Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Getting Colder

That is what it said when I left work yesterday...I ran about 45 minutes afte r I posted that, later that evening it was showing me -10 or so...I actually was warm enough for the 7 miles I ran, but it didn't feel great. I mean I could've kept on, except the hills, which were a pain (particularly the larger one, I ended up slowing down quite a bit for it). My plan had been to run the 7 miles (1:06:35) and do 10 x 100 m strides at some point in it...I attempted them, managed 5 or 6, but I doubt any of them were 100 meters, most were on the downhills and all felt really tough. I don't know if it's all the extra clothes (I was wearing 4 tops again and 3 things on the bottom), the breathing through the gator, not eating enough during the day or what was the problem. I know all day yesterday I was feeling hungry, but I know I ate enough too. I did do 45 minutes of elliptical trainer at lunch, and Monday I had done 30 minutes elliptical and 25 of strength during lunch. I guess I'm going to have to find other ways to occupy my lunch if I'm not running and get back to workouts in the morning and afternoon, obviously even though the elliptical I don't find incredibly hard, it must be tiring me in some way. Or I could push the time of the second run back, but that doesn't seem optimal either (as I get at least a little during daylight right now).

I do have a bit of a cold coming on now though too. I have managed to avoid it all winter and suddenly it's on me. It sucks. I'm debating work tonight, if I should or should not go, and the rest of the week. It's going to keep getting colder. As it stands right now, this is the forecast through Sunday:

Not pleastant at all huh? Anyway, I think, just to test it, I need to do some running indoors. The treadmill not the optimum cause it always feels harder, but it dawns on me that I do have a cold coming on too, which is making me feel less energetic (OK, it's not really just coming on, it's here and has been for the last couple of days). I think what I might do is take up the option of the Dome running (running around inside the Metrodome for $1 on Tuesday and Thursday) this week, even though it means a trek into downtown Minneapolis after work which is a horrible commute...although I do know some back options that might not be so bad...Anyway, I could get a feel for running in shorts, not on a treadmill, over flat, non-windy conditions and see if I'm really as slow as I feel. About 3 laps to a mile...there is another option of a track that is indoor that I can use for $3 a time not far from home and I think is open for most times, softer surface and 6 laps to a mile...guess we'll see. I just can't buy that the clothes are slowing me down that much, but I suppose they could be...it'd be nice to think that at least. I should weigh myself in shorts and in the winter stuff and see how much of a difference it is.

Officially In...

What is that you are wondering? That would be the back of my cancelled check. I don't have the card yet that says I'm officially in Grandma's, but with the fact that they cashed my check, that means I'm in. Not there I had much doubt I would get in, I did register early enough, but this makes it 100% official. Now I really have to find a place to stay. Camping prior to a marathon so not the best option in so many ways, sleeping on hard ground (I can get a hold of an air mattress, but still not great necessarily for sleeping on), being in a tent, which I'm not used to (I love camping, but haven't been in ages), breakfast over a campfire the next morning (very, very early), etc...there are defintiely issues. The dorms, only slightly better because you have shared rooms, people going in and out at all hours, none of the, I'm going to bed, everyone else has to as well and be quiet thing...but both of those options are better than the 3 hour drive to Duluth from home...I could probably get the race packet delivered (I did see that for $25 you could do that so I woudn't have to be up there Friday, but then I'd miss the race expo)....Anyway, one day soon I need to start calling hotels and getting my name on the wait list. Back up, there is always the hope mom and dad will come up with their 5th wheel. I slept in it the day before my PR. Of course where will all my invitees sleep then?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Another Cold Day

And I headed out...this is what it gave me when I finished my run. It felt a little cold at the start, well, it felt cold walking from the building to my car, across the parking ramp, and it felt cold walking from my garage into the house (even though my garage is attached, it's usually easier to go out and through the front door, messy garage). I threw on as much as I had worn on Sunday and headed out the door...and within about 1/2 a mile I was almost too hot. I did get colder again, it was windy in a few spots, but I managed a 6 mile run, versus the 5 I had planned (the thing about the cold is that once you get moving in it and it took you so long to dress, and it's going to take so long to get the layers off, you might as well stay out longer) . It was slow yet again, 55:29, but oh well. I just wasn't feeling like lugging my fat, heavily layered body over some of the hills I guess.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cold Day

That is the current intellicast weather, on weather.com it's showing -3 (must not do the what it is and what it feels like that intellicast does). It's 10:15, I finished running about 35 minutes ago. Bsically I rolled out of bed and just pulled on layer after layer...a light tech layer, a 3 season top, a hooded heavier tech top that's kind of a 3 season layer and my longer, windbreaker jacket on top. Heavy tights, lined windbreaker pants and heavy running pants on bottom. My wool socks, balaclava (which I did eventually have to lower off my mouth), my hood off my top pulled up and another hat on tome of that...and then my glittens on my hands. I may have been a bit overdressed, but I never felt cold, and to me that's key. My plan had been maybe 6 miles today, I went out thinking I'd do 5, but managed 7. It wasn't fast by any means (1:04:45) but felt OK. I finished the week then with 39 miles, in staying with my upper 30s trend, good base building for things this year. I took two days off of running this week, and one day was completely free of even cross training (although I did a little bit of core work and stretching yesterday).

Yesterday was a relaxed day too. I didn't have to work, and I didn't go out, other than to run a couple of errands, one to go spend a $10 gift certificate that I had that expired yesterday (and got me a work shirt and pants for $16.99, although I failed to find any jeans which was something I had mainly been looking for). I thought about going to the grocery store, but it was cold and I didn't feel like making more stops than I needed. I have to go out later today to work and I'm so not looking forward to it. Oh well...it will keep me from being a pig like I was yesterday. We won't even dicusss what I ate...no more of that!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Long Run and Friday Festivities

The temps held, the wind came up a bit, but I got my longer run in last night. I even managed an OK pace, well, paced it out the way Pfetz suggests, slower first half, faster second half...I got started right after 5, finished just after 7, had about 30 minutes of sun, so I ran a couple of laps around the nearby park paths that I tend to avoid when it's dark (I figure a girl running alone in a semi-wooded and pretty secluded area not a good idea) and then headed out into my neighborhood streets. I had decided at one point that 12 would be OK, based on the first few miles, they were slow the way it was supposed to be, but my legs were feeling really heavy and I didn't think the 15 that had been at the back of my mind was a good idea. I did hit a point where I decided 13 would be good though and finally settled on 14.

