Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chapter 2 page 328 - 15 reasons NOT to do TR 114

For those of you who read the last page of the book first, let me start off by saying that despite the following 15 reasons why I didn't want to do this training run (TR 114), 
I did it any way!

15 Reasons I didn't want to do TR 114:
15.  It was late (I started at 8:45 p.m. and got out of the shower after finishing at 10:05 p.m.)

14.  It was still hot and humid (unlike the high of 91 and sun, it was still 82 degrees and 80% humidity)

13.  I had a HUGE amount of pasta for dinner (could this be carbo loading for my run - nope!)

12.  Sitting on the couch and playing with the puppy is a whole lot easier!

11.  I REALLY need to get my winter clothes put away in my closet and break out my summer clothes! (Some of you live in HOT environments, but here in Northern IN, we had a frost warning just 2 weeks ago - not any longer - it's going to be at or above 90 degrees everyday this week - HUGE SIGH!)

10.  My pains are back. . . or maybe they never really left (left shin, right heel - update on that at a later post, gotta talk to the PT first, and right knee)

9. I didn't have a running partner (tonight's run reminded me, as if I have ever forgotten, how much I hate solo running - I'm a social runner for sure!).

8.  I feel so out of shape (I constantly had to remind myself that my wheezing was from the humidity and asthma combo and more importantly, 10 days ago I ran a half marathon).  

7.  This 3 miler felt hard (full disclosure, I'm afraid tomorrow's 4 miler will feel impossible).

6.  This run required me to play a million mind games (it started with setting the interval at :30 & :30 to keep it fresh and as interesting as possible; I even broke out my "new" shoes to make if somehow different; I made bargains with myself - just until I get to the half way point - then to the 1/2 mile left mark; then at one point I bargained to do only 7 more running intervals, but by then I knew that I would reach the end of the route with 7 more intervals)
Don't mind my crappy shin taping job - just wanted to slap some on there rather than run without it.
5.  I got no less than 10 mosquito bites and at least 5 bugs up my nose . . . we're not even going to talk about how many probably flew into my gum (we're just not going to even think about that!).
4.  The sun was setting and although I feel the path is 99.9999% safe, there's always the chance of a creeper lingering in the parking lot.  

3.  I was going to say that I don't even really enjoy running (unlike most all of you reading this), but that sounds so negative.  I think it's honest and accurate.  I enjoy the social aspect of running.  I enjoy the health benefits associated with running.  I kind of enjoy the challenge of running (KIND OF!) - I prefer running to feel do-able!

2.  It's so easy to just skip it one more day!

1.  I've had tummy issues all afternoon . . . and I'm out of the army - the days of "going in the woods" are OVER for me!

BUT despite having 15 "good" reasons NOT to run - I just couldn't bare having another FAIL on my training schedule so . . . 3.0 miles DONE!  Dear God - I have so many more miles to go before I get to my half marathon in September - hoping you all will hang in there with me through them all. . . BECAUSE I'M GOING TO NEED YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

Chapter 2 page 327 - how does your garden grow?

Despite the fact that I have had 2 beagles (and tried everything from putrid egg scent to human hair and everything in between), rabbits seem to use my landscaping and backyard as their safe haven (soooo frustrating).  3 1/2 years ago, my husband suggested we start a garden - ha!  Like that could EVER happen with all the rabbits running around the back yard!!!  I have lost so much of my landscaping that I just couldn't fathom a way to have a garden.  Then during that winter. . . I learned about container gardening - score!  I studied up on what types of plants and containers would work best and the following .  I learned that containers didn't have to be expensive or fancy - that basic plastic storage containers from Walmart would work just fine . . . and our container garden was born.  Initially we had 2 containers - one for radishes (for my hubby) and one for lettuce (for me).  It worked so well that the next year we doubled the containers and included carrots.  Last year, we had 6 containers and added 3 types of peppers.  Although the plastic containers were convenient, they deteriorated during the winter (the 5 gal buckets held up alright) leaving me to buy new ones annually - that got expensive.  This year, we upgraded to a raised container garden made out of cedar wood.

Here's how it arrived:
Far too heavy for me to move on my own - had to wait on the muscle to get home!
Here's "us", putting it together:

Here's the layers of potting soil going in:

Here's the seeding:
I "scored" the different sections - the right side (closest to Pacer the pup who was overseeing the project) was for the first round of planting while the left side would be for planting in 2 weeks.

