Monday, January 30, 2006


Yikes!!! You guys are THE BEST!! I asked for cheers of support as I headed off to the marathon and little did I know how you guys would respond! Before our plane left Friday afternoon (late, no less) I had nearly 30 well wishes and when I checked Saturday morning from the hotel it was just under 40! From our airport locale we relocated to the Radisson Downtown to be near the start/finish area. Personally, I greatly prefer staying in moderate priced hotels to the massive downtown hotels. The moderate guys give you a free breakfast and they all seem to have FREE wireless internet access. At the downtown highrises NOTHING is free or easy. But I'll go into all of that when I do the full race recap..... All that rambling to say internet was $13 a day at the Radisson so no internet wishes going into Sunday am's marathon, which totally sucked.

Today we relocated to a true, artsy South Beach hotel over on Ocean Drive. Way cheaper than downtown, free internet, we're across the street from the ocean and the staff is incredibly nice. Yeah!! It might have been worth it to stay over here all along and just drive to the start. We checked in, hooked up the laptop and it told us we had 65 new messages!! WTH!!! You guys are awesome! About 5 spam and 60 congrat emails make for two very happy RBF-ers, one of whom is now part of the marathon club! It was great, it helped me relive the excitement of yesterday all over again. Love it!!!!!!!!

I'll do a full, blow by blow, blister by blister recap of the marathon once we get home. The plane leaves tomorrow (BOO!). I'd love to stay and lounge on the beach for a few more days.......The marathon was......awesome!! So totally different than what I expected but I didn't have a clue what to expect to begin with! For me, the toughest miles were miles 1-3. My stomach was gurgling a little and I had a ton of doubt bouncing around in my head. Then the sun started coming up on the beautiful hotels in South Beach and I told myself to suck it up, I had trained for this forever (it seemed like) and I was too damn lucky to have the ability to do this thing and too lucky to afford a great trip like this to blow it in my head. And then I started having fun, and the fun never ended until I crossed that finish line. Maybe it still hasn't sunk in. No, it totally hasn't sunk in. But I'm ready to do it again, but not this weekend!! I'm more than a bit wobbly going down stairs right now and there's one blister that needs to be taken care of once we get home. Our plan tomorrow morning is to get up and do a one mile run on the beach. It would be a shame NOT to have a run on the beach while we're here, and I think I can manage a mile.

Anyway, more when we got home, but for now here's the executive summary: It was fun!!!! My official time is 4:28.05. I never hit the "wall" or if I did I'm too dumb to know it. When I saw the 20 mile marker I was too excited that I was only 6 miles out to slow down, and I got more and more excited at each subsequent mile marker. (Which was likely VERY apparent to the onlooker at mile 24 who had a Boston Terrier. I'll never forget the frightened look he gave me when I SCREAMED out "I HAVE A DOG JUST LIKE THAT AT HOME". I guess he thought the runners should run and the crowd should handle the screaming!! He will probably always think marathoners lose mental functuality and manners by the 24th mile.) I got to meet two cool RBF-ers (David and Naomi) and I'm convinced I have the best, most supportive husband in the world!! Even though it was very, very warm (it was 70 by 7 am) Miami is a GREAT course with virtually no elevation to speak of, so if you're on the Boston borderline I would highly recommend it. ING definitely knows how to put on a marathon.

Enjoy these pics until we're home to post more! Enjoy!!!! Now I'll pass the marathon/ultramarathon torch off to Angie who has her first 50K this weekend!! (Technically my Garmin says I went 26.4 miles, does that make me a ultramarathoner?????)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

So, this is it.....

This time tomorrow night our plane will just be landing in Miami!! Insane. Approximately 575 training miles later and it's still a little hard to believe that THIS weekend I'll be running a marathon. What was I thinking??? I'm an absolute bundle of nerves, basically pacing the house to see if there's anything at all that I might, in some remote instance, need. I've got sunscreen, bodyglide, cheap sunglasses, cheap mittens, my cliff bloks and just about every piece of running wear I own packed. If it suddenly turns cold I am SO ready. (oh yeah, and I have one hug to deliver from susie to birthday boy david. )And of course THE outfit, along with my running shoes and the absolute essentials, are in my carry-on. No chances!! I've got loads of directions and all the info printed, Pippin's suitcase is packed for the kennel and this time I did NOT forget to pack my necessary prerace breakfast! Memphis was great practice for destination racing! Of course all day tomorrow I'll be running through things in my head to make sure they are packed.

Thanks for all the music suggestions!! I like all types of stuff in my running mix. I start every race with "Ready to Run" by the Dixie Chicks, and from there it's anything from Cher to Nickelback,Snoop Dog to Nelly, U2 to Metallica, Disturbed and Good Charlotte. Anything with a great beat works! I'm about to download some tunes for the running mix. So far I've got 7 hours of music lined up in my miami mix, ya never know.

More than that thanks for EVERYTHING! All the support, well wishes and comments are so greatly appreciated. Besides all the ones you can read below the blog I've gotten emails from former coworkers, an actual letter from a high school friend, messages from family, you name it this week. Even though I can't pay for you all to fly down there and cheer (I WISH!!), you'll all be with me in spirit. And when times get rough (and I KNOW they will) I'm going to run through all of your names and think about all the inspiration you guys give me through your posts. So, if you're a silent reader and never leave a comment, I'd love it if you'd drop a wish for us today just so we know how many people are cheering along from across the world. =)

I'm not sure if we'll have wireless internet or not, but at the very least we'll post through the cell phone finishing times, etc, so be sure to check Brent's blog on Sunday am for some results!

Wish us luck and light as feather feet!


Wed- 1 mile am walk with Pippin, 40 minutes toning/stretching focus: abs/thighs
Thurs 1/3 mile am walk with Pips (it was ass cold, way below our 30 degree limit), 3 mile run

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Warning: Don't mix treadmills and American Idol!

Hey guys!! Just a couple more days and then.....Miami! Bring it!! I have one last run to do, which sounds so strange! I just finished up a 5 miler on the treadmill a few minutes ago. I wasn't in the mood to run right after work, Brent had somewhere to be tonight and I just didn't want to run alone. (Three local college girls were recently run over by a moron while they were running and I'm sick of battling traffic alone for a little bit.) I worked on my running mix for Miami and then headed upstairs to the dreadmill. I was flipping through and score.....American Idol! I won't even pause for a second once they're past the auditions with the terrible singers. I sat through even bad high school talent shows in high school, I don't plan to spend my adult life watching them on TV! We've seen some of the auditions this season (does it come on every night, all night or something? I think it's always on!) and I think Simon is funnier than ever. Some of the things he said tonight nearly sent me flying off the back in giggling hysterics. Seriously, what are some of these people thinking? One guy hit this insane pitch that literally woke Pippin up. (He hops up on the sofa in our upstairs and snores away next to me while I'm on the treadmill. NOT inspiring, I tell ya!) Pippin's head spun around in all sorts of unnatural positions until the dreadful sound ended and he promptly went back to snoring. Anyway, it did make the time pass by very quickly!

Brent got our suitcases down today and I worked on my running mix tonight. If any of you have any great running suggestions let me know!

Want to know my favorite dumb coworker question of the week? "So how long is this marathon?" had better be 26.2 miles like every other marathon. I also had a different coworker say a marathon is something he has always wanted to do, but if he ever trained for one he would only run half the distance in training because he wouldn't want to run anywhere near 26 more than once. Well, I'd say he'd have a pretty hard time running it ONCE if he never got in the vicinity of 26! I guess people who have never run ONE mile don't have any clue what it's like to run 26.

For everyone who has asked how we know how many hits we have, etc we use It's the little planet icon at the bottom of my blog. It tells you local, time, how they got there, their search words, etc. It's VERY interesting. How else would I know someone got to my blog today by searching for "turn wife into hot wife pics". Obviously, another search successfully ended! If you can't figure out how to get extreme tracking to work on your blog just let us know and we'd be more than happy to help!

See ya!


Mon - no am walk (STILL raining), 30 minutes elliptical, 40 minutes toning/stretching focus:abs & upper body
Tues - 1 mile am walk with Pippin, 5 mile evening treadmill run

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Rain Day!

