Sunday, October 24, 2010

I'm just not going to talk about it

Maybe I will a little bit. These are the horsies that ran up to me to say "HI"

Hi Horsies. Who's the cute little pony? Who is? Yes! You are!

The cows were a bit snobbish.

This is where I was chased down by the huge wolf sized vicious dog. 

Fine, maybe it was a dachsund.

Oh, here are the horsies again! Who doesn't love horsies.
Those trees....that's where I marked my territory. (It's all good in Redneck Woods). 

Why is it whenever I need a good trailer, I'm not in a place where I can write down the phone number?
Everything hurts here. Something has gone awry and taken me with it.

Don't be fooled by the sign.

I just like this sticker

Nothing says Redneck Woods better than: (SING IT WITH ME!) New York, London, Paris, Munich....everybody talk about mmmm POPMUZIK, talk about....(hey, YOU 
have YOUR music I have mine. Don't be critical).
This is a picture of a Witch humping a giraffe. I know you can't see it, but why would I take a picture of a giraffe?
Finally, the long road home...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Birthday Wishes

It went like this.

Me: Hey, I know what I want for my birthday.

Mr. Tea (suspiciously. Can you blame him? Last year, I asked for World peace): Oooookay. What do you want.

Me: okyouhavetotellmeifthisisreasonablebecausemyfeelingswon'tbehurtifitsnot.

Mr. Tea: (Now turning his full attention to me). WHAT IS IT?


cringing....waiting....for his response.

Me: But there are some conditions. (I know I'm pushing my luck here, but if the guy is going to bet me $200 for finishing a sub 5 marathon, he has it coming....don't you think?)

FIRST: We don't have to train together. No holding hands, thinking about how romantic it is that we're both runners....bullsh!t.  K?  This is serious business. I'll train my way. You train you way.

Mr. Tea (Mulling it over, which is good. He hasn't said, "No" yet, right?): What else?

Me: We run the half on race day, together. None of this "Oh, you're so fast" crap. We both know that a.) You're a guy and b.) You're A LOT younger than me.  c.) If you put your mind to it, you could be a lot faster than me. 

Mr. Tea: hmmmm. I don't have to buy you anything?

Me: Nope.

Mr. Tea: I just have to agree to doing a half marathon?

Me: (Still can't believe I haven't lost him yet): You have to give me an answer on my birthday 

(subtle hint for the audience)

Mr. Tea: When's the race?

Me: I'm thinking we'll do Colfax. It's around May 25th. That gives you 4 months to get your running up before you even have to think about training.

Before I lose my reading audience.....we must now fastforward to this morning. 

Mr. Tea and I are at JMan's football game. At halftime, Mr. Tea says, "I have my answer to your birthday request."

It's very chilly out. Mr. Tea starts stripping, right there in the stands. 

Mr. Tea: I have something to show you.

At this point, I don't know if I should be horrified or excited, so I waited.  He peels off the last layer and shows me the shirt:

2009 Colorado Colfax Half Marathon

"I'm in", he says. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

When is 6 miles NOT 6 miles

YESTERDAY was day one of the incredibly stupid marathon training. 

I have to get my wits about me. It was a tempo run. 

I had to place a rescue call, after 4.5 miles.


Since I don't like to live in the past, let's move on.

TODAY, I ran 6 miles....easy....the difference between the tempo yesterday and the easy run today? 

TODAY I ran faster than yesterday's "tempo run".

Not that I have a problem with that. Y'see, I'm old and have been running a long time. Sometimes there are just plain bad days. Analyze all you want. Me? I prefer to focus on the positive. 

It was cold. It was windy. It was overcast. Any minute snowflakes were supposed to start falling from the sky. 

Hence the reason, my "easy" run was faster than my tempo run yesterday. 

When I head out on my runs, I never really know what direction I'm going to go. If I run west/east, then I run downhill for as many miles as you can imagine, only to have to turn around and run uphill.all.the.way.home.

If I run North/South, I get the short steep hills. 

(You'll be tested on this later).

Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I decide to run the 3 miles downhill, 3 miles uphill route. 

yes, it truly sucks to be me.

When I run, I like to wear my technical marathon shirts. 

Because I don't look good running.  When people drive by and see me in the midst of a sufferfest, they think to themselves "Oh, look at that dedicated marathoner. she's out running 20 miles. that's why she looks so bad."

Nevermind that I'm doing 3 or 4 or 5 miles.

Image is everything.

But I digress. I'm out running. Running downhill is truly a beautiful thing.


A couple of things that I thought of while running uphill:

1.)  A 13:49 pace is absolutely acceptable when running the demon hill.

