pushing through boredom and hills

I actually had Memorial Day off, and planned to do hill sprints of the most dreaded hill in Raleigh.

Okay, maybe that’s harsh, because it is a beautiful neighborhood, and I often see other runners doing the route, regardless of this hill.

Fairview

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However, the hill sucks. Over the course of 0.75 miles, you are basically going uphill, ranging from 2% to 11%. For Raleigh, that’s about as hilly as they come.

I drove to a little shopping plaza that was closed for the holiday, and jogged to the bottom of Fairview.

It looked like the largest grade was about 0.3 miles long, from “lowest” to “highest” (though it continues further in either direction, this was the steepest section).

I turned around, took a deep breath, and started up this hill. I’ve done this hill many times in the middle of a run, but never as hill sprints, so I had no idea how hard it would be.

The first one was hard, but my legs felt “springy” despite my somewhat speedy 9.5 miles Saturday and shake-out Sunday. I got to the middle area, where it gets much steeper before leveling off, and kept pumping. Eventually, I was to the top, and lapped my watch- 3:08!

Wow! I am not sure what I expected, but thought I’d be forced to drop to a 12:00 pace, as that is the pace I drop to when in the middle of a run. Sweet, 3:08 must be under 11:00…

I got through two more without having to walk down the hill. By the third “sprint” I was tired. But, mainly, I walked to make sure my heart rate dropped back to a reasonable rate before my final sprint. I picked it back up to a jog halfway, and prepared myself mentally for my final sprint.

It took every mental strength (and physical) to push. I wanted this one to be my fastest. And, more importantly, I just wanted to be done with these sprints. I finished my last one in about 2:51. I was excited, but more importantly done. I jogged back to my car, and reveled in my “I did this” glow.

I took Tuesday night off, and last night struggled to get through 5.5 miles. I knew I was lacking the strength to get in a good, strong run, so I turned the screen on my garmin off. I don’t like true “blind” runs, because I like to know what the pace was after (if a 10:30 felt hard, or a 9:30 felt easy…). I went for about an hour, but hit my end point in the loop at 57 and a half minutes (I checked it). My overall pace was 10:20, and I actually didn’t feel horrible, or horrible about the pace. My thoughts had lead me through the miles. I just had to keep pushing through the bored-feeling.

I think everyone has runs that aren’t inspiring. Especially following a faster or harder workout. It’s normal. It’s fine. I think the big thing is not being content with being bored. You don’t want every run to be something you struggle to get through, but it is okay to push through it. I need to start pushing through the ugh at the end of my runs. We have this massive, but short hill (maybe a couple tenths of a mile?) to get all the way back home. I usually walk when I get there, and justify it as a nice cool-down. I think it will help me get through a painful last 0.1 mile of a half marathon if I can just run up the final hill (even if it’s slow).

 

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how to squeeze in a long run

This weekend was a wedding weekend. Like all of our other weekends this spring…

We're nerds. Normal smiles are soooo 2013.

We’re nerds. Normal smiles are so 2013.

It was beautiful, but in Asheville, which is 4 hours from us, so we felt like someone stole our weekend 🙂 Let me say- I love Asheville. It’s beautiful, has good food, and good beer (it’s the heart of craft brews for the Southeast). We went up to Asheville to meet my friend’s fiance, and hang out for the weekend in January. I went up by myself the weekend before the wedding, just to have some girl time with the bride-to-be (one of my old best friends from college).

Friday I had planned to work from home for a little, and double up two mid-distance runs. I opted out of the morning run, and the afternoon run was … interrupted (We’ve all had those runs where you feel like you are racing your digestive system to get to a toilet). So Friday afternoon’s run- a shorter 5.5 miles. Still a good distance. But, not the longer run I’d hoped for when I laced up.

So, Saturday, we headed out bright and early- at around 9am, with the hopes of squeezing in a brunch before the 3pm wedding. The wedding was beautiful. I got a little teary-eyed, having known the bride for ten years, and knowing all that lead to her meeting a good man, and to this day. Dan and I went to bed early, and got up early for breakfast. Except our planned place didn’t open until 9am, and it was 840. We walked around the block for 10 minutes, and suddenly, BAM! There were like 40 people, and apparently a “list” we were not on. So, we walked around the corner to a place without a line. And, it was delicious.

