Friday, May 25, 2007

Tagged. for 7 random things about my self

TriFolk has tagged me for 7 random things about myself.
My mind is already on vacation so I will just go with it!!

7. I loved sports throughout school. I loved volleyball, basketball, softball and track. Problem was that when I was a freshman I could not run track and play summer softball as high school softball was the same season. So I ran track my freshman year and had to switch to softball the last three because I missed it too much.

6. My bus driver used to say we should rename our road to Evans street because my entire dad's family lived on the same stretch of road by my grandparents farm. Growing up on a farm means lots of farm chores, kickball with all my cousins while doing hay, getting lost in swamps chasing cows and many hilly-billy sounding stories!!! And...I love cows! I used to have a collection of lots of cow stuff. Even as a kid when I was sleeping, all mom had to say was "Janet, Look at the cows!!" and I would instantly wake up and look around everywhere for my beloved animals.

5. People sometimes laugh at me when I Q-tip my ears because I always do both at the same time. I have to, otherwise one feels so jealous. Such a good feeling!!!

4. My dad, being the accountant penny-pincher type, has instilled this sort of deal finder gene in me. Sis got it too, maybe worse!!! I will shop around the mall for the best deal which drives my husband crazy. I love restaurant coupons, Dick's coupons, big sales, etc!!!! I do draw the line with grocery coupons though.

3. Huge, huge music fan. Always embarassingly rocking out in my car and pretty much anytime I do anything. Music must be loud for housecleaning. I spent over $70 at Best Buy just yesterday on CD's. Choices included the newest CD's Static X, Linkin Park, Nine Inch Nails, Saliva and Tim Armstrong. If only the new cd from The Used would have been there, I would have bought that too (darn, I really wanted that too)!

Quick music note on Tim Armstrong's A Poet's Life (from Amazon's Editorial Review): This began as a thank you from Tim to Rancid fans, to be released one track at a time on the Internet to tide fans over until the next Rancid full-length. But when KROQ in LA began heavily playing the explosive track, "Into Action", plans changed. So here's Armstrong's first solo release, backed by some of the strongest radio support since the days of "Time Bomb" and "Ruby Soho". With a killer old-school two-tone groove, helped along by Hellcat label mates The Aggrolites, "A Poet's Life" is loose, punky, infectious, and shamelessly danceable. Bonus DVD features videos of every song and a cool featurette on the making of the album and videos. From what I have heard, this sounds like a fantastic laid back summer CD!!! You can sample it here!!!

2. A few years ago I got my tongue pierced. It hurt so bad and proceeded to swell so big my tongue was fatter than the barbell ends and I could not eat very well for a week. During this time, I tried to hide it from my parents (even though I was 25 at the time). At the family gathering, I was so hungry and I got busted because I barely ate and was cutting my deviled egg up into the tiniest pieces just trying to get something into my hungry belly. Sis knew something was off and called me out. It always seemed to agitate me, but it hurt so much to get, that I kept it out of spite for 3 years before deciding I could not take it anymore! The husband still has his.

1. One time when I was probably about 7, I was sitting on our basement steps playing dollies with my sister. I kept scooting over to make room for all our dollies and I scooted to far and fell off the one of the top steps of the stairs. I managed to grab the railing and looked to my sis for help. She ran up the stairs screaming for mom and I fell. I landed on my head on the concrete basement floor and had a nice concussion. Does that explain it???

I will now tag TriShannon, Mallie, and Jen...

Your it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

So now what?

Well since the marathon the week has been busy getting ready for our trip departure THIS FRIDAY NIGHT!!! The plan is leave Friday after work in the van and trailer our motorcycles down to Joey's family's place in Ider, Alambama. Ider is on top of of a mountain about 15 minutes from both the Georgia and Tenessee state lines and is absolutely beautiful!

We will sleep for 4-5 hours and then hop on our motocycles to ride up through the Great Smoky mountains and Deals Gap, which rate among some of the most popular motorcycle roads in the country. His family will already be up in that area which is about 3 hours away riding horses up at Pigeon Forge, TN over the long Memorial Day weekend. We will be staying in a little cabin in Townsend, TN for the weekend with my husband's aunt, uncle, cousin and his wife. While they spend the days horseback riding, we will ride motorcycles and then regroup in the evenings for dinner and perhaps a dip in the hottub!!! Sounds like a weekend I can handle!!!

Then Monday we will all ride back down to Alabama to relax for the rest of the week by the lake where I will relax by the water. I see some fishing, jet-skiing, and a lot of swimming (in the lake pictured above) in my near future. The forecast looks beautiful and I am so ready for a vacation!!!!

So the next week will be another very light training week. This week I have took it very easy, resting Monday and Tuesday, went for a short 30 minute easy run Wednesday, did a easy 30 minute spin and a quick upper body workout. I may try to fit in another easy run or swim tomorrow AM and then after that, I will just be pretty flexible and fit in what I can while enjoying the getaway with my husband!!!

