Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Running in peanut butter?? I don't even like peanut butter!

Last night I didn't go to run club.  I was in hermit mode as I like to call it.  I just wanted to stay home on a rainy day and read a book.  So that is what I did.  I am sure the fact that I go back to work on Thursday has something to do with my hermit ways.

Now I didn't just sit on the couch and do a bunch of nothing.  I did end up running 4 miles in my hood.  This weekend I have a 10 mile race, so I can't just sit around and read books all day. :)  I'm so frustrated with running.  I feel like it should be feeling easier, but it has been one big suck fest lately.  I feel like I am running through peanut butter. Ugh.  It wouldn't be bad if I liked peanut butter, but I can't stand the stuff.  I'd rather run through some nice cool ice cream. :)  Not sure I could get any slower than what I am running right now.  Well it has to get better eventually.  I am sure it didn't help taking a week off.  Today I have 7 miles on the calendar.  I was going to wake up early and run, but I looked and saw 100% humidity and thought better of it.  The humidity is supposed to leave this I will put the miles in later today/this evening.

Yesterday's run was a very humid one.  At the end of the run I was dripping in sweat.  I don't think there was a spot on me that wasn't covered in sweat.  Oh the joys of summer running.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Aunt Pam camp

So last week I ran zero miles. I had my niece Ali over for aunt Pam camp. This was her first time at aunt Pam camp and being away from home. She was a bit worried about being home sick, but I'm happy to report no home sickness for that girl. She has two other sisters so I think she enjoyed being an only child for a few days. 

Lego brixx was in town. 


We Found lots of different animals while walking. 

Is this what you should do on the fitness course?

Looking for fish and turtles. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Do I smell bacon?

This morning I woke up and did what a lot of runners do...look at the weather channel app to see the weather. Looks like it was raining and it looks like anytime this morning was a great morning for my long run. So I rolled over and went back to sleep for a bit. I'm not an early morning workout person. I wish I was but I like my sleep.  It the thing that I hate about summer have to get out to run early or face death. 

So I headed out the door at 8 am to get my long run in. I headed to the library to run the route that I ran last week. I now know where everyone runs...the neighborhood around the library. I didn't get the all if the miles in that I was hoping to but I had two more miles than last weekend. So I'm ok with my run. My run was so slow.  I wish I was a fast runner. I need more miles under my feet for those long runs not to really suck. But I'll take two more miles than last week. 

A bit sweaty, but considering it is the beginning of August I can't complain that it was low 70's at the end of my run. 

While I was running different neighborhoods I am suddenly overtaken by a yummy smell. Could it be bacon?  Yep definitely bacon. When that smell is drifting out to the road you should offer sweaty runners samples. A few streets down I start to smell cake or muffins. I'm not sure if this neighborhood is where all of the cooks and bakers live or if they were having a cook-off later but it was making me want to stop and have some breakfast. 

If I keep running this neighborhood maybe they will start to invite me over for breakfast. I guess that could be my motivation...make friends with the bacon and cake people. I could start saying hi and asking if the have had any good bacon lately. That way I can find out the bacon lovers of the neighborhood. 

Next up find out where's the bacon!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer colds suck

Sad to think in a few more weeks my summer is over and back to work I go. I know I'm pretty lucky to have the time off. I do realize that some people actually work during the summer (how do they do that?). It doesn't make it easier to head back to work. So for now I will not think about that. 

I am officially done teaching summer school. I had some really nice kids so it wasn't hard to head to work. To celebrate the start of my summer I got a lovely head cold. It sucks to have a cold, but to get a cold in the summer really sucks. So for most of the weekend I felt like crap and didn't move much. I did head out to a painting class with some work friends on Saturday night. 

We were given the instructions on how to recreate starry nights but in dc. 

The barn like building should be a museum and not a place to store your horse while you tour the mall. It was a fun night but I was ready to head home and sleep. (Sure sign of not feeling wll). 

Then on Sunday I was hoping to get a long run in. I couldn't breathe and had no energy so I quickly knew it just wasn't going to happen. I had a few days of doing a lot if nothing. I caught up on some reading and shows on tv. Not a fun start to my summer.