Can you see the teeny tiny radish shooting up at the tip of my nail? (that nail was a result of my polish color "testing" at the CVS in order to select the final 2 colors I would wear for the Geist, ha!)  This was taken on 5/18 - just 3 days after the initial planting.
 Here's where we are today:
Here's the full "garden" shot - the left side was just planted on Friday

My lettuce called "salad bowl" lettuce.  It's not growing as fast as it has in years past, but it's coming and that makes me happy.  Here comes summer time salads (well, not exactly yet, but soon :)

This was a different type of lettuce I planted - boo, it never came up!  I replanted it with the salad bowl seeds this past Friday - hopefully it'll come up.

Cherry belle radishes - my husband loves these and they apparently grow SOOO much better than my lettuce.

Sparkler radishes - these are the white on the bottom and red on the top ones -they're hot.  He really enjoys the "heat" of these!
These are 4 day old radishes from the second planting this past Friday.

These are the green onions sprouting from the first planting.
So there you have it - the Wells L garden (for now).  Stay tuned for updates including (I hope) photos of delicious salads!!!!  Do you garden?  If so, in the ground or in containers?  What do you grow? 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Chapter 2 page 326 - book review

I purchased this book from Amazon back in November (before my 2nd half marathon).  I had hopes of reading it over the winter, but one thing after another kept me from finding free time to read it.  Having 3 half marathons under my belt I no longer consider myself a beginning runner (perhaps back in November, I was, but no longer).  I have read exhaustively and studied running topics that match my current running needs.  I went ahead and read this book, nonetheless.  It was a great book! There is even a chapter about mental strength that is rarely found in beginner books (I read every word of that chapter since it's my weakest area of running).  I have read a half dozen books geared at the beginning runner, but this one, more than any other, is truly a fantastic book for all beginning runners.  If you have a friend who is just getting into racing, this would make a fantastic book.  It's a bit of hand holding and a bit of cheerleading, but it's an honest and do-able step by step guide to becoming a runner.  I wish I had read this book a year or two ago.  I will definitely be referring this book to all my newbie running peepes.  This is a must read for rookies!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chapter 2 page 325 - TR 113 low tech 2 miler

Today is a week after the Geist (which actually feels like a month ago) so this week's training has been all about easy, rest, recovery, and getting mentally ready to gear up for the next round of training (for the Fort 4 Fitness half in September).  I was a "good girl" and did the 20 minute walk the day after the race that my running mentor "M" said was essential.  I did 3.5 miles with my Spring Into Training participants on Thursday.  I've heard "C" say she ran 2 fast miles twice this week.  I, though, have been putting off the remaining 2 miler that is on my training schedule.  Not exactly sure why I had dreaded it so much - I suspect I thought "all that effort to change and drive to the path for only 2 miles".  My new training schedule starts on Sunday (rather than the typical Monday) so that leaves today as the last day to "get my run in" this week - HUGE SIGH!  I have vowed to do everything in my power to make every run during this training cycle so . . . I decided to just go - go without changing into my "running" clothes.  I am calling this 2 miler a "low tech" run because I wore NOTHING moisture wicking.  I didn't even take time to wear what I consider my essential running gear (toe socks and body glide).  Although I did bring my watch and ipod, I didn't use a devil beeper - instead I elected to do half mile intervals (the half miles are marked on the path I ran on).  So, here is how it turned out -

Sexy huh!  Can you see the sweat?  It was 92% humidity!
1st half mile = 9:03 (warm up walk)
2nd half mile = 5:14 (ran full half male; used 180 cadence)
3rd half mile = 8:03 (recovery walk)
4th half mile = 5:42 (ran full half mile except for 2 at 1/4 mile mark; used 180 cadence)

Those are pretty fast run intervals for me. . . who am I kidding - those are way faster than my 5K PR times - woot! woot!

Have a great holiday weekend!  Let us not forget the sacrifice our servicemen and women make - freedom is not free!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chapter 2 page 324 - First timers

This is a shout out and recognition for the accomplishments of a few first timers -

I wanted to give a shout out to 2 gals "A" and "T" who are training for their very first half marathon (Fort 4 Fitness on 9/24).  I know "A" through my job - she's amazing. Her training partner "T" brings the fun which we all know is oh so important when looking at a half marathon training schedule.  I'm so proud of these girls -they went 5 miles . . . a distance I'm pretty sure seemed impossibly far a month ago.  Do you know what is even more impressive about these 2 first timers?  They have been talking up their plans and have recruited several of their friends and family to sign up for the half marathon as well.  Talk about inspiring!!!!!!!  Great job ladies!  I hope the training continues to go well. 

