Thursday, June 28, 2012

A little late to the party

Sorry for the radio silence.  It's not like I've been all that busy.  Just work, running, and watching the Braves pummel the Diamondbacks.  I can't really bloop about work.  Things are still uber-weird and I'm just trying to do my best to make a bad situation okay.

Running is good.  I ran 7 miles before work on Tuesday and I felt pretty great.  So great that I even zoned out for most of the run.  I love when that happens.  It was really nice after all the icky runs I had been having.  But I think I can often attribute bad running to stress.  My body is super weird when it comes to stress anyway.  I can think that everything is okay and then realize that I sleeping a ridiculous amount and my face looks like the before picture for a Proactiv ad.

I ran 12 miles today.  I was going to do 10, but then I was feeling a bit inspired by current read, "Born to Run", that I decided to go a little further.  I know I was a little late to the party to read it, but I am enjoying it so much that I try to just read a chapter a night to prolong it.  I feel like it might be a book that I pick back up and read again which is a rarity for me.

Kind of like traveling--I like to go to a different place every time.  Not that I wouldn't go back somewhere, but that I just would prefer to experience something new.  I'm so comfy with my regular routine (albeit a bit bananas sometimes with the retail hours) that I enjoy vacationing as a deviation from the norm.  That being said, I'm not sure where we are going next.  Aside from traveling to Salina, Kansas in December for my grandma's 90th birthday party (woot!), we don't have anything else on the docket.

Must change that...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I need YOUR advice (pretty please!!!)

I have already posted this in Loopville, but I thought I would double my success if I posted everywhere else.  I am doing an article series for and am seeking runners to give me their advice.  Hopefully I can get great quotable material that I can incorporate into the articles that I writing.

The gist of the series is to provide information for first-time half-marathoners.  Maybe they've raced 5Ks or 10Ks before, but this would be advice for anyone tackling the 13.1 distance for the first time. 
Everyone has a different experience so I am looking for things that many of you 'expert' amatuers can offer any newbie. 

I have 13.1 topics total, but I am soliciting advice for 5 topics to begin with.

You can leave comments below, but I'd love to quote people's actual names/# of half-marathons run/home state in the article.  i.e. "Bob, a 12 time half-marathon finisher from Ohio, uses Google calendars to log his daily workouts."

However, I will take what I can get, so anything you want to add is cool too.  If you are on Facebook, you can private message me there too.  Quadracool=Carissa Liebowitz

Here are the topics (remember this is advice for first-timers!!):

1. Training Plans (where do you get your training plan from? how do you adhere to it? do you print it off/use a calendar?)

2. Nutrition (before/during/after long training runs? preference of gels/bars/dried fruit? favorite pre-race breakfast? how many pieces of bacon equal a good run (j/k)?)

3. Tech (favorite piece of running technology--Garmin? HR monitor? iPod? Running apps?)

4. Hydration (Gatorade and/or water? Fuel belt or handheld?)

5. Rest (Adequate sleep? Taking rest days? Tapering?)

By all means, I am not looking for answers for each category, so if you have something to add to the conversation about just one topic, I'll take it!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

First-world running problems

I've been feeling really tired in the evenings lately.  Before any rumors start, I'm NOT pregnant.  Just tired.  Tuesday night, I came home and took a nap at 6:30pm for 30 minutes.  Who does that??

Last night, I really wanted to take a nap when I got home again.  But running was on the agenda.  With temps in the 90's, I blew off the outdoor run in favor of the dark cave of the treadmill room.  Luckily I remembered that I had been wanting to test HBO Go on my Kindle Fire.  I downloaded the app, logged in, and started watching the show 'Girls'.  Sweet.

This is such a first-world problem, but the TV in the treadmill room only gets network channels.  And there is no TiVo.  So I watch reruns of shows when I run in the evening or the Today show in the morning.  I know, I know, woe is me...