I will leave ya with a few afterthoughts from the marathon....

1) My feet have hurt the worst of any body part these last two marathons. I wonder if any amount of training would ever change that due to the fact that I seem to run on the balls of my feet so often.

2) Perhaps I could avoid blisters on my feet with some baby powder in my socks and I even heard to Body Glide the bottoms of my feet. Hmmmm....

3) Speaking of Body Glide, there is no pointing of stocking up on some, if you are going to forget to use it on race day. Yes, I don't know how I did this, but I guess there were other things on my mind. And I have so many random chaeffed spots!!!!

4) My husband was a pretty good pit crew for the marathon and I really appreciated his support although I am fairly certain it is not his thing.

5) Changing tents after marathons are genius!

6) The gel flask race belt idea thing totally did not work for me. The minute I started running it was bouncing around like crazy. Then, I still had trouble with getting the gu out of the flask. Perhaps it was the thick Powergel (even though) I had diluted it with water, but I think I will try something different next time around.

7) One of these marathons I will make it though without hitting the port-o-potty. I know I cut my stops down this time around by at least half, so that is progress!!!

8) My head must be insanely round or oddly because any sort of headband sort of thing no matter the type (rubberized, thick fabric, whatever) all falls off.

9) In the face of wind, tucking in behind someone makes a huge difference.

10) Someone to talk to and keep your mind off things, really is helps!!!

11) Although I don't think I have drank chocolate milk in 15 years, something made me grab it and it was the best tasting thing after a marathon!

12) SO much of the marathon is mental.

13) I can not say enough about having great training buddies to get to the marathon!

14) I don't think I like the chocolate Powergels anymore but I have a lot of them left in the case I bought.

15) Knowing you have trained properly is a huge mental boost!

16) Reaching your goal at the end of the day makes it all worth it!!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cleveland Marathon Part II

At the half way point I was feeling fine and was doing a mental check of where I thought I might finish. I figured even if I faded, I should be able to keep around a 3:30 marathon time which would be just fantastic.

The scenery heading out east was pretty boring and there was not a lot of crowd support. Just before mile 14, I squeezed as much gel as I could out of my little flask which was not really cooperating and walked to get in some water. Mile 14 8:03.

Miles 15 through 18 just ticked away and I was just counting down the miles. I think back as being pretty bored during this time. The Ipod tunes were ones I had heard a million times and all I could think about was there was still a lot of road to go. 15-8:14, 16-8:11, 17-8:11

I started to really look forward to water stops as I was so thirsty and hot and I was looking forward to my 10-15 second walk breaks as I took in water. My feet were already just killing me (as usual in my long runs) because I run on the balls of my feet typically and they already felt pretty bruised.

Mile 18 8:20

I was happy to come around by Case and have some more enjoyable scenery and was starting to dread coming all the way back on Marginal against the wind.

Mile 19 8:46, Crap my pace is starting to slide and seven plus miles is going to be a long road back. I just kept thinking I can do this under and hour.

In my head I decided I was not going to push myself so hard to hit the 3:30 paces, that as long as I made sure I was on track to be under 3:40 I was very fine with that.

Mile 20 The stomach started acting up again and somewhere around Mile 20 / 21 I hit the port-o-potty again. Mile 20-8:51 Mile 21 -9:02

There was this van that must have made a wrong turn and decided to totally cut off one runner and to turn around right in front of us. The closest lady which he really affected smacked the van in dismay as myself and another guy both commented on what a jerk move that was. As if that lady was in need of another obstable this late in the course.

The miles now seemed to go by soooo slowly and the water stops seemed so far apart.

Upon heading back into town it was tough. I kept seeing folks taking walk breaks and I was yearning for one myself. The city looked so far away. My feet were killing me and the wind was so tough. A few times I would try to tuck in behind someone to shield me from the wind and it was amazing the difference I could feel. There were no spectators and a couple times down this stretch I let myself walk for 15-20 seconds knowing I had the time in the bank. The gel flask had me irritated as I really could not seem to get gel out which I attempted every time I was saw a water station ahead. Mile 22 must have included some walking as I was discouraged to see the mile split at 10:17.

That time was unacceptable and I was not going to miss my BQ goal so I tried to pick it up. "Gosh, why did I have to go and tell everyone that I was doing this and I was confident that I would qualify? If I fail, I will feel so stupid!!!" Must suck it up!!!!

There was a tall guy that I tucked in behind and pretended I had a rope connected between us. It helped some and hope he did not mind. I got excited to see friends LE and GH on the course cheering. A small mental boost such as seeing them meant so much at this point in the race. It is really too bad this long last stretch for the most part is so lonely and boring.

