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

Friday, August 31, 2012

Hello, I Am A Slacker

I didn't run. I'd say I could have, but when? Oh yeah, probably instead of playing games on facebook and listening to Adam Carolla. But come on, I have my priorities and I need my daily dose of the Ace Man!

I DID, however, buy new lipstick at Macy's and leave the store with a terribly bruised ego. My mom and I always swear the mirrors inside the Macy's dressing rooms make us look fat. That, or maybe I just need to cut back on the tater tots!

Packing for Vegas happened. Phew, that's an ease on my mind. All I have left is to pack my toothpaste in the morning and my accessories/make-up. I find this last bit to be the most challenging. So silly, really! And in preparation for it all I watched the Hangover last night .... again. I LOVE that movie anyway, but once it is time for a Vegas trip I pretty much watch it on repeat, tossing in the Griswolds here and there as well.

I've been good about hitting swim class again. I kind of just ignore Monday classes since I'm usually still tired from my Sunday long run. Today we did a lot of leg work, and then arms with the noodles that we rode around as horses. We finished off class with some Tai Chi. Naturally I couldn't be too serious and started making "ka - boom!" noises and explaining that I was visualizing being the old Adam West Batman show with captions floating over my head. Okay, so I'm beyond excited about my weekend getaway - it's make me a little nutty!

I'm all checked in for my flights, everything is set to jet. So to spice this up a bit I thought I'd share a couple photos of my party last weekend. Naturally they are 100% posed, as per usual. Now with this trip to Vegas? Ha, all bets are off and I probably won't have to pretend I've had too much to drink. This girl is ready to PARRRRRRTY!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Run 1.58 - The Mental Game

Fine - I was toying with skipping a run. I DID skip Tuesday's run because frankly I needed the recovery from the 22 miler and the 35 mile week - my highest yet. When MF said that even after getting his foot run over the night before he still went out and did 6 miles, well how do I not run?? So 6 miles it was.

I ran in capris for the first time in months, it was nice! And I wore my "heavy" Nike shoes as well. I haven't had them on in a while. I was typically wearing those for mid-week runs and my light shoes on the long weekend runs. This is boring, why am I babbling? Okay, so I ran and made a nice big circle and a half through my park area. The last mile had me going up two hills - and I am so happy to say I pretty much maintained the same pace for them. I mean I did these 6 miles in 1 hour and 2 minutes. For me that is pretty damn fast!

Part of my speed came from my mind and being scared. It wasn't really a pretty run, to be honest. Without saying details, let's just say I am physically terrified of someone to the point where I shut down and/or start shaking. Earlier I had to be escorted to my vehicle because I didn't want to be alone in the dark with this person near. As I was running and coming up on the "Blair Witch Forest" I kept thinking about all the things that led to me unsafe feeling and I think I just started having a panic attack. I wasn't even 3 miles into the run and wasn't sure I'd finish out the 6. But I didn't give up. I battled my mind, I constantly checked my surroundings and I finished out that run feeling pretty strong!

I guess it was good to know that when my mind turns on me I CAN power through. This run really made me appreciate my darling Man Friend. I have improved so much just since we started running together. I like that we hold each other accountable and push each other when we are starting to struggle. Running alone also made me realize that I am more relaxed with MF next to me. I mean I have someone there that has survived multiple deployments to multiple wars and is bigger and stronger than me. When we run together I'm not constantly looking at everyone like they are a murderer..... I'm so ready for his night schedule to be over next week so I can just get back to the fun, relaxed running that I was getting so used to!

I'm scheduled for more running tonight. I'm still deciding how far I'll go since I still haven't packed for Vegas and HAVE to tonight. By 9am Saturday morning I will be on the ground, listening to the sound of the machines, people watching and searching for my first of many fruity beverages!

So what about you? Any fun plans for this long weekend? And what about running? Have you had moments where you didn't feel safe (running or in general)? Any tips??

Monday, August 27, 2012

Run 1.57 - Twenty-Two??

I'm pretty excited for a couple reasons:

a) I have now completed my longest run before the Portland Marathon. The next time I hit a new distance I will be rewarded with cheering people, a space blanket, a medal, drinks, snacks, a flower, a shirt, a coin, a pendant and a rose. Not too shabby! and
b) Next weekend I am NOT running AT ALL! I will be completely without my Garmin and running shoes ... instead dancing, drinking and wandering around fabulous Las Vegas!

