cold double-up

Today was the first day I dreaded my morning run. It was dark. And cold (well 49 degrees, but that feels cold). I just wanted to stay in my bed, and snuggle with my fat cat. Hitting snooze is generally a bad sign for a weekday AM run. I hit snooze three times this morning. I eventually rolled out of bed at 6:40, basically so I wouldn’t be late for work.

I pulled on my running capri tights (first time since April?). And the tank I’d laid out the night before. I checked the weather and it was 50 degrees outside… Okay, dayglow green long sleeve over the tank. And blinkie. Since at 645am, the sun was just coming up.

“Am I really doing this?” I thought to myself. As I stepped outside, the cold air actually felt good. I remembered how good it feels to run in the crisp air. How everyone PR’s in the fall, because the lungs were pushed to extreme in 100+ degree weather with high humidity. “Okay, okay” I thought as I walked down the stairs, finally ready to run. For the first mile, I couldn’t stop yawning. I think drivers were confused why I would be running if I was that tired. I also thought to myself, “You are a wimp. It is 50 degrees and you just had the thought that you need gloves and ear muffs. This is not going to be a pretty winter if you need gloves on a 50-degree day”

My legs eventually warmed up, and I got to my sub-10:00 pace. I wanted to go further than 1.5 miles out, but I knew I’d be late for work if I did. So, I turned back, and raced home. My average pace was 9:34. I haven’t wanted to run with one of my running apps lately on shorter runs, so here’s my best guess on splits (I glanced at my time at the mile intervals): Mile 1- 9:48, Mile 2- 9:30, Mile 3- 9:10. Not too bad.

Work, then round 2 (8 miles) tonight… One down, one more to go.

After work, I got in a second run- 8 miles. During my run at dusk, my new blinkie broke (damnit!). I managed to pump out the first few miles no problem. The splits were as follows- 10:29, 9:33, 10:37, 9:58, 9:24, 9:59, 9:28, 8:27. The 10:37 was me figuring out my blinkie wouldn’t work. I stopped to play with it some. The 8:27 was my last mile, which is flat so I sprinted in.

In training for a marathon AND a relay race, I am trying to “double-up” as many days as possible. Some days, I run twice in a day, some weeks, I run 6 days. This past weekend, I ran 16 miles Saturday, then 5 on Sunday. This attempts to fatigue my legs and help them adjust. Currently, I am running the most in my van- about 22 miles total (legs split as: 9.08 miles, 6.37 miles, 6.57 miles). Though the second leg may change. I also try to strength train my hips and glutes, as they tend to be weak, on my off days. I have a training program, but it is way too involved.

Also, my mileage increase look scary when you look at monthly mileage:
July- 84 miles
August- 109 miles
September- 141 miles (and counting)
but weekly it went: 24.3, 23.6, 21.8, 19.5, 25.6, 28.75, 29.9, 33.9, 32.75, 38.1, 41.1, 44…

Other random thoughts- I may have worked my cat too hard. He’s been limping all day.  So I gave him the last few drops of my milk. He was delighted but confused. And is now snuggling, with his teeny paw outstretched across my lap 🙂

Half Marathon warmup/ 5K Tempo

Today’s long run was our cutback week. It had been a rough running week for me. I felt slower than usual. And just had been missing that spark that keeps me running. So, I had been kind of looking forward to our 16 miles today. And kind of dreading it as well.

As we started, my legs just felt hard and heavy. We did and out-and-back on a 7-mile greenway, so we ended up doing an extra greenway about 3 miles in to add the extra miles. Turns out that greenway was hilly. It ended up being great, in the long run. I think the hills distracted me from the monotony of running.

Allison dropped water at the turn around point. So we stopped to get water and gatorade. Allison runs with her garmin, and tends to let me know when we are going “too fast”. We kept skirting around a 10-minute pace, which is faster than usual for a long run for us. Finally, after the turn around my legs started loosening up.