Mile 23 9:01. I was gaining strength as I knew I was coming into the city. I repeated the mantra I have used for in my training so many times and throughout this second half "Boston Baby!" I knew I had it in me to get there under 3:40. As we came around the stadium I saw Salty one and tried to manage a wave but I was so exhausted I am not sure it was much of one.

Then there was the uphill climb into town that we did at the 1.5 mile mark. Oh my goodness, it is sooo much harder now!!! I shortened my stride and ran up that hill just dying to get to the top. I hate this stupid climb that I have done in so many races! I think I hate it because it is usually near the end of a race when I am already tired. Being back in the city was a huge mental boost. I knew the last hill was over and there was again crowd support. Mile 24 9:33.

My feet were absolutely killing me (yes, this is all I could think about!) and I could not wait for the next water stop. At this point I was totally in get-to-the-friggin-finish-line-already mode and in usual Janet fashion, this is when I stop hitting the splits on my watch.

There was a water stop at 25 that I decided to skip as I knew I just had 1.2 miles to go. Only 1.2 miles to go, which felt like the longest 1.2 miles ever!!!

I kept thinking we should be getting there and making the turn in soon, but it seemed we ran down the street forever before making the turn to come back around towards the finish line. I desperately wanted to walk but my stubbornness pushed me on. I was so excited to see the finish line and as others around me started their final push, I picked up my pace as well. Final 2.2 miles 19:47

My official time was 3:38:32. (Second half 1:55 compared to first half 1:43--ouch!!)

I was so excited (and relieved) to have come in under 3:40. However as I started to walk, my breathing became extremely labored. I was wheezing so hard and could not catch my breathe. Volunteers were handing me water and a medal and all I could try to do was to try to catch my breathe. I shoved some stuff to my friend, Bob on the sidelines and continued to try to walk. Every step hurt so much. I even tried to talk to myself (as I remembered talking helped before) as I staggered around like a drunk around the finish area trying to recompose myself. A good three or so minutes later I finally was able to catch my breathe.

I grabbed a banana, a couple water bottles and a chocolate milk before heading out to the grass. I downed a water and then I drank the best tasting chocolate milk in the whole world. I kept trying to stretch as I drank as I kept getting horrible tight charlie horses randomly in the calves. After getting in some fluids and stretching I walked around to see a few other folks before heading back to the CTC drop site to sit down. I did not want to step on my feet anymore as I whinced in pain with every step.

I was so thankful that that Cleveland West Road Runners had a changing tent that I could use to put on some dry clothes as I was freezing. As I took off my socks I could see what part of my problem was...the pads on the balls of my feet were horribly blistered. I was so excited to see ESpeed at the end of the race with her positive energy. I had hoped she had been able to have a decent experience as well and when she energetically remarked that she had partied her way through the marathon, I knew all was good. She had another ugly blister on her foot too!

I had intended to stay down at the race longer to cheer on others but even though I was excited and happy, I really felt just too exhausted and sore to enjoy it.

So at the end of the day, even though I felt just totally drained, I was so excited to have scored the BQ and now I am just waiting for the pain to go away so I could get back there and pound the pavement again!!!! Time to make some Boston plans!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cleveland Marathon Race Report

Pictures to come. I will spare you some of the icky ones that I could have took afterwards!!!

Race Prequel
I was pretty optimistic going into the weekend. I knew I had trained and tapered very closely to plan. Saturday I met MT and Espeed for some breakfast and race talk before we headed up to the expo. I was psyched that ESpeed had signed up to the the full mary and that I would have some company! After grabbing some goodies and a new sweet coat, I was off to go help my sis move. (Yup, so much for a nice relaxing day before the marathon).

I tried to take it easy moving things, but I could feel a little strain in my back and my legs were tired. As usual, things took longer than planned and finally my hubby and I rushed home to get in a late dinner. I had some ceasar salad, garlic dough balls, and penne pasta with marinara and mushrooms which was oh so good at Jimmy Dadonna's and headed home to pack up my stuff. I crawled into bed just after 10 and fell asleep without too much difficulty.

Race Day
I woke up at 4:45 AM and was ready to go. After my normal mini wheat bagel with some black raspberry jam, I was in the car rocking out with some tunes driving downtown. You know you are up too early on a weekend when the radiostation I like on Sirius still has the club dj spinning tunes b/c some people are still partying! Anyways, I found a sweet free parking spot close to the race finish and met up with Espeed and a bunch of other CTC, SERC and many others prior to the start.

As Espeed and I were feeling ready to go that morning we lined up close to the 3:30 pace group and planned to keep them in sight and stay steady around an even 8 min/mile pace. The temperature was pretty comfortable and although there was some wind, I was delighted that it was not raining!!!

