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!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Legs of Lead

Blah! I went for a post-work run and it was AWFUL. I did the same as Sunday only this time I timed myself.

Lap 1 and Lap 4 is the mystery distance between the start of the trail and the first clear mile marker. My guess is that it's more than a mile but less than a mile and a half. I can't wait until all the construction is gone so there is no more mystery!

Lap 1: 14:34
Lap 2: 10:53
Lap 3: 11:40
Lap 4: 12:53

Total Time: 50:02

Time of the 50:02 where I felt lousy? About 45 minutes of it! I'm guessing the first five minutes of walking were OK.

Tomorrow I find out about New York. Right now I'm hoping I don't get in because the thought of running a marathon makes me cringe.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Weekend Runs

The first run this weekend was the Collegeville 5K on Saturday. What an awful race!

Lots of people (including me) got lost on the course, some cut more than a mile out in the middle, some couldn't find the way to the finish line (that was me -- I could see the finish, but there were two paths leading to it and I chose the wrong one and then had to backtrack), and some slow people added extra milage because they couldn't find the course markers and they couldn't see anybody to follow. In addition to that the mile markers were in the wrong place out on the course -- me hitting the two mile mark in 18 minutes? I don't think so.

My final time was 36:24, which sucks by any standard, but considering:

1) I ran the wrong way and had to backtrack
2) I stopped mid-race to confer with other runners to decipher the road markers
3) there was really high humidity plus hills
4) I just gave blood

I can live with that finish time.

I think it had no chance to live up to the awesome race they had last year with tons of prizes and great food for a tiny crowd so our expectations were unreasonably high for it this year. At least we had free entry. They also had great stuff in the goodie bags again -- including a full 125 count bottle of Advil and a couple bottles of Centrum vitamins and a 3-pack of Chapstick.

The second run of the weekend was on Sunday and it was an effort to prove to myself that I am not quite as bad a runner as it seemed on Saturday. Well, guess what? I'm pretty bad! I did my own 5K-ish distance on my normal route and it took about 34 minutes which is pretty typical for me. I think my best 5K ever was 32 so I will tolerate 34.

My performance is showing that I have barely run at all since the marathon. I need to get back into mid-week runs.

We find out on Wednesday if we get into New York. I can hardly stand the wait!