Today has just been GROSS! It's been raining since I got up today and there's no sign of that ending anytime soon. Blah!! I had HOPED to get an early morning run in, which is rare because early morning run and I rarely go together. But, it was raining so I settled for a big bowl of cereal and a cuddle with Pippin instead. Then my plans changed to hoping for an early afternoon or even a late afternoon run. I guess if I had watched the weather reports on Saturday I would have known the chances of that were -100%. The rain was heavy all day and it was so dreary. I decided an afternoon nap would substitute well for a run so Brent and I crawled back into bed and Pippin got in his bed and an afternoon nap was enjoyed by all. When I got up I knew exercise would help get me out of this funk so I headed upstairs to the dreadmill. The treadmill at the gym is SO much nicer, you just can't get any speed going on our little treadmill so every run takes forever. And of course on a Sunday afternoon TV choices were nill. I ended up watching two episodes of a dating show on MTV to pass the 5 miles away. Done. I'll run 5 miles on Tuesday and 5 on Thursday and that'll be all for this week, since next week starts out with a 26.2 mile bang!

Congrats to someone in Elryia, Ohio who was my 9,000th visitor earlier today!! I'm not sure who you are but thanks for stopping by around 4.15 CST.

Brent is feeling better and we've been trying all the recommendations you guys have offered! David's alphabet spelling idea sounded absolutely silly, but it did help! (and gave us a good laugh!) He can move his neck a bit more today, and the strings of moaning and cursing have greatly decreased. He's planning to skip work tomorrow and visit the doctor to see if it's a nerve or something that needs some prescrip meds. Our house smells like an enormous tube of Icy Hot right now. I think it's making me crave sweets, and Pippin seems to be hungrier than usual as well.

I started fake tanning yesterday. I'm using the Neutrogena Build a Tan, it's gotten all sorts of good reviews in my girly mags. I did one app yesterday morning and one app yesterday evening. So far so good, orangey spots are pretty minimal and I have a nice, non-winter glow. BUT, my chest has broken out in a bit of a rash so I think Brent is going to take it away from me. I was really planning to goop it on until I look like an elderly woman who has spent way too much time in the sun, but I may just have to go for a more natural look instead.

Tonight we filled out an app for the Nashville Predators Fangtastic 5K. It's Feb 11th and sounds like a lot of fun. The Preds are our NHL team. The race runs through downtown and all the participants get a ticket for that night's hockey game. Yeah!! Since it's two weeks after the marathon I doubt I'll be setting any PRs, but it will be fun to race a non-half/full distance! We haven't done anything shorter than a half since the Oktoberfest 5K back in (you guessed it) October.

That's it for now! I'm planning to try to get a little more sleep this week than the usual. The weather lady tonight said it would probably still be raining tomorrow morning, so I'm not sure if Pippin & I will get to walk. We did go out for 2.3 miles yesterday afternoon. I was just going to do a quick mile (3 laps around the block) but Pippin wouldn't hear of it! I had to drag him right where we normally turn left for long weekend walks, and when we went past that same spot the second time he was so insistent on going the other direction that I gave in. I guess he understands the concept of our normal weekend walks and enjoys it! He didn't even want to turn around at our normal spot so I may start taking him on even longer weekend walks.

Man!!! The lightning will not end today. It scared Pippin so much earlier he went barking through the house, ready to attack.

Sat (post blog) - 2.3 mile walk with Pippin
Sun - 5 mile treadmill run, 20 minutes toning/stretching focus:upper body

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The best plans....

Hey guys! How's the weekend going??? We've had......better.

Thursday night we did a 6 mile run outdoor. Not really wanting to deal with traffic we did 4 laps at the hospital and then the mile to and from our house to make the course 6. I had had a work induced headache all day, so we took the pace nice and easy. It was a chilly night, but beautiful. The stars were out in full force and in the lesser lit areas of the path you could really enjoy them. As we got moving I felt my form strengthening and just enjoyed the feeling of a good run. It was even nice to see the annoying woman was walking her enormous lab on a leash! Score to us. Once we were warmed up we picked up our pace on each lap, and finished in less than an hour (by a few minutes.)

Friday is a rest day, and we were pretty lazy so we didn't do much last night. We went out to eat at a local restaurant that has the BEST cheese biscuit/muffins. They're shaped like little muffins and have the lightest, meltiest taste. We ordered a half dozen for an appetizer and I also had an awesome Greek salad with my meal. When I went to get my second biscuit I noticed there was only one left!! Brent had eaten the rest of our half dozen. So beware, he's a biscuit stealer. I had the baked BBQ chicken and we ended up absolutely, grossly stuffed. We came home, relaxed on the couch and watched Project Runway from earlier in the week. It was nice to just kick back and do NOTHING.

This morning I set my alarm for 7.30, got up at 8.30 and then heated some water up for our pre-run oatmeal. Today's run was to be 8 miles, so I only ate one packet of oatmeal. Too strange!! Just as we sat down for breakie Brent howled out in pain. Major neck spasm. That was around 9 am and he's been in pain ever since. I tried to massage it out, no luck. He tried a hot shower, no luck. We got the heating pad out and he's had that on his neck ever since. About this time my stomach decided that BBQ chicken was not a good thing. And man, it was not a good thing. I went out for my run, not really feeling too good and worried about Brent at home. When I left Pippin was sitting an inch from his foot, staring intently at him. I had visions of Pippin jumping in B's lap when I left and mercilessly licking his face with poor, defenseless B unable to move.

I ran out from our house, and up about .6 miles to a newer subdivision with sidewalks. It has some fairly nice elevation to it, so it's a good training run. I ran through it, skidding through a big section of mud last night's rain had deposited on the sidewalk. Of course the weather today was sub par. As a result of last night's storm, the temps have been steadily falling tonight. It was 45 with a 'feels like' of 38 and annoying 13 mph winds. Blah. I was running in my Miami shorts, with my Miami shirt on under a long sleeve tech shirt. Once I was warmed up I felt fine, but I wished I had my earwrap on! I wore a cap just in case it rained, and some of the wind gusts were so strong and miserable I had to literally hold onto my hat. I am desperately sick of winter!! From this subdivision I had planned to run over to a subdivision with some serious hills, but right about this time I had round 2 of never eat the BBQ chicken again. I decided the smarter move would be to head over to the neighborhood park restrooms. So, at mile 2.3 I took a potty break. I instantly felt MUCH better (thank goodness for neighborhood parks - it's this small area with a few swings, a small Bskt Ball court, .25 mile walking track and a nice bathroom!!!). Instead of pressing my luck on some serious hills I headed up a stretch of sidewalk we rarely run. I ran it uphill to its end and then enjoyed the downhill back before I headed over to the hospital. I only had to do one lap at the hospital and then headed back home to make my 8 miles complete. I ran most of the run at marathon pace, and picked up the last 2 miles a bit. It was so strange when I realized this is my LAST long run before Miami!! Very weird. It made me strangely sentimental for the whole training process and all the blood, sweat and tears I've put into it. It's been a long, crazy road and it's hard to believe the marathon is just a week from tomorrow!

Waiting for me in the email box was a note from David. He was nice enough to scout out an Italian restaurant for our carb loading celebration in Miami. I can't wait!!

When I got back Brent was just where I'd left him. He's never had neck spasms like this, so I looked up on the internet what to do. Some people suggested icing, so we've tried that and he's asleep now in the bed. We've also done some icy hot and Aleve. If anyone has any suggestions let us know!

I think I may be the last person in the world to do their 2006 goals, so I may work on that in a bit. Have a great rest of the weekend and good luck to anyone who may be racing this weekend!


Thursday - 1 mile am walk with Pips, 6 mile outdoor run w/Brent, 20 minutes toning/stretching focus: abs
Friday - 1 mile am walk with Brent and Pips
Sat - 8 mile run

Thursday, January 19, 2006

New Blog!

A few months ago I registered a blogname for Pippin. I mean, if we have blogs it's only fair that he does too! It will mostly be pics from our MASSIVE collection of the life of Pippin, and maybe some videos and stuff like that. So, if you're into Pippin check out his very own blog here! ( I LOVE the header Brent did for it. We're a tag team on there, so both of us will be posting to it. Yeah teamwork!


P.S. No time to blog tonight, I've spent my "computer time" trying to catch up on the 64 posts in my Google Reader account, but I DID want to mention we ran into the same woman at the hospital track tonight that we ran into on Tuesday - you know, the no leash lady. And guess what - her robust lab was restrained on a leash!! We have made a difference in the world!

Thurs - 1 mile am walk with Pippin, 6 mile run outdoors, 20 min toning/stretching, focus: abs

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Snow Day!

Hey guys! The weather has been so incredibly strange lately! The rain that started during our Monday night run continued all day, all the way through to Tuesday evening. The rain that was so nice and refreshing during Monday evening turned to one of those cold rains all throughout the day Tuesday and dropped our temps like a lead balloon.