Reason "b)" was the BIG motivator yesterday during my 22 mile run with Man Friend. Finally we got to run together again!! And thank goodness. I'm not sure how entertaining 22 miles on my own would be right now. "6 days to Vegas!" "Vegas, Vegas, VEGAS!!!" "I cannot wait to go to Vegas!" --- This pretty much sums up the conversations MF and I had. And let me tell you, after my Garmin beeped for the final time I felt like I really did earn this spontaneous getaway to Sin City!

So the run -- it was actually pretty good!! The day before I co-hosted the annual Jimmy Buffett party, which meant I was on my feet all day long working the crowd and making sure everyone was having a good time. Shockingly I had ONE Bacardi Raz and that's it. The rest of the time it was only 1 Diet Pepsi and then just water. I was pretty serious about my preparation for this run and so I made sure water was my friend. By 9pm I was exhausted and ready for sleep. I think we got permission to go home around 10pm, at which point we just crashed. The alarm went off at 7 and soon we were up ready to do better fueling than last weekend's 20 miler.

This time we each had a toasted bagel, banana and a few nibbles of some scalloped potatoes I found in the fridge. It was actually all really good and kept us going through the entire run! Again we had our fuel belts full of 2 gels and 1 pack of chews each, and then a bottle of electrolytes and a bottle of water. I guess for this run my concern wasn't the running. I know how to run. My goal for these long training runs is to figure out what works best for me as far as staying fueled for the marathon. I feel like I had some success with this and will work with it again on my next 20 mile run. We hit the park water fountain a couple times to refill and then discovered a spigot over at the high school by the track, so we utilized that twice. I managed to ration my PowerAde so it would last the full distance!

Run wise we were doing great. We were both tired due to the party, the great (yet fast) runs we each had during the week, and then poor MF -- he is doing nights for a couple weeks while they re-stripe the roads. He seriously sleeps maybe 4 hours? So yeah, he was tired - especially since Friday he was busy at a wedding and dancing for 4 hours non-stop. ANYWAY, sorry for the tangent ... we decided to ... do the Galloway(!!!) when we were dragging, and that really helped - and actually made the miles seem to just fly by. Our splits even seemed to speed up while doing that. We both started feeling it around mile 19. We were on a bad surface that was taking it's toll on our bodies and I think we'll probably avoid that area from now on. Once on a good surface we started to feel like ourselves again, and basically told each other how awesome we are and that we WERE going to finish strong! And so we did!

Showers. Pizza. Pasta salad. Titanic. That's how our post-run activities went. It was a GREAT day and you know what? I think we just might finish this marathon after all!!

Did someone say Vegas?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Run 1.56 - A New PR of Sorts!

Bye bye hair (friend's foot to show size)
Once again I was running on my own. This time I was doing 8 miles. Doable, but also kind of long on my own. Not long long, but now that I'm used to running and talking with MF 8 miles felt like it could be a little long and quiet. After the speedy 5 mile run I was excited to see how the 8 went. MF went on his own for his 8 miles while I was at work, and he was excited to say he ran all of them. His excitement carried over to me and I was determined to run as much as I could as well.

I charged my phone so I'd have enough battery for music, filled a small water bottle to attach to my belt, threw my short hair up (I just had 5 inches chopped off and feel totally naked), and was out the door to see if I could get over 7 miles without walking. Up until last night 7 was my longest running only distance.

I kept my park as my home base, feeling safe in that area knowing there is water, a bathroom and places I could quickly get to if I did feel unsafe at any time. I ran by the golf course, duck pond, the river, the park and the disc golf course - which I always nickname the Blair Witch Project forest. I was shocked when once again my legs were going fast! I did try to slow down a bit though. I was just over 5K pace at the 5K mark and knew that I shouldn't try to maintain that if I wanted to run all 8 miles and not fizzle. I stayed pretty darn steady, always below 11 minute miles, and only one time did I take a quick shot out of my water bottle. I think this slightly cool weather in the evening is just glorious and helping me improve overall.

