Friday, September 29, 2006

Rudeness in America

So yesterday I went to Target on my lunch break to pick up yet another pair of headphones as mine keep managing to end up with a loose wire, I swear I am going to be more careful with this pair and not ruin them in 3 months as at $10 a pair, that isn’t a cheap way to deal with things!!

Anyway, while I was checking out, I witnessed a situation in which many Americans probably find themselves in everyday and I wish I had reacted or responded. This was the situation. I went to the cashier to pay, there were two people in front of me along with an older man (I won’t call him a gentleman cause frankly he wasn’t) was finished with his transaction and had apparently paid cash. He was writing down something on a piece of paper and the cashier had put the money in the drawer and taken out his change and receipt and was in the process of trying to hand them to him. She was thanking him and was being very polite (some cashiers these days are a bit rude, but this girl was not) and trying to hand his money to him so he could move on and she could help the next customer…he was not paying her the slightest heed and was still writing on this piece of paper. She gets his attention saying here is your change and he barks at her “put it down can’t you see I’m busy?” OK, I work part-time as a cashier/bookseller a couple of nights a week and I see customers like this on occasion, thankfully more often than not I’m dealing with nice people, but crabs do come through, and I can’t say anything because I’m working…I wasn’t working here and I so wanted to say something to the effect “she was being nice to you, you should be paying attention to what is going on and take care of your personal business when you are away from the registers and not holding up the line.” Or something to that effect…the main reason I didn’t say anything though is because I was so far back it would’ve bee hard for me to get the man’s attention and he was of the type that he would’ve not cared anyway…I was always told to respect my elders, this man was older, probably mid-70s, but I’m sorry, being older does not give you the right to be rude to people, particularly when it’s a situation that you do not have to be in. If you are out in the public, you have the responsibility to at least be civil, if you’re crabby, stay home. Happiness and smiles are contagious, but so is rudeness and a person that can’t treat others with a little courtesy and respect, and treat someone as “beneath” them just because they are serving them is not appropriate ever. I’m of the belief that every person should have to work at some point as a server and/or cashier in retail or something. Just so they can see and realize how the job is and how much harder it is made by rudeness that is unwarranted. This is probably the same man who would kick a dog that walked too close to him and people like this ought to be shot. OK, so that’s not very nice, but just think how much better the world would be if things like this weren’t tolerated. I am going to make a point to say something from now on anytime I see a customer being rude to a person that is helping them. A cash resister screwing up is not the cashier’s fault, a price not being on an item is not the cashier’s fault, prices ringing up wrong are not their fault…a little decency and politeness could go a long way…

Alright, now running…this morning I got up and ran 6 miles in the dark…treadmill was not an option this morning. It just wasn’t appealing. However tonight after work I’m going to run another 3-4 (or maybe during lunch) on the treadmill just because I feel like it. My miles right now, after this morning’s run sit at 45 for the week. Tonight I’ll be at 47 or 48. I’ve decided tomorrow’s run will be most likely 17 (was debating 16-18 so I’m taking the happy medium) and next weeks will be my last long run at 22-24. I have a company picnic at Valleyfair, an amusement park in my area, tomorrow and running 24 miles and then trying to enjoy the picnic and free rides would probably not work well, so I’m going with the shorter run this week, recovery from the 20 last week and then will rest on Sunday and watch the marathon. Next week is a few less miles than this week, but still the intensity of my Yasso 800s planned and a tempo run for one last hard week and then the following Monday starts taper…wow…it’s coming up, it almost can’t be soon enough and it almost is too soon…

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thursday Tempo Run and Adventures in Treadmilling

Well, I got up early this morning (4:45) so I could get a run in so I can meet up with a friend tonight after work, I might sneak in a quick run before she gets there, but if I don’t, not a bit deal as on my plan I had for 12 mile tempo run, but had decided to only do 10 and ended up doing 11. This morning was on the treadmill too. The weather wasn’t too terribly cold, I could’ve handled it, but it was dark and that I just couldn’t stomach this morning. Running in the dark seems to get to me in a weird way. I wonder if anyone else experiences this, but at least morning runs (not sure if I notice it at night or not) in the dark I get a vertigo feeling occasionally, like the road is spinning in front of me, or at different angles or something, it’s just a weird feeling to describe and I decided I didn’t want to deal with it this morning for 10 miles…so I came to the gym and used the boring dreadmill and had to deal with MP3 that is acting up, I think I need yet another new pair of headphones. Don’t they make these things better these days? The wires are loose and it sucks…So anyway, I got on the mill around 5:30 and set out for 10, but set it to 11 just in case I wanted to go further…One thing about the mill is I can control the pace, started out first mile warm up around 9 minutes and put it for a 3% incline, unlike the 1% I usually use to counter the movement of the belt…it was a bit hard but not too bad, I kept it there when I increased the speed for my tempo part…planned 8 miles at 7:50 pace, I bumped up to just under 8 minute pace and stayed on the incline for another 1.25 miles, approximately what the distance is of the first hill for Marine Corp (at least from what I can determine, whether or not this incline is a similar grade, I don’t know). I was able to manage it and I do think I’m going to run a few more on inclines of maybe even a bit higher, just to be sure I’m mentally ready for it (I have planned long run to go up a long hill on Saturday). I was at 9.4 miles when suddenly the treadmill came to a dead stop…no slow decrease cause the time ran out or anything, just stop. I almost fell off it (was going at a 7:45 or so pace). So annoying as I was just about to the cool down miles. I switched to the one other mill not in use (there are only 3 in my small gym) and that one was so hard to run on…my legs felt like dead weights on it, I had to set the incline to 0 which I never do. This one was recently repaired too. Something is definitely wrong!! At this point I realized the other mill was back in action, showing a screen at least so I rounded out the last .6 I needed for 11 miles on it and called it a day. However the incredibly annoying thing is I don’t remember what my time was at when it quit!! I am gauging by the clock that I ran for about 1 hour and 32 minutes that gives me an approximate pace of 8:20 for the 11 miles and the tempo part I know I kept the miles under 8 minutes, I was up to 7:30 at one point and probably came close to averaging the 7:50 I had wanted to. Although I will admit to a few quick stops without stopping the mill for water and powerade…so I probably didn’t quite run the entire 11 miles…mill is just so freaking boring!!

