Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ice Queen

Last night after work, I decided to try my first track-less speed workout. I figured if I ran in town I would have less slippery roads to deal with, so I didn't bring my yak-trax. After a 1/2 mile warmup out the front door of my office, I turned into a residential area and started my first interval. And promptly felt like I was going to fall flat on my face. Pure ice. I immediately adjusted my goal from speedwork to (1) don't fall and (2) try to keep up a halfway decent pace. I ended up doing 4.6 miles at 9:08 pace. I almost blew goal (1) coming around a corner. My feet started to go out from under me and I had to flail my arms around to stay upright.

This morning, I woke up to a few inches of snow on the ground and it was still snowing. It is supposed to get really cold again tonight (below zero with nasty windchills), so I knew I better run because tonight and tomorrow morning might not happen. Three miles of three inches of snow over solid ice, with snow blowing in my face. Ahh, gotta love winter.

My back is starting to feel the running on ice. I'm prone to lower back problems anyway, so I'm always nervous about pushing it. After sitting in court for an hour this morning I stood up and could feel my lower back tightening up. I'll do some yoga tonight to see if I can loosen things up a little.

Is it spring yet?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Santa Loves Me

I may be the last person in the world, but I finally got my Garmin. My husband came through (like he always does when I beg, plead, and whine). I've gone for three runs with it so far, and I'm loving it. Although the first run, I was so busy staring at it that I sort of forgot to pay attention to where I was going. Not the smartest idea on icy roads. Kind of like last year after Christmas when I got my new iPod - running and messing with it at the same time, and I ended up waist deep in snow in the ditch.

I also got plenty of other running loot - lots of Smartwool socks, which I love, a fuel belt, a new short sleeved shirt, and a new face mask. Also, my mom made me an awesome quilt out of some of my race t-shirts. Even though I knew it was coming, I was super excited. One side has all the t-shirts from the first year I ran races, and the other side has some other cute ones.

This morning, Jim and I went out for a balmy 8 miler in the 7 degree weather. In general, December has been a "rest" month - until today, I hadn't done anything longer than 4 miles. It felt good to actually get a good run in, even if my face was covered with ice.

I'm off to make a lasagna for some friends who are visiting tonight. Hope everybody had a good Christmas. Back to work tomorrow!

Friday, December 19, 2008

2009 Goals

I've got to hurry up and post my 2009 goals or else they'll sound like New Year's resolutions, which would just be the kiss of death. Also, I've sort of gotten a head start on the office Christmas party by taking swigs out of the flask under my desk and it's not doing much for my motivation to work. So . . .

Realistic Goals
1) Run a sub 54:00 10K.
2) Run a 4:30-ish marathon.
3) Run a sub 2:05 half.
3) Do yoga 1x per week (she is my mistress, after all).

Just Call Me a Rockstar Goals
1) Get a Mora Classic medal (all you need to do to get this is complete their 4 events in one year: a cross country ski race, a canoe race, a half marathon, and a 50 mile bike race (actually, I think they call it a tour, much less intimidating)). My friend Cheryl and I are going to do this one together.

2) Win the Mac vs. Heather challenge. This is a four-sport event: bowling, golf, running, and tennis. The loser has to wear a t-shirt designed by the winner at our annual local "Bastard's Bar Association" golf/dinner event. The t-shirt I am already designing for Mac (because I am that confident I will be the victor) is pink, has a picture of yours truly on it, and says "Princess Heather Rules All." He's gonna look awesome.

Just Call Me Freaking Crazy Goals
1) 2009 miles in 2009. Yes, I know.
2) Isn't that one crazy enough? I don't think I need to add any more. . .

I've got lots of races on the calendar to help me accomplish my goals. I'll add them to my upcoming races list as soon as the dates are confirmed and I get permission from my husband for the race fees (and yes, paying $30 to run any number of miles is a good use of our $, so quit your bitching).

Tonight? Not working on any of my goals. It is still 2008, after all. Instead, I'll be living it up redneck, backwoods style by drinking at the Casino. Yeah, that's how we do it around here. And then tomorrow morning? Getting up early to get to a rehearsal at church. Because that's how we really do it around here.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Taking Me a Mistress

Running and I have had a monogamous relationship for quite some time. Way back in the early days, before I called myself a "runner," I really played the field. I'd do the stairclimber one day, lift weights the next, go to class at the gym, and once in a while jog around the lake for good measure.

Once I started running races in 2004, running and I started to get more serious. I still had the occasional fling with Tae Bo and the likes. But gradually, running and I became exclusive. Running's efficiency and slimplicity have always been attractive to me, and the longer we were together, the more I started to love it.

Compared to running, with its mysterious sunglasses and sleek, sexy sweat-wicking pants, yoga has always been a little like a Gap commercial. Dull, predictable, khaki pants and a polo shirt. If I only have a certain amount of time per day to commit, I want to get the most bang for my buck. My mom has tried to set me up with yoga for a long time. She swears it will help my lower back problems. I believe her, I just thought yoga was such a dud.

But last night, I decided to preview a new yoga DVD I bought for my mom for Christmas. It was too cold for running and I to hook up outside, and the treadmill just gets in the way of our happy relationship. And yoga? Kinda cool. I was shocked when our 30 minutes together was over and I realized I hadn't stared at the clock fantasizing about running even once. And while running has always been very attentive to my legs, it completely ignores my upper body. Yoga gave me something I have been missing - a reminder that I actually do have muscles in my arms and back that long to be used.

So running, I hope you don't mind, but I think I might take yoga as a mistress. You'll still be my number one, and we'll get together pretty much every day. But once or twice a week, I'll take 30 minutes away from you to be with yoga. I have a sneaking suspicion that being with yoga every once in a while might make things between you and I even better.

And Mom? You probably won't be getting a new yoga DVD in your stocking. Sorry.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Brr Flippin' Cold

Because the wind chill is 30 below, and because I value my extremities, I will not be running outside today. My friend Mac called earlier and asked if he should run today. I told him that if he could go at noon when it was sunny, it would probably be okay. And then I walked a block and a half to the post office to mail my Christmas cards. Holy freaking freezing. Hopefully I will not see him frozen solid to the ground on my way to court. Hopefully he knows by now that I don't have a clue and he should ignore all advice that comes out of my mouth.

After Sophie goes to bed, I'll go over to Erin's and run on her treadmill. Heated garage with TV? I can get on board with that, even though I despise running on the treadmill. Any run that will leave my fingers and toes intact and my face frostbite-free is good enough for me today.

I've already proven my hardcore nature by running outside in yesterday's little blizzard. Running to the south and west? Easy, beautiful, looked like a Christmas card. Running to the north and east? Like running in hell. Frozen hell, with wind flinging chunks of snow and ice at my face.

Anyone in California or Florida or some other warm place need a roomate (and a half - can't go without Sophie) for the winter?