Tuesday morning I woke up and headed out for a run.  It was a beautiful morning high 60's and no humidity. You couldn't ask for a better running day. I headed over to the library to park my car. I scouted out a new running route the day before. It is always exciting to run in a new area.  I headed out to see how many miles I could get in. I heard that running loosens up a head cold but didn't know if I believed it. Well turns out it might have helped a bit. Rather than being stuffed up I had the opposite problem during my run. I was able to knock out five miles. Not whatI was shooting for but I'll take it. 

I discovered the library has a veggie garden. Who knew?!  

Afterwards I stopped to get a dunkin donut to celebrate my five miles. 

Chocolate cream filled. My favorite!  

I still have three more miles to run at run club tonight. Bring it on. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

She's back!!!

Well I looked at my running calendar and it is starting to look much better than  June.  I am running more.  I still need to work on my long runs, but I will take that I am running more.  This weekend I have 11 miles planned.  Let's hope that it is not too painful.

I did not run a long run this past weekend because my friend Becky was visiting from Colombia!!  I went to pick her up after summer school on Thursday and I have been running (figuratively, not literally) all weekend.  Thursday we had a run club get together.  We all met at Guapos for dinner and then headed over to listen to the 19th Street Band.  Great night! 

Then after school on Friday Dena wanted me and Becky to check out a localish winery.  So we went there and I hung out for a bit and then left Becky with Dena as I had to go back home to meet my old college roomie and her family.  They were stopping over for the night on their way to the beach on Saturday morning.  I miss seeing Mary!  We end up seeing each other every year or so. 

Saturday we headed to another winery to hang out with some people that we worked with.  It was a beautiful day to just hang out outside enjoying some wine.  Becky thought we would only be there for a short time,but I knew that once she got to chatting with people she hasn't seen in a year, we would probably stay for most of the afternoon. 

Sunday was a very laid back day.  Some tv watching and then we went to meet a former student of Becky's and her mom.  We had lunch and then some ice cream.  It was fun catching up with them.  I then dropped Becky off at her former teammate's house for dinner.  I then went to  have some dinner with our friends Brandon and Jen while waiting for Becky to join us after her dinner with Christine.  At this point in the weekend I was so stuffed from eating crap that I didn't really eat much on Sunday and ended up taking half of my lunch and dinner home.  Could it be that I was actually craving a salad and fruit??  I know my diet is not perfect but I don't think I have had as much fast food as I ate from Thursday to Sunday.

Monday it was time to say goodbye to Becky.  It was great seeing her.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Fitbit and slurpies oh my!

Late last year I bought a fitbit.  I really love my fitbit!  It has helped me add steps to my day.  My dog loves it because he gets more walks.  I'm friends with people I know and some I don't know.  I am secretly a bit competitive with some of my fitbit friends.  I am friends with a parent from school.  We will often leap frog each other.  There are days that I purposefully look to see how many steps she has and if I can beat her.  She doesn't know that I have this little competition with her. :)  There were days that our numbers were close and Riley got an extra walk out of the deal just so I could get more steps in for the day.

Last week I became friends with Zack and Becca.  They are my friends from high school and are engaged. Zack is a bit sarcastic, a bit competitive and likes to make fun of his friends.  Well if you do not have a fitbit you may not know that there is a place where you can send a cheer, taunt the person or send them a message.

Who would send a taunt?  Really why is that there?

Well last week I found out who would send a taunt and his name is Zack.  Now I will say that I'm not sure how Zack is getting in his steps, but he is averaging 22,000 per day.  I have asked him if he is training for something?  No.  He claims he is just walking.  I think that sounds suspicious to me.  I haven't been able to catch him yet.  I'm building up my steps so it could happen.   Becca averages 16,000 steps.  I was told I could not taunt him since his fiance is also beating me.  So I have been out to beat Becca's step and send Zack taunts.  I am pretty sure Becca knows what I am doing. :)   Poor Becca I think she has been forced to go hiking for most weekends so both her and Zack can have lots of steps. :)  I did send him a nice message about his feet are tired and he should spend the afternoon napping.  He sent back a message about he enjoys sleep walking.  Ugh...  So because of some fun taunts I have now upped my walking game.  I also keep it on when I run, but it is my walking that really has increased.  I have even started taking Riley on a walk and then after a mile I drop him off at home and continue on with my walking.

