Thursday, January 31, 2013

Things I Believe Thursday XII

I believe that this week's weather has been crazeballs.

(Yes, I just typed and use the word 'crazeballs'. Please forgive me).

Borrowed from 98.3 KISS FM
A station that I never even knew existed until right now.

I went from running in the snow last Friday to running in moderate 50s on Monday to running in a 70 degrees-in-January-30 MPH-gusts-wind-tunnel yesterday.

And today it is a 40 degree, 30 MPH wind tunnel.

Craze. Balls.

ALSO! For you Richmond runners who are still waffling on the Monument Avenue 10k, today is the last day to register before the price increase, so get thee hence to the website and sign up. If you aren't there, all the other runners in Richmond will wonder what's wrong with you.

(Just kidding.)


Wednesday, January 30, 2013


It is time once again to register for the Monument Avenue 10k. I have been having a really hard time deciding on whether or not to run this race.

After I found out that I was chosen to run the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler (which was totally unexpected), my initial thought about Monument Avenue was that I wasn't going to do it. The Cherry Blossom is on April 7 and the 10k is on April 13. Far too close together for my comfort. If this had happened pre-break, I would've been fine but now I am no longer the throw-caution-to-the-wind runner that I used to be.

But the 10k keeps calling out to me. It's in my Facebook newsfeed, its commercials are on the television, and everyone who knows that I am runner keeps asking me, "Are you doing the 10k?" (To all non-runners, if you live in Richmond and run, then obviously you are doing the 10k.)

To help make the decision, I decided to make a pro/con list, otherwise known as the Do It/Don't Do It Inner Monologue.

Found this gem. God, I loved Daria. 

Do It
  1. It's your only "streak" race. You have run it every year since beginning your journey. Yes, it's only been 3 years, but at this point it's the only streak you have. Do you want to give it up?
  2. You are a runner and you live in Richmond, therefore the 10k is a no brainer.  If you don't do it, you know people will wonder what's wrong with you (even if they never say it out loud). It's just what you do, ok?
  3. Simply put - it's a fun race. Plain, easy, fun. No pressure.
  4. You qualify for a seeded wave this year. You have never qualified for a seeded wave before - how can you pass up that opportunity?
  5. It's only 6.2 little miles. By the end of half-marathon training, you will be conditioned enough to be able to run 16 miles in the space of 5 days. All you need to do is run the 10 miler on Sunday, cross train during the week only, and run the 10k on Saturday. It'll be FINE.
  6. Conversely, if  you get nervous and think 6.2 miles after a mere 6 days after the Cherry Blossom 10 will cause you to break yourself again, just don't run. The race fee is $30... it's not like it is $75 or $100. No big deal.
  7. Stop thinking so much you idiot, and just do it.
Don't Do It 
  1. You are being reckless. Don't know if you remember this, but you are only 5 months gone from a broken foot. That you broke because you pushed yourself too far too fast. You are running a half marathon on March 17 and a ten miler on April 7, and now you want to do a 10k on April 13. Do you want to end up on crutches again... 3 weeks before your trip to Italy, where crutches would decidedly be a disaster?
  2. BFF is set to hatch on April 17. If little Lizzie decides to come early, you will need to be hightailing it to Maryland for the big event. 
  3. Did I mention that you had a broken foot?
  4. Doing Monument Avenue means that you will have effectively filled every weekend in April. And you already feel overwhelmed about April. Is that really smart?
After much dwelling on these items, I have (rashly) elected to register for the Monument Avenue 10k. 

I just can't give up the streak. And I have to stop always worrying. 

There are, however, two caveats: If Lizzie comes early, I won't be running the race. And, if I am experiencing any pain or discomfort after the 10 miler, I won't be doing the race either. 

I am going to blame 50% of this decision on peer pressure. 40% on my own craziness and 10% on advertising pressure. Congratulations, Sportsbackers, you've suckered me in.

Inner monologue says I'm an idiot, by the way.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Speed work... Yeah, about that.

For some reason, I got it into my head last week that I should start doing speed work again.

Like most, I am not a fan of speed work, but begrudgingly added it to my training last year for the Shamrock half marathon. I wasn't very faithful about it, just kind of stuck it in every now and again.

