Tuesday, September 27, 2011

track tuesdays

The mantra for today's track workout was "transcend the physical." My leg was bothering me but I knew it was important to stick with my routine this week. I'd already hauled my butt out of bed to make it to the track at 6 am, so despite some initial hobbling on my warmup, I decided to stick it out and see what happened. The two girls that I can usually keep pace with were not at the track this morning, so it was me, the fast, and the superfast. I clung to the back of the fast pack like a fat kid to a cupcake.  It wasn't pretty but I was able to keep within about 200 yards of those ladies for each of our 6x800m repeats.  Technically, the marathoners were supposed to do 10 repeats. Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh no. Sorry, George. Wasn't going to happen.  Here are my splits, a little slower but much more consistent than last time:

3:45, 3:45, 3:45, 3:47, 3:47, 3:43

Ideally this workout was about volume so we were supposed to take them a little easier. However, I wasn't doing the full 10 and I was trying to keep up with the fast girls, so taking it easy wasn't going to happen. Didn't really get the volume that I was looking for either. If I had to, I probably had another repeat or two in me, but it was definitely for the best that I stopped at 6. If only I had an ice pack and some Aleve at my desk right now.  Only 32 days until MCM, I'm going to pretend that this leg business is all in my head.

Monday, September 26, 2011

An alphabet game!

This is officially my 100th post and I can't believe it came so fast. It doesn't seem that long ago that I started this thing, hoping that maybe my mom would read it. Now I've got 36 bad-ass followers! And my mom still doesn't read it. I don't have anything particularly special to write about today, as usual life seems to be getting in the way of doing more well-thought out or nuanced posts. I thought I'd do the usual weekend wrap up, but in a (hopefully) fun style. Thanks for being with me this long!

A is for Aleve. It kept my leg pain at bay all weekend.
B is for Birthday!  I had a great one!
C is for Cake. No birthday is complete without one, baked by Mom.
D is for Dad. My biggest fan and best sports buddy.
E is for Eating. All my favorite foods have been or will shortly be devoured.
F is for Football. The Giants beat the Eagles on my birthday! Awesome!
G is for Gig. We had a great turnout, it was so fun playing for friends and family.
H is for Hangover. Great birthday eve. See S for more details.
I is for Indian food, my delicious birthday dinner.
J is for Jen, my dear friend and hot birthday dinner date.
K is for Keycard. The one for my new job arrived with UPS on Friday night.
L is for Layla, my new best friend!
M is for Mom, the source of my talent and my fiercest ally.
N is for Nap. I didn't get one after my run but took two short ones yesterday post-party.
O is for Overachiever. I think I've come so far this year and taken on so much!
P is for Presents. I received so many great ones, thank you!
Q is for Quilt. My newest possession, handmade by mom from my race t-shirts!
R is for Running. 14 miles on Saturday, pain and all.
S is for Shots. Might have had a few too many on Saturday night.
T is for Tambourine. Also known as the source of massive bruises. Pics available.
U is for Underestimated, how much I can take on and how much I am loved.
V is for Vintage 51. Site of the birthday celebration.
W is for Weather. It came together for a beautiful, albeit humid, weekend.
X is for X. As in I got nothing for this one. Xhausted. Xcited. Xilerated.
Y is for Yankees. My boys brought it to the Red Sox this weekend.
Z is for Zzzzs. I didn't get enough of them this weekend, but it was totally worth it.

Giveaway coming soon!  Do your best to help me get to 50 followers, I will be making it worth the effort! Thanks to everyone who helped make my 31st birthday special!.

