Sunday, December 21, 2008

Jacksonville Bank Marathon 2008

So this was supposed to be a training run for the Goofy Challenge. As I sit here, recovering from my marathon today, I really can't think of anything I would have done any differently. It went well for not being a race I was "supposed to not race", and I am surprised and shocked by the outcome. Please keep in mind my fastest mary is 5:14:00. I was racing that race.

I felt great this morning. I laid off any running for the last 5 days. Did some weights and a little elliptical. Bob and I arrived just before the start, and we found an unoccupied bathroom. YAY US. I started kind of quickly, but I felt strong. Really nothing of any significance until mile 7, where my calves started locking up. I chewed up some new power jellies (cola flavor--they ROCK!). Chatted up with some runners, and carried on.

I arrived to the half-marathon point at 2:15:00, and I thought perhaps I was going too quickly. Bob caught me on a turnaround and waved "hello". I gave him the "thumbs-up".

No shit...everything was great until mile 24, when a blood blister burst on my right foot. I had to sit down and take off my sock, reattach the skin, and re-tie the laces. I never hit a wall. I never suffered.

My finish time will be (with chip)--4:35:something. What a difference a year makes. Don't think for a second I'm not going to improve upon that. Dismantled my PR by over 40 minutes.

LIFE IS GOOD.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jacksonville Marathon Eve Good Night

1. New playlist on iPod--CHECK
2. Gels (the new ones in the gummy shell with liquid center--cola flavor)--CHECK
3. Brand new running shorts a size smaller so my old ones stop falling off--CHECK.
4. Body Glide--Check

I feel stuffed from the pasta, and flabby from the taper (although I actually lost weight, lol). I will be hitting the hay here in a few. I actually was able to pair up my favorite socks. All is right with the world. Predicition 70's, high humidity with ample cloud cover. I may welcome a misty rain.

I want to do well.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

20 done

After last weekend's debacle of only completing half of my 20-mile long run--I finally fueled up the right way last night, and I redeemed myself. I did it in 3:40ish, was stopped by a train and a wardrobe change (weather heated up significantly, so my sweet husband drove up with shorts to replace my tights). So if I keep this up, I will have a respectable marathon time. The quandry will be which marathon I will do that in.

My husband and I have decided to do the Jacksonville Bank marathon as a training run (second year I have done this). It is a fast and flat course I am very familiar with. If I feel good and strong, I may do ok. But then again, we have the Miami full marathon several weeks after the Goofy Challenge. If I take it easy after the Goofy, and limit my runs to nothing more than ten miles--that may be the one I choose. We shall see. I had such a sweet half there last January, and a horrific half there the year before.

Blessings--no injuries, no aches. All I have to contend with are throbbing toenails screaming to fall off my feet. And they will. I have no use for them during marathon season. My only challenges have been improper fueling, poor eating and fatigue. Those are more easily remedied. I just have to remember to do that, lol.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weight Loss and Other Stuff

OK, so I haven't posted. I have been working and training and working and training. I lost more weight. I completed my 18 miler at about a 9:50 mile--only to bonk on a 20 mile today. I will return and post. The weight is now an issue, as I can't properly fuel beforehand. Long story and something I have to address sooner rather than later. I promise to get here soon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sweet Fourteen

But actually 13.98. Close enough. I completed it this morning with a 9.5 min/mile. I feel good, and I know I could have kept going. I am having some hip abductor issues, but they are probably transient and I needn't worry about it. So I face the dreaded 16/17 miler in two weeks. This time last year when I attempted the entire loop around Doctors' Lake, I hit the wall at mile 15. I was crying and staggering homeward. Bob actually came out to look for me, and picked me up at mile 16.5. That was supposed to be a 17 miler. I am going to attempt it again this year. Hopefully the weather will not be as formidable this time around. During that particular morning, the temps were in the upper eighties, with a heavy blanket of humidity weighing on my shoulders. Mother Nature didn't do me any favors by dousing me with a sheet of rain that lasted approximately three minutes as I floundered at mile 14. Can you say "rub"? The irony is, two weeks later I completed 19 miles with absolutely no problem. It's all downhill after that:).

The only complaint I have about my runs lately is the multitude of McCain/Palin signs littering every other front yard. Of course, the Obama signs have all been pilfered (including my own...didn't make it two days in my yard). I keep reminding myself about "sheep" mentality. After all, this is Clay County. Yee Haw.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fatigue and Good Running

I blew off speed training today. We actually did get up at 4 AM, got in the car, made it halfway there when I realized I didn't have my RUNNING SHOES!!!!!! I nabbed the wrong pair, and these particular shoes hurt my feet (weird that I grabbed them by accident). It wasn't worth the effort. I wasn't about to suffer through the laps with shoes that are too tight, especially with a Saturday run of 7 miles and a Sunday run of fourteen miles coming up. The man was happy to turn around, go home and crash again.

I have done some serious upper body work this last week, and all of my runs have been strong, fluid and effortless. I am sore today, and tired. These late nights working have challenged me somewhat, but when I get a nap in like today, it's not that much of a hindrance. I will do explosive training tomorrow, cycle on Friday, and embark on the all-too-familiar journey over 13.1.

Here I go again.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Walt Disney Marathon Hints For The Novice

Ready? Here goes:

1. Make sure you have your reservations to stay on site if you are coming from far away and/or you don't have a relative nearby. Staying off site is a bit of a pain in the ass for parking (and I promise you, it is). If you stay on site, you have a bus transport from every possible resort. They leave early as hell. Expect to be awake by 4 AM.

2. Be sure and take some extra food/fuel to the holding corral prior to the race, because you will be there FOREVER with a lousy band for your***AHEM***entertainment. The holding corral is a LARGE parking lot. Disney is great about your checked-in goods--so no worries there. There are plenty of port-a-potties.

3. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS register to the corral 30 minutes FASTER than what you expect to finish. For example--if you run a 3:45 marathon...make sure you register as a 3:15. No matter what, there are idiot walkers in the beginning more than a 4:00 marathon. The start is a total cluster fuck of walkers, and you will be easily aggravated. Once you are at the race--you can't advance to a faster corral, you can only go back.

4. NO NEED TO BRING Gu, GATORADE or WATER. There are plenty of water and Gatorade stops. They even have stations of bins of Gu/Gel in every flavor imaginable. You are well taken care of as a runner during this course.

5. REMEMBER--when you run through Cinderella's Castle, your BEST photo opportunity will be RIGHT there as you exit. Exactly when you get out of the tunnel, smile and do your best pose--that will be your stellar photo shot.

6. You will be running on a lot of slanted on and off exits on the road system surrounding the parks. This means you will be running at a slant and your toes will be taking the brunt of it. ONLY for the Disney would I recommend actually tightening your laces a little more than usual and applying Body Glide to your feet. You will thank me later.

7. You will be bottlenecked onto a walkway around mile 24/25--this will be frustrating. Just keep left as much as you can if you are still feeling powerful.

8. Your photo will be taken from above at the finish--so raise your arms and say "Hell Yeah!".

9. Weather is unpredictable--starts have been everywhere from the 40's to the 70's--bring "throwaway" sweats to leave at the side of the road if need be. Almost always, the weather warms up to a gradual warmth by the time you finish. I plan on wearing shorts and an exercise bra by the finish. Hubby will be shirtless.

Happy marathoning to you Disney Freaks!!!!! We will see you at the half and the full that week-end.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Half-Marathon PR

Well, damn it if I did exactly what I wasn't supposed to do, but I am no worse for wear because of it. My diaphragm has been giving me issues with cramping into my ribcage. Felt it last night, and I was awake since 3AM ruminating that I was going to suck major ass at the Marine Corps Half Marathon. Bob kept reminding me the point of the run was a training run, and that I had to remind myself of the six miles I finished in less than an hour yesterday.

We positioned ourselves midway toward the back at the start. I started off strong and faster than I should have--reaching mile 2 in 17 minutes. I had to slow down just a bit, and I cruised along. I saw a lot of friends and acquaintances at this point. I was pacing really well until I saw my friend at mile 5. She said she felt good, but that she had better slow down just a tad. Well, she didn't really take her own advice. I fell behind a little, I would catch up, she shared her Gu with me around mile 7. Then she passed me up again, and then I came upon her walking. I told her some words of encouragement. And I hung with her until just before mile 12.

Eventually she was lost behind me, and I felt a surge to get this race done. I sprinted the last mile and I believe my time will be somewhere 2:06-ish--I am still awaiting the results. That is a PR for me, and Bob may have had one as well. I feel good, the weather was fantastic, but those damn bridges are a BEAR. We saw all the folks from the running group, and we took photos.
I am now tired, and I have a party tonight.

Overall, this particular race is fun with a good showing. You do have to tackle the Main and Acosta bridges early in the race--and there is an uphill ramp around mile 11 that is a real challenge, but you are rewarded at the end with a walkway headed straight down--so it's a nice recovery sprint. A nice crowd greets you at the finish, and if you are lucky enough to have a doting husband--and ice cold beer!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Got Mojo?

I do!!! Yesterday was speed training, and damn if I am not feeling it today! We did 400X200 on account of the half marathon this weekend. I was MOTORING yesterday! I felt strong, and I was dwelling on the the fact that the half is a training run, rather than a race. I know the smartest approach is to remind myself that the risks outweigh the benefits if I go all out for the half. I have to concentrate on my two upcoming marathons--especially since I want not to suffer the Goofy Challenge so that the man and I can have a nice little getaway sans the children.

I am so freaking happy! Despite all that is going on in the world around us, I am doing well with my business, Bob is "therapizing" more than ever, and things are looking up up up for the upcoming holidays. I had to buy a new outfit for my high school reunion because the one I purchased two months ago is now too big. I have so many fantastic things to look forward to.

