Saturday, July 31, 2010

dropping out?

I'm really considering not doing a half marathon this fall. I've done 2-3/yr since 2007 (sometimes better than others...). I am just not all that motivated right now. And I really want to finish my proposal and enjoy my last competitive season of rugby and have a good time coaching and not lose my mind. I just can't seem to wrap my head around committing to training.

This makes me feel like a failure. I haven't had a good half in two years, and I can't seem to get motivated to do so.Its just not fun right now.
Maybe I'll do a couple of 5ks instead. Much less time consuming training.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Kids Are Alright

We splurged this weekend for a movie in the theater...who can resist an independent film (that is actually getting press) about a lesbian couple!

The movie was, almost surprisingly, really quite funny. While poor Annette was sometimes dressed in some unfortunate clothes (and I can't excuse even a hippie for naming their kid Laser), we really enjoyed the film. I've read a couple of review complaining about the sexual relationship with Mark Ruffalo's character, but I really didn't have an issue with the story line. Sexuality is fluid, and the center of the story was the difficulties of marriage and being together for years and year and enduring the stress and strains of everyday life.

I've already added it to our Netflix queue to see again (not to mention put out some extra support), and hope it goes into wide release soon.

I'll leave you with a favorite line:
Laser: I don't think you two should break up.
Momses: Why?
Laser: You're too old.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

training, week 2

Plan: 5 easy, 2x1 mi, 4 easy, 8 long. And a week's worth of Insanity (which is 5 days this week) and two days of lifting.

Monday: 2x1 mile, sort of. I think my warm up was too fast, and perhaps I have mental issues on the treadmill? I did it inside due to the heat and humidity, but it turned out to be 3x800 + 2x400 with 30 second stops for the mid-mile points and a 4 min walk break between miles (roughly half the time I was running). Total, 3.31 miles in 31:56 without counting stoppage.

Tuesday:  25 min of lifting. snatches, single leg deadlift, bent over row, wide squats with dumbbells, incline bench. 3x6 of each. I was supersetting and probably going too fast, but I had to get back to work.

Wednesday: 4 miles easy. It was 92. "feels like 96". I wanted to puke after mile 2 and walk-runned the rest of it. I also stopped 5 or 6 times. My core temp must have been through the roof, plus I was wearing a black tee & didn't have a hat or sunglasses. When will I learn? 39:16 without stoppage. Thumbs down in general.

Thursday: 25 min of lifting. bent row with lift, wide grip lat pulldown, single leg squat (this is a joke for me given my flexibility), back extension, shoulder raises. 3x6.

Friday: nothing, except a mile walk home from the train. You'll note I haven't done Insanity all week. This is directly related to our lack of AC. The house hasn't been under 82 all week, even at the crack of dawn, and is hotter midday. Thanks insulation for working in the summer only. I only have the mental energy to convince myself to do one insane thing a week, and running outside when it is 90+ won.

Saturday: interval workout. Overall, 5.4 miles in 57 minutes.

Sunday: 8 mile long run. This basically sucked ass. I started out with the plan of doing 4/1 run walk intervals (it was 86 already, plus I haven't done much over 4-5 miles in a long time), with stops on the even miles. Lets just say a stopped more. I ran 82 minutes and was gone about an hour and 45. That's kind of embarrassing. But on the upside, I don't have heat stroke since the stops helped keep my core temp down :-) 

Total for the week: 20.8 miles, a few tenths short of the plan.

So here's a question for the week:
How the heck do my running shoes get so dirty?? I  don't take them anyplace, well, dirty until they're already old!
Left pair: owned 2 weeks, 15 miles. Right Pair, owned 4 months, 300ish miles.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

holy moly it is hot

Today was supposed to be my long run (8 miles this week). I slept through my alarm, and didn't get up until 9. Whoops. It was already 86, so I decided to nix that and do my interval workout instead. Whether or not this is a logical swap, I am not sure, but the benefit of walk breaks built into the run makes sense to me!!

As of when I returned, per (and still rising, its only 11:15 right now and supposed to hit 96 with a heat index as high as 108. Have I mentioned this is Philadelphia (metro) not Houston!!?)
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
Feels Like: 97°

It was actually a pretty good run though, and somewhat better than the same one last Thursday. This might be in part to the fact I aimed to run the intervals on the downhills (hey, I walked up them!!), in part to the fact I had the foresight to carry water (more on that later), and in part due to the fact I haven't done any plyos all week thanks to our AC issue (I'll explain that more another day when I feel like whining).