Friday, September 23, 2011

random friday facts

1. I only have 4 days left in the office at my current job. WOOT.
2. I love bagels so much that I have to give them a special day, otherwise I'll eat them all the time. Happy Bagel Friday everyone!
3. I only like blueberries in muffins. Otherwise, I avoid eating them.
4. I'm a little bummed at the lack of comments here this week. I blame the crap content.
5. This post makes 99! Any suggestions for what the big 100 should be about?
6. I'm trying to see what comes first, total death of my cell phone or the "new every two" rebate I'm due for in October. It is going to be close.
7. I bought a Groupon for a housecleaning service but I'm scared to use it.
8. My parents arrive today with a car full of goodies I miss from not living in NY anymore. Yum!
9. The aforementioned goodies will be gone within a week. Truth.
10. Ice cream tastes better straight out of the carton on the couch.
11. I'll be getting an additional 130 hours of sleep in the next year thanks to my new shorter commute. Yes, I did the math.
12. I hate having secrets, I love being able to talk close friends about things going on in my life.
13. I own more running shoes than dress shoes.
14. My co-workers are making a lunchtime beer run to motivate the office packing party we are having this afternoon.
15. Today's ever-present rain means I either go into tomorrow's LSD with 8 miles under my belt for the week, or I suck it up and get soaked. Neither option is particularly appealing.
16. I'm regretting not having bought myself flowers again this week. Drat.
17. I miss a very particular kind of Fall candy that had pumpkins, but also had bats, corn stalks, maple jugs, and a few other shapes. I can't find it anywhere now and all other similar brands are vastly inferior.
18. I wonder if my longing for the ESPN channels is enough reason to re-up my cable service.
19. I really want to have purple hair, just once, and I don't care if I'm too old for it.
20. I need both sugar and cream in my coffee, but if I had to choose one or the other forever, I'd need sugar.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

triple tangent thursday

1. No run yesterday.  And it doesn't look like I will be running today either, purely due to scheduling issues.  I now notice the trouble area when I walk, although it is more of a "hmm, that is an interesting sensation" than the "ow, shit, wtf" that I experienced during my run on Tuesday. I plan to run tomorrow, regardless, because this is already turning into a regrettably low mileage week and I can't afford to make it worse. Two short runs earlier in the week are not going to be enough to get me through my LSD Saturday, no sir. At best, I'll end up with 26 miles this week. NOT GOOD.  Please don't tell George or Tuan. At this point in training, I should be topping out near 40. I know.

2. My birthday. You're tired of hearing about it. You are just three days away from never hearing about it again. My parents arrive tomorrow afternoon and I'm really excited. Aside from the church choir, I don't think they've watched me perform before. I hope to make them proud. Thus far, birthday weekend kicks off with a 14 mile LSD Saturday morning. The rest of the morning/afternoon will be pretty free, just kicking back with the folks and then getting all pretty for my gig. As I've mentioned a million times already, Saturday night is the main event. Vintage 51. Be there. Sunday is my official birthday. I'll be sleeping in, for sure. Hoping to watch the Giants game with my Dad, then dinner out at this great Indian place followed by cake. Must have cake. Going to be a pretty low key day, but at my age that is just fine.  Not sure this old heart can take too much excitement....

3. Giveaways. Everyone loves them. I want to do another one. I did my first and only one as a way to celebrate hitting 20 followers.  This time I'm just 4 people away from 40! Now, I'm trying to decide if I should make it easy and reward you lovely kids with a giveaway when I hit 40, or if I should make you work for it a bit and wait until you tell your friends so I can hit 50. 50 does sound really appealing, honestly. Let me know what you think I should do! I won't make you wait to find out what the giveaway is, though.  I'm not totally heartless. When I hit the desired number of followers, you will have the chance to win your favorite mid-run fuel of choice. Yup, you tell me what you love and I'll give it to you.  It could be a 24 pack of Gu, a 4 pack of Nuun tubes, etc etc. Bottom line, depending on the desired item, your winnings will retail for about $20-$30. As someone who has gone through Gu like a maniac this training season, I know how much free fuel would help me and my wallet out.  Let me know in comments if you think I should shoot for 50 followers or cave when I hit 40. : )

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

That's right, kids.  No picture today, just more verbal diarrhea from me.  After yesterday's post I headed out for another four mile run and while the pace was fantastic, I did have some issues.  More specifically, I had pain.  The dreaded P word. In my left ankle and radiating up my calf. It wasn't enough to make me slow down or stop but it definitely altered my gait. There was a bit of limping each time I had to stop and restart at an intersection until I settled back into a groove. I've never had an issue in that area before so I'm not sure what the cause might be. I'm not running at work today, as I usually head out on a local trail on Wednesday nights. I'm not sure if I should take today off entirely or not. MCM is 5 weeks away and now is the time to really be ramping up the intensity before it comes time to taper.  Advice, anyone?

On a completed unrelated note, there are only 4 days until my birthday and it looks like Saturday night is shaping up to be quite an interesting experience! An Evite has been sent far and wide, and posted on Facebook. If you are in the DC-VA area and reading this blog, consider yourself invited as well.  The place is Vintage 51 in Chantilly, VA. I'll be getting there at 7 to set up gear and have a few pre-gig drinks. The band goes on between 8:30 and 9:00, we'll be playing until at least midnight. You obviously don't need to stay the whole time, but consider coming to check us out and help me celebrate!