In other news Friday was free food day.  If you dressed up as a cow you could get free chick fila, Krispy Kreme donuts were buy a dozen and the second dozen was 77 cents (bet there were lots of offices that had some donuts on Friday) and it was 7/11 so free slurpie day at 7-eleven!!

I did not take advantage of the Chick fila since I just had lunch there the day before.  But I did take advantage of free slurpie day!  I stopped and got one after summer school.  Traffic was bad and I was passing a 7-Eleven.  Well I am was just sitting there so might as well stop and get a slurpie...a blue slurpie my favorite kind!

I finished that up sitting in traffic and decided that I would stop at the 7-eleven near my house for my second free slurpie of the day.  So 40 minutes later I had my second free slurpie.  I had strawberry Fanta.  Not bad, but not my favorite.  I would have gotten blue raspberry but they did not have it at my 7-eleven.  All in all a great7/11.

Did you get any free food on Friday?

What is your favorite Slurpie flavor?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Running around

Well I know this will come as a shock but I've been running...some. It hasn't been long distances but it is a start. Last week I went to run club and it was rough. The heat about killed me. I then knew that I needed to get back into running.  So I went out and ran the neighborhood the next three days. I quickly realized that it is too hot to run after 9 am and I will be working on getting up earlier to get my runs in.

At run club Brad  was talking about a live band karaoke on Thursdays. Since I have no work some of us decided why not head over on Thursday. And the band had a gong when someone was really bad. And really I feel like that is the best karaoke, bad singing. And add a live band and a gong and it sounded fun to me.

Lots of fun with running friends. Turned out they never used the gong while we were there. Boo!  The people were very good singers, which meant I did not sing. I'm sure I would have gotten the gong for sure. 

Friday I ended up running a few miles and not going to kettlebell class. Ryan, our instructor totally called me out on canceling too. I promised to show up on Monday. Sometimes you just need someone to remind you to get moving. 

Monday I went back to kettlebell class after a few weeks off. I did lots of squats and lifting heavy things over my head. Today my legs and abs hurt. I guess I shouldn't take a few weeks off again. 

Tuesday I headed to a very hot run club. The sweat was crazy!

I'm going to try and run this evening..but between the heat and my legs it may turn into a Thursday run followed by nighttime kettlebell. 

So looks like I'm back into running!  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer vacation

School is out and I am one happy librarian!  I love no school!  No schedule, no need to be anywhere at a certain time.  Unfortunately that will change in July since I'm teaching summer school, I don't really think of alarm setting for summer school since it is not a full day of work. Since this is my first no work week I thought I would get lots of stuff done at home and my running would be awesome. Yeah not so much. I've cleaned out half of my kitchen cabinets (don't be jealous) and have taken lots of naps. I've also been able to sleep in this week, which is odd, I normally never sleep past 7am.  

Well with all of that sleeping ( I must be deficient in sleep) I have not been running much.  I did go to run club last night and I thought I was going to die running in the heat.  Marathon training starts next week and those first few weeks may be a bit brutal if last night was any indication. 

In between my naps I've discovered the joys of fruit in my water. Yumm

I bought some frozen raspberries and added them to my water today. I have been putting strawberries in my water too. It really has helped me drink more water.  And really we all could use a bit more water in our day. 

I'm going to have to set my alarm for a morning run tomorrow.  No excuses!  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Adding strength

So I've talked about quitting my gym. There is always some reason I could come up with to stay with the gym. Most of those reasons started with "what if". What if its really hot out I can run on the treadmill. What if it is really snowy and icy I could run at the gym. Instead of thinking of the what if I started thinking about now. How much do I use the gym?  The answer sadly is not much. There are months that I pay for my membership and I don't use it at all. So I quit!

I have quit the gym but I've started with a different kind of gym. I'm now heading to a kettle bell gym. I hate lifting. But it is not that bad when you do it with a group...I guess. 