Mile 1 - 9:30
Mile 2 - 9:33
Mile 3 - 9:46
Mile 4 - 9:36
Mile 5 - 9:06
Mile 6 - 9:22
Mile 7 - 9:02
Mile 8 - 8:56
Mile 9 - 8:52
Mile 10 - 8:30
Mile 11 - 8:55
Mile 12 - 9:02
Mile 13 - 8:40
Mile 14 - 8:57

It was nice to get another negative split run in, even with the way my legs are feeling. I might take today off, just to let them loosen up a bit.

The rest of the evening was quite interesting...I was supposed to meet J2, but never did get in touch with him, so I called another friend as we had discussed maybe going out, we haven't been out in a while, she's been going through some things and I just figured she'd let me know when she was ready to make an appearance again, so we made a trip out, and it was a fun evening. She wanted to celebrate being done with her annual review, so we had a shot to start the evening and figured that was it. I had a couple of beers and not having eaten much combined with running 14 miles it all went straight to my head. We decided to call J2 and our friend C so went into the bathroom and called...Called C first and he wasn't sure about going out due to being a little broke right now, but we offered to buy him a couple of drinks so he came down...then I called J2 and he declined and apologized for not getting back to me. He was on call and needed to be available in case people started calling, needing him (he's a defense attorney). A few drinks and couple more shots and my friend and I were feeling good, C and I were chatting and it was getting close to time to leave and we realized my girlfriend was missing, she had taken off to go to a friends place nearby but had intended on being back, we closed out her tab for her and C gave me a ride home (since I had ridden with my friend, thing was, she wasn't going to be able to drive anyway, so it's good she went to the friend's place). It was quite a fun night, but definitely don't need to do that again for a while!! So glad I had the run done last night now for so many reasons...(the temps did drop as predicted).

Today so far I have been lazy. I made a trip to get some highlighting stuff, plan to put highlights in my hair before going out later. My girlfriend found out a boy she was checking out on new years and who had been out last night is going to be at a place nearby tonight and we might make a swing by to say hi so she can flirt with him. Neither of us plans to have the kind of fun we had last night though!

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Quick Update

I have been mulling around a few things in my mind but no real time lately it seems to get an update out. I wanted to at least get something posted, my workouts for the last couple of days if nothing else. Wednesday I finally took a day off from running, I had run the last 6 days and my knee was feeling a little tinge, so I figured it was a good day for a rest. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and then 25 minutes of strength training instead. I was supposed to meet a friend for drinks that evening so not really time for a run anyway, but I kind of bailed on that as I just wasn’t feeling up to it that night, so instead I went to the grocery store and vegged and ate a bunch of crap that had found its way into my basket (no idea how that happened, at least they were out of my Edy’s Vanilla Bean so the ice cream at least was left behind). Yesterday I did a 6 mile run, no GPS, just went off knowing the distances from previous runs, path was slightly snow covered in a few spots, but thankfully mostly clear so that made it easier and it was a semi-pleasant day tempwise. I managed just over 9 minute pace over some good hills, still not very fast, but as I said, some of the path was still slightly crappy…I had to work at B&N last night, and was so not in the mood…just felt crabby all night, but made it through, probably was crabby from hunger which is why I wolfed down so much of the pizza that was bought by our manager for whoever was working that night…and it came just before my break, talk about timing! Caloriewise I was good yesterday but fatwise…so bad…

Today was a bit crabby feeling at work, at least this morning, not quite so bad now. I’m planning on running my longer run of the week tonight too. There are a couple of reasons for that. For one, I have plans to go out tonight and I’d like to be able to sleep in and feel crappy if need be and not have to get up for a long run (one of the last party nights before the real training begins). For two, well, isn’t one good enough?? But no, seriously temp right now is 40 and it’s sunny. Granted it won’t be for much of my run due to the early sunset still, but tomorrow shows a high of 19 and Sunday a high of 11…hmm…if I’m going to be outside for 2 hours of running, what temps do I want to run in…I’m probably only doing 13, not sure I’ll quite have time for the 15 I’d really like to do, but we’ll also see how I’m feeling. If it’s good I’ll continue. Funny thing is, the training plan I’m following has me start my first long run at 12 miles. (I’m going to adjust that) And the plan states that you should only start it if you have a base of at least 25 per week (I’ve run 38, 47 and 38 the past 3 weeks and my last week of last year was at least in the 30s) and at least one long run in the last month that is equal to the first long run of the plan…hmmm…I’ve run 10, 15, 10 the last three weeks and the plan starts at 12…I think I’m good.

Anyway, as far as plans tonight, earlier this week J2 had suggested going out one night this weekend, I had tentative plans (that have since fallen through) tomorrow, so tonight we are maybe doing something. Otherwise a friend e-mailed to get dinner and maybe a drink, I told her if this didn’t happen and/or if we just went to the local hangout, she’d be welcome to come. Otherwise tomorrow night her and I will end up out doing something I’m sure. I haven’t had a Friday and Saturday night off in eons…but I have to work on Sunday…however, I have all of next weekend off…I’m so excited!! What am I going to do with myself?? Anyway, better get back to doing some work. Will update over the weekend as time permits (and I have some free time it looks like!!)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ask a Stupid Question…