PSSSTTTT Mostly going to Disney without the kids.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Full Weekend

I had two of the best runs this weekend. No pain, just power. I did the three on Saturday and five on Sunday with a good friend. It's nice to mix things up and run with another person. The time just flew by--we talked about anything and everything. The weather was in the high sixties, and we counted our blessings about what a wonderful morning it was. I got pretty much all of my upper body weight training completed, and I did a huge core session on Saturday. Today will be a day of rest, and I plan on taking my son to the park.

Tomorrow we have speed training again, and I already have a lump in my throat about it! It's been a couple of weeks, and you never forget how challenging it is. Just sitting here anticipating the breathlessness conjures thoughts of fear, lol!! This is important. I have to keep reminding myself that this is all par for course with my ambitions. I can't believe I have my first half-marathon of the season next weekend!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Back In The Saddle Again

Well, after a shaky 3 and a half mile on Thursday, I have OFFICIALLY entered my marathon training TODAY. No more injuries or interferences. So this morning was roughly 5.5 miles in the pouring rain. I can't believe my iPod survived the trip intact and in working order. The rain began as a subtle mist during mile one (ten minute mile). I stepped it up to nine and a half for mile 2-4. As I came down one of my favorite "hills" (and believe me, hills in Florida are usually to the extreme of a speedbump), I pulled back a little. I noticed ominous clouds heading in my direction, and I knew I was going to be typhooned. As I began the last mile home, the rain became so intense, it was pouring into my eyes like a waterfall. I could barely see, but I had the compulsion to laugh my ass off. I kept thinking, "I have no pain", "I feel amazing", "I want this to go on forever". It was so freaking good; I sit here with the silliest grin on my face. As the rain came down in sheets--during my last mile--I sprinted an 8 minute mile home. I felt strong and energized.

That was the closest I have gotten to a runner's high in MONTHS. I have lost ten pounds somehow in the last 6 weeks or so, and I definitely feel lighter and more aerodynamic (if there is such a thing with the human body).

Even in such rain, soccer games are on the schedule. I have the BIGGEST stab of guilt because Barack Obama is in town, and all of my friends are on their way to see him as I write this. How historical and important! I am so sad I am not going to be there, but my friends have assured me they will collect souveniers for me. They are the best. I told them to take lots of pictures. I may even post some here.

OK, on deck--Marine Corps Half Marathon on October 4th. I am ready. Tomorrow is my ten mile, and if I get it down comfortably, I know I am ahead of the game. It feels so great to be up and running again. I never thought I would learn to hate an elliptical machine so much.

Oh, I must make mention what is happening above me at this very moment. My daughter is strumming her guitar in her room. Her sweet voice has traveled down into my space and she is singing Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here." She has all the riffs down, and I am so very proud of her. Life is good.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Finally

After more than a week of biking and elliptical work-outs, I will be able to run tomorrow. I think my foot is stable enough for a slow and short jaunt. I am so excited and about ready to crawl out of my skin just at the thought of hitting the pavement tomorrow!!! Back on marathon track now with a 5 miler on Saturday and a ten on Sunday--what I missed last week due to my injury.

Somehow I also managed to drop a few more pounds and I was actually able to wear a size four pair of jeans. YAY ME! I can no longer qualify as an Athena, but who cares? I just make sure I eat little meals throughout the day instead of three big meals and snacking.

I will write all about my run tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Foot hurts:(

I wore heels last night and I twisted my foot. Now I have a soft tissue injury that I sincerely hope is resolved this weekend. I have a five mile planned for Saturday and a ten mile on Sunday. This is all on the training plan for the Goofy Challenge. So tomorrow I will have to use the tedious elliptical machine in lieu of the seven miler I had planned. Drats.

S3 training today with some serious hamstring, quad and shoulder work. There is a maneuver called a "thruster"....and get your head out of the gutter, buddy.... that requires two 20-pound handweights. You do the deadlift with the weights and then squat and thrust for the overhead press. Very challenging in a speed exercise. I am sure I will be feeling it tomorrow. Meanwhile, I am getting some "guns". All the weight training is starting to pay off when it comes to the definition in my upper arms. Maybe I can kick Bob's ass someday;).

Speed training yesterday was a killer 600X200 times three with a lap recovery done three times in that sequence. I made it to about two and a half. Oh well, maybe I will get 'em next time.

An aside.....how can Sarah Palin push for abstinence-only sex ed programs when her own daughter is knocked up? Since when is this o.k.? If my teenaged girls come home pregnant, it certainly wouldn't be cause for celebration. Just my two cents. Parents make it easier and easier for their children to procreate. Of course be supportive, but what happens to your children whilst in your care is YOUR responsibility. I am a HUGE believer in that.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sweet Eight

Went to a party on Saturday night and ended up getting kinda schnockered. After a really good 4.4 that morning, I was supposed to do eight on Sunday. Whoops! Made up for the eight today in good form. This was the first time EVER I wore a hydration belt, lol!!! I usually laugh at those who wear those things. But Bob placed waters and Gatorade on Friday night, and I didn't expect them to be there this morning. The Gatorade was, the water was not. Considering the high humidity and mid-80s at 6:30 this morning, the fuel belt was a welcome addition.

We are watching Hanna. Enough said.

Speed training tomorrow is Yasso's 800s--800 at the marathon time I hope to acheive in MINUTES. Interesting work-out. I will blog about it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Caffeine--the new "sleep"?

I am exhausted. We have to get up at four a.m. on Tuesdays for that speed training we participate in every week. The first 1000's sucked in a big way. I really didn't give it my all. But then I moved on to the 200's, and I was trucking. I always run better in the MIDDLE of my run, lol! I think that's when the mojo kicks in. And then today was the S3, and I find myself consuming more coffee to stay awake during the day. I have always been a "head hit the pillow" out-cold kinda gal. Someting is different. I can't sleep. This never happens to me. I have a difficult time falling asleep at night because I have been having nightmares recently. It's almost if I am afraid to go asleep (enter Freddie), because of the heinous, nocturnal images that have been playing behind my eyes. Last night, I fell into a lake. It was a sludgy, fetid lake with dark, murky water and the suggestion of raw sewage. I figured I could keep my head above water and pick my way through the flotsam to the muddy shore. Easy enough, it seemed. The lake was, in theory, the lake we live on--just the worst manifestation of my friendly and familiar lake in this particular dream. A current was activated like machinery the moment I entered the still water, and I was suddenly pulled into the St. John's and then out to sea.

I have been watching a friend's baby two days a week as a favor. I will have to try to knock a 5K out tomorrow before she gets dropped off. Another early morning--but Friday is a rest day, and we have our four mile on Saturday and the eight mile Sunday. Maybe training for the Goofy Challenge will tame these nasty dreams once and for all. Nothing like some mileage collection in the mission for deep sleep. REM can keep it's distance. Sorry Michael Stipe;).

Sunday, August 24, 2008

First Long Run In Weeks/Survey The Damage







WELL...we ended up losing a lot more fence than the previous picture. Damn if that storm didn't hang around for a couple of days! I did 7.15 HARD, HUMID, HEAVY miles today. The air was saturated with moisture, and there was NOWHERE for the sweat to dissipate. Bob struggled as well, after hanging around in a house for four days.
I was able to download some old favorites from Jane's Addiction on my iPod, and I just chugged along this morning at a sometimes fast, mostly moderate pace. Gotta build it back up! No slacking!


So here is a few pics I took of the finicky Fay. The shot on the lake? The water was all the way up to the back doors of my neighbor's house. The tree in my other neighbor's yard went down last night.




Friday, August 22, 2008

Fay, Fay Go Away, Living In The Closet, Thanks

We have been living in the closet. Literally. Two tornadoes have passed us by and left us intact (housewise). Our yard, pool and fences are all in need of serious repair and cleaning. Bob is staying up all night tonight to monitor the tornado warnings. The neighborhoods surrounding us have had serious flooding, damage and other negative occurrences thanks to Fay.

The poor kids are scared, holed up in the master closet with the dogs, pillows and blankets.

I long to see the sun. I have more pics when I get the chance...

MEANWHILE, would it be wrong to run in this weather??? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Here Comes Fay


After two days of stalling and changing her mind, Fay is suddenly upon us! Only hours ago, Bob and I were able to go to Target and Publix to pick up some fresh produce--but now the winds are gusting, the rain is torrential, and the side fence has blown over to the neighbor's yard. I took the first pic, and we are about ready to lose power. I can't wait for the sun to return! Hopefully we will be able to run this weekend. There goes the lights flickering....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Intervals and Fay--Yuck

Like a big dumbass, I worked out my legs yesterday with some serious squats and hamstring exercise. I didn't realize I hadn't worked those for over a week, and thus I am sore as hell and my speed training suffered for it. 800X400, 600X200, 800X400, 600X200, 800X400 and then 400X200. I was SLA--OOWWWWW. Needless to say, I was last in the group today. Oh well, what can you do?

And then there's Fay. We are expected to feel the effects of this storm sometime in the late afternoon, early evening. About 5 inches of rain is expected, and some wind gusts will be 60 mph. This really isn't such a big deal, except that we live in an area NOTORIOUS for power outages with any little breeze. Even though our wiring is underground, the main thoroughfare where the electrical stations and boxes are is heavily canopied with the huge water oaks you see so much of in North Florida. I have a pic on this blog that presents an example. Six kids and two yippy dogs in this heat does not a superfun party make. We have a generator. I am expecting at least a few hours without power.

For my fellow Floridians, be safe.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My peers thinking "old"?

Since when is 38-39 "old"? I have received NO LESS than two group emails within the last couple of days about aging, middle-age, getting old, whatever. These emails address everything from sagging bellies (don't have one, thanks), graying hair (so, a little tint every once in awhile), and even a reference to being able to see your ass as you stand facing the mirror. Well, I lost my ass to running. Not a bad sacrifice. What I can't see won't hurt me.