Per Mr. Garmin:
The workout was a warm up, 200/400/600 with 1/2/3 minute walks for rest between, and a cool down. I also stopped (and stopped my watch) to stretch and just cool off after the warm up and each 600. The last 600 left me a little nauseous, so it was more like 200/400/200/400 in that last interval (but recorded as 600 since I stopped my watch, cheaterhead I am).
Warmup: 1.55mi, 15:08 (9:46/mi)
Intervals: 0:53/2:01/3:03, 1:02/2:05/3:16, 0:59/2:00/3:10. Pretty consistently just around and a bit over the 8:00/mi pace, and since that's my dream 5k pace to my actual 5k pace, I think I did well (downhill balances out heat, right?). The first 200 was a 6:53 pace (!!) which is my best ever and I'm proud of. I might do more of those next week seeing as rugby is starting soon.
Cooldown: 0.57 mi, 5:38 (9.51/mi)
Overall, a 10:30 pace (counting walk breaks but not stoppages), exactly on target for the Easy run my program listed which I replaced. Score!

Now about the water...this is probably the best choice I've made this week, and its what saved this run from being totally shitty. I was able to drink during every walk break & stoppage, and finished the water literally a block from home.
Thanks Camelback!
Camelbak Flashflo 45 ounce Pack Hydration
my model has an external fill spout, which is great, but not an extra pocket (so I just stick my phone in with the bladder!)
The only downside is it requires being worn high on the waist (to prevent bounce) so its sort of channeling the 80's...but I'm not exactly looking amazing running anyway :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ohhh AC

We returned from Ohio Sunday night to an 84 degree house.
Except it never cooled off.

After a somewhat sleepless night of stressing over the cost of a new unit, I met the lovely HVAC man around 9:30 am, he recharged the freon in my 25ish year old unit, and I went on my merry way to work with the compressor humming.

Then I got home to an 84 degree house (It was 81 in the morning, in case you're curious).


Today is Wednesday. Today I met another lovely HVAC gentleman. He thinks our unit may have been hit by lightening in the storms that came through Monday. Our compressor is blown and not repairable. I am sitting on our pull out sofa in the partially below grade den with a fan blowing on me right now. It is 92 out and 85 in. 

OF COURSE our unit can't make it through what is shaping up to be the hottest summer on record when we are (halfheartedly at this point) trying to sell the house.

Luckily, Princess Charming will be home tonight and is installing our window unit in a bedroom so I can sleep decently, and without sweat, again.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

a week in training

Monday: planned rest from running. Did 4 miles & Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance

Tuesday: planned 4 miles with intervals, did 4 miles easy and Insanity Pure Cardio. I think I also lifted about 25 minutes this day, a quick full body routine.

Wednesday: planned 5 miles with 3 miles of tempo. Did Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit.

Thursday: planned 5 miles with 3 miles of tempo at 8:54 pace. Did 4.95 miles with a mile warm up and 3 rounds of 200/400/600 with 1/2/3 minutes of walking rest between (and a couple of complete stops. It was freaking hot. 4 pm, poor decision). The pace was around 8:00/mi for the intervals, floating up and down based on length and hill direction. Ok I guess. 51 minutes total (10:24 page).

Friday: planned day of rest from running. Did just that amid the long drive to Ohio.

Saturday: planned 8 mile long run. Did 3.59 outside with my sister in law's boyfriend, and 2.4 on the treadmill. 62 minutes total (10:24 overall pace, which depresses me but IS on track based on the 10:30 listed on my program), the 2 more a few hours later on the treadmill for a total of 8 (we had to meet family for lunch; I should have started earlier...though I admit I was miserable after the first 6). A lot of walking. Sore and tight (I guess from Thursday & the 11 hr car ride?). And hot. But finished my 21 miles for the week!!

Sunday, more rest and the return drive to PA.

A good week for running completion, if somewhat deviant from the plan. A half week for the Insanity program, making the first two weeks basically a 60% completion. Whoops. Better than nothing I guess.

