Just to let you know- this blog is no longer active. I'll be keeping up my 101 in 1001 list until its completion, but will not be writing new posts. You can read the post below if you want the long version. Thanks for the journey to all my friends in the blogosphere!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dog Biscuits, Lost Cats, and Marathon Excitement

So, probably due to bad karma from me mocking the lost cat posters last week, my cat was missing for the past two days. I was a little concerned yesterday, especially after my sister found her in the dryer on Saturday. (The dryer, thankfully, was off, but my sister was was pretty horrified by the fact that a cat was hanging out in our clean clothes and I'm almost certain that she didn't believe me that this was the first time this had ever happened.) Today, when she still hadn't appeared, I was getting a little panicky and may or may not have checked the dryer 5 times.

I was worried about that and frustrated by the cold (we've been spoiled with 70-80 degree weather the past couple weeks and we're back in the 40s now), but I really, really just felt the need to get out and run. After the first mile, I dropped off my jacket on the porch and then lost the long sleeve after a couple more miles.

I don't know if it was the chilly weather or the song that popped up on my playlist or what, but in my last mile, I was reminded of how I felt in the last leg of my marathon. I had such a great marathon experience and only hope that I'm able to have that same numb, tired but determined, blissed out, enormously grateful feeling the last portion of my upcoming marathon in May. I'm starting to get really excited about my second 26.2!

Then, when I arrived home and found my cat hiding out behind my car, I was doubly excited! (I promise to not make fun of any more lost cat posters, no matter how ridiculous the cat's name as long as my cat doesn't disappear again!)

Then, it was time to prepare the kind of first class supper (reheated leftovers from yesterday's Sunday dinner) my husband is accustomed to. I thought I'd make some banana bread for dessert with my old bananas laying around. Using the usually very helpful ingredient search on Allrecipes, I tried to find a recipe with the three ingredients I wanted.

Yep, neither "Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie" or "Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Biscuits" were quite what I was looking for. We ended up having biscuits out of a can with warmed up paella, but I still might throw together some banana bread to have for breakfast/snacks. No dog biscuits though!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sorry, I didn't mean to be stalking you.

So, the other day, I set out to run my usual route. I hit the main street where, since it's sunny and beautiful out now, dozens of people are out walking. It's not unusual for me to see a runner or two out too-usually men. There are a few that I know of who are regular runners and then some high school guys just on the their way back from the gym.

That day, however, I saw a woman running. She was several blocks ahead of me, but I was curious. Who could it be? This town is so small that if I see a woman running, chances are I know her.

So I try to catch up to her, but she's surprisingly fast. I don't know what my Garmin thought of me when I got down to a 8 minute mile pace, because we don't go there very often. After about a half mile, I had closed the gap close enough that I could collect some more clues about this mystery runner.

And what I found just deepened the plot! She was wearing Vibram Five Fingers!

So, not only was just a fast runner, she was also a serious enough runner/barefoot enthusiast to parade through downtown in these! (Part of me is really curious about running in these and part of me doesn't have the courage to add them to my "crazy running lady" ensemble.) Now, I HAD to know who she was.

As I'm almost pulled even to her, I start thinking of things I could say to introduce myself/tell her I'm impressed with her speed and footgear. I desperately racked my brain for something that would not make me come across as creepy, but seeing how I had been running behind her (own my usual route though) for over a mile, the cards were stacked against me.

As we approached the end of downtown, where all non-crazy folks turn around, I was right behind her and shocked when she left the sidewalk and continued onto my offroad running route (the one that leads you across busy intersections, over a giant ditch, through parking lots of multiple restaurants and car dealerships). It was my planned route however, so I kept right behind her.

Just a minute later however, she stopped to stretch and turn around, I finally got to see who it was. In typical small town fashion, I did recognize her face and she mine, enough to say, "Hey, how are you?!" but I couldn't place where I knew her from.

My run was continuing though, so I quickly threw out my explanation for why I had been right behind her:

"Sorry, I didn't mean to be stalking you."