So how did I do? I ran it ALL!!!! In 1:24 I completed all 8 miles with zero walking! When I finished my arms definitely went in the air in celebration. What a huge milestone for me! I'm still so excited and can't stop talking about it to my mom. She must be so sick of me by now!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Run 1.55 - I've Gone Solo Again

After my successful 20 mile run I had .... an accident... sort of. Man Friend is temporarily working nights for just a couple weeks. He went off to work Sunday evening after the 20 miler and I .... I watched the Real Housewives of NJ marathon. I can't help it. I love my Housewives! (Let me specify - I watch NJ and NY, and Giraffy got me watching OC. The others? Psh, no interest.) ANYWAY, I plopped in my recliner, kicked up my legs all comfy and was in full relaxation mode. A while later I got up and my knee was NOT happy. So I can run twenty miles and feel great, but I tweak something in my recliner??? OF COURSE. The next day I was at work wrapped in Arctic Ease and moving rather gingerly. Arctic Ease is a freaking miracle, if you haven't yet tried it you're missing out! Due to the fact that I was hardly able to move earlier I thought it best to not run Tuesday. I had no desire to make it worse.

So last night was something "new" for me. For the first time since we started running together and he became my man friend, I ran solo. Remember all those years of always running alone? Well I'm back to that again while we are working opposite shifts. It was strange to be home alone just getting ready with nobody there to prod me along and make me get my ass in gear. I grabbed my phone (for music purposes), put on my visor (for sweat soaking purposes) and was out the door for 5 miles.

Man Friend? Where are you??
It was a GREAT run!! I want to check my Garmin history, but I think this was my fastest 5 miles EVER!! Perhaps it was having my 5K race music playing. Or perhaps it was that I was running against the setting sun. Or perhaps I just wanted to hurry and get home to my pets and my Halloween costume projects that are taking over the house. (It's not too earl - MY Halloween season starts next month with the Tower of Terror 10 Miler weekend!) Anyway, there I was just running ... and fast. I mean only a tad slower than my 5K race pace. I didn't do it on purpose, but everything was feeling so good that I just tried to maintain. I ran fast enough that I got through the "Blair Witch Project forest" area before the sun was gone. It was in fact dark once I hit the end of my 5, so then I had a nice fast walk home. I'm really liking finishing not at my house so then I get to have that cool down walk. I didn't do that before I started running with MF.

I don't really talk about my actual times or paces on here because I don't think it matters. I run for me and for distance, not to BQ or impress people. But I will talk last night's ... there were some negative splits involved and my 5th mile was done in 9:44!! Overall I finished those 5 miles in 51 minutes. For me this is HUGE!! I mean just at the start of this year I couldn't even run 5 miles at a time without walk breaks, so to know I could do it at a fast pace (for me) without any pausing is just a huge breakthrough! 

And that's that! OH! I'm still fundraising! I hoped to get $35 ... and now I've raised over $400 for military families. There is still time left if you'd like to donate. I have until September 11th to get as close to $911 as possible.  The link is over there to the right --->  (Look for the sailor hat!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Run 1.53/1.54 - No H2C, 20 Miles

Once upon a time I wasn't a runner. Then I was. As a runner I learned about Hood to Coast and never fathomed I'd have a chance to participate. I would really love to, FYI, so you know, in the future if you need a spot filled, think of me. And yes, a team needed to fill a spot. Maybe it's bad luck, maybe it just wasn't meant to be, but having to say No because someone at work that isn't even in my department is on vacation and therefore I can't go -- ugh, it sucked!! I mean I could totally be getting ready for the mother of all relays. *sigh* Some day!

And back to the running I AM doing. Saturday was my first run since last weekend. It was just so damn hot I couldn't function. I basically turn into a zombie once it is above 90 - but then when we get over 100? Forget about it. I'm not there. So running wasn't there either. Saturday morning MF and I did a nice 4 miler. The weather warmed up a bit, but we were pretty much done before any legit heat hit. It felt so good to just be out. My legs felt great and overall it just really boosted my spirits, getting me ready for Sunday's run! Ooh - I almost forgot! AFTER the run we spent the entire afternoon lawnscaping. It's my new word - because I keep not saying landscaping. MF removed the Juniper plant I have always hated, I planted flowers in a new pot and I trimmed some trees. So much improvement can already been seen. It really excites me!!

Sunday - 20 whopping miles! This was my second time running 20 miles, and this time was just so much better. I'm still a little giddy about it!! Saturday night I fixed us a yummy dinner so we'd have more in us the next day (we learned that lesson before!) and then we relaxed and tried to sleep. I couldn't get up as early as I tried, but we were still up and moving, eat breakfast and getting running clothes on at a fairly early hour for a non-race Sunday. Fuel wise we each had a bagel and banana, accompanied by water. So thrilling. Our belts each had 1 bottle of electrolytes and 1 of water. Our packs had 2 gels a piece and 1 back of Clif shot blocks. We were set!