At about 13.3 miles in (and 2:09 <– decent half marathon time), I finally felt free. We went up a tiny hill, and Allison stopped to walk. I just took off. Then, I saw some of the rest of our group up ahead. Sweet! Road kill! I thought, and picked up my pace. I could hear Allison coming up behind me, so I picked it up more. I passed by the first person (+1). Turned a corner and saw someone else up ahead (+2). All the while, I knew I was picking up the pace. I saw another person we knew, and picked up for one more road kill for a total of +3. Then I could hear Allison coming up strong, from behind me. I glanced back, laughing. As soon as she saw my smile, she sprinted up to me and we started joking about how I had really picked up the pace, and informed me we were running at a 9:33. (Our typical long run pace has been 10:30-11:00). I joked about negative splitting. Then, she told me we were at 15.30 miles. I saw one more person in the distance, and said “I’m gonna get one more road kill”. She picked up the pace with me until we were in as much of a sprint as you can be 16 miles in. Total road kill: +4.
(Our final 0.25 miles was a 8:57… That’s my typical tempo pace)

What we had both thought was going to be a terrible 16-18 miles turned into a crappy 10 miles, followed by a great 6. And, I’m not too sore today.

I came home to find my gay best friend had picked up a patio set and left on my patio. So, I can host for 8 for the next few months.

I also get to go pick out a new pair of Brooks Pureconnects today. They’re my favorite shoe ever. Seriously, Ever. I feel like Brooks must fill those babies with pure magic. However, the magic doesn’t last forever for me. 190 miles in, and they’re breaking through, so NOW I get a new color. Lemon/lime? Purple? Who knows?!  I’m hoping my old Half Marathon 2.0 coaches are there.

found something…

Okay, I may not have found motivation today. Just a lot of rolling freaking hills.

But, I did learn something new.
Pterodactyl.

And, I taught someone something new.
FB.

Almost nine miles today. Mapmyrun is mocking me with the elevation. Basically the whole thing was uphill or downhill, but it only shows about a 100 ft change throughout the route…

Also, I have been laughing so hard, I’ve been snorting over the same stupid FB, 6-man tent, Pterodactyl comment. Oh, tuna 200. You will be my epitome of my laugh lines!

Nothing inspirational. But, we will be camping next weekend.

Just wanted to follow up the emo post from earlier. I’m still laughing about a 6-man FB tent… HAHAHA!

Looking for inspiration

Last night’s “speed work”/ track night could be chalked up to a fail. Usually, I enjoy taking out my emotions on the track. In fact, during my freshman year of college, my roommate would on occasion look for me at the track before going grocery shopping. And she often found me just crying, as I was walking back to the dorm. I’ve always found an emotional release valve from pushing my body to its physical extreme.

I was looking forward to last night’s track workout. But somehow, my body just wasn’t going as fast as I wanted. And I even felt self-conscious and ashamed of how slow I was, and how hard that slow pace felt. I know- everyone has one of those days. And I realize my training program has lacked speed workouts, as I am putting on more and more mileage each week. But still! It felt sooo hard. There were times I was struggling just to keep running. My legs just wouldn’t respond like they normally do.

But I got no emotional release last night. In fact, I basically got in my car, took off my disgusting shirt. No, honestly, as we were walking from the track to the car, I remember thinking “god, these boys are stinky. That van is going to be disgusting.” Then, I got in my car (windows still rolled up), and realized “ugh. that smell is ME” I out-smelled grown men doing track workouts with me. That’s gross. And the pity party began.

And now my left knee hurts (the track is funky shapes and we went left, so it takes a toll on the left side of my body). And so after work today, I am planning a run where it “all began”… Starting at a lake where I first ran 4 miles, continuously. Where I later ran 8 miles (run/walk… whatever). I’m hoping a new route with an old feel will spark some inspiration and motivation for running.

Four weeks to Tuna (HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN SO FAST?!)

And 7 weeks to Richmond (<—scarier! First Marathon!)

Awkward moments

I love awkward moments.

You know the ones. When you’re out and you see your best friend’s crush pick his nose, then look around to see if anyone saw that. You totally put a drink to your mouth and avoid eye contact. Taking an awkward sip, you look around the room. If you have not done this, I’m sure you have seen it. My gay best friend and I will take “awkward sips” of air when we do not have a drink in hand…

Here’s a few recent ones of mine:

Walking into a bar to meet two guys. One is sitting on the bench-side of a corner patio booth. The other is sitting across from him. There are no other chairs. Question- do you sit next to the guy on the booth/ bench side, or look for a chair? Or make it more awkward and sit on one of their laps? (I sat on the bench. Awkwardly. Then realized I should have grabbed a drink when I passed the bartender; for an awkward sip)

Meeting eyes with a guy you hooked up with a year ago, but never called you. And may have been married at the time. All while in highly reflective running gear and about to meet new running friends… Again, where’s the drink for an awkward sip?

