Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!! We have had 166 trick or treaters so far! 166!!!! That is insane! Oh wait, 168! (And it's only 7:30!) I had meant to write part 2 tonight but we've been up constantly and are on our 7th bag of candy!

More marathon report to come one day!

Trick or Treat!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Marathon Report Part 1:The Road Less Taken

So, you know how long winded I can be. I have a ton of pics so I might as well break this down into two (maybe 3 parts). Part 1 will be the epic adventure of finding Kentucky, Part 2 will be the race and Part 3 will be some pics taken on the much shorter ride home. Got it??

First, huge congrats to everyone who ran marathons this weekend from Kentucky all the way to Detroit and east to Marine Corps! Great job everybody!!!

(AND, Blogger is refusing to take any pics so you'll have to click on links, sorry!!)

So, I worked half a day at work (which is pretty much as stressful as working a full day) and then ran out to load up for the trip. We had TORRENTIAL downpour of rain from Thursday all the way through Friday. It took me ages to get home as I had 3 wreck caused traffic jams on the interstate to get through and numerous ambulances were zipping through on both sides of the interstate. The stress of running a marathon coupled with the stress of weather and traffic and the stress of my crappy job made me nearly have to pull over and have a meltdown, but I was able to make it home where Brent had lunch warmed up and all the bags packed. Yeah!! We dropped Pippin off at the kennel and headed towards KY, in the monsoon.

Tompkinsville, KY is only 97 miles from Nashville. Simple, right?? Not so much. It's in south central KY, barely over the TN border. My Google map looked pretty easy. Take I-40 east to Carthage, TN (about 45 miles-home of Al Gore) then another 50 or so miles north via rural highways. The Interstate part was easy. Once we got off the Interstate we spent about the next 3 hours hopelessly lost. I hate you Google Maps. The map instructed us to turn on a certain highway, but it didn't tell us what to do at a fork in the road that was not the aforementioned highway. We tried a few different directions on curvy, HILLY roads, ended up driving in circles. Stop #1- A Gas Station. The kid working had never heard of the much seeked highway, but gave us a different way to find the next highway we needed. Ok. We headed off in that direction and when we got to THAT street it wasn't the highway # he had said it would be. Nice. We continued on a little further and never found it so we turned away and asked an old guy selling pumpkins on the side of the road for directions. He was a little hard to understand since he was missing quite a few teeth, but he gave us more directions. He told us to go a certain way and then look for a Y. SWEET! I didn't figure there would be a Y out here in the middle of nowhere, but I guess every country people need to exercise! Well, he was talking about a Y in the road aka a Fork in the road, which we totally missed. Fast forward later and we're still lost, in the middle of nowhere. We saw life outside an old run down house marked "So and So and Sons Chairs" so we whipped in their driveway. This old guy (who stared at Brent so long without speaking that Brent thought he was mute) and his son drew us a new map. The last time we had turned around we were actually pretty close. Figures! So, fast forward a few more scenic roads later and we were FINALLY in Tompkinsville, KY. Praise Jesus! What should have been a TWO hour drive took us FOUR hours. Of course finding the inn proved difficult even though the town is tiny and there were several signs about it. Eventually we found it!!!

When we checked into our room there was a super cute little personalized sign welcoming us to the marathon and inviting us to the pasta dinner. How cool is that??? I've never gotten that at a big race. We took a really short nap (our nice long nap had been spent lost in rural TN) and headed over to the pasta dinner. Brent had been thinking about moving up from the half to the whole, so he talked to the race director about it and she said it would be no problem. We also picked up our personalized swag bags and bibs. We went through line and got some pasta yummies and decided to sit with an older guy who was alone. His name is D and he had driven all the way from Wisconsin for this race because it's one of his favorites. He had also run the Chicago marathon the week before and has done 50Ks, 50 milers and a 100 miler. Very cool! For a small race the other runners really weren't all that friendly. No one was really mingling outside their families. While we finished eating a little local "band" (aka some guitars and banjos) performed some Southern favorites - Rocky Top, gospel music, etc while we ate. There were also some door prizes which we NEVER win. I got seconds and Brent got thirds and we headed back to the hotel full and ready for a low key race. Of course we stopped in the lobby for some homemade rum cake first though. =)

The forecast was a little iffy. The rain was to end at 5 am but it was going to be breezy. The "feels like" was going to be colder than the temp, so that was a sign to me to dress warmly. The race temps looked like they were going to stay between 40-45 degrees with a 15-20 mph wind. It was also going to be cloudy until noon, so I decided on a long sleeve tech, shorts, my gloves and arm warmers (aka tube socks). Brent went with the same minus the arm warmers. We shoved a bagel down our throats and geared up. Brent had been going back and forth about the half or the full and I finally told him he just needed to pick and have a decision, so he said the words heard round the world (or Tompkinsville, KY) - "Ok, the full." And there you have it.

I had laid all our stuff out the night before because I ALWAYS forget something. I handed Brent his baggie of Sportsbeans and a baggie with some Motrin/Tylenol in it. He looked at me and said "What is this?? Do I have to take this?? Do you have one??" HA! I told him it was just in case, and that Yes, I had one too, and to please not take ALL of them or get them confused with the baggies of Sports Beans. I was actually carrying them because I was worried about how my massive trail blister would hold up. I took some pictures of it before, just for comparison purposes. It had been fine all week, I had kept it drained but it had sort of irritated me in a short run on Tuesday. I decided not to wear a Blister BandAid because that seemed to bother me while running more than the blister.

With everything in tow we headed to the race site - the Middle School. Everyone was staying warm in their cars until race start. About 5 minutes until 7 we headed over to the start line and mixed in with the people so they would block the breeze. Right on time a couple of race announcements were made - watch out for traffic, there is a porta potty at mile 8 but since this is a rural area feel free to use the bathroom anywhere (HA) and then they said "Yee haw" and people started running. I guess all the guns were out hunting Saturday morning.

