Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stress Relief

This has been the weirdest week at work.  It's a combination of many things, but suffice to say that at least once each day this week, I have wanted to bang my head against my desk or the wall or something that would knock my unconscious or at least give me a reason not to have to answer my phone.  A few times, I have been close to that hysterical laughter that comes when your about to lose it.

I wanted to go for a run today, but amazingly enough, this wet substance started falling from the sky!  I think they call it rain, but it's been so long since it's done it here it's hard to remember.  But that did throw a kink in my running plans.  So for my stress relief, I met Tammy at Zumba.  The fitness specialist was outside of class asking us questions about our instructor Diah.  Although I have good things to say about her, I took the opportunity to give my opinion on the meanie nazi instructor who doesn't instruct at all.  So that was stress relief in itself.  I hope he does a better job at the class schedule than the previous specialist. 

He stayed around to evaluate the class, but I can't imagine that he saw anything other than a room full of people having a great time and smiling.  I worked up a great sweat and had a great time working off all the week's tension.  If I had known that my little one would already be asleep before I got home, I would have taken my running shoes with me and ran the track.  It sucks that I only got one run in this week.  But I guess I'll make up for it on Saturday. 

But I can't let it stress me out.  There's not another Zumba class I can go to to work it off.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meep Meep!

I have realized that I am getting spoiled with running on the roads.  As 7:15, I took off on the trail to try to get a good run in before it got too dark.  But it is getting darker sooner now, so before I even got into the park, the sun was setting. It wasn't so bad, though.  I had my music on, but I had it on quietly; because you always want to be able to hear if some crazed park stalker is coming up behind you.  I noticed that I was anticipating the trail to end so I could run on the road.  Spoiled!

Sometimes I feel like I'm running so fast, but when it's all said and done, I'm still at 4 mph.  And I don't get it.  It seems like every time I check the Garmin I'm at a in between a 13 and 14 minute pace, but when I download the run, it still shows me at 15.  But I felt like I was faster.  I did notice that running on the trail does slow me down by an average of 40 seconds per mile.  Interesting. 

Guess I truly am a road runner. 

Meep Meep!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pearland Area Road Runners

I'm sure I've mentioned how much I love my running club and how wonderful the people are.  Well today, we had our first social.  We met at a pizzeria and enjoyed each other's company in normal clothes and make up while eating the best pizza I've ever had in Texas.  It was fun, and Kelly and I were happy to get to know some of the others a little better. 

And we ordered our club shirts.  Yea!

I would love to say that I got in some really great exercise after that pizza, but I didn't.  I took my kiddo and her friend to the park and read running magazines while they played.  It was hot!  I was sitting in the shade with a strong breeze, and it was still hot.  However, I did do the 30 day challenge workout on the Wii this evening.  That bimbo trainer had me do so many squats and lunges, I was tempted to throw my Wii remote at the TV.  But I didn't and I was 180 calories down when it was over with.  Also, in the process, I got rid of my overwhelming craving for Oreo cookies. I guess anger at an avatar has that power.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mile Repeats

So I've been working Friday nights at the high school football games.  This comes after a full day of work and before our Saturday runs.  I'm beginning to think this is not the best combination.

Kelly and my run was to start at 5:50.  I was running a little late, so she was talking with other group members who would be starting their run a little later.  We had a warm up mile, followed by three mile repeats,  and finishing with two cool down miles.  The assignment was to run the mile and then walk for four minutes.  Then we would start the mile repeats.  Based on our half marathon pace, we were to run intervals for these miles.   The intervals were to average out to this pace of 14:30.  The point of this is to get used to running at a faster pace.  For Kelly and I, it would be 30:30's, i.e 30 seconds of running followed by 30 seconds of walking.   After each mile, we were to walk for four minutes.  The walking minutes were a non-negotiable for Coach Ric, and to be honest, we were happy to oblige.

For Kelly and I, we decided to run the warm up mile with no breaks.  We kept a good warm up pace while we caught up on the previous evening's news.  Then came our first walking break.  My problem is that I walk slow.  My shins tend to hurt when I walk fast.  Since the Garmin was set for the 1 mile/4 minute interval, we would have to keep track of the 30 second increments.  Off we went.  Every other 30 seconds we were pushing it.  Surprisingly, the mile went by quickly.  I guess since there was so much else to focus on.  We did well, I think as our running paces were averaging around 12 minute pace.  But for our four minute break, we were at an 18 minute pace, which is a little too slow, but I know it's totally my fault.  The second mile repeat came, and this time we averaged a 11:30 pace for our running portions.  The third mile repeat was the toughest.  My heart rate wasn't coming down quite so fast on the 30 second walks and my legs felt heavy.  But our running pace continued to be between 11 and 11:30.  We walked the last four minute break, and then we decided to run the last of it in, stopping only when we needed water.

