Saturday, May 31, 2008

Summer Love

How many of you out there enjoy the summer??? I love how the days are longer, the warmth of the sun, and (yes) even the Arkansas humidity!!! This is my time of the year! And there's nothing better than an early morning run. Which, is what Cheryl and I did this morning. I met her at 5:40am and we headed for a 12 mile run at the River Trail. Thank goodness for the breeze, because it was pretty warm and humid. I keep forgetting to pack a towel to dry myself off after our runs---not use to this since it seemed we spent forever dealing w/cold weather. Anyway, this was my longest run since completing the marathon last Saturday. And I have to say, it went well. I did have some knee pain sneak up on me toward the end, and I think Cheryl had some inner thigh pain issues, but through all our moanin and groanin, we made it :) The best part of our run was being able to take off our fuel belts afterwards and cracking open a much needed Coke Zero.

After our run, we walked to the River Market for coffee and the Farmers Market for fresh fruits and vegetables. I got some awesome blueberries (made a smoothie this afternoon!), lettuce, red onion, green beans, cauliflower. Cheryl picked up some great looking cucumbers, tomatoes, and strawberries. All in all, we had a fun time and were really excited about our purchases!

And here's my most favorite thing about summer: I got my run in, coffee, trip to Farmers Market, etc and still got home by 10:30am!!!! Ah, music to my ears :)

The rest of my day was spent house cleaning and spending time w/Ben. We took Maxx to get a new swimming pool. His old one is 2 yrs old and it had a small hole in the side, so everytime I filled it, he'd lose half the water w/in a few days time. He was very excited for the new pool and I could tell he was ready for me to fill it because he was standing in it (no water) until I drug the hose out and filled it for him. Spoiled puppy :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Andy Payne Marathon: PR and 2nd Place In My Age Group!!!

Here's the quick n' dirty from my marathon in OKC last Saturday, 24 May. The weather was hot--race start (6:30am) was low 70's and by race finish, it was pushing 87-88 degrees. The sun was beating down hard, I began sweating before mile 1. Which, is amazing for me since I get hot, but it usually takes a long time before I actually have sweating running down my face. So, when it happened so soon, I knew it would be a long haul!!!! I will say the only thing that saved me was the wind. On one side of the lake, it was dead calm (and of course blazin hot) and on the other side, it was 12-13 mph winds!!! I would get mad and swear at the wind because it was messing w/my pace!!! But, I was thankful for it.

Like I mentioned in my post prior to the marathon, this race was very small in terms of the number of runners. There was no half-marathon, just the full, 10K, and a 5K. The latter 2 races started at 8:30. While I don't have the exact number, Ben and I think there were only about 70-75 marathon runners. So, I was almost right at the start line!!! When the gun went off, everyone took off---I mean they were gone in the blink of an eye!!! I was instantly sick to my stomach, thinking, "holy crap, I can't run this fast for 26.2 miles" I looked down at my Garmin and saw our pace was 8:30 and my heart rate was 187!!!! And to make matters worse, about 95% of the runners were veteran runners to this course. Meaning, it wasn't marked and the race official (extremely laid back) told us to just do the short 1 mile out and back, then 3- 8 mile loops around the lake. Oh great---I'm bound to get lost!!!!! Determined not to panic, I caught up to 2 older guys (really friendly locals who'd run the course many times over). By this time it was about mile 4 and I was still cruising around 8:35 pace---not good! But, as I started talking to them and asking if they'd keep this pace the entire time, they told me "no, we were just thinking how we need to slow down". Thank GOD!!! We gradually slowed to a 9:20-9:30. Still tooooo fast for me!!!! I hung w/them until about mile 11, then knew I had to slow pace or I'd never be able to finish.

I kept pace around 10:10-10:30ish (I can't really remember) for a long time, until my stupid IT band started to bother me (mile 16 on). That pain, plus the wind, dropped my pace (alot).

I saw Ben and Tony 5 times :) They kept driving to each side of the lake and giving my Sharkies and Sport Beans, as well as refilling my water and Gatorade. Tony took a few pics w/this Blackberry....attached below. It was great seeing them. Early on, they told me they were hungry and were going to McDonalds for breakfast--but would hurry back so they could meet up w/me again.

Oh well-----I crossed the finish line at 4:44:59------much better than my 4:55 at the Nashville Marathon on 26 Apr. And better yet, I won 2nd place in my age group!!!!! Yippee, I love this small race :) I have it penciled in for next year!