I am not old! I don't feel old. I have a hard time connecting with peers who think they are old. Approaching 40? BRING IT ON. I am only getting stronger. My children keep me on my toes. My mind keeps me searching for knowledge and useless information to harbor and later use in a trivia game. With all the physical activity, my arms and legs are better than they looked at seventeen! The only reason I dread turning 40 is the realization that my running age group is a hell of a lot more competitive. The bar has been set.

So to all you ladies out there thinking you are old--http://photos.jacksonville.com/mycapture/enlarge.asp?userphoto=0&theway=next&picnum=56&image=19960737&thispage2=&return=#show

This is your "40".

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Awesome Speedwork Today At Track

Bob and I continue to incorporate speedwork intervals at a track with the group we have been running with. This group of folks are the local age group and masters winners, so training with them is kind of like being the caboose on a long train. Usually I finish dead last, lucky to even complete the workout at all! I have no issues with that, I am the maverick of mediocrity and it is a title I have learned to appreciate. I would much rather be a midpack runner than a sedentary mom who's only exercise is cleaning out the refrigerator and washing sippy cups.

But today was DIFFERENT. This was the workout: 1200 w/400 jog, 800 w/400 jog, 400 w/200 jog, 300 w/100 jog, 200 w/200 jog--a ladder. For the 1200 and the 800, I held back a little because I panicked again. WHY WHY WHY? Why can't I just let go and let myself "go there"? But I completed them in a timely manner, and I was resolved to finish the rest at maximum. And so I did. My arms were pumping, I elevated my kick and lengthened my stride. It was good, and I worked hard. This time, I didn't finish the work-out last. I finished strong, and it was a nice departure from my average race series this weekend. I almost hate to get lured into the speed again with marathon season upon us; but Bob suggested I stick with the once-a-week speed training in lieu of a spin class. This way I won't rob Peter to pay Paul, I still get the same burn and work out in the discipline of my choice.

The track work-out started at 5:15--we have to leave the house at 4:50. I was exhausted and promptly crashed for two hours when we returned home--DEEP sleep. Gotta love it.

We have S-3 tomorrow, so I have to coordinate what we are doing and get it down on paper. I have been including "Crossfit" exercises in the routine, and the others really seem to enjoy it. We are all getting a good work-out, but sometimes I have a hard time changing things up. We haven't done pull-ups in awhile, maybe I will re-visit that. I did shoulders, chest, biceps and triceps yesterday, and I am still as sore as hell!!!! Plus the Olympics are in full swing, and it's hard to turn off the television at night. I don't know how much good I am going to be, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tour De Pain and Whatever, LOL


This is the first time I have done this triad. A 4-mile, a 5k and a mile sprint in 24 hours. Deep, deep South in August--ninety degrees today for the mile "sizzler". I did "OK". I played it safe, and I am fine with it. Eerily, my husband asked what my "OK" goal was for each race as we headed to the venue--and I was RIGHT ON TARGET WITH ALL THREE. No training, no forethought. I just did it.
The 4-mile on the beach was the tempest. I detest running on the beach, and with my visual issues, I always have a difficult time gauging the gullies and tidepools. Thunderstorms loomed, and we were all warned that there was a possibility the race would be cancelled before all the finishers crossed the line. I had reconciled myself to "play it safe", considering my history of injury while running on sand. And true to form, the sand situation was tumultuous. I played it safe and finished modestly in 39:00 unadjusted time. I told Bob I hoped to finish under 40.
The 5k: Oy vey, what can I say? I started out WAY too fast with a 6:58 first mile, panic and a sidestitch. 27:01--meh--I told Bob I hoped to finish in 27:00. I know better! Shows that I haven't been racing lately.
The mile? Downtown? That is the thorn in my side (along with my sidestitch). 3:00 pm, downtown, hotter than hell. I could have done SO much better had I positioned myself in the start better, and closer to the front. I got waylaid by groups running abreast, I got circled in, and I finished in 8:00. That is the only disappointment today. But I told Bob I was thinking 8:00--self-fulfilling prophecy? Afraid to push the envelope? Sucks that my first mile for the 5k was so much faster. I could have smoked that mile, I just know it. No worries, I will get 'em next year. Hot date with the man tonight:), what can be better than that? I am 352 in the pic, the only time I had some space. Blue hat, up front, breaking away from the pack.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tour De Pain--Jacksonville

Tomorrow begins the "Tour De Pain", a series of three races in 24 hours. Bob and I have the 5-miler on the beach tomorrow evening, a 5k early Saturday, and a one-miler in the late afternoon later that day. I am dreading it. My "get up" has been lacking lately, and my speed is...well...shall I even call it speed? My history of beach runs being my most injury prone endeavors, I have decided to play it safe for the 4-miler, run strong but not competitive for the 5k, and give it all I got for the mile. Bob's goal is for an overall collective time of under a hour. I have total faith that he will achieve this. My mission is to finish uninjured and "un" miserable.

I need to get a solid weight-training schedule down and stick to it. The marathon training is the same old grind, and I will get through it.

We are taking the kiddos to the beach tomorrow. The temps here have been wicked, flirting the 100 degree mark. The weather is supposed to lighten up a little in that department, with thunderstorms expected at race time (early evening). I guess I will be running for my life, lol!
I am happiest and most content on the beach. Always have been.

Well, my first race report since my 5k age division win will be coming up. Don't try to keep a straight face, I will be laughing along with you.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

In Loving Memory


This morning, our 5-year-old guinea pig brothers, Tony and Guido, passed away together of natural causes. Guinea pig life expectancy is usually 4-7 years, 5 being average. They looked older to me, and had lately developed liver spots on the skin underneath their fur. The wonderful thing about them is that usually two male guinea pigs (boars), usually do not fare well in the same cage. They can be confrontational and aggressive. Tony and Guido were brothers and friends to the end. They would cuddle and sleep together--and that is how they were found this morning. They also represent a painful time in my childrens' lives; we having acquired them shortly after Danny's death. I thought they would be a good diversion. Samantha was hit the hardest. She was charged with their daily water and food provisions.


Sam wrote a beautiful eulogy, and they were buried together in a shoebox within the pink camellia bushes. So strange I had been thinking of Danny lately, and then the piggies passed away. Another moment in time. Another good-bye. Another transition.


Funny how two elderly guinea pigs elicit such deep emotion, but I suppose it is the history behind it. This helps me to understand others when they grieve or suffer for something that I may deem as ordinary. It also teaches me not to be so judgemental of what is important to others.


Tony and Guido. Guinea pigs. RIP.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Intervals, No News and Ghosts

So this morning, bright and early at 5:15 AM, nine 200x200 with 200 recovery jog. Probably attained a high 6ish/low 7 for the fast 200s. I still don't feel quite up to par, considering I am training with true winners in the group runs. At least I wasn't the slowest today. I think there was one person behind me, lol! Bob kicked major ass and motored through the workout, passing me up three or four times. He felt good, he looked good, and he is totally prepping for the Tour De Pain this weekend. Why am I doing this again? Three races in 24 hours--a 4-mile on the beach Friday evening, a 5k in Mandarin Saturday morning, and a one-mile sizzler downtown at four in the afternoon. OBVIOUSLY, no one cares that a whole bunch of whacked-out running fools are frying like eggs on a sidewalk in JACKSONVILLE in AUGUST. See why I hate this series? And the worst part for me is the beach race--sand running always strains my knees.

I have to retract the news. I was misinformed and it will have to sit for quite awhile longer. Let us just say it is all part of seeking out Bob's biological family. Hurry up and wait.

RANDOM--remembering a yard sale we had a couple years ago. I sold a lot of Danny's things, and I felt so guilty about it. Bob's friend, Gene, tried to console me about selling his things, "He doesn't need them anymore." That phrase repeats in my head so often lately, as I have been dreaming of Danny lately. I hope he knows his girls are loved and happy. I want to believe that. We took the money from the yard sale and gave it to the girls so they could fix their rooms the way they wanted to, Danny would have loved that. After all, he has no use for worldly objects anymore, right? Over four years gone, and I still can't watch him on video. I can't do it. I treasure how he sits in animation in my memory.

I don't want to cry. And I have to plan S3 class tomorrow.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Waste of A Day

The man and I went to a "Guitar Hero" party last night. It was GH II--and we have never played it before. We are so used to the newer versions. It was a turn-on to play "strange", and I got schnockered on vodka. I couldn't even conquer the Butthole Surfers. Oh well. Good times with good folks, and I have been nursing a hangover all day. Thank goodness for rest day. We missed the group's 5k, which sounded like a fantastic super time, but we needed an adult break with adults. We ate, drank, played GH and that was all she wrote.

Tomorrow for a moderate run. I will see how I feel. It is so hard running in NE Florida this time of year.

There is news brewing, can't talk about it yet. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 28, 2008

SKEERED

Because it is back to the track tomorrow for some serious intervals that equate roughly 7-7.5 miles. I did do a recovery 5k today at 9:15-20 first mile, 9:05-9:10 second mile, and 8:57 the final mile. Nowhere near what I was accomplishing in the Spring. Sometimes I can get very discouraged, but upon news of other runners in my immediate circle suffering from the same malady I am recovering from--not so bad.As far as fighting weight--I am a lean machine. But with the weight loss came an "energy" loss, and I am paying for it. So the plight before me entails marathon training (which started on Sunday) and getting back into the strength training after my STUPID right shoulder and it's problems.I want to get back to the 8:00 sprints for a nice 5k, and a general feeling of overall well-being in a longer run--instead of suffering and begging for the end. It will happen. All things in good time for good people--and as long as I am true to myself and my endeavors, it is all good.