And those miles actually just flew by! Physically we felt fabulous. I killed time by telling him stories from each of my half marathons. When each story takes over a mile - well that eats up a big chunk. He told me about "swim time" in the Persian Gulf when he was the Navy - ignore that I was still a young thing in school during that time.... We spent the majority of the run in my home base of the local park/VA center/duck pond/disc golf course. But since we did have extra miles to run we explored some new pathways and neighborhoods. That really helped keep things fresh!

All things went well for me the entire way. I honestly believe I could have run the full marathon that day. Man Friend, on the other hand, not the same. Up until mile 18 he was great. That's when we weren't side by side anymore. I thought his legs were tired. Wrong. His insides stopped working. His stomach was killing him. His sides were aching. He finally waved me on to finish out the run and he walked the remainder home - still getting in his 20 miles. I felt horrible. He was shaking, covered in goose bumps (it was HOT outside), his kidneys were hurting. I spent the afternoon being a nurse trying to re-hydrate him. So we learned some lessons with this and MF decided he will need to do more pre-fueling. As far as the next long runs we know we are going to eat a bit more beforehand. And that next long run ... this coming Sunday -- 22 miles!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What's With the Bench Photos?

THE Bench - a few years later
Abby says I haven't shared the story of "The Bench Photos" yet, so here goes! If you've heard it before, well then take a shot... or 12 and enjoy it again!

The year was 2003. The setting was Walt Disney World in Florida, more specifically the Boardwalk and Jellyrolls. It was a Tuesday night. The Kali gang was at Jellyrolls, as per usual, although our gang had shrunk compared to the summer of 2002 when we owned that place. We had a high table in the back, on the lower floor, right in the center. My drink of choice ... Sex on the Beach. And it was the special! You could get the big 32 ounce cups for the "special" rate. It is entirely possible I had three. So to do the math, that is 96 ounces of Sex on the Beach that went into my body and I can tell you I most likely didn't have dinner that night.

I couldn't understand why one guy at our table kept looking at me. It drove me nuts. I kept asking Robin, "Why?? Why is he staring?" And I insisted to her that he was freaking me out because he looked like the Son of Sam and I didn't want him looking at me. (For the record he and I never had beef before or after. Last time we saw each other we still exchanged a hug.) Apparently Robin and the person I was married to decided it was time for me to go home. It was a work night after all. However, I was in party mode and not ready to leave. *Note to friends: If I am still in party mode don't just force me to leave. This story is what happens!*

Even Boston has benches!
I refused to walk with the person I was married to (this was normal. Obviously I chose to not be married to that person anymore) and kept a couple of paces back. Yeah, when I have too much to drink I can't see far in front of me. So basically I lost sight of Robin and X. (Let's just call him X for this post.) I knew the path to the parking lot. We had done it every Tuesday for over a year. I got to the parking lot and had no clue where the car was. So then kicks in my logic.

I'll just walk to the exit of the parking lot! They'll have to leave this way, so they'll have to see me! Brilliant! Nobody came. No way could I be moving faster than a car. So I decided to walk to the main intersection (Disney fans, I am now on the main road near the entrance to what was the Disney-MGM Studios). Surely we'd all meet up here! .... Nothing. I have my shoes in my hand, am in my black pants, and floral shirt walking barefoot in the middle of the night. Clearly the next best thing (oh yeah, my cell phone is in my car.) is to turn right and walk toward my house. Eventually I'd be on Osceola Parkway and close to home. X would HAVE to see me for sure!

Even races have benches!
The path then turned. I ended up down by some water. (runDisney fans, this is where you run during the marathon to get from the Studios to the Boardwalk to Epcot.) Soon I was behind Jellyrolls and the piano player saw me. "Hey R0nda! What the heck are you doing?" "I'm lost. My friends left me. I couldn't see them. I'm lost." "Do you want to come in?" "NO!! I don't want "A" to see me like this." Yes, drunk off my ass and I know at least to not let the cute piano player see me like that! So I continue on my way and end up in front of Jellyrolls. Again I turn down an offer to go inside and wait. I end up in the Boardwalk lobby area napping on that ginormous couch - you know the couch, right? But I know to stay on the move. I don't want to get caught being this drunk on property and get fired. So I keep moving from place to place napping.