We headed to the gym Tues night after work since it was so nasty outside. I did 5 quick miles on the treadmill and called it a success. It's amazing how 'just' cutting back 10 miles a week off my mileage has really made my legs lighten up and start to have some speed again. I was easily able to work the pace up on the treadmill where for the last mile I ran around a 8.30 mile. Yeah!! I was also motivated by the two annoying people on either side of me on the treadmills at the gym. We refer to them as "The Strollers". I haven't seen them there since before Christmas, and they're quite the Odd Couple. She's fairly young (20's?) and he HAS to be in his 50's. Nothing about them looks right together. Typically she will putt around on the elliptical and he will crawl along on the treadmill and they flirt the whole time and never so much as lose a drop of sweat. For whatever reason the gym was packed Tues night and the only two treadmills left were on either side of me. Brent and I both saw the absolute look of despair cross their faces when they walked in together and saw they wouldn't have adjoining machines. They circled a few times and then faced facts - I was the fast moving, sweaty cream filling in their Oreo. And honestly, I wasn't happy about it either. She was wearing some cheap floral perfume and it only made me run faster. From time to time they'd glance across me and wave. Ugh. I swear they couldn't have walked a mile in the half hour or so they were on there, and once again neither one broke a sweat. What's the point? I was half tempted to throw a harness on them and have Pips show them how to walk AND get a decent workout.

Anyway, we left the gym and headed home. We'd only been home about 5 minutes when I noticed out the back windows that it was snowing! Big, fluffy fakes! The nice wet kind that would be great for packing. I danced around and ran out on the deck with Pips. This is his third winter now, and we've yet to have a decent snow. He quickly decided he didn't care for the falling white stuff so he wanted back in - pronto!! It piled up to maybe a .25 inch overnight. And of course that means one thing - school was canceled. Pathetic, right? I agree. It warmed up quickly today and by lunch every last flake was melted. Obviously a reason for an entire snow day! And the roads were completely clear, nothing at all one them. One spot in our subdivision was pretty icy this morning, and during our am walk Pips discovered he HATES ice! When his feet would start to slide he'd panic and try to pull harder, knocking me a bit off balance! I have a good pair of shoes for ice, but they're buried who knows where and my old sneakers definitely don't have ice traction left! We ended up walking through people's yards some and we even stopped to watch one car slide around on it. We only did two laps this am, Pips was NOT feeling his first semi-decent snow experience and a lot of people weren't hardly scraping their windows enough to see so I didn't really want to take my chances with squirrely drivers this morning. We made up for it this evening and Brent walked a mile with us, giving Pippin a grand total of 1 and 2/3rds miles today. (Plus a lot of ball tossing this evening!)

This taper thing.....makes me antsy! My appetite has reduced, which I am pretty happy about. Tonight was my first non-weeknight run in a LONG time! (Except for Friday's which are always off). It's very will be extremely strange not to walk into work tomorrow and jot down my mileage on my calendar! It's going to leave a strange whole in a nice block of numbers. I don't think I'm a good taperer. I'm fidgety and most likely qualified as an exercise-aholic. I ended up doing 25 minutes on our elliptical tonight (easy pace, no sweat displaced) while watching the strange new Skating with the Stars show and then 20 minutes of stretching/toning. Oh well, maybe I'll get better at the taper as we go along!

Make sure you check out Brent's new video of Pippin vs the String!! What a nut!!

Exercise Log (I keep forgetting this!)

Wed- 1 mile am walk with Pippin;6 miles, outdoors
Thurs - 1 mile am walk with Pippin;6 miles, indoors
Fri - 1 mile pm walk with Brent and Pippin (am thunderstorms!)
Sat - 12 mile run, 2 mile pm walk with Brent and Pippin
Sun - 2 mile afternoon walk with Brent and Pippin, 40 minutes toning/stretching focus: abs/thighs
Mon - 1 mile am walk with Pips, 6 mile outdoor run
Tues - 5 mile indoor run (Major am rain, no walk =( )
Wed - 2/3 mile am walk with Pips, 1 mile evening walk with Brent and Pippin, 25 minutes elliptical, 20 minutes toning/stretching focus:butt

Monday, January 16, 2006

Running in the Rain

So how many of you can't remember how you lived before 24 came back on? Ok, maybe you don't watch it but you should. I would trade every other show we watch (which isn't much) for 24. It's THAT good. But if you don't watch it go back to Season 1 or it won't make sense.

Anyway, the executive summary is that we're very happy 24 is back on. Nothing else is very interesting on TV right now. Saturday night for some running motivation we watched Chariots of Fire. I don't know that I had ever seen it, but my mom loves the music from it and played the infamous theme song on the piano all the time growing up. It took a good half hour for me to figure out the plot and I'm not sure that I ever figured out how to tell some of the guys apart. It was OK, not the best movie ever and not overly inspiring, but still pretty good.

Sunday was a big day. We have a TON of CRAP in our house and this is the year it's all finding a new home. Or else. We cleared a huge mass of the crap out and took it to Goodwill, which was a huge feeling of relief. We still have a long way to go, but that made a nice dent. We also had a ton of grocery shopping to do and we seriously loaded up! For a couple of weeks I have been craving cereal, and in particular I've been craving what I had when we met up with Shore Turtle and Redhead Fangirl at Cereality in Philly. Very strange. So, I picked up all the sugary cereals I NEVER buy to make it and when Brent caught up with me in the store he let me have it. He didn't beat me or anything, more of the mental guilt trip. But, I've earned it so I bought it! Yeah for me. I had a bowl for dessert yesterday and it was good. Not as good as the original, but pretty close! It's not something I'll have every day but I deserve it every once in a while.

When we got home from the grocery we took Pippin for a walk. I try to get some sort of exercise in every day and since it was a non-running day and it had warmed up quite a bit. We went a different way from the norm walk, and we walked past our local fire station. I used to walk Pips on some warm summer evenings and on nice nights the firemen will sit outside and enjoy the weather and the people out exercising. This also meant Pips would whine until we'd walk up there so he could lick them and jump on them. It's been MONTHS since we've walked that direction, and once we got to the fire station he sat in the driveway and wouldn't budge. He was waiting for his firemen. How strange? Sometimes it amazes me how smart and how LONG he can remember stuff like that!

Today was a BLAH day at work. I've never been lucky enough to work anywhere that acknowledged this as a holiday. I didn't want to be there and some things went on that REALLY accelerated that feeling. I had a dentist appointment this afternoon so I got to leave 45 minutes early. Yeah! I really like my dentist so I don't mind going. On today's plan was a 6 mile run. This week's taper will knock another 10 miles off. Last week was 35 miles, this week will be 25. 6 tonight, 5 tomorrow, 6 Thursday and 8 Saturday. Brent got home right when I did, so we geared up and headed out for our 6 mile run. I was mentally tired from work and being scraped on at the dentist, so I left it all for my legs tonight. I can tell already that the taper is starting to give them more energy back. We did one loop of the hospital and at the start of the second loop I saw trouble ahead. A woman, oblivious to the world, "walking" her large lab who most certainly was not on a leash and most certainly was doing whatever he wanted. Perfect! Of course she never acknowledged us coming up, since she exists in her own dream world in which things like the leash law don't apply. You know, the type of people that give all of us dog owners a bad name. And of course as we approached the dog started to leap towards Brent and she was nowhere near it to grab it. So, I effectively Dazed the hell out of it, Brent yelled and of course she pleaded that she didn't hear us coming. Of course that wouldn't be a problem if SHE HAD A LEASH. We yelled at her to buy a leash, she stood there all frightened looking and we continued on. Then it started raining lightly and I had to relinquish my nano to Brent's pocket. We thought about cutting the run short, but it was only light rain and it was pretty refreshing. (Nothing beats a nice summer rain run, a winter rain run can go both ways!) We decided to continue on, and all the excitement from our run in picked our pace up a bit TOO much. We slowed it down, headed to the park and were headed back towards our house before the rain really started coming down. It felt great though, and we saw about 3 other runners out enjoying it as well. We made it back with an average pace of 9.47, not bad for an easy run on a day both of us really didn't WANT to run.

That's it for now! Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Like stealing candy from a baby.....

Hey guys!! All week long I bounced around laughing to myself about how easy Saturday's planned 'long' run of twelve miles would be. After all, I hadn't had a long run that short in AGES, really since we were on vacation in November and didn't have time to do long runs. I was looking forward to getting an early start, knocking it out, and having the full day left ahead of us. So, of course that means it's not going to be that simple!!