Back in the Saddle
AGAIN! And that song was on my playlist this morning, so I had good inspiration. I got up, I got out of bed, and I ran just over seven miles this morning at a pretty steady, SLOOOOOWWWW pace (10:00/mile). I felt good, though. I felt like it is going to come back to me after slacking with this flu. So tomorrow I will cycle or run again, and do some strength training. Bob and I are going to resume the speed training at the track with the group on Tuesday.PROUD moment for mommy today. Bob and I took the 12-year-old and the 8-year-old to the store today and purchased running gear and shoes. Lindsay is an Asics girl like her mother, and Samantha preferred the Nikes. We shall see how it goes. Lindsay is going to pile cross country on top of soccer and AP classes come the beginning of the school year. They are running tomorrow. Samantha is the fast one, keeping up with me for 3 miles with no issue.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Forgive me

...and my lack of grammatical and punctuation skill as of late. This illness kicked my ass, but I am better and ready to go. So today I acquiesced and purchased a running skirt. I found the Nike version at the store, and Bob encouraged me to try it on. Envision a woman in a dressing room....jumping....jogging in place....swishing her hips back and forth. I wanted to ensure the compression shorts didn't give me the ultimate wedgie. I LOVE IT. I FEEL FREE AND UNFETTERED. I am excited of easing myself back into running Sunday with my new skirt. I am hitting the gym tomorrow for strength training, and then a 7.5 the day after. Whatever virus I had was a bitch. I almost feel as though I have deconditioned in one week. I have new apparel, I have a new "fresh legs" feeling, and I have my beloved route that puts me on a hill decline from mile 4-5.

GREAT NEWS!!! Another old friend from high school contacted me, and she is intending on attending our reunion my birthday weekend. This ought to be fun. I am so excited about meeting up with past buds; and as always, seeing my best friend for over 23 years. PLEASE don't let the DJ play worn-out eighties tunes--but I suppose I will have to expect that.

Bob and I have a laid-back weekend planned. We started off with a visit to the beach today. The skies were clear, the ocean was transparent peridot, and I harrassed a crab. A good time was had by all, and some of us are a little red.

AND SO--time to get serious. Training for the Goofy Challenge MUST commence. I am shaking off this malady. I am focused. I am also down another size (from the stomach issues).

I just need new music yet again. The quest begins.

The 7.5 on Sunday. The spinning intervals Monday. Speed training at the track on Tuesday. The year just flew by; and so I realize, marathoning is a lifestyle, a routine, an expectation.

Here we go!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

SICK AGAIN

No--not the awesome song by Led Zeppelin. ME! I have been battling this flu/virus/whatever since Saturday. Had to duck out of the 8 and a half on Saturday at about mile 4.5. I just couldn't do it any longer. I spent the next couple of days in bed, watching bad television and feeling sorry for myself. Today was the first day I got up off my ass and did about 3.75 on the dreadmill at a 9:00 mile and I walked one. I tried to feign weight training, but I didn't get too far. Thank goodness the kids are self-contained for the most part. I am aching as I type this.SO! I did attend the Democratic headquarters grand opening on Friday. A good day was had by all. I was thoroughly impressed by Tim Cunha--a candidate running for congress for Florida's sixth district.http://www.timcunha.com/What a dynamic orator and politician! He seems to be well-invested in his constituents, and I will be voting for him.My Obama yard sign did not survive the weekend. I sent a mass email to my neighborhood telling them essentially to "fuck off". The response? The community's rules and bylaws prohibit the posting of political signs--NEVER MIND THAT ALL THE THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES IN THE UPCOMING ELECTION WERE OUT IN FULL FORCE. If ONE McSAME sign is erected--damn skippy my Obama will be replaced. My first amendment rights so casually overlooked--our neighborhood isn't even incorporated, so we really have no legal obligation to follow the rules or pay the yearly fees. I want my children to be proactive and who they are--not defined by the "status quo". Alison suggested I should smear dog feces around the sign, and deposit piles around the base of the sign...that way, the next thief will have an umpleasant surprise executing his cowardly act.



Thursday, July 17, 2008

Good news, bad news, expectation

Bob and I awoke this morning with every intention of driving out to run with the "group". At 4 AM we stumbled toward the door to check the conditions--steady downpour. We simply glanced at each other and grunted, "UhUh". Back to bed, and dreamland. 4.1 boring, increased pace miles on the treadmill instead. ***SIGH***

The good news? We had an actual "credit" on our daughter's orthodontic bill; and Bob received good news about some "forgotten" billing for some of his insurance carriers.

BETTER news? My county's Democratic headquarters is having a grand re-opening tomorrow. I am so glad I get to connect with many like-minded women who belong to our mothers' group. I can't wait to procure some Obama bumperstickers. Hell, I may even score a tee-shirt. Little things make me happy. Making a difference and being part of the community makes me ECSTATIC.

The "expectation" is that I remain injury-free. I feel stronger than ever, and I am really beginning to see muscular differences in my back and shoulders. I don't think I have ever been so healthy (and so tired, lol) in my entire life. The "expectation" is that marathon training is upon me. I have to be so careful, Because of the Goofy Challenge, I have to do two long runs every other weekend. I still don't want to trash any hope of the Miami ING being somewhat of an improvement.

Note: I read something very provoking the other day. "Iraq wants the United States to help them develop a constitution. We may as well give them ours, we aren't using it anymore."

Truer words have never been spoken. We all will get through this, right?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"My Relationship Garden"

My husband is lying beside me in bed, singing a made-up song and it goes like this: "My relationship garden, where is my relationship garden? I had a relationship garden, and now there is none." LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!! He is referring to the fact that we have been running with this group (which in and of itself is not a big deal with the mileage, but rather the time of day we have to awaken in order to ATTEND these group runs). The alarm clock is set for 4 AM so that we may travel and be pseudotysongaysanddeenakastors. Ha Ha Ha. Right. So thus no energy for other endeavors. And I also busted my ass at the gym today with hardcore upper body and core. Tomorrow we embark on downtown's bridges. Bright and early to conquer Florida's only elevations--manmade bridges over waterways.

Poor Bob. I get through tomorrow and move on to Saturday and Sunday...an eight and a ten/eleven. We might as well--we do have the Goofy Challenge to prepare for. I am going to be a sleeping beauty with each passing month.

By the way--I have let go the speed issue. Just run. Just shut up and run--it doesn't matter how fast you get there if everyone eventually gets there. Right?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Spinning alone

So I decided to put together my own cycling playlist, and I waited until the class was over to go into the spin room. I cycled for 45 minutes in the dark, all by myself and DAMN, I got one hell of a workout. Then I started thinking, "I like cycling so much as a crosstrain, why don't I just get certified?" I will do some homework and see what comes of it. It shouldn't be that difficult. I can get paid, get free childcare, and receive a great workout all at the same time.

Update about the search: Bob and I were notified Friday that there is a potential match for his birthmother in this large, international database. The problem is, we need to provide more information. I haven't received the non-identifying information from the courthouse yet. It could be months before we find out anything. But wouldn't it be incredible if someone was actually searching for Bob? After all these years? Five years of searching, and we are just a little more hopeful. I keep telling myself to have a little patience with this stuff.

Trying to decide how far I want to run tomorrow. For some reason, five sounds great. I haven't done my 5-mile route in awhile. It's a shame I can't do the track practice with that group I ran with yesterday. But I simply can't make it there that early in the morning. I have always wanted to go to the private school down the road from my house and do speed training on their track--but it is private, so I am SOL. I would be so embarrassed if I got kicked off, lol! It would probably remind me of my schoolyears and all the trouble I got into.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Group Run

...did not work out as well as I had hoped. First of all, I am so used to running alone and running in a "building-up" kind of way rather than a "blast off". The first four miles we ran in the dark at a pretty quick pace (for me, that is). Then we headed back to the start to meet up with other folks who were just doing the 7 miler.

Bob, bless his heart, stayed with me the whole time. I knew he was struggling to stay as slow as I was, and I really appreciate him for that. The ladies I was running with (or trying desperately to keep up with), were very nice and congenial. They really expouse the virtues of "group runs", and it is a concept that is completely new to me. Bob made an excellent observation, "Lee Ann, you run faster by yourself." He is right. I was in unfamiliar territory (as scenic and historic as it was), I didn't have my Gatorade plant in between the waters, I ran sans iPod (well, I had it on me, and I didn't make it thru one song). And maybe if I stuck with a group, I would get faster. Especially on their "speed training" days on a high school track.

But I have to ask myself, "Is this what I want?". What the hell do I want? Do I want to be faster, or just run for the sake of running? Don't I enjoy it? Of course I do! Why complicate things with PRs and speed training? Why bother? But then the competition with myself and advancing myself for personal "feel good" reasons works, too! I know I wasn't built to be a runner, but I have started to define my own kind of running. Screw it if I don't fit the stereotype. Screw it that I am getting older and working harder at it. I can get out there for a 20-miler and run the whole way. So I'm not going to Boston. Who cares? I get to go to New York with the kiddos and the man again (when we get picked; and we will, dammit, for the NYC marathon).

If this is the worst of my problems, then I am probably doing ok!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Day At the Beach

The man and I hauled six children to the beach today. I couldn't get over how cold the water was! We had a great time, and the baby HATED the water. Bob commented on how little girls are so much braver than little boys--and he is on target! Marco kicked around the soccer ball and chased seagulls. We had shrimp cocktail, spicy wings, and the freshest, most succulent strawberries I think I have ever had. We are going back to Publix to get some more. A nice departure from the tomato salmonella scare that keeps me away from my beloved Roma tomatoes. Want a quick, satisfying snack that performs? Slice Roma tomatoes and roast in oven until shrinkage (ha ha) occurs (no browning, then it is kinda gross). Remove tomatoes from oven. On another baking sheet--use olive oil to prepare the pan, place triscuit crackers on pan. Smear a little pesto paste on each cracker, add one slice roasted tomato and a sprinkling of fresh, shaved parmesan cheese. Bake in oven @ 350 until cheese is melted. WHOA BABY. I betcha the roasting kills whatever slamonella is present, lol!

So the strawberries were fantastic. We had some Heineken Light, and a nice day was had by all. I am resting up for my long run on Sunday. I am looking forward to new scenery with this group Bob and I are joining up with. The man and I have even been juggling ideas about a business venture, and scheming to incorporate running into the mix. Stay tuned. I have some work ahead of me.

