Monday, February 28, 2011

I'll Be There For You

So, I didn't make sub-five today. And y'know what? That's OK. I had such an amazing time.

It was hot out there - having to turn on your A/C on the way to  a race at 5:30 in the morning is NEVER a good sign. It was humid - at one point we got spit on like a big ol' tease of rain that never showed up. We had strong winds - nothing like The Year of the Wind, but enough to actually cool us down a bit. At least the sun hid until we were mostly done. The redesigned course removed the biggest hill but added a couple of more rollers and the major hill on the course at Mile 7 or so was a freakin' doozy. But it is what it is and we play the hand we're dealt, right? 

I got to the race site by 6:05 & sat in the car gathering myself before heading out to try to meet everyone. I left my phone in the car, though, so I was out of touch with everyone and kind of had to watch out for folks. I also took nothing but my PowerBar chews, 3 Vitamin I & my key fob.  I was going to trust everything else to the race directors and my pacer Suann.  Unfortunately, she was stuck on I-30 so she was worried about getting parked and situated in time. Even though they announced they were going to delay the start, I had no way to call her & tell her to relax.  I also had no way to make sure I was on track with pace without her.  I had decided to sit for a while when I got to the corral since I knew I was going to be on my feet for a long while, but then I thought I should stand up so I could better see everyone. Turns out I found Suann, Greg & Fiona at the same time, a few minutes before the gun went off.  I missed seeing nearly everyone else, although Greg T had passed me earlier on his way to pace the 3:20 group (CRAZY) and asked where my posse was!! 

Suann was awesome today. I only cussed at her once or twice!
Right when we started, I was feeling great. It was a totally different feel than the 20-miler a few weeks ago. Despite the humidity, I was having no trouble sliding into a groove and getting the heart rate settled in for a comfortable pace. We were shooting for 11 minute mile splits, for my 11th marathon. I just realized that at the start. Kinda cool. And we were right on target for the first few miles.  Then we both decided we needed a pit stop, but every set of porta-potties had a long line, so we kept moving. I started dumping water on my head at mile 3, and pretty much the rest of the race had a routine of drink one, dump one. But I was still feeling strong. Until we hit the hill at mile 7. And I started to hurt. We broke it down lamppost by lamppost, with Suann egging me on the whole way, reminding me to keep my head up, pump my arms, breathe deep. Turns out we hit that split at 10:45 or something stupid like that. It was tough, but I did it, and it only took a few minutes to recover from it. She was awesome at reminding me to breathe properly and get my heartrate recovered after each incline, and was stellar at well, keeping me on pace. Things went great past the split with the half-marathoners, and even into the half-way point.  We hit that marker right on target at 2:25:50, and that included a short pit stop at the Stockyards when we finally found a line that was moving quickly. So we were happy with our progress, and the weather, while humid, wasn't really beastly yet.

By about mile 15, though, my legs were starting to feel the effects of the rollers, and it was getting harder and harder to recover from even small little inclines. My glutes & hamstrings were aching, and a couple of longer downhill stretches really affected my quads.  But the knees were holding up fine and the heat was starting to accumulate enough that it was tough to keep cool. Fueling wise and even electrolyte wise we were in good shape, despite having several stops in a row either out of or not offering Powerade. We started to slow down by the 30K timing mat, though, with an average pace of 11;20 by then, and Suann was having to coax me to keep moving to each water stop, with the promise that I could take a break as soon as I got to there. We were basically moving water stop to water stop by then.  She reminded me that it was mental pain, not physical pain that was making me want to slow down. Also keeping me in forward motion was knowing that I would soon be seeing the first of my support crew other than Suann, as Michelle and Greg were waiting for me at somewhere between mile 19 and 20. I had seen my friend Jan a few miles earlier, and even though she wasn't able to meet up with me again because of traffic, I was excited to see my posse.