The energy at the start was amazing. Espeed was hollering it up finding all the SERC girls at the start. With the announcements, we were off. As usual with all the people it was tough to get moving at planned race pace and we were OK with it. We were still just bouncing off the walls with all the excitement and taking in the crowd. Mile One - 8:28

Very early on in the race I had the realization that my gel flask on my race belt was never going to work as it was bouncing around like crazy, so I had to carry that. Thank goodness it was light. Later I found that my gel was so thick that it was a project and a half to get the gel out of the flask even though I had put a little water in it which I thought would solve the problem. I will do something different in the future about this!

The first little climb came about 1.5 miles in and with all of the excitement, it really seemed so minor. The second mile remained crowded and we were still totally psyched- 7:59

Mile three was out onto the highway. There was wind hitting your face and although I knew it would feel good to have at my back the middle of the race I knew it would be at my face the last long stretch. (not liking that notion!!!) Espeed and I were trying to reel in the 3:30 group which had gotten ahead due difficulty getting around the tight crowds 7:39

Some of the partipants were great. There was one guy who saw a bunch of kids lined up on the bridge who yelled, "Who has high fives?" and proceeded to high five all the smiling kids!! I would see him later in the race as his high energy must have waned as well.

The miles seemed as though they were flying by effortlessly and I passed Mile 4 to see a split of 6:57. Whoa, I don't think it felt that fast so I am assuming it was short.

Around mile 5 it started to sprinkle and Espeed told me she was thinking she was going to need to slow and for me to go ahead when we hit the 6+ mile water stop. I just wanted her to do whatever was going to work best for her as I felt confident I was on target for a strong race but I was going to miss her company. Mile 5- 7:58

Mile 6 had a bunch of great spectators sitting out in there lawns and lining up the streets. It really makes a huge difference! Espeed and I hit 6 at 7:46. With a parting cheer from Espeed, I was off to catch up to Kathy, one of the other SERC ladies in my sight. About this time I rolled though the water stop and saw TriSara handing out water and with a shout and a wave, I continued on.

Mile 7 I picked up the pace a bit to catch up to Kathy and now I had the wind to my back. 7:25, half of me thought that I really need to slow down as I was trying to run even 8's but the other pig-headed part of me thought maybe I just could hang on and have a really great race.

I was happy having someone alongside to talk to and the miles effortlessly came and went. About Mile 8, I thought I should take some water in as I had not yet had any at this point and I had to work a little to catch back up to Kathy. For me, it is still takes less effort to just walk the water stops so I can get in some water and then try to catch up vs. me trying to get it in on the run. Mile 8 7:31, still fast.

I seem to recall a few uphill grades on the way back on the boring highway and I had pretty much resolved myself to the fact that I better try to level off closer to 8's as I had a lot of race to go. I was chatting along and miles were flying by. Mile 9 - 8:03, Mile 10 7:58.

Around mile 10, I took my first gu and all was well. I had carefully planned out when I was taking my gels based on water stops and I thought I had it all figured out.

Mile 11, we were heading up the long bridge back into town. 7:59

Around mile 12 from out of nowhere I saw JT and I was so excited to her and her smile!!! With a few words as she jogged with me I continued on. By mile 12, I was trying to psych myself up to run the last half alone. I was looking forward to coming into town knowing my husband and friends would be there cheering. Mile 12 - 7:51

As Kathy made the turn to head into the half finish, I wished her well and continued on my way. I saw my friend Bob hollering and waved. Then I saw my husband taking a picture and holding my headphones out. Sweet, hopefully these are just what I needed to get me through. And as quickly as the crowds had come, they disappeared again and now it was just me and my headphones.

For a bit I kept them turned down and thought about starting up a conversation with some random person. I decided it was my race to run and I was going to go ahead and do this on my own now.

Now I will back up a the start of the race I decided that I really had to pee and I was awful nervous as I had not been able to go to the bathroom that morning. Well after mile 12, I saw a port-o-potty and decided I was just going to go ahead and go, more of preventative maintenance as things were feeling a little off. Mile 13 including stop 8:48.

I crossed the halfway point at 1:43:19 (~7:48 pace even including my little stop!) Now if only the second half was so easy!!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

39 Minute PR and a BQ!!!!!

I guess the offical time was 3:38:32, which is cool by me!

The long and the short of it are as follows-

-Went out too fast (usual style)
-Hit bathroom twice
-Painful feet, chaffing and blisters
-but...very excited that I sucked it up and scored my A goal!!!!!!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Final countdown to marathon day!!!

I'm anxious, nervous, optimistic, over-thinking, ready, excited and a million other things at the moment.

I suppose I am as ready as I am going to be for Sunday's marathon. I am excited to do my first ever Cleveland marathon in this town I call home! I am excited I will see so many familiar faces out there on the course. Oh bring it on already!!!

Hopefully will my body will agree come Sunday.

The A goal is a BQ time of 3:40 and anything below I will just consider icing on the cake. I don't want to consider a B or C goal.

I found out there is no 3:35 pace group. I have yet to settle if I want to roll out with 3:40 or 3:30 pace group. I flip flop on that one every other hour. I guess I will just see what way the wind blows at race time when I line up and just make my decision then!!!