Then, we hit the road at about 10am, and would be home by early afternoon. Dan and Bruce were planning to do 13 miles in Umstead on Sunday, so I joined the peer pressure, and decided on doing a mid-to-long run.

For once, I didn’t plan anything. I went out into Umstead, hoping to be inspired by the springtime beauty. I planned to do an out-and-back, and all along the way “out”, I kept pushing my turn-around. I guess I was aiming for 8 miles or something.

Umstead is gorgeous- an oasis away from the city, but so close to everything. The sun was gleaming through the trees. The trees were all different shades of green, depending on how the sun hit the leaves. I purposely didn’t bring my phone (music), and I made sure to bring my camelbak, so I could go as far as I wanted. I say it was beautiful weather- but it was around 75, even if that’s shaded.

I ran all the way from our side to the other of the 5500 acre park.  This is about 6 miles from our entrance, where I started. I ran on the bridle trail, which is more like dirt road than a single-track trail. I like that, because it’s not too technical, so you can usually stretch your stride out and get comfortable. You still have to watch for loose gravel, dips in the trail, and the delight horses leave behind. There are also some serious hills in Umstead.

The run itself sucked. My legs felt like they were hardly moving. And I wasn’t having difficulty breathing, but had difficulty finding a solid, fast-but-easy pace. So, by 5 miles in, I settled on a decent 11:00 pace. Meh, it really is hilly, and mostly uphill on the way out (including one hill that lasts for almost a mile, and is about 200 ft gain. That hill hurts anyone’s pace. And the gravel always makes me slower- less push off I guess.

When I first ran, I would run for a while, and then stop and walk. It served as a cool-down, but also a great time to take in the scenery, and become meditative. So I decided to do that on this run. It’s a great time to be unplugged, and enjoy the scenery. This section of Umstead goes past Reedy Creek Lake, which you can see through the trees, as you walk along it.  I walked the last 2.5 miles back to my car, and I felt great- calm and content. My mind just felt settled. I felt free by not putting a goal or limit on my running or being hung up with my pace. My overall pace ended up being 11:03, but I honestly didn’t think I would get through 8 miles. I ended up going 9.57, plus the 2.5 walking back.

Side thought- There was a run the other night, at dusk. I was running next to the horses, plodding my way up this hill, and they picked up next to me. They started racing each other and playing with each other. Their free spirit- I love seeing that when I run. It’s one of the reasons I love that entrance of Umstead- it backs up to the NC State Vet school (where they “house” the horses, and cows, and goats. etc).

 

 

preparing for the holidays

There has been evidence to suggest that people who gain the least amount of weight during the holidays start strategizing early- as early as October. For North Carolina, I think the NC State Fair is the beginning of the holiday season. Pretty much anything is deep-fried, covered in butter, and somehow pork is always involved– for instance, the Krispy Kreme burger. Two Krispy Kreme doughnuts act as the bun for a burger, which is topped with cheese and bacon. Then, comes halloween and the beginning of all my friends’ holiday parties. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve… My weekends are quickly filling up between now and the end of the year with these events.

This week was also our annual Success Week at work (I work at a private residential weight management facility). During success week, former clients who have been successful at home return, and impart wisdom on our current clients. Although their success varies, and everyone’s stories are different. They all have one thing in common- through the years and struggles, they have managed to lose weight; some have lost 30-40 lbs. Some of our most successful people have gone from 675 lbs to 250, or 400 to 200 lbs. Either way, it is always an inspiration to hear how we have impacted these people’s lives, and it’s particularly nice for me to hear. I work with the numbers; working statistical analyses all day, determining outcomes, and reporting averages. When I am in the numbers all the time, I forget about the applied aspect of my research; the stories behind the weight loss.

So what strategies have worked for people in the past?

Planning your strategies now.