Through my blog, I have become friends with a gal in Missori named "A".  "A" is a HOOT!  We exchange emails and she literally cracks me up.  She's the reason that "C" and I are traveling to St. Louis to do the RnR Half in October - so we can meet her!  She has committed to doing her first half marathon in August and has begun her training this week.  She's amazing - she can already run 6 miles and I just know she'll be amazing at her race.  I look forward to reading her emails and following her training journey!  Keep being the strong diva you are, "A"! 

So experienced half marathoners out there in bloggy land - do you have any words of encouragement or advice for these first timers?  I'm sure they would appreciate hearing (reading) everything you would like to offer!  Thanks in advance!


Chapter 2 page 323 - TR 112 S.I.T. 3.5 miler

This is a quickie post -
Tonight I worked with the Spring Into Training "interval" group.  These are people who one month ago swore they absolutely couldn't and wouldn't run!  Tonight we did 3.5 miles using the interval :45 & 2:00.  They did GREAT!  I'm so proud of them!  This was my first run after my half last Saturday (I walked 20 minutes on Sunday, but then took 3 full days to rest) - it was NOT as hard as I had feared it would be.  I'm back in the game, folks!  One more easy 2 miler to do this week and I'll be 100% for my new training schedule - ha!

Chapter 2 page 322 - new blog features

As if you have nothing better to do all day except to browse my blog, so . . . I thought I would give you a quick tour of the new aspects of my blog (in case you have been sitting around eagerly waiting for "what's new" with Chapter 2 - NOT!).
For starters, you can now access my blog easily with by going to be-amazing.net .  I know you ALL have been with friends away from your own computers with the pre-programmed "favorites" list and desperately wanted to show your friends my blog . . . but only if you could have remembered the dang URL - well, worry no longer -it's easy!!! Just type in be-amazing.net and BAM you're there!  Lickity Split!  My awesome husband hooked me up with the new domain as a b-day gift last month!  Thanks, honey - you're awesome!  So now  you ask, why be-amazing?  It's sort of my catch phrase.  I say (and type) it often.  I'm a big fan of encouraging everyone to be amazing!  For Senior Night, I had custom throw blankets made for "C's" daughter "B" and her boyfriend "J" that had their high school logo on it and then it said "BE AMAZING!".  I like it - hope you can be amazing today too!

Wait,  there's more!!! Woot!  Under my "Races (past, present, future)" page (click HERE)- which by the name was previously named "Goals & Races" are collage photos of all the races I've done.  Now, here's the background.  I was soooooooo exhilarated after doing my first race and so incredibly thankful to "T" who taught me, trained me, and encouraged me!  I created a photo collage using photos taken by my friends and family and gave it to everyone who was in the race with me ("V", "L", "T", and one to my running mentor for his seed planting, "M").  I looked back at that photo collage endlessly always smiling and thinking "look what I did!".  So . . . a tradition was born.  I make a photo collage for each race that I do.  I give a copy to each person who does it with me.  On this "Races" page you will find a poor quality photo of the photo collage.  Good news though, you can click on the photos to enlarge them.   The collages generally feature the people who did the race with me and other memorable things that happened related to the race.  Enjoy the collages for all 25 races I've done!

Finally, as if any of you are desperate to know - on my "Half Marathon Training Schedule" page you'll find our newest training schedule we're using to prep for the Fort 4 Fitness Half Marathon in September.  It actually started on Sunday and I am committing to seeing it through. 

Ta Da - there you have all the new features . . . enjoy and thank you for following my journey!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chapter 2 page 321 - "You asked" part 4 - optimism edition

Back on my 300th post (which by now has been awhile ago - 4/13 to be exact), I offered up an "Ask me anything" opportunity.  You all asked such interesting things and I'm honored to have a chance to address them (albeit slowly).  If you missed the other previous answers, feel free to click HERE for part 1, click HERE for part 2,  and click HERE for part 3 which was one of my most popular posts ever (thanks, Z for the shout out).  Today's question comes from Kimberly at Healthystrides.  Don't know Kimberly?  You definitely need to check out her blog.  She's truly a remarkably amazing person with a great sense of humor! 

Here's what Kimberly commented, "I want to know ... how much you love me? Ha! Just kidding. What I really want to know is how you stay so positive. You are always such a (much needed) source of optimism and encouragement, which I admire.  Also, what's your dream destination race?"

First, I love you and your blog sooo much!  I'm beyond thankful our paths crossed a year ago at the running store and that we have stayed in touch.  I thoroughly enjoyed out Ladies' Night Out a few weeks ago - totally great to spend some time chatting and getting to know you better.  You're amazing - I hope one day that I can be half as successful as you are!!!! (Now, pay me the $20 you owe me for saying such nice things about you!!!! WINK!)

