Long run reunion

This week, I got a great Facebook message. Honestly, I usually loathe these messages, and look for the easiest way to ‘opt out’ of receiving these. But this time, it was from a dear friend and old training buddy (to a bunch of us), asking who was interested in a long run. I was delighted!

I’ve been struggling to get past ten miles solo. At a slower pace, it takes, well, longer than at a faster pace (go figure!).

So, at 8am, 8 of is met, and reminisced, as 8 gps synched (does gps need an extra s if plural?), then started our run. If we could have, we would have ran 8-wide. It has probably been a year or longer since we all ran together. I floated from line to line, talking to everyone. The first three miles were so slow and easy, as we all chattered and caught up, joking and teasing each other. These people are my running family. It was a running reunion!

Eventually, my legs were good and loose and the 11-11:30 pace wasn’t quite fast enough. Something I realized as Jarod and I chattered away about various life, politics, kids, dogs, etc. we turned around a few minutes later, and the rest of the group was way back. Whoops! Well, let’s keep it up, and catch ’em at the turn-around. Except they turned around early, so with just Jarod and I, we pushed a 9:30 pace to finish out 9 miles and a little (steep) hill by the lake, to walk it in.

Not the 12 miles I had planned. But I am so happy with my mileage. And more so, to see old friends.

Now, at the pool, I am relaxing gloriously with my own nuun concoction. It always soothes me- wine (or champs) with strawberry lemonade, a pour of vodka, and splash of bourbon. Strong, sweet, and rehydrating. Oh, and add ice for pool.

What a beautiful day!20140524-135643-50203264.jpg

Fartlekking St Patricks wknd

This weekend was pretty hectic… I was rarely by a computer, and trying to limit my iPhone usage in front of company (thanks SarahsDoodles for making feeling guilty about that one 🙂 )…

I moved my gay bestie on Saturday. I love his family and his boyfriend, and we get along great, so no worries or unnecessary drama. In fact, we have kind of gotten into a routine of it. He has moved 6 times in the past 3 years- we calculated, and I’ve been around for all of them. So because this was planned out, I knew I wouldn’t want to get in extra miles after our training program’s 10-miler Saturday morning

So, I wanted to get in some miles Friday. Ideally, I wanted to do a short warm-up, then a close-to-5K speed for 3 miles, then just mess around with mileage until my legs felt shaken out. I had been thinking somewhere in the 5 to 7 mile range. The weather was beautiful- in the 60’s and sunny, so I was ready for whatever.

Well, as I’ve mentioned before- I’m recovering from a cold that has a cough that seems harder to kick than using my iphone so much. Every night last week, I got a cramp on my run (probably due to change in breathing). This run was no different.

Fri (3/15): Oops! I fartlekked!

I started out easy, and everything felt good. Then, when I started the 5K-pace, it felt like I turned into a wind turbine, creating extra (unnecessary) resistance. I managed a 8:12, but it felt so hard. I got through another 0.85 miles before “giving up” (on a fast speed… though I did almost stop completely), which I later saw was a 8:06 pace, so would have still been good. I dropped down to an easy jog for 0.5 miles, then tried again for a fast speed. I felt like I was hitting my stride, but after 0.5 miles, I started coughing so bad I thought something ugly might come up. So I dropped back down to an easy pace, and knew I’d stay there for the rest of the run. So, I got in one last 100-meter sprint (all out), then dropped down to an easy pace to settle into. When I got back into my apartment complex, I decided I had another mile in me. When I got on the treadmill, I decided I could be ambitious. I pushed my speed a little and got a 7:03-minute mile. Woo! Which means my “average” pace was a 8:45, not bad… Esp for 5 miles. Definitely a little harder than I had originally planned.

[Fartlekking= intervals by which you play with the intervals. Rather than use a specific time or distance (say, 0.5 fast, .25 easy), you run for whatever distance you want at whatever speed you want]

Sat (3/16):

So, Saturday morning, I had my half-marathon training group. We only had one lonely participant in the 10-11 group, and she had just dropped down to the 10-11 pace group, so I figured we’d go extra slow. It was 10 miles, so that’s not the time for a half-marathoner to push your pace. Well, I really liked her. The conversation was enjoyable. And she pushed a good amount up some of the hills, and took it easy when she needed to. Our first two miles were too fast- 9:11, 9:24… But, I kept asking if she felt okay. And she did, so we kept going in the 930’s, which was a speedier pace than I had thought we would go, but is a comfortable pace for a long-ish run for me. We completed 9.91 miles in 1:35 minutes, which isn’t too shabby at all.

*** Flash forward to moving my gay bestie. And he moved into a two-story house, so I probably did the equivalent of 30 stair climbs, and I burned a good bit of calories this weekend… Clearly, I earned St Pats this year

Sun (3/17)

I woke up bright and early- 645am to be exact. Stupid getting old! I stayed in bed (in the second bedroom) until 7am. Until I was finally like This is stupid! Just accept that you are old, and get up more regularly than these younger guys… And got up to pee.

Went to turn the doorknob. Ruh-oh! It wouldn’t open. I did that stupid thing everyone does in similar scenarios though- continue to jiggle it in hopes that I had just forgotten how to open a door. Still no luck.

So, I laid back down, and tried to convince my bladder to go back to sleep. Then, texted my bestie- “her-row? (the sound my cat makes at 2am looking for someone to snuggle with- or scaring the ghosts or something, either way it’s a creepy hello and we always do it) I am locked in the room”

He woke up 45 minutes later, and let me out. We waited for the cable guy, who came 3 minutes after his time window, and took 45 minutes to install. This is all pre-coffee. Which can be a scary state for those around me.