Lots of push ups and planks..everything we all should be doing but I hate to do. I end up sweating like a busy hooker on a hot summer night after just the warm up. Ugh. I figure this will help my running and add some muscle.  What girl doesn't want a little bit of muscle?

So hopefully I get more from this gym than my old gym. I will say I am really out of my comfort zone...which can only mean that this is something I should be doing. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Things not to say while cheering on a half ironman

This morning I headed down to Williamsburg, VA to cheer on my friend Shawn.  I was going to meet Kristi and my three nieces at the run portion.  This was Shawn's first Half Ironman so I was really excited to cheer him on.  The course was really cheer friendly.  The runners basically ran four loops around the park area, so we had four chances to cheer him on!

I got to the park a bit early to start the cheering.  While I was cheering on runners I saw a man that I stood behind at the portapotties at Rock n Roll USA!  How funny!  We bonded as I yelled that to him!  I also saw a guy from run club and cheered him on too.  Talk about a small running world!

Soon I saw Shawn running towards me.  So excited!  He looked great!  He left and right behind him was Kristi and the girls.  They saw him as they were driving in and finding parking.

Shawn looks great as he runs by. 

When you have a sign about beer you should always give it to the youngest child with raccoon ears.

Now the fun was going to start.  Those girls are too funny!  Kristi and I decided we need to classify their cheers into "Never Say that to a Runner" and "OK to Say to a Runner"

In the Never Say that to a runner catagory:

Keep running or you will die! (umm..runners do not like to be reminded of death..they are already feeling like death so please do not use the word die around them)

If you run faster you finish faster! (While this is true..runners are going the fastest that the can at the time..they do not need you to mock their speed)

In the OK to say to runners catagory:

You  are the MASTER!  (many seemed to like this one..or they were just surprised by this one..either way they were smiling as they ran past)

Girl Power! (the girls liked this one!)

Surprise Cowbells (the Cowbells would be shown from behind them..very shocking!)

Was not sure how to classify the yell and the "run faster to get away from my voice" cheer...that one didn't last that long.

Shawn finished and did great!  It was a fun day cheering on Shawn with Kristi and the girls!  Why is it that I am just as tired cheering runners on as I am when I run a race??

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Northface Endurance Challenge..50 miler, 50K and marathon

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No I did not run 50 miles!  I'm not that crazy!  I did volunteer at the Northface Endurance Challenge race again.  This is my fourth year helping with this race.  I have to get up crazy early (3:30 am..which for the record is earlier than when I am actually running in a race.) It is a  fun , but long day of giving back to my fellow runners!  I love cheering on the runners, talking to some of their families, and seeing some awesome people do things that I don't think I could do!

We headed over to Great Falls to arrive at 5:45 a.m. to help set up the aid station.  We would see runners from each of the three races taking place on Saturday. They had a 50 mile race, a 50K race and a marathon. We had to get there early to set up the food and drinks along with place the 50 miler runner's drop bags out for them.  

As we were hanging out at the Marathon mini-mart (as Megan liked to call it.)  I was in charge of writing down the bib numbers of the runners coming in to the aid station.  Our aid station was a smaller aid station to help out the marathoners.  They got some nutrition and turned around and ran back to the start.  The 50K and 50 milers ran past us for a few more yards to get their bibs marked and enjoy some nutrition from the larger aid station before they headed to do some laps in the woods. So the Marathon mini-mart did not really get busy until later in the morning since the Marathoners were not starting until 9 a.m.  Jamie and myself were in charge of writing down the bib numbers of all of the runners.  Jamie would yell out the number as I wrote them down.  Needless to say as the day progressed my hand started to look like "The Claw" from writers cramp.  

The marathon mini-mart crew!  
It was a great day for running!  Low humidity and low temps for that I mean started out in the 60's and worked its way up to low 80's.  It was much better than the heat from last year's race when a lot of runners had to DNF.  Since we have volunteered at this race for the past 4 years, it was great recognizing some runners from previous years.  Also it was funny because the Northface guys running the show remembered our awesome aid station talents too! I think it may be turning into a yearly family reunion!  You know the kind of family reunion where you only see that one side of your family once a year at the family reunion..yeah that is what it is turning into for us.  