It seems silly that we plan our trips home, who we plan to see, where we want to go; but often, we forget to plan to be healthy during the holidays. When you make your plans for the holidays- whether you are going out of town or having people over to your house, the most successful people (people who are able to maintain their weight) plan out the meal and exercise plans while planning out their vacations. This may vary by person, but here are my favorites I’ve heard over the years–

Sign up for a Turkey Trot.

Most of these are pretty flexible and allow people to just walk the entire course, and range in distance from 5K to half marathon (3 to 13 miles).

Create a family tournament.

Besides, who doesn’t like a little sibling rivalry. This could be a pick-up game of flag football, running around the block in a santa suit, or a yoga-off (see who can hold the move longest). Hopefully you get the point.

Bring your own health.

Don’t assume that someone else will cook healthy for you. Ask if there is something you can bring to the get-together (or offer to test out a recipe there, with tons of veggies).

Add some veggies.

One of our former clients started baking fresh veggies at every holiday meal (This started 7 years ago). She claims they are delicious, and year after year, they are the only thing there with no leftovers. All she does is chop seasonal veggies and put them in 15-20 mins before the turkey/ham/whatever is baking is ready. She also swears by the next rule…

Pick a day.

Pick one day for each holiday. On that one day, you can eat everything you want. Indulge in those favorites. But, don’t extend each holiday into a holiweek. There is some evidence behind this, and one day will not ruin your diet, but three months of indulgence will add pounds in all the wrong places.

Put the cookie jar away.

Research shows that if you we don’t see it, we think about it less; and eat less of snacks that are in the cupboard.

Switch your drink.

Non-alcoholic drinks- like seasonal teas or apple cider have less calories, and are less likely to lower your inhibition (which keeps you from eating the entire batch of cookies you just made). If switching to non-alcoholic makes you scoff, stick with wines, beers, or club soda/tonic water and a shot. You can try my apple cider sangria- coming soon… (I’ll link to my apple cider when it is up and running… I made a trial batch- delicious, and am making another LARGE batch this weekend (<200 cals per glass)

Mini-size me. Pile up with smaller portions of each item. Then, only go back for seconds of your “favorites” (as opposed to eat 1 full heaping portion of everything, and then add another heaping portion of your favorites). This allows you to feel satisfied in your choices. You can eat as much as you want of the “top 3 favorites”.

The biggest advice I can give is know when to indulge, and when to be conservative. If you indulge at every party you go to, and do not eat healthy in between, your jeans may be a little tighter in January. I enjoy the holidays with games and activities and talking with people. Food is part of it, but only the main event a few days out of the year.

what… me?

I have been M.I.A the past week or so (in virtual life, work life, and social life) due to my injury. But after a weekend filled with muscle relaxers, sleep, and Dan catering to my every need, I popped in quickly to notice I got nominated for the Bouquet of Three Award. Thanks y’all (as a true southerner would say, which I am feeling today).There are rules tied to the award, and mostly it is (I think) to help keep us connected to one another, and promote those who we enjoy, as much as they enjoy our blogs.

1. Display your award picture, on a blog post. – Check!

bestmomentawardversatilebloggerawardsunshine-blog-award

2. Thank the person who nominated you, link them back in your post.

Thank you followyourheartandlifewillfollow and wannabehappycamper (btw I always love everyone’s names… I think I picked mine in a drunken moment by comparison)

3. Pass the nomination on to 15 Bloggers you have recently discovered.

This is kind of the hard part- because I think the “newer” I follow may have already been nominated (also I slack on the following part of blogging… and other stuff I’m sure), but here are a few that I enjoy. (Maybe you will too)

AshRuns100s

supergenericgirl

SarahsDoodles

seethisgirlrun

mindful fitness movement

4. Contact the Bloggers, to tell them that you have nominated them – as soon as this is published! 

I will likely forget this part… Whoops! Blame it on my ab spasm/ medication-induced trance 😉

5. Finally, share 7 things about yourself

1. I live in the same town I grew up in.

Yes, yuck! I always pictured living somewhere else, and even did for six years, but I came back in ’09 for the job opportunities, and now love Raleigh, North Carolina.

2. I have my MA in psychology

And I am a huge stats/research/numbers nerd. I live in databases every day, giving numbers meaning through statistical analyses. Somehow, I still love working with people/clients as well.