Up next week:

5 easy, 2x1 mile at 8:25, 4 easy, 8 long.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Last night I went for another run.

It went a lot like Monday's (except it was sunny & dry when I got home, so it was preceded with a trip to the dog park).
The plan was to warm up with a jog to the post office to drop off the Netflix then swing into the flat neighborhood to do 3 rounds of 200/400/600, and then head home for a total of 4 miles.

Around the 1/2 mile mark, it started to rain. This is around where the post office is, so I decided to skip the speedwork and make it an easy run. This was a good decision, since it started pouring pretty much immediately. Completely soaked, I figured it would pass (no thunder, etc, so ok).  And it did. 20 minutes later or so.  In the interim, I had to duck under the canopies of two stores to get out of the driving rain, the kind you can't really keep your eyes open in. The last two miles was ok, just drizzly and with a heavy teeshirt and shorts that wouldn't stay put thanks to being completely plastered to by body.

Lessons learned this Tuesday night:
1) If it looks like it might rain, bring a damned hat.
2) And wear spandex. The one pair of shorts that fits well only fits well dry.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

on new beginnings

OK, that is a little dramatic, but I am getting moving.

Per last Friday's little psycho drama (its a bigger deal in my head than I typed out), I started getting my butt in shape Monday.

I forgot to weigh myself, but Princess Charming and I got up early to start week 2 of Insanity (more on that later this week) - Monday was Cardio Power and Resistance. The morning after that was a whirlwind of showers, a trip to the doctors, walking the dog, packing my lunch and getting the train in 83 minutes from the Stop button on the DVD to getting on the train). When I got to work, I dusted off my online WeightWatchers account (WW, you should thank me for all these years of $16.95/month!). I know the drill. I actually eat pretty well outside my dessert habit - especially in emotional eating moments - really my issue is I just eat too much (well, I did at some point. My weight has been stable for 1+ yr so I guess now I eat too much to lose weight?). And, well, the emotional eating habit! hah.

Then when I got home, thunderstorms were rolling in. Sort of. There was thunder, but no rain. Then rain, but no thunder. Repeat. This nixed the dog park, and left me on the couch (see cake incident). Around 8, it stopped raining, and I took the Best Bladder in the World Dog (over 12 hours folks!) out to pee and for a run, thinking we'd do 2 miles and then I'd drop him off while I did 2 more. We did half a mile. Around the 1/10 mark, the wind picked up, and my fearless wonderdog started giving me the look of "Are you Freaking kidding me??" so we swung around the block. I dropped him off and headed out.

Two blocks later, the skies opened and I headed back. This is a terrible idea.
I walked in to a VERY excited dog - sheshomealreadywhereismyboneiwassoworriedwhereismyboneshellgivemepeanutbutter!
Then it stopped raining. So I went back out (after giving the dog more peanut butter).

3.25 miles to go.
Since at this point it was about 8:30, I decided to take my stand-by route since I know lighting/turns/traffic well and run it a lot with the dog in the winter (aka the cold dark mornings and evenings).

Around the 1/2 mile mark, drizzle. Hm. OK. Can Garmins get wet?
Now this is a funny question, seeing as I've had my Garmin since Christmas of 2007 - so 2 years and at least 1000 miles of outside running. I've never run with it in the rain. See, I'm kind of a pussy about training. Its hot. Its cold. Its humid. Its wet.
Can you imagine the conversation I had in my head to stay out at this point? It was along the lines of
"Dammit this is bullshit you should go home"
"What? Today is Day 1 of a freaking 10 week half marathon program. 10 weeks you lazy ass who didn't pick a longer program. Don't screw this up Miss "I'm going to get in shape and break 2 hours again"!"
"Are you freaking serious?"
"YES. Would you miss rugby practice for this?"
"Well, no, but maybeImeanI'mnotexactly22anymoreandrunningaroundin45degreerainfor2hoursonafieldwithnograsskindablows "
"Shut up, its July not October and you know you'd go and hell just pretend its a game. This isn't bad."
"OK this wouldn't totally suck for a game since its not cold."
"See! Keep running"
"Ugh. At least we're not going to scrum 103842 times in the next 20 minutes."

