Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ohio Bound

I'm leaving for Ohio in a few hours!!! I haven't seen our families since May. This will be an extended stay for me---20 days! I'm not looking forward to leaving Ben and Maxx for that long, but am very excited to be going home!!!

This morning was my last spinning class, for a few weeks. I sure will miss it! On the bright side though, Mom and Dad have a new fitness center (w/indoor pool) about 15 miles from their home. They open nice and early each day, so I'll be a very frequent presence in that gym!!

I'll be doing lots of shopping, visiting family and friends, going to area Jazzercise classes----and of course----Eating!

Stay tuned for my training run reports, coming live out of the Cleveland, Ohio area!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday's warmer run

Boy has the weather been changing day-by-day!! In the 40's one day, in the 70's another---can we stay in the 70's or higher???!!!

This morning was Spinning class, which is always a great workout I really love! The instructor mixes a little bit of upper body and ab work, so that's even better. I'm buying a spinning bike in January, but still plan to take my Tues/Thurs spinning class.

73 days until Cowtown Marathon. On the schedule for today was 9 miles. Since the temp was in the upper 60's, I decided to run at the Old Mill. On my way, I stopped at tanning, then made the quick drive to the Mill. I had a really nice run and it only lightly rained on me for the last mile. If you've never been to this location, there's a big lake along the route. There are always tons of geese, ducks (whatever they are) roaming the sidewalk and street. They also spend lots of time in the resident's front yards. As was the case today--I was running along and about 15 of them crossed to road and headed up the hill to a house. A lady opened the front door, threw out some bread, the geese gobbled it up, then promptly turned around and came back down the hill (single file), across the street, and back into the water. I thought it was the funniest, cutest thing I had seen all day!!!

After running, I went to Target for some Christmas gifts. Ok, I was gross, but really didn't care one bit----I knew I had worked out in my exercise clothes, not just worn them to "look" like I work out!!!

Monday Run

I've been so used to running w/Cheryl during the week, that I wasn't excited to go on my Monday run---because she's out of town this week. Well, I have to say I miss running at 5:30am w/Annette, but I'm hoping we'll start that up again when the weather gets warmer (and it's lighter outside).

Anyway, training schedule said 8 miles. And I really didn't even want to do 1 mile!! It was a dreary, rainy, and cold day---and I woke up w/a stuffy head. Blah, blah...excuses, excuses!! At about 7:30am, Ben informed me we were going car shopping, so I figured I'd better run. I opted for the scenic route through the subdivisions. Actually, once I got started, it really wasn't that cold and I decided I was glad I ran!

After I got finished and ready, we loaded Maxx in the car and headed out to be suckered by all the used car salesman. No offense if this is anyone's occupation (or you're related to someone of this occupation), but they just bug the crap out of me! We looked at a few cars in Little Rock, then it dawned on me to call Brenda and see if her nephew could help us out. Once I got the number from Annette, I placed the call and Brenda was there to assist in a second (she's the Assistant to a man who owns many dealerships in AR). Her nephew (Chris) was awesome!!!! He talked to Ben many times throughout the day and we settled on a Honda Accord. And for the record--Ben isn't always easy to deal w/, so that makes Chris even more of a gem!! The Accord will be vehicle number 4 for Ben and I. We have an Excursion, F-250 truck (both are diesel), Ben has a Ford Aspire for his economical car, and I'll drive the Accord for my economical vehicle. Like shoes, guess you can never have too many vehicles :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Recap of weekend training runs

On Saturday I went w/Annette and Cheryl to the River Market, as we trained w/the Little Rock training group. We met at 6am and our goal was to complete 14 miles. This was my first time participating in one of these training runs and it was really neat because there were about 100 runners. It felt like a small race!! Our run was good--a few potty breaks, quick breaks to get water, few short walk breaks. In the end, Cheryl wasn't feeling well (she has a headcold and I give her lots of credit for even showing up), so we cut the run short. My Garmin showed 12.5 miles.

After our run, we stopped for latte's and had the most wonderful 8-grain bread I've ever tasted. It was toasted w/jelly and boy was it great :) Before we left, Annette and I bought a loaf to split. I gave some to Ben later that day when I made him some soup. He liked it, but made the funniest comment about it, "when I eat this bread, I feel like I'm eating from a bird feeder". The bread was packed full of nuts, grains, etc...and I laughed when he said that!

Even though we'd run 12.5 miles, I had 14 indicated on my training schedule. I'm following this schedule to the "T", so I needed to finish my run. Which, worked out perfectly because I wanted to go tanning (salon is 2 miles from my house) and Ben was working on the Excursion, so I couldn't drive there. I finished the day w/16.5 miles.

