Monday, April 29, 2013

Christie Clinic 2013 Illinois Marathon / Half / 10K Event

Liz and me, pre-race
Well my first big race for 2013 is in the books. I have been SO excited gearing up for this one. The Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon event is my 4th 10k (and the third time I've race the 10k at this event). The 10k is the longest distance I've raced to date (though that will change next weekend) so it's a big marker for me and I was looking for a PR. The other reason this is such an important one for me is more... soft. I was EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED with last year's results at this race, and I really wanted to, forgive my language, Kick the Living Shit Out Of It this year. :-) So I’ve been training hard, with that goal in mind, and even though this kicks off a huge Month Of Consecutive Races, this is the one that is most important to me.

My race-day plan was to run 2-to-2.5 mile intervals with a strict 60-second walk break. The water stops on the 10k course are spaced a little far apart for my taste, so last year I carried a water bottle. This year I forgot about that, but I only regretted that for a few minutes at a time, so I guess it worked out alright. Here is what I remember as I went through the course:

Making our way to the starting line!
I put myself in the 11-minute pace group, for the starting chute, with my friends Liz and Julie (see picture - aren't they cute!) They are both a bit faster than I am and I hung with them for most of the first mile, but then I looked at my Garmin and realized I was running 10:15-10:35... I didn't think I could keep that up, so I forced myself to slow it down a notch and let them run ahead. Man, that was hard to do - I was feeling great! But you're not there yet... your fastest 5k was at 11:07 - you're not able to maintain a 10:30 pace over 6 miles... back it off, Chris. So Okay, I backed off. Someday...

Anyway, from there on out I was on my own, and I was still feeling great. I was able to feel really good about slowing up, too. I knew it was the right thing to do. I'm never going to get a PR by going out too fast! So yes, I stuck with my plan: I took a 60 second walk at mile 2, (I did walk the water stop around mile 3 but that was mere seconds. I simply have not mastered the art of drinking while running. I did pour some of the water on my head though - I was hot!) and mile 4.

My mojo took a little hit before mile 3.5 - I found I was going a bit slower and doubting myself.  Maybe it was just my legs saying – “hey, aren’t we usually done with the race by now??  5k was done 4 minutes ago!”  I wonder…  But don’t you just LOVE when that happens, and your iPod swoops in to save the day???  Elton John – “I’m Still Standing” – came on just when I was faltering, and got me going again.  Got my mind right and I just kept on running, like Forrest Gump. 

I remember Miles 4-5 from the last two years.  This is where I mentally hit a wall in years past.  I got slow and my legs turned to lead.  This year I had a plan to counteract:  during the mile 4 walk-break I also took one Shot Blok. (Side note, I thought about having one when I had that faltering moment earlier, but decided I’d be better off taking it on schedule.  I didn’t want to “give myself permission” to break from plan – I might “have to” walk in order to dig out the package and I just didn’t want to go there.) I considered taking two but I didn’t have any water to drink with them, so kept it to just the one.  Besides, it’s not a marathon – it’s just 6.2 miles.  All I really needed was a little sugar and some electrolytes to counteract that mental block I anticipated during the next 15-20 minutes of my race.

Miles 4-5 are just mentally tough for me, I think.  I remember a lot about them.  There’s a long, slow incline at one point, and I saw it coming and tried to remember my mantras – I’ve sort of been using two:  one for general use (“Be Strong, Finish Strong”) and one for hills (maybe more of a Tips and Tricks than a Mantra, but “Push Off, Don’t Dig In”).  My iPod was really earning its keep here, too.  During miles 4-5 I had some great songs to run to, and made mental notes of a few, just because they really made me feel happy and created that space where I could really enjoy my run and feel awesome in that moment…  Dan Bern, “Never Fall in Love”; The Replacements, “Bastards of Young”; Jet, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”.  If you don’t have these, you should definitely go get them!

I planned a shorter walk interval at mile 5.5 – just enough to make me feel like I had TONS of energy for a strong finish – but the water stop at 5.0 pretty much replaced that.  I tried to reserve a little gas in the tank during that last mile, without slowing down too much.  I kept checking my Garmin for pace and tried to keep it between 12:00 and 11:00. 