I did end up out for a short run last night after an easy morning 5 miler too, 4.5 last night for 9.5 for the morning and now Wednesday run and I’m at 39 miles already for the week with a 20-24 miler planned for Saturday…I’m just keeping higher mileage for now as I might cut the run a bit shorter on Saturday (16-18) and I want to be at at least 65 miles this week…if I’m over, no worries as I have plenty of time to recover. Next week I really do need to try to get in to see Madonna to work on my leg (she’s the massage person who did an awesome job last time, she’s a bit expensive but soooo worth it).

Anyway, better start my work day…so much to do and no idea even where to start!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tuesday, September 26 Intervals

I did my final hard, long interval workout tonight and am fairly happy with the results. Next week I plan to run a Yasso 800 workout of 10-12 with 400 recoveries to see if I can hold them for my marathon pace. I have a hard tempo run planned for tomorrow and 2 more long runs of 18-24 and that’s it for the training…then I have to taper and focus on that last couple of pounds of weight loss!! Yes, I do appreciate what you all are saying, and I know I look fine, although I wish that pooch would go away!! But it’s specifically trying to move less body mass over the course (and a little idea in my head wondering if I could get back to high school track weight, which I have come very close to, I was only 2 pounds above it at my last marathon). Anyway, I did a 1 mile warm up and a 1.5 mile cool down and recovery half miles. Splits are:

Mile 1: 7:11
Mile 2: 6:34 – no idea where this came from
Mile 3: 6:25 – this one I know was off, lost signal briefly
Mile 4: 7:34 – this one was a bit off as when it loses signal, I’ve noticed it tends to overcompensate on the next mile, considering this one was a lot downhill, I just don’t believe it was that slow (unless I was that tired after those other two!!)
Mile 5: 7:03
Mile 6: 7:12
Mile 7: 7:06

Not bad considering the goal I had for myself for yesterday was 7 x 1 at 7:15 pace. I averaged 8:57 for 12.5 miles total workout and it didn’t feel too bad. The first mile was even up a tough hill (intentionally planned that way) the second one was pretty much a flat, I say pretty much a flat because while there is a bit of downhill on it, there is also a bit of uphill. Overall not a bad training run. The weather wasn’t bad either, a bit warm as storms looked to be moving in, but thankfully held off till I was done (and then I don’t think they ever materialized). I was glad I had long sleeves on though as it did get a bit cool. I got home just in time to watch House and then I was tired so I crawled into bed and read for a bit and turned off the light at 8:30…yeah, I’m pathetic, so what!! I had my alarm set for 5:35 so I could be up and out the door before 6 and get 4.5 miles in before work…Well, I woke up and looked at the clock and thought it said 5:37 (actually my clock is 10 minutes fast so I had it set for 5:45 alarm) so I knew the alarm was going off shortly, well, it didn’t go off and I looked again and checked to see why it didn’t go off, well, my clock shows a dot for PM at the bottom and AM at the top and when I flipped to the alarm time, it was a different dot (I never remember which is which), so even more confused I moved closer to the clock (I wear glasses and didn’t have them on while in bed) and realized it was 9:47, not 5:47 like I had thought…I still had a whole night to sleep! Yeah, I was tired did I mention that?? So I did get up for my AM run, ran a total of 5 miles because I had a bathroom urge and realized I couldn’t hold it till I got home and knew there was a public bathroom close that I could run to, and since it added a bit extra distance, I just finished the 5 miles…I was at a 9 minute pace, not a bad run, kind of cool this morning but not terrible. I might get a short one in tonight as well, we’ll see. Thought I was going to have to go to Home Depot to get a ceiling fan that was going to be installed tomorrow but plans changed so I have more time to procrastinate on looking for and buying it, so why go look now?? I can go home and get some stuff done at home first!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Training Dilemma