Ok fine, you win, here's a picture. Appropriate because it is cute and because I am busy packing up my cubicle at work.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

monday runday and track tuesday

Congrats, everyone, on a great weekend of racing and training! I see a lot of PRs were set, I am so proud of you all! Thanks to my laziness you now get the pleasure of two posts in one.  I got in my 20 miler on Saturday, hell yeah!  I am really pleased with how it went.  I broke it down mentally into 5 mile segments, which were also the locations of the water stations on the route.  And within those 5 mile segments I also blocked out when I was taking a gel, so at no point did I really feel overwhelmed with the distance as a whole.  At most I all had to think about were the next 3 miles. I was even able, unintentionally, to throw in a few consecutive miles at race pace. There were a few casualties, however. One was a very bloody toe that messed up my new shoes (my fault) and the other was a blister (totally blaming the shoes). Overall it went much better than the 18 miler did. I was definitely sore by the end but I felt like I had more miles in me, thank goodness. It was a confidence boosting run. MCM is only 39 days away and I am really starting to believe that I can do it! PS this was my first long run in the Saucony Kinvara 2s, and I think they are going to work out perfectly. If you're looking to start transitioning to a more minimal shoe, I highly recommend them!

Yesterday I did a quick and dirty four miles during my lunch break, just to shake out my legs and see how I felt.  It went really well.  I didn't have any lingering soreness or stiffness from Saturday. Must have been all the sleeping I did on Sunday. Legit, between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon I probably slept for 15 hours. Oops. The only issue I had on my run was totally operator error.  I forgot to throw socks in my work bag.  It was okay for the first two miles but my feet felt like they were sliding around in my shoes for the last two. Ew. Then for the sheer irony of it, I was cleaning out my cubicle this morning and found a spare pair of running socks tucked in the back of a drawer. Figures.

This is normally where I would start telling you about my latest track workout, but I have a confession to make. I blew it off this morning.  I know, bad runner.  The alarm went off and I just couldn't make myself care. I woke up feeling down for no reason, which is really frustrating. I slept horribly and that extra hour I had by skipping the workout was spent tossing and turning. I packed my bag (with socks!) so I can theoretically get in another lunch break run today instead.  It won't make up for missing speedwork but it will be better than nothing.  Right now the motivation is just not there.  It is dreary out and I feel depressed. All the more reason to run, right? Get those endorphins going. At the very least it gets me away from my desk. I'll have to follow up with the CAR mafia later today to find out what I missed. I could attempt to atone for my sins by showing up for the tempo run on Friday morning. I don't usually do them because I think that they are too close to my Saturday long runs. The first (and only) time I did do the tempo run I ended up being pretty sore for the next day's long run.  I suppose that is something that could change in time, if I make tempo runs a regular part of my routine.  It is definitely part of my post-MCM master plan. Thoughts?

Only 5 more days until my birthday and I am starting to get excited. A little nervous too, knowing that so many familiar faces will be at my gig. I am much more comfortable singing in front of total strangers, odd as that may seem. Hopefully everyone will have a good buzz on by the time we start. Before I wrap this up, I thought I'd throw you all a bone and let you know part of why I've been so annoying happy these past few days.  Drum please.......

I GOT A NEW JOB! Yup, it is true. I've been seriously looking since March, and cultivating this particular opportunity since June.  I won't have to commute into DC anymore, or ride the Metro at all.  Adios, bus! I'll have a 20 minute drive, give or take traffic, and I'm pretty happy about it. It will be interesting to see what the difference is in paying for gas compared to what I've been paying for the Metro. I'll still be working in the field of grants management, but in a different capacity.  If you're at all interested, I'd be happy to go into more detail.  For now it means more money, a shorter commute, the potential for travel, new responsibilities, and great opportunities for upward movement within the company. Pretty much everything I was looking for when I made the decision to leave my current position. Between that news, my birthday, and other goodness I'm a pretty happy camper.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Random Friday Facts