We ran in the last mile and a half.  Every time I checked the Garmin we were somewhere between 13 and 15 minutes, which is good.  It's surprising too, but I guess it shouldn't be. Coach Ric always said that this training will get you to where your last miles are your fastest.  We walked twice for sips of water, and we just kept running.  We really wanted to finish.

It was a good and tough run, and I completely understand why Coach Dan says we will learn to hate the mile repeats.  I this area, I don't think I have much to learn.  I'm well on my way.  =)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Turquoise Shirt

So after yesterday's post and almost a full week of no runs, I had to get one in today.  My great plan was that I would find out if Tammy or Tangila would be going to zumba.  If they were, I would run to the gym (about three miles) and then go to Zumba and then catch a ride home.

But in between getting a response and getting ready for the run, my little one said, "Momma?  Can you take me with you?  I need to get ready for my race!"  So, the plan changed right then and there.  Tammy had responded that she was going, so I told her I would be 10 minutes late; and my little road runner and I took off on the trail.  We started off with 1/2 of the 1K distance she is training for.  This puts us right at the park, which is perfect for her.  I gave her one good push on the swing, and then I ran back and forth on the trail by the park while she played for a few minutes.  She cheered me on every time I passed by.  Although I only ran a little over a mile, I felt like a champ.

Time went by pretty quickly, and soon enough we had to walk back to the house so I could pick up my mom and head to the gym. We were, in fact, ten minutes late.  We joined in at the back of the class and got moving.  Since I didn't get my full run in, I was determined to give this workout my all and really get into it.  And I did.  Jade was there and she lead us in one of her songs.  We had so much fun.  The only problem was that I didn't change my shoes.  I was still wearing my running shoes and running shoes do not like to pivot.  So the twisting was at a minimum, and after seeing myself in the mirror, I have decided to stop wearing my turquoise shirt.  It makes me feel like I haven't made much progress in the weight loss area. 

I met with Tammy after class and then Jade came to talk to us as I haven't seen her in a while and she recognized my mom from her classes at the senior center.  We spent about thirty minutes talking along with Diah (the instructor).  We had a nice time, and they were so nice to my mom.

I hope missing out on my runs doesn't affect my performance too bad on Saturday.  We are running six miles with 3 repeats. This is a first for me, so once I understand it, I'll explain it.  But right now I'm not sure.

But I am sure that I won't be wearing this turqoise shirt.  At least not for a while.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Luke's Locker

Yesterday, Grace Kelly and I took off after work to go to this store in Houston called Luke's Locker.  Our group is getting shirts, and we wanted to try them on to see what size we needed. 

This whole store is awesome!  There was such a huge selection of everything! Shoes, clothes, socks, nourishment and every running accessory you could imagine.  Really cool place, really great employees.

But this meant that we got home late, and I did not get my run in.

Cut to today, where I came home from work and proceeded to the couch where I fell asleep. I woke up in time for the little one's gymnastics class.  But no one was home when we returned, so again, I did not get my run in.

So I'm feeling a little discouraged and kind of like a slacker, and I knew I should do something, but it was already 8:30 and getting late, and the season premier of Modern Family was recorded and waiting to be watched, and the couch was calling my name.  But as I took a quick check of my e-mail, I had one waiting from Coach Ric.

I am overwhelmed by the time and effort this man puts into our group, and even more so by the encouragement he gives me and Kelly.  I was brought to tears by the words he wrote just for us, and I knew the couch would not win tonight.

I got up and started the Wii Active game and set it for a high intesity workout.  And it was.  It had some running, some boxing, and lots of squats.  I also rolled my eyes when it had me inline skating because all you do is squat to gain speed and the hop up when there are ramps.  Well, my laughter was short lived because apparently, I 'need to work on my timing and the strength in my legs' or something like that.  Out of 24 jumps, I only did like four correctly.  But I sure could feel it in my legs.

