My body is starting the revolution

When I used to browse the various message boards that are running-centric, I always felt quite smug when I saw posts titled "HELP!! - BLISTERS!!!", or "My feel are so gross!" See, I was able to make it the entire duration of my half-marathon training with only a few very teeny, easily popped/ignored blisters (I know I'm not supposed to pop them, but I do anyway). I even kept my feet pretty. No lost toenails or scale-y heels. I wore sandals all summer with pride. Well, not so fast my friend. I have my first real, painful blister as a result of running. And no amount of Mrs. Pedicure's Foot Scrub and Heel Cream seem to be working their usual magic on the other parts of my feet. My pretty feets used a source of pride for me, but those days may be fading.

And this next one isn't really gross, just kind of there. Or NOT there, as it were. And it's kind of terrifying the first time it happens. Running can do some interesting things to your cycle. Your ladies' days, or sudden LACK THEREOF. Really the most frustrating thing about that is dropping astronomical amounts of cash on pregnancy tests. Apparently I need to eat more to fix this. I have no problem with this solution. (I know that this can be a serious problem, so I'm not dismissing as quickly as the post might lead one to believe).

As far as actual period-preventin', blister-makin' runnin' this week, I got five miles on Tuesday, and three miles today. I will try cross-train tomorrow, and then another long run on Saturday (60 minutes).


Mountains. In north Alabama!

So the little trip that I was on for the second part of the week last week was at a joint called Camp Alpine. Beautiful place, and my favorite part was the two camp dogs who would hop in the river and swim a mile upstream with the kayaking and canoing groups. Then the doggies would get to ride back in a canoe. I am easily amused. It was a very nice trip, and I was uber encouraging and helpful on the high ropes course. I didn't get to harness up and do any of the elements, but I managed to break four fingernails, so I must have been working hard(ish).

I was amused that there was a place named Camp Alpine in northern Alabama, but I was quickly unamused 10 minutes into my run through camp on Friday evening. So although I had not planned it, I was able to get in a hill workout.

This Sunday morning was 60 minutes of running (5.74 miles). I was really dreading this run. It would be a false statement to say that I really ever am looking forward to a run like this, but I REALLY was not feeling it today. But since I didn't suck it up and do it yesterday when I should have, I had to do it. There was nothing monumental or noteworthy about the run today other than I saw two bunnies and a turtle. And some ten-year-old boy almost lapped me when I was on my third lap of the cross country loop. My pace was decent, and nothing was hurting or achy during the run. Most unremarkable. I guess it was not as bad as I thought it would be, but I would have rather stayed on the couch with the Hubs, coffee, and the dog.

On second thought, this was my longest run since the half marathon back in April. So that is somewhat noteworthy.

Happy Sunday all!


Playing Catchup

Quick running recap :

Saturday was my second long run, 50 minutes. I am happy to report that it was a fairly easy run, and I was pleasantly surprised when I mapped the route on runstoppable and found out that I got 4.8 miles in.

Sunday was scheduled to be a 4o minute run, but the Hubs and I went for a substantial hike instead. I probably should have tried to run later on Sunday evening, but I am not too worried about it. Hopefully I won't be regretting that when I get my run in later today.

Tomorrow afternoon I am leaving campus to go with the Freshman class for the aptly titled "Freshman Trip." Three days in the woods with a bunch of 14 year-olds. I am actually really excited about it - I love this kind of stuff. Must be a hangover from days as a Girl Scout camp counselor. I think that I am going to be on High Ropes Course duty. I am afraid that they won't let me do the actual ropes course and that I'll have to be "encouraging" and "helpful" instead of just having fun on the course (Zip line!!!!).


Perhaps I was too into the Fartlek

Apparently I went a bit overboard on my Tuesday Fartlek run, because Wednesday's 45 minute run was a nightmare. I held strong for about 20 minutes, and then did a combination of running and walking for the rest of the workout. It was a busy afternoon on campus, and I was at least able to keep most of my walking to the empty cross-country trail. I made certain to be running when I was passing middle school football practice. Because I would hate for some random pre-pubescent boy to be thinking things like "She's walking already? She'll never finish a marathon."

Yesterday was a cross-training day, so I got in about 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer, followed by some lunges and some ab work. I finished the workout by running the hill behind our apartment five times, which brought back memories of high school soccer practice.