2.) When you have to pee and you're wearing cwx tights and they are so tight that you could never pull them up quickly should someone come around the corner and there are no have only one choice...(don't tell me you haven't done it).

3.) Did you know that your colon can get a charlie horse? It's true. I heard it on the Doctors.

4.) The top of the hill never gets closer. In fact, it moves away from you.

Speaking of hills.  It was hard. I'm clearly struggling (based on the number of cars that slowed down to make sure that I was in fact still moving)....

I really wanted to stop.

REALLY want to stop. 

You can the top of the next hill.





I have an idea.





That was not funny.

Your just a poor sport. Running out here in the cold, windy, cloudy day wearing wet pants....hey, how'd your pants get wet?

Y'know what. Just shut up.

6 miles done. 

How to recover from Stupid

A year ago, I swore off marathons. Of course, I announced it on FB for all the world to see.

THAT was my first mistake. 

Why don't I like marathons? It's a lot of time spent running when I could just as easily drive somewhere.

However, I'm rather fond of the half marathon. Therefore, In an effort to get away from the cold Colorado winter, I (once again) announced first to Mr. Tea and second on FB that I was looking for a winter HALF marathon to run.

That's when Mr. Tea (in his infinite wisdom) says "I'll pay you $100 to run marathon".

I don't DO marathons. I say to him rolling my eyes.

Then he says: Wait, I'll give you $100 for running a marathon and another $100 for finishing in under 5 hours.

Who does he think I am? That makes me feel so CHEAP.

Does Ironman count?

No, IM does not count.

Fine, whateva, I reply (again rolling my eyes). Yet, now calculating. My last marathon was 1 no 2 no 3 no 4 years ago?  5 hours? Is that even reasonable?

OK, I'll do it. 

I immediately head to FB and ask for requests on Winter marathons.

Lo and behold, friends all over the US (and even outside the US) starting saying "Come run with me in: LAS VEGAS, SAN DIEGO, ORLANDO.....etc etc etc

That, of course, begs the question as to why people want to run with me so badly.

It's because no matter how slow you are, running next to me makes you feel like a gazelle.

So....what do I do? What beautiful warm race could I run.

That's when Billy said, "Hey run the MS Blues Marathon."

Hmmmm, that one has merit. Immediately, I start thinking of Billy, Karen & I holding arms and skipping through Jackson, MS.

The thought makes me smile.

And this image pops into my head ----------> 

Of course, that's all it took.

No looking at the profile map.

No looking at the weather conditions in MS in Jan.

All I knew is that Jackson, MS is about 6000ft lower in elevation than where I am. Can't be too bad right?

It's all fun and games until you hit the REGISTRATION button.

Now that I'm registered, let's go check out some race reports.

"Coldest race I've ever done"

"Hardest course I've ever done. Who knew MS had hills?"

Then, I started getting emails from friends, "Heard you signed up for MS. You must have a death wish."

"Train on the biggest hills you can find. The course is ridiculous."

My delusional smile quickly slipped into a frown, and I started the though that  I just registered for (apparently) the hardest race on the planet....and worst of all?

it's a marathon. 26.2 miles.

that means I have to TRAIN.

I thought I could get by on amazing positive attitude.

Under normal circumstances, that would work. But now, NOW I AM running with someone who is hoping to run a 5 hour marathon....on the dead of winter.....and I haven't run a marathon in 4 years?


When you have the flu, it takes a few days. But eventually you get over it.

Stupid stays with you for a lifetime. 


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

When did running become bad?

When I was a kid, I couldn't sit through dinner without being told "you can't go back outside until you eat your dinner."

Everyone in the neighborhood spent their summers, sun up to sun down, running around outside. When school started, we dumped our books by the front door and head right back outside. 

At the time, we were "playing". As an adult, I look back and think that most of our games included running. We played tag; we ran races; we played football; we played baseball.

I look at adults around me and realize that running is now something we have to do. I know it wasn't always this way. Who wouldn't choose to go play?

When did this change take place?  I think back to my own childhood, and I think about PE class and the threatening gym teacher yelling at us that we would have to run if we didn't behave.

We would HAVE to run? At the time, we were kids. Running was a part of life. But, I also think this is where the indoctrination started. We were growing up. We were supposed to act like adults, and that meant running is a punishment.

As the years went on, this message is repeatedly pushed into our subconscious. What used to be play is now hard work, punishment. We watch our own kids out the window, dreaming of when we had that kind of energy, where we could just go all day.

Which means that we missed out on the simple fact that if we had just kept running, we could go all day.

Here's the catch....

It's not too late.

You can run for fun.

You can run for play.

You just need to run.

Don't worry about how fast you go.

Don't worry about how far you go.

When people stare at you from behind their curtains, they aren't laughing at you.

They are wondering if they could do it too.