On Sunday, I met Annette in Cabot and we ran 7 miles w/the Cruisers. It was extremely foggy, muggy, and damp. My hair was soaked, my eyelashes had water drops, as well as my eyebrows!! It was a hilly route, and I was a little tired chugging up those inclines!!

I ran errands w/Ben after our run , went swimming in the afternoon, then got ready for our Jazzercise Christmas dinner. We met at Chilli's and had a really nice time.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Cold and windy training runs

For yesterday's run, I waited until the "heat" of the day to do my 9 mile run. So, at 2pm, it was in the low 40's and I knew it wasn't going to get any better. I planned to run 5 miles by myself, then meet Cheryl for the last 4. I must say, I'm very proud of her for getting out in the cold and running. She dislikes the cold even more than I (and Annette) so it was great having her join me. I found my warmer gloves and put a thin wool hat on. I was pretty warm, only uncomfortable a few times when the wind died down and I was hot.

Ben suprised me by changing his flight to an earlier one (3 hrs early!) so when we got done running, he had left me a voice mail. What this meant for me, was I had to hurry home, change, put Maxx in the Excursion, and get my butt to the airport. Both Maxx and I enjoyed his early homecoming.

Today marks 77 days until the Cowtown Marathon. Yep, seems like a lot, but time will fly!! Today is an easy run w/a pace of 10:30 and distance of 7 miles. I'm looking forward to this run because Ben helped me (last night) transfer songs from CDs to my i-pod. Well, I have to give credit to Cheryl as well, she verbally walked me through it while we were getting ready at Aunt Martha's last weekend before the Memphis 1/2. Anyways, I now have 177 songs on my i-pod :) I have a Shuffle and it holds 240. Ben got me the Shuffle earlier this year--I had a MP3 player, but it was cumbersome and Ben thought it'd be nice and easy to clip the Shuffle on and go--and it is!

Memphis Pictures

Our chip time was 2:28 and some odd seconds.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Case of "stuck in a rut"

Ok, somebody kick me in the butt and get me motivated!!!! Good golly, it's way too early in the winter to be feeling this way. At least I've been getting my normal daily workouts in, but I haven't even wanted to do them :( To be honest, I don't want to clean, cook, go anywhere, spend time on the computer (I think you get my drift).

So I'm digging deep to find out why I have no motivation and I can't even muster a decent reason! Can't I just sit on the couch and watch TV for the next few months until it gets warm out??? Can't I just live in the tanning bed until it gets warm out??? Can't I just hide under the covers and come out in the Spring??? Well, we all know the answer: NOPE!!! I won't lose faith in me just yet, the mojo is bound to return soon.

On a brighter note, 79 days until the Cowtown Marathon!!! I didn't get the required mileage today. A bit disappointed in myself. But, to my defense (and Cheryl can attest to this), it was so freakin windy when we were running!!!! It just sucked every ounce of wanting to run out of my body. As a result, we all know what this means for tomorrow----I get to run my designated mileage for the day, PLUS the miles I didn't do today. That'll teach me!!! :)

Also, Ben comes home tomorrow!!! The house has been lonely w/just Maxx and I. Today Maxx went to the groomers and he received the royal treatment---a de-shedding bath, toenails trimmed, ears flushed. He's sleeping like a baby now!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Countdown to Cowtown Marathon

80 days until my next full marathon. I decided to run the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth, TX on 23 Feb 08. One day before my 29th birthday!! Guess it's my b-day present to myself! My support crowd will be Ben and Maxx. I reserved a hotel that allows pets, so this'll be a family trip for us!! We also have a friend who lives in Fort Worth, I'm hoping he'll buddy up w/Ben the day of the marathon and the 2 of them can meet me at different mile marks. Since I love seeing dogs along the race course, I'll be looking forward to seeing Maxx as well. I think he'll enjoy it as well.

Yesterday I started my 12 week training plan. I ran 9 miles and today I"ll run 8. I found out we'll be given Powerade at the aid stations. The blue kind. Soon I'll start incorporating this into my runs. I really don't like sports drinks because they hurt my stomach, but I water them down and then I'm ok.

I hope to do some of my long runs w/Cheryl, who's training for the Little Rock full marathon, which will be on week after mine. But, I'll be racking up some miles solo when I go home to Ohio, 13-31 Dec. Boy, I hope it's not too cold when I'm home (duh, I'll be in Northern Ohio--what am I thinking!!). At least I'll get to wear my new Carhartt winter hat Ben got me.

Stay tuned for more training blogs!!!

Memphis 1/2 Marathon Report

The excitement building up to our Memphis trip was like waiting for Christmas! And now, sadly, it's over and we have to wait an entire year to do it again. I really enjoy our weekend race trips, but this one was especially fun! Let me take you on a quick recap:

Annette picked me up at 9am Friday morning (thanks for driving us Arland!) and we headed to Cheryl's. We loaded all our stuff and away we went. Because I get car sick at the wink of an eye, Cheryl was nice enough to let me drive the entire trip. Boy, was I thankful for that. Of course, the trip couldn't officially start until we stopped at Starbucks.

