Monday, August 31, 2009

Long Runs....Too Much Planning!

OMG-Only 75 more days until the San Antonio Marathon!

My long run was scheduled for Sunday. I had twelve miles to accomplish. These long runs are really starting to become an event in planning. How many gels do I need, how much water, where’s my inhaler, where’s my epipen, did I remember to eat? Yes, I ate, but oh crap, I had Mexican the night before, that might not be too good. Exactly WHERE am I going to put all of this crap? I shoved all of my gels, inhaler, medicine, etc into a fanny pack, but what about water? I drink so much water on endurance events; I can slurp down an entire camelback of water on a two hour mountain bike ride. The thought comes to me that I must break down and finally buy a fuel belt; then I can have the little bottles of water plus my Nathan hand held water bottle. Yesterday, I only had the Nathan hand held, I would need more water. Rick piped up and said that on one of his lunch break runs, he spotted a chick with huge boobs (insert me rolling my eyes here) running with a water bottle stuck in between her boobs.

That’s genius. I thought. Then I looked down. Hmmmm. They are good for holding my cell phone and a few gels every now and then, but a water bottle? Not so much.

I was running my downtown route and there were no water breaks along the way. Oh well. I will just make do. What do you guys do for water? Fuel belt? Hand held? Culligan water filter strapped to your back?

The plan was to drive over to the Cherry Park trail, run my 12 miles, and then meet Rick at his downtown office. He needed to go into work for a little to finish up some budget stuff, so I could catch a ride back to our house AND send a “recovery bag” with him. I love it when plans come together.

The plan worked out VERY well and I ended up doing not twelve, but thirteen miles in. Only thirteen miles to go and I’ll have my marathon! Oh boy. I did a nice easy 7 mile warm-up with my pace between 10-11 minute miles. For the next 4 miles, I kicked the pace up a notch and averaged between 7:36-8:36 minute miles, then finished up with 9 minute mile cool down. My pace overall for the 13 miles was 9:36, not bad for a training run and I felt very strong when I finished. I am anxious to start steadily increasing my mileage.

I used the new Accel Gels and I think that they worked out well. As I mentioned in my last post, these guys have a 4:1 mix of carbohydrates and protein. The protein is supposed to speed up the muscle recovery process during exercise and reduces muscle soreness and fatigue. I think that it actually works. After my recent half marathon, I was extremely sore and had trouble walking the next day. I am walking normally today and have minimal soreness and hardly any fatigue. I would highly recommend giving these gels a try!

Not much else went on this weekend. Rick and I went out to Indian Creek on Saturday. I did a hike/trail run with the dog, while he got in a great mountain bike ride. I have a bike ride on my schedule next weekend. Bring on the mountain biking! Madison hung out with friends all weekend and went to a party Saturday night.

Happy Training!

Friday, August 28, 2009

I Hate...I mean LOVE Speed Work!

OMG-There's only 78 days left until San Antonio!!

Last night I did a seven mile run and had to do a portion of the run in zone 3 – low zone 4. I was already tired from the long day at work, so the thought of speed work wasn’t too appealing. I would have much rather gone home and eaten flaming hot Cheetos and drank beer, but I didn’t want to be labeled a lazy slacker by my husband, so speed work it would be.

I drove out to my favorite flat trail, stretched and did a nice easy 25 minute warm-up. The temperature was cooler then it has been, but it was still 82 degrees and before too long I was whining to myself about it being too hot. I am usually a fair weather runner, I do more road and mountain biking in the summer then I do running, mainly to avoid my own whining about it being too hot. Running in the heat just takes so much out of you and I am a total pansy about it, but I picked a fall marathon, so I would have to suck it up and run. By the time I got to my speed work, I was glowing like a 1,000 watt light bulb (I do not sweat, I glow), but I was warmed up and ready, so I picked up the pace. It hurt and every muscle in my body screamed at me to stop. I was feeling unusually tired and I wondered how much of it had to do with the heat. The sun in Colorado can be quite intense. I was so glad when my Garmin beeped and I went back to slow mode for a two minute recovery. Then the damn thing beeped at me way too soon and off I went. While I was kicking up the pace, I noticed an elderly gentleman on a bike heading towards me on the trail. He was in one lane and I was in the other. I heard him ding his little bell and it surprised me because I didn’t think that anyone was in front of him. I looked back and there was no one. He dinged it again. Was he dinging it at me? I was clearly out of his way and in my own lane and we were headed in different directions. I looked back again and still didn’t see anyone, but by this time, I had wandered over into his lane. I turned around and saw the look of terror in his eyes due to the fact that I was in his lane. He was still a good distance away from me, but he started frantically dinging his bell at me. I jumped back into my lane and waved at him, but he continued to ding that bell! Dude, you are going 5 mph on that bike; you are fine!! My Garmin beeped and I slowed. The old guy passed me giving me an evil look and I just waved again. Yes, I know, it was totally all my fault…sorry for freaking you out like that. Next time that I see you; you can have the whole sidewalk and I'll just run in the grass. By this time, all the damn dinging and beeping had me totally unnerved and my heart rate was through the roof. I finished up my last two speed sessions and went home to recover in the best way I knew how….a glass of wine.

I have an easy run tonight and then a twelve miler on my schedule for the weekend. My husband bought some new gels called Accel Gel, has anyone heard of them?
We used them on our 80 mile Copper Triangle bike ride and I thought that I would try them for my long runs as well. They are a 4:1 Carbohydrate/Protein mix that is supposed to extend endurance and speed muscle recovery. I have never taken gels that include protein before, but they seemed to do well on our long ride. They are fairly tasty and I didn’t have any stomach problems with them. I’ll let you know what I think of them for the run.

