Thursday, September 28, 2006

Birthday weekend ahead!

So......where the hell have I been? Work. Pretty much non-stop for the past two weeks, and if you've read my blog for more than five seconds then you know that's GOTTA suck, in a massively sick, twisted and totally uncomfortable way. But, I survived. At least for now. And I only got into one fight with a rude executive, cursed my bosses about 500 million times, nearly burst into tears about 100 times and went and got one box to pack up all my office belongings. Throw in the British, copier jams at the most inconvenient of times and insanely long meetings where our executive team stuffed their face with trail mix, candy and animal crackers (and I do NOT work at a daycare) and you will understand why I am looking forward to the WEEKEND!!

First let's rewind to last weekend. Last week I also worked a TON of hours and very, VERY narrowly avoided having to go in to work for more torture. (Thank god for laptops.) At any result I was exhausted, and not really looking forward to a hilly 20-miler on Saturday am. The weather forecast was pretty iffy, but the rain was supposed to be gone by the early morning. Wrong. The alarm went off at 6 and it was pouring. I was completely exhausted anyway so I went back to sleep and woke up around 8:30. The rain was starting to slack off, but I knew I just didn't have it in me anyway. I had missed so many weeknight runs that I wanted to run anyway, so Brent and I ran out for a 5.6 mile loop around the neighborhood (from our house past the Titans stadium, down 2nd avenue, back across the pedestrian bridge and home). Our main goal? Sweet 16th bakery, a little neighborhood bakery 3 blocks from us. The rain had stopped and the sun was out FULL on, humidity was nuts. So, the whole time we were telling each other "run to the bakery, run to the bakery". When we were about a block away we starting sprinting hard, racing each other. Only to see their blinds down and a note on the door that they were closed for the Jewish holidays. WTF?????? The owners are NOT Jewish. If they were Jewish, they wouldn't be open ANY Saturday. Basically, they just like to close for a lot of reasons. For Labor Day weekend they were closed all weekend plus Monday AND Tuesday. We were MAD. So, we went home and just ate lunch instead.

That night we went out for our fave, Indian food!! We checked out Cuisine of India's new location in the heart of Vandyland by Pizza Perfect. It was great, I am SO glad they are open again!! They have the best service and food of any Indian joint here in town. Afterwards we went to the nearby Green Hills mall. I don't think I've been to the mall since June. SERIOUSLY. With the house and move we haven't been much of anywhere besides Home Depot!! It was nice to do a little clothes shopping for a change. However I did feel like I was the only person at this mall with non-fake boobs, male or female. (This is our "upscale" mall with Tiffany's, Louis V, etc.).

So was Sunday. Time for the long run. The kick your butt 20-mile hilly run that became 21 miles because the way the loops "loop" there wasn't a way to park where we needed to and stop right at 20 miles. I usually check out the message board on the marathon website devoted to this race about once a week, and at the end of last week all the chatter was about predicting people's finishing times, and how many people will actually finish. Nice. Then there was also this note from the race director:

"The good news about the course, as we've laid it out, is that the last 2-3 miles are essentially downhill. The bad news is that you hit substantial hills at mile 1.5, 5, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14.5, 17, 19, 22 and 23. I would plan on paying careful attention to make sure that you don't burn out on any of the early hills. Once you are past the hill at mile 14.5 (i.e., the backside of 3 mile hill, headed against traffic, upwards) and go down 3 mile hill, most (but not all) of the serious work is done and you should be able to let loose.

You don't want to take the ups too hard as that will tire you out. You don't want to take the downs too hard as that will blow your quads, knees and back. I would imagine it best to plan on running about 10-15% slower than your standard marathon pace to maintain a normal marathon effort and to account for the hills. For a standard 4 hour marathon, that would mean you will run this at about 4:30. "

We decided it was time to change our race philosophy. We'd been trying to run most of our long runs there before and really been dying out towards the end. Sunday we approached it differently and decided to walk the really steep uphills and run the downhills and flats harder. It felt strange to take a walk break just 2.5 miles into our run, but we walked quickly and really pushed the running portions. All in all I'd say our run was a success. We walked more during the final few miles than I would like to do on race day, but overall we managed an 11:30 pace for the 21 miles including a potty break and swapping out water bottles. We really don't have a time goal for this race other than "finish alive" so we were both pleased and had plenty of energy left when the run was over. Although my pace on the last two weekends of 20-milers was 9:30 this marathon is a total different beast. I think I'd like to shoot for a time goal of 9:30 if I do Memphis in December.