Today I finished my run at lunch time (7 miles, 1:04:40) and was back in the locker room and a woman was in there changing, looked at me coming in, obviously dressed for outside and asked, “Is it cold?” with amazement in her voice…OK, it’s January, we live in Minnesota, what do you think? Of course it’s cold. The temp when I left my desk to go run said 22 feels like 18, it’s now 23 feels like 19. Not a big difference, but in most peoples minds, 20s, below freezing, that’s cold. I myself find that to be very cold. But I am having issues with the treadmill so I’m adapting. I dress for the weather. So another answer to the question is, that no, it’s not cold, because I dressed for it, plus I was running…you run, you create body heat, with no windchill and temps in the 20s and the right clothes, 20s can almost be balmy. So I made my announcement about Grandma’s yesterday. I have the registration form in the mail, now I’m trying to find a place to stay. Of course all rooms are sold out and have been for months, but they do open up as people’s plans change, I need to call hotels and get on a list to have a room reserved if something does open up. There are always the dorms as an option too. I have to call on them in March. The University of Minnesota has a branch up there and for Grandma’s weekend they offer the dorms for rent for the night for $20 or so I think, so that’s my back up option…that and camping. Another thought, there are campgrounds nearby, I do have a tent…doesn’t sound like the best sleeping conditions though for prior to a marathon, but it will do in a pinch. I also invited J2 to come up there with me, working on my support crew, maybe I can even get him to run in part of it with me, I might need the help later in the race.

I’m 20 weeks out. I have the training plan I’m going to use and it’s even in excel, if I can figure out best way to do it, I’m going to try to link it to my blog…I’m also still doing a few adjustments to it and figuring out exactly which plan I’m going to use because the first couple of weeks of the 55 miles plan is a little shorter on miles than I’m at right now, but maybe that’s good because today’s run still felt sluggish. My legs were just dead feeling. Is it because of the fact that I have run in so much slush and glop the last few days that I am more tired than I think? I have run everyday since last Wednesday (although I did just have a 7 day week and it felt just fine), but I haven’t been doing any “hard” workouts, no speed work, not hard hill repeats or anything, just running, so you’d think I would be fine. Anyway, I ended the run today with 10 x 100 meter strides with a 50 jog recovery on it…they were kind of hard…I was on at least dry roads (most of what I ran today was dry, but it was quite hilly, could be part of why I was feeling sluggish I suppose). It is nice though that the workout is done, means I can run errands after work, go home, do some ab stuff, clean up a bit and finally put my Christmas stuff away (yes, I’m one of those) and still relax for the evening. Tomorrow I think I’ll just cross and strength train and skip a run…or maybe I’ll take Thursday off…we’ll see what tomorrow brings…

Monday, January 22, 2007

Decision Time

I said in January I would make a decision on any marathons I might run this year, that is if I was even going to run one. I've been maintaining my mileage (long runs of up to 15 miles, mileage in the lower 30s to mid 40s), keeping up with running 5-6 days, even 7 at times in a week. I am definitely at a good base and ready for any new challenges this year. I've been mulling things in my mind, and my registration form came in the mail on Saturday (I didn't actually get it till Sunday as I didn't get the mail on Saturday). I have it filled out, I have a few potential options on places to stay if no hotels open up (they are full right now, but things usually come open as people change their minds, they just book well in advance to keep options open), I just have to write the check and put it in an envelope...once I do that, I'm committed...if I don't do that soon, the marathon will fill up. Of course if I didn't get in, there is a 2nd option that would use the same training time and plan...I always said I didn't want to repeat a course. If I'm going to run 26.2 miles, I want to do it in different places...but then again, I think I decided it was the optimal course for my goal this year. And if not, it's perfect timing to have my backup plan...(or two)...

I think I am going to do it though. I need a goal. I need a race. I need a plan. And I need to get some of the stupid thoughts and ideas from last weekend out of my head!! A new focus. It will keep me from going out as often, which is honestly a good thing. (not that I consider going out once a week all that often)

So....I guess Grandma's it is...I just wrote the check.

Tonight I'll be refining my training schedule (I'm going to use Pfitzinger's 18 weeks, 55 miles or less slightly modified because I want a few weeks a little higher than 55 miles and I'm at 20 weeks right now and I want to get started on a training plan this week), locating the tune-up races I want to put in (one or two of them are already in place) and working more on lossening up this damn hamstring so everything will be a go in June...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Running in Snow...Again

OK, granted, I do live in Minnesota, but come on, this is getting ridiculous. Usually March is the month we get most of our snow, of course then I don't know how the roads have been in past years because this is the first time I've braved the cold and run outside even in the coldest of weather...I guess I can console myself in the fact that I know it's a great workout, sure it might be slow, but running on loose snow really has to be building up my leg strength, particularly running up hills when the path is not at all clear (in fact the snow plow went by while I was running and made my path worse!). I did have a bit of clear spots, but had to keep moving out of the way of the oncoming cars (and noticed how many idiots were out when it was actually snowing and they didn't have their lights on, man does that make someone hard to see!!). I got home and had frozen eyebrows (it was coming down while I was running) and a 9:56 pace (1:39:27) for 10 miles. Oh well. I was ready to cut it short earlier, but kept on. I had planned 10-12 miles, if I wasn't working today I might have gone the 12, but I feel OK with the 10. I think with the way the roads were, I had the equivelant of 12!!

My MP3 crapped out for weird things at 3 miles, so I ran the last 7 with just my thoughts, which I probably did need, it was kind of one of those things, maybe by tomorrow I can have some of it together and put a post out on it...although it was, to a degree, kind of personal, and some things I'm not sure I'm ready to share, particularly on an open place where you just never know who might be reading!! But we'll see.

Anyway, not much time today, work in an hour and a half...and I worked last night too...sigh...I should call in sick. I HATE when I get scheduled both weekend days. I thought I had made it clear no more of this, but apparently it hasn't been learned yet. I'll say, I think this is the last time I'll do it though. If I'm scheduled Saturday and Sunday again, I have a feeling a cold or flu bug might come on!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Weight vs. Time, and Pregnancy (and no, not mine!!)

OK, sorry about that...Blogger apparently at up my post. I had a much longer one...sigh...