So thirty minutes and 230 calories later, I decided on a quick 15 minute yoga dvd.  I opted for medium intensity and relaxation.  So it started out with some pretty good sun salutations.  I didn't even curse under my breath when there was a plank in the middle of it.  The middle was stretching and the cat cow pose.  Then came the end that I love so much - shivasana, aka the corpse pose.  So I'm in my shivasana and 'letting go of the day's stresses' or whatever she is saying.  My eyes are closed, my body is completely relaxed, and all is peaceful in the world.

And then the hamster started her very loud nightly run on the wheel.  I tried to ignore it and stay in my peaceful state of mind, but I couldn't help but laugh.  She's funny, but then I realized that really, she was just rubbing it in that she's getting her run in.  And I'm not.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

And by the Way

Chaffing sucks!  I've head about it, I've read about it, and I've seen it made fun of on TV.  But now I have it. On both of my arms.

And it sucks.

I have also managed to jack up the right side of my body.  My back and my hip.  I think a trip to the miracle-worker chiropractor is in order.  I have been stretching throughout the day, but it hasn't quite eased up. 

I'm not trying to complain, well maybe I am about the chaffing.  My body was already starting to protest since Lydia's class last week, so I'm sure the run just aggrevated what had already started.  And I like stretching, so that will be today's exercise.   =)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

9 Mile Morning

Nothing makes me want to kill my phone like it going off at 4:30 in the morning on a Saturday.  Kelly's and my run started at 5:10 on the other side of town, so off I go praying that Kelly's phone was waking her up too! It wasn't hot, but it was humid, and I had hoped for cooler weather. Oh well.

We had a bit of a rocky start.  First we took off, and after about a third of a mile, we realize that I had not set the Garmin for intervals.  So we had to start over and we would just have to keep track of the extra mileage that wouldn't be shown.  No problem.  As we're going, we are venting about the week's stresses and just getting out all our frustrations.  That made the first 4 1/2 miles go by pretty quickly.  During this time, the neighborhood sprinklers are going off, and I swear it seemed like they were waiting for us to get close enough to them to start.  Some of the water was pretty cool, so it was actually kind of nice.

It was also around 4 1/2 miles that we had to take a detour from our route.  It was my fault, but we had to find a gas station so I could use the facilities.  So we broke off from our route, and we figured out how far we needed to go to get back on track.  Unfortunately, as we were heading back, we saw our groups passing the street. This means we wouldn't pass each other and we would probably miss seeing most of  the other members.  But that's okay.  There's always next week. 

As we passed our water station for the second time, we realized we were getting tired. I swear my bum felt like it weighed a ton, and we still had two more miles to go.  As we continued on, we passed another group of runners.  I think it may have been the Pearland group that my club branched off from.  And I can see why.  Most runners will say good morning to you or hello or something when you're passing each other.  This group did not.  Even when Kelly and I started it, we were met with passing silence.  It was weird.   So we started laughing and saying with a lisp accent, "We are serious runners.  This is serious."  Maybe you had to be there, but it got us laughing and the next mile and a half got a little easier.

Speaking of that last mile, we had to take venture off course again to be sure we made to nine miles.  As we turned around one last time to run it back to the beginning, Kelly got a hold of an Energizer battery or something, because she kicked it up a notch!  I was all, "Hey girl!  Where did you get the battery pack?"  She laughed and was just focused on finishing.  We didn't take our last walking break.  We just kept going and as we got closer, I said, "We've got this!" and we ran it in at a pace that was equivalent to our magic mile pace for the last two minutes! Coach Dan met us at the driveway and Coach Ric met us with a high five at the end.  It was a good run!

9 miles!  I would have never believed I could do it.  It's starting to sink in what this actually means.  I've been tracking how far things are when I drive, and so the perception of what distance is is actually starting to mean something.  My drive to work is only 3.75 miles, so basically I ran to work and back and then went to the grocery store.  When I think of it like that, it seems crazy!  And another surpising thing is that I feel really good; not like I'm exhausted and I'm going to die, but just tired like you feel after a good workout. 

It's an awesome feeling.  I think I could get used to it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Night Moves

Yesterday, I had a horrible crick in my neck.  In the middle of the day, I bent down and when I got up, I lost most of the movement on my neck.  Fun.

Luckily this morning, it was a little better.  But my workout record for the week was not. I had to get a run in today.  And this is just what  I had just told my husband when I got a text message from my friend, Tammy, asking me if I was going to Zumba!  Damn woman!  Now I wanted to go to Zumba.  So my little one is taking all of this in and basically worked in a deal.  If I would take her outside to play, she would be okay with daddy putting her to bed, so I could go to zumba and then stay for a run.