Seeing your ex’s best friend, 10 miles into a 16 mile run. And he’s only been your ex for a couple days… Good thing I had a full camelbak for an awkward sip

Realizing you have sweated through your shorts. And it looks like you peed your pants. <– Happened many times this summer…

Going grocery shopping, then realizing you left your debit card in your long-run shorts. After the cashier has rung everything up.

Realizing you were talking to your best friend’s boyfriend’s twin brother. Not your best friend’s boyfriend.

Going to a new hot yoga-style gym to do their circuit training. Picking the same spot as someone else, because you have no idea what is a station, and what is not. Then having to “downsize” every weight on the machines, because you are weak. THEN, smashing your finger under weights. And awkwardly exiting the room because you are pretty sure you are bleeding profusely from said hand. Oh, at the same class, at the end, my breathing also sounded orgasmic. So much so, that a guy across the room said “did some girl just …?” And his friend replied “yes, yes, she did”

Good times. I honestly love these. They make me laugh soooo hard! Even at the time. Which just makes things like “looking like you peed your pants” worse. Because then people think you might have. Why else would you be laughing so hard?

Happy Wednesday.

Speedwork tonight. With “the boys” And maybe “Jesus”.

milestones, snakes, and drinks (Oh My!)

This week marked a huge milestone for me: 20 miles. We set out to do 20 miles last Saturday, but blew our steam with a faster than expected 18. We walked another mile back to the car.

Ready to go. Compression socks. Notice it’s still dark out…

Yesterday, we set out for 20. And I could tell it wasn’t going to be a good day, as I woke up to some morning sickness (I am not pregnant, but if I don’t get enough sleep, I can’t keep food down in the morning). We set out to do a 10-mile out/ 10-mile back.

As we started into the neighborhood, Allison starts screaming and jumping, practically knocking Sarah over. I glance over as I’m running, and it’s a freaking copperhead! Coiled and ready to attack. Allison later says she’s pretty sure it was dead, which gives us some comfort. At about 12 miles into the run, a couple tells us there’s a snake ahead. Really?! So we keep running like little girls. Allison heard me step on a leaf or something and started screaming her head off! Which Julie and I almost fell over, he were so freaked out (there’s nothing scarier than not seeing what someone else does)… Turns out Allison had just thought I had seen something… We all have a good laugh about that. And it probably got us going on adrenaline until mile 14.

Allison has feeling great. So she kept getting ahead some, then looping back on a major turn. She ended up adding about 0.6 miles total. And it was nice to be able to see her a few feet in front of me… The last mile or so was mostly uphill (which sucks at the end). So we got to the same corner where Snake 1 had been… Allison and I stay on the opposite side of the road- just in case the snake wasn’t dead…

OH MY GOD! IT’S NOT THERE!

We continued the rest of the way uphill, looking around, scared to go near the edges of the road (that’s where it has been hanging out). She gets a little ahead of me because I needed a walk break for a slight downhill. My IT band screams on downhills. She suddenly screamed and ran back into the middle of the road. Then yells back at me, “SNAKE!” and points. At that point, neither of us were stopping until we got to the main road and our cars…

Allison did 21 miles (little running in circular sort of pacing at the end). I did 20.4… Just before she screamed about the snake, I got a little feklempt. 20 miles. That’s huge.

I got in my 20! What up?!

she’s legal! 21 baby!
(and bad lighting… sorry bout that!)

I mean, I remember when I couldn’t run for more than 10 minutes straight. And then, trying to do a 4 mile (and flat) loop, and having to walk some. Then the initial 12 miles. And all those milestones on the way. But, I felt so proud. I was in pain, but it was this amazing feeling, to know that if you push body, sometimes it responds exactly as you want it to.

We also agreed to out with “the boys” Saturday night. Dan & Dave want to get to know everyone better. About an hour before we were all supposed to meet up, Allison and Champagne bowed out, so it was just me and the boys. And they invited some friends out. So then, it was me and bunch of guys. All crazy crossfit-ers. They, like runners, have their own language. Thankfully, I dated a guy who was into crossfit before crossfit had gyms, so I understand the lingo because I would sometimes work out with him. It was a good time. I think some of the guys were trying to figure out who I was “with”- Dan? Or Dave? But I was very much a free spirit.

Flying Dog Citra Imperial IPA

I like beers that pack a delicious punch.