Friday, December 12, 2008

In the Doghouse

As I was sitting in my office fulfilling my duties as a slave to justice (or, surfing the internet, whatever), my husband calls. "You want me to move out?" I was confused until he reminded me about a recent post in which I may have said that I SOMETIMES wished my husband would move out and my mom would move in. Oops. One, I didn't know you read this blog. And two, it was just a joke, really.

In the interests of preserving marital bliss, I think it's important that I point out just a few of the MANY things I appreciate and love about my husband.

(1) He is a WONDERFUL dad to Sophie. Every time I see him with her, I love him a little bit more because of this great thing we did together and of how super he is with her.

(2) He never lets me feel sorry for myself and is constantly pushing me to be tougher and stronger.

(3) He takes care of all the finances and pays all the bills. I hate math and I hate paying bills.

(4) He has supported me through college, law school, the bar exam, and put up with all of my super cheeriness in between!

(5) He's always making me laugh with stupid little jokes.

I know this wasn't at all about running, but hey, every now and then, a girl just has to suck up a little. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Christmas Miracle (two weeks early)

A miracle happened at our house last night. At 7:30, I put Sophie to bed. And she stayed there, without a midnight snack, without me giving her Nuk back 17 times, without three hours of Baby Einstein, until 8:00 this morning. When my alarm went off at 5:30 and I realized that she hadn't been up all night, I ran into her room thinking she must be dead. When I heard her little baby snores, I went out into the hallway and did a little dance to the god of sleeping through the night. Please don't let this be a fluke.

During Sophie's marathon of sleep, I ran TWICE. Last night, I went over to my friend Erin's and ran 3+ miles on her treadmill. This morning, Jim and I ran our usual pre-dawn 3 miles. And, because of the Christmas Miracle, I was able to do my sit ups and push ups after the run. It felt so good to have my little routine back.

I hate to push my luck, but Santa, god of sleeping through the night, and whoever else out there who has $350 they want to spend on yours truly, I still want a Garmin for Christmas. And a Wii. Hell, throw in a little white pony while you're at it. Because if Sophie can sleep through the night, anything is possible.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Back at It

Earlier today, my face was freezing. Ice was forming on my eyelashes, and my cheeks were stinging. My chest felt tight from breathing in the frigid air. My ankles and calves were aching from the constant battle for traction on freshly fallen snow. I felt like I was running into a wall of wind. But I didn't care. Because I was finally RUNNING.

After four long days off, I got out for a measly little three miler this morning. It was really hard work, but it felt so good. And the three miles makes for a whopping 7.5 total miles this week. Oh well. As my husband likes to remind me, life does not revolve around running.

With the start of the last month of the year, I totaled up my miles for 2008 so far: 870. At the beginning of the week, I was optimistic about getting in 130 miles this month. I knew it would take some work, but figured I could get it in. I've now adjusted my goal to 950. With the slow start to the month, it will be work just to get in 80 miles. Jim graciously offered to run 20 miles per day with me next week, but I don't think that will happen! (Although think of all the Christmas cookies I could eat . . .)

After my run this morning, I got my Christmas decorations up. My mom came up and stayed last night so she could help me double team Sophie in order to actually get the decorations done. Am I the only one that sometimes secretly wishes their husband would move out and their mom would move in??? She's just so damn helpful. (And Mom, I said SOMETIMES!)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Positive Thinking

I really don't want to be a whiner, so here's my glass half full take on this week:

Having the stomach flu on and off for two weeks builds character. And ab muscles. And I know I'm really going to appreciate food one day soon when I can smell it without the accompanying waves of nausea. And NO, I'm not pregnant.

Staying up all night with Sophie last night as she screamed bloody murder because of another ear infection was nice mother-daughter bonding time. And I'm learning a lot of sign language from the Baby Wordsworth movie.

Sitting at the courthouse for three hours this afternoon for Ask an Attorney is a good public service and I can make a real difference in people's lives. They will also make a real difference in mine as they expose me to even more germs and illnesses. That's good. I relish the opportunity to build my immunity.

Not running since Monday is a nice rest. I can remember this week in the middle of marathon training when I would give anything for three days off in a row.

See? I'm freaking Pollyanna.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Race Report - Jingle Bell 5K

This will be my last race report for a while - nothing on the calendar now until the end of January!

A few months ago, my friend Sarah asked me to help her get into running. I set her up with a little training plan and convinced her to sign up for the Jingle Bell 5K at Anoka High School. Of course, this meant I had to run it too. I graduated from Anoka, so it's always fun to go back.

So, after a week with the stomach flu (bonus: always good to lose 6 pounds before the holidays), I wasn't expecting much. My main goal was to finish without puking. The race started and I took off at an easy pace. A lot of walkers and people with strollers started right in front, so the first half mile was a lot of dodging, which always seems so exhausting. As we came around a corner and up a short hill, a couple of kids were calling out the mile split. 7:35. What? I actually asked whether we were at the mile yet, because I didn't think I had run that fast. Go figure.

This was an out and back course, and I felt really good when I got to the turn around. As I ran back, I saw my sister and then saw Sarah. I screamed like a maniac for her (and I'm sure embarrassed the crap out of her, but oh well). The last mile was tough. I don't know why I get so tired at the end of races. I really need to work on that. I knew my mom was going to be at the finish with Sophie, so I just kept reminding myself of that. I also kept telling myself, "Only 3 more minutes. You can do anything for 3 minutes."

I came down the last stretch and could see the clock, and knew that I was going to beat my time from last week. I crossed at 24:45 - a new PR by 7 seconds! By far the best part of this race was watching Sarah finish - I'm so proud of her for sticking with it. When she first started, she said she couldn't imagine running one block, let alone one mile. And now she has finished her first 5K, and she e-mailed me today asking when the next race is! I think she's hooked.

Now I'm off to get my running clothes on and brave the wind gusts. When I asked our daycare lady to keep Sophie a little longer tonight so I could run she looked at me like I had sprouted horns and told her I was planning on cooking Sophie for dinner.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Race Report - Turkey Trot 5K

This morning, Sophie and I hit the road early to pick up Jim, and then trade Mac for Sophie in North Branch. Mac's wife agreed (in a moment of weakness, I'm sure), to watch Sophie along with her little MacKenna, so we were set. We headed to Como Park with plenty of time to spare. Of course, even though this is the fifth year I've ran this race, I still couldn't remember which roads to turn on to get to the elementary school, so we wasted a good 10 minutes with me swearing about the twisty turny roads. But still hade plenty of time to register and picked up my t-shirt (gotta get my Thanksgiving wardrobe set).