1. This has been the best week I've had in months.
2. I think I'm the only one NOT running the Philly 1/2 this weekend.
3. There are now 2 new pairs of shoes added to my collection at my desk. Can't say no to a good sale.
4. I'm learning that patience can pay off in huge ways.
5. Never underestimate the magic powers of a $9 bottle of champagne.
6. Sometimes other people do have a better idea of what is best for you. So listen.
7. Employee expense reports are the bane of my existence.
8. Working someplace with Casual Fridays means I show up unshowered and in yoga pants. Sorry.
9. I never cared for living in this area, yet I'm enrolled in a Masters program that will keep me here at least 2 more years.
10. The weather for my long run tomorrow should be perfect!
11. There are 9 days until my birthday.
12. I still don't feel like I have a career or a grown up job.
13. Everybody needs a good therapist.
14. Cheez-its and beer is a perfectly acceptable post-run dinner.
15. I've never heard of most of the DC places that Groupons are for.
16. After 6 years I've finally made the drive to Tyson's. Still haven't been in the mall.
17. I'm thinking of buying a new couch. It would match the chaise I have.
18. Apparently I'm going skydiving in November. Sorry, mom.
19. I have 4 active email addresses. I don't know why I keep them all.
20. I hate horror movies, I cannot deal with being scared.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

triple tangent thursday

1. I got some great news this week that I have been working towards and waiting on for several months now.  It isn't 100% official yet but as soon as it is, I will be shouting it from the mountain tops. It is part of why I have been all smiles this week, in addition to some beautiful developments in other parts of my life. I know, the vagueness of it all is cruel.  I promise, as soon as I have something I can comfortably post, I will!

2. I sent out an Evite and a Facebook notice to a bunch of people regarding my upcoming gig/birthday party. I'm honestly not that excited about it. Not that I don't want to be surrounded by family and friends, just that I don't think many people are going to be able to make it.  The location is a bit farther out in VA than we usually play, so it would be more of a special favor to me that people come.  And because there is a drive involved people will also have to drink less. Not that it would be a deal breaker for my friends, but everyone deserves to have a good time as they see fit. Not to mention that the drunker you are, the better the band sounds, ha! My parents are definitely coming down from NY for it, which is awesome, and anyone else that can make it will just have to be icing on the cake.  If you can read this, consider yourself invited. Email me at PamsKnickers@gmail.com or comment here if you want more info.

3. I am an EPIC FAIL at time management this week.  I have 2 papers and several readings due for class tonight at 6:30 pm.  As of this moment, neither paper is finished and the readings are completely untouched. I have a feeling I will only be turning in one of the two papers tonight and not getting to the reading at all. I think I got too comfortable with this relaxed class schedule in comparison to summer's four week intensity. I suppose it is good that this happens now, so early in the semester, rather than later. I'll need to make sure I devote some time this weekend to finishing this week's work as well as whatever is needed for next week. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

If I thought I could take a decent picture that remotely conveyed the level of happiness I am experiencing right now, I'd do it. Instead, here's a picture of my present to myself at work. Helps remind me why I'm smiling.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

track tuesdays

Another Tuesday, another track workout. I was late getting out the door this morning so I wasn't able to do a full warmup, but I did manage to swallow some Gu and a bunch of water before getting down to business. After a half mile warm up, the plan was 6x800m repeats with 400 m recovery. I still feel some lingering soreness from Saturday, but nothing that made me alter my effort or the number of repeats. My usual running partner wasn't there this morning, so it looked like it was going to be just me and the CAR superstars.  Luckily I ran into an acquaintance from a previous workout and we ended up sticking together for the duration. The first repeat felt good, but I was worried that I might have started too fast. The second one was definitely too slow.  It took me the final four to really get into a groove and find a somewhat consistent pace. Here are the results:

3:39 (oops), 3:51 (ew), 3:47 (meh), 3:44, 3:43, and 3:39 (yay!).

I think I could have done a couple more had time and coach allowed.  I'm torn because I feel like I should be more spent at the end of these workouts but I also need to make sure I can get in at least two more decent runs before Saturday's 20.  Am I not trying hard enough? Something to consider. What are your, dear followers, experiences with track workouts? Do you go balls out and want to puke at the end? Do you feel like you have a little left in the tank? What is the "correct" way to experience speedwork? I know there are some speedy experts reading this and I can't wait to hear what you have to say. CAR ladies, great job this morning, you always inspire me to kick just a little harder!

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm in love!

