Monday, February 21, 2011

Neck & Neck

I was already planning to participate in Disney's Marathon Weekend next January. I made that decision just after crossing the finish line of the half marathon. So it made it easy to commit to a friend of mine when she invited me to join her team for next year. The team name is Team Neck & Neck and it's to support Thyroid Cancer awareness. I'm adding a link to the website on my sidebar, too, if I can figure out how to do it properly. There's also a public event on Facebook if you want to find out more.

T asked me to put together a bio for the website and it was at that time that I realized I should figure out which race I'm running. My initial plan was to run the half again so that Coley and I could do it together; I've already talked him in to doing it. But then I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon about two months prior to Disney's weekend, so I thought maybe I should do the full one. I'm not sure if I can talk Coley in to jumping in with both feet quite yet, though. The solution to this little problem would be to do the Goofy. Run the half and the full. Called the Goofy after the dog and because people who do that are, well... goofy.

You would think that I wouldn't even be considering do that, since my run this morning was less than stellar. In fact, I almost turned around and went home a number of times. The first couple of times were because some weird guy came out of the bushes and was waving at me and he didn't look all that trustworthy. He looked like he was looking for his next victim. The other times were because I was hurting. Badly.

One way or the other, I'll be running at least one of the races. I've got plenty of time to decide which or both. Guess who else has time to decide which to do? You! I realize that there are only like two people that ever read this, but I'm here to tell you two that if I can run these kinds of races, so can you. It really is a lot of fun and this team is a great cause to run for. Actually, you don't even have to run. You just have to be able to keep a 16:30 per mile pace. That's what I constantly reminded myself of throughout the training. If I could average less than 16:30 per mile, I was golden.

If nothing else, running really tones your legs and butt. I'm still waiting on some results in the mid-section! :-)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Getting Serious

Before I ever ran the half marathon, my friend asked me if I wanted to run a 15k with her in Jacksonville in March. I said "Sure! After a half marathon, a 15k will be a breeze." My only reservation was where I might be on the weekend of the race, especially when I lost my job, but I found a training plan and tried to follow it so that I'd be prepared. With the move, the training got put on the back burner, but actually registering for the race re-inspired me. Then I worked a meeting for a week in Orlando ate like I had the best metabolism ever - which I don't, if you were wondering. Four weeks before the race. No bueno.

I knew I needed to get myself in gear and said it the entire week at the meeting. "On Monday, it's back to reality. I'm running four miles and then getting back on the training plan. I have to get a couple of good, long runs in before race day." Besides, the first few days of eating from a decent buffet and unlimited (mini-ish) desserts was fun, but started to take it's toll. By the end of the week, I was still eating everything that caught my eye, I just didn't enjoy it as much. Why did I not exercise self-control? Because that's just not an option on-site. Work a meeting and you'll see what I mean.

Thank goodness B was in town this weekend and we'd made plans to go for a run. When she said that she wanted to run the causeway, I was hesitant, but game. Her reasoning was simple and so smart. The
Gate River Run ends with a bridge (on a bridge? over a bridge? whatever. there's a bridge at the end.) and she wanted to have a little practice before the big day. Thank goodness she knows these things because I do not.

So after my crazy week with lots of early mornings, I got up at 6:30 this morning to run the causeway. Let me first say that it is FAR from the intersection of Eau Gallie Boulevard and South Patrick/Riverside to the west side of the causeway. In a car, it seems like nothing, but when you're heading west on foot, it feels almost like it might not end. Perhaps I'm just not used to running straight stretches. I try to incorporate turns into my runs so that I have a change of scenery to look forward to. If not, all I can think about it how my run will never end. It must be that whole setting-short-term-goals-makes-the-long-term-goal-seem-more-doable thing. Or I have a bit of ADD.

All in all, starting and ending at Gleason Park, we ran 4.4 miles in 53 minutes. I was proud of the fact that I ran more of the "ascent" than I thought I'd be able to and I used the "descent" portion to keep running instead of taking a walking break. I might even try to find someone to run the causeway with at least once more before the race. I could definitely use the practice and it's actually kind of fun.

In other running news, the registration for the Marine Corps Marathon opens this Wednesday at noon. I will be registering as soon as I can so that I don't miss out. Hopefully I'll stop waking up in the morning thinking "What day is it?! Did I miss the registration?!"

Who have I become??? My one yucky, bruised toenail suggests a runner. Thank heaven for nail polish!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rapid Aging

Last Friday I started a six day stint as a staff person for a meeting. I was just getting used to this whole unemployment/vacation thing only to have to get back in to work mode. Six days straight was a bit much, but I survived. Barely.

Today was the first day that I got to sleep in again, which was fan-freakin'-tastic. I also had a few errands to run at the mall before getting a much needed and anticipated haircut. I'd gotten an e-mail about the President's Day sale going on at Loft, so I thought I'd stop in to see if I could pick up a shirt or something.

When I was checking out, the girl at the register asked if I wanted to give my e-mail address. I told her that I already got the e-mails, but she said they were updating them, so I gave it to her again. (I really need the daily e-mails letting me know of the new arrivals and sales.) After she finished typing it, she said "82 (part of my e-mail address)... Is that when you graduated or something?" I was floored! I said "Graduated?! Um, no. When I was born." Then she simply said "Oh." as though she was just slightly off the mark. Like "Did you graduate from high school in 82?" and I said "No, college." I really thought she would come back with something along the lines of "How silly of me! Of course you couldn't have graduated in 1982!" Not even close.

I then said "Do I look old enough to have graduated in '82?" And she just said no, as if my question were completely ridiculous. So I said "I know it's been a long, rough week, but I didn't realize that I looked that bad." And she just said "'82... that would make you even older than me." For the record, she looked like she was easily 45, so it wasn't like she was a young college-age girl.

The fact that she never even attempted to recover from this blunder just blew me away. It's almost as if she had no idea how insane her question was. Ever since I moved back home, I've had countless people ask me if I am getting ready to go off to college or if I just graduated from college. Before today, I couldn't get people to believe I'm almost 22, much less almost 29, if I tried! People think my brother is older than me! Yet I have somehow managed to age 30 years in the last week.

The meeting was no walk in the park, but evidently it took more of a toll on me than I thought. Thank goodness I've got a few days off now to recover. Apparently I need it. And some anti-aging cream.