Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The milder side of me....

For the past six months to a year, I've been slowly entering the next phase of my life: 

Taxi cab driver. 

This is my number one non-paying client on my right. 

I ferry my three children to and fro. It's my second job. Now some people wish they were rich for various reasons but I know as soon as I hit the jackpot I will never hit, I'm hiring myself a secretary. Why? because I haven't figured out how to plug their schedules into my I Phone calendar just yet. Ok, I take that back, I do but I just don't like how it works. All three have something going on every day of the week. Currently I'm operating on the sticky-note-in-my-jacket-pocket method. 

At first, I went through a grief period for my training. I came home from a day of work with grand plans of working out and cooking a nice dinner.....

"MOM! MOM! We need a catcher, come over here!"
(They have a very valid point)

Only I end up in the yard playing baseball with these clowns and then I drive to Subway for dinner because that's what happens when you try to right a wrong at dinner time. 

He "loves them all equally".I can't wait to bring them out when he brings his first girlfriend to the house one day. 

Currently I'm getting in some decent swimming and biking and running. Technically more than I thought I would get in, all things considered, but whatever happens next month at Ironman Chattanooga 70.3 will be what happens. I do see the 5 am a few mornings a week but I seem to have misplaced my cape of mom and training goddess wonder and therefore am on skid row of training. 

I've concluded that there should be a wave for exhausted moms. I also wouldn't say no to handfuls of coupons to the grocery store at the expo. I don't want free Chapstick, endurance gummies, powder and leg tape. I want some dish washing pods and free Lysol samples in my bag of shwag. Couple free toothbrushes, shampoo samples, etc. Tampons, deodorant. You know, stuff. 

I use to not stop for sightseeing on my rides but this pony would probably fit in the backseat of my car. I'm not saying I'm gonna take the pony......yet. But if I WERE to take the pony I would bring it back.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I ran up a hill then back down a hill and back up another and then back down another.

It's been FOREVER since I've forked over a race report. Then again, it's been since November since I've run a race. Lots of training, just not lots of racing. Which is fine. I still have remorse over not doing my annual trail race in Indy back in January BUT it was snowing and I didn't wanna drive 3 hours on the interstate in a snow storm. Then again I hate making excuses for not driving in the snow. Anyway, you didn't come here for my internal dialog diatribe

Saturday's outdoor cardio was sponsored by Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon. it's coined as "America's Pretties Half marathon" and as I was running, I kept thinking "can this hill get any steeper?" and "yeah, this could be the prettiest." It runs past horse farm after horse farm consecutively to the finish. no buildings, no side roads, just farms. I'm somewhat partial to the state of Kentucky in this way, so maybe I'm biased, but I think anyone who has raced it will vouch for it's splendor.

Don't say I didn't tell you so. Zero flat. It's a festival of goodness for your quads. 

It was about 20 degrees at the start. Everyone would agree that qualifies as cold. Couldn't feel my fingers from the knuckles down, even with gloves on but the sun was shining and I was ready. This was my third year running and I soooooo knew what was coming my way. 

Mile 11 ish. Pretty right? 

Up, up up and away we went. What doesn't kill you makes you walk and take deep breaths with others. 

Long story short, gun goes off, and I take it easy. First mile is say 10:09 I think it was and I start rotating 9:35's - 10:45's depending on the mile. Most were between 9:45 and 10:20. I walked halfway up every hill so will totally take those times based on walking every mile. My best memory was REALLY feeling the sun on my face around mile 8-9. Ever have that? You're out on a run and think to yourself "this has to be the greatest feeling ever? That sun feels sooo good!" Maybe it's because winter is finally boxing itself up for the year but it was a much needed dose of sunlight. The other great part is that there is a water tower at the finish and you can see it from literally 2 miles away. It's like having a bulls eye to head towards. I was flooring that last mile. My .10 was 8:57 I think. The power of adrenaline and not wanting to walk in front of a finish line crowd. 

It wasn't easy lifting my leg like that. 

I won a prize, a medal. I mean, others did too but I got one and that's what's important here. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

I did some stuff.

I didn't really check the date but seems like the last time I blogged was over a month ago. Maybe more. I've been doing some things since then and thought I would share them with you since they're just kinda hanging out there in my JPEG file just waiting to be inserted into my writer palate with captions. So, you ready??

In my spare time I like to peruse Etsy. Can be 25 minutes. Can be two hours. I found this poster and I wanna buy it and frame it and put it somewhere in my house where I'm sure my husband will frown at me and remark "is this absolutely necessary?" Yes. yes it is. 

I baked a birthday cake for my youngest in the nest. He loved it and it looked great. A special "thank you" to As Seen On Tv. That pan made a herd of young men very happy. 