When we turned the corner into the park at mile 19, I remembered that this was the spot where I met the boys last year, and I killed a good 10 minutes changing socks and shoes. I was glad to be still moving pretty well by then, but honestly, I was hurting pretty badly by then. When we cleared the park and after another bit through the neighborhood found Greg and Michelle, it was such a blessing.  I knew that I only had a few miles left to go, and it was so wonderful to have their company. However, by then, I was about an hour past talking more than a few words at a time, and was honestly getting pretty good at letting the three of them get ahead of me just enough that it took them a while to notice each time I slowed to a walk or backed off.  They were so helpful to have by my side (or in front of me) and I was amazed at how cheerful and energetic they were after their half-marathons. It was truly a lift, both physically and mentally, to have them come out. After a couple of miles, Michelle let us go on while she went back to her car, leaving Greg and Suann to shepherd me to the White Rock Girls, who were waiting for me at about mile 23.

I heard them before I saw them. As soon as they recognized us coming up the route, they all let out massive cheers, and Suann made me look up and see them. After quick hugs (honestly, I was wanting to linger and stop a bit, but they kept me dragging along even while hugging them!!), we got back to business, with Kris immediately launching into the pancake song, just like out at the Lake! They took turns motivating me and keeping me on task, refusing to let me back off or walk or cry. When we passed under an overpass, we did a group primal scream. I will never forget the feel of Mel's hand on the small of my back when I just felt like I couldn't move any faster, and she literally pushed me forward, keeping me in forward motion.  Greg was giving me posture tips, Marci kept threatening to slap my ass if I walked (and actually did it once!!), and Fiona nearly made me cry when she told me I was the strongest person she knew. Actually, at one point or another, each of these amazing women, women who I respect and love for their own strengths of character and perseverance and determination, came up to me separately and told me that exact same thing, that I was the strongest woman they know, and that they were here for me, and they WOULD NOT LET ME FAIL.

What I didn't know, but kind of guessed, and they all knew for sure, is that I was off pace for my goal. They kept telling me I had to push, that I had to give them a little more, that I could NOT slow down. But none of them would give me lap times or in any way give me any indication that I was off pace. They just kept pushing and encouraging and running with me. Kris gave me her arm and pulled me up the last little hill at mile 25. And when I wanted to walk, they would all yell at me, telling me we had come too far for me to slow down now. So I kept going. It hurt. A lot. My right knee was achy by then, not really sharp pain, but definitely was making itself known.  My glutes & hamstrings were screaming from the hills, as were the quads. My back ached and I had that awful powerade sweetness in the back of my throat. At one sharp descent onto the trail, my left knee bit me, and it hurt. A lot. Sharp pain. But they kept me moving. And I laughed as much as I could given my state, because these people are a hella lot of fun to be around. Even when you're at mile 25 of a hot, sticky race. Especially when you're at mile 25.

Lots of people noticed my posse and commented that I had this finish in the bag with so much support. I think a lot of runners who passed me thought I was a first-timer, based on the advice I would get as they leapfrogged me. I was obviously hurting, because I kept getting unsolicited advice about fueling and such. But the best comment of the day I heard and could barely respond to was "You have some amazing friends." Yes, I do. I most certainly and unequivocally do.

When we got to the chutes, they peeled off and let me go through on my own, but I could hear them cheering me all the way through.  Suann had to find a friend who had run the ultra, but she showed me her Garmin before she left me. She had thought my PR was 5:15, so she thought I had PRd even if I hadn't made sub-5. But my PR is 5:13:57, so I was less than a minute off that. I told her I wasn't disappointed, that I had left everything on that course. It was hot, sticky, hilly and brutal and I did all that I could, and actually a little more than I thought I could, because I couldn't stand to disappoint my amazing friends.

