Monday, February 28, 2011

The hungry monster and other fun things

Happy Monday, kids!
After a splendiferous weekend of workouts (Sunday I busted out a nice 50 mile tempo ride) I'm lazing down EZ street today.  Hopped in the pool during lunch for a wonderfully relaxing 40 minute swim, no data.  Yup, even I can lay off the lap counting once in awhile :-)  I picked 11 songs that relax me, loaded 'em up on my freestyle audio player (best invention EVER) and went.  Here were my picks (no snickers, people.  Unless its the chocolate kind :-D)

1.  Christina Perrie: "Jar of Hearts"
2.  Gary Jules: "Mad World"
3.  Coldplay: "Fix you"
4.  DMB: "Crash"
5.  Moby: "Porcelain"
6.  Air Supply: "All out of love"
7.  Primitive Radio gods: "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth"
8.  Sinead O'Connor: "Nothing Compares to You"
9.  Rogue Wave: "Eyes"
10.  Stone Sour: "Hesitate"
11.  Enigma: "Return to Innocence

Freaking.  awesome.  I feel so much better and looser now.  Just one tip...even though these songs rock my socks off (ok, ok, I'll stop.  Promise), it would be ill advised to try to sing them while swimming. I learned that one quickly.  
Moving on.....

Here's my question of the day for it just me, or does swimming bring on the HUNGRY MONSTER like there is no tomorrow?  (Actually, I know this guy is supposed to be the enemy according to WW, but I find him ridiculously cute.) I wonder if they sell hungry?  I bet they do! 
It's so strange...I can bike or run all day long and I get hungry at some point, but swimming makes me want to eat a house....which sucks, because I can't even eat the garage with the low key workout I did today :-P  I have a few "go to" yummy snacks that seem to fool my tummy into thinking its jello...or greek yogurt...or baby carrots with hummus....but I swear I eat more on swim days than any other day.  Anyone else have this problem or tricks to keep the grumblies away?  Oh well.  Maybe I'll just inhale a plate full of veggies tonight for dins.  Actually, that sounds really good to me :-)

Since it's for all intensive purposes a rest day, the "rest" of my night will be a simple dinner, some yoga, and my new book.  Steig Larrson is a great author...I just finished "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and seriously could not put it down. 

Have a wonderful night!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The roads vs. Rae (take 2)

We met.

We dueled.

I won.

I would like to thank....

My legs for being so nice to me (until mile 14 when you caved.  I don't blame you!)

Mary Eggers and the Screw Winter club for making today so nice.  (The fact that 28 degrees and light snow is nice probably means I'm crazy).

The big pick up truck with the crazy teenagers and the man at mile 10 in the minivan picking his nose for not actually hitting me even though you tried your damndest.

My super fun cep compression socks for keeping my calves happy! (some day I swear I will stop talking about these socks.  Today is not that day).

Powerade zero and dried cranberries for sugar and yummy fluids!

Myself.  I listened to my body and rested it all week so I could come back strong for the last month of training.  This was HARD.  But it worked!!

The Workout:
15.06 miles
Time: 2:15:07
Pace: 8:58 pace

To my 20 miler next week:  Let's dance, baby.  I'm ready!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Its that time again!

FRRRRRIDAY!!  And although it may seem like spring is getting here, good ole western NY decided that Friday is as good as any a day for a nice snowstorm/blizzard.  I'm not a fan, but as long as they clean up the roads and my knee cleans up it's act for tomorrow, I wont complain.  much.

I'm really getting into Friday being my weekly "top ten" post, mostly because I'm too lazy on Fridays I know you all love insight into what makes me tick.  So without further ado, I give you this weeks "10".....

Confessions of a Triathlete, part II

1.  I hate rest weeks.  alot.  Especially unplanned ones.

2.  I've been known to post to tri forums during down times at work.  Today, my husband caught me.  and posted about it.  oops.

3.  I watched this video on YouTube yesterday,  followed by this one.  They inspired the hell out of my to do another Ironman.  Stat.  What is wrong with me?

4.  I have a 3 hour trainer ride on tap this weekend and I'm really excited about it.  I get to watch madness.  I get to test my speed. I get to eat buttered popcorn jelly beans for fun for fuel and feel virtuous about it.   I get to be warm.  Whats not to love?

5.  If its in the mid twenties and doesn't snow TOO MUCH on Saturday, I will call that "great weather" for a run.  Eric Malone would probably disagree....he likes snowstorms.

6.  I went to Target after work today to buy myself a treat.  I walked out with bright yellow nail polish to make my toes pretty and happy during my next long swim.  I need help.

7. I won't spend more than twenty bucks on a pair of jeans, but I will spend double on a pair of socks.  Especially if they're pink. 

8.  I'm super proud of my permanent racerback tan lines....even in my strapless wedding dress.

9.  It's Friday night....I'm wearing compression socks, making a play list for my long run tomorrow, and watching fringe.  I think that's a good time.  Especially if carb loading includes extra popcorn!

10.  29 days till my first big race of the season...and I can't wait to suffer for 4 hours while taking in the sights of DC.  Isn't that how normal tourists take in the sights?  No?....

