Saturday, September 30, 2006

Running in the (COLD) Rain

Yesterday was exactly one month from race day. It was cold (low 50's) and raining this morning during my 20-miler, but I'm expecting this is what race day will actually be like, so I was strangely glad the weather was a little les than ideal.

I felt pretty good and could have kept going. However, due to the fact that I was getting very bored, my splits towards the end did get a little slower. Splits were as follows:

Mile 1 - 9:27
Mile 2-3 -- 18:32
Mile 4 - 9:13
Mile 5-7 - 27:10
Mile 8 - 9:16
Mile 9 - 9:07
Mile 10-12 --27:01
Mile 13 - 9:17
Mile 14: 9:16
Mile 15: 9:33
Mile 16 - 9:34
Mile 17 - 9:33
Mile 18 - 9:52 (I got run into by a bike during this mile...)
Mile 19 - 9:30
Mile 20 - 9:31

Yes, someone with a bike ran into me towards the end of mile 18. Let me paint the picture for you. I was running one way, there were two people on bikes in the center of the path coming towards me, and another running on his far right also coming towards me. As I get closer to the bikes, I realize that they aren't paying attention and are headed straight for me. I jump to the side of the path but didn't have much room because on the bikers also did the same thing - right before the other woman ran RIGHT INTO me. The other runner reached out to steady the woman on the bike, and she didn't really say anything to me. I was extremely annoyed, to say the least, and continued on my way, cursing softly to myself. About a mile later, there were a bunch of bikes and tents in one of the parking lots along the path. It must have been a Special Olympics type event, because there were several adults learning how to ride a bike, and doing a small obstacle cone course. I realized one of the bikers I encountered on the path was a coach/instructor and one was an athlete. Yes, I felt like complete shit. Other than that, the park was pretty empty and the run was pretty uneventful.

Then, this afternoon I had a girls lunch with some friends from college. One just got engaged, so we were excited to see her rock. Beautiful! It was a perfect day to meet up and have lunch, since the weather was so bad out we didn't mind sitting around for a few hours.

Tonight, we're going to watch the U of M game (somewhere) and maybe hang out with some of his friends. We had dinner with one of my friends and her boyfriend last night and couldn't go out with some of his. I don't want his friends to think I'm keeping him away from them, so I suggested we go out with his friends tonight. Typical boy, we don't know what we're doing yet. :)

Okay, nap time before the evening gets underway!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Take a deep breath...

Wednesday was my midterm... I'm not feeling too great about it. Afterwards, I had dinner at JP's with his brother and his brother's girlfriend. My contribution to this meal - a bottle of wine. Trust me, I was ready for a glass (or two)!

Ricky kicked my butt last night! We did a series of weights, with one minute on each machine. After that, we went upstairs on the track (11 laps = 1 mile) to do sprints.

2x 5 laps
2x 4 laps
2x 3 laps
3x 2 laps

This was the workout, but I was hurting and we only did 1x 4 laps. I was so upset that I didn't complete my whole workout. Lots of work to do in (EXACTLY) one month!

Last night I made dinner (a first in a long time), took my time to eat it (instead of scarfing it down while doing a bunch of other things), and went to bed early. It felt so great to get 8 hours of sleep. Yes, that's what I said - 8 whole hours! Over the next month I really need to get my sleep. Yesterday I got overwhelmed with everything going on in my life, and just took a deep breath and realized it's one day at a time. Plus, my abdomen has really been bothering me the past couple of weeks, which hasn't helped with the stress in my life.

Looking forward to a low key weekend. Saturday is my 2nd 20-miler of my training plan. Hopefully it won't be raining out! Hope everyone has a wonderful long run this weekend!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"Running with Slowpokes"

Interesting look at marathon runners...

Where's my cup of coffee?

What's this? A morning post?

Yesterday was a LONG day. After a 10 hour+ day at the office, I just made it in time to meet with Ricky. He kicked my ass! Some light weigths for my legs, ("let's make them tired. Just like mile 18."), 8x uphill runs (approx. 180 m) and lower back. Ah yes, my back. I forget about that sometimes. Whew. It was burning! And, those runs. Man, I was sucking air. My times were pretty fast and he kept telling me to not be afraid of getting tired. I started thinking about that, and he was right. In my head, I kept thinking that I needed to conserve some energy. No way! If I push harder in practice, it'll make me race so much better.

Then grocery shopping, dinner, studying and BED!!!! Yay!!!! Nearly 8 hours of blissful sleep!

