Sunday, June 30, 2013

Captain Lazy Pants ran fast and is hypnotized by new car smell

Oh look, it's time for my Sunday night bloop. True Blood is on, I've got my wine, but dang, I didn't get the run in tonight that I wanted.

I was going to run 5-8 miles tonight after work, but I ended up staying an hour and a half later because a pesky customer just would. not. stop. shopping.  I ended up taking my sales associate home because she normally takes the bus and I felt bad that the customer was keeping us there until much, much later.  So, now I was 2 hours past what time I should have been leaving for work.  Decided that I was just going to take it as a sign from the higher being to take a rest day.  Either that, or I really should stop being a slacker in the morning.  I had plenty of time to run before work, I was just being Captain Lazy Pants.

But it's not all bad news. I can run tomorrow after work and be in a much better mindset to get out there and enjoy myself.

I ran Thursday night after work--a nice little 5 miler at 7:53 pace.  It actually felt, well, pretty easy.  And it was hot outside. This makes me excited about fall running because I've been slowly lowering my pace over the years and it's currently at an all-time low (this millennium).

Friday, I was going to just run a few miles.  But then I decided to do some speed work 'cause I was all jacked up from my iced coffee. So I did a mile warm-up and 5x800's.  I probably could have gone a little faster--as I only felt like I was getting anaerobic on the very last tenth of a mile on the very last one.  Cool! I did 'em in 3:45, 3:40, 3:29, 3:25, 3:20.  Considering I haven't done any regimented speedwork since, um, March, I'm pretty stoked that I was running decent 800s!

Friday afternoon, Adam and I went car shopping.  His car, a 15 year old Honda Civic, has been on the chopping block for quite some time.  However, his check engine light came on last week and we decided that it probably was time to start looking.  Looking turned quickly into buying and within 24 hours of our first test-drive, we ended up buying a new car!


It's a fancy grown-up car with leather seats and all sorts of touchscreen buttons that I am sure to never know what they are for.  Last night, I made Adam go to Chipotle with me so I could drive the car.  We spent 5 minutes in the Chipotle parking lot raising and lowering the power seats and turning on the car seat heaters in 80 degree weather with the A/C on.  Last night, before we went to bed, we went and climbed into the car in the garage again to inhale the new car smell.

Fortunately, even though I didn't run today, I did manage to get my pushups in before I went to work.  I started June 1st doing 25 girly pushups and 5 manly pushups.  Today, I was able to do 5 sets of 20 manly pushups!!!!!!  There wasn't too much difference in my arm appearance, but I am absolutely floored by how much easier the pushups got over the past month.

The top pic is June 1st, middle pic is June 15th, bottom pic is June 30th.


I hate ending June on 2 days of not running, but I am proud of the fact that I have been running more than half of my summer runs outdoors.  Normally I eschew the heat and humidity, but I am attempting to make amends this summer. I ain't making promises for July and August, but I will definitely try to do more outside when possible.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sobering up by running laps around a parking garage

I started a post about 10 more dirty secrets. I got to #4 and got writer's block. And had to get up to get ice cream. And so I just decided I'd rather post about what's happened since the my 14 mile scavenger hunt.

I got really early for no good reason last Thursday. I decided to go get donuts from my local donut shop--Dutch Monkey Doughnuts. If you come visit me ever, I promise to buy you all the donuts you can eat.

Made myself a nice little smorgasbord of my selections:


After my sugar high, I took the newspaper to the patio and enjoyed a peaceful morning in my backyard:

perfect morning

Later, I met my sister and two of her/our friends to go to the New Kids on the Block concert.
  My sister works for Philips and can score suite tickets to various events through a lottery system.  That meant free food and more importantly, open-freakin'-bar.  It was pour your own--not a good idea when it is dark and you are making cocktail suicides.

We took lots of selfies:


When the show was over, we took to the parking garage to sober up before heading home.  I took off my flip-flops and ran laps around the garage at full tilt. Like 5 times. And then I did some push-ups 'cause we are in a push-up challenge.

Throw in a little parking garage climbing:
parking lot

Yup, I had a good time...........