Friday am when the alarm went off at 5.32 (which is really 5.26 with the way I set my alarm ahead) I peeked out the window to see if it was raining. The weather guy had predicted rain and colder temps, but nothing was going on so I got up, geared up and off Pips and I went. We hadn't even made it to the end of the street before lightning shot across the entire sky. Since I'm the only moving target that time of the morning we turned around and headed back inside. Less than 5 minutes later rain was pouring down in sheets and the lightning and thunder show was going strong. I promised Pips an afternoon walk and off Brent and I went to work. It stormed most of the day and got colder, colder, colder. The rain was mostly finished when we got home from work but it was pretty artic feeling outside. Brent said he's walk with us and it since it was so cool I TRIED to put Pippin's little cordurory jacket on. He'll wear it, but stands frozen to one spot with it on. Literally. That really isn't the best way to go for a walk so we ended up carrying it with us just in case he changed his mind. He didn't and he didn't even seem to mind the light rain.

We had a great walk which we followed with up with some burritos at our local California style Burrito place (Blue Coast). We had such great visions for this new burrito place. The one in another part of town (the original) is a very cool hang out for 20-somethings. We need more of that in our 'burb. Unfortunately this one is crawling with minivans, bad Mom jeans and people who are generally confused in general about how the whole thing works. They end up with extra burritos and don't know who they belong to! How does that even happen since you build your burrito as you move along the line? They also have a lot of bad burrito folders and people who build skinny burritos. I've gotten so cranky with them that if they don't give me enough of a topping I make them add more. We've decided to never, ever go back there on a weekend. We sat around for ages waiting for a fish taco they simply forgot about. They've been open since October 1st so their "pass" period on being confused is really over. None of the other locations have this problem, either. So, our executive decision is that we will only eat there on weeknights after the gym when we want burritos. If we want a weekend burrito we'll go somewhere else!

We also watched the Ringer with Johnny Knoxville. It was pretty cute, maybe more of a renter than a movie theater trip. It was tastefully done, a big change for JK. The ending was a little strange and abrupt but overall it was a really good movie.

All throughout the evening it got colder and colder and colder. The news guys said we would even get some snow overnight, which I didn't believe because it had just been too warm all week for anything to stick. I set my alarm for 8 hours of sleep and woke up around 7.30. I didn't actually roll out of bed until 8, though. I peeked out the window and it just looked COLD. No sun and there were actually some tiny patches of snow. Really only on the deck and in small patches on the grass, but the most snow we've seen all winter by far! When I took Pips out the wind was biting and the TV said it was 29 degrees outside. It seems like we always have warm weather all week and then when it's time for my long run it's ass cold. The last long run I had in temps that cold (in early Dec) was 21 miles and my face ended up so chapped that my lips were bleeding the following day. NOT attractive.

So, I really wasn't excited about going and neither was Brent. We decided to run from our house and do our normal 6 mile path twice. We didn't head out until 10 am hoping it would be slightly warmer. It was 30 with 15 mph arctic winds. We started out and the wind made our eyes tear up so we had to laugh about that. It was also spitting little tiny bits of snow that kept stabbing me in the eye. Miserable! Oh well, I knew it would be over in less than two hours. We headed out and after about two miles the snow stopped and we were warmed up. It really didn't feel bad after that. We got plenty of strange looks from people driving by and some manual laborers outside gave a look like 'Hey, if you want to be outside so bad why don't you do my job and I'll stay inside and be warm!'. The sidewalks were empty, in two hours we only saw two other walkers, bundled up like Eskimos. We finished the run in 1 hr 58 minutes, just under a 10 mile pace if it was 12 miles. My garmin said exactly 12 miles, Brent's Nike said 12.5 miles so maybe we'll split the difference at 12.25 miles. I think it was longer than 12, but I don't think it was 12.5. It felt nice to stop around 12, I wasn't tired but I was ready to get inside the warm house. (After taking some pics in my winter running gear, enormous running pants and all!!) Mouse, you know which one is for you!!

We got some Chinese for lunch and visited our local Hallmark store that's going out of business. I picked up a few new books for cheap from there, one of my goals for the year is to read more classics. I spent the afternoon going through our massive amounts of digital pics to take advantage of some great coupons we have for prints from Shutterfly. Before it got dark we headed out for a two mile walk with Pippin. On the weekends we try to get some "long walks" in for him, too. His endurance is really improving. He wasn't even tired after the walk (he used to literally collapse in the foyer) and even wanted to play ball. We've been teaching him the word "football", as in "Bring me your football" so he brings us one of his balls constantly to play.

(Here's my question - aren't ALL houses in TN Southern homes???)

We also watched this new show on Game Show Network we had TiVod earlier in the week. The show is called Anything to Win and this particular episode was all about Rosie Ruiz and the Boston Marathon scam. I knew about it, but really didn't know a lot of the details. It was a great documentary, and even had recent interviews with her. She STILL says she ran it, even though it's so obvious she didn't. She didn't have the body of an elite runner, her legs had zero muscle tone and her form crossing the line was NOT that of an elite runner. When they asked her questions about how she trained she didn't even have answers! I can't imagine lying about something SO obvious for years and years. AND, it's pretty obvious from her appearance she's never run a day since then, either! It was a really good show so I highly recommend TiVoing it.

That's it for now!! I'm cheering for everyone in Phoenix and Houston this morning!!! Good luck!!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

TGI Almost Friday!

I'm SO glad tomorrow is Friday. This week has literally lasted forever. It seems like ten million years ago that my boss was on vacation. One week with him is like five hundred years in prison. Tonight as I was doing some blog reading I ended up on one of JT's recent posts about things you wish you could say at work. So many of them apply to what I want to say at work that it's hard to even pick a few. Many times this week I've wanted to turn to my boss and ask "Did you hire me to do finance stuff or to be a marriage counselor?" He's repeatedly talked this week about how his wife USED to be fun, and next time around he plans to marry someone who would be fun. He goes on and on about how she sleeps with the kids now and is always on his back. My coworkers and I talk about it and have decided we don't blame her! If I lived with him life wouldn't be fun either! He's so completely random. He constantly rolls in to work at 8:30, 9:30, etc as a result of oversleeping (he's 45 - I would think you'd have the hang of it by then). Today he had an 8 am meeting. I KNEW how this would end. I get there at 7.30, and of course he wasn't there. 8 am rolls around, he's not there. The person who he was to meet with came looking for him and asked my boss's boss if he had seen him. Nope. I'm loving it because I am evil. About 10 after 8 my boss rolls in and the other guy is still talking to the boss's boss. My boss walks by and says "Oh good, there you are." AS IF! We all knew he just walked in, why even pretend like you had been looking somewhere for him. Perhaps he got confused and thought the meeting was in the parking lot. I did get a pretty big break from him yesterday as he had more doctor's appointments. Over the last 6 months he's had vertigo (that was a nice 5 day break!), numerous viral infections and sinus infections, asthma, the flu, stomach bugs, bronchitis, etc. This time we were back to asthma. I did want to be a total smart ass and tell I thought I knew what he had and it was something called hypochondria but he's such a smart ass he would know what that meant.

Anyway, enough about Mr Fun Times. On to running! The taper this week isn't a huge change. I'm just going from 45 miles to 35 miles, so the only difference was a 3 mile run eliminated from Sunday and my long run this Sat will "only" be 12 miles. Yeah!! I haven't had a long run that "short" since early November so I'm pretty excited. Wed night we came home, changed really quickly and started our run before dark. Since it appears the blinking and reflective things we wear only seem to serve as a target for a-hole drivers it was nice to get through the tricky part of our run before dark. We did 6 miles, the same route as Tues night. I DID wear my marathon shorts, with a bag of Cliff Bloks in the pocket. They worked great! We ended up doing the 6 in an average 9 min/mile pace, which is pretty fast for me lately. There were no random attacks from the woods and everything went great! Tonight we headed to the gym and I ran in full marathon outfit. I swear it was 110 degrees in there. I was sweating like a pig, and the only other person on a treadmill had to be walking at the minimum speed. She was wearing sweatpants and not even breaking a sweat. She was using the arms of the treadmill to support herself while she really focused on the magazine she was reading....what's the point really?