Headed to the gym tomorrow for some strength training. How I love the weekends!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Toenails! Black and Beautiful!

Crap, I misplaced my diet coke...hold on a sec.

We did S-3 training today--WOOHOO what a class. I was at the point where I couldn't even talk! We sweat ourselves silly. After my 7 miler yesterday, I have a blood blister under the second largest toe on my left foot. I am going to lose it. That probably makes the tenth toenail I have lost as a result of running. The painful toe made the ladder suicide sprints obnoxious, with all of the quick stop and gos. But GOOD NEWS! I think I have convinced Bob to run with the group this weekend! I suggested the change of scenery would be a nice variance to our normal routes. I think he is going because he is worried about me running with people I am not familiar with.

Quick RAVE--Cheez-It Zesty Queso flavor. Fantastic, addictive, 'nuff said.

Tomorrow I am going to kick in speed training again for the 3.1 mile loop I have neglected recently. I am not setting any minute/mile goals--I am simply going to run my heart out as fast as I can. Maybe this will be the run that excavates the blackened toenail!! That would be the biggest relief, ha ha ha. I want to do this strongly and without angst and suffering. If I focus on the fact that it is only 3.1 miles, I will psych myself into running a better run (or bettering my running, lol).

Bob and I talked about getting out the generator and making sure it works. He has this gut feeling we are going to get one good storm this year, and he wants to make sure we have all of our ducks in a row. Candles, batteries...here we go again! Thank goodness we got the tree situation taken care of. After that hurricane of 2004, we don't want to go through the agony of no power for 4 days again...although NOTHING compared to those who suffered through Katrina. I have plans even to occupy the children. I will go to the public library to stock up on books before the storm hits. We have a portable television that is battery operated--although since TV is going from analog to digital, this may be the last year we could use this television. And it certainly isn't worth the money to get the part that helps make it digital ready.

Well, I am off to figure out what to feed the kiddos for dinner. Not much going on today, but I am looking forward to the morning.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Slave to the Garmin

I finally dusted off the old Garmin and attached it to my wrist. I told myself "we" were going to do 7 solid miles at a 9:30 pace or better. I figured I will train for these half-marathons that are coming up, even though I already have the mileage to do one today with no problem. The problem is--I want to do it faster. My best half is 2:10:44--that is a 10:02 mile. That was in 2006, and I know I can do better this year. If I want to finish in 2:05:00, I have to run the half at 9:32. I can do this. I keep telling myself I can do this.

So I set off paying more attention to my Garmin than my surroundings (which is why I detest the Garmin). Look down--8:32 "TOO FREAKING FAST, LEE ANN YA DOOFUS"....moderate...moderate....Look down--10:02 "FOR THE LOVE OF MARY, COME ON NOW!". I was laughing hysterically that I couldn't get "right" with the pace. So I was all over the road, all over the mileage; and I was feeling pretty stupid. I will admit I struggled somewhat throughout the run. But I had decided if I can just add on every other week at this particular pace, I should be able to pull this off.

My final minute per mile tally today for the seven? 9:30. It's doable.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Branching out?

I am considering running with a group of people, and I wonder what I am going to get out of it. I have always enjoyed my solitary runs, and I am a slave to my iPod. I think it is because I live in such a noisy environment. When I get out there early in the morning, and the streets are deserted, the low hum of absolute quiet is magical. But if I go to some of these scheduled runs, maybe the sheer motivation of other moving people will ignite some surge in me.

When I first started running, I ran with others. I was so much slower then, and I always had this strange sense of guilt that I was somehow holding the others back. Of course, they denied that I was any trouble whatsoever...but one lady was so much faster, she moved on. We had two others move away, and the last...my good friend...didn't have the desire to do distances. So I fell upon myself to be my own entity out on the road. At first I was scared, and a little befuddled; eventually came a warm sense of "being". At some point, I couldn't imagine running with others again. I get entrenched in my thoughts, and I get to listen to my music (as opposed to whatever is blaring from the Disney Channel at my house).

I will give it a try and see how it goes. Who knows? Maybe I will learn something new. Meeting new people and enjoying different scenery may invigorate my stride.

Speaking of stride, I am beginning to culminate a little trepidation about the Tour De Pain coming up here shortly. Three races in 24 hours. Doable? Yes. The one aspect of the race that troubles me is the four mile beach run--the first race of the three. I don't run well on the beach. I got injured the last beach race, so I have to eat a little crow this time around. I am going to have to run it and not "race" that particular race. I can't risk the injuries as marathon season is upon us and I am in full swing with training as of the last week of July. I will focus on the mile sizzler--maybe, just maybe, I can be super fast for once!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Silly Me

I did 9.6 this morning with the intent on doing them quickly. I really want to up the ante with the three half-marathons coming up in the autumn. Perfect conditions this morning, light misty breeze and a coolness that is uncommon this time of year.

I set off at a moderate pace and treated the first 3 or so miles as a warm-up, and then I spied a runner in the distance and what do you think happened next? My silly brain began pressuring me to catch her. I was going about an eight flat mile when I passed her, and then I was determined to smoke her--so I sped up even more. Dumb and dumber. Never mind that I indulged on Bob's decadent (but oh so dehydrating baby back ribs last night), never mind that I still had a good three and a half miles to go, or that my right pinky toe was threatening me with a blister...

Bob caught up with me at about this point and I had to put Carmex on my toe--but hey, it worked! Whatever gets you through. He stuck with me for about another mile and a half. Then he left me in the dust, ha ha ha. Now I am lazing in bed before the house is invaded by screaming and giggling children. My folks and my niece are here, and I am enjoying this time I have to myself.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

And so we have a victory...

We filed a claim with the tree surgeon's insurance, and it is covered. So we will be able to recoup our money! YAY!! They just have to eat the deductible, and they don't have a choice. Way to stick it to the machine, lol!

I am bound and determined to have a decent seven and something tomorrow. I will get up way early and tempo my favorite route. All of my iTunes were lost after the PC when to the shop, but Apple was nice enough to reinstate them--all $400+ worth!!! So this is a week of victory. The trees are cut, the electrical to the pool is chugging along, and I had a fantastic shopping trip with girlfriends over the weekend. SCORE! Size four and sometimes a six, baby. That is, from the chest down. All I know is that "I WILL TAKE IT!!!''.

The man and I had one hell of an S-3 class together this morning. We are setting our sites on the Tour De Pain. I am trying to decide how much I want to push this, since it isn't too far into marathon training. A 4, a 5k and a mile in 48 hours--AUGUST JACKSONVILLE, WHOA!!!! I would much rather be home in South Florida for that...believe it or not, it isn't as hot.

Bob's 42nd went well--it became a huge Guitar Hero fusion, and I kicked Iron Maiden's ass!!! WOOHOO!!! Mommy finally looked liked she could take the kiddos..NOT.

More later. Love to all, and don't fret the moderated comments. This blog is cathartic for me, and I don't require much.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thunderstorms, trees and money ain't growin' on them!

I type this awaiting one of the incredible summer thunderstorms that approach North Florida in the late afternoons. WE have electricians rewiring the electrical source to our swimming pool that the tree surgeons unceremoniously and negligently dug up while grinding the tree stump of the magnificent water oak we murdered. This whole rewiring will exceed the cost of the actual tree fees. How can we spend so many thousands of dollars in one week?

I have blown off running and working out today. I just wasn't in the mood. My search continues for Bob's birth family, and I have access to sites dedicated to such that I get the privilege to read all of the reunion stories. It gives me hope that we will be successful. I get tearful.

I also had time to dig out some very funny photos of classmates from high school that I will submit to the reunion company, lol!!! How silly we were. Some folks are going to be VERY embarrassed.

I am running tomorrow morning, DAMN IT. I am running ten fantastic miles and my legs will thank me for it. I will go to River Road and get my fix. I will thank the heavens on Sunday that I have this wonderful man in my life. We will celebrate his 42nd birthday with friends and family.

Happy birthday, Roberto.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ode to River Road



If you start reading from the first sunrise photo, then the post is more fluid. I am still trying to get the hang of this blogging and photos thing, so begin at the bottom and work your way up! Thanks for your patience:).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The large oaks dripping with spanish moss are so much more brilliantly green in the morning. This is the return home, possibly mile 6-7. I have the sun reflecting off the St. John's straight to my back, and this is usually where it begins to get hot. I used to fry in the sun when I was younger, and my front was always much more tan than my back; not so much anymore, it is the opposite!

Shelby has her best friend coming over later so they may swim together. I may get crazy with the camera again!

I saw Bob at about mile 3-4. I still get lightheaded with the anticipation of seeing him. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have the bliss I experience five to six days a week...or the medals hanging on the wall in the family room...double the inspiration in this photo.
"And you run and you run to catch up to the sun, but it's sinking, and racing around to come up behind you again. The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older; shorter of breath, and one day closer to death."


See my lovely playground? It all belongs to me on Sunday mornings.

Bob and I set out for a 10 miler today. He left about 25 minutes before I did, so I knew that I would see him at some point. I am still sketchy about running when it is too dark because the potential of confronting of snakes is pretty high. I don't know what it is, but I have seen more snakes here in the last couple of weeks than I have in years. So I am going to be REALLY queer and post my run in pics. It was supposed to be a long, slow distance...but it actually ended up more of a moderated tempo run. It was fantastic, and I get to this warm and silky smooth place within my soul on mornings like these; when I feel so damned grateful to be alive to smell the jasmine that grows rampant along my route. The honeysuckle are on their way out for the season, so the overripe sweetness hangs in the air like a grandmother's perfume. It's all just so much in it's simplicity, that I can't fathom a greater emotion--but for the love I have for my husband and children.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Treadmill Blues

It's so horrifically hot and humid outside, that I am resigned to going into the gym in a couple of hours to do my run on the treadmill. I also have to do legs, chest and shoulders, so I will be there for awhile. I DESPISE the treadmill. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Have I mentioned how much I also despise Microsoft Vista???? But that is a whole other bitch session I won't subject you to.

