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!