Thursday, April 29, 2010

oh, the places i go...

If you are a runner, then I am sure you have occasionally found yourself in the unfortunate predicament of experiencing a bathroom emergency on your run.  I have often thought about how this would make a Seinfeldian, Kramer-esque coffee-table book. Remember how he made the coffee table book about coffee tables? I'd like to make one dedicated to all the bathrooms I have visited while running.

Just this morning I had to duck into the Emergency Room at the hospital, for a very personal type of emergency.  The nurse at the desk looked at me like I was insane. I can't believe they didn't keep me.  Here I was, running through the ER doors at 6am, sweaty and rocking mis-matched running gear and an ipod, looking for the loo.  But I had to go. And this was the only place open at this hour. What would you have done?

Last Saturday for our 20 miler I had the same thing happen.  Around mile 11 I had to go potty, and the only place was this little, teensy, tiny cafe in the middle of nowhere that farmers and other crusty, old men go to discuss politics.  When I walked in, it was like those old movies where the record skips when someone new walks in.  There they were, all staring at me like I was on fire, and I had to ask where the bathroom was.  Good times. 

One nice thing about racing is that there are tons of port-o-potties, so if the urge hits, there is a place to go. 

Have you had to go potty in a crazy place before?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

20 miles. done.

20Well, actually 19, but I think it's close enough to call it 20.  And it went pretty well, actually.  I had finally wrapped my little brain around the fact that we were going to log the big two-zero on a treadmill, but on Saturday morning it ended up being sunny and beautiful, and actually got quite warm during the run. Sorry, pictures. We took some, but I don't have them yet. When I get them, I will post them.

Although I usually figure out where we are going to run, this time my buddy, Jayme, put the course together. I have to say it was kind of nice to not have to worry about that. It can get pretty time consuming sitting on and trying to think of running routes, and I simply didn't have time last week.  She chose a 20 mile loop that involved running on some old highways. It was pavement all the way, and the roads were not busy traffic-wise, so we could run out on the road for most of the way instead of off on the side.

The first five miles were a breeze, except that Jayme realized she was overdressed and I realized I didn't have sunscreen on (we both struggled with the "treadmill to road" transition).  And, while she was able to shed a layer, all I kept thinking about was how badly I was going to be burned after the run. Since I am a pale blondie, the sun is not my friend.  Especially not after spending three hours outside sweating. 

Around mile 11, Jayme's leg started bothering her. She had gotten a charlie horse a couple of days earlier, and it was still really tight.  She is a really strong runner, but I could tell she was hurting. What a trooper, though...she just kept at it, logging one mile after another.  Our pace was a little slower than we usually run, but it was probably for the best considering the amount of miles we had to run.

I felt really good until somewhere around mile 16, and then I started to wilt a little. Although I usually run with Sportbeans, I am not loving them as much as I used to, so decided instead to try a powerbar.  I think it is really rough to chew and run at the same time, and I had a difficult time eating it. I washed it down with some water and it did make me feel better.  I guess I just needed some fuel!

We also picked up a springer spaniel somewhere around mile 9, and he stuck with us the whole way.  We finished our run, and there was the pooch, panting and just happy to be with us.  We called the Highway Patrol dispatch, but neither wanted to do anything about the dog.  Their suggestions were that we either left him there or drove him 60 miles to an animal shelter, because the pound wouldn't come get him.  WTH?!?!  I informed them that I had just finished running 20 miles and an hour-long car ride was not in the cards for me right now.  Then, I drove the pooch back where we found him and let him out of the car.   I should explain that the dog did have a collar and looked well-fed; he just didn't have a tag on, so I didn't know for sure which house he belonged to. Once I let him out of the car, he started running down the road, so I feel pretty comfortable that he knew where he was going.  Let that be a lesson to you dog owners; put tags on your pooches! 

The next two weeks I start my taper, so I won't be running nearly as many miles as I was. I have to say, I am looking forward to that.  I do feel, though, that after Saturday's run that we will be able to finish the marathon in about 3 hours and 40 minutes.  The last six miles will be no joke; I most definitely felt that over the weekend.  My legs were very wobbly the last couple of miles, and I had to run up on the road instead of on the side, because the decline was hurting my hip.  My new friend, Mark, who just ran the Boston in 3 hours (yes, 3 hours. wow) told me to just take those last miles one at a  time. That's just what we're going to do.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm in.