First stop upon arriving was the Expo, to get our race packets and do some shopping. I got a new pair of motion control running shoes (Saucony), a really warm vest, and some shoe inserts. Around 2pm, we realized we were HUNGRY----I can't speak for Annette and Cheryl, but this immense hunger just snuck up on me and I was starving!!! After a quick hello to Kelly and Robert (we saw them outside the expo entrance), we decided to head toward Cheryl's Aunts house (we stayed w/her---Aunt Martha is awesome, only wish she lived closer). We found this great place to eat, called Newks. I had soup/salad, so did Cheryl, Annette had a turkey sandwhich. My soup was GREAT--Fire Roasted Tomato. I absolutely LOVE tomato soup!!!

Friday night we went to dinner w/Aunt Martha, Grace (Cheryl's 2nd cousin) and some friends from our running club, who had come to race as well. Food was good, but the portions were way to big! I had the vegetable plate and couldn't finish it. After dinner, we got our race outfits ready and went to bed.

It was about a 20 min drive from Aunt Martha's to Memphis. We got stuck in a few minutes of traffic/road construction (who would have thought it on an early Saturday morning). We found a spot in a nearby parking garage, headed towad the start, the girls took a potty break, then lined up in our corral.

The 1/2 Marathon was perfect---the weather was great, I got to run w/Annette and Cheryl the entire time, our pace was good, the crowd support was good. The only nagging aspect was the HILLS!!!! Annette and I didn't remember from last year that there were so many of them! But, I've come to realize if I race in AR, OK, TN---basically anywhere South, there will be hills. Even the food after the race was pretty good. I had some soup (yummy vegetable), a bagel, and what I love the most after running---Diet Coke!

Before heading home, we stopped for Starbucks (notice a trend??). I was tired from driving and sitting, but felt pretty good overall. I swept out the Excursion, did some laundry, took Maxx for a walk, then showered and sat my butt down for the rest of the night!

As usual, looking forward to our next road trip!

Friday, November 30, 2007

All Packed

Ready for Memphis! Here's what a girl needs to get through a 1/2 marathon (well at cold one):

- running capri's, tank top, dri-fit long sleeve shirt, thin fleece pullover
- right/left foot socks (thin so they don't interfere w/my orthotics)
- New Balance running shoes (w/custom orthotics)
- Heart Rate Monitor
- Garmin
- Throw away gloves
- Headband to keep my ears warm
- Blister Block
- Band-aids
- Bengay for my neck/shoulders
- Chapstick
- Sport Beans (I like the Fruit Punch)
- Kleenex
- Sunglasses
- Anti-inflammatory meds (taken both before and after)
- A little thanks to God pre and post race for keeping me healthy enough to run
- Most importantly---friends w/me at the start line (we wish each other luck before parting ways) and those same faces after the race

My goodness.....did I forget anything??? And that doesn't even include normal outfits, PJ's, and the like!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

On The Go

Today was pretty busy! This morning started off w/5am spinning, then I came home and put laundry away, fed Maxx, played w/about 8 different toys Maxx kept bringing me. Made sure Ben was up, dressed, and fed in time to get out the door and make it to work in Conway. Oh, also took the garbage out (love having garbage pickup 2x a week!!).

Did an abdominal DVD, then off to the shower. Went tanning, then to base to stop by work and say hello. While there, I picked up a friend and we went to a Chief's retirement luncheon. That was really fun...and lasted a little over an hour. Back to work to say hi to more people, check my email, then stopped by the Reserve squadron I'll be working w/starting in February. Talked to the Sq Commander, he introduced me to a few more people, got patches for my uniform, and was on my merry way.

Went to the bank, dropped movies off at Blockbuster (they are so expensive to rent), then homeward bound. Played in the yard for a few minutes w/Maxx, then changed into running clothes for one last run before Memphis. Total mileage was 4. Since it was still light out when I got home, I took Maxx for a quick walk around the subdivision.

Returned home to play on the computer, then popped a Jazzercise DVD in.
Ben got home a little bit ago and now I guess it's time to make sure I have everything packed for the big Memphis trip, fix dinner, and start to wind down.

I love days when I feel like I've accomplished something!!!! Oh, I talked to Mom a few times today as well. I like that she has this job because she's not being pulled in every direction (like her old job) and I can talk to her more often.

Memphis Trip

Tomorrow we leave!!!! I was informed by Annette this morning, the big red truck will pick me up at 9am. Ok, so in my mind I've told myself 8:50am, since I'm always late....Annette will usually give me the 10 minute earlier time as well. She does a great job getting me to my destinations on time!!!

