To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Friday, December 31, 2010

Run #16 - Eh.

I have been procrastinating on this mini-report and I have no idea why. I guess it was just an uneventful run. I was wanting to redeem myself after the horrible run I tried on Sunday. This one went better, but the cold weather seems to keep doing a number on my left knee. So that, coupled with my quad issues, cut my run short. 

During the day we got snow, as I reported in the last post. I know everybody in the US seems to have snow right now, but we never get it, so I was really excited. At lunch I met up with an old friend and it was really coming down. Naturally, I had to take a picture!

I also snagged a picture before the run. This was just to show that I was a total "hot mess". I didn't match at all (with red, salmon, gray, purple, black and red). In the end I put on a jacket so it tamed down my array of colors, but still I was hard to miss! I think what is actually helping me get out and run in the cold weather and soreness of my body is my audiobook. I know I have morbid taste, but it is seriously so fascinating to listen to. If you missed it before, I'm listening to Ann Rule's book about her friendship with Ted Bundy and all of that stuff going on with him. I not-so-secretly want to be Clarice Starling, so I just love to learn about all of those morbid killer things. Now I look forward to running even more just so I can hear what will happen next ... as if we don't know the final conclusion on that one?

Okay, so it is December 31. Anthony Hopkins has a birthday today. Ha - notice that I just referenced Silence of the Lambs, and now I'm telling you that it is Anthony's birthday? I saw Silence of the Lambs on opening day when I was in the 7th grade. I've had a secret love affair with Anthony ever since!  Today is also the day I start my 2011 racing schedule. I'm going for at least 12 in 2011. I think that will be easy to attain. Yay!  I run at 11:59pm, so I'm totally counting this as my first run of 2011, which makes sense since it is the First Run 5K/10K.  I guess I get to pick which distance when I check in? There was never a spot to choose one when I registered. I'm just going for 5K right now. I have my long run on Sunday so I don't want to pathetically try for 6.2 tonight.  Not sure what I'm going to wear just yet. I think I'll have to double layer my legs. It looks like it could be 30º or lower when I start running. Also I will finally be getting myself my Prefontaine "Love to Run" necklace. I've wanted it for almost a year and since it hasn't magically appeared under my pillow I figure I should take matters into my own hands!

So enough babbling. I have HOURS to get ready for my race. I'm going on a pre-race movie date with myself to see Black Swan. Did you see it? Will I love it??  I'll be back in 2011 with a race report. And also I need to finish my posts about Waverly Hills. HMB wanted to see pictures and hear about it. I started my posts, but went on vacation and forgot to finish them! I will get on it. Next time we will  move inside the building and see some pretty creepy looking rooms! Just wait until we head upstairs to room 502 .... strangest picture EVER!

Have a fun, safe New Years Eve everybody!!

And if you get bored, enter my giveaway! ;)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Really Should Have Been on Tour with MJ

Do you ever feel "off" if you go to start your day by reading the latest post by Beth @ Shut Up and Run ... and then you see she hasn't posted yet today?? 

News Alert .... it is snowing!!! Okay, so a lot of you are thinking, "Yeah, yeah, we know. Blizzard in the NE. Whatever. Old news." But NO! I mean HERE!! In the Umpqua Valley! Oregon! We never get snow here. If it snows in the area it just stays on the mountains but rarely gets to the valley floor. I am so excited! In 5 minutes I will be out playing in it. Yippee!!

My giveaway is still going on. Still - HA! It just started! You have until January 13th to enter, and I know that most of you haven't entered yet!

I didn't run last night as scheduled. My leg was killing me and I thought I should give it a day off before hitting the pavement again. But I wasn't totally lazy like I was all weekend. (Seriously, I walked around with dried frosting on my shirt for almost an entire day and didn't care!)  Last night I did my new favorite form of cross-training .... the Michael Jackson Wii game. You HAVE to get this game!! It was so much fun. After just one song I was already sweating - and getting pretty darn good scores for it being my first round. The words come on the screen, but I didn't have a need to read them. You mirror the dance moves you are seeing on the TV. The key is your right hand. It follows the gloved hand and is the one with the Wii remote. TONS of songs to choose from all at different difficulty levels. Thriller's difficulty level is "inhuman". Love it! 

Okay - the snow is calling me. WHAT?? It just stopped. Dammit! Well, that's Oregon for ya. Give it a few minutes, it will be back.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hey! I Have A GIVEAWAY!!

Can you believe it? Little ol' me? With a legit for-reals giveaway??
Well believe it! And one of YOU will be the winner! I promise. I won't rig it so that I win. That would be cheating. Cheating = bad karma!

So what's the scoop?  I was contacted by Jocelyn with csnstores.com and we have decided it would be a rad idea to give one of you a $25 gift card! I mean we just had Christmas and all, and I know you all gave your friends and family some great gifts, but maybe you want to get one for YOURSELF?? (Trust me, it is okay to do that, I bought myself TONS of presents this year!)  I took the liberty of browsing through the csnstore website and they have a bit of everything! Things for your pets, toys and games for your children, cool furniture, fitness equipment, wall art and decor and more!

I am a slacker. Hard core. So I will make the ways of entering the giveaway simple for you, since I like the easy way out, too!  ....... **= you HAVE to do it 'cause it is my blog and I make the rules! ;)
  • **Follow me! I'm witty, I wear silly socks, I babble about everything (and running.) So follow me (or tell me that you already do!
  • Pimp me out, Yo!  Share the giveaway on your blog. That will be another entry for you!
  • Check out the link above and find something cool. Tell us what you think is cool for another entry!
  • Hmm, I need something else. But something simple.  How about, in the spirit of the season, you tell us your favorite gift you GAVE someone for Christmas! That gets you yet one more entry!
  • Five is a good number. Let's go with one more ..... Share a resolution or goal you have for 2011.
That's it! Five ways you can enter, and I think all of them are pretty darn easy AND fun for me to read, too! So spread the word. Enter. Let's see who the lucky one (chosen by a random number thingamajig) is!

Since we are all so busy this time of year I won't pick a winner until January. That way you all have time to participate and not have to stop baking cookies or cleaning up champagne bottles to do so. How about lucky number 13.... January 13th is the day you have to enter by!

Good luck!

i. am. FREAKING OUT!!

Okay, so the Princess 1/2 is officially LESS than 2 months away! 50% of the time I am beyond excited. 50% I am freaking the F out!  Right now .... freaking out. By the next paragraph I could be excited. I want to hook up a little heart rate monitor and see my pulse going CRAZY right now. I can feel my heart pounding in my chest and butterflies forming in my stomach. Oh this is just lovely! I say that in a completely sarcastic tone, FYI.

