Thursday, November 30, 2006


I guess it's taken me 10 days to get over running Philadelphia!

Amazingly, my legs didn't suffer a whole lot after the fact. They killed me on Sunday afternoon and Monday but I was back to normal by Wednesday. Still, I'm not doing anything that crazy again.

Since I last posted we had a lovely Thanksgiving where Brian & I played host to his family. All of our dishes were a success and I'm happy to report that my gravy (with helpful input from my Mom) was "the best I've ever had". Secret tips: add carrots and celery to some water in the bottom of the roasting pan for added flavor & color, pour off most of the drippings but keep some in the roasting pan and then add flour directly to the pan to create a roux, this prevents greasy gravy (worked like a charm), and lastly use a mix of chicken broth and the broth made from simmering the giblits and some carrots, celery, and onion on the stove.

We skipped both a Turkey Trot and a Jingle Bell run over the holiday weekend but we did take ourselves out for a relaxed 5 mile run walk. We need to get it in gear soon to stay in shape for PF Chang in Arizona.

I'm looking into joining a gym to keep fit over the winter and to add some strength training to my workouts. I have been neglecting this for far too long and it's only because I'm too intimidated to learn how to use machines and weights. I need to get over that. I'm also just beginning to consider getting over my swim phobia so I can eventually do a triathlon.

I spoke to a woman at the expo for Philadelphia who was promoting the Philadelphia Women's Triathlon in July. I mentioned my swim issues and she encouraged me to take some lessons over the winter and then join a gym with a pool and I'd be ready by July. I think she's right and it bugs me that the only reason that I can't do a tri is because I am too wimpy/chicken to learn how to swim properly. That's not a very good excuse.

And then today I got an e-mail to buy Christmas gifts from the LiveStrong store. I went there and saw the Lance Armstrong Foundation Manifesto. It's much longer than this but I really liked the first paragraph:

We believe in life.
Your life.
We believe in living every minute of it with every ounce of your being.
And that you must not let cancer take control of it. [so I don't have cancer, let's change that word to fear]
We believe in energy: channeled and fierce.
We believe in focus: getting smart and living strong.
Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything.

So I need to remember that I should be fierce and live life to the fullest and maybe for me that means learning how to swim like a grown-up in 2007. Maybe.

Speaking of Lance. You know how he said he'd never run another marathon after New York? he's already changed his mind and announced he's running New York again in 2007. This time he's going to train. I wonder how badly he'll smash his PR?

Monday, November 20, 2006

I'm a little bit crazy!

Brian and my sister were planning to run the Philadelphia marathon on Saturday. Since it was so close the New York Marathon I thought I'd run the new half marathon and the hang around to cheer them in for the full marathon.

When I got to the expo, the half marathon was sold out. When faced with the decision to run an 8K or a full marathon, I went for the full 26.2 because:

1) nice t-shirt
2) nice medal
3) I was going to be downtown the whole time anyway
4) I am a crazy person

So on Sunday I did my 2nd marathon in 14 days. Amazingly, my time was better than Delaware and very close to my time in New York.

I survived, and I mostly had fun, but I have to say that this is a pretty bad idea overall!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New York Marathon 2006 - random details

Expo: Amazing! It ran like clockwork and I didn't wait in a single line to get my chip or goodies. My bus pass was not printed on my bib and a very nice volunteer led me directly to the place where it could be fixed. I couldn't have been happier. It was very congested at the Nike section but the rest of the place wasn't too bad.

Expo highlight: Accidentally stumbling upon Grete Weitz autographing posters. (see photo). She was super nice and I mentioned that my last star autograph (Deena Kastor) coincided with a PR race and Grete said she hoped her signature would shave a few minutes off my time. Looks like it worked!

Money spent:

  • Donation to Sponge Bob for markers, signs and a Sponge Bob sponge. I have no idea what the donation actually went towards.
  • Cool souvenier t-shirt with description of the course in words
  • Red shoelaces from Saucony - donation to their new foundation to fight childhood obesity.
  • Marathon pin. I always buy one of these.
  • Saucony running shirt: it says Triumph NYC 2006. I couldn't resist this since I wear Triumph sneakers. The new model is awesome metallic green. I hope they feel as good as the model I wear now.

Lessons Learned:

  • Pasta party: lame, lame, lame! Even amoug pasta parties which are typically lame. Despite the organization of NYRR, we were misdirected on the way into the party and the way out. As a result we didn't get our dessert/goodie bag and were forced to return to the party via an exit and ask a bouncer guy to fetch the bags for us. Why? Because I can't stand not getting free stuff. Contents of goodie bags obtained from bouncer guy: apple, wheat crackers, cookies, snazzy Barilla pasta timer, italian water ice. Goodies others had that we didn't get from bouncer guy: full boxes of Barilla Plus pasta shapes. Contents of goodie bags found abandoned along the walkway near Tavern on the Green: Same as bouncer bags plus 10 bags of mini carrots. Very odd indeed!

  • Being a paranoid rule follower, I got to the NY Public Library bus stop very close to 5 am. I was at Ft. Wadsworth by 6:15. It was FREEZING and BORING over there. Next time, I'm taking a later bus even though the runner guide tells you to be at the busses by 5 am

General Observations:

  • A guy waiting at the Fort with inflatable lazy boy chair, lots of people in sleeping bags.
  • A guy hopping out of the race at Marcus Garvey Park to buy a hot dog and hopping back in while still eating it.
  • Mile 10.2 - Nike folks in yellow handing out whistles and seeing yellow chalk messages all over the street
  • The cool neighborhood in Brooklyn with the "High Five Station" with signs ahead of it letting you know that it was coming.
  • The area around mile 5 or so that was blaring YMCA and had people dressed up as the Village People (at least the Indian Chief with the long feathered headdress)
  • The Soldier running in fatigues and pack and carrying his flag.
  • The Save the Rhino guys running in rhino costumes!
  • The folks in the Bronx doing the electric slide
  • The people who had tamborines along the way. What a great spectator accessory!

New York Marathon: Best Day Ever!

Wow! All I can say is Wow! The marathon lived up to absolutely every bit of the hype and I loved every single (painful) second of it! My legs are still sore today and every time I stand up or sit down and my quads scream I remember that race and I get a big, fat grin on my face.

I seriously can not wait to do it again. It was that good.

I started out with the five hour pace group and hung with them until just before the half-way point when they seemed to have fallen slightly off the pace and I kept going try to keep up my momentum. They caught up to me at about the mid-piont of the Queensborough bridge and I stuck with them until 1st Avenue but then they just left me in the dust. I guess it was a combination of them speeding up just a smidge to make up for the time they had lost and me tiring out and slowing down but I could never catch them. I'm still thrilled with my performance though and I made it through the first 16 miles with no walk breaks except at the water stations. That's a first for me and I'm really happy about that.

Of course, once the walk breaks started they were hard to stop. I kept pushing as best I could through the end of the race but you can see how my time just dropped. I think I was a lot more consistant than in past races and I know that I ran more than in past races and I'm certain that I gave my very best effort.

Here are the splits:

Mile 1: 11:05
Mile 2: 10:40
Mile 3: 11:37
Mile 4: 11:26
Mile 5: 11:22
Mile 6: 11:38
Mile 7: 11:25
Mile 8: 11:48
Mile 9: 11:35
Mile 10: 11:23
Mile 11: 11:50
Mile 12: 11:23
Mile 13: 11:28
Mile 14: 11:18
Mile 15: 12:10
Mile 16: 11:48
Mile 17: 11:09
Mile 18: 11:27
Mile 19: 12:24
Mile 20: 12:19
Mile 21: 12:30
Mile 22: 12:12
Mile 23: 11:49
Mile 24: 12:35
Mile 25: 12:20
Mile 26: 12:12
last .2: 2:27

It's time for me to do some work now, but I will write more later and post some more pictures.

Total Time: 5:07:27

Monday, October 30, 2006

Marine Corps Marathon 10K

Yesterday I ran the first ever Marine Corps Marathon 10K. I had a pretty good race (especially since it was just a training run for next week) and I love the medal. The t-shirt is very nice too. The logistics of the race were crazy and I hope they improve in the future.

Logistical problems:
  • Confusion at the start: 10K runners were in the wrong place since there were no pre-race instructions for us. We were lined up on both sides of a grass median behind the marathon runners when we should have all been on one side. They told us this after the marathoners had started running so many 10K people (myself included) had to hop over a couple of guardrails to get where we needed to be.
  • All of us were facing the wrong way. We lined up ready to run in the same direction as the marathon but since the 10K runs in the opposite direction of the marathon we couldn't line up in the right spot until the marathon runners cleared the area. Loudspeakers instructed us to move beyond the red starting arch and then turn around and "face the sun". It was crazy. Nobody really undsterstood what was going on and people were wedged in like sardines and couldn't really do anything as the marines were yelling "turn to face the sun!". People on the wrong side of the timing mats so they kept telling us to back up while the loudspeaker kept reminding us the race had to start in 5 minutes (or whatever I forget) and that it couldn't be delayed. All of the confusion resulted in the slowest runners (who had been lurking at the back of the pack) being closest to the starting line and the fastest people were at the back of the pack. As an added bonus, they also thought it would be a good idea to drive a set of school busses through the pack of runners prior to the start. I have no idea why they did that.
  • The reverse of the fast/slow runners made for a pretty chaotic start as runners were dodging slow people and the fast people tried to get to the front as quickly as possible. There is an element of this in every race but it was particularly bad yesterday. I might be exaggerating since I was really worried about having a mishap and falling/twisting an ankle or something that would screw up my race next weekend but it seemed very bad.
  • Midway through the 10K the wheelchair marathon racers came up on the runners and this caused a huge problem! The 10K folks were totally in their way and were, unfortunately, very oblivious despite the screams of "ON YOUR LEFT" and "WHEELCHAIRS COMING" that were coming from the runners, the wheelchair athletes, and a bunch of marines.
  • The race started late enough that there were still pretty many slow 10K people out on the course as the marathon winner came into the finishers chute. I don't think that was supposed to happen.