Chick Pop Culture Stuff: So I totally thought that it was hilarious that everyone had such an aversion to the post about Angelina yesterday. People called her ugly and a home wrecker. I had totally forgotten about the whole Brandgelina vs. Jennifer war a few years back. I usually manage to ignore most of that stuff, since I don't watch TV. While I do not think that Angie has reached Sienna Miller status( notorious husband snatcher), I’ll admit the whole situation was a little on the odd side. Although I did find it curious that not a lot of people called Brad a home wrecker; only Angelina. Stirring the pot a little….wasn’t it more his fault then hers? He was the one that was blessed with two brains, but could only manage to think with one. I do have to give a shout out to how Jennifer handled the whole thing. Having had to deal with what I would politely call “mentally unstable ex-girlfriends” in the past; I admire how she so gracefully handled the situation. Chick drama always makes me giggle; maybe I should include more of it in the blog.

Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend of running!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Running and Tagging

First things first: Some of you might have noticed that little widget over to the right hand side of my blog that is counting down the days until the San Antonio Marathon. I added it a couple of weeks ago (I stole it from Shut Up and Run blog) to count down the days until my first marathon in San Antonio. I thought it would be fun to watch; however, adding that thing might have been a bad move on my part. Every single time, I log on here, I see it and the days keep getting shorter and shorter and my reaction is “oh crap! Oh crap! OH CRAP!” Will I be ready? I have tried to avoid looking at the widget, but it’s like a train wreck, my eyes keep wandering over. Before too long, I’m going to just have to stop logging onto my own blog, so that I can avoid “the widget”. I hope my first marathon goes ok.

I had a really nice easy paced run last night in zones 1 and 2. My legs were still a little tired from running all of the hills on my 10 mile trail run the other day, so it was very nice to just take it easy. Monday night, I did 45 minutes of spinning on my bike trainer to try and flush out my long run legs. I had lactic acid up to my eyeballs on Sunday after the trail run, so it felt good to do some light spinning. Tonight will be a yoga and strength night.

Ok, I was tagged by Kristen over at Will Run for Wine! to answer a few questions.

1) Who is the hottest movie star?

I changed this one a little bit to be “hottest movie star couple”. Brad and Angelina. You gotta admit, both are totally hot, and if I were a guy I would totally be drooling over Angie over there. They are not only some major eye candy, but they are also just damn good people too. I really respect the fact that they both seem to be very genuine and care about their children and the state of the world.

Speaking of eye candy.....

Ok, you caught me,that's just me. I'm not a hot movie star...but a girl can dream.

2) Apart from your house and car, what is the most expensive item you have ever bought?

This is a tie between my bike and my treadmill. I think they were about the same amount. I bought a new Trek Madone WSD 5.1 road bike last year and it was worth every single stinking penny that I spent on it. I love that thing. I also bought a used Precor Treadmill last year with the integrated foot plant technology system. Also worth every stinking penny.

3) What is your most treasured memory?

The birth of my daughter Madison and the day that I married the love of my life Rick.

I also treasure the day that someone sat me down and finally forced me to actually pluck that unibrow of mine. I am a hairy woman; that was a life changing event for me.

4) What was the best gift you ever received as a child?

The best gift that I ever received as a child was to be raised to be an independent person.

5) What is the biggest mistake you ever made?

Ok, I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, I’m human, but I can’t think of a specific one that I can dwell on. A lot of mistakes that I have made have led to some pretty good outcomes in my life, so I would say that I don’t regret a single decision or mistake that I’ve ever made. Life throws you lemons, you make lemonade. It’s all about how you view things. Whether life treats you fairly or unfairly, you will always be in control of your reaction to it and that determines where you come out.

However; I WOULD like to go back and retake that senior year picture that is burned in infamy. You can barely see my face because my hair is so big. I still have nightmares that “the bang” will come back in style.

6) 4 words to describe yourself:

Fun loving, energetic, goofy, liberal, confident, optimistic, a tad bit mouthy and blunt…oh I was supposed to only give four?

7) What was your highlight or lowlight of 2008?

Highlight: Quitting that job, where I worked over 80 hours per week and taking some of the summer off.
Lowlight: Husband finally forced me back into the working world. I knew I should have found me a sugar daddy.

8) Tell me one thing I don't know about you:

I love beer. Oh! Sorry, sorry, you said unknown fact…ummmm…I love animals. I give a monthly pledge to the Humane Society of the US and I give my time to them whenever possible by writing to my senator or representative supporting many bills for the humane treatment of animals. I even go downtown once a year to lobby certain bills with the HSUS at the state capitol.

10) If you were a comic book/strip cartoon character, who would you be?

I’m with Kristen….being invisible woman would ROCK!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Trail Run in the Mountains

First things first: A Monday Morning Rant:

Dear Lady in the big ass SUV who cut me off this morning,

First off, I would like to be the first person to instruct you on where your blinker is; it would be on the right hand side of your steering column. I know this because that is where the car manufacturers normally install them. If you had used yours this morning; I was feeling nice and generous and would have happily let you in. Instead, you choose to cut right in front of me, causing me to have to slam on the brakes of my own big ass SUV, making me dribble fruit punch G2 down the front of my shirt. This did not make me happy.