My goal was to break 25:00 minutes today, but as we got ready to start, I just wasn't feeling it. I've had a little stomach bug all weekend and just felt off. So I decided I would just do the best I could and save my sub-25:00 goal for Saturday's Jingle Bell 5K. When the race started, I took off at what felt like an easy pace. The first mile felt pretty slow, and I was shocked to look at my watch (yes, I actually remembered to wear it) at the mile marker and see 7:52. It occurred to me that sub-25:00 might not be out of reach. I decided to just try to maintain that pace and see how things worked out.

Mile 2: 15:52. I still felt strong, and the pace felt good. About a 1/2 mile from the finish, I could feel my shoelace loosening up. This has been a recurrent problem with my current shoes. It wasn't long and the damn thing was completely untied. I knew I was on track to meet my goal, so I refused to stop to tie it. Of course, knowing that it was untied held me back a little, especially at the end. By that time, my shoe was kind of flopping around on my foot and I was convinced that it was going to fall off. I really did not want to fall on my face today. When I finally came down the final stretch and could see the clock, I saw that it was 24:30. I knew I could make it . . . and finished in 24:52. Third PR in a row!

And after the race? Chipotle. Yum.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why traffic court Wednesdays and running a marathon are a lot alike . . .

I love Wednesdays. All day traffic court and, sometimes, other fun civil stuff like evictions and child support contempt thrown in so the ladies in court administration can watch me run between two courtrooms with my high heels on. Today was especially crazy, and I decided that my Wednesdays in traffic court are pretty similar to running a marathon:
  • Both require regular hydration and fueling. For traffic court, I need my hourly shots of Diet Dew (I just pretend it's something stronger) and fun sized Butterfingers (thank you, leftover Halloween candy). For the marathon, gatorade and gu. Okay, fun sized Butterfingers. I hate gu.
  • Lots of smelly people show up for both.
  • In both, I spend 90% of the time telling myself that I can't possibly make it one more second and that I might (1) die, (2) throw up, (3) quit and walk to the nearest exit/medical tent/bar.
  • Both put me in the danger zone for exposure to other people's bodily fluids. Seriously.

Of course, in traffic court, I don't get a nice medal for making it through the day and I've never gotten a free t-shirt (although I did pay one of our frequent flyers $15 for one that he had made that says "No Justice in Pine County."). But I did get referred to as "the hot prosecutor" today. I guess it's better than "that blond bitch." Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What running?

So the running last week? Pretty much sucked. I have the motivation, the energy, the 17 layers of clothing . . . and yet I only managed to get in a measly 19 miles. Lowest mileage week in a couple of months. I'm blaming my husband. If he would realize that my running is infintely more important than both his work and his hunting, our relationship would be much happier. I don't see this relevation dawning on him anytime soon, so until then, I guess I'm in the market for a heated baby jogger. Then I could take Sophie on runs still without child protection chasing me down.

This week HAS to be better. A week from today is the Turkey 5K, and I'm still clinging (unrealistically) to my goal of breaking 25:00. Also, I need to do some advance calorie burn to clear the way for Thanksgiving. Can't believe it is just over a week away!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Last night, Jim and I met at the track after work. With it getting dark so early and needing to pick Sophie up before daycare closes (wouldn't want her just sitting out on the street waiting for me), I've had to give up my 1.3 warm-up mile from the office and just drive to the track. Anyhow . . . we did four 800's at 3:35, 3:34, 3:35, and 3:40. I was extremely happy with these times, as I've been averaging 3:45 for my 800's recently.

I don't know whether it was the workout or the colder weather, but I was STARVING last night. I basically ate two dinners, and a brownie. At least I ran twice yesterday to mitigate some of the damage. Also, totally addicted to Wheat Thins Parmesan Basil. Can't stop eating them. Writing this post is making me hungry . . . wonder what I can eat now?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Leaf

My one goal for this weekend was to break my streak of skipping long runs. Done. Yesterday morning, Jim and I braved the cold, gale-force winds and ran 8.5 miles. Yes, I know that 8.5 miles really isn't a "long" run, but it pushed me past this 5 mile limit I've been stuck at for the last month. And, because I felt strong through the whole run, it was a great confidence booster.

Today, I've been sitting in the house debating about bundling Sophie up and taking her out for a quick run in the stroller. Probably won't happen for two reasons: (1) it is pretty cold and windy, and (2) I don't want any of the hunters around here to mistake her stroller for a deer and take a shot. It is going to be hard to get in my runs for the next couple of weeks - my husband hunts AND is a DNR officer, so he really is MIA. I'll just have to be ready to race out the door the second he comes in. Better get busy writing "Not a Deer" on my blaze-orange construction worker vest. You just can't be too cautious . . .

Thursday, November 6, 2008

TIART - Transitions

This post is my contribution to Runner's Lounge - Take It and Run Thursday . . .

Fall is always a reminder that life is constantly changing. As I have gone through transitions - to lawyer, to wife, to mother - running has been a constant. So no matter what I may becoming, I am always still a runner.

This really hit home to me in my first few weeks as a new mom. Those bleary-eyed days of wondering "what have I done" left me feeling like a stranger in my own body (and by my own body, I mean the post-partum, flabby stomached version of my own body). I mourned the loss of my old self while telling myself that I was a terrible mother.

Then, three weeks after Sophie was born when I had the okay from my doctor, I went for a run. It was hard and it was difficult to coordinate. My husband was terrified to be alone with the baby for 45 minutes. I had to nurse her quick before I left, and hurry home before she was due for another feeding. But it was wonderful. As I plodded along, gasping for breath, I felt like I had come home.

Running through those post-partum days and reclaiming my lost fitness was a reminder that there is a part of me that, no matter who else I may be, will always be a runner. And no matter what change may be happening around me, I can always throw on my stinky running clothes, lace up my shoes and hit the road.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Little Bit of Everything

First, my training recap for last week:
  • Monday, Oct. 27th: 3 miles (a.m.), 3.6 miles - hill (p.m.)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 28th: 3 miles (a.m.), 5.1 miles - track (p.m.)
  • Thursday, Oct. 30th: 3 miles
  • Friday, Oct. 31st: 3 miles
  • Saturday: Nov. 1st: 6 miles

Total weekly miles: 26.7. Total miles for the month of October: 116.6. Happy to be over 100 again this month. Woefully missing from the month of October? Long runs. I ran one 11 miler early in the month, and haven't seen anything over six miles since then. I really need to get my act together. I'd like to have a good base of semi-long runs (8-10 milers) before I start marathon training at the end of January. Of course, now with hunting season starting this weekend, I will be single parent for a while, so that will make things difficult.

This morning's three miler was the first in several weeks that did not require a headlight! It was nice to run in the sunlight, and we are having some unseasonably warm weather here that I am loving. Might have to sneak out of work a little early tonight and get another run in with Sophie.