No other exercise news to report around here! Good luck to everyone racing this weekend in Arizona and Houston! Good luck to Tammy doing her first marathon and to Elizabeth who will also be in Arizona doing the half and cheering for Tammy! Good luck to Cassie and Manny in Houston doing the half and Dirt Runner Rick doing the whole Houston Marathon!!! I can't wait to read the race reports!!!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Chased by wild animals!!

Hey guys! I hope you're all having a great week! At least it's 2/5-ths over!

Saturday night we ran some errands and caught this beautiful sunset. It turned out to be a nice evening, no jacket required!

Sunday was beautiful as well. We opened all the windows and let the incredibly strong breezes whip through the house. This kept Pips running from window to window (I guess he doesn't totally get the wind.) It was strong enough that it blew a few shingles off our neighbor's house, I think the news said it was blowing between 45-50 mph Sunday afternoon.

Since I'm tapering I didn't have my 3-mile recovery run, which is the only difference in my normal weekday runs this week. I was hoping to get outside for a walk or some sort of low impact exercise, but we had one nasty task to do - taking all the Christmas decor down. It's really not fun to put up, but taking it down is even worse! It took most of the afternoon to get it down, and the day was pretty much over and we were down to just taking the actual trees down. The boxes we store them in are in our attic, and to get to the attic door you have to empty out a PACKED storage closet. We weren't in the mood for that so we packed everything else up and packed the trees up last night. Of course the vacuum broke while we were sucking up all the garland trash in the floor, so Brent had to run out and get a new belt for the Windtunnel. But, it's all gone so we can no longer be called the last people in the world with their Christmas stuff up! Of course I had lots of help from Brent and especially Pips......

And then it was Monday...ugh....and my boss's return to work after 2 glorious weeks off. It took all of about 2 minutes before we were already 'miscommunicating'. I swear, he speaks a language I don't even get. I know it's not just me, so that makes me feel slightly better. I took two Tylenol before I even went to work yesterday. I didn't sleep well the night before either, and for that I blame Jack Osborne. Last week we TiVod Jack Osborne: Adrenaline Junkie. It's 3 1 hour shows on the Travel Channel documenting how he lost a TON of weight and ended up climbing El Capitan in Yosemite. We've done some tough indoor rock climbing, but that's a nap compared to climbing El Cap. Of course he trained in truly unbelievable places around the world, but his two trainers kicked his butt and didn't baby his celebrity ass at all. For probably the first time in his life he actually had to work at something. The final episode documents their five day climb up El Cap, where they literally slept hanging on the hangy things climbers use when they camp on the rocks. How frightening! So, all that to say in MY sleep I was climbing El Cap and sleeping on one of those frightening tarps! Not a restful night of sleep! Rock climbing is a blast, although I doubt I'll ever climb El Cap I would like to try at least one outdoor rock climb sometime in my life. It was a great show, so if you're looking for something to TiVo I'd highly recommend it.

In running news, last night I did 5 miles on the boring treadmill. I was zonked from putting up with the retard boss all day, so I didn't have the energy to run outside when we got home and it was fairly late by the time we had the Christmas junk finally stored back in the attic. I did manage to watch most of the new Bachelor while running. I've never been a big Bachelor fan, pretty much the only times I see it are when I'm working out indoors. However, this guy is a doctor from RIGHT HERE in Nashville, so that's pretty exciting. And, for a change he seems pretty normal and down to earth. Some of his background stuff actually showed him running here, and I'd put money on that he was running in Percy Warner Park (our only real place with actual dirt trails.) What kills me about these shows is that somehow they always manage to find one psycho with eggs that are melting, and she doesn't find that admitting that to someone within 5 minutes of meeting them is strange or a turnoff. The one this season was a doctor, so being a psycho obviously has nothing to do with your professional/education level. She went WAYYY off the deep end and wanted to know what was so wrong with her. I give the Bach props for saying he wasn't ready to reproduce and asking her to go. (She always referred to it as 'i'm ready to reproduce', reproduce this, reproduce that - it sounded like a total science experiment.) Anyway, I doubt I'll set my TiVo for it but if it's on and I'm stuck on the treadmill I'll probably tune in.

Tonight was 6 miles. It was a gorgeous day so it would have been a waste to run inside. Brent wasn't feeling good (and even took a nap at lunch with some company - a bonus of working close to home) so I had to go it alone. I decided to do 4 laps at the hospital, plus the mile to and from. Even with all my reflectivity cars were forcing me into the uneven side in the short distance before the sidewalk starts heading out of our subdivision. Very annoying. It's much tougher alone than with Brent, usually two people they won't play chicken with. One day, on a really bad day, I will probably hose their cars down with pepper spray. So, everything is going fine and dandy, and I'm on my last lap at the hospital. I ran the first mile a little under 9 (it was SO nice outside and I was fired up about the rude drivers) then I slowed miles 2 and 3 down to marathon pace (around 10), then sped up for miles 4 & 5 (to right around 9). Just as I was finishing the last lap (ending mile 5) I met Crazy Walking Man. This guy walks EVERYWHERE. I swear he walks 24/7. We've seen him 15 miles across town, walking. And he doesn't walk quickly, or look like he's doing anything other than sleepwalking. He has the appearance of being zoned out at all times. I waved a little as I met him, got his usual blank stare, and kept going. Just past him there's a small patch of woods and as I was approaching I heard MASSIVE running towards me, even with my ipod going I could heard something tearing it up to get out of the woods. I've seen quite a few wild animals around the hospital - loads of bunnies, skunks and deer. Last summer I was pretty much chased by a deer there, but I had a bit more warning. So, I did what any reasonable person would do and leapt off the side of the trail, screamed "Get BACK!" and started Dazing the hell out of the woods. I'm not sure what animal groups it works on, but I was willing to take that chance. Out come two enormous cats, chasing each other. We were all scared of each other at that point, and I'm not sure who was the most scared! They ran back into the woods and I kept on going. I doubt Crazy Walking Man would have helped me if I was being attacked, he won't even scoot over if you say "Excuse Me" when you're coming up behind him. When I got home and told Brent he asked me if they were jungle cats, and I don't think they were but they were pretty frickin' big. One neighbor did say he has seen wolves near the hospital, so maybe these were cat wolves.

That's it for now! Congrats to someone in Bloomingdale, Illinois who came from (Dallen's blog) last night at 21:19. They were my 8,000th visitor since I started tracking this stuff on June 18th. Woo hoo!!


Thurs - 1 mile am walk with Pips, 6 miles treadmill
Friday - 1/3 mile am walk with Pips (he's not a fan of snow/sleet)
Sat - 19 mile run
Sun - rest
Mon - 1 mile am walk with Pips, 5 miles on the treadmill
Tues - 1 mile am walk wit Pips, 6 miles outdoors

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Let the taper begin!!

Hey guys! I hope you all had great weekends. Why is it the weekend seems to last about 15 minutes while the week seems to last about 15 years? Tomorrow will be a particularly dreadful day as my boss will be back at work. Ugh. Two weeks without him has been relaxing bliss. He's a total dork who complicates EVERYTHING and drives me insane. I can't stand to be micromanaged and he is a total micromanager and needs attention from me and his boss at all times. Blah, I'll deal with that tomorrow.

Wed night after I blogged I did some yoga/pilates to stretch everything out. Before I had gotten into mammoth marathon training I had actually started to become somewhat flexible, and now a lot of that is GONE! It's sort of sad, but I know I'll be back there soon. During the taper I'm going to increase the yoga again, but not do anything crazy.

Our weather has been nothing short of bizarre lately. It's hot one day and we're out in T's and shorts and then freezing the next. Last week Sun, Mon & Wed were warm while Tues, & Thurs-Sat morning were cold. Go figure. Thurs night Brent wanted to go to the gym so we headed over there after week. New Year's resolutions have obviously not kicked in for our coworkers. Our gym has 5 treadmills, we got there right before 5 and I was the only person using one until about 5:30 when one of my coworkers showed up! Before Christmas there were usually 3 people on the treadmills at any given time (99.9% of whom were walking at about a 30 minute mile snail pace.) I ended up running 6 miles on the treadmill while Brent did some weights and the bike. I was SO glad I remembered my nano this time - the "rockin' " gym station was playing "Janie's got a gun" - not something I look for in a good cardio pumping moment.