That is all.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Me and Meb

So, today was supposed to be run speedwork day.  Just me and and the treadmill.  But since we broke up this week, theres a new daddy in town.   No, no, not Tobias Funke.  I am cheating on the treadmill with a different piece of gym equipment: the elliptical. 

Now, I have mixed thoughts on the elliptical.  In no way do I think its equal to the treadmill, but I do think it provides a decent workout that can simulate your running muscles in a relatively similar way.  That is, if you use it the right way.

Just like that.  Exactly.  Well, so, I used the elliptical for my "tempo run" on Tuesday and managed pretty well-kept my heart rate at the right pace for a tempo run and did just a bit over what my tempo time has been for 5 miles (about 41 minutes).  Today was...speedwork.  According to the "written" plan, I was supposed to do 12 x400 at a 7:15 pace.  How does one do this on the elliptical??  You got me.  So we did our best.  Hopped on, did 5 minutes EZ, then alternated 2 minutes all out with one minute "recovery" 12 times, with a cool down of 5 minutes = 45 minutes total.  I felt like I got a pretty decent interval workout this way ( I also alternated levels during the workout) and it wasn't jarring on my knee, which is awesome.  As I finished my cooldown, I took a look at the screen.  
Total time:  45:07.  Check
Total distance:  10.01 miles
Calories burned:  1007
Wait, WHAT???  See, this is why the elliptical and I have a love/hate relationship.  Based on what it's telling me, I obviously need to quit my job, go train with Meb Keflezighi and re adjust my goal for the National Marathon to a sub 2 hours, which, by the way, is a firm world record.  Now that I'm so good, I can also confidently post on Slowtwitch, cause everyone there is a rockstar and until today, I just couldn't compete...
So you heard it here first, folks, watch out, I'm gonna be famous!!  I think I'll just do my 20 miler on the elliptical....

Ok, reality check.  Clearly I went nowhere near that far or burned that many calories.  Based on RPE (rate of perceived exertion) I probably burned about 400 calories and went about 5 miles.  I know that, but it makes me sad to know that plenty of people will take the stats they see on the machine as the god's honest truth and go eat an extra thousand calories with dinner feeling completely justified.  Therein lies a big rule for all of you out there starting out or working out at the gym:  DO NOT believe what the machine tells you in terms of "calories burned" or "distance" especially on the elliptical.  If you enter in your weight (which I did) it is usually more accurate, but not always. 
One of the better calculators of energy (calories) burned that I've found is here.  Its helpful that they ask for your weight and list quite a few activities to choose from-but keep in mind it's more about intensity.  as in, if I just used the elliptical lackadaisically, I burn far less than using it for interval training.  According to this website, I burned 500 kcal, which is MUCH closer than the 1007.

...Or the 10 miles.  I would really take that, though.  Now I just need to learn how to cook Teff like all the super fast Ethiopian runners, and then Mel and I can hang out and go running in Central Park, ripping off sub 1 hour half marathons and sub 2 hour marathons.

I hope his wife doesn't mind.

I miss the treadmill.  Did I say that???  I hear that ibuprofin, ice and rest are all appropriate "I'm sorry" gifts and pretty soon we'll get back together again. 
I hope. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Antsy in my Pantsy

Wednesday is Turbo Turbeau time!  Just cause I'm taking a rest week from hard core running doesn't mean you can keep a good triathlete down!  It's amazing how much better my "turbeau's" are with my RPMs working.....definitely had a great work out :-)

The Workout: Turbo "Turbeau" sprints: warm up 15 min, up the ladder with "all outs" 1 min-4 mins, then back down w/2 min recovery, 15 min cool down.
Time:  1:04:12
Average Pace: 20.8 mph

Sweet.  After rockin it out, I did some yoga, iced, and watched forlornly as my hubby went out for a run.  Ok, time to snap out of it.  No need to get all antsy in my pantsy...
....but pancakes do sound good :-)  Time for another "healthy" makeover!

Protein Pancakes

1/2 c. oat bran
One egg
1/2 cup cottage cheese
sprinkle of baking powder
tsp of vanilla
whackload of cinnamon

Assemble your ingredients:

 Add in this order:

Oat bran
Cottage cheese (I whip mine in a blender first)
Baking powder
I added a dash of milk, too!

Now comes the hard part.  Walk AWAY for 5 minutes.  You see from above I came prepared and had a lovely glass of red with which to enjoy the wait.  The 5 minutes allows the baking powder and other ingredients to gel so you get nice fluffy 'cakes.

You can pour these in a pan like normal pancakes, but since I had the oven on, I put them on a cookie sheet.  Don't use your good wilton cookie sheets if your mom reads your blog unless you plan to clean them right away (I did mom, honest.)

 Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.  Serve as is, with a little syrup or fruit on top, alongside some mmmm turkey bacon!
In my humble opinion, these babies taste just like cheese danish and are pretty excellent for you!  I dipped them in a touch of syrup, and had a side of melon to round out the meal.

Not quite as exciting as these shenanigans....

but we take what we can.
Wait, did someone say shenanigans? 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Reunited at last!