I'm thinking about rescheduling my hair appointment (set for tomorrow evening) so I can run at the track. My hair looks like crap, but I really want to get my Tuesday speed work in while the weather holds out. I can handle the dark roots and the snaggly, ratty ends for a few more weeks.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Must be Friday

Court this morning was so slow, I could actually hear the wheels of justice grinding to a halt. At one point (after my caffeine withdrawal had become so intense that I was starting to hallucinate), I had to physically restrain myself from standing up and disrupting court. I don't know why it would be so inappropriate to just say, "Look your Honor, I know we're busy bringing justice to the people and whatnot, but I have a giant chocolate cupcake with orange frosting and little black bat sprinkles on it that I need to eat right now. And if I don't get my Diet Dew soon, people could get hurt."

I have to go finish licking orange frosting off my fingers. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Getting faster . . .

I was a little nervous about my track workout Tuesday night, but it was great. I usually run at the track with my super speedy friend Cheryl, so I was wondering whether I would have enough motivation to push myself as hard when I was running alone. I ended up doing the 1.3 mile warmup (from the office to the track), then did 5x800 (3:46, 3:46, 3:44, 3:45, 3:46), and then ran a hard 1.3 miles back to the office. Gotta love the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a good run!

Yesterday ended up being a rest day. Sophie came down with some sort of virus and has had a super high fever. She's home with Dad today. Hopefully I will still get a chance to get out and run this evening. It is warm, sunny and beautiful here today. I know these days are numbered, so I have to get out and take advantage of the good weather while it lasts.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What Speed Work?

With races the last two weekends, it has been a couple of weeks since I hit the track. But after Saturday's 25:18 5K, it seems like it wouldn't be completely out of the reach to break 25:00 at the Turkey Run 5K in November. And I think a little bit of speed work might be in order.

So tonight, it's back to the track. I'm going to leave work a little early (let's be honest, I haven't really been working that hard today anyway) and get some 800's in. For most of August and September, I was doing a really simple workout - run 1.3 miles from the office to the track, do 4x800 (with 400 rest intervals), and then run back to the office. I walked my rest intervals. I'm thinking maybe I should step it up a little. So I might add another 800, and try to jog instead of walk for my rest intervals. I'm worried about my workout taking too long, so I thought about driving to the track and doing a warm up there, but I really love my runs down the Main Street of our little metropolis here. All my friends honk at me as they're leaving work, which is like having built-in cheerleaders!

Also, figured I should get around to posting last week's training recap before I get too far behind:
  • Sunday, Oct. 19th- 4.5 miles
  • Monday, Oct. 20th - 3 miles (a.m.), 3 miles (p.m.)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 21st - 5 miles
  • Wednesday, Oct. 22nd - 2 miles
  • Thursday, Oct. 23rd - 3 miles
  • Friday, Oct. 24th - 3 miles
  • Saturday, Oct. 25th - 5K race

Total weekly miles: 26.6

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dear Santa

I know it's early, but I've seen your stuff out at Target and I hear you're coming to the mall soon. So I thought I should get my list to you now, before you get bogged down by all those snot-nosed little kids and their wishes for ponies and whatnot. It's really small, and I've been a very good girl this year. So please, pretty please, just bring me a Garmin already. I can't take this inconsistent pacing, complicated math while running on the brink of dehydration anymore.

Love, Heather

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Race Report - Anoka Gray Ghost 5K

At about 10:30 yesterday morning, Sophie and I headed out -- we picked up Erin and Jim in Pine City, then stopped in North Branch to pick up Mac and we were on our way to Anoka for the Halloween festivities. My sister, nice girl that she is, recently bought a house about 6 blocks from the start line, so we were headed there. Race photographer/babysitter extraordinare (aka Mom) was meeting us there to take over Sophie duties.

I don't know what it is about this race, but we are ALWAYS running late and racing to get there on time. Two years ago, my mom actually dropped Jim and I off, we ran three blocks to the start and jumped a barricade as the race was starting. Nothing like a little pre-race warm up . . .

So even though I thought we had plenty of time, I still felt really rushed once we got to my sister's. We had to get into our costumes, and Mac's 70's porn star getup took forever! He's lucky he had me there to help with the porno-stache.

Eventually we were all ready and we took off for the start. We had to rush to make it before registration closed, but once we were all registered and had our bibs pinned up, we had some time to hang around and take pictures before the start.

Once the race started, we were off down Main Street along the parade route. Anoka is know as the Halloween Capital, and people come out in droves for the Grand Day Parade. The first 1+ of the race run along the parade route, and both sides of the road are completely lined with people. Combine this with the large number of people who walk, push strollers, and bring their dogs in this race, and you have a lot of dodging and weaving. The first mile felt really slow (and of course I had forgotten my watch), so I thought it would be a pretty slow race.

Once we got off the parade route, things spread out a little more, and I was able to settle into what felt like a good pace. The sun was out and it was hot during that 2nd mile -- I was glad I decided to wear shorts instead of tights under my Little Red Riding Hood skirt (and I was about ready to rip my hot, heavy cape right off!).

There was a guy calling splits at the 2nd mile marker and I was right at 16:05 - just over an 8:00 pace! I was super excited and tried to convince myself to just keep pushing. I slowed down a little the last 1.1 miles, but finished in 25:18 -- a new PR! Someone must be putting crack in my Wheaties, because this is my second PR in a week. I really am not sure how this is happening . . . I don't feel like I have been training that hard, and certainly did not expect to PR at this race (wearing a costume and all). But I'll take it. I had sort of convinced myself that I probably would never be able to beat my pre-pregnancy race times. I have now convinced myself that post-pregnancy me is a total rockstar. Lovin it!

Friday, October 24, 2008

An Anniversary

Tomorrow's Halloween Race will be an anniversary for me -- one year since I returned to running after having Sophie. Last year when I ran this race, I was three weeks post-partum. Jim registered for me so I could nurse Sophie right before the start of the race. As soon as we finished, I rushed to find my mom and Sophie so I could nurse her again. Last year, it took me more than 30 minutes to run this race. I had run twice the week before, but otherwise hadn't run since my 5th month of pregnancy. While running the race, I felt like I was having an episiotomy performed on my still-sore girl parts all over again.

A lot has happened in the past year: I've lost all the baby weight (putting me at a nice 35 pounds lighter than I was at this race last year!), ran a marathon, two half-marathons, and a good fistful of shorter races, and finished breastfeeding and completely healed the girl parts.

This year's Heather (or should I say, Little Red Riding Hood -- it is a costume race, after all), is going to kick last year's Heather's ass. I don't really set any time goals for this race because it is more about having fun running along the parade route (the kids love the Little Red Riding Hood/Big Bad Wolf deal), I know I will beat last year's time. And, coming off last week's PR, I'm thinking I can hit a post-pregnancy PR for a 5K at least. Which, considering everything that's happened in the last year, is good enough for me!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

TIART - Running and Weight

This is my contribution to Runner's Lounge Take It and Run Thursday . . .