I understand why you cut me off. You had to jump into that left hand turn lane in order to turn into that strip mall, probably headed to that Starbucks. I do not blame you for the Starbucks, if I had 3 kids and a dog yelling, barking, and throwing things in my back seat, I would have needed the pick me up too. What I do blame you for is the fact that you couldn’t quite get your big ass SUV fully into the left hand turn lane; therefore causing me to have to stop and wait while traffic backed up behind me. I could not go around you because the right hand lane was full of cars. Perhaps if you had gotten of your cell phone, you would have realized you were backing up traffic and maneuvered your big ass into the turn lane. Just saying.

Ok, I feel much better, onto my run. I had a 10 mile run on my schedule this week, with the description: “strength segment, find a course with some good hills”. Sounds like a trail run to me! I love trail runs, there is nothing like being out in the woods somewhere out in the mountains. The particular trail that I chose has always been a hard one for me and I have never had the stamina or leg strength to make it past 6 miles. The first two miles are uphill and are very steep in certain areas and the altitude always gets me. I packed gels and a camelback and Rick loaded his mountain bike up so he could get a ride in while I ran. It was a gorgeous morning to be out for a ride or a run and I was looking forward to a hard morning of climbing.

I started out with a slow warm up on the flatter gravel trail that led to the single track that would be my nemesis for the day. I ran this section a couple of times to get my blood flowing and then started the climb. Right away, my breathing started getting heavy and my legs started screaming at me to find flatter ground. I am not much of a climber, so I took the first climb slow and just concentrated on forcing my knees up so that I would not shuffle up the mountain. By the time I got to the top of the first climb, I was hankering for that Chik-fil-A sandwish that I mentioned in my last long run post. All I had were gels and they were lemon-lime and looked like snot when I opened the package. Just don’t look at them I prompted myself. I took one and they weren’t too bad.

By the time, I got to the last hill of the day; my legs were numb and just kind of flopping around and doing their own thing down there, so the climb actually felt good. I even passed a couple of mountain bikers. Ok, they were girls, but I still passed them, so I still have bragging rights. I came up behind them and didn’t want to mess them up, so I was miss chatty Kathy with them for a good portion of the climb. I think they finally got annoyed with me, so they stopped and told me to pass them. I told you the Singulair was working, normally I would be breathing heavily and launching snot rockets. It felt good to be able to run, climb, and talk.

I finished my 10 miles and felt pretty damn proud of my accomplishment. I made it past my 6 mile record!

Family Update: Madison started high school today! She was very nervous, but I think that she was looking forward to it. I drove her to school for her first day (hence my battle with the big ass SUV lady) and it was exciting to see all of the high school students piling into the school.

Rick and I had our date night on Friday. We went downtown to the Walnut room to see a Poi Dog Pondering concert. This is a group that Rick has liked since college. I have slowly over the last several years learned to like their music. It’s not Lil Wayne, but I can groove to it. The concert was a blast. The group has so much fun performing that it is hard not to catch that joy. We actually had Poi Dog perform a concert for us the night before our wedding, so we spoke to Frank, the group leader, afterwards and told him how much we enjoyed the show.

I’ve been so busy lately, so now I need to catch up on all of your blogs! I look forward to it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Where Did the Years Go?

What a crazy, busy week it has been. I’m ready for the weekend so that I can sit down, relax, and let my head stop spinning.

Training this week has been good. I’ve gotten in a couple of nice easy paced runs and a great tempo run on Wednesday. My tempo run started off easy in HR zone 1 and then I slowly started to build pace to where I was sitting in zone 2. Then, for the next 24 minutes I was supposed to do sets in tempo pace bringing my HR into zone 3. The tempo sets were great; I’m slowly building my strength and stamina back up after my foot injury and I can tell my heart rate has settled back into a nice groove. At one point I looked down at my Garmin and noticed that I was doing a 7:10 pace and my heart rate was still in zone 3. Nice. Normally, my heart rate is blinking “heart attack pace! Heart attack pace!”, when I try and run a seven some minute mile. I had to have been going down a slight unnoticeable hill; that’s the only explanation. I also noticed how nice and even my breathing was. My allergist has recently put me on a new asthma med called Singulair and I think that I am finally getting my exercise induced asthma under control. It is so nice to be able to run and not sound like a 70 year old smoker hacking and wheezing my way down the road. Since developing this condition, I have launched more snot rockets then a 12 year old boy. It aint been pretty folks. My husband refuses to ride behind me while we are riding bikes; I don’t have great aim.

Yesterday, my daughter registered for high school. YES HIGH SCHOOL. I still can’t believe it. We filled out the forms on Wednesday night and we noticed that they stated: “All students must register themselves. Please have all forms complete.” Ok, I thought, this is good, the kids are in high school now, and a little independence is a good thing. I would just go through the line with her and let her do all the work. Well, when we arrived at the high school Thursday morning, we noticed that parents were just dropping their kids off and not going in with them. We wondered aloud if parents were not allowed in; only the students. Madison saw some friends and said that I could just drop her off. “It’s ok mom, I’ll just call you when I’m done.” I watched her walk in and I thought my heart would break. I wanted to go in with her and see her new high school. I felt the final tug of the independence cord as she was immersed by a sea of eager young students all excited about the prospect of starting high school. The realization that she was now a young woman instead of the little kid that Rick used to refer to as “my shadow” hit me like a ton of bricks. Wow….where did the years go?

