Monday, May 31, 2010

back to training

As per usual, I took a few weeks off from organized training after my half marathon (not that my training was awesome anyway). And its been so busy, how could I have done otherwise? One paper + one exam = the end of my classes, then there was the U23 tryouts, a couple of games, a couple of board meetings, my actual paying job...whew. And vacation! (more to come on Disney eventually)

Today I did 4 miles, around 11 am, in 90 degree heat. I have absolutely no idea how I finished the Long Branch Half, though I admit to stopping - entirely - every mile today (and maybe more like every third in the last mile). A nine minute pace though, not counting stops, so that was nice.

So I'm training for a 5 miler on July 4, which I'm using to establish a base for my fall half, which will be (at minimum) the Philly Distance Run. I've done that race before (1:57 in 2007 while training for NYC) and its a fun course with good crowd support and music.

I think I'm going to go back to week by week plans for accountability (since I dropped off on the LBH, and dropped off training!), so here goes:

Running plans:
30 tempo
3 miles (did 4 already)
5 miles long

Other training:
Weights x3 (back to the New Rules of Lifting program I ditched when our season started)
other cardio x1

I'm also going to start training in Weight Watchers online...I haven't lost an ounce really this year, and I'd really like to shake my post-wedding 15 before my fall half (plus maybe 10-15 more!).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Disney, the logistics

I'll get to a more fun recap of our trip later this week, but a few points in short (and no particular order):

1) Fast Pass is da bomb.
2) Southwest still is as well. Drinks AND snackies with your 2 hour flight. I'm there, as often as possible.
3) Staying on property was a terrific decision. No need to bother with cars, driving, parking, etc for a week! woot! And our tickets were a part of our room keys!
4) I think a lot of the Disney Magic is a result of the complete and utter lack of bugs on park property.  Our resort had several pools and lagoon lake thingies, and I saw one dragon fly and one ant on our entire trip. On the one hand, especially considering about 1/4 of the homes you can see from the bus enroute to and from the airport have permanent screen structures in their backyard, this is awesome. On the other hand, I am willing to bet the park sort of glows with pesticide at night.
5) Now that I think about it, none of the lagoon thingies on Disney property had "beware of alligator" signs either, which are pretty common in Florida...
6) The Orlando airport is pretty nice, and had a lot of stores to pop around. However, the security area vaguely resembles what happens at the Union toll plaza on the GSP at 5 pm on a Friday in July. If you don't know what I'm referencing...envision the entrance to a pro sports playoff if everyone entered through three lines, spread out to 13 ticket takers, then remerged to three lines to find their seats...5 minutes before kick/tip off. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

showing him off

no point to this at all.

But Bailey was very well behaved (in his bandana in honor of our college kids' prom dress game) and had a great time chilling with the fans and other dogs on Saturday!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Long Branch Half

So, the Long Branch Half...You know how this was supposed to be my big post-injury sub-2hr half marathon?

It was not.
For starters, my training has not been amazing. I've probably done half of what I was supposed to. Still, given my performance at Austin in Jan., I thought I could hit 2:05, maybe even sneak in at 2. I mean rugby is speedwork in essence, right? (humor me.)

But today, it was 89 degrees in Long Branch. For serious. On May 2. I just checked and its currently 82 degrees, plus a mild heat index. Did I mention today is May 2? And this is Long Branch, NJ? Not Long Branch, uh...Texas or Arizona, or anywhere where it isn't weird to have 3 weekends in the upper 80s by early May?

I stuck with my friend aiming for 2 hours for the first three miles, then told her to go ahead. By mile 3 and minute 27, I was completely soaked, and in my irrational running state, was having serious issues figuring out how to wipe my face in a sleeveless tank with a race number stuck to the front (this is possible by using the neck instead of the bottom or the non-existent sleeve, in case you're stuck on the solution).  Since this race started, for some reason I can't discern, at 9 am instead of 7 am like every other half marathon, it was already at least 80. I started doing 4:30 of running and 30 seconds of walking, and kept this up until mile 7. Between 6 and 7, I seriously considered dropping out. I mean a DNF isn't as bad as a really embarrassing time, right? I can tell the medics I feel nauseous. I can fake an ankle sprain. I can skip the medics, blame the pain from my old back injury that sometimes flares up running, and just walk back to the start area and meet Princess Charming and our friends' baby.

OK, except I couldn't figure out to save my life which way the start was (this is a loop course and I am directionally less than gifted and see above about irrationality while running).

So on I plodded. Around mile 8, I started seeing people in various degrees of nausea and passed-out-ed-ness (is there a better word for that?) on the side of the road, getting various levels of medical attention. So, I decided to finish. My contemplating a DNF has now turned into a You're Going to Be Tough and Finish mindset. OKkkkaaay.

I did 4 min/30 sec (to 1, maybe 1.5 minute) run/walks for the remainder. MAN it was hot. Many thanks for the Long Branch/Oceanport/wherever else we ran residents who put out sprinklers. I AIMED for those things. And the water stops, oh the water stops. This course was surprisingly well staffed - and had quite a bit of fan cheering, especially for a moderately sized race that is primarily residential - and the aid stations were great. Gaterade (yuck), water, bananas twice, oranges. I took two waters at each stop, drank one, and dumped the other down my back in a semi-futile effort to keep my core temperature down (hey, ten years of rugby taught me a few things). The oranges were awesome, and the sport beans I brought were a salty godsend since I don't like sports drinks.

The last mile and a half or so, thank the heavens, is along the ocean. I ran on the boardwalk since I saw no reason to be a foot further from the coooool ocean breeze than I needed to be. That was awesome, and I felt SO much better with the wind off the 60ish (maybe!) water! My only compliant (in things that can be changed) about this race is the huge banner telling you Half Finishers Left/Marathoners Right (its a loop course, they go on) wasn't super clear. I guess I said something about FINISH AHEAD but I didn't see it. I stopped, then wondered where the medal people were..and why no one else stopped! Anyway, I finished and my watch time was 2:18 and change, slightly faster than when Princess Charming and I run-walked this course last year in MUCH better (albeit quite wet) conditions.  I felt better about this when I found out my friends finished about 15 minutes off their expected times too....but am still a little annoyed with myself. Sort of.
Yes, I am wearing a long sleeved tee....the cool breeze was COLD when my sweat dried + I was dehydrated!
And yes, the medal is as boring as it looks.

And my parents took us out to lunch, so that was nice too!