although that is just more part of my long run training run this weekend so not really going to be fast), but still, figured I could get a little speed out…nope…and I had to walk a few spots up some hills cause the legs were just dragging. I was feeling somewhat hungry, which should not be the case since I did eat last night and it was only 6 miles and I’ve gone up to 10 in the morning without having eaten anything for breakfast. I averaged 8:53 or so for the 6 miles and it was 8:57 for the 6.5 (the last half was up a pretty steep hill). I’m taking tomorrow off due to friends being in town, I’ll go easy on Friday, racing on Saturday and off again on Sunday, but I really need to be up for good speed work next week. I’m at 12 weeks till the marathon and right now, I’m not even sure I’m going to break 4 hours…honestly, I think the 3:42:54 is what my body had in it, that was it and I don’t think I’m going to go even close to that one ever again at this rate…I need something to give me some confidence and I just don’t know what will do that…or what more I can do to try to get the running to feel good again. I want the training feelings from this spring…

On the upside, tonight Leesa and Dan will be here. They are moving from Florence, KY to Sandpoint, ID, finally meeting their dream of moving to Oregon, Colorado or Idaho. They are both into outdoorsy things, hiking, skiing, Dan’s gotten into adventure racing and Leesa got into mountain bike racing, so it’s going to be perfect for them…now I just have to figure out if I want to attempt skiing on mountains and go see them sometime in the winter or if I should go visit in the spring!! But so looking forward to seeing them tonight, we are going to dinner at what is my favorite restaurant, Vescio's (this place was so good that when Leesa and I would be talking on the phone and it was near a meal time, if one of us mentioned the name, we'd be there in the next 30 mintues) and then probably for drinks, I’m off work tomorrow and hanging with them till early afternoon when they head off…so glad I was on the route to where they were going as it’s been way too long since I’ve seen them. I also can't wait for dinner...I used to be enough of a regular there that the waitress would know what I want (I almost always get their yummy baked rigatoni pasta with meat sauce, salad and then maybe dessert, they have fantastic tiramisu, black forest cake and yummy cheesecakes...what would I want most...)