Friday, November 28, 2008

Gettin skirted...

So I completed my first ever race...strange that I decided to shoot for a marathon before even running a single race.  HA!   Although my dad opted out...he had too much work to do (whatever), my mom, my sis-in-law and myself ran the Turkey Strut 5K on Thanksgiving morning....and boy was it cold!

I was so excited that I could barely sleep...I woke up a 5am...made some the news and started pacing.  Why in the world was I so nervous.  I was definitely not running in order to win.  I guess maybe anxious?  Who knows.  Mom and I left my house at around 7:30 and parked in Winston.  We thought (okay...I thought) we parked much closer to the start line than we really did.  We ended up about a mile away from the start and had to run to get there in time.  Mom was not too happy...I saw it as a nice little warm up ;-).

After about 20 minutes of sizing everyone up, I decided to call my dad to find out what in the world to do with my pace.  Dad pulled some Mr. Miyagi stuff on me and advised me to run the first 100 yards slow and the first mile in 8 minutes.  After that, I was to pick up the pace just a little and the sprint the last 200 yards.  WHAT...I knew I was capable of going much faster than 8 minutes, but dad said it was an exercise in holding back a little.  HA.  He never ceases to surprise me.  SO the gun went off...and about 2 minutes later (we literally had to walk to the start line because the pack of people was so huge) I went.  I made my first mile in 8:15--despite the 100 billion strollers and walkers that started out IN FRONT of me???  Start in the back next time people.  SO, I was a bit slower than dad told me.  It felt WAY slow to me...which is a good thing.  I guess that means all the marathon pace running is paying off.  

The course was WAY the first mile was a hill...up hill...the whole way.  I began picking people out of the crowd in front of me and made it my goal to pass by one.  It was a great feeling to be able to blow by people on the hills.  I could really tell all our hill work and speed work was paying off BIG TIME.  By the last mile, I had a nice little clearing....and noticed (1) a group of men...about 40...with all the best gear on and (2) one single man...about 35ish...with nice form and a runner's body.  My final goal was to "skirt" those men.  So me and my running skirt picked up the pace to a near sprint.  I passed the first group of fellas and felt myself grinning from ear to ear.  I neared my final "target" with about 200 yards to go.  I quietly fell in behind him until just the right moment...I turned it up to full sprint mode and passed him just as we were nearing the finish.  I was more excited about that than I was about my 7 minute mile...HA!  Poor guy...I probably ruined his Thanksgiving.  I'm sure it doesn't feel great to get passed at the finish line...especially by a skirt. my splits were..(notice I ran a negative split...YAY)
1 mile:  8:15
2mile:  7:30
3 mile:  6:55

After I finished, I turned around...ran back and caught up with my was so cute to see her little pink hat coming around the corner (she was dressed like a stinkin Eskimo...I think she had 3 layers of clothes on..HA) I got to cross the finish again with mom.  I was--am--so proud of her.  She ran the entire 5K without stopping once to walk--which was big for her.  She hasn't really run in YEARS.  As we got closer to the finish line, I felt my nose start to burn and I knew I was seconds away from bawling my eyes out...HA.  I guess I was just overcome with emotion.  You know, it was just a really nice moment to share with mom.  So for those of you who have asked me what you could have at the finish line in Charlotte for me...bring some tissue.  I'm going to be a hot mess.  

FINALLY...the one thing I learned on Thursday morning....make sure you step on the pads when you are being chip timed!  I neglected to step on BOTH of the first pads because I was trying to get around a stroller....needless to say, my time was based off of the gun time--not my start time.  I made lots of notes to self NOT NOT NOT to do this in Charlotte.  My time was an entire 2 minutes off!  Fortunately, this race didn't count for much in my book....just some experience.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shins...who needs em?

May as well come right out with it...I've been benched for THREE DAYS and I'm going crazy.  During my last speed workout last Wednesday [8x1200s (2x400 @ 2:05 and 1x400@1:35)] my shins started really hurting.  I had known for weeks that my shoes needed to be replaced, but I thought I could squeeze a couple more runs out of them.  I was wrong.  I was greeted with some pretty yucky shin splints....In fact, my shins actually became quite swollen which was REALLY strange to see.  I continued to run on Thursday and to do our final marathon pace workout...but we stopped after 7 miles because of my stinkin shins. dad recommended that I rest for at least three days.  He said there was no sense running my marathon in the weeks leading up to the real thing.  He also said that I'd never finish if I couldn't make it past the start line.  He was right...unfortunately.  Today is my third day...and I am climbing the walls.  Elliptical machines set at the hardest level interval program are not cutting it.  I miss the cold air in my lungs...I miss the dull pain in my legs after a long or hard run...I did not realize that running had become such a positive outlet for me.  I told Neil today that I think I've become depressed.  Its strange.  I need a run.  NEED it.  My shins feel great thanks to ice and motrin...AND I have NEW SHOES....I am counting down the hours until tomorrow's run.   I don't normally talk about aches and pains....I absolutely LOATHE pity...I probably would have made a pretty good marine.  I prefer someone yelling at me to toughen up and run anyway than to rest..HA!  Am I weird?

