Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Three Strikes, am I out?

8 am. 80 degrees and 80% humidity. Three lousy runs in a row.

I know that this is SOP for some of you southern runners, but for us above the Mason-Dixon line? It is pure hell.

Schedule called for 6 miles.
The only shows were Bridget, Bill and me. Everyone else has some sense. Bridget and I talk about cutting it down to 4. Bill says he is going for 6. We stash our water at the start point (you will see the significance of this later).

About a mile in, Bridget says let's cut it to three miles. I am all over that. We are doing about a 11:30 pace at this point. We get to the turnaround and at the two mile mark, I apologize and slow to a walk. It was like running in a sauna. Bridget didn't seem all that upset about walking. Of course, Bill just happens to pass us on his way back as soon as we started walking. As he passes us he says he is only doing 4. After less than a quarter mile walk, we start up again. I am thinking to myself, 'can I run any slower and not be walking?' At one point, I actually hear her exhale and ask her, 'did I just hear you breathe?' While I am a 'huffer-puffer' runner (I actually sound like a 90 yr old asthmatic running), Bridget never breathes heavy. When she struggles with a run, it is always with leg and lower body fatigue and discomfort, never cardio-vascularly. So to hear her huff, even if it was only once, was strange. We manage to make the last three quarters of a mile and grab our water.

Someone let their dog pee on our water bottles! Not only is that rude but could have some serious consequences in weather like this. We could have been doing a really long run and was counting on that water. Nasty, nasty, nasty and shameful. I hope your dog pees in your bed.

I am still undecided about running in Montreal. Do I need a break or just cooler weather? I will bring my gear and decide later.

So now I have cooled off enough to shower - I hate showering when you haven't cooled down enough and you keep sweating after getting out of the shower - I am going to use the peppermint soap judiciously. We are going to hit the State Fair tonight to see Dickey Betts and the Outlaws. Oh man, it is enough to make me feel 16 again! I am off to practice my rock hands!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Menthol does not belong everywhere!

The husband came home a couple of days ago from his naturopathic appointment with some special soap. It was some liquid peppermint shower soap from Vermont Soap Organics. He is probably his naturopath's best customer. You would not believe some of the stuff he brings home from there.

Anyways, fast forward to today, after my run. I hop in the shower, grab the shower sponge, pour some of this stuff on and proceed to go to town on my nasty sweaty, 'I'm gonna make you regret your alive during this run' body. I even thought that maybe this stuff would help my self conceived body odor problem. No one else smells it (or maybe they are just being polite when I ask them if I stink) but ever since summer began, I don't think I have completely been able to banish the b.o. I feel like Pigpen with a little noxious cloud following me all around.

I have tried numerous deodorants and antiperspirants (and let me tell you, they never work!). Different soaps. Washed my running shoes. I even Fabreezed the car seats, thinking that must be what is smelling. No matter what I do, I am still afraid I smell.

So I lather up all over and enjoy the nice, peppermint-y smelling soap. I even think to myself to be careful not to get any of this in my eyes because that peppermint would sting. And then I feel it. Not in my eyes, but in a certain other, delicate, lady-like area. Refreshing, cooling, minty, numbing, menthol-y stinging. I check the bottle and there is no genital warning. If this stuff wasn't safe to use on genitals, wouldn't they have to put that on the labels? This stuff better wear off before my run tomorrow morning because I bet it will be a killer combined with a bad case of runner's crotch sweat.

It was ugly out there today

Saturday - good race
Monday - good run
Wednesday - starting down that slippery slope
Friday (today) - crash and burn

Ugh. Bad, just bad. A regular death march. I didn't feel good from the first step. I didn't bring Cosmo because it is very humid. The kind of humid where sweat doesn't evaporate but goes flinging off your elbows every time you swing your arms. We walked 3 times, and not just little minute walk breaks but quarter mile walk breaks. My legs felt tight and heavy, like I could barely lift them. The only good thing about today's run is that it is over. Right now, the way I feel, Saturday's run is iffy.

I almost left my time off my training log and put only the distance. I feel bad enough and didn't think I needed to be reminded of the torture every time I look at my blog. But I decided to suck it up and put the evidence of my misery out there for everyone to see.

I am leaving Sunday for Montreal and coming back on Wednesday. Of course my plan was to bring my running gear but now I am wondering if I should. W thinks I should just take those days, relax and recuperate and come home renewed, rested and ready to resume training. Do I really need a break? Is it possible to overtrain on less than 20 miles a week? LOL

On a positive note, Real Time with Bill Maher returns tonight so I have something to look forward to, that is if I can stay awake. :-)

ETA: W kept telling me that part of the reason I was so tired was that I taught a cycle class last night. I don't know what came over me but we did do a lot of hovers, a maneuver where you come up out of the saddle, stabilize your upper body and pedal, with no upper body engagement. They suck. And we did lots of them. But I don't think they are to blame for my crappy run.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Midday runs.....