I have the saddest of news. Bob and I did not get into the New York city marathon. Bummer. WE were going to defer it, and run it as my 40th birthday celebration in 2009. Who knows, maybe we will make in next year. Bob has done it several times, so I don't think he is quite as disappointed as I am. But oh well, it was only my first time applying.

Even sadder--we have to remove this gorgeous, majestic water oak tree in the backyard. We live on over half an acre, and this thing is so huge, it helps to shade the pool in the summer months when even the pool water is hot. It's root system is growing into the paving around the pool, and compromising the foundation of our house itself. The tree surgeon said that tree could be as old as 400 years old. I feel such incredible guilt about it, but I can't mess with the house. We are going to be here at least for the next 15 years.

I am going to have to remember to take the camera for my run this weekend so that I may post the beautiful St. John's river in all its pristine glory for this blog. If I can get my lazy ass up early enough to get there at sunrise--meaning I will have to run in the darkness for the several miles to the river...getting to the river at sunrise is a sight to behold. We shall see. My only fear is running into another black snake fiesta and not being able to visualize it until I am right there in it.

Kids are out of school, can't say if this is a good or bad thing yet.

Talked to Kathy about our high school reunion this year. I think we may just go.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lazy Day

I have neglected my blog and my weight training, but that is ok with me! I am still so sore from S3 (my last official class) the other day. Bob and I decided we had enough skill to embark on our own, and apparently others think so too...so they are going to join us. I think that is such a great shot in the arm for my gentle giant. He is the sweetest man ever.

Last night I had an evening out with the girls and I was lured into seeing the "Sex In The City" movie. Two words--IT SUCKED. I can't believe I sat through that mess, and it was excrutiatingly LONG to boot!!!

I am going to run tommorrow...and what I should do is take some photos of my River Road. Despite all the issues with money and life (I may have to sacrifice the triathlon because of the fees), I am loving where I am right now. Loving my solitary runs, loving my family, loving the river and the wildlife who greet me in the early hours (sans the SNAKES, EW!).

My eldest won two major choral awards, and I am so proud of her. I love watching her with her Fender Strat....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

ODE to friendship

I don't mention them near enough.

I just want to say that I am OH so embarrassed to have been part of an online community. It can come back and bite you in the ass. I have enough at home and in my own circle of friends, that I can't believe I even put myself into that. Stalkers and such! The internet is such a tricky symposium. No doubt "symposium" is the source for the word "poser". I feel so sorry for the bullies who make that their world. Especially when in real life, they would probably have their asses handed back to them in spades. So be better than that. I know I am.

The lonely and socially inept put their eggs in that basket. I understand that in spades. Be careful. EXCEPT, of course, for the site I participate in with local moms (my friends). That is truth and reality. It is a nice place to stop and be me, and not be "mom", "wife", etc.

My friends are fantastic. They are there whenever I need them. I love being here for them. It gives me great satisfaction that I can reciprocate all the wonderful things I am thankful for each and every day.

I truly am blessed.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Black snakes and the wonder of life.

One of my best friends in the world had probably the scariest experience this Memorial Day weekend. Her husband had a stubborn GI hemorrhage that ~~~AGAIN~~~ puts life into perspective. I love Natalie and her husband dearly, and I am still amazed that a 34-year-old sweet father of one could be on the brink of mortality. I pray nothing but the best in his recovery, and it just goes to show one can never take anything for granted.

It brought lots of memories back of Danny (my first husband). He will be gone four years on June 12th.

Life is so precious.

We have been keeping Natalie's daughter through this ordeal, so Bob suggested we get to the gym this afternoon for some weight training. I am done; rather, my shoulder is done. I am putting my right shoulder on hiatus for two weeks. I know I have arthritis and tendonitis to boot.

SO, the focus du jour will be running. I will log in the miles, baby. But I reverted to recent habit Saturday morning--I ran my ten miles way too fast and found a good excuse to slow down at mile nine. SNAKES!!!!! A SLEW OF THEM!!!! Inches from my final step and when I jumped to safety, I jumped RIGHT in front of another one! Sickening "hiss" and a slither.

Maybe the snakes are tying to tell me something, lol!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I am getting my body fat measured again

I want to see if the S3 training has helped. No doubt I am fitting into a 5 or 6, but it isn't that. It's just that I am so much faster lately. If I can just remedy this pinched nerve in my right neck/shoulder area. It has become such a nuisance. I need to get this taken care of...never been to a chiropractor and I am seriously considering it.

I ran my sweet seven and a half this morning....damn how I love that loop. Total negative split with an easy 10 minute the first half and a solid eight minute mile the second. It doesn't get much better than that. But the pain and numbness from my right shoulder affect that arm, and I have to dangle it every mile or so. It is very awkward.

There is a local 5k this weekend I know I can do well in, but Friday I have my first triathlon ocean practice swim. So it is a no-go. PLEASE G-D, don't let me redline in the water. I can do this. I can do this. Then I need to seek medical attention about my neck and shoulder.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Damn it all

The problem with my shoulder is persistent. I don't want to give up the newly acquired definition I have obtained, but I think it is more than the shoulder itself. I think it is a pinched nerve coming down from the base of my neck and distally to the smaller three of my fingers of the right hand.

I can't afford a MRI right now. This sucks. I used to think it was Carpal Tunnel, but now I am not so sure. My mother underwent some nerve manipulation, and it worked wonders for her. Problem is, this is going to have to brushed aside until we enhance our insurance and the upcoming marathon season is over. Bob and I have already paid for the Goofy Challenge and the Miami marathon.

The nurse in me knows the symptoms aren't congruent with Carpal, and she also knows she needs an MRI.

Long run in the AM....long for me with my stupid schedule, seven and a half. I AM GOING TO PLOW THROUGH IT. I am stoked. I am blessed that Bob doesn't have to go in so early.

Johnny, miss you to pieces. I will email you.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Shoulders

Getting some. Pretty cool. I can definitely see the definition there and surprisingly, in my triceps. I make it a point to do weight training and core at least 4-5 days out of the week.

In other news, my husband missed a triathlon he has won (divisional) the last three years. In order to economize, and keep up with birthday parties, soccer games, etc...it was inevitable. Parenthood comes up and bites you in the ass. Take your whippings and move forward. I promised him no more races until the Tour De Pain (not counting my debut tri in June). Then I have settled on a new goal. Since we are doing the Goofy Challenge, that automatically knocks that opportunity of a PR...we are just racing to finish. So then I have the Miami marathon in January...if I can recover from the Goofy and keep my mileage up, I will attempt to shave 15 minutes off my marathon time. And I really think if I stay in the shape I am, and continue S3 training, that I may be able to pull it off.

BUT THE ULTIMATE GOAL? Now that I have conquered a new 5k time? Definitely the half marathon, and Thanksgiving Day may be the day. Love that distance to pieces.

Negative splits on my last three long distance runs, and I am keeping my fingers crossed. I feel great except for the pinched nerve in my right shoulder. I need to get a MRI, I just don't want to have to pay for it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bliss on River Road

Lately I have written of my quandry concerning speed versus the absolute pleasure of the run itself. I decided to run ten miles today with the explicit condition that I would not be "fast", and I would try and find my marathon pace again. LSD runners call it, "Long Slow Distance". I was successful, maintaining about a 9:50 pace with no suffering, no panic, and the disappointment of the final mile (meaning that was the end of my run, and I didn't want to stop). Bob made it easy for me by planting Gatorade and water at the three and six mile spots, and I put a nice playlist on my iPod. I went from Pink Floyd and Zeppelin, to the Killers, Night Ranger, Yes, The Kinks, and Muse made an appearance. I specifically loaded slower than usual songs, and I really enjoyed the sounds.

The St. John's river was still and stoic. Various daysailers were anchored out off River Road, and I could see their inhabitants perched on the bows of the boats, and watching the sunrise. I got on the road at about 5:50 AM, so I was pleased to be greeted with the light on the river. It was perfect timing. There was one other runner I encountered, she was obviously working very hard...and I had to maintain and tell myself, "This is for your HAPPINESS. ENJOY this LSD". Happiness it was. I obtained a runner's high at about mile 5, and that is when I increased my pace and hooked on to a negative split for my overall run--my fastest going back into my neighborhood at an 8:00 mile. There was a schweeeet headwind at times, and it helped to combat the humidity. I didn't mind the wind today.