My time & splits:

Total: 1:07:50

M1: 10:53

M2: 10:51

M3: 10:32

M4: 11:24 (wheelchairs arrived and I stopped to walk and yell at people to get out of their way)


M6.2: 13:26

I had time to finish my race, eat some food and then head over to mile 16 to catch up with Brian and my sister who were running the marathon.

More later...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bib Number: 45600

I finally got my start color: ORANGE

And my bib number: 45600

I really can't wait for the marathon. It's just 10 days away. I'm obsessing about the weather (still looks good as of last night) and I'm glad I have MCM this weekend to distract me a little bit.

I haven't posted much lately and I have no excuse for it. My running has been spotty but good when I actually get it done.

Three weeks ago I did 20 miles and felt great during and afterwards. Two weeks ago I was hoping to get in an 18 mile run but wasn't motivated at all on Saturday and only did 10. In a fit of guilt I ran another 7 on Sunday, so the weekend wasn't a total loss, but it wasn't a good long run.

Last Saturday I set out to run 10 miles with my running group, who were all doing 20 in prep for the Philadelphia marathon, I wound up running 14 instead to keep my buddy of the day company during her tough last few miles.

No running since then. My legs have felt great and I think I'll do fine in New York.

I'm not looking to break any records but I want to feel good and not struggle through the race. I think I can do that and maybe break 5:15 too. Who knows? I just want to have fun.

I'm leaning towards running the 10K at MCM this weekend but I think that's going to be a game day final decision.

Now I have to go check the weather forecasts.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hey, isn't this blog about running?

Whew! I just got back from my 20 mile run today and now I have my feet up and I'm drinking a Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. I even got the whipped cream this time. It's a suitable reward for a pretty good day.

I could have run a marathon today. I'm glad I didn't have to but I certainly could have.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Chatty Vacationers

I noticed that lots of people were chatty out in Yosemite. I don't know if it was because people are more friendly or because I was wearing more interesting clothes...
  • A guy noticed my t-shirt said Wyeth on the back (they were a big sponsor of Collegeville 5K) and started asking me if I was a drug rep for them because he and his wife were both retired pharmacists.
  • A guy stopped to talk to me in the store when he noticed my Broad Street Run t-shirt. Evidently, he grew up in Media and had run the race a bunch of times before moving to the west.
  • A guy commented to Brian about his Disney 1/2 marathon t-shirt saying he did the race the same year (although upon further reflection that guy was kind of an oddball and I think he just made it up)
  • A lady struck up a conversation in line at the store because she noticed my NYC Marathon hat. She's never done a marathon but it's thinking about taking up triathlon training.
  • A lady started talking to us in the cappuccino line and told us that McDonald's premium coffee marketing scheme was just that - a scheme. Same coffee, new cups and ad campaign. Further converstation involving the new style WaWa cups revealed the fact that she was from Delaware.
  • A park employee commented on how cool my ugly spotted LL Bean fleece is.
  • Two little girls on a class trip asked me about a million questions while I was riding the bus with them. Questions varied from where had I hiked that day (Half Dome) to how many states have I been in (too many to count on the bus ride) and what color is the liberty bell.

Yosemite Trip Day 2: the Valley

We spent our second real day of vacation exploring Yosemite Valley. This means that we went to the visitor center, checked out the Indian village and a cool museum of Native American baskets and clothing (interesting how they use the term Native American for the museum/artifacts but stuck with Indian for the village. I wonder why that is?).

We also walked along a lot of the paths through the meadows and along the edge of the Valley and just marveled at Half Dome. It's hard to do anything while you're there but look up at Half Dome. It's so big and so unusual that you just stare at it. The picture I have posted I just found on the internet -- I'll replace it with one of ours when I get a chance. That's one of the most popular views of the mountain and it looked a lot like that on our trip -- but there was no snow on Half Dome during our trip.
Later we explored the area called Happy Isles where there had been a huge (scary) rockfall in 1997 and then took a walk up to a place called Mirror Lake. Mirror Lake isn't a lake anymore (the park people used to dredge the pool but they stopped doing it in 1970 so now it's almost totally gone) but a giant sandbox at the base of Half Dome. You can stand there and let yourself feel like a tiny ant as you look up the face. We didn't see any climbers on the rock but evidently people do climb up. They're nuts.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Yosemite Trip, Day 1: Wawona + Mariposa Grove

We arrived in San Francisco around noon on Saturday and drove to Yosemite that afternoon. We chose to take the long way and enter the park via the South entrance near Wawona because we had a room at the 'historic Wawona hotel' for our first night.

We thought this was a good plan because we'd be in the park ready to go on Sunday morning instead of having two travel days. It really was a pretty good plan except for the fact that we were up at 4:30 AM in order to get to the airport on time and driving the 4+ hours from San Francisco to the park was rough. Especially towards the end when it was dark and the roads were scary and twisty. Thank God Brian was driving!

We fell into bed at about 9:00 and slept with the windows open to let in the very chilly mountain air. The chilly mountain air was even chillier in the moring when we got up and I actually got to wear my convertable mountain pants on the very first day of the trip!

We headed to the Mariposa Grove of giant Sequoia trees after exploring at the cute Wawona hotel and visitor center. If you haven't seen a giant sequoia in person I can't explain to you how incredibly massive and cool they are. They're just mind bogglingly huge. And very cool. This was a nice easy way for us to ease into the park because the trails were gentle and mostly short. It flashed us back to our trip to Sequoia National Park five years ago and since we had such a great time on that trip it really put us into a good mood.

The most memorable thing about this day was a strange encouter with a crab working at the Wawona store. I ran in there in the afternoon to get some sodas and pretzels before we made the drive up to Yosemite Valley. I went into the store and picked up two 20 oz Cokes and a bag of Rold Gold pretzels. The total bill came to $5.07

I pulled my money from my pocket and see that I have a $5 bill and a $20 bill. I said out loud "oh rats" when I looked at my money and I hand the check-out guy the $20 bill.

He does not take the money but instead looks at me and says again that the total is $5.07. I don't reply, still holding out the $20.

"Do you have .07 cents?" he asks in a disgusted tone.

Just for the record, I was wearing hiking clothes (t-shirt and shorts) and was covered in dirt so I clearly didn't have a purse or anything with me.

I hold out my money clip with the $5 bill in one hand and the $20 in the other hand and say out loud "I have a 5 and a 20".

He then lets out a power sigh and says "well, maybe I can find .07 here". And he starts rooting around in some unseen penny jar behind the counter. He doesn't come up with the money -- gives me a dirty look -- and says "I'll check my pocket". And then he roots around in his own pocket to find the .07 cents.

Then he says "Give me the $5" like he's doing me a huge favor.

So I did and left with my food.

It was totally bizarre and extremely off putting. Am I crazy for thinking he was a big jerk? I mean I tried to pay for the stuff -- I had the money to pay for the stuff -- he was just unwilling to accept my $20. That's not a ridiculous bill to be using, it's not like I was trying to pay with a $100 or something crazy.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I stink at running!

I went to the park to run last night and it was AWFUL! I don't know if it was taking all that time off from running (nearly two weeks!) or if it was all the extra miles I put in hiking at Yosemite (probably 70+ miles over the week) but I felt pretty terrible running the loop.

Too many walk breaks, a totally inconsistent pace, sore knees on the downhill (this I know is TOTALLY from the Half-Dome hike) plus I had shin pain. I never have shin pain. It wore off so I'm sure it was from starting too fast. Blah. Just an awful run. The only good thing was that I got this bad run out of my system so I hope it will all be out of my system by the 20 miler this weekend.

I'm hoping to get back to the park tonight but I don't know if the work schedule will allow it.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm back! Vacation was great

We had a really good time at Yosemite and I'll post pictures and comments about the trip soon.

My fears about not getting in a 20 mile run were eased by our trip up to Half Dome. Whew! What an incredible ordeal! Somewhere between 14-17 miles, ascending (and then decending) 4,900 feet up to the top at 8800 was pretty intense. The first half of this hike was by far the hardest thing I've ever done and I didn't even make it to the top! (Brian did though!)
If you check out this snazzy picture that I snitched from The California Hiking Page you can follow the red line and see the route of the very end of the hike. I made it to the point where the red line stops zig zagging and Brian kept going up to the very top. He, and everybody else who does this hike (and there are tons of people who do it) is crazy.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Yosemite National Park

We're leaving on a week of vacation to Yosemite National Park tomorrow! Yay!

I'm afraid this means that I will not be doing much running and that stinks because Brian and & both should be doing long runs these next couple of weekends. I'd be more worried if we were trying to break important time goals in our marathons but I don't think the lack of training will have a huge effect on our races -- we'll probably just be a little more sore.

We plan do do tons of hiking and I expect we'll do 10+ miles a day for just about every day we're in California. We'll also be spending a significant amount of time at a pretty high elevation which should make our workouts a little tougher. I'm not even bringing my real running shoes though so no running.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Mile Splits - From Philadelphia Distance Run

Since we had a bunch of race rookies with us we started in corral 15 (the last corral) instead of where my number placed me - corral 12. I probably would have chosen to start in 13 somewhere. I ate my first gel before the starting gun and I was wearing my 40 oz. fuel belt filled with Gatorade Endurance.