The next day, I went on a detox:

But I waited until Saturday to run again.  5 miles after work which were just okay.  My foot was bothering me again and it was pretty humid.  There was a guy who I passed going the opposite direction about 3/10ths of a mile before the turnaround point.  He was running a little slower than me and it took me until around the last mile to catch up to him.  I like to turn the afterburners on for the final mile and so I started to blaze past him.  Apparently he didn't like this and tried to keep pace with me for an awkward amount of time.  I didn't want to slow down just to pass him back, but I also didn't really want to run neck and neck.  Who does that??? If people ever pass me in a non-race situation, I always give them enough room to pull ahead....

I did my pushups off the side of the trail when I finished which made me feel completely BA. Woot!

Yesterday was amazingly awesome.  I decided to run on the dreadmill in my year-old Brooks Adrenaline's.  I have been running in minimalist shoes for nearly a year, but my feet have been giving me issues lately.  The Adrenaline's felt so, well, different. Stiffer but more marshmallow-y. But they served their purpose and I knocked out 4 miles without my foot yelling at me.

However, a few hours later, when Adam and I sat down at the movies to watch World War Z, my bunion was throbbing.  I massaged and massaged and massaged and was still in pain after about 20 minutes.  Decided to pop an aspirin and that little miracle worker took care of the issue.

After the movies, we finished our garage organization project by adding some more shelving closer to the ceiling. It was hot, sweaty work, but I l-o-v-e how it turned out!!! Organizer nerds, unite!

Our perfect night ended with a glass of red zinfandel, True Blood, and surf & turf:
surf and turf

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A 14 mile scavenger hunt

I decided to use my long run today to do the scavenger hunt.  I was all pumped up about having little goals to meet along the way and truth be told, I was looking forward to mini-breaks to take pictures along my route.  So many of my runs are gogogogogogogo that I was thinking that I would really enjoy a forced slower run.

I wrote down all the qualifications on my hand so I could remember once I got started. You'd think I could remember 10 things, but I decided not to chance it in case I got all zombie-esque.


I saw a few things to take pictures of right away.  People being healthy (running, walking, riding bikes), a couple of women wearing purple clothing, but I decided to wait until I got a mile in before I pulled out my phone.

I saw a bunny first and took a few pictures, but then I saw a squirrel on a tree that was even closer.

7. A live animal (mosquito, buffalo, alligator), but not human:

As I trotted through the boardwalk area, I kept thinking, how am I going to find something ugly?? It is so gorgeous in the summertime.  The woods are exploding with green color and even the murky creek looks refreshing in the heat.

1. Something beautiful:
something beautiful

I was running with music, but as I was just past 3.5 miles, I heard a bulldozer about 40 yards away from the path.

3. Something loud:

something loud

I kept my phone tucked away for awhile and just ran until I closer to the turn around point.

5. Something with numbers (but not your Garmin):

a number

Then I turned around and snapped a picture of the canopy of trees. A super obvious choice, but I didn't see Shaq on my run today, so trees will have to do.

9. Something very tall:

something tall

I saw ladies wearing purple earlier. I saw purple wildflowers. I was wearing a purple tank top, purple sports bra, and purple socks.  I was drinking purple Gatorade. My favorite color happens to be purple.  But I chose the most random thing I saw that had the color purple.

4. Something purple:

something purple

Around this point was where my Garmin and I started to have words.  I was cussing, Garmin was acting all wonky, I waited to reboot, Garmin played nice for a few more miles.

When I got to around mile 10, I decided to go get water at the park water fountain and score a picture of kids at the skate park.  Sure, I saw plenty of runners/walkers/bikers on the trail, but skateboarding kids were little more unique.  I was trying not to be creepster taking a picture of random strangers, so sorry if the photo is not a great depiction--I promise there were kids skating!

8. Person or people doing something healthy (but not yourself):


After this, Garmin and I had a smackdown.  Some BS about lap database being full couple with the sweat messing with the toggle had me ready to scream.  Besides the fact that I was starting to feel like poo at this point did not help the situation.

2. Something ugly:


Whatever Garmin....

We still needed to find something ironic and I was still 3.5 miles away from the car.  Luckily, the irony part was right around the corner.  They have a number of these signs posted along the Greenway with different foods equaling different calories burned.  Most of the signs have things like yogurt, fruit, baked potato, etc.--you know, relatively healthy things that people who are using the Greenway might consider eating.  But this one particular sign cracks me up because I think it was meant for me.  Especially the nachos.

6. Something ironic (you'll know it when you see it):


The last 3.5 miles were just yucky because I was tired and it was so humid my shorts were soaked through and through.  However, it did make for a great 10. Yourself after a hot run, the sweatier the better:


The face picture is sweaty-ish looking, but my arm is the truth teller.