My mid-term is tomorrow, so lots of studying tonight. I think I'm pretty much going to collapse in exhaustion that night. This whole going back to school thing is really hard for me. It will be worth it. It will be worth it. It will be worth it. :)

Off for another great day (insert eye roll here!) :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A small and simple token

Lately, I've been thinking quite a bit about loved ones that have either battled cancer, or were affected by it one way or another. So, it's a little ironic that radioactive girl recently posted about showing your support for cancer research.

This is such a small token, but I'm proud to post three badges that represent lung cancer, ovarian cancer and breast cancer. All three have affected my life. This is by no means a, "jumping on the bandwagon" thing for me - I generally shy away from those things - but it has been on my mind and something that shows my love for family and friends.

Ugh. I am so not ready for Monday!

Why do the weekends go by so quickly? Here, I'm just getting started and it's nearly over. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do for a living. But, I'm just getting a little burnt out and am ready for a vacation. My work load is so heavy right now though, I can't afford to take one. Life in general should slow down after Detroit. I'll be done with class, I'll be done with my race and work should be slowing down a tiny bit. I've always been careful to not wish time away, but I am sure looking forward to Oct. 30!

Let's see... running. Thursday, I had a very good (read: he kicked my ass) workout with Ricky. We did lots of core, weights and a sprint workout (about 2 miles worth). Work that day was exhausting, so it was tough before we even started. But, I got through it and felt better afterwards. I love how a really hard workout always makes me feel so good. It's such a feeling of accomplishment.

Friday, I fully enjoyed my half day vacation and got lots of things done. I opted to do my long run that afternoon since Saturday was booked solid (and, I just wanted to sleep in one Saturday, damn it.) The 12-miles wasn't bad, but I was still tired from my sprinting workout the day before. My watc started freaking out, so I'm not sure of my splits. I was well under 2 hours though, so I'm content.

Yesterday, a friend of mine got married. It was a beautiful ceremony and a really fun reception. My friends loved JP and kept telling me how glad they were that I had found him. They could tell how happy he makes me. I had a sweet little black dress and it's a good thing I got so many compliments -- it made up for the 2 FREAKING hours I struggled taping up my boobs. Seriously, why I thought it was a good idea to get such a plunging neckline is beyond me. And, I don't even have any pictures. After the missing camera at the last wedding, I was afraid to take mine. Oh well, guess we'll just have to go somewhere else where we can dress up.

This morning I did a nice, easy 5-miler. I was getting some really sharp pains in my abdomen earlier today, but the run was okay. I'm really looking forward to getting those injections! Today's agenda: study, study, study. And then early to bed. I didn't get near enough sleep this week and it really caught up to me.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Disappointing run

After class, I headed over to the gym to do my scheduled 9-miler. Unfortunaly, that didn't happen. My abdomen has been pretty bad all day, and while running was no exception. I was lucky to get in 4 miles (9:13 pace). Urggghhhh... it's so frustrating. I know, I know. No complaining if I'm going to wait six more weeks to do something about it.

I'm taking a half day vacation on Friday, and really looking forward to it. I could just use a little time for me. I pretty much have my day lined up with errands, a hair cut, etc., but it will be nice to get those things done.

Well, it's getting late and I still have a laundry list of things I wanted to accomplish yet today.

A couple of random thoughts

Here's a few random tidbits on what has been going on in my life lately:

* First, and foremost, thanks for the advice. I have decided that I am going to wait until after the marathon to have the nerve blocks done. Not, entirely, because I'm being stubborn. I could totally have the blocks done now, and continue training. But, I really just want to get through the marathon and then deal with it. And, my class will be done (it's only an 8-week class) for the semester, so life will have slowed down a bit. Ironically, the day I decided this would be my plan, my abdomen hurt like hell. Hmmm... maybe I should reconsider... :) I think if I wait until training and class are over, I won't stress out about what I need to be doing instead of focusing on what's best for my body.

* Ran my first 20-miler of the training plan on Saturday. It wasn't bad, but by the last four miles, I was just ready to be done running. Splits are posted on my sporadically updated log, but it was about a 9:30 pace.

* Studying - it sure is hard to get back into the groove of things. The other night I was up until 2am. I was finally into it and decided that I was going to study until I couldnt' study anymore. My mid-term is next week and I'm not quite sure I'm ready for it.

* Work - I love what I do, but... I. Don't. Want. To. Talk. About. It.

* Michigan football - Go Blue!

* Earlier this week, I experienced the joys of going to get a suite altered. Still not quite sure why I had to be there, but I went because he asked me to go.