And with a Yee haw and a Holler we were off and running..................our 26.2 mile journey had begun!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

WE have finished the 'thon!

Yup, you read that right. We BOTH ran the marathon this morning. Yesterday Brent was clanking around in his head moving up from the half to the full and today he did it!! MY hubby is now a marathoner!!! I stuck with him (those last few miles were pretty brutal for him) because I know how tough that first marathon is, and there's not exactly crowd support in rural KY! It was super hilly, it was cold, the leaves were gorgeous, the wind was a BEAR (I am so chapped!!), the volunteers were awesome. Tons more to come about the race and (of course) lots of pics. Now it's time to shower up and drive home. And hopefully we won't get insanely lost this time. (We have free wi-fi in KY!)

Oh - our time. Not exactly sure! My watch says one thing, Brent forgot to stop his until after we got some food and the official lady wrote down our time after we had stopped and talked to her for several minutes!! HAAA! Averaging them all together I would say our time was between 4:40-4:45, which makes me ache for a flat course to see what I've got at MY pace.

Oh, and I will never, EVER eat a whole bag of mini Oreos at mile 24 again. EVER. Even if they taste like tiny bites of heaven.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Less than 48 hours to go.......

OMG, I can't believe I am running a marathon this weekend!! WHAT was I thinking?? It really starts to hit home when you work on the playlist that is going to last you for over 4 hours!!! I signed up for this marathon (the 4-H Old Mulkey Classic in Tompkonsville, KY) as a final training run for the upcoming Flying Monkey Marathon on November 19th. It's perfect as a long last training run and just seems cute. Last year there were 44 marathoners and 22 half marathoners. It's a race where "you're a name not a number" and apparently the townspeople come out and make signs for the runners. There's a free pasta dinner the night before and at $30 to enter the full, $20 for the half (Brent is doing the half) and a hotel room for $60 including tax the price was not half bad!! They also said rolling hills, so that's great training for the Monkey. Then, I did something stupid. I asked Trent, race director of the Monkey, to plug the course directions into his super fantastic mapping software. (I'm telling you this guy is like the course mapping Yoda for Nashville runners. Super awesome.) That's when the freakout started. Rolling hills my butt!! It should just be called HILLS. (You may have to hit the little arrow button for elevation to toggle.) I'm not sure that there is a flat portion here. I went back and looked at all the race photos and it seems like there may be one small flat portion. Can I just run that piece a few hundred times?

This second marathon just feels a bit strange. There was so much anticipation for the last one, even coworkers who don't "get it" were excited. Most of them don't even know about this one or the Monkey, now they think we run a 'thon every weekend. Last time there were exciting blogger meetups planned and some beach bumming afterwards, and this time we're just driving two hours to Kentucky. This one really is a training run for me, and a last long run for Brent (when he finishes he's going to turn around, come back and run me in for some added miles.) I know it benefits the 4-H club, but I'm from the city and don't have a clue what the 4-H club does. I am really excited to see if I've progressed and how I'll hold out over the 26.2 miles. Reading all the Chicago reports this week has made me amped!!!

We're all packed and will be heading out tomorrow afternoon!! I THINK I've remembered everything! The race starts at 7 am CST so if you're running then send us some good thoughts! I'm PRETTY SURE there won't be any internet tracking or even chips for this race. I'll have Brent call Mouse with some updates and I'm sure he'll be updating his blog through the cameraphone. AND, our hotel room has wi-fi (and a fridge!!). We'll be back Saturday night because we're going to J's big Halloween bash!!

GOOD LUCK to everyone else racing this weekend!! It's a huge marathon weekend!!! AND, if you race is Sunday don't forget about the time change!

Special good luck to Mouse who is going to kick ass in the Detroit marathon, and Bex, David,
Michelle, Rich , Steve Walker (steve runner) & Jeanne are all going to rock Marine Core in DC. Good luck to local runner J who is also running Detroit!!!

See you on the flip side!!!


Monday, October 23, 2006

Why I did not win the Chicago Marathon

A) I was not there.

B) I seem to have lost all sense of intelligence this week. Really. Sunday was our long run for the week, and at only 12 miles we were both pretty jazzed. We decided to run a trail combination we had seen on the local running club message board that combines 3 different trails at Edwin and Percy Warner (the red, blue and white) via some trail connectors. It was great because the only things you did more than once were the connectors, and those are typically pretty short. One muffin dropped in the floor later and we were off. And let me just tell you - it was cold. One of those cold days where it only gets colder which is just messed up. It was in the low 50's, which certainly isn't cold compared to a lot of places but it only snowed once here last year so we're not exactly a cold blooded lot. I finally got my GPS and off we went up the large stairs and onto the white trail. So, exactly how was I stupid?? Well, 6 days before my 2nd marathon I was so excited about the trail shoes I had gotten for my birthday (Oct 1st) that I decided to run 12 trail miles with brand new shoes. I always run in Mizunos, they really work for me. My trail shoes are Adidas. Totally new territory. I am an idiot. Within a mile my feet were achy as they got used to the new feel of the shoes. I was really happy with the ankle and foot protection they gave me -I could really tell a difference on the rocky portions. The arches just fit differently, and within a couple of miles I could feel a massive blister forming on the left arch. Honestly, how stupid was I???? I didn't complain because it was my own dumb fault. We kept on running and the trails were BEAUTIFUL. The leaves were so bright and beautiful, the pics just don't do it justice (but they're not bad for a cameraphone!). We haven't run the trails in Edwin Warner before, and I had no clue they had so many! The trail connector took us across a busy road and then back into the woods. EW is a bit flatter than PW, so that was nice! There were several other trails branching off from the Blue that were running so we'll have to check that out. I really never could get warm, either. As much as I was enjoying the scenery I really was ready to be done. I should've worn a LS shirt or my gloves. I hate being cold!! Right as we were finishing up our run I slipped and fell. We were literally at the trail exit and my shoe slid on a tree limb. I made it 12.5 miles and fell at the end! Really, I think Cheuryot (Chicago winner) and I fell at the same time. Two great runners, two great falls. =)

When we got home I took my sock off and - OH YEAH - one massive blister on my left arch. Perfect. I was hoping it would go down quickly but no such luck. I drained it last night so hopefully it won't bother me on Saturday. I will never, ever do something so stupid again!!

