Monday, March 31, 2008

It's official

I finally sent in my half marathon entry form late last week. So it's official! I will be doing the Avenue of the Giants HM in May! You know, there was a time when I never would have paid $45 (!!!) just to run. Guess times have changed. ;-)

Speaking of change, I am trying something new this week. Rather than doing my weekday runs in the evening, I will be doing them in the morning. If I like it after this week, I will try to do all my weekday runs in the morning. Also, I plan to run Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, as well as a long run on Sunday. I really need to run four days, if I can.

Today was my first morning run. I set the alarm for 6:15, but the neighbor's dogs were barking and woke me up before that. I looked outside and it was totally dark still. Ugh. I don't want to run in the dark, so I reset the alarm for 6:40. There was some daylight by then, but it was bitter cold out (like in the 20s). Everything was covered in frost, but I decided to head out anyway.

I didn't have much time, since I had to be back in time for Tim to leave for work, so I opted for two miles, just to test the waters. It wasn't that bad. It actually felt good to be awake that early, since, as most of you know, I do not consider myself to be a morning person. I finished my two miles and tacked on another .20 for good measure. I didn't feel like I had worked out long enough, so I hopped on the stationary bike and did five miles. Overall, it felt like a good workout.

I'm hoping to get out the door about 10 minutes earlier on Wednesday so I can do three miles. I hope I get used to the morning workouts and like them, because working out when we're supposed to be eating dinner is kinda getting old.

I'm off to reward myself with a nice, hot cup of French Vanilla Dunkin' Donuts coffee, brewed in my new coffee maker!

Today's stats:
Distance: 2.2 miles
Time: 23:55
Pace: 10:52 minute/mile

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 19:47

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bet it's not like this in Arizona

My buddy Lisa said it was 93 degrees in Arizona the other day. That is dang hot. But honestly, I would have taken that weather over what I ran in today.

I'm going to try and change things up a bit. My weight loss is at a standstill, so I think I need to do some different workouts now that my body is used to my regular runs. I headed to the track this afternoon to do some intervals and speed work (don't laugh).

It rained all morning, so I waited until it seemed to die down. It was misting for the first half of my workout. At the start of the second half, the sky opened and it rained all sorts of ways on me. It came down sideways, with a gusting wind. It beat me in the face, soaked me to the bone and made me miserable. I thought about stopping before I finished, but since I was already there, I trudged along on the waterlogged track. Gee, wonder why no one else was out in that weather? Clearly I am crazy.

The plan was to run a mile to warm up, then do eight 200 meter intervals (one mile total) with 200 meters of walking in between, followed by another mile run to cool down. The only thing I changed was the cool-down run. I only did 1/2 mile, because by that point I was sooooo over it. My pants were stuck to my legs, my hair was soaked despite being under a hat and I won't even tell you how horrendous my midsection looked with my drenched shirt clinging to it. But the mile that consisted of the 200-meter "sprints" was the fastest mile I have run to date. I wish I could run that fast all the time, only without doing the walk breaks in between.

We're going to pick up the kids soon. I really did miss them, although I enjoyed sleeping in this morning. :-)

Today's stats:
Run w/intervals:

Warm-up mile: 11:03
8x200 meters (one mile): 8:17 (WOW!!!)
8x200 meters, walking
Cool-down 1/2 mile: 5:26 (10:57 mile pace)

Total: 2.5 miles of running, one mile of walking = 3.5 miles

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Silence is golden

Hear that?

Silence. Beautiful silence.

The kids are with the grandparents for the next few days/nights, and I am relishing the time away. I miss them, of course, but at the same time I have been able to get so much done around here in just a few hours tonight because they're not underfoot and in everything. I hope they're having a great time!

I squeezed in a short stationary bike ride tonight, too.

Tomorrow I am heading to the cadaver lab in the morning to study for a few hours. Then I think I'll go shopping for some groceries before I run. I am looking forward to running before Tim gets home from work. Hope I'm not too tired from the studying!

Today's stats:
Distance: 7 miles
Time: didn't keep track (watched Top Chef)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring fever

I think the kids and I have it.

We spent hours outside again today, this time playing bubbles and throwing balls with cousin Garrett. I'm glad I cleaned our yard up because it's much nicer to be in now. I still have stuff to do, but it's not the mess it was a few weeks ago.

I was able to run this evening. I am so glad to have the extended daylight! I am just not a morning person so running in the morning is akin to torture for me. But evening runs are beautiful in the spring. I feel so alive when I run in the evening.