Perhaps if I wasn't almost limping with every step I wouldn't be freaking out? I think the fact that it is Race Week (I like to consider it a week long event - helps me try to remember to hydrate) is adding to the nerves.  I always seem to go into a race feeling under-prepared physically - but mentally prepared to have my ass handed to me by the lanky speedy college kids and high school track teams. So I guess this half-marathon is no exception. I will feel totally not ready, but in the end I will know I did my best. And if I start to doubt myself I know that my Princess P.I.C. (Partner in Crime .... remember that, I'll just use P.I.C. from now on!) will smack me upside the head and knock some sense into me. Ya hear that Lesley? I give you permission to give me some tough love if I start to be a weenie. And I will. At every race about half way through I start to want to just cry and beg for my mommy!

BUT, believe it or not, this half-way point is what gives me the confidence to know I can do it ... and helps me off the ledge and bring me back to the reality that I am so flipping excited!!  I currently have the course map up in a separate window. Why?? I mean I know this by heart. I've looked at it way too many times. When I was on vacation a couple of months ago I paid attention to every twist, turn, rise, slope ... you name it, I noticed it. I was the only person on the bus not just engaging in conversation about what ride to do first or who my favorite character is. No, I was the one seeing how we have a nice drop down near the Contemporary -- but then we will have to quickly go right back up a little hill. It is short though - no worries! Okay yeah, my nerves sent my brain all over the place just now. The half way point....   Ignoring my 3 10K races, to date in my life, my longest training run EVER has been 5 miles. Looking at the map, five miles gets us to the Magic Kingdom. Great! Before we even get there we get to run under the 7 Seas Lagoon bridge and by the Contemporary. From 5 to 6 we are in the Magic Kingdom. Well we can all handle that, right? I mean will I even notice my body or will I be feeling so much adrenaline and having a blast finally being in the Kingdom in my running skirt?? By mile 7 we are only around the Grand Floridan. Cool - still sights to see. Miles 7 to 11 will be the point where I am feeling in virgin territory. I will have run that long before, but not many times. This is also the boring, long straight stretch. Maybe it isn't boring if it is new to you? This could be 3.5 years of working there talking, so maybe that long stretch just bores me. (Let's hope for some awesome mile marker entertainment here!) This is also the stretch I am dreading and expecting for Lesley to have to do some ego boosting and convince me that I am awesome and getting close to the finish.  By mile 11 I'll be staring at Spaceship Earth and getting focused on just finishing the damn run. 12 to 13.1 will be a breeze. It is basically 1/3 of the 5K I'll be doing the morning before. I will have visions of the finish line running through my head and I will start to get focused even more. 13 will get there and I will desperately dig deep for my final kick. At this point I just want to run through the finish and not cross walking! If I can get ANY kick at all I will be happy!

And with that, we all just ran the half together! And I am not freaking out AS MUCH. 

I officially began my packing list. I have one in Excel that I've been using since my annual pilgrimage began in 2005. This weekend my mom and I will be working on our 5K tiara type things to match our orange and black outfits. The two of us in a fabric store?? Will we even know what to do?

Oh no, nerves. Again. Ronda wants to puke.

**For those of you that will be at the Princess Half Weekend and have NOT done it before, this picture above was taken around the time the half will start. Note the clothing we had on before we ran. It might be Florida, but it is FREEZING at 5:30am!!**

**Note: I did not re-read for errors. I am too nervous, so I'm just going to hit "publish post".

Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010: 12 Months and 11 Races

I suppose I could have it as 12 months and 12 races, but if my next starts at 11:59, wouldn't it be more of a 2011 race? With 2010 coming to a close I thought I'd take a look back at the races I ran in 2010. There have been awesome moments and a few bad moments ... but overall it was a really great year! So come along with me, if you will, and let's travel around together in a running skirt and Nike's. Don't forget to grab your Garmin - and your iPod (unless you are Lesley and you never run with music!). Now let's hit the road!

First up in 2010 was the ultimate goal I had originally set for myself. It was my 2nd race ever, and set in sunny (yet chilly!) Walt Disney World. I signed up for the Royal Family 5K and took my mom along for the ride, as my cheerleader and moral support team. I set a goal of running the entire thing without stopping. I had never done it before even in training. I wanted it more than anything! To reward myself, ONLY if I succeeded, I would gift myself some delicious perfume from the Norway pavilion. Guess what - I earned that perfume!

I met up with old friends at this race, as well as met a new one. The whole atmosphere was so much fun. A great vibe and energy filled the entire weekend. I met and talked to so many fellow runners when I was in the parks. They were all so nice and positive - it really helped get me hooked.  I felt like even though I couldn't do the half marathon, they still treated me as one of the group. It was that weekend that I knew I would be running in the half marathon in 2011!



* * * * *
Coming off the high of the Royal Family 5K, I was anxious to sign up for another 5K right away. I had my eyes on some bigger runs later in the year, but I had to get out there and do another race. The next on the list would take me north to Springfield, Oregon for my first trail race. I didn't know what to expect at all. I was being chip timed for the first time (which now I try to ONLY do chip timed races). My mom was again my cheerleader, and even brought along her Mickey clappers from Florida! This was the Lucky Clover 5K. It was great! There were bagpipes on the course, dogs, the river, filbert orchards, people in green body paint. I had such a wonderful time and was already looking forward to my future as a frequent racer! Also, I completed this without ever walking even once, which really helped to boost my confidence!

* * * * *

May 2nd brought me to Eugene, Oregon (this time all alone) for the 5K race of the Eugene Marathon weekend. I was really excited, yet nervous. This was my first race without my mom and I wasn't sure where to go. Construction on the road affected my driving plans, which only led to stress. To make sure I was in the right place when I parked, I turned to ask the first person I could see.... And that is how I met Sushi Guy! The race was pretty large with around 700 people, but I wasn't worried about it. They said the course was as flat as a pancake. Oh really? Well then how do they explain that huge hill at the 1K mark? I impressed myself by running non-stop up that hill, passing many people on my way to get the PR that would stay in place for the majority of the year!

* * * * * 

My "I want my mommy!" moment.
Feeling amazing, and looking forward to my next race in May, I went out for a longish run after that 5K. Big mistake. Welcome, Hip Bursitis! I spent most of May barely able to walk, but I was not going to let that hinder me from my first 10K, the Ridgeline Ramble 10K - another trail race.  I knew it would be challenging with the distance, but overall it was downhill.  Apparently I read wrong. I am pretty sure we went up and down two mountains. There was mud, beautiful pine trees, fields, wet and jagged rocks, narrow and steep parts, huge holes in the earth, no on course spectators cheering us on. It was 6.2 miles of total Hell!! I think I did pretty good. I had to walk up some of the steep parts, and I didn't let it bother me that I was 3rd from last through the entire thing. The 20K racers would blow by me, but still cheer me on when they saw me struggling. At one point I said, "I want my mommy!" -however she was home enjoying the summer day by the river. But I did it. I completed the hardest race I have ever done in my life. Will I do it in 2011? Absolutely not! I was very under-prepared, but it was a great learning experience. People came through the finish line covered in blood and mud - it was awesome!