Who's arm sweats like this???? Ugh!

Anyhow, I ​really​ enjoyed this scavenger hunt and hope that MJ or another Loopster decides to do another one. 

Here are the splits: 8:03, 8:01, 8:10, 8:07, 8:07, 8:19, 8:14, 8:00, 8:04, 8:02, (some weirdness with Garmin losing about .6 of a mile) 8:10, 8:26, 7:54, last .36 at a 7:17

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rehoboth, I am coming for you!

After my bout of PF last week, I sought the wise and wonderful advice of Loopster (ahem, ahem, Dave) and decided to take action.  I did some serious stick rolling, a home-modified Graston technique, self-massage, and I did 2 important things with my shoes.  1) I took the sock liner (the removable pad thingy) out of my Brooks Pure Flow 2s.  2) I bought a new pair of work shoes. 

It's a little weird at first to run with out the sock liner because you can feel the stitching on the sides.  However, it made a huge difference in how the shoe fit in the toe box and my feet were much, much happier.  The overall fit of the shoe is now even more minimal because there is no squish from the sock liner. 

The past week I had an 8 miler and a 6 miler outside and an 8 miler and 5 miler on the dreadmill.  Outside, I am running at a sub-8 pace with relative ease which has me excited about Rehoboth if I can stay injury-free and healthy.  Inside, I use the dreadmill for recovery runs because I can set it and forget it.  I get so competitive with myself outside--and geez, I'm not even training for anything right--that it is good to have the treadmill force me to go slower.  Plus, I can watch cheesy movies and silly YouTube videos--I'm so easily entertained on the hamster wheel.

I've run 5 marathons and 4 of the 5 marathons I have trained for approximately 10 weeks leading up to the race.  I like to keep a base of being able to knock out 13.1 at any given time so amping up to 20 milers takes me only about a month to 6 weeks.  However, the 10 weeks is by design--I have raced those 4 marathons in mid-March and start my official training right after Christmas--the crazy time in the retail world.

This December marathon will be different for 3 major reasons.

1) It's a big time Loopfest.  I'm nervous (nah, not really, it's gonna be awesome and hello!! my career involves talking to strangers) and excited and cannot wait to go. Arewethereyet??
2) I'm 8 minutes away from a BQ.  I ran 3:43 in Atlanta in March. I ​think​ I can run a 3:35, but it'll take a good day with good conditions to knock off 8 minutes.  Of course I want to BQ, but I also don't want to obsess about it.  But now that I've said it 'outloud' in Loopville, it's likely to follow me around like Pigpen's cloud.  Me and my big mouth....
3) I will have a longer time to train if I choose to.  A longer training cycle is a double-edged sword.  It's good if works, stupid if I overtrain/don't hit my goal. 

So I'm contemplating a longer training cycle.  I have a month or so before I need to get serious about when I should start. Just in time for the heat and humidity to hit the highest point... Geez, maybe I'll reconsider this notion.  But at least the first few weeks shouldn't be all that much different than what I am currently running.  By the time I get into the nitty-gritty workouts, it should (hopefully) be time for FALL RUNNING--aka, the most beautiful time of the year!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The many ways a marathoner can be lazy

Not training for a race can be hard work.  I'm trying to vary my routine and keep my runs interesting, but I might have overdone it a bit lately.  Too much speed, an increase in mileage, and the bane of my life--being on my feet all day at work with many work days in a row=achy feet.  I've been doing the retail thing for 11 years now and can stand on my feet for 16 hours at a time without really much issue.  However, compounded with many days in a row of running and perhaps a shoe issue, I am experiencing some plantar fasciitis in my left foot. 

I taped my foot last night after a particularly noticeable ache in my foot all day.  The good news is that with a little rest and care, it can go away.  The bad news is that it comes back when stop being careful.

kt tape

I ran Thursday without looking at my watch once.  I ran it by effort and tried to maintain between a 60-70% push.  I was happily surprised to see that despite the warm evening, I was still maintaining a sub-8 pace throughout the run.  Splits: 7:39, 7:43, 7:37, 7:57, 7:51, 7:29

