Thursday, April 30, 2009

Who's the Hottie?

So I was walking into the courthouse this morning and, just as I was about to open the glass door and go inside, saw a blond man walking towards me from inside. He was about my height and was really close to the door. I thought, "How nice, he's going to open the door for me." But he didn't. He just stopped and waited. As I stood there awkwardly waiting for the door to open, I realized there was no man at all. Just me. And my mannish reflection. Yep, I look like a man.

After wearing a skirt and heels all day yesterday, my feet were sore and my calves were tight. So I made a little vow to stay out of the heels until after the marathon. When searching my closet for something to wear this morning, I realized that means I will be rotating the same three pants suits for the next two weeks. And clunky Sketchers tennis shoes that can be hidden under my pants and won't get me kicked out of court for inappropriate attire. Smoking. Hot.

But at least my feet and calves will be well-rested for the race!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Strengths & Weaknesses

I think it's a good idea to regularly take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. Like a job interview, but without the lame "I work too hard" or "I get overly invested in my job" answers as your weaknesses. I started thinking about my own strengths and weaknesses this morning in court when the judge accused someone (not me) of having poor character. Here's the results:

Weakness: I suck at math. Especially when that math involves money. It's lethal combination of inability to add/subtract and amnesia.
Strength: I can divide any number by three really fast, in my head. I think this talent was developed after years of determining how much jail time someone will serve once they've been given credit for good time. I can also divide by five and multiply by three (this is how I convert from km to mi -- you know, a 5K is about 3 miles, so do the math . . .).

Weakness: I am a big clutz. I fall down stairs. I trip up stairs. I slip on ice.
Strength: I (knock on wood) have never been injured from running.

Weakness: I have terrible hand-eye coordination and have never been able to play any sports. Softball? Hell no. Volleyball? Never got picked for the team. Basketball? I can shoot hoops on Sophie's 3-foot hoop and still miss.
Strength: I can run! I might not be super fast, but I can run. And I can run a long ways.

So what has my little time of self-assessment taught me? I think that I am uniquely suited to continue running. Good thing, because I have a little tempo run on the schedule tonight, so I'm not ready to quit yet.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

20 and 8

Got my last 20 miler in bright and early yesterday morning. The first four miles, my legs felt like concrete pillars (might have had something to do with the Mexican food and margaritas Friday night), but I just kept telling myself, "Fake it til you make it." It worked! By mile 5, I was in the groove. The rest of the run was really strong, and my pace per mile was 1 minute faster than my last 20 miler. Now it's taper time!

And now for the 8 . . . I was tagged by MCM Mama and I'm trying to procrastinate from mopping my kitchen floor, so it seems like a good time to do this.

8 things to which I'm looking forward
1) Green Bay Marathon (3 weeks from yesterday!)
2) taking Sophie to swimming lessons this summer
3) our summer vacation in July
4) spectating at the Fargo Marathon in two weeks (my little sis is running)
5) golf league starting again
6) riding my new bike this summer
7) drinking beer on Wednesdays (see #5)
8) buds on the trees again

8 things I did yesterday
1) ran 20 miles
2) drank a big ass glass of chocolate milk
3) played with Sophie at the park
4) shared an ice cream sunday with Sophie and my mom
5) went to Target
6) changed 3 poopy diapers
7) golfed 9 holes with my hubby & Sophie
8) had dinner and drinks with a good friend

8 things I would like to do
1) own a bookstore
2) hire a maid
3) run the Great Wall Marathon
4) visit New York City
5) work part time
6) PR every race distance this year
7) finish the Richard Ford book I've been reading for the last 3 months
8) learn to speak another language fluently

8 shows I watch
1) Big Bang Theory
2) How I Met Your Mother
3) Biggest Loser
4) Grey's Anatomy
5) Private Practice
6) Brothers & Sisters
7) Rules of Engagement
8) Friends (yes, I know it's not on anymore, but I still watch it on DVD a lot)

8 people I tag
1) Ali
2) Sarah
3) Kavi
4) Marlene
5) Beth
6) Carlee
7) Carly
8) D10

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Dog Ate My Homework

I can get past all sorts of excuses for not running. It's too cold? Suck it up, it isn't that bad. I'm tired? You'll feel better after you run. I just ate tacos and don't want to crap my pants? Wear a diaper. But I do have one deal breaker, one excuse that never fails to keep me off the road. Forgot the sports bra.