..and it feels so gooooood!  Yup.  After 9 days of wandering around in lost solitude...
Mr. left has finally found his other half!!

Silly smoochers ----->

ok, ok, its probably not a world class announcement, but it made me happy on a Tuesday!  Now, if only I could actually run in steps, right? :-P  They still look cool for recovery!!

On the knee front, I've been icing every two hours, poppin some ibuprofin, and did my "tempo run" on the elliptical.  Not a bad workout if you get your heart rate up, but its no run.  Isss ok.  I'll be patient for this week and my resort to the run injury protocol if I don't feel better in a few days :-)

Of course, according to various sources, I have a meniscus tear (hubby), chondromalacia (web md), or need a pregnancy test and cough syrup (SUNY Geneseo)  wait, what?  I kid, I kid.  My feeling is that I have a wicked tight IT band and have been running too much.  So says, foam roll, and cross train!!  Aye, Aye, coach Rae!

So after work, we ripped up our abs:

Cindy Whitmarsh is a serious butt ab kicker. 

Time to work on that 6 pack, baby.  (Or at least rock out the lulu shorts!)

One day at a time.  At least I've got 2 socks.  I'm not that hard to please. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

The calm before the storm.

Oh happy rest day :-)  I KNOW I made the right decision now regarding my run yesterday.  I've been achy, sore and my knee seems to be acting up today...a sure sign I need a bit of a break.  Or, well, as much as I am willing to take :-)  It means low key activities for a few days now....swimming, biking, core, and yoga.  I think I will push off either my speed work or tempo this week and just do two runs....then give it 3 quality weeks before tapering!
I'd rather put the rest  in now than feel like I am battling this:
  Yup, thats the Sodus tri 2005 first race.  I had no clue what the hell I was doing, but I finished.  You can talk to any of the locals around here; its the ice storm of '91 for triathletes and I was part of it :-P

Oh wait, I digress.  Sorry, just wanted to put the cool picture up.  Anyways, the point is...I want to prepare my body to handle ANYTHING on race day...not kill it beforehand.

So that means a Rae planned running recovery week.  Let's see how well I do!!

On deck today:

1.  swimming (done)
2.  Grocery shopping (done-with a suprise visit from the hubby halfway through!)
3.  Healthy dinner of veggie stuffed omelet and soup (done)
4.  Soaking in some Dr. teals....mmmm....
5.  Icing
6.  Hot cocoa
7.  and a trashy novel

Who said Mondays were all bad???

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Half empty of half full?

So, as you know from yesterdays post, I had some pause about the 2 20 milers on my training plan-should I do them both or take a recovery week and dial it down a notch?  I woke up this morning still unsure.  After a great nights sleep (10 hours nonetheless!) I felt achy, still tired, and just wrong.  Still, I usually feel some trepidation about a double digit run (yes, STILL) so I decided to map out my favorite 5 mile loop and do it 2 times (true recovery), 3 times (nice mid distance) or 4 times (the ultimate goal!)  It was a gorgeous day outside, just begging to be run in:
How can you not take advantage of weather like this?  Answer:  you can't.  I lined up my nutrition:

And got ready to rock n roll.  I was right about one thing, kids...the weather was just beautiful.  Upper twenties, a tad chilly for my taste, but sunny and just happy to be alive weather.  Too bad my mind got the memo, but my body didn't.  By mile 3, I was in pain....fuzzy head, legs made of bricks, and really feeling nauseous.  I remembered that I always feel like crap in the first loop, and pushed on.  By the second loop, I knew I was in trouble.  I was taking my standard walk breaks every big hill for about 30-45 seconds, and I was really having trouble focusing. And those twinges were coming back on my IT band.  Crap.  I finished loop 2, and something stubborn inside of me made me push on.  What if I felt like this on race day?  Would I quit?  HELL NO.  So we started loop 3.

Big mistake.  I kept stopping to walk every 5 minutes or so, and was really having trouble focusing.  My breathing was all out of whack, and I couldn't hold  a straight line to save my life.  As I hit the 2 mile mark, I knew I was done.  I stumbled, almost fell, took a deep breath and jogged/walked back home for a total of 13.16 miles. 

I was bitter.  I was mad.  I felt like a failure.  Why couldn't I just do the damned 20 miles?  (Yes, I was being irrational in the fact that I knew I might take it easy, but I am a completely type A athlete who hates doing that.)  I began to doubt myself, worrying about race day.

Then I realized a few things.  On race day, I will be tapered and fresh, not coming off a 40 mile tempo ride from the day before and a full week's worth of workouts and basically 2 months of build.  On race day, I will be able to hydrate every mile from the aid stations, and will be most likely racing in warmer weather, which I am better at.

On my Ironman racing plan, there are 3 levels for each longer work out:  age group, Elite, and Pro.  It's a neat concept that lets you pick your workout based on how you feel and how your body feels.  So today, my workout strategy was 10 miles, 15 miles or 20.  But since it didn't say that on a little piece of paper training plan, I lost sight of what I was comfortable with.  Somedays, you're an age grouper, and some days, you're a "pro".  Today, I would say I was someone who would have placed in my age 

Lesson of the day-you need to listen to your body.  I let myself feel (albeit temporarily) that 13 miles wasn't "good enough" when 6 years ago, I could barely run ONE mile, let alone train for a half Ironman, Ironman, or marathon.  Wow.  Sometimes I forget how far I've been able to push myself and don't look back to see the achievements from where I've come.  And I need to remember to do that.

