Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy Friday

Didn't run last night... some extra curricular activities and ... my achilles tendon has been acting up, so I didn't push it to get my 30 minute tempo run in.

It's going to be a busy, busy weekend. But tons of fun!

Tonight we're heading to the Piston's game. We HAVE to win tonight if we plan to get in the showdown with LA. So super excited. In fact, I may just have to bust out the lucky Piston's underwear. :)

Tomorrow I have my scheduled long run, a Mary Kay party (boo), dinner with some college friends and a birthday party. Yikes! I got some tickets for the Red Bull Air Race for JP and a friend, so he'll be watching the sweet planes doing amazing air tricks all day!

Sunday, JP returns to watch the finals race and I'm headed to... a LGBT speed daying event. hmmm.... you say? I'm actually working the event (my client is a sponsor) and not doing the actual dating. I haven't yet decided if I'll be more upset if I get hit on, or if I don't get hit on... :) Nonetheless, it'll be great people watching and I know I'll have tons of hillarious stories! (And, of course my 5 mile run!)

Hope everyone has a great one and I'll be back with some freaking funny stories from the weekend!!!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy (Belated) Memorial Day!

Hey! Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! Ours was busy, involved more alcohol than should be consumed while training and, of course, some running.

Conquering "The Hill"
Thursday night, was my kick butt hill workout. I chose an incline that always seems like it never ends. Ran 2 miles to the location, did my 3 hill runs (in :27, :25 and :26 seconds respectively) and then ran back 2 miles. My legs were a bit heavy, but I was pleased with the fact that I'm doing hill work at all!

MMM.... beer...
Thursday night -- Having a friend that owns a bar is one of the great things in life. Thursday night, JP and I headed out to watch the Piston's game. We got there after the game had started and the bar was packed. As we walked in the door and started to look around for a seat, one of the waitresses came over and told us to follow her. She took us to a nice, private booth with a reserved sign on it. Then, she proceeded to say, "One Blue Light and one Corona. Be right back." Sweet!

Saturday night -- Went to one JP's friend's wedding and had a blast. It was a tropical theme, complete with a top shelf tiki bar. Enough said. (To get an idea of how fun this wedding was, the bride and groom are a hoot. Since they both LOVE McDonalds (love, as in her engagement ring came in a Big Mac box), they had bags and bags of hamburgers and cheeseburgers delivered towards the end of the night. Everyone said it hit the spot.

Sunday -- JP's brothers came into town on Saturday and we all went over to their sister's house for a BBQ. First of all, let me just say his sister is a master martini maker. Second of all, she just got back from a medical mission trip to Haiti and brought back some Haitian rum. Wow. That's some good stuff. Strong. But good.

Monday -- Picture this: Bar. Beer. One big screen with the Piston's game. One big screen with the Wing's game. Two wins in Detroit on the same night.

My Legs
Saturday, I got up and ran my long run -- 8 miles. My schedule called for 10, but since I didn't run much the week before while I was in Kansas, I didn't want to start off training with an injury. My legs were H-E-A-V-Y! Splits ranged between 10:00 and 10:30, which I was pretty disappointed with. But... it's the first of many runs so I tried not to worry too much about it.

Between sleeping in and heading to a BBQ, I missed my 5 mile run on Sunday. Felt guilty, but tried to tell myself that although I'm taking training seriously, I'm not training for the Olympics.

Monday's 3 miles took place in the HOT sun (nearly 85 degrees here), but my legs felt well rested.

Last night, I did my 5 miles (9:30 pace) and felt great. My legs had some spring in them, my breathing was perfect and it just felt good to get out and run. Can't ask for anything better than that! 3 miles tonight... can't wait!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Diva Darling -- Great Girl's Night Out!

What a great girl's night out last night!

I met up with two of my girlfriends for the "Diva Darling Women's Night Out" event. There was a mile loop (actually, I think it was a big short) and you were free to run as much as you wanted. My friends didn't show up until a little bit later, so I ran my scheduled 3 milers with a pack of other ladies. It was so fun. We talked about, what else, running. Races we're training for, races we've done, funny stories about ... running. You know, something we can't always talk about with our non-runner friends.