I stopped to get my medal and my finisher photo, and immediately felt a little woozy. My legs were numb & tingly, and I saw a few stars in my eyes and felt lightheaded. I sat for a while and my girls & Greg came over and that's when the waterworks started. I was just so happy that they had done so much for me. A photographer came over and took photos of us hugging and crying - I don't know if I'll be able to find those, but honestly, even though I was still in pain, and nearly about to pass out, I have never felt so amazing. We went through the building where the food was; by the time I got there, all that was really appealing was a little container of Blue Bell ice cream. I was very happy that they let me get a men's finisher shirt in an awesome royal blue instead of forcing me to take a pink women's shirt, that while pretty cool, I would never wear. Then we made our way over to pick up shirts and sat on a bench for a while and recouped before heading out.

On the way to get our shirts, we turned the corner and a tent was playing about the most appropriate song ever, the theme from Friends. When we hit the 24-mile marker, Marci, Mel & Kris all said all that was left was an episode of Friends. And when you stop and listen to the lyrics of that song, as trite & heavy-handed as it may be, they really rang true for us today:
Someone to face the day with
Make it through all the rest with
Someone I'll always laugh with 
Even at my worst I'm best with you, yeah
I'll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
 I'll be there for you
Like I've been there before
 I'll be there for you' Cuz you're there for me too...

While this race did not go as planned, and I struggled more than I wanted to, I learned so much not about myself, but about these wonderful people that I have been so lucky and so blessed to have come into my life. In their own ways, they each motivated me today, and I am forever grateful to them. Today's race was not about the time on the clock. It was not about the new course (which, by the way, I really do kind of like). It was about the friends who were with me, every step of the way. And that made the entire journey worthwhile. I will take another day like today in a heartbeat over a PR. Because I have rarely felt so loved and so supported and so much a part of something really special as I did today.

Damn. These people rock my world. 
My splits from the timing services. Suann will be sending me her Garmin splits later:

10K - 1:07:33
Half - 2:25:50
30K - 3:30:33
Finish - 5:14:49

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday Thirteen - The Marathon Memory Edition

So, with marathon #11 looming, I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane and give you my top memory from each of my previous marathons, along with a couple of bonus memoriessince I've only done 10 full marathons so far.