The answer from above?  The glass was half full.  I felt like crap, pushed through, but knew when to be wise and call it a day.  I came home, took a hot shower, re-nourished, rested, and then did a wonderfully rejuvenating yoga practice.  I think I did the right thing.

However, to the streets of Gananda...beware.  I'm gonna kick your a$$ either next week or the week and I have a firm date with 20.  And we're gonna have a blast. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

To run or not to run?

That is the question, folks. 

My marathon is just 35 days away...5 short weeks (not that I'm counting or anything.)  I'm pretty amped about this race, especially since all of my long runs and about half my tempos have been done in the dead of winter through ice and snow and bitter cold.  And thats pretty good for me, seeing as I am wicked sensitive to the cold (I have Raynauds pretty bad...Ive been known to have dead white fingers coming out of the water in a tri in August.  Seriously.)  The rest of the tempos and speedwork have been on the treadmill, which really, for the most part, haven't been too bad.  Except when I tried to do 13 miles.  That was just sadistic and wrong.

I've been holding my paces really well, in some cases, even going too fast.  (I'm working on it).  So whats the problem?  Well, my runs feel great, but I don't.  I'm tired, achy (may be just a little cold) and am gettin some "niggles" (which, in case you don't know, are my very scientific term for not injuries but twinges.  I don't get them while working out, just random mornings getting out of bed or at night sometimes.)  Foam rolling helps.  And I'm really trying to pay attention to quality foods and plenty of fluids.  I'm sure part of it is the weather.

So for the last 5 weeks, we have, as always 3 runs per week.  The First plan has been great, although because there are only 3 runs (and 3 days of cross training) per week, there arent any slow or recovery runs.  Long runs are done maybe 10 seconds below MP, which is pretty fast.  The next 5 weeks for long runs  are:
20 miles (tomorrow)
15 miles
20 miles
15 miles
10 miles

So I want to know from all the runners out there (please help me!)  What are your thoughts on the 20 miler?  Do I need two?  I would love to get some sort of positive feeling from at least one that I am on track and can sustain my pace for that long (which I did for my 18 miler two weeks ago) but I don't want to get injured, burned out, or just plain run in the damn tornado we've been having in Upstate NY this weekend.  Another concern about this program is I'e been running long every weekend since I started in the last week in December (the shortest run has been 13 miles a.k.a no recovery weekends from running.)
Help, friends!  I just want to make sure I end up finishing my marathon looking like this:

Mile 15 of IMLP
And not like this. 


Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday...I'm in love!

Yay for Friday!!  (Singing off key to the Cure) Even though I'm feeling like complete poo, its always good to see the weekend on the horizon.  I think the combo of work stress and training stress has finally gotten to me (ok, probably more so the running in the frigid temps for 2 plus hours a pop :-P) and I think I'm getting sick....more of a tired, achy, yucky feeling and completely devoid of energy.  Not a fan folks!  We have a 20 miler on tap this weekend if and only if I feel better....this plan calls for 2, and I will be more than happy with one thanks :-) 

Today I dialed it down a notch and swam nice and easy that I completely overshot my 45 minute intended swim by 11 minutes.  Oops.  I just kept clicking off the lane counter every 200 and stopped when my music ran out....3k EZ swim in 56:07.  Now THAT was EZ.

Well, since I clearly have nothing substantive to write, I think its time for another top 10 post!

Top Ten Things I am Loving This Week!

1.  All things peanut butter.  Oh wait.  Thats every week.  (Check out the cute lil baby spoon!)

2.  Temperatures that hit above 50 degrees in February in Western New York.  *love*.  Thank you, Mary Eggers.  I am part of your fan club for life.

3.  Talking to my very favorite bride to be on the phone (although the ultimate love would be a beem me up Scotty device so I could instantly travel to North Carolina on a whim!)

4.  Consistently hitting my paces for the last 3 training runs.  So excited for this race!

5.  Speaking of races...getting really close to my goal for fundraising!  Once I mail in my recent donations I will be super close to hitting my goal!!  ...and on that note....if you would like to donate a few dollars to help me raise money for Girls on the Run....I would love you very much!!

6.  My ginormous IMLP mug.  Awesome for everything from coffee to hot cocoa to soup.  Right now its got some green tea in it.  Need those antioxidants, baby!  (Uncle Alan would be so proud!)  And yes, theres a glimpse into my 9-5 space!

7.  Getting a belated Valentine's Day gift from my Mom...of strawberries, butternut squash, grape tomatoes, cantaloupe, and peeps.  Does she know what kind of eats I love or what?  Thanks Mom!

8.  A 45 minute Valentine's massage from the hubs complete with massage oil....perfect.  (yes, it was a PG 13 massage, lol)

9.  FINALLY seeing the post Ironman 5 (or 7) pounds start to come off. Slowly, but surely.  Never again will I slack off like is SO much easier to gain the weight than lose it!!