Well, class is about to start so I should get going.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A little overwhelmed

whew! It's been a tad crazy in my life lately. My account load at work keeps increasing, training for a marathon, in a new relationship (there. I said it), the never ending health saga, and starting school again. That's a lot. Note to self: take one day at a time.

Last night, I was sitting in class and started thinking, "I don't know about this going back to school thing. I could be doing so many other things right now." I know it'll pay off in the end, but do I really need my MBA...

Oh, a brief digression. Dances With Dirt was SWEET ASS!!!!! I'll have to write more later, but team Pretty 'n Gritty kicked butt! We placed 3rd overall of all-female teams. Yay!

Ran 8-miles tonight and felt good, which was a surprise since I haven't run all week. I came down with a nasty cold after the race, and I wanted to totally heal before running again.

Well, I have dinner plans with the boy so I better get going.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Seeking advice

I have a lot on my mind. Since I have become so inconsistent with blogging, I have a lot to share. Work, class, running, JP, Saturday's KICK ASS race, etc. Also, a reflection on this day five years ago is also in order. That will all have to be discussed at a later time. Not that it isn't important, but I have limited time and something more pressing on my mind. Today I went to the Center for Interventional Pain Medicine to discuss a possible nerve block for my pelvic pain. While this may seem unrelated to running, I want to reach out to my fellow running friends for some input.

The evaluation lasted several hours this morning and I stopped by home for a brief moment before headiin to work. Anway... I was evaluated by social worker (I was cleared of depression), talked extensively with a fellow and then spoke with the head anesthesologist. They came with two options for me - medication (which I have already tried) or intervention (i.e. nerve root block). Weighing the pros and cons, I told them that I would be willing to try medication again, only after they reviewed my records to see what the dosage was that messed me up the first time and how the new method would differ. On the other hand, I've been in pain for a long ass time and I want to be agressive with my treatment. They agreed and recommended I do an intervention.

In a nutshell, the procedure would involve a series of three injections - 2 diagnostic and 1 treatment. For the first injection I would be hooked up to an IV and I could be sedated if desired. They would inject an anesthetic into the lumbar of my back (not the spinal cord) and it would be a 30 min. recovery onsite. I'd go home and keep a pain diary for the following 24-hours. They explained the details, which would only put me out for one day. He encourages his patients to go back to work the next day, to see how the treatment is in real world situations, not from laying in bed. We talked about my running, and he was okay with me running the next day. So, I would miss a run the day of the procedure. About a week or so later, I would have the second diagnostic injection. Based on how I responded to the first two injections, it would determine why type of injection I get for my third injection. It could be either a heated-tip needle or steroids. I cringed at steroids and he said they rarely use it. For all injections, they use real-time x-rays to ensure they are hitting the proper nerve.

So, here is my decision. Do I go ahead and get it done now or wait until after Detroit. On one hand, I'm thinking, "hello, what is there to consider? You're in a ton of pain and should jump at a chance of relief. Maybe you can start living pain free again." On the other hand, I'm thinking, "I've busted my ass to get back into shape and there is no way I'm going to risk screwing up my training because of this. I've gone this long, what's another 6-weeks?"

At the same time, both arguments seem completely logical and completely crazy at the same time. I know the decision is mine, but I'd appreciate some input from some runners. After all, only a runner could understand this dilemma.

Well, I need to get to work so I'll post more about the other things going on in my life later. Thanks in advance for your advice!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Yeah, so I think my car is the black hole.

I'm not kidding.

On Saturday, we took my car down to the wedding. JP brought his brand new digital camera, but it ended up staying in the car since I had mine with me. We put his car keys and his camera in the middle storage unit. He drove my car home, and we clearly remember me giving his keys back once we got home. We remember because I had to ask him to turn off my car. He was thinking that his keys were in his hand and didn't realize my car was still running. Yeah, we were pretty tired. Although we don't remember specifically, since he got his keys we are assumming I handed him his camera as well. Even if we didn't, it was in my car when we left Ann Arbor. So, somewhere between my car and his, he lost his camera.

We've both been looking for it since he realized this yesterday. Tonight, after my workout, I looked through my car one more time. I don't have a lot in my car since I'm totally anal rententive, so it's not like it could have gotten lost among a bunch of crap. On the way home from the gym, I listened to my voicemails. However, now I cannot find it. I had mouse call my phone, but I didn't even hear it ringing. Somwhere between my car and my apartment (and I have an attached garage), I lost my phone.

A little freaky. How did two things that were sitting in my car completely vanish? All I have to say is I have to find my phone. I don't have a landline and ALL of my phone numbers are in my phone. If I lose that, I pretty much lose all contact with the outside world. Sad how reliant we've become on cell phones, isn't it?