Here it is. This is a calculator that you can use to compare weight you are at and a time you achieve compared to what you might run at different weights.


According to this, it proves my point and everytime someone says "oh you don't need to lose weight" and yes, I realize, I'm not overweight, I fit getting toward the low end of what I'm supposed to be for my age, height etc, but I'm trying to lose it for running. According to that, the weight I was in June and my time, if I had been at the weight I am trying to get to, I would've been able to run a 3:39, which would've been my BQ time. Even just 2.6 pounds makes a huge difference...Now I have the proof. Of course the disclaimer is that if you are below your optimal weight it can be detrimental to your running performance, but the weight I want to be is still 5-10 pounds heavier than the lowest end of my range anyway. Plus Paula Radcliffe was my height and 116 pounds at the Olympics and I'm not trying to get to that weight!!

And a congrats to my friends Heather and Jon and the pitter patter of little feet that will be coming along most like end of September...Colin (3) and Alex (1) will have a new brother or sister and the family will be complete in Heather's mind. Funny thing...they dated for 7 years prior to getting married, then they were married 6 months before trying for a first and about 3-4 months later Colin was conceived...then after Colin was just over a year, they wanted to try for a 2nd...and what do you know, just after that Alex was conceived...Alex turned a year in September and December was the last month of Heather's BC so she went off and here is number 3...what is my point in all this? BC works if used properly!! I just find it funny how many people accidentally get pregnant, obviously something isn't being done.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Flurried Run

Intellicast said a 40% chance for snowshowers/flurries this afternoon in the greater metro area…ummm….Intellicast was right. I set out for my run around 12:15 or so…I was going to go between 6 and 8 miles, pretty much right from the start it was flurrying…nothing bad, it really wasn’t bothersome and hey, actually it’s usually almost warmer when it snows anyway (temp was 22 felt like 16 before I left). I was warm enough, it was just interesting running with the snow. And of course the paths around work were cleared, but not great and that light layer is enough to make things slick…I also know when I got back to the building Garmin had some issues with losing signal, I should’ve taken a different route as it told me mile 7 was 11:11 pace. I know it wasn’t that slow. There were some hills and it was slick and I was feeling it a bit, but I did not slow down that much from the 9:15 or so pace I had been pretty much running up to that point. Plus the fact that it told me I was at 6.66 miles and then when I had run at least another .10 it was still saying that (something about that number maybe?), so anyway, mile 7 was long I went most likely just over 8. Problem with where I work, we have two 14 story towers I run near to finish up, might have to adjust that part of my run in the future!! Overall not a bad run though. Just slower due to the slick and hills. I’m glad I got it in though. I might do 30 minutes on the elliptical after work too, but we’ll see. Right now I’m still trying to warm up. It wasn’t bad while I war running and I was warm right after, but now an hour or so after finishing I have a hot cocoa and I’m still cold! I could so snuggle under a fuzzy blanket and take a nap right now too. 1:17:27 for the time. A 9:40 pace. Definitely not a good pace, but considering the conditions, I guess it wasn’t bad. Plus I had 47 miles last week and after today I’m at 18 for this week. Haven’t finalized a plan for the rest of the week, but I’m thinking I’ll have at least 35-40…I did take yesterday off from running though. I elliptical and strength trained and worked last night. Tomorrow will be elliptical and strength during the day and then a run after work. I should get that yoga going too…maybe I’ll do that tomorrow morning. I need to start getting up earlier anyway…prep for those double days or days I need to run before work to get it done.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Running and MOA

Instead of a run at lunch yesterday, when it was only 2 and below freezing with windchill, I opted for the elliptical trainer for 45 minutes during my lunch and decided to run after work. MNFirefly and I were going to meet up, but opted to do that at 7 and I got home, changed clothes, finished up making the Mexican Chicken I was cooking (yummy and recipe to follow), changed and went out the door, figuring I should be able to get 6 miles in and still get back to change and meet up on time...umm...no, ended up with only 5, which is fine, it's still a real struggle out there, my pace was over 9:30 per mile, roads are dry in a few spots but mostly packed snow and some soft stuff that would stick to my shoes and make it even harder to run, those hills are even more difficult when you don't have perfect footing!! It was also quite cold and even at the end when I'm usually fine, my hands were starting to get cold...I don't think I was running fast enough. I think temps were around 8-10...yeah, not much warmer, but a little bit better!!

Anyway, got home and it was 6, just enough time to jump in the shower, stretch a tiny bit, make up my taco salad, eat, dry my hair and head out the door to get to the Mall of America by 7...met MNFirefly and we headed down to find a place to sit, have a drink and chat...we ended up at Kokomo's and had a couple of tropical girly drinks that were yummy, then wandered around the mall. Main reason for meeting there was so she could keep moving and stretch the legs...not normally the place I ever want to go, but I'd say on a Tuesday night in January, it isn't too terrible, I guess I could be conned into going again. We chatted, she got some tea at a tea place, I almost had cookies and/or ice cream, yogurt or a smoothie, but said not to all...We went to Basin and smelled bath things and then the motherload...we ended up by Brookstone...it was quiet, so we had easy access, and I fell in love...I so NEED this!! OK, this isn't the one that either of us actually sat in, mine was a slightly lower model but had a CD option in the chair and it would massage to music, MNFirefly sat in the lower end model of this one (the difference is the new one has a foot massage thing too), this chair is only $4500....it's so worth it isn't it?? They have payment plans...I don't know if I would ever leave my house though if I actually had one. I could fall asleep in the thing. I was already about sold on the older $800 ones they had, these models we sat in actually do a body scan and find accupressure points and focus the massage on them. If you haven't been to Brookstone (or Sharper Image) in a while, go check them out!! So worth it and a great thing to loosen up muscles after a tiring run!!
So I think today I'm finally going to take a running day off. I'm strength training today and some elliptical, unless I opt for the treadmill, but doubt that will happen. That's 3 days of crosstraining already this week...now, granted, two of those crosstraining days also included a run, but unless i decide to run at 10:30 tonight, I won't get getting one in, unless it's on the treadmill.
Mexican Chicken
1 pound of chicken
1 tbsp chili powder
3 tbsp lime juice
1 cup salsa
Corn and/or black beans as desired
Put the chicken in the crockpot. Mix the chili powder and lime juice together and put over the top of the chicken. Cook the chicken in the crockpot till it's done (3-4 hours on high all day on low worked as well), then shred the chicken with forks, put back in the crockpot with the salsa black beans and/or corn and cook another 30-60 minutes (works great to cook it all day, come home, shred it, put in the salsa and head out for a run!!). I like it over chips with fixings for a taco salad, also works well for nachos, chicken tacos, quesadillas and whatever else you might find good.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Monday's 5...in Snow