I don't think I have done actual speed work since then - soooo, about 12 months ago.

Which is probably part of why last night was so so hard.

I met Greg on Monument Avenue. The plan was simple: run fast for one block, recovery run for one block, repeat until we had completed 3 miles. Seems easy enough, right?

We thought so too... and then after our first two sets of fast/slow, we were both panting and cussing during the recovery block.

I had forgotten how hard speed work is. By the end of the 3 miles I was positively worn out.

But as we stood (or in my case, laid) on the sidewalk stretching and catching our breath, we got our reward:

A lovely sunset behind Mr. Jackson.

Reminds me why I loved training on Monument Avenue last year, and how much I miss the scenery. It's a nice change from the purgatory of the vita course.

Once I got home an uploaded my Garmin, I discovered why the speed work was so exhausting: our average moving pace was 7:42 and our fastest pace during the speedy blocks hovered around 5:30. Usually, Greg and I hover between an 8:15 and 8:35 pace.


Maybe we were just a little too speedy, eh?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Snow Run!

Today, it snowed in central Virginia.

And as most Virginians are wont to do, everyone freaked the hell out.

Seeing as how I am not a Virginian, I did not freak out. Instead, when our office closed early at 3 pm, I texted Greg.

"Snow run???????"

As you will recall, I recently wrote about how I do not do cold rain, but I happily do snow. And here was my opportunity!

I'm not sure why I love running in the snow. Maybe it has to do with my training experience for the first race I ever ran - Monument Avenue 10k. It was 2010, and training started in January. It was an unusually cold and snowy winter, and my 3rd or 4th run with the YMCA training team was in a full on snow storm. Somehow, running in the snow wasn't as tedious as chugging down the sidewalk along Route 10 in the ugly, dry cold.

When I was finally able to convince Greg and his buddy Diallo to meet me at the vita course, I was on cloud 9. I headed to the bathroom at work to change into my running clothes while everyone else was headed out.

"You know we are closing at 3, right?" asked a coworker as I marched up the stairs.

"Yep! I'm just changing into my running clothes!"

She looked at me like I was crazy.

You know, one of those CRAZY runner types that I once declared I would never be.

Anyhow, as I changed I got to the point where my socks need to go on and realized that I had forgotten to pack socks. Of all the days in the world to forget socks! Luckily I had worn a pair of pink argyle socks to work. They looked especially ridiculous pulled up over my running tights, which seemed to make the whole snow running thing a lot more fun and crazy feeling.

The run itself was spectacular. There was only one other crazy soul on the vita course other than Greg, Diallo, and myself. The three of us set off at a leisurely(ish) pace that picked up with every passing mile. We ended up with all negative splits.

I think that happened because we were literally thawing ourselves out the longer we ran. By the end, not a single part of me was cold.

What is it about snow that makes everything feel fresh, wonderful, and exciting? Forget the fact that my snot was freezing to my face and I couldn't feel my toes - I was having a blast. I loved hearing the snow crunch under my shoes, feeling the snowflakes gathering on my eyelashes, and enjoying the eerie quite that seems to descend on the world when it snows.

I was sorry when our 4 miles were up, and even more sorry to have to get in my car to make the long drive home.

But really I was feeling so lucky that I my foot is healed and I was able to have this running experience.

Snow running. It's freaking awesome.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Things I Believe Thursday XI

I believe that wearing your Garmin on the outside of your sleeve...

is akin to....

Image Source

wearing socks with sandals.

Though I sometimes find it necessary to wear my Garmin on the outside (particularly when I am wearing a long sleeved shirt with thumb holes, for some reason), I can say with 100% certainty that I've never worn socks with sandals.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"Real" Runners

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

This unofficial creed of the United States Post Office might as well apply to many runners too; simply substitute "runners" for "couriers" and "run" for "rounds" and you've got a motto that many of my brethren live by. Heat, humidity, cold, rain, snow - nothing stops them from going out and getting in their miles.

