Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Water stops and birthdays

Last week I worked the water stop at a local 5k with my run club friends. The beauty about this volunteering job is afterwards we get free mimosas at the after party.  That's the kind of volunteering I can get behind!  And just so we are clear we all had multiple mimosas!  What a great race!

Today is my 40th birthday!  And as a birthday present we had a snow day!  I love snow days, but birthday snow days are the best!  Yesterday I had lunch with friends in anticipation of the snow coming and it's just fun to have lunch with cool people!  We headed for some Mexican food and birthday margaritas.  

Now the snow was not supposed to start until the evening. Unfortunately it started earlier than anticipated. I headed home in snow. It usually takes me 40 minutes to get home. It took me 2 hours to travel home. Once I finally got home I was greeted by neighbor Nick who was shoveling my parking spot for my birthday. 

I also found out there would be no school. Looks like 40 could be a good year!  

This morning I woke up and did some birthday shoveling. Then I made a birthday breakfast of a chocolate croissant.  Later I had some ice cream cake and then neighbor Nick came over with some birthday beer. 

My plan is to celebrate my new age group all year.  I have a good feeling about 40. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Another go at 18 miles a.k.a why did I sign up for a marathon again?

I took a week off hoping the rest would help my itband. Last weekend I met up with Jen and Sandi to run 18 miles. Sandi had 13 miles on her training schedule,so she was only running the first 6 miles with us.  Then she was heading back on her own.  It's always better to get a run in with friends. Sometimes the conversation can distract you from how you don't want to run.  The temps were high 30's low 40's. So not too bad for a long run. 

We were running an out and back on a bike path. Not too hard. At mile 6 we said goodbye to Sandi and continued onward. Around mile 7 it happened, I put my foot down and pow! The knee felt like it was going to give and a lovely pain shot up my leg. Thank you itband!  We continued on to mile 8 and turned it around. 

From mile 8-16 it was a shuffle at best. We took some walk breaks. The down hills were the worst. I love running down hill!  But not that day I didn't. We got in 16...not bad considering. The good thing about out and back is the fact you have no option once you are out there. You have to make it back so you are going to get the miles in. Now we did cut off two miles but not sure I would have gotten the miles in if I had the option of quitting. 

 Still smiling as I head home to a warm shower. 

I also made a new friend. 

Riley is not impressed with my friend the foam roller. Ugh I hate stretching but looks like if I want to run I'm going to start to love stretching. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Trying to run 16.

Two weeks ago...or maybe it was three weeks ago...yikes! Jen and I headed out to run 16 miles. It was the perfect winter day. The temps were supposed to reach into the high 40's. You can not stay in on a day like that!  So we headed out for our run. I had on capris and a short sleeved shirt in January!  The plan was to run to the mall, run around the Lincoln memorial and the WWII memorial. 

We were doing fine. I wasn't enjoying the run like I was hoping I would but we were out there. Then as we were headed across the bridge towards the mall, my knee started to hurt. Around mile 7 I was hoping I could finish the run. We started the run walk system near the WWII memorial. At mile 8 I was thinking of jumping on the metro at Arlington cemetery, I figured I should be able to finish so we kept going. The downhill was the worst.  I was hating life. I was regretting my decision to keep running. Instead of heading back to Jen's we took a detour to crystal city to get a donut and hot chocolate. The walking was making me cold.  A hot chocolate sounded yummy!
 I'll take one of each!

I ended up with a chocolate cream filled and a hot chocolate. We then hopped on the metro back to Jen's place. We got in 12 miles. Not the 16 that I was hoping for. Of course the first thing I did when I got home was look up itbs.   I was thinking my itband was tight. After consulting the Internet doctor I self diagnosed itbs. Ugh.  

I took a week off of running to see if that is going to help my itband. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Nobody puts baby in a corner

It's Saturday, the night before my 16 mile training run. What am I doing?  Well I did some shopping and then came home and decided to go through my filing cabinet and get rid of a bunch of old stuff from the days when I first started teaching. It's amazing the amount of papers that one person can accumulate. I now have a large trash bag of old papers leaving my house on trash day. Don't be jealous of my Saturday. 

After the great paper purge of 2014 I headed downstairs to see what was on tv. Now I'm not a huge tv person. It is usually background noise while I'm on my iPad. I don't watch a lot of movies either. Very rarely do I head to the movies. Today must have been my lucky day. As I'm surfing to find something to watch I find one of my favorite movies of all time...Dirty Dancing!  

