Thursday, February 25, 2010

HurdlingHam: 1, Mother Nature: 0

First off, I'll give you one hurdle highlight from junior year.  It was the first outdoor meet of the season, I ran my usual 100 hurdles/300 hurdles combo and PRed in 300s, then wound up getting suckered into running the 4 x 400 after wolfing down a hot dog, yikes!  100s didn't go particularly well though, and here's what I had to say about it...
an alright day in the 100s though i still need to break 18! would have won my heat/made finals but the girl in front of me fell and rolled across the finish line!
 What makes this story funny is the girl who rolled across the finish line and beat me out to make finals is now one of my closest friends.  We met at a pre-med meet & greet picnic freshman year of college, somehow got on the topic of that we'd both run hurdles, and I told her about track club.  Over the course of many entertaining hurdle workouts, somehow the topic of the meet where she somersaulted across the finish line came up [as a former gymnast she had that automatic forward roll mechanism haha] and sure enough...we looked up the results from the meet and there we were, 1-2 in the heat - hilarious!  The next year she was sad when I decided to become a distance runner, but I sucked her into distance soon enough and she kicked my ass in a half marathon this past August. So that's gotta be one of my favorite "small world" stories. :)  I can't wait until I convince her to run a marathon....muahaha. :)

Still competing against eachother...but now we're friends too...and she hasn't beat me by rolling across the finish line lately

We've been having some lovely weather in the Boston area this week...and by lovely I mean gray, rainy, windy, and generally disgusting.  Because I'm kind of a weirdo I don't really have a problem with running in the rain, even when it's only 40 or's the wind that really gets me.  So after yesterday's super windy + rainy 6 miler, I was less than excited to pound out 12 miles in yet another rainstorm today.  I figured that if I took the train home from work I might not be able to motivate myself to get back out the door, so I decided to make a 12 mile route leading from work and eventually home.  As usual, my co-workers were amused when I left wearing my spandex and running clothes ["I know where you're going!" "Where? Is she going to the mall?" "How many miles are you running today?"]  Really, I should do a whole separate post some time on my co-workers responses to my running's the first time I've really had the experience of non-runners being really exposed to my training and I'm quite proud to have gotten allll the usual comments haha. [How far was that marathon? 6 miles, I couldn't even run 6 blocks!  Who was chasing you?]

So it had been a long and somewhat frustrating day at work...cocker spaniels pooping on the drying table, poodles that just never seemed to be completely dry....the usual haha. When I headed out the door, my legs felt kind of heavy and basically "meh"...I had already tried to convince myself to really take it easy on this run, not really look at my watch, and just roll with it, so I guess I felt OK about the situation.  As the run went on though, I just kind of started feeling better...and better...and loving the rain...and just generally loving life haha.  The weather actually REALLY reminded me of the weather at Baystate which apparently is ideal weather for me to run in? Haha.  There's just something about running in a rainstorm that just makes me feel so incredible...I don't know if it's the idea of being out training in weather that few others would brave, or if it's just the kind of giddy feeling of splashing through puddles and laughing at the sky.  Or maybe it's just that focusing on the rain hitting my face makes me forget about the pain in my legs...who knows.  I only saw 6 other runners over the whole 12 miles: a group of 3 of what looked like high school boys, 2 girls, and one lonely man.  Random thought: so usually when I'm running, if I see another runner I'll give them a smile/wave/head nod depending on how my life is going at that point...but it seems extremely rare that anyone returns the gesture, in fact, it seems like a lot of people kind of avoid eye contact.  I get that people can be very into their workouts, and I'm guilty of that at times myself, but when it's obvious that everyone is running easy, I don't know, isn't it nice to acknowledge the camaradrie between runners? Especially on a day like today, when you'd have to be mildly crazy, hardcore, or both to be out there? Maybe that's just me...thoughts?

I realized about halfway through that maybe running with my ipod wasn't the best decision got really wet and the buttons seemed to be kind of malfunctioning...of course, that also could have been the fact that I couldn't really move or feel my fingers because they were so completely frozen.  I was only wearing a long sleeved underarmor type top under a short sleeve tech top and I wasn't really cold in general, but my hands just kind of gradually turned into popsicles.  It took a loooong hot shower afterwards to warm up.  Glad I got my run in early-ish today though, because now there are apparently wind gusts up to 55 mph outside? That's kind of frightening...and I can't even imagine how it would feel to run in about hitting a brick wall...yikes!

Well, I won't lie...I'm kind of excited about my 4 mile recovery run tomorrow.  I'm probably going to do some yoga too...I'm expecting to be extra sore since it was chilly and wet today.  And I just really LOVE yoga!  It's so nice to switch things up from running once in awhile and feel like I'm doing a little something extra.  For now, it's off to watch the Olympics [women's free skate, yay!!] and stay out of the wind. :) 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hurdle Week Part 2: Sophomore Year

The second of 4 "blast from the past" entries about my high school hurdling career...back in the days when I thought 300 meters was a really, REALLY long way...

Sophomore year I kind of struggled and didn't have a great season.  A lot of my "notes" sections seem to involve not doing as well as I wanted to/the weather sucking/messing up some part of my race or another.  Not really many memorable meets that year.  I was excited to run in all 3 conference meets and at regionals for the first time...even though I raced horribly there.  The highlight of my season came early when I placed 2nd at conference in the 55 low was my first taste of being "good" and even though the rest of the season didn't go that great, the wheels were already turning for me to really get serious and get good the next year.

Watertown Coed Dual - April 8, 2003 - JV
-55 m highs
Heat 1, Lane 3
Time: 10.2 <--PR!!
1st in heat, 2nd overall
-200 m dash
Heat 4, Lane 4
Time: 35.1
3rd in heat
Notes: well, a weird meet.  Running the 200 was hurdles?? Fisher wanted to do it for my endurance, but actually it was kind of fun! Hurdles went well, beat Olivia but got beat by Jennifer.  THAT SHOULDN'T HAPPEN! Oh, well..beating Olivia is still nice! I just need to get quicker between hurdles and take.21 off by Saturday so I can break 10!
[Jennifer was a super speedy girl who had just joined track this year. She had really weird form, but was so fast it didn't really even matter.  She ended up going to state the following year.]

