Sunday, November 30, 2008

Goodbye November

I never thought I would be wishing my birthday month away, but this year I am glad to see it go. After being sick for past 2 weeks and the birthday debacle that was, I am relieved for December to be here (but will be even happier when the holidays are over).

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To wrap up training for month of November, I have to fess up that it wasn't the month it was suppose to be. Sad to say that the Berbee Derby did not happen on Thanksgiving. I woke up at about 4am that morning with such a sore throat I could barely swallow, not to mention the congestion that made it hard to breath. I sent a very early morning and teary eyed text msg to my running buddy to say I didn't think I had it in me. I got a message back at 6:45am, a slightly more acceptable hour of day to be communicating withothers, asking me if I was going to be able to muster through it. Again, in my sick delirium, this started the waterworks and I texted back my sad no, I don't think I am capable of even getting out of bed. Sad. (My running buddy did win some points back by delivering juice and movies to help my my miserable sick time more bearable.)

But after almost 4 full days in bed (from when I got home from work Wednesday night until Sunday afternoon) I was itching to get out and blow the stink off me Sunday. I decided why not sweat the cold out with a run?

Keep in mind I hadn't run in over 2wks now and there hadn't been any physical activity for almost a week, but who's counting? I geared up in my best taking on the cold and snow gear and headed out. I had fully resigned myself to a short slow run, and I thought that it was going to be awful. But in fact it was quite the opposite.

Sure it was slow, and only a handful of miles long, but it was wonderful. As I started to run I noticed the size of the snowflakes and how pretty the new light layer of snow was. It was gorgeous out! The snowflakes were some of the biggest I had ever seen and everything was so pretty.

Knowing that I wasn't feeling nearly 100% this run was to take in the snowfall and remember that I do in fact really like running. I think that sometimes you need runs like that to clear your mind and regroup.
I thought about how I'm looking forward to winter cross training, skiing and snowshoeing, my goals for the upcoming year and my motivations. But mainly I just thought about how I felt lucky to be able to get out a run on beautiful day like it was.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Birthday Week BLEW a big one.

Thanks to a little help from varying sources this was one of the ickiest birthday weeks, and especially birthday's, I can imagine. We're talking right up there with my 9th birthday when I had my tonsils out.

So as mentioned in a previous blog, I was rockin' a pretty heinous kidney infection and feeling pretty blech all week. Everything hurt, I had no energy, the antibiotics made me bloat like I was hatching sea monkey's in my stomach, I had to pee every 3 1/2 mins (but didn't want to!), and I was cranky. To add insult to injury, in this pleasant state, I was nominated to come in and work, and by work I mean ride a bike like a madman, for 4hrs on that Saturday aka my birthday. I was pissed.

Turns out riding the crap out of my bike on a trainer is enough to make you want to die while recovering from a kidney infection. I felt awful. I managed to muscle through my 4hr stint and promptly went home to pass out for the next 4 1/2hrs.

So the evening was to begin around 6:30ish when my date was suppose to pick me up. Considering I crawled out of bed at 5:30 I didn't have a lot of time to spare or make miracles happen. So when the phone rings at 6 and I see it's my date (and I'm still in my towel) I was a little nervous about the state of my readiness. But don't worry, it gets better. Well my date, and former running buddy, decided to wait until 6pm (30mins before the scheduled pick up time for those of you doing th math) to BAIL ON ME. That's right, turns out there's another party that he wanted to go to (which is a whole other story not going to make it onto my blog so I don't seem overly pissed off or bitter). 30 friggin minutes before he was suppose to pick me up. Insert tears here.


We'll fast forward and omit my nasty thoughts and comments. At that point I thought he'd still make a cameo as it was my birthday (and he knew how important my birthday was to me). Nope, sure didn't. Jackass.

Dinner was good. All the usual suspects (less my jackass of a date) were there, Bryn, Ryan, Jon and Joan. I had some friends stop out I don't get to see very often, Kristen and Jenn (sorry Geoff, I see you every day at work). One of my most favorite guys in the whole world, Max drove up to see me for the weekend and brought he equally entertaining friend Ross. We played some pool, drank some beers, ate some food. The basics. But after that I was ready to throw in the towel. I was tired, not feeling good and still reeling from being stood up.

We'll end the birthday debacle there.

There's oh so much more to the story, but what's the use. I was sure to thank my lame ass undependable (former running buddy) date for helping me get over my ridiculous obsession with birthdays. Oh, and I gave the gift back. That's just me.

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Maybe it's what I get but I have now seemingly come down with the bird flu. That's right people, I feel nasty.

Monday I came into work and had the pleasure of not 4 hrs of ass busting trainer riding, but close to 7. What a work out. It was like the never ending interval training from hell.