Today's act of genius - leaving my laptop at home. I realized it as SOON as we pulled into the parking lot. Who is at fault??? The Killer Butt woman. I did that DVD last night (on my lappy - our DVD player broke in the move) and she killed me so hard I didn't have the energy to put lappy back in my laptop bag. I did end up using a spare computer but I still can't believe I did that!!!

So.....I wonder what fresh acts of genius I'll have tomorrow. In other news, here is a photo of the finishers medal for next month's Flying Monkey Marathon. SWEET!!! It's made of WOOD! How cool is that??? A few scaredy cats have dropped so there are a couple of spots available if you want to come down and run with us. This will be the ONLY year that it's the INAUGURAL so come on down! Free lodging with us!!!

And finally, here are some additional great reminders from last weekend. Brent and I had a very good time Friday night chilling out and relaxing at the Alleycat (and Brent at home after). I LOVE their cheese dip. And their pomegranate margaritas. Or so they tell me.

I can't believe I'm running a marathon on Saturday!! AAAAAAH! More about that later this week.......

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Chicago Update Part 2

Everyone is finished now!! YEAH!! Barb finished in 5:55, Mike in 5:16 and Nicole in 4:59!! Congratulations everyone!!! No doubt they're all getting ready for the huge 27th mile RBF party tonight!! Have fun everyone and I can't wait to hear all about it!!

(On a side note, are Brent and I the ONLY people from our Great Midwestern Relay team NOT in Chicago today??? We SUCK!)

Chicago Marathon Update

Hey guys!! Here's an update on the Chicago marathoners we're tracking!

Barb - #23331 was at the half around 2:46 avg 12:45 pace and expected to finish in 5:33
Mike (OOSG) - #23332 was at 35K at 2:58 with an 11:29 pace and expected to finish in 5:01
E-Speed - #6401 finished in 3:40 with an 8:40 pace!! Yeah!!
Joggler - #8656 finished in 3:24 with an 7:48
Garou - #10914 finished in 3:46 with an 8:39
Lance - #8613 finished in 3:20 with an 7:39
Leah - #28926 finished in 3:45 with an 8:36
Jason - #28927 finished in 3:57 with an 9:03
Nicole - #23788 hit the half in 2:16 and is estimated to finish in 4:52 with an 11:09 pace

Our on the scene cheerleaders (TriSaraTops and Mouse) have been keeping us updated through the morning. They've seen Elizabeth and Barb a couple of times and are having a blast. They also ate MCDONALDS. What is up with that??????

Great job to all the Chicago marathoners! You're all doing great!!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Good Luck Chicago!!

I can't believe it's almost October 22nd and it's all about to go down in Chicago!! Good luck to everyone racing this weekend but special wishes for all the thousands and thousands running 26.2 in Chicago this weekend. Rain, snow, shine, WHATEVER the weather is predicted at right now I know you guys are going to do great and we'll be tracking you from Nashville! If you get a chance leave me your bib #s in the comments! I stole these names from Barb, so good luck to all these guys and gals (plus Barb, too!) Travis, Arcaner, Jods , Nic, Yumke, Frankie, Joggler, JellyPepper, Rabbit, Cuckoo, Ryan, Zeke, Dice, Ugly Toes, Nicole, Whitney , Mike (OOSG), Leah, Jason , Bob and Lisa, and Mike with his thought, Frank, Garou, Kristi and Josh, E-Speed and Mike, Dave,
Taryn, Molly and Margie. Barb wrote an AWESOME poem including all their names. LEGENDARY.

Also, good luck to local running blogger Lance who's also running the Chicago marathon, Michele who's doing a century ride this weekend and Jack who is running a 50K. With all the races this weekend I am sure I've forgotten someone, so good luck to you too!

We're not racing this weekend, just 12 trail miles planned for Sunday. And then.....next Saturday....is my next marathon. YIKES. It's here already. What WAS super cute is now not so super cute. I got an elevation map of it and......rolling hills??? How about a very, very non-flat course. That sounds more like it. I know it's just a training run for me but even a TINY flat portion would be nice. It will be a great training run for the Monkey though. Last year only 44 people ran the whole and 22 ran the half, so it is certainly a small race! The Monkey is limited to a (sold out) field of 100, so it will seem huge compared to next weekend's super cute marathon. I haven't tapered for the marathon but I really don't feel like I need to. I haven't been able to log as many miles during this marathon cycle due to the move, the massive home renovations and a lot of long hours at work. This time around I haven't had all that many aches and pains, I haven't had the constent hunger, the massive stomach issues post long-runs - compared to last time this cycle has been a breeze. Hopefully that won't bite me in the rear on marathon days! At any rate next weekend will be great practice. And I'm pretty sure you won't be able to track me online. =)

That's it for now! Take care and GOOD LUCK CHICAGO!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Will Run for Tiramisu

Hey guys! How is your week going thus far? I can’t complain here, it hasn’t been a bad one at all.

So, after Saturday’s GREAT race we headed home, showered and changed, and headed over to Dog Day. Last year due to a massive wreck on the interstate we had totally missed it, which was pretty disappointing. This year I just WISH we had missed it! After the disappointing Top Dog announcement we wandered around the booths. It was mostly organic dog treats and clothes for tiny dogs. I’m not sure why they think dogs enjoy shopping, because there just wasn’t much for dogs to do otherwise. There were a few other “cutest tail” contests and stuff like that but we had already blown $10 to get in and $10 for Pippin to enter Top Dog and I didn’t really want to “donate” more for no return. We were there less than an hour and totally disappointed. Two years ago there had been a really fun event for the dogs where they chase this little white lure on a pulley system. It was hilarious to watch the “sporting dogs” go for it, and Pippin had fun just watching them. Other than meeting Steph in person the only other highlight was chatting with a British lady who had a Boston and a Pug, the dream doggie combination. And we love the British. Most of the other dogs there could have easily been classified as horses, and a lot of them were so snippy. For free we could’ve just taken Pippin to the dog park .5 mile from our house or the one right there at Centennial Park and he could play off leash. A couple of my coworkers also went and thought it was a drag compared to previous years, and none of us are planning to waste our time with it next year. Oh well.