* * * * *

After that difficult race it was time for something fun, silly, sweaty and at moments ridiculous! In June my friend and I covered nearly 7 miles while competing in the Great Urban Race in Portland, Oregon. If you have a chance to do this, DO IT!! Basically we were on a timed scavenger hunt that would have us sample pizza, pick up craw fish, count bottles of liquor, jump rope, find street performers and tons more. It was a total blast! I saw parts of Portland I had never been to and I got to do it all with one of my best friends. Our team name was Leave it to the Beavers - although we were in the jerseys of two former Beavers, but whatever. So. Much. Fun.!! We didn't win anything. We didn't place anywhere near the top. But we had a fabulous time and are already working on our strategy, costumes and name for 2011!

* * * * *

The Fourth of July found me in my second 10K race, the Butte to Butte in Eugene. Everything went wrong leading up to the race, but once I was in the starting area I think I calmed down a bit.  The first mile is all uphill. And not any puny hill at that. Mile two was all downhill, and my favorite part of the race. The last 4 miles were flat, yet hot. I did okay but struggled at times. Mostly that would probably be due to my terrible habit of fueling before a race, or lack thereof. Shade was not to be found anywhere on the course so I was experiencing non-stop heat which I had been avoiding as much as possible up until then. The crowd support was amazing! And coming in to that finish I saw myself cross about 3 minutes faster than my prior 10K! This is still the race that holds my PR for that distance! (About 1 hour and 12 minutes) I know that next year my times are going to greatly improve and I can't wait!


* * * * *

The Skirt Chaser 5K was a race I looked forward to most, but gave my absolute worst performance! It was in the 80s with a 5pm start time. I was mentally ready, but my body was NOT wanting to adapt to the heat, late time and lack of hydration I had given it. The course was cool. We ran along the Columbia River (I was in Vancouver, Washington looking across the water to Portland). Jessica came to cheer me on so I was really looking forward to the friendly face waiting for me at the finish line. Finishing with my slowest chip timed race to date, I barely had the chip removed before I was dry heaving. The after party was so much fun. There was a band, fashion show, giveaways, shopping, free beer, food .... it was a blast! And I caught some socks that were tossed to the crowd and won a gift certificate all for being number 1069! Woohoo!  The swag was A-freaking-MAZING!! Seriously I loaded up at the race. I can't wait for 2011 so I can do it again and redeem myself race-wise!

* * * * *

I'm going long - I'll try to speed things up. This next race, in September, will not shock you when I tell you in its own way it was my favorite and  meant the most. This was the Prefontaine Memorial 10K. Right in Pre's home town of Coos Bay, Oregon, we ran one of his old training routes and by his childhood home. This race was no joke! The hills were crazy! The rain was crazy! I was soaked before even getting to the start line. But I didn't care. It was all in memory of my #1 running inspiration, Steve Prefontaine. I crossed the finish line on the track of his old high school in about an hour and 13 minutes. Sadly this wasn't chip timed, but I will still do it again. My time wasn't fast, but I felt like given the insane difficulty of the course, I really did a great job! I pushed myself until the very end and will certainly make this an annual race for myself!

* * * * *

The fall came and it was time to round out the year with some fun 5K races. Up first, the Monster Mash 5K. They encouraged costumes, so naturally I pulled out one of my favorites ... Malice in Horrorland. I opted to skip the bloody arms and morbid face, however. My mom was once again my cheerleader for this one and we had a great time looking at the costumes on the people AND dogs! The start line was chaos. Absolute chaos. I couldn't hear the directions, I was being rolled over by strollers, dogs were trying to walk through with their parents. Once the gun went off I went for it! I was neck and neck with a woman the entire way until I ditched her and went flying to the end to get what was then a new PR! I was so excited, I squealed and soared into the air at the finish line!

* * * * *

And then there was the spontaneous run that I was bullied persuaded into running. The Run to Stay Warm 5K. This is the race where I got to meet some fellow bloggers and see old friends. I was getting over a cold and not expecting much of anything. At most I thought it would just be fun to meet people and have a November race, again in Eugene.  The people I was around were fast! Really fast, and I tried to keep up - not on purpose, but my ego didn't want to be passed by everyone.  Nearing mile 3 I had to walk a few paces twice. Oh what if?? What if I didn't??  I looked down and saw I was at 29:56 as I came close to the 3 mile mark. Dammit! My sub 30 race was so close!  But I pushed it as hard as I could and got my current PR of 30:35!! Sub 10 minute miles, FINALLY!

* * * * *

And last, but not least, the Jingle Bells Run 5K! 3.1 miles of wet, cold, silly Christmas costumes, racing against myself, the clock and a 24 year old girl. I wanted an age group award, and I wanted it BAD! I eye balled the competition and thought at best I could be in the top 3 of my age group. I wasn't going for a PR. I went to this race just intending for it to be a regular run as part of the half marathon training I had just started. But competition took over. I wanted that award and I was going to be certain to get it. Crossing at 31:11, I knew I didn't PR and I didn't care. All I wanted to see was if anyone my age finished before me. I thought there was one (who turned out to be 24), but wasn't positive. At the awards ceremony I literally jumped for joy when I went up to have Santa Claus put my FIRST PLACE age award medal around my neck!





So that's it for 2010! I will be back with a new, fresh race report on January 1, 2011!
And since we saw a snippet from each 2010 race, let's look back at my first, in December 2009!  The Beaver 5K Fun Run!

Remember that crazy Prefontaine course I told you about? Here are my Garmin results of the elevation!


Run #15 - Epic Fail

Ugh, why even bother recapping this pathetic excuse for a run? It was supposed to be 5 miles of glory - sending me to my highest mileage week ever. The entire run was a battle of body and mind. My mind wanted those 5 miles. My body was yelling at me to stop!!

1.75 miles and tons of walking later I was back at the house and throwing myself in the shower. Now I am enjoying the strange sensation, and yummy smell, of Tiger Balm. It actually feels pretty good. But alas, the run sucked. I couldn't run through the pain and risk making anything worse. Plus, it is race week and I don't want to be in terrible shape come 11:59pm on Friday night!

And that's all I have to say about that.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Run #14 - Stink Eye

Two weekends ago I saw her. Late 30's perhaps, walking in her sports bra with a light jacket draped over her. Sure, it was warmer that day ... but it is still Oregon in December. Her sports bra was ridiculous. As I do with every single person I see on the path, I smiled at her. She didn't give off a friendly enough vibe so I didn't say Hi. For everyone else I smile and say Hi or Good Morning or - as I did on run #14, Merry Christmas!

Well yesterday during my run I saw her again. This time she wasn't walking. Since she sucked it up and was running I gave her my normal nod and smile. Nothing. I paused at my half-way point to look over the duck pond and see if I could spy any nutria or birds more exotic than just mallard ducks.  I quickly started running again and saw her in the distance ahead of me. My new nemesis. And what was she doing? Walking! Since she had, at that point, dissed me twice I knew it was on like Donkey Kong. I continued my pace and was going to have fun passing her as she walked. 