With trail running! :) The Virginia Happy Trails Running Club held their Women's  Half Marathon Trail Run this past Saturday and I got my first taste of trail running.  It will certainly not be my last!  It was run entirely on the trails of Fountainhead Regional Park in Virginia, with 206 starters and 194 finishers.  I honestly had no idea what to expect, other than a challenge. An acquaintance of mine said it was a tough course for my first trail race, so I was trying to be prepared for whatever was thrown at me.  The race organizers told us at the start to expect to run at least 2-3 minutes slower per mile than you would on the roads.  I knew that was going to be the case but my ego was not going to take that news very lightly. Before sending us off the men in the VHTRC gathered in front of the start line to serenade us with "Happy Trails To You" to rousing applause.  It made everyone smile and I know I relaxed a bit more because of it.  I honestly don't think I was nervous about this race. I was really excited and very curious. A full array of pictures can be found here, but I'll include a few from the professional photographer as well.

I ran with a disposable camera for most of the race, hoping to capture the beauty of the trails as well as their difficulty.  After a solid week of rain I was concerned about the conditions but it overall the course was in great shape.  A huge thank you to the race organizers for monitoring the course all week and cleaning up felled trees as needed. There were definitely some wet and muddy spots but that just made it more fun. I think I would have been disappointed if there weren't some opportunities to get a little dirty. Despite knowing that I wasn't going to have a finish time comparable to my other half marathons, I bolted at the start and learned the error of my ways during the first 2-3 miles.  Holy moly there were hills, hills, and then more hills. I was definitely feeling the burn but I was also exhilarated and feeling like I was on this grand adventure.

I was very relieved to have finished the "Do Loop" portion of the course but there was still a lot left in front of me. There were several aid stations along the course that had the basics as well as cookies, chips, twizzlers, jelly beans and so much more. At one point Elvis himself was there and kindly refilled the bottles on my belt.  Once I felt like I settled in to the race, I took my time.  I stopped at aid stations.  I talked to the other runners.  I snapped a few pictures along the way.  It was hard to accept that I wasn't going to be a great trail runner out of the gate but I think I did my best to meet the challenge and have fun along the way. It was important that I not "race" this because it was my first time on the terrain as well as a substitute training run for the marathon. The last 3 miles felt hard in a good way. I had picked up my pace as best I could and was finally starting to pass a few of the many people that had passed me along the way. I had a fair idea of where the finish line was so I knew when I could make a last push. The crowd support was great and my brother-in-law was there to cheer me on.

If you must know my finishing time, you are welcome to check out the race website. I'm stinging a bit about it but I can't wait to come back next year and beat it. Once marathon training is over I'd like to devote more time to running on trails. I know I'd actually have to make an effort to get to them, as opposed to just running from my front door, but it will be worth it. Judging by the soreness I felt yesterday, it definitely works different parts of your legs than the roads do. My ankles in particular were feeling a little banged up. I'm actually a little surprised that I didn't fall down although at one point I came pretty close.  Between all the roots and rocks, there were ample opportunities. I just kept my eyes on the ground right in front of me and pushed forward.

I am super proud of my sister, my partner in the race experience.  It was her first half ever, and her first race longer than a 10k. She did amazing and whether she wants to admit it or not, there are other halfs in her future. A big thanks to my brother-in-law, Andy, for being our personal race photographer and cheerleader, it was greatly appreciated.  I see a lot of race reports in my reader that I need to catch up on. It looks like this was quite the racing weekend! Back to training as usual this week, with a 20 miler waiting for me on Saturday. Eek! I'm hoping this week is a good one, it certainly has potential. At the very least, I'm quite looking forward to tomorrow. Be safe, run well, and take care of each other!

Friday, September 9, 2011


Happy friday, friends!  I'm not sure you'll get any random facts out of me today.  This week has just been too long and my brain is too tired to come up with anything.  This rain, which I have been trying to ignore all week, is finally starting to piss me off.  Up in NY it forced my grandparents to evacuate their home and caused my parents to spend the past 48 hours pumping water out of the basement.  I can only imagine what condition the race course is going to be in for the half marathon tomorrow.  Grumble grumble grumble. Has the weather been a major inconvenience to anyone else this week?

Let's try something a little different today. You leave a question about me in the comments and I'll update this post to give all the answers.  You'll then have random facts about me and I won't have to pull a brain muscle thinking them up myself. Have at it!

UPDATE: This is going to be my first trail half, my fourth half over all.  I confess, when I step on the trail tomorrow morning it will be my first trail run ever. I do not recommend this training strategy. I'm doing this race because it fits nicely into my full marathon training schedule, which has been done 98% on roads.  The fact that this half is on a trail is coincidence.