Rick just got home from another budget review in Arkansas this morning. He is taking the day off of work and relaxing at home. He needs the break. I can't wait to see him, I am planning on taking off work a little early and we are going to a concert tonight; just the two of us. Date nights are good!

Hope everyone has a great weekend of running!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What have YOU "Googled" lately?

Have you ever wondered how people find your blog? Some people click on directly, some click on through someone else’s blog or the Google followers modules, and some find you through “googling” something that matches words or phrases that are in your blog and your link comes up for them to follow and view your site. Here are some of my favorite things that people have “Googled” that have led them to my blog. These are in no particular order:

1.) “Bunions” - Well….that’s a shocker. I’ve blogged more about my bunions and my feet lately, then I have about running.
2.) “Tara Ryan hot photos” - Hmmmm….not sure who Tara Ryan is, but imagine this persons surprise when they found my running blog instead of hot pics of Tara Ryan. I hope they clicked on the photo of my dirty, muddy legs that I took after a mountain bike ride (from a June post); that would totally serve them right for trying to look up soft porn on the Internet.
3.) “Ball and Chain Day”- I’m not sure what to say about this one except, why would someone google this instead of “wedding day”. It HAD to have been a man. He was probably looking for excuses to get out of his wedding day. I believe this was one of the titles of my posts: “Countdown to ball and chain day”.
4.) “I hate working my abs”- I would totally buy off on why this “google” found its way to my blog. I absolutely hate working my abs, in fact, there should be a direct link from those words to my blog. There should also be a picture of me out there on the web somewhere with the caption “I hate working my abs”.
5.) “Best Thong for Runners”-Well…..I’m not sure how my blog came up when this person googled those words, but I hope that they found their answer somewhere. I certainly wouldn’t want someone to have to run in an uncomfortable thong. I don’t want that on my conscience.
6.) “Hookup Gym”-I’m leaving this one alone. If you are that desperate, I’m not touching you.
7.) “Morning Run Poo”-OK. Help me out here. Do you have stomach problems on your morning run? Can you not seem to go to the bathroom BEFORE your morning run?

This ones kind of wide open with numerous possibilities on why they googled this.

Are you looking for helpful tips on HOW to take your poo on your morning run? If you are looking for tips on HOW to take your poo, well….stop, squat, and let it rip.
8.) “Lance Armstrong Goat Blood”-Ok then….

Training Update: I did a nice easy 45 minute run Monday night in zones 1-2. Tonight will be a 15 minute bike warm up and then some strength training followed by a bike cooldown. Wednesday-One hour run with speed work. Thursday-45 minutes on my trainer. Friday-Another short, easy run. Sunday-Long Run. This is a strength workout with hills. I will be doing a trail run in the foothills, so that I can get in some MAJOR hill work. I can’t wait; I absolutely LOVE trail runs.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

No Craft Zone. Running Only!

I haven't been in a very bloggy mood lately. Some weeks, I think of a lot of posts that I would like to write and other weeks...nothing. Meh. I always think of the best posts at the most inopportune times too. Like in a meeting at work. I'll be sitting there and while everyone else is discussing the reasons why revenue has gone down and I'll be off in la-la land with a deer in the headlights-glazed over look on my face dreaming up a good running post. It's not that I don't enjoy what I do for a living, but let's be honest, there's some days that I just don't give a shit over why we aren't collecting as much cash as we should be.

So I've gotten my long run in for the week, still ramping back up after the foot injury, so this week's run was a little over nine miles. I did a nice, easy warm up running in heart rate zones 1-2 and then for the last 30 minutes of my run, I ran at my marathon goal pace. I haven't officially choosen the pace yet, so I am still running at 8:36. I remembered my water this time and it's a good thing too, because it was hotter then hell out. I had taken in a couple of gels throughout the run, but by the time I reached my 30 minutes at goal pace, I was ready to eat something a little more substantial. As I reached for the last gel in my fanny pack, I thought of how much more satisfied I would be if my hands closed around a Chick-fil-A sandwich in there instead of that gel. I could actually fit a couple of small chicken sandwiches in my fanny pack.

Random Thoughts: Next run, maybe I'll go through the Chik-fil-A drive through beforehand and pick up a couple of chicken sandwiches. I could just hand them my fanny pack through the window and instruct them to place the sandwiches right in the pack. "No, I won't be needing a bag, just put the sandwiches in the pack please." Thank you; I'll be on my way now.

Ok, back to my run, my hand closed around the gel and I brought it out. Expresso. Yuck. I like coffee, but not the coffee gels. I took it anyway and hoped my breath didn't smell like ass...not that I cared, as sweaty as I was, not a damn soul would dare come near me. If I glow, instead of just sweat, then I must be a damn 1,000 watt light bulb. Plus I had some dead bugs stuck to me due to some "issues" with a sticky gel that I had taken earlier. In my own defense, I didn't see the oncoming crack in the sidewalk because I was trying to rip open the gel pack with my teeth while trying to balance my water bottle. It serves the bugs right though, they were driving me crazy buzzing around me like they were. I know that I smelled like a cow's ass, but come on....go bug Fido, not me.

I finished up my run and I felt great, even though I encountered a few mega hills on the last few miles. Where in the hell did those come from?

I, of course, had Chik-fil-A that evening. Now that's some good recovery fuel.

Alright, on a different note, I was tagged by Beth over at Discom-BOB-ulated Running. (Damn girl...I just noticed how hard your title was to say) to "Show Me Your Heart."