Those of you who are also a little well endowed understand. No, I cannot just wear my regular bra. I'd be covered in bruises from my waist to my forhead, and anyone with the extreme misfortune of observing the bounce-fest would be scarred for life.

Don't worry, I'm not using this excuse to get me out of running completely today. Just changing plans a little. Instead of my usual hill workout, I'll head home (where my sports bra is sitting alone, looking around wondering where the hell my other running clothes went) and run 4 miles with Sophie. And if I'm feeling especially brave, I'll push her up the 1/2 mile long hill that isn't too far from our house.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Reward Yourself

So I decided I deserved a little treat for my PR performance on Saturday. And no, the Chipotle burrito after the race did not count as a treat. That was just refueling and good common sense.

I've been wanting a new running skirt for a while. I've been running in skirts since before they started making running skirts. One of my favorite skirts to run in is one I wore for tennis at least 10 years ago. I've been drooling over this skirt for a while (I'd post a picture, but I am just not good with the whole computer thing). Yes, it's another tennis skirt. Yes, it has pleats. Yes, it will probably make my ass and thighs scream "I am Heather, watch out or my wide ass might know you right on down." But the heart wants what it wants.

Because I was just so proud of myself for my PR, I also ordered a matching tank top. I have visions of myself looking smoking fast (not to mention smoking hot) in my new running uniform. And if you can't be fast, you might as well look fast.

In other news, I've got an 8 mile marathon pace run on the schedule for tonight. Hills tomorrow, easy run Friday, and the last 20 miler on Saturday (still looking for a babysitter, by the way . . . any volunteers?). Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Race Report - Earth Day Half Marathon

This morning ended up being a perfect morning for a race - temps in the the high 40's, low 50's, cloudy but no rain. My alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. and I was up (only a little bit reluctantly) packing a backpack of snacks and toys for Sophie, eating my pre-race Fruit Loops and english muffin, and digging through the laundry room for clean running clothes. By 6:15, my mom, Sophie and I were on the road to St. Cloud.

I felt very chaotic before the race - nervous about getting my race packet and making a trip to the porta potties with enough time to the start. Not sure why I was anxious, I had plenty of time. At 8:30, we were off. The first 7 miles of the race felt very easy. I was averaging right around a 9:00/mile pace and felt strong. I started getting tired in the middle of the 8th mile. I revived a little bit during the 9th mile, but then felt very tired going into mile 10.

My fueling was off, which I think was part of the problem. I took about half a packet of sports beans at mile 5 and then didn't have any more until about halfway through mile 10, where I all of a sudden needed them right now. After taking them, I was desperate for water, and there wasn't another water stop until shortly after mile 12.

Anyhow . . . I slowed down those last couple of miles. Ended up finishing in 2:02:36. This is a big PR for me -- almost 6 minutes. And, at a 9:22/mile overall pace, I met my goal. So I am very happy about the race. But a tiny part of me is disappointed in myself. I was definitely on track for a sub-2 until mile 10. Now, 10+ hours later, I don't know why I couldn't push myself to keep that pace up and finish in under 2 hours. At the time, it seemed impossible. Oh well . . . can't be perfect, otherwise I wouldn't have a reason to keep running!

Hope you are all having a great weekend, and GOOD LUCK to everyone running Boston on Monday. Can't wait to read the race reports.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Half Marathon Goals

Setting aside for a moment the fact that I am still sick, let's talk about goals for tomorrow's half marathon. This is not a goal race, just a fun race that happens to fall on a week that I am scheduled to run 15 miles. I figure a hard 13.1 is equal to 15. (I'm a lawyer, not a mathmetician, don't judge.)

I punched in my 8K time from March (42:31) in the McMillan Running Calculator (aka my favorite way to obsess and waste time while at work). That says I should be able to run a half in 1:59:14, a 9:07/mi. pace. Then I punched in my goal time for the marathon (4:27, a 10:12/mi. pace -- which is the pace I've used in calculating my training paces). That says I should be able to run a half in 2:06:51, a 9:41/mi. pace.

My eventual goal is to run a sub-2 hour half marathon. I would be ecstatic if that happened tomorrow. But I'm not really planning on it. I haven't been training for it. Running a 2:06 would be a confidence booster for me, and would confirm that I am on track with my marathon training. And a 2:06 half would be a PR for me. So I'm going to shoot for between 9:10 and 9:40 minute miles and see what happens. My main goal is to run strong and not wimp out. And eat Chipotle after the race. Does it get any better?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I just can't kick this whole strep, now morphed into cold/sinus infection crap, thing. I'm waiting for my head to explode. While my lower, sexier voice might make me a few extra bucks if I decide to start a phone sex side business, I just am really having trouble finding any sort of silver lining here. And that's the end of my complaining.