Operation: Not Be Creepy- Fail.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weight a Minute

(That's a pretty catchy title, right? I just taught my fourth graders about puns a few weeks ago, and trust me, they'd think it was funny.)

It would only seem fair that if you're training for a marathon, you shouldn't have to worry about your weight. Well, as my mom would say to me, "Life's not fair and then you die." (The older I get, the more I appreciate the wisdom and honesty of my mother.)

My problem is that I try to double-dip with my "carb-loading." I'll say to myself, "I can eat that. I'm running 14 miles tomorrow." And then the next day, after running, I'll say, "I can eat that. I ran 14 miles today." And then the next day, I'll say, "I can eat that. I ran 14 miles yesterday."

So I guess that's triple-dipping. Technically.

In my two previous marathon training cycles (the first one in 2005 resulted in an injury and I had to quit running a few weeks before the race), I've lost weight. This time, the number on the scale just keeps steadily going higher and higher...frighteningly close to the highest it's ever been.

Although I know I really shouldn't complain (and I don't very often) because I'm very grateful that my body can carry me on these long runs without pain or injury, it's just kind of frustrating. Except for some short stretches here and there, I've not been real happy about my weight for as long as I can remember.

I have all the knowledge. Since elementary school, I've read hundreds of magazine articles, books, blogs, recipe books, and seen countless episodes of Biggest Loser. I know there are 3,500 calories in a pound and I can pretty much rattle off how many calories are in anything that I eat. I even know specifically what works for me (and pretty much everybody else): real food (not junk), running, and strength training. Yet I still don't apply all this information consistently.

Over the past few years, I thought I had grown up past all this superficial worry about my weight and didn't have it on my mind as much. When I lost 10 pounds this fall though (ironically, not the result of real food, running, and strength training- actually just the opposite: stress, not working out at all, and eating whatever I could grab), I was just so happy about it and really thought, This will be the time that I don't gain it back. I can maintain this.

Pound by pound, however, I let them creep back. That's the thing that gets me actually. That I let it happen. Watched it happen.

So, here we are again. I'm starting my next round of food logging, thinking about the calories in my runs instead of just the miles, and Jillian Michaeling. I wonder how there could possibly be a different result than the last time, but then I just think of all those times as practice- as learning steps leading me up to the time I will, finally, be permanently successful at this.

Okay, "weight's" minute is over. I really don't like to associate running with losing weight, because in my mind, they're entirely different endeavors, but sometimes their paths cross. Come back later for your regular dose of running rambling with nary a mention of calories!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


After my set back a few weeks ago from being sick, I was worried about catching back up with marathon plans, but I think I'm officially back on track!

I decided to go ahead and get my 14 miles in on Saturday instead of waiting until Sunday. Last night, I laid out all my running mess: clothes, socks, shoes, fuel/water belt, iPod (with new running playlist!), charged Garmin, GUs, and spare key. It is kind of ridiculous how much junk I require to get through a long run.

The beauty is, however, that once I go out the door, I can run for 2.5 hours without having to stop or loop back to the house. And since I had 14 miles to get in, I could just wander wherever I wanted. And, since it was 7:30 on a Saturday morning, I could even go to the semi-sketchy areas that I wouldn't go in the evening!

I ended up looping around town, including my typical 5 mile route out to Lowes and back, and then headed out to the Farmers Market. We're considering a new route for the Farmers Market Run/Walk this year. Last year, runners had to cross this semi-busy bridge and then ran around town and then back over the bridge. I found this little side road, though, right near the Farmers Market that is exactly the perfect length. It's basically someone's driveway because there's only one house- it goes past all these fields and pastures and then ends by a pond and old barn. The only problem is that it's gravel most of the way and I'm not sure how runners/walkers would like that.