As for myself, once I discovered that I was in fact not  invincible after all, I have limits to what I am willing to run through outdoors. This became apparent last week, when it rained for not one, not two, not three, but FOUR days in a row. And on the fourth day, that rain turned to a lovely mix of snow and sleet, creating a disgusting, slippery mess. 

On Thursday, the fourth day, constant running-buddy Greg tried to convince me to join him and few others for a run at 5 pm. My response: "Have you LOOKED outside recently?" The past 3 and a half days of incessant rain had rendered all of Richmond a soggy, swampy mess. Giant puddles, squishy slippery mud, and bogs that used to be grassy areas abounded. 

There was no way I was venturing out in that mess - and to make matters worse, the forecast was calling for the switch from rain to snow to occur in the 5-6 pm time frame. 

"You guys are nuts - go right ahead without me!" was my final answer.

Later on, while I was enjoying a glass of wine and splitting a delicious pork roast entree with Marcey at Cafe Rustica and watching the snow from the safety of our comfortable booth, I saw Greg check in at the run meet up. I jokingly posted, "You all are cray cray!" on his check in. Later, a response from another member of the group: "Runners run in all weather" to which I replied, "Yep, on the treadmill!"

Hrumph. So I take this to mean that because I have no intention of running in the dark, cold, rain and snow, I am therefore somehow not a real runner?

This inference was still in the back of my mind when I planted myself on the treadmill this morning for this week's "long" run (a designation I use loosely, seeing as how I am limited to a 4 mile "long" run this week). I had brought along the February issue of Runner's World, which I had been saving for a session on the dreadmill. 

When I got to Ellen Hunter Gans' "Running on Ice" column, I felt comforted in my decision to not risk my recovery by running in less-than-favorable conditions. Ms. Gans describes a 20 mile training run that she attempted in snowy weather... during which she slipped on black ice and broke her fibula. She had been training for Boston and instead spent 6 months unable to run. 

But it's not that part of the column that really spoke to me - it was her description of how she felt about running once she was finally cleared to go back to it. "Running felt less like something to check off my to-do list, and more like a privilege." 

Her closing line: "And this winter? I'll see you on the treadmill."

Yes. YES YES YES. That is exactly what my own injury and recovery has done for me. Running is a privilege that I want to continue to enjoy - and to do that, I have to drop the invincible act. I can no longer assume that the worst won't happen to me. It could... and it did.

When you haven't been injured, it is so easy to think that you never will be. No one will ever convince you otherwise, either - see "Things I Believe Thursday X". 

Until it happens to you, it will never happen to you. It's a lovely frame of mind to have - enjoy it while it lasts. I know that I did, and even though it can be a foolhardy way of thinking, I miss it. I hope that all of you get to retain that state of mind for the entirely of your running career, and not have it dashed by an injury. 

And you know what? The more I think about it, the less I like the idea of anyone defining what a runner does or does not do. 

I am not any less of a runner than anyone else just because I opted to run my 10 miles on a treadmill this week instead of in the cold rain. Trust me, I hate the dreadmill as much as anyone, but I hated having a broken foot much more. I'm not willing to risk slipping and potentially injuring myself again for the right to proclaim that I am a "real runner." And to be honest, I just don't like being both cold AND wet. I'm cool with cold, I'm alright with hot, I'm even ok with warm weather rain or a good pure snow. But my line is drawn at cold rain. 

Likewise, one person is not any less of a runner because they run 11 minute miles instead of 8 minute miles, or because their longest race is a 5k and not a marathon. Or because they only run 3 days a week instead of 6.

Am I not a "real" runner because I still love to eat McDonald's every now and then and sleep in on Saturdays? NO. 

A "real" runner is anyone who, well, runs! 1 mile or 26; morning, noon, or night; fueled by a cheeseburger or a protein shake; in the rain or on a treadmill; decked out in Brooks gear or an old t-shirt rescued from the bottom of a drawer; at an 11 minute pace or a 6 minute pace - we are all runners. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

For the record, I don't begrudge my friends for their rainy, snowy run last Thursday. I heard it was crazy fun and included thunder snow and lightening. I wish I could have been carefree and joined in. A tiny part of me wanted to (the tiny part that isn't afraid of broken bones or cold rain). As it is, I'm just glad that I am running at all right now and - knock on wood - completely pain free for the past 10 days.

