Monday, August 26, 2013

Week 1 on the road to BQ (+I have a nacho problem)

I guess it's fitting that my first week of training-to-run-a-BQ meant that it has been nearly 2 weeks since I've blogged.  In reality, I've been busy drinking beer, enjoying Loopville, and enjoying life--every time I sit down to bloop, I realize I should really go to bed!

But, I digress.  We'll get to the fun later.  The backstory of my dream of a BQ begins with the Grand Canyon.  When I was 25, I took a road trip to the Grand Canyon with my mom and sister.  I remember reading a sign about a girl who had not taken enough precaution taking a hike and ended up dying of heat stroke.  It stated that she was Boston Marathon finisher--a nod to the active types that she was in great physical shape.  I hadn't run a marathon at that point, but the story stuck with me.

Flash forward to late 2009 when I ran my first marathon in seconds over 4 hours.  I remember thinking that it was going to be pretty impossible to run 20 minutes (at the time) faster than what I had just accomplished.  I was satisfied with being a marathon finisher and happy just to cross the finish line on my own 2 feet.

I ran my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th between 3:50 to just under 4:00.  At some point, they reduced the 18-34 year old women's time to 3:35 for a BQ.

In March, I ran 3:43:18 on a hilly Atlanta marathon and felt amazing at the finish. 95% because I had smashed my PR and felt absolutely physically wonderful and 5% because I knew that I was only 8 minutes from a BQ.

When the Rehoboth Beach marathon idea started getting tossed around, I didn't even really think about the BQ thing at first.  It seemed still too fast for me and I didn't want to disappoint myself by failing.  But then I realized that I would never know until I tried.  Just like trying my first marathon, I had no idea if I could, but I didn't want to live life sitting around wondering if I had it in me, but never tried.

I still have tremendous self doubt. I will with every training run.  I will with every mile of the race.  But life will go on whether or not I BQ and if I don't, I will likely try again.

I stepped out the door Tuesday with my training plan in place.

This week's schedule:

Tuesday: 5 easy @ 9:22 Actual: 5.2 @ 8:24
Thursday: Tempo 6 (4 @ 7:56) Actual: 8:19, 7:30, 7:16,7:25, 7:23,7:53
Friday: 5 easy @ 9:22 Actual: 5 @ 9:05
Sunday: 10 LSD @ 9: 22 Actual: 10 @8:01 was a bit fast.  Oops...

In other exciting news, Adam liked the idea of a training plan to walk his 5K and so I put together one last week.  He is walking a 5K on October 6th, while I run a half-marathon.  Last week, we walked 4.9 miles over 4 days and this week, he will start his 'official' training program:


I've agreed to walk with him whenever I can, so I'll be padding my miles with some cross-training walks.  Good for our bodies and great to talk to each other without interruptions (re: healthy for marriage too!)!

What exactly have I been up to the past 12 days when I wasn't blogging?

Well, I've been busy helping my sister getting her wedding festivities underway by planning an engagement party for her:


I'm in charge of the food (duh), so I've been pouring over cookbooks and Pinterest trying to get great gluten-free ideas for the party:


I've been enjoying apples from our (finally) fruitful apple tree in the backyard (with homemade peanut butter to boot!):


And drinking lots of smoothies to compensate for all the beer from the beer challenge:


Which is just silly because I have been eating and drinking like a college kid.

So many nachos:



And burgers........


And beer......

And jalapeno infused tequila because it was on the menu....
tequila shot

But I've mostly been hanging out with my favorite dude, watching the Braves, Big Bang Theory, and doing fun things like ride our friend Jeff's waverunners:


All this fun can be very, very exhausting:


Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer hurrahs!

I will unofficially official start marathon training next week, so I will probably start skewing more towards boring posts about my training regimen and less about awesome life stuff.  Well, just a little perhaps.  I've been having quite the fun summer.

Let's talk about running first though.