During the last half-mile or so, you go across a main road in Champaign and under a bridge / overpass, and that’s where I saw Mitch – owner of our local running shoe / apparel store Often Running – sitting and cheering runners on!  I believe Often Running sponsors a team of runners in the marathon and half marathon, and of course they are fast.  I yelled out his name and waved.  It made me feel so good to see someone I know along the course! 

Somewhere around this point, I happened to look at my watch and see that it had JUST turned to the 60:00 minute mark. My time goal - and I knew it was quite a stretch! - was to finish in 1:10:00 or less. I had a little less than a mile to go and ten minutes to get there.
Can you run 0.8 miles in under ten minutes?
Hell, I don't know, but let's find out!
I think I may have mixed up my subtraction at this point, doing the simplest math in my head, while running, is more difficult than it should be, considering my job, but there it is. I think I had a full mile left to go, not just 0.8. 

Then, another of those iPod Saves The Day moments:  it’s like the thing knew I was nearing the end and it was time to bring out the Big Guns to keep me moving strong and fast.  Songs that came to save the day at the very end: The Strokes, “Last Night” and The White Stripes, “Rag and Bone”; followed by the Ramones’ “Beat on the Brat”. As I turned onto the final stretch, basically a big driveway that leads to the stadium entrance, I heard Hole start up but I wanted all my concentration on speed now, so I yanked out my headphones and focused on a point just a few feet in front of me, (to make sure I didn’t trip over anything!), and dug in. 

My field of vision narrowed and I could no longer see the people lining the side of the walkway, the wonderful crazy encouraging signs they held.  I heard nothing.  I tuned it all out and just … well, I ran!  I didn’t concern myself with the cameras, including video, which I knew were there, or wonder if my friends had already finished and were on the sidelines looking for me, it was just me and that field and that finish line. 

I have GOT to give a huge shout-out to all the people who organized this race and to ALL the spectators and volunteers!!  The number of spectators at this event is really humbling and so many people are out on their lawns or in their driveways, holding up all kinds of signs and wearing costumes, with their kids, just an enormous level of community support for this race (which by the way, shuts down portions of the University of Illinois campus and much of downtown Champaign / Urbana and holds up traffic ALL over the place for 6-8 hours on a Saturday!)!! My favorite was probably the family with the “candy station” (rather than a water station) – handing out jelly beans and Smartees! – and the family group with a large sign that said “Way to Go Random Stranger!” “You’re awesome Random Stranger!” – so funny and really cute. 

10k Finisher Medal, #4 done!


My official time was 1:11:29!!  That's a full 4 minutes faster than the We Care 10k (note the shirt I'm wearing in today's pics) back in September and I can hardly believe it but it's actually a FULL 7 (SEVEN!) MINUTES faster than one year ago at this same race. Last April my time was 1:18:25.

Random Race stats:

Overall I placed 1,338 of 2,350 participants
Women's division overall: 798 of 1,605 - in the top 50%!
Age Group Results: 111 out of 212 - close to top 50% but not quite!
Sweet, I forgot to upload some of my Garmin stats:  I hadn't even looked at them yet, in fact!
Mile 3 was, indeed, my slowest (partly due to the 60 second walk at the beginning of that mile)
Miles 4-5 were a bit slower, but all-in-all, right on pace for what I was expecting!
And LOOK at that Mile 6 - the last full mile, my FASTEST one!
Stats - CHECK OUT MILE 6!  Fastest one!!  Full stats here


Post-race, the plantar fasciitis on my left foot was bothering me and my right hip was absolutely on fire. I was walking with a pretty significant limp by mid-afternoon, even after taking a nap.  My attitude was:  “That's not going to keep me from celebrating tonight!”  And it did not.  I took a shower and some Advil, threw on a dress and some heels and hit the town with my man.  And shockingly, even though I was really scared to get out of bed Sunday morning, it was fine by then.  There’s a little “ghost” of a thing there, but it’s what’s always there.  I’m calling it my Hi There, You’re Almost Forty! hip-pain.