The tag reads: "with as much creativity as you can muster, show your heart in: a picture, poem, a song (or piece of music), a phrase (or quote), an item of clothing, a place, and (just for fun) a Disney princess."

Ok, well, we all know that I have about as much creativity as a rock...but let's give this a try. This is also to prove that I CAN be serious every now and then.

The pictures (I couldn't have just one):

My daughter and my dog.

This is my husband and me on our wedding day listening to my sister Laura give a very special reading.

Ok, I just slipped here....I CAN be serious...I promise. Let's give it another shot.

The poem: Elizabeth Barrett Browning "How do I love thee? Let me count the Ways"

The Song: Ummmm..."Wrecks-N-Effect-Rumpshaker?" Ok, Ok...I know...serious. Ummm...How about: "Missing You" or "Tomorrow Comes" by Miller Howell. Probably haven't heard of this guy, but Rick and I used to go see this his concerts every time he came to Columbia, MO. He's got some great music, so we bought his CD. Still wishing he was famous.

The Quote: "The greatest pleasure in life, is doing the things people say we cannot do."
-- Walter Bagehot
This says it all. I'm all about doing things that people say that I cannot. I dare you to dare me.

The article of clothing: very sexy tank by Victoria's secret doesn't show my heart? 'bout:

My HSUS (Humane Society of US) T-shirts. I love animals, they are so innocent. We are their voice. I'm just glad that Michael Vick wasn't signed on to play with my favorite football team. I might actually have to resort to watching the Denver Broncos. Ugh....

The Place: Colorado!

The Disney Princess: Probably Pocahantus because I am free-spirited and I love adventure and nature.

Alright. I tag the following: Oh hell, I'm not going to tag anyone. If you read this and decide that you want to do it, by all means, show me your heart!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Skinny Bitch Update-Part 2

OK, so I got a lot of questions on my last post, asking what the Skinny Bitches had to say about wine and a few other things. I don't blame them; wine is very important to a lot of people, including me.

OK, here's what the bitches had to say: "Trade in your booze for organic red wine produced without sulfites. Read the label; it should say No Sulfites Added or NSA. This magical elixir is rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants, can reduce risk of stroke, helps thin the blood, and has flavonoids, which lower cholesterol. Yes, organic red wine is good for you."

You heard it people; drink up!! The book also gave the phone number for the AA World Headquarters. Here is that number just in case you need it: 212-870-3400.

I was drinking some wine last night while I was reading this information. I like to see it as doing research for my post, not just sitting down and drinking wine for the hell of it (I realize that I am only kidding myself; everyone else sees right through my story). I turned the bottle around and noted that it said: Sulfites Added. Hmmmm...I went and got an apple to combat those little sulfites. A nice cancer fighting apple. I'll let my body decide who wins that fight. Although, I did drink more wine then I ate of the apple.

Other people were concerned about their coffee and Starbucks drinks. I do not blame them either; I'm a Starbucks fan and love to sport my fu-fu drink. I was surprised at what the bitches had to say. I had always heard that coffee was "good for you."

The book reads: "Coffee is for pussies. You don't need coffee to wake up. You should not need anything to wake up. If you can't wake up without it, it's because you are either addicted to caffeine, sleep deprived, or a generally unhealthy slob. Caffeine raises stress hormone levels, inhibits important enzyme systems that are responsible for cleaning the body, and sensitizes nerve reception sites. But don't go grabbing for the decaf. Coffee, whether regular or decaf, is highly acidic. Acidic foods cause your body to produce fat cells, in order to keep the acid away from your organs. It also makes your breath smell like ass."

Well, tell it like it is bitches. I'm not so sure about the breath smelling like ass part. My dog has licked me after licking her ass and let me tell you, I would much rather smell coffee breath. I'm just saying.

So there you have it. What I've learned is that: everything we love is bad for you in some way. I'll just pick and choose my vices well.

Training Update: I had a great run last night (before the wine). I ran three of my miles at my marathon goal pace, which I'm still not certain what that is yet, but for now I've been running it at 8:36 pace. I waited until the weather cooled off a bit AND I remembered my water. Tonight is another run and some strength work.

Family Update: Monday night, I registered Madison for a dance class. I took 13 years of ballet and jazz while growing up, so I was thrilled when she wanted to sign up. We went over to the studio to check it out and it is VERY nice. A lot nicer then the ones that I had while growing up.
Rick got home last night. He had been in Columbia, Missouri (we used to live there) for some budget reviews of the manufacturing plant there. He also had time to do some fun stuff. Monday night he gathered a group of our old friends together at Shakespeares and had the BEST pizza on earth. He got in a great run at Rockbridge State Park too. This used to be my favorite place on earth to trail run. I have ran there a couple of times since moving out here and wanted him to experience how much easier running those trails seem to be. Those hills are NOTHING! He agreed. He also finally got to meet the little girl of an old acquaintance. Allie is two (I think) and I've seen pictures, she is very cute. What else? He said that Columbia is losing some of its charm to him; I guess we are truely becoming Colorado snobs.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Skinny Bitch

First of all, did I miss the memo that today was "drive like a funktard day" in the Tech center? I actually saw one guy eating a bowl of cereal on his morning commute. Are you kidding me? Can't you just get up an extra 15 minutes so that you can eat your cereal at home? Ok, I'm sure everyone runs a little late every now and then, but dude, ever heard of a cereal BAR? Might be a little safer then driving with a bowl of milk in your lap. I'm just saying.