Ah, an easy 5 miles…and yes, this was an easy run, something like 47:30 or something for time, about 9:30 miles each mile that I caught the split of. Hmm…9:00 pace for 15 on Sunday and only 9:30 for 5, recovery day? Yes, in part, but also the snow fairy visited us on Sunday and it dropped probably 4 inches of new powder that made the commute into work on Monday fun…anyway, the streets were not very clear, well, they weren’t dry, there was packed snow and some fresh type powder on some of the roads where I was running, so needless to say I was taking it slower and easier so as to avoid falling since I have yet to obtain some Yaktrax…and I’m back and forth on getting them now too. I tried last year, they were just out of them in the size I needed, and then I didn’t run outside in the cold so what did it matter? This year I thought I would only be running inside again, but found out how much I’m hating the dreadmill this year, so I haven’t been on it much and mostly just outside for my runs…we have only had two snowstorms really so far this year, and while we could get more, it’s not a guarantee, and I don’t really mind running in the snow, sure it slows me down, but I do know it also gives work to other muscles so can be a good thing too (I know I read something in Runners World about running in the snow to build up leg strength). So, will I buy Yaktrax? Hmm…one more snow storm and maybe…it probably is going to take a bad fall to convince me though. Yes, I’m one of those!! But on another great note, my stuff from National Running Center came yesterday. I tried out the illuminite jacket and it definitely makes me visible (I took a picture to see how much it lit up and it does!!), and something else that made me extremely happy is one of the jackets that I paid only $10 for, but was out of my size when I ordered (said only large left) came to me in size medium!! They screwed up technically on my order, but it was a fantastic screw up…so I now have enough jackets I think to get me through the winter. I might need one more pair of heavy tights and maybe one more heavy top and I think I will really be set for all things…

An interesting note about snow too. It’s amazing how quiet it is. Yes, I realize, it’s not like rain, you aren’t going to hear it beating on your roof, but on Sunday, the sounds of snow that I heard were the plow going by. That was my first indication that it was snowing. I had seen a weather report that said a chance for flurries (flurries to me does not mean 4 inches!), when I had headed out for my run around 11:30 am, it was sunny (I was wearing sunglasses that were fogging up from my breath coming out of my face mask!!) by around 1:45 when I was finishing, I was noticing that I didn’t seem to need the sunglasses quite as much, and was wondering why the sun was setting so soon…it was probably an hour or two later when the snow started, but I hadn’t looked outside so I was surprised when I heard the plow and saw what was going on…OK, I think I need to look outside a bit more often!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday Long Run

This week was a bit messed up since I had to do my longer run on Sunday vs. Saturday due to a change in my work schedule. Advanced Marathoning has long runs on Sunday and typically (I say typically cause all kinds of things could be changing with a new manager doing schedules) I work on Saturday night and have Sunday off, so Sunday as a long run day might just work better anyway, but we'll see. Anyway, I did do the long run today....15 miles of it. That's more a "mid-distance run" I'd say, normally, at least for marathon training the shortest long run I think I do is around 12? If I remember right. But 15, when I'm not officially into a program yet (it's not 18 weeks out yet and I haven't "officially" decided on or registered for anything as of yet...) but according to Advanced Marathoning, in just the basic glimpses I've given the programs at least, long runs, for pacing that I want to run my marathon at, are typically done first half at around 9:30 or so pace, increasing to 8:50 or so for the second half of the run...OK, so how about this?

Mile 1 – 9:34
Mile 2 – 9:16
Mile 3 – 9:05
Mile 4 – 9:20
Mile 5 – 9:04
Mile 6 – 9:10
Mile 7 – 9:10
Mile 8 – 8:51
Mile 9 – 8:44
Mile 10 – 8:51
Mile 11 – 9:02 (this mile did start with an uphill)
Mile 12 – 8:49
Mile 13 – 8:42
Mile 14 – 8:47
Mile 15 – 8:46

Not bad. Almost all negative splits and except for mile 11, all at or around 8:50 or better. I guess I've managed to maintain something. It was a nice calm day too. No wind. The temps at start were 16, supposedly felt like 14, that's not a major issue. At finish (2:15 later) around 20 degrees. So weather, not actually a factor. I guess I've grown a lot in my running too. Used to be I didn't run outside unless it was at least just below freezing...I have a lot of warm stuff now and I feel pretty good on the runs, at least by 8-10 minutes in. I was maybe even a bit overdressed, but I don't mind being overdressed, would rather be too warm than too cold. It's just amazing how much you can sweat even when you are out in the cold like that. I also didn't take any food or water or 'ade of any kind on the run. OK, yes, not smart, but hey, I made it and think how my runs will be when I do take them!!