The most interesting part of the race may be the fact that I almost didn't make it there in the first place. I had all my race gear laid out on the couch in the living room so that I didn't have to (a) get dressed in the dark, or (b) wake up anyone in the process.  I had a little "overnight" bag with a change of clothes, more deodorant, food, etc., and my little "belly-bag" with ShotBloks, Garmin, gum and gloves, ID and music.  I got up on time (4:30am!) got the coffee going, ate my yogurt while I waited for the coffee, and headed out the door.  I got about 20 miles away before I realized I had forgotten the ONLY thing I REALLY needed.

I did not have my race bib.

Oh my god, I do not have my race bib!  No race bib, no race.  No timing chip, no results, it's likely someone would kick me off the course at some point.  No race bib, NO race. 

I was "on time" at this point, but did not have 40 minutes or so to spare, to drive all the way back home, get the thing and head back out!  (I was nearly in tears, I cannot overstate how very distressing this was!!)  Thank goodness, The Teenager works graveyard shift, but had had that night off work, so I knew he was wide awake and playing video games when I left at 5:15.  I called his cell - hooray, he answered!! - and he agreed to grab my bib and meet me at a movie theater on the edge of town, roughly half-way between where I was, and the house.  The meeting-place couldn't have been more perfect.  I think I was there about 90 seconds before he drove up.  He tossed me the bib, and sent me on my way! 

With all that, I still got to the race in time to navigate the traffic and closed roads and find a place to park. I missed the start of the full and half-marathon, but was close enough to hear the National Anthem and the band playing when they started.  So I didn't get to cheer for my friends who were running the longer races, but I did locate Liz and Julie, utilize the porta-potties, and make it to my start on time.

Lesson of the day (besides, the obvious, PACK YOUR BIB, STUPID!):  Teenagers.  They're not ALL bad.  Every now and then they really have your back! 

PS I made cookies for The Teenager on Sunday night.  I'm calling them "Thank You For Saving My Ass Yesterday" cookies.  They came in Semi-sweet Chocolate and Oatmeal Scotchie flavors.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Steady As She Goes

I'm having so much trouble getting myself under control this week, food-wise. I feel like I've lost all motivation to make healthy choices in that department. I don't feel like I'm Quitting; but I do feel like I'm... On A Break. Not sure what to do about it.  (Is that ALLOWED?)

I've been focusing a lot of energy on planning for my four upcoming events: here's my list of things to do Friday to prep for the Big One on Saturday:

It's all very well thought out. Now why can't I consistently apply these same principles to the food I eat??

If I knew the answer to that one, I guess we'd be all done here & I'd be at my Goal Weight already, right?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

It's HARD to Recap Two Weeks at Once

I haven't written a proper post in quite a while, which is a shame... it's been a pretty eventful couple of weeks.  I'll give you a short recap and then move on.

First, the bad news:  after Easter, there was leftover pie.  A lot of it.  And I like my pie.  So the following week's weigh-in I was up 2 lbs.  Last weekend's weight was up another 0.5 lbs, and today another 1.0.  Ugh.

Contributing factors:  I've given this a lot of thought and I don't want to over-analyze it, but there are a few things going on besides food and exercise.  The past two weeks have been really stressful at work - I've been working to meet a couple of nasty deadlines, and preparing a presentation - I'll be teaching a 90-minute course later this week and I'm preparing it from scratch.  This is a whole new thing for me, and I'm trying not to freak out about it too much.  The deadlines I'm under on my other projects are helping to keep me distracted!  So the past two weeks have involved quite a few late nights, travel days, skipped workouts, and junk food.  (Plus, there was that pie.)  I also started taking a new medication recently, which is really wreaking havoc with my appetite.  I'll be nauseated and really hungry simultaneously - leaves me feeling really confused and never sure what I can eat that will leave me feeling better, rather than worse. Just another week on the meds and I'll be able to get back to normal (I hope).