Yesterday, I was feeling pretty good after a day's rest, but I could tell my foot was having issues all day.  At first, I was keeping it nice and easy.  The humidity was ​only ​around 50% so it started out pleasant enough.  But being around the creek and foliage must have created swamp-like conditions because I was quite literally dripping wet with sweat about a half mile into the run.  I rapidly grew uncomfortable even though I was dressed appropriately and tied my 'fro back into a knot so it wouldn't slap against my back.  My nice n' easy turned into get-this-done.  Splits: 8:01, 7:52, 7:49, 7:36, 7:38

I am on my 2nd pair of the Brooks Pure Flow 2s and the narrower toe box is arguably aggravating my PF.  Plus, the burrito-style lacing causes extra snugness unless I undo the lacing each time I go for a run.  I'm not sure how I can go run for 16 miles but taking an extra 90 seconds to fix my shoes seems annoyingly difficult.  I am hoping the 3s are a little wider in the toe box or else I might have to look at trying to get some 1s since I didn't have any issues with those. 

I often find it funny how even though I'm so non-lazy when it comes to doing certain things (running, working, cooking), I can be soooooo lazy when it comes to other things.  I do laundry as quickly as possible and though I'm type A about keeping my closet organized, I have broken a few too many hangers trying to shove things in there as quickly as possible.  I will go running for a few hours and then stand in front of the refrigerator eating lettuce straight from the crisper because I'm too lazy to make a proper salad.  Dump a few croutons in my mouth after the lettuce--it's all the same to me! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

There might be a sentence about running in this NRR

Aside from the 16 miler I did on Thursday, I made sure to have a great time on my impromptu 5 day weekend.  I worked over Memorial Day weekend so I got to celebrate my holiday a little late.

On Friday, I took my picture for the push-up challenge:

I have done zero upper body strength training since my marathon in March save for hauling furniture around my store for 8 hours a day.  Guess it's good for something? Except I'm terrible at push-ups.  I am currently doing 30 girly ones and 10 regular ones.  Hopefully I can get to 50 regular ones in a few sets by the end of the month.  It's a lofty goal, but I like lofty goals.

I snacked on watermelon and mint post-run on Friday:
watermelon mint

Then I had a late lunch that was actually pretty healthy:
healthy eats

Friday afternoon, Adam and I met up with Jeff to go bowling.  I'm obsessed with arcade basketball and will not-so-humbly admit that I'm really, really good at it.  Adam finally outscored me while we were waiting for Jeff to show up.  So I suppose it was only fair that I finally beat him in bowling. 


After bowling, we went to Studio Movie Grill where we had dinner, drinks, and watched Fast & Furious 6.  May was dude movie month.  We saw Iron Man 3, Star Trek, and F&F6.  Adam totally owes me a romantic comedy.  Actually, I enjoyed all the movies.  Especially F&F6.  I have this obsession with Vin Diesel and fast cars.  Rawr!!!

Saturday, we went to the Braves game. Adam's home away from home is Turner Field:
adam braves

I go for the beer, hot dogs, and walk off singles in the 10th inning:

carissa braves

There was a Run DMC concert after the game which we stuck around for briefly.  Baseball stadiums are not the greatest venue for music and there was a terrible echo where we were sitting.  So we heard 'Tricky' and a couple other songs and busted a move.

Sunday, we went to a baby shower for some friends and then came home and enjoyed a rainy day together.

We watched Beetlejuice:

Laughed at the dogs playing:
dogs playing
Said, "awwwww," when they did cute things:
dogs chillin

We ordered Dominos for dinner:


And played Trivial Pursuit while we gorged on pizza:
trivial pursuit

Monday, we both had the day off and decided that we would finally turn the under stairs closet into my kitchen appliance closet.  Our poor kitty crossed over the rainbow bridge back in March and I had said ever since we bought the house that I was going to turn his litter box room into my appliance closet.

Well, long story short, the closet project turned into the garage project and we spent 10 hours decluttering, organizing, and after 2 trips to Home Depot, we finally finished the garage project.  Unfortunately, the appliance closet project is on hold because we had to order the right size rack to fit in the closet.

The before pictures:
before 1
before 2

I stopped halfway through to put ribs on the grill:

meat meat meat

So we could have enough fuel to complete our masterpiece:

after 1
after 2

And oh yeah, I guess I ran too.  6 miles on Saturday, 3 miles on Sunday, 8 miles naked (my Garmin is slowly dying....) yesterday, and 4 miles tonight.  Nothing exciting to report on the running front except I am really enjoying mixing up my runs and finding joy in varying the distance even though I'm not training for anything right now.