Monday, March 2, 2009

Spring already? *yawn*

*smack* *smack* Hmm. Okay, I'm getting up.

I'm totally behind on everything, except house sale preps. Amazing how much time can get sucked away doing stuff that's the least fun.

I'll try to get back into the blog world shortly. Promise. (I did say *try*!)

Monday, December 22, 2008

NUW Security

I stopped by the Y today to get some laps in the pool, and had a product idea that is (dare I say?) brilliant! I shall call it the N.U.W. Security System, and it will be a valuable tool in protecting your semi-valuables in an unlocked locker. The key to this system? Nasty UnderWear. Who would want to reach through soiled panties or manties to root around in someones pockets? Now, they don't have to be actual soiled skivvies; it amazing what a schmere of brown shoe polish will do. And the deluxe model? They come with some dark colored curly fibers all over them.

Honestly ask yourself: would YOU touch them to get what's past them if you didn't know who's they were? I think not.

So, as I previously alluded to, I swam this evening. It sucked, but I'm glad I did it. I need to do it more often, and in greater volume. (that's what she said) Rest time is over, though, and it's base time. I also need to hit the gym and do a lot of muscle training. Ah, the off season!

And, since it's Christmas time, I thought I'd give my lady readers a gift:

Stay warm and hydrated. And no, Marcy, cosmos out of sippy cups don't count for hydration. Look it up.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Guy's night

What a great night! I got to hang out tonight with Scott, beloved, wait...husband of Robin. Anyway, he's been sniffing paint fumes and eating Fruit Loops for way too long, so we had "a" beer and some laughs. Mendy suggested us coming back to the Main Lair (my basement Fortress of Solitude) and hang out after formal beers. He kicked my butt in pool (9 games to 2?) but we talked music, smoked some fine cigars, enjoyed some single malt, and had a blast. And my wonderful bride was gracious enough to let us hang out while taking care of Grace all evening. She's pretty awesome, in case you didn't already know.

Anyway, guy time doesn't come around that much while I'm at home, so it was a welcome distraction. I'm sure Scott welcomed it, too. I do have to bone up on my pool skills, because that was embarrassing on my home felt. Good dude to hang out with, and I highly recommend him if you are visiting the area! :-)

Thanks, Scott! We'll repeat again, soon!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I wouldn't call it clean shaven

I had thought about signing up for the Shave Your 5K challenge, but didn't want to embarrass myself if I either failed to beat my early PR, or simply failed to complete another 5K in time. But I did manage another 5K, just under the wire, and did manage to beat my PR.

At the last minute, while trying to talk my friend Pam into doing the Paris Mountain Road Race 5K, I wound up talking myself into it. The catch? It was exactly 1 week after completing the Kiawah Island Marathon. If you haven't been following my blog long, yes I am that stupid! While others are taking 1-2 weeks completely off of running, I did a shakedown run on Thursday, and competed in the race on Saturday (Dec 13th).

Now I will fully admit, my legs are still really sore. They were only just beginning to feel better, with my calf extremely tight and the area behind the same shin very sore. That does not deter me, however, since I am caveman - watch me run! The only obstacle to overcome now was the weather. It's been cold here. Not Canada cold, or even Dakotas, Wisconsin, or New York cold, but still pretty cold.

So, I sign up for the race on Friday evening, where Mendy was volunteering at the registration and packet pick-up event. Fleet Feet of Greenville has done an awesome job of putting this on the last few years, and this was no less great. In lieu of getting (yet another) race shirt, we got cinch bags this year. Yay, something functional! And my race shirt drawer is happy to not have another addition to bulge it's seams.

We get up at a reasonable hour (7 AM) on Saturday to prepare. It's upper-mid 20s outside, and I guess on my race apparel. It wound up being spot on with the approximately 29-31 degree race start temps. I was chilled before (not "chilling" mind you), but began to warm up as I ran. My friend, Pam, was happy she stayed with the tights and long sleeve, too. As we left Mendy to watch the collection of children (her 2 and our 1), we were off to the starting mob.

The course doubles back on its self along a very scenic mall on the Furman campus, almost one half mile long each direction. As I came back by the start and saw the elapsted time (ET), I was fairly happy, but couldn't remember where the 1 mile mark was. I passed a few people, and found my self in good position. Just around the corner, there it was, and I saw 6:04 on my watch. Around the back of the course we came upon the lonely single, but quite sharp, hill on the course just past mile 2 (6:20 something). The dude ahead of me started walking near the top; BOOM! I gotcha, bro! Now on the down slope of the hill and the race, I cam upon some water that was spilling across the path. Woops! Yeah, it was ice! I passed the aid station, and told them about the ice, but they seemed disinterested. So, I pressed on, trying hard to hold on to my position. I finally made it back onto the mall, and tried my hardest to muster up an honest sprint. I looked at my ET, and realized I wouldn't make my year's goal.

I crossed the line in 19:38 clock time (probably 19:35 chip time) which was 26 seconds faster than my PR at the same race last year, 9th place overall, and 1st place in my age group. And I almost unswallowed all the nutrition from that morning just across the finish.