I actually ran my third mile tonight in 9:59! It's the first sub-10-minute mile I've had in a while. Niiiiiiiiice. But the truth is I started running faster in that mile because there were some seriously creepy guys walking where I was running and I was basically fleeing. Maybe I should run around creepy people all the time. ;-)

I will be childless starting tomorrow until Friday (thanks to the grandparents). Good thing, since I have some serious studying to do Thursday in the cadaver lab at school. Our next practical exam is next week already! But I definitely plan a nice run (possibly a long one) on Thursday, too.

Today's stats:
Distance: 3.5 miles
Time: 37:52
Pace: 10:49 minute/mile

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Easter!

My whole weekend was go-go-go. Yesterday I spent hours doing yard work and general clean-up outside the house. The kids joined me and played their hearts out. I didn't get done until around 6 p.m. and I was just tuckered out. So rescheduled my run for today.

This morning, the sun was shining and the kids just wanted to go out and play. So I joined them while Tim slept in (he's still sick, poor guy. His throat looks disgusting). We played until it was time to get ready for Easter "dinner" at Grandma Betty's (she's their great-grandmother). Dinner was at 2, so I bathed the kids, dressed them in their Easter duds and we were off. We spent more than three hours there, and the kids played the entire time, stopping briefly to eat.

By the time I got home, I was very tired. But I was determined to get a run in, and I did. It wasn't the seven-miler I had planned, but it was good and I felt great afterward.

The kids have passed out and I am now (finally) eating dinner. It has been a long, but very fun, weekend. I am loving spring so far!


I just found out that I got 91 points out of 100 on my most recent anatomy test!! I am very happy, considering a lot of this test was on the nervous system, which is so complicated. I am still on track for an A! We have three more tests this semester and six more quizzes. I think there are only six or seven weeks left of this class, so we're entering crunch time! But the cool thing is after I am through this killer class, Tim and I will head off on our Disneyland vacation. I will feel like I earned it, for sure!!!!

Today's stats:
Distance: 4.25 miles
Time: 47:10
Pace: 11:05 minute/mile

Friday, March 21, 2008

Love this weather!

Today was a beautiful spring day. Unfortunately, Tim did not get to enjoy it with me, even though he had the day off work, because he was dizzy, tired and feverish all day. So he basically spent the day in bed. I was sad that he was feeling so sick, and also worried (still am, actually).

I woke up at 7:30 to take Kara to preschool, and was pretty much on the go all day. I ended up taking Matty to the sitter's for a few hours so I could get some work done. I finished replacing light fixtures outside, trimmed an overgrown hedge and started cleaning up our side yard before the kids came home. Then, when Matty and Tim were napping, Kara and I went outside while I loaded tons of junk into the truck, hauled it to the dump, and then cut down this worthless apple tree that just took up space and made huge messes (I am not really an apple fan anyway).

I still have work to do out there tomorrow. Once 4 p.m. came along today, I was wiped out and decided I was done even though there is still much to do. I will probably tackle some of it before my long run tomorrow evening.

So obviously I am tired tonight. But I made amends with the bike and did a 10-mile ride tonight. I am soooooo ready to shower and head to bed! Night night....

Today's stats:
Distance: 10 miles
Time: Don't know -- I didn't keep track -- too busy watching House Hunters

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sometimes I just wanna say...

...screw it.

That's what I said to my workout tonight. I didn't have the energy or desire to use the bike like I had planned. So I relaxed instead. And watched TV. And I do not feel guilty about it (or at least I can pretend to not feel guilty).

Take that, bike! ;-)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thanks to everyone...

...who has given me input so far on what to take to a HM. It really helps a lot!

I am just worried about this race and how many aid stations they will have. I heard somewhere that there are aid stations every three miles. That sounds really spread apart to me. I want to take the fuel belt with me in case I need something and am too far away from a station, know what I mean?

If anyone else has any input, please let me know! :-)

I did run today. It was OK, except for the fact the blisters on my feet aren't fully healed and got re-aggravated today. Ugh. I need to get rid of these damn things! Any advice?

Today's stats:
Distance: 3.5 miles
Time: 38:28
Pace: 11 minutes/mile

HM questions

I have been thinking about what I will need for my half marathon in May. So I am posing a question for you, my dear readers/bloggers/runners.