OMG I just got into the Nike Women's Marathon! I am literally sick to my stomach right now. I totally thought I would be excited once I opened this email, but now I am scared to death at the prospect of running another marathon...especially one with so many hills!

I must start thinking about the Tiffany medal and chocolate mile and awesome swag that I will get.  Also...San Fransisco.  Fun!

Now I just have to tell my husband.  This could be tougher than any hill I will run in the race.

rain, rain, go away. I have to run 20 miles today...

My marathon is in 3 weeks.  Tomorrow is supposed to be my longest run, 20 miles. I have been getting myself mentally ready all week, planning the route, taking care of myself and staying away from those darned margaritas.  I felt ready.  Then yesterday, my running buddy messaged me and asked if we were going to run in the rain.  WTH?!?! 

I checked the forecast, and it is supposed to rain for the next 5 days straight.  I am not sure what to do.  I need to get these miles in, and it is too close to the race to be swapping weeks or anything like that. Next week I start my taper, and I need to stick with that.  I am nervous about running in the rain, because I don't want to be sick for the race.  I also don't love the prospect of logging 20 miles on a treadmill, either.  I'm stumped.  What would you do?

Today I am supposed to find out if I got into the Nike Women's marathon.  I really hope I am chosen, although it is a huge longshot.  It would be an amazing experience.  San Fransisco. Tiffany medal. Fresh seafood. Nike swag.  The list of pros goes on and on. Two of my friends also registered, and it would be so much fun to go to SF on a fun girls trip!  I have been feeling kind of sad about not choosing a large marathon for my first.  I originally thought that I would just want to log the miles the first time and not have all of the hoopla.  Now that it is getting closer, I am kind of wishing there was an expo or premeal or something.  Getting into the nike marathon would make everything better.

Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

non-traditional mommy

If there is one thing I do not want for Mother's Day, it is flowers.  I love the holiday, though. I love when my husband and kids say they are going to make me breakfast in bed, but in order for this to happen I actually have to go back to bed (I am usually getting home from a run about the time everyone else wakes up). I love how Mother's Day means we get to do all the fun stuff I want to do, like go to the park, or go get ice cream...well, those aren't so much the things "I" choose for myself, but they are chosen for me, and it is fun.  Yes, I still have to cook dinner and do the dishes and get everyone ready for bed at the end of the day. But, it's Mother's Day...what else am I supposed to do?

This year I am asking for kettlebells.  Have you heard of these? I have really been reading up on them lately, and they are supposed to be amazing weights! The idea behind them is that you hold them differently, so you engage more muscles.  It makes sense to me, and if I can get a better workout in a shorter time-period, I am all for it! 

I am 23 days out from my marathon, and am starting to look at doing some more cross-training stuff once it is over.  I will always run...I love it way too much, but I also want to incorporate more weights and yoga into my life. 

Do you work out with kettle bells? What are some good exercises?

This blog is a kind of test for my husband, to see if he reads this or not.  I guess we will find out on Mother's Day!  Come on, honey...don't let me down!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

a little off course

I've been a bad, little marathon trainee.  My marathon is 29 days away, and I am totally falling off the wagon.  I was being so good about eating healthy, getting enough water, and making my training runs.  But the last couple of weeks I have really started slacking.  An example of this; I was supposed to run 9 miles yesterday morning, but didn't because I spent Tuesday night sipping on margaritas with my girlfriends.  Not very good, Evie..not very good.

I think there is a direct correlation with the fact that the weather is getting warmer. I mean, really, let me ask you which you would rather do when the sun is shining and the temps are in the 70's and climbing...go running, or invite your besties over for some flank steaks and cocktails? That's what I thought.  Me, too.

I'm going to have to really buckle down and get focused again, though.  I am getting behind in my mileage. In fact, I had to skip class today to get my 9 miles in.  Tomorrow is supposed to be my "off" day, but instead I have to run 5 miles.  Saturday is 14, and Sunday I will need to log at least 3, just to get caught up.  I'm going to be one tired little lady!  I am also feeling like it's getting harder to make my times.  I know some of this is because I am running so much and am tired, but I also think some of it is because I am not eating and drinking what I should be.  