FINALLY! At 11am, I had coffee! Woo! St Patricks Day could officially start now!

I went home, met up with Dan and some other various friends- a few who had recently finished their first marathon- CONGRATS to them! And drank some good beer. And perhaps got a little too excited about stouts. Oh, and Dan lost his credit card in his kilt/ on his kitchen floor (apparently the cats decided to mess with it in the 5 minutes we were gone, and played with it until it was hidden under something). So, I was buying.

Fun times! Happy St Pats! Oh, and random, Johnny Knoxville has been in Raleigh for the past few weeks, and everyone is amazed! I’m more amazed that he must think Raleigh Times is the only place in Raleigh to get a beer (all the sightings have been there. Maybe he just moved here. After all, everyone else is moving here, per all the reports)

typical weekend rant

It didn’t hit me until Megs said it out loud “look at you two (Dan and I)… In a totally normal, healthy relationship; it’s almost inspiring”

Friday night, we ordered a pizza, grabbed some beer from the new brewing company basically in Dan’s back yard (Trophy), and watched an epically horrible movie Abraham Lincoln: the Vampire Hunter.

In all seriousness, it was a good Friday night, but I kind of felt like the boring old couple. We’re checking out some new restaurant tonight since “something came up” with my brother/sis-in-law/new nephew. (Hey guys, when you have a new baby, just be upfront. “I am exhausted and am tired of everyone coming into town” or “I’d rather sleep” or a million other things, but giving a vague apology leads me to believe I’m not getting the whole story and leads to feeling of exclusion…)

Oh well.

I had thought about running to our meet-up (2.5 miles), running the easy 7 with the group, and then the 2.5 miles back for an even 12 miles. And thought it sounded great; some free alone time, but some group time too. Except it as pouring and 37 degrees out. And had been raining all night, so puddles all over the place. So I drove to the group meet-up, where 2 of our group participants showed up (we have three mentors), and I ran an even easy 10:30 pace with one participant and one mentor. So I guess I’ll do a long run tomorrow…

And I came home, got on facebook (after a hot shower), like every other American, and saw this- as if mocking me.

Run to start the weekend

Or to end the weekend

Praying for winter to be over soon. Also, summer running clothes are so much cuter, and take up less roomy when dirty 🙂

Don’t worry. I let the picture mock me without feeling guilty about crawling back into my warm comfy bed… 🙂

Mentoring rocks

So in January, I decided to mentor a half-marathon training group. At first, I was thinking it may have been a bad idea to do such a “slow” group, as it wouldn’t be much of a workout for me… Well, it’s been great! The first run, I saw one of our old training buddies (who has always been a little slower), and we chatted a good bit, and the whole group ran with excitement- clocking the first two miles at 9:33, 9:35. Then they really hit a wall on the last mile back, and we slowed to a 10:24 pace. Still, I was proud; and I told them we’d watch the clock more on the way out.

The following Saturday “long run” (started at 4 miles, which isn’t even really mid-distance for me, but is a good starting place for training) was cancelled due to icy weather conditions. Which, it’s good they scrapped it. Sarah and I went 7 miles on Sunday and were slipping and sliding at a 10:30 pace…

The next Tuesday night run was a little hilly at parts. And Andrea (Tuna and Palmetto and prior training buddy of mine) joined us. We did ~3 miles with the group, maintaining a 10-10:30 pace, with a strong finish at the end. Then Andrea and I went out for another 3 miles on our own at 9:30s (final mile 9:05- woo!).

This past Tuesday night, we went out for a hilly 3 miles. I didn’t have my garmin because I was running late, and knew it would take ~10 mins to find satellites… But it basically looked like this:


(no really here is the map with elevation– notice it’s graded the whole time; no “flat” http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/172040644)

Anyway, we all started bonding then. Some of my people had to walk, but they all finished strong on the last uphill (Of course I looped back, so I was pushing them too)

Today’s run was 5 miles, and was really cold. I loved it though! I ran a 10:30 to 11:00 pace with my people. These were the people who had to walk on Tuesday’s hilly run, so I thought I’d maintain a slower pace for them. My goal was to not let them walk at all. If they had to walk, I would have done an easy jog next to them 🙂 Nothing makes you want to punch your coach like them jogging next you as you’re struggling- hehe.

They did great though. They even responded when (with 0.3 miles left to go), I said I was gonna try and get them to go a little faster, time to push it a little at the end. We dropped down to as fast as a 8:55. For them, that is an awesome sprint. Our total 5-mile pace was 52:00. And I think they were all sore, but satisfied afterward.

And we’re all started to become a little bonded, which is nice.

I, of course, grabbed some Nuun and GU, and met up with the other mentors who were finishing up with their groups, and took off for another 8 miles, 3.67 with the mentors, 4.33 on my own. One of the mentors was going 20 miles for the first time, and is a little slower as is, so we tried to keep it at a 11:00 pace for her. I pushed my last three miles as much as possible (but had to pee so bad! And that always slows me down).

Helping people reach milestones is great. It reminds you why you run. Although, for me, I run because I can. And I will continue to run to celebrate life.

And now, taxes. And then finding a costume kilt for a st pattys race (8K) in March. We are trying to beat a record for the most people to run in a kilt… 1,089 is the record to beat. I think 780 were signed up as of a few weeks ago, and I am trying to get others to get in on it (200m in a kilt to count). And tons of great beer and Irish music in Moore Square after it. It’s a great race to be a part- participant or by-stander 🙂