Any discussion about weight for me has to start with a few basic truths: (1) I like treats. A lot. (2) I feel like I have spent much of my life obsessing about my weight.

When I first started running back in college, it was to lose weight. Somewhere along the way, that has stopped being the goal and now I run for the sake of running (and enjoy all of the rewards that go along with it). My thoughts about running and weight have gone from, "I better run and starve myself so I can lose weight." to "I'm running a lot, so I can eat whatever I want." and finally to "Food is my fuel. I need to eat the best I can so I can run the best I can."

After a lot of trial and error, I've come to feel that my ideal running weight is one at which I can run without feeling like total crap (most days -- some days are just bad days and it doesn't matter how much you weigh) and maintain that weight without thinking about food all the time. Because if I am obsessing about what I eat, or thinking about how much I want "forbidden foods," I am miserable. And I run to feel better about myself, not worse.

I've discovered that I feel the best, and run the best, when I eat a diet that is high in protein and calcium (I drink milk for my post-run recovery drinks), cut out fried foods, and get in as many fruits and veggies as possible. And, of course, eat my treats. I know that I could lose 10 pounds if I counted calories religiously and restricted my diet (because I've done it before). But I've come to accept that the healthiest weight for me is one that also keeps my mental health intact -- and that means keeping food from being my enemy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Leisure Lady

I can't remember the last time I had more than one day off work and didn't spend that time on an actual vacation or as part of some busy holiday. (And maternity leave doesn't count -- all that sleep deprivation and hormonal rollercoaster crap means that maternity leave DOES NOT equal a vacation.)

Today is my second day off in a row, so instead of jumping (I mean prying myself) out of bed at 5:45 to get a run in, I didn't worry about it. Around 12:30, Sophie and I headed over to Jim's to run with him. We ran five miles at an easy pace, but it was a pretty tough run for me. The wind was kind of insane. It was gusting. And FYI, pushing a jogging stroller into the wind sucks. Pushing a jogging stroller into the wind through loose gravel . . . double suck. Thank goodness Jim was willing to help with the stroller. I probably would have just crawled into the ditch and waited for someone to pick me up.

After the run, we came home and have been just hanging out. Sophie went to bed early (she got her shots this morning, so has been a little tired and off all day), and I got out my scrapbooking stuff. Now, I think I'll do some reading and go to bed. I could really get used to this schedule.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Training Recap - Week of October 12th

Low mileage week last week . . .
  • Monday, Oct. 13th - 3 miles
  • Tuesday, Oct. 14th - 3 miles (a.m.); 3.6 miles-hill (p.m.)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 15th - 3 miles
  • Friday, Oct. 17th - 3 miles
  • Saturday, Oct. 18th - 5 miles race

Total weekly miles: 20.6

I have another race coming up this Saturday, so I'm trying to get in more miles at the beginning of the week to get closer to a 30 mile week. Sophie's daycare is closed this week, so I took today, tomorrow, and Wednesday off to stay home with her. Thursday and Friday, she's on her own. Just kidding. I figure she should be at least 18-months old before I leave her home alone.

After dinner, I went out for an easy 3-miler. I don't run by myself very often, and, as a rule, don't really like it. But tonight I took my i-Pod, set it on a more mellow playlist (as opposed to my usual strip-club soundtrack), and just took it easy. I love running at that pace where you feel like you could just run forever. Might not be the best workout, but it was a nice mental break.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Race Report - Run for the Apples 5 Mile

Yesterday, my running partner, Jim, and I ran the Run for the Apples at the Pine Tree Apple farm in White Bear Lake. This was my third time running this race -- skipped last year because I had just had Sophie. This is a very hilly race through the hills of the apple orchard, and I was a little apprehensive going into the race.

At the start, everyone was clustered together and it was a lot of juggling to break through the pack and get past the start. The first mile felt pretty slow, and I expected to see a near 10:00 time when we hit that first marker. So I was shocked when I saw 8:47 on the clock. Going into the second mile, we ran up a HUGE hill . . . and then turned a corner to run up another huge hill. My memory of the course came crashing back to me, but I was happy to remember that this really was the worst of the hills. I just kept pushing.

There was a water stop at the halfway point and I stopped to walk and get some water. Although it was a cool morning, I was regretting my choice of long sleeves and was really hot by this point. I looked at my watch and saw I was right at about 22:00. I realized then that I was on course to set a PR not just for this course (prior best time - 46:30), but for 5 miles races. I stopped walking and busted my butt. My thoughts were alternating between," Man, I'm really tired, I should slow down and save myself," and "Keep going as fast as you can -- the worst thing that could happen is that you crash and burn, and have to walk in -- you can live with that."

I felt pretty strong until the last mile. About 3/4 of a mile from the finish, I was going up some smaller hills (I refer to this as the "moguls" section), and I looked down and felt like I was hardly moving. We hit the 4.5 mile mark and I told myself, "Two laps around the track, you can make it." By the last quarter-mile, I could hear people cheering at the finish line. This last section runs down a big hill and curves, so I had to save my kick until I was past the point where I felt like I could fall down. I came around the last curve and could see the clock, and was shocked to see that I was just over 43:00. I crossed the finish line in 43:17 -- a PR on this course by more than 3 minutes! I was ecstatic. This is one of the most fun races I run, and it was thrilling to run such a great race. I found my mom and Sophie and watched Jim come in about a minute later. Then it was on to the yummy apple treats!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Friday

Okay, so I had a bad attitude yesterday. I'm over it. Today has been a much better day so far. I won a case this morning that I thought I had no chance of winning, and got a decision back from the judge on a case I tried in August -- same thing. Thought I had no chance of winning, and I won. I guess the Home Depot paint department is going to have to get along without me for a little while longer.

Ran an easy 3-miles this morning. Got really excited because I thought we had really beaten the bus (didn't even hear it coming!), and then remembered that the kids are off school today. Oh well. I'm looking forward to my 5-mile race tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be good, and, once it's over, yummy apple treats. I don't have any real firm goals for the race (why set myself up for disappointment?), but I guess my sort of secret goal is to finish in under 46:00. We'll see how it goes. It is VERY hilly. Hopefully all those runs pushing Sophie up hill in the running stroller will pay off!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

One of Those Days

Don't you just hate it when certain people just do what they do or don't do without any consideration of the consequences? And that's all I can say about that . . . Sometimes I wish I worked at the paint department in Home Depot. So the pay might not be that great. The benefits: sniff paint for a little pick me up when customers get on your nerves, and of course, maybe end up in one of those awesome Olympic commercials. (Have I mentioned that I miss the Olympics?)

Anyhow . . . today is just one of those days. I definitely need to go for a run after work. The only other alternatives would be to kick puppies or trip old ladies on the street, and I'm just not ready to go that route.