I guess I will wear my headphones...another source of debate over the last couple weeks. If I have company I will just keep them turned off but if I should happen to be solo later in the race and I need some extra motivation, I will have them. And as I type this I keep thinking maybe I won't bother and just take it all in. So another one I will figure out later I suppose!!!

I will be heading to the expo tomorrow morning with ESpeed and MT, two of my long run buddies. This entire journey of working towards this marathon was made so much easier by having their company along as well as my other friend, BL (who will be rocking Bayshore next weekend!!). I have totally appreciated all the company and fun along the way!

My one and only favorite sis in the whole world is moving Saturday. Yeah the timing is not ideal, but I will be happy to have her closer! I am hoping I can help her a little but not do anything too exhausting so I can be fresh for Sunday.

So I guess this will be it until after the race.

Tracking is available here for the marathon and half marathon. Best of luck to all my other friends who will be out there running Sunday!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cute fix

Okay so not much in the way of training updates. Wednesday, did an upperbody weight workout and this morning I went out for the scheduled 3 mile run. 3 mile runs seem like cheating and I am just getting warmed up. However, I am trying to follow the taper recommendations here!!! It was nice to sleep in a little longer and still get in the scheduled workout!!!

Here is a story I found out about on my favorite golden blog

It was so cute I thought I would share!

Dog nurses Tiger triplets at China zoo
Associated Press

BEIJING — It’s a dog’s life for three newborn tiger triplets in eastern China. The cubs, whom officials at the Jinan Paomaling Wild Animal World in Shandong province are so far just calling “One,” “Two” and “Three,” have been nursed by a dog since they were rejected by their tiger mother shortly after birth, said Paomaling manager Chen Yucai.

The trio’s adoptive mother, a mixed breed farm dog called “Huani,” is expected to nurse them for about a month or until their appetites outpace her supply, Chen said.

Chen said it is common for Chinese zoos to use surrogate dog mothers to nurse rejected tiger cubs and that Huani has nursed tigers before.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Not the brightest....!

Okay so maybe I need to realize I am not a superhero. I am not invincible and apparently accident prone!

Friday, my crosstraining was an easy day of rollerblading. Now I had a training buddy that thought this may be a bad idea, but all went well for me! I headed out with a friend out at the Metroparks for some catching up. Note to any potential new inline not attempt to learn on a hilly course!!!! Lucky for me, I have spent my share of time on my skates and my main workout that day was my right shin muscle from riding heavy on my brake escorting my friend down the hills!

Saturday morning, I went out with BB for a leisurely ride out in my lovely country roads complete with lots of nice rolling hills. I was totally pysched to find they had finished paving the one main road by house with a buggy lane. The road was so smooth like glass!!

Saturday night I gambled with my well-being again when I got to my grandpa's 81st birthday party. My uncle had stored his dirt bikes there for the winter and so what's a group supposed to do??? I hopped on the Honda 250 and ripped around through the long yard as other family members raced around on the Yamaha 125 and the Tomos Moped. I watched my uncle crash the moped when a pedal got caught in the ground. Then my ornery husband hoisted a wheelie aimed at my cousin on the Moped which scared him. This caused my cousin to crash the moped as my husband cried with laughter.

Then I went tearing down the yard on the Yamaha 125 and grabbed a handful of front brake and it spit me off the bike around 20 mph. I sailed through the air and slid across the grass, just barely escaping the impending face plant. I got a fair amount of grass stain, a nice bruise on the inside of my right knee, but I just brushed myself off and hopped back on. Grass stain shows character, ya know???

After many laughs and a moped / dirtbike collision, we put the bikes away and called it a night!

Sunday I woke up feeling a little sore from my prior evening's oops. I slid on the right side of my rib cage but my left one feels a bit sore. It did not really bother me, but I can feel there is a soreness there. I am not sure if I pulled something or if it is some sort of bruise. Oh well, so goes my clutzy life. I headed out the door for a beautiful 8 mile run. No rib pain at all, but could feel the bruise on my knee a bit. I ran it at a pace a good clip above my planned marathon pace without struggling. I had slept in and was running a little late on the days events which led to me running a little faster. Yes, me feeling pressed for time is a very frequent occurence!

Monday, I met up with an instructor from a training seminar that I took back in November. During the week long class we had got to talking about cycling. He lives in Columbus and brings his bike up here to ride when he is in town so we had talked about riding together. I mapped out a course out of Valley View as he was staying right down the road in Independence. Unfortunately it was one hilly route and he was struggling to get up what he said was the longest hill he had ever climbed. I don’t think they get a lot of hills in Columbus. Thankfully I was able to enjoy one of my easiest rides of around 20 miles.