After a hard and hilly tempo (with “the boys” + Jarod, so three faster-than-me boys, and Allison, I thought a beer was well deserved. As we walked into Ridgewood Wine & Beer, and Dan & Dave say they’re just gonna probably go with something easier… As if the run was hard, therefore a hard beer is a bad idea, I thought “oh boy!” And announced “I want a good IPA, maybe even a double”… And the boys weren’t sure what to make of that. And oh, that I did. I almost switched to the Stone 16th Anniversary IPA, because I love Stone and basically they piss excellence. However, as the guy was pouring, I saw Stone’s 16th, and asked him about it. He said, “no you want the Citra”… I was like “Is the Stone 16th actually bad? I love everything Stone” and he told me they were almost done with the Citra.

Then he said the thing I love when bartenders say to me. I mean, it really makes me laugh… “That’s a lot stronger than it tastes, so go easy”… It’s like tempting my irish liver to go hard and see what happens. But, I was with new friends. And well Jarod (trained with him through Nashville 2.0; I’m pretty sure I saw him out that night. But can’t fully recall…)

So, all of the boys get the Octoberfest. I ask them which one it is- Foothills or Aviator? They have no clue. Wow, this is new for me- knowing more about beer than the guys 🙂 We hung out and drank. And apparently the boys tapped the Octoberfest keg and it was closing, so we got an extra glass. Go us. Smelly and sweaty and red-faced and all.

So my review:

HEAVEN IN A GLASS!

I love Flying Dog. One of my top 3 favorite beers is their Raging Bitch. I mean all of their names are catchy- Doggie Style, Horn Dog, In-Heat Wheat… haha they even have a Oyster Stout named Pearl Necklace… When you have names like that you really have to back it up with flavor. So, the Citra- it’s limited (for a professional review http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/68/82934). Even though it’s not labeled as a “Double IPA”, it should be. It’s 10%. It is also delicious. It was light and citrusy, You could taste the hops, but it really had a refreshing citrus aftertaste. Smooth to go down. And probably the best double I’ve had in a long time. You can tell it’s an imperial/ california style ale. Something about that style I love. Reminds me of the Green Flash Imperial IPA, but it’s somehow a lighter (citrusy-er) flavor, but packs a bigger “knock you on your ass” kind of punch… Image was stolen from Flying Dog’s site. [No, I didn’t take a picture… I was too giddy to try the damn beer!]

So, after a delicious beer. And a fun (And OMFG HILLY! WAIT- I MADE THAT COURSE?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME kind of hilly) tempo run, I am kind of on a running+beer high.

AND LOVING IT.

THE END.

Good night Raleigh.

awkward first running date

I think every first running encounter is like a first date. You don’t really know them. You don’t know how they run. Do they charge the hills? Or go slow and steady? I’m not even sure I know what I do. Are they a stickler for pace, and check their Garmin every five minutes? Or do they just go out, without even glancing at a watch?

Now a 3-miler is like a lunch date or coffee date. A long run as a “first date” is like a true dinner date- 8pm on a weekend. If they bring Nuun, it’s like bringing roses. A tempo or hills is like a fifth date. That’s serious stuff. And this is only if it’s one on one. In a group, it totally doesn’t matter. If it goes well, you have a new running buddy, someone to lean on when you’re dreading a workout, but know meeting someone will get your butt out there. If it goes badly, usually, you just don’t go with them one on one again.

I have a good group of running friends in the Raleigh area. (In case anyone is sick of their own location, Raleigh is great for the 20-40 yr old age range… And there’s probably 15 running stores/groups in the area. 1 in every 3 or 4 people are a runner or cyclist. At any age range. There are multiple running group/ social runs every day of the week in every area). Clearly, I have a good running circle here; when we started talking about doing Tuna, which is a 12-person relay, we had to split into two separate teams because 18 people wanted to do it… And there were still others who weren’t sure.

So it seemed like everyone was meeting up Monday night for a nog run.

……

Then everyone backed out, except the boys (Dan and Dave). Dan runs about a 8:00 pace… So ummmm. And Dave “wanted to get in 8 miles for a nice long run for the week”… And I kinda said I would would with Dave. That meant I’d be third wheel. Oh, and this guy I once hooked up with is like a KING at Nog Runs. Like, every time I go, I see him. I prefer not to see him if it’s already an awkward encounter.

But Dave still wants to run 8 miles. Doesn’t he know I’m socially awkward and do not like to run with random people, especially boys?!?! So much so, that my gay best friend (upon hearing I was meeting up with a boy last night for a run) has asked me four times “So are you trying to date him?”