When I discovered I could watch things on my Kindle Fire, I was pretty excited.  I immediately blew through all the free awesome movies and the first season of Downton Abbey.  In fact, I would almost get a little excited to run on the treadmill so I could see what happens next. 

Now that I have found yet another source of entertainment, I will be excited again for another few runs if I am 'forced' indoors.

As for yesterday's run, it was meh.  Not terrible, but not great either.  I was experiencing some weird foot pain on the bottom of my foot in the last half mile.  I'm fairly certain that this can be remedied by 1) New running shoes or 2) New work shoes.  I'd have to check, but my current shoes are likely around 300 miles.  Normally I get closer to 450-500 before the pains tell me it's time.  Like the oil change light in my car....only more painful AND more expensive. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Keeping the puke inside

Oh man, I thought the 'Run With Donna' ads were bad on the The Loop, but 'The Cleaner Wiener' hot dog ads are just terrible.  I suppose they do make me pay attention--which is kind of the point.  Doh!
I had my what is likely too be the last coolish run of the post-work running sessions for the summer.  The rest of the week is supposed to get into the 90's.  Buh-bye any chance of scoring fast times after work.  I say coolish--it was in the mid-80's.  But the humidity wasn't too bad and I was in the shade for about 75% of the time. 

I hadn't intended on running for time.  Just my 7 miles.  I started out nice and easy and just wanted to finish without feeling that it's-hot-and-I-feel-pukey sensation that seems to be a regular occurence when I go out too hard on a hot day.  Somewhere in the middle of the run, I started to feel kind of bad so I shortened my stride and just tried to enjoy the ride.  Looking back at my splits, the rest mile appeared to help me finish strong.

I kept a nice pace for the last few miles and felt really great on the last mile.  It was one of those gleeful running moments when you feel a little ridiculous going full tilt, but don't care.  I was trotting along happily at an 8:15 pace for about a half mile and then decided to bolt towards the end.  I felt those happy endorphins pulsating through every inch and couldn't help but smile to myself as I walked back to my car. 

Yesterday's splits: 8:22 (easin' in), 8:12 (warmed up), 8:15 (stayin' steady), 8:25 (rest time), 8:19 (good cadence), 8:03 (almost there), 7:48 (endorphin blast)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Who's your daddy?

Happy Father's Day!
We are celebrating at the Liebowitz Castle tonight by having my dad over for dinner.

Tonight's Menu:
Watermelon Mint Slush Cocktail
Caesar Salad
Grilled Potatoes with Rosemary & Truffle Salt
Corn, Tomato, and Feta Salad
Blueberry Cheesecake Trifle
Copius amounts of Pinot Noir

The man of honor this evening:

My dear father-in-law is in Miami.  If we all lived in the same town, it would be a lot more awesome.  He'd probably enjoy some steaks too!

Adam & his dad:

I ran yesterday so I could spend the day lounging with Adam.  We laid patio pavers for 4 hours on Friday and I was STIFF yesterday.  I walked a few minutes before my morning run as usual, completed my run, cooled down, and went to get ready for work.  Oddly enough, it was after my run that I felt everything start to tighten up.  I bent over to unlace my shoes after 7 miles of good running and stopped short.

The only place I have any good flexibility in my body is touching my toes.  I rocked the sit and reach in the Presidential Fitness Test.  Because I can barely muster a 90 degree angle doing the splits, I pride myself on being able to reach past my toes in the sit & reach.  However, the physical labor of hauling dirt, pavers, and ripping up sod clearly was not kind to my back.  Luckily, the tightness is nearly gone today, but I was concerned yesterday that I might have done something to injure myself.  Doh!

It's been 2 years since I've sustained any sort of injury that has kept me from running.  I have the occasional bouts of Funkytown and last fall I took a week off running when Disney World took me to new levels of tired.  Yeah, I can run marathons, but there is no tired like Disney tired.  14 hours of trekking through Epcot AND maintaining childlike glee for that same period is tough stuff.