3. I have officially paid off my student loans (Woo!)

(But am still in debt about $10K because I have a new, well 1-year old, car)

4. My old car (’99 For Escort ZX2, aka Essy) had a bumper sticker ‘Friends don’t let friends drink starbucks. Support your local coffee shop’

So I would park away from the Starbucks when I did frequent it, because I didn’t want to look like a hypocrite. Though, I’ve also been known to drive 5 or 10 minutes out of the way to drink not Starbucks coffee. Sorry (not sorry, at all).

5. I have a fat cat.

My old roomie/ gay best friend calls him “Titties”… He thinks it’s hilarious… And if my cat didn’t lie around in such suggestive poses, I would feel bad for him.

Rub me. Love me. Feed me.
(slut)

#awkwardpetphotosHe loves the holidays…

6. I have had four accidents in my life, and five speeding tickets.

Yet, I swear I am a good driver.

7. I do not have a twitter account.

Not sure I will ever get one. Call me old-school. I used facebook in college (still do), and am on instagram and pinterest, even linkedin, but see no need for twitter…

(I apologize for the typos and spelling errors. I tried to run today, rediscovered my pain, and came home to immediately take a muscle relaxer… Apparently after exercising, it hits really quick and really strong! :-D)

Hanson’s Marathon training?

A fellow running buddy emailed me this morning. She will be training for Marine Corps Marathon (about 3 weeks before Richmond Marathon), and wanted to know if I’d be interested in training with her on some of her faster runs (I’m a little faster; at least, in shorter distances. I think our marathon times are comparable).

I read up on it, and got excited (but also nervous). It sounds like exactly what I thrive on– You run 6 days per week, with your last day in a row being speed work. You never run more than 16 miles (and only do 16-miles three times in a four-month training cycle).

The idea is (or sounds) simple- You are training yourself to be mentally and physically strong by keeping your pace, even on tired legs. Your legs will likely be tired at some point during the marathon, so training them to keep this pace is helpful. The beginner program goes from ~20 miles per week to 55 miles per week. The advanced goes from ~35 miles per week to 65 miles per week. She is going to do the advanced. I am thinking I could do the “Beginner” and tweak it to have a 18-miler somewhere in the rotation.

They (the Hanson brothers) focus on quality workouts, and spreading the mileage over several days, rather than running 40+% of your mileage on your one day (as the traditional “L.S.D.”). I fully believe in this tactic. And, it means I get to work speed. BONUS (I love speed work, no matter how painful. I am, by nature, a sprinter).

My goal (if I dare say it out loud) is to go sub-4:15. I am tempted to say sub-4:00, but I haven’t even started training yet, and that seems very daunting at this stage. Also, I have yet to run a sub-2:00 half marathon. If I can run 10 miles in 1:27 (during a relay race/ with no support and while eating bug), I’m confident I can maintain that pace for a half marathon (which would be 1:54).

So, I guess I am wondering if anyone else has tried the Hanson’s training method? I think I would still want to include one 18-22 mile run, but I may forego that upon beginning the program

It basically looks like this:

Mon: 6 miles (mid-distance “easy” run)
Tue: Speedwork (warm-up 1.5 mi, 12×400@5K pace with 400m recoveries, cool-down 1.5 mi; for 9 miles total)
Wed: rest day/ cross-training/ strength-training
Thur
: Tempo (1 mi warm-up, 5 miles at marathon pace, 1 mi cool-down)
Fri: 6 miles (4 at easy pace, 2 at 1/2 mar pace)
Sat: 8 miles (easy pace/ “long run” pace)
Sun: 8 miles (easy pace/ “long run” pace)
Total: 40 miles

So, I’m nervous. Do I forego the long run? Also, running 6 days per week means I may not have time for the essential cross-training and strength training… It is hard to fit in two workouts in a day? Maybe I can double up one day of running to trade out for a “free” workout day?

Any thoughts?!

today we leave… tomorrow we relay

Today; well tonight, we leave for Columbia. To begin our Palmetto200 adventure from Columbia to Charleston.