10.  A new Dr. Teal's salts for my bath!  Seriously, this stuff is the best.  It helps my aching muscles and relaxes me, and smells up the whole house with its amazing scent!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Heading for "the hills"

So today I made like Lauren Conrad and headed for the hills.
Nah, I'm just kidding.  I decided in a fit of bravery to try out the canal for my tempo run.  Why?  Well, I'm tired of hills.  Since I live in Wayne County in hillbilly country, I can't find a flat course to save my soul.   Great for Placid training, crappy for a flat (er) marathon.  Cause everything is flat compared to Placid. 

57 degrees in February?  Aww hell yeah.  So glad to run!  I got out of work a bit early (thanks Jerry!) and headed out to Fairport to canal it up.  Bad Idea.
Except I didn't have a pants surprise....more of an ice surprise.  Just because its in the 50s doesn't mean the snow is melted...or de-iced.  Crap.  Plan B:  big loop around Fairport and my old stomping grounds.  I ran a nice 6 mile loop with a switchback toward the end.  It was tons o fun.  I do want to thank Scott Hetsko and Mary Eggers for the good weather, but who do I see about: stupid drivers turning right and not looking, random police chase scenes causing people to pull over basically INTO me, no sidewalks due to ice skating rinks, causing me to play chicken with 5o'clock traffic....ahh, the fun games we play during runs.

However, I felt pretty bad ass, because with all of my hill training, the hills of Fairport (is that an oxymoron?) were freakin awesome little rollers that I just went up and down.  Incidentally, I killed it :-D

The workout
8 miles tempo (8.04)
Time: 1:09:07
Pace: 8:35

As I walked back to my car post run, I ran into a few "runner dudes" getting ready to do it up on the canal.  I wanted to be friendly, so I warned them about the ice.  They gave me a once over and were warily friendly back, thanking me, but looking sad.  I told them it was all fine and dandy to run short or slow, but that I sandbagged it for the roads.  One dude puffed out his chest and was like "well, we're gonna run 5 miles, so....."  I kinda smiled, sensing the "dumb girl" condescention and replied "Oh well, I just ran 8."  And felt kind of like a tool for saying it, but I guess I get a little protective of my gender sometimes.  They looked at me and saw the back of my car....

Don't mess with homegirl. 
Am I a dork or what? 
You really don't have to answer.  Yeah I "run like a girl".
Try to keep up, boys.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mmmmm Millet!

Happy hump day everyone!!  The week is officially more than half over...whew!

Today was just gorgeous out.  Mid 40's, perfect running weather.  And I have a swim on my schedule...what??  Dammit!!  Ahh, well.  My buddy Scott Hetsko says its gonna be 50 and only "sporadic" showers tomorrow, so, Scott, if you can hear me, I would like to phone in for no rain between 4pm and 6pm for my tempo 8 miler.  Think you can do that?  Good.  We can still be BFFs.  Or is it BMFs?  I dunno.

Anyways....swim went well, good sets of 600's and some drills thrown in for a nice 2600 yard workout (total time 50:07 with rests and drills)....random question for all my fellow you keep your watch running during your "rest" seconds between intervals?  I do...Greg doesn't.  We had a fight about it the other night because we never fight and needed a reason like to argue about stupid thing.  Just wonderin'.

After swimmy swims, I get really HANGRY....which means I get so hungry I want to eat my arm off and tend to snap at anyone that gets in my way...hungry +angry = hangry.  However, swimming does not justify mondo amounts of eats like a long run does, so we bring in VOLUMETRICS (tons of produce for maximum tummy happiness!)

Dinner part one was a can of tuna and some coleslaw mix (plan cabbage and carrots) with a hit of BBQ sauce.  Yummy, but not so pretty.   Part 2 excited me much more. 

Its time for mmmmmillet!!  What is millet?  Its a whole grain (well, actually a seed, but is used like a whole grain) that is similar to wheat, but it is more roundish and yellow.  Its a great alternative to bulgur, quinoa, or brown rice and can be used in most dishes like the aforementioned.  It's also a good source of iron and protein, and doesn't have gluten, so those with Celiac's can use it safetly.

Millet usually tastes better when it is toasted first, so I poured 1/4 cup dry (on serving) in a skillet and toasted for 5 minutes.  I then added a chopped apple, a cup of carrots, some apple pie spice (though cinnamon also would work!), and a cup of water.  Simmer gently for 25 miuntes partially covered and...

 Up close love.....

Yum.  Chewy, sweet, and filling. My tummy is quite happy and so am I.

And now, if you'll excuse me, apparently I have a credit from Valentine's Day for a free massage from my other half.  It's probably gonna work out better for me in the long run than my one sock.  Har har har.  I crack myself up.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Veni, Vidi, Vici

 We all want to be super heros.  But sometimes, you may only get a brush with greatness.

(Is it wrong if I didn't wash my left hand for a week?)

 Today, I took it for what it was.  I came to the treadmill, ready to rip off my mile repeats.    I didn't like what I saw.  Curse you, hampster wheel.  

Nevertheless, I sensed the challenge and hit it head on.