I got some new shoes last week after dealing with some major minor foot pain that could have been brought on by my Brooks Pure Flow 2s.  I dunno.  I also could attribute to the extra speedwork in July, the sloppier form I have in hot weather, my work shoes (40 hours a week on my feet likely doesn't help), or a combination of the above.  I'm trying the Mizuno Wave Elixir 8s.  Lightweight enough, but with some stability.  And a roomier toebox for my yeti feet.


I went to the Greenway to test them out after I bought them.  Had a 12-16 miler in mind.  The Greenway was closed due to flooding.  I drove another 20 minutes to the other Greenway in the vicinity and it was also closed.  Doh!

So, to the pain cave I went.


Amazon Prime has Spirit of the Marathon free right now and I hadn't seen it.  Cue the first 1:41 of my run.  Love, love, loved it and it was really cool to watch it while I was running.  I started watching another dumb Jennifer Anniston movie Switch which was not-so-great, but kept me occupied through the final few miles.  16 overall and yes, it was quite mind-numbing even with my movies.

I took Friday and Saturday off running.  The long run padded my miles for the week and I had fun things to do instead.  But I did run 5 miles yesterday and it felt good and comfortable.

However, today was a major mojo killer.  I felt absolutely awful and I was running around 8:20 pace for the first 3 miles and it felt reallly, really hard.  The last 2 I got my pace under 8:00, but it really was motivated by the fact that a terrible thunderstorm was coming closer.  The last 2 minutes of my run were in the rain so I timed it just about perfect. This was the type of run that I need every once in awhile though to remind me that I'm not invincible.

In non-running news, I was giving my grill a good workout last week and enjoying the beer challenge.

How can you go wrong with steak?


Or a rack of ribs?


I drank beer at home (as seen in the above pictures) and at local restaurants:


In the parking lot of Turner Field ($.75 beers):


Inside Turner Field ($7.50 beers):


Unfortunately, we saw the Braves streak end.  But the hometown crew still cheers:


Last, but not least, my sister invited her future bridesmaids (including me, duh) to a brunch yesterday where she formally asked us to be a part of her wedding.  She found Barbie-esque dolls in the hair color that matched the girl and made dresses that look like the ones she wants us to wear.  Here's mine:


Happy Monday y'all!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

NRR: A boy and his dog

It's been a tough year in the Liebowitz house for our furbabies.  We started out with 3 dogs and 1 cat at the beginning of 2013 and sadly are down to just 2 pups as of Monday.  The fortunate thing is that both furkids had a long and full life.  Duncan the grey tabby gave us 17 years and Josie the black lab mutt gave us 16 years.


We made a really hard decision on Monday to let Josie cross over the rainbow bridge.  She had been slowing down for well over a year and neither Adam or myself wanted to be the one to make the decision to end her life.  We had gone from helping her up and down the stairs to carrying her up and down the stairs to carrying her wherever we were.  In the past 6 months she went from having occasional accidents inside (which for most of her years never happened) to it happening multiple times a day.


The past 2-3 weeks were really hard.  She couldn't stand any longer unless you were holding her back legs.  She'd try to get herself up and fall immediately after.  It was breaking our hearts and both of us were desperately trying to pretend it wasn't happening.  Like a new puppy or a baby, I was getting up 3-4 times in the night to bring her to water, take her outside (unsuccessfully), or clean the carpet.  The last night she was with us, we had her sleep downstairs because the accidents were becoming inevitable and the hardwood was easier to clean.  I try to not dwell on the fact that her last night she was all alone--it tugs desperately at my heartstrings.

But I cannot dwell on the past.  She was lucky that Adam was a poor college kid who wanted a dog all his life and went to the pound to pick out a pup.  Josie was quite possibly the perfect poster dog for "sweet and gentle rescue" who only got ornery if play-fighting between humans was involved.  Her demeanor was happily independent and she was quite content sans toys or playtime.  Every once in a while, she'd walk by your hand dangling over the sofa arm and nudge for a pet.  She put up with her Boston Terrier sisters, first when Adam and I starting dating (I had Luxy) and later when we adopted Torrance.