Mile 1: 11:05 started at back of last corral and pushed ahead to get near others at my pace
Mile 2: 10:59 nothing to report here. Forced a walk at 2 miles to slow it down a bit
Mile 3: 11:11 fun mile with Eagles Pep Band
Mile 4: 11:11 wow! totally even splits on these two miles - headed back up Parkway
Mile 5: 11:38 ate gel at water stop at 4.8
Mile 6: 10:52 I can't remember much about this mile
Mile 7: 11:48 iPod crazy, walked to fix. Usually take a break in training at the half way point and did so.
Mile 8: 11:15 Felt strong here passed folks on small hill approaching Falls bridge
Mile 9: 11:20 walked and tried to eat my 2nd gel - only ate half the rest made me want to hurl
Mile 10: 11:28 Still feel pretty good, running more than walking
Mile 11: 11:36 meet a PhillyFit person I've never seen before. Run with her for a short while
Mile 12: 11:59 paranoid about running out of gas before finish - extra walking. WIMPY! No excuse!
Mile 13.1: 12:31 again with the paranoid walking - extra super congested water stop - why??

Final time: 2:28:53 that's a PR for me by about a minute.

Overall, I'm really very happy with the splits from the race. I was trying my best to stick to a plan and to be steady and I think I did that. The only mile over 12 minutes was the last one -- and that doesn't count since it was really 1.1 miles. The slow mile between 11 and 12 I have no explanation for other than lack of mental toughness. The other pretty slow one between mile 6 and 7 was when I had some iPod issues that I needed to walk to fix. Perhaps I really should listen to the race directors and leave the music at home!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

New & un-improved blog

By the way -- the blog looks all crazy because I "upgraded" to blogger beta. I hate it and all my countdowns are missing and other stuff is screwy too. I'm trying to fix it but I'm very impatient!

It was the best of days, it was the worst of days....

I have just suffered through the most irritating and horrible Eagles game ever! It's one thing to be tortured by your team stinking from the opening kickoff but to go from such highs to such lows in one game -- or one quarter, really -- it's just awful. They totally screwed up my good day!

The good part of today was the Distance Run! I worked hard on trying to run a steady race and I did (splits to follow when I remember where I put my watch) and I managed to come up with a 1/2 marathon PR despite totally wimping out on the last mile or so of the race today. I have no killer instinct and I really need to get one.

Anyway, my chip time was 2:28:53 which beats my prior PR by about a minute.

Other exciting news is that my 14 year old neice ran the race too and hadn't trained for it other than the running she does for her soccer team. She was totally unsure how she'd do and as it turns out she breezed through it in 2:31 which was good enough for 7th in her age group. Yay for her!

Friday, September 15, 2006

World Run Day to Stop Child Hunger

I saw a notice for World Run Day on a local running board and I realized that it's the same day as the New York Marathon (just 50 days away...) and I decided to sign up since I'll be running a marathon that day anyway.

The registration fee is $19.99 (a little more once you pay the fee) and they send you a t-shirt and donate your money to a charity that fights child hunger. According to the post that led me to World Run Day, my registration fee will feed a child for 50 days.

So you can know a little more about the program:

Founded in 1999 by Long Island Runner Bill McDermott, the event is intended to promote the sport of running and charitable giving on one special day each year. Started with just 100 runners worldwide, runners connected and impacted their communities in a positive way. As a result, World Run Day was the only event celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths, nationalities, and benefitted their favorite charity. Soon group events formed in different cities such as World Run Day - Philadelphia, World Run Day - London, World Run Day - Sydney, etc. (Even "World Run Day - Afghanistan" was celebrated during wartime). The event was designed to allow every runner, whether with a group or running individaully, to be a part of the day.With the alarming statistics related to World Hunger, the event will reach out specifically for the benefit of ending Child Hunger in 2006.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Race on the Calendar

We're having a stretch of just fabulous crisp fall weather and it's making me really anxious to run the Philadelphia Distance Run this weekend. So anxious, in fact, that I signed Brian & I up for another race just because I've been so obsessed by running today.

We're now officially doing the 1/2 marathon at P.F. Chang Rock'N'Roll Arizona in January. We've actually been planning to do this race for a long time since my sister won a free entry into the marathon but today I registered for the race. Now I'd better go ask for the time off since we're planning to spend a week out there checking out the National Parks of Southern Arizona.

Monday, September 11, 2006

What a difference a week makes!

This Saturday I went for my typical training run with PhillyFit. The group was doing 8 miles but I needed to do more to get ready for NYC. Brian and my sister are training for MCM and they needed to do more than PhillyFit but less than me so we decided to add a few miles and compromise at 12 miles for the day.

I felt like a million bucks on this run! I don't know if it was a slightly lower humidity, the slightly lower temperature or the fact that I was wearing my fuel belt filled with Gatorade Endurance, but this run went a million times better than the one at Virginia Beach.

After the first couple of miles my knee, which bothered me last Sunday night post-race, was hurting a bit so I decided to take 2 Tylenol 8-Hours instead of cutting the run short. This turned out to be a great idea since the rest of the run was great and my knee really didn't hurt at all afterwards even when wearing high heels at a wedding that night.

The whole run, where I felt like I was getting stronger and I went instead of slower and weaker, was finished in 2:10 and change. I think it was right around 12 miles but I'm not positive since the trail is detoured and hard to figure out exact milage.

I can't wait to see how I feel at the Distance Run next weekend. One thing I do know is that I am wearing the fuel belt and drinking my Gatorade. I probably won't wear it in NYC since they will serve Endurance on the course but maybe I will. I have plenty of time to decide.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I hate early mornings!

I have a ton of work to do today and instead of doing it I've been busy reading about race logistics for the New York Marathon.

I am horrified to learn that I am supposed to be getting in line for the bus to Fort Wadsworth by 5am. The race doesn't even start until after 10!

I guess I can just roll out of bed and into the line for the bus since I will certainly be able to eat and drink my breakfast on the way to the starting line but that's really a lot of time to kill. A LOT of time.

After the Race

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Review: Harriers by Joe & Paul Shivers

So I said that I would review this book for Paul & Joe Shivers who won a book contest. They're high school runners who wrote this book about two incredible seasons with their cross country team in Ohio.

Wow! It was a total page turner!

I wasn't involved in high school sports and didn't start running until well into adulthood so I found their accounts of high school sports quite fascinating. I had no idea how cross country meets were scored or how FAST these young guys are. Let me tell you, it's quite humbling to realize that the slowest guy who barely makes the varsity team is running a 5K well under 20 minutes.

They also have quite an amazing tale to tell. A mediocore team gets a new young coach who brings them to the State Championships. There are exciting track meets, thought provoking legal battles, horror stories about malfunctioning time chips, and sneaky schemes involving special jerseys.

The book is good, and it only costs $5.95. Go buy a copy and reward these two for a job well done.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

2006 Rock'N'Roll Half - a new course record!

Believe it or not we made our way through Ernesto to VA Beach and ran the race on Sunday!

It was horribly humid but other than that a really nice weekend. I was hoping to run around 2:25 on but finished in a hard earned 2:34:11. I'm pretty happy with that time because it's a course record for me (only by about 40 seconds) and I really worked hard to keep myself moving throughout the second half of the race. It was hot and humid and I never felt like I was on track.

Splits as follows:

Mile 1: 11:23 I was shooting for 11:30 but was OK with this
Mile 2: 11:05 Not sure why I got faster, wasn't trying to do that
Mile 3: 10:50 Whoa! I need to slow down.
Mile 4: 11:27 Stop and pull off band-aid that got bunchy. Didn't miss it.
Mile 5: 11:44 Ate 2nd gel here and walked - very crowded section. 1st gel in corral before start
Mile 6: 11:11 Talked to Brian here - he pulls away for good.
Mile 7: 12:09 Walked A LOT in Camp Pendelton. It's always blazing hot here. Ate some salt.
Mile 8: 11:53 Enjoyed the sprinklers here, ran UP the bridge (thought there was a camera)
Mile 9: 11:51 Walked at the turnaround leading to Atlantic. Ate 3rd gel.
Mile 10: 12:25 Where is mile 10? Where is the water? between 9 & 10 worst part of race
Mile 11: 12:43 Smile! Camera time! Can still make 2:30
Mile 12: 12:00 Only 9 minutes to make it under 2:30. Not possible. Wet head at water stop
Mile 13: 12:23 Running to Foo Fighters 'All My Life' - thank god! would have walked w/o music
Mile .1: 1:04 It's OVER! Yay!

Final time: 2:34:11

Crossing the finish line was great but since I've gotten faster I'm now finishing with a lot more people and the finish area was super crowded and hot. People couldn't move and were dropping like flies in the finish area. I was lucky to be on the right edge of the crowd, close to the folks handing out water (I guzzled 2 bottles of Dasani) and they also handed me ice which I promptly stuffed into my bra (a trick I read on somebody's blog) and felt better almost instantly. I kept re-loading the ice and stayed cool. The were also handing out towels soaked in ice cold water and that felt like heaven on my face and then a volunteer heard me say how good it felt and she draped another one over my shoulders. At this point the crowd thinned out at little bit and I had my chip removed and got my medal.

I met up wth Brian around now (he finished in 2:31) and we each got a bottle of Amino Vital (orange flavor OK , red I hear was vile) and progressed towards the food. There was a line but it still seemed more organized than last year. One volunteer started walking out through the runners handing out bananas and I actually ate one! They also gave out oranges (cold) and bagels and pretzels and amino vital bars.

The free Spenco sandals are still ugly but far more comfortable than last year's model and much easier to get.