From there we attempted to head back to Oktoberfest for a late lunch but by then it was sheer insanity and chaos. Cars were parked EVERYWHERE including blocking the ATM and all other lanes of the bank we tried to get cash from! Total mess! We did not feel like dealing with 30K oblivious people so we headed home and just made some lunch. From there on out it was all about decorating for Halloween!! Spider webs, lights, garland – we’ve got it!! I love Halloween; it’s such a fun holiday!!

In anticipation of Sunday’s long run we decided to try out a new Italian restaurant in the ‘hood for dinner. We weren’t exactly sure where we had seen it so we decided to drive (versus walk). We found it pretty easily and it wasn’t crowded, at all. The food was just….ok. Their breadsticks are LITERALLY sitting in butter. They’re seriously good but we had to sort of stand them up in the basket to let some butter drip off. A salad was $3.95 extra so we skipped that. I ordered their “homemade” fettuccini alfredo, which was definitely homemade but very light on the alfredo. Brent makes a SERIOUS alfredo from scratch and it is WAY better. This alfredo was so thin I felt like I ate a plate of noodles. I guess that’s healthier anyway. I will definitely go back again but I’m going to try something else. We got a tiramisu to go as a reward for after our long run. Tiramisu is my favorite dessert, hands down! (Although theirs is WAY overpriced at $7 for a pretty small piece.)

So Sunday. Time for a long run. Ugh. I hate this part of training when it becomes a chore, like work. I had wanted to run for 4-4:30 hours, but I really just wasn’t feeling it. It was cold, we were shivering before we got started and it took a good mile to warm up and feel good. Both of us were just SO bored. Nothing hurt, nothing was wrong….we just did NOT want to be there. I think racing the 5K the day before also took something out of us as well. We just had no desire. Brent came up with a fun game to try to entertain us – Bostons in the Woods. There were a TON of squirrels and chipmunks running around storing up for winter. Brent decided we should picture them all as Boston Terriers running around, climbing trees, eating nuts, etc. And all chipmunks became pugs – just like Phog. It was so funny trying to picture chubby Pippin leaping from tree to tree, and little Phog scampering along a log. That kept us entertained for a couple of miles. Throw in some person holed up for all of eternity in the one and only portapotty for MILES and it was just a crappy run. We got back to the car around 10-11 miles to change shirts (to short sleeves) and water bottles and we just sort of stared at each other like – ‘ugh, do we HAVE to keep doing this??’ I really, really hate quitting but I had zilch desire to do that run one more time in reverse. We decided it would be more fun to run the trails, which are still GREAT hill training. First we ran the cross-country course so I could use a portapotty and then we ran over to the trailhead. And stopped. And sort of stared at each other like it would be SO nice to go home. But deep down I just did not want to call it quits at 12 miles. We ponied up and headed out. Once we were on the trails things just became a bit more interesting. I was still tired and it was still tough but we were making it and having fun. We did one loop and then called it quits, somewhere around 17 miles. Still not as far as I had originally planned but not half bad.

We’re just so sick of the hill training, I’m starting to feel like this race can’t get here fast enough! This weekend we’re going to do 12 miles of trails and then the following weekend is my “super cute” training run marathon. Let me tell you – I’ve seen the elevation chart now and it is NOT so super cute looking anymore!!! JEEZ! YIKES!
Well, this is too long already so I am signing out!! Have a great week!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Oktoberfest 5K race report

So first up, Pippin did not win top dog. You know the old saying about "winners never cheat and cheaters never win" - well, cheaters do win and so one fugly cocker spaniel (EWWW!) will be representing Nashville for 2007. Sorry Nashville, we did our best. I really find that breed to be wretched and totally psychotic. There were 2 of them in our old neighborhood that were seriously demented and were Dazed often, and kicked a couple of times when they tried to bite us while running. But Pippin has moved on. He had fun at Dog Day even though we really thought it was a bore this year. It was $10 for us to get in and have one hour of wandering around aimlessly. There weren't a lot of activities for the dogs this year, mostly some pretty hokey booths. There were some cute dogs there, we saw 5 or 6 other Bostons, and a whole lot of dogs the size of horses. Pippin did get to meet local news2 person Steph who has left him comments before, so he was all about that. And then he got lots of loving from all the people out walking in the 'hood yesterday afternoon and got cameraphone snapped by one more person. (Seriously, every time we're out in the yard I have a least one person ask if they can snap his photo. It's so weird, he's crossing the internet superhighway all the time!! I wonder how many people have him on their phones?????) It's really his personality that gets him so much attention. He's the "corner guard" on our block. He sits in one corner of our white picket fence and escorts each person walking by all the way around the edge of our yard just leaping and running with excitement until they can't help but lean over the fence and give him some loving.

So anyway, the Oktoberfest 5K. We ended up stopping and getting our Tshirts and numbers Friday night. It was such a nice night we decided to walk around their neighborhood for a little while. The race runs through Historic Germantown, right across the river from where we live, and also adjacent to downtown. We just love old houses, so we saw an older guy leaving his home and asked him some q's about their neighborhood. The homes in their neighborhood range from 1850's-1920's, the homes in our neighborhood are from the 1890's-1930's. His particular home was built in 1911 and it totally cracked me up when I thought to myself "Oh, it's not that old! Our house was already 20!"! HA! My perspective on homes has changed so much in the past few months. As soon as we got home our neighbor + friends were heading out to an antique auction so we switched gears and tagged along. We had a late dinner and probably didn't get nearly enough sleep. Oh well.