On tap this weekend??? MY BIRTHDAY!! I'll be 29 on Sunday. Our original plan was to run the Twin Cities Marathon, but with the move our training this summer got really messed up and we decided to just save the airfare, etc and try it again some other weekend. The way the last two weeks have been SO stressful I'm even happier we made that decision, as much as I would have loved to be there. BUT, we are running a local 15K on Saturday. The weather has gotten cooler this week and Saturday's forecast is really nice! It's a fairly competitive race so us placing is highly unlikely. With my poor diet and total lack of rest this week I doubt my results will be record setting but I am really excited anyway. This will be the first race we've done since the end of JUNE! Never fear, we're doing a 5K and marathon (half for Brent) in October, a half and full marathon in November, and I'd like to do a marathon in December, but we'll see.

After 3 back to back 20 milers I am very excited about having a 9.2 mile long run this weekend. YEAH!! Have a great weekend and good luck to everyone racing!! Good luck to Rob running the Portland marathon this weekend and to anyone else racing!

Happy Birthday to me and my brother!! (We're not twins, we just happen to have the same birthday!)


At 7:28 PM, Blogger Firefly's Running said...

We are going to miss you on Sunday. :( But have a great birthday. I will party in spirit for you. Good luck at the next race.

At 4:04 AM, Blogger Jack said...

Happy, Happy Birthday and have a great race!!!

At 6:41 AM, Blogger PLANET3RRY said...

happy birthday fellow libra! Make sure that 2.9 of those miles are a nice meditation on how you have one more year in this age group!

At 6:45 AM, Blogger Joe said...

Hi Rae! Happy Birthday, mine is also October 1... a great day to be born, indeed! Best of luck on all your races.

Rock on,


Shameless plug: check out my blog if you have a chance... I just started it last week.

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Running Jayhawk said...

Happy early birthday, sweetie!! To cool that you and your bro share the same day. How many years apart are you?

Every time you talk about the flying monkey I start to get nervous for you. I can't imagine running up and down all those crazy hills!! Good idea on walking up the steep ones. Even with all that walking, you're still faster than moi!! ;)

I think we should quit our jobs and just become RD's or something for a living.

At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Audrey said...

happy birthday! (to you AND your bro) how cool!


At 11:41 AM, Blogger Kim said...


I'll make sure to add a celebratory drink onto my usual amount :)

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Lana said...

That sucks to have to work so much...way to tough it out and get your 20 miler in.

At 4:15 PM, Blogger Michele said...

Hope you have a GREAT Birthday!

If you decide to go to Memphis, let me know so we can hook up.

Either way we need to meet up in Goodletsville.

At 5:16 PM, Blogger TriSaraTops said...

Happy birthday to you, and your bro! How funny that it's the same day!

Welcome to the 29 club! I've got 2 months on ya. ;)

At 6:34 PM, Blogger robtherunner said...

Happy early Birthday Rae! Thanks for the shout out and I will do my best out there and hope to get my marathon groove back. Nice going on the 20 milers. Have a great weekend.

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous angie's pink fuzzy said...

happy birthday!!!!

At 11:16 PM, Blogger Danny said...

it's offically here now...


(the first of many "29th birthday"s...)

At 4:34 AM, Blogger CJ said...

Happy birthday rae - hope you have a lovely day and get totally spoilt - sounds like you deserve it.

I did a hilly run on Saturday and have been really tired since plus my calves are a bit sore. I'm training for a hilly marathon called Six Foot Track which is in March next year but I have a few hilly races before then.

Also hope you have a great race!

At 6:31 AM, Blogger neese said...

happy birthday! :o)

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Darrell said...

Happy, Happy Birthday!

3 back to back 20 milers, now that's some dedication. If you read that race description from a non runners perspective you'd think why would anyone want to do that, but for us or at least me, it sounds like fun. Enjoy all those hills and don't worry about walking.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger David said...

Happy birthday Rae. This is your first 29th birthday? (Age group change ahead.)
Your work is a constant source of amusement to many of us. it really amazes me hat you stay there.
I like your new neighborhood life but bummer about the bakery. You had me salivating and thinking about where I could go for some sweet morning fare.
Jason asked after you, btw. I told him to read your blog as well as mine. (He's a lurker on mine who never comments)

At 2:33 PM, Blogger ShoreTurtle said...

Happy birthday Rachel. I hope that you've had a great birthday!

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Cliff said...

Happy B-day to you and your bro..

what are the odds of that..siblings on the same day :)

At 1:00 PM, Blogger jeanne said...

happy birthday! you deserve it! your office...omg, i'd have to do some damage!

At 6:20 PM, Blogger stephruns said...

Happy Birthday Rae-

hope you had a great day and work will slow down a bit for you.


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