Conference Indoor @ Carthage College
April 12, 200 - varsity
-55m high hurdle prelims
Heat 2, Lane 4
Time: 10.38
-55 m low hurdle prelims
Heat 2, Lane 3
Time: 11.22
-55 m high finals
Heat 2, Lane 1
Time: 10.12 <--PR!
-55m low finals
Heat 1, Lane 3
Time: 9.74 <--PR!
Notes: wow...what a meet. low trials tried to 3-step - BAD DECISION, so i was in the slow heat for finals, then they set up the hurdles wrong, so i had to run that twice, but 2ND IN CONFERENCE! me and ashley went 1-2! stephanie [my newest person who I had decided to defeat, from our rival school Whitnall] beat me by .01 for 3rd in the highs - she'll get hers at outdoor!
[This was totally the highlight of my season - I'm really surprised there's not more rambling in the "notes" section of this.  The track we ran on for indoor only had 6 lanes, but 8 people made finals for the sake of team points.  So having effed up in prelims, I got to run with one other girl in the "slow" finals heat. One of the hurdles got set up on the men's marks the first time we ran, so we had to run a second time, and somehow I beat everyone out of the fast heat besides a girl from my school.  When they announced the results I thought I heard my name announced as 7th...until my coach informed me that I actually was 2ND...a huge thrill.]

Conference Relays @ Greendale - May 6, 2003 - varsity
-100 m high hurdle shuttle
Team: me, Ashley, Jenny
Time: 54.7
Heat 2, Lanes 3&4
-3 x 300 low hurdle relay
Team: me, Ashley, Jenny
Splits: 60.0
Heat 1, Lane 3
Notes: shuttle = GREATNESS! 300 = shit! cold, wind, had to pee, couldn't breathe, messed up blocks just to name a few...but still, shuttle champs! woo woo! we probably could have placed in the 300s cept for me, but i'm trying not to be too hard on myself. [even then, I beat myself up really badly over poor races. Though I had plenty of excuses to make for them haha. ]

 Well, in actual real-life news, nothing too exciting has been going on.  I started and finished a GREAT book over the weekend - "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. I enjoy a lot of different types of books, but it's pretty rare that I put down a book and am, I wish that didn't have to end.  This was TOTALLY one of those books.  The writing style was different than anything I've ever read before and it was just...beautiful...I think that's probably the best word I've found to describe it.  The story is incredibly sad at some points [set during World War 2...depressing moments are pretty much a given..] and the ending brought me nearly to tears, but I thought it was an absolutely wonderful, well-written story that just totally sucked me in.  I would absolutely recommend it, 100%. Loved it.

So craziness - I only have ONE "workout" this week! I know, it was weird for me too going out for a run on a Tuesday and not having it be some kind of crazy interval workout.  Definitely a much needed break after the weekend though!  I did my 8 miler today on the end of the Boston course and used it as kind of a visualization exercise - just kind of noticing the feeling of the ups and downs, landmarks on the course, seeing the final stretch down Boylston...etc.  I won't lie, I got the shivers a little bit when I looked up at the Citgo sign, and again when I passed the finish line on my way to do a loop around the Public Garden.  It's still a little unbelievable to me that I'm going to be running THE Boston Marathon in 8 weeks. You would think it would be hard to forget that running 60 miles a week and doing crazy workouts has a greater purpose, but sometimes it seems to me like I'm just doing this stuff for kicks haha.  It's a good thing I have that training calendar to keep me in line...kinda. :) 

Tomorrow I've got a 12 miler on the schedule which I'm sure will be tons of fun in the rain/snow we are expecting all day...gross. Ohhh well...gotta be reminded of one of my favorite running quotes...
It's miles when you're tired.  Miles when it's cold.  Miles when no one's watching, and no one cares.  That's what makes a champion.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A trip down memory lane...hurdle week!

OK, NOW I remember what else I was going to post.  That last post was kind of long anyway, so I guess I'm cool with making a second one haha.  I got a package from my mom today that included some exciting stuff like fruit snacks and a can opener and butter knives [lol don't judge, we only have 2 of them haha].  But it also included my track notebook from high's a record of literally, every single race I ran in high school track, complete with what heat/lane I was in, times, and comments about the race.  It's totally awesome and I'm so glad I have it since that was obviously before the times of this blog, and many of the results I have written down can't be found online or anything since they were from random JV duals or whatever.  I love looking back on my early track/running memories especially now, in the midst of marathon training, and seeing just how far I've come. So it's a really fun thing to have and I thought this blog might be an entertaining place to share some memories of the days when I was a SPRINTER...haha. :)  So I think I'm going to make this week "hurdles week" and post some choice selections from each year every day this week.  It will give me something to actually post, so maybe next Monday you won't have to spend hours reading the details of every workout I did last week.  These are all copied exactly as they're written by my high school self...not sure why I felt the need to remember what heat/lane I was in for each and every race, but it's kind of a fun memory I guess. :)

Freshman year, I really wasn't very good at hurdles.  But I was kind of the "future", since the other 2 main hurdlers were a senior and a junior at the time.  My coach believed in me and raced me a lot...I tried really hard and as you can see in these entries, was obviously quite serious about being a good hurdler...but my times kind of say otherwise. :)  I spent a lot of time ogling the cute junior/senior boys, feeling cool about running varsity on occasion, and attempting to beat a girl named Olivia...I'm pretty sure she's mentioned in like 75% of my race write-ups haha.

Tosa East Coed Quad @ Hart Park - April 19, 2002 (JV) [my first outdoor race ever]
-100 m highs
Heat 1, Lane 2
1st in heat - time 19.7
-300 m lows
Heat 2, Lane 6
2nd in heat - time 59 even
Notes: I BEAT OLIVIA IN LOWS, WHAT MORE IS THERE TO SAY? [Olivia was a year older than me.  We were also on poms together and she was never particularly nice to she became my epic hurdles rival my freshman year.] It was very, very COLD! Ms. Braidigan there! [Ms Braidigan was my bitchy gym teacher. She coached track at our cross town rival HS, and constantly talked about what a better school it was...thus, we hated her]

JV Coed Triangular @ T-Dub - April 25, 2002
100 m highs
Lane 3
Time - 18.9 <---PR!
4th overall
-300 lows
Lane 2
Time - 60 even
3rd overall
T-Dub finished: 2nd to Milwaukee Lutheran
Teams we beat: Thomas More
Notes: I REALLY didn't like this meet, it was windy/COLD, Olivia only beat me by .1 in the highs again, tho I thought I ran a horrible race I made PR!