What do you do to get yourself back on track?  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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spring thaw

The weather is absolutely georgeous!  We had such a long, horrible winter, that when the weather started warming up I thought it was a fluke.  I have honestly been waiting for more snowfall, but now that it has been 3 weeks of warm weather, I am beginning to think that maybe it is here to stay.  I guess it is the middle of April.  Hello, Spring!

I am not the only one that has been having trouble with this concept.  As you know, my running buddies and I are pretty hardcore outside runners.  We ran outside all through the winter, most times in subzero temperatures.  I don't care how many layers you put on, or how fast or far you is still cold.  Of course, we also meet at 5:30 - 6:00am to run, so it is dark, as well.  Yesterday my friend, Karen, and I met for a 5 mile run at 6am, and it was 65 degrees outside! at 6am!  I was so excited to wear shorts and a was great!  Karen showed up wearing two pears of pants and three shirts.  She told me I was crazy to wear shorts and wondered if I would freeze.  In 60 degree weather.  I was fine.  Karen was a sweaty, hot mess by the time we finished our 5.  I hope she learned her lesson! 

Just a quick reminder to drink lots of water as the temps start climbing.  It just makes you feel better, and it helps your skin, hair, and just about everything else.  I drink bottled water during the day. It is easier for me to remember to hydrate, plus it is easy when I am on the go (which is pretty much all the time). 

How do you make sure you get enough water in your day?

Monday, April 12, 2010

pre-run fun

Saturdays are the longest running days of my week.  That means that Friday is a complete carb-loading, calorie consuming day for me.  Since my family is not running the marathon with me, they don't want to have to eat like they are, so this can cause problems for us at dinner.  This past week, my running buddies decided it would be fun to get together and have dinner together on Friday night, so we all make sure we are getting what we need to have a great run the next day. 

Jayme had us all over for grilled Alaskan salmon.  Yummy.  I made a pasta dish that had grape tomatoes, red onion, basil, EVOO, lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper. Karen brought a spinach and almond salad.  It was so yummy!  It is sad, but usually the only time we see each other is during our runs, and then it is different.  Friday, we all had our kiddos with us, and, even though the husbands got the night off (they have to watch the kids during our long runs, so we figured it was only fair), it felt really great to get together socially.  I even took a bottle of wine (which is kind of a no-no, but we had only a little bit and lots of water), and it was a nice switch to guzzling down water in the middle of nowhere!

We ate, had a great time, and went home early to rest up for our big run, which was fun.  The wind was not a huge factor, which is amazing in South Dakota, and it was sunny and warm.  One thing that we had been struggling with during our Saturday runs was hydration, so we all decided to get a hydration belt for Saturdays.  I chose the Nathan Speed 2 hydration belt, and am glad I did, because it was a great belt.  I was worried that the water would feel heavy and bouncy, but this belt fit very snugly, and so it hardly bounced and did not rub whatsoever.  Plus, I drank more water than I normally had been drinking, which helped me recover during the particulary rough patches. 

I have to say that there is a real art to drinking and running, and I am afraid I am not very good at it yet.  How do you get enough water on a really long run?

One thing that I noticed this week was that I got a rub spot on the bottom of one of my feet. This is the first time it has happened, and I can see from this weekend how it would have been a real issue by mile 26.  I am going to try to find some sort of possible remedies for this.  I read a post on that said Aquaphor is great for this, so I might try it this week to see how it feels.  I am not sure about running with greasy feet, but running with the rub spot was no picnic.

This week is a taper week, but then we are running the big 20. It will be the longest run before the race, and my longest run to date. I am both excited and scared, but know that with my buddies, I can make it through.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


In an attempt to be healthier and make better choices, I have been trying to watch the types of liquids I consume.  I drink a ridiculous amount of water in a day, and really try to stay away from soda altogether. I do enjoy my wine and beer, but since starting my marathon training I find that I hardly drink at all.  It's just not worth it!

Sometimes it is difficult to make the healthy choices, though, like when I am traveling.  This past weekend we went out of town for Easter, and as we were heading out, we stopped by the grocery store for some snacks and drinks to tide us over.  Of course, my husband chose Mountain Dew.  I detest Mountain Dew, even on my unhealthiest day, but normally I would have gotten some sort of soda to drink.  Because of my newfound desire to stay healthy, I decided to try something new.