Today is a scheduled, and quite welcome, rest day. Here's the kick in the clam about that: I'm not much of a rester. I don't mean that I'm not lazy. I was notoriously so in college - they even nicknamed me "Lazy Ass Lastname**." When I say I'm not much of a rester, I mean that I have some pretty hefty sleeping issues. As in, I don't do it much. Without the help of some sort of medication (over the counter, booze, etc...), I will lay (lie?) awake for at least 3-4 hours every night. I've had problems with this off and on since college, but it has been consistent for the last year.

Well, now that we have much better insurance, I FINALLY went to the doctor about it. The D.O.C. and I discussed my caffeine intake (one cup per day), exercise (see all previous blog entries), stress factors (don't really have any) before she wrote me a prescription for sweet relief (Ambien).

I am not unfamiliar with Ambien. Once I was traveling with the football team to Hawaii and the team doctor gave the entire travel party an Ambien before our flight took off to try to help us with jet-lag issues when we arrived in Oahu. One hundred people all PASSED THE HELL OUT for most of the eight hour flight. The flight attendant was overheard saying that it was the greatest flight of her career.

The first time I took Ambien, I was visiting my parents, and my mother (another bad sleeper) let me take one of hers. I was unprepared for just how fast it would take me down. I don't remember much about that night, but I woke up the next morning laying across my fully made bed, wearing my shorts, tennis shoes, and a bra. It was awesome.

**names have been changed to protect the innocent


Damn we're smooth

I am still relatively new to the sport of running. So to the veterans out there, when does the word "Fartlek" stop being so funny? My husband and I (whose combined maturity is about that of a 12 year-old-boy) both snicker mightily every time one of us says that word.

Yesterday was a giggle-inducing Fartlek workout. 3.63 miles, 35:00. For those who might not be in the know, Fartlek is Swedish for "speed play." Here is a rundown that I ganked from Cool Running (Australia):

Fartlek is a form of road running or cross country running in which the runner, usually solo, varies the pace significantly during the run. It is usually regarded as an advanced training technique, for the experienced runner who has been using interval training to develop speed and to raise the anaerobic threshold.

See that, according to their definition, I was doing an advanced training technique. And I'm only 10 days into my official training for the marathon. I feel like Doogie Howser, had he been a fake runner instead of a fake doctor.

I did a 10 minute warm up and my usual pace, and the bumped it up for :30, 1:30, and 2:30 intervals. My overall average per mile pace was 9:38 instead of my usual 10:20ish. So I was still nowhere close to what some would call "fast" or even "kinda fast," but I enjoyed pushing myself during the run.

(This post did send me to Google more than once to look up some Beavis and Butthead stuff. The quote page from IMDB was especially amusing.)


Dead Bunny Play Time

Saturday was the first official "long run" of my marathon training - 45 minutes was the goal. I had been on the treadmill all week, but I was absolutely giddy when I woke up and it was tolerable outside on Saturday morning. I leashed up the dog, and we were out the door!

It was actually 10 more minutes before we started, as I had to let him take care of all his business AND get a quick swim. THEN we were off! But we stopped about 20 steps later so that my dog could roll around on a dead bunny in the road. Then I had to let him get back in the river to rinse away the dead rabbit stank and replace it with the signature Tennessee River dead fish stank. THEN we were off!

I felt great during the run! I was shocked (SHOCKED) at how easy it was going. I started to wear out around the 40:00 mark, but I finished the run without too much trouble. I came home and hit up the ol runstoppable.com to see what my distance was, and I figured out why the run was so easy. My pace was around 11:30, a full 90 seconds slower than usual. I was kind of bummed out, but I guess you are supposed to take the pace down for a longer run.

I was supposed to run again on Sunday, but we went to church with the visiting in-laws, and the rest of the day was filled with in-law entertaining fun. Today was a scheduled rest day, so I did yesterday's missed run this morning. I only had 35:00 scheduled, so the dog went with me again today. I am thinking that Saturday's long run just wore his ass out, because I did quite a bit of waiting on my dog today. We narrowly avoided the still present dead bunny, but he did almost pull my arm off attempting to repeat Saturday's dead bunny play time.

Today was a good 35:00, and I was back at my usual pace of 10:00ish per mile. I don't know how I changed my pace up, but I did. By the end of my run, I had convinced myself that I had only gone about a mile - so I was surprised to discover that I did 3.5.