Nothing else to do but go to bed, as I'm not going to find it tonight. It HAS to be somewhere between my garage and my bedroom. Either that are there's a ghost floating arund somewhere with a digital camera and a cell phone. :)

Text books are flipping expensive!!!!!!

Today I registered for my first class as I begin the (long) trek to get my MBA. It starts tomorrow. I'm obviously still a bit scatterbrained (hey, I forgot to register okay. people forget things...), so I'm not too sure if I'm ready to do this. I went to the bookstore tonight after work to buy my books. Of course, there weren't any used books left and there isn't enough time to buy it online. I haven't been out of school that long, but I had forgotten how much text books cost. Seriously. One, soft covered book cost me $118!!! Oh, but after I signed my receipt and handed the pen back to the cashier, she goes, "Oh, no. You can keep it. Everyone gets a free pen." Right. This black ink pen (I hate black ink. Can only write with fine tip blue. I know, I'm weird.) more than makes up for the outrageous price of this hunk of paper that you're only going to give me $20 back. Thanks. This "Principles of Microeconomics" better be a good one! :)

Since I didn't leave the office until 7:30pm and I had to go to the bookstore, my run was on the treadmill tonight. A 6-mile pace run, which went by quickly. It's a shame all runs (including the outdoor runs) can't have Sex and the City playing. It went as follows:

2 mile warm up - 9:13 pace (why do treadmills have such odd settings?)
3 mile pace+ - 8:54 pace
1 mile cool down - 9:13 pace

About halfway into it, everyone had left the workout room. Since it was getting late and I didn't think anyone else was going to come in, I took off my shirt and was running in my sports bra and shorts. This guy came in shortly afterwards, but there was no way I was putting on my disgustingly sopping wet shirt back on. Sorry dude. The run felt good, which I need. Lately I've been feeling like I'm just not ready for this marathon. I need to get my head back into the game and quit worrying about how I am going to do. I never should have put a time goal down for my first marathon back. Oh well, it's set now and I still have some time. If I feel like this in another month, I will have to reconsider my goals. For now, I have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Monday, September 04, 2006

What a weekend

This long weekend was pretty fun. Running, weddings, catching up on sleep and just enjoying some down time.

Friday, I worked from home which was a nice start to the weekend. Got a ton done, and was able to have a late lunch with JP. It's so nice that we live so close. Other guys that I have dated have lived far enough away that you couldn't decide to have a spur-of-the-moment lunch.

Saturday morning, I did an 18-miler and it felt okay. My splits weren't awesome, but I'm not going to freak out about it. The weather was cool and overcast - a big change from the scorching heat we had earlier this summer.

Mile 1: 9:56
Mile 2: 9:32
Mile 3: 9:26
Mile 4: 9:29
Mile 5: 9:12
Mile 6: 9:35
Mile 7-9: 28:26
Mile 10: 9:31
Mile 11: 9:23
Mile 12-14: 27:25
Mile 15: 9:33
Mile 16: 9:45
Mile 17: 9:43
Mile 18: 9:31

Later that afternoon, a friend of mine from high school got married. It was in my hometown, and since there was a lot of time between the ceremony and the reception, we went to my parent's so they could meet JP. It went well, and they liked each other. In fact, they invited us to go somewhere with them next weekend. Not sure how I feel about that... :) Surprisingly, I wasn't really nervous about it, but I'm definitely glad it went well! The reception wasn't all that great, so we left around 10:30pm. We had planned on going out with my friends Linds and Jason afterwards, and we ended up at this sweet wine bar. The atmosphere was very cool and the wine was excellent. Plus, it gave us a chance to talk and catch up instead of not being able to hear ourselves think at a club. It also gave my friends and JP a chance to get to know each other. That went well too, and Linds told me I had a keeper. That's always a nice thing to hear. :)

Yesterday, we had lunch with some of his siblings and then took advantage of the nice day by spending it at the metropark. It was a little strange being there and not running, but I have to admit it was kinda nice. For dinner, he took mouse and I out for Indian food. It was SO good and we all ate way too much. We were going to meet up with some of his friends later, but we were both in a food coma and decided to pass. Mmmmmm.... food...

Today we spent a little time together, but didn't do much. This afternoon I went trail running with three of my four teammates for Dances with Dirt. We did about 5 miles and it felt pretty good. The downhills were brutal - the pounding didn't feel all that great on my abdomen. I'm excited for next week's race, but getting a bit nervous. Hopefully I won't get stranded out in the middle of no where!

All in all, a great weekend. Wish it were longer, because I am so not looking forward to going into the office tomorrow.