Friday was a rest day - the first all week!! We ate at a new restaurant about 2 miles from our house - Jim n Nick's. It's an upscale BBQ place that makes all their food fresh every day - they literally don't have a freezer. Most morning I can smell them smoking their BBQ from our house as I walk Pips. Brent got chicken fried chicken and I got BBQ chicken w/ a Greek salad. It was SO good. We'll definately go back. We came home and the plan was to relax and update the songs on our mp3 players for Sat am's long run. I spent about an hour going through some cardio/running mixes Itunes had recommended (most of which was CRAP!), but I found a few new songs to download onto my running mix. I got my nano in October for my birthday, and ever since then I've spent a lot of time creating various playlists for my runs. I have a 5K mix of all my fave songs, a half marathon mix, and for a while now I've been working on my marathon mix. I put some of my fave "pump me up" songs at the front, then arrange the songs in the order to best keep me motivated. Towards the end of the list I put some of my fave songs on there again to help me motor on when I'm the most tired. I was trying to add the new songs Itunes locked up - and deleted every last song on my Nano. Every last song, every playlist, all of it. It was about 9.30 and I had wanted to go to bed around 11 or so to get up early and have a nice (fairly) early long run. It took Brent and I about 2 hours to load songs back on my nano. Something happened to it when Itunes locked up and it was "corrupt" - anytime you would load songs onto it they wouldn't be there when you disconnected. We thought it might be our laptop so we tried my work laptop and the same thing happened. We ultimately had to reformat it by downloading all the data files for it from What a frustrating pain!!

So, we didn't go to bed early, at all. I still set my alarm for 8 hours of sleep, and headed out for the park around 9.30. It was ass cold - 38 degrees to start. And really, that's not THAT bad compared to what a lot of you guys have to put up with. (And none of our snow stuck, at all. And I never even saw a snowflake that was not microscopic. I think it was probably more of a sleet/snow mix.) I think I was more annoyed because just a few days earlier I'd run in a tank and shorts outside. I geared up and off I went. Brent had decided to meet me 1 hr and 15-30 minutes later, that way he'd end up with 10 miles and I'd have 19. I didn't have all my songs in my preferred order, but I was thankful just to have a functioning ipod! So, off I went. I was going to do 3 one-mile laps around the park and then off to the national guard until it would be tome for me to turn around and meet Brent. My creaky legs are starting to warm up with Disturbed and then Disturbed again....huh? I hit 'next' on my nano and....the same song. WTF? I had to stop and I thought maybe there might be a weird setting on my playlist so I turned the "shuffle all songs" setting on. Off I go again......great song.....then - the same song again! Grrr!! I stop and go through all the settings and for whatever reason the default repeat setting where you reset the nano goes back to: Repeat: One Song. Who would want to listen to the same song over and over and over with no option to listen to any other songs? That's just strange. So finally off I go listening to a multitude of songs. There were several walkers (and a few runners) at the park that morning. I think the walkers were all New Year's Resolutionists as they were bundled like Eskimos and managed to sprawl completely across the trail making it nearly impossible to get around them. One lady had a little stroller for her dog! It was more of a doll stroller so it would never work for running with Pippin. At the start of my third lap I saw a large amount of cameo off in the woods to my right. At first I was a little startled then I realized it was the National Guard group doing some sort of training hike. They were carrying their packs and even had a flag with them, I wish I had had my camera! It was really cool, I was hoping I'd catch them walking towards the Guard after my lap but they weren't taking an early morning stroll - they were marching. I headed out to my turn around point and everything was going great. All of the nano struggles coupled with the chill in the air didn't make me a very happy runner, but I was glad to be moving at a decent pace. The sun was out and at times I was burning up and at other times I was very glad for my gloves.

When I got back to the meeting place Brent wasn't there yet, so I went ahead and did one more 1-mile loop. He was waiting for me when I made it around again and was also very glad to know I was up to 9 miles and he'd only have to do 10. We did two more 1-mile laps around the park. On the second lap two little hoodlums were sitting on a park bench eating a big bag of Chex mix. I saw them throw one at a lady in front of us. He did hit her, but she never felt it with her big Eskimo coat on. I wasn't in the mood to have processed salty snacks tossed at me, so I gave him a death stare and mentally communicated to him that I would personally drag him behind my tired body for the next 9 miles if he even attempted to toss a Chex at us. He put his hand down, I'm guessing I looked like evil with a running jacket and grandma running pants on.

We headed out towards the lake with 8 miles to go. I was thinking we might not have to go the whole way, but I wasn't sure. Our turn around ended up right at the entrance to the marina. There are still a ton of "Greenway Closed due to Construction" signs all over the new part, but since we've never actually seen any construction we totally ignore them each week. I can tell they do work during the week since dirt has been moved and stuff like that, but we've never seen any work on Saturdays. Well, this time we did. Ever wonder how they get hay on the newly spread dirt? The route back from the lake is always the toughest, every week. It's uphill for a mile and a half and the wind is ALWAYS strong. Saturday was windy to begin with, so I knew the return trip would be exhausting. When we turned around and were at the top of the first hill we saw a big work truck smack on the greenway, with hay swirling EVERYWHERE. We looked at each other with an "Uh-oh" look. There's really nowhere to go, the road next to the greenway is extremely busy with no shoulder. The other side is a big, chain-link fence with all kinds of "US Govt Property-No trespassing" signs (part of the base). So, it became a game of chicken. They were using this massive blower thing to blow hay onto the freshly spread dirt, and of course they weren't going to stop for us since the greenway was technically closed. We turned our heads, closed our eyes, and ran through. At least I did, Brent had his camera phone out snapping pics.

As nice as it was to have something "exciting" happen it was a bit exhausting. The wind never would stop, even when we made it past the end of the hills the wind was gusting from every direction. I was also a ninny and wasn't making myself eat Clif Bloks as I should have. I had taken some around mile 6-7, and had planned to take some around 14-15 but the hay incident distracted me and I decided to just tough it out. Stupid!! My energy was totally waning and I just wanted to quit running. But, I knew if I quit I'd still have to make it back to the car and running is quicker than walking so I stuck it out. We were just starting the last stupid hill back to the car when I heard something quickly approaching through the grass on my right. I thought this was strange since the road right there is EXTREMELY busy and the shoulder is small and steep. I looked over and a guy was running - totally booking it. I looked over at Brent and said "Look at him! I hate him SO much right now. TAKE HIS PICTURE!" Brent saw Evil Rachel and quickly got his camera phone out. It turns out he was running back to grab a bag of trash that had flown out of his truck and onto the major road, so he was hurrying not to get run over and not to have his trash run over. But I still hate him for running so quickly as I was fading into nothing. We sprinted to the top of the hill and watched my Garmin count down those last few feet until 19!! Yeah!! I had measured it perfectly and we were VERY close to the car. I ended up doing the 19 miles in 3 hours and 9 minutes, an average pace of 9.57. I felt like I was going quite a bit slower than that so I'll take it! The #1 lesson I learned yesterday was to eat my snacks!!! More than once I've decided I "only" have a few miles left so I can skip the Bloks but that's just stupid.

So, that was 19 and today, three weeks before the Marathon, the taper begins!! Yeah!!! I bought a pink Nike tank a couple of weeks ago and last night I bought a pair of Nike shorts that have pockets for my Bloks. One day this week (prob at the gym!) I'm going to try out running in THE outfit!! When I was trying on various shorts last night I felt like I was shopping for my prom dress or something! I'm also looking forward to shorter mileage these upcoming weeks. Last week I ended up with 45 miles, this week's 12 mile long run sounds heavenly!

Bonus points to Simba's mom for being the first (regular) reader to hear Steve Runner's shout out to me during his 1.01.06 podcast! If you haven't listened to it yet he said some really nice things about my training that literally made me cry while listening at my desk at work. Too cool!!

Before I forget I absolutely have to leave you with the strangest "keyword" search hits I've had lately. I always get a ton from people looking for pictures of people running into brick walls and all kinds of weird things related to brick walls. I also get a lot of people looking for info about chef Rachel Ray, and quite a few hits for reviews of local restaurants we've eaten at. Around Christmas I got a few looking for "bad holiday sweaters" (none here!) and one person looking for "what to write in my wife's Christmas card" (buddy, if you're coming here looking for it I think you're in trouble!). One person wanted to know 'what first annual means'. I've gotten one search for a 'redhead shore turtle', and someone came looking for 'danny farkas' the other day! I did get one for someone looking for "hot wife pics" - that person came to the RIGHT place! Then they start getting the person looking for 'teaching my wife to pee', 'best potty for boys', 'running while puking', but the absolute winner lately is 'best ways to kill my wife'. Yup, I'm a little concerned about that person, but fortunately they didn't live around here so I know it wasn't Brent! It's always amusing to see how people end up here every day!