  1. First marathon was White Rock, 2004. My favorite memory, besides seeing my boys at Mile 18 and the finish, was finding my dear friends at the start, the halfway point, at mile 20, all surprising  me and cheering me on. They had conspired to do this and failed to tell me they would be there. It was awesome. 
  2. Second marathon was Marine Corps 2005. Turning the corner at Hain's Point after a  particularly lonely and windy section, I found this enormous hand from The Awakening jutting out of the ground. So unexpected and way cool. Almost as cool as the crowds on the ramp to the bridge. Almost.
  3. Third marathon was White Rock 2005. By the time, I knew what the hell I was doing.  Kind of. I am kind of sad to admit that this one is kind of a blur. Nothing stands out from it particularly strikingly, except that I remember seeing downtown from the east side of the lake and thinking I still had a freakin' long way to run.
  4. Fourth was Miracle Match in Waco, 2006. I nearly DNFed this one. It was hot, I was miserable, and if anyone had been manning the "water station" at mile 18, I would have turned in my chip and said "No mas." But, the water stop was a folding table with a cooler and paper cups on it, all alone in the middle of the road, so I was screwed. By the time I got to the next stop, it was at mile 20 and who the hell quits a marathon at mile 20?  Not this girl. 
  5. White Rock 2006 was next up. PR. In the pouring rain. My team at work was in the middle of upgrade testing and I remember hoping that I would be slow enough that they would be done by the time I got finished and I wouldn't have to work afterward. I showed up at the office straight from the finish line looking like a drowned rat. Fun times. 
  6. I changed jobs about a month after that race, and traveled for work for 2.5 years, so the next full wasn't until Cowtown 2009. This was the Year of the Wind. Best memory was getting smacked by a flying refrigerator box down on the Trinity. Yeah, it's funny NOW. I was miserable at the time!!
  7. Was another year before I tried again at Cowtown 2010. We've heard about the crying on the course. About the blisters from the new shoes. My favorite memory though is having a paramedic lean over me at about mile 22 asking if I was OK while I laid in the grass off the curb.  His shadow blocked the sun in my face and I asked him to stay there for just a second while I rested. He obliged, then I decided I best get moving. He was very friendly and very cute!! 
  8. Had to try again at OKC 2010. Jumping the barrier. Yeah, that was cool.... NOT.  My favorite memory from that one though, is afterward, walking through the Memorial and seeing people had left bibs and medals on the chairs. All the chairs. Such a moving scene. I am very much looking forward to returning with my girls this year.  
  9. On 10/10/10, I ran the Tyler Rose marathon in virtual solidarity with my girls running Chicago. Besides the tweets and texts from my crew that kept me going and motivated, the best part of this race was the shower truck afterward. I had a 2.5 hour drive in front of me and had to get straight to hockey, so I really enjoyed jumping right in and cleaning up straightaway after the finish. Despite my knee issues there, I felt the best I ever have after that race. I credit the shower truck.
  10. New York City. All of it was beyond awesome. But finding my cheer squad at Mile 23 was definitely a huge lift. That my friend Irene has video of me there is bonus. That was a fun weekend, beginning to end. Even though I was sick as a dog after the race. It was still greatness.
  11. Banderawesome. Oh, to pick out one memory is tough. Very tough. The epiphany at the top of the hill has to be it, though. That was the game-changer for sure. 
  12. My favorite half memories are from those races where I paced new runners to their first finishes. That is so rewarding to help someone reach their goals. It reminds me of why I love to run. 
  13. The next marathon memory is yet to be written.  Tune in next week to find out what it is....
What's YOUR favorite marathon or race memory?  leave a comment - I love to hear other runners' stories!! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Fire Brigade

It's Marathon Week. Number Eleven is looming large just a few days away.  I am as prepared as I can be, given the upheaval of the last three months in my running life.  Do I feel as prepared as I was for New York  City, where I hit nearly all of my training runs and all of my mileage goals? No, not nearly. Do I feel like a sub-five-hour marathon is still within my grasp?  Absolutely.  Do I have a plan in place to Make It Happen?  Without a doubt I do.

 My friend Suann has already graciously offered to run with me from the start to the finish, despite the fact that her marathon PR is a whole hour faster than mine and that she is going to have to slow down a whole lot to do that. She's already paced me to a great half-marathon on New Year's Day and was with me for our "dry run" 20-miler a few weeks ago.  That she is willing to do this is so amazing to me, and I am so appreciative. But, I still felt like I wanted some additional support, not just moral support, which I know I have in overflowing amounts, but actual physical support. And this is where I realized that I truly have some amazing friends.

This is what I mean:  When I asked for some help with Operation Sub-Five, they all stepped up without hesitation.  Nearly everyone I know is already running the half or the full or the ultra at Cowtown, so remember that what I asked for would require a couple of more miles in addition to their race efforts that day.  And everyone responded so enthusiastically that I just feel so, so lucky.  So here's the deal:

From Mile 19 to the finish, I will have one or more of my friends come along with me and Suann to keep me to my pace and help me get past the mental blocks and the mental pain that always make me slow down.  At around that point, I usually drop back, or back off, and in the back of my mind it becomes OK to accept that, hey, I'm going to finish, and that's just fine, right?  And I know I can break through that and keep the pressure up and keep the pace going to what my body is capable of, and having a crew waiting for me along the course is going to be what gets me through this time.  I *know* I am strong enough to turn it up instead of backing down, but I feel like I need a little extra reminder from all of these wonderful people to help me remember that. Especially when it gets hard in that last 10K.