If you don't subscribe to Runner's World, you missed out on a special issue earlier this year devoted entirely to trail running. From what I've learned (and clearly not from experience) is that your fuel and hydration needs are pretty different, in addition to altering the usual footwear and clothing that you generally use on the roads. Depending on the location of the trail, you can experience significant weather changes. Invest in a camelbak or other hydration backpack. I don't generally carry a phone with me when I run, but I will be for all my trail experiences because of the isolation factor. I also imagine that my pace is going to be slower and my stride is going to be quite different as I try to pay closer attention to the ground immediately in front of me. A lot more looking down and a lot less looking forward. I'd also expect to do some walking on steeper or less traveled areas, something that I feel is a worse case scenario (just for me personally) on a road run whereas walking on trails is sometimes a necessity.

I'd love for any trail runners out there to jump in here, correct me where I'm wrong, and add some advice of your own.  For now, I'll be forging ahead tomorrow in shoes I don't mind getting muddy and a big smile on my face.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

triple tangent thursday

1.  My birthday is in just 17 days!  I am super excited to spend it with  friends and family, as the band has a gig the night before on the 24th. I plan on guilting everyone I know who hasn't come to a gig yet into coming to this one.  I don't care how the long the drive is for you :) We can all just drink and laugh and have a good time celebrating.  The added bonus being that the more everyone else drinks, the better the band sounds! Friends in the area, consider this your first of many invitations to this gig. Get whatever baby/dog/etc sitter that you need, drive out to Vintage 51 on Saturday September 24th, have a great dinner, drink some beers, and enjoy the music. You won't be sorry!

2. I had a great rainy run last night with Anne on the W&OD trail.  Nothing fancy, just a quick 5 miler.  But by the end of it I felt like I was lightly gliding across the ground. The pace was good, I could have gone faster and kept going longer.  Had it not been for the rain and the impending darkness, I would have tacked on another two miles.  Dear Arlington County, the lamp posts on your trails are not meant to be decorative. For my safety and the safety of others, please make sure they actually work. Kthanksbye.

3. I have two concerts coming up in the DC area that I have an extra ticket for and I'd really love to find someone to go with me.  I can sell them on craigslist but I'd rather not sit next to a stranger all night, ya know?  Please let me know if you or someone else is interested in seeing Tori Amos at DAR on December 5th or the Foo Fighters at the Verizon Center on November 11th.  I can't give the tickets away since they weren't cheap but if you can't pay me face value I'll cut you a deal.  Let me know please!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

It is now more officially official.  Bib number 13971. Write that down, people.

I'd have posted my personal e-card confirmation, but it has my address on it and then you people will just start showing up and wanting to hang out.  I mean, I'm awesome and all, but I can only handle so many stalkers at once. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

track tuesdays

Today's lesson:  you can't cry and run at the same time.  I chose to run.  One mile warm up, 3x1600m repeats at 8:37, 8:25, and 8:17. 800m recovery in between.  Total miles: 5.5.  Total tears: 0.  I wasn't thrilled with my splits, I have done better before, but I'll take it.  Any time spent on the track instead of in bed is a victory in my book, especially given the weather today.  Hopefully I'll dry off by lunchtime.  The only real flaw I saw in today's workout was finishing and feeling like I still had some left in the tank. Coach said we were done at three but I could have done a fourth repeat if need be, which tells me I wasn't pushing hard enough on the first three.  This is, unfortunately, a common theme in my workouts.  I never push to the point of pain or discomfort so I never find out what I'm truly capable of.  This is never more clear than when I'm at the track with CAR because they are such an incredibly talented group of runners.  I almost don't mind being constantly lapped by them.  Almost. At least they always tell you "good job" while they do it :)

Despite it being a four day work week week, it will be a busy one.  Track and work today, work and a running date tomorrow night, work, run, and class Thursday, then work and a family invasion on Friday night.  Somewhere in that mix I hope to hear some good news related to my job search. Right now I'm riding on the high hopes of others that this will turn out the way that I want it to. The VHTRC Women's Half Marathon is this coming weekend, so I need to make sure I am rested enough for that while still logging at least 25 miles to keep up with MCM training.  I can't believe that there are only 53 days left before the race.  I suppose my main concern is just that my motivation for training has been flagging lately due to demands in other areas of my life and the timing for this hiccup is less than ideal. I'm hoping that the runs I have planned this week will help me refocus and rediscover the excitement I had for running 26.2.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday weekend.  I've been MIA from reading everyone else's blogs recently but I'll be catching up today, I promise.  Let me know what your week looks like in comments, as well as something fun you're looking forward to this month!  Oh, and any last minute advice for trail racing is welcome!  This is my fourth 1/2 but my first trail race so I'm a little unsure what to expect from the course. Vanessa, I know you rocked it on your first trail half, I might have to read your race report again!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