Saturday morning was CRISP. Mid-40s crisp. We had found the box labeled "Winter running clothes" so we snagged some long sleeves gear from it and decided on long sleeve tech shirts and shorts. I ended up wearing my gloves because my hands freeze. We made it to the race sight with half an hour to spare, warmed up, and stood in the sun to talk to our other corporate teammates. The cold snap that came through this week really had everyone so off guard. That first chilly run is such a strange beast. We lined up where we thought we should be but of course once the gun went off we were hemmed in behind a ton of people slower than us. (The prerace annoucements said there were 900 runners.) We weaved around and at one point I saw Brent right in front of me! I never saw when I passed him because I was having a seriously tough time getting around these people. I really, really hate that. The cold air in my lungs was also such a shock that I felt like I was struggling. I saw around 5.3 I was at .75 of a mile, so I realized then that I was pushing hard. This course is not flat, but not of the hills are severe. Just enough to be annoying! We weaved through the historic old homes, and then through some industrial portions before heading back towards where we started. We had an amazing view of the state capital and downtown skyline. I just love the downtown skyline (of any city, really) and I always loved racing downtown because living in the suburbs we rarely got to see it. Yesterday I reminded myself how happy I was to get to see the skyline all the time, every day, and how lucky I was to get to run through downtown all the time now!! And how I hope I never take it for granted. We turned and ran past the fountains at the Farmers Market and I chuckled to myself that for ONCE I had no desire to stop and run through the fountains (unless they had been turned into a hot tub!) We curved around and finally we got to run smack through the Farmers Market. Totally my fave part of any race course, all year. I LOVE IT! We literally run right through the middle of the building (which was BLAZING hot yesterday) and all the shoppers and merchants have to stand to the side. Of course I waved big and hammed it up. Then it's just a couple of short hills and we're finally headed towards the uphill finish. Once I saw the finish line I realized I just might have a PR at hand so I pushed HARD. I knew I had slowed down some of the course of the race, but I saw a couple of my teammates just ahead so I pushed as hard as I could. I cross the finish line at 24:16 (official) a new PR by 14 seconds., avg pace of 7:50/mile. I'll take it!

My dream goal had been to break 24, but that will come next year. Going into 2006 my 5K time was 25:50, set at last year's Oktoberfest so I have had a large improvement over a short distance this year. I was still standing off to the side catching my breath and trying to find my fave chip cutter when Brent showed up! He had finished FIVE seconds behind me. He had seen me for a lot of the race. I think I'm going to have to start watching out for him now!!! We circled up with our teammates and we all had really similar times. One guy was just over 23 mins, two of us had exactly 24:16, and Brent and another guy were within 2 seconds of each other. Our other teammate was a bit slower but this was his first race since high school so hopefully he'll keep running. Three of us went and got in the free beer line and then stood around enjoying the sights. (Notice Brent's excellent use of the Fuel Belt!) The third guy had to leave but stopped to check the results. We had just started looking for the rest of the team when he came over telling me (SO EXCITEDLY) that I had 3rd in my age group. WHAT?!?! Seriously, this is a huge race and one of my ultimate running goals (SO cheesy) was to place at this race and get one of the winner's beer mugs. I did not get my hopes up (Ok, I did) but I really did not want those results pages to change!!

FINALLY they did the awards! Corporate results first.....and our team got first in our division!! SWEET! Medals for everyone on the team and we were all stoked to take down some of the other companies. Then......individual awards. And I got SECOND!! The top person in my age group was one of the top 3 overall so I moved up and got SECOND!! CRAZINESS! When the results came out online later yesterday I couldn't believe it. There were EIGHTY SEVEN people in my division and I got SECOND!! I was faster than 85 other 25-29 year olds. Truly insane. I was also the 27th female finisher!! 162 overall, but the 27th chick!!! Crazy!! My teammates were so thrilled for me, it felt great. Since they're all guys and it sucks to be a guy they weren't able to place (Brent was 25th in his division, so crazy).

We said our good-byes and walked around the festival for a bit. We ran into a friend we haven't seen in a long, long time. He used to run quite a bit, before we were runners. He once ran from his house to our house - 2.5 miles - and we thought he was NUTS. Isn't it funny how times change? Anyway, this was his first race (maybe even run) in ages and he finished in 39 minutes. It felt really, REALLY weird to be on the other side. We decided we need to get together for a run, or anything really, soon. It's so nice to "run" into people. He did hold my winners mug and I had fleeting thoughts of throwing his children in the river if he accidentally dropped it. Seriously, I have coveted that mug for a long, long time. It's in a place of honor on our fireplace right now.

Well, I am CRAVING a grape soda so I think it's time for a walk to the market or something. More pics from dog day, of my KICK ASS Halloween decorations, and a discussion of why I am so sick of hilly long runs later!

Hope you have all had a GREAT weekend!


Saturday, October 14, 2006

Freakin' AWESOME!

Just a quick post!! We ran the Oktoberfest 5K this morning which is my FAVE 5K of the year (we don't do many 5Ks). SO, I finished in 24:17 (a new PR, old one was 24:30) and Brent tailed me the whole time (I didn't have a clue) and finished in 24:22 (a new PR, old one was 25:54). To top it off, our Corporate team got first in our division (YEAH!!!) and get this - I GOT 2nd place in MY DIVISION!!! I can't believe it, this is a HUGE race (Brent got 28th in his division) so that's an accomplishment I had planned for next year or maybe 2008. SO, I am now the VERY PROUD owner of one of the elusive Oktoberfest winner mugs!!

SWEETNESS! Anyway, proper race report to come because we are off to Dog Day to see if Pippin is also going to be a big winner today!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Thanks for all your votes!!

Hey everyone!! Thanks for all your votes for Pippin!! He really, really appreciates it. Voting is now officially closed and we'll find out Saturday at Dog Day if Pippin was the big winner. Keep your fingers crossed!! Special shout outs to Mouse, Running Jayhawk, JAG, Chez Bez, Shore Turtle and everyone else who sent out special myspace bulletins, blog posts and emails to their friends and family asking for votes. Pippin will never poop in your yard!!