6-workout roundup:  Yes, in the past two weeks I have had only six workouts.

9-miler - Two weeks ago, I was excited to head out on my longest-ever distance workout!  I've GOT to give you a little rundown on that one.  I laid out my route a few days ahead of time (this works as a great motivator taking that first step out the door - I highly recommend it!) and reviewed it daily to remember where the turns were.  My plan was to run in intervals of 2.5 miles, broken by short walk breaks.  That worked REALLY well.  The weather was extraordinary - warm but not hot - but it was REALLY windy - upwards of 20 mph throughout.  I did have to take a couple of longer breaks when we got near the creek along the route, because it was warmer than I anticipated, and I didn't have a spare water bottle for Coty.  i took a couple of pics during one of these stops.  I got one of the turns wrong after all, so ran a total of 9.12 miles and finished in under 2 hours.  I kept the pace really easy - the whole idea was base-building and getting that distance in, not speed - and came in with an average moving pace of about 12:30/mile.  (Stats here.)

The Monday following this little excursion, I headed out for a 3-mile training run.  It was supposed to be an "Easy Recovery Run," but this is what I wrote in my training journal:  "Shitty run.  3.10 in 43:42."  I believe my body was simply not ready for another run after Saturday's long, long-run.

That Tuesday, Jason surprised me be being home from work early and we took a lovely walk together with Coty.  It's so nice now that the weather is improving and we can get outside together more.

Wednesday, of course, the weather turned on us.  We had quite a nasty thunderstorm, and my Ride The Wave group run was canceled.  We were to run the full race route for the Lake Run - something I've been looking forward to since the program started eight weeks earlier - so I was really disappointed by the cancellation.  I lucked out, though, and a number of members decided to meet at the Lake the following night and run it together.  I had a great time running with Kathy and getting to know her that evening!  Coty met up with this lonely stuffed animal (see below) on one of the bridges, and she had her first-ever encounter with real-live cattle!  Being a cattle-dog, she was fascinated and completely entranced, and nagged at one of the cows until he moved off toward the rest of the group!

Sadly, I didn't stop to take pics of her with the cows... perhaps another time.  Anyway, I had my first run of the full 7.47 mile outer loop.  (Stats here.)  I'll have one more chance to run it before the race (two weeks from now), so I'll have an opportunity to evaluate it again, but I think I'll shoot for something between 1:25 and 1:30 for race time.

Again, two days after this longer run, I attempted an "Easy Run" and it didn't go well:  training journal states "Lousy run, Nice walk."  4.17 miles in 1:12.  Yeah, there wasn't much running going on that day, but it was a lovely day for a walk.

That Sunday (this is a week ago now), I tried again, and WOW was that better!  5.52 in 1:20 - now THAT's what I'm talking about.  There's a BIG smiley-face in my training journal for that day!!

This past week was when things at work just blew up on me.  I worked late on Monday and Tuesday and RTW got rained out again (speed work was the plan for this week, bummer) due to another ill-timed thunderstorm.  Thursday and Friday I was travelling for work, so on the whole, NO EXERCISE this week...

But I stuck with my plan for another LONG, long-run this weekend.  There was a group fun run planned by the Lake Run Club, benefiting a local children's advocacy and foster care / adoption organization.  They had routes of 3, 6 and 9 miles marked out, and the start was just 3/4-mile from my place, so I brought Coty and walked there and back, and in-between we ran / walked the whole 9 miles.  All-in-all we got in a total of 10.5 miles for the day!

I got to run the first 3 miles with my friend Cheryl who is recovering from a back injury, so we did a tightly-structured 2/1 run walk interval workout for that portion.  It was a great way to keep me from diving in too quickly after having a full week off - I was excited and happy to be back on the trail!  The rest of the run it was just me and Coty, and we sort of had a blast.  Miles 4-6 I lost all structure and ran / walked whenever I felt like it.  To get to the half-way point, we had to head out north of town, past Northtown Road and past the end of the Trail, onto the highway for about a quarter-mile, then on a country road for another 3/4 mile before turning around.  Miles 7-9 I tried to refocus and run for longer stretches - I repeated "Shut up and run!" in my head whenever I got distracted and felt temped to slow or walk.  These long runs teach so much about the mental side of this sport:

The truth is, my legs will keep going until I tell them to stop.  The only thing that remains to be trained at this point is my mind.