So, I present to you, the Team Members of Operation Sub-Five, some of the most amazing people I am lucky enough to call my friends:

  • Suann "Intensity" Lundsberg - her first marathon was OKC last year, followed by Chicago on 10/10 and then an amazing redemption race in Fort Worth last November.  She knows all too well the mental battles that I have fought. She is going to be with me from the start to the finish. I am so grateful. 
  • Michelle "The Girl from the Video" Blackard - I met Michelle at my first NTTR event this summer, and recognized her voice from her Trans-Rockies video, which made me instantly fall in love with her and want to be like her. Since then I've had the chance to see her at races & out at GRAW & she's just as awesome as I thought. No, that's a lie. She's MORE awesome. 
  • Greg "Maniac Ninja" Sisengrath - I met Greg out on the trail last summer, when we hit these ridiculous trails in Oak Cliff with my Banderawesome buddy Sarah Thomsen. In the intervening months, we've done trail runs together, I've watched him run his first marathon in a tutu next to his lovely bride, and I have come to absolutely adore not only Greg's tenacity and athleticism, but his devotion to his wife & family. I only slightly hate him for becoming Maniac before me. =)
  • Fiona "Wonder Woman" Lu - Fiona ran her first marathon last December after picking up running less than a year or so earlier.  She works full time outside the home and has the most beautiful three little girls I've ever met. How she manages to fit in all her training and always be so upbeat and cheerful I have no idea. She is a true wonder & I admire her greatly. 
  • Jan "STFUR" Malone Blackburn - Back when I first started running with a group, after years of solo running and training, Jan was my pace group leader for my FWRunCo training group. She inspired us on a weekly basis, kept us laughing and enjoying our long runs (even the damned repeats on Hidden Hill) and routinely harassed me for never. shutting. up. while we ran!! She became so much more than a coach, and she is making a special trip back from heaven (aka Front Range CO) to cheer & pace a bunch of her friends. I'm luck enough to be one of them. 
  • Kris "Pancakes" Stevens - She's one of the WRL Girls. Enough said. 
  • Marci "No Pickles" Sims - Marci has talked me through some pretty serious sh!t and pulled me off some crazy emotional ledges.  I can't imagine anyone else I want with me at Mile 25. 
  • Jeremy "Banderawesome" Day - Jeremy is doing the ultra this weekend.  His pace is such that he will likely finish the ultra before I finish the full. He would totally be helping me this weekend except that he doesn't think I need it. He thinks I have this solid without all of this. He is probably right. But I don't want to go up on the trapeze without a net, and all of these people are the most supportive net to catch me if I fall that I can imagine.  So while Jeremy may not be able to physically run me in, I know that he believes I can do it, and that means just as much. 

So there you go. The team members of Operation Sub-Five. Ultimately, they can't pull me across the line. I have to do the work to physically stay strong. But having them waiting for me and ready for me, and just the fact that they are willing to run an extra mile or two after their races, means so much to me. And that tells me that no matter the time on the clock when I cross the finish, I am already a winner.

Let's do this.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday Thirteen - The OMG it's almost Cowtown Edition