There's really not much to blog about here. We've had a really busy week at work and our AC is busted. This problem was the total opposite of any AC issue we've ever had - it won't STOP running!! Before it's always been a "not working" issue. Since we have a 1-yr home warranty on this house the repair will only cost us $55! Yeah!! That's cheaper than just the service call normally is! If you're in the home market I highly recommend building in the warranty. If they can't fix it they will replace it, so we're hoping the old water heater, stove, dishwasher and so on and so forth all break between now and July 07! We made the seller of this house buy it, but even if he had not it would have only cost us $400, which we likely would have paid today for this one repair.

So is everyone getting excited about Halloween?? We started decorating this week. We've got a couple of parties to go to and I'm running a freaking marathon on Saturday am of Halloween weekend. (All of the parties are the weekend before here.) I'm still working on my costume for this year, although I know which direction I want to head in. Pippin is going to be a fire hydrant this year, but I think it is going to be pretty hard to top the bumblebee. We were walking Saturday night when we met-up with Jamie as they were decorating for their party. It was HILARIOUS! We saw a couple walking out of their house and heard a "Is that PIPPIN?" So funny!! Her account is much better than mine could be, but I'm so excited we got to meet them and they live SO close! Very cool. AND they gave us their "37206 - Where Everyone knows your dog's name" which is very true for us! I'm pretty sure Pippin has more MySpace friends than I do, and he gets more requests every day!! Pippin's a little rock star. I heard two women walking Saturday say "I think that's Pippin!" as they walked by while we were working in the yard and Chez Bez mentioned some people talking about him at Radio Cafe over the weekend. I just wish he wouldn't wake me up at 2 am every morning to go out. For some reason since we moved he does that EVERY NIGHT. EVERY NIGHT. I am getting so used to it that this morning while he was outside I was coherent enough to pull some meat out of the freezer to put into the fridge to defrost for dinner.

Anyway, this has been a ramble and a half. I've been working out all week but nothing exciting. Just the usual runs and toning exercises, and early am walks with Pip and Brent (plus one late walk last night to the market for some milk, two blocks up. How.freaking.cool. to live in a neighborhood where we can walk to the market.) Let's see, I guess I can share a work story to close this out, for all of you who just "love" my work enviro.

Stripper and Coworker Stripper's Wife have had some bad luck over the past year with car wrecks, just like us. And like us they've been lucky that none have been serious and no one has gotten hurt. It's eerie how similar they have been to ours. Their first one was a "big one" that actually totaled their car (courtesy of a good ole non-insured TN driver). Their second one was a small fender bender. That one was just a couple of weeks ago so they still have a rental car. Yesterday afternoon I am STRESSING and hear her answer her phone:


At this point she puts stripper husband on hold and yells out to all of us:

"Ok honey, I'm back. Let me call the car rental company. Make sure you stay until you get a copy of the police report this time."

It was just SO funny that I had to laugh. Not that he was rear ended because that is SUCH a pain, and I am so glad he wasn't hurt because they are about the nicest people in the world who would do ANYTHING for you - loyal to the END, seriously. But just the whole "what is wrong with people?" part, because I am SO there with her. People are just crappy, the majority of them. So AVERAGE. So FRUSTRATING. So anyway, you probably had to be there but maybe you didn't.

Talk to you later!! GO PIPPIN!!!! Black and white rules!!


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Can I get some dinner with my dinner please???

Hey guys! Why does it seem like the weekend last about 5 minutes and the weekdays last about 5 years? UGH!

So have YOU voted for Pippin today??? Voting is open through Wednesday at 5 pm CST, so please keep voting! Friday am we got up early for our walk and to put out the cute flyers Brent made. We put them all up and down our street and hoped all the tons of walkers and bar enthusiasts would see them! Friday afternoon when we came home it didn't seem like anyone had taken one of the tags with the website on it. Oh well. I did get a comment this morning that some people were talking about it in a local cafe/bar this weekend, but did they vote (I know the person who left the comment did, but did the other people)???

We went to the running store to return Brent's trail shoes and unfortunately they just didn't have any that fit him well. On our way out we decided to try out the Trace for dinner. It's really pretty and just so happened to be in one of our coupon books. We swear by the Entertainment Book and the Citipass book, we save some serious bucks eating out through them and always end up trying some neat, new places. So, we walked in and instantly felt a little underdressed. Oh well, who cares! It's an old house (prob 1930s by our estimation) turned into a restaurant. She took us to a back room that was pretty quiet until your typical loudmouths in a Hawaiian print shirt showed up. Their food was pretty expensive - $20-$30 per entree, but we didn't care because our coupon was buy one get one free. We opted against a appetizer or salad and when our food came we realized that was a major mistake. Whoever says portion sizes are out of control should eat at the Trace. Poor Brent ordered some sort of "Hen of the Woods" which was basically a chicken wing in some sauce and my salmon must have been the smallest salmon ever. Then I remembered why Brent and I are soulmates. "Hey, wanna go to Panera Bread after dinner?" I had been thinking the SAME thing. We died laughing and made tons of fun of our tiny portions. When the waitress (who was SUPER nice) came to clear our plates she asked if we wanted dessert and I nearly choked myself up saying "No, I am just SO full!". Their food was good.....really good...but tiny. Not worth the $51 our bill would have been without or coupon. And all we had was our tiny portions plus water! We both walked out laughing insanely hard about how it felt like we just had nothing to eat. We stopped at Panera Bread and got a brownie for dessert and a muffin for Sat am's breakfast.