Oh but it wasn't just a walk for fitness, or perhaps a walking interval in a training plan. She had those hips going from side to side - if she had long, red hair (and the right figure) I would have thought it was Jessica Rabbit. I've never seen someone try to strut so much while supposedly exercising. Oh, the joy I had while running by her on my way back toward the park! And do you know what she did? She gave me the Stink Eye!

And then do you know what she did after I passed her? She started to run again! Well you know my pace picked up because there was no way she was going to be passing me. That day it was MY bike path! I was the speedy one. I was the friendly one. All of the other runners, and there were MANY new faces that day, were very friendly toward me. But not Stink Eye! Of course I had to laugh again when I glanced back during a curve in the path ... and she was walking again.

Now I have nothing against walking. My mom used to walk at least 5 miles every day. No judgment here.  But I will find joy in blowing by her after she gave me the up and down once over and ended it with the Stink Eye. And I looked really freaking cute yesterday, too!

So now I have one. My new running nemesis. I usually pick out the one person I WILL beat in a race. She is now the one I will be "beating" during my bike path runs!

In the end it was 3.5 miles of fun! The weather was great. The path was full of runners and walkers ... and Stink Eye. The duck pond was very popular. My audio book started getting more fascinating. I felt really good!

And now it is Christmas and I have the day off from running. My mommy and I will spend the day in our jammies watching movies. I gave her Angels and Demons and Inception. We've never seen either, so we're looking forward to them! Last night I got the Michael Jackson game for the Wii. I cannot wait to try it out! I already told Sushi Guy he'd have to come play ... he didn't object!  Also I am registered for the New Year's Eve race! I figure I am very independent and I will do what I want - and what I want is to race. If I get a date, too, well then that can happen after!  Still waiting for the Disney Christmas parade to be on TV over here. We have to wait until 5pm tonight, dang it. And .... coming up super soon... my very first giveaway!!! Stay tuned!! --and it is not the Adam Carolla book, although I haven't ruled that out. I just love the Ace Man and want to share his hilarity with everybody!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Run #13 - Theodore R. Cowell

Here is what I learned on run #13 ... Ted Bundy's birth name was actually Theodore Robert Cowell. His mother gave birth to him, but the father was just a passing sailor and not in the picture. He was raised by his grandparents and thought his mother was actually his sister. Once his "sister" moved with him to Tacoma, Washington he started to put pieces together and realized that she was in fact his mother. And he was madly in love with a girl named Stephany .... which I know will come into play later in my runs.

So I finally decided to download an audio book and run to it. Leave it to me to be the sick puppy that will listen to a book about Ted Bundy (The Stranger Beside Me, read by author Anne Rule) while running alone in the dark -- even through the section I've dubbed "Serial Killer Row". What the hell is wrong with me? And why can I listen to this and not feel the least bit uneasy while I'm out there all alone in the dark, foggy night? I was so totally meant to be a real life Clarice Starling!

The run itself was short and uneventful. Two miles in twenty minutes. This run I just tried to keep moving and at the end worked on my final kick that I love to whip out in every race. I felt pretty good after. My left quad was a little weird feeling afterward, but now it is A-OK! *Amanda, I forgot to do my push-ups. I'll try to see how many I can do after my run tomorrow morning!*

* * * * * * *

In other news, I realized I have worn the same 'lucky' undies in every single race I've done. I guess I'll have to break that soon because I'm not going to wear them on Saturday's Royal Family 5K and then Sunday for the Princess 1/2! Perhaps I'll have to get a new superstition for my race days? How 'bout you? Do you have any superstitions regarding racing?

SG and I talked about New Years Eve. He isn't much of a planner and doesn't know what he'll be doing. Arg - males, seriously! So I might just register for the race and then make my plans around it. I mean it is only a 5K, I'll be done by 12:30 and ready to start the night .... which could just involve an hour drive back to my house. I don't know. The race is calling me. And that would be my first run as part of the Run for the Bling of It Challenge. What? You don't know about it?? Look at the logo/link off to the right of this entry! You can't miss it!

Oh and that horrible sweater? I'm totally wearing it today! I consider it a social experiment to see how many women actually think it is cute and don't understand my mocking of it. I'm not mean, I swear. Let's just say it is the former psych student in me!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Run #12 - Testing the Gag Reflex

Back in August during the SkirtChaser 5K in Vancouver I learned a little lesson. I learned that my sense of smell and gag reflex are very sensitive when I am running - and super sensitive if I am running hard! Right before the 3 mile marker I came upon a seafood restaurant on one corner and a Thai restaurant on the other. The race started at 5pm, so the restaurants were both busy and pumping out the smell. I don't eat seafood. I don't eat Thai. I was already dehydrated, melting in the 80º heat, and ready to collapse. When I hit those restaurants I almost started gagging and had to cover my mouth and just push on through to the end. I barely got my chip removed from my shoe and I was dry-heaving. All things lined up against me in that race - and culminated on the finish line!

Even when I run through my neighborhood if I smell people cooking dinner I automatically start to gag. My ability to easily throw up gets kind of annoying at times like that when I just want to run without issues. So last night I put myself to the test, unintentionally.  I was slated for 3.5 miles and I just needed some new terrain. I pretty much covered 1/4 of our city. Sad, isn't it?? We basically have 4 main roads that make a square. I did almost the entirety of one of those - and it took me by a local drive-in with the most delicious, yet seriously too greasy fries, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Long John Silvers. I had to pass all of them TWICE! And did I even gag once? Nope!

And it was in the 50's! It wasn't even "cold" out and it wasn't raining. I loved it. I actually just went out in my shirt from the first of 2 Fall PR races and my skirt for the 1/2. The skirt and I got along fabulously, which was pleasing to me. I mean who wants to hate the skirt they'll be in for 13.1 miles??  All in all it was a really enjoyable run. Only once did a car slow down, pretend to turn into me and lay on the horn, then speed off. Ah man, that was classy!  I think the 3.5 took me 37 minutes? So I feel like I did a little better at trying to slow just a hair. Plus I never walked on this one - not even on the two hills I decided to tackle. Yay - my confidence is rebuilding! Thanks for all the comments, too! I figured it must be normal that I question myself. But then I laughed because I felt like some adolescent .... "Am I normal?"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

OK, You Get To Vote On My NYE!

New Years Eve, do I:

  1. Run in a 5K in Eugene that starts at 11:59pm. End/begin the year doing what I love, but most likely without family and friends.
  2. Stay home in the warmth and drunk driver free zone of my mom's house with my pets and Anderson Cooper, Kathy Griffin, Ryan Seacrest, Backstreet Boys and NKOTB.
  3. Get myself a date and be a normal young-ish person for just one night.