Tuesday, I woke up for my last scheduled speed workout. I did a 1.5 mile warm-up, 6x400's at a 6 min pace with .1 mile recoveries and a short cooldown. I was slightly pressed for time again as I was slow to drag my butt out of bed. The run went well, but when I was really pushing and breathing heavy I could still feel the soreness in my rib. The bruised knee is no longer noticeable unless the husband pushes on it!

So minus the dirtbike incident, all things going well. I am feeling ready for the race and vow that I will be careful these last few days! I have a really light next couple of days planned. Contrary to what some of you may think, I am enjoying having a reason to take it easy this week!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Random Taper Thoughts

Due to being overly busy, I have not had trouble with tapering!!!

Monday-recovered from the busy weekend

Tuesday-FIRST Speed Workout--10 min warm-up, 5X1000's at 6:15 pace, 400 rest intevals, short cooldown. Lunch hour upper body lifting session.

Wednesday-1000 yard swim--First swim in well over a month, started thinking about August Half Iron and realized I best be getting my butt back in the pool. (No New Vision Cycling tonight :-( due to mutual fund Board Meeting I had to attend for better part of the evening)

Thursday--FIRST tempo workout--2 easy-3 hard-1 easy scheduled...6 miles ~43 minutes. Returned home faster than expected and had time to kill, so I took Mr. Matches for a easy jog around the big block which is just over 1/2 mile. Mr. Matches is out of shape and laid down on me twice. Summer goal is to get overweight dog in shape too---slowly but surely! Lunch hour lower body / core weight training session.


I keep flip flopping between which pace group I want to go with-3:40 or 3:35. I really think either would be fine...but ???


A little over a month ago I won tickets on the radio to Rock on the Range, the first concert I have been excited about in forever. Woohoo, was I excited!!! The line up is:

Whitestarr – 12:00pm
2 Cents – 12:45pm
Breaking Benjamin – 1:15pm
Operator – 1:50pm
Buckcherry – 2:20pm
Black Stone Cherry – 3:00pm
Three Days Grace – 3:30pm
Puddle of Mudd – 4:10pm
Chevelle – 4:40pm
Papa Roach – 5:20pm
Hinder – 6:00pm
Velvet Revolver – 7:15pm
Evanescence – 8:35pm
ZZ Top – 9:55pm

Now does that look like one heck of a good day of rockin out or what???

Sadly, I was not paying attention to the date -- 5/19. Notice anything? Oh yeah, is that the day before big marathon that I have trained the last several months for? Yup and if that was not enough the concert is about 2.5 hours from home.

Sadly I gave my tickets to the sold out show to little cousin. Sniff, sniff!!

I so wanted to go to the concert, but I guess I have learned you do have to make some sacfices with racing and training. This lifestyle is afterall worth it in the end!

I am a little sad I will not do a long ride this weekend with such beautiful weather in the forecast...repeat to self...taper time!!!


This weekend, I will do a short ride one day and a 10 mile scheduled run the other day and have plenty of time for other things!!!! Too bad there is so much work to be done, including a deck staining the hubby is trying to put off.

Tomorrow I am excited to head out rollerblading (for the first time this year) with a friend. Oh it is nice to have time to do other random things when you don't have a ton of mileage to get in. Yes, I will take it easy and be careful!

Okay, I am done rambling. Being holed up inside while tapering in this nice weather is not cool. Crossing fingers for nice weather next weekend too.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Time To Taper


After this last busy weekend, I am sooo ready to start my taper.

Friday I rested knowing I had a tough weekend ahead of me.

Fourth and final 20 miler
Saturday I met MT and BL down at Lock 29 on the Towpath to start our run at 7:45 AM. We headed north up to Station Rd. I felt a little off a few miles in but made a pitstop at about 6 miles in and was good to go after that. We turned around and headed back south taking in all of the beautiful scenery including deer, woodducks, a turkey, goose, buzzards and more. As we chatted it up we headed back south towards our starting point and kept on further.

I was trying out a new fuel belt which was annoying at first because I must have not had the water bottle in just right and it kept launching out. After the 3rd ejection in the the first 6 miles, I think I figured out the trick. I had thought about wearing this in the marathon but I now think I may want to just get a little gel pack to put on my race belt. Always a good idea to test these things out in advance so I know if I will like the way they feel and work!

Finally we made the final turn and we headed back towards our cars. BL was feeling the effects of the 8:40 pace we had been keeping and slowed a bit while MT and I picked up the pace the last 1.5 miles to the finish. My plan for Cleveland is to stay steady with the 3:40 pace group until 18-20 and evaluate how I feel for a pick up at the end. So this run was a good simulation for picking it up at the end and I felt like there was plenty left in the tank. This final 20 was yet another confidence booster as I finished feeling good...minus the chaffing issues that had been plaguing me the last 1/2 of the run. Thankfully my bodyglide, Houdini, has been replaced and will be sure to be used on race day!