Anyway, the other day Madison and I made the trip to the bookstore to look for a book from her summer reading list. Yep, school is only two weeks away. While she was looking for her specific book, I wandered the isles trying to find new authors and new titles that I haven't read yet. I headed straight for the Jodie Picoult section and picked up "Change of Heart". I have been wanting to read this for awhile and Jodie is one of my favorite authors, so I knew that I had made a good selection. As I turned the isle to look for Maddie, "Skinny Bitch" caught my eye. I'm sure that you have heard of it. Its' the "no-nonsense, tough-love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous!".

I'm a savvy girl. I eat crap. I want to look FABULOUS! I, of course, bought the book.

I actually consider myself a healthy person. I run and like to feel good, so I really do not eat a lot of crap. Now, I do eat my fair share of cake icing or cookie dough, but for the most part, I eat clean and wholesome foods. I do have a couple of everyday vices though. Soda. The nightly alcoholic beverage. I did say beverage...not beverages (ok, who am I kidding). I wanted to see what the hype was all about. The book was supposed to be: "part best-friend counsel, part drill-sergeant abuse and a dash of sailor mouth, wrapped in a pretty chick-lit package.” Sounds like something that I would totally dig.

The first few pages of the book had me intrigued. "habitual drinking equals fat-pig syndrome. Beer is for frat boys, not skinny bitches. It makes you fat, bloated, and farty."

Talk to me bitches.

I read on: "Soda is liquid Satan. It is the devil. It is don't go patting yourself on the back if you drink diet soda. When methyl alcohol, a component of aspartame, enters your body, it turns into formaldehyde. Laboratory scientists use formaldehyde as a disinfectant or preservative. They don't fucking drink it. Perhaps you have a lumpy ass because you are preserving your fat cells with diet soda."

This skinny bitch is saying bye-bye to her daily Diet Mountain Dews. I'll probably keep the beer though (you could tell me my eyebrows would fall out and I'd still drink beer. I've got a pencil).

My favorite Chapter so far: "The Dead, Rotting, Decomposing Flesh Diet. You are a total moron if you think the Atkins diet will make you thin." This chapter alone and the descriptions on the treatment of mass produced farm animals for meat consumption, makes me want to give up my burgers and chicken. And I'm a meat eater. Rick and I have already talked about eating less meat, so this book is a good reinforcement.

Ok, these chicks are right up my alley. Blunt, tell it like it is, and huge smart asses. I recommend picking up the book and giving it a go through. There's some pretty solid advice on healthy eating in there.

BTW: A Skinny Bitch is someone who enjoys food, eats well, and loves her body as a result. It has nothing to do with how much you weigh or what size you are! Skinny Bitches come in all beautiful shapes and sizes!

Training this week: Monday an hour run. Tuesday: strength and cycling. Wednesday: hour run. Thursday: more running and strength. Weekend: 10 mile long run.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ramping the Long Run Back Up!

I just had to show off my new running hat before I got it all dirty and stinky.

Saturday, I started back in with my long runs again. We are taking it slow and easing back in after the foot injury, so it would be an 8 mile run. I checked out my training schedule and noticed that I needed to run 4 of the 8 miles at my marathon goal pace. I haven't really thought about my marathon time goal, quite honestly, I thought that I would end up having to bail out of the whole race because of the foot, so I have never chosen a goal. I was getting ready to leave for my run, so I had to make a decision quick. I have never ran a marathon before, so I have no clue what to expect. Oh, I expect that it will probably be one of the hardest things that I have ever physically done, but I wouldn't have a clue how fast (or slow) I would be able to run it in. I do know that I would someday like to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Now, I am not delusional, let me point out that I do NOT think that I will be able to do qualify on my very first marathon, with only three months to train, and with a gimpy foot, but maybe someday. Just for shits and grins, I pulled up the qualifying times for Boston. In order for me to qualify, I would have to run the marathon in 3:45. Hah!!! Who am I kidding? That's an 8:36 pace, which is comfortable for me on short runs, but no way I would be able to hold that for 26.2 miles! I decided "What the hell!" I'm going to do my 4 miles at that pace.

I started out my two mile warm up at about exactly 10 minute miles. It was freaking hot and I had forgotten my water...ooops, not good. By the time I got to my four miles at marathon goal pace, I was getting a little thirsty. "This can't be good." I thought. "Maybe I should take this at a slower pace". Nah...hell no! I'm a glutton for punishment and when I get something in my head, well, there's no stopping me. So I started my 4 miles. They felt good. This is easy, I thought. I can run this for 26.2 miles, no problem!

I like to kid myself into believing stupid stuff sometimes. Power of positive thinking.

My heart rate was hitting 180 by the third mile and I was dreaming of water. I know that dehydration can cause your heart rate to be 10-20 beats per minute higher (Liz told me this), so I wasn't surprised. I even contemplated drinking some of the lake water that I was running near, but decided that I wasn't that desperate.

I finished up and did an easy two mile cool down.

I weighed myself when I got home and realized that I had lost almost three pounds. I was 118 before I left and I was 115.5 when I got home. Hmmm...I better get some water.

I e-mailed Coach to let her know how my run went and told her that it was pretty much crap. She e-mailed back that if you do not bring water for an 8 mile run, it WILL be crap. She said this with a little smiley face, but I know that she really thinking: What a dumbass! I wouldn't blame her....I was calling myself a dumbass the whole run. And I still don't know what my marathon goal time will be.