Second, thanks for the nice compliment.  I definitely try to be optimistic.  Can I share a quick story?  Too bad here goes - skip ahead if you wanna!  Everyone at work will say that I am one of the most upbeat and energetic people they know.  I'd say it's pretty unanimous at work that I might be one of the most "manic" people around.  So . . . in the summer of 2009 when I had coordinated and then got roped into participating into the 10K training program everyone (including myself) discovered a completely different side of my personality.  The program leader who is also my running mentor "M" will tell everyone still to this day "Wells L is sooooo incredibly positive and upbeat about every aspect of life, but bring on the walking or running and she turns into this incredibly negative person."  It's true - back then I was even blown away by the level of negativity I brought to the whole walking/running thing.  Today . . . I have a much more positive outlook on it  . . . . until about mile 9 or 10 then the negativity comes back (just ask "L" or "C" - it gets REALLY ugly!!!!).  No idea why the ugly negative monster reared it's head back then, but other than that - yeah, I'm generally try hard to be a source of encouragement and motivation for others.  I really thrive on helping people feel as if they can accomplish their goals or to help them get past a bad day or hurdle.  I think it this upbeat spirit came from teaching middle school which is 20% education and 80% cheerleader/entertainer!!! So back to the real question - how do I stay so positive, hmm - well, I guess my trials compare to so many others in the world an that no matter how bad things "feel" - they're only temporary.  I have really found the world has soooo many negative people that I just feel obligated to be as positive as possible to counter all that ugliness! 

Finally, you want to know what my dream destination race would be.  That's a REALLY GOOD question that I feel terribly unprepared to answer.  I'm still SO new to racing that I don't know a lot of destination races. Does running in Madrid with you count?  Okay - we would need a buy one get one free sponsor for that.  In the last few months a lot of people have talked about how great the Nike Women's Half Marathon is - so that's kind of interesting.  I'm pretty excited about Big Sur in November.  I hear there is a Marathon Cruise where you get off at the different ports and run 4-6 miles so that by the end of the cruise you do a full marathon.  My new bloggy friend "Allie" in MO (who we're going to meet in St. Louis in October) told me about the cruise race.  Additionally, Richelle at Running Toward a Higher Calling, has made the Team Ortho races in MN sound pretty fun (still on the maybe in 2012 list).  I guess that in leu of knowing a specific race I definitely want to do here are some things I like in a race:
-BIG 6,000+
-Love the all women events (St. Pete's WHM was life changing!)
-Nice temp
-Nice people at the race
-Nice swag
-Spend time with my running buddies ("C" and I had a blast in FL, and the 3 of us had fun in Indy)

So I guess I ask you - what is/are your dream destination race(s)?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chapter 2 page 320 - Race recap part 4 the end

Yep - this was the reason I did it . . . I worked REALLY hard for that sucker!

"R" (C's sister) was amazing!!!  She did the race almost all by herself - that's some hard core guts (that I definitely don't have!).  I later learned that "L" walked the last 1.5 miles with her - see, "L" was a HUGE factor in our success!!!  Thanks "L"!
"CHEERS" to you too, champs!

How crazy there wasn't a professional photo so . . . this is the best we could do.

Thank goodness it's over!
Some of the awesome peepes I met along the way - couldn't have done it without them.  I called these girls the "pink team"  Aren't they cute - we had been "friends" since mile 4 or 5 . . . that's a good 2 hours of friendship :)

The "rest & recovery" area was made out to be this fabulous area and perhaps it was had we gotten there earlier.  It closed promptly at 11:30 which was the official end of the race.  There were things like free beer, free lunch, free massages, vendors selling things, free chocolate milk, and other post race free things - but by the time I was able to rest and recover enough to enjoy it - it was closed up.  There was suppose to be a concert and food at a restaurant - hmmm, nope, didn't see or hear that either.  That was pretty disappointing, but it wasn't the end of the world - we ate elsewhere and then traveled back home - thankful to be done and knowing I won't be doing that race again anytime soon (or more likely . . . .never again!).