And so by now I'm around the 1.6 mile mark, or the turn around point, also known as the I can stop talking to myself (in my head, thank goodness) about what a wimp I am being. Keep in mind I've run most of the last mile with my wrist rolled up in my now soaked sleeve - since it changed from drizzle to pouring - and I am sure the entire neighborhood thinks I am nuts (I may or may not have tested holding my watch in my shorts and decided it was way uncomfortable).

And now it stops raining.
Good, right?

Except now I am running home in a soaked tee shirt (tech tee, thankfully), semi-squishy shoes, and really floppy wet hair, since I opted against the hat and also neglected to being a hair tie (thinking my headband + short hair would be ok sweaty/wet, duh).
This aggravated me more than it should have.

Until I realized it was dark. Like ominous dark. The kind of dark you get when a thundercloud that is vaguely brown rolls overhead. Now, for the new Jersey kid in me, this is no problem. For the person who lived in Illinois for two summers including one where a steel plant 5 miles from my apartment met its demise via tornado, this is an issue. Coupled with my bizarre, sudden fear of a dog darting from around a dark corner (no idea why I decided to be paranoid about this tonight) I was almost having heart palpitations for the last mile.

I got home and the sky opened up.
My dog again brought me the bone, then promptly passed out cold at my feet - I imagine he was pacing in stress the entire time I was gone (not to mention the hour + of thunder stress before our walk) since a half mile run isn't exactly his normal required activity.

Overall, 4.14 miles in about 40 minutes. Not too bad.

Oh, and Garmin 205s are water resistant. No need to look crazy next time (or use that as an excuse).

Monday, July 12, 2010

on jobs

I am currently sitting on the coach eating coconut frosting. Its from a can and not terribly good. At least I am eating it off cake, and not from the can.
I have this issue with emotional eating - see Friday's post - and apparently think the best way to solve my sad feelings about our lack of a baby, lack of disposable income, my student loans, our unsold house and the lack of a new job for me is to eat frosting. And a little bit of kind of dry cake. I am a terrible cake baker, which is sad because I'm generally good with the oven.

I vacillate a) being happy to be gainfully employed in a fairly low stress job where I have awesome coworkers and a pretty high level of flexibility and all the autonomy I can ask for (are you asking what I am complaining about??), though a pretty long (train, again what am I complaining about) commute and low salary (OK, that I can complain about) and b) being really fricking annoyed that I, with a masters and ABD from an extremely respectable program in my field, from an extremely respectable (and unfortunately extremely expensive) university, and a few years of work experience in a reasonably respectable position at said university have had 1.5 (one real and one terrible phone) interviews in the last 6.5 months. I have applied to 9 jobs at Rutgers and at least half a dozen elsewhere. And I'm really qualified for at least a third (I admit I am aiming high, see student loan debt issue above)!

I know I sound like a) a raving lunatic and b) an institutional egotist (really I'm not. I was a public school kid until my masters and all through my 22 grad classes was the public school voice of reason when people said things during case studies like "well, if I had that problem in undergrad, I'd go see the dean." What? What? What undergrad at a big state school knows who the Dean of the damn school is much less can REACH them?!) and c) a whiner.
Ok, I am whining.

I know I am employed and stable and all that crap, and am happy to not be on unemployment and all, but for a million little reasons I don't want to type out right now - see point A directly above - I really, really would appreciate a snazzy new job showing up on, made just for me. One that calls me when I send them my resume. (FYI to the almost-diploma-mill that sent me the employment rejection notice: You are the ONLY job that has explicitly rejected to interview me! I am insulted! I am guessing you can't afford the fairly piddily salary I want, but I want you to know I am insulted you had the nerve to reject me ON PAPER without even talking to me. I didn't want to work for you and your below average on the SAT students either. Blah. You could save money to hire someone decent by not sending out employment rejection notices by the way).

I feel a little better now.
I guess I can put away the cake and get to the dog park.

Friday, July 9, 2010

time to get moving

Today is Friday, 7/9.

I have 10 weeks until fuel time for my fall half marathon.
and 7 until fuel time for our first rugby game of the season.

I really need to get my butt in gear.
Due to the heat (104? in Philly? WTF?) this week, I haven't run a bit, but I did do Insanity videos 4 days, so that is something!  Monday starts my half plan, and I'm starting stage 3 of my lifting program as well. This time I plan to do it 2-3 days/week...seeing as its taken me about 12 weeks to do 8 weeks of the program so far. Oops!