Deal!  We went outside, and she played with the neighbor kids and Snowball, our hamster while I talked to their father, a fellow runner whom I've mentioned here before.  Before I knew it, it was 6:50 and time for me to get my cookies to the gym in time to meet Tammy for Zumba.

And Zumba we did.  Tangila was there too, and we had a great time.  Although I don't love this class as much as Renae's, I still enjoy it and it is fun. It's more of a goofy, blow-off-some-stress kind of fun rather than just working-out fun.  There was no Ricky Martin today, but there was The Twist.  But between these two non-Latin music songs, I prefer The Twist

After that, I wanted to run.  At night. Tuesday night there were plenty of runners on the bridge, so I figured it would be okay.  Since there would be others, running in the dark would probably be doable.  And I could still count it as conquering a fear.  So I changed my shoes, grabbed my fuel belt, and I took off.  I had no music,  but I kept hearing Bob Seger's Night Moves in my head.  It started off great.  About five minutes into the run, I checked the Garmin and my pace was somewhere in the 13 minute mile range, which is really great for me.  As I got to the top of the bridge, I decided I wouldn't take a break until I was at my turnaround point, which was 1.13 miles.

The run back was good, but it was a tad bit more initmidating. I was now running and not facing traffic, although I did have cows on the other side.   And then some ass in a truck drove by and honked at me.  Really?  It's 8:30 and night, and I'm running alone, and you're going to honk at me?  You're not funny Mr. Man in the truck.  You're just a jerk!  Then I finally get my heart rate to a normal elevated level, and someone else honks, although I think this time they were actually honking at another car.  I felt more at ease when I made it to the top of the bridge, and I the rec center was back in view.  I took one quick break to take a sip of water, and then I ran the rest of it in.

The run was 2.3 miles with an average pace of 4.2 mph.  My best speed was 4.9, and to be honest I'm quite surprised that my average pace isn't a little higher because everytime I checked the Garmin my pace was better than that.  But that's okay.  I'm still very happy with it. 

My friend Shelly messaged me today with the running quote I love so much.  I thought of her, I thought of this quote, I thought of Coach Ric and Coach Dan's encouraging words and how it's not supposed to be easy.  I think it was better than having music.

And now that I've conquered my fear of running at night, I've got my rock moves AND my night moves.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lydia

I was tired today.  It is a busy time at work, so most of my day was hunched over my desk submitting corrections to the state on the computer.  This did not help.  So as soon as I came home, I sat on the couch.  And fell asleep.  Sitting up.  And I think I was snoring.

Usually thirty-minute catnaps are miracle workers, but today I was still sleepy.  Knowing that I am still slacking terribly on my workouts, tiredness could not prevail.  So at 6:45, I was off to the rec center to go to Lydia's strength toning class.  I noticed there were no runners out on the bridge, probably because temperatures were up again today in the high 90's.  As I was walking in, I argued with myself.  Do I run, or do I go to class?  I wanted to run, but there's just not enough hours in the day.  In order to get home to put my little one to bed, I could only pick one.  Running outside wasn't going to happen; and the thought of running on the track does not make my smile.  Back and forth I went, but ultimately the class won out. 

Today she had us using hand weights and barbells.  Lydia was in rare form today, and she must have had something special for breakfast or something, because she was crazy!  She started us working on our quads.  Then she continued to torture the legs from there with squats and lunges and pulses and all kinds of things that hurt.  She had us use the barbells over our shoulders to add intensity to the squats.  She was constantly reminding us to pull in our abs and squeeze our butts.  Good instruction, tough workout.  Then rather than just focusing on arms, she had us integrate some bicep and triceps exercises while doing leg lifts.  Evil woman!

Last she had us work on our abs, but since the torture lasted so long on the legs, the abs only had ten minutes to suffer.  It felt so good to stretch for those last few minutes of class.  Lydia mentioned that she will be taking a vacation soon, so I guess she may be gone for a couple of classes. 

I was feeling good about the class as I left.  Then I started on my drive home, and all the runners were out.  Running over the bridge and enjoying the outdoors. It made me sad.

Until I got home, and my kiddo was waiting in her bed for me.  I was in time for hugs and kisses before she drifted off to sleep.