Chapter 2 page 319 - TR 111 Race Recap part 3

I'm not the take pictures while I run a race kinda girl - it's all I can do to breathe and stay in the fire fight so here's the written account - enjoy

miles 1-3:  We had not run these during our 4/29/11 "dress rehersal", we started off smart - we didn't push the pace, just did it exactly like we had trained - stayed on the mark of my 3:05 pace tat (I wore it on my right forearm).  We started off with 2:2 and settled in for the long haul.  Spoke to some people - none that were overly friendly.  I took 2 cups of cold water at the water stations - drank most, threw some on my face and neck - I was super sweaty already.

miles 4-6:  Race was yellow flagged by the time we arrived at mile 4 - the heat index was definitely creeping up.  These miles were really no problem.  We fell off the 3:05 pace so I moved my attention to the 3:15 pace tat (I wore that on my left forearm). At mile 4, we ate a serving of chomps as we had planned.  During mile 6 we took a one minute extra walking break which seemed to really give me a much needed "rest" and I was able to charge ahead refreshed and ready.  Met some really nice people that we saw MANY times throughout the rest of the race.  We continued doing 2:2.  I took 2 glasses of cool water at each water station - drank most and threw some on my face and neck.  At the 5 mile water station, I took 2 swallows of gatorade as well.

mile 7:  No problem.  I ate bloks ("C" had a gu) at mile 7 as planned.  We continued to do 2:2.  Continued to hydrate with 2 glasses at each station plus some of my on-board bottled water.

mile 7.5-8.5:  Killer hill.  We had heard lots of people talk about this hill in the months leading up to the race and we had experienced it first hand, BUT it was much more challenging during the race then it was during practice.  During our dress rehersal, we hit this hill after only running 5 miles and it was so much cooler during our practice run.  This really killed me.  We continued 2:2 with an extra minute of walking thrown in there a time or two for good measure - clearly the killer hill had used up all of my reserves. I took 2 glasses of room temp water at each water station.  I also took a glass of gatorade at the station after the hill (did I mention that hill was a kil-ler!)

mile 8.5-10:  We walked through several intervals.  This was really the beginning of my end.  The hills just kept coming (in case you don't know - I live in the flatest of all flat lands . . . it's not like these hills I'm talking about were Mt. Everest, but they may as well have been to me).  I was very thankful that "C" and I had done a few training runs on hills, but clearly it wasn't enough.  Met an awesome group of people - a guy had a 2 sports bottle holder (one bottle had margarita and the other had fuzzy navel - now that's a party!).  Thanks guys for being so friendly and supportive!!!  I continued to hydrate using 2 glasses of warm  aid station water plus as I got thirsty, I drank some more of my on-board water.

mile 10:  We ate some chomps as we had planned, but I was only able to eat 2 because they made me nauseous.  It's one of my favorite flavors, but at this moment on this day, I nearly threw them up.  "C: had suggested we bring along an ipod to help bump up the motivational level during the hard times.  I'm not really a music runner and especially not during races because I like to 'chat' with the volunteers and participants.  I draw a LOT of energy from these interactions.  But, I was in a deep, deep hole and was willing to grab any rope of hope so music it was.  We walked quite a few partial intervals during this mile as I had hoped it would help me regain some strength (mental and physical).  My lips felt like they were sandy (later looked in a mirror - they had blisters from the sun - nice!).  Drank more on-board water - my mouth just felt dry.

mile 11 or so:  I swallowed a bug.  It totally gagged me.  Oh wow - I've swallowed bugs before, but this one hit me in the back of the throat and really choked me up.  Yikes!

mile 11.5: "L" was there - what a surprise!!!  What a freakin' awesome surprise!!!!!!!!  Ohhh hugs all around - ohhh thank goodness for "L" being there!!!!!!!!  Sooo nice.  We were clearly no longer doing 2:2 - it was more like 1:3.  What a wonderful treat to see her . . . the joy ended way.too.quickly as more hills awaited!

mile 12-12.5:  Met some awesome people that I owe a LOT to.  Hated every single step.  Thought I was going to seriously just die.  There was hot water and ice at the last aid station - I had both!  I'm pretty sure that it was about here when I told "C" that I will do the 3 fall half marathons that I have committed to, but that I just don't think I'll be doing any more after that -they are just too hard.  She reminded me that I had "plans" to go to MN and to FL.  I told her I had "plans", but that I just couldn't do it - these half marathons are just too incredibly difficult.  I felt as if I was literally going to just die!!!!!  I'm not a mentally strong person - this is something I'm going to have to work on as hard or even harder than I am physically training.