14 miles of suck

Ok, so it wasn't that bad, but it wasn't that great either.  I think it was a combination of factors, really, that caused this long run to be difficult.  For starters, I only ran one other time during the week.  I was too busy being an idiot, as previous posts will attest. Despite knowing better I decided to not be a hermit on Friday night and went to the Nationals-Mets game last night, not getting home until after 11.  Considering I'm usually in bed by 9, this was less than ideal.  When the alarm went off 5 hours later I seriously entertained the thought of skipping the run.  I am running a half marathon next week, I reasoned, so technically I should take it easy.  Not really the truth, but it was what I was telling myself.  I also just wasn't in it mentally from the beginning.  I was feeling sad and distracted, the last thing I wanted to do was have over two hours of time on my feet to brood about what was bothering me.  As the miles went on, it didn't really get easier.  I did have my usual company, which I always appreciate.  We chatted about our weeks, mine being a personal mess and hers spent getting her kids ready to go back to school.

Our pace wasn't great compared to the previous long runs I'd be banking, but I felt like there was nothing I could do about it.  No amount of gel, water, Nuun, and good vibes was going to change my running experience today. From time to time I invite a friend or two to join me as mental company on my long runs.  I tried that today, as it usually brings a smile to my face but no dice. The one thing I can say that was positive about this run was that I had a foundation to rely on that got me through the entire distance. I don't think I could have muscled out 14 miles without having a solid base. Once again it was also made clear to me that I am overdue for new shoes.  I just don't have $100 right now to spend on them, but with 7 weeks left until the big day I can't wait much longer.  Hello, credit card. Again. 

Hasn't been the most productive day by a long shot.  I moped on the way home, ate some cereal, and crawled back into bed for a 6 hour nap. If it weren't for the fact that it was 5:30 pm when I woke up, I would have kept sleeping.  I just wasn't feeling like being human today.  I did force myself out the door for a quick grocery run, as things were looking pretty dire in the kitchen, but beyond that I'm most proud of getting my ass in the shower tonight.  That might just be the highlight of my day.  I've got baseball on the tv, and a cold beer in hand right now.  A few more of those and a movie should round out my night.  Tomorrow is a new day and I hope I'm in a better state of mind.  I don't really have any plans for this long weekend.  There are a few chances to see friends at various barbecues but I'm honestly not sure I'm up for it.  I suppose I can slap a smile on and go out for a little while, it certainly won't kill me.  Fake it until you make it, right?  I'm sure I'll snap out of this soon, given the right motivation.

Did anyone else have a long run or race today? Are you doing anything fun for the long weekend?  Are you excited that my birthday is in just 22 days??!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Random Friday Facts

1. I had a great interview yesterday and I really really really want the job.

2. I can't stop smiling.

3. No, I'm not going to tell you why.

4. Sometimes I buy myself flowers from the street vendor by Union Station. Just because.

5. My house is messy enough that I feel like I need to do a pre-cleaning before I schedule the pros to come in and do it. Thanks, Groupon!

6. I frequently wait until the low fuel light comes on to gas up my car.

7. I only ran once this week, outside of the scheduled long run tomorrow.  Oops.

8. A watched email inbox never populates.  But I'll keep staring anyways.

9. You can tell what kind of week I'm  having by the number of empty soda bottles and coffee mugs on my desk.

10. Being so busy these days I *almost* wish I didn't have the cats just because I feel so bad that I'm never home.

11. At the same time, for the extra comfort, I wish I had a big dog to snuggle. Cats are too squirmy.

12. I have the worst poker face.  I can't hide anything.  My heart is always on my sleeve.

13. Training someone to replace you reminds of you of what you've accomplished in your time in that position. And of all the things you aren't going to miss!

14. Chipotle is not good cold.

15. Your parents will always offer better interest rates than a bank. Always.

16. There are 23 days until my birthday!

17. I am the world's slowest eater.  Always the last one at the table.

18. FALL IS ALMOST HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!