Back at the room I finished the 2nd half a 34oz Gatorade Endurance and drank half of another bottle too. Ate some soy chips and then realized that my medal had fallen off the ribbon! oh no!
Luckily, my hotel is right on the course at mile 13 so I could easily run back to the finish area and got a volunteer to replace my missing medal. I would have been crushed if I had lost it.

Final thoughts: the humidity was a killer and I was sorry that I wasn't wearing my fuel belt and carrying Endurance. I don't usually wear the belt in races but I was mighty jealous of the folks out on the course who had their own supply. I think I might have done better if I had my own stuff and since the PDR is in two weeks and they're using Amino Vital there too I'm going to wear my belt unless the temperature is a lot lower, which it might well be.

Even though my time wasn't anywhere near what I hoped for I think I did OK considering the conditions. I didn't run my best race but I didn't let myself totally give up either and I'm proud of myself for that.

I can't wait for the PDR though!

Friday, September 01, 2006

I hate you Ernesto!

I really want to run the Rock N Roll Half Marathon on Sunday inVirginia Beach but tropical storm (or whatever he is now) Ernesto is in my way. No matter when I go I'm going to have to drive through driving rain and possible floods to get to the race. It's awful since it's going to be nice on Sunday for the race.

I hate driving that far in GOOD weather for this race.

I'm being pulled in two directions between my sister who is going no matter what and my husband who doesn't think it's worth the hassle since the beach is going to stink.

I can't decide. 14 hours in the car is kind of silly just to run one race.

Wednesday Night Run

I had the best run every on Wednesday night! After a really annoying trip to the park involving a couple of detours due to a water main break I got there and ran the best loop of my life!

I actually RAN the whole loop. The whole thing! All the hills and everything. I admit I did stop for one sip of water but that was for maybe 10 seconds. Fantastic!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

67 days until NYC Marathon

...You know the movement seems to soothe me
And the tempo takes control
And I loss my blues when the New York City Rhythm fills my soul
It's the New York City Rhythm runnin' thru my life
The poundin' beat of the city's streets
That keep my dreams alive
I'm lost, I'm found
I'm up, I'm down
But somehow I survive
It's got to be the New York City Rhythm in my life
It's got to be the New York City Rhtym in my life
In my life...
---New York City Rhythm (Barry Manilow!)

Yes, I've still been running but I've been way off track after a great week of vacation (More details later but I ran a TON at the shore).

This weekend I'm looking forward to the half-marathon at Virginia Beach but Tropical Storm Ernesto is making it hard to get there. I think the weather will be OK on Sunday but who wants to drive across the Chesapeake-Bay-Bridge Tunnel in a hurricane? Not me! I hate it even in good weather!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Thursday Run + Some book Stuff

Went for an abbreviate run at Valley Forge on Thursday after work because we were in a hurry to get home to watch a lame Eagles pre-season game. We're such losers to be so football starved that we adjusted our plans for that!

Anyway, I ran maybe 3 miles? I didn't even bother to time it although I did try to make myself run fast since I wasn't going as far. It felt really good!

I'm leaving on vacation for the next week and won't have a computer so there will be no posts (not that there have been many lately anyway)!

I should get lots of miles in while I'm at the shore though so look forward to some reports when I get back.

I also got two new books to read and review from FreshWritersBooks which is an organization that encourages and helps high school students write books that actually get published! How about that!

One of their winning books is about a high school cross country team:

and the other is a novel and retelling of A Midsummer Nights Dream called Celtic Night.

They sent me the books hoping I'd review them here and they'd get some publicity in the blogosphere -- so stay tuned! I hope they're good!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Monday Run - I ran up the big hill!!

Our typical run at VF park.

There's one hill on the loop that just kills me everytime. It's a short, steep hill that comes at the end of a long stretch of small rolling hills that lead mostly uphill for about a mile. Usually I am so overworked from running up the steady incline that leads to the steep hill that I don't even consider running up the steep hill. I always walk and then drink at the top of the hill.

Today, for some reason that I can't explain, I ran up the steep hill! It was amazing! I never thought I could do that! It was awesome. Of course this great success had a rebound effect later in the run where at a point where I never walk I decided to walk. Here's the really strange part -- I wasn't hot, I didn't feel tired, my legs didn't hurt and weren't feeling heavy and yet I decided to keep on walking even after my drink. I just walked and walked -- for 5 whole minutes I walked! And then Brian passed me and after he got pretty far ahead of me I started to run again. I eventually caught him and we finished the loop together.

Overall it was a pretty good, if strange, run.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday Morning - Still sore!

Can you believe it?! My legs are still a little bit sore from Saturday's run! I'm kind of in shock. I haven't had sore legs after a run in a very long time. I've done nearly this many miles the last two weeks without sore legs and I think the surface of Saturday's run was probably a little softer than what I'm used to so the sore legs are a big surprise.

I think part of it has got to be that I didn't do my typical post run thing of eating protein. I don't always think about that with training runs but I always think about it after races. Saturday, while it was supposed to be LSD and even though it didn't feel overly difficult at the time, I was going at a pretty fast clip for me. That pace was right on target with my prior PR times at the half-marathon distance so it makes sense that my muscles would feel like they feel after a good hard effort. Too bad I didn't feed them!

On Sunday I slept late, did some yoga (which felt AWESOME! I don't know why I've been ignoring the yoga for so long -- it's great!) and then ran a couple errands. Late in the afternoon Brian decided he wanted to test out the bike rack before we go on vacation next week so we decided to go for a ride before dinner.

We went to explore a new trail, the Audubon loop, near our house that connects to the trail we always run/walk on. It was pretty great despite a long steep hill right near the start of the loop. It was quite scenic, not too hilly except for that big one at the start, and mostly shaded. I always like new scenery!

It felt good though to be doing something besides walking/running. Even though a lot of the bike ride was on trail I'm way too familiar with it seemed different somehow.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Long Run - 12 miles

Today was the first time I've put on my sneakers since the last long run. We had record high heat this week -- in the high 90s with heat index way over 100 every day. It just isn't worth it for me to run in conditions like that.

Today was fabulous for a run! We started at 7 and ran on a shady trail. The temp was low and so was the humidity. You really couldn't have asked for better summer weather.

The run went pretty well. I felt good through most of it and still feel good now, although I'm pretty tired. When I finish drinking my iced latte I think I'm going to take a short nap. Maybe a long nap.

I went out slow and ran with a guy I'd never run with before. He was awesome and set a steady pace that brought us in at about 2:17 for the 12. My sportbrain says that we only went 10.5 miles but I know that's totally wrong. We ventured past the 5 mile mark on the outbound portion and ran at least 10 minutes past it so I know we were very close to 12 miles. I felt really good for the first 9 and pretty good overall for the last three but if I hadn't been with my running buddy I'm sure I would have taken more walking breaks than we did. We hardly walked at all the whole time.

The pace we set was just about dead on with my PR for the half marathon (had we continued the extra 1.1 miles) and if I turn in a performance at VA Beach where I finish just a hair under 2:30 again I think I'll be OK with that if I run as consistantly as I did today. That's an accomplishment in itself for me. Still, I think I can do better on race day.

On a side note -- 3 months from now I should be more than halfway through the NYC Marathon!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Weekend Long Run + Change of Plans

Saturday was the Philly Fit long run -- we did about 11 miles and it was a good day.

The group got started a litte bit ahead of schedule and we weren't quite ready to pull out when the bulk of the group left so we started out on our own behind them. It was a good thing it worked out this way I think because I started out at a nice and easy pace which was good because the weather was really hot and humid. After a mile and a half or so we caught up with one member of the group who happens to work at my company. Brian went off ahead of us and I ran with her taking the same 5/1 walk breaks that she was taking. I don't usually do that but it didn't bother me to do it and I think it helped her to have a little bit of company. She said we were both running and walking faster than she was used to and I'm not sure if that was good or bad for her.

Anyway, we stuck together for the next 6 or 7 miles or so until she was more winded than I was and I pulled off on my own. I ran by myself the last stretch, passing a few people and generally taking much fewer walk breaks. My total time was 2:10 and I'm not unhappy with that considering the conditions and all the walk breaks. If it's true that long runs should be a minute slower than marathon pace, I was right on.

I drank a TON during the run. I bought a new Nathan Speed 4 water belt that holds 40 oz of water and I couldn't believe how totally comfortable it was! In addition to the 4 bottles it has two pouches for holding gels and keys and stuff and I love it! Anyway, I had 3 of the 4 filled with Gatorade Endurance and one with plain water and I had finished all of it by the time the run was over. Brian had a 34 oz belt on with a similar gatorade/water ratio and he was done too. Once we finished we polished off another 34 oz bottle of Endurance and a big bottle of regular gatorade (32 oz) plus two small (12 oz) bottles of water each. That's a lot of liquid. He did two extra miles to catch up with his marine Corps schedule but I just sat around and talked.

This is a snazzy little fluid loss calculator from Gatorade which suggests that we were right on with the hydration plan. 12 oz of fluid for every 15 minutes of moderate/hard running in the conditions we faced on Saturday. Interesting.

I was pretty wiped afterwards and even had to take a nap. Brian resisted the nap but did mention that he considered one which is very unusual for him.

Over the weekend we also decided that we're probably going to skip the Lake Tahoe Marathon after all. It seems like a good idea but we realized we would have to sacrifice more of Yosemite than we're really willing to do for the workout. The way I see it we can still probably decide to do it at the last minute if we really want to but we probably won't. We're pretty wishy-washy though so we might change our minds again by next week!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tuesday Night Loop at VF

I'm not sure what to make of last night's run.