I generally go into a race with a plan. But, if you have ever done a relay, you cannot have a plan. Best case scenario, you run all your legs way faster than you planned, and everyone else sucks. All you can control is your attitude.

In a relay like this, you are counting on your other 12 11 teammates (we are down one runner). A lot can happen within 200 miles. The most likely thing to happen is a lot of fun, but still plenty of competition. For me, I will try to make friends with almost everyone. Then, realize that means I’m running too slow, and make my newfound friends eat my dust. If I can help it.

So, tonight, we set out for a crammed hotel room in Columbia, SC. We will wake up bright and early to get to the race track (how cool is that- that it starts on a race track?) by 615 for a 7am start time. Dan is leading us off, and it will likely be in the rain.

Then, Sarah, Chris, Brucy, and Will-y-em, and I will jump into our luxurious (and likely overpacked) 12-passenger van, and head to the first exchange, to drop off Sarah, and pick up wet and smelly Dan.

I will be running the last legs for Van 1, so I won’t see any members from Van 2 until I hand-off to Andrea and wish her a speedy run for her less-than-two-mile-can-you-tell-I’m-jealous run. Then, Van 2 will have to rush to get to their next exchange where they will take over playing runner’s leap frog. We will then have a few hours to rest, bond, eat, rest, go gymnastics, and oh yeah, drive to the next major exchange.

Right around sunset, Van 2 should show up, waiting anxiously for Jarod (their final runner). We will talk excitedly, and get recaps of how Sheryl rocked her 4-miler at a 9:00 pace or how Andrea and Clara almost forgot where they parked the van, or other silly randomness. Hopefully, we will all have shoes and our cell phones at that point.

Then, Van 1 will take back the slap bracelet baton, and travel into the darkness, running, pointing and laughing at reflective gear, hoping no wild dogs actually catch us, and finish up as most college kids are heading out to the bars; hoping we will sneak in some sleep in the van (and tent?)… Then Van 2 will show up, and take over until most of the college kids are heading home from said bars; then Van 1 will send Dan off in the middle of the night for his hardest (and final) leg, without coffee. Maybe. By the time I run again, the sun will be fully in the sky, and I will hand-off to Clara for the last time (which seems fitting as she handed off to me at 445am for my last leg on the Tuna200 in October).

Then, Van 1 gets to head to the hotel. Detox, shower, and go in search of beer to stock our fridge. We’ll attempt to get in a short nap, perhaps during the shower, for optimal time management. Then, head to the street to cheer Jesus in on our final leg, after the “dreaded” (beautiful, in my opinion) Cooper River Bridge. We will enjoy the sun, and sand in our toes, do some more handstands in the grassy areas, drink a few beers (or a few too many), talk about the good times we had and do a lot of remember when…?, and make our way to downtown Charleston to celebrate in style. And by style, I mean likely with a foam roller in hand, flip flops, and A&D ointment for chafing. Classy.

Charleston, here we come!

…It may take a while; we’re running to get there

what is wrong with me?

Wait, don’t answer that.

Well, not yet.

Last week, I did something incredibly stupid- signed up for my third (full) marathon. I think if there was a race every month of the year in Raleigh, I’d sign up for more races, coasting on the “convenience” factor (and probably skimping on the training more often).

So, here I am.

Signed up for my second marathon (Richmond) in November, and the Rock and Roll Raleigh in April (2014).

On a slightly related note, there has been a lot of controversy about the Rock and Roll coming to Raleigh. Here are my scrambled thoughts.
First, I have done two Rock and Roll half marathons (my first- Vegas), and Nashville last year. I have also done a tiny (300 person) half marathon. I would prefer the middle ground- 1,000-5,000 person race. The 20,000+ person races are intimidating and crowded (regardless of how well they corral people). I will agree with that point. However, they put on a good show (including a good course, tons of food and energy gels/drinks and crowd support); this helps give me energy to last longer.
The main thing people keep saying is “race local”… We have two local full marathons in the Raleigh area (and several half marathons). I did one of these local races (a half), and hated it- I had to bring my own energy gels (which I was not told in advance, I realized at mile 8, when I hadn’t seen anything yet), there were maybe 4 water stations (I drink a lot over the course of 13 miles in MAY in Raleigh), there was next to no crowd support, and by the time I finished, there was no food. Like, no food. Or juice. Just water. Also, i finished in 2:29, not so ridiculously slow that i should miss out on those post-race goodies. Anyway, my point is- sometimes Walmart/Target has more options than the local country store, making it worth it to shop ‘non local’. It also makes me laugh that some of the people who are strongly anti-RnR are the same people who go to starbucks every day. Your coffee choice impacts your local economy much more than which race runners do. A little math lesson– $4/day for a week is $20/week, which is $80/month, or $1000/year. That affects the local economy on a much more significant scale than a few runners paying $60-120 once per year. Just sayin’! If you are going to make that argument, stand behind it with all your spending habits 🙂

