Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What are YOU doing for New Years?

I'm doing the Texas equivalent of the "Goofy Challenge" at the New Years Double.

That's right. I'm running a half marathon on Saturday, New Years Eve. I'm running a full marathon on New Years Day. That means NO alcohol (well, maybe one beer) this year. I'm ok with that. Last year I had a bit too much.

So, if you have plans on being in Allen, TX - feel free to say hi! Depending on the race, I'll either be wearing my Half Fanatic tank or my Marathon Maniac tee.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Food Hangover

How much did YOU eat over the holiday? I ate ALL THE THINGS. Seriously. Cookies, cake, pie, candy, ham, potatoes, burgers, fries and LOTS of beer... there was NO running on Saturday OR Sunday. There wasn't even getting dressed. So I'll make a confession.

I kinda sorta have a minor eating disorder. Self-diagnosed. I used to be fat. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. Then I stopped eating all the junk and started the exercise. I've been in maintenance mode for about 7.5 years. And for the most part, I have pretty good self-control and I usually don't eat EVERYTHING. I really believe moderation is the key to a balance between eating to live and living to eat. Every once in a while? I totally suck at that. This weekend was a prime example. I kept eating and eating. Even though I wasn't hungry. I gave myself the excuse that it was because once the holiday was over, the temptations would no longer be there and so if I wanted that slice of pecan pie, I better have it while it was still there.

I woke up this morning and felt like shit. I felt like I had been up all night doing shots. The cure was a progressive run on the treadmill. I had 4 scheduled, and ran 5.15. Sweating out all the grease and fat and sugar felt pretty damn good. I really need to remember that it DOES feel better to have a kick ass workout than it does to eat myself into a funk.

That is all.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Five-ish Things Friday

  • I ran 19 miles yesterday.
  • I ran 24 miles today.
  • I WON SOMETHING ON TWITTER!!! Cannot wait until it comes!!!
  • I got an unexpected bonus at work! CASH!!!
  • I have eaten ALL THE THINGS the last few days. Luckily, thanks to crazy ultra marathon training, I have not gained any (substantial) weight. Tiger Butter? Peppermint Bark? M&M's??? I have NO WILLPOWER :(  :(
  • It snowed again. I really really really really don't like snow. That is all.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Where I'm Racing (So Far) in 2012...

Did you hear I'll have ran over 50 races in 2011? Mind boggling.

Here is what is on schedule (so far) for 2012 - some dates are just a guess since most people don't plan as far ahead as I do:

January 1 – NYD Allen, TX (full) Registered
January 15 – RnR Arizona (half) Registered
January 29 – Tinker Bell* (half) Registered
February 12 - Ralston Creek, CO (half)
February 19 – Austin (full) Registered
March 4 – RnR New Orleans, LA (State #44) Registered
March 24/25 – 100 miler in Moab Registered
April 15 – Platte River, CO (half) Registered
April 20/21 – Ragnar, SoCal* (Relay) Registered
April 28 – RnR Country Music, TN (State #45) Registered
May 5 – Indianapolis, IN (State #46) Registered
May 6 – Pittsburgh, PA (State #47) Registered
May 15 – Superheroes Half, NJ (State #48)
May 27 – Edinburgh, Scotland (full) Registered (Might have to skip for money reasons)
June 2/9 – Incan Trail Marathon, Peru (full) Registered
June 23 – RnR Seattle, WA* (full) Registered
June 24 – Vancouver, BC (half)
June 30 – Leadville Trail, CO (full)
July 15 - Silver Mine 50, Leadville... contemplating
July 29 – San Francisco (full)* Registered
August 3 – Legacy Midnight Run, UT (half)
August 18/19 – Pikes Peak (full?) Obviously can only do if it's not same weekend as WV
August 18/19 – Parkersburg, WV (State #49)
September 9 – Maple Leaf, VT (STATE #50!!!) - Might do a different one on July 8 in VT, the "Mad Half"
September 23 – RnR Montreal, CN (half? full?) MAYBE
September 29? – Disney Wine n Dine* (half)
October 29 – Marine Corps, DC (full)
November 6 – NYC (full)
December – CIM (full)

If schedules work out, I'd do RnR Denver again and also The Bear Chase (although probably the 50K, not the 50 miler...)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