Anything and Everything

  • I can't eat Cheerios without studying every bite to make sure there aren't any shrunken kids in my cereal. I won't ask if it is just me that does that because I don't think I want to hear the answer!
  • For maybe 3 or 4 nights in a row - yeah, probably 4 - I have had dreams with Steve Prefontaine in them. But he is alive and well, and I think he might be my nighttime boyfriend now. I won't ask if this is normal, either! I am pretty sure if he were still alive we'd be besties. Yeah, definitely. ..... Don't do the math, I know he's older - older men love me!
  • Speaking of older men ... can we all agree that Mark Harmon just keeps getting hotter and hotter as he gets older?
  • I got this dvd for $5 that had 3 different movies/documentaries on it. One was the 6 Degrees of Helter Skelter. It was pretty interesting, not what I expected, but I'll watch it again. One was from the Discovery Channel and just okay. And the third was a Ted Bundy movie. I was sad that it wasn't Mark Harmon's movie.
  • I am really torn about New Year's Eve. All of my friends are married with children and probably doing family stuff that night. This is the first time in years I haven't had to stay at work late to work on our annual financial report. I don't necessarily want to go out to our gross bars though. I'm not really into that whole trashy meat market scene in this town. There is a race at 11:59pm that I want to do, BUT Ryan Seacrest is hosting a show and he said that NKOTB/BSB are going to be performing together on it. So it is a matter of NKOTB versus racing. I really want to finish/start the year with a race. But it is New Kids on the Block! And I don't really want to kill my legs trying to get a new PR when I will have to run 7 miles for the first time ever two days later.
  • I stayed home sick after lunch yesterday. I ended up wrapped in blankets watching Grown Ups and the Back Up Plan. They were both good. I actually laughed a lot during Grown Ups. It did make me realize that now that the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll half is less than a year away, well, I should start doing research on my back-up plan. I have no idea how long all of that will take, so I probably shouldn't procrastinate.
  • Re-reading my bullet point about the serial killer movies, I feel like I should point out that I have a psychology degree (because it is fun and comes easy to me) because I really want to be Clarice Starling and hunt serial killers. I have been fascinated with all of that ever since I went to opening day of Silence of the Lambs when I was in the 7th grade. I'm harmless, I swear!
  • I have officially been divorced for 4 years and 1 week as of today. Let's have a little celebratory Freedom party, shall we?
  • I missed the lunar eclipse. I was in bed texting with Sushi Guy and reading Adam Carolla's new book. I highly recommend reading it! OOh - I should just make my own giveaway and share a copy with someone. I just adore Adam. I don't even know if I should admit that I agree with probably 95% of the things he rants about. Our biggest disagreement? Pizza crust and Jimmy Buffett. Seriously, how can you not like Jimmy Buffett??
  • Thanks for all the reassuring comments on my blog yesterday. I know I can do it (??)... but at  times I wonder if I'm crazy! Heck, I've registered for 3 half marathons already without ever having run more than a 10K EVER! Go big or go home, right??!
  • And that is all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Run #11 - Going Long

Yesterday - after indulging in copious amounts of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum on Saturday (seriously that stuff is GOOD!!) - I had my first 5 mile run of this big training plan. I was a little nervous, but I knew I had done more than that before, so I could do it again.  Between torrential downpours I was able to get out for the run and stay dry!

The first half I felt amazing. I was certain that drinking rum the day before was the key to my newfound running success!  I had a new route, which was out at my mom's house along the North Umpqua River. I love running out there because while it appears flat, it is actually pretty rolling so it ends up making me work harder than my neighborhood. Plus there are animals! On this run I saw 1 dog on a walk, multiple dogs just hanging out at their homes, 8 deer running around, and then the two unfortunate deer in the ditch on each side of the road. I hate that. It is sad enough to see bones scattered along the path, but when you get to the fresh animal it is even worse. :(

So the first two miles were so fast. I was deliberately trying to go slower than normal, but my body just wants to move faster I guess. The last two were more difficult. I was tired. I was dehydrated. I was ready to get back to the couch and my mommy!

Fifty-two minutes later I had finished my five miles, and concluded week 3. I felt pretty good. I mean I was so sore and used a huge flashlight as a foam roller to see if the rollers really are the rage. The jury is out - the heavy flashlight wasn't very forgiving.



Another question for you all!  Is it normal for someone who is training for their first half to find themselves really nervous and questioning if they can complete the 13.1 or not?? Every other run I feel like I am going to kick ass. Those other runs? Not so much. I CAN do it, right??

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Attack of the Holiday Sweater

For this I think less is more. Less talking, more looking!

Friday night I was invited to my first White Elephant party. I was so excited and planned, even though nobody else had this idea, to wear my new ugly sweater.... and to unload something used from my house that I've been wanting to get rid of for years!

 For this event I went with a red theme, obviously. I find it so in your face and horrendous, I might actually wear this "look" to work some day. I'd probably blend in with all of those horrible 20 year old embellished Christmas sweatshirts with mock turtlenecks!

My friends told me we were going to be playing some Minute to Win It games. I had never heard of it before, but entertained myself by practicing one for a while -- we never did play it, and it is a good thing. Those cards would NOT cooperate with  me the way I wanted them to!


And once all of the guests had arrived, naturally it was time for shots!
Arwyn, in the center with the black shirt, does my hair... it was her party!
I can tell you that this only leads to trouble! That's Tonia - it was also her party!
It was so good - and I'm glad I had it. It helped with what came next!
Let us pause the photos for a little talk about the gift exchange. A girl I used to babysit 1000 years ago was there, and the bag she grabbed had a partially emptied bottle of peppermint schnapps (YUM!!), some hot chocolate and a glass. Naturally since I never drink anymore, but had just had a shot and some rum, I stole the gift from her. Well, to my chagrin the next girl took the schnapps from me. So I had to grab a new one. I went for what was obviously a DVD. It had Mickey Mouse wrapping paper. Since I have a Hidden Mickey on my body I figured I should take that one. (Wait a minute, did they wrap this with that paper on purpose??)  Immediately jokes about kitties started flying from the two lesbian couples at the party. I just went with it all because I found it funny. And since I'm such a faghag/fruit fly, well this was just normal for me. And so I opened it. I barely saw the cover and was bright red and falling over in laughter. OMG. I really do think I was the best person to get this because they knew I'd be a good sport about it. But wow. Take a look at what I got!
I made this large so you could read the DVD label. And so you could see the new red hue to my face!

Um, yes, I won Lesbian Joy 4! I was laughing so hard. I think some of the younger girls were shocked and maybe embarrassed. Obviously I wasn't mortified - I mean I instantly posted this picture on facebook after all!  As a consolation prize I also got a rainbow colored light bulb. . . . um, Hello?? Who would want a rainbow light bulb more than the Little Fruit Fly in Rainbow Colored Socks???

Okay, so then it was time for the games....