Anyway, I plan to do some running after work tomorrow.  Bleh.  But I've been mixing up my runs with treadmill/sidewalk/Greenway and hoping that a change of scenery will help get me through the summer.  The toughest months are yet to come--the devil of July and his evil twin August.

I'm off to cook!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Just a little Tuesday blip

3.5 miles yesterday.  3.5 miles today.  It was raining yesterday and grossly humid today so I opted to do both on the treadmill.  I zoned out to reruns of 'How I Met Your Mother' and just focused on finishing the miles.  These after work runs are just so terrible compared to the morning ones.  Thankfully, I will be able to squeeze one in before work on Thursday.  Woot!

Tomorrow night, Adam & I are headed to another Braves game.  Boo Yankees!  I am sure there will be quite a lively crowd tomorrow night compared to other match-ups.  There is another bobblehead giveaway--Adam is hoping he can score some more swag.  I'm just hoping I don't melt in my seat--even though it's a night game, it is supposed to be in the upper 80's tomorrow.

I am hoping that I can get out early this weekend and do some running outside.  I'd like to try to take my pup out again, but it all kind of depends on the temperature.  She seemed to be no worse for the wear after our 10K so I it would be fun to try it again.  Only I will have to try to refrain from talking too much to her like I do at home--it's one thing to be crazy in your own house, it's another thing to take it to the streets.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A 10K with one of my zoo

I went on my first official run with a dog today.  I've walked them a zillion times and broke out into a short stint of running.  However, this was the first time I've donned running apparel and had the intention of running an 'official' run with a dog. 

Which is kind of crazy since we are a pet household.  But there are some limits to what the 'kids' are capable of.

Subject #1: Duncan, grey tabby. He's a pretty fat cat.  And 16 years old.  I'm not sure this needs further explaination.

Subject #2: Josie, lab mix.  Poor Josie is past her running days--at 15 years old, we are just happy she can make it up and down the stairs most days.  At her prime, she would have made a great running partner. 

Subject #3: Luxy, Boston Terrier.  She was a spitfire puppy and still has bouts of being sprightly at age 10.  She might be good for a mile run, but her endurance is terrible.  She'd rather be under the covers somewhere.

Subject #4: Torrance, Boston Terrier.  Approximately 4 years old.  Has more energy than a Red Bull drinking toddler.  Rarely stops moving.  Her running skills have been proven on 2 separate escapes into the woods.

Torrance and I waited for the rain to clear a bit this morning.  I drove us to the high school parking lot about 1.5 miles away so we could safely run on the sidewalk.  I looped the leash around my arm and off we went.  It took about a mile before both of us settled into the run.

She bolted on the downhills and ran steady on the uphills.  Apparently my pace was perfectly comfortable for her because she trotted in front of me for nearly 5 miles.  After that, it started raining pretty hard.  We were headed back to the car and getting soaked.  I coudn't tell if she was tired or just didn't want to be in the rain.  Regardless, for the final mile, I drug my poor, wet dog through the rain behind me.  I'm pretty sure she wasn't all that tired though.  She immediately starting playing with Luxy as soon as we got home.

We ran a total of 6.10 miles together--a nice little 10K for her.  I ran another mile on the treadmill when I got home to finish up with 27 miles this week.

I am not sure if I will have her run with me on a regular basis--at least during the summer months.  The rain made it tolerable, but I'd worry if it was too hot.  Perhaps in the fall we can try to go out more often--she's napping pretty hard right!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Southern nights exhibit B: Doin' the chop

What am I doing with the rare weekend off? Well, besides finally getting a chance to bloop, I am headed to a Braves game this afternoon with Adam, my sister, & her boyfriend!!  It's Sid Bream bobblehead night--Adam is going to be doing the only running he ever does once we get to the parking lot to ensure he is one of the 20,000 fans that will receive a bobblehead. 