I hope for a snow day in the future because while I am hesitant to go in dark cold rain, I am 100% in for a morning snow run with you all - as long as it includes a snow ball fight at the end (or on route!).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Things I Believe Thursday X

I believe that individuals make important decisions about their lives in their own time...

...and that no amount of prodding, debating, or nagging will make a person change their mind one way or another or move faster than they intend to. When they are ready, they will make the decision.

With me, this is especially true. The more you pester me about something or insist up on it, the less likely I am to do it!

I also believe I'd be a lot more excited about the potential snow forecasted for today if it hadn't been preceded by 3 and a half days of miserable rain.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Eat: Turkey Chili

When it's cold out, I want to eat a good soup or stew.

I've been a little obsessed my father-in-law's simple chili ever since he made a big double batch to eat for lunches during our vacation in the Outer Banks back in April. Previously, my experience with chili is pretty limited; my dad didn't like it so growing up we had my Mom's version of chili every once in a blue moon (and there was nothing wrong with it, mind you) and as an adult, I hadn't sought out the dish. Being someone who likes to taste their whole meal and not just spices, I don't like hot (spicy) foods and am always a bit apprehensive about chilis that I am unfamiliar with.

Then there is the consistency: I like a chili that is less soupy and more chunky... but not TOO chunky. I still want it to be a soup... just not... too soupy.

You see why I've had trouble with chili?

Anyhow, with a few tweaks to father-in-law's original recipe, this chili is now a favorite of mine - especially with a big Jiffy corn muffin on the side. Being chili, this is also highly customizable. For me, it has three different varieties: Naughty (made with sausage or ground beef), Not So Naughty (made with ground turkey), and Very Well Behaved (no meat). If you don't like the beans I use, then sub something else in. If you want more kick, add some chili powder, diced jalapenos, or green chiles.. Need all the fixins? Throw sour cream and shredded cheese on top. Make it yours.

Whatever version you prefer, it has a great mix of lean proteins and veggies that I think makes it a good food for runners too.

Oh yeah, and it's SUPER EASY. And makes delicious leftovers.

Turkey Chili
from Father-in-Law, modified by me

Total prep and cook time: 25 minutes (if you're good at chopping; longer if you're not)
Serves: 6

Ingredients (Not So Naughty Version):
10 ounces of ground turkey (I use Shadybrook 99% lean)
1 yellow or vidalia onion
2 cloves garlic
1 sweet green pepper
1 14 oz can pinto beans
1 14 oz can light red kidney beans
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (I prefer petite diced)
1 package McCormick Original Chili Mix

Possible Substitutions:
  • For meatier chili, use 1 pound of ground turkey
  • Substitute ground beef or sausage for turkey if you're feeling naughty
  • Add diced chiles or jalapenos for extra kick
  • Omit turkey or beef for vegetarian version; usually I add a second pepper in this case
Possible Additions:
  • Toppings such as shredded cheddar, sour cream, or green onions
  • Jiffy Corn Muffins (I'm just sayin' ... these things are delicious little calorie bombs, people.)
1. Chop onion and pepper(s), then cook ground turkey, onion, garlic, and pepper over medium heat in large saucepan until turkey is cooked through, stirring often.

2. Add beans, diced tomatoes, and chili mix.

3. Combine and simmer over medium heat until hot.

4. Dish up, add whatever extras you like, and eat!

Nutrition facts: If you make the vegetarian version and no toppings, as little as 162 calories per serving; as prepared above with no toppings, 208 calories per serving. Naughty version - you don't want to know.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

50 Shades

You've heard of 50 Shades of Grey-

Well, I call this get up "50 Shades of Neon"

... or maybe just 4, but you get the point.

I need to really take that whole "pay attention when I pack my gym bag" thing to heart.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Things I Believe Thursday IX

I believe that now that I have neon pink running shoes, I should pay more attention to the outfits that I throw into my bag.

Neon pink + red = burning eyes

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

10,000 Steps

I would say that I have a moderate case of OCD. Other people (like Husband) would probably tell you I have a serious case of OCD.