Here is a picture of what I chose.  Cellnique.  Notice that I am riding in the car? Proof that we were, indeed, traveling.  I don't know why you wouldn't believe me...but at any rate, here is my proof.  And it is always good to have proof and documentation, my lawyer friends always say.

 Cellnique is a drink that is designed to detoxify the system.  It is 95% organic, and is meant to take all the yucky stuff out of your body and replace it with good stuff that makes you feel and look better.  With a description like that, how can you not try it?

Before I took a drink, I decided to read the ingredient list, as well as try to see what the stuff looked like.  There is a colorful plastic cover on the bottle that prevents people from seeing the whole drink, but a look at the bottom showed lots of sediment.  Fortunately, I also saw the directions that read: shake well.  The ingredients listed things like blue/green algae, spirulina algae, wheat grass juice, oat juice, and other similar products.  As I read the list to my husband he cringed, in total disbelief that I would buy something with those ingredients on purpose.  Again...he chose Mountain Dew.

I cracked the top and took a drink....and it was chewy.  Not horrible chewy, but grainy, like the sediment that I shook up didn't dissolve, but merely started floating around the liquid.  Althought I tried the Berry-Grape flavor, the liquid was green in color, and reminded me a lot of the chlorophyll shooters that I used to drink in my twenties (not like berries or grapes at all).  Still, I kind of liked the taste...very natural and earthy, and despite all the sediment, it did refresh me somewhat.  I probably won't drink them all the time, but I will maybe grab one now and then for a healthy bevarage alternative.

My husband's curiosity got the best of him and he also tried it.  He is not a fan of earthy-tasting, chewy drinks, and will not be trying them again.  His loss!

training old-school

After taking almost a week off of training due to my recent bodily shut down, I decided that it was vital that I at least run the long Saturday run that my training calls for.  Since my marathon is only a little over a month away (yikes!), now is certainly not the time to slow down.  Of course, it was Easter weekend, so we were out of town on Saturday and had to 1.) log the miles solo, and 2.) run in an unfamiliar place.  I have raced on a running trail a few times before, so decided that I would drive to the trail early Saturday morning and do a nice out-and-back run.  This way I would be finished before my training schedule completely interfered with the weekend plans (we had family pictures scheduled for that day, as well as tons of Easter know how it is).
So, I woke up bright and early, got myself together, and drove to the running path.  I got out of the van and getting my ipod ready to go ipod (and nike+ mile-logging system) dies.  Since I never run without my nike+ anymore, I had a small panic attack at the thought of not being able to check my pace, time, or distance, much less being able to see my run "count" on my profile.  There would be no little dancing "mini me" after today's run. 
I recovered rather quickly from this, since at least I was running on a path and the mile markers would tell me how far I have gone, and decided to get going, anyway.  Nothing was holding me back from making this run, not even the inconvenience of not having any music to listen to.  In fact, it felt kind of liberating, like a return to nature or something.  I started down the road to catch the jogging trail, and as soon as I got to where I turn off to it, I run into a very large "Road Closed" sign.  WTH?!?!  First the ipod, now this? It's like the running Gods were mad at me for taking the week off. 
I just kept running down the road, turned onto a large street, and just kept on going.  The road turned out to be very hilly, which provided a pretty good workout.  Fortunately, it was early enough that there was not much traffic.  I even saw quite a few joggers out, and felt good that I had possibly happened on a popular "running road".  The silence was amazing.  I loved just hearing the birds, a few cars, my breath, and the noises of "morning" as I jogged along. 
I ran as far as I could go, then turned around and ran back.  I had no idea how far I had run, but knew that it wasn't anywhere near the 12 I was supposed to run.   I drove the route afterwards and clocked the distance, and I ended up running 8 miles.  Not as far as I would have liked, but I still felt victorious.  Something changed in me that day, too.  I realized that I have a tendency to get so wrapped up in logging and pacing and graphing my workouts, I forget to just run. And, I love to run.  I guess I just needed a reminder.  So, maybe the running Gods were sending me a message, but not an angry one. 
This morning I ran completely nike+ and ipod free, and it was great.  I will still use them for my longer runs, simply because it is nice to have a pace, distance, and time monitor, but I am not married to it any longer.  That feels pretty free.