Conference Relays @ Greendale - April 30, 2002 (varsity)
-900 lows relay
Heat 1, Lane 2
Team: me, Ashley, Laura
My time: 57 flat <--PR baby!!!
3rd in heat (me)
Notes: wow...I was so PUMPED @ this meet!! I was so excited to run in this BIG meet - I ran great and there were PINK cones on the track! and they first announced that we got 6th, but the corrected it because we got 2nd! Now that'll teach em to put T-DUB in the slow heat!
[T-DUB was our nickname for our school...Tosa West.  The only reason I was running in this meet because the aforementioned Olivia flat out refused to run 300 hurdles any more after I beat her...I was by no means good, especially not at 300s, and if we'd had a 3rd decent runner besides me, the team probably would have won the relay...still, I was really proud of my PR and as you can tell was pretty excited to be running varsity]


 Brookfield Central JV Invite - May 9, 2002
-100 high prelims
Heat 1, Lane 4
Time: 19.5, 1st in heat
QUALIFIED FOR FINALS [as a freshman, making finals, even in a JV meet, was a reaaaally big deal]
-100 high finals
Lane 6
Time: 19.8
8th in heat
-300 lows
Heat 2, Lane 4
Time: 61
? in heat
Notes: AHH! we got there 15 min before the 100s - NO time to warm up, still 4 stepped the whole race - finals could have been 4th but 10 STEPPED (???) the 1st hurdle tho I still 4 stepped all the rest.  I was so in pain - 300s really sucked! [normally I took 8 steps to the first hurdle...I think haha]

JV Conference - May 16, 2002 @ Greenfield
-100 highs
Heat 2, Lane 3
3rd in heat
Time: 18.7 <--PR!
-300 lows
Heat 2, Lane 7
6th in heat
Time: 58.9
Notes: FREEZING FREEZING FREEZING!! great time in the 100s although I was soooo sore - 300s started off too fast, not to mention had to PEE! lol [having to pee before/during races seems to be an ongoing problem in my life haha]

Stay tuned for sophomore year! Hehe =)

8 weeks to go...

8 weeks sounds way shorter than 2 months, FYI.  Wow, I should really try to post more than once a week haha. Now I have all SORTS of stuff to ramble about and this entry is going to be looong...oh well, bear with me. :) 
First up, the boring weekly numbers:
Runs: 5
Workouts: 2
Longest run: 20.5 miles
XT: 1 hour yoga....annnd that's about it :)
Total running miles: 56.3

You'll notice that I only ran 5 times this week...yes, I succumbed and took an unplanned day off on Thursday.  I had 6 miles on the schedule, but I ended up working a 9 hour day instead of the usual ~6, then was exhausted and hungry by the time I got home, was super sore from Tuesday's workout, and the final straw was that the BF tempted me with fajitas. Sooo I felt really guilty for awhile - does that happen to anyone else? I feel like when I get to this level in my training I really beat myself up if I miss a run for a reason other than being really sick or injured.  In this case though, I think it really ended up being a MUCH needed mental/physical health day...and also, I don't think I would have been able to run 40 miles in the back half of the week if I hadn't taken the day off.

This week was CHALLENGING!  Of the days I ran, 4/5 were in the double digits, and 4/5 were either workouts or moderate days.  I also backloaded my week like crazy and so ended up doing 40 miles from Friday-Sunday...something I don't really want to ever do again.  I had some really fantastic workouts that boosted my confidence though.  Tuesday we got some gross slushy snow/rain, so I wound up doing my fartlek workout on the treadmill.

Confession: I really like doing fartleks on the treadmill.  I think it's the one and only kind of workout that I can be OK with running to nowhere, because I really enjoy knowing that I'm actually running the pace I'm supposed to be running, and having to change the pace every few minutes makes the time fly. I really can't believe I actually ran 11+ miles on a TM buuut I guess there's a first time for anything?  Anyway, the workout was 10 miles with 2 minutes @ 10K pace every 5 minutes....orrr just 10 miles of 2 minutes @10K, 3 minutes easy.  I originally got scared off by the speed/distance combo and figured I would warm up for 10 minutes, then do ~13 sets of the fartlek for a total of about 8 miles fartlek, and then do a 10 minute cooldown.  It was kind of hilarious doing this at the gym, because I swear at least 3 sets of people came in, did their entire workout, and left in the time that I was on the treadmill.  Luckily we don't have time limits so no one gave me a second glance...except one guy next to me who kept peeking at my treadmill to see how fast I was going, lol.  I actually felt really, really good.  I put the TM on 7:03 for most of the 10K sections, only dialing it down to 7:08 when I was reeeeally feeling it.  Before I knew it I was at my 13th interval and of course, being me, I thought what the hell? I can totally actually make it to 10 miles of this.  So I finished it out, including a sprint to the finish after the last 2 minute 10K interval. I got off the treadmill and thought I was pretty much going fall over haha. BUT - I had made it!! This was one of those workouts that had totally terrified me and I was SO proud to have completed it and completed it strong! Hopefully I can channel this in a few weeks when I have the same workout on the schedule...except the times are reversed...gulp!

I had a fun tempo run experience at the Fresh Pond race on Saturday...EVERY single Saturday, there's an informal race around the reservoir - either 1 lap [2.5 miles] or 2.  There were about 25 or so people racing and something about it I just really enjoyed - you show up, someone says "ready set go", you run, and then when you're done they take down your time.  It was the perfect stimulus for a solid tempo effort - not like an all out race where you're really shooting for a PR, but also a little something extra to push you more than just being out there by yourself.  The first lap I felt really smooth and just cruised - I had no idea how fast I was running but the effort seemed about right.  I came through the 2.5 mile at 18:29, which I knew was a little fast for the "HM-MPace" that I was supposed to be running, but whatever.  The second lap definitely got harder, but still under control.  I was sort of pacing off a couple of men who were also doing the 5 miler, so it was kind of nice to have someone to keep my eye on.  I wound up finishing in 37:01, so I hardly slowed down at all the second lap - a very evenly paced tempo run, which is EXACTLY what I wanted to get out of this workout!  It wound up being 7:24 pace, which is probably a little faster than was necessary but not too bad.  The funniest thing was, I ended up winning the 5 mile race for the women [out of probably...3 or 4] and technically I suppose I set a new PR since I've never run a 5 mile race before!  How often do you get to do all that on a random tempo workout?  I really enjoyed the old-school, low key feel of the races, and since they have them EVERY Saturday I can definitely see myself using them for workouts in the future.  Plus, the added challenge of dodging/hurdling off-leash dogs adds some extra entertainment to the workout. :)