  1. I have the bestest friends in the whole world. I will have more details on what I mean by that in my pre-race blog entry. Suffice it to say that I am a lucky, lucky girl to be surrounded by so many people filled with awesome. 
  2. Shoes for race day are set. Sent the too-small pair back but inherited a gently-used pair of Kinvaras from one of my awesome running buddies. They just didn't work for him, but so far, they are working great for me. They have just the right amount of padding in the forefront but the heel drop is not so much different from the Kilkennys, so I am hopeful that I will feel the difference come Mile 22.
  3. I am working on a deal at the office that will, as my co-worker said today, provide many opportunities for extended hours bonding. Right about the time that I am preparing for Cowtown. Wheee! At least I know what to do to fill the hours where I'm usually running. 
  4. We're 11 days out from Marathon #11.  Kinda think that's cool. 
  5. As of tomorrow, race day will be on the 10-day forecast. Not that it matters. Can't control it, can only stress about it. For this race, I've had perfect conditions, gale-force winds, chilly, all kinds of things. February in Texas is unpredictable. Just show up in layers & be ready to strip as needed.
  6. I've run the last two days without the knee brace. It's been playing nicely, so I am optimistic about that. Still haven't made the time to see my PT. I need to get this done. Soon. Still, I do plan to wrap both knees to high heaven, just as pre-emptive strike against either kneecap deciding to go renegade.
  7. I moved my office to a back room in my house to get away from the cold, cold north-facing window. Seriously, there were icicles INSIDE the window during #Snowmaggedon & #Snowmaggedon 2.0. And then weather promptly warmed up to a  balmy 80. Which means I've been sweating in my office for the last 4 days. I find that hee-lar-ee-us!! I have to, because ain't no way Hub is moving my giant wall unit back to the front room any time this century!
  8.  There are tons of germy nastiness making its way around FW-D - I know of at least 3 families with strep, and a couple of runners have been brought down by the flu lately. I have never been so glad to work from home as I am right now. And I may or may not run all three of the men in my house through a decontamination chamber when they walk in the door. NO SICKIES!!
  9. I've run 204 miles so far this year. That sounds groovy & all, but it's actually 9 miles behind pace for my goal of 1600 this year. I blame #Snowmaggedon. Good news is that if I can hit my weekend runs tomorrow, Saturday & Sunday, I will be all caught up & ahead of pace again. Whew!!
  10. Have I talked about Texas Independence Relays yet? No? I'm doing it. The week after Cowtown. I am beyond stoked!!  More about that in future posts. Gotta get through what's right in front of me first.
  11. Are we at 13 yet?  Ummm... 
  12. Next race after TIR is Grasslands. Put on by the awesome group of people at North Texas Trail Runners. I am really excited about this one. I registered for real and for true last night. Money is paid, gotta show up now. 
  13. Spinach & mushroom quesadillas are about my favorite food right now. I could have them every night and never get tired of them. It's what's for dinner tonight. So, I'll see y'all later, skaters!! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Love to My White Rock Girls

Last week, the editors of dailymile sent out a request for stories about running partners for Valentine's Day. I don't know if my submission will make the cut, but this is what I sent in, and I wanted to share it here. 

After years of training and running on my own, I started developing a larger community based on friends I found through Twitter and dailymile last spring. I have gotten to the point where I would rather change my running plans and adjust my pace if needed so that I can run with others instead of slog through a long run on my own. I have a lot of folks that I enjoy sharing a run with, but in particular, there are three women who have become my core running buddies and dear friends in the process. We call ourselves the White Rock Girls.

The Original Group
All three of them, Melissa, Marci and Kris, had been running for far less time than I have (some under a year!) yet all three had signed up for the Chicago Marathon on 10/10/10. My big race for the fall was the New York City Marathon a month later. We had run in varying combinations throughout the summer, and a couple of us had raced together too, growing closer each time. What really sealed the deal for us was our 20-miler in early September.  We met at White Rock Lake in Dallas for five 4-mile loops, with coolers loaded full of crushed ice, gatorade, and popsicles because we knew it was going to be a long day. This was the first time these ladies had done 20 miles, and this run really was the culmination of a lot of hard work we'd put in over the long, hot summer. It was a tough run, physically and mentally, for all of us, and yet we pulled each other through it and ended the day with big smiles and the sense that we were ready for 10/10 (I had decided to sign up for the Tyler Marathon on the same day, so that I could run in spirit with them if not physically there in Chicago). 