Since I said I’d run with him earlier in the day, and I know he’s faster than me, so the run will kick my ass and he agreed to meet at my house…. I email him the route and tell him to meet me after work.

I knew this was going to be awkward. But decided it would be a good time to 1) push outside my comfort zone, and 2) push my speed a little. I’ve met him twice before. He seems a little shy, or maybe just intimidated by the amount of energy that the other 8 of us have, since we all trained for Nashville together. Either way, I know he is about my age. And is a NY Giants fan (thank you for that fb post last week). And he has only been running a year or so. So I can add a 3) Get to know what will annoy me about him before spending 24 hours in a van with him…

So he texts to say he’s at my complex,  and I walk down, and he’s stretching. Okay, I stretch like crazy after a run, and throughout the day at work. And while waiting in a long line. Like a normal person. Who stretches for 10 minutes before a run?  … But he is stretching in my parking lot. Okay.

I slowly played with my phone, saying I had to load the map, to make sure I knew all the turns- which btw, turns out I didn’t.

After we began our run, I quickly realized we were going out too fast. And there were some larger hills in this route. I kept trying to slow down the pace, but it would quickly pick back up. I eventually gave up hope, and decide to just keep up.

And truthfully, I knew most of the route pretty well- except about 2 miles of it. I realized that when the sidewalk ended abruptly and we went from running in suburban haven (he stopped at a park along the way for bathroom… and commented on how nice it was) to country ass road with no shoulder. During rush hour. I tried to awkwardly take the lead, but he kept running beside me. I was thinking ‘Ummm, dude, cars are bigger than us. And I know from experience, it hurts when they hit you’ (it took a while for me to learn the ‘look both ways’ on our busy street growing up. No, I am not joking, I got hit by cars like 3 or 4 times. To the point where my mom freaked out whenever she heard brakes and I was outside).

Alright, you won’t get behind me… I guess I will jump into the 3 foot tall grass and just run that way. He is still in the middle of the road. Then I looked up “Oh, sweet Upchurch Meadow. That’s our turn.”  Then as we get back into the suburban hell and enter a round-about, I realize that was not our turn. Our turn was Upchurch Carpenter. Whoops!

me: “Ummm…. so I think we were supposed to go down that road a little longer… Ummm… I know there’s a way out from here, but ummm… let me pull up my phone… Oh, okay, yeah the next turn”

We took the next turn, but apparently my maps did not consider that road an actual road, so it actually should have been the next next turn.

me: “That was fun. Um, let’s turn around. Quick out and back. Adding mileage. … And this f***ing hill!”

(He was really laid back about it all.)

We eventually got back out to the road, just in time before my most dreaded hill of the workout. I usually run hill repeats here. And hate it every time. There’s this tavern that mocks me at the top- “ha ha! you’re still 2 miles from your house… ha ha! you don’t get to enjoy my delicious beers!”

As we begin our trek up my dreaded hill, he starts to tell me some story- Oh, about how he bought a new townhouse, where it is, how much he bought it for, how he saved money with this or that, how it’s just smarter to buy, he was wasting so much money renting, he still feels too young to settle down, but too old to get wasted and crash at Dan’s place, about [pointless other things I can’t remember]… Awww, that’s nice. He knows I hate this hill, so he’s making useless conversation until we get to the top. And actually that hill wasn’t too bad after all.

He also tells me he has eaten at the aforementioned tavern we pass almost at the top of the hill. I wanted to shove him into the steady 630pm traffic. But that would take too much energy. I wasn’t even paying attention at that point. He couldn’t have asked me to buy his townhouse off him because he just realized it’s a crackhouse, and my reply would have been “[heavy breathing and slight nod of acknowledgement]”…

After that hill started our slow and steady descent. Then, I could breathe. I could converse like a normal human being. And this shy boy was starting to feel the endorphins and was suddenly chatty cathy. And he was apparently already feeling the pain from the run. The thought occurred to me that I could turn back. (Since we went a different route out, I almost always go the same route back, and on my own would have made it into a 10 miler without realizing it)

We walked from the entrance of my complex to my building. I was thinking we did a 8 mile loop.