So then yesterday was my lovely long run. I had 18 on the schedule but in true HurdlingHam fashion, I managed to accidentally-on-purpose miscalculate my route and ended up running 20.5. From the start, my legs just felt crappy, and when I feel crappy I generally need familiar territory to mentally get me through the run.  So I scrapped my meticulously planned 18 mile route and wound up running laps around Chestnut Hill Reservoir for...a long time.  Like almost 2 hours. Try as I might I just never found that groove through the first 15 miles of the run. I spent a lot of time doing math in my head, trying to figure out how many laps I needed to do to get to the distance that, with adding on the ~6 mile loop I was going to do after, would add up to 18.  Obviously my math skills while in the midst of a long run are kind of sketchy because not only did I underestimate the distance I had to run after, buuuut I also added on an extra 1.5 mile loop around the reservoir.  Whoops.  By the time I got off the loop, I was feeling pretty awful. I bought a Gatorade and drank/ran for the next couple of miles - seriously, miraculous.  All of a sudden it was like I could FEEL the sugar and hydration hitting my muscles, and my legs suddenly didn't feel so crappy.  Then the song "Shots" came on my ipod, and I was just inspired haha.  The last 5 miles or so I wound up picking it up to just under 8 minute pace, and my legs felt STRONG - I was thrilled!  So, it was a good long run.  I have to say I was pretty pumped to see that 20.  I felt pretty bad for about an hour after the run, but with the help of recovery socks + red hook winter ale + Bluestone pizza [the BEST PIZZA EVER!!] I was feeling much better by the time I went to bed.

OK, boring workout recaps OVER!  Annnnd now I can't even remember what else I was going to say haha. I can't believe there are only 8 WEEKS UNTIL BOSTON!!! That is crazy, terrifying, awesome, exciting...all of the above.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Week 6 training...almost halfway to taper!

Since in my eyes, taper starts 2 weeks before the race, that means there's 6 weeks down, 7 weeks to go of the "meaty" part of Boston training.  Kind of hard to believe, actually. But week 6 was definitely a good week, and one that gives me a lot of confidence going forward into the second half of the cycle.
Runs: 6
"Workouts": 2
Longest run: 19.1 miles
XT: 2000 yds swimming, half hour yoga, 1 upper body lifting session
Total running miles: 59.9 [ahhhh so close to 60!! If I had known, I absolutely would have run around the block at the end of my long run. Seriously.]

Can I just start off by saying [again] how overjoyed I am to have speedwork in my life this training cycle? Yes, you read that right.  I am giddy about mile repeats and fartleks and all of those things that I whined about when the whole point of my training was to go fast and not all that far. Don't get me wrong, I love, love, LOVE being able to go long now, and the fact that 6-8 miles is a "short" run, and that 10-12 is just a "medium".  My endurance is way higher than it's ever been and that's amazing, but I missed the feeling of blazing around the track, feeling like I could fly.  In general I've actually started looking forward to my workouts that involve running at 10K pace or under, because I know I can make it through them and I'll feel totally badass when I'm done. :)

I did have a really nice long run yesterday! It was a beautiful day [yes, I can appreciate 35 degrees as beautiful...don't judge].  The first half I ran with my running buddy Kelly, we ran along the Charles River path in Watertown which was really pretty and a nice change of scenery from my usual routes.  We always have plenty to talk about, which makes the run fly by, and she always has some great insights to share about training - she's older and has been racing distance a lot longer than me, and actually was my club coach for a couple years back in Wisconsin, which is how we know each other.  I was telling her that I was kind of amazed at how well my training had been going, and how I felt much stronger than I did training for Baystate, even though I had a couple of months where I basically did nothing in between.  She said that some people say it takes a year to really run a good marathon, because your training cycles build on one another and you learn more about how to train and race.  All of that past training has an impact on what you're doing now, and that can help to bring you to the next level.  She had an experience that pretty much shows exactly that - her first marathon, she ran around 4 hours, then she ran another in 3:45 or so, and then ran a 3rd in 3:39, all within about a year.  We were also talking about how marathon training/higher mileage training can really set you up for a solid 5K/10K, there's just a certain amount more of speedwork you need to do to put the icing on the cake.

I really like the idea that every training cycle you do feeds into the next one, that somewhere within you is every mile and every race you've ever run.  I know I'm a LOT stronger of a runner right now than I was a year ago.  Hell, last year at this time, I ran a 5K at the same pace I ran for 10K last week.  Something about marathon training I think has really pushed me to the next level in every aspect of my running, and I feel like as strong as I felt going into and finishing Baystate, that only was a set-up for how strong I feel now.  I don't think my time "off" with my IT band issues really ruined anything - in fact, it's possible that those couple of months of lighter/easier running gave my muscles time to absorb all the miles I'd put in the previous 3 months and come out on the other side stronger and more ready to conquer this training cycle. 

This is all just random musing - I really don't know.  Bottom line is I'm feeling really strong and happy with how my training is going, and excited to extend this feeling to other distances and races and such.  That's about it. :)

That was a long tangent haha. 19.1 miles was the perfect way to start off Valentine's Day!  The BF and I then went out for coffee, bought some beer for dinner, and went out to lunch at our favorite local restaurant - which is apparently changing management, so all of the beer was on sale - score!  $4 for some beers that we were drinking for $7 last week? Sounds good to me!  We then headed to Whole Foods to shop for the dinner we had planned - scallop & spinach stuffed pasta with sundried tomato cream sauce.  This was our first foray into cooking without a recipe, and we must be pretty good because it. was. AMAZING. The BF even watched the pairs figure skating short program with me....what a guy. :) There was a US couple who skated to music from Love Actually and it made me SO HAPPY!! Apparently it was their first major international competition, and they scored a personal best for the short program.  Even though they only ended up in 10th it was cool to see them so pumped about the performance.  Much better than the Ukrainian couple who were both in shiny blue spandex bodysuits, and all I could think of when I looked at the man was Gob Bluth from Arrested  He was kind of awkward...