What time is The Office on? Too early for a countdown?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


As a rule, I try not to be too competitive with running. Running in small races around here has given me the chance to win some age group awards, and I certainly love getting a little bling every once in a while. But I always try to remind myself that the only person I'm really in competition with is myself, and as long as I keep improving, blah, blah, blah.

But I have one enemy. My running partner and I meet this enemy out on the road every morning, rain or shine. Yes, this fast (and I mean fast, not fat) bastard is a big yellow school bus. The bus picks up kids on either side of my driveway, and our daily mission is to beat that damn bus. A couple of weeks ago, we were running in the last 3/4 of a mile of our route when we heard its engine roaring down the hills and around the curve of my road. We picked up the pace. The bus got louder and louder, and we knew it was going to be close. My running partner threw in a kick like I have never seen (and we have run A LOT of races together). I thought he was going to fly, or maybe have a heart attack. I decided I better haul ass too (because of course, the kids waiting for the bus are watching this little competition). We beat it, but barely.

Yesterday, we beat the bus by a long shot. They must have filled up with the cheap gas, or maybe one of the juvenile delinquents put ice cream in the tank, because that thing just could not catch us. But this morning . . . we ate its dust. The bus was long gone and we still had a good 1/4 mile to run. I could practically hear the bus driver and the three kids who are on the bus that early taunting us.

Tomorrow? That bastard's going down.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Training Recap - Week of October 5th

Aside from missing a long run last week, overall got in a good week of training:
  • Monday, Oct. 6th: 3 miles (a.m.), 3.6 miles - hill (p.m.)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 7th: 3 miles (a.m.)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 8th: 3 miles (a.m.), 3.6 miles - hill (p.m.)
  • Thursday, Oct. 9th: 4.6 miles - track
  • Friday, Oct. 10th: 3 miles

Total weekly miles: 23.8

I had good intentions of running 8 miles on Saturday morning, but some stomach issues presented themselves. I firmly believe that it was a little stomach bug and NOT the 1/2 bottle of wine and pizza consumed Friday night. No matter what the cause, fear of crapping my pants kept me from running Saturday.

On the non-running side of things, a great weekend. I had a blast scrapbooking Friday night with Erin (Sophie cooperated, went to bed early, and I got four pages done). Saturday, Sophie and I headed down to my mom's where we canned applesauce all day - a sign that fall is indeed here. Sunday morning, my mom and I played a couple of two-piano duets at her church. Had a a yummy lunch at Acapulco, and then did some shopping. Now it's back to the grind . . . It has been raining steadily here all day, so the evening run may not happen. Got in an easy 3 miles this morning, so I won't be heartbroken if I have to stay inside tonight (I'll have How I Met Your Mother to ease my pain).

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Randomness

I'm glad I got my rainy 3-miler in this morning, because this girl is NOT running tonight. No siree. I'm going to be hanging out, scrapbooking, and drinking wine. With my friend Erin, who's been so busy running around the world, that I haven't hung out with her in a month.

Last night I finally sucked it up and sort of cleaned out my car. All I can say is thank goodness I didn't get an Explorer like Eugene wanted and got the Escape instead -- an Explorer would have had me out there until midnight last night. Among other things, here's a list of things I removed from my vehicle:
  • 4 half-eaten cinnamon graham crackers
  • 2 skirts
  • 3 1/2 pairs of shoes (if anyone sees a pink strappy high heel anywhere, it's mine . . .)
  • 2 pairs of running socks (1 clean, 1 dirty)
  • 7 Goldfish crackers
  • 1 sippy cup
  • 3 G2 bottles, in varying stages of fullness
  • 1 black slip (which I have been looking for for about two weeks - so to everyone who's enjoyed looking through my skirt at the courthouse for the last 14 days, the show's over)
  • running shorts, shirt & sports bra
  • 2 empty tupperware containers

And my vehicle is still pretty full, because I left the following items inside: approximately 17 pens bearing my office name, 1 pair of shoes, 1 set of golf clubs, and a big bag full of baby toys. Why did I suddenly become a slob when I became a parent?

Finally, a word of advice: don't walk into the front of your office (where the secretaries sit) and ask, "Why does it smell like a pile of crap up here?" Apparently that's offensive to the person who caused said pile of crap odor. And she will proceed to send all the crazy-ass phone calls through to you all day in retaliation. Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Big Fat Dork

Last night, after Sophie miracously went to sleep before 9:00 for the first time in about a month, I sat down to create my friend's 5K training plan (or, what I am now referring to as, "Sarah's TTFU* 5K Countdown"). Of course, working on her plan got me thinking about my own running. I've been working on increasing my mileage since Grandma's, all in the name of building a solid base for my next marathon training. I am convinced that one of my major downfalls with Grandma's was the lack of base (that whole getting knocked up thing really threw me for a loop), and I don't want to make that mistake again.

But I'm weirdly excited to start the marathon training. I printed out a FIRST program and, using my goal marathon pace of 10:12 (a sub-4:30 marathon), wrote in all of the training times for the long runs. I spent almost an hour doing this crap last night -- three months before I'm supposed to even start training. Which of course got me thinking that I should just start now - because if 16 weeks of training is good, wouldn't an extra 12 be even better?

Loser. I know if I start running those crazy long runs now, I will get burnt out. I need to stick with the current plan - build my base mileage, shoot for weekly "long" runs for 10-12 miles, and run my super fun fall races. And settle right on down. Save this energy for the marathon. Good thing The Office is on tonight . . . another night alone with my running calendar could lead me to do something really crazy.

*toughen the fuck up

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Convert

Sarah has been my best friend for about seven years, and for almost that entire time, she has been completely adverse to exercise. She joined the YMCA a couple of years ago and got into step classes, but decided to quit the Y after hassles with the health insurance reimbursement. Over the seven years of our friendship, I can't count the number of times she has referred to my little running habit as completely crazy.

This morning we had the following conversation:
Sarah: "I don't even want to tell you this, because I think you'll get all crazy on me." (She may have even used the word harassment, but I don't really remember.)
Me: "What?"
Sarah: "Well, if I were going to start running, would you be able to help me?"

YES! I live for this stuff. Within five minutes I had her (I think) convinced to run a 5K with me on November 29th - a little over six weeks from now. I can't wait to finish traffic court Wednesday and get home to make her a little training plan.