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Marine Corps Historic Half

Last Sunday I didn't want to wake up.  I didn't want to put my running clothes on.  I was questioning what made me sign up for this race again.  But once I got to the race I was in running mode.  It was a perfect morning to run.  Not too hot.  I believe it was in the 50's at the start of the race.  

This race is not my favorite race.  I am not really into hills and this race has a few hills and one really big hill that bites me every year.  Why do I sign up for this race?  It is only 15 minutes from my house.  How can I stay in bed when a half marathon is happening 15 minutes away??  So this was the third year I ran this race.

Two weeks ago I ran Pittsburgh and I was hating life.  I jokingly said that was my training run for Historic Half.  I may have not been joking.  I knew that hospital hill (more like mountain) was going to be is every year.  I knew that I needed to just run slow and steady so I would not have to walk a bunch.  It is amazing how if I start off too fast it kills me for most of the race, but start off in my sweet spot and it is suddenly a great day to run!  Sunday was a pretty darn good day to run.

I didn't know what kind of day it was going to be when we crossed the start line.  I figured if I could finish Pittsburgh, I could finish the Historic Half.  Turned out that I was in for a pretty good day.  There was a slight breeze which felt really great as I was getting really sweaty.  I ran most of the first 10 miles.  And my 10 mile time was pretty on what my normal 10 mile time is.  So I was doing much better than two weeks ago.  I also ended up talking to a guy that I ran a bit with at Marine Corp Marathon last October.  Talk about a small world. We chatted a bit.  He was run/walking since he just got out of the hospital the day before.  (yeah not sure if I would be running)  When he started to walk I said my good byes and wished him luck.

As I said I felt pretty good up until mile 10.  I knew what was going to happen after mile 10.  Hospital Hill.  Sort of ironic that the hill that tries to kill runners happens outside of a hospital.  Every year this hill kills me.  This year it was not much different.  One of these days I will conquer that hill.  I walked the hill and the hill after that hill.  I was done with the run at this point.

As I approached the finish line I glanced at the girl running beside me.  Wonder if she is up for a bit of a race to the finish.  Turns out she was.  Without saying a word we start to run a bit faster.  I get a smile on my face as I try to ensure that she does not cross that finish line before me.  Some of the guys cheering are yelling don't let her beat you!  Run!  Not sure who they were cheering on (I'm sure it was me)  My foot crossed the mat a moment before her foot did.  Yeah that was a great ending to a race! 

For a race that I didn't want to run, I am so glad I put my running shoes on and crossed the start line.  It was a beautiful day to run!  I got to thank a bunch of Marines and run the streets of Fredericksburg, VA.  Also I always like to run races when mini horses cheer me on. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Pittsburgh Half of my new favorites

So two weeks ago (yes it has taken me that long to write this one) I ran the Pittsburgh Half with Megan.  We both had awesome training going into this race.  I had my 4 mile long run and Megan was pretty much rockin' about the same long run.  I knew that this race had the potential to be very ugly.  I was either going to end up writing up new training plans with the longest run for a half marathon being 4 miles and selling said plan online because of my stellar PR or I was going to be hating life pretty shortly into the run.  I was really thinking that this race could go down as a personal worst.

We headed up to PA right after work on Friday.  We stayed at my parent's house about an hour away from Pittsburgh.  The plan was to get up and head to Pittsburgh on Saturday,  hit the expo and then do some sightseeing and see what we wanted to do.  This was Megan's first trip to Pittsburgh and since she is a Cinci girl I wanted her not to hate our city even though her city and my city do not like each other.  (hello Steelers vs. Bengals)  So we got in late chatted with mom and then shortly headed to sleep.  Woke up and took her on the tour of Indiana, PA home of Jimmy Stewart.  My small little town.  We got our pictures taken with Jimmy Stewart.

After showing her the sights of Indiana (which was the Jimmy Stewart Statue and the house where he used to live) we headed to Pittsburgh and looked for the expo.

 Found my name on the runner's wall.

You know you have been to an expo when you really can not find much to buy.  We both were in the same boat.  I ended up buying a sweatyband and a new spibelt since I couldn't find mine at home.  Turns out it was in the drawer that I looked in twice and didn't find the belt.  Ugh.. Looks like I now have two spi belts.