For those who have run/walked/crawled a HM, what did you take with you? Water? Electrolyte replacement? Fuel? What kind and how much? I have a fuel belt and plan to use it, but I am at a loss as to what I should take. I usually only take water and a Gu on my long runs, but I am up for suggestions!

For anyone wondering, we're still working on getting healthy in this house. Matty went back to the doctor today and has a deep bruise in his left foot, as well as a broken blood vessel in the same foot and a huge goose egg on the back of his head (he fell the other day). He also night have strep. We won't know the test results until Thursday.

Oh, and I did a short bike workout tonight. I was dog tired today, so I didn't feel like getting dressed for a run. I will do one tomorrow. Promise!

Today's stats:
Distance: five miles
Time: Don't know or care

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Long run+crappy socks=blisters

I did my long run today. It was nice to get out in the springlike weather and partake in my first long run since Feb. 9.

I wore a different pair of socks than I usually do. I finally found a pair of Adidas socks that don't rub my feet raw, but they were in the wash today. So I threw on a pair of Nike socks and they gave me these awful blisters on the bottom of both feet. I almost called it a day after five miles because of the pain. But I didn't want to walk all that way home, so I ran my full six miles.

I am going to change my footwear and mow the lawn now. Have to get it done before it starts raining again this week!

Today's stats:
Distance: six miles
Time 1:06:44
Pace: 11:07 minute/mile

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Everyone's a comedian

Here is an actual conversation my four-year-old daughter and I had the other day.

Need to preface by saying she had been talking for weeks about marrying Keith, a fellow student at her preschool. The wedding was supposed to be in a month, according to Kara.

Kara: "I'm not going to marry Keith anymore."
Me: "Why not? Did he do something to you?"
Kara: "He ruined my day!"
Me: "Oh...."
Kara: "I am going to marry Waylon now." (He's yet another little boy at her school)
Me: "Why are you going to marry Waylon?"
Kara: "Because he ruins ALL my days!"

She. Is. Brilliant.

Today's stats:
Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 7.28 miles

Friday, March 14, 2008

Tired of being surrounded by sickness

Can't a girl get a break?

Kara came home from preschool today with a fever, complaining that she wasn't feeling well. Last night she had a nosebleed, but I really didn't think anything of it. She's still on antibiotics for the ear infection, but I am wondering now if a virus is attacking her.

Right now, every single person in this house is on antibiotics. I am so sick of taking these damn horse pills twice a day. And I'm totally ready to be done with medicating the kids. They have two more days left on their regimen. For the first time in years, I am praying for spring to start and winter to get the hell out of town.

Anyway, it rained on and off today, but I managed a short run this evening. My freakin' tibialis anterior muscle (call me anatomy nerd) on both legs was cramping a bit though. Total suckage. I need to stretch and ice it, I guess. I am planning to do a long run tomorrow, and I really don't want to run in pain. Crossing my fingers that the wheels feel better tomorrow!

Today's stats:
Distance: two miles
Time: 21:59
Pace: 10:59 minute/mile

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Getting back on the cross-training wagon

I have been horrible about cross-training lately. Being sick really took the desire out of me.

Tonight was my first stationary bike ride in weeks. I felt like I needed to blow off some steam after having a quiz AND big test in anatomy today. I am pretty sure I did well on both, but I likely won't know until after spring break, which is next week. But I definitely feel better about this test than I do the last one we took (although I still got a B on that one).

OK, I am tired and need to get ready for bed. Until later....

Today's stats:
Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 7.73 miles

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Now it begins

This marks the official start of my half marathon training. I have a little less than two months left, but I think I am far enough along with my running that I will be ablt to complete the Avenue of the Giants HM and not die afterward.

Tonight was a recovery run. A few of my muscles were a little sore following my race, so I ran at an easier pace to compensate. I like how I can go running after Tim gets home and still have plenty of daylight. Totally awesome.

I have an anatomy test tomorrow. Next week is spring break! So no school for me, but Kara still goes to preschool. Heck yeah! I hope I'll have a chance to some work around the house, as well as study. Can't slack off the academic front. ;-)

Today's stats:
Distance: three miles
Time: 33:25
Pace: 11:08 minute/mile

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I've come a long way, baby

I had a race this morning. It marked my second Foggy Bottom Milk Run in two years. I did the 4.1 mile course again, hoping to run it faster than I did last year. I had a feeling I could do it, despite the sinus infection, which FINALLY seems to be getting better.