After the 20 I went home and continued moving furniture and cleaning until 5PM and decided I was done being on my feet. So after a much-needed shower, the husband and I celebrated Cinco de Mayo at our favorite Mexican restaurant with some Dos Equis and margaritas. Then we stopped by our friends for a couple beers and catching up. My plans of going to bed early with some Biofreeze on my legs went out the window as I crawled into bed just exhausted around midnight.

Sunday Du
Oh did that alarm come too early! I dragged my butt out of bed and loaded up all my gear. I was running late as I left my directions at home and then found there was a road closure and had to go the long way around. I got there with about 20 minutes before race start and took the advice of my favorite local RD to set my bike up along the fence as pretty much all rack positions were gone. The forecast for the day was sunny and 70. However it was only around 50 and I was shivering with the gusty winds. This was not good as I had not even brought my cycling jacket, arm warmers, or any warm clothes. Oh well, I kept my own sweatshirt on until the race start and just hoped I would warm up quickly.

The field was relatvily small for this race, probably around 100 competitors. I had not taken the time to warm up as I was still just feeling slow from my tiring Saturday. However with the horn we were off. We made a right out of the parking lot and were heading uphill against the wind. My lungs tightened fast and I thought this may just not be a good day...too many beers, too little sleep, sore & fatigued muscles. But, then a woman passed me and I decided to work to stay with her as we made the turn still against and headed up another hill. Mile 1, 6:53...I figure that is fine as the RD warned us Mile 1 was tough and not to get discouraged by a slow time. During the second mile, I made a couple attempts to pass this other woman but everytime she would pick up the pace and I did not want to to go any faster. Mile 2 6:53. Mile 3 was nice. You turn into the park on a path and the wind is at your back and you know you are going faster. I came across the 5K mark right at the heels of the other female at 20:30 which is close to my 5K best.

I struggled a bit to get my helmet snapped and ran to the mounting line. I was out before the other female and then I heard the rubbing noise. Crap, my front brake was dragging. I was trying to adjust it while I rode and one guy passed me and before long so did that female. She said 'nice run' as she passed and with the brake adjusted I worked to keep up. I would pass her and awhile later she would pass me. Finally about 1/2 way through I passed her and never saw her again. Then a lady from the Second Sole team flew by me on her bike. So I dug in a little deeper and tried to keep her in my sights as it seemed she kept pulling away. I could tell I was working harder and passed the male at around mile 12 that had been in front of me who passed me at the start. I was working so hard that I never was cold on the bike in my tank top and shorts, even as I was covered in water from my aero water bottle as I hit the railroad tracks so hard with each of the 3 loops. Finally I pulled into transition (17.5 miles and 56:58 minutes later) and the leading female was still there.

I pulled my shoes on as quick as I could and went out about 300 yards behind her. Oh the legs hurt but the leader was in sight and I was totally zoned in on the task at hand. I passed one guy a bit down the road and started gaining ground on the leader. The hills and wind were still rough and by mile one (7:16) I had caught her. I thought about waiting a bit to pass but I decided to just go ahead and make my move as the worst was over and my legs were coming back. Mile 2 7:03. Mile 3 I headed onto the path and with the wind at my back, I started passing many of the biathlon racers. I sailed into the finish to take the overall female winner and surprisingly felt pretty good at the finish. I am not sure what the finishing time and split was because as usual I get so excited to be done that I never stop my watch but I think the last 1.1 was around 7:11 to finish with a total time around 1:39ish. Holy crap, this was not at all the outcome I was expecting at the race start with the way I was feeling.

It was great to hang out with so many friends after the race from CTC and ER. However before long I packed up my bike and went out to lead the CTC group ride before the picnic. Thankfully it seemed all of the group ride people pretty much had tired legs from some weekend event and we rode just over an hour at a fairly comfortable pace. Of course we did have to go up a couple hills to really drive home the fact that my body was friggin just exhausted.

After some good stories at the club picnic I headed off to finally shower and head to another BBQ. I was so exhausted and tired by this point that I could only think about going home to go to bed. This morning I skipped my AM ride as I woke up sore and tired and figured an extra rest day might be OK. I am soooo ready for this taper AND the upcoming marathon!!!!!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Quality counts!

The busy weekend has left me geared up for some more quality training!

Monday morning I hit the gym for some hard core stationary bike as I had slept in a tad too long to make the 6AM spin class. No worries though I pushed myself through a decent 60 minute interval workout and I think there was a rain cloud dropping all kinds of water by my bike. I returned at lunch time to get in my upper body workout.

Tuesday, I crawled out of bed after hitting snooze a few times to get in my treadmill workout at the gym. I did a quick 10 minute warmup and started into (8) 800's at a 6:11 pace and a 1:30 rest interval. I managed to hit the pace each one without too much difficulty which made me very happy on the day. Then I eased into a 8 minute mile pace for my cooldown to give a a total for 7 miles on the day. As a side note, I love how comfortable an 8 mile pace feels after all the fast intervals.