We headed to Primanti Bros' to have a wonderful Pittsburgh Sandwich.  We doubled up on some fries.. fries on the sandwich and a side of fries with cheese.  What?  We were carb loading yo

After lunch we were in search of ice cream.  But mother nature had other plans.  She decided ice cream was not a good idea but pouring rain was wonderful!  So we ducked into a Dunkin' Donuts for coffee and hot chocolate instead.  

After the rain left we decided to find our hotel and then hopefully it would still be rain free and we could head over to Station Square and head up the incline to Mount Washington. We got lucky the rain came and went and we were able to squeeze in a ride up the incline before the rain came back.

We then headed to Station Square to see if we could sniff out some steak.  We both enjoy some protein before a long run.  I find when I have pasta the night before I feel like I have no energy.  

The next morning we woke up and headed for parking.  I was a bit unsure of what we were going to find for parking so we woke up a bit early for the race.  We stayed three miles away and woke up at the same time I would for a race 30 miles away.  Turned out it was a good choice.  We headed to find parking.  Hit a bit of traffic in the tunnel and then headed over towards the stadiums to find some parking.  We ended up taking a lane that nobody seemed to be using.  I figured if it was the wrong lane I would claim out of towner with my VA plates.  Turned out that everyone should have followed me..we found parking with no problem while everyone else was waiting in a very long line on the exit ramp.  Score one for us!

Megan and I decided that we would run or run/walk this one together since we both had wonderful training going into this race.  Turns out that it was pretty fun.  It was great to have someone to talk to and complain to.  Although I am not sure Megan loved all of my complaining...especially at mile 7 when I wanted to just turn around and head back to the start :)  She claims that it would be a longer walk to the start because we were 7 miles in..I claim that math and running don't I guess we should just keep moving forward.  :)

well..back to prerace and not mile 7 talk...

We walked across the bridge and saw the prettiest thing ever!  Portapotties with NO LINE!!  Yeah you read that right..30,000 people and we didn't have to wait in line at a portapottie.  Now I am not sure if this was everyone's experience at this race, but it was great to have no line before the race.  We knew we were cutting it close needing the portapotties and bagcheck.  It was 6:20 and we were supposed to get to our corrals by 6:45.  Guess the race gods were on our side.  After we headed over to bag check. They had three different areas for bag check.  I loved it.  You walk  up to a Fed Ex truck hand your stuff over and remember the truck number.  At the end you find the truck and they give you your stuff.  Once lines!  Talk about well organized!  The only bad thing was it was starting to rain again.  No problem, once we started running it stopped raining.

You can't tell here..but Megan and I wore matching Yinz run Like Jagoffs shirts!  People loved it!  Too bad it wasn't really a wicking shirt.  The sweat I was holding on to was not pretty!  I did wear a tank underneath to combat the sweat issue.   At mile 3ish Megan had to stop to use the portapotties and she asked if I dumped water on myself.  Nope...sweat. Yeah I am a gross runner.

My college roommate Ronya, her husband and her sister came down to cheer me on.  How nice was that.  And they had a sign and Ronya made a Go Pam shirt with sequins!!  I love signs and shirts with my name on it!

So it was fun seeing them three times during the race.  At mile 9 I did ask where there car was located..thinking maybe I could get a lift back to the finish.  But turns out it was about 4 miles away..looks like we were going to end up running the race. :)

I will say my performance was not great (understatement) but I really loved this race!  They had bands every mile or so..the crowds were wonderful!  We ran across 5 bridges.  The course was relatively flat for PA.  Now the marathon looks like a b*tch with hills.  At the end you got a Eat N' Park Smiley Face cookie.

You can't beat that for a race.  I am thinking that this race ranks up there as one of my top two favorite races.  I would so do this one again.  Although I may want to run longer than 4 miles prior to running the half.

Time wise this was not my worst race, nor was it my best race. Considering the amount of walking and slow running..I'm pretty happy with the day.  

The cheering section and the runners headed to a bar for some food before heading back to the hotel to shower and head home.  Great running weather for a race.  We are runners of steel!!