Now my arms feel like Jello, and I'm sure my legs will be protesting any sort of movement tomorrow.  But that's okay.  It'll feel good knowing I'm still in the game.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mile Minus Magic

This morning was one of those mornings where you feel like you've been hit by a truck.  At least the stress dreams didn't keep me up, and I slept soundly until my phone was buzzing me out of unconsiousness.  That's the thing about using my phone rather than an alarm clock.  I love my phone too much to throw it across the room.

We met at the track to do our warm up mile before the magic mile.  Kelly and I took off and caught up on the prevoius night's events after we left the football game.  Then the magic miles started.  We are usually group six, but today Coach did away with one of the groups and we were group five.  And once again, Kelly and I were the only chicas for our group.  We took off together, and I told Kelly to go and do her best.  I tried to keep a good pace that wouldn't wear me out and that I could sustain til the last loop around the track.  All was well, until the second lap when my mouth got extremely dry, so I paused real quick to get a sip of water.  The last lap, I sped up and really pushed my limits.  I could feel my heart pounding in my chest.  As I rounded the last corner, I checked the Garmin and I had twenty seconds to make it to the finish line to beat my time.

It took me twenty-eight.

I didn't beat my time.  I didn't even match it.  Dissappointed, I went to go put my phone up before starting on the day's run.  Coach Ric asked us how it went.  "I didn't do it." I said flatly and with a bit of a crack in my voice.  "What didn't you do?" he asked.  "You didn't just run a mile? ...We all have bad runs.  But we run for the good ones."

He made me smile.  Last Saturday was a great run.  And I had another great run on Thursday.  I just wish I had at least matched my time.

So, next up was our three mile run.  This time I didn't feel quite so depleted after the magic mile, and we kept up our recommended pace if not a tad faster at times.  Right as we were reaching the half mark, we met up with the other groups that were on their way back.  As usual, we would be last, but most of the people are so encouraging and cheer us on anyway.

The last stretch is this parking lot from hell that just goes on forever.  It reminds me of Monty Python and the Holy Grail where Lancelot is storming the castle, and he never seems to get any closer.  As we round the corner, we can see the groups where the track is.  Eventually most of them start moving toward the front of the school, but a few stay behind.  Then we see two figures running toward us.  Kelly joked that it was probably Coach Ric coming back to get us.  Well, as they got closer to us, we could see that it was not Coach Ric.  It was Coach Dan.  He hollered out, "Come on, ladies!"  And we laughed because he was coming to get us.  I was glad that we weren't dying and we were able to have a conversation with him.  He introduced us to a new guy to the group who is a marathon runner.  They ran it in with us, and the few people that didn't go to the front with the others cheered us on as we came in!  It was so nice. 

Then I looked down at the Garmin, and we were at 2.9 miles.  So Kelly and I had to take off again to for the last tenth of a mile to make it to three miles for a total of five miles for the day.  No records, no milestones, but a good run and great people.

I was still feeling discouraged though about my magic mile.  Coach Ric encouraged me again and reminded me that I did stop for water.  I had forgotten about that, and I'm sure those few seconds made a difference.  Another lady (I'll need to remember her name) let me know that my time was better than hers when she started running, and reminded me along with Kelly that I'll only get better.  They really are such a great group of people.  I just can't believe my luck of falling into this club.

I got home, had some eggs and bacon, and went up for a shower and a nap.  After that, I felt like a new person.  Kelly and I took our girls to this natatorium in Angleton, which is about an hour from where we live.  It's a great indoor pool with a lazy river and a huge water slide.  We had so much fun with the girls, and we even took a few turns ourselves on the slide. It was such a great time.

I guess I ended up with some magic after all.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Shady Lady

I am so loving this weather!! It makes me smile, and then I immediately frown thinking that it's not going to last. 

But for now, I am in heaven.  And although I haven't taken advantage of it enough, I did today.  I took off from my house at 6:45 and make a trek around the neighborhood.  I opted for the streets rather than the trail so I could stay in the shade a little more.  I am a big advocate for shade.  No sunscreen is needed, the sun doesn't get in your eyes, and of course the temperature drops just a tad.  I love the shade!  I had my music today, and I totally guessed on the 5:1, but I think I ended up running more than I was supposed to.  But it felt like a good run.  I went a route that I thought was three miles, but I was a little short.  I ended up with a 2.7 mile route at a 4.2 mph pace.  Not too shabby. 