I ran a little more than 4 miles, on hills, and I mostly felt OK but I never felt good and I didn't have enough gumption to tackle the final hill of the loop and instead took the flat, slightly shorter finish back to the car instead of the full loop like I usually do.

My time was 45:53 which is OK not great not awful either. Just blah. I was really sweaty and uncomfortable so I think it was more humid than I thought. I'm not going to worry about it.

My NYRR trainer says I should be running 6 out of 7 days. I'm not that motivated. Tonight calls for an easy 3 mile run but I think I'm more inclined to go to the library and watch some TV instead of hitting the trail again. I will probably run tomorrow but I think I'm going to opt for flat instead of hills. It's going to be hot and I don't want to wear myself out too much before the 10 miler on Saturday. I might even be doing more like 11 or 12 if Brian and I go early to catch up with the MCM schedule.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Awesome Run W & OD Trail in Virginia

Believe it or not we did actually run!

The W & OD trail is very near my sister's house so we drove over there hoping to do five or maybe six miles. The trail was so nice that we ended up doing more like nine! We started near Purcellville and headed out along a nice shaded mostly flat trail. There was even a llama farm (ranch?) next to the trail for interesting wildlife viewing! We even got to refresh ourselves by picking wild raspberries at the turn around point. Delicious!

The whole outing, including the raspberries and the llama viewing took 1:53. Considering that it was mid-day I'm pretty happy with that.

We got home to find that everybody else had gone out so we threw ourselves into the pool and hung out until the rest of the gang got home and then we had lunch before heading back to Pennsylvania.

I am convinced that this week of low milage made me feel really good on all the runs I took this week. I'm happy with my progress so far!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday July 22nd - 6 mile run

Today is my Mom's 75th birthday. We're supposed to be driving down to Virginia for her Birthday party at my sister's house. Since it's unlikely that I'll actually run once I get down there Brian and I decided to try to do some miles before we headed down there.

Same boring trail -- Oaks to VF. We did about 6 miles. It was hot and humid and kind of gross. But we got it in.

Came home to watch Floyd Landis and his awesome TT and then drove down to VA. It should have taken 4 hours or so but because of some stupid decisions involving Starbucks iced coffee it took more like 5.5. YUCK!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Fake 5K

I was supposed to be running a local 5K last night but it was postponed because of the horrible thunderstorms we had on Tuesday evening. The storms trashed the county where I live and there were downed trees and powerlines all over the place. My own electricity was out for a long time and PECO was saying that it might not be restored until Sunday afternoon! Thank God that was a false alarm and my power came back yesterday afternoon.

Anyway, since I didn't have my 5K to run I considered doing nothing but reading my book in the 5K time slot but since I haven't run at all since Saturday I decided that was a bad idea so I put on the sneakers and hit the trail.

I guessed the distance I ran but it was at least 3 miles and less than 3.5 I think. My sportbrain (not the most reliable tool in the world) clocked the run at exactly 3.1 miles. How convenient! In any event the run took 32 minutes and felt fabulous.

It would have even been a little faster except some guy on a bike stopped me mid-run and asked me to look at a bee sting he had on his face and asked if I thought the stinger was still in it (no) and if he looked abnormally swollen because he had never been stung before (no). He had to ride pretty far to get back to his car and he needed to know if he should stop and beg a park ranger for a ride instead of trying to make it on his own.

After that I think I ran even faster back to my car because all I could think about was that Ted Bundy movie starring Mark Harmon where he is always tricking his victims into helping him by pretending he had a fake broken arm. This guy didn't seem the least bit scary and he did seem to have a giant swollen cheek but Mark Harmon/Ted Bundy seemed pretty harmless too.

Anyway, the run felt great which I'm sure was due to the extra rest and the low humidity but it made me anxious to run some more tonight. Unfortunately, the humidity seems back in full force, and it's pretty cloudy so my run may be rained out. I am totally uninterested in running in the rain.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Candy Machine Jackpot

After lunch today I stopped at the candy machine because it's stocked with Goetze's Caramel Creams which are one of my favorite types of candy. I was excited because the pack I bought today was the last one in the machine. When my pack of caramel creams dropped it revealed the candy behind it -- something new and exciting!

Dark Chocolate Raisinets! Of course, I had to get them and planned to eat them right away instead of the caramel creams. Since I had enough money I figured I'd buy a second bag to take home for Brian.

At this point I had a handful of change and no pockets so I decided to buy a bag of red swedish fish since they were available and would leave me with just a single nickel to carry and they are always a good stash to have in the desk.

Imagine my awesome good luck when for some reason my falling swedish fish dislodged a packet of Peanut Butter M & Ms from the slot next door!

So now I have a huge and delicious stock of candy in my desk at work! Lucky me!

Why did this have to happen during a week when the heat is going to make it impossible to run?

Lake Tahoe Marathon scheme

I think I've mentioned before that our vacation plans are to go to Yosemite National Park in late September. We chose the time of the trip because we were (are?) thinking about going to see the Eagles play the 49ers that Sunday in San Francisco before we head to Yosemite.

Since we made the plans, Brian decided to do the Marine Corps Marathon and that means that one of his long runs is supposed to happen the day we leave for vacation. One of my long runs for NYC is supposed to be the weekend we arrive back home. As much as we both love marathons neither one of us has been willing to schedule/change our vacations because of training. We'll be fit enough to finsish our races if we skip one run, even a long run. Especially since we'll be hiking all over the Sierras and not just lazing on a beach. But then this weekend I noticed an ad for the Lake Tahoe Marathon on the back cover of Marathon & Beyond magazine.

I noticed it at first because it's a week long sports celebration at the Lake. They have several bike rides, kayak and other paddling events, tons of running -- including four different marathons, a 20 mile "power walk", and a 72 mile ultra. Then I noticed that this week of sports was the same week that we're going to be on vacation in California, not too far from Lake Tahoe.

Hmmm. This could be interesting. They say it's “From start to finish, maybe the most beautiful set of events you will ever do”.

I'm not quite crazy enough to want to run a marathon that close to my main event but a 20 mile walk sounds quite nice. Especially for Brian. So I check out the scoop on the walk. It sounds ideal. "20 miles of non-competitive training and fun plus a finish line picnic". It also says that "This is designed for the power walker, but a runner can use it as a long training run for a future marathon event". Could this be any more perfect for us?

So our new scheme is to blow off the Eagles game, which probably has less payoff for us than the Lake Tahoe thing, and head right to Yosemite. Then we can get four solid days there before heading to Lake Tahoe on Thursday. Then we'll have a day to check out whatever there is at Lake Tahoe followed by the 20 miler on Saturday morning before driving back to San Francisco Saturday evening. We fly home early in the morning on Sunday.

We get an extra bonus destination on our trip and our training in to boot. All we have to do is figure out where to stay as we adjust out hotel plans but I think we're going to do this.

Marathonguide says good things about the marathon but does speak kind of harshly about the effects of altitude but since we're doing it as training I don't think the slow times will bother us much.

I am the worst blogger ever!

Seriously, I totally stink! Here's what you've missed:

Saturday - Philly Fit group run 7 miles

Group met at VF to run early in the morning to try to beat the heat. Things went quite well on this outing - I kept a nice easy pace running with a couple other people and everything felt great and easy despite the high humidity. I had a very slow middle mile when I spent some time running/walking with a couple of walkers who are hoping to turn into runners. Overall it was really good. My watch told me the whole outing took and hour and 10 minutes but I know I didn't start the watch right away so it was probably more than 1 hour 13 or so. That seems so incredibly fast though, that I think that the milage must have been miscalculated. Andrew, one of the coaches, measured it with his GPS and swears it's right so who knows for real what the scoop was.

After the official run Brian and I decided to skip the injury lecture and walked a few extra miles just to get closer to our marathon schedules. We only did two miles and they were slow miles so I don't know that we did much except take in some fresh air.

Later on Saturday it turned into a monsoon day so we were glad to have been outside working out before things got ugly. We've learned that even when we hate getting out of bed in the morning it's usually worth it to do it.

Sunday - 15 miles on the bike

I let my sister & the girls off the hook on the walking since the temperature was supposed to be way over 90 on Sunday. Instead we went for a bike ride and it was AWESOME! I bought my bike about a month before I got into walking/running and I've never really used it as much as I'd like to. Brian loves to ride and says it's the perfect activity for really hot days and I think he's right. We were out for a couple of hours and it only felt hot when we were stopped.

We were mostly on the gravel trail but there are easy paved sections and a couple of places where we could go "off road" and try my luck at a very baby-ish level of mountain biking. It wa totally fun -- even the parts where I got covered in mud. I also felt very cool when I took my bike apart to get it into the car and was able to put it back together again at home. I'd much rather have a bike rack though so I don't have to pop the wheel every time.

Since the bike ride I've had some minor seat related soreness but the rest of the body felt great. I think I might have to make this a regular part of the cross training plan since my Sunday running schedule said to cross train or to run easy. The bike was way more fun (and probably better for my legs) than the run.

Tuesday - HOT HOT HOT

Tonight is a running night for me but since it's supposed to be close to 100 degrees today and since I hope to run a 5K tomorrow night after work I'm skipping it. Maybe I'll do Tae Bo or yoga or something when I get home from work instead.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Catching up on the past week

Wow! I've been a total blog slacker! The good news is that I haven't totally slacked off on running. To re-cap:

Last Sunday I met my sister and her two teenaged daughters to walk with them down at Kelly Drive. This was their first outing to start getting ready for the Philadelphia Distance Run in September. They're all semi-excited about the idea but mostly horrified when the see how far the distance actually is. My sister thought that she had signed up for a 10K. When I explained that it was a half-marathon she says "how far is that, again?" and then she says "and how far is a 10k?". Yes, they do have much to learn! Anyway, the walk went fine after we got started. We had forgotten that there was a women's triathlon being run at Kelly Drive that day so we had a tricky time parking and finding one another but the race added an extra element of run to thier experience. Here's hoping I get them outside this Sunday too!