I ran last night after work.  7 miles of blah.  I kept hoping that I would feel better at some point during the run.  It never happened.  Short of moving to Barrow, Alaska for the summer, I am just going to have to suck up the fact that yet again, the only good runs I am expected to have this time of year occur in the A.M.  And morning runs will only occur if I get my unmotivated butt out of bed early enough to cash in on the 'cool' hours.

So unmotivated.

The bright side about being a runner all these years (aside from offsetting the countless caloric intake of beer & cheeseburgers) is that I just do it anyway.  Some days I might sit around for awhile putting a run off, but eventually, I lace up the shoes, sigh heavily, and as Nike says, just do it.  It's kind of neat. 

I am putting this past week behind me--it was tough emotionally and yet there is no one specific event to blame.  I'm just ready to focus on what I can do to impact the future.  A lot of people have been really supportive of me and I feel like I'm a little rain cloud of gloom & doom.  So this week I am promising myself not to sweat the small stuff and to keep dreaming big. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Suggestions for a rare weekend off?

I recovered from my 14.3 miles on Saturday easily--no lingering tightness or muscle soreness.  Pretty surprising considering I had no plans to run long until I got up that morning. 

Yesterday, I decided to take it easy and do a 5 miler.  I slowed my pace and just relaxed.  I was expecting a phone call all morning and wanted to be available so I finished my run relatively early.  All sorts of strange things happened with my work life yesterday and hopefully I will be able to discuss in detail at a later time. 

Tonight is the last of 3 nights in a row closing the store.  Adam and I have barely been able to see each other for the past few days.  I woke up for about 15 minutes today while he was getting ready for work so we could just say 'hi'.

We have a Jeopardy page-a-day calendar that we 'compete' against each other with every day.  He usually reads the questions to me and so we had to catch up on our game this morning.  We tally the dollars throughout the month to determine a 'winner'.  So far, the only prize we've come up with is a chance to say 'nah nah nah' to the other person. 

I'm actually off this weekend, but found out so late that I don't have anything planned.  I guess it all depends on how the rest of the week goes whether I will be up for shenanigans or want to just relax.  Since I rarely have a Sunday off (which is Adam's day off), I hope we can at least do something that is out of the norm.  Any suggestions? (duh, I'm going to run!!)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Running on 80 proof

Seems like a similar pattern for me.  Eat bad food, drink booze, go for a rockstar run!  Hey, it hasn't done me in yet, so I fear this isn't the last tale.

Adam & I met our friend Jeff at a local Mexican restaurant for Texas margaritas and plates of delicious fried & cheesy food.  Then, after trip to the liquor store to replenish the home stock, we came back to our house and continued the adventure.  A gin tasting for the boys and a glass (or more) of limoncello for me.  Eventually I was onto my favorite nightcap, Bailey's.

This morning, I was dehydrated, but feeling pretty sprightly for an evening of toxic beverages.  I'm pretty sure my stomach (and liver) were like, why does she think habanero peppers and Bailey's makes for such a fabulous evening?

The consequences of my actions are completely lost when I rock out a 14.3 miler in less than 2 hours a mere 8 hours after putting myself to bed.

The weather was gorgeous, I felt BA, and aside from the whole hydration part, I had a killer run.  One of those 'la la la la la' kind of runs where I just feel as though I was made to go gallivanting through the woods for 2 hours.  I did stop at miles 3.5, 7, and 10.5 for serious consumption of water.  I didn't wear my hydration belt because I thought the weather was cool enough to just grab water at mile 7.  Dummy.  Aside from those 3 stops, I cruised through the rest.

Here are the splits: 8:06, 8:05, 8:19, 8:13, 8:21, 8:19, 8:15, 8:12, 8:18, 8:09, 8:14, 8:05, 8:06, 7:57.  Gotta love that I squeaked out an under 8:00 minute mile on the last one!