OK, so my long run this week is planned for 24 miles. I did 20 this week, I planned 20 miles, 24 miles, then 20 miles for the last 3 long runs…this week is going to be tough as I have a company picnic at an amusement park near me on Saturday, I can probably wait on going there till 12, but that still means getting up earlier than I’m happy with and getting a lot of miles before walking at an amusement park…Sunday won’t work for it either because I’m going to watch the Twin Cities Marathon and I doubt I’d get it in after watching that (although I might try)…I considered just doing 16-20 this week and doing the 24 the next week but that’s 3 weeks before my marathon and I’m not sure if doing that many miles that far out would be good or not (I’m also considering just doing 18 for the last long run anyway). Decisions, decisions…

So for last week I got my 59 miles. Going into my final hard week of training I’m at 496 miles for training for this marathon at 5 weeks to go (officially 5 weeks from yesterday I’ll be running my marathon). I was at 538 with 5 weeks to go in my last marathon. I don’t know if the quality workouts have been there, but I have had two half marathon PRs and a predictor has me running a 3:39:45 based on my half, which I know isn’t the best half I could’ve ran. It’s leaving me too much anxiety and time to think. Last week I was having hamstring/ITB issues, at least it felt that way, right now it seems fine, I’m questioning workouts I have remaining and what more I might do…this week will be my highest mileage week ever with about 70 planned, although I might not do all of that mileage, I’ll hit at least 65 though, unless something unforseen happens…It’s way too early to start fretting now!! My other fear is my weight, I was thinking I only had 4 weeks left to lose, but regardless weight this morning is 6.6 pounds heavier than I want to carry on marathon day. So time to focus on what I’m eating and get the junk out of my diet. I need something to stop me!! Where is my self control…I was doing well maintaining about 4 pounds above what I wanted to weigh, that was going to be easy to lose (at least in theory)…ughh…

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Intervals, Long Run & Expensive Taste

OK, didn’t get time to update on Friday so had to wait till now, Saturday night, so I’m combining runs this week.

I moved intervals to Thursday this week because I was going to be still recovering from my half I figured and I’d be in a place that wasn’t bad for a tempo type run as I was away in Northern Wisconsin at a resort for a legal retreat, more on that later. The run on Tuesday was 10.25 miles with an average pace of 8:45, that’s much slower than the 7:50-8:00 pace I plan for tempo runs, but I guess I had a fast tempo run on Sunday of a longer distance so I can accept it. I have to remind myself this week that I am running the miles but I’m also recovering from a half marathon. My plan was for 60-65 miles this week, and I have down to try to get 68 next week…we’ll see. This week is going to fall short, depending on what the run is tomorrow. Monday I was traveling and didn’t run. Tuesday I had the tempo 10.25 miles through trails and on soft gravel, which is why it was a bit slower…then Wednesday morning I got up and ran 4.3 miles at around 8 minute pace with the resort manager, got home, took a nap and then ran another 6 easy to loosen up. Thursday was intervals, in the rain, it wasn’t as cold as I thought it might be, but was cold enough, and there was some wind up that made it a bit more uncomfortable. The run was 6 x 1 with .5 recovery, plan was for 7:30 pace and a mile warm up and cool down, but I turned it into a 12 mile run.

Mile 1: 7:09
Mile 2: 7:20
Mile 3: 7:33
Mile 4: 6:54 (this one was off, lost signal a bit, probably 7:10)
Mile 5: 7:49 (was partly up a big hill and into a cold wind)
Mile 6: 7:31

Not a bad run all things considered.

Friday I planned to run a morning 4 and an afternoon 4 or 5, but it was cold and rainy and I hadn’t slept well because of a tight hamstring on Thursday night, so I decided to just run 6 in the afternoon, but things were so tight, hamstring or ITB, not sure which is bothering me, but something is bad…I decided it was better to rest it and be ready for the 20 miler I had planned for Saturday.

Got up and not bad weather, a bit cool, but humid and not rainy so it felt comfortable, I was even a bit warm at times. I wanted to run something that would give me uphill at the beginning to prep me better for my marathon but unfortunately didn’t quite get running up hill as much as I would’ve liked, but I got at least a little bit. I averaged a 9:30 pace for the 20, slower than by plan but I did have a couple of stops in there for a stretch, bathroom break and a few water fills, so I was probably closer to 9:15. It felt OK but the ITB (I think that’s what I have finally decided is the problem) was really starting to bother by the end. I’m going to use a heating pad again tonight, stretch a bit more tomorrow and then hopefully get a run in tomorrow to finish out the week, but it’s going to be tough because of the stupid schedule I got at B&N, they are actually expecting me from 10-3…this irritates me as it’s right during the Vikings game. I had to work the first Vikings game and last week I was in CA and not able to watch it (at least not at my cousin's) I ALWAYS work Sunday nights if I work on Sunday…I’m so frustrated and annoyed by this….but I think I’m going to have to keep this job…I have too expensive of taste…a friend and I were at Galleria tonight, and that’s not a cheap mall, and we went to Tiffany & Co. I had never been in there before…I have never liked diamonds…I had never seen a Tiffany diamond before…and while I still don’t want anything with diamonds, I found emeralds that I LOVE…I want my emerald ring from Tiffany…I think to get what I want it’s going to cost me at least a grand…ouch…

Friday, September 22, 2006

Official Results

372nd out of 9395 finishers for top 4%
61st out of 5755 women that finished for top 1%
8th out of 858 for my age group for top .9%

A friend pointed out that my finish of 8th out of my age group put me in the competitive runner’s finish, I really hadn’t thought about it till I managed to get those statistics, that is if I’m doing the calculations right…who would’ve thought. I believe I was in the bottom third of runner’s for my first marathon. It’s amazing how things can change and how just the right training and motivation can really move you. Just a year ago my big goal for a half was to break 2 hours and my big goal for a marathon was to break 4 hours…now I’m focusing on getting a Boston Qualifier and really curious to see what I can run a half in if I train and focus on just that race.