I just got an e-mail from Coach Ric, and apparently we have another magic mile this Saturday.  OH NO!  The last magic mile almost killed me, and I am so afraid that I won't be able to repeat it.  I can stress dream about this, I guess.  It will take the place of the nightmares over next week's run.

Countdown to Warrior Dash-72 Days!!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Morning People

I am not a morning person.  This used to not be a not-so-bad thing because I didn't really have to talk to anyone for a couple of hours.  But since the little one started school a couple of years ago, this is not the case.  And to make matters worse, she is not a morning person either.  And this morning was one of "those" mornings. 

Two non-morning people, and one of us is only seven years old.  Guess who's mood conquers all.  Even though I am able to stop her tears and get a smile before I walk out the door, my day stays affected, and it's hard to shake off. 

So as I am heading home for my lunch break, I decide I can go for a quick mile run.  The weather was nice, and it wasn't even 90 degrees yet.  I figure it can be two-birds-one-stone kind of thing.  So I got dressed and took off.   No phone, no music, no Garmin-just me and the trail.  I think I ran a mile, and I think my pace was good; but I have no way of knowing for sure. It has been so wonderful having a reprieve from the weather, I was grateful to be able to get a small run in to relieve some stress.

I had to leave work a few minutes early, so I got home before my mom made it home with the morning angel.  I met her at the door; and sure enough, she had a wonderful day.  We had a good evening at home-much better than the morning, and I taught her how to play the first stanza of Baby Beluga on the piano. 

As she settled in to watch a TV show, I left to go to Lydia's strength toning class.  I haven't been in a while, but I know this is the area I have seriously neglected.  It was a tough class.  We worked our shoulders and tricpets.  Then she focused on legs with squats and lunges.  After that, we moved onto the matt to work our abs, and OMG did we work our abs.  We worked our whole body, and she was very sure to make sure we were in proper form.  She's a funny lady; I think I like her because she reminds me of my aunts.  Sitting her right now, I really feel it in my arms the most with the abs running a close second.  I am looking forward to feeling the soreness tomorrow.

But not as much as I'm looking forward to a better morning with the little one.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

To Half or Not to Half

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I entered this challenge to run 50 miles in 30 days on mapmyrun.com.  If I could complete this morning's run, I would finish the challenge with a day to spare.  I was nervous.  The day's run was eight miles, and although I did seven miles only two weeks ago, I remember how hard that last mile was and how tired and grumpy I was during it.

Eight miles.  With the storm in the gulf, we are reaping benefits of cooler temperatures and lower humidity.  It was, dare I say, slightly chilly at 5 am.  Slightly chilly with a breeze.  Kelly and I were on our own again today, but we got an e-mail from Coach Ric confirming that the other two ladies would not be there.  The fifth woman in our group was dropping out, which I had already assumed since we have never seen her.  So at 5:30, Kelly and I take off for our run, both skeptical of how it would go since we were both tired from working the football game. 

What a difference kinder weather makes.  The breeze was constant and wonderful.  As we passed our first mile, we had a bridge to run over, and it wasn't so bad.  Crossing the main roads was uneventful because no one in their right mind is out at this hour without a good reason, and I guess most people did not have a good reason.  We kept going, and before we know it we're at mile three and coming up to another bridge.  This bridge always looked more threatening to me than the one we always use for our training runs.  But as we made our way up it, it didn't get really hard until we were almost at the top.  I don't think the grade was as steep as the other, and I'm sure that made it easier than it was in my head.  At mile 4.5, we had a water station, and we stopped to refill and refresh.  Coach Ric had put in five minutes for each water stop, but we only took enough time to refill and drink a little.  As we kept going, the other groups started passing us and cheering us on.  We would be last again, but I was still happy with the way our run was going and our time.  We got back to the water station, and this time we grabbed our ice towel that was there for us.  I try to imagine how we must have looked-standing on the corner of the roads, pouring ice water on ourselves and wiping our faces.  I wouldn't have really thought about it because when your in the middle of it all, you just don't care.  But as I pulled the towel down over my face, I made eye contact with one of two guys sitting in a car at the intersection watching us with confusion and fascination.  I was grateful that I wasn't repeating my white-shirt oops from a couple of weeks ago, and we just took off and left them to wonder.

We were on the last stretch, and I was still feeling really good.  We ran in the last mile, and as we reached the end, Coach Ric was there yelling, "Come on, girls! Finish strong!" So we did.  I sped up and gave him a high five as we approached the end.  It was the best run I've had with the club so far. 