And then I find a phone. I have no idea what my cell or home numbers are. But I DO know my mom's calling card number from dorm life, and I know my best friend's office number. Poor guy has to get to work in the morning, check his voice mails and hear silly drunk dials from all the girls, and then progressively worse calls of me crying saying I'm lost. I told him if I wasn't at work in the morning to come get me at the Boardwalk, that's where I'd be. After the last call I walk back toward Jellyrolls, my safe spot where I know everybody working there. V is on his cell with Robin (who was now at her apartment over near Vista Way - shout out Fall '97 College Program!). "Yeah, I see her. She's barefoot and crying, but she's walking this way. Tell him to come get her." (I totally just laughed having to type that!) I stumbled over and again said I can't come in. V says X is on his way and to stay put and stop moving all around.

Drunk on THE bench - again.
So I chose the bench. It has a lovely view of the water and looks right over to Epcot! I turned it into a bed, laid on my side and that's where I slept. Another Jellyrolls crew member came out and sat on me for a while until X showed up. Then I was tossed over X's shoulder and carried to the car and driven home. I was still tipsy at work in the morning and cut my back open on the cabinet of our water jug at the entrance to Kali. I think I went home early that day.

And that's my story of the bench! Ever since that night it has been a running joke. I can't pass that bench without a photo. But then it grew beyond Disney and now any cool bench I see has to be used in honor of my drunk summer night of 2003!

Run 1.51/1.52 - Animal Butts Are Cute!

This past weekend wasn't all about racing, although it almost was. Cilley Girl and I actually toyed with the idea of running a 7K race the same night of the 5K (run 51 of this training cycle) we did -- but the heat swayed us to instead hit the pool! Oh and how lovely the pool was! But first -- the Oregon Zoo!! CG and I both have an affection for animal butts so it was only natural that we take Man Friend with us to the zoo to check out some cute, furry (but not always furry!) buns.

More pictures, less talk.... I loved the animals. I baby talked to a beaver (duh), I took too many photos, I bitched about all the kids and strollers, I found the shade, I ate a lot of fries, I looked at bat balls (duh), and had a pretty close encounter with a giraffe! And all day long we sang one of the greatest songs of all time (with the appropriate words tossed in) ... "I like bear butts and I cannot lie", etc... Tons o' fun was had by all!

Next was the Oregon Bite, which was a huge food festival. The beauty was we paid $5 to get in, then had all the free samples and never had to actually buy food. Score! But it was insanely hot. So we ditched downtown Portland and went to CG's pool instead. Glorious! Our muscles and feet really appreciated it. But we needed more food (duh). Our little trio hit up this new restaurant for pizza and mozzarella sticks (duh). It was wood fired, too, which is fun for a different taste to the pizza! Pretty sure MF was having too much fun flirting with our server - but hey, it got us great service. Pretty sure the server must thing CG and I were actually the couple!

And then we slept. And DVR'd the marathon. And woke up at 5:45am for our long run. We all had 10 miles on the calendar, so we followed CG's suggestion and hit the Banks Vernonia trail. She was NOT kidding when she said it was 5 miles uphill. 

At 1.84 MF and I were hating her. BUT after the turn around we loved her again. She was right, going back toward the car you feel like a rock star! Run wise it wasn't bad. We did steady intervals on the up and only had a couple tiny walk breaks on the way down. Beating the heat was great, plus the scenery was just beautiful. So peaceful, and I found two benches for photo ops! MF and I spent our run discussing work and more important .... our upcoming trip to Las Vegas! With the change in elevation, posing on a bench (laying down was a bad idea), and the fact that I have Meniere's Disease - there were a couple moments of funky things happening in my ears. But it passed. I'd just drift to the right every now and then and eventually end up back on the path. AFTER the run I saw the sign telling us we are in bear and cougar country and what to do in case of a sighting. Um yeah, I should have read that BEFORE! Now I want to run that route again and find myself some animals ... and their butts!

Have I shared WHY I take these photos yet??

Monday, August 13, 2012

Crawfish Crawl 5K

I have thought about it a lot and I'm going to stop pouting and be happy with it. It was the Crawfish Crawl 5K. I'll just cut to the finish line where I'm pretty sure in the finisher's photo you can read my mouth saying a colorful word starting with an F and ending with an Uck. And then I dry heaved twice while waiting to get out of the chute. And then I cried.