We had to get a cookie from our foreheads to our mouths - without hands - in a minute or less. I did it!
The goal was to get the jingle bells out of the box in a minute by shaking around and making a boob out of yourself. OK, I admit, I love to work in "boob" at any chance. This is because this year I am a 12 year old boy. Don't even say "balls" near me if you don't want me to snicker.

I decided to think of such great classics like Baby Got Back and Back That Ass Up while working my hips like they've never been worked before.

I came in 2nd place with 12 seconds. 1st place (who technically did get two tries at the start, hmph) did it in 10 seconds.

Saturday was my family Christmas. It was So. Much. Fun. We talked about anything and everything. I brought Lesbian Joy 4 to show everyone (we did NOT watch it!!)... strange, my cousin and her girlfriend didn't want to steal my old lady porn. Huh. ;) We covered marathon running and bodily functions. We discussed the lack of love lives among three of us cousins - and how our parents are starting to give up on grandchildren. There was so much food. Mmmm, so much rum!  And there was karaoke. PLUS - the sweater was back, with its sweater twin!
Me and my Mommy! Nothing beats a skort, horrible socks, and sequins on the vest AND shirt!


It was a long, busy day for my darling Lady ... she was all partied out!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Run #10 - Break of Dawn

I was just realizing that it was officially the "break of  dawn" at mile 3, and also at the same time those handsome boys of 'NSync sang "Keep dancin' all night long, until the break of dawn (break of dawn)". It was so fitting! I seriously love me some 'NSync, by the way. My first concert of theirs that I went to was in Washington at the Clark County Fair. I was in the third row. JC and I totally made eye contact. I swear! I won't continue on my 'NSync thing, you might get scared and click away. But seriously - if you could have seen our dorm bathroom. I had a private room, but shared a toilet and shower with the girl in the neighboring room. Floor to ceiling - 'NSync pictures from Teen Beat and the like. It was awesome!

Okay, so yes, I was running this MORNING! I drug my ass out of bed for an early morning run and it was awesome! It was 24º when I left my house for 3.5 miles. I ran pretty speedy, which I suspect is because I was trying to thaw out my tooshy. I have finally regained feeling in both cheeks. Yay!  My route took me down to the local park, the golf course, an old train that we used to play on when we were kids and back through my neighborhood a little bit. I felt really good. I did walk a tad up 2 hills, but I think I could have run them if I wasn't feeling like a weenie. 

This run was supposed to happen last night, but I was busy being Betty Crocker and trying to make cookies for my family Christmas tomorrow. I was spontaneously invited to a White Elephant party tonight, so I had to alter my baking/running schedule. FYI - I blame all of you out there that are making these cute Christmassy things and cooking all this stuff. I just did this to see if I could, and to try to be one of the cool kids. I think I may have failed miserably. The peanut butter cookies (not pictured) came out yummy. But the sugar cookies in the picture? I'm not so sure. **Note, a 32 year old female decorated this, NOT a first grader.**


One almost because obscene as I was decorating so I just kind of abandoned my thought process and quit decorating it. It jumps out at me in this picture a lot. I'm not going to point out which one. ;-)


Next up on my blog ... the ugly holiday sweater! I am creating two outfits around it - one for tonight, one for tomorrow's Christmas with the family. I'll just say that I will incorporate corny iconic elements, sequins, a skort and some crazy new knee socks! If only I had my old crimping iron!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Run #9 - The Cookie Run

First off, I wanted to thank you all for humoring me and not yelling at me for my posts on every run of this little training venture. I don't know if you know, but I'm training for a half marathon. Oh wait, I told you? In like, oh, every post? Okay, yeah, that's 'cause it never gets old for me to hear or say! I'm partially still in denial, so I like to remind myself. ANYWAY, I find these little posts helpful - like my own blog and all of you are holding me accountable to following the plan. So thanks!

Okay, run #9, just 2 miles ... after baking cookies. Yes, I baked! I forgot to take pictures as proof, because people that know me in real life are shocked! Tonight I'll be baking and I WILL document this one because even I can't believe what I am going to attempt! Oh yeah, running. So I went shopping after work with my mom. We wanted to find ugly holiday sweaters. My plan is to wear it with a total straight face and not let on that I'm creating this outfit as a total joke. We'll see how long that lasts. By the time we finished with all of our shopping it was after my dinner time - because I am an old person and I like my dinner early. (So embarrassing to admit that.) I had some dinner and watched Queer as Folk. Have you seen it? Oh, I just love it! Best show ever. I miss it so much. Back on track.... I had to bake cookies. I have a work potluck that I am going to under protest since I have food issues and won't eat at potlucks. I figured I could bring cookies to be festive and merry. But I also had to run.

The cookies were done freakishly fast, and after sampling two of them I decided I had to run them off. I put on my warmest clothes, minus a jacket 'cause they get annoying, and went out for 2 miles. It was so foggy. I couldn't even see a block ahead of me ... and considering my crazy imagination, well, I'm happy nobody appeared to attack me. I wouldn't have seen it coming! I was pretty speedy again - perhaps that was me just wanting to get back into my warm house. It was 10pm when I got home .... and I didn't even think of touching those freshly baked cookies. Woohoo!!

So that's 9 runs and 25 miles done. Apparently I was supposed to do 3.5 the other night, not 3. Sshh, don't tell on me. It was an accident. I should have consulted the plan on my refrigerator -- or the "ice box" as my step-dad called it last weekend. Seriously? Who says "ice box" anymore??


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Run #8 - Starlight Express

The Las Vegas cast of Starlight Express
Are you familiar with the BEST musical in the entire world, Starlight Express? If not, hurry along and familiarize yourself. I can't get enough of it. I was lucky enough to see it three times in Las Vegas and once in Orlando. The very first time I saw it (10th grade, Las Vegas Hilton, 1994) my entire body was covered in goose bumps the second the music began. I leaned over to my dad and said, "We are definitely seeing this again!" Once it was over and I gave my standing ovation, we went straight to the box office to buy tickets for the next night. Aside from wanting to be an astronaut, my huge fantasy is to be in Starlight Express! Singing and dancing on roller skates. Pretending I'm a train. Oh, I just love it so  much! In Florida during my first internship we didn't have a TV for a while. My form of entertainment was to turn the lights down low, crank up Starlight Express and dance around singing for my roommates. I'm sure they loved it.

SO .... last night I took a break from my regular play list and I was once again a train! It was 9:45 by the time I went out, so the neighborhood was pretty much asleep. Let me tell you, this run was a blast! I actually did sing a little - not too much, I was running after all. I did have jazz hands. I WAS the Starlight Express! Nothing like hearing the revved up music of Greaseball the Diesel to get you pumped up and ready for 3 miles of cold, dark running!

Yesterday when I returned to my desk after lunch it appeared a sneaky little Santa had been at my desk. There was a gift bag with no tag as to whom it was from, and inside? A WDW Marathon shirt! Since they don't seem to be having any Disney Princess in Training shirts this year like they did last year, I've decided to call this my official Disney training shirt. I even wore it out for my run last night!  A co-worker had bought it when she was in Disney World in 2009, but nobody ever worse it. She found it last weekend and knew I was the one to have it! I love it!