I tried to hydrate well for the rest of the evening. Although I did manage to have a glass of wine with dinner (told you I was a dumbass). Madison and I hung out together Saturday afternoon and we went out to do a little shopping. Since we were over by Runners Roost, I decided to pop in. I finally retired my old running hat and picked up this new Brooks one. Isn't it cute?

This morning, Rick and I went out to Three Sisters Open Space Park for a little mountain biking expedition. I was only supposed to go for a 45 minute easy spin to flush out my long run legs. Oooops...blew that out of the water, but at least I did manage to bring water with me this time. It was a great ride. The climb up was three miles and it felt very comfortable. I think that I am finally getting used to all of the climbing that Colorado mtn biking has to offer. Once at the top, we hung out and stared in awe at the great views and then trucked it on down the mountain. The descent was rocky and fairly technical, but I managed to actually stay on the bike and not fall. I don't want anymore injuries!! It was a totally gorgeous ride and very nice to hang out with my husband.

Ok, gotta go, Madison is signalling me that she is ready to go to the bookstore. My other favorite pastime!! Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Estrogen-The root of all evil

Warning: Men-this is a post about girl stuff, read at your own risk.

I’ve been feeling dark lately. Not quite angry, not quite sad, just a little on the moody side. This is definitely not my norm; I’m usually a happy, good natured person. Not one of those bubbly, bouncing off the wall, annoying types that you want to slap the hell out of, but just someone who is normally in a pleasant mood. Not lately. Lately I have been arriving at work in a “BACK OFF” mood. Loud talking annoys me, laughing annoys me, someone asking me stupid questions-well, that has always annoyed me-but I am having a hard time being nice when I answer their stupid question. My attitude: I’ll be nicer if you can be smarter.

Root cause of my moodiness-Estrogen. I’ve recently switched from progesterone based to estrogen based birth control. I suddenly have extra estrogen skipping around in my veins planting flowers, singing Mary Poppins, and painting everything pink. The little feminine hormones have even managed to skip happily into my chest and make my chest larger. Now, some of you may be asking yourselves “Why the hell would she have a problem with that?” Well…the answer is: THEY HURT. I am a runner and I would prefer a smaller chest rather then a larger one because when a larger chest bounces, well, it hurts. Plus, they are not noticeably larger, just plump enough that I had to go buy a real boulder holder sports bras instead of the old standby cheapies that I normally wear.

I guess that is not the worse place in the world for them to plump up; they could have found my butt.

These little hormone buggers have not only been making me moody and fluffing my pillows, they have made me emotional as well. Those of you who know me, know that I am not an emotional person. I think the last time that I cried was when my dog died from cancer over two years ago. Last week, Rick and I were having a conversation as we drove up into the mountains. It was just one of those general discussions about life that we have every now and then and in the middle of the conversation, my voice cracks and my tears well up in my eyes. He looks over at me and exclaims “What’s gotten into you woman!” He’s used to me being fairly even tempered.

Estrogen, that’s what has gotten into me. Estrogen I’ve come to decide is the root of all evil. I decided to place a call to my doctor to let her know I was ready to go back to my “manly” hormones and stop it with the extra female hormones. I love my doctor, she is one of the few doctors in the world who will actually call you back herself instead of having her nurse do it.

She also sells a line of skin care products and gives facials and microdermabrasion in her office. She is a one stop shop for all of your female needs. My boss probably wonders why I go to the gyno so often, but he’ll never ask.

“Tara! What can I do for you?”

“I want my progesterone back! My pillows are being fluffed, I’m crying over spilt milk, and I’m dreaming of craft shows!” Not really, but you get the point.

She told me to hang in there that my body would get accustomed to the change in hormones very soon and I would feel like my normal self again. If not, we would think about putting me on something else.

Not what I wanted to hear, but I guess I have to accept it. In the meantime, if you find me posting about such things as cross stitching and craft shows that I have attended, someone please send me a virtual slap.

Training for the weekend: Long run on Saturday. Easing back slowly with an 8-9 mile run. Sunday-mountain bike ride in the foothills.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

First Run after a month

Monday night I had my first run in over a month. I was so excited all day at the prospect of running that I could barely focus at work, which is pretty normal for me actually. I am an Accountant and being an Accountant has to be one of the most boring occupations in the world. There are some days when I am sitting in hour long meetings discussing revenue, DSO calculations, and cost analysis and everyone else is so lively and animated and I’m sitting there with an “OMG….how can you people find this interesting” look on my face. But that’s a totally different post. This post is about running, my first run after my foot injury.

I wanted to do my run on a softer course, so I drove over to my favorite gravel trail. This course has quite a few hills and inclines, but it’s very easy on the ole feet. I arrived at the trail around 6:00 and it was like greeting an old friend. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed running on this course. My legs were still tired from all of the climbing at the Copper ride, but as soon as I started they perked up.

What is this? They asked. I remember this….we are RUNNING!

I was a little anxious about how my foot would feel, but for the most part, there was no pain. I am still trying to get used to my new orthotics, so I just kept the run slow and very comfortable at a 10-11 minute mile pace in HR Zone 1. I was going so slow that a woman in a pink “I Love Cats” T-shirt passed me. I’ve seen this woman out on this course before and she was wearing that same damn T-shirt, so it must be her standard run outfit. I shouldn’t make fun of her; I was sporting an all pink Nike outfit that I had gotten on sale at the Nike outlet and my hair was up in pigtails...HOT. I am probably on Cat girl’s blog being referred to as the slow girl in the pink track outfit with her hair in pony tails, limping around on the course. Yea…well, screw you cat girl, I could kick your butt all over this course if I wanted to.