Lessons Learned the past two weeks:
1) After a long run, I need more than 2 days of recovery before I am ready for another good one.  (Another reason to go to the gym & get that cross-training in)
2) I can NOT eat leftover pie for days after Easter.  Neither can I eat pizza... I saw a great image on Facebook one day this week:  "I am not dieting to lose weight.  I am eating according to my goals."
3) These stressful times and those times when my eating is "untamed" or when I'm not able to get my workouts in, it's more important to spend this time thinking and writing about the process.  This is when it's MOST important and must be prioritized, even if it's shorter posts because time is short.
4) It's hard to recap two weeks of whatever-it-is-I-write-about in a single post.  I'll try not to put myself in such a position again.
5)  #5 I already mentioned.  But I like it and I'm happy to repeat it here:

The only thing that remains to be trained at this point is my mind.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I have a touch of the writer's block.  I've read so many eloquent posts and essays in response to the senseless tragedy at the Boston Marathon, and I just have no words.  So while the past week has been eventful in terms of my own personal journey, it all seems so trivial and unworthy in comparison.

There was a group of local runners running Boston this year.  All have been accounted for and safe.  Several are involved in my running group and one mentioned she had finished just 8 minutes before the bombings.  Eight minutes.  That's 18 seconds per mile.  18 seconds slower over 26.2 miles and you're at the finish line when the bomb goes off, instead of picking up your chocolate milk and wearing your medal.  It's all just too close to home.

I may be at a loss for words, but many others are not.  The running community is one close-knit group - it's just that:  a community.  They are incredibly supportive and encouraging and resilient and strong.  And they endure.  (It's a f***king ENDURANCE sport.  Duh.)

Here is some of what I've read and appreciated the past two days:

The Colbert Report intro 4/16/13 blog post

Next post, I will be back to my regularly-scheduled blogging.  I'll be running 9 miles Saturday morning with the Lake Run Club - a donate-what-you-wish charity run to benefit a local nonprofit that benefits children.  This is not in response to the bombings; it was planned months ago.  And Sunday I will be volunteering at the finish line of a 5k, supporting my community.  Because it's MY community now.  And this is what we do.  And this week, we all run for Boston.

from Life in the Day of a Runner - check them out!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Where I've Been, Part II

Back in 2001, I graduated from college having developed some really terrible habits.  I tended to study in some serious Danger Zones:  places like Bakers Square, Denny's - you know, the open-all-night joints that will give you all the coffee you want and as long as they're not busy, you can stick around till you've finished your homework.
This is a TERRIBLE picture of me, but a good example of where I was at.  This is, I think, Summer 2000
Graduation (duh) May, 2001
I don't remember exactly what my weight was, but there are some very scary photos that tell me it was probably around 200, maybe even a smidge higher.

Once I found a job and passed the CPA exam, I stopped eating out as much (my time was taken up with more "normal" activity working in an office, not surrounded by food all the time.)  I don't recall joining a gym or really exercising much, but I'd guess I dropped 10-15 pounds just from changing my daily routine.

Jason proposed about a year later.  For various reasons, we wanted to have a long engagement - we had about two years to plan, prepare, and save up to pay for the party we wanted to throw.  And, of course, to drop that excess weight.

I joined a gym and took a hard look at what I was eating, and how much.  I set out to lose 1.5 lbs per week, and actually placed my weekly goal weights on my calendar at work.  Again, I don't remember what weight I started out at, but I do remember that I was "predicting" that I would reach my goal weight (between 140 to 145) a few weeks before the wedding.