No real surprise, what with an immune system run down from the k-infection of last week and the stress and drama of the weekend, I am sick. My glands are much more like growths and my nose is running like a busted faucet. I. AM. HOT.

In light of week 2 of feeling shit-tay I am opting out of the Berbee Derby tomorrow. Maybe. I may still run it because, well these are the poor decisions I tend to make. I haven't run in oh, say, almost 2wks, but no big deal. There's a 10k and a lil 5k. At the very least I can bust out a 5k. We'll see.

This gal has got to get back on the training wagon.....and soon.....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This just about sums it up......

A man was out jogging in the forest one day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog, and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will tell everyone how smart and brave you are and how you are my hero." The man took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it, and returned it to his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I'll stay with you for a year and do ANYTHING you want." Again the man took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it, and put it back into his pocket. Finally the frog asked, "What's the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess that I'll stay with you for a year and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?" The man replied, "Look, I'm a Triathlete. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool."

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What can I say, turn princess into prince and girlfriend into boyfriend, and that's kind of me in a nutshell these days. Which is why I prefer my potential suitors not around all the time, waaaay easier to manage from a distance. And I'm ok with that. I mean some day my prince/biker and/or triathlete will come....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Birthday Week Training....Maybe Not

So I haven't been feeling so hot the past few days, but was in complete Birthday Week denial of any potential ailments. It was just not part of the plans.

Until this morning, and my trip to the local Urgent Care.

So I didn't sleep at all last night, again. The night before I chalked it up to too much caffeine and excitement, and yes, I glossed right over the not feeling quite right. Well as I got up to pee last night for the ump-teenth time and was not enjoying any part of it, I realized it might be time to face reality.

That nagging back and stomach pain, the do I don't debate over whether or not I really have to go to the bathroom (again), peeing every 7-9 mins, and most enjoyably, thinking I might die every time I do. That's right kids, I was pretty sure the joys of an UTI had set in. WOO WOO!

Now I do not enjoy the doctor. The only person I fear more than the doctor is the dentist. Either way, doctor or dentist, I avoid them like the plague. I realized that not only was I going to have to go to the doctor, but as my oh so understanding boss is not keen on allowing unscheduled appointments to pop up, I was going to have to venture to my local ER or Urgent Care, and as it was clearly not an emergency, I chose the later.

Sign in. Sit. Wait. You know the routine. Nurse calls my name, hands me the much coveted plastic cup, explains to me how to properly urinate in it, and lets me know I can resume my sit and wait routine after. Yes ma'am.

A while later I have the joy of seeing, admittedly a quite nice one, the doctor. I'll raise you one UTI and give you a Kidney infection she says. What a gal! This is of course after after some poking and prodding, and beating me repeatedly in the kidney region. So she probably wasn't beating me, but it sure felt like it.

Oh no, this is not the end of this story.

After giving me her perfectly feasible and acceptable diagnosis, she provides to ask me thoughts on chlamydia, and by this I mean she's asking whether or not I should be concerned over it. When I was able to start forming actual words with my mouth again I asked her if there was some reason I should be. I was told no, but since many of the symptoms, apparently, are quite similar she thought she should ask. Now let me take a moment to tell you that I am no connoisseur of chlamydia, or any sexually transmitted party favor for that matter, so how the hell would I know. You're the doctor lady. I can quite confidently say that there would be no reason for this to have crossed mind, but of course just he mention of it was enough to send me down a hypochondriac's dream road. So after a few minutes of terrified paranoid conversation the doctor reassured me, as she initial had diagnosed, that it was nothing more than a kidney infection.

And this is why I do not like, I repeat DO NOT, like doctors.

Needless to say training, among many other things, is off the schedule for the next handful of days. I refuse to let this destroy my Birthday Week, but things are looking bleak and feeling even worse.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Birthday Week!!!

I LOVE birthdays. Love, love, love them! Mine, my friends, doesn't matter, I get excited!!

In past years I have been known to celebrate my entire birth month. That's right, the month of November has been my month to par-tay! But with age has come maturity (right) and I've decided to narrow it down to a Birthday Week. But I'm not narrowing any farther, so don't bother asking. And really, I there are so many wonderful people in my life that share the same birth month as me I was starting to feel a little selfish. There's my mom, my grandma, Lacey, Jimbo, my running buddy (and designated Birthday Date!), my favorite RM Ron, Kristen and her adorable son Nolan, the cute Verona cop....and so many others. Seriously, it's a big birthday month. There are apparently a lot of very frisky people in February!

But enough about other birthdays, let's get back to the task at hand, my Birthday Week!!