Speaking of traffic court, I'm out of here . . . since the new trend seems to be to count how many times our presidential candidates repeat their catch phrases ("my friends"), I'll be counting how many times I throw out the phrase, "valid driver's license." Good times.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rainy Day

Thank goodness I ran this morning, because it has been raining all day today and I probably won't run again this afternoon. Because the sun never came out, I feel like I should still be sleeping. I've been making it through the day by drinking Diet Mountain Dew and eating chocolate (thank goodness for the senior trip/band uniform/improving school lunch fundraiser - I have a lifetime supply of mint meltaways). It is supposed to be nice tomorrow, so I'll shoot for 3 miles in the morning, and another run after work. But tonight, I'll be hanging inside the house with Sophie, watching the Biggest Loser and the debate.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Training Recap - Week of September 28th

I had a great week last week, training and everything. The recap:
  • Sunday, Sept. 28th - 3.6 miles
  • Monday, Sept. 29th - 3 miles
  • Tuesday, Sept. 30th - 3 miles (a.m.), 3.6 miles (p.m.)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 1st - 3 miles (a.m.), 3 miles - hill (p.m.)
  • Thursday, Oct. 2nd - 3 miles (a.m.), 4.6 miles - track (p.m.)
  • Saturday, Oct. 4th - 11 miles
  • total miles: 37.8

I had some pain in my right leg nagging me through most of the week, and after Saturday's 11-miler, both calves were sooooo tight. I busted through the pain by mega cleaning in preparation for Sophie's birthday party, and it seems to have worked. After taking yesterday off, I ran 3 miles this morning, and they were only a little bit tight.

Sophie's birthday was so much fun - I can't believe I have a one-year old!

I'm hoping for another good solid week of training this week. I want to keep a strong base going, so when I tackle the next marathon training at the end of January I will be ready.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy October

I love October. It is the perfect distance between the humidity of summer and the 3-month period of depression and freezing my ass off that is January through March in Minnesota. My two favorite races are this month -- the Run for the Apples at the Pine Tree Apple farm in White Bear Lake, and the Anoka Gray Ghost run before the Halloween Parade. We're celebrating Sophie's 1st birthday on Sunday, and I've got a wine tasting weekend planned later in the month. Life is good.

I didn't hit the 100 mile mark in September -- but was close. I'm not going to beat myself up about it, because we had two weeks with Sophie really not sleeping much at all. I might be superwoman, but really, even superwoman has to get a little bit of sleep! I'm going to work hard to get in more than 100 miles this month.

My track workout last night didn't happen AGAIN. Last week it was lightening, this week, crazy high school football players swarming the track. I feel old enough running past the cross-country team as they are out practicing. I don't need to make it worse by letting a bunch of pimply 15-year olds run me down while I'm traying to hoof it around the track. So I turned around and took a meandering route back through town (got to take advantage of every last second of babysitting offered by my mother-in-law!). I have plans to try to the track again tomorrow after work.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Drinking the Kool-Aid

I drank the Kool-Aid a long time ago -- I've been completely addicted to running, and running races for several years. It doesn't matter to me that I'm really not that fast, and that it never seems to get any easier. I just keep doing it, and when I'm not running or talking about running, I'm thinking about running. And like a good TV evangelist, I keep trying to get new converts. After I ran Twin Cities in 2006, my friend Shelley decided to run. I gave her all of my old Runner's World magazines and signed up for a Thanksgiving Day 5K with her. She trained for a couple of months and ran the 5K. And promptly quit running. Her husband Mac, who happens to be one of my closest friends, started running at the same time and is still going. He has slips in the road and tells me he's thinking about taking up cycling instead of running. He complains about his ankles hurting. I just tell him to toughen up and keep running. We have run a few races together and are planning on running Twin Cities '09.

I'm working on a new convert, my co-worker Ashley. She had her second baby around the time Sophie was born and is looking to recapture the pre-baby body. She's run a couple of miles at a time, but is scared to go further. I keep telling her to plan a day to stay after work and I'll run 3.1 with her to prove to herself that she can do it. So far, no go. But I'll keep working. Because, like the Jehovah's Witnesses who chase me down at the gas pumps and on the steps of the courthouse, I'm no quitter. And I just can't take the hint.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Back on Track

So, with all the ear infections and not sleeping last week, the running really took a hit. Two 3-milers during the week, and then a 10K Saturday morning. The 10K was really nice, and I think I ran a pretty good race. It was at the Audubon Center in Sandstone, so we ran around Grindstone Lake and then through trails back to the Center. This was the first year for the race and, overall, I think they really did a good job. One downside - no mile markers. With no markers and having never run the course before, it was very difficult to judge pace (and to know when to start telling myself that I was almost done). At one point, my running partner said he thought we were within a mile. When he said that, I had just been thinking that we were probably a little over halfway . . .

Once we got off the road and onto the trails, I figured we were almost done. And then we had to do an extra little loop. I hate extra loops. There is nothing worse for me mentally than thinking I am close to the finish, and then having to turn around and go farther away from the finish line. But I survived the loop. As we approached the finish line, I gave it a good kick and really felt that I had run a good pace the whole race (did I mention that both my running partner and I had forgotten to wear watches, so we were completely at a loss as for pace/time?). There wasn't a clock, but a guy with a stopwatch was standing at the finish calling at times. As we got closer, I could hear him saying the seconds, but didn't know what minute we were in. And then I crossed and he said 58:11. Seriously? What? My first 10K 4 years ago was 58:28, and I have NEVER been over 58:00 again. In August, I ran a 10K in 95 degree heat in 57:06, and I felt that I ran this race much faster. In talking with people after the race, it seems the general consensus was that the race was longer than 6.2. A guy with a Garmin said it was 6.4. No matter what, I ran a hard 6+ miles on a beautiful course. Definitely not a wasted morning.

Now, I'm just trying to get my mileage back up this week. I ran 3.6 yesterday afternoon, and 3 again this morning. If Sophie is cooperative after work, I'll take her out in the running stroller for at least another 3. And I've already conned my mother-in-law into watching her for an extra hour tomorrow night so I can get in a track workout. (Of course, this was the plan last week until pouring rain and lightening intervened. Keeping my fingers crossed for another beautiful fall day.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bad Mommy

After three feverish days and two sleepless nights, I finally took Sophie to the doctor this afternoon. Double ear infection. I feel like the world's worst mother. I held off on taking her to the doctor because I hate to be that mom that runs to the clinic every time their child gets the first hint of the sniffles. But really, now I'm that other mother, the one who lets their child suffer with a double ear infection for three days. I'm sure child protection will be knocking on the door any minute . . .

I did manage to run 3 miles this morning. It was perfect fall running weather - I love that crisp feeling in the air, and the complete lack of humidity. It felt really good to get out, and my new running shoes were wonderful. The stiffness of new shoes always takes me by surprise when I first put them on, and I get paranoid about whether they will cause me to break an ankle or fall on my butt. But I survived. I'm going to try for another 3 before work tomorrow, and then I have the 10K on Saturday. Maybe my unintentional low-mileage week will give me a good boost for the race!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Still Not Running

I have only run 3 miles since Friday. I managed to get out yesterday morning before the rain and thunderstorms came in -- it started pouring within 5 minutes of the end of our run. The after work run was called off when I was nearly blinded by a bolt of lightening outside of my office window. I'll run in the rain, but running in lightening just doesn't seem like the best idea.