Did I mention I love the Olympics? Especially figure skating? It's totally my dance background hehe. So don't be surprised if you see more commentary from me in the next couple of weeks haha.'s Monday again.  Off to enjoy my day off of running hehe.  Have a good one!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bullet points

Bullet 1: Super Sunday race picture(s).  This is the good one, taken from semi-afar and during my final kick.  This is the one where I actually look like I'm running, and finishing very strongly at that. And outkicking some boys....which I always enjoy doing :)

Then we have photo number 2....which is probably the most hideous picture I've ever seen taken of myself while running [or potentially ever in my life haha].  The one and ONLY reason I'm putting it up here is because if you look closely at my face, you can literally see my cheeks being smooshed back by the wind.  I don't actually have like...jowls lol.  I also pretty much look like I'm going to vomit up a lung and/or pass out on the spot...I guess that's how you know I was working hard? Seriously, who puts a camera at the 5.5 mile marker of a 10K anyway? Not cool.

 Bullet #2 [if you managed to get past the gross-ness of that picture, that is]
I'm starting to think that I might be selling myself short by just shooting for a 3:35 at Boston. Based on my performance at the 10K, the pacing I've been hitting in my hard workouts, and the fact that I seem to be practically incapable of running slower than an 8:05 pace even when I'm desperately trying to run recovery pace....I'm starting to think that hoping for 8:00/3:30 finish isn't completely ridiculous. I'm kind of scared to shoot my goals way over my head but having faith in my ability/training has always been kind of a problem for me.  Maybe Boston is the perfect place to make the leap of faith, say to hell with it, and just shoot for the time I really want.  If I crash and burn, well, so be it. But I'm starting to think that I'm a way better runner than I give myself credit for and maybe my goals should be more in line with what I want to do with what my underestimating self thinks I can do - or rather, what I think I'll probably be able to do so I don't have to worry about failing.  What is that? Yes, it's important to keep my goals realistic, but sometimes you have to go out off the ledge juuuust a little bit to find out what you actually can do.  And since this time around I'm actually doing, you know, those little things like speed workouts and actually having a plan and not doing almost all of my major long runs in the 5 weeks leading up to the marathon...I don't think it's completely crazy to want more from myself.  

The thing is, I had SUCH a good race at Baystate.  I finished feeling so strong, so awesome, no major crashing and burning in the final miles, negative splits, the works.  I executed perfectly - and on that day, it was perfect.  But now there's a little voice in the back of my head saying "yeah, you finished strong...but that means there was more in you.  You could go faster".  The other [rational] part of my mind is scared of the edge, scared of what will happen if I try to go faster.  Redline city, do I really want to go there for any part of 26.2 miles? If I really want to see what I'm made of, I think the answer might be yes.

On marathon training note, I'm doing a 10 miler on the Newton Hills section of the course tomorrow...wheee!!

Bullet Point #3: I'm completely and totally obsessed with this song and felt the need to share, since I'm pretty sure this guy is relatively unknown [although the music video is SUPER cool and looks like something that's probably made it's way around the internet, so maybe you have]

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Super Sunday 10K Race Report

To start, so as not to leave anyone in suspense: I ran 44:20, a MASSIVE PR over my previous best 46:30.  As I mentioned in another post, none of my previous 10Ks have been under what I'd like to call "ideal" racing conditions, but I really didn't expect to crush my PR by this much.  I was 22nd/230 in the 19-29 AG [did I mention I really miss 5 year age groups? Had my age group been 20-24, I would have placed 5th. Looking at the results 25-26 seems to be a great age to run a really fast 10K, so I guess I have something to look forward to :)], 26th/473 women, and 125th/791 OA.  I'm SUPER happy with my stats/placements, since the runners in Boston are quite a bit faster on average than the runners that show up to races in Wisco - whether it's just sheer numbers or just living in a city that really supports running, I don't know - and so I was pretty pleased with almost cracking the top 25 women.  I knew I didn't have a prayer of any AG awards [see: I hate 10 year age groups haha] but I honestly came closer than I would have thought, so that was a nice confidence boost.

Anyway - on to the race report!  The night before the race I had to work from 5-10 pm which pretty much sucked in terms of pre-race prep/fueling, but I tried to keep hydrated and I wore my recovery socks to work which was a pretty amazing idea. When I finally got home [only after being serenaded by an acapella group from BC on the train - the green line section of my commute home at 10:30 PM on weekends is usually like my own personal circle of hell what with the drunk people, girls wearing utterly hideous fashion choices, and once almost sitting in puke, but this was actually moderately amusing and did make me smile] the BF had made me dinner...a corned beef sandwich that was utterly delicious, but something told me not the most excellent pre-race meal...haha.

So I slept like utter CRAP the night before the race.  Maybe because it's been a long time since I've experienced pre-race nerves, I don't know.  Either way, I was waking up like, every couple of hours with my mind totally racing - awful.  The only upside was that I ended up waking up like 5 minutes before my alarm went off, so that was good. I got all of my crap together and headed out to the train station - HOLY MOTHER OF GOD was it cold. I am from Wisconsin - I really don't bitch and moan about cold but the wind was just cutting like a knife.  It was one of those winter days that's utterly gorgeous and sunny but then you step outside and just want to punch Mother Nature in the face.  There were a few other people on the train who were decked out in spandex and clearly headed to the race so that was kind of fun...that effect was multiplied when I got off at Park and switched to the red line where it seemed like EVERYONE was headed to the race. I was planning on just starting my warmup to the start area, since I already had my bib and everything, but then there was a PARTY BUS shuttling runners from South Station to the start and I just couldn't resist. It was pretty hilarious to see this bus with flashing lights and a dance floor and "You Give Love A Bad Name" blasting over the speakers filled up with runners who were all gearing up for a race.  So yeah, you know it's going to be a good race when you take a party bus to the start.

I warmed up, it was cold, and I was reluctant to take my warmup jacket off.  But finally it was like 5 minutes to the start and there was a long line for bag I bit the bullet and handed over my outer layer. I was rocking the layered look for my race outfit - heavy underarmor turtleneck, lightweight spandex top, armwarmers, and my new FAVORITE bright orange short sleeved spandex top on top, heavy underarmor tights, smartwool socks, running hat, and the ugliest running gloves of all time.  I was super sleek from head to toe...until you got to my gloves, which are these white, oversized monstrosities lol.  But it was all good, that way I didn't feel bad about snotting into them during the race...:)

I wasn't really sure where to hang out at the start since the 5K and 10K people were all running together and I didn't want to get squashed by a bunch of people blazing out 5 minute miles in the I situated myself a bit further back than I normally would. We stood around for awhile and then...bam!  Shuffle shuffle shuffle...then finally we hit the line and it was go time!