Sunday kicked it all off with birthday outfit shopping. The look is key. All options had to be considered. After significant online browsing, and a preliminary trip to the mall (yuck) I was ready to pull the trigger. Off to the mall again, ick double ick. But Ieft the mall victorious (with a little help from my very patient friend Bryn) with not only a sassy new birthday outfit but adorable new shoes too!

The rest of the week is a bit of a blur as well. Tuesday I'm brewing with the boys, Thursday it just so turns out one of my fav bands is playing a Birthday Week concert for me (well maybe not a officially, but they are in town during my Birthday Week so it counts), Friday is busy busy busy, and then Saturday is the big day!!

Now usually I dedicate this blog to my training or attempts at. How in world doe Birthday Week fit into that? Well that's just it. I'm putting this out there to try to keep myself honest. To start it all on an honest note is good, right? Well then, scout's honor, I swear I'll be doing my best to train around all the Birthday Week activities. For instance, tonight? No set official Birthday Week plans, so I will be running, same with Wednesday. And yesterday I did an hour of yoga, followed by 45mins of "I would rather chew off my big toe than be on this trainer"* trainer time. Friday and Saturday might be a wee bit dicey, but I promise to try very hard to squeeze something productive in.

*As awesome as my SuperMag is, it's still a trainer. I'm still working on coming to terms with, and embracing, my trainer time. But let's face it, it's just no fun!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rainy Day Runnin'

Let me start by saying that this week has been hellacious! That's right people, it's been just a lil slice of hell on earth. Details are going to be omitted to protect the innocent.

Well, when Thursday afternoon rolled around there was it was no real surprise that I wasn't stoked about running. In fact, I wasn't planning on running. I know that whenever I get out there and run I feel better, but I was in a just f'it sort of mood. I was looking forward to an evening of beer and self pity. But then the phone rang and it was my weekend running buddy calling to inquire about the status of the run. Dammit! How do I say no then without losing face (and trust me saving face is of the utmost importance said individual)? So I sucked it up and set a time.

When these arrangements were made the weather wasn't too bleak. Little chilly, some intermittent light drizzle, but totally run-able.

Then run time came and it was a whole other story.

It was miserable. The temperature dropped more with it being dark out. The occasional drizzle turned into a steady rain. Ick, ick, double ick. But run we did. And I don't even think I was the most miserable.

Eventually cold and rain be damned, I hit my stride and had a pretty average run. My pace was where I wanted it to be considering all things, but it was a struggle. Something about the cold damp just makes me ache like a geriatric!

The poor sucker who conned me into running on such an unpleasant evening did not have quite the same run I did, and quite honestly I don't blame them one bit. They sucked it up and did minimal whining, and kept up with me for most of the run. I definitely am giving a HUGE monumental shout out to this fellow masochist of mine for making me get out there and run as much as I jsut didn't want to.

And in case you were running, after a loooooong hot shower, I did proceed to drink beer and eat pizza in bed to compensate for the week.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


So it's official. Its not only getting dark out really early, but it's getting cold! And by cold, I mean my ass goes numb when I run, brrrrr cold.

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This past Saturday I was optimistic about a nice 6m run and I had a sidekick to run it with me (the same fool who has taken my LMR by New Year's challenge). With the temp hovering around 39 and windy, I geared up in my tights, long sleeves, headband and gloves and was ready for it. Til I went outside. I think my running buddy had the same thought. But we decided to keep moving hoping that after we had a mile or so under our belts we would warm up and it would become much easier. And so we ran.

What neither of us accounted for was the additional aches and pains that come with cold weather running. Everything's a little stiffer, the joints a little achy-er, breathing a little harder. Having had a few more months of running under my belt, my body was feeling a little more resilient than other's. It was one of those slow and steady days. Around mile 2 or so I noticed that I was starting to drop my running buddy, which was not the plan. I slowed down to see how things were going and if everything was ok. Apparently it was not as my companion was having some vicious knee pain (sally!) and was just feeling off. I decided to finish off the first leg of a 5 1/2m run and pick them up on the way back (I'm proud to say that my lil runnin' buddy pushed through the half way point of 5m).

On the way home, however, there was much walking to be done as my partner in crime was in pain (sally!). We alternated jogging and walking on the way home and tried to stay moving. Everyone has off days. We all feel like soem days we just can run another step or have the desire to do so. So I give props for pushing through....sort of.

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My second adventure in cold weather running was last night. Last night was COLDER than Saturday with the temp dipping down to 30 by the time I headed out. This night would call for my thermal tights.

I get all bundled up and head out. The first few breaths and steps felt a little like getting sucker punched, but I knew that if I kept moving after a mile or so I would start to hit my stride and I'd be ok, and so I did.