As I recall, a typical day's food intake went something like this:

Breakfast:  protein bar (250 cal) or a fat-free yogurt (this in the days before the wonder that is Greek yogurt, which I eat all the time now and really love.  I really didn't like the stuff at all - the old yogurt, that is)
Snack:  none, but I was usually starving by lunch time so I would take lunch a bit earlier.
Lunch:  Frozen entree, something like a Lean Cuisine or Michelina's (250-300 cal), or a protein bar and possibly some chips.  I did try the Slim-Fast shakes, but those left me so hungry, that really didn't last long.
Dinner:  this was a lot more flexible, as Jason was (and is) the main cook in the house.  I was really rigid about keeping the portion sizes small and never, never, ever having a second helping.

I worked out several times a week.  I paid $9.99 per month for a web site that would give me workout routines so that I had some direction when it came to strength training.  (This in the days before the wonder that is the Smart Phone App, I received a daily email with my assignment for the night, very specific with pictures and descriptions of the exercises, # of reps, and how much weight to use.  I would print that out and take it with me to the gym.  I always felt a little conspicuous walking around with my paper and pen, taking notes about any variation I did on the fly, but it worked for me.  It was actually a LOT like the app I use now.)  I avoided the treadmill like it was a high school bully out to get me.  Most of my cardio came on the elliptical and the StairMaster, though I did try out a few group classes now and then - I particularly liked the "Boot Camp" class, it really kicked my ass every time I did it.  I did 5 minutes or so of stretching before and after every workout.  I weighed myself weekly at the gym but didn't have a scale at home.

I started out at a small, locally-owned women-only gym.  (It was not a chain, you've never heard of it, I really think it may have been one-of-a-kind.)  Part of the gym's program was to take my measurements once a month - upper arm, thigh, calf, waist and hips.  Jason worked on Saturdays then, and I stopped going out on Friday nights.  Instead, I would hit the gym and then have a "cheat" meal afterward, but no booze and I hit the sack early.  About a year in, I changed gyms.  I moved to Gold's Gym, mainly because they had a tanning bed on-site (wedding tan, you know).  I would "reward" myself with a tanning session after each workout.  It was there that I learned that those big, bulky guys in the "free-weights" area and at the cable station were really nice, very helpful and super supportive!  I really felt like I was walking into someone else's territory in the first few months, with my assigned workouts and my pen & paper, but eventually I learned to "own" it and started feeling like it was "my" area too.

  • Exercise!  Yes, I was working out 4 to 5 times a week.  Cardio, check.  Strength training, check!
  • Food:  meh.  I was working with severe portion control, but it was enforced by eating packaged foods.  Super high sodium, not really balanced, just eating as little as possible.
  • Well, I DID lose the weight.  Again, it was a really long time ago, so I don't remember what my weight was just before the wedding. but I can tell you this much:  my dress was too big.  
  • Food:  yeah, thinking of all that packaged food now makes me feel a little sick.  This is not the path to portion control.  This is not a healthier relationship with food!  
  • Environment:  I didn't really have much in the way of a support group - honestly I didn't know what I was missing.  Jason was, of course, incredibly supportive as always.
  • Goal:  Here's where the biggest problem is, I think.  My goal was inappropriate.  I had a short-term vision for what has been a lifelong challenge.  The goal was "to lose 1.5 pounds per week so that I look good in all those damn pictures, and maybe on the honeymoon too.  Yeah, that would be good, I would like to look great on my honeymoon too."  The RIGHT goal would have been something like this:  "I want to be at a healthy weight so I live a long time with my new husband."

Despite the major flaws listed above, I DID lose the weight.  I don't mind telling you, I looked damn fine on my wedding day.  I'll venture a guess that I was as small as a size 10, something I hadn't seen since high school.  Some of my favorite pics:
Diva pose
Bridal Shower
Bridal Shower
Best.  Picture.  EVER.  Taken.  of me.
My mom's favorite.  She says I look like royalty.
Okay, this is partly an excuse to put up my favorite wedding pictures!
Last one.  From our honeymoon.  What was I doing, wearing jeans in that weather?  But wow, they look WAY too big.