Cilley Girl, Man Friend and I were up early and heading to this park area with a pond for the start of the Crawfish Crawl... another non-chip timed race. Ugh. We very quickly met up with Kim who was there to cheer and volunteer (if volunteering means getting group photos and taking finisher photos!). I wasn't nervous at all. Seems my days of terrible pre-race nerves might be behind me for the most part. Oh, yeah, um, so I made MF be matchy matchy with me. My mom found it nauseating. I got as close as I could to the start line and soon it was time.

And nobody moved. WTF?? I'm being timed here lazy asses!! If you wanted to leisurely walk yourself to the start line then stand behind me. As close as I was to the start it was over 6 seconds for me to get to the official line. When it comes to ME and the 5K race distance ... I watch every single second!

The course was actually flat. I can't say it was fast because for me I know why I was mad at the finish. I should have had that PR I was fighting so hard for. But when you take a narrow pathway and put two directions of traffic on it, add in non-racers that are just there on a weekend stroll or bike ride, mix in racers that aren't really sharing the path .... for me it was pretty crowded and therefore not "fast". I did like the course though. It had a lot of turns in it so you never really knew where you going to go. That kept the mystery alive, but also made tangents hard since it was so crowded and 2-way traffic.

That whining aside, I ran great. I felt relaxed physically and mentally. I used this older man as my pacer until it got crowded and I had to make a power move to free myself from the group. He was good for keeping me from going out too fast like I saw MANY people doing. We were passing walkers that were already tired after not even a quarter of a mile. So we played it smart and stayed steady, faster, smooth but not too overzealous. I had negative splits for the entire race which made me happy!

MF asked how I was near the end. I couldn't answer. I was at the point where I thought I was going to be sick or mentally just collapse. He decided to not take off to the end and instead stayed right behind me yelling at me the whole way encouraging me to pick off other runners 1 at a time. I flew around the corner and was in full sprint mode to the finish line. Kim was there with her camera and as disappointed as I was that I was losing the PR by seconds, I still mustered up a smile for her! So clearly I didn't get the PR -- BUT I was still sub-30. So for me that's great and I am thrilled! I was probably greedy wanting 3 5K PRs in a row. And Kim made the good point - I'm not training for speed right now. I just had a 20 mile run in the heat and have been working on long and steady. To expect to just switch it up and run faster and faster isn't exactly practical for this body.

Kids, don't read the words that are coming out of my mouth!! 
I left the race happy! Everybody had a great run. It was so fun to see the whole gang again. I had a yummy bagel. And MF got me a free back-pack (because you can never have too many free bags) to cheer me up! (The yummy breakfast with Strawberry Shortcake didn't hurt either!) Best of all my body felt great - no leg cramps like the last 5K race, and the afternoon pool trip really helped my muscles relax and go to bed happy!

And that's that. Next race report ... The Prefontaine Memorial 10K!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Run 1.50 - Starts With V Ends With Egas

I ran again. Once. Man Friend had some dehydration issues so we skipped a couple runs in lieu of getting him healthy. So last night we ran two miles on pure adrenaline... because we certainly had no fuel in us at the time. The two miles felt great. It would have been more but I was hungry, plus I was tired.

It's been a crazy, stressful week. Work is complicated right now. The stress caught up with me so much that I just had to get away. I was so close to registering for RnR Los Angeles so I could see Team Jam again but in the end.... I'm going to Vegas!

If you need MF and I over Labor Day weekend you know where to find us!!

p.s. I bought a new computer!
p.p.s. I have a 5k race in the morning.
p.p.p.s. I just wrote this on I-5.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Who Needs Sappy Love Songs?

Here is a look at a normal evening in my cottage. This particular moment happened in my kitchen after work a couple days ago.

RR: [singing] I throw my hands up in the air sometimes *cue arms up in the air*
        You do realize that's "our song" right? Preferably sung by the the lounge singer lady on the cruise!
MF: I thought you said it was Cher?
RR: Yes, Cher AND this song!
MF: Oh, so we have THREE songs then.
RR: We do?? What's the third?

***wait for it .....***

MF: Do the Galloway! *cue singing and dancing to the Galloway song*

If you haven't watched this video yet, please do!! And pay attention to 2 minutes in. Best part. OMG. I'm addicted!!

I kid you not, we sing this constantly and do the dance. We need an intervention.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Oink! Oink! We'll Be Pigs! (Thank you, Clark Griswold!)

I went to the fair last night. I thought it would be fun. People watching, animals, vendors, rides, people watching, animals, people watching.....