My OCD manifests itself in 3 main ways:

  1. I hate clutter and am constantly cleaning, purging junk, and putting things away. This goes so far that I hate putting up Christmas decorations because they just feel like clutter to me... when Christmas is over I am always so relieved to put it all away again. 
  2. I'm very bad at being spontaneous and feel the need to plan out every aspect of most events, from a simple Happy Hour to international trips.
  3. I love to track things. Anything! I keep an obsessively accurate 10-month cash flow plan for our household budget (updated many times a week), I have a 3-year savings plan, I count my calories, my miles, the books I read, the number of vacation days I have at any given time, the movies I go to, my weight, etc etc.
Wow, I'm sounding like a nutcase, aren't I? 

So, to the point of this entry. Since I love to track things so much, I had been wanting a pedometer to see how much I walk each day outside of running - especially when I go on trips like Boston and soon, to Italy. After tons of research (just kidding, I kind of just picked this one out of the air), I added a Fitbit One to my Christmas Wish List. 

I must have been a good girl, because Santa brought one for me and I started to use it on January 2. 

The Fitbit measures steps, flights of stairs, miles, and calories burned. The thing is tiny - I hook it to the center of my bra and forget that it is there for the rest of the day. You can log into an online account to adjust goals for each of these aspects, but despite being obsessive about tracking, I am lazy about settings so I left mine at the default goals of 10,000 steps (approximately 5 miles), 10 flights of stairs, and 2,000 calories. 

Of course we all like to think of ourselves as actually being more active than we are. I was sure that it would be easy for me to reach my goals. I live in a two story house and go up and down the stairs what seems like 50 times a day. My office is also two stories; my cube is on the first story and all of the truly important things (bathroom, fridge with water filter and my lunch/snack horde, copier, mail machine) are all upstairs. The walk from the parking lot to the office is not a short one, and when I go to stores I don't circle the parking lot trying to find the closest spot - I just park no matter how far the spot is from the entrance. When I want a snack from the kitchen, 90% of the time I get off my butt and walk in there to get it instead of getting Husband to bring it to me.

Then of course I run 3 days a week (sigh... only three... but better than none).

10,000 steps? EASY!

Imagine my surprise when I only logged 5,410 steps on my first day. 

I was appalled! How could it be possible? Maybe 10,000 was a high goal. I googled how many steps are recommended per day. It's 10,000.

Well, it was the first day. And I didn't run that day - I swam - and the Fitbit doesn't track swimming, after all.

The next day, Thursday, I did a 4 mile run while wearing the Fitbit and had 11,312 steps. Whew!

Over the past week, I have consistently had under 10,000 steps on days that I do not run, only exceeding when I run more than 4 miles. This in spite of the fact that I have gone out of my way to go for a walk during lunch and fit in as many steps as possible everywhere else.

I've come to the realization that 10,000 steps is a really difficult thing to achieve day in and day out when you sit at a desk 8 hours a day and live in the burbs. If I was running 4 miles every day and walking to lunch, work, and shopping, it would be simple. But I can't. It's a real struggle for me to get those 10,000 steps, even though I consider myself a pretty active person. 

What my fitbit activity meter generally looks like
mid-day, after hours sitting at a desk.
Sad little flower.

That realization reminded me how difficult it is to be truly active, fit, and healthy. There are so many things in our lifestyles that hold us back: long commutes, desk jobs, non-walkable cities, the lure of our TVs, computers, iPads and Netflix. 

With the help of my new favorite OCD toy, I hope that I can start hitting that 10,000 more often. Not sure how I'm going to do it yet - on days that I don't run, it seems impossible. In the meantime, I'll have fun obsessively tracking every step and flight of stairs. 

Because I'm weird like that.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Rules Were Meant to Be Broken (?)

Last week I ran a total of 10 miles! Seems like nothing, but that is a really big week for me these days.

So I guess it shouldn't be too much of a shock that my foot hurts.

If I'm honest, it started hurting the day after the 1st Day 5k. At the time, I attributed the pain to the fact that I had just straight up run on pavement for 3.1 miles. I haven't run that long on pavement in a long long time. That night I put new Sof Sole inserts (which BFF Steve recommended) into my Brooks PureCadence, hoping that the extra cushioning would help.