Anyway, after 8 miles, I was out that way, and decided to run down this road to try it out. I was starting to get a little tired and hot and was almost about to walk for a second since I was out on this desolate gravel road all by myself. Then, in the distance, I saw another runner coming towards me. It actually occurred to me that I might be seeing a mirage because it was so uncanny that anybody else would be out running on this road. When he got closer, though, I saw it was a family friend who is a runner too. He seemed just as surprised to see me, but we were too busy being "serious" runners to talk more than a hello in passing.

That inspired me to keep trucking though. My only other moment of weakness was running over that semi-busy bridge I previously mentioned. Bridges make me very nervous. I'm always scared that I'm going to trip on something funny, topple over the edge, and land on the interstate below. Really optimistic, right? I even have that weird fear that I would purposely jump. (Not that I want to hurt myself- just the fear that I would just lose control of myself.) I don't even trust myself to do math correctly after 10 miles (that's what the Garmin is for) so it makes me nervous trusting myself to get over a scary bridge. I may have whimpered.

Also, I lost the little rubbery thing off one of my earbuds when I took it out to say hi to my runner friend (and was too cool to stop and look for it), so I spent the last 5 miles with only 1 ear of music. Which is actually fine because that's probably what I should be doing anyway so I can hear approaching cars. The only thing that was bad was that I could then also hear myself- which turned out to be embarrassing. I did not realize that I emit this kind of maniacal laugh when I see I have one mile left or that I sometimes say things like "just a 1/2 mile left" aloud when I think I'm just saying it in my head.

Overall, it was a great run! Next week, is a "rest" week with my longest run being a 10K and then I'll head 16 the weekend after that. I'll actually hit 100 miles in April (and knock that off my 101 in 1001 list) if I follow my training plan, so make sure I follow through!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This had to be documented.

After seeing this on about 15 different phone poles during my run, I just had to go back and get a picture to share with the rest of you. Needless to say, I'm not going to go up the street calling for this cat.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This and That

I feel like I am so all over the place lately. I have been thinking of a million things I want to get down on paper or up on the blog, but get so distracted every time I sit down at the computer. (Which could be an entire blog post on its own!)

So welcome to my scattered brain today!
  • After 12 fabulous miles Saturday, running during this week has been a total FAIL. It's funny how it works like that.
  • Girls on the Run started last week and I'm in love with my team of 25 little runners! There are 3 other teachers coaching with me and we have such a good balance of personalities and strengths. I could ramble on, but it really deserves its own post.
  • Times just got posted from the 10K (the second half of my Saturday run) and I'm thrilled that my official time was: 59:29.2! Garmin told me I didn't quite make it under an hour, but I'll take the shorter time. : )
  • I recently found out a friend from my church is running the half marathon at New River where I'm running the marathon, which is completely amazing and random since the race is almost 5 hours away.
  • You think this is a scattered brain dump? I'm contemplating a "100 facts" list if I hit 100 followers. (Really, how have you made it this far without learning that my favorite childhood sandwich was peanut butter and Rice Krispies or that I once accidentally drove a hitchhiker from one crackhouse to another in the middle of the night?!)
  • EVERYBODY is having babies lately. Congratulations tonight to Jonathan (my childhood friend who I always wished was my big brother) and his wife Brittany as they just now welcomed their baby girl into the world!
  • It's time to welcome Jillian Michaels back into my life. Oh, and not eating like it's my last meal- every. single. meal. I lost 10 pounds last fall without trying at all (due to crazy, constant stress over a million things and not having a minute to breathe) and since then have gained each pound back. Frustrating.
  • Planning the Farmers Market Run has been so, so, so much easier this year since it's the second year. I've GOT to block off some time for my least favorite part of the process though- fundraising. Luckily, businesses here have been very supportive and we don't have a lot of costs to worry about. Even when I know someone's going to say yes, even when it's for a great cause, I still don't like asking people for money.
  • How did I ever train before my Garmin? That's a whole 'nother post too.
  • It's Lent. I used to give something up every year and was thinking about doing so this year, but our preacher urged us to instead take something up that would bring us closer to God. I'm spending more time in prayer.
  • And with that, I probably need to put the laptop up for the night.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The 12 Miles of Saturday

During the 12 miles of Saturday, I encountered all these things:
  • 12 miles a covered,
  • 11 turkeys a waddling,
  • 10 horses grazing,
  • 9 deer a leaping,
  • 8 barn cats meowing,
  • 7 hundred birds a singing,
  • 6.2 miles a racing,
  • 5 dozen cows,
  • 4 water stations,
  • 3 chocolate GUs,
  • 2 hundred runners,
  • and a tired, happy girl at the end.