I got home, and my 8-year-old was waiting with her Mother's Day gift and a hug. I promptly showered, and re-joined Bob in bed. I crashed for a few hours, and I ended up having a wonderful holiday. We went to the gym and I did some serious legs for about an fifty minutes, and then roughly 20 minutes of core. My 12-year-old baked me a cake, and I am wrapping up this beautiful day and counting my blessings.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Solution, Good Advice, Mother's Day

Again with the run in the morning turning out to be a speed race. I did 4.5 in a little less than 35 minutes. This is way too fast, and I was in a panic at the end. I understand it is all psychological, but the weather is getting warmer, and I can't afford to give up the tranquility of a long run pace for a quick couple of miles.
I posed the issue to Alison, and she said something so damn levelheaded and succinct. "Lee Ann, you aren't yet in training for your next marathon. Why don't you just go fast??? Don't try and analyze it, go fast and call it speedwork or fartlek!". DAMN IT if she isn't on target. Why am I so afraid of pushing it so much? My husband said it is a juggling game, especially in triathlon season. One is so afraid to put one of the disciplines on the back burner, because every little bit helps. My husband, Bob, has won ten out of the last ten triathlons he has competed in (division). He is good on the swim (sometimes first, mostly second), admirable on the bike (50/50), but always smokes the run. He advised me not to negate my running, since it is my strength for now. I have to work on the bike and swim. The swim I can hold my own. The bike? I think I could do well if I could get over the fear of being in close-knit packs of cyclists. My visual disability is a big part of this fear. In a spin class I kick some ass, but on my spanking brand new Specialized...I am a big wuss.
Mother's Day and I find myself being so grateful for the love of my sweet husband, my awesome kids and my dearest friends. One of these friends doing a custom paint job/mural in Marc and Shelby's room. Sunrise, sunset is the theme. With a sun rising, the moon, and owl sleepily in a tree against the nighttime sky...I can't wait for it to be done. They are the last of the brood, and I love that their room can look like a fairy tale. My husband apologizes for the the lack of things he could gift to me on Sunday, and I just look at him in admiration and thank my stars for him. He is my hero, my greatest admiration. Words can't express how he saved me in so many ways. He is a big reason why I am the mom that I am. My family is my gift. I am amazed every day how much I look forward to watching my kids grow. Secretely, I am looking forward to a life with just me and Bob. Please don't wake me up yet.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Oh yeah, problems

I embarked on a seven and a half today. Now I have a new problem--going too fast. I actually had to stop three times to try to "psych" myself into going slower. I am thinking I am getting major potential in local races. I ran a sub-9 minute 7 miler, and it is killing me. I have to pace and remind myself what I love the most-13.1 and 26.2. I am not a sub-9 13.1 and 26.2. My legs keep going when my head says to slow down. I am not elite, I am not going to Boston (well, maybe if I qualify when I am 50). WTF? HELP!

Hang with me here.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Turkey Burgers and Barefoot Running

So I was sprinting in my S3 class today. I couldn't move very fast because my toes all get shoved around in my Asics and it sucks. So I asked the trainer if I run barefooted, and damn if I wasn't a whole bunch faster and more efficient. I can't make this a habit, because you do increase the potential for ankle rolling. I definitely don't need that. I can tell I am making progress in bicep and chest development. It may be time to up the ante in the weight and reps department. As long as I don't end up looking like "Starla", lol!! OK, an obscure reference to "Napoleon Dynamite."

I came home and I was STARVING@@@!!!@@@ Had a turkey burger on a bed of lettuce, hamburger dills and onion and mustard. I won't tell you about the german chocolate cupcakes I had last night. Did I just write that? WHOOPS! I am still hungry. Hormones and high-intensity training do not mix in the nutritional department.

Marc got kicked out of the Kid Zone for biting today. Another member of S3 says if I bite him back, that issue would go away. I don't think I can. I have to find something to get him out of his aggressive behavior. I know it has originated from being the youngest and only boy of six siblings, and he wants to break free of the coddling and doting of his big sisters. He wants his space, and he wants it now, damn it! I don't blame him. Sometimes I want to run like hell, but I would run all the more faster back home.

I blew off my run yesterday, so I have to make up for it bright and early tomorrow morning. I am going to encourage the kids to use the pool this weekend. Keeps them out of my hair, but Marc has no fear and our pool is almost 10 feet deep at the deep end. I am going to have to buy some superstar floaties!

Summer in Florida is upon us.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Blessings

I slept in a little today. I was supposed to run a fast five, but my husband's warm body and my clean sheets held me in bed for longer...I dreamed good dreams and thought how wonderful life is at this very moment. And it is a very good life.

I took my 12-year-old in for a junior high school physical and DTaP vaccine, and she is healthy and beautiful...but I wish she would keep her room clean, lol.

Mid 70's today..."cold" front, lol!!!! Gorgeous with the massive oaks dripping with Spanish Moss and the redheaded woodpeckers and Blue Jays playing tag in the front yard. Our Lowquat tree is done with fruit, and the geckos are out in force.

I have a 3 and a half pound roast beef cooking in the oven, and a fat spaghetti squash ready to be baked.

I have children who giggle and a husband who is my hero. I am the luckiest woman on earth.

Monday, April 28, 2008

OK, I got a minute....

It has been almost a year since my last 5k. I truly love a longer distance race like a half or full marathon so much more, but since participating in the S3 (explosive training) program at my gym, I decided to see if all the hard work paid off. When I first signed up for this training a couple of months ago, I noticed my long distances were suffering because my legs were so fatigued due to the excessive hamstring and glutes conditioning exercises. The trainers insisted my sprints and quick runs would improve, and that I would find a new way to utilize my legs when I get to the point that I am "breathing blood" in a race. Apparently my "quick twitch" muscles will get more active and "propel" me better toward the finish line. And eventually the long distances came back to me better than ever.
Now I am not your typical runner, I am of a bigger build...only been running consistently for about two years....I do a lot of weight training and other disciplines (I am doing a triathlon in June). I overpronate and my gait isn't as efficient as I would like. But despite these setbacks, I love to run and I won't allow the negative to invade my "zen" when I am on the road with the wind at my back. I will concede that the suicide sprints in S3 replaced my intervals, the relays were my "repeats", and the sledding we do on the field and in the gym replaced my "fastest paced" short runs. To make a long story short, I am not fast. I will never be fast, but I had it in my mind that if I could get to a place where I could maintain the sidestitch and the panic for 3.1 miles, then I certainly can wipe 15 minutes off my marathon times. This is logic to me. Please don't laugh:).
My best 5k in a race was 27:50, my best 5K on the treadmill was 26:and change. I wanted a 26:15 this weekend. I chose a local 5K that was on the small side, and the route is actually on the streets I run every week. I looked at the previous year's results, and I came to the conclusion I could have a slim chance of obtaining third place if I really put myself into this thing. I went to bed early the night before, and I set my alarm for well over an hour before my husband and I would have to leave for the race. I wanted to make sure I didn't have any GI issues, and I need to fuel up and hydrate so food and water wouldn't be scapegoats for me later when I wanted to rationalize my poor performance. My husband and I ran 2 and a half miles to the race site (which, in retrospect, supports my theory that I always do better in a race...no matter the distance...with a short warm-up run) and we took our places at the start.
I purposely downloaded the fastest songs on my iPod whether I liked them or not, and put a key song at the end of the playlist. The key song would be my warning that I wasn't going to achieve my goal. I had all the music timed out perfectly (comes back to bite me in the butt, but I digress). I would not wear my Garmin, I would not look at times, and in fact, I was going to try to avoid visualizing the mile markers (yeah, right).
The race starts and I take off like a wild woman, elbowing my way through the slower folks (although I am the one usually being elbowed). My husband disappears from my view, because he is on his way to a PR. "You are too fast," I tell myself. This is where my brain gets multiple personality disorder--"Slow Down" "NO! I can't!" "Yes, you can--just ask your legs, they will agree with me." "No, my legs feel just fine." "Are you sure"? "We HATE this song, fast forward to the next song." "No, I don't even want to waste the energy lifting up my arm and pushing the button." "This gum sucks, spit it out." "NO! I am not stopping for water, I need this gum." And it continued like this until mile 2.5, where my husband warned me not to look at the finish (I am running parallel to it and I have to cross a huge field and then one lap around a track to reach it). What do I do? I look at it. The finish line is so far away, that the brilliance from the sun would take a gazillion light years just to cast a small shadow on it.
It is at this point I knew I was going too fast, but I couldn't slow down. I had a big cramp in my side and sweat was pouring into my eyes. I remembered one of the S3 trainers saying to pull strength from the hamstrings and glutes. He said runners have overdeveloped quadriceps and that could be an undoing in a situation such as a 5K. So I focused on swinging my pelvis more and pulling from my behind. It worked. I am on the field headed for a hill that I had to climb to get to the actual track. A lady I passed before caught me in the lane next to mine. She looked to be about my age--I thought I was kissing third place good-bye. I was concentrating so hard on keeping it together for the race, I didn't really notice anyone else. My husband was on the side waving at me, but at this point I couldn't muster up the energy to even acknowledge his presence.
Then I saw it. I saw the time clock. I couldn't believe my eyes. I thought it was a mistake. 25:00? Me???? I was yards away and I had to have it. I just fight back my urge to vomit and I lengthen my stride. I am getting closer. I am there. I hear the "beep" crossing the mat, and my husband yelling, "25:32". Really? Did I really just do that? I am heaving, hands on knees...the lady who passed me up comes over and says, "Thanks for giving me that final push." I tell her, "Good race". I get some water and cheer on the other runners coming in. My husband wants to stay for the results, so we wait. We talk to other runners, I get a banana. I congratulate a 12-year-old girl who beat me by 20 seconds. My husband goes to look for the results, and this woman comes up to me and engages me in conversation. He returns with a big grin on his face. He is holding one finger up. I scream, "YOU GOT FIRST PLACE???"...."No," he says, "You do; I got third." I said, "No way!" He insists it is true.
The closest I have ever come to placing in a race was maybe 6th or 7th. I never expected first. BUT, in fairness, it was a small race...and my age division was just very kind to me that fair Saturday morning. I am COVETING my new 5k time. I don't feel that slow anymore. I received a gold medal and news that I beat the second place winner by just three seconds.
I had the best run home. I am shooting for 24 next time.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I DID IT!!! A PR AND A GOLD MEDAL

I actually want to dedicate a portion of this blog entry to that S3 class which has had me at personal odds from DAY ONE. I guess if you stay with it, it pays off...and pay off it did. This slow long distance runner participated in her first 5k in almost a year--and not only received a PR, but I got first place in my age division. Shaved better than 2 minutes off my personal best, and if I didn't have guests...I would say more....promise to do it tomorrow. I am on cloud nine.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Carrying on the Tradition

I spoke with my father yesterday. We were trying to coordinate times for his visit today, and he made mention that some of us never had the luxury of "sleeping in" and "not having to worry about our children getting off to school in the morning." He is referring a telephone call several weeks ago when he and my mother called to wish one of my children a happy birthday before she departed for school in the morning. I was half-asleep when I answered the phone and I know I sounded otherwise groggy. Mind you, my children all are very independent and get themselves dressed, fed and off to school in the morning. They have a system, and it works. And it allows me to "sleep in" until 7:30.