I went to a University of Kentucky basketball game and had the type of seats that you can scalp on the street for upwards of $200. But as a true fan, I chose to go to the game, cheer loudly, clap and heckle the opposing team (just kidding) instead of buying two economy class seats to Vegas with what could have been my ticket windfall. You know you're a fan when......

I sailed down the mighty Atlantic coast of America to our warmer sister nation of the Caribbean and it's friendly islands. Those are palm trees on my sweat pants. 

Upon arriving back in Muricka (off of said ship), we celebrated by locating the nearest Chick Fil A. Sorry to the people in the booth behind us. 

And I'm still training for my next 70.3 (three months away) but since I have no pictures, I had to scroll back to the last picture of me on a bicycle which was this one, in midtown Manhattan back in Nov. notice the half dish on the back wheel. #aeroenough

I missed my last trail race, the weather was too bad to get to Indianapolis (imagine that ~ insert sarcasm) and now, I think, next up is the Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon here locally late March. I'm hoping to run with my blogger friend Courtney if she'll make the trip? She has THE cutest baby on planet Earth. 

This is my 6th year of consecutive training and racing and I've spent all kinds of time reflecting on what it's all meant to me. I've run at least 8 marathons, more than 20 halves, 3 Half Ironmen and 1 Ironman. I use to panic about getting it all done, finishing, how fast was I finishing. Now I find myself more worried about enjoying it all, trying to stay at a genetic point where I don't ache when I put my feet on the floor first thing in the morning, etc. I can't remember the last time I was worried about how fast I did a run, I just run and however that shakes out is fine by me. 

I'll leave you with this gem and ask...where you racing next?? 

Monday, December 22, 2014

New York and other things....

I meant to write after I got back from NYC and then fell into the dark hole of ones best laid plans. My training cycle leading up to the race was less than stellar for a myriad of reasons from family to life to a set of knees that hate me. So, I did the best I could and ran my worst marathon time ever of 5:06 but had a GREAT experience that day. I came, I ran, I slowly jogged and I walked the marvel, better known as the TCS New York City Marathon. I'm 100% certain that I'll never run another race in my life where it's wall to wall crowds for 26.2 miles. I smiled a lot that day. Especially at the sight of my fleece lined blue poncho that I was bestowed with upon exiting the finishers shoot to immerse myself back into the city masses. 

Now that I'm back home, it's been time to rest. I've never really took time off from running. For the better part of 6 years, I've run religiously, with maybe less than 3 weeks off total during this time. I've backed myself down to maybe 10 miles per week since I've been home. I started riding my bike again, swimming lots. To be honest, the pain I've had in my knees has left me sour. I've spent years in PT and with bags of ice strapped to my appendages. Sent home equipped with stretchy bands and lists of rehabilitation exercises. This time around, I want none of that.....so with that said, I've made an executive decision to do what us in the running world, refer to as "jogging". I lope along, singing, taking big deep breaths and trying to locate my love of movement. I sometimes jog 3 miles, I sometimes jog 8. I stop when I'm done and if that's at 4.21 miles, then that's when I stop. It's taken time but I'm starting to like and looking forward to putting my shoes on and heading out the door. 

Now that it's Christmas, I've taken on my annual puzzle building bonanza. My 9 year old son, very enthusiastically held up this gem at our local Barnes and Noble and exclaimed "Momma! This one! You have a boat!" Sure, made sense. I got home, hoping his enthusiasm would carry over into the searching-for-edges phase of construction, but alas, no. I was all alone with his older brother at the dining room table. 2 fragmented segments of "WHERE IS THAT PIECE I SAW LAST WEEK!?" 

Tree is up. Looks like a cannon full of holiday cheer exploded into the corner of my living room. There are literally no empty branches left. So I ponder....get another tree (+1) or get a bigger tree? 

Once the Visa bill arrives I'll be in search of an extra "six hunnit and fiddy dollars". 

Races for 2015 (going modest here)

January 31st - Planet Adventure Night Winter Trail Half Marathon
(I think this will be my 3rd or 4th year in a row)

April ? (I'll look it up later) - Abraham Lincoln Half
(I want the medal. Just that simple)

May 18th (drum roll please) - 70.3 IM Chattanooga Half Ironman

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fall. It's the moooost won-der-ful time of the year. In my humble opinion.

During a normal training cycle I would regale you with stories of trying to potentially injure myself during the taper but this time around I'll spare you and and just share some random stuff, cause frankly, that's possibly just as fun.

Last weekend I had every intention of running 10-12 miles but I didn't. When I was running the Bourbon Chase relay 2 weekends ago, after finishing my last leg, I saw what appeared to be a freshly mowed and torn area of grass through a local park that stretches 8 miles one-way. It had been cordoned off with tape and I soon realized THAT WE HAVE AN OFFICIAL CYCLOCROSS COURSE NEAR MY HOUSE!!!! So, over the weekend, I brought my mountain bike to this glorious promise land of climb and descend.