mile 12.5 -13.1:  These 2 awesome ladies plus "C" said we have to run to the end.  You all have to understand how LITTLE I had left in the tank - how LITTLE I had in me to do anything of the sort.  I just couldn't do it!!!  I absolutely just couldn't do it. I told "C" to go ahead and be all she could be.  I told her to go be a shining star.  I told her I promised that I would finish and that I would run across the finish line, but that I would have to walk until I could see it.  She refused and this most awesome girl next to me who was running with her friend started  a slow jog and said "come on - just like this no faster - just like this to the end". So I did it - just like that and no faster . . .and I REALLY thought I was going to die.  It was the hardest thing EVER!!!!  it was THE HARDEST THING EVER!!!!!!!  On the finishing shoot I heard people cheering for me (they were Lisa from Train with Lisa and her friend Miranda that we had dinner with on Friday night).  Oh sweet goodness - that is awesome to have someone cheering for you!!!!  And just as quick as I thought I was absolutely going to collapse - we crossed the timing mat.  I never saw those 2 girls who ran "C" and I to the finish, but I'm thankful to God they were there!!!!

Finish line stats:
Our time = 3:14:13 (our goal was 3:15 so that's a win for sure!  This was 3 minutes faster than our St.Pete time so I think that's really a win!)
Finished = 2488th overall place out of 2699 participants;

Chapter 2 page 318 - Race Recap Part 2

 Pre-race Recap - photo edition

I had custom pace tats made - didn't work out, sweat made the print run :(

"L" and "C" riding the shuttle to the starting line.  "L" keeping things light - she was there as our cheerleader this time -  not our running partner.  SOOOO glad she was there!!!!

"R" ("C's" sister) on the school bus heading to the starting line.  We don't look too awake do we?!?!

4 shoes, 3 tags, 2 running partners, 1 sister . . . and a PRICELESS cheerleader - thanks "L" for ALL of your support!

"L" climbed that steep rock hill on the right to take this beautiful pre-race photo.  Top left is the Geist reservoir that we ran around. 
Pre-race photo . . .loading the corrals.
Screwing around showing off my sassy nail polish and sun visor while waiting in line for the pre-race porta johns!  Cute, huh!
"C", me, "R" posing by the J corral sign - the slow but the proud!  Ta da - my outfit (pink shirt, black capris, orange compression sleeves, pink & orange sun visor, and pink & orange nail polish) - got A LOT of compliments - that NEVER happens, EVER!!!!!!  Woot Woot!!!  Just noticed the guy in the tight shorts behind "R" - is he trying to do a butt bump with her or what?

Sisters - aren't they cute!
More than running partners . . . friends!

Although I didn't take any photos of the actual opening ceremony, it was VERY nice.  There was a beautiful song sung by a local resident who made it to the 3rd round of American Idol.  The National Anthem was sung and there was a 3 plane fly over blowing smoke in the missing man formation.  And with a count down 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 . . . . we were off!!!!

Chapter 2 page 317 - race recap part 1

Thanks to ALL of you who have commented with your support - you bloggers are awesome and I'm beyond thankful for you!!!!!

Let's start the race recap with talking about the day before the race, shall we?

Friday afternoon, we loaded the car and headed 2 hours south to northern Indianapolis.
Here was the official itinerary for the rest of the evening:
5:30 pick up packet
6:00 meet another blogger, Lisa,  from Train with Lisa  (click HERE to see her recap of the race) and her friends at the Olive Garden
8:00 drive the race route
8:45 check into the hotel

But . . .here's how it really played out:
5:15 pick up packet
5:45 pose for a picture by the Geist Half Pace Car outside of the packet pick up (apparently race officials were expecting very fast runners in this race and they needed a pace car???  Most of the races I do just has a cyclist out front leading the way - HA!)

All the sudden - very randomly like I'm sure has happened to all of you tons of times, a nice gal offered to take our picture.   I said "Yes, that would be great."

We then get "L" in the photo and as we are arranging ourselves, the guest photographer said "Hi, I'm Lisa."  I was like hmm, random strangers taking our photo never really introduce themselves, but hmmm okay, so I said, "Oh, I'm Lisa too." at least 30 seconds pass . . .  OH WAIT!!!!!!!!!  That's Lisa from the blog Train with Lisa -the one we are suppose to be meeting at the Olive Garden in like 10 minutes . . . .huh?!?!  Lisa is the daughter of "C's" friend "D".  I get "C's" attention (for the record, she didn't recognize Lisa right away either . .  it had been many years since they had seen each other).