After leaving the finishing chute, I came back around to cheer in Pam, who wound up having a great run, and completely destroying her goal time! Way to go, Pam!!

Michael, of Fleet Feet, was the Race Director, and noted at the awards ceremony that I had just ran a marathon the week before, and in fact could barely walk one week before, but somehow was able to run a 19:xx 5K. So, I finally felt like one of those running freaks that do crazy (stupid?) feats of back-to-back running. And now I'm thinking of the next big 5K, the Greenville News 5K. Hmmm, maybe this running gig ain't so bad...

(Shhh, don't tell anyone I said that!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Things I learned at the Kiawah Island Marathon (sort of a race report)

Apparently there's a little known breed of alligator, indigenous to the Kiawah Island area. Now I'm familiar with normal alligators, and consider them dangerous, but it seems there is a whole separate breed called the Danger Alligator. I know this because many of the ponds around Kiawah Island had signs that said they existed there (Danger Alligators). Weird.

Another thing I learned was a hidden and previously unrealized pocked in my running shorts. This is where I was forced to put my pride as I began to get passed and then "chicked" about 5 times in the second half of the marathon. Not the last girl, however; somehow I found a sprint (or what felt like a sprint) in the last .2 of the 26.2, proving to me that it took me 26 miles to really warm up and get in the zone!

Speaking of the second half of the run, it became quite clear to me that you either need an incredible base of real distance runs (8-15 miles) or a proper and complete training plan that will get the athlete up to the 26 mile point gradually and while retaining some semblance of limb health. That keeps the aforementioned athlete from wishing a danger alligator would leap out and rip his leg off so that his knee would stop hurting like a thousand knives were embedded in it. Of course, had this athlete taken his time training, his hamstring wouldn't have been weakened, causing it to be tight, causing a favoring that led to some shin pain, which led to a tight calf, which caused the knee to try desperately to leap from my body during every step.

On the wardrobe front, I have to say that for me the smaller and lighter shorts are always better for really long runs. This becomes doubly important when the humidity is near 328%, and perspiration does not evaporate. At all. Long baggy shorts (with long liners!) weigh up to 47 pounds (that's a lot of kilos for Lily and Nikki) when soaked with sweat, and tend to droop on the old caboose while running.

There are some flippin weirdos out there. After the race, G-Man and I decided to geek with our medals while walking around the shops with our ladiez and getting some lunch. After some cavorting with large copper frogs, we went to the market shop (snooty grocery store) to get some stuff for the party later on. We round a corner toward the check out, and a lady stops us, asking if the medals meant we won. I said, "Yes, I won twice!" Then I followed that we were actually wearing them to explain why we were walking this way, and she said, "Like you're hot?" Then she nervously laughed and went around the corner, congratulating us. She wasn't mocking at all, but none of us were sure what she really meant, other than alluding to me walking like someone attractive. Either she's into 60 year old retired football players with bad hips, or she is junkie with a fist full of cash. Speaking of weirdos...

It was a well done event, and besides my own lack of training, the only complaint was that the full marathon was nothing more than 2 laps of the half marathon course. My split at the half was only about 1 minute off my PR for a half marathon, which I was happy with, and my overall time (3:27:19) was only about 7 minutes off my goal time, and equates to a sub-8 pace, netting me a 124th place out of over 800 finishers. Okay, so that last stat isn't too impressive. Whatever! I gotz me a sweet medal, so shut it!

Thanks for the encouragement. This may be my last ever marathon. And I'm okay with that.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Okay, I think I have everything:

  • Bike gear for easy ride today (huh?) - check
  • Shoes and modular clothing options for the stupid marathon tomorrow - check
  • Ipod loaded with wack rhymes - check
  • PJs (believe it or not, I forget usually) - check
  • Pic of Marcy to toss behind me as I cross the finish, proving I beat her - check
  • More bike gear for moderate ride on Sunday (what the?) - check
  • Tight calf - check
  • Some shin soreness - check
  • Hunger for the bling and tasty carb refreshment beverage at the end - CHECK!

Okay guys, I think I'm ready. Thanks for the encouragement! We'll see how it goes, but this may be my only marathon, other than at the end of (probably one and only) full iron-distance tri. But that will be down the road. WAY down the road!

Have a great weekend, and go kick some butt to all those racing (Jess) this weekend! To the rest: train hard, the reaper is coming. LOL

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hello darkness, my old friend...

"I've come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence."

I'm totally looking forward to the marathon this Saturday. Seriously. Or not.

But, we did get our tree tonight. Completely different from last year's pygmy tree, this one is a handsome height and breadth. And it smells of glorious evergreen! Time to break out the Christmas candles from last year's Yankee Candle after season sale.

But back to the marathon: pray for me. I totally want to quit it now, and I haven't even packed my running gear. Okay, that's a bit dramatic, but don't come here looking to find that I have done the mythical BQ thing on Monday!