On race day, the three of us exchanged texts as we prepared for the starting line, and pumped each other up, reinforcing the messages we had been repeating all summer - "YOU GOT THIS," "Ninja Warrior Runner Chick!" "Just a 5K to go," etc. We were ready, and even though I was a thousand miles away at a different starting line and they each had their own race to run, we knew that we were in this thing together. By the end of that day, in Chicago heat that was warmer than what I was experiencing in Texas, those three girls had conquered their first 26.2 miles and become marathoners. They each had their own tests along the way, but what is most telling to me about the connection that we had is that Marci and I crossed our finish lines with nearly identical times of 5:37, and despite being separated at various points throughout the course, Mel and Kris crossed the finish line hand-in-hand ten minutes later. The congratulatory texts and phone calls came after just as the pre-race ones had, with all of us so excited that we had all reached our goals.  

When I ran the New York City marathon four weeks later, I had our picture from that 20-miler pinned to me, under my bib. They weren't ready to run another one with me but I still wanted them along with me every step of the way, to share my journey and to give me strength. In the time since then, we have run together in various combinations as often as we can. We have helped each other through personal crises, both on our runs and off, and we have grown to be so much more than running buddies. We are truly friends.

Running NYC with me.
Look for us at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.  We will be running together, probably wearing tutus, smiling, and gunning for sub-5:00 finishes!! Long live the White Rock Girls!! 

At the Gobble Hobble. I was on restriction so I cheered instead of ran.
NOTE:  The White Rock Girls have exploded!  We welcome any and all runners running at any pace for any distance who want to come out and share some miles, some good conversation and some great friendship!

Elaine, Kris, Fiona & Libby at White Rock in late January.

I am laughing because I look shorter than usual between Megan & Kris.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Five - the Kind of Freak Out Edition

  1. Cowtown is only 15 days away. OK, technically 16 but really, at this point, it doesn't matter. It's CLOSE!! Got one last 20-miler tomorrow, the supported training run that was postponed last week because of Snowmaggedon It. So I haven't done my last long run yet. So I am a little concerned (freaking out) about it. The knee was tricky, tricky, tricky on the treadmill last Saturday, so I am going to wear the brace & hope it holds up (and try not to freak out about it). No, I haven't made time to get to the sports doc for it yet. I know, I know... 
  2. I ordered new shoes. Saucony Kinvaras. They're awesome, nice & cushy, and I think they will work well for me. I am less concerned with the heel drop than I was initially, because after the last two long runs I really am over the hot spots/pain/pressure on the ball of my foot after 15 miles and am ready for the cushioning that these have. But... they have to go back. We screwed up on the conversion from women's sizing to men's sizing and while these fit for daily wear around town, they don't have enough room in them for any serious miles. Unless I want to lose my toenails. And I kinda like my toenails. So they are going back and another pair a size larger is coming to replace them. Hopefully in time for next week's  halfway-long run (so I can wear them and not have to, you know, freak out about them). Yes, I know. A potentially dangerous situation is looming here with shoes not tried out on long runs... I know, I know... 
  3. Really very much over the cold weather. We had another snow day here, although the roads were actually fairly decent once the sun came out. I love my children and I love my husband. But, these boys throw off my groove when they intrude on my space. Imagine hauling your entire family to work with you every day and that's what it's like for me when they are out of school and work. In my grill all... day... long... "What time is lunch?" "What's for lunch?" "What's for dinner?" "What are we doing today?" Kill me now. 
  4. I'm getting very excited for the next race after Cowtown, the Grasslands trail marathon. It's put on by North Texas Trail Runners and it will be my Marathon Maniacs qualifier. Yes, I will continue to do full + distances in April,  May & June to get the next level up, but after Grasslands, it will be official. So there's that. Plus, thanks to the greatness of Twitterpressure, we have a GREAT group of awesome runner peeps going to be out there to run it or volunteer.  Yes, they're all faster than me, by much. But, there is just something special about racing with friends!! 
  5. It's almost Valentine's Day. I think we are doing a preemptive strike and going to dinner tonight in an effort to avoid the crowds. Or at least that's what I heard from that dude that shares my bed while we were getting ready for the day this morning. Valentine's Day is different when you've been married for 16 years. Actually, recently we've tried to put a bigger emphasis on making each other feel special and appreciated every day, not just on days like Valentine's Day or birthdays or anniversaries. But, that doesn't mean we can't take advantage of the pre-marketed hooha & do something nice on this weekend, too. What does Valentine's Day look like at your house? 