On a side note, I just talked to MNFirefly and she has completed P. F. Chang's Rock 'n Roll half, she's guessing on a finish time around 2:28, which is awesome. She has had some injuries she's been dealing with not to mention a starting temp of 29, in Phoenix, yes, you read that right!! She's warming up though and getting herself ready for the party tonight where she plans on having a few beers and having a fun night. Big congrats on the finish!!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Minnesota in January

OK, granted, I should not complain. We have had a very, very mild winter all things considered so far. But the last two days have made up for that!! I know I said I was going to take yesterday off, and I really, honestly intended on doing just that. In fact after training got done (and thank God, we had trainers that knew what we needed and got us through early so I got to leave at my old normal time of 4 yesterday!!) I was going to go home and take a nap before mom and dad made an appearance...unfortunately I got home, after having eaten way too much sugar (Twizzlers and plain M&M's by the handfuls at the training, darn people that bring that stuff to someone with NO self control) and decided I had to run it off...thought maybe 3 miles, which turned into 5, it was about 5 degrees when I headed out, windchill I'm sure put it a little below 0...and it was chilly. I wore enough though, that by the time I got to the mile marker, I was plenty warm, which is why I turned 3 into 5...and just under a 9 minute pace (it was cold, I wanted to get done). My parents came up for a seminar my dad wanted to attend this morning, and we met my aunt out for a drink and some food, then we went for another drink at another bar nearby where I had an interesting encounter with a guy on the way out, I ended up turning him down, I think my attitude about HR monitors (when he sells them) finally clinched that!! Anyway, got home, went to bed and then this morning got up, had some breakfast and took myself out for another run. I opted to long run tomorrow since I work today from 1-6 which made it hard to get a longer run in anyway....I ended up doing 5 again...this time at an 8:47 pace. It was about 2 when I started out, and there might be a slight windchill effect in today again, but not too bad. Again, once I got going, it was fine, both the fingers and toes were warm around the mile mark (should've wore the wool socks I bought for these cold days, but will test them tomorrow). I'm at 32 for the week with 10-15 planned for tomorrow. I even got 3 strength sessions in!! But so far no yoga and very little stretching. I need to get better! Hope others out there are much warmer than it is here in the frozen tundra.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Cake, the Super Food, Strikes Again!!

Is it the sugar, is is the chocolate, is it just the yummy goodness of a decadant treat??

Only a couple of minutes before I have to head out for a training session…all day…so boring…and so unrelated, for the most part, to my job, but it’s required…sigh. I wanted to do an update last night but my computer at home was having issues, well Netscape was having issues at least with Blogger…But cake does it again. I did a longer run after work. 8 miles, temps weren’t bad (but they have dropped now and are looking to be in the teens over the weekend, ughh)…Anyway, they had this fantastic looking 3 layer cake with whipped cream icing and chocolate wafers between the layers in our cafe, it had been there the last 3 days and there was a piece there when I walked by and an hour later it was still there so I finally just HAD to have it…so I skipped my peanut butter sandwich and had it instead!! (along with brown rice, I wasn’t THAT bad). Anyway, got home and started running just after 5. My run time wasn’t the best, but I was more bundled than some runs of course and it was dark AND I did have to stop and change the battery on my MP3 partway through (knew I should’ve just changed it to start!!) but total run time was 1:13 with some of the last miles well under 9 minutes so that wasn’t bad. Big thing was I hadn’t eaten anything since the cake at 2:30, that’s a long period of time to go to run and expect to feel good. By the end I’d say I was feeling that part a bit, in fact about 3 miles in I was wondering if I should call it quits early, but I kept on, and it could’ve been the dark messing with me…I get a bit of vertigo feeling sometimes running in the dark, more often in the morning when it’s getting light while I’m running, but apparently at night too (or I was just feeling delirious from need of food, who knows!!). Anyway, it was a good run and I got home later, at a later dinner, and didn’t feel the need to snack all night, and crashed into bed exhausted after Grey’s Anatomy…so now I’m awake and fully energized for my boring training today…OK, so maybe I won’t go that far, but hey…it’s a thought. I even came in early enough today to get 30 minutes of strength training in, I might take the day off anything else though, I have run everyday of this new year except for the 1st and I might need a rest. We’ll see…I might just end up going for a short one if I can tolerate the cold. So far 22 miles for the week with hopefully 15 either tomorrow or Sunday and a shorter one in there somewhere so I’ll be up close to if not over 40 again. Now to make some decisions on races I guess…

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Cold Stone, Beer, and Pizza...

What a combination!

Well, it’s a tired day today after tying one on with MNFirefly last night…OK, so we didn’t exactly “tie one on”…we met at Cold Stone for some vent time, particularly after her post from yesterday it can be seen why it was necessary. Poor girl…chocolate ice cream was definitely a necessity and we did indulge with chocolate decadence and oreo overload…we were polite and left Cold Stone prior to end of night (I’m not going to hold people up on going home!!) and headed over to Calhoun Square, which all but the bars were closed. We ended up at Figlio where they have late night (10-12) happy hour appetizers for $2, it was just after 9, but I sipped on a beer (the only one of the night) and we chatted more and when the $2 apps came mini burgers and mini pizza was yummy. We parted ways around 11, me realizing she hadn’t vented much, but she assured me it was enough and we have intentions of getting together again soon. I got home and crashed, but still didn’t sleep well. I’m struggling through the day right now, tired, so should’ve had coffee today!! And now I’m frustrated. I packed my bag for a run outside at lunch today. Figured about 6 miles and then on the way home tonight I was finally going to stop at the Sprint Store and look at phones and pick out a new one…well, I went down for my workout over lunch as normal, was pulling out all the crap I need to run outside in the cold (only running about 12 with the windchill right now) and realized no socks, but I did have a pair (just not running socks) to put on…when I discovered once again, no sports bra…sigh…so now I guess I go home after work and do my run and skip the Sprint Store yet again…although I suppose I could go there now, on my lunch break…hmm…that’s an idea…I just was looking forward to the run cause it was going to wake me up (at least that was the hope). Oh well.

Yesterday I managed a good workout day too. I did a lunch workout of 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer, 25 minutes of strength training and then after work a 4 mile run in 35:30 (8:52 pace). Not bad…I earned that Cold Stone, and beer, and pizza…oops…

Sunday, January 07, 2007

New Year, New Job?