I spent most of the first mile bobbing and weaving all over the place, getting stuck behind slow people who seemed to want to form a blockade across the road, and just generally wanting to get out into a place where I could just run my own race. I felt really relaxed and not like I was running that fast at all...soooo I was pretty surprised when I came through the 1 mile and saw 7:10 on my watch! I can tell you the exact thought that went through my mind: "That was the easiest 7:10 mile I've ever run!"  I passed a bunch of people in the next couple miles - splits were 7:11 and 7:05.  I just couldn't believe that I was maintaining this face and was pretty much shocked that it really didn't feel that bad!  I was expecting that if I was going to hit my A goal of 44:30 that I was pretty much going to have to kill myself to do it...but this was turning out to be much more fun than I had expected!

My 5K split was 22:15 [less than 30 seconds off the fastest 5K I've run in a road race...hmmm...I'm thinking that PR needs to be taken down sometime in the future?] and I turned back out for the second loop of the course.  Normally I'm not a huge fan of double loop courses, but for some reason in this case it soothed me - like, I knew I had just run the same distance, and it hadn't felt too bad, so why not just do it again? Starting at about mile 3, I had been playing a leapfrog game with this girl in a yellow jersey [Somerville Road Runners I think?] and throughout the 4th mile we went back and forth twice.  My 4th mile was actually my fastest, 7:03, but I was definitely starting to feel the fatigue.  We went down into a turnaround, and yellow girl passed me.  We came back up from the turnaround, and I passed her back. Then we turned back towards the 5 mile marker and got hit with an absolutely ridiculous blast of wind.  What the eff? That wasn't here the first time around? I may or may not have spewed a few expletives out into the wind, not that any of them could be heard by anyone nearby over the roar.  It was almost like everyone came to a standstill - you could physically see the slowdown in all of the runners.  Yellow girl dropped back a bit as I continued to push on, but I paid for the exertion afterward because once the wind tunnel died down a little bit, she passed me again and started to gain some ground.  Mile 5 was 7:16...thanks a bunch, wind tunnel of death.

Well now we were down to the last mile, girl in yellow was pulling away, my legs were starting to scream out for mercy, but I knew I had a big PR in the bag if I could just hang the eff on to this pace for one more mile.  So hang on I did.  Gone were the feelings of control and relaxation that had made the first 4 miles of the race so great - now it was just run til your legs explode or you puke up your Gu and then you'll be done. UGH, I wanted to catch the stupid yellow girl so badly.  That was like my entire thought process the last mile: pass the tall guy in the blue shirt, and then you can go get yellow girl.  Well, I didn't quite make it to yellow girl, but I did pick off tall blue shirt man right before the 6 mile mark [7:08 split, for those who care]. The last .2 was a circle of cones in the giant parking lot where the finish line was - finish like this are MEAN and make me want to cry!  Where you are forced to essentially run past the finish line and then run around in a big circle to get back to it? So not cool.  So I'd like to think I summoned a decent finishing kick.  My last .2 miles was 1:24 which is exactly 7 minute pace.  So uh...not really a very good kick after all haha.  Well I tried hard, that's all that matters right? I crossed the finish line just short of vomming everywhere [see, I DID try hard!] and was SUPER thrilled to see 44:20 on my watch! Woot woot mega-PR!!

After the race I had one goal and one goal only in mind: BEER + CLAM CHOWDER! The post-race tent was INSANE but I eventually made it out alive with a Harpoon IPA and clam chowder...yumm.  I was still pretty warm from the race and thirsty so the beer was just like the nectar of the gods.  I wandered around a bit, then decided to try to brave the tent again for my second beer - by now pretty much everyone from the 10K was finished, and the line was INTENSE. I eventually obtained my UFO Hefeweizen and it was good, but I ended up drinking it pretty fast because I was getting cold, and it was REALLY cold, which was just making me more cold.   Once I started shivering I figured it was time to I hopped back on the party bus.  I started chatting with a guy who had also run a PR for the 10K...all of a sudden I heard a familiar opening come over the speaker system. that...
"Yeah! Yeah! Turn it up!"
Everyone on the bus got really excited, and soon the driver had absolutely cranked "Don't Stop Believin'"

Really, does it get any better than that? Singing along to your favorite song with a bus full of like-minded people, after having run a fantastic PR? I felt ready to burst with happiness. 

So yeah, it was a good day.  Also, if I'm actually listening to McMillan...I'm apparently supposed to be shooting for a 3:28 marathon.  Hmm...time to get crackin' :)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

That was a crazy fartlek workout....& pre-race jitters!

That was a crazy fartlek workout
My legs were fried
But someday I'll be back again
Even though I kind of wanted to die...
[To the tune of OAR's Crazy Game of Poker hehe]

Haha ok, I hope you enjoyed my awesome song. The crazy fartlek workout I'm talking about is 10 miles, with 30 seconds at around 5K pace every 3 minutes. I spent a lot of time going back and forth on the workout over whether it was going to be hard, or not so bad, or just long, or what. I was planning on doing it on my way to work [such a huge time saver] and leaving around 3:15.  Then I get this phone call around 2:
Co-worker: "Hi, can you come in a little early? My knees are killing me, I think I'm going to go to the doctor"
Me: " early?"
Co-worker: "Well, whenever you can get here would be good"
Me: " need to run 10 miles today, and I was planning on doing it on my way to I can leave in a few minutes, instead of when I would usually leave, and I think I'll get there around 4?" [my normal shift started at 5]
Co-worker: "You are insane. Do you know how cold it is outside?"
Me: "Yeah...."
Co-worker: "Wow.  OK yeah, just get here whenever you can"

Clearly, we know where my priorities lie...:)  Because I didn't want to look at my watch every 3 minutes [talk about making a workout go by sloooooow], I made a playlist of ~3 minute songs, and then just did the 30 second interval at the start of each song.  It was actually really nice, and I grabbed some music I hadn't listened to in awhile which made things extra fun.  At the start I felt OK - the 5K pace stuff felt kind of hard, and the easy parts felt really easy.  Strangely, the further I got into the run, the more I enjoyed the 30 second bursts and the more unpleasant the 2:30 in between them became - weird, right? So it was definitely by no means an easy workout, and it didn't help that I ran it on a pretty hilly route.  But honestly, I really liked it! Having to speed up every 3 minutes really kept me focused and involved in the run, as opposed to just kind of cruising, and it really kept things interesting.  Was it hard? YES - 10 miles is no joke, especially when you add speedwork into it for the entire distance, and by the end my quads were begging for mercy.  But overall I felt really strong, and ended up with a 7:33 pace overall, which I'm pretty sure is the fastest pace I've ever logged over 10 that was pretty cool, and I guess means I didn't slow down to a snail's pace on the recovery/easy parts, which is good!  So thanks Brad Hudson, for yet another interesting workout that I never would have come up with on my own, but ended up enjoying!