On Thursday I ran at the vita course with Marathon Winer and things seemed ok until the drive home, when I could feel my foot swelling and aching. I iced it immediately and took the day off on Friday.

When I woke up on Saturday I was annoyed when there was still some pain. Being the hard head that I am, I went to the Y anyway and put in 3 miles on the treadmill.

That evening as I sat icing my foot and freaking out, I started to think about why it could possible be hurting this much when it dawned on me that I had run 10 miles during the week... and that in doing so, I had probably broken a very important rule for my half-marathon training: the 10% rule.

While I'm being honest, I might as well take this opportunity to say that I'm not a big believer in all of the "rules" and formulas that fill the pages of my Runner's World magazine. Paragraphs about interval training and splits and 10% and this and that might as well have been written in Greek as much as I understood them (or cared to).

BUT because I am in the position of having no clue what actually caused the break, I am now willing to prescribe to any rule or formula that claims to prevent injury. I'm kind of like an atheist who suddenly finds out that there is a God and becomes a fanatical crazy religious person overnight.

Upon further inspection and comparison of my training plan to my mileage record, I realized that I had indeed broken the rule... big time. Week 2 of training had consisted of 7 running miles and 10 biking miles. Week 3 (last week) consisted of 10 running miles, 10 biking miles, and 1 swimming mile.

That's a 42% percent increase in running miles.


I didn't mean to break the rule... I guess I just wasn't really paying attention to the training plan that Steve and I had so carefully laid out. In my mind, I am back to my old self.

What's the saying - the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak? Yes, that.

It's exactly what I'm experiencing. I just want to go back out there and run run run like I used to without paying any attention to my new rules. I want to forget that I was ever broken and just be me again - running whenever I want, however long I want, and not worrying about it. I shouldn't have to think about running - it's the not thinking that makes it enjoyable!

But, as my the 4th metatarsal of my left foot is reminding me (still hurts today), I can't go back. I can't break the rules anymore, unless I want to end up on crutches again... which I most decidedly do not.

So, during this, my 4th week of half-marathon training, I will behave myself and stick to the prescribed 10 miles (3, 3, and 4).

Le sigh.

Also, I think I should have resolved to not use the words "break" "broke" or "broken" during 2013.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Race Report: 1st Day 5k

What better way to kick off Marcey's Year of Running (YOR) than with a 5k on January 1st?

However, it could have been an April Fools' Day Race, as the day ended up containing a comedy of errors.

First, there was this:

Adding to the want to just stay in bed was the fact that I did not feel so hot. I've had hints of a cold since mid-December and somehow I keep fighting it off, but it reappears every once in a while. It had appeared again on the morning of January 1st and the thought of running in the cold rain with half of a cold was not appealing.

But then I reminded myself that I should just be grateful that I can even run this race and that Marcey was counting on me. So I pulled out my most rain-resistant running clothes, ate some mini wheats, and headed to the race. Luckily, as I drove the rain stopped. Whew. Being me, I was chronically early, arriving at race parking at 10:20. The race was set to start at 11 and Marcey and I had arranged to meet at 10:30.

I wasn't eager to get out and stand in the cold for longer than I had to, so while I waited for Marcey, I turned on my Run playlist and the two songs that pump me up the most came on back to back:

There is NO better running anthem than Run the World.
Trust me.
When Marcey showed up I jumped in her car to get my race number, which she had so kindly picked up for me. She also gave me my race shirt, which is a hilariously hideous pink faux-tux sweatshirt:

The race was managed out of a facility called ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center. This place was f-a-n-c-y. We went inside and while Marcey made last minute adjustments to her bib, I hit up the bathroom. Of course the line was extremely long, and while I stood I started to fiddle with the pocket of my Brooks Running Vest.

Here's where Comedy of Errors Episode 2 comes in. Given Marcey's past history with her car key at races, I was in charge of the car keys and had zipped them into the pocket of my vest... and now said pocket would not come open again. I pulled as hard as I could on the darn thing but it would not unzip. Then the lady in line behind me offered to give it a try with no luck. I just couldn't believe it - our bad luck with car keys continues - we are both cursed!