I couldn't really figure out how to integrate the manure puddle I stepped in, the 2nd place age group awards my sister and I brought home, and the blood my sister coughed up. (She's fine- just finishing strong.) It was a great day! : )

Explanation of this randomness: I ran 5.8 miles by myself early this morning and then went to town with my mom and sister to run a 10K at 9 am. Even it wasn't 12 miles continously, it's just going to have to count. Building up to 14 next week!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Running is a head game.

Today, the game was: teach all day, race home, throw together a running ensemble, and run 10 miles in less than 1 hour, 45 minutes to get home in time for the Civitan pancake supper.

Game Over. I won.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rain Check

So, about 0.78 miles into my 10 mile run, the rain clouds I thought (in all my meteorologic wisdom) were moving away, rolled in. Big time. Luckily, I was running by a strip mall at the time and was able to duck under the awning and clock a quarter of a mile running back and forth between the pay phone and the FedEx box. Hence the "being the crazy running lady" tag.

Well, it transitioned from a torrential down pour to just a steady sprinkle and I thought I could stick it out. And I really think I could of if a) I wasn't still a little sick, b) it was 80 degrees instead of 60, c) my husband didn't know I was out in this mess, d) the wind was blowing, and e) I wasn't encumbered with my iPod and Garmin which I would devastated to lose due to something as preventable as water damage.

As it was, I realized at less than 2 miles that this wasn't such a hot idea and headed home.

Check back with me tomorrow.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What a Week.

So, bigger news than any I have first....my good friend and fellow blogger, Stephanie, became a mother of two on Monday!

I can't wait until I get to meet baby Emma. Stephanie is such a great mom and it's so exciting that she now has two children under two!

Following that, nothing I've got is all that momentous. It's just been a crazy week.
  • I'm still a little sick. I have most of my energy back and all that, but I'm just still congested and gross and completely tired of it. It's made me really hesitant to run because I don't want a big setback like last week.
  • Getting all the forms and payments and everything in for Girls on the Run was kind of a nightmare. A self-inflicted nightmare because I didn't enforce the deadlines I set for things to be turned in, but I COULD NOT turn down any girl that wanted to run. Just wasn't possible. I'm so ridiculously excited about this program that I sometimes tear up just thinking about it. (Practice starts Tuesday so I will give an update soon.)
  • I think I've got the grad school version of senioritis. I really can't complain at all because I only have one class (compared to the ridiculousness of taking 9 hours of class while working full time last semester) and have loved my program, but I'm just ready to get "masters" checked off my list.
  • On Thursday, our curriculum director brought some teachers from other schools to watch our fourth grade team. I can teach away in front of 26 kids all day, but it's nerve wracking to have adults in the room!
  • I'm going to blame my stress over that observation for my complete and utter FAIL Thursday afternoon. I completely forgot about a meeting. That I was leading. Like, as in, people showed up and I wasn't there. I was mortified. Luckily, only a few people were there and they were all very understanding. I'm going to file this under "happens only once in a lifetime."
Anyway, I'm looking forward to the rest of March!
  • As mentioned, Girls on the Run starts Tuesday!
  • Nothing out of the ordinary schedule at school for weeks and weeks! (Yes, I'm even glad for no holidays. We need just some routine 5 day weeks!)
  • Marathon training will hopefully be back on schedule.
  • Planning has begun for the second annual Farmers Market Run!
I'm going to see if my slightly congested self can get through 10 miles tomorrow morning. Be thinking of me!