The Workout:  4 x 1 mile repeats at a 7:30 (8.0) pace
Total miles (with warm up/cool down): 5.5
Time:  45:56
Pace: 8:21

I conquered.  
Still got it after 11 years :-)
Then I passed out.  That is all. :-P

Monday, February 14, 2011

It just feels "right"

Happy Hallmark Valentine's Day!

The hubs and I don't normally get too much into today, but we decided this year to do something small.  Since it seems the plague of sickness hit our house yesterday when we planned to celebrate, and continued into today....we made do with what we had :-)  I got him some cologne and some sponge candy and he reciprocated with...

a sock.  No, I'm not kidding.  Now, the idea of compression socks might not sound sexy to most, but I really wanted these babies for my upcoming marathon.   At least they're pink, right?
Well, the good people at (insert company name here) must have read my super bowl big game post and really thought I only needed one.  So they sent him a right sock (yes they are "foot-atomically correct".)  So we wrote them to tell them of their mistake, and hopefully I'll get the other sock soon.  Maybe it was a valentine's day planned error?  Something that belongs in one of those cheesy cards like....
"You're the right one for me, baby" or
"I'm so glad we got off on the right foot".

Hmmm.  Maybe I'll just run the race on one foot and call it a day :-)  In all seriousness, though, it was the thought that counts, and I'm a big fan!

Enough with the cheese.

Wait.  There can never be enough cheese.  Oh, you bet I made that. 

Mmmm.....dinner.  And we can't forget the original hot tub wine.

Now, if only I had a hot tub.

Oh well.  There's always next year.

Just kidding.  I don't need a hot tub.

Right now, I'd settle for a left sock :-)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Calling Security

Good evening, friends!  Today, I would like to share with you another secret of the long run. 

I woke up this morning with the kiss of death-sore throat, cough, upset tummy (mmmm....panda paws :-P) and in general, feeling like complete poo.  The hubs and I debated our long runs for a few hours, and, after 'running' out of excuses (har har) I set off for my 15 miler.

I decided to do my 5 mile loop course, moreso for the fact that I felt I might wuss out and cut it short.  The weather was 99% perfect, especially for winter...40 degrees, overcast, and a southwest wind (so it only sucked 25% of the time :-P)  I finished my first loop feeling pretty good = 41:37.  Holy crap, Rae, slow it down!!  The second loop was uneventful, I got into my groove and enjoyed the run, except for my windy straights that threatened to send me backwards!!  However, the real magic came in on loop 3. 
About a mile in, I spotted this dude wearing shades, all back,
and a security jecket come down his driveway. 
The guy jogged for about 2 minutes, then looked around and started
walking, turning right at the corner (I was going left). 

 I saw him jog off again, stop after 30 seconds, and slouch into a walk again, trying to look like a cool guy.  I giggled a bit, thanked him silently for taking my mind off the run, and continued on the loop...until about mile 3, when I saw him duck out of a side street and back on the road again.  He looked back at me (I was about a third of a mile back) and took off again.   OK, I totally couldn't figure this guy out.  Was he out for a run?  Was he on a co-op mission?  Was he a fugitive in security disguise?  Who knows.  I entertained myself for about a half mile to this start stop gaze around crap, and then I passed him with about a mile to go.  incidentally, the last mile of my loop is mostly uphill.  Security dude did not like this one bit.  I heard him grunt as I passed him....was he being friendly?  Was he pissed that a girl passed him?  I didn't pause to find out.  I heard him start up again and took off outta there.  As I turned the corner up my street, I heard a sputter and a walk. Sorry, Mister Security dude, you were a bit creepy.  I ran to my loop end and hit my watch.....holy s$%t, 2:13:xx?  Thats 4 minutes off my last 15 miler!!  Awesome!

The Workout
15.03 miles
Time: 2:13:21
Pace: 8:52

Even though it was clearly too fast for my long run pace, it makes me feel pretty good 6 weeks out from my marathon to hopefully hit my goal pace.  The secret?  Someone scary that wants to race you in the last 5 miles :-P

Now its time for my valentine's day chocolate (mmmm) and Animation domination.

At least I know what to do now in March when I feel like crap for miles 20-26.2. 

I'm calling security.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

We're not in Kansas anymore.

....but it sure felt like it today!!!  Holy whiteout wind!

15 miles on deck.  Not happening.  When I saw the nonsense of 30 miles an hour wind, I rethought the running tights.  Then I looked out the back door:
Yeah...that's our backyard.  There is a shed back there....  Can you see it?  Me neither.  As much as I enjoy a run, I thought it might be better to table till tomorrow when I wouldn't be running backwards.  We all have our smart moments :-D

Instead, I enjoyed 40 miles on the bike and some Y&R.  The last 15 miles were pretty turrrible, the computrainer decided to bite it, and then I couldn't recalibrate, so I spun basically up a hill for the last 45 minutes.  Then, I got a flat.  All I could think was...Please let this happen just now and spare me on race day!! 