Tuesday is my normal running night but it was rained out by a thunderstorm so Brian & I went for a short neighborhood walk after it blew over. It was still hideously humid so we didn't even walk fast but it was still walking so I put it on the calendar. We probably covered about three miles or so. Much more of a stroll than an exercise outing.

Wednesday we went for a good outing from Indian Head Road on the oaks trail to Valley Force. This was a good four mile run at a steady, slowish pace. I screwed up by hitting the wrong button on my watch so I don't know the real timing of the run but I tried really hard to stick to the being able to talk rule. I'm guessing it was between 11 and 11:30 minute miles.

Last night was our VF loop run. This was awesome! Brian had to work later than usual and that turned into a particularly good thing because it had cooled off quite a lot while I waited for him. We didn't really get moving until about 7:15 and by then the sun was low and there was even a breeze along parts of the trail. I stuck with him in the early stages of the loop but somewhere about two miles into the running section I found my legs and pulled away from him and finished the loop actually getting faster as I went along. It was totally bizarre! I finished in about 50 minutes which is awesome for me on that trail.

Today is a much needed rest day and then tomorrow I have my long run. I'm confused about what milage to do since my NYRR Trainer says to do 7 miles, my Philly Fit adjusted schedule says 10 miles, and the group is doing 6. Brian and my sister are supposed to do 12. The weather is going to be HOT (over 90) for the next 10 days at least but I think tomorrow might be low humidity so it might be good to get in longer miles while it's not quite so painful but I suspect I'm going to wind up on the low end of things tomorrow. I'm sure I can get in 8 but I don't know that I'll make it all the way to 10.

Stay tuned....

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Awesome Run - 8 miles +

Arrived late to Philly Fit and spent the first four miles trying to catch up with the pack. I never quite got to them until they slowed down to walk at the turnaround point.

The run back was great since I had two people to run with who kept my pace easy and steady. Average pace was just over 11 minute miles.

We walked two easy miles after the nutrition lecture so Brian could get 10 miles under his belt for the day.

Tomorrow I'm meeting Retie and the girls for their first practice for the PDR.

Friday, July 07, 2006

You've gotta love the low humidity!

Valley Forge loop -- only this time it seemed effortless!

I can't see any reason why it would have felt so good except for the change in humidity. It had to be 80 degrees and there was bright sun and yet it wasn't exhausting and I wasn't disgustingly sweaty when I was finished.

I followed the NYRR trainer schedule instructions so I stuck to my 11 minute miles and it was just a pleasure the whole time.

Philly Fit is tomorrow at 7:15 and we have 8 miles on tap. The NYRR trainer says I should be doing 7 at just under 12 minute pace. Brian's schedule (adjusted for MCM from PhillyFit schedule) has him down for 10. I think the weather is going to be great so we might actually do the extra miles together. I'm actually looking forward to it!

I finished an interesting book yesterday all about Gatorade and their amazing market share / marketing scheme. It was like reading a breezy magazine article only it was book length. It's called First in Thirst.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Horrible smell update

I did a little research today on how to remove the revolting milk smell and the news is not good! Luckily the spill wasn't all that big and I think it's probably only on the floormat so I can probably just throw it away if I can't clean it. Look at some of this blurb:

Overall Warnings:
If a substantial amount of milk has spilled and gone sour, or if the milk has soaked deeply into the seat or carpet, you may need to seek professional help from an auto detailer.

The Smell From Hell

Yesterday I got into my car to drive to the supermarket and was nearly overcome by a horrible stink that nearly defies description. I thought it was coming from the garbage can in my garage that I have to park really close to, so I pulled out of the garage as quickly as I could and put down the windows for my short drive to the store.

I get to the store, do my shopping, and get back in the car only to find that the stink is still here! It's not the garbage can at all -- it's something in my car! What could it possibly be?

I drive home, unload the groceries, and head back out to the car, bottle of Febreeze in hand. I decide that the stink must be coming from the pile of used supermarket plastic bags that I've been meaning to return to the store but keep forgetting. I throw them away, febreeze everything in sight, and then lower the windows hoping for the best.

Today, on my way to work it seems OK until I close the windows and the I can smell it again. Horrible stink that is so awful I worry that it's permeating my clothes and that I will stink when I exit the car. I crank the air because that makes it slightly less gross and crack the windows as much as I can without getting wet (it's pouring rain) and it's bearable but this is really quite troubling. What can it be?

And then I remember stopping for a gallon of milk on the way home from work on Monday. Somewhere between the WaWa and my house the gallon had tipped over and must have sprung a leak during the fall because when I grabbed it to walk into the house I realized that it was leaking into the plastic bag and it was a big mess. So the horrible smell is rotten milk all over my floor mat. I feel better knowing what the source of the horrible smell is but I am powerless to fix it today. I can't leave the car windows open because of the pouring rain (it's supposed to continue all day) and I can't bring the mat into the office becuase it's too gross. I guess I could have taken it out and put it on the roof or something to get washed by the rain but that seemed too messy too.

In the end, I just left it where it is. I hope I can make it home without passing out from the fumes.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Burning in the Sun

For some strange reason I awoke bright and early on Sunday morning at seven. I was wide awake and I hopped right out of bed. This NEVER happens to me. Was I a smart cookie who popped on her running shoes and headed out in the cool temps to get in my three easy recovery miles? Of course not! Instead of running, I sat on the back porch, drank coffee and finished my book. I didn't decide to go running until nearly NOON!

Brian was heading out for a bike ride and suggested that I could give him a ride home if I was planning on taking a walk or doing any running. I thought this was a good plan so after he left I packed a cooler with a bunch of water and Gatorade and headed to the park. Did I decide to run on the scenic shady section of trail? Of course not! I chose the unshaded, boiling hot black asphalt section that runs alongside the noisy highway. What else would you do on a 90 degree day with high humidity?

To be fair, this wasn't quite as bad as I'm making it sound. The first mile and a quarter I totally walked because I was just warming up and I wanted to walk to a real mile marker. There was also a slight breeze so it didn't feel so bad. Once I got to the mile marker I started to run but I was aware of the high heat and really tried not to push myself -- I was trying to sing along (quietly, I swear) with my iPod so that I wouldn't get too fast for my own good. I ran the next two miles without a whole lot of trouble and took my standard walk/drink breaks. The third running mile was kind of tough but I powered through it with just one extra walk break. I strolled the final mile+ back to the car. This was where I really felt the boiling hot asphalt. Man, it was HOT. I finished my drink on this section of the trail and I didn't think I'd get back to the car without melting.

I grabbed the cooler and quickly ran into a shady spot under a big tree and sucked down as much orange gatorade as I could. Then I finished a whole bottle of water and over the next 40 minutes or so the rest of the gatorade. Brian returned soon after I sat down in the grass and we both hung out drinking and relaxing in the shade. It's really amazing how much different it was in the shade.

My running splits got progressively slower: 11:07, 11:24. 11:48 but they're OK overall. The walking portions were both quite slow but amazingly the return to the car was a little faster than the walk to start the day.

My legs were feeling good and had I done this run in the morning I think I would have felt great.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Saturday Philly Fit Run - 7 miles

Saturday Morning was the weekly Philly Fit run. We were supposed to start late and follow the run with a picnic but the recent floods forced us to cancel the picnic. We still started at the late time (8:45) which was hot but let us sleep late so I still was happy.

The run itself went quite well. We were on the shady part of the Perkiomen Trail which is mostly soft gravel so it was easy on the knees and cooler than the Oaks trail to Valley Forge. I fell in with a pack of runners who were chatting with me and they helped me keep an easy, even pace. I was sticking to my plan to walk/drink at each mile and that went pretty well for me until the last section where I got a mild side stitch and walked more than usual. For the last mile I hooked up with a woman who was having a really hard time and was commenting on how discouraged she was by being left behind by our group (she was with us totally on the run out but was struggling to keep up on the return trip.) Anyway, I stuck with her and ran/walked with her for the last mile. I didn't mind doing it and she was grateful. My plan was to do two extra miles with Brian after our official seven but it was really hot so we decided not to do the extra miles.

We covered 7 miles in about 1:16 which translates to just under 11 minute miles and I'm happy with that outcome.

Post-run we guzzled the Gatorade Endurance I'd collected on Friday night and then headed home to enjoy the nice day.

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Hunt for Gatorade Endurance

Remember awhile ago I wrote about how Brian got this awesome mailing from Gatorade Endurance that included about 25 coupons for free 34 oz. bottles of the drink? Well, the coupons expire today, June 30 and we still had 10 left to use.

Since we're just starting a long hot summer I knew I had to use as many of the coupons as I could on my way home from work so I decided to stop everywhere I could on the way home. Here's how it went:

Giant: 1 free bottle of lemon-lime
Genaurdi's: they are running a special! Buy 2 get 2 free. So I left the store with 5 bottles.
Acme: 1 free bottle
WaWa: 1 free smaller (24 oz bottle)
Genaurdi's: 5 more bottles
Acme: I went with Brian and we got 2 free bottles.

Total: 15 bottles of Gatorade Endurace, paid for only 4 of them.

Thank you Destiny's Child!

I never thought I'd be writing that, let me tell you!