I swear to god, I actually fell off the wagon at the wedding reception!  Okay, maybe not quite that fast, but by the time we got back from the honeymoon I was up at least 10 pounds.  Which really wasn't so bad, I mean I could have happily stayed at that weight damn near forever.

Of course we all know THAT didn't happen.  Changes were ahead, and MANY of them for the better, but for my health / fitness... well, maybe not so much.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

March 2013 Goals & Challenge Update

So yes, yes yes, I'm working on that Where I've Been, Part II post - I haven't procrastinated it out of existence. I actually have started on it, but it requires some... polish.

In the meantime, March has closed its doors and we are INTO April! Spring is well on her way to join us, there are flowers creeping up and poking their little purple heads into the sunlight, and come to mention it, the SUN has returned and has almost become a source of HEAT again!

You know what this means.

Time for the March 2013 challenge update!

Here goes:
Reminder in case you weren't paying attention at the first of the year:
My official goal for 2013 is to run, walk and / or bike 500 miles as quickly as possible.
The other Challenge items for this year are:

  1. Ultimate mileage goal is to run/ walk 500 miles (excluding bike miles).
  2. Complete my first half marathon race.
  3. 5K race time under 35 minutes.
  4. 10K race time under 1 hour 10 minutes.
  5. Test Mile time under 10 minutes. DONE

I ran this month's miles for:

Additional stats for this month and year-to-date:

Random facts for March:
Trips to Lake Bloomington:  1
Number of Test Miles:  1
Longest distance in a single run:  8.0
Races:  2
Number of new PR's:  2
Best 5k time:  34:31
Group runs:  4, including 1 speed workout and 1 hill workout
Runs in snow / ice:  2
Runs cancelled or altered due to weather conditions:  3
Ice-related injuries:  NONE!
Super awesome Green Day concerts attended:  1
Car accidents (not so narrowly) avoided:  1
Facebook pages started:  1  (click here!)
Weight change for the month:  4.7 lbs.

YES!  Another 2013 goal has been accomplished this month!  

3.  5K race time under 35 minutes. DONE (Race recap here)

I do have one race scheduled at the end of April, so one chance for a new PR this month, and it's a BIG one.  This will be my 4th 10k race and I'm training hard for it.  I've been building my base miles (planning 9 this Saturday) and I have my eye on that - oh crap that says 1 hour and TEN minutes???  I gotta go.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Lies, Mo-Jo, Photos and Music

I awoke today with more than my share of motivation!

Plowed through work and had a very productive day, and headed home looking forward to a nice run in the bright sunshine and 40-degree weather.  I had a great run on Saturday - 6.2 miles in about and hour and 15 minutes - and a light, easy three miler was on tap for this evening.

Once through the warm-up, the first few minutes of running were troubling.  Heavy legs.  But my mo-jo was in overdrive, so I used a beginners' trick:  run for 5 minutes, take a short break, then get going again.  (Besides, the dog had some business to attend to.)  I must always remember when this happens:  my legs are liars.  They are insipid, fickle, lazy things, and they sometimes lie.  They are NOT made of lead.  They are light as air, they are strong and full of energy.  Knocked out the 2.5-mile running portion of today's route in about 32 minutes.  Not too shabby for someone with legs of iron, huh?

So, I guess I'm going in reverse order today.  Sunday, Easter, was lovely.  No exercise, too much food, lots of good conversation with great company over at grandma's house. There was pie.  And plenty of it.  With Cool Whip topping.  Oh, yeah.  That happened.

But in keeping with my reverse timeline for the weekend, my Sunday morning weigh-in was a big surprise!  You may recall that last Sunday I had been celebrating and eaten too much food the night before, and found the scale sadly increased by 1.5 pounds.  This week, I had NOT eaten my weight in Mexican food the night previous.  In fact, I had a pretty reasonable week, food-wise, and was reasonably active.  And I was rewarded!  Down 3.5 pounds from the previous weigh-in.  Okay, so let's ignore last week's weigh-in debacle, even if I discount that, it's a full 2 pounds down over two weeks - WAHOO!