A realization I came to tonight. I have to find a new job. My boss told me on Friday that we have a meeting on Tuesday where we are going to be told that the new attorney that started is going to take over as the person we report to. He started a month ago. I like him so far, at least what I've dealt with him, but I just see this is the final nail in making me stay till 4:30 all the time now. No chance of my hours going back to 7:30-4 like I have been waiting and hoping for, and it's something that just finally killed my morale. I figured this out when I was on the phone with a friend tonight talking about my job. I'm bored with the job. There is no challenge, no chance for anything but peon work, still getting to haul files up and down to and from people, a co-worker actually referenced our other paralegal, who has been there 4 months, as senior paralegal, I'm sorry, I've been there 2 years...shouldn't I be more senior? And this was semi because of the person she was talking to I think, but it still bothered me. I still haven't blogged my gripes about the legal conference in September, but will get to that another time...thing is, there isn't a lot of room for satisfaction in this position. I have so much crap work I'm dealing with all the time these days and no time to get to doing the things I actually do semi enjoy and that are actually real work vs the processing documents over and over for signature in a mundane fashion that just irriates me...Also, I can expect, if I'm lucky, a 3% raise in March and no chance for any kind of promotion and bigger raise, so even knowing this, getting the hours that I wanted was at least something...but now knowing I'm stuck in this schedule for crap pay (OK, it wasn't crap at first, but now that I'm doing crap work, I need more money!)...I need/want a new job of some type...a new career, a new move...but I don't know what I want to do. I need something new, exciting, challenging...I have all this education and I'm not using it, but I also can't "start over" cause the pay wouldn't cover my mortgage. I feel stuck, and I always thought I would be in a career where I would be someone, go somewhere, do something...it kind of makes me sad and mad at how I feel I've messed up along the way.

Lazy Sunday

Well, after going to bed late last night (I had to work then just stayed up watching TV for some odd reason) I slept in a bit and then tried to make my weekly call to mom and dad, only no answer...they know I always call Sunday mornings so why were they not home?? Mom called me a bit later and they were on their way home from grocery shopping, so I did talk to them for a little bit, then was doing some cleaning, watched a bit of the Patriots roll over the Jets, then decided to go for a run. It was flurrying a bit, but kind of stopped unfortunately by the time I started running. It was colder than it has been, but still not bad at around 30, the run was only OK. I haven't been having any very good runs lately but oh well, could be my body telling me it just needs a bit of a break. I did a total of 6 miles for a weekly total of 38 miles. First week of the year, I've set the bar high!! Unfortunately I only got one day of strength training instead of the 3 I wanted, and no yoga, instead of the 2-3 sessions that are my goal. I guess it's OK for now though. I'll work my way into it. If I wasn't being so lazy, I could do it today, and maybe I will try yet, at least some stretching while I'm watching TV would be good.

Anxiously awaiting my delivery from National Running Center too!!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

First Long Run of 2007

OK, these days a 10 miler isn't really a LONG run in my book, but it's the longest I've done so far this year and until I start my marathon training (once I officially decide to do a marathon this year, IF I do one this year) I tend toward running a long run one week, with a cut back week the next week (case in point, last week was 14, this week I did 10), to let the body recover. 10 is about the shortest longer run I do (except during marathon training, when mid-week runs end up being 10-12) . Anyway, run was OK, not the best I've done, I had wind in my face coming back, I did a longer loop from my house (basically ended up being 4.5 with wind at my back and then 5 with it in my face and a little loop in there that was protected), had eaten pretty good this morning (eggbeaters with cheese, green peppers and dad's homemade Canadian bacon, yummy, a Kashi waffle and half a grapefruit) and dressed well as it was much cooler feeling than it has been. Sun was out, but wind was up, probably upper 20s with a windchill figured in (right now at 4 pm it says it's 32 out, but that is not how it felt). I averaged a 9:04 pace, faster than last week, but not by much. I'm working on getting my pace up for my longer runs and think I'll take one more or two more weeks of just base building running, and running for enjoyment, then I'll start throwing some intervals in again....and a few weeks after that, throw in some tempos. I might put in some strides in a couple of runs in the next week or two, just to prep for the faster paces as well, but nothing in stone yet. Tomorrow I'll work through some of my "decluttering" and I'm going to start on Advanced Marathoning, need to get a program together in case I make a decision and have training to do!!

Oh yeah, and this was after going to bed at 4 am and not sleeping past 10 am (I was exhausted feeling but what do you do?). I hadn't necessarily been going to go out last night, but I opted to, hit my local hang out around 10, had 3 beers from 10-1, then drove a friend to a place he bounces part time at in downtown, it was quiet there so we went next door where it was kind of quiet and so not my type of place, but Oh well, we ended up in the VIP area cause he knew a bouncer, then back to the place he works after hours where he had a few more and then eventually we went back, I dropped him at his car and followed him home (a few blocks) to be sure he was safe, then got home and couldn't get warm and then couldn't quite get to sleep right away. But it was a nice night nonetheless, and see, I can go out without getting drunk and out of control!!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Sales, Sales Everywhere!!