The 2 guys I ran w/for most of the marathon (they were so happy for me when I received my trophy!)Tony's taking the picture and I was motioning to Ben so he could meet me on the trail w/some fuel)

At the finish, I was tired and everything from my shoulders down to my toes hurt. Once I saw this picture, I realized just how tired I looked!!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wow, seems like I just did this!!

So, here I am again....packing for a marathon/weekend trip. Sure thing, tomorrow we leave for OKC and Saturday at 6:30am is the marathon. I talked to the race director today, he said our hotel is about 2-3 miles from the Lake (which is the start/finish area). How cool is that!!! I told you a few posts back that this marathon was small---he told me he's got 125 people signed up!!! Oh, and he reassured me---if I arrive at 6am to get my race packet (yes, packet pick-up is race morning), I'll have ample time!! And there's a man from Houston who's run the marathon for the last 16 years. Lots of locals and mostly the same faces every year--with the lovely addition of mine this year :)

Our friend Tony will help/keep Ben company during the marathon. If you recall, Tony was at the February Cowtown 1/2 marathon in Fort Worth--he was the star of my video when he lost the gu and kept asking Ben if he had it. I might have to watch that video again for a good laugh!

Off to the world of packing--enjoy your holiday weekend and my race recap/photos will come next week!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Andy Payne Memorial Marathon, OKC

Can't believe my next marathon is one week from today, 24 May. Actually, by this time next Saturday it'll be another one for the memory bag, since the marathon starts at 6:30am. Has anyone ever run this?? It's very small--last year there was about 150 runners!!!! The course is pancake flat (in the words of the race official), and it's very simple: a short out/back (1.1 miles out and the same back) and then 3x's around an 8 mile lake. Here is a picture of the lake/course. I'm not so sure I'm excited about running 24 miles around a lake, but I'm up to the challenge (think this one will be mainly mental). On the other hand, Ben's looking forward to this course because he won't have to drive to meeting points, he's planning to bring a chair and wait for me to pass by each time! Also, our friend Tony will be tagging along to keep Ben company, so that's a nice bonus.
I've already been tracking the weather. It's suppose to be about 62 degrees at race start, but will get warm quick (high is 88). Chance of rain as of now is 20% and they're predicting calm wind. It'll be a running skirt and most likely a white tank top, so I don't attract the sun.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nashville Pics, Landscaping Pics

Ever since my semester of school ended a few weeks ago :), I've made every attempt to stay far away from the computer! After being glued to this machine for 14 weeks, when school was over, I needed a little separation time. Besides, my hands hurt from typing, my eyes were sore from looking at the screen, and I'm sure my butt spread a few inches from being parked in front of it everyday (for hours!).

I recovered just fine from running the Nashville Marathon! I waited about 3 days before I started running again. But, was back to other normal activities 2 days afterward--sculpting, spinning, water workouts. Think this helped my recovery, I was never sore in one particular place. Well, I take that back--my right IT band decided to act up at about mile 15 on. Never had any problems w/that side before. I do think the road was a little uneven on the course, so maybe that facilitated the flare up.
Here are some pics from Nashville:

Next Marathon: 24 May 08--The Andy Payne Memorial Marathon in Oklahoma City. Yep, next weekend!!!! We'll be traveling on Friday and then going to Yukon, OK (about 45 min from OKC) after the marathon on Saturday to stay until Monday w/some friends.

Next Marathon after OKC is Chicago (only 5 months away!!). But, I'll have some 1/2's before Chicago, plan to run a few 5K's, as well as a 14.2 race in Tupelo, MS that Cheryl and I will be running at the end of Aug. I'm excited about this race, it starts at 5am because we all know it'll be really hot!!!!!

Dad's visit: We had a great time when Dad stayed w/us last week! I can't thank him enough for helping me landscape the yard. He and I worked our butt's off and it turned out awesome! And since there's no Sonic in Ohio, we had to make 2 trips there during his stay!!!

Pics of landscaping (and Maxx, our helper!)

the new plants being placed
new plants being placed

freshly delivered soil for the flowerbed
Maxx helping Dad take out the dead tree

Maxx ate old branches all day (and the next day too!)All done and looking prettyThe new treee we planted. This tree was growing in the flowerbed!We planted some Pampas grass and put a few hanging baskets w/it for colorView from the street, can't see much though