I ran competitively in high school. I joined track when I was in 7th grade and due to a limited number of runners for varsity, I somehow ended up on varsity in 7th grade, I think I ran a total of 2 junior high meets my entire track career and I lettered from 7th grade through 12th. I feel I maxed on my potential in 9th grade with my best times of 5:40 for the 1600 and a 2:30 or so for the 800, I ran right around 60 seconds for the 400 and those were my events (although usually my 800s and 400s were relay legs, those were my best solo times). I ran very sporadically after high school and actually went only to the elliptical trainer for a time for my cardio, I didn’t really like running, but then 4 years ago I had a PT suggest running and listening to books on tape while on the treadmill (I liked the elliptical becasue I could read while I was on it), I was back on after that…and then I found one on-line group and eventually a few others and started talking running with people…4 years ago I said I’d maybe run a 5K someday, 2 years later, and a month after I turned 30 I ran my first marathon. It wasn’t great, my time was a 4:48…but I ran and finished with really poor training. Then just after my 31st birthday I ran and finished in a 4:42 or so…again not great, but going down…Chicago that fall was a 4:20 and then the break through training of this spring that led to my 3:42:53 current PR. I’ve also improved my half marathon 2:14 to a 1:44 (of course the first one almost doesn’t count as I ran it after having ITBS issues during peak training). I don’t run a lot of races, mainly because they are kind of expensive around here and I’d rather spend the money on running shoes, but at some point I'm hoping to try some shorter distances and see what else I have in me. That will probably be the goal I have after I get my BQ and run Boston. Although next year I really do think I'd rather just run shorter distances and have a bit more free time, but it really is unreal the results you can see though, when you put your mind to it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Orange County and Mickey Mouse

Alright, the much owed recap of my week…debating on doing this in parts, we’ll see how long it gets!! And what is it about a 75+ year old mouse anyway??


I woke up and was contemplating getting out of bed when the phone ran. Mom had arrived in Sioux Falls earlier than anticipated and was offered a chance to catch an earlier flight, so I got up and got myself together to meet her sooner…unfortunately didn’t quite get there soon enough to meet her at the gate, but it wasn’t too long before I got through security and met her, grabbed some cash and, at mom’s suggestion, got a beer, even though it was only 10 am…OK…we caught our flight and arrived in Orange County on time, headed to baggage claim and met Connie and Edie easily…Edie is my great aunt and Connie is her daughter that my mom was close to and grew up with. We headed to Connie’s and relaxed, visited some and then had a great dinner of chicken and shrimp kabobs on the grill with some really good chardonnay…some more visiting and then an early night.


I woke up around 7 still on Minnesota time so headed out for an easy run. Ended up doing 4 miles and then grabbed a starbucks before heading back to the house, showered got ready and then mom and Connie drove off in Connie’s Lexus SUV and I took the Lexus coupe and we went over to the expo. They were heading back to visit after the expo and I was meeting a friend for lunch. The expo was nice, had some good stuff, but the line for the merchandise was a bit ridiculous. There was a line to get into the store and then an even longer line to buy stuff…I did get a cute top that has “Get your ears in gear” on the back and my Mickey Mouse ears with the half marathon logo on them, along with the finisher’s pin. The shirts were nice long sleeved technical shirts which is very nice as well. I then headed over to California Pizza Kitchen to meet my friend 5K who I know from an on-line running group I’m part of…lunch was good and we had a nice visit and then it was back to Connie’s where we went and hung out by the pool for a bit and then had dinner of yummy ribs and backed potatoes…Connie is too good to her guests, I’m sure I gained weight while out there!! After lunch we had to head to Brea (we were staying in Yorba Linda and Brea is just the next town over) to pick up my cousin who is in the marines and stationed at 29 Palms, he had a ride into the city over the weekend and chose to come spend it with us. Another fairly early evening as we were still tired and it had been a long day.


The plan for today was the beach. We got up and called Edie to plan for meeting her and headed to her place to pick her up on the way to Huntington Beach to hang out and relax. The beach was great, it was a tiny bit cooler than we might have liked but it was nice, waves were high and we watched the surfer’s and I took a bit of time to wade in the water…then we wandered and shopped a bit before heading to Newport (it was kind of a joke to go there since I’m a closet OC fan) and wandered a bit there before finding a great Italian place to eat at Fashion Island, an upscale mall. We even had a great bottle of wine that I introduced everyone too, it had been my friend Leesa’s and my favorite when in Italy. Dinner was fantastic and then we headed back to Connie’s for an early night, had to be up by 3:30 to make it over to the race by 4:30 (a 20 minute or so drive) before they closed roads.