I returned at lunch to the gym for my lower body and ab workout (yes, the door guy made fun of me asking if it was my 2nd or 3rd time there for the day!!). My goal was to do a light lower body workout as my muscles have been somewhat tight so after a quick lower body workout, it was on to abs. Some of my favorite ab exercises include utlizing the ab/ dip /chin up station for some side leg raises, medicine ball exercises and my favorite which is the stability ball pikes peak. In this exercise you start in a push position with the tops of you feet on the ball and you use you core muscles to pull up your butt into a peak position which is similiar to a handstand feeling.

Pic 1 is the starting and Pic 2 is midway. I focus on using my core muscles and my breathing and sometimes do my peaks at varied speeds as it really makes a difference in the difficutly of the sets.

Wednesday morning I slept in purposely knowing that I was going to my first New Vision Cycling outdoor training of the session in the evening. I got stuck in a traffic jam on the way there due to construction. So I had under 10 minutes to park, change and get my bike together, water bottles filled, etc. No wonder I am not bad at transitions...lots of practice! Anyway the group was leaving and at the last minute I decided to skip checking the tires as I figured they should be fine since I last checked Sunday.

Upon leaving the parking lot I made a hard right and my rear end slid out fast. Somehow I recovered without a spill and right away I thought something was off. I pedaled a little further down the road before I stopped and looked at my rear tire to confirm what I already knew. Flat! Just great. Now I have only ever had one flat which was my first ride ever. Now I have a flat on the rear, even worse. I walked back to my car about a 1/2 mile down the road wondering if I was going to be able to figure this out on my own. I got back to the car and was definitely pondering how to do this and I started trying to do it on my own.

My little savior for the day, DH was directing the latecomers where to go and asked if I was alright. Even though I wanted to act like I knew what I was doing I asked for help as I figured I might really need it. He helped me through the process (pretty much did everything) and I cannot even begin to say how thankful I was. I watched carefully and tried to help as I need to be able to have the confidence to do this on my own. Finally, with a fixed tire, we rushed off to the staging site for hill repeats.

We were doing a pyramid of 1-2-3-4-5 minutes of hard hill climbing followed by timed recoveries and then a descending pyramid 5-4-3-2-1 minutes. I had missed the first one and two minute climbs but jumped in on the 3. I felt better this night than I had all last year doing these climbs up the long Everett Rd Hill. As I sailed down the hills with every recovery I was so happy to be back out on my bike again!!!

Thursday morning I had planned to do my scheduled tempo run at the gym but I looked out the window upon waking up and thought I would be stupid not to do it outside. I had an hour so I modified my strategy a bit for my scheduled 5 mile tempo run and ran a slightly slower tempo for 8 miles. It felt fantastic! The morning was beautiful and I sailed down the buggy lane next to all the morning commuters and arrived home in under an hour from my 8 mile run. Truly a fantastic way to start the day!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Random thoughts Wednesday

If I had a dollar everytime I hurt myself I could be rich by now. The current list of hurt body parts include-

- The deep bruise on my right calf I got when shifting my weight standing on an upside cupboard while helping to hang shelves caused from a playful finger to the ribs by funny husband which caused me to jump off balance which sent the cupboard on its side and into my calf. It is a week and a half old and still looking ugly!

- The bruise and gouge on my left knee from helping my husband carry an air compressor downstairs where I accidentally moved my leg too far forward going down stairs and drove my knee into the screw on the bottom of the stupid aircompressor.

-The chunk missing on my thumb from smashing my hand between a dresser and the doorway seconds after my husband said to watch out...too late!

Maybe the first three things I will just blame on my hubby or doing too much work around the house! Either way, I realized that I still remember swear words...!

- The blisters just under the creases of both big toes from running in wet shoes at the Hermes 10 miler ...I think the fact that my old shoes which I wore were slightly past their prime and the fact I run so much on the balls of my feet might have contributed!

- The three toenails I have trying to come off...blah, just in time for sandal season! Sexy!!!

Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails.

Sometimes things you thought were long gone, have a way of resurfacing, especially if you finally just replaced them.

Finally replaced my long lost running coat with a navy one that I was not as excited about but it was a good price at Marshall's last Saturday. Monday, I moving furniture only to find a drawer-full of my workout clothes including my running coat, CTC jersey and more that I had randomly stuffed in the empty dresser at some point. Figures...but happy to see the stuff all the same!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Hinckley Du Pics!

So thanks to Kurt from SERC and CTC, I have my first ever smiling event pictures. Usually my face has some sort of contorted "I can't breathe" or over the top serious look on my face! So thought I would share. The pictures clearly show how much I was enjoying myself out there at the du this weekend!!!

Finish lines equal least in this rare case!!

Bike positioning could have been better but give me a break!