I really wanted to get my 20 miles in Monday night after work. But my husband didn't get home until 6:00 and had to leave again at 8:00. Lest any of you think I am some sort of elite speedster, let me just clear that right up -- I cannot run 20 miles in two hours. Nope. Never gonna happen. Before my husband came home, I put Sophie in the jogging stroller and took her out for an easy two miles. This was our first time out this year, and it felt a little harder than last year. Not sure whether that was because she weighs at least 10 pounds more, or because I'm just not used to pushing that beast anymore.

Once Sophie and I finished our two miles, I took her back to the house, got dinner started for her and my hubby, and ate a banana. My husband came home and I got back out there. I decided to do my 8 mile loop around my house, for an even 10 miles. The run went suprisingly well, given how I've been feeling. The weather has been absolutely beautiful this week, and it is so nice to finally be able to run without freezing and in daylight. I finished up the 8 miles with enough time to hang out with my husband for a little while before he had to leave again.

I've got another 10 miles on the schedule tonight - at marathon pace. I think this should be doable. My 10 on Monday night was at about 20 seconds slower than marathon pace. Last Wednesday night, I did 6 at marathon pace, and ended up being about 15 seconds faster. I have two hard weeks of training left - a half marathon this weekend, and then next weekend, the last 20 miler. Then it's taper time!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Visitor

No, not the Easter bunny. Rather, a snarky little bastard I haven't seen since I was about 9 years old. First name, Strep. Last name, Throat. He took Sophie out first, and then came for me. Thanks to the miracle of antibiotics, we are both starting to feel better.

In order to be a polite host to my visitor, I set aside my running plans and haven't run since Wednesday. My 20-miler that was scheduled for Friday? Yeah, that didn't happen. Instead, I left work early to go home and sleep for half an hour before I had to pick Sophie up from daycare. I'm planning on running the 20 miles tonight after work, provided my husband gets home in time to take care of Sophie.

So the training for last week, before the strep throat hit:
  • Sunday, April 5th - 15 miles
  • Tuesday, April 7th - 3 miles
  • Wednesday, April 8th - 6 miles (tempo)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Need Me Some More Weekend

It must be time for a vacation. The weekends have just not been long enough lately. I was busy this weekend, which always makes it go too fast. But I got in some fun stuff - a dinner out alone with the husband Friday night (first time since Sophie was born . . . 18 months ago today!), drinks with friends at the golf course (can golf season start now, please?), took Sophie to the zoo for the first time on Saturday, got my long run in today (wind coming from every direction - what's up with that?).

Once upon a time, I posted weekly training recaps on here. I think I stopped because my training was a little, well, lacking. But I think I'll start again because it may help me be more accountable (and motivated) as I hit this last stretch of marathon training.

So . . . week of March 29 - April 4
  • Sunday, March 29th - 4 miles
  • Monday, March 30th - 3 miles (with 4 x 800)
  • Wednesday, April 1 - 6 miles (at marathon pace)
  • Thursday, April 2 - 4 miles (hills)
  • Friday, April 3 - 3 miles

Total weekly miles: 20 (long run on Sunday this week because of our zoo trip . . . and my 20 miler for next weekend will probably be on Friday night, so it should be a fun week!)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Back to the Hills

I started getting into running races back in 2004, when I first started working at the law firm I'm still at. I had been jogging for exercise for a long time, but was never interested in running a race. Then, in June 2004, my boss and his wife, Cheryl, invited me to run a 5K with them. I loved it and thus started the addiction.

That first summer, Cheryl also convinced me to do some hill training. She drove me to a town about 30 minutes north of my town. We parked at a little park by the river. And ran straight up hill. The two mile loop (which we run twice) has three SERIOUS hills, and two gentle inclines. The four mile workout has been a fixture of my summer training ever since that first time.

I've been feeling the itch to get back out to the hills for a few weeks. I just wasn't sure whether I should add them now during marathon training. I've been following the FIRST plan, which calls for three runs a week (a speed workout, tempo run, and long run). So I've been a little nervous about adding another hard run to my weekly schedule. I finally decided to just do it. I love hill running, and hill training is always good, right?

So today, Cheryl, Mike, and I hit the hills. It was awesome. Hard. Couldn't really breathe. Felt like I was having a heart attack. Like I said, awesome. Can't wait till next week!