I get these from my sweetie all the time, just because he knows I heart them.
Don't wait for Valentine's Day to do something nice. 

Friday, February 04, 2011

Friday Five - Snowmaggedon It Edition

  1. Guess which is higher - the number of minutes - not miles, MINUTES - I have run this week or the number of inches of snow on the ground?  Well, we have four inches of snow on the ground, covering about two inches of ice.  And I have run all of 3 minutes, all of that on the treadmill on Tuesday night. Before I just couldn't take it. I had the iPod cranked up (Red Hot Chili Peppers, yo! Anthony Keidis & all his hawtness still didn't get me going!) and the TV on, watching "Saved by the Baby."  And I just couldn't stand being on there any longer. It hit .25 miles and I jumped off & gave it up.  Yeah. Totally sucks. 
  2. I just cannot get over the mental block on my home treadmill. I had actually made plans to get rid of it last week, after we had laminate floors put in and decided to re-arrange some of the rooms in the house. I haven't used the treadmill in months. Hubby used to use it but we would both rather go to the gym now.  I don't need it for those late-night or early-morning runs now that the kids are older & can stay on their own. So it's really just taking up space. I appreciated it & used it a lot back in 2004-2006 but now I would rather not. And this week has reinforced that I really just can't handle it, so I have found it a good home. But after we ventured out for dinner last night & found the streets still a little too dicey to make it to the gym, I might have to suck it up & deal tonight. or tomorrow. or Sunday. Because it's still freakin' snowing!! 
  3. When your 15 year old nearly cries after they announce the fourth snow day in a row, that's when you know it has been a long week.  He tried to play hockey in the street or on the parking lot at the school down the block, but found that other non-skating kids had gone through and smashed the ice, making it impossible to skate on. The puck was bouncing everywhere and pretty much it wasn't fun to try to play outside. Very disappointing. And apparently, there are only so many times you can beat your little brother at PS3 games before even those lose their appeal. They have re-built legos, read books (!) and napped. And they are OVER IT. And that's because we were spared the rolling blackouts that the rest of FW-D has had to endure, so there have been no interruptions in cable, internet or gaming. They also have been surprisingly civil to each other after the first day. So it hasn't been as bad as it could have been. 
  4. I work from home. Which normally rocks my world. Because I don't have to drive and such. Or leave my house, except for the daily car-line expedition to retrieve the younger man-child from school. But this week, while everyone else is enjoying snow days and unplanned staycations, cleaning out closets or watching Netflix ad infinitum, what am I doing? Yeah, that's right. Working. From home. F me. Instead of being stuck at home and able to do all those other things, I am working. Like usual. Wheee!  I couldn't even use the rolling blackouts as an excuse because we were spared! The injustice!! 
  5. My 20-mile training race/run got pushed back to next week. I was counting on that mileage to pull my weekly run totals out of the toilet. For now, I have a date with my pacer for 16 tomorrow and then another 12 on Sunday out at the lake with my girls. Both are looking questionable right now because of the roads and the sidewalk conditions. But if something doesn't happen so that I can run outside soon, it's going to get ugly. Ugly. Mother Nature did not consult me and Operation Sub-Five when she pulled this crap on North Texas.*
Scene out my front door this morning. 4 inches of snow on top of ice.
At least it looks pretty now.

We're not sure what made those tracks in the snow. Chupa?

Next year's Christmas card. Because this crap better not happen again before then.

Hub playing some pond hockey.
In shoes, because ice was too crappy for skates.

This is happiest he has been all week. Hockey stick in hand. 
*Small consolation - Mother Nature apparently did not consult Jerry Jones and his Superbowl plans, either! Ha HA!!!