As I was scrolling through old photos for this post, I let the tears shed knowing that they will come and go for awhile as I grieve.  And I'm allowing myself to be sad when it washes over me because I know that it's not all-consuming.  I've laughed plenty since Monday, the sun has risen every day, and life will carry on.  Because I'm thankful that I got spend nearly 10 years with Josie and there aren't too many sweeter things in life than a boy and his dog.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Loop meetup: Running with QuadraSass

I had a busy, busy, busy last few days.  Wednesday, I ran 4 easy miles after work after deciding it would be easier to do a lunch-date thing with friends rather than dinner.  Thursday, I worked, did the lunch-date thing, and came home to squeeze in 4 miles before a family obligation.  I did a 1.25 mile warm-up, 2X800 at 7:30 pace with .25 jogs and 1 mile at 7:30, and a .25 cool down.  I had just enough time to finish and take a shower, phew!

Before bed, I squeezed in a few beer squats for the August beer challenge and August squat challenge:


Friday, I ran out to get an engagement present on my lunch break for my sister as we were seeing her and her fiance for the first time after they got engaged.  Adam picked me up at work and we headed down to do dinner with about 20 other people for the fiance's birthday party.  It worked out that our service was pretty terrible and I never got the second beer I asked for when I was halfway done with the first:


We made it a relatively early night because I had big plans for the morning.

Saturday morning, the dogs started stirring just after 5am.  I took them out and decided I would just linger over getting my running gear on and having breakfast.  Around 6:15am, I headed downtown to pick up Sass/sfchas/Brian for a Loop meetup and run!

I got to his hotel around 7am and took him to the closest entrance of the Silver Comet Trail, where northern lass does most of her running.  I hadn't been on that section of the trail so we just followed the cyclists and runners walking in the same general direction out of the parking lot.  After a quick potty stop, off we went!

Other than discussing we were going to run 10 miles, we didn't really plan much of anything else for the run.  No talks of pace or negative splits or warmups or cool downs.  Fortunately, like old running buddies, we just fell into stride with one another and banged out 10 miles chatting happily.  It was the shortest 10 miles I had run in a long, long time!  We talked about running (duh), Loopsters, goals, family, work, dumb cyclists, and more running.

I think I looked at my Garmin about 4 times because I was just kind of lost in the moment of things.  Those are the best kinds of runs! We built an instant camaraderie after just an hour and 24ish minutes and it just reaffirmed the fact that Loopsters are really, really awesome.  I have some splits on my Garmin, but this was more about making what could have been an ordinary Saturday morning, extraordinary!

After our run, I started to drive us back when he realized he left his phone on top of my car.  We weren't far yet and fortunately, it just suffered cosmetic damage.  But another minute or two and it would have been toast.    When we got back to his hotel, he grabbed his wallet to get us some Starbucks--what a world-class guy!! The bookstore Starbucks was not open yet, so I drove a few blocks so he could duck in and grab us each a coffee.  He took a quick snapshot for proof before I drove off:


After my meetup, I slurped my coffee and drove home, so happy that I had decided to get up in the dark!

I went wedding venue shopping with my sister and the family yesterday afternoon followed by dinner at her fiance's house.  I had a margarita and a caprihana and then remembered that I didn't have my beer yet.  Oops.  I muscled through it though:

I watched half of a movie with Adam last night before I finally crashed and slept like a baby.

Today, I met my mom and sister for wedding dress shopping and at the second shop, we found 'the one'!!  We also found bridesmaid dresses that we both liked and once she gets everything squared away with the maids, we'll order those.  There were a number of sample bridesmaids dresses on sale for $10-$50 and I lucked out by finding 2 cute dresses that I can wear to my brother-in-law's wedding and perhaps the rehearsal dinner.

Definitely a successful weekend!