Excellent people watching. Precious animals that I bonded with because I am a vegetarian and couldn't imagine eating the poor babies. And that's it.

No vendors to speak of. Minimal rides and carnival type games (not that I do either, but still.) This year it was a dud. However, I had a blast with the animals!! So instead of talking I think my pictures speak for themselves, here ya go!

I want one!
I just love all the babies!
We have the same number of chins!

I couldn't stop touching pig butts. And the baby had the softest snout and nibbled on my finger!!
And that's my Man Friend. I adore him!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Run 1.49 - 20 Miles

This will be short. My computer currently has the Blue Screen of Death and so I'm doing this on my phone. Ugh. I think it's time for a new computer. Anyway!....

I ran 20 miles. It took about 11 hours. I exaggerated, but it felt like 11. I set an alarm for 5:30am but could not sleep last night thanks to this insane heat wave. Finally from maybe 6 to 8 I got sleep. That felt good but not so helpful at beating the heat.

Another thing I did wrong... I had no pre run food in my house. We split a banana and roll and had Power Crunch bars. Not exactly enough food for 20.

So we ran 10 miles before popping in to my cottage to refill water and grab this miraculous towel thing I got at an expo. We were only 2 miles into the last half when I realized that it was almost 90 degrees and I wasn't sweating anymore.

That prompted an emergency run to my house for electrolytes. Much needed!! I also had some grapes and a cookie and felt so much better. It is possible that we got absorbed into beach volleyball for a couple minutes. Oops!

The rest of the run was hard. Physically my legs were good. My problem was the heat and humidity. The same stretch kept causing us to have trouble breathing. It's like it was too humid for air.

Enough whining. We finished all 20 and the last part I just died. The heat got to me and I wasn't even totally coherent. I came up with a great way to recover (see photo). Who says you need to take off running clothes to swim??

In the end our running pace was right where we wanted it. Next time I will improve overall based on these very hard learned lessons!

I'm starving. I'd eat but my butt is planted on the couch.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Run 1.48 - I Have a Nickname!!

Funny how one little word can brighten your day. I've been on edge since Tuesday, so this one little word actually got me to laugh. I am rather flattered actually. I mean for someone to even bother to create a new nickname isn't horrible. At it isn't like it is something mean, because I'm sure there are some pretty nasty ones floating around about me right now. Unrelated, I googled "psychopath". CG - look it up. Perfect description of our convo subject yesterday! Yeah, so I'm not a psychopath, FYI. So back to my nickname...


It's like the new Bennifer or Tomcat. Ooh - both of those ended. Hm, well sorry fellas, I'm pretty much off the market, so you're not going to get to be part of my nickname. Sucks to be you. But then how many dudes actually read my blog anyway? Yeah, that's what I thought!

So anyway that's it -- at work we are now affectionately known as Shawnda!

Random Photo: Working at Kali River Rapids
Oh - and I ran! OMG I almost forgot about that part. Yeah, so last night once we saw that it was rowing and volleyball on the Olympics we hustled out the door for 3 slow miles. I can barely breathe so it wasn't a sprint for us. But my legs and mind really enjoyed being out. We just did the quick "ATM loop" -- which is down by the ATM, through the park and home. I like that route - a mix of short hills, flat parts, parks, a river, street. It goes by really fast, mentally. Up next will be another run or two of the short and easy variety. I am scheduled for 20 on Sunday, so I want to just play it cool and work on being able to breathe again so I can come back here and tell you all how awesome 20 miles felt to run!

Cool off time happened in my pool. It was heavenly! And while I was out there floating around at dusk I made some landscaping plans for my house. I'm ridiculously excited about removing this plant that I've hated my whole life. It's so nice to have someone around that actually wants to help me out with things that are harder to do on my own!

And that's life today in a nutshell!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Today I Babble.

Tonight I return to running. It might not be some huge return with tons of miles, but I haven’t hardly been able to move around since Sunday, so any run will feel huge.

I’m loving the Olympics. Those synchronized divers are so impressive, right? I mean I can’t even go underwater without plugging my nose so forget about doing all these twists and turns and then going in with no splash. I might be able to belly flop? No. No, because a good flop wouldn’t probably let you plug your nose.

I’m ready for Track and Field competition to start, but that could either make me inspired to go run, or just tell me to sit my ass on the couch because I’m such a turtle. I bet it will inspire though. Anyone know if Desi made her final official marathon decision yet? I saw this weekend that she was NOT running, but then I saw that she changed her mind and wasn’t totally ruling it out. Anyone?