25 Random Things

  1. I ate salad today. But I also had two sliders, french fries, and peppermint bark.
  2. I purposely schedule my long runs so that I can lounge around all weekend doing nothing.
  3. Friday night I fell asleep at 9:40 pm while watching "The Hangover 2"
  4. Saturday night I fell asleep at 9:45. Intentionally.
  5. A left about 8 hours ago for Texas and I'm already
    1. Unsure what to do with my freedom
    2. Positive I will do nothing exciting with my freedom
  6. I watch episodes of "Criminal Minds" almost every night. The show fills about 40% of my DVR.
  7. I am addicted to diet soda. Today I've had at least three.
  8. I had two huge cups of coffee this morning.
  9. I'm immune to caffeine.
  10. I've been job searching for almost a year now and still can't seem to find a job I am qualified for that pays more than $11 an hour.
  11. After racing on New Years Eve, I will have completed 51 races in 2011:
    1. A one mile invitational
    2. Seven 5K's (three with A)
    3. One 4 miler
    4. One 10K
    5. 34 half marathons
    6. One 20 miler
    7. Four marathons
    8. One 50k
    9. One 50 miler
  12. I drive a Mini Cooper. It gets over 37 mpg.
  13. I used to live in Austin, TX.
  14. I adore cheesecake. It might be my favorite dessert ever.
  15. I could eat pizza every day.
  16. I could also eat salad every day.
  17. And sandwiches. Although I rarely have them anymore.
  18. I don't like egg nog.
  19. The smell of whiskey makes me puke. Seriously.
  20. I had to have reconstructive knee surgery after I twisted my knee dancing at a bar.
  21. I broke my arm when I was in preschool imitating Mary Lou Retton.
  22. I was in competitive gymnastics from the time I was 10 until I graduated high school - I was even named Gymnast of the Year in my county when I was a senior.
  23. I speak Spanish and German.
  24. I was an extra in the tv movie version of "The Shining"
  25. I joined the track team in 9th grade and quit halfway through the season because I couldn't do the one mile warm up and the only race I ever did I came in DEAD LAST.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bart Yasso!

Fellow blogger, Pavement Runner, had a fabulous idea for us to write blog posts for Bart Yasso's birthday, which is today.

Bart Yasso is one of my running heroes. If you have never read his book, "My Life on the Run," you must. It is excellent. I really don't even know how to describe how amazing this man is, and what he means to the running community. He has one of the coolest jobs, and has run some of the most amazing races in the world, including Badwater.

I met him for the first time when I was in Kaua'i in 2010. I had the chance to talk with him and his wife, and they are just as amazing in real life as you would think. I love that Bart is so down to earth that he responds individually to messages on Facebook and Twitter. He will sign things, and pose for pictures.

Bart inspires my speed work (curse you Yasso 800s!!!), and motivates me to live each day to the fullest. The running community is lucky to have such an amazing person as Bart to represent it.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Four Random Friday Thoughts

1. I ran 22 miles on the treadmill this morning. That means I was up at 3:30 in the morning and running at the gym by 3:55. That is four Fridays in a row. I think that proves I am pretty damn dedicated to my new crazy ultra training schedule. I'm freaking out a bit for next week... I have a 19 miler one day with a 24 miler the day after. Eek.

2. If you missed it, I am OFFICIALLY REGISTERED for the Moab 100. **swoon**

3. My hotel is booked for the New Years Double! I got a ridiculously cheap rate, $81 for 2 nights! Some of my relatives are thinking of joining me in Allen. AND, I got free tickets to "The Spirit of the Marathon." Super. Psyched.

4. A had her first ballet recital tonight.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. I did an outdoor run today. It was pretty good! Except for the path being all icy. Which is dumb, since it hasn't snowed in over a week. I got to try out FOUR new items I've never used... I'll probably review this more in depth later. But for now:

  • Nike ear warmer thing. It's cute. And it kept my ears from freezing off and my headphones from slipping.
  • Athleta Hindsight Half Zip top. Now. I don't normally wear long sleeves, but I figured this year I'd try being comfortable and warm. I got this awesome top as a Black Friday special using a gift card from a friend. I absolutely LOVED it. It breathed really well which kept me from getting too hot, yet it felt like air moved through. Never got cold either. Please it had the thumb holes (which I love), and a back zippered pocket. I put my keys in there and NEVER felt them. LOVE. THIS. TOP.