That's it for now! Hope you all have a great week!!

Friday, January 06, 2006


Look everyone! It's snowing!!!!

Seriously, look really, really closely. Ok, so you can't actually see it in this picture but it is snowing, technically. It's pretty much microscopic but it IS there. And, it is exciting enough that my entire department (about 8 or so of us) walked all the way up to the front just to watch it for a few minutes. Sad, huh? Will it accumulate? Not a chance, but it's excitement enough to send people up periodically to report back whether or not it can be seen with the naked eye from time to time. I bet the grocery store is already out of bread, and I wouldn't be surprised if at least one school district was closed already. (Seriously!!) The receptionist reports that from time to time an actual flake is visible. Woo hoo!! Maybe they will close down work (not a chance). What this boils down to is that my long run tomorrow morning is going to be CHILLY!! Bring on the gloves and headgear! (Hey Charlie, can you overnight your Ninja mask to me??)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Back to normal

So, everything in life was back to normal yesterday. I knew it within the first 5 minutes of our daily 5.30 am walk. Lights were back on in houses and cars were nearly mowing us down (even though I wear a bright white hat, Brent's new arm reflector, my gloves and shoes are reflective, etc.) The a-hole around the corner who insists on starting his car remotely (resulting in a series of very loud pre-6 am honks) was back at it and the world was spinning back on its axis. It was cloudy and back to the 40's after our gorgeous near 80 degree day. And even better, everyone was back on the interstates. BLAH! The county we live in has THE highest rate of job growth in the country and in the top 75 fastest growing counties in the US, and although that's pretty cool traffic has become a nightmare. We're fortunate to work just 2 miles from work - but it takes us about 22-27 minutes to get there!! I'd go postal if we worked in downtown N-ville (19.5 miles away). It's truly insane. We can't take the interstate (for obvious reasons pictured above) so we take a series of side roads, which are pretty slow as well. On one of the main side roads they're about to build a 100 acre shopping complex which includes Target, a movie theater, and possibly Kohls as well as some other major retail stores. This is great and all but not a help AT ALL to our terrible rush hour traffic. We could totally run to work faster than drive - I just need to figure out how to strap my laptop on!! With all the garb I normally run in it shouldn't be much heavier!

Last night I ran 5 miles on the treadmill. It was chilly and dark and I am SO sick of the darkness! Pips and I walk in the dark in the am and Brent and I run in the dark in the pm and I'm really over it! It just seems so depressing. Today was beautiful again (60's) so there was no excuse for us not running outside (in the dark). I ran in a long sleeve tech shirt and shorts - perfect!! We ended up doing 6.1 miles in an average 9.29 pace. It really felt slower than that to me. We did the same route on Monday in 9.27 avg pace, and it felt much quicker. I think it's the difference between day and dark. But there is hope - weatherman Jeff Ray said by March 12 daybreak will be 6 am versus our current 7 am. That means the sun would at least start to be up during our morning walks.

All of the mileage I've done lately is starting to really amaze me. Last month I tackled 169 miles!! Strange things are starting to happen - I'm much less sore after long runs than I used to be. Even my achy feet aren't so achy anymore. Don't get me wrong - my legs are tired and ready for the taper to really kick in next week. It takes me a good mile to really get in the groove, but a lot of the aches and pains when I first started increasing my mileage are gone. Best of all a lot of my stomach issues are disappearing! I used to have a lot of trouble with GI discomfort during & after long runs, but it seems like my body may be getting used to it - or maybe I'm fueling better with the shot blocks and gatorade. Whatever it is I rarely have stomach upset after a long run now and I am SO happy about that!! It makes the ride home from whichever park we run at much more comfortable!!!!!! Yeah!!

Have a great Thursday!

Tues - 1 mile am walk with Pips, 5 miles on the treadmill
Wed - 1 mile am walk with Pips, 6 miles outside (running)

Monday, January 02, 2006

January or June?

Hey guys? So what's up with your weather? We've had some really unseasonably warm weather. Saturday the temps climbed to the upper 50's (or maybe lower 60's, I dunno.) After we got our fajitas on at Chili's and ran a couple of errands we were greeted back at home by this adorable sight:

Pippin's totally got the sidelight curtain thing figured out. When we leave he runs to the sidelights and watches us go while we wave 'bye to him. While we're gone he lays on the steps where he can see the driveway through an octagonal window to the right of our front door. So, when we drive up he's back to the sidelights welcoming us home. Even though I'd run 21 that morning and Brent had tackled 14 it was too nice not to get some additional exercise. We took Pippers for a nice neighborhood walk. On the way his gal pal Abby (a big brown Lab) was sunning in their front yard so Pips and Abby romped around for a while chasing each other while we talked to her "parents". Pippin has a major history of tiring out on long walks so we were concerned I'd have to end up carrying him back (as usual) since he had really gotten a workout with Abby. No worries though, he was ready to walk and we did our usual 1.5-2 mile walk without incident. Obviously as this sign points out, we were going the right way. Maybe a cross training activity after the marathon???

We had a quiet New Year's Eve considering most of Nashville's celebrations center around country music. Ick! There are no fireworks or other large public gatherings downtown, which is disappointing each and every year. We had a nice dinner and saw the Chronic, what? the Chronic, what? The Chronicles of Narnia. It was really good, I would highly recommend it especially if you like movies like Lord of the Rings (THE best movie ever!) or Harry Potter. I think Brent probably enjoyed it a little more than I did since he hasn't read the book. I read the book about 1.5 yrs ago as part of a book club I was in, so I knew some of the "surprising" things that would happen. The witch is freaky, she did a great job! Even though it's a children's book there is a lot of death/violence so I really don't think of it as a kid's movie.

Since our anniversary is New Year's Day it sort of feels like a 2-day anniversary. We always wish each other a Happy Anniversary! at midnight and then again when we wake up. The past 7 years has absolutely flown by. It seems like forever, but then again it seems like just yesterday. We didn't do much for our anniversary, we went out to lunch and since it was such a gorgeous day we decided to take Pippin to the dog park. I doubt we've been since early October. He was SO excited to be there and since a ton of other dogs (mostly 3x his size!) were there it was a lot of fun. He ran and ran, and at times he was chased and chased. He peed on everything in sight (including the little doggie water fountain!) and made a lot of new friends. It's a great socialization thing for all the dogs, and Pippin always makes his rounds with both the dogs AND their owners. He's quite the little social butterfly. There has been more than one occasion where he'll just jump right up into people's laps like he knows them. He did great - in the summer months he'll run and play and then crash under a tree but yesterday he ran the whole time. I think our am walks are really starting to build some endurance with him.

Sun night we watched Fun with Dick and Jane. It was pretty good, not worth a movie price but worth renting. It was fairly funny, but not hilarious. I liked Kicking and Screaming w/Will Ferrell a lot better.

Today we slept in, yeah!! I made a big breakfast of pecan waffles around 10 am and an hour and a half later my parents called for lunch. They were passing through on their way home from visiting my brother in Cincinnati and were going to take us out to lunch. We were so NOT hungry! Oh well, we had Wendy's so I got a small chili and a baked potato. The weather was perfect - it was 78 today! We walked around a car lot afterwards and the wind was really picking up. A storm was moving through and at point the wind nearly knocked me down (literally!) The weather lady said wind gusts were in the 50 mph zone this afternoon and for once I believe her. We got out of there right as it started to rain and were able to beat the storm back to our house. We decided it was too perfect to skip running so we suited up in tanks and shorts and headed out!! Crazy! We did 6 miles in the blustery, humid afternoon in 57 minutes. I was worried about the rain so I didn't take my camera, but the storms managed to completely miss us. The clouds were massive and beautiful, I wish I had taken the cam! The first portion of the run was really tough with the wind, but the loop back was great with the wind behind us. It was really humid but probably great training for what Miami will feel like. It's supposed to cool down later this week, so when we got back we decided to enjoy the day some more and we took Pippin for a 2 mile walk. He's been great lately - he walked the whole way and didn't try to take a nap in anyone's yard.

Last night I did 3 miles on the treadmill. I normally take the day off after a long run but I had an ulterior motive - Healthy Choice ice cream bars. For whatever reason I felt like I wouldn't be able to enjoy one if I didn't exercise. They're only 140 calories each, so the extra calories I burned are just a bonus.

That's it for now! I am in total denial about going back to work tomorrow. UGH! Even though I worked all week last week it was nice that most people were off. Blah!!

Happy 2nd day of 2006!