If you don't know much about cyclocross it involves riding ones mountain bike on a grass/dirt course in loops / laps. You're encouraged to dress oddly if need be, drink beer and have just a good time in general. Years ago before I started cycling fo' real, I had bought a Specialized mountain bike and I'm thrilled I did. I even took good care of it!

This is what people who know what they're doing look like. Yes, there are jumps you carry your bike across. I dig this. 

Now, I'm still at a beginner level and although I have pretty good bike handling skills, I'm still not at a point where I can clip in to the bike with my shoes just yet. If you're doing it right, your quads will leave you wondering how you're going to get up off the toilet seat. 

This is my bike. You can either use the log as a jump OR you can ride around it between the end of the log and the tree. My only issue is that my bike is all aluminum frame and is a bit heavy. I'm a spoiled child who has a nice road bike so I'm regressing with this one but it's perfect to start off on! 

The race meet is almost over at the track, where I spend a lot of my time. There is art everywhere and my liberal arts brain loves every bit of color that fall will allow. 

I'm also super jazzed about this little lady who will be on NBC sports the Saturday after next. Her name is Southern Honey and she's running in the Breeders Cup. I've been around her ever since she was a baby. I know many people don't follow horse racing but I've watched her grow up and on Nov 1st she'll be competing for 1 million dollars.  

Thanks for everyone coming back and reading! I'll write again before I go to New York City to let you know about what I'm forgetting to pack and ALSO to give you the run-down on what's high on my list to see and also find out what you think I should see!! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere...

Aban-don  : to leave and never return to 

So, technically I haven't abandoned my blog. Thanks Websters for clarifying that and clearing any guilt that might have been lingering. 

Since I'm fairly sure that everyone is gone, and thus am going to just be brief and lure anyone who might be on the fence back with this...

My friend Michael says I should start blogging again. 

She has a point. I mean, I'm still running and racing. After last years Ironman finish my perspective has changed on a lot of things. Maybe that's normal, maybe not (who needs normal?). The other night I was staring at my medals, cause I got some new ones this year and a supah new fancy place to hang them all and I never looked at any of them and thought about PR's or any of that. Sort of a "look what I've done! I was healthy enough to run all those things and ran many of them with friends!" 

In less than two weeks I'll board a plane and head to NYC for what I'm kinda thinking will be my last marathon for quite some time. And for once, I'm not nervous and all I can think about is having a good time. In years past I was a hot mess about making time goals. Amazing I wasn't on ulcer meds. Not that I didn't have fun in those but.....yeah, maybe they weren't as fun as they could be, or as I see them now. 

I've spent the bulk of my time on Trip Advisor, scoping out what I wanna see on my trip to the city. This'll be roughly my 15th time there, maybe more, maybe less, just shooting from the hip but towards the top of my list of things I haven't seen is this....

and this...

I'm a closet hippie. 

So welcome back. Can I get a head count. All present say "I". 

Monday, February 10, 2014

The easy button is broken.

I just want to run faster. Is that too much to ask?? I have replaced the early onset of frustration with will power and sheer determination. Word on the street is that it works better. 

What does determination look like?

This. Slovakian on the ground after grueling gunfight and ski adventure in Sochi. 

What do I look like after I try to run 5 8:35 min miles in a row?

Yup. Minus the gun, skiis, poles and gold medal glory and post race interview. 

I hired a coach, which was a wise decision on my part. We've been at this for a few months now and it's going well but I'm not gifted. I have friends and know people who can go out for a run and average 8:30 / 8:40 per mile and it comes so easily. Maybe back in my 20's I could have done that as well but the near 40's are telling me that I'm going to have to want it bad to get it done....and I'm good with that. Ironman wasn't easy but I got it done. This could very well be the same. It just seemed like when I went from 11 min miles to 10's that it was easier. That when I went from 10's to 9's it was easier. 9's to 8's.....not so easy. The winter before last I got close to regularly running in the 8's but I didn't really think much of it and by April, I quit pushing for a better time because I had to incorporate swimming and biking into my life for a half Ironman so speed work had to go. 

I realize the territory I'm trying to enter is the land of the BQ. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. I wonder if my lungs will always feel like they have a blow torch on them when I run an 8:35? If my quads will feel like they're slowly filling with concrete as well? There has to come a time when it won't hurt as badly. Right? Maybe I make it sound as if it's awful, it's not. I feel like a million bucks after I complete a really tough workout. I'm looking forward to the day when that really tough workout is not so tough after all! 

Until then...

I will happily run outside in the snow. 
Special thank you to - The Police, Bob Marley and Tears for Fears for accompanying me. 

Did you make a breakthrough that seemed like it could possibly take forever?