And finally, because I tend to get a little number obsessed (probably why I work in Finance), I thought I'd share with you all my little board behind my chair. I thought it would be fun to keep track of little details to help keep me motivated. Once I start seeing numbers go up, then I want them to rise even more, even faster. This actually helps me to not feel as nervous about my long runs that are about to finally start getting "longer" - which I suppose is relative since my longest run of this training has been 4 miles. But hey, you have to start somewhere!

The holy was a digital effect - my desk is totally NOT festive!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Agonizing Over Race Day Fashion

Someone please remind me that it is only December and that the Princess Half won't be here until the very end of February! I have been agonizing all day over what to wear. I know I said before that the outfit was complete, but that is because I forgot I bought the adorable arm sleeves that match my skirt. So now I'm toying between 3 possible outfits. I think as time gets closer I might do a photo shoot and let you all help me out ... I totally didn't steal that idea from Lesley. Nope! Not me. ;)

But here's where my REAL trouble lies. ... this is all new to me. I've never run a half marathon. I don't know how a body reacts to that - temperature wise. I guess I'm just worried about being too hot or too cold. Granted I lived in Florida for years, but when I did I never got up to hang out in a theme park parking lot at 4 o'clock in the morning. Last year for the 5K it was so cold, so I imagine the 1/2 was just as bad. My mom was there to cheer me on and the grandstands were coated with ice. And I am bad luck. Attention to all of you planning to run this race ... I bring cold weather with me! It is true. I have quite the collection of sweatshirts and jackets from various trips because it always ends up colder than average when I'm around. But I have such a sunny personality, how can that be???  ;-)

So I guess I'm seeking advice! How do you experienced runners dress for longer races. I've got 3 10Ks under my belt, but that's the longest distance I've ever traveled. And all of those were just running skirts and short sleeved shirts, (a tank top once). But now we are adding a kajillion more miles, putting me in chilly central Florida, and then of course we want to look cute, too!

Thoughts? Long sleeves? Short sleeves? Short with my adorable new arm sleeves? Tank top with my adorable new arm sleeves? Either way it IS set in stone that I have my cute running skirt and leg sleeves. I'm not worried about the bottom half of me. 

I've heard of wearing clothes and tossing them. When is it etiquettely (I made up a word, feel free to use it) okay to toss the outer layer? I know me, I'd rather just have it gone by the time I get to the start line. That's the fashion snob in me not wanting to cover my bib at all, and not wanting to not look as put together once I start the 13.1 mile photo shoot! ;-)

I welcome any and all suggestions. Especially if you have done these Disney races before - what was your weather/clothing experience? Things you would have done differently? Things you did and are happy about? Let me hear it!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Jingle Bells Run ....the pictures

They never posted any photos from the awards part - and darn it, I was actually in one this time! But maybe they will later.  Anyway, here are the "official" photos that I'm obviously too cheap to pay for. I'm putting them in order --- pretty much the very beginning where I had to figure out how to pass the older man in the parka, and then the very end where I was struggling to find any last bit of energy for my final kick -- which I did manage to find!

 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Run #7 - Enjoying The Victory

I just wrote such a long race report, I'll keep this short!

Basically even though I really pushed my legs yesterday I was not willing to miss today's "long" run. Okay, so for me right now 4 miles is long. I can't wait until I tell you all how I ran 7 or 8 or 9 miles!  I was am still on a high from yesterday, so I threw on my new shirt for today's run. Mistake #1! I threw on my warm pants. Mistake #2! Seriously - it is December. I live in Oregon. Why, then, was it 65º right after I got done with my run?? I was sweating like crazy! 

I deliberately went a little slower, and then my body just kind of forced me to stay slower since it was tired. I definitely felt the burn from yesterday - but I loved it! I know running a 1/2 marathon isn't going to be the easiest task, so I can't whine if I feel tired or sore after/during a run. It will pay off in the end!

So about 45 minutes later I had completed 4 miles. I did stop for a few seconds at the duck pond to check out the wildlife and stretch my legs. And for the first time, I didn't feel guilty! I figured I earned that mini-break!

And that medal? Of course I had to put it on today. I might sleep with it. 


Run #6 - Jingle Bells Run 5K

It was the first race in my 2nd year of racing. Okay, I can't even believe I have been actively racing for an entire year - let alone starting on my second year now! I registered for this because I aim to have one run per month and it fell at a good time. Plus they said Santa might be there! Mostly I was considering this to be just one of my training runs for the week. An excuse to go have fun in the race atmosphere, but nothing much more. My leg had been bothering me all week, so I was no longer dreaming of a PR. I was, however, having this far fetched fantasy of an age group award. I am never anywhere near contention, but hey, a girl can dream, right??

Saturday's race was at noon, so I was happy to get to sleep in a little bit. I eventually settled on a race day outfit combo (I did go for the red/black plaid skirt so I could look like a little goth Christmas present!), and was on my way to pick up Sushi Guy and find our way to the race area.  Hm, Google maps failed me a bit. It brought me to the park, just not a place I could park. Fortunately we had plenty of time and just decided to drive around and eventually found it. The parking lot was pretty empty - this pleased me. Christmas music was playing over the loudspeakers and I saw racers in a variety of Christmas inspired outfits. Loved it!

Upon check-in I told the one guy that I hoped for massive amounts of rain to come and scare away all females ages 30 to 34. That didn't work. For Oregon the rain was nothing to speak of really. We got little bells to attach to our shoes for the run. Sushi Guy almost had me convinced to NOT attach it, but at literally the last 5 minutes I grabbed mine from the car and on it went! (It fell off about a mile into the race, but I was a good girl and scooped down to pick it up. Can't be a litter bug!)

The 5K started 3 minutes before the 8K, and I noticed only one woman lined up in front of me (who was seriously the twin of 5KRae!). Seemed everybody was scared to be at the start. Sushi Guy is speedy, he was up at the front. We gave each other the thumbs up, and the gun went off. I was surprised at how few people blew by me in the beginning parts, and I even had to plan my route to get around some runners.  And then it was on like Donkey Kong. I had checked out my competition and silently talked to Pre asking him to help me run my ass off and get any award at all. So I went all out. This girl was on my ass for so long, almost to the point that I just wanted her to back off, move to the other side of the path, or pass me. I was trying my best to stay ahead of her because I thought she was my age. Hell, I looked at my Garmin and I was going around 8:25 for a while. Um, no. I can't maintain!  I started remembering that my leg had been bothering me and thought I have to slow to 9:30 so I know I can finish this race in one piece. And so she passed me. F*ck.