6:30 Lisa and her friend Miranda picked up their packets and we all headed over to the Olive Garden where "C's" sister "R" already had put on our names on the waiting list (that was super helpful, thanks "R").  We waited outside for about a half hour (the weather was PERFECT - finally!).  We talked and laughed and got to know each other.
A group photo (minus Lisa's other friend Mandy) inside of Olive Garden
Aren't we a cute bunch?  Front row - Mandy (Lisa's friend), and "L" (my running partner a.k.a. Adams L on 3elles.com); Back row (L to R):  "R" ("C's" sister and awesomely compassionate vet!), "C", Miranda (Lisa's friend), Lisa (from Train with Lisa), and moi.
8:50 p.m. After dinner, "R", "C", "L" and I drove the race route (and talked nonstop about how much fun and delicious dinner was.  We REALLY enjoyed meeting Lisa and her friends - they were a hoot!).  As we drove around, there were race officials setting out barricades and signs - it takes so much work to put on any race, let alone a half marathon and 5K with a field of 6,000.  Although "C" and I had run 10 miles of the route a few weeks ago (click HERE in case you want a refresher), it was the first time that "R" and "L" had gotten a glimpse of the HELLISH HILLS beautiful scenery.

9:30 After our course tour we went to Kroger to get some breakfast items and gum and headed to the hotel.

10:00 p.m. We got settled into our room.  Quick pinning on the bib and blowing up the air mattress and it was off to bed (only 1 more wake up before this thing is DONE!)
Sneak preview of "the outfit"
Have air mattress, will travel :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chapter 2 page 316 - quick question

So, here is the good news - I finished, under my own power, within the allotted time (even SLIGHTLY ahead of goal time).  But . . . I have a quick, but important question to ask you all for now (recap to come after I have showered, napped, and partied with my rehab "L" friend who is ushering in her 50th birthday tonight with drinking and clubbing). 

quick question - 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chapter 2 page 315 - the polish

I can't believe how many of you are excited about my outfit - well, I was a dork-o-rama and packed it all nice and neat and forgot to take a photo so . . . you'll have to wait until race pix to see it (I heard the collective sigh - sorry . . . I'm new to picking out an actual outfit - as opposed to just one of the shirts and the pair of capris I have).  So in leu of the full outfit photo, how about this little sneak peak  . . .

Unless doomsday really happens on Saturday, I'll be back on Sunday with a race recap! 
Have a great end to your week everyone!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chapter 2 page 314 - good news?

Here's another quickie post for you . . . the MRI results came back totally fine.  Prayers indeed answered!  I'm beyond thankful to have such a great report, but now what - what is causing the pain and how do we fix it?  It seems to stump my NP and PT friends . . . hmmmm.  Oh well, for now, I'm super thankful to know it's not some tear or something requiring surgery and I have a green light to run the half on Saturday (woot woot!). 

I can't wait to show you what I have lined up to wear (and that's definitely a statement I have NEVER typed on this blog - EVER!).  Stay tuned - that post coming as soon as I can . . . I'm getting things checked off my "race prep to do list".  Yay!!!

Thanks for your thoughtfulness and well wishes for my knee and upcoming race - all were very much appreciated!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chapter 2 page 313 - 3 days and a wake up

Oh my goodness - there are only 3 days and a wake up left before the Geist half!  I have SOOOO much to do before the race - sweet goodness I need to get a fire burning under my booty.  YIKES!!!!  Dang NCIS for being on tv tonight! 

MRI done today, but no word on the results- hopefully tomorrow. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chapter 2 page 312 - TR 110 & knee drama

Today "C" and I did our final mileage in prep for Saturday's Geist half marathon.  It feels like it's been a LONG time since a run felt good, but today, finally, things were firing on all cylinders!  Woot!  We did 3 miles with a long warm up and long cool down - not risking any dumb injuries at this point!  We discussed our strategy for the race and made plans for our travel to Indianapolis on Friday evening.  I finally think I feel ready . . . though I suppose I could probably have done a little more to feel even more ready. 

An update on my right knee - ('cuz I know you were all eagerly waiting for it - NOT!). 
This is week 3 of unexplained knee pain.  It's the oddest pain ever.  It usually hurts but every now and then it feels as if it loosens up and stops hurting for a few steps.  I've tried massage, chiropractic adjustment, ice and extra Aleve without any relief so to be safe, after talking with my rehab and NP friends, I am having an MRI tomorrow (good news-  I learned I can keep my pants on during the test- woot woot!).  Fingers crossed that it's nothing requiring surgery or going to take me out of the game for very long.  And while we have our fingers crossed, please cross your toes that it's not something that requires more scraping by the physical therapist (which I was told might be a possibility - WHAT is with them dang rehab folks and their darn scraping fetish?????).  Anyway, stay tuned.  I hope to have some more info before I leave for the half (which I'm definitely still going to do - baring some kind of "it's only hanging on my a thread" kinda diagnosis!). 