The weather was just about like it was for this race last year: sunny and warm, with just a few puffy clouds. Gorgeous. I wore my running tights with some shorts over them, and a short-sleeved wick-away shirt. When I picked up my T-shirt, race bib and timing chip at the registration table, I put the T-shirt on over my wick-away one.

I won't bore you with the details of the race. The course was exactly the same as last year, and I had to visit the porta-potties numerous times before the race started. This year, I took my iPod with me (a lot of other runners had theirs and no one said we couldn't use them this time).

The race itself was just surreal. The first two miles flew by. The second two, well, they felt slower, but were still much faster than last year. My goal was to break 45 minutes this year. As I crossed the finish line, I could not believe my eyes: 43:45. OMG, I totally shattered my time from last year! I was tired, but so happy. Then I wished Tim and the kids were there. They had to stay home because Tim isn't feeling well. That made me a little sad because I really wanted to share that moment with them.

Anyway, the official times are up and I know how I placed. I broke my time from last year by 5 minutes. How crazy is that??! Overall, it was a blast and I am so glad I did it.

Race stats:
Foggy Bottom Milk Run, 4.1 mile:
Time: 43:44 (old PR was 48:44; they updated it tonight and this is my official time)
Pace: 10:40 minute/mile

Finished 122 out of 260 runners
Finished 8 out of 17 in my age division
Finished 53 out of 158 female runners

I was just perusing last year's results online, and apparently I finished 122nd last year, also! I had it down as 119 because right after the race that's what it said, but I guess things changed in the official standings. So I did better this year, standings-wise, also. Last year I was 122 out of 211. This year, I was 122 out of 260. So I finished in the top half of all runners in today's race for the 4.1-miler!! Woo hoo!!!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Daily double

So not only do the kids have ear infections, but I have a raging sinus infection. That would explain why I don't feel good and haven't in weeks. The doctor prescribed a 14-day round of antibiotics and a steroid nasal spray. My head and nose are so blocked it's not even funny.

Hope I start feeling better before my race! Until then, I will be chillin' and taking it easy. Doctor's orders.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

"I'll take 'Ear Infections' for $200, Alex"

Yes, it's true. After weeks of battling rogue viruses, one after another, both of my kidlets have ear infections.

This officially marks the first time either has had an ear infection. Matty has it in both ears (which also explains the green goop oozing from his poor little eyes the past few days), and Kara has it in her right. After the doctor announced it, I secretly did a happy dance inside because I knew the kids would be getting antibiotics and that there was hope after all that they would feel better someday soon.

I decided to run to Walgreens to pick up their prescriptions this evening. Both kids were down for the count and I left just as Tim came home. I felt like I was in a fog for the first half mile or so. Maybe I was wishing I was asleep on the couch (I'm still sick, too. Maybe I have an infection....). But I eventually woke up and the run was pretty good.

At Walgreens, the pharmacy tech had some problems figuring out my insurance card. In her defense, it is the lamest, most confusing insurance card I have ever had. She eventually had to call the insurance number and she did get it all figured out, but I wasted about 20 minutes waiting while she did it. I seriously hate burning daylight like that. She finally gave me the meds -- four enormous bottles of pink liquid -- and sent me on my way. I ran home as darkness set in, grabbed a flashlight and ditched the meds, and headed back out for my last half mile.

I have a race on Sunday, but I'm not really excited about it at this point. Maybe I will get more amped as we get closer to race day. I know I can PR in this one, probably easily, despite the illness I have.

OK, gotta go. Someone's crying. Fun.

Today's stats:
Distance: three miles
Time: 32:37
Pace: 10:52 minute/mile

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hit and miss

Geesh, I have been sporadic lately with the working out. I didn't get a chance to run all weekend because I was still feeling like crapola and I had a ton of things to do. This being sick thing is for the birds. It has been wicked awful trying to act like a normal human being while feeling like I am going to die because my head is so stuffed up.

But luckily I think I am really starting to kick this illness. I ran tonight and it was pretty good. I've found that even though I haven't worked out as often as I want recently, I have been putting more intensity into these workouts, which is a trade-off I can live with, for now anyway.

Switching gears, I got my score for my first practical exam that we took more than a week ago. Our professor warned us that this test is the one students usually do the worst on, but it's OK because our lowest test score is automatically dropped. I got 83 out of 100, a B, which I was fairly happy with. A lot of people did a lot worse than I did. It was a hard test, with some tricky questions that I missed. But life goes on and I am sure I will do better on the next test.

Today's stats:
Distance: 3.5 miles
Time: 37:30
Pace: 10:42 minute/mile