We made small talk. I awkwardly stood in my kitchen with my cold Nuun, covered in salty sweat, and dirt. And chafing still from Sat’s long run.

me: “Yeah… so this was fun”

Dave: “Yeah we should do it again”

me: “Okay. Yeah. See you Wednesday. …Or not. Whatever. It’s just … whatever”

Dave: “Yeah, okay. No, I’ll probably be there”

So, maybe in reading it, it doesn’t sound that awkward.

However, awkward makes me fast. I didn’t calculate splits, because I figured knowing how fast we were going would freak me out. This was my longest “mid” distance so far. All in all, 8.6 miles, in 1:21… And I didn’t stop my watch (my iPhone) at the lights… So a sub 9:30 pace. Very nice! (My “race pace” is 9:30-10:00; my tempo pace is 8:30-9:00… so it was between the two. AND my first 8+ miles on a weeknight)

Go awkward moments. Maybe I will have to take Dan out on a run to get faster. Oh wait, never mind. He’s a sub 8:00 pacer. I’d probably cry. Seriously, I’d be so humiliated, I would pretend I was lost and run back to my apartment, and not answer my door. Note to self: do not meet Dan at your apartment for a run, as there is no escape then.

Thanks for reading. I know that was long.

No worries: I will not be starting a food blog anytime soon

Since mid-May, it’s been 90s+ during the day (we had some 105 + 80% humidity). No it’s not the same as desert heat, where 105 is tolerable. There are warnings all over the news “Do not go outside!”. Well, that’s typical for North Carolina summers, but we still bitch about it and act surprised and tell stories of summers when it wasn’t “this hot”…

It was this kind of morning. Sit outside on the patio…

So the weather man said it was going down into the 50’s last night. So I did the logical thing- turned off my A/C and opened my freaking windows. I woke up to the birds chirping and the cool breeze. It was great.

Oh yeah, I’m a scorpio. My old roomie and I saw those on clearance at Target, and they happened to have our two zodiac signs so we got a kick out of it, and bought them…

 

But! On to why I am not writing a food blog. After my one cup of coffee, I went back inside to make some strawberry pancakes. Mouth watering yet? Well, they were delicious!

… They just didn’t look so pretty…

The final product. Yes, I used up all my syrup. What? …Don’t judge me!

So that’s my Sunday. I have my brother’s wedding shower later. Which- if some of you are thinking ‘what the heck is that?’… It’s one of two things. 1- When the husband is overly involved in the wedding planning. You know- the fiance you see on Say Yes to the Dress. OR 2- When the couple wants an extra present. It’s this really tacky new tradition in the south. Other wedding traditions in the south? A dry wedding. At 5pm. With hors d’oeuvres. By the way, “hors d’oeuvres” means the first meal… meaning there are others to come. And no, my brother is not doing hors d’oeuvres. He is doing the more traditional southern wedding option- a pig pickin’. Yes, folks. That’s right. There will be a pig. On a stick. Over a fire. At their reception. Which is in a barn.

Okay, I am hating on my brother’s wedding. But the barn thing will actually be pretty. And I am guessing they will do the pig cooking portion out back, where no one will see. In the south, the best BBQ is fresh from a pig. I always pretend like I am vegetarian at these functions. Shoot! It’s my brother so he KNOWS I’m not vegetarian. Side note- my aunt and I will be looking for the person with a shot gun… haha. My aunt is very much a Long Island/ Brooklyn cross-breed. She demanded I stay nearby, as she said she’s not sure what to say to people who get married in a barn, and cook pig over a fire for dinner. I’ve gone to these functions before. They’re usually a lot of fun. And someone usually sneaks in liquor. And someone’s uncle gets drunk. Oh! Apparently the first southern wedding one of my coworkers went to the wife put the pig head on her head and chased the groom around oinking. So…. I mean… that’s fricking hilarious! I just hope someone is that crazy at my brother’s wedding!

Picking up the speed

This week was more about speed and quality runs. In [over]preparing for the Tuna 200, I opted to do two runs on Labor Day. They weren’t the best runs, and weren’t quite as far as I wanted, so I wanted to add in some quality workouts. By Tuesday night, I was itching for something speedy. So, I posted on our Tuna facebook page that I wanted to do a tempo run at a local run store (Fleet Feet Raleigh- they’re the best. Love you Kerry and Kerri!). Surprisingly, “the boys” from our van responded first This got me a little scared because their “easy” pace is my OMGthisisasfastasicango pace. (btw- I don’t really know them but yes, I am intending to spend ~30 hours trapped in a van with them. That’s normal. Strange smelly boys. Me. A van… KIDDING!).  But luckily, Allison also responded.