I know most of the words and I'm a bit annoying to watch it with. Luckily Riley doesn't mind. 

Following Dirty dancing is Grease. Looks like I'm watching a bunch of tv tonight. One thing for sure my legs shouldn't be tired for tomorrow's long run. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

15 miles done

Jen and I met up for a 15 mile run on Saturday. I didn't have any real expectations for the run except it will be chilly. Sunday was supposed to be rainy so Saturday was probably the best run day of the weekend. 

We headed out from Jen's house towards shirlington. We were just chatting and running. I could tell that this weeks long run was going to be better than last weeks. Around mile six I was feeling pretty good. We were headed into shirlington and I needed a bathroom so we detoured to the library. I love indoor plumbing!  

I also love tissues. Not only was I happy to use the facilities but was excited to be able to blow my nose!  I've been battling a head cold for the last couple of days. I actually think the run may have helped loosen my sinuses up. I haven't felt nearly as stuffy since Saturday. Score one for long runs!

So after our mini rest stop we headed back on the trail.  We ran until we hit 7 1/2 miles and turned around. We had one older gentleman ask how far we were going to run and once we told him I think he almost had aheart attack. As we approached the 8 or 9 mile mark we realized that was around the point in the previous week I started yelling out "I hate running!"  I was not to that point yet so this run was looking much better that last weeks. We were maintaining a pretty consistent pace. I wasn't  frozen to death. The sun was out. It was a great run!  

The last two miles I had to dig a little deeper, which always happens at the end of my runs. But we finished with smiles on our faces. I drank some chocolate milk at Jen's and then took off for home. 

Nothing is better after a long run in the winter than a nice hot bath. Which is just what I did. Then I spent the day finishing a book that I was reading. I love weekends when you can just lay around and relax. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

It takes a village

After Kristi finished her first half she enjoyed it so much she wanted to try the full together. I may have groaned a bit inside. Looking back over last year, racing sucked. It sucked because my training sucked. As I've told my students I wasn't good at doing my running homework. When you don't do the homework, race day is not much fun. 

This marathon is going to be different. The village is coming together to keep me accountable. First kristi's husband Shawn is currently deployed. He is state side for now. He is running the marathon training program along with Kristi even though he is not running a race. He is also checking in on my training to help me keep on track. He knows I'm not the best at keeping to a program. I randomly get messages on Facebook and texts asking about my long runs. 

Thanks Shawn for keeping me honest!

Kristi also checks in on my training. She doesn't want me to be left at the start line on race day. It's great hearing her excitement as she runs longer and feels pretty good. I guess that is what happens when you follow a program. 

Jen has been great about running long with me. She has a half in February and yet she is currently plotting our 15 mile run this weekend. It is so much better to run with someone. I think Megan may be joining us in a few weeks too. She has a full coming up in May. 

It definitely takes a village to get me across the finishline of my third full marathon. But come March it will be worth it. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The day my cheeks almost fell off!

On Sunday Jen and I met up to get our long run in. She is training for a half marathon in February and I have the full in March. She was looking to run ten and I was looking for 13. Being the good sport she decided to run my 13 with me. We picked Sunday to run since it was the warmer weekend day. I was hoping that the temps would reach 30 degrees.  I don't think it got that warm. 

We headed out after talking about our outfits. You would think by January I would figure out what to wear in the cold temperatures. No, I still am figuring it out. I'm sure I will get it right around March. I decided to lose the knit hat and go with a baseball cap to keep the sun out of my eyes and some ear headband. Turned out the headband didn't last a mile before I had to tear it off. I also had my tights on with some shorts overtop since my rear always gets cold. 

We took off and had a nice slow run along the Potomac river. 

By the turn around point everything from my butt down was starting to get icy.  It was great having Jen to run with because I'm not sure I would have completed the entire cold thirteen miles. But we slogged through them. We even stopped to a photo along the way. 

By the 11th mile I was convinced that I was not going to have a$$ cheeks left because they were ice cubes. My knees were also turning into ice cubes too. The last two miles were by far the most horrid of the entire 13 miles. Im also convinced that someone moved Jen's house farther away!

When we got back to Jen's she was kind enough to make some hot chocolate to help warm us up. It didn't really work.  I couldn't get warm at all.  I headed home and took a nice hot bath. That is the only way to warm up my body, a hot bath. Next weekend I have 15 on the calendar and it is supposed to be in the 40's. So hopefully my lower half will stay warm.