Sunday - Disneyland Half

Wake up at 3:30…ouch…and everyone chose to come with me, even though no one wanted to get up that early!! We piled in the car at 4 and were parked at Disneyland by 4:30 and headed to the staging area. I had somehow been assigned to Coral A, right behind the elites and thankfully it was looking to be a great day. The weather was cool, probably high 50s, no wind and no humidity. There were 12,000 registered for the race and it was set to be a pretty flat yet nice course. Mom, Connie and Nick hung with me till about 5:30 and then I went to use the port-a-potties and headed to my coral. I was into the coral just before they were cutting people off and making them go to the last one!! No idea how they gave out coral placement because it was not by time from what I could tell!! It was quite packed too. The race was set to start at 6:00 and they had guest speakers including the race director and the mayor of Anaheim and some great music, namely the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean which is a great pick me up. They then had the “special guests”, Mickey and Minnie started the race while Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto were on the monorail just above the start. I even managed to high five Mickey and Minnie on my way through the start! Then I noticed Nick to the side and Connie waving at me, didn’t expect to actually see them till later in the race so that was a nice surprise. I clicked off just over 8 minutes for the first mile, it was quite crowded and many people of course not placed well, but by mile 2 it was thinning out, an advantage of being at the front!! I came out of California Adventure and headed into Disneyland and saw my family off to the side, it was good that I told them I was going to stay to the left and I stuck to that!! Through Disneyland I saw all of the characters except Mickey and Minnie, including a fantastic Captain Jack Sparrow…out of the park and I saw my family again and then headed out for the not so exciting part of the course, but they had marching bands and cheer squads, some dancers and other groups out there to entertain. It was a nice course, fairly flat and I was clicking off good miles, although a bit fast when I had two at 7:20, plan was for a 7:42 average (marathon pace minus 30), the next few were around 7:40s and then started slowing a bit toward the end, the problems with being faster earlier and chit chatting a bit with a few other races. We ran around “the pond” along the river and then into and through Angel’s stadium where they actually announced your name coming into the stadium. After coming out of there we were around mile 11 and then on, back through California Adventure and when I saw mile 13 I managed to kick it up a bit for the finish, and saw the family again…mom even got a few decent pictures. I dashed in, and found Mickey at the end, I wanted to give him a hug, but settled for a high five…had my chip removed, got my medal, my mylar blanket and headed to the food stand. Another advantage to finishing early, no lines and no lines at the massage place either!! I got a massage and then got back and found my family. I grabbed my phone, called my dad and we headed back to Connie’s. When we got back I was able to get official results…my garmin had me running 13.4 miles, a 1:44:16, that makes sense that I was at a longer distance considering the weaving, this also got me a 7:46 pace, only 4 seconds per mile slower than hoped for. Official results had me at 1:44:12, 7:56 pace, 372 overall, 61 for my gender and 8 for my age group…I haven’t seen how many total finished, but not bad. I’m pleased with the results, although I know I can run a half faster than that. My training has been geared toward a marathon though, not the training I would need for a faster half…something to look at though. I know I’m not maxed on a PR there. The race was very well organized, especially for a first one, the expo wasn’t great to deal with, but the race itself was fine. It was a nice course, the weather was good, crowd was a little light in places, but not bad, and the weather was great. I would definitely recommend it for a fun place to run and a nice race…great shirt and medal too!!

After the race we went back to Connie’s, I showered, we ate a bit, then napped and watched football before heading to Edie’s birthday celebration. I met more family that I haven’t seen in 20 or more years and it was a great day…it sucked that we had to leave the next day though.


Flight home was uneventful, we sat next to a nice gentleman that designs theme parks for a living…and told me anytime I wanted to make a trip to one he’d get me in for free!! Nice huh?? After the trip I was ready to be home and relax, but I had to drive to northern WI for a work conference. More on that later though.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I’m Going to Disneyland…

Really and truly I am…I can’t believe I actually leave already tomorrow morning. Wow…Last night I got home and had been planning an interval workout, but in review of my workouts to date I’ve been very lax on my tempo runs, so I decided maybe I should do an easy tempo instead…the thought was 5 miles with 3 miles at a tempo pace of sub 8 minutes, preferably at least MP – 30 seconds. It took a while to work up to the idea I was going to run, but when I finally figured out it was fairly nice out, I got myself out the door and warmed up with a first mile of 8:37, a little faster than normal warm up but it felt good, then the tempo miles,