So Wednesday was my first true tempo run since April. We decided to do 5 miles. Allison and I are about the same pace and we usually run side by side on tempo runs- bitching the other one out in our head for going so stinkin’ fast. Actually some of our first workouts were in the dark, and I remember hearing her footsteps and breathing about 5 steps behind me. I would pick up the pace to try and lose her, and that bitch just kept keeping up. Even on freaking uphills. Even until the end. I’d be dying, but because she was behind me, she had no idea. So she was thinking I can’t lose her. Seriously? She’s going faster? Omigod! I hate her… So we push each other. When we were seriously training in the spring our tempo pace was maybe a 9:00? So the boys run about a “8:00-8:30″… Though we had yet to run with them, and I had a feeling the elder of the two was a sub-8:00 member.

We met up. Exchanged the awkward first time run “hellos”… Which honestly, is kinda like a first date. EXCEPT WE WERE ALREADY FREAKING COMMITTED! The boys are running with us in our van for the relay- 30 freaking hours! Just keep that in perspective as I post more about them. I may have to get faster so I can actually *learn* more about them. So we set out on our run…

Allison looked down at her garmin at about a half mile in. “8:24… We haven’t started tempo-ing yet.” me: “yeah, we should back off” … 1 mile in. “Yeah, 8:31.” me: “And tempo now?” Allison… “we are …. tempo… ing” (heavy breathing) So our splits were 9:03, 8:33, 9:26… And I guess the 8:30 “warm up”… And probably a 10:30 cool-down.

The boys? … The whole time, they were just around the corner from us, with Allison yelling “TURN LEFT!… Then second RIGHT!” etc. Allison dropped off at a portajohn about 3 miles in (more on that a different day… haha). And I caught up with the boys before our last big hill. Can you tell I was a younger sister? Anyway, it was a good, fast run. Kicked my ass. And my calves were actually sore- which is the first time in months, so that’s a good sign that it was a good workout.

So then a few more easy runs this week before today’s long run… So today was supposed to be 20 miles. Allison and I have decided to start underestimating and not to decide how long we will actually run until we are past halfway. We both had been proudly telling people “we’re going to do 20 miles tomorrow” and trying to act like oh, yeah, it’s casual. It’s just a thing I do.

We did 18 miles. BUT! Compared to last week’s 19.5 miles, this week’s 18 miles was about 45 seconds faster. I was somewhat disappointed that I didn’t get the 20 mile point this weekend. Oh, and I have random chafing marks all over my body. I mean, like it looks like I rolled in chafing ivy or something- behind my armpits, on my armpits, my lower back, my butt (that’s a first!)…

My favorite moments from today’s run (Allison and I stayed neck and neck most of the 3 hours, 18 minutes. Which BTW, in my runners math logic, is a 10:10 pace. Very nice! … And another friend managed to run a 10:72 one time. And Allison recently asked me at 13 miles in… wait, so a marathon is 26 miles, how long is a half marathon… hahaha! I swear we are all smart without running. In case you followed that stream, today’s pace was actually a 11:00 pace- dead on).  So favorite moments:

Me: “So… I’m waiting to get compression socks because I want them to match my outfit. hehe” (another runner giggled at my giddiness of matching my running gear for a race)

“6 Foot 7 Foot” by Lil Wayne coming on right as I was starting to get in the zone

The 50+ high school cross country kids. I swear they look like a shirtless skinny stampede of hormones coming towards you all at once on a tiny greenway. (random thought- is it a requirement for boys to wear just black shorts and for girls to wear neon sports bras and shorts?…)

The banana I snuck during our “break” to refill water. And my outfit change.

Deciding our team’s snack will be PB Gu with apples. Or PBGu&J sandwiches. And someone overhearing me and thinking I was for real… Which I may be. I will have to check with “the boys”

TOTAL MILEAGE for the week: 32.7/ 5 runs… For September to date: 52.2… YTD: 635.1

Also, I cannot start dating. It may really fuck with my running schedule/ quality of runs… which will in turn fuck with my mental health… which will ruin the relationship. … There’s always 2013.

And, I went to Triangle Wine Co., which oddly enough has the best beer selection on town. I picked up some Octoberfest brews just in time. (Oktoberfest actually begins in late September… And is celebrated with hoppy, seasoned beers. Which are DeLiSh-OUS!)