Last night I went for my typical post work run at Valley Forge. It was BRUTAL. It was hot, it was humid, it was just gross. I couldn't keep up a decent pace and I was too far ahead of Brian to justify waiting for him so we could walk together and talk -- especially because from my vantage point he looked like he was having a great outing (actually he was hating things too and would have been happy to walk and talk).

I was completely out of gas about halfway through the loop and I was trying to convince my legs to start running again but instead I just completely threw in the mental towel. I figued I'd walk the final 2 miles and just not even try to run at all. And that, my friends, is when the iPod came to the rescue, and Destiny's Child redeemed my workout.

You know thier hit song 'Survivor'? I had downloaded it from iTunes for just this type of occasion!

Check out the lyrics:

I'm a survivor
I'm not gonna give up
I'm not gon' stop
I'm gonna work harder
I'm a survivor
I'm gonna make it
I will survive
Keep on survivin'

Over and over and over again they keep on chanting those same words at a nice, steady, easy to maintain pace.

They interrupt the chant every and then to rag on the boyfriend that dumped them or something but mostly is that same "I'm not gonna give up" line. It was great. I even managed to run through most of the next song that came on which was called "Why does it always rain on me?" which was really kind of timely considering the recent weather in Pennsylvania.

I did wind up walking a lot even with the push from Destiny's Child but I did learn that I should probably play that constantly during miles 19-22 of the marathon when I am usually grouchy and miserable.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"No Whining!" or "Rain is your friend"

Last night against my better judgement and despite the satellite forecast that we both looked at, Brian and I decided to go for a run.

We are fools. It's been raining for about 5 days in Pennsylvania and while we were eating dinner we had a brief dry spell. We got changed, drove to the trail, and the second we got out of the car, the rain started falling again.

At first, it was just light drizzle. I wanted to give up but Brian said "oh, it'll blow over" and I kind of believed him. It didn't blow over -- it just got harder. About five minutes into our adventure we were already completely soaked so we decided to keep going until we could see the river and check out it's flood stage. It was flooded. No kidding! I complained bitterly about being out in this storm the entire time. Brian kept hitting me with the "no whining" line that is on the Philly Fit t-shirts and the "rain is your friend" quote from some old TNT person.

The rain alternated between intense downpour and regular rain until we made it back to the car. The sportbrain gives us credit for 2.8 miles. I would have guessed a little less than that, but I'll accept the extra distance since the conditions were so awful.

Oddly, the whole experience was kind of fun. Still, I don't see me running any marathons in that kind of weather.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Weekend Run - Avalon, NJ

Just an update: I was away for the weekend but I did manage to get in about 8 miles on Saturday morning. This was between rain storms and it took me along the very flat Dune Drive in Avalon. This is part of the Ocean Drive marathon course and let me tell you -- it's BORING. And this is in the middle of the season. I shudder to think how dull it would be on race day.

It was pretty cool but exceptionally humid so the run was tough towards the end but mostly it felt really good and it was nice having the option of hurling myself into the ocean when I was done running. I didn't actually do that but I thought about it constantly for the last mile. As it turns out ice cold Gatorade was a good enough post run reward.

Thursday night before heading down the shore we went out on the Perkiomen for an easy 4 miles. We would have gone farther but it was too dark so we couldn't. Secretly, I was thrilled because it was super humid and pretty unpleasant. The most intersting part of the Thursday run was testing out the new "damn the torpedoes" bra that I ordered from the Terry bikes website. It's a very peculiar contraption but I think it worked pretty well!

Today (Monday) I can sign up for the NYRR training program online. It's a waste of money but I can't wait to do it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

After Work Run

Nothing much to report except I ran at Valley Forge last night after work. It was warm but the humidity was way down so it actually turned into a really nice night to be outside.

I ate a marathon energy bar on the drive over and about half a bottle of regular Gatorade so I had tons of energy and felt really good on the run. I'm sticking with the slow and steady plan so I didn't time myself and I tried to run as much as I possibly could although the hills took their usual toll on me in some spots.

At one point I was passed on the uphill by this guy who appeared to be a really fit runner. Imagine my surprise when soon after he passed me he stopped to walk! Unfortunately, he was far enough ahead of me that despite his frequent walk breaks I could never quite catch him. I'm annoyed that I never caught up but kind of glad I didn't force myself to run fast and by doing that screw up my own running plan for the night. It did make me happy that somebody who looks a lot fitter than I do still had to take breaks.

I'm not sure what my plan for the rest of the week will be. Normally I'd take off tonight and run tomorrow but we might drive down to the shore tomorrow and that could interfere with running. I think I might go for a run on the flat tonight while Brian mows the lawn and then I won't feel so bad if skip Thursday. I am determined to do at least two mid-week runs and this seems to be my best shot.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Adventure racing is cool

I forgot to mention that on Saturday after Philly Fit there was this guy running an Adventure Racing training class at the park. He had a tent set up and all kinds of challenges with bikes and other stuff around for his group to work on. When I talked to him the people in his class were out on a running or biking orienteering task out in the park.

He has his own business TRYAD peronal training (get it -- TRY adventure) and he seemed totally hyper but also nice and super enthusiastic about getting people to try this sport that he loves. His next class is coming up in mid-July and it's going to be a little different because it's going to involve some water stuff (like kayak or canoe stuff) but I'm interested in learning more. I don't really see me doing anything crazy like the ECO-challenge or anything like that but there are smaller adventure races in the area that have cycling, running and map skills and I think that's pretty cool. I saw some people out last week during my run and this Tryad guy told me they were part of a 24 hour adventure race. Yikes! I'm sure not ready for that.

Here's a blurb from his website:

"Adventure training mostly utilizes the great outdoors as a way to achieve your fitness goals. Picture a boot camp, but more fun. Running/hiking, biking, canoeing or kayaking, plus throw in a few physical and mental challenges and a partner. Bam! You have adventure training. "

Sounds pretty fun!

Good Omen?

Deena Kastor to run in ING New York City Marathon

The last time I was in a race with Deena Kastor (the Philadelphia Distance Run, 2005) I set my PR. Coincidentally, so did she, since she "shattered" the 21 year old American Record. She was super nice and hung out signing autographs for ages after the race -- she signed my bib and I was one of the slowest people there.

Perhaps she'll be good luck for me in New York too. I'd suggest that I was HER good luck charm but she seems to have done pretty well for herself without me on the scene (just a couple of marathon victories plus the new American Record at London - see photo).

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday Run - It was HOT

I forced myself to go out for a run on Sunday despite the 90+ heat. I was stupid and hung around my air conditioned house watching TV for ages in the morning so I didn't get out there until after 11AM. STUPID.

I ran on the shady part of the trail and it was just about all I could do to make myself stick it out for three miles. I guess three miles are better than no miles, right? Add on an extra mile of walking on either end of the three for a grand total of four.

My running miles were about 11:30, as usual, but I'm impressed with that considering how hot it was and how much I felt like I was dying. The legs were OK though.

Total miles for this first real week of training = 25

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Philly Fit Run - 7.5 miles

I ran a mile and half before Philly Fit started today to catch up with the schedule for the NYC marathon. The group was running six today, and I was supposed to do seven while the Marine Corps folks were supposed to do eight. The weather was still pretty nice -- warm but not ghastly hot and not too humid.

The group run went pretty well. I stuck with the plan of running a mile, walking to drink then running, etc. for the first couple of miles. The third mile out was in full sun. I don't think it was all that bad but the contrast from the rest of the shaded path coupled with the fact that this is about the distance (5 miles or so) where I've been stopping lately, made it a tough mile for me. I found myself walking when I shouldn't have been and generally feeling pretty rotten.

Approaching the next mile marker I ran into our coach who had me stop until some more of the runners caught up with me. We ran the next mile doing a drill where we'd run in a single file line and the last person would run to the front and then the next person would go -- kind of what they do in a team time trial in cycling only on foot. That was good and kept us moving along for the end of the run. We weren't fast but we were moving.

All in all, a good effort.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Tempo Run? More like snail run

The good news is that we actually went for our run last night. The bad news is that I was like a snail.

We went to a different section of the trail -- one that's more gravel than paved -- and set out to do six miles. I knew I wasn't in the mood to run all six so I thought I'd walk the first one, run the next 4 and then decide at the last minute if I wanted to run or walk the last mile. Guess what I decided?

Overall it was fine -- I averaged 11:30 miles and felt OK the whole time. Again, I tried to just be consistant and not get to the point where I was desperate to stop because I was running too fast. It worked, I never felt bad, and while I did stop to walk a few times it was because I was hydrating. Still, when I finished mile 4 I was glad to start walking again. Had it been a race I certainly could have continued but I was very aware of my dinner sitting in my stomach and I was glad to walk so it would stop jiggling away in there.

This was my first run with the iPod shuffle armband. I think I like it but it took me awhile to get it adjusted to the proper fit on my arm. At first it was too tight and it was uncomfortable but I fiddled with it enough to get comfy and it's way better than the bouncy neck strap.

I also realized that my shoes are shot. I wore my new shoes for the last two runs and didn't think they were all that much better than my trusty old pair. Wow! I could feel every footstrike and by the end of the run I was aware of my knees. They didn't hurt -- but I knew they were there taking the impact. That doesn't happen with the new shoes. I guess it's time to get back to the running store to pick up another pair so I will have two good ones to rotate into the marathon training. I'm going to be really bummed when/if they change this model. I would like it if it came in another color though. I love my current blue ones but I wouldn't mind an alternative color.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tempo Run tonight

I'm supposed to be doing my first tempo run tonight.