Thanks everyone for your comments and support on my last post.  Your upcoming races sound really exciting.  If you think there is a race my running partners and I should consider doing next year - PLEASE tell me, we'll definitely look into it.  Pretty sure we're coming to MN (shhhhh - "C" doesn't know about this one yet) and FL for sure - open to at least 1 or 2 other places.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chapter 2 page 311- a new plan

You may remember a few days ago I announced that I was just ready to get my upcoming half marathon over with.  That it had signed up for it 8 months ago and it has been looming over my head - forcing me to gut out some training despite injuries, despite endless horrible winter weather, and now a record setting soggy spring!!!! In case it's not ringing any bells, you can read about it HERE.  The good news is that we're on the countdown  . . . 6 more wake ups and it'll be in the history books. 

So . . . what's a girl to do with some extra time on her hands thanks to tapering????  You bet, map out the training schedule for my next half marathon - the Fort 4 Fitness (9/24/11).  This race is my "A" race (is that what you all call it?).  This is the half marathon that I want to do my best at.  It's the race that I hope to have a PR - my goal is a sub 3:00 and "C's" goal is a 2:45 (I know you all can run marathons faster than I can run a half . . . sigh - I try my best!).  The other halfs (Geist, St. Louis RnR, and Big Sur) I have on my schedule for this year are just for the pure enjoyment of traveling and socializing (which I happen to be VERY good at - Richelle, I'd like to come to MN next year for a race . . . got one in mind?). 

I digress, I've posted the new training schedule (even though technically I'm not done with the current one - seriously 6 more wake ups makes it practically done, right?!?!) on a page below my header or click HERE ('cuz I know you're DYING to see what's on my plate for the next 18 weeks). 

What race are you training for?

Chapter 2 page 310 - It was awesome!

It's Saturday night and it's Ladies' Night  . . . what a great time!

Saturday night was the 3 Rivers Running Company's 2nd annual Ladies' Night Out sale.  This event is held at the only running specialty store in Northeast Indiana.  I attended last year's event and definitely place it in the category of "very valuable" to my growth as a runner.  Just like last year, I  learned so much, met so many people, and had such a great time.

What could I possibly learn at a sale? 
Well, for starters - I didn't know that some running skirts have compression shorts under them while others have an attached wicking brief.  I have always wondered what, if anything, was inside, but you don't just get to ask strangers on the street or just lift up the skirt at the store (that's kind of perv, isn't it?).  Anyway - I learned it now so I won't have to be peeping.

FREE STUFF - the Asics rep was there and she was awesome.  Every lady who came received a free sports bra - FREE - not like buy one get one free - NOPE, FREE . . . as in, Merry Christmas,  no strings!  In addition, she gave a little education about why it was a good choice, what activities they were good for, and what products are coming out in the near future that might be of interest to a big girl like me (zip lock bra coming on 6/1).   She also gave away MANY pairs of running socks and sports bottles - I elected for neither.  Now, I'm not sure when the last time I walked away from a totally FREE event with over $50 worth of free stuff, but tonight it happened.

Other free stuff during this event included a chair massage and dinner (hamburgers, drinks, cookies).  Seriously - could you cater more to your customers than free dinner and massage on top of a free bra and socks?  I know - you're jealous!  Well, you should be - it was a GREAT time!  The sad part . . . last year there were HUNDREDS of women - this year, there were probably no more than 50.  That was very disappointing.  With such a smaller turn out, there was plenty of sale associates available to answer your questions, offer assistance/guidance, or check you out. 

To top off the evening, I had arranged with my running partners "C" and "L" to come along with me (bummer that "L" stood us up).  I had also promoted this event with my Spring Into Training Participants and 5 of them were there (including 3 of the gals I hung out with on Friday night until 1 a.m. - GREAT to see you "B", "R", & "M" - and it was great to see "R's" daughter "M" . . . thanks for coming along.

A week ago, Kimbelry from Healthstrides asked if we were coming up for the sale and we jumped on the chance to meet up.  It was at last year's event that "C" and I met Kimberly.  She's a GEM!  We haven't seen her since the W.O.O.F. back in November (I can't really believe it's been 6 months- let's not let 6 more months pass before we see you again!)  A few days ago, Holly from Rustbeltrunner suggested we get a bloggy photo at this event - FAB idea.  I love running . . . and blogging, because you get to meet awesome people like Kimberly and Holly.