The honest truth is I trained for City of Oaks in 2011, and got injured. Last year, I decided to train for Richmond, which is the following weekend. I then signed up for Richmond again this year. Maybe in 2014, I’ll run City of Oaks (which, by the way, is a great local race of about 5,000 runners in the full, I think, with great crowd support most if the way, including me at mile 25). I have wanted to pay tribute to my hometown (and current city) as well, with a good course, and RnR tends to do a good scenic course. And it was only $65, which for a marathon, is super cheap. So, I signed up.

And now I am left thinking When did I become a marathoner? Sure, one marathon is one thing, but THREE? And immediately following that (and a “calm the f*** down” beer), I decided this will be my last marathon… famous last words, right?

So, here goes nothing. Here’s to hoping next winter will be friendlier than this winter. My 15 miler in the snow was horrible, and I can’t imagine a 20-miler in those conditions (Andrea rocked a 27-miler that day, due to bad GPS signaling… go get ’em girl!).

Basically, here’s to early mornings from July to April; drinking water as if I’m storing it like a camel; here’s to foam rolling and yoga (both necessary); here’s to felling tired and hungry all the time. But mainly, to the feeling of accomplishment, to the joyful years at the finish line, the sense of comrade in training and in race day! To all of it! I raise my coffee mug (It’s 8am, I’m not drinking a beer before work silly!)
Raise your glasses (or mugs, or just Nuun pint glasses) with me for whatever goals you have coming. And in advance, for all the hard work you’re going to put in!

best kinds of relays

When we first signed up for the Palmetto200, I felt the anticipation of competition. It wasn’t until today that I felt it again, upon hearing that our frenemies (best way to describe them based on the driving competition) on another team would be starting 30 minutes ahead of us, and were wondering when we would finish.

So the best kinds of relays (I’ve decided) are when you know another team. Bonus points is there is some underlying beef between you. For instance, apparently Jarod (on my Tuna team) and Casey (on the Big Katunas) do not like each other, on principle, and were smack-talking on the sidelines.

They stole Dave.

‘Nuf said.

They are going down. Oh, sweetie, the smack talk has just begun!
(There is a sassy black woman inside of me. High five, bro. Cards Against Humanity flashback)

Okay, no really, it will be fun. And we will play back and forth. And I think there is enough varied speed in our runners that we will probably ping pong a good bit.

But, it does feel satisfying to know their start time is before ours (because they’re a little slower than us).

Again, I repeat: They stole Dave

[Dave is Dan’s best friend, who got confused and ended up on the wrong team… We found great replacements, and I am truly happy with our van’s end result, but they stole Dave! hahaha]

Let the games… BEGIN!

Prep week for a sub-25 5K

Like a Boss.

In preparing for this weekend’s 5K, I can’t help but think back to my first 5K, my very first race. It was in November (’08), in San Diego, so it was warm and sunny. My ex-boyfriend (we broke up a few weeks before the race) signed up with me to encourage me to finish the race.

I didn’t know anything about running. I went to the Road Runner Sports in San Diego because a friend completed a training program with them and it came highly recommended. I don’t remember a lot, but if you’ve been to that store, you can understand- its huge and overwhelming. I do remember the sales associate asked how many miles per week I ran, and I laughed out loud. ‘Ummmm 5? Maybe. If its a good week

So there I am, at my first race. I didn’t have any race day rituals. Basically just parked and walked over to start. I even wore all cotton (gasp!)