  • Adidas Gloves - Touch screen compatible!! I loved these, never took them off. And yes, they worked as promised!
  • Newton trail runners. I have had these for over a year. I even forgot my socks, wore this for a 35 minute run. So comfortable, no blisters. I think I will train my outdoor runs wearing these, and possibly race my 100 in them...

2. Field trip for Daisy Girl Scouts to the Butterfly Pavilion. They had the whole exterior decked out with lights... and a Fire Dancer. In 25 degree weather.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Musings About the Gym (A.K.A. "The Random")

  • It's not even January yet and already the gym is getting ridiculously crowded. ALL the treadmills were full when I got there. Luckily, by the time I put my stuff away and came back out, I got a free one. Unfortunately it was not my regular treadmill (yes, I have one that I manage to use 99% of the time).
  • Super. Annoying. People. Are. At. The. Gym. (WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE HERE??)
    • To my left - Chatty Cathy. She holds up her phone, which is on SPEAKER and spends 19 minutes (walking very slowly) screaming and cackling into the phone.
    • To my right - Walking briskly at max incline while holding onto the treadmill for dear life while leaning backwards.
  • What is WITH people wandering around naked in the locker room? I don't want to see it. At all. Please stop.
  • The woman working in the Kid's Club told me I looked thinner. She said the same thing to me last year. I think I look the same. Compliment?
  • I got BRAND NEW Newton's with an insanely good Black Friday sale. I'm fairly certain I bought my last pair last summer... and ran on/off (plus cross trained) with them for... about 18 months. The lugs on these puppies? INSANE. Did my other pair really feel that way?? These had a neon orange lining on the inside. Obnoxious. Love it.

  •  Speedwork. Yasso 800's. First half, not bad. Second half... still not so bad, but was in a "light-headed zone." Almost a "squirrel zone."

  • Free time and no racing=Race planning. I think I have a few more races to add to my schedule...
  • Not really a gym musing, but sorta training related... I had my surgical consult today, and after TWO HOURS of sitting around, I had about a 2 minute evaluation that determined I do, in fact, need to have the lump in my breast removed. The surgery is no big deal, but "high impact" exercise is "discouraged" for 5 days. I asked if I could get around with 3-4 days off running, they seemed to think that would be ok. Crossing my fingers I get in for the first Friday in January and then I *think* I'll still be able to get all my ultra training runs in. (They were booked all December for surgeries).
  • TOTALLY not running/gym related. J's birthday is 3 days before Christmas. I have planned/purchased nothing. I am the worst girlfriend ever.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gym Music Mix

I've pretty much had the same playlist on my iPod for two years. I have a playlist for racing, and one just for working out and the songs don't really overlap. I am SUPER SICK AND TIRED of my gym mix. I find myself skipping songs all the time. I need some music suggestions!! What are the latest and greatest songs out there? Or some oldies but goodies?

Also... thanks for the suggestions about what to do on the treadmill. I did notice that I sing along to my music (but only mouth the lyrics), I play the air drums AND fist pump. Man, I'm awesome.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

5 Tips For Achieving FitFluential Balance During the Holidays

I like to think I'm pretty good at balance... Here is how I've survived the last three years:

1. Just because it's the holidays does NOT mean you skip the workouts. JUST DO IT. I've heard EVERY excuse in the books. I got up last Christmas and ran 15 miles in 17 degree weather. Black Friday this year I was up at 3 am to run 24 miles. If it means getting up earlier or going to bed earlier to get a workout in, DO IT.

2. Don't throw your regular eating habits out the window. I know there are tasty temptations around every corner. JUST BECAUSE IT IS CHRISTMAS DOES NOT MEAN YOU EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT. Healthy alternatives are everywhere.

3. I'm human. Sometimes I want that peppermint bark, fudge or peanut brittle. And you know what? I eat it... IN MODERATION. Since I don't buy junk food EVER, the only time I'm ever around it is the holidays. I don't go crazy with it, but I will enjoy some here and there. It's all about balance!

4. Go easy on the alcohol!! Holidays, parties, gatherings with friends and family. We have ALL been there. The key for me is either not drinking at all, or only drinking one or two. After a few years of being on a regular training schedule, it is simply not worth it to drink more than that.