This may have something to do with my big mo-jo surge today - I realized after the weigh-in that I am now 20.5 pounds from my goal weight!  This I find very encouraging.  I did a bit of research after this little revelation and found that I'm just shy of my lowest weight in five years.  The last time I was near this weight (165.5 as of today) was in May 2008 when I logged in at 162.0.  This was after a year or so on Weight-Watchers.  That was where I got stuck, and where I stayed, until I started gaining the weight back.  But I'm getting off-track... that story's for another post.

Back-tracking to Saturday:  an absolutely gorgeous day for a run, and boy, did I take advantage of it.  I had been out the night before with friends, out of town, at a concert (more on that in a bit... reverse timeline, remember?) and got home around 2am.  I just couldn't sleep at that point, and didn't sleep well once I did pass out.  I think I ended up sleeping from about 3am to 7am.  Oh well, sometimes that's just the price you pay for a FREAKING AWESOME night!  I had some cereal and coffee, watched TV for a bit, and got Coty ready for some Action.  I'm doing my LONG runs every OTHER week, and this was my off-week, so my long run was relatively short:  a practice 10k.  I really didn't know if I'd have the energy for it after the night I'd had, but I'd planned out a new route on MapMyRun as early as Tuesday and had been working to memorize it all week.  I was looking forward to trying it out.  Good thing for the planning; otherwise I may have wimped out and done a much shorter run!  Not much to say about it other than I really enjoyed it, and was really proud of myself for the follow-through.

After the run, I made those pies.  And they.  Were.  Amazing.  I'm really good at that.  Then I was heading out for our usual Saturday night festivities but Jason had to run some errands with his brother and I was left alone after 8pm and no longer knew what to do with myself.  Obviously, I chose to do my makeup and then take a picture of myself:

Now to the most fun part of today's post:  Friday night's concert!  It was a last-minute invitation and I'm SO glad my friends called.  I went to see GREEN DAY - one of my favorite bands - and with two of my very favorite people, former co-workers and dear friends, and members of the band I often go and see - Triple Charge Time.

Here we are before and during the show:

The show was fantastic - as you may expect, very high-energy - they played nearly all of my favorite songs, including several that are in frequent-rotation on my running playlist, and especially "Know Your Enemy" which may well be my favorite of their songs.  I can't say enough good things about the show!!

Our seats were fantastic - relatively close in a smallish venue - here are a couple of shots I got with my phone:

So that's my weekend wrap-up and weigh-in report for a Monday night.  I hope your weekend and your Monday were as fun-filled and action-packed as mine were!  Keep that mo-jo working all week long!!

Oh, and don't forget to "Like" my page on Facebook!

Know Your Enemy lyrics:

Do you know the enemy?Do you know your enemy?Well, gotta know the enemy, wah hey
Do you know the enemy?Do you know your enemy?Well, gotta know the enemy, wah hey
Do you know the enemy?Do you know your enemy?Well, gotta know the enemy, wah hey
Violence is an energyAgainst the enemyWell, violence is an energy, wah hey
Bringing on the furyThe choir infantryRevolt against the honor to obey
Overthrow the effigyThe vast majorityWell, burning down the foreman of control
Silence is the enemyAgainst your urgencySo rally up the demons of your soul
Do you know the enemy?Do you know your enemy?Well, gotta know the enemy, wah hey
Do you know the enemy?Do you know your enemy?Well, gotta know the enemy, wah hey
The insurgency will riseWhen the blood's been sacrificedDon't be blinded by the lies in your eyesSing!
Well, violence is an energy, oh ay, oh ayWell, from here to eternity, oh ay, oh ayWell, violence is an energy, oh ay, oh ayWell, silence is the enemy so gimme gimme revolution!
Do you know the enemy?Do you know your enemy?Well, gotta know the enemy, wah hey
Do you know the enemy?Do you know your enemy?Well, gotta know the enemy, wah hey
Do you know the enemy?Do you know your enemy?Well, gotta know the enemy, wah hey
Overthrow the effigyThe vast majorityBurning down the foreman of control
Silence is the enemyAgainst your urgencySo rally up the demons of your soul