Happy Friday!

It's Friday, and my dog is very shiny. Have a great weekend!


I'm sure this has been on 60 Minutes or something

Back when I was in high school the kids were just smoking pot. Nowadays they are doing cocaine. And trading sex for it.

What an interesting (and disturbingly enlightening) week this has been.

Yesterday's workout:
40:00, 3.9 miles. My body must have really gotten used to running 35 minutes, because the first 35 minutes yesterday were great. The last 5 minutes? Notsomuch.

Today was 25:00 on the elliptical trainer, followed by some ab and leg exercises. Tomorrow is a rest day - YAY!


Training day 2:

35:00 minutes, 3.4 miles.

For was good as my run on Sunday was, today was as bad. I think I started out too fast. I was fine for about 15:00, then I was exhausted. I followed my rule of "don't stop unless something HURTS, or you can't breathe," and I pushed on for a few more minutes. Around the 22:00 mark, I slowed down to a walk for 2:00, then I picked back up to run the last 11:00. Tomorrow is a scheduled 40:00 run, so I will have to be careful and keep my pace down.

I was going to post some of the fun things I have come across in the wake of the Mountaineers' win on Saturday, but I figure if you turn on a channel with any sports related programming, you've seen it. And a youtube search for "App Michigan" yields many entertaining clips. Unless you happen to be a Michigan fan. The exposure for the university is awesome, and it's good for all of I-AA football as well. Nine times out of ten, the I-A school will win. But there are some damn fine athletes that play in every division of the NCAA, and I hope that for once people will listen when we say "Good football is good football, whether it is in front of 109,000 or 1,200."

In my post on Saturday, I said that I knew we were going up there for our paycheck, and hopefully we would come home with a little respect. I have watched quite a bit of Appalachian Football in the last seven years. I certainly didn't expect us to go up there and win. But I am not surprised in the least that we did.


And so it starts...

Okay, so with all the freaking amazing-ness of what was September 1st, I didn't run yesterday as I had planned. But that actually turned out to be fine, and I got to use the new shoes on my FIRST OFFICIAL TRAINING RUN today. Yes, it has officially started. It was only a 35 minute trek (3.4 miles), but it was very nice.

Of note: waking up and watching SportsCenter on Sunday mornings is always cooler when you can hear one of your closest friends' play-by-play broadcast on the lead story.

I have numerous links and pics to goodness from the Mountaineers' victory yesterday, which I will probably post later.



Suck it, Herbstreit.

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love college football. I grew up in the stands at high school football games every Friday night, August through November. I grew up in east Tennessee, with the giant orange monster an hours' drive away. I just love it for some reason. I can't really explain it. Maybe I have edited together too many highlight videos, but football looks as beautiful as a ballet to me. Especially when you reduce the speed to %50 and drop the score to Gladiator (or any movie score composed by Hans Zimmer, Trevor Rabin, James Newton Howard, Michael Kamen, or Mr. John Williams) underneath it.

I got my first "real" job after college at my alma mater, in the athletic department. Anyone who has worked in college athletics knows how completely UN-glamorous it really is. I used to say that the work week started on August 1st and ended sometime in May, with a quick lunch break to be taken in March , as basketball season ended. As much as we bitched about our jobs, we did love the teams (well, for the most part) that we worked with. And we became a family. Our little corner of the athletic department. We lived together for that 10-month-long work week. We hated each other at times, and we all had our moments where we were ready to crack. But we had so much fun somehow. I fell in love with and married my intern (that whole process took about 2 and 1/2 years - and that is us in the picture). My best friend and her husband, who also both worked in our little group, just welcomed their first, super-cute child into the world. I left that job in May of 2004, before I got married in July of that year. I cried from the end of basketball that year until well into December I think. It so easy to forget the times that I would work in my office until 4 am, go home and shower, and come back for a full 10 hour workday.

I didn't really intend for this post to turn into that trip down memory lane, but I couldn't help it. Today my team will head to the Big House to take on the Wolverines. We know that we are are really going up there for the paycheck, and if we are lucky we can earn just a little respect.

FYI to the crew from College Gameday on ESPN: at least have the professional courtesy to read your pronunciation guide. It is pronounced app-a-LATCH-un, not app-a-LAYTCH-un.