After my three miles, I caught up with my two friends and did another loop with them. It was nice to just chat and catch up. Afterwards, there was the best aid station ever -- water, wine, cheese, fruit/veggie trays and chocolate! If that's not motivation to run, I'm not sure what is.

We mingled for a bit and then went inside for a few quick seminars -- proper shoe fitting, proper sports bra fitting and a sales pitch by Puma. I was a bit annoyed by the Puma presentation though. First, let me say I love Puma gear... but for fashion, more than function. She did say up front that they're known for fashion, but are moving into the running shoe area. So, the girl was super annoying. She didn't look much like someone who was a runner and the shoes didn't look like they would be good shoes for a serious runner. Not only did they have suede on them (seriously, this isn't the proper material for a running shoe, in my mind), were so lightweight you could basically twist it and came in, "all these cute colors." I'm all about cute running shoes, but if that's the highlight of your sales pitch... no thanks.
Didn't buy anything last night, but at the expo before my half, I stopped by their booth and bought a really cute tank -- "I run like a girl. Try to keep up." They have lots of cools stuff you can (soon) buy online...
All in all, it was a great night and I'm looking forward to the next Diva Darling night. It was nice to get my running in and socialize with friends. After all, this is suppose to be fun!

Tonight I'm scheduled for some hill work. Looking forward to it! I have my hill all picked out. Hope it's prepared to be conquered tonight!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

No turning back...

Just registered for the USAF Marathon!!! Whoo hooo!

Last night, after work, I met up with my friend to do some more bridesmaid dress shopping. Think we found the one at Ann Taylor. Super excited, especially because this is the first time I've ever tried a strapless dress (for fear of the fat bulge near my arm pit -- probably smaller than I think it is, but nonetheless it's always driven me away from strapless dresses), and it looks good.

It was getting dark and stormy by the time we finished, so I headed to the gym for my scheduled 5-miler. The run felt pretty good and I was, as always, looking to keep my splits consistent.

Mile 1: 9:16
Mile 2: 9:03
Mile 3: 9:16
Mile 4: 8:33
Mile 5: 9:36

Not bad. :)

I did have a freak out moment after my workout though. I went to my locker, undid the combination lock and... it was empty. WTF! My first thought was that I put the lock on, but didn't close it. I started freaking out!!!

Trying to stay calm, I opened the locker next to the empty one. It was as if the gates of heaven opened and the angels started singing... there was all of my stuff! Thanks goodness. Obviouslyly, I wasn't paying attention when I put the lock on and secured an empty locker.

Geez! I've always been a bit flighty at times, but this is a new low. :)

Running with some friends tonight at a Running Fit - Diva Darlings Girl's Night Out event. Running starts at 6 p.m., for as long as you want to go. Then, wine, cheese, massages and shopping (discounted of course) until 9 p.m. Super excited and looking forward to a good 3 miles.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The color purple

Purple as in the color the entire town of Manhattan, Kansas is covered in!

This weekend was filled with family fun! JP and I flew down to Kansas on Thursday for my brother's graduation. My parents picked us up and we headed to Manhattan, Kansas... home of Kansas State University.

Friday my little brother graduated with his Master's degree. His degree was in counseling and higher education and he's accepted a Residence Hall Director job at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. I'm so proud! We had a great time and toured the beautiful campus, meet his friends and rocked out on Guitar Hero. :)

We flew back on Sunday morning, at o' dark thirty, and it was a trip in and of itself. It was a tiny little airport with one security line and the gates were immediately after you collected your bags off the belt. Should be easy... but it was one of the WORST security check points ever.

Now, I may sound like a snob on this one and I really don't mean to. JP travels every week, so he has the drill down to a tee. I'm a semi-regular business traveler and know the drill, too. These other people? Not so much.

The family behind me consisted of a mom and three teenagers. They were the picture example of what NOT to do while flying. To begin, they each had jumbo, super-sized pops in their hands and full sized luggage (something you normally check in). While I was putting my shoes in the bin and my quart-sized ziplock bag filled with 3.0 ounce liquids, the mom behind me asked if she had to take off her shoes. I said yes and all liquids. Her family then started to INDIVDUALLY put in perfume, full-sized toothpaste, etc. Seriously. Did you miss the eight signs from the front door to the front of the security line explaining that this doesn't jive?