I told him they are good kids, and that they have an "ecosystem" within the house. Everyone knows what chores belong to whom, and that it is expected to be done before that child leaves for school in the morning (not the afternoon chores, but the simple morning chores such as making lunch and doing ponytails, etc.). He asked how I was able to do that, and I simply replied that the children were held accountable and they knew their personal responsibilities. He lamented why he couldn't ever have my brother and I to adhere to any such "system", and that I was a "lucky" person. Memory is short--my bother and I got ourselves off to school just fine, thank you. Way after my parents left for work. I then said that my youngest son was a bear, and a very difficult child to deal with whereupon he exhaled and said, "GOOD." "Good?" I replied. "How can you wish such a thing on me?" I am thinking how he could wish such a thing on anyone. He thinks I was a terrible child. I was oppositional and defiant. I was disobedient and irresponsible. I take ownership of that, absolutely. But I am also of the school of thought that children are very much the reflection of their environments and the embodiment of the examples set before them.

I refuse to blame myself for some of the behaviors my parents have assigned to me. I take personal responsibility when my own children misbehave or if they indicate a negative thought process or behavior. I am their role model, after all. But what gets me is, how you can still hold a grudge against a 38-year-old mom of six kids--4 of whom are schoolaged and all 4 on the A/B honor roll--when she is a responsible, loving mother? Why do my parents still bring up the same old shit, and feel the need to remind others of it? Don't they realize this is a direct reflection of thier own parenting skills? Still, they insist it is a genetic thing...that they had no input.

This "vagrant" young lady...Navy veteran, Registered Nurse, Happy Mother, Efficient Mother...

I have that 5K tomorrow. For once it would be nice to be a winner. But I bet if I bring home a medal, my parents would simply say, "You are going to ruin your knees."

They have never been to one of my marathons. They have never been there for any of my races.

I promise as long as I am on this earth, that I will be there for each and every one of my childrens' accomplishments if feasibly possible...and that I will at least be on the phone for them.

I am so ashamed that at my age, I still would love the support of my parents in this way. I need to learn and let it go.

Pathetic.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Possible 5K to Consider

There is a 5k this Sunday near my neighborhood, and I searched the results from last year. Turns out I would have placed second in my age division, so I am considering the challenge this time around. Hopefully no big guns turn out, and I may get a potholder or something, lol!! My 5k time hasn't been a focus since before my last two marathons, but I think I can rally. We shall see. I have been working so hard on the multi-disciplines, that it's been nearly a year since I competed in a 5k.

I ran a modest 3.31 today with a slower than average pace and still had energy to spare for lats, chest, shoulders and back. Finished with some good hamstring exercises and quads. Life is good.

Thankfully the weather has been cool, inseasonably so. I am considering swimming in the late afternoon and churning out a mile.

Oh, by the way...I splurged last night and had a little ice cream cake. I am going to hell, lol!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

FRUSTRATION and WHAT TO DO?????

S3 kicked my ass today. We pushed a sled across the field outside, and LORD HAVE MERCY what a buttkicker! Then we had to relay medicine balls and use bands around our ankles to go across the field, only to sprint to the beginning and do it all over again 2 more times. Then we had some repetitions in the weight room with pull ups, presses, triceps and biceps...now I don't know if I really want to quit this class~~~what do I do? I was literally breathing blood and my heart got pumping; I couldn't even speak at times. And this is an ANAEROBIC CLASS! If they implement more of this type of training, there is no way in the world I wouldn't be ripped. I m going to have to throw it by the man and see what he says. Another hundred bucks of personal training, and I don't know if he wants to swing that...especially when he thinks I can do it all on my own, anyhow. But I do love the class atmosphere. It is organized and fast paced, and there is no room for distraction.

The only thing that seems to be lagging a little is my running; I know I am not logging the miles that I usually do, but I don't have any long distance races coming up...so why sweat it?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Too Good To Be True?

I did it. I surpassed hubby's expectations (and mine). You think you know yourself pretty well--but I never give myself enough credit for certain things. I completed a swim mile, and it was easy as pie. I just felt like, "Is that it?". Bob was amazed, he said; "See? See how the running has conditioned you?"

Truth is, I was always a good swimmer. I just never treated it as a long distance activity. So I am at week two, with only 30 laps to complete slowly...and I cranked out 36 with the last four a sprint and WOOHOO WOOT! Well shit peoples! I live in Florida, practically grew up on the beach. So I did the swim mile, hopped on the bike for 5...then a quick 8 minute mile sprint running. It's good! It isn't impossible! Now I am feeling competitive. I have to squelch that.

It is such a shame that at 38, I found something I truly like. What would have been the options had I been younger?

Busy day today, feeling like I am 18 again--no shit. I would love to spread the love about fitness.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Chocolate Pudding, Triceps and a "Shout Out" to Soleslide for reading my blog

And never forget Johnny:). I am on day one of this miserable nutrition plan and already I an HATING IT. I already know I can't follow it perfectly--that would require me not to use my artificial sweetener in my coffee and the obliteration of my precious cottage cheese (yeah buddy, try and pry that from my cold, dead hands). I did really well today, and my triceps are literally trembling like scared little girls after my afternoon workout. I am DETERMINED to get stronger. I just don't want to be that Athena placing in my category, I want to be that woman placing...period.

My husband made chocolate and vanilla pudding tarts topped with fresh berries tonight. ***SIGH*** Now he is on my shit list because I can't indulge. I am following this thing through, I assure you. Your girl is out for a 10 miler tomorrow. The mission is, "NO SUFFERING OR WANTING TO QUIT". Translated, "pace yourself, or you will blow your wad and be a pussy."

I have to make this short and simple---I am putting highlights in my hair for the long journey back to my blondeness. The brunette was fun for a change, but it really isn't me.

OH! Before I head out--please pray for my Lindsay's soccer coach. He kept her on the bench for 75% of her game today for no good reason. Lucky her stepdad was there and not me--cooler heads wouldn't have prevailed. Nobody puts Lindsay in the corner!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Best Weather Ever

I bribed my oldest with a ride to school if she stayed home with the little ones this morning so I could do about 7 or so. THIS is the BEST time of year here for running. I took off at dawn, it was in the high 50's. The humidity is offset by the lower temps (and they are a little low for North Florida right now). Virtually no wind, and I had a stellar runner's high at about mile 4, with a sweet negative split. How come some days I just got it, and some days I don't? Seems there is no rhyme or reason to the quality of runs I achieve, unless of course there are some underlying circumstances like a slight illness, etc. Giggled to myself thinking about how my Gel Kayanos are for heavy runners...and how I am not heavy anymore. I told my husband today I know I am just the happiest person alive. Every mile expended is another year shaved off, and I feel fucking fantastic. I even managed to pull off a birthday party for Shelby today, and I had a HUGE slice of ice cream cake.

So my friend Alison and I decided to put our diets in check and begin a regimen of "clean eating". This all begins Saturday morning. No processed foods or "white" grains and pastas. All things not from nature will be obliterated from our intake. This ought to be one hell of a challenge because I am going to have to keep a separate pantry from the rest of the family. Good news is, I can totally trust they aren't going to want to have what Mommy's having, lol!! Junk out, good stuff in and let's see if I become a more efficient machine. The old man isn't very happy about it; he does not want me losing any weight. I figure a good 5-10 pounds of fat in exchange for the lean muscle mass won't be that much of a difference and all parties involved will be fine.

Bless his heart, he offered to take me and Alison for a little "ladies only" get-together at a friend's house and pick us up so we don't have to worry about driving! How cool is that? We can get a little buzz and not have to worry about a thing.

Have I mentioned how wonderful life really is? IT IS!! IT IS!! How I got to be so lucky, I will never know.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Naptime Quickie.

I got the baby down for a nap, and I am just waiting to take my final exam in a few days. I am totally prepared for it. So I get to steal a few moments to blog. I know my BMI and my body fat composition. They are within normal range. In order for me to increase my lean muscle mass, I have to lose about 5-10 pounds of fat. I can't possibly add any more workouts to my already overloaded routine. For example, yesterday I was up at dawn for a 5k....then to the gym for back, shoulders and core for over an hour, and then the bike for 5 miles. Then I returned to the gym in the early evening to swim a little over half a mile. Today I had the S-3, and I am sore sore sore. I have to get in a long run tomorrow morning (preferably 7 if my schedule allows), and then to the gym later for triceps, biceps, chest and core. After my S-3 cycle ends, I have to add more hamstrings, dead lifts and extensions into the mix....in addition to spin, runs, and swims. YARGGGHHH! See what I am talking about? All this with six children and school. I have to do it if I am going to be more efficient. But I have to say my hamstrings and ass are looking fantastic--the man also noticed, so this is a really good thing.

The good news is, my swimming is a hell of a lot better than I gave myself credit for. I completed that swim in about 17 minutes. The sprint triathlon swim is a quarter of a mile in the ocean. I have to breathe with every stroke because it is so freaking aerobic. I am hoping the buouncy of the salt water will help a little to save the legs--fishtail as opposed to kicking so much. Either way, it is what it is and I just gotta do it. My biggest fear is the bike! I get nervous when I am biking in a group; it's a lot more challenging than driving in commuter traffic.
ANYWAY, I digress. My original point was, I have to build the lean muscle mass and the answer is diet. I have to change my diet. WAHHHHH! I thought the point of all my endeavors was a good reason to be able to eat whatever I want? How do I even go about this? Is this going to be the measuring of everything I put into my mouth? Making sure I have the right serving size, the right number of this food group, the removal of that kind of fat...?

It all sounds so very complicated. Am I really ready to add this extra feature into my already overloaded lifestyle? Is it possible? I wish they had a show like the Biggest Loser that caters to nonoverweight people trying to get better conditioned--like Fittest Loser.