I did the best I could, but did take a few walking paces a couple of times. I don't know. My mind and body were battling each other. I was trying so hard to get my head in check. Over and over I just kept saying that I would survive and just push it and relax when it is over. I had almost wished there were more people just so I'd have someone forcing me to go faster now that the one girl was ahead of me and too far ahead to pass. But that didn't happen, so I just had to dig deep and push it.

At the 26 minute mark I knew there would be no PR, and I was totally okay with that. As far as I knew the only person my age ahead of me was the white skirt girl, so I was okay to just go at my pace and finish and take 2nd in my age group, if I was that lucky.

So at 31:10 I crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face! Not a PR, but still my 2nd fastest run. At the Monster Mash 5K (not chip timed) my Garmin said 31:09 and the official time said 31:11. So I was on par with that run ... no complaints at all!

I quickly met up with Sushi Guy who was enjoying some pizza. There were seriously at least a dozen boxes of pizza for us to have at the finish. Woohoo! I can't turn that down! I quickly grabbed a water then went to see the prelim results that had just been posted. Oh. My. Gosh. Sit down. Are you ready for this??? I, yes, me, little ol' Ronda was FIRST in her age group!! Are you kidding me??? And that girl I was trying to out pace? Yeah, she is 24. Holy cow. So I'm trying to outrun some girl nearly 10 years younger than me? Crazy!

Needless to say, the gross Little Caesar's pizza I ate was tasting pretty darn good at that point!  The whole atmosphere was actually really nice. Small crowd, Santa, friendly people, a dog in a Santa costume. It was just a really nice way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon!  And then it was award time. I've never been so excited!

"First place in females 30 to 34 with a time of 31:10... Ronda!"  I really do believe I let out a squeal when I jumped and ran to get my medal. I GOT A MEDAL!! And Santa Claus put it around my neck!!  While that was happening I saw the original guy I had talked to about my desire to win and happily showed off. I guess my enthusiasm was appreciated, so the race director gave me a 2011 magnetic calendar to help plan races and goals for the year. Pretty cool!  I was just as happy as can be!  And what about Sushi Guy? First in his group... again! That's two in a row for him! (Oh! I was #424, he was #525... I said it was a sign before we even ran ... and now I know it was right!)


After the race we hit up a running store to pick up a few things I needed, then bought a book about Prefontaine that I had originally bought for a Christmas gift exchange. I changed my mind. I'm just keeping it. Can't risk having someone steal it from me in the gift game! Then we went for real pizza that was so tasty!




Overall .... AWESOME day!! Best way to start year two of races, and a fabulous boost to my 1/2 marathon training!

OOh - I was so excited I forgot the final stats!
35 overall out of 94 runners, and 1st out of 12 in my group! So it wasn't like I just beat one or two other runners, but I finished before ELEVEN other women. I'm still smiling. And I did wear that medal the rest of the day and night. Okay, I wore it today, too. :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Run #5 - Dress Rehearsal

Last night was my fifth run of official 1/2 marathon training. Since my leg has been bothering me I decided to just go easy and do one mile to test out a potential race day outfit.  I've been toying between two different skirts, and then various combinations of things under the skirt to keep me warm if need be. The issue here is my booty. With the pictured skirt it just has those little trunks underneath - like the cheerleaders did in high school. I mean my cheeks actually do peek out. And this concerns me about visible panty lines. I mean I NEVER have a line 'cause that's how I roll, but with this little built in granny panty I feel like I may have a line. Sure, it is just running, but fashion matters!!

But I really love this skirt! You can tell by the photo that I have a black blanket. What you can't see are the blood red walls. Black and red are my signature colors, yet I have never raced in them! Plus it is a Christmas run, so I thought maybe I could look like a little goth Christmas present!

That's right, I was recapping my run. Oops!  Well, since it was just one mile there isn't much to report. My leg didn't bother me really, but I also didn't give it much of a chance to. I did decide to run without arm sleeves. My shirt kept me plenty warm, plus it was really comfy. This is so corny -- to hopefully minimize any riding up on the little undies since I don't normally have riding up issues, I first put on my Zensah capris. THEN the skirt. I think it kind of worked having the undies on the outside! Whatever - TMI!  Once I got home I started thinking maybe I'd wear some SkirtSports shorties over the undies, yet under the skirt. That way nobody has to be flashed by my tooshie! WAIT! Would that distract the competition?? Should I go out there and "accidentally" flash everybody while I'm running?

Ugh, I have so much to think about. My spare room looks like a tornado came through with all of my running clothes thrown in every direction. But in the end I'll find the right, winning combo!

And that was my run. I DID run, right? OOOHH -- I have to share this! The quote of the week for me!  This comes from a guy standing in a big winter coat, on his front patio, about 7:30pm:
Hey! Are you goin' for beer? Or are you jogging in the rain on purpose?
 Loved it! Except ... um, I was RUNNING, dammit! ;)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Attention! I Have an Announcement!

I blame Runner's World magazine. You know you got yours recently and you immediately sat down with it when you had a chance. Am I right? Or am I right?

And there was that whole section about marathons... (Ha, NO - I am not announcing that I'm running my first marathon!). One of those marathons is in Portland, Oregon. I thought to myself, "Hey! I am an Oregonian! I enjoy Portland on foot a heck of a lot more than I do driving. And I wonder. Could they? Hmm. I have to see!"

So I rushed in to my computer room to do a search for the 2011 Portland Marathon. Turns out next year will be the 40 year anniversary AND they DO have a half marathon for the 2nd year in a row. Well hot diggity dog! And the swag? Dude - the swag!  Allow me to share this from the official website:
The Portland Marathon Events are unsurpassed in participant goodies! Receive two performance shirts, an award winning medal, plus the 2011 editions of our pendant necklace and Challenge Coin. Other goodies include great finish line food, the traditional rose, a virtual forest seedling tree, poster and finisher's certificate!! And our course is fast and forgiving, with excellent volunteer support and oodles of entertainment -- over 70 venues...that's more than any other similar event that we know of!! Do not miss out -- 2011's event will indeed be a very special 40th Anniversary Celebration!! Sign up now and save!! Do not miss out on what will be a very special 40th Anniversary Event!! 
So you see, as someone motivated by the bling, this is perfect for me! I don't know if all of the same applies to the 1/2 marathon, but it doesn't matter at this point ....

Because I AM REGISTERED!!!

That makes 3 half marathons in 2011 already registered and paid for. Still the Disneyland 1/2 and Vegas Rock 'n' Roll left to register for. And this race I debated for .... 30 seconds? A minute? Talk about  a spontaneous decision, but I am so totally excited!

I'd like to blame YOU for this. You all motivate me with all of your posts of fun races, difficult races, cold training runs, hot and sweaty runs, missing toenails, new friendships, weight loss, ...I could go on! And some of you - I won't mention names ... Becka, Kim.... you never stop with your 1/2s! I'll send you each a bill for these registration fees that are piling up on me, mmkay?? 

What about you other Pacific Northwest runners? Have you signed up yet??
40th Annual Portland Marathon