Some favorite tracks from yesterday's workout mix:
To the Beat of Our Noisy Hearts - Matt Nathanson
I LOVE Matt Nathanson, and this was a song that somehow got lost in my mess of an iTunes library...I adore it and find it to be a perfect running anthem.
Stand Out - Powerline's from A Goofy Movie.  Pretty much enough said. LOL.
Night - Bruce Springsteen
I was taught to love The Boss at a young age because my dad is a HUGE fan...there were a lot of bands that he tried to get me to like/appreciate as a kid, and Bruce was one of the couple that actually stuck. [The Who being another]  But Bruce Springsteen...damn.  I got to see him in concert a couple years ago and it was just straight up incredible..I can only imagine what the man was like in his younger days.  Born To Run is probably one of my favorite albums of all time, and this was a song I didn't really appreciate until recently. But I love it now!

Well, other than that, the Super Sunday 10K is tomorrow and I'm actually getting quite nervous.  I haven't race in what feels like FOREVER...usually by this point in the school year, I would have 10-15 races under my belt and a road race would be just a diversion between track meets.  But now road races ARE my track meets, and I really would like to actually throw down a good time tomorrow. Based on my 5K track PR, the McMillan calculator predicts me at a 41:20 10K...annnd also a 3:14 marathon, HAH! Putting in my marathon time gives me a 46:43, which wouldn't even be a PR, so I would NOT be satisfied with that, especially given how I've been running lately.  Putting in the 6:10 mile I ran in a workout gives me 44:23 - and also matches up with the 5K time I would imagine I could run right now [21:22].  Ding ding ding!  We have a winner.  Obviously my #1 MO is to simply PR - that is, beat 46:30. I think I'll cry if I can't do that.  But I think I will put my 'A' goal as being 44:30.  Probably unrealistic, but hey, you never know until you try, right?

I'm also geeking out about what I'm going to wear!! I really don't want to race in one of my bulkier winter running tops, but I also don't want to freeze my ass off. I think I'm going to test out my lightest possible race outfit on my run today, and if it checks out I'll go with it for tomorrow. I am nervous though - I really want to run well, I feel like I have something to prove to myself that I haven't lost my racing edge, that I can still compete, and that I can push through the pain and run a good race.  Guess we'll find out at 10 am least the Harpoon beer and Legal clam chowder at the end will hopefully drive me to a faster finish time. :)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Random ramblings

Total writer's block when it comes to blogging lately...every time I sit down to write thing I just stare at the screen for awhile and then forget what I was going to write about in the first place...since in all honestly my life really isn't THAT entertaining, or blog-worthy...but I'm trying to think of some random thoughts to spew onto the page this evening...

Random things that I'm really enjoying this week
-vanilla soy milk...where have you been all my life??? I was randomly at Whole Foods buying coffee and I saw the 365 soy milk cartons on sale for like, $1.60 or something - of course I had to buy it.  I don't like regular milk - something about the flavor? consistency? fact that it comes from an udder? just turns me off.  I think mostly it's the flavor.  Vanilla soy milk tastes like deliciousness and is really creamy and wonderful.  For some reason I always thought it was like twice the price of regular milk though, so if this isn't just a passing sale [and maybe even if it is] I think soy milk might be making its way into my daily life.

-NEW RUNNING SHOES!!  I've been totally in love with Mizuno Wave Inspires ever since I randomly picked up a pair off the shelf at a Dunham's 3 years ago.  Thankfully, when they "upgraded" their lines, they didn't completely change the fit/add tons of weight/do weird things with the laces [ahem, I'm talking to YOU, Asics] and so I've happily stuck with them.  My most recent pair had 544 miles on them and yeah...on a shoe that's a lightweight trainer to begin with, that pretty much equals death. So I hopped on my favorite site EVER - - and got myself a pair of the 6's - and oh, have they delivered.  The Inspire 6's are not only lighter [HOW?? seriously, the previous version was ridiculously light to begin with] but have a women's-specific fit and come in black/silver/hot pink...I'm not really a pink kind of girl, but badass, neon pink? Heck yes, I'll take it. So after slogging around in my squashed up, dead shoes, running in these babies feels like running on comfy cushions of heaven.  Excellent.

-hammering out a workout on the treadmill while the other gym patrons look on in fear.  So the majority of people who belong to my gym are more along the lines of working out to stay in shape/lose weight/not gain weight/socialize/plod on the treadmill while talking on a cell phone [my FAVORITE people, obvi :)]. Working out for the sake of working out, as opposed to training. I am still trying to figure out my relationship with the treadmill, but since I'm paying for this gym membership I feel obligated to go at least a couple times a week, and occasionally a speed workout comes a long that seems kind of conducive to doing on a treadmill, where I can see my pace, instead of outside, where I have no effing clue. Yesterday was one of those days - I had a minute run ladder of 1-2-3-2-1-2-3 minutes at 3K-5K pace with equal recovery.  I picked somewhere between 8.7mph [6:53 pace] and 8.9 [6:44 pace] as my interval pace since I was honestly afraid that if I went down to my last known 5K pace of 6:24, I would go flying off the treadmill and go slamming into the elliptical behind me...yeah.  When I started my first interval, the girl on the TM next to me looked at me nervously as if there was a chance that my flying off the treadmill was still a definite possibility.  She left like 5 minutes later, and was replaced by a guy who kept looking at my pace and speeding up his treadmill, only to slow it down a couple minutes later. Seriously boys? It's okay to get beat by a girl. I was on the mill for a little over an hour and it was kind of fun to watch people cycling through the machines while I just kept going in my little corner.