The weather is suppose to be much warmer on race day than it was last year. Think the temp at the start line last year was mid 20's....all I know is it was FREEZING!!! You can tell by looking at what I wore:

Oh, so much has changed since Dec 2006! Most importantly is my run times have gotten much faster. My 1/2 marathon PR is 1:56. Of course, Memphis set the baseline and I went from there. And well, I don't always wear so much at races---but, I do in comparison to other runners. I just don't get very warm and I don't sweat much. But, from a fashion perspective, I've improved: I know what "dri-fit" and "wicking" means, along w/being the proud owner of many "Right/Left foot socks". Ok, I do wear my favorite blue Air Force sweatpants, but now I only strut in them during our training runs!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Blog visit from Mom

Thanks Mom for checking out my blog and posting a comment!!!

However...this means she'll be checking in to see how much I'm running...oh well, she already knows my love affair w/exercise! Mom and Dad live in a small town in Ohio, near Vermilion/Sandusky. There's one major landmark I use when describing where they live: Cedar Point Amusement Park. Usually, people are familiar w/that.

I'll be visiting them for 2 1/2 weeks in December!!!! Not looking forward to the cold though :( But, I'm very excited to see my family.

Memphis Countdown

2 days until we leave for Memphis!!! We're running the 1/2 marathon (Annette, Cheryl and I) plus others from our running club. Our friend Susan from Benton is running the full!!! This race has special meaning to me because this was Annette and I's first 1/2 marathon, which we ran last year. As the saying goes, "baby, we've come a long way since then"---we have numerous 1/2 marathons under our belt, along w/one marathon (Chicago). Oh, and I can't forget to mention the best part of the drive to and from Memphis-----stopping at our favorite place, Starbucks!!! We're frequent customers there, we should invest stock or something!

I did run today. After Jazzercise class this morning, I went to the Old Mill and ran 6 miles. Nothing speedy, just strollin' along, checking out the geese, squirrels, and the rest of nature.

Tonight was pretty uneventful. I did some housework, took Maxx for a walk, then bathed him. That was a chore since I had to bathe him in the tub because it's too cold for an outside bath. For those of you who don't know Maxx, he's our 86 lb, 2 yr old black Lab. He's also our "child" since we don't have (or want) kids. Maxx is VERY SPOILED!!!!! But, I wouldn't have it any other way!

Tuesday Run

As I mentioned in my previous post, the weather yesterday was beautiful (in comparison to the 40's we seen the past few days). As much as I love running w/my buddies, I do enjoy a run by myself every now and then---it helps me clear my head and gives me some wonderful "alone time".

It's about a 2 mile run to the salon I go tanning at, so I decided to incorporate a trip there into my run. Geared w/my Garmin, I-pod, sunglasses, and I'm embarrassed to say---running tights (capri's), I headed out for my adventure. A little note on the running tights: why in the world do they have to be so unattractive???? So maybe I'm the only one who thinks this way, but I kept wishing I had my running skirt on so my bouncy butt wouldn't be exposed to all the cars passing by!!!!!!

I ran the 2 miles to tanning, spent 14 minutes baking in fake rays, and continued my run. I toured subdivisions, ran past shopping plaza's, and got to enjoy some nature (saw lots of squirrels darting up trees).

Total mileage for my run was 7. Average pace was 9:30.

Catching Up

I'm sure I'm not the first to mention this, but the transition from Summer to Fall to Winter is very difficult!!!! In fact, I really hate it. Yesterday was in the 50's, but it was rainy and cold the few days prior. Makes it challenging to get my training runs accomplished. But, the show must go on!

Saturday I was suppose to run the Stuttgart 10K w/Cheryl and Annette, but I think I shopped to long on Friday (about 10 hrs) and wasn't feeling well. I took a healthy dose of Nyquil Friday night and knew I wasn't going to make the race Saturday morning. Instead, Cheryl and I went to the River Trail and did an enjoyable 10 miles.

On Sunday it rained ALL day! I had no desire to run in those conditions, so I didn't---and went shopping and did some exercise DVDs instead.

Weather was similar on Monday, but we did have some afternoon reprive, and I met Cheryl at the Old Mill and managed to get a little under 4 miles. It was a brisk 40-something degrees, w/the wind not being kind to us. I also went to Jazzercise class and water aerobics.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A blog of my own!!

Well, I finally did it---I started my own running blog. I'd been thinking about it for a long time and have been reading Annette's, Cheryl's, and Arland's blogs for a few months now. I have my own journal I keep my running thoughts in, but think it's time to move my thoughts online! Also, I'm going home to Ohio in December to visit my family for 3 weeks, and this way my AR running friends can keep up w/my cold weather runs.