Moving on... the security officer notice this walking disaster and makes them throw away their drinks. Their luggage goes through. Fast forward to the folks in front of JP. One chic had her luggage pulled aside because she put through a bag with FULL-SIZED shampoo, sun tan lotion, etc. Seriously. How do you miss all the signs and the security people reciting the rules over and over?

JP's bag got pulled ... because he had some electronic stuff in his work bag. Major airports are probably more use to business travelers and the gear they carry. My bag got pulled and it took them about 15 minutes to figure out what the "mysterious object" was showing up on the x-ray machine. A chunky bracelet that I've traveled with many times before. I wouldn't have been too upset, except first the guy blamed it on the fact that I was traveling with two belts, something he obviously disapproved of. Then, as he was going through my bag, my bras and underwear were popping out for the world to see. Thankfully I packed the super cute ones ;)

We finally got through and made it home safely! Exhausted, but happy to be home.


Official marathon training started today.

Ran 3 miles at approx. 9:00 pace tonight after work. I'm so excited about this race and really looking forward to the training. I've decided to wait until next week to start the weight training part of it. Since I was gone most of last week, I didn't want to start training so hard, so quickly. Most of all, I'm excited that I'm looking forward to this so much. Last year I thought about it, but when it came to getting up to run, my heart just wasn't in it. This year... sub 4:00 marathon here I come.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mark Sept. 20 on your Calendar!

What a great run last night! Ran a quick 3+ miles (almost 3 1/2) and used my newly calibrated iPod/Nike sensor. According to the sensor, my average pace was 9:40. It varied between 8:30 pace and a dead stop (traffic lights); it's so nice to get your pace whenever you want it throughout the run. I didn't have a chance to download the info last night, but I'm really looking forward to using this info to help me become more consistent in my running.

After thinking more about it, I decided not to run Chicago. We're really working hard to save money, and spending over $100 for registration and the travel expenses (not to mention the fundraising aspect), I just didn't feel right doing it. JP told me to do what makes me happy, but what makes me happy is running a race. Where I run is less of a concern. So... I've decided on the US Air Force marathon in Dayton, Ohio. This is where my marathon running all started -- it was the first half that I did... which led to me becoming a full marathoner. Haven't pressed the "register" button yet, but it's a go. Official training starts next week! I am SO freaking excited!

Speaking of being super excited. I'm going to the Piston's game tonight!! Whooo hoooo! Game 5, Round 2. We're closing it up tonight!

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Little Adventure Called Life

I can't really say things have been super busy lately, but I have so many thoughts going on in my head that I've been trying to get everything straight and get a firm grasp on, well, life.

Thursday and Friday I went with my college roommate (Jess -- nope, not mouse) to go wedding dress/bridesmaid dress shopping. Thursday we went to a little place about 1 1/2 hours away. Her mom met us and it was suppose to be a great adventure. My friend is very plain and simple, and even more "not-girly" then I am. After about 10 dresses, she came out and said, "I thought this was going to be fun. It's not." Plus, our sales lady was super annoying and was the kind that would love to dress up a Barbie-like bride that wants a double pouffy dress, pink everything and lace all over. Totally not our styles. (But, in the words of Seinfield... not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Friday, she and I met at another place a little closer to home and we found... the dress. It's beautiful, not too poufy, has just enough sparkle to it and looks like it was made especially for her. Unfortunatley her mom wasn't there and is going to come up next weekend to look at it. My friend is the only daughter, so it's important for her mom to be involved. :)

So... no running these two nights. By Saturday, I was busting. I needed to run. I needed to stretch my legs out, I needed a good hard workout, I needed to get some thoughts worked out in my head. Ran over to the high school track and, miraculously, it was empty. Got my iPod Nike sensor calibrated and had a great run. Instead of calibrating the sensor and then heading off for my run, I ended up doing laps on the track. Not super exciting, but there's something about the smell of the track and the feel of running past the bleachers that makes me smile. I loved running track in school (back in the good 'ole days of being a sprinter) and it was nice to be transported back to some good memories.