If you are Cat Girl and you are reading this blog, which I'm sure that you are not, but just in case: Please note that I do not have anything against you, I'm just trying to make myself feel better because you passed me. Yes, I do realize that I am mental.

I finished up my run and I felt great. I vowed that I would never again write a post bitching and moaning about running (although I do reserve the right to bitch and complain in my own mind-it has to listen to me no matter what). I will never bitch about how I am not going fast enough or how tired I was or how I just didn’t want to run. Running is a privilege that I have always taken for granted. This past month has been very frustrating, but at least I'm back.

Training this week: 40 minute run on Monday, 45 minute bike ride on Tuesday, 1 hour run on Wednesday, strength training Thursday, Long run this weekend.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Maybe it was the Grapes....

This weekend was the 2009 Copper Triangle Alpine Classic.

The Colorado Cyclist Copper Triangle course is an 80 mile loop cresting three Colorado Mountain passes - Fremont Pass (elevation 11,318’), Tennessee Pass (elevation 10,424’) and Vail Pass (elevation 10,666’). The total elevation gain for the course is 5,981 ft.

I realize that this is a long post people, but this was a long ride.

We drove up early on Friday so that we could get checked into a hotel and get to sleep at a decent time. Last year, we didn’t get checked into our hotel until around 9:30 and I think that we maybe got a whole 4 hours of sleep that night because the hotel smelled like shit and it was too noisy. This year, we were in bed by 8:30 and fell asleep listening to a thunderstorm….nice.

Saturday was a 4:30 wake up call so that we could get over to Copper Mountain for the early morning start. I was tired and not ready to ride, the thought of 80 miles over three mountain passes didn’t excite me in the least. I had taken a dose of extra bitchy that morning with my juice, so I told Rick that he better make sure that he goes slow, so that I could do a nice easy warm up. He knows extra bitchy when he sees it, so he nodded his ok and off we went. The first climb was slow going. The temperature at the start was near 39 degrees and I was freezing, even climbing a mountain. I was pedaling really slowly so that I could get my warm up in and Rick later told me that he thought that he was going to have to get off his bike and start pushing me or we would never finish. The first climb is about nine miles and I was glad to see the aid and rest stop. My stomach was a little nauseous and I struggled to take in a gel, but I knew that I needed fuel.

Copper Rest Stop...bathroom line.

The first descent is a long, winding road and last year I had a blast cruising down the mountain at around 50 mph. This year was COLD. My hands were numb after only a couple of miles and I was shaking and nervous. I would have paid good money for a pair of full fingered gloves. By the time the second climb came around, I no longer had feeling in my hands or feet and I was extremely tight because I was still scared from descending a mountain without feelings in my limbs. At the aid station at the top of the second climb, I was having serious doubts about whether I would be able to finish or not. I took a couple of puffs from my inhaler and sat down to regroup and let the blood flow back into my hands and feet. I was disappointed in myself, but I let Rick know that I was not feeling good. I told him that I was NOT a quitter. That I WOULD finish this ride, but I just needed to take my time and make it from one point to another. We had only gone 30 miles, there were still 50 miles to go and we still had the two steepest, toughest climbs, I knew what was ahead of me, but I vowed that I would push through. I stuffed my face full of grapes and filled my water bottle and we were off again.

The weather had warmed up a bit, so the next descent was extremely fun. There is nothing like going full throttle down a mountain road at your own top speed with the wind in your face and the mountains as your backdrop. I don’t know what it was (I still claim it was the grapes), but I was starting to feel good again. Rick noticed and seemed relieved that I was going faster. I told him that I apparently just needed a two hour warm up or maybe I just needed some grapes; I was fine now, which was a good since we were getting ready to do the climb up Battle Mountain. Battle Mountain is a very short climb, but it has a steeper grade then the previous two climbs.
Rick and I cruised up at a decent clip….I couldn’t believe how much better I felt…and then another descent. Beautiful.

Rick-Battle Mountain

Tara-Battle Mountain. Damn I have a fat face....maybe it's just bloated.

The last climb of the day, Vail Pass, is a fifteen mile climb and it killed us last year. I don’t ever remember being so miserable in my life, if there had been porta potties along the route, I would have gone in and cried like I did on my recent half marathon. There are certain points along the route that are so steep that you have to get out of your seat and stand on your pedals in order to make it up the incline. I knew it was tough, so at the last rest stop before the climb, I made sure to load up on grapes….lots and lots of grapes. I’m surprised that I didn’t have stomach issues and have to stop along the side of the road because of all the grapes. We started up the climb and right away I noticed how good I felt. The climb felt way too easy and pretty soon, I had passed Rick and made my way up the climb. I passed many, many people and still it felt too easy. I looked back to see if maybe someone had felt sorry for me and was pushing me up the mountain, but no one was there. I no longer felt the ache in my shoulders or the lactic acid in my legs. It was pure bliss to climb like this and I was able to quickly accelerate around people who were slowly trying to make it up the climb. I know how they felt; I remember that feeling from last year, the feeling of just trying to make it.

I reached the summit and felt like I could go on and on, but we were almost done, one more 8 mile descent into the Village at Copper and it was barbeque and beer thirty. Sweet!

Overall, I felt much stronger this year over last year....I think it was the grapes.