I set my alarm to wake at 6:30 on Saturday. Luckily I set it for 6:30 pm so we slept in until 7:30 am. It really didn't matter because a nice cool front came through Friday am and gave us a really nice fall-like weekend. We muffin-ed up and headed over to PWP. The original plan was to run 17 miles of the marathon course but I am so burnt out of training for this marathon that we threw caution to the wind and ran the trails instead. And let me tell you, it was WAY more fun. I was looking for a good 2-2.5 hour workout and we GOT it. We ran the cross-country grass sections and then the red trail forwards and backwards. It was so peaceful and serene out there. Not very crowded at all. We walked the steep uphills and ran everything else. We got into a really good groove and made some good time out there. I really wished I had thought about it and wore my new trail shoes!!! My Mizunos aren't very stable so a lot of the rocky portions I didn't feel like I had a lot of support, and my left ankle has been bothering me lately. Anyway, we had a blast and ran probably around 11 miles. Next weekend we are doing 23 of the marathon miles, so all I wanted this weekend was a good workout. It was so nice, when we were done we didn't feel like we had done that many miles, it was just FUN!

On our way home we passed a Palettas and I've been dying to try their popsicles so we stopped in. They have all these organic, fresh popsicles and I've heard rave reviews about them. I got a mango one and Brent got a coconut. OMG, they were GOOD! His was SO creamy, not like a popsicle at all. Mine was so fruity and you could tell they are actually made from fresh ingredients. YUM!!

The rest of Saturday we did some shopping, upgrading our cellphones since we had had our current ones for 2 years, and a stop at Home Depot to get some fall flowers. So.....that means most of today was spent planting said fall flowers. I got lots of mums and pansies. It's a bit frustrating because next spring we plan to totally overhaul the flowerbeds, so I basically just planted them where the existing flowerbeds are. There's just so much to do, but it all needs to be done in particular order at the right time of year. It still looks loads better than the crap that was there!! (BTW, Mr Dirty and Miss Dirty that we bought the house from got married this past weekend. They didn't even invite us!! We had half a mind to drive by and dump some of the crap we've cleared out from this house on their lawn in the middle of their hoity toity wedding. Anyway, I am certain their new house is filthy already because they are just GROSS. Enough said.)

We worked HARD this weekend on the house and it really shows. The yard looks even better, Brent filled in a lot of strange holes we have with dirt and we got the garage really organized and shelves hung. I don't think there's a single box let out there to be unpacked now! I also got some Halloween decs up outside. More paint went up on the bedroom walls and in the kitchen. It's going to take us a while to get this house where we want it (esp considering where it was when we started!) but we've been here almost 3 months and as our next door neighbor told us this afternoon we've done a LOT in 3 months. So take that Mr and MRS Dirty.

Well, I'm tired of typing and ready to kick back so we'll end it there!!! Have a great Monday everyone!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Yo, it's almost Friday!

So, have you voted for Pippin today???? (he's third row from the bottom, far left) I hope so!! I promise after next Wed at 5 pm I won't bug you about it anymore! Just be glad you don't work with me and have to hear about it all day long!!

Brent and I have been busy working on some really cute fliers to put up around the 'hood tomorrow. I'll post one here when we're done. We've got some great campaign slogans for him. If you've got any funny ideas then leave them in a comment!! (And if you want to be his friend, go here.)

This week has really gone by SO quickly! I'm not sure where all the time has gone, really. We've been painting our bedroom at night, and getting several of our weekday runs back on track. Monday night I ran just over 4 by myself around the 'hood. I thought about doing hill repeats until I snapped my ankle back on a steep uphill. UGH! My left ankle has been bothering me off and on the past few weeks, so that was a REAL smooth move. After that I decided to just do a lap around Shelby Lake and head back home. Tuesday night Brent and I ran the Greenway after work. Our plan was to do 5 but daylight escaped us and we only got 4.25 in. (It is FREAKY out there after the sun sets.) For some reason I had NO energy Tuesday night and it was all I could do to keep up with Brent. There were tons of gnats out, and when we were done we were covered in gnat roadkill, head to toe including our Fuel Belt bottles. Very gross!! And then today we worked out at lunch. It was NINETY degrees today. Hello??? It's OCTOBER! So, we went to the gym for a lunchtime workout. I'm really not sure it's any cooler in our goofy corporate gym, though. The music is THE WORST. Thank goodness Brent reminded me to bring my nano!

Boring, huh? I'm not totally sure what this weekend holds. I know Halloween costume shopping will be on the list. I bought an outfit yesterday but it doesn't fit right so it's got to go back. I did get Pippin's costume this week!! I also bought a ton of Halloween decorations so I'll be putting them up this weekend, too!

Take care and good luck to everyone racing this weekend!!! Have a great one!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Pippin needs YOUR help!!

I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know Pippin needs your help! He's currently in the running to be Nashville's top dog and be the "face" of the Humane Society for next year. You can vote once a day for the next week by going to this link: http://www.955thewolf.com/dogs/entries where he is on the third row from the bottom, far left (this same pic)! You can only vote once a day from each IP address so please vote from your home and work once a day for the next week and tell everyone you know! He is OBVIOUSLY the cutest dog in Nashville and there are a couple of people we know who are campaigning super-hard for their dog to be #1. Pippin promises that if you vote for him he won't poo in your yard. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Shelby Bottoms Boogie 15K Race Pics

Race pics just went up on the local running club board. They're not professional, just the local "photographer" from the running club.

I'm right behind the guy. Oh well, at least I got one leg in the pic.

Brent's in white on the bridge. He promises he had a good smile going.

From zero to......PR

Hey guys!! So here's the birthday weekend round-up!!

Friday started off really well. I'd worked some insane number of hours but I knew Friday would be much less stressful and I was really ready for it. When my coworker walked in at 8 she said "Hey! I thought you decided not to come back! Where's your car?" (I had threatened not to come back the day before.) "Uhhhh, it's right out front where it always is!" "Ummm...no. I parked right where you guys always park and it's not there." "Well, it had better be there!" "Nope, your car is NOT there." Instantly I knew Brent was up to something!! A few minutes later in he comes with a huge box of my fave cupcakes and a dozen red roses. Cue the jealous coworkers. Instantly my cube is stuffed with doting women sniffing and eating and Brent gets out of there as fast as possible before one of them attempts to molest him and steal him for their own. Close call. My fave cupcakes are loaded with icing and pretty difficult to eat "professionally" so all day long I enjoyed seeing icing smeared all over people's faces. We left work at a normal time (yeah!!) and had dinner at what USED to be our fave Italian place. Not so anymore since we literally had the RUDEST waitress ever. I don't even want to talk about it because I will get incredibly worked up. But seriously, everyone we've told had just been like "No she didn't". And yes, she did.