So what's the point of this? In running, I feel like everybody needs to feel badass sometimes.  Whether it's you running a PR, breaking your best time on a certain route, busting out an incredible workout...whatever.  And in some small way, knowing that I'm Doing A Workout while the people around me are just Working Out makes me feel badass, and in turn makes me run the workout harder, because it reminds me that there IS a reason for all this madness - to be fast.  And fierce, and strong, and powerful, and awesome, and come race day, run harder and faster and better than I ever have before. Without the constant stimulus of racing every single weekend like I have the past few years, it's sometimes too easy to forget why I'm doing all this craziness because I'm not getting those instant gratification results. But I really am loving that this training program has a decent amount of speedwork, because it's incredible to remember that I can be FAST - and that all of this hard work is going to pay off come race day.

Now really, what would a Run Like A Llama post be without a little running rambling, right? :)

And finally to wrap things up, and in the spirit of running hard and running fast, I give you my favorite speed workout/pump up song EVER. I first heard it on a quite addicting online game called Ski Runner, and once I finally figured out the name of the song and downloaded changing, I tell you. Especially if you enjoy the occasional techno song as much as I do...enjoy :)

Monday, February 01, 2010

January recap

Where the eff did January go? I swear it was just yesterday I was creating my training calendar for January...and now all of the boxes have been crossed off and it's on to February's thrilling [and higher mileage, and more workout-heavy...] training schedule!

So January...I'm really happy with this month of training.  Here are the boring stats:
Total miles: 192.9
Days off: 8 [probably 4 of those were completely off, others with some XT]
Workouts: 7 [2 hill reps, 1 mile repeats, 2 fartlek, 2 tempo]
Longest run: 17.3 miles
Weekly mileage range: 39.4-51.2

I am really amazed and pleased with how I've been able to bounce back into pretty heavy training after 2 months of pretty much failing at running thanks to my IT band problems. Having a training calendar to follow was the BEST thing I ever could have done for this training cycle - I'm totally loving knowing exactly what I need to do and just going out there and getting it done.   And since I was only running 5 days a week for most of this month, I was actually pretty surprised to see I got that close to 200. Probably because if I put a given distance down on my calendar, I will without fail end up running slightly further...because I'm kind of a weirdo...yeah. :)

This past week was pretty fantastic in terms of running, my first week over 50 miles since like...early October haha...exciting!  I had a few really great workouts...interspersed with some kind of crappy recovery runs, but I guess that's the point of those, right? I had a session of mile repeats on the schedule for Wednesday which I was totally ever since I put this workout on the schedule a month ago I have been looking at it with fear.  The workout was 3 x mile at 5K-10K pace, which really isn't even so bad if you go on the 10K end of things, but mile repeats have been something I've detested since the first time I ran them [high school XC senior year...Mondays were long interval days, which we did around this 800 meter loop around a church.  I HATED Mondays...].  I was totally thinking about putting it off but since it was like 40 degrees out I just had to throw myself out the door and do it.  Didn't feel great on the warm up, so I was obviously still not excited to run fast.  Buuut off I went on my first interval and it was like....magic!  It felt SO GOOD to run was like flying.  I finished the first mile in 6:10 and practically had a heart attack - I can't even REMEMBER the last time I ran a 6:10 mile!! Like...a year ago?  So after that I was pretty jacked to finish the workout.  I dialed it back to 6:23 and 6:29 for the last 2 since there was no way I was holding that 6:10 pace...but holy hell!  I had no CLUE I could still run that fast!  I mean I guess it's not like speed just disappears when you start doing longer distance training, but it was just really thrilling to see that marathon training doesn't mean I have to give up all of my fast-ness :)

That was really my only "speed" workout this week - I had a 10 miler on Friday that was kind of a challenge just because it was SO cold and windy!  I'm really not one to whine about the cold - I am from Wisconsin after all and the east coast winter has been sooo mild compared to the crap we got in Madison - but Friday was pretty unpleasant, the wind was just AWFUL!  I once again ran to work because its so time efficient, and all in all it wasn't a bad run at all, but I was so ready to be done by the time it face was frozen and I was sick of running what seemed like endlessly uphill and endlessly into the wind haha.

I ended up doing my recovery run between shifts at work on Saturday which was pretty awful, and between that and the whole "double shift" thing I was NOT looking forward to my long run on Sunday.  As I think I said some other time, this time around with long runs its not so much that I'm worried about going the distance, its just a big time commitment when I could be being a bum and eating food on the couch hehe. But I got out the door.  I was planning on doing an 8 mile loop at the reservoir, stopping at home, and then going out for another 8 miles.  By the time I got to the reservoir though, I had fallen into a really easy pace that I felt like I could just maintain forever...soo I decided I would roll with it and just kept running laps around the reservoir until it got dark - ended up being like 10.5 miles from when I started.  I'm actually really pleased about this because the thing about running at the reservoir is you don't have to stop for lights or anything, so it's just constant running, and that's really always something I need to work on pushing myself to do - not relying on those little breaks to get me through the run.  I did finally get stuck at a light at Cleveland Circle, so I went to tie my shoe...when I looked up, there was a PUPPY sniffing my face!  It was a little baby golden retriever, so completely precious. Definitely boosted my mood =)  I stopped at home quickly for a gel and some water, then headed back out for my 4.6 mile loop - definitely glad I only had 4 miles to go at that point haha.  My first mile was pretty fast, so I decided to just go with it and try to stay sub-8 for the whole last section...the result? 7:49 average pace, woot woot! It wasn't easy or anything, but I really felt surprisingly good for having run 16.6 miles, so that was awesome!  Running 5.5 more miles for my 22 miles will be nothing, right?

After I got back, the BF and I headed out for burgers and beers at our favorite neighborhood spot.  I LOVE the Wachusett blueberry beer that they always serve with real's way too entertaining to watch them float around on the bubbles hehe.   They had the X-Games on, and the event was basically long jumping on a snowmobile...WTF?? Is that really considered a sport? All they did was propel the snowmobile off a jump and see how far it went...that just seems silly.  But anyway, it was nice to just devour a bunch of tasty food after a long run!

Well I've been pretty busy with work lately, hence the lack of posting on here!  Sometimes I feel like my training and life is just too boring for anyone to want to read haha.  But anyway, I'm looking forward to racing the Super Sunday 10K this coming weekend - my first race since the marathon!  And oh yeah...the LOST SEASON PREMIERE tomorrow!!! The BF and I are having a mini party with island themed food and of course some "Dharma beer"...hehe. :)

Month #1 of training for marathon #2 - DONE!  Let's see what February has in store...