Mile 1: 7:50
Mile 2: 7:30
Mile 3: 7:28
Mile 4: 7:40

Cool down mile was 7:57…guess I didn’t quite slow down as much as I had thought. And yes, that’s for a total of 6 miles, 4 at tempo pace. I finished the third and figured why not. The first mile was actually on that kind of monster hill that I battle occasionally, that’s the fastest I’ve ever ran up it. I’d say the hill itself is at least a third of a mile, maybe more, and the grade is fairly steep so I felt very good hitting it at that pace, if it hadn’t been for the hill I’m sure the mile would’ve been at close to 7:30. The other miles were over, basically flats I could call it as it’s hilly but just as much uphill as down I would say. The run felt really good though and I finished in 47:09. Not too bad for 6 miles. The only real bummer about the run is the fact that fall is definitely in the air. I know a lot of people enjoy this time of year, but me, I'm not a cold weather girl, this same type of day in the early spring is awesome, as it means days are warming up, things feel great, but in the fall, it feels cooler, things are cooling down and cold is coming...I don't like that. I so enjoy early spring, but I dread early fall...I got home, ate some food quick and then packed up the stuff that I think I’ll need for the weekend. I still need to throw in a gel or two, of course into my checked luggage, what sucks is for this short of a trip I would not normally check a bag, but I pretty much have to now since I have liquid items I need to bring…oh well. What do you do??

Anyway, I was sleepy this morning and I didn’t want to go out in the cold so I stayed in bed and figure on a quick 3-4 miler this afternoon before I have friends come over for dinner maybe, then tomorrow I fly and Friday I want a very easy 3 miler to loosen up the legs before going to the expo and getting my race packet and meeting a friend for lunch hopefully. Saturday we are going to a beach, I don’t care which beach, I just want to lay in the sun and see the ocean…maybe wander through some shops and eat dinner by the ocean. Sunday a very, very early start since you are supposed to be to the start area by 4:30, yet the race doesn’t start till 6…yikes. I don’t normally eat till an hour before I run…guess breakfast will be a banana and peanut butter sandwiches, an old tried and true standby, I’m going to miss what has become normal for me these days with my kashi waffles and egg, but what do you do??

I might have a chance to post a little quick message before I take off, and if I get access to a computer anywhere after my race I’ll try to post, but if these things don’t happen, it will be next Wednesday at earliest that I’ll have time to do any updating. I leave tomorrow at 11:40 and come back around 5:30 on Monday and immediately am driving to northern Wisconsin for a work “legal retreat” at a resort up there until mid-day Wednesday at which time I’ll be driving back and probably crash, but I’ll try to get at least a race report written before I crash. Ah, Sunny California…

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

9/11 Remembered

OK, I wanted to post yesterday but a lot of things were going on both with work and some personal stuff that I’m not sure I’m ready to post about yet…although I might make some comments.

Anyway, I got up for an easy 4 mile run (changed schedule once again) and tried out my Nike Zoom Elites. I’m planning on wearing them for the marathon and I really wanted to try them first. They feel a little less cushy than my Structure Triax, but definitely lighter, my run was just an typical easy one over a typical route and I ran it 30 seconds per mile faster than normal…So anyway, after the run I got ready for work.

I got to my desk, settled in, changed my day calendar and started working…a bit later I glanced at my day calendar and saw the big “11” on it…I knew all along what the day was. I’d been thinking about it for some time, but it really didn’t hit me till I saw it on my calendar. I went to to read headlines and pulled up the video clip they had of coverage from that day 5 years ago…the day that changed this nation so much. I watched only as far as the second plane hitting. I still have the clip up, but I don’t think I can bring myself to watching the towers crash down. I have video tape footage from 9/11 that I haven’t watched. I taped it to save in case some day I had children and I wanted to show them what that day really means and why it’s so important to always remember the one day that this country really came together, the day that other countries reached out and showed their support, caring and understanding too. The day that everyone was happy and proud to claim their American heritage. Even now 5 years later, things have gone so far downhill from that day, the politics, the freedoms, the change, it’s horrible. I wish people could look on that day, remember how it was, and remember that it brought us together. I still remember I was e-mailing with a friend something about work and not enjoying the job and he said something like be thankful you don't work in the WTC, and I was thinking what, so I went to and other news sites and nothing would come up, so I turned on my radio (which I normally do in the morning anyway but hadn't gotten that far yet) and heard the news that the towers had been hit...and I still distinctly remember the DJ, he went by the name Van, saying "Oh my God, the tower just fell"...I was in a state of shock...I went to an area that had TVs during lunch and saw the replays of both towers falling and just could not believe it. I had been there when I was 11, and you could still go to the top of the towers at that time. I saw the Statue of Liberty from the top of them...It's a tragic day and tragic event and now we have movies and TV series and all kinds of things pushing agendas and all the political propaganda, and this all bothers me. Iraq and 9/11 are constantly repeated together and people are supposed to continue to buy into the link…They are two different things and I think the people who died on 9/11 deserve to be remembered and thought of apart from those that have died in Iraq, and those that have died in Iraq should have their lives remembered as separate from 9/11…but unfortunately the politics have to come in from both sides. And it makes me glad to live in a free country (well as free as we can try to claim these days) where I don’t have to follow the leader, I can believe what I want, and not what is force fed to me, and I can try to find out the reality of things and not just what I’m told by the media. I also don’t have to affiliate with any of the parties, because let’s face it, neither of the ruling parties are doing much that is that great. And they both just keep warring with each other. Maybe if everyone could work together instead of focusing on keeping this great power that is bestowed on them, we could find a way to focus inward on the problems inside this country and stop trying to fix everyone else…sigh…To those that died on 9/11 and those that survived to the loss of a loved one, or even survived one of the attack sites, you’re in my thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Chain of Lakes Long Run

Long run day…And a cold turn to the weather...nothing like upper 70s early in the week and even mornings I was still in shorts and today I was in tights and long sleeves, although most people were at least in shorts, I'm just too cold usually for that...short days, cold weather, winter is here, OK so it's only fall, but I'm a spring/summer girl...I don't like this time of year! Thank God I'm going to CA on Thursday!