They need inspiration.

YOU are their inspiration.

Go play.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

THE Race: Race Report Part 2

Race Day! It was finally here! 

When the alarm went off, I jumped out of bed ready to take on the day.

Really, don't laugh. I did.

If you read my report from yesterday....

You didn't read my report from yesterday? Well, you just plain suck.

Go back and read it. I'll wait.

OK, now that we're all on the same page.

This race has been my nemesis.
2009: Bad food day before the race, left me in a disastrous situation on race day.

2008: I did IM before the race and was emotionally drained. I didn't train for the the race AT ALL. My legs were ok, but lack of nutrition training cost me in the last 5k.

2007: Do I have to continue? REally?

Anyway, this year I was focused on finally getting a respectable time.

Until I decided to practice my stop, drop & roll exercise on a very short easy run, which left me with a 2nd degree sprained ankle, 2 swollen & cut up knees, and various bruises throughout....3 weeks before race day.

Sigh, I would once again take part in a sufferfest.  A sufferfest is any time a half marathon takes longer than 2:30. Look it up.

Up until the little *accident*, everything was going great. And I thought I would be able to close in on my half mary PR. It would be a stretch, but I thought I could get there.

Then I missed both my 11, 12 & 12 mile long runs, 2 tempo runs and a speed day. Not to mention, I had to take almost a week off completely.


Still with a 10 mile run under my belt (albeit a sssllllloooooowwww) 10 mile run, I decided to throw caution to wind and just go out and give it everything I had. 

Based on my strong record of failings at this race, I knew that all I had to do was beat 2:38. 

What the heck? Let's just try it.

So here I am, putting on my big girl pants ------------------------->

I get in the car.

I get on the train.

I start walking.

A guy starts walking next to me asking me about the course.

Little does he know that I know this course INTIMATELY as I've spent almost 20 hours on this course over the years. 

You tend to pay attention to details when you're slogging along. 

He asks what the course is like. 

I respond, assuming that he is a local: Not bad. Tough hill at mile 4 but it's short. After that, it's pretty much flat.

He says: Great because it's my first marathon, and I'm from Austin. 

I stare at him blankly....possibly blinking, trying to decide how to eat my words.

"You'll do great", I say and beat it out of there. 

I head to corral 1 to see if I could find Eric. No such luck.

I drop my gear bag off at the gear drop and head to corral 8.

The AVERAGE corral.

As I look around at all the AVERAGE runners, I think "these people don't look average. They look really fast."

At this point, I must fill you in on an important detail. Mr. Tea made a request of me.  He said that as soon as the gun goes off....

he wanted me to yell.....


which, of course, I thought was BRILLANT.

So the *gun* goes off, and I YELL RELEASE THE KRACKEN.  Some people smiled but everyone took 2 steps away from me. 


every party needs a pooper that's why we invited you, party pooper....

I'm running along with the fast people.

And everyone is passing me. 


But that's ok. I HAVE A PLAN. That I have not yet put into action.

la la la....we're out running a half marathon.

Things are going along well. My pace is too fast, but I figured that I would slow to a virtual stop at mile 4, as I started the climb....the longest .25 miles in the whole entire world.

Nutrition is spot on, mostly. RNR had the nerve to put water stations at every 2 miles which meant that I had to adapt my every 3 mile GU plan.  But, I was doing well. 

In fact, I was doing really well. I kept staring at my garmin. I really just want to break 2:30.

WHOA B!TCHFACE what are you talking about breaking 2:30? As of this morning, we're just trying to beat your previous record. 

Ok, 2:30-2:38....c'mon look....we're pacing to a 2:28 finish. That would really make my day.

But so would a 2:37, right? That's still a PR.

Really, could we talk about this later? I'm trying to run.

The arguing went on for awhile when we decided to just keep running whatever felt good. 

The course was rolling hills, so I could really pick up speed on the downhills. My pace was fine, but



I couldn't stop thinking about my last race....where the last 5k was horrible with cramping in every part of my body.

What if it happens again?

It won't, I rock.

But it could.

No, it won't. 

But, I didn't do my long runs. 

Who's awesome?

I'm awesome.

One mile at a time. 


At mile 6.1, I thought I was going to throw up. I can't do this. I still have 7 miles to go. that's more than I've done so far. People are STILL passing me. What's wrong with these people? Don't the see they are HURTING MY FEELINGS???

I almost started crying.

Not really. I'm sensitive, but not THAT sensitive.

At mile 8, I'm thankful I wore my SUPER SPEEDY CWX tights because if I can't actually BE fast, I should at least LOOK the part. 

You accomplish that by wearing CWX tights and not smiling.

I did both.

My race photos should certainly be entertaining.