Sunday my parents came up for Mother's Day and I made dinner. We just hung out and ended up having a nice day, despite the rainy day outside. It makes me so happy that my parents and JP get along so well. Once in awhile my mom will randomly give my brother or me little gifts. She'll just see something and know we'll like it. Sunday, she brought up something for JP. Her response, "I saw this and knew JP just had to have it." That means so much to me.

So what's all this craziness flying through my head? Haven't gotten it all figured out yet (guess I need to run some more). I totally believe in the quarter-life crisis theory and everyone tells me this is a turbulent time as you figure out what the hell you're suppose to do with your life. Then, in your 30's, life is more quiet, you're more settled and you know where you're going. True? I sure hope so! :)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak

... yes, I went to private grade school... Chapel every Wednesday... :)

So I was super psyched about my speed workout yesterday. But, my body had a different plan.

First, those kids were very much at the high school track yesterday. Bummer. So, I proceeded on to do a fast 3-4 mile loop. Shortly after I took off, my achilles tendon started to throb a bit. Instead of thinking, "hmmm... perhaps I should rest it today" I thought, "Well, maybe it'll be a nice easy 3-4 mile run instead of a speed workout." Wrong answer. As the run continued, the tightness went from my achilles tendon, up to my hamstring and the side of my knee. Ended up running about 2 miles and then taking a nice walk through the park for about 2 miles.

Took out "The Stick" last night to rub out my muscles and did lots of toe raises throughout the night (Seriously, what else do you have to do while brushing your teeth. That's 2 minutes to do toe raises!).

Tried to get up early this morning to do yoga... When my alarm went off at 5:30 a.m., I promptly turned off my alarm, cursed the very thought of doing yoga at o'dark-thirty and went back to sleep for another hour. To (semi) make up for it, no stilletos today (opted for a simple, but cute, black wedge instead) and I'll probably do some cross-training tonight instead of a run. No injuries here! :)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Running through the fog

Yesterday, I was in a total haze all day. I was looking forward to a good, hard run to hopefully break through the fog and start my week of a bit better than last!

I planned to go to the local high school to finally set my iPod/Nike thing JP gave me for my birthday... in January. BUT, the kids were still in track practice at 6:30 p.m. Seems a bit late to me. I seem to remember being done by 5 p.m. or so when I was in high school. Nonetheless, I couldn't use the track and kept going about my 5-mile loop. Finished in a strong 44-minutes. Definitely tore through the foggy brain on this run!

Looking forward to another good run tonight. If there isn't a home track meet (it's Tuesday... remember those Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday meets back in the day), I'll synch my iPod / Nike thing and do a speed workout on the track. Otherwise, I think it'll be a shorter (3-4 miles) and faster run. What I really need to do is get in the gym and start lifting again...

Have a few marathons in mind. I want to do Chicago, but since registration is closed I can only do it through a charity. I picked one that is near and dear to my heart, but I'm fearful of the $900 min. fundraising I have to do along with it. So far the charity contact has been great -- very supportive and really into getting me into the race. We'll see... I did a little research on a couple other semi-local races but not decisions yet. Better pick one soon!!!

OH... I almost forgot. As of Thursday, I have a brand new sunroof in my car. Whoo Hooo!!!!!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Emotional Rollercoaster

That about sums up last week.

Between two funerals last week, being asked to be maid of honor for my college roommate, JP being out of town (although I had some beautiful flowers waiting for me on Monday when I got home from work... best boyfriend ever!), several pints of my favorite Canadian brew and spending a few days in my childhood bedroom (gotta love mom pampering you again... making breakfast, laying out fresh towels, etc.), the emotions were flying high and wide last week.

With the exception of last Monday, I didn't get any running in last week. I was still out of sorts during the weekend, so today marks a new week and a fresh start. Yes, I'm even passing up pitchers of Cinco de Mayo fun tonight!!!!

My college roommate's wedding is the day before both the Detroit Marathon and Grand Rapids Marathon. So... those two races are out. I checked into Chicago but registration is already closed. I checked into one of the sponsorship charities and to run with them I have to pay $110 registration and raise at least $900. That's a small price to pay, in the bigd picture of it, but I'm not sure I can raise that much. Need to mull it over a bit more.

In a bit of a haze today, so hopefully tonight's run will clear things out and I'll start feeling like my old self again. :)