Plan, originally was 20 miles…I was 4.5 miles in and feeling really good, although running a bit faster than planned, I was going to do 20 miles and then as good as I was feeling, I started thinking about my half next weekend…and I realized I want to run as good a one as I can, so I decided to cut the run short and actually “taper” a bit for this run. At that point I heard my name yelled out, I saw a good friend of mine and stopped just before mile 5 and we chatted…and 25 minutes later I finished mile 5 in 35 minutes…yeah, talked longer than I figured we would, but that’s OK. I continued on, I was running the Chain of Lakes, approximately 10.5-11 miles depending on which paths you use in your run. I decided at that point to finish the chain and do between 10 and 15 miles. I made it to Lake of the Isles and ran it twice and then finished a bit harder on my last couple of miles and finished 13 miles. It felt good and after the run I again ran into my friend who had seen me on my finish, (she had done 10, I was a mile ahead of her when I saw her) we ran over to Whole Foods and I bought a few things then headed to the Farmers’s Market for some nectarines and was pleased to find out my Cortland apples are ready so I bought a bag of them as well, and visited with my friend that works down there for a bit. Then I headed home, took a bath, crawled into bed and took an hour and a half nap, got up, made dinner and am now getting myself ready for work…well, after I finish this I really need to get ready for work!! I decided against the 25K tomorrow and instead am doing a shorter run which will put me at low 40s for the week, I’m cutting next weeks workouts a bit easier to rest the legs, will run a hard half, take a couple of days to recover and then 3 hard weeks to the taper for my marathon…I can’t believe it’s coming up so quickly.

Mile 1: 9:41
Mile 2: 9:07
Mile 3: 9:16
Mile 4: 9:32
Mile 5: 32:44
Mile 6: 8:43
Mile 7: 8:45
Mile 8: 8:48
Mile 9: 9:26
Mile 10: 8:47
Mile 11: 8:28
Mile 12: 8:26
Mile 13: 8:15

I’m going to assume the 33 minute mile in there was actually about a 9:00-9:15 pace, so averaged a 9:05 or so for the run…not bad…

Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday, September 8 Intervals

Well, I managed to get up this morning at 5:10 and after the typical dinking around and not getting going like I should, had to brush teeth (normally something I do after the run, not sure why before this morning) and make the bed (again something for after the run) and finally did make it out the door at 5:23 on my GPS…I had been dreading this workout all week, I really love interval workouts, but I don't like mile repeats, I prefer the half mile ones, after having pushed back the workout from Tuesday to Thursday and then skipping it, it's no wonder I was killing time to not go out...when I got out, I knew I really only had time for 5 x 1 miles this morning, which I think is part of what I was doing in my dinking around, so I set up the intervals for that, did a 1 mile warm up, stretched a little and then did my miles with the following splits:

Mile 1: 7:17
Mile 2: 7:08
Mile 3: 7:22
Mile 4: 7:05
Mile 5: 7:01

Goal I had written down when I started the schedule was 7:30 pace, obviously I’ve been going faster than that, it’s better than the last ones so I’m happy about that, although I will admit that most of them had at least a slight downhill and not much uphill (number 4 I was shocked at cause it started on an uphill) so that does help. This morning was cool, but very humid, cool full moon was setting, but it’s hard running in the dark. I hate that the days are getting so short so quickly. I was begging the sun to come up but it wasn’t up till after 6, I was getting a very strange sensation of vertigo running in the dark. This morning I didn’t bring my MP3, haven’t done that for a few runs now cause it’s causing me problems (I think the headphones are bad yet again, I’ve been through 4 pair with this thing!) so I ran without…I did see a few other runners and eventually a couple of walkers out. There were 2 girls and then a third that joined them and I think they just did laps around the block…I saw one other girl at one point too on her own…nice to know I live in a neighborhood that’s safe.

Looks like another busy weekend…I have to work tomorrow night and Sunday night…I so HATE that!! I’m also attempting to do my long run tomorrow at 20 miles. Yes, 20 miles…That was the plan last week and I only got 18.5, I know I should cut back this week but I think I feel OK enough that I’m going to do that even with the hard 9 miles today (OK, only 5 of them were hard, but I did an average pace just under 9 minutes for the entire run). This week is going to be done on a fairly flat course though, the chain of lakes in Minneapolis, twice, and water stops so I don’t have to wear my fuel belt…all this in prep for my half next weekend…I’m going to try to keep the pace around 9:30 or slower just to give my body a rest, then a slight taper next week and a hope of running the half at an 8 minute or so per mile pace. My half split at my marathon in June was 1:50, 8:24 pace, I think 8 minute is feasible…we’ll see how I feel that day though.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Busy Labor Day Weekend

Alright, so it was again a busy weekend and I didn’t get the free time that I would’ve liked but oh well.