Sat - 21 mile run, 1.5 mile walk

Sun - 3 mile run

Mon - 6 mile run, 2 mile walk

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Ending the year right.......

Hey guys! I hope you all had fantastic and safe New Year's. I'm thinking the fantastic is correct since there hasn't been much blogging going on today and I FINALLY caught up on all the posts waiting for me in my Google Reader account. I think I have just about everyone I regularly read set up in there, and it's much easier than going down a list of favorites looking for new posts. I try to employ the FIFO method (first in, first out) but at times the forever long list can really overwhelm me and I just jump around.

Anywho, we finished the week/year in fabulous fashion. After forever-long/boring work on Thursday we headed over to the company gym. In true, annoying corporate fashion the gym closed early all week at 6 instead of 8. Was my work day cut two hours short last week? Not a chance. The gym was really crowded, too. Most people live fairly close to work so even though they were on vacation a lot of them were still coming in at their usual times to workout. I threw on my clothes, and grabbed my favorite treadmill (treadmill #4). I was a cotton headed ninny muggins and had completely forgotten to pack my ipod, bottled water and underpants comfortable for running. Oh well, the only one we could remedy was the water so I bought a bottle from the sloth-like gym attendant and got to booking it. I wanted to get 6 miles in on the treadmill before they closed & the gym's radio was playing Tears for Fears (for God's sake!) so I increased the speed on the 'mill to end the misery sooner. Before long enough people were slogging away and I could no longer hear the "music". Our new controller came in and started running on the 'mill next to me so we ended up talking about various races coming up and the time passed fairly quickly. I just got my 6 miles + a short cooldown in as the gym Nazi came around (early, as always) telling everyone the gym was closing.

Friday was a long, dull day at work that seemed like it would NEVER end!! Brent was off but most of his time was spent hassling with the incompetent people over at TEAM CHEVROLET in SMYRNA, TN because they are completely incapable of doing anything right. I swear, they are the biggest morons in the world. It's not that they have poor quality control, they have NO quality control. I will never, ever use them again and so far I've been able to keep a few people from taking business to them. One of my 2006 goals is to keep even more business from them! They totally suck, seriously. THIS time they made a scratch look worse and managed to put a new part on a seat with no bolt, like we wouldn't notice???? So, of course they have to order that and we'll have to go back into their hell pit yet again. They said it will be here Wednesday which means around Valentine's Day. (Their original estimate for our car was 3-4 weeks which became 7-8 weeks, for round two on a part it was 3 days and that became 25 days, and then they would have round two completed within a day which became 4 days. It seems Math and Body work are two things they are terrible at.) So anyway, don't go there, EVER!! Don't say I didn't warn you......

Friday night I was CRAVING Indian food so we went to our fave Indian place over near Vandy. I know spicy Indian food is never mentioned in any pre-long run recommendations, but I just had to have it. The rice is a carb, right? It was totally worth it. After that we came home and watched Kicking and Screaming with Will Ferrell. It was HILARIOUS! He has THE best sense of humor, Old School is one of the best movies ever made. And hey, he's a marathon runner so that can't be bad!

I set my alarm to get 8 full hours of sleep Friday night and I felt really refreshed Saturday am and ready to run! (I normally average 6.5 hours of sleep). I had my oatmeal + bananas and headed out to the Greenway. Brent decided he would join me 1 hour later, and run the rest of the way with me. It was a beautiful day, right at 40 to start and the forecast was for a high of mid-50s. I wore capri running pants with a short sleeve tech shirt and a light jacket - no gloves required! I also had my new 6 bottle Fuel Belt. I have become a total running pack mule. Between the Dazer, pepper spray, cell phone and Clif Shot Blocks I had no place left in or on me to store my running camera!! I left it in the car and decided when Brent got there I'd make him carry it. I headed out and did two one mile loops around the park before I headed out on the greenway. There were quite a few walkers and runners out, so there was always some sort of activity. I was in a GREAT mood and had to constantly keep my pace in check not to burn up too much energy. I usually do this by singing/dancing (with my hands mostly). I had some great new tunes on my Nano so there was a lot to sing about. At one point I was really going with Pretty Vegas (INXS) and rounded a curve to see there was a guy running not too far behind me. I think he was probably getting quite a free show!

I picked my turn around spot and headed back to pick up Brent. He had just pulled in and was getting some bottles from my car so we headed back out. This was right around 6.6 miles, and my goal was 21. It was getting warm but I decided against dropping off my jacket because the 2 uphill miles back from the lake are always chilly and I'm trying to overdress a tad because Miami will likely be quite a bit warmer than here. We did 2 warm-up laps around the park and then headed towards the new Greenway section that takes you to the boat dock. Brent hasn't run that piece before, so it was new and exciting for him. On the way out there was an older guy standing by the road for whatever reason and he yelled out "How many miles are you running" I yelled back "21!" and pumped my fist in the air! He had a shocked look on his face and told us we might as well run to Murfreesboro then. Too funny! But, the 'boro is only 13 miles from our house so that wouldn't be far enough. Everyone we passed was in a great mood and I just wanted to give them all high fives but I thought that might be frightening for them so I settled for a smile and the "hand tip". We circled the lake and pondered why it's so dry. There is a series of dams involved with this lake so we guessed it had something to do with that.

We turned to head back to the main park and endure the toughest part of this path. It's a series of long, slow inclines/hills for the first two miles back. And for whatever reason the wind is always working against you. You may not feel a draft of wind whatsoever on a particular day, but running that strip of trail is ALWAYS windy! Yesterday I didn't let it bother me in the least. I focused on my music and just let my feet handle the pavement. They know what they need to do. We passed "Wind Alley" and headed back to the main park. There are two miserable hills there as well, but I just ran them and moved on. Finally, we were back and up to 18.6 miles, just a couple of the 1 mile loops and we were done, already!! On the first lap I was taking it fairly easy and then once I got to the flat portion I decided I was feeling great and it was time to kick it in. It was a fantastic day, and so the annoying baseball losers were out. These guys are in their 20's/30's and it seems one of their main goals in life is to wait until runners/walkers are near them and then hit a baseball over the 3 foot fence and see if they hit them. Perhaps if the fence was not the size of a small child this might impress me, but it doesn't. I guess they're trying to compensate for having small winkies because they hit grounders all day until someone comes near the outer edge of the ballfield. We headed past and of course here come a ball! (I'm at 19.5 miles here.) I turned to say something mean about them to Brent and I noticed he was tailing behind me. Huh? I knew I had picked up the speed and all.....shortly thereafter he gave me the "Go on" hands and I really kicked it in. I couldn't even believe I had the energy to have a "kick" but I did. I ran and ran and ran.....when I came through the parking lot Brent jumped back in for the last .4 miles. When we stopped he told me I had become a total rocket ship and he couldn't keep up at the end! Insane!! It was an absolutely rewarding run, I was so happy with it that I actually started crying a little. I felt great, like I could easily go another 5.2 miles, no problemo! Hopefully marathon day will be much the same.

Here are the stats:
Distance: 21 miles, 3:28.47, avg pace 9:57 (INSANE!!)

Mile 1: 9.48
Mile 2: 10.13 (trying to slow myself down....)
Mile 3: 9.46
Mile 4: 9.54
Mile 5: 9.50
Mile 6: 9.47
Mile 7: 10.12 (warming back up after Brent joins me....)
Mile 8: 10.13
Mile 9: 9.59
Mile 10: 10.17
Mile 11: 10.05
Mile 12: 10.06
Mile 13: 9.51
Mile 14: 9.30 (flat lake loop!)
Mile 15: 10.41 (all uphill, ugh!)
Mile 16: 10.21 (still uphill - mostly)
Mile 17: 9.59
Mile 18: 9.53
Mile 19: 10.28 (gross hills back into the park)
Mile 20: 9.19
Mile 21: 8.29

How about mile 21? I knew I really picked it up and all, but WOW! Insane. I tried to keep myself between 10-10.30 (which is what I think I should do in Miami), but a lot of times today I was just feeling faster. Luckily I was able to keep the pace and not tire out (this time!)

We came home, showered, and went out to Chili's for some fajitas!! Normally I crash for a little while but nothing was sore and for whatever reason I had a ton of energy to spare. After a couple of tough long runs I guess I was due for an "easy" one. I guess that's it for now. I hear a ton of firecrackers going off outside so it may be a treadmill night. It was 68 today! Thunderstorms are supposed to move in soon and chill it back down, but it was another great day to be outside!

Happy New Years's everyone!!