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--

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.