5. SLEEP. As much as possible. Nap if you have to.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Five Things Friday - Short and Sweet

1. Unimpressive Customer Service - Runningskirts

My sister placed her Black Friday order two days after mine and had it last Saturday. It took TWO days of calling, emailing, posting on Twitter and Facebook to get a response from someone. I was informed my orders shipped (yesterday), even though I had confirmations that they shipped last week. Not impressed.

2. Impressive Customer Service - Athleta

I purchased some winter running gear on Black Friday. One of the items I received was sent in the wrong color. Even at 8 pm I was able to get someone on the phone who was able to help me out. After posting on Twitter I even received a personal message apologizing for the error and asking if I still needed help. Awesome.

3. Ultra Training - Success!

Monday - Speedwork (6.46 total miles, fastest 400 @ 1:42)
Wednesday - Easy-ish (4.4 miles)
Thursday - Easy-ish (10.02 miles)
Friday - Mostly easy-ish (24 miles)

Total running miles for the week - just under 45 miles!

In celebration of an awesome week, this is the shirt I'm wearing today
4. Three races registered for this week:

Austin Marathon (yes, the full)
Platte River Half Marathon (local race, did it this year too)
Pittsburgh Half Marathon (Will be excited to see the other B run her first FULL marathon!)

5. Plane tickets obtained to Peru for a STEAL - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Marathon is definitely happening!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday


I bought this shirt when I was in NYC for the half marathon this year. You can read about the race here.I am entering the lottery again, although the chances of getting in two years in a row is pretty slim... If I get in, this is probably the outfit I will wear to race in.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Treadmill Running

As you know, I'm pretty much exclusively a treadmill runner. I run, on average, 3-4 days a week. I also do a few other cardio sessions a week of turbo kickboxing. And some cycling (on a stationary bike). But I spend a LOT of time on the treadmill. I bet I'm on one at least 8 hours a week.

What on earth does one DO on the treadmill for that long?? Well, for many years (I'm coming up on EIGHT years of treadmill use!!), just my iPod was enough to keep me occupied. I absolutely LOVE music. But the more I run, the more I listen to music, and my "pump" songs are getting repetitive. I've turned to Netflix streaming (right now I'm watching Numbers)... but that can be tough though when I am doing things like speedwork. I certainly don't want my iPhone flying off the treadmill and shattering.

Mainly, I entertain myself by people-watching. And imaginary racing people:

I might not win in speed, but I always win in endurance. During my 20+ mile runs, I bet at least 6-8 people will use the treadmills near me.

I also talk to myself. A lot. In my head, rarely out loud (because that would be crazy). This happens the most when I'm doing speedwork. I'm absolutely TERRIFIED I'm going to fly off the treadmill or roll my ankle or something when I'm running at a crazy fast pace like 6:15 (9.6 mph) - don't worry I can only keep that up for about... 80 seconds.

Anyway. I will never abandon my beloved treadmill, but I'm interested in something to make it a little less boring. I have never listened to a book or a podcast. Do any of you?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dear Santa,

A is always wondering why I never have a Christmas list. Well, partly because Christmas isn't really a big deal around here. This will be the 4th Christmas since I got divorced (wow, time FLIES), and A spends the Christmas break with her Dad in Texas. Really all I do is sleep late while she is gone. But this year, sure, I'll make a list. You know, if any of my bloggy friends really feel like they want to get me something this year :D

1. Remember my awesome medal displays? They are full. Which means I am in the market for new ones... All my running buddies rave about the Allied Medal Displays. I think they FREAKING ROCK. I mean, check this out:
Obviously they also have a Half Fanatic one that is more appropriate since I don't run that many full marathons. Although. Hey. Did you know that I already have more than 4 that I plan on running in 2012? It's gonna be an epic year.

2. I want this. A lot. But it is SO much money. I'll probably never own it. But it looks like even someone as camera-dumb as me could take awesome pictures with it.

Also will accept Amazon gift cards in lieu of the super expensive camera... I have been saving them for a while and I'm sure they sell the camera.

3. Totally impractical. I work for a roofing company and wear jeans and a hoodie to work everyday. However, I am currently in school going for my BA in Criminal Justice and would like to think that I will eventually have a job again that requires some degree of professionalism. I think these are the cutest ever.
4. This sweatshirt. If anyone comes across it EVER, in a small or medium, BUY IT FOR ME. Please. I will pay you back. I found it, bought it, then got the message it was out of stock and for over 6 weeks I have been searching and searching and cannot find it anywhere. Le sigh.