And as long as I’m in Olympics mode, why do those female swimming outfits have to be so awful? I mean I really thought some of them were dudes at first. Terrible cut, so unflattering. I know these women are solid muscle and built differently than I am, but come on. There must be a reason why they made them to disgusting looking, but gee freaking whiz!

So then while I’m on a clothing tangent, did you all notice how much crack we saw with the men’s synchronized diving? Talk about skimpy man panties!

This weekend I have no plans, other than training. That means perhaps a lot of quality time with the Olympics. Or maybe working outside or playing in my pool. I miss my pool. I haven’t been in it in a week I think. And the YMCA pool? I haven’t seen that since last Friday before I was all sick and gross.

Life is very strange right now. I’m pretty damn happy to have such wonderful friends. I cannot wait for next weekend when I’m back up north with Cilley Girl and Kim. And of course Man Friend … hey, Taryn… MF MF MF MF-MF MF MF MF MF-MF. Did you spin around with your glow sticks when I did that? Can you feel the thumpa-thumpa?

I need to take MF to some sort of dance club just to make him move with the techno beat that his MF implies!

Stuff is going on. I’m not talking about it. I’m thinking I shouldn’t have made fun of my mom for going to get her concealed weapons permit and all that. Having your life turn into a Lifetime Movie … not all it’s cracked up to be, trust me!

The 1st 5K my mommy did with me (and Sarah!)
In fun news, the whole family (and by that I mean myself, my mommy, my step-dad and MF) are all set for our Walt Disney World vacation and the next big step is race related… shocker! ;)  All four of us are officially doing the Family 5K fun run together. I’m not giving up, I will come up with a 4some costume idea that all parties can agree too. I might have to give up my vision of booty shorts, boots and wife beaters for the men though. It could be cold at 6am in January.

And lastly, I think my dog and Man Friend have some special relationship now. They spent a weekend alone together and now they are inseparable. Turns out she spent the whole time with him swimming in the river and riding around in his Jeep with her head out the window. So that’s the way to my dog’s heart? Hm. It’s pretty darn cute. You know your man friend is a keeper when your whole family, friends AND pets give complete approval. Yay. Score 1 for me!

And in my usual fashion of sucking at fundraising, we are nearly the first of two deadlines with the Active Heroes fundraiser. If you'd like to help me get closer to my goal of $911 by 9/11, click the link over to the right -- the one with the sailor hat photo. Thanks for all of you that have already donated, I think you are beyond awesome!!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Run 1.46/1.47 - 100+ Miles!!

Run 1.46 was the CATnip 5K, aka my new 5K PR! And it was freaking HOT!! I had a larger gap in running before the race due to feeling sick, and I think her gap was good and needed. Great run, and pretty fun to actually try to run fast during this training!

Run 1.47 happened the next morning! Cilley Girl, who let me crash at her new castle and play with her new kitties, had 9 miles picked out NOT on bridges. Bridges seem to trigger Meniere's attacks so I wanted to hit them and try to battle it out in preparation for the enormous St. Johns Bridge during the marathon. So Man Friend and I drove to downtown Portland ready for 3.5 laps by the river.

Weather wise we got lucky. It was a bit humid but much cooler than the prior day's race. The running itself was pretty uneventful. Stopped one time at the Saturday Market for the potty, but other than that we just took it nice and easy. A highlight for me was when two sailboats had to get down the river and I got to watch 4 bridges all raise to let them through. That was a first for me! There was also a big float thing happening, so we had the extra challenge of playing Frogger in order to just keep running and avoid crashing into various types of floaty devices. But whenever I thought I'd want to walk I tried to remember the chalk image I saw near the beginning of our journey and just keep going! I did, however, have to walk more than I wanted due to the pain left over from the calf cramping the day before. Oh well. No worries.

We finished the 9 miles nice and strong, finding ourselves right back at the start. Before going home it was a quick, but purposeful dash through the Saturday (on Sunday) Market to find costume pieces for my trip to Walt Disney World next month!! That's the last bit of running I've done. I ended up getting pretty sick by the end of the night and have been down for the count, spending quality time with my bed. I'm on the mend now though, so I'll be back with hopefully more running soon!

OH!!! And with that final 9 mile run I had my first 100+ mile month!!!