The Workout:
 40 miles EZ pace
Time: 2:05:41
Pace: 19.1

Other than the technical difficulties, it was a pretty rockin time.  Cain got shot, Daniel found out Victoria's and Billy's baby is really his, and Diane is now sleeping with the 'staches son, Nick (this would be after she slept with his dad last week, and then him the week before....).  Now I just need to learn to stay in the zone when the madness hits in Genoa City...I just get too excited :-P Oiy.  I love my boring life!!

Post ride, my sis in law and father in law came over for a visit and some dins...I made some south beach soup, then we wrecked it with the best dessert ever.

What?  I'm carb loading for my long run tomorrow :-)

Twas a great time with some scrap booking (I have a pretty epic present I'm making, waiting until the finished product to post!), chatting, and fooood. 

With my ice cream baby belly all full, its time for some foam rolling, stretching, and chillaxing...tomorrow its the 15 miler and then "Valentine's Day!" 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ten for Eleven

Its finnallllyy friday.....

Time for another top 10 for the 11th :-)

10 things I'm loving about life:

1.  Oatmeal.  Its such a great meal anytime of the day, and the toppings are endless.  current fave:  greek strawberry yogurt.  mmmm....

2.  The weather forecast for next week.  I realize that they aren't always accurate, but 50 in February is cause for a party in Rochacha. 
Someone's gonna call the ASPCA on me, aren't they?

3.  My lil fuzzer, Summer....orr 'Roo...or Summeroo.  Love.

4. My uber comfy lululemon speed shorts.  You can wear them to run, do yoga, or sleep.  And the undies are built in, so I can put even less effort into my clothes.

5.  Casual Fridays (no, I didnt wear my lulu's to work.  But I wish I could).

6.  The fact that my 15 miler this weekend seems "short".  In perspective, anyways. 

7.  Quality sibling time tomorrow!!  You have no idea how excited I am to get to say that :-D

8.  The Help, by Kathryn Stockett.  It took me less than two days to DEVOUR this book because it was amazing.  The insomnia was totally worth it. 

9.  The way the world exists from a swimming poool.  Quiet, calm, and comfortable, no matter the chaos that exists in the rest of the world. 
      (Todays swim:  EZ 1.5 miles in 45:12.  Just wonderful.)

10.  Early Valentine's Day flowers.  Aww...what a way to start the weekend.  With flowers and chocolate :-)

Time for a start to the "wild weekend".....lulu's and fringe.  Watch out, world!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The baal's in your court

I think it might be high time to spruce up the intelligence quota for this blog, so today, i would like to start off by talking politics.  Namely, Indiana politics.

Mr. Baals
On my way to work this morning, I was listening to the local radio station and heard of a debate going on with the fine residents of Fort Worth, Indiana.  It seems one of their more popular mayors in the early 1900's may have a government building named after him this year....or not.  Apparently, the residents are all for it, but today's officials may have a teensy problem with the Harry Baals Center.  Wonder why?  His ancestors say his name was really "Harry Bales"...but who knows.  Either way, it seems like the Indiana government really ought to rethink putting the poll online to vote for the name of the center.  Whoops.

Not that my problems can compare to Fort Worth, but I have a bit of a ball problem myself today.  No kids, get your mind out of the gutter.  It's my feet.  I got some new shoes for Christmas (Asics 2150's),  and decided these would be ideal for my upcoming marathon.  I've used asics for the past few years(even for my marathon in Ironman), always the 21xx series, and loved them.  However, I got a sweet deal last fall on the Brooks Ghost 2 shoe, which has a high arch and is lightweight.  I used them for my fall races, including a half marathon, and loved them....but the asics are a bit cushier, which is helpful sometimes in a marathon. 

I used the asics in my tempo run from he double hockey sticks Tuesday, and slid them on with some trepidation for my speedwork today.  Again, after the 4th 800 repeat, the balls of my feet began to ache.  They aren't tied tightly...not sure what's going on.  Maybe I just forgot the break-in process?  Either way, its making my runs suck "baals" and I don't know what to do.

Either way, I did smoke my speedwork....
Treadmill workout: 
w/u .5 miles, 8 x 800 @ 7:19/mi,  with recovery, .5 mile cooldown
Distance: 6.02 miles
Time: 50:12
Overall pace: 8:20/mile

Still, I hobbled back to work and immediatly took off my shoes.  Not a fan.

It's a harry hairy problem. So, I'm polling.... any suggestions?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I drank the koolaid.

Yay for being over the hump of the week!!  I would like to celebrate Wednesday with my top 3 of the day:

1.  I went to the dentist.  No cavities-go me!!  However, I think I freaked out the dental hygenist, who worked diligently on my teeth while giving me funny glances every few seconds.  Halfway through the cleaning, she starts laughing and says, "I'm sorry, but your tongue is orange-and its driving me nuts!"  Oh No! she hands me a mirror, and indeedy, I have an orange streak down my tongue.  I had eaten lunch-a turkey sammie, greek yogurt and an apple...but no orange.  Hmmm.  Oh No!!  I mean....

.....backing up awkwardly.....