I am also, not kidding this time, going to get moving to drop the excess mass. I'm 5'6" and 172 today. My goal is 150, just under "overweight" on silly BMI. I am extremely self conscious admitting this "publicly" - well, admitting that I want/need to lose weight; I'll tell anyone what I actually weigh! - so perhaps this is good motivation to not be a doof and keep telling myself I can start over tomorrow?? :)

Readers, what motivates you to eat well and be fit? I think I need inspiration outside the packaged answers.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


It is just about time to start training for the Philly Distance Run in September!!

One of the running bloggers I follow, Mrs.CJ, has just been invited to a racing team! I am so inspired since just 2 yrs ago she was running about my pace!! (In fact, her first half marathon was just a smidge faster than my 90 degree one, so perhaps I am a little faster than she was in early 2008?? Not that it matters since she'd SMOKE me now!)

I decided I'm going to use the half marathon plan in the new Runner's World for my fall half. It is aimed at a 2 hr finish time, my elusive goal since my first foot injury just shy of 2 years ago. Its not online, so I'm going to try to remember to scan it at work this week, but in essence it is 2-3 easy runs a week, one speedwork run (tempo or intervals) and a long run. Its a ten week plan, so I'm going to try to do most of the first week this coming week and basically do week 1 twice. Its going to be CRAZY hot for Philly though, so we'll see :)

Week 1 is 2 4 mile easy runs (10:30 pace), 5 miles tempo with three at 8:54, and an 8 mile long run (10:30 pace), so I think I'll look to do that with 6 or 7 instead this Saturday.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Maplewood 5K Race

I enjoyed reading the July 4 race recaps of my blogroll, so I figured I'd do one too!! :)

For July 4th this year, we ran a 5k! My dad and I had done one on Thanksgiving, and I badgered talked him into another!  Princess Charming's mom was visiting from Missouri, so she joined us as well (and pretty much dragged my mom through the course...see shout out to them in the Maplewood paper!!)

This was a pretty tiny race - a last minute replacement for the 5 miler we had planned further south (which was deemed too far away for various reasons) - but I am in love with the community. There was a kids bike parade and a petting zoo and what looked like it would be a fabulous day of festivities to the evening fireworks. Definitely a town we can aspire to afford to live in when we move to NJ :)

I did my first mile in about 8:24 - awesome, right on the pace I wanted (I dream of a 24 min 5k...but am still seeking a 26 minute one!) - but that turned out too fast. Part of me will blame it on the heat wave we've begun again - it was at least 80 by 9 am Sunday - but I also know I am just a little thick and not well trained right now! Anyway, just past the first mile was a water the middle of a big hill. I stop for water - and wasn't about to skip it in the heat! - so it kind of broke up my pace, but the hill didn't help! My second mile was around 9:30, counting a short walk at 1.5 mile - I just puttered out atop that hill.

The third mile was about half downhill, so I rode that just under a 9 min pace. As I approached the park, I lost mental steam and stopped on the corner, thinking I had about 1/4 mile left, wanting to walk 30 seconds then sprint it in. Andddd then I turned the corner to see the finish 100 yards away. Oops. So I lost a few there. I finished in 27:17, pretty well under a 9 min pace. OK I guess, and at my goal of under 9 minutes/mile, but I need to improve!
I finished 1st in my age group! Of two. I don't think that counts.
Then I walked out until I met my dad - I picked him up about 1/2 mile from the finish and jogged back with him. My Garmin says we did a 13:20 pace together, so he gets props for consistency - he finished in 41:45, a 13:26 pace!  That's also over 30 sec/mile faster than our Thanksgiving 5k, in 35 more degrees, so I think that's an awesome improvement! In fact, for a guy who had a triple bypass in March 2009 and hadn't exercised in 35 years prior to that, I think he's doing pretty awesome!!
just before the finishers chute!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July!!

We were lucky to have awesome weather and a nice shore breeze! A beautiful day with family & an old friend!
A car-ride nap...a puppy necessity for a busy day!
Wind in the ears = happy dog. Until the fireworks anyway...

lunching on a little table!

Mom & our fearless captain
lots of sunblock for us!!