A friend of mine had a birthday on Thursday so since I was working I told her Friday I’d take her out since I was running on Saturday anyway, she could drink and I’d drive her around…another friend of ours she hadn’t seen in a while since he works early in the morning (3:30 am) most days so I had him come over to my place and hang out for a bit with us, he even brought his guitar and played and sang for us before we went out, then he went to sleep at my place since it was closer for him to drive to work from there anyway and we went out and met a couple other friends of mine for a few drinks and just to hang out. We were all kind of tired and called it a night around midnight.


Long run of 20 miles planned. I got up around 9 and had breakfast of 2 nutrigrain egos and a scrambled eggbeater with cheese and some water. I headed out for the run with a fuel belt of 1 bottle of water and 2 of powerade (I could’ve find my 4th bottle) around 10:15 and decided to run to my office and back…about 8 ½ miles on other trips I’ve taken, but I went a slightly different route and it was at a little over 9 when I got to the place to turn into the grounds, I went down around the office and around the little island that is in our pond and then back which had me at 10 miles to head home…it was a bit warm but not too bad, and at this point I finally ate one of my fruit leathers I had with, this should’ve told me something…I was heading back and not feeling quite as good as I had been on the way there…I got close to my house and hit the 18.5 mile mark and was so thirsty I couldn’t even consider going on without some water and with my house right there, I just didn’t want to stop and drink and head back out, so I bagged the run at 18.5 and realized I definitely need more than the breakfast and one fruit leather to make it 20 miles and 14 ounces of powerade and 7 ounces of water are not enough to drink when you are out in somewhat warm weather (70s) for a 20 mile run…gee, wonder why it didn’t feel so great. But I did manage to average a 9:11 pace, not quite what I wanted (was shooting to negative split running at marathon pace at least the last 8 miles) but was good I guess all things considered.

Mile 1: 9:07
Mile 2: 9:08
Mile 3: 9:09
Mile 4: 9:10
Mile 5: 8:58
Mile 6: 8:53
Mile 7: 8:44
Mile 8: 8:10
Mile 9: 8:57
Mile 10: 9:09
Mile 11: 9:02
Mile 12: 9:19
Mile 13: 9:35
Mile 14: 9:14
Mile 15: 9:19
Mile 16: 9:33
Mile 17: 9:46
Mile 18: 9:38
Mile 18.5: 5:23

After the run I took a nap and vegged most of the rest of the afternoon till friends came over and we went out and I drank about 2 too many cocktails that night.


Got up and recovered enough to head to my friends for her son’s first birthday party. With myself, her, her parents, her husband, her two kids, 2 friends of theirs and their 2 kids and then all of her husband’s brothers and sister-in-laws (3 of each) and their kids and his parents (each couple has 3 kids I believe except the one with 5) there were about 9 kids under the age of 5 there and just too many people!! We had good pizza and cake though and then I headed home and had a friend come over as I was going to grill t-bones, we had that baked potatoes and asparagus and then later some angel food cake and cookies and cream ice cream I had around the house…yummy dinner. And my friend works at the farmer’s market and had been working that morning and brought me the most gorgeous bouquet of 2 dozen roses…I love flowers…particularly roses…we ended up watching a movie and crashing a little early as I was tired from the night before and he had to get up early.


Got up and did a little cleaning even though it was finally a nice day and the sun was out I spent a good part of the morning inside. I finally went for a run around noon of 5 miles and the legs finally seemed to shake off the heaviness they had been feeling and I got an average pace of 8:30 so not too bad. Got home and a friend had called, the one that works at the farmer’s market, he had left stuff at my place and was going to pick it up and asked if I wanted him to bring me some corn from the market for dinner, which sounded good so he did and I also made some baby potatoes I had left over from the market that I put in the oven with fresh basil and oregano and threw some chicken breasts on the grill….we ate and then a friend came over and the three of us and her dog went for a walk around Lake Calhoun, after which we went back to my place, she went home and he and I watched some TV and crashed early since I had to get up…


Catch up day at work, so much going on it seems…ughh…I had planned my interval workout of 5 or 6 x 1 mile repeats with half mile recovery yesterday, didn’t go in the morning as I was tired and just didn’t feel like doing it yesterday afternoon, so instead of did the 8 mile tempo run I had planned for Thursday and cut it down to 7 miles…plan had been for 6 miles at 8:00 pace, well I managed to average an 8:17 and got close to 8 minute miles for 5 so I called it good. I’m trying to relax the legs a bit this week with my half now just a week away….

Mile 1: 8:53 warm up
Mile 2: 8:09
Mile 3: 7:54
Mile 4: 8:05
Mile 5: 8:03
Mile 6: 8:05
Mile 7: 8:53 cool down

So busy weekend and now I really need to get to doing some work too!! One nice thing about yesterday though, I had come home to find a bag of snack size Hershey bars in my fridge and a 1/2 pound bar on my pillow...I am going to get so fat, but I love that I was thought of and given such a nice treat. I love surprises like that.