SO, after dinner we came home and got race ready!! The temps had been a little cooler last week, especially in the morning. Knowing my luck though I knew the sun would be out in full force no matter WHAT they said so I still set out a running tank and shorts. We literally passed out at the wild child hour of 9:30 and got a good night's sleep. Six am came too freaking early but we had a race to get ready for!! A couple of pieces of toast and some quality time in the bathroom and we were running late (as always) for the race that started just a mile from our house!! We had to park pretty far away so by the time we jogged up to get our numbers back to drop off the shirts and then back up to the start we had probably already logged a mile. And of course we got there right as they were counting down to start!! To top it off my stupid Garmin couldn't find a satellite!! Brent's 201 wasn't having any issues. We decided to just get out of the crowd and see if it would find the satellites quickly. It really stank being walking out of the crowd and watching everyone start, but since it was a chip race it didn't really matter. We stood there about 2 minutes and the dumb thing still couldn't figure out where I was, so I decided to just hit 'lap' at each mile marker.

Off we went, the last two to start!! The first mile is on pretty wide park roads, so it wasn't difficult to pass and it was a little exciting to pass so many people effortlessly. All the "drama" of just getting to the start had me all wired and naturally I started out WAY too fast. 7:53 to be exact!! That's a pace I can keep for a 5K, but not a 15K. So I instantly made myself SLOW DOWN. Mile 2: 8:28, much more like it. Around this point I picked up a friend. One of those annoying types who finds the need to use you as their pace bunny and stick to your side like glue. I'm not into that. The only person I want running next to me is Brent (unless we have a RBF meetup, of course!) And this guy was a "clopper". His feet sounded like freaking weights. And I knew what was coming. Mile 1.11 bridge (the bridge is exactly 1.11 miles from the start of the greenway, about mile 2 of this race). I hate 1.11. It's a long wooden bridge that bounces like the dickens - and if you're on it with a clopper - forgetaboutit. I swear to God when we ran over it I thought he was going to bounce me right off it. It always leaves me shaken up afterwards, too. UGH. I just couldn't lose him. Mile 3: 8:37. Mile 4: 8:27. And finally - I ditch clopper! He stopped for water but I was well prepared with my Fuel Belt. YEAH!! Along the way I passed Spitter. Spitter was full of saliva. It would have been a long race if you were running with Spitter. Mile 5:8:33. And suddenly Garmin knew where I was. Thanks for showing up!! Somewhere around 4.5 miles all the fasty-fasts were starting to meet us on their way back in. The usuals were winning, as always. Oh well, I get more value for my entry fee anyway. Mile 6: 8:15. This is really where I started to get tired. The quick start, long week, bad nutrition, and the SUN were really starting to wear me down. I just wanted the race to be OVER. Mile 7: 8:38. We were finally heading back towards the finish line and I KNEW I had a PR in my grasp. Mile 8: 8:43. I tried to pick it up towards the end, mostly just so it would be over sooner. Really. Mile 9: 8:32; Mile .3:7:07. I sprinted like mad for the last distance, mostly because I wanted to pass a bunch of people. And I did pass about 6 or so people at the end, and almost took one other guy.

My total time was 1:19:21 (an 8:32 pace) a PR of several minutes over last year's 1:26. I really do think I should have been able to do a little better, esp considering my half marathon times from last spring were faster. But, I've been training for distance lately and not speed, and last week sucked. So, I'll take it. This race brings out all the fasty-fasts so I was only 7th out of 16 in my division, and would have needed and 8:01 pace to place 3rd in my division.

From there......it was off to massages!! The one thing I asked for this year was a massage! We've been so busy we haven't gotten to enjoy one since APRIL! And it was GOOD! My back was so knotty, and she worked the hell out of my calves! There were several moments where I just whimpered in pain. Then we had a nice lunch out, and stopped by a running store for NEW TRAIL SHOES!!! I got some really cute Adidas trail shoes. We don't have a lot of trails around here, but we do have some. I've scoped out a few winter 50Ks (cough cough youknowwhoiamtalkingto) around here I'd like to try. Afterwards we came home and took a nap, a sheer luxury around here.

I knew we had dinner reservations somewhere, but I didn't know where. Brent totally threw me off course and took me to Nick and Rudy's. It was very nice! The piano singer was excellent and the food was to die for. I had a great pork tenderloin in an apple sauce and Brent had a steak. Then it was off to a neighborhood beer tasting party we had been invited to before calling it a night. On my actual birthday Brent made me pancakes for breakfast. We worked around the house painting all day before heading out to our regular Sunday night neighborhood dinner party. Brent made me a cake and everyone sang Happy B-day to me and helped me ring in 29. All I'm saying is that the female 25-29 division is going to TEAR IT UP this next year!! All the coolest bloggers are in the 25-29!!!

Well, this has rambled on and on so I'm calling it a night and picking up my paintbrush to help Brent! We're currently painting our bedroom. YEAH!

See ya!!


Sat - 15k race, 1.5 mile walk with Brent and Pips
Mon - 4.1 mile run
Tue - 4.2 mile run

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Birthdays are fun

24 cupcakes (not all eaten by me), a dozen roses, a new 15K PR, a massage, a nice lunch, a new pair of trail shoes, a really nice dinner and two parties are quite the way to ring in the last year of one's 20th decade on this planet. And a new outfit to torture your precious baby in doesn't hurt either. More details to come tomorrow. Does tomorrow HAVE to be Monday????