What I quickly discovered is that my wonderful fleecy thermal tights had apparently lost their drawstring waist cord, and I spent a good portion of my ride heaving up my pants like some sort of plumber (well I had enough upper body layers on to keep my plumbers crack safely tucked away, but it was there in spirit). Talk about drooooopy drawers!

Anywho. I was chuggin along my run actually feeling pretty darn good. It was suppose to be my easy run of the week, only 4'ish miles, slowish pace, but I was feeling strong and just kept moving. At my turn around point I debated going farther, but decided to head back but keep up my pace. I've found running in my cold weather gear to be very calming as I can't really see my watch, or at least it takes a lot of effort to see it, and therefore I tend not to. But at the half way point I took a peek. And what to my surprise did I find but that I had been keeping a PR pace on the first half of my run. I was stoked and still feeling great so I decided to see how close to that pace I could keep.

Truth be told my over all pace was just off of my last PR, but not by much. AND my last PR pace was done on my 5k route, and this run was 1.1m longer, so technically.....I kicked that run's boot-ay!

Tonight's suppose to be another fartlek night, but seeing the sleety snow outside makes me second guess my desire to sprint on slippery pavement.....we'll see. That and I'm jonesin' to hit the mall (ick, I know) to start scoping out a birthday ensemble for my upcoming birthday bash. I think I can justify an extra rest day this week after last night's run and in preparation of my 2 longer runs this week.....we'll see.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


So about that fartlek thing, turns out, harder than anticipated. And I'm not even sure I did it right.

All I know is I went home tired and am sore today.

The jury is still out on this whole fartlek thing.

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On a different note, apparently this running thing is contagious. That every same friend of mine that has agreed to take on the Lake Monona Route (LMR) before the year's end is yet again ponying up to run with me tonight. That was until it turned out to be raining babies today. We'll see if this run takes place. The plan is to meet at my casa at 5:45ish tonight for a leisurely 5-miler. I had planned to take the day off in light of last night's workout, but how can I say no to a running date?!

I'm hoping that as I walk out of work tonight it will have become a cool crisp fall evening, devoid of the rain and winds of earlier. Oh, and regardless of the weather, I realllllly hope that my legs can keep themselves in motion and get through the run. No pain, no gain......right?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Speedplay Day!!

That's right, today marks my first attempt to delve into the world of speedplay. Everything I've read, and all my fellow runners I've consulted, seem to think this fartlek thing is the best thing to happen since sliced bread. I, however, am skeptical.

"Speed play, or "fartlek" in Swedish (the concept originated in Sweden), is a free-flowing format in which you run faster for however long (or short) you want to."

"It's true: fartlek is almost as fun to do as it is to say. "Fartlek" is Swedish for "speed play" and consists of bursts of speed in the middle of a training run. Essentially, it's an unstructured interval session, the track without the rules. Fartlek gets your legs used to a variety of paces and in the process gives you an enhanced awareness of your ability to keep up those paces at various distances."

See, I'm not a "fast" runner. Really I'm not particualrly fast at anything. And to farther elaborate, I'm not really a runner in the typical sense. I'm no string bean, svelte and spritely lady effortlessly floating down the trail at 7min/mile pace smiling and conversing, all the while only working up a slight glisten. No, no. I much more of the stout chick plodding along down the path at (on my very best day) 9:30min/mile pace , sweating like my life depends on it, radioactively red in the face, gasping for air and occasionally grunting a response at my fellow runners. I don't make running look easy and effortless. In fact I feel as though I make the non-runner wonder why in the world one would want to endure such apparent torture. But when it comes down to it, I run. And my own dirty little secret is that I grown to really kind of enjoy running. I like seeing how far I can go, and next time can I get there a little faster.

How did I end up at this fartlek place? Well, last Friday on my short run, I decided that as it was a short run it would be a great opportunity to warm up and then all out run a mile to see where my 1-mile time is. What the hey. And so I did, and much to my surprise and pleasure I was able to crank out my timed 1-mile in the fastest time I have ever ran. Faster than in high school. And it was quite the respectable 1-mile pace if I do say so myself. So I may have cramped and had to walk 1/4m to recover, but that's so not the point. So if I've been able to slowly chip off time on my mile (and overall pace) just by running and adding distance, what happens when I kick it up a notch? Hmmmmm.

But I digress. Today is my first trip down the fartlek lane and I'm sure hoping its all they claim it is. I really enjoy my longer slower runs. But I'm hoping by committing my body to this speedplay thing once a week for the next several weeks, maybe my long slow runs won't be quite so slow. Or that when it comes to race day I can kick it into race pace and score some new PR's.

I'll keep you posted on if this speed thang is all they say it is.....