I just wanted to finish in a better than 10-minute pace. I stopped to walk at the turn around. I finished in 30:30, and was so upset because I was slower than a 10-minute pace (it was actually slightly faster than a 10:00). That actually makes me laugh, your time on your first race doesn’t matter. I didn’t realize there was an extra 0.1 mile (I probably walked it, thinking I had passed the finish line when I saw the 3-mile marker). But at the time, I thought 30+ minutes was horrible (maybe the ex being an easy sub-18-minute 5Ker had something to do with it…).

So how do you train for a sub-25 5K?

The way I’ve been “training” (let’s admit I’m using that term loosely) is as follows-

I run about 20-35 miles/week (across 3-5 runs). One long/slow run (usually Sat AM), 1-2 fast pace (track workout/ tempo/ hilly/ intervals/ whatever; “fast” pace is a 8:30 or better for me), 1-2 super easy shorter run.

Rather than training for a certain distance, I have been keeping a steady base, and I noticed I was getting stronger again, and faster. Holding a 8:15 seems hard, but do-able (a year ago, that would have been an all-out mile for me). But something made me think- I need a legitimate 5-K speed (and 10-K for that matter… maybe in May). And I thought about it- and I feel holding 8’s would be hard, but do-able. And in all honesty, I could probably run faster than a 25-minute pace… but I’ll get back to you about that on Monday (after my 5K).

So my game plan for Sunday is to: Warm-up by jogging to the start line from Dan’s (about a mile). By the way, this will be my first time ever warming up before a race. I generally just scrap the first mile or so of the race as a warm-up. Other new things-

I plan to line up near the front.

Say what?!

I know. I know. Crazy! But I don’t want to spend the first mile elbowing past the first-timers (me, circa 2008). I glanced at the finishing times for last year, and 24:45 was the #25 female, of about 600 racers, #120 overall. So, don’t get me wrong… I don’t plan to be front row, ready to trip Paul (Dan’s friend who freaking wins 5K’s all the time- with 15-16 minute times), but I do plan to be near the front, so it is easier for me. Dan is planning to run even faster. He might be second-row.

And it looks like weather is going to be gross- 40 degrees and raining. Wish me luck! I will definitely need it! Sunday at 2pm.

now, shameless NCAA tournament plug- Go NC State!… And San Diego State! (my grad school-alma mater)

[Yes, I will be carb-loading with cupcakes today and tomorrow… What? Who says it has to be a long race to stuff your face 😉 ]

various wonders of my world

1. Why does lesbian running tights keep coming up on my “search terms”? Is this to presume the blog gods believe me to be lesbian? Or more so, how exactly are lesbian running tights different than heterosexual running tights? Do they come with attachments? Or a tool belt? Or other stereotypical things?
Whoever keeps searching for lesbian tights, and getting this blog; here it is- lesbian tights and heterosexual tights are the same! I know, I know; I know. Now that you have digested that… Go buy some women’s running tights 🙂 They’re on sale this time of year!

2. How did people over 40 years old suddenly become so proficient in their computer skills? Seriously. They are all over facebook and twitter, and email constantly. They even text a lot. I think most of them must have secretly gone to some computer skills training class in 2012 or something… Just an observation; not saying they do not have the right to all those things, or that I don’t enjoy speaking with them in these technological ways.

3. Will I ever be so fast people wonder how I look so normal while running? I usually think this upon seeing someone killing it (sub-6:00 pace people), who look so normal and comfortable; even though their wind pushes me off my pace because they are that fast!

4. What is the inside of a Cadbury egg made of? and how can I replicate that deliciousness? Are there illegal substances that make it so addictive? Is Cadbury like Santa, in that they work all year, but only receive recognition during this time period? …that list could go on and on. I should just hoard those things, since I am so obsessed. Spoiler- they don’t come from the cute bunny on commercials…

Also, on an unrelated note, I’m slowly getting better. But experienced major ab cramping on Tuesday and Wednesday night’s runs. I’m guessing its due to the constant coughing and ‘hocking’ during my run

Has anyone else had random things they wonder, that frustrate you to the very core?