At mile 9, I realize that people are walking, and I am PASSING THE SUPER AVERAGE PEOPLE!! ME! I'm passing people!  It's not a swim. It's not a bike.



At mile 10, I start thinking about those damn cramps again. 

Jut keep moving, don't worry about it. Do you really feel any kind of cramp coming on?

Well my butt hurts.

That's different.

My feet hurt.

You don't get feet cramps.

Then, all of a sudden I was at mile 11.

Then, 12....then I realized the course had changed and instead of finishing on an uphill....


I start running, as fast as I can for the last mile. I look at my watch and realize that 2:32 isn't going to happen, but I could sneak in just under 2:34!

I cross the finish line with an official time of 2:34:03.

I want to see Eric get his sub 2:50 marathon, but the exit line was so long that by the time I got all the way around and back to the finish, the clock read 3:00. He would have finished by now, I think. 

And THAT my friend is how you make peace with your nemesis. I'm still a few years away from a half mary PR, but each race is a step in the right direction....except (historically) THIS particular race. 

But next year, it is SO on with this race. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Balls Out, Peace Out: A Race Report in 2 Parts

It's only fair that I start this Race Report on Saturday. 


Because I like hearing myself talk. When I type, I tend to talk out loud.

After 2.5 weeks of debate and wondering not just *if* I would race but how my ankle would hold up....the decision was made. I woke up Saturday feeling great. No running on Friday. No running on Saturday, some excellent sleep and morning nyum nyum, and I was ready TO BE AVERAGE!

That's right. I am in corral 8. Eight of Sixteen (or maybe slightly more). 50%. 

I hop out of bed in my excitement only to realize that the morning nyum nyum left me with a sprained knee. (just.don't.even.ask.)

Really?  This is REALLY happening?

Some theragesic & 2 naproxen later, I'm feeling better if not still a little jittery on the ole knee. I'm getting more and more anxious for the race.  I feel like I've been pent up for weeks.

That's a good sign.

As I ponder my race strategy, I think "Why not go all out? What's the harm? You've gone all out and crashed. You've gone out too easy and crashed. Admit it, this race usually sucks. If it's gonna suck anyway, why not GO FOR THE GLORY?"

Hmmmm that idea has some merit. 

If my ankle is going to hurt, I'll want to run faster to get off of it.
If I'm going to get tired, I might as well finish faster so I can rest.


If nothing else, the race report will be more fun to read. 

It's time to get the family's buy in on the plan. Down to the man-cave I go.


everyone: hi

Me: I have a race tomorrow. Here's my plan. It's BALLS OUT, PEACE OUT day. I'm not carrying any water with me. 6 Gu's for miles 1, 3, 6, 9, 12 and one extra in case I drop one or need an extra. So far so good?

everyone: sure.

Me: Ok, No water....that's a big one. But, I don't want to carry it. I want to be stealth. My corral is the 2:15 runners....and let's be serious....that's just not going to happen. BUT, I don't think I'll need it. I've been running in the cooler weather and haven't been drinking as much.

Googs: Oh man....that guy just hit me.

JMan: What? Oh yea. sure sounds good no water. What? 

Me: Last but not least, I haven't decided which train to take. With the budget cuts, they cut the best time. So, I either get there 15 min before I have to be in the the .5 mile walk.  OR I arrive 1 hour before I need to be in the corral. Either way sucks. What if I have to go to the bathroom?


Mr. Tea: Y'know, I think we should change the advertising.

Me: So, that's it! Any questions?


Me: HELLO?  (I wrinkle up my face and head upstairs to try this again).

I jump down the stairs and yell "HEY GUESS WHAT?!"

Everyone completely startled and staring at me: WHAT?

Me: I have a race tomorrow!

Everyone: Oh cool. Good Luck!

Mr. Tea: I wish I was a stronger person cuz I'd go watch. Y'know I could get breakfast while you're running. But getting up at 4am? Ewwwww, yea. that's just not going to happen. 

Me: Any last minute words of advice?

Mr. Tea: BALLS OUT. It's the only way to go.

JMan: Yea, gotta go BALLS OUT. Peace out. Can I go back to what I was doing?

What have I got to lose? With Mr. Tea, JMan & Goog's huge support behind me, sprained ankle mostly healed, tweaky knee & completely new race strategy, I HAVE to do well. 

Tomorrow, it's all or nothing.

Win or go home. (I'm going home anyway after the race, but you get what I'm saying)


And the story will be here, without pictures because well, it's hard enough to take a picture of oneself standing still, let alone at a race moving at the speed of AVERAGE. And, I don't think the other runners will appreciate it if I ask them to take my picture at various intervals throughout the morning.

STILL, the report will be HERE. And it should be a good one.