5. I heart this skirt from Team Sparkle. I was hoping to get one in time to run the New Year's Double half marathon on December 31, but I'm short on cash. Size XS, Fuchsia, please :D
6. A Lululemon skirt. I will never shell out the cash for them since I've never personally worn one, but they are adorable and I have seen lots of them during races.

See? I'm not that hard to shop for.

Happy Holidays!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Long Run Friday

Ultra training had a ridiculously long run scheduled. RLRF had me running 15 miles at MP+10 (10:34). So... I sorta did that.

Goal - Run 26(.2) - Can't stop at 26 as a runner. Can't. Pace mostly unimportant, but I did want to run the first 15ish at the RLRF pace. Mostly succeeded.
Actual - 26.2 @ 10:45 (4:41:52 total). Only I think 7 seconds off from what I ran RnR Denver in a few months ago. The first 14.1 I did on the treadmill at the gym, but then I needed to come home to take A to school. The last 12.1 were done in the basement inferno. THOSE miles were INSANELY hard.

Longest treadmill run. Longest training run. Probably top ten of longest runs (including races) I've ever done.

Breakfast - Mini Luna bar (White Chocolate Macadamia), banana, Sbux light double shot (those things that come in the tiny cans).

Of note:
1. Peanut Butter GU is FABULOUS. I had one of those, a nearly expired Plain GU, a Powerade Chocolate Gel, two packs of GU chomps (one citrus, one watermelon). Two bottles of water, one with Nuun (mixed berry), one without. One Powerade Zero (fruit punch), and a diet Coke. The diet Coke was NOT as agreeable as the diet wild cherry Pepsi I had last week. Cause a MAJOR side ache the last few miles. At least i was dumb enough to drink it at the end.
2. Outfit change - 1 (I. SWEAT. A. LOT). Well, I was wearing a tank at the gym (My "I Run So I Don't Kill People" one), stripped down to just the sports bra at home, and DID change that. I wore my Nike capri running tights, no skirt. (Also no body glide, and no chafing anywhere).
3. Towels used - 4 (See above, about sweating)
4. Pounds lost - 3.6 (Yikes... I need to watch this)

Thoughts on this run?

  • 18-20 miles on the treadmill is not bad. Longer than that is a bit rough. Not sure how well I would succeed at these if I was trying to run solo outside...
  • Also, it is WEIRD "hiding" my training. L thinks running a 100 miler is the dumbest idea I have ever had, and the rest of my family is pretty much agrees with that. J won't say it's a dumb idea, but thinks I'll hate it. So my solution so far is to downplay training. Any suggestions? I've never come across this... my family is usually pretty supportive.

My two other runs this week went perfect. Speedwork on Monday was glorious, and my 6 miler on Wednesday went off without a hitch. Loving this program so far, especially in combination with RLRF.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November Numbers

Miles Run - 150.86. Probably close to the most training miles I've ever run in a month (usually I have a LOT more miles of racing). I did mostly the RLRF program, although I started my own (adapted from Fast Cory) ultra marathon training last week. Excited on that.
Races Run - 3 (2 half marathons, 1 5k)
PR's Set - Close to the slowest 5k I've ever run. But, really, zero.
Minutes of Plank -  112. I missed 2 days of planks. Still at 4 minute sets. They are still tough, so I will keep time the same for December.

Other Random

  • Today, December 1, is the 4 year anniversary of the last time I smoked a cigarette. I'm REALLY proud of that. That means that I have NOT smoked 29,000+ cigarettes. Instead, I have run over 3,800 miles. Not sure which number amazes me more.
  • The Peanut Butter GU I ordered in October finally showed up today. I'll try it during my long run tomorrow.
  • It snowed today. I really hate snow. And there is still like 5 months left of winter. That makes me gloomy.
  • I got the bill in the mail today for my mammogram and biopsy. Sigh. I have insurance I purchase on my own and a high deductible plan. Just my tests are running me over $900. That probably means I'll have to cancel the Edinburgh Marathon since it's the only trip I haven't booked any travel for :(
  • This was my last week of classes. I have finals next week. Crossing my fingers for all A's...

Week in Review (June 11 - June 17)

Tuesday  (13,780 steps) - Work in the office. Took Olive for a walk after work. Nothing else? Went to 4 Noses. Wednesday  (15,137 steps) - W...