Finally...stay posted...I'm running the Turkey Strut in Winston on Thursday morning...good times!  Its only a 5K but I'm interested to see how I'll do!  
Happy Thanksgiving to you all...too bad carb loading pre marathon has been proven pretty ineffective.  I was really hoping to eat my weight in my aunt's cranberry apple casserole.  

Monday, November 17, 2008

26.2 baby


Dad and I completed one of our (okay MY) hardest training weeks yet.  As of yesterday at 2pm, I had logged 62 miles IN ONE WEEK!  I remember only months ago  when I just started running thinking that 30+ was a big deal.  WOW.   On Wednesday, we ran about 12 miles.  The first one was a warm up...the second one was an all out fast mile and the rest was a tempo run.  Dad told me, just before we started, that the top speed mile would be one of my biggest challenges thus far...YIKES--I thought the big old mountain run was my hardest challenge.  

We were at the track and the goal was for me to run one mile as fast as I could.  After two laps...I noticed that my legs felt a very warm sensation....Um yeah...I peed ALL OVER myself.  It was almost as if I was so focused on the muscles that needed attention that I forgot about my tiny pea sized bladder (and how is it that such a small bladder holds so much liquid?).  Oops.  We finished the mile in 6:35!  MAN I was so proud.  My legs were drenched and we still had 10 miles of speed work to go.  Needless to say, by about the 7th mile, my pants had dried and I was fine....and able to laugh about it.   Thank goodness I had on black spandex hopefully no one in the Thomasville area noticed some chick running in 50 degree weather with wet pants on :-)  If you did..yes that was me and YES it was urine.

THEN on Saturday we set out at 7am to run just over 26.2 miles.  During the first few miles, I knew this run was going to be difficult.  It was humid and muggy and the wind was CRAZY.  Despite the very warm weather, I opted for a long sleeved Under Armor shirt...silly me...should have really checked the weather!  By around the 16th mile my inner thighs were burning like crazy...I guess from the sweat and my shorts were not long enough to keep my upper thighs from touching (by the last mile...they were bleeding).  Nice!  BUT we completed almost 27 miles on Saturday and our last mile was at an 8:30 pace. felt like the slowest, longest mile I have ever run.  I would love for you guys to experience the feeling of running THAT far and that long and then stop at then end to entire body instantly warned me that if I tried to jump or squat, it would seriously rebel on me.  Funny that nothing hurt while running, but once we stopped we both started limping.  

we have one more sort of difficult Saturday run (16 miles at race pace) and then we are off to taper...and stock up on Vitamin C 

Most importantly before I go...
I have to give 20 miles worth of credit to my husband...I don't think I could have run a single mile over the 6 mile mark without his support and excitement.   He actually looks forward to his Saturday mornings with Layla...taking her out for breakfast and on trips to Lowes.  He scoops my ice cream for me on Wednesday nights after doing first, hills and then speed work.  And more than anything, he lets me know how proud he is of me...rather than letting on for a minute that he thinks I'm a nut job for doing all of this stuff.  Thanks, love ;-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Where is it?


WELL three weeks now and EVERYTHING has been "blue".  I'm starting to think that's Layla's favorite color.  She wants blue eggs...she wants blue milk...she wants blue bananas...she wants only blue gum (YES...I've let her chew gum...if you know me well, you understand that would be difficult to keep away from her..HA)...she wants blue candy.  BLUE BLUE BLUE.  I've never been more happy to look for blue things in my life.  She's so much fun to humor.

She also said her first real sentence two nights ago.  Most of her attempts at sentences have been lost on me.  I can't understand a word of them.  This one, though, I understood perfectly well.  She said it exactly as I do.  Some background on the little video...she likes to hide all of her bath toys under her little legs and make me look for them.  I act surprised each time one pops out.  Notice the little smile when she realizes that I may be taking a picture :-)


On Saturday, dad and I will run our last long run until marathon day.  We'll run 26-27 miles on Saturday.  Somehow...its not that daunting.   BUT...we'll see.  I'm starting to get really really really anxious and nervous.  I'm afraid of working so hard and then not qualifying for Boston.  While I should be proud to just finish my first marathon...I have to go and get my heart set on qualifying for Boston.  I have very few doubts that I'll hope is that I cross the finish line with enough juice left to do a cartwheel or continue to run a couple of laps as did Constantina Dita Tomescu in the 2008 Women's Olympic Marathon.  The more likely scenario is that I cross the finish and need a gurney.  HA!  