At least they wouldn't fall out during the race...

The race itself was in a residential neighborhood just behind the ACAC. Marcey and I barely made it to the start line in time and there was no time to take our traditional pre-race photos.

I hung with Marcey for about 1/3 of a mile before she basically yelled at me to go ahead and go at my own pace, so after our usually "Love you, bye!" routine, I took off. Before I knew it, I was passing a "1" sign, which I assumed was a 1 mile sign. I thought that it had not been nearly long enough yet and looked at my Garmin, which showed only .6 miles. I thought that was funny and assumed that my Garmin was off. Thinking I was already 1 mile into the race, I started to really let loose and pushed myself to run as fast as I comfortably could...

Until my shoe came untied. Because of the rain, I had opted to wear my older pair of shoes. Apparently when this particular pair of shoes gets old, the shoelaces refuse to stay tied. During my earlier runs with Greg at the vita course, the shoelace on the right shoe of this pair came untied every run, without fail. And here it was, keeping up that streak. I begrudgingly stopped to tie the thing and wouldn't you know that less than 5 minutes later, it came undone again. And then the OTHER shoe also came undone! I was literally cursing at the shoelaces by the 4th time. Even with double knots, one managed to come undone again during the last .2 mile and I just left it until after the finish line.  Comedy of Errors Episode 3 - the shoes that refuse to stay tied.

I won't be using them again.

During what I thought was mile 3, I started to feel very tired. I was pushing myself hard but there was no end in sight. I was wondering what on Earth was going on with the course when I came upon a "4" marker and it finally dawned on me that the distance markers were not mile markers - they were kilometer markets.


Comedy of Errors Episode 4. Instead of pushing myself for 2 miles, I had started running as fast as I could a mere .6 miles into the race. No wonder I was exhausted.

Thanks to my stupidity, I ended up with a great time of 25:38 and a sub-8:00 mile.

If I hadn't had to stop to tie my stupid shoes, I would've PR'd...
I waited at the finish for Marcey, then collected her and headed back toward the ACAC. On the way, we traded photo ops with another group of ladies. I handed the woman my iPhone to take the photo, forgetting that it was on video mode. The result of this mistake turned into the best photo bomb ever and the highlight of the day:


We watched this over and over, laughing hysterically every time.

Here's the actual photo, which turned out nicely:

Yes, we decided to go twinsies - something I usually detest.. We found these Lululemon running turtlenecks in the We Made Too Much section and instead of convincing each other to NOT buy them, we ended up getting them. We are also both wearing my Christmas gift to Marcey in honor of her YOR resolution:

After satisfactory photos were achieved, we headed back to the ACAC where I borrowed a pair of scissors to break the keys out of my pocket.

Then we went to the finish area to find our photo bomber. We totally found him, showed him the video, and shared a laugh. We told him it was the highlight of our day and we were so glad that he did it.

So there you have it - the First Day 5k. It was my first all-running race since August, and I'm pretty pleased with the result (even if it was accidental and due to my own stupidity). Our next race is the inaugural Love Rox 10k in February.

In 2013 I Resolve To...

1. Run 800 miles (unless I get injured)
2. Complete a full marathon (unless I get injured... hate writing this caveat!)
3. Do a sprint triathlon.
4. Keep up reading streak of at least 1 book per month.
5. Return from 2-week-long, 5-city Italian vacation still married. If Husband and I survive intact, it will be a miracle.

This year, I am also helping Marcey with her awesome resolution, which is to attempt to run a race every month, or in the event that a month just doesn't happen, run 12 races. I won't be able to do every month with her, but we've already got a pretty nice looking line-up (as long as I don't get injured - GAH!). She's calling it the Year of Running (YOR) and I couldn't be more happy to support her in this endeavor!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Things I Believe Thursday VIII

I believe that getting a surprise free afternoon off from work because the power went out in your building is pretty darn awesome.

Instead of sitting on my butt all afternoon, I got to run 4 fast miles at the vita course with Marathon Winer in the daylight and now I'm going to finish my re-watch of Downton Abbey and get to watch the Mason basketball game too!

Thanks, unreliable power source!