Talking to Coach afterwards, he was saying that I was going to be so happy with the progress I make in the next few weeks.  I told him that I had already surpassed anything I could have imagined for myself.  With reaching a new milestone every week, I couldn't be happier.  Then he said I am only five miles away from a half-marathon, and we would be pushing ourselves up to and past that distance in the next months.  FIVE MORE MILES!!??!!  It still seems unfathomable to me.  As I was talking to my husband about that, he suggested maybe I've been successful because I haven't set that goal.  And I think he's right.  I'm just focused on improving and reaching the distances set out by coach's schedule.  And I'm happy every time I reach his expectations.  My wonderful friends post on facebook that there's a half marathon in my near future, and maybe there is.  But maybe there isn't.  And it will be okay.  Because I never thought I would be here.  In two weeks, I'll be running nine miles.  It seems like a crazy number to me, but I have the next two weeks to build up to it.  And I'm sure I'll have my stress dreams and freak outs before it, but it's the next milestone to reach and that will be my focus. 

My daughter came home for the holiday weekend, so we took off for the day to spend together.  It was a good one.  We went to the Kemah boardwalk and rode the amusement rides that are there.  I haven't been on rides in at least eight years, and getting on the ride where they drop you from a high distance was thrilling and fun!  So much so, we rode it twice.  I got the little one's face painted while my husband and daughter rode the roller coaster.  Then my feet were going to kill me if I didn't get off of them, so we headed home.  It was a great day!

My girls on the Boardwalk
Now it's Sunday; the weather is still wonderful and I'm sitting outside as I type.  The breeze is surrounding me, and a cardinal is singing to me.  I am very proud of my run yesterday and so grateful that I have Kelly to do this with.  I know she'll sign up for the half; and for right now, I'm just happy to train with her and cheer her on!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mad Morning

I am so angry right now, and it's not even six in the morning!  I got out of bed in time to get to spin class this morning, and I get there just in time for class to start.  But after I check in, there's a sign that says Tuesday and Thursday spin classes are cancelled until further notice.

Crap!

So I ask the receptionist if Matt is okay.  What I find out is that he is not teaching there anymore, but they added another evening spin class.  So I look at the new schedule, and the new evening spin class is taught by the instructor that nobody I know likes.  She doesn't teach, she works out and you get to follow her.  Great.  That's our compensation. 

I'm.  Not.  Happy.

UPDATE:
Ok, so I found out that Matt is opening a second location to his pilates place and is focusing on that.  Yea for him; sucks for us.

So after my little tirade and hissy fit above, I waited until the sun started coming up and went for a run instead.  I opted for no music since the sounds in the morning are kind of wonderful.  I know that the GPS on my phone is all jacked up; but I turned on a running app anyway, because I wanted to have the interval "coach" since I was doing my recommended 5:1's.  Best laid plans...first, I can barely hear her.  Then she keeps telling my "Target pace is too slow.  Try to speed up."  Not even three seconds later she's telling me "Target pace is too fast.  Slow down!"  I can hear her annoying British accent every five seconds, so I tune her out; which means I have no idea when my five minutes are up.  Whatever!  After a while, I realize she's quit talking completely.  I guess she got tired of me not listening to her instructions and fired me.  Can she do that?

All that was in the first 3/4 of a mile.  I continued on the trail and then into the park.  With the temperature being over 100 degrees every day for the past 30 days, we had a little bit of reprieve, and it was below 80 degrees.  It was nice, and I felt like I was keeping a good pace.  It felt really good to be outside.  As I left the park, I was going to go by the school and do my three mile route; but the morning traffic was starting to pick up, and I opted not to be seen on the main roads.  I went back on the trail instead.  As I got close to the end of the trail, there was a lone pair of shoes.  Right in the middle of the trail.  Weird.  I checked the police website, but I didn't see anything sinister that could relate to a pair of shoes sans a runner.  I ended up with a 2.63 mile run.  I didn't quite make it to the fifty minutes I was assigned to run for the day; but it was close, and I was out of time since the little one had a dental appointment.

Then I felt great again...until I had to tell Kelly that Matt was gone.  Then I was all riled up again.  I guess I can try to make it to the Friday morning class with the speed queen.  But I think Matt is just going to be a tough act to follow. 

But I wish him the best of luck.