So yes...26-27 miles on Saturday and then we'll do 16 miles at marathon pace on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  It'll be so nice over the craziness of the holidays to get out and run...think...enjoy some quiet time.   

Friday, November 7, 2008

We call it the "Dirty Bird"

I had to share this little video..Layla does this dance-she has for several months now--that Neil and I call the Dirty Bird.  I don't know how it actually started...but it is so stinking funny--especially in her little Halloween costume.


Dirty Bird from dillon james on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And me?

Alright...I'm throwing in my "nerd" card.  I know...its completely shocking that I have any bit of nerd in me.  I mean, I am normally so cool.

I tossed and turned all night last night...I was so filled with excitement for today that I could barely sleep.  TODAY I am fortunate enough to enjoy the privilege of voting.  YES...I even get this excited about voting during mid-term elections AND primaries.  Voting is something that is so dear to my heart...I treasure this privilege...I hold it in very high regard...I walk around all day humming the Battle Hymn of the Republic in my head.  YEP...pretty stinking nerdy.  I'm even looking forward to watching all the commentary this evening...probably popping corn too.  

Layla woke up at 5:30am this morning...she was probably excited too.  I ran up to her room, told her good morning...gave her hugs and then asked her if she knew what today was (stupid question for a 20 month old..I KNOW).  She responded with "Nana home".  Um yeah, we weren't going to Nana's house...sorry.  I told her that today we got to VOTE.  She acted thrilled beyond belief.  SO we ate dressed and went out to vote.  The entire trip to our polling place she chanted, "vote maMA, vote and me? vote, Layla, vote vote vote".  I let her push the buttons...she made some great choices :-)  And when she pushed the last green button...she responded with very very LOUD...."".    She also told her daddy that she voted for the "good guy". smart already.
Here's a picture of Layla outside of the polling place.  She doesn't really look that excited...I think she was maybe still confused by all of my excitement over what she probably thought was a very silly machine.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Layla An...

What can I say...this Halloween was so much fun!  Layla woke up on Friday morning and played in her crib for a while.  When I walked in and said "Good morning, pumpkin.  Happy Halloween!" She responded IMMEDIATELY with "Candy?". funny.  I didn't know she actually got it...but apparently she did.  In fact, she got out of her crib, ran to her closet and said "tume"--for costume and then danced around while I got everything out and ready.  

Here are some pictures...notice Layla's favorite treat was the Krispy Kreme doughnuts...she had a death grip on those things...and I think I wiped at least two packages worth of powdered sugar from her face and hands :-)
Neil's sister, Lauren, works for Krispy Kreme so our house was the hit of the neighborhood thanks to her.  Every year, Krispy Kreme sends home hundreds of packs of those tiny powdered doughnuts home with their employees to give out as candy.  So this year, Lauren brought all her doughnuts over to our house.  Layla had so much fun giving out candy and going to her friends houses for "treat".  At one point, she took off running down the street hugging every small child she could find.  She even attempted to hug a very scary adult monster.   I would have loved to know exactly what was going through that little head of hers--it must have been some crazy things because she didn't settle down for bed until 9:45...YIKES...we are still suffering from that (and the time change).  Poor little thing.  But she woke up as happy as ever on Saturday morning....grabbed her pumpkin...ran to the door and yelled "treat maMA".  

Dad and I completed our 24 mile run on Saturday...we started at 5am and finished up at 8:30. It was surprisingly easy....the previous Saturday must have really done me a TON of good...I guess nothing can be quite as difficult as running up a mountain--not having a clue as to when you may be done with your mean reward (sorry dad).   Dad and I actually finished our run on Saturday...I came home and had my treasured post run shower with my Layla An...took her to the park and to the trampoline (PS-I don't recommend jumping of any kind shortly after running 24 miles)..and then after I put her down for her ready and ran out the door to shoot a wedding with dad.  Dad and I had a blast shooting the wedding. For some reason I was so worried that dad or I one would either pass out from exhaustion or trip and fall in front of everyone because we were both kind of shuffling our feet.  Fortunately, we made it through the day very gracefully...and I made it home in time for some much anticipated ice cream :-)