I'm not sure I know exactly what a tempo run even is but I gather I'm supposed to warm up, make myself run faster for awhile, and then cool down. I think I'm not quite ready for that yet and I'll settle for just getting three or four miles in where I'm not walking. It's a pretty nice day, warm but low humidity, so it should go pretty well.

I'm considering joining a gym. I need to have a back-up plan for bad weather or really high heat and a gym can certainly provide that until I manage to get my treadmill fixed (yeah, like that's ever going to happen). I can also take some yoga classes there because as much as I plan to do my yoga DVDs I never actually get around to it. It's hard to relax in the middle of my clutterd family room! Most of all though, I can start a weight program.

I really want to build up some muscle, especially in my totally wimpy arms, but I am seriously intimidated by gyms and machines. My master plan is to join the gym and sign up for some sessions with a trainer which hopefully will help me figure out a proper weight training plan that will prepare me for New York and will force me to get over my fear of using the machines.

It'll probably cost me a fortune to start up with this but I think I need to do it.

QVC Red Carpet Weekend - Recap Friday night

I arrived early for the Friday night the kick off of Red Carpet weekend at QVC Studio Park. As I lurked in my car waiting for my sister to arrive I was scouting out the other folks coming to the weekend and as I suspected, they were almost all older, plumper, and nerdier than us. Up until the time she arrived and we actually started walking towards the building I was thinking that we should skip it and go home because this was such a nerdy thing to be doing.

We walk into the building on an actual red carpet. There was even a guy with a giant camera snapping pictures, thankfully not of us. We were greeted by a swarm of name-tag wearing QVC executive types who shook hands, thanked us for coming and swept us into the lobby. Once inside we signed a release form so they can use us on TV or in advertising and then issued us our name tags for the weekend -- complete with our schedule of activities for the next three days. I was on team Diamonique. They also handed everyone a Fuji disposable camera so you could get snapshots with all the QVC stars without feeling like a crazy nut who brought their own camera along.

One the "festivities" started we were taken upstairs into the studio tour area where we could look down onto the sets and see them filming the on air stuff. We also got to meet lots of QVC hosts who were chatting and signing autographs and generally milling around schmoozing with us. We saw: Lisa Robertson, Rick Domeier, Bob Bowersox, Dave James, Jill Bauer, Carolyn Gracie, Antonella Nestor, Dan Wheeler, Dave King. I can't think of anybody else. It was like Disney world where they crowds line up for autographs and photos with Mickey Mouse. Totally odd and funny yet we got sucked right into the mix. My general impression of the hosts? They are all much shorter in person. The men look better close up than the women who tended to have too much makeup on to look normal. Bob Bowersox was notable for having a very ill-fitting and outdated outfit that looked like he stole it from 1985.

We also got to talk to Emme the plus sized model who was nice and funny and was making fun of Dennis Basso (famous QVC guest) and she posed for a goofy photo with me for Brian who totally loves her. She also hinted that we'd be getting great free stuff. She gave us a sales pitch on QVC quality standards and stuff about sizes being true so maybe someday I will order her clothes.

Nothing much else went on except having snacks and awesome desserts while we wandered around. We also learned that we were selected at random to attend this party. They send 600 invitations and take the first 250 YES responses. People came from 31 states (including Hawaii) plus DC and Puerto Rico. On our way out they handed us all red roses.

We headed home around 9:30 because we had to get a good night's sleep for the big day tomorrow. Our Vendor Expo visit started at 9am sharp!

QVC Goodie Bag Inventory Part Two - the big bag

I mentioned in my earlier post that a QVC staff person sent us to collect our giant goodie bags out in the parking lot so we wouldn't have to lug them to our cars. Unless otherwise noted, these are full sized products. Here's the list of goodies:

  • 1 tin of Hollywood fashion tape
  • Honora pearl and leather bracelet
  • Micropearl Abrasion Kit
  • Dirt hair product by Jonathan Antin
  • Ojon conditioning finishing paste
  • Ojon ultra hydrating conditioner
  • LORAC eyeshadow kit (non-hideous colors)
  • very cute embroidered linen lingere bag
  • Joan Rivers "opal" hoop earrings
  • Elastology Age Blocker 25 SPF
  • ProStrong Nail Treatment kit
  • TravelOn pink leather luggage tag
  • Tova Nights perfume sampes (3 of them)
  • Ecclissi watch - silver link with dangling heart locket watch
  • Kathy Van Zeeland wallet
  • Set of 8 breezies pastel lace lingere bags
  • Starfiber rose print cleaning cloth
  • Celebrate America CD
  • Lipo-in-a-Box mesh lingere bag
  • Scented votive candle
  • Proactive mini maintence system
  • 1 Lock-n-Lock box
  • Bare Escentuals face color
  • Lip venom
  • PX Prescripteves super line preventor (sample I think)
  • AHA hand creme (sample)
  • Tarte smooth Operator foundation (sample)
  • Jonathan Antin Leave in Conditioner Sample
  • Kirk's Folly crystal dangle earrings
  • "the Gripper" jar opener
  • Joan Rivers French Manicure Kit
  • Laura Gellar Spackle
  • Dr. Denese wrinkle smoother (2 jars)
  • Reclaim w/Argireline Night Cream from Principal Secret
  • Philosophy Cinnamon Buns shower gel 6oz
  • Hope in a jar small size
  • Hope in a jar for eyes - small size
  • When hope is not enough - small size
  • Purity Facial cleanser - 2 oz.
  • Amazing Grace shower gel sample
  • Baby Grace shower gel sample
  • Pure Grace shower gel sample

QVC Goodie Bag Inventory List Part One

Self Collected Goodies from Vendor Expo:

  • QVC tote bag
  • Joan Rivers crystal flower pin
  • Joan Rivers nail polish samples (4 colors)
  • Joan Rivers foot cream sample
  • Joan Rivers hand cream sample
  • Susan Graver scarf - black & gray plaid
  • CitiKnits scarf - pink
  • Ryka gym bag
  • Ryka water bottle with carrier strap
  • Nature's Code vitamin sample
  • rubber duckie in party hat from Quacker Factory lady
  • Birkinstock glow in the Dark frisbee
  • Birkinstock 'Birkis' blue baseball t-shirt (it's awesome, super soft)
  • Bottle of jewely cleaner
  • Ceramic pumpkin shaped candy dish from Temptations
  • Electric pink full sized umbrella from Rockport shoes
  • Note pad from Emme the model
  • 20th birthday cupcakes
  • Northern Nights down pillow in carrying case (how could I forget it?!)

He didn't give us any freebies but we met Vern Yip (from Trading Spaces)! He's going to have a new show "kind of like American Idol only with design" starting on HGTV on July 23. He also has a quite awesome line of products that will be on QVC starting in March. He gave us a tour of all of his stuff and I would have bought all of it. I can't wait until he's on for real.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

VF - hilly run after work

I hate hills! I hate them!

We met at Valley Forge last night to do the loop and it was so hard! I'd gotten good at it before Delaware but all (maybe not all -- but most) of that is gone. I hated the hills, I struggled up all of them, and walked more than I am used to. Even worse, I could feel it in my muscles. Awful!

The good news is that I know it's going to improve fairly quickly because that's what happened before Delaware. All this will make me tough for New York and I will be running those bridges with ease. I have to keep telling myself that anyway so I'll get out there to run.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Marine Corps Marathon 10K

As you can see if you've checked my upcoming race schedule I've signed up for the 10K race at the Marine Corps Marathon. This gives me a way to hang out with Brian and my sister before their marathon, I can do my own training miles for the weekend, and still manage to watch them out on the course. It's perfect! Plus, I'll get a medal and a cool shirt -- what more could I want?

Sunday Run

Philly Fit had 5 miles on the schedule so that's what I set out to do. I wasn't sure how it would go since I've been feeling so lousy lately but it turned out pretty good!

My plan was to walk to the first marker to warm up (just over a mile) and then run the rest of the way, stopping for hydration breaks with walking at the end of each mile. It went Ok and I was proud of myself that I only walked when drinking at the designated times even though I was running really slowly.

I did the five miles and felt really good the whole time. Things are finally improving, I think. I took splits but I forgot my watch today so I can't post them yet.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

If you ever get an invitation to Red Carpet Weekend - say YES!

Wow! I don't have time to really post about the QVC weekend because I need to get myself out to the park to run. I have to try to work off some of the 85 pounds of food I've eaten since Friday night.

We got awesome goodie bags (full inventory to follow) and had a really good time even if attending and enjoying this weekend makes me a big QVC loser.

I'm supposed to be running 5 this weekend -- I think I'm going to try to do the Oaks to VF and back which is about 7 miles but I'm sure I'll do plenty of walking to start and finish. I took a couple of vitamins this week so hopefully that will help me feel a little better.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Coundown Clocks

As you can see, I discovered countdown clocks! The clocks are counting down to the starting time of the race -- right now my NYC Marathon clock doesn't match the one on their website because they are only counting down to the DAY of the marathon not the exact start time.

I'm obsessed by the marathon but I'm trying not to spend all of my time thinking about it because there is still a lot of time to go before then and I don't want to do everything all at once.

In other news, the dorky QVC red carpet weekend is this weekend so I'm off on my QVC adventures tonight. I can't wait to see how this all turns out.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Countdown to the Start, November 5, 2006: 150 days 21h 00m 23s

I got in!
I'm very excited that I got in but I'm also very sad that Brian and my sister did not. I was all set for a grand adventure in New York and that can still happen but just not for all of us.
It looks now like my sister will do Marine Corps a week before me and Brian will do Philadelphia a few weeks after. This is kind of cool with us all doing our own thing and being able to be cheerleaders for one another.
I still can't believe that I got in!