Ah splendid day…I just spent WAY too much money…but oh well. Guess I’ll be staying at B&N a bit longer (and working really, really hard to find that roommate and make the situation work so I get that income for a longer term!!), but it had to be done. First of all earlier this week Vicky’s started their sale and I so needed some new things from there so I went and bought the necessities, THEN best sale of all, I got National Running Center’s clearance catalog. Oh joy of joys, I’m now so set for things for the winter and mid seasons it’s not funny…OK, maybe one more pair of tights!! Anyway, anyone who shops with them and has the new catalog, look carefully, the last page everything is $10 or $20!! Now a lot of it was gone already, but I managed to snag two jackets. Not that I needed two jackets mind you, but one is the same as one I already have (although had to get it in a large which will be a bit big, but that’s fine, it’s good for days I have to wear more layers!!) and the other is one that looks nice and hey, for $10 each, I had to get them. I got another jacket (OK, so now I’ll have 5 I think I’m good) that is an illuminite one, with all the night running I do, I really did need something that would reflect better than the little marks on some of my pants and these say you are supposed to really be visible with it. Then I got a cold weather top I’ve been considering for a while (matches some tights I have in the temps, so figure it will be a nice layer with other things I have), a second top that sounded nice and had been on my list cause it was only $20 on that sale and then a wicking stocking cap (only had one) and a balaclava cause each were only $10….OK, so with shipping that was $150, but for 3 jackets, 2 cold weather tops, a hat and balaclava, that’s not bad. Only one item was regular priced…I can’t wait!! And I’ve bought with them before, they have much cheaper shipping than Road Runner Sports and prices honestly to me seem a bit better too. I maybe should’ve ordered some more of my favorite socks as long as I was ordering but oh well. I’m sure I’ll end up spending more there as other clearance comes on. One other thing I like about them is that their winter catalog comes with a rating scale on all the merchandise for how it is, cool, colder or coldest, ratings of it’s breathability, wind protection, water resistance and other things. It really gives you a nice way to look at and figure out where to best spend your money. Ah happy day. And I’m going for a run tonight. I ran and strength trained yesterday (and I hurt a bit today from the workout, so that’s a good thing, muscle soreness from lifting), I have to work tomorrow night but I have Sunday all day off…I can work on my declutter resolution, and if I opt to get up early, I have an option to work on my meet with a running club resolution too (there is one meeting about 20 minutes from my house for a 9 mile run, and I was thinking I’d do 10-12 this weekend)…oh, and it’s Friday…and 2 pm…only 2 ½ more hours of the work day!!

Oh and thanks to those for the suggestion of the Yaktrax. I had tried to buy some last year but the running stores had been out of them (at least in my size) and then I gave up on running outside due to cold. As we can all see, I've embraced it this year (doesn't hurt that it's been mild so far) but I haven't seen them anyplace when I've been out and then we hadn't needed them (hadn't had a lot of snow) so I kind of was just forgetting about them. I'll probably regret it, and if I do see some someplace I might try them, but hopefully I'll be fine!!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Running in the Winter

OK, so I did a 7 miler tonight and I am still slightly recovering from being sick the last 2 days...after a not so great 6 miler yesterday (cut back from 8 miles that I had wanted to run) I did the 7 in the dark, average pace of 9:18...was the best I could manage, but I have to say I have found I do need to slow down with the roads the way they are. Icy in spots, slushy, wet and black ice...that's fun. I managed to maintain an upright position the entire time, but I have a feeling it is doing a bit of something else to my legs. It really is a workout maintaining balance when the roads are dangerous and dark. I also don't think I ate nearly enough today and I know I didn't drink enough...in fact I should get offline and get myself some water and relax a bit, let my body recover more. Today's run was much better than the way I was feeling during yesterdays though. The weather isn't bad either, still fairly warm in the lower 30s, only a light wind, just dark...and dangerous roads!! Oh well...it's an adventure right?

Ringing In 2007

NYE 2007

It started off with snow, which I wasn't expecting or I would've moved my 4 miler from morning to afternoon to run in snow instead of rain, but oh well... and well, what do you know…the night turned out to be much different than I expected and a whole lot of fun in the process. A friend came over around 6 and we had a couple of drinks, I drank my Martini and Rossi Asti which is yummy sparkling wine then called for a cab to take us out, due to poor roads and plans to just have someone else do the driving when we were going to be drinking. The cab company told me an hour to an hour and a half, was not ready for that, but thankfully it showed up about a half hour later and we were ready and out the door. Went to my favorite watering hole in Minneapolis where we were chatting with a friend (bar was pretty dead) and ordered some food. As the night progressed other friends showed up and it got a little busier, just enough people I think. I had been eyeing a guy earlier in the night and eventually he came over and talked to me, he’s way too young for me at 27, but just too cute…J2 had joined us as well as C, another guy who is a friend and well, I’m not sure what else might be going on there…issues and drama but whatever…funny thing is J2 and he have become good buddies too, they are the two I have on camera kissing at the party we were at a few weeks ago. Anyway, midnight came and I think I kissed half the people in the bar, although my friend wouldn’t let me kiss her…oh well. We had a number of cocktails and I was feeling no pain and dressed in a silvery top, miniskirt fishnets and tall black boots and what’s sad is other than a picture prior to going out, I really have no pictures of the evening. Oh well. When the bar closed we were heading to a party that C knew about, but my friend had run out of the bar and I found her in a cab heading out, so she missed out on the party. She didn’t seem to be having much fun anyway and I don’t know why, too much expectation for things to happen for her I think and she lets everything get to her so doesn’t enjoy the moment. The party was a blast, I had some guy that had latched on to me to the point that he was keeping J2 even from being able to talk to me, although both J2 and C were keeping an eye on me, apparently I had boys lined up trying to talk to me and I found myself later attached to a fireman. No idea how I ended up talking to him and if I gave out my number to anyone, it was one of those nights, but very, very fun. We were at the party till around 5, so I was told, I was hauled into J2s place and crashed out in his spare room…I didn’t become conscious till around 1:30/2, and then was ill a couple of times. Hung out with J2 the rest of the day till he took me home around 10, chatted had some pizza and had reminders of the evening before. Apparently it’s also been discussed taking a trip, J2, myself and C…now that could be quite interesting!! Thankfully though, I’m a fun drunk, apparently I was quite the entertainment, J2 can’t wait for the next excuse to get out and party like that again as he said he had a blast and it made up for his last two crappy new years that he has had…what can I say. I’m glad I can help out however I can with people having a good time. Welcome 2007…now to make some decisions regarding my life and my running.

I want to thank Don and Dori for the suggestions on the Running Groups. If I wasn’t on the west side I so would love to join the St. Croix runners, unfortunately that’s early and a trek, but maybe one day I’ll be able to get there. Dori, thanks for the suggestions, not sure I want to do one of the Lifetime marathon plans though, various reasons on that, Highland club is the one group I did try running with once…Although I’d be game for meeting you and your friends sometime. Even though I’m faster, I have read many times that it can be a benefit to run both with people faster than and slower than you.