2.  Koolaid man musta given me POWER, though!  I had a sprint interval bike ride today, or, as my plan calls the, "Turbo Sprints".  Basically, you warm up for easy 15 minutes, then climb a ladder of 1' full sprint, 2' recover, 2' sprint, 2' recover, 3' sprint, 2' recover, 4' sprint' 2' recover, 5' sprint, 2' recover....then all the way back down.  I kicked my own butt, but I felt pretty bad ass fast doing it....I think I'm gonna rename these babies "Turbeau Sprints", cause they make you go fast, and when I grow up I want to be fast like Matt...or at least have a bike that's as cool as his.  He probably drinks better koolaid, though.

3.  After a full day of work, dentist and Turbeau sprints, I think its time to mellow out-maybe heat up a little koolaid micro cocoa (as my hubs calls it) and settle in for a hot date.

What, you thought I had a life?  Nah.....mad Mister Peanut (check out the circa '70s mug, isn't it fun?), current addictive book, Harry Potter throw and a nice fake fire are where its at tonight. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Press Your Luck

Today, during my run, I thought about my buddy Peter Tomarken back from the good ole '80s.  Now, some things were a big mistake from that decade to be certain....excessive blue eyeshadow, t-shirt ties, bunch socks, and thong leotards on women that really had no business wearing them....but I don't care who you are, 80's TV was where it was at.

Charles in Charge, anyone?  How about the Wonder Years?  I remember many a happy night staying at Grandma's, cup of warm milk in hand (heated on the stove, NOT that newfangled microwave thing), drifting to sleep on the couch and listening to the trials of Kevin and Winnie.  Shows today can't compete with that. (Especially spin off's like "Whammy".  Don't get me started....)

But I will admit freely, even on the internet, that my heart had a special place for Peter Tomarken and his whammies.  For a kid who's mom was flat out obsessed with game shows (love you, Mom!) I got to see 'em all, but this one was the coolest.  Where else would little animated guys come away to take your money and make you laugh? (Well, they made me laugh.  I doubt the contestants were as impressed.)

Plus, he was hot.  It's too bad he isn't around anymore....(as I just realized writing this post-how sad.)  Now I feel bad admitting that my good pal Pete wasn't on my mind in a fond way as I ran.  Oops.
  So, ok, the run.  It was just not in the cards today, folks.  I tried.  I spun the wheel for  Whammy #1.  I decided it was way to f*in cold to run outdoors, so I rain on the 'mill of death.  For some reason, I can't run straight on the hamster wheel for moe than 20 minutes to save my soul, so we did the 5 mile tempo run as a 20 minutes, 1 minute walk break, 20 minute run.  Too bad I forgot to compenasate for that on my run speed.  Oops.

Fail #2:  My new Asics.  These shoes used to be the love of my life (after Peter Tomarken of else was I supposed to survive after 2006?) but I've abandoned them for my brooks ghosts lately.  I don't know if they were just new shoes or not my thing anymore, but my feet were KILLING me during the run.  Whammy #2. Boo.

The third Ipod crapped out on me halfway through the run.  Now, if I was outside, I might be able to deal.  But I ended up listening to crappy music on the PA and hearing the grunter next to me (Maybe he saw my whammies running across the treadmill and it scared the snot out of him...who knows.)  Whammy #3.

Now, why not 3 strikes and you're out?  Well, in Press your Luck, you get 4 whammies before you're out of the game, so I still feel there is promise to today even after this workout.  It's just how I roll.

Tempo Run:  5 miles @ 41:44, 8:21 mile pace.

Take that, ya sucker. 

Off to snuggle in on this freezing evening with some hot chocolate and the hockey game my new book (thanks Rosie!)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dolla Dolla Bills Y'all

Sorry I'm a bit late with the football post.
I was too excited to write it.
Ok, I lied.  I can't really stand football.
Except for this studliness:
Sorry, ladies, he's mine.  All mine.
Ok, ok, back to the super bowl of chili I had yesterday.

Actually, I did:

But I meant to talk about the game.  I just don't want to get sued by saying something copyrighted here, people...I'm only a social worker and don't have the big bucks to back up infringment.  Kinda....

Ok, enough mish-mosh.  Last night the hubs and I journeyed from 'West Syracuse' to the big city Henrietta to join in on the MRP "big game" party.  MRP as in Middle Rd Posse, a group of great guys my hubs grew up with. Rob, our host, did an excellent job with his new squeeze, Elizabeth, in keeping us in good eats pre-game:
Amazing Bruscetta
BBQ Shrimp skewers by Matt (yes, even I ate one!)

And of course, Binary Brewery kept the beer flowing.....

Thats Matt Dawg, Greg's best man, and my father in law.  They're classy-don't judge.

Aside from the good eats and drinks, don't ask me too much about the game, except that I really enjoyed the "edited" version of the national anthem, the Doritos commercials, and the Volkswagon commercial

Oh yeah, and did I mention we won $$$?  Woo hoo!  I think it could be the fact that I have no clue about football (sorry hubs), or point spreads, or "squares", but figured why not and put up 5 bucks to play.  And Greg and I won the final score prize-25 bucks!

This is major, people.  What can you do with 25 bucks?  Dinner for 2?  A new pair of compression socks  left compression sock?

Or maybe I'll just put the money in a high yield account for when I get caught saying Super Bowl.

Oh damn.  I said it.