And then, there was the night from hell. By far, the worst (and longest) night of Sophie's life so far. I never really went to bed. Just walked around the living room with my screaming child. Even the never-fails triple threat of Tylenol, Baby Orajel, and a Baby Einstein video didn't do the trick. You would think that an 11-month old wouldn't really care about the difference between Baby Einstein and The Biggest Loser. And if I have to stay up all night because she refuses to sleep, shouldn't I get to choose the television programming and get caught up on my Tivo? But no, instead I spent the night watching Baby da vinci 17,000 times. And fantasizing about using one of those monkey puppets to beat myself senseless.

After a night of no sleep and a full day of court, I am beat. I would like to say that I'm going to go for a nice run when I get home (and really, I wish it was, because the weather is really beautiful today), but I think I'll just curl up in a ball on the couch and sleep. And maybe watch The Biggest Loser. Or, I could hold a screaming child and watch Baby da vinci a few hundred more times. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for watching the contestants race down those giant slip and slides.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Not Running

There is a very sad pair of brand new Saucony Grid Hurricanes in my backseat, still in their box, suffocating in their plastic Lady Foot Locker bag. They want to go running. I'd like to go running too, but closed daycare and babysitter difficulties have added an extra 3+ hours of driving to my day. So . . . the running probably isn't going to happen today. Why do I live in the middle of nowhere???

I've got my morning 3 miler and an afternoon hill workout planned for tomorrow. The forecast is for rain, but I'm determined to suck it up. (Although I'd hate for my new pretty shoes to get dirty so soon.) We'll see how determined I am when the alarm goes off at 5:30 tomorrow morning . . .

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Week of September 14th - Training Recap

  • Monday, Sept. 15th a.m. - 3 miles
  • Monday, Sept. 15th p.m. - 3.6 miles (hill)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 16th - 3 miles
  • Thursday, Sept. 18th - 3.6 miles
  • Friday, Sept. 19th a.m. - 3 miles
  • Friday, Sept. 19th p.m. - 11 miles
  • Saturday, Sept. 20th - 4 miles

Total weekly miles: 31.2

I met most of my goals for this week -- managed to run double days twice, got in a hill workout, and ran a long run of more than 10 miles. The only goal I missed was my track workout.

Last night's 11 miler went really well. My friend Cheryl and I ran on the bike trail. We managed a negative split, mostly because she had her dog with slowing us down for the first half. Her husband picked up the dog about a mile before the turnaround (and brought us cold G2's), and we were able to pick up the pace for the last 6 miles.

Tomorrow's goal: get new running shoes!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ways to Tell It's Friday

  • Your weekly lunch money/cash is depleted, so you have to spend 15 minutes digging around on the floor of your car for $1.50 in dimes and nickels in order to get your Diet Mountain Dew. (Note to self: I really have to clean out my car. The crushed fishy cracker/curdled formula combo is really disguting).
  • Instead of having the willpower to wait until at least 10:00 to get the above-mentioned Diet Mountain Dew, you're at the door of the liquor store when they unlock it at 9:00.
  • Your morning three mile run feels unusually short because you're already half-dreading the weekend long run.
  • You're so sick of hearing people's excuses all week that you tiptoe on the line of appropriate courtroom decorum when one more idiot whines about how he will lose his job and not be able to support his family if he gets sent to jail. Seriously? Were you worried about that when you decided to to drive drunk with your eight week old baby in the car?

So in the interests of avoiding caffeine withdrawal and keeping my license to practice law, thank God it's Friday.


Earlier this summer (on June 21st, to be exact), I ran Grandma's Marathon. This was a big race for me -- even though it wasn't my first marathon, it was my first marathon since having my first baby. I felt like running Grandma's would prove that I had survived pregnancy and early motherhood and I was still a runner.

Grandma's kicked my ass. I finished, but thought about quitting the whole way. My time was TERRIBLE -- almost twenty minutes slower than my time when I ran Twin Cities in 2006. And although I have used the last three months to find the silver lining (yes, I finished a marathon within 8 months of having a baby; yes, I ran with some amazing people who inspire me to lace up my shoes every day), Grandma's has for the most part remained a big black storm cloud in my running sky.

But one thing Grandma's did do for me was to beat me into submission. After a week of rest/mourning, I put my running shoes back on and got back on the road. And it came to me that I really got what I deserved with Grandma's. My training was inconsistent at best, and, at its worse, not even sufficient for a 10K, let alone the 26.2 mile beast. In April, I ran a half marathon, and that was my first long run. And I didn't do very many more after that. Reflecting on my half-assed training helped me realize that if I wanted to keep running, and if I ever wanted to run well again, I needed to run. No more excuses, no more laziness, just run.

For the most part, that's what I've done. In August, I ran my first 100+ mile month since September of 2006. I've been getting in hill workouts, running at the track, and running at least 10 mile long runs almost every weekend. All in the name of consistency. Some of my friends have questioned me, "Don't you feel guilty spending more time away from your daughter?" Yes, of course. But I've learned in Sophie's first year that maternal guilt is going to be my close companion for at least the next 18 years (and, if my mom is right -- and she usually is -- for the next 30 and beyond). So I remind those friends (and myself) that running makes me a better person and a better mom. Because I like who I am when I push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of doing. And, as a bonus, my stomach no longer looks like the cottage cheese filled kangaroo pouch I was sporting after Sophie was born!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Is it really only Wednesday? After being up all night Monday night with a sick child, and then home with her all day yesterday, I feel like I am in some sort of strange, sleep-deprived alternate world. One where I look in the mirror and get creeped out by the dark-eyed ghoul staring back at me.

I did manage to get in a good 3.6 mile run Monday night, with Sophie in the running stroller. As a bonus, I went on a route that has some good rolling hills, and then a 1/2 mile stretch that is straight uphill. And of course I ran the last mile straight into the wind, which, when running with that stroller aka windsail, is like running uphill. Last night I was able to slip out of the house for a quick 3 miles. Apparently not sleeping and then drinking Diet Mountain Dew all day in order to stay awake isn't the best pre-run strategy.

I'm hoping to get to the track tonight - even if it is just for some semi-easy 800's.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday, Monday

After a lethal weekend combo of bad eating and no running, I ran an easy 3 miler this morning. Hoping to get in another 5 or so after work . . . I should have dropped the running stroller off at daycare with Sophie this morning, because then I could have ran the 2.5 miles to pick Sophie up, and ran back in with her to the office. BUT, it's Monday. So the whole switching out the golf clubs for the running stroller was 3 extra minutes that I did not have. But at least my hair looks good and I ate breakfast.

Goals for this week: double up at least two days, 1 track workout, 1 hill workout, and at least 10 miles on Saturday.