I had an early morning dental appointment to replace a temp crown with a perm. And then I had an appointment with my friendly neighborhood masachistic hair stylist so this morning's run became this afternoon's run. No big deal, right? After all, it isn't as though my days are chockful of peace brokering in the Middle East.

I have a nice little morning routine. Coffee, water, a light fruit breakfast, do whatever else has to be done and then run. The problem with a mid day run is you are held captive to all that has preceeded your run. In my case, it ended up being a bowl of cereal, two rolls (with vegan Earth Balance), a huge 16 oz fruit smoothie - everything I ate before 3 pm. Let me tell you, tummy no likey smoothie while running. Some weird gastro-intestinal brewing was going on.

It started off decently. First mile 10:45, second mile 21:50, and then Cosmo decides he has had enough. So we walk a minute and then start again slowly. At the 3 mile mark, I have had enough and we walk for a minute while I try to get rid of a stitch in my side. First time I had one of those in years. So we end our 4.5 at 51:42, a full 3 minutes slower than I hoped. Oh well. Such is life. Maybe Friday's run will be better.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

More race news

W ran a trail 5k today. Her time was 30:26. I already told her that no way are we using that time to figure our training for the half. No way Jose.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Willow Bay Run for Women Race Report

Goal C (no dnf)- Done
Goal B (sub 11 m/m) - Done
Goal A: Under 33 minutes - DONE!

Woo hoo! Official time: 32:31. 10:29 m/m. Bridget time: 32:29. She has the proof in a picture and wants me to lodge a formal protest over those 2 seconds. LOL.

Today was a gorgeous day for a race. The temps were nice and cool, probably about 60-65 degrees and the turnout was great.

After checking in, milling around and chatting, the race started promptly. I was a little nervous and the tummy was sketchy but it all settled down eventually. The plan (as I was informed numerous times during the prior week) was to run with Bridget and let her pace me. She assured me she could keep a nice, steady pace for us. First mile was 9:55. Ooops. We were passed quite a bit in the beginning but just kept running steadily.

Right after the turnaround (which took forever to get to - the freaking race felt 6 miles long!) Sue cramped up in her quad and dropped back. Sorry, Sue. I wasn't happy about leaving you but I knew it wasn't a disaster movie and that we would see you in the end. We were also running into the wind which blew up stiffly every once in a while. At one point, Bridget pulled out in front of me and said she would block the wind and I was to run behind her. Yeah, that worked. I appreciated the thought but running behind a toothpick for someone my size didn't really block much wind. LOL

Second mile stayed the same pace and we did pass a few people - not many but a few. Just past the 2.5 mark, I started to get tired - really tired from the pace. I was focused on watching for Jen and her dogs because I knew they walked down quite a way to watch. Afterwards, she said when we passed them I was looking pretty rough. Yeah, I was feeling pretty rough too. Pukingly rough. At this point, we could see the finish line but it took forever to reach it. Bridget was checking her watch compulsively and talking tough. My husband was the next spectator I was watching for. At this race, his m.o. is to show up after the start, walk down about .2 miles and stand on the right side. Sure enough, there he was. I think I was so relieved I said it out loud.

Right at the finish line, close enough she was almost in the finishing shute and had to swerve to enter it, some little 16 yr old flashed by me. Yeah, honey. Quite an accomplishment. How rude and tacky. I am old enough to be your mother. And it didn't help you much. You were still last in your age group by almost a minute, while I was 29/38. Boo-ya!****

Sue finished in an amazing 33:43 which might be a best for her too. Remarkable considering the leg cramps she battled.

Some amazing stats (and just in case I think advancing up in the age groups will help me):
Age Group 70-74: First place 24:21
Age Group 75-79: First place 34:44

Absolutely freaking amazing.

I am very happy with my time - I ran this race very hard, thanks to Bridget. I am going to consider it a PR. I have one 5K race that officially was faster - 31:59 but it was a uncertified course that had a scandalous history of being short. And I am pretty sure that I have never run a 31:59.

Next up is the Bud 10K, September 15. I found out from Bill that there is a new 5k race this October sponsored by the local Army reserve unit. It looks to be pretty small but it is the same course as today's race so it might be a good race to measure any improvement. It would also be fun to wear the USMC School of Infantry shirt the eldest son gave me. I might try to talk him and the younger son into running it with me :-) Those Army guys aren't fooling around either. The registration form says you will get your t-shirt AFTER you complete the race and check in with your race time (no chip times here, folks).

***The Truth in Blogging caveat here is that I pass so few people, that if I had the opportunity, I would probably pass a Granny in the shute saying, 'In your face' as I did it. LOL Just joking. Honestly. I would never do such a thing. ;-)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Miracle of modern veterinary medicine

Our Mal is 9 years old. He is an Irish born greyhound with a pretty illustrious pedigree. His sire, Phantom Flash was the 1996 Irish Stud Dog of The Year. We have struggled with him healthwise the past 3 years. After biting the bullet and having an exhaustive set of x-rays done we discovered that he has some old injuries to his spine and pelvis which are painful so he is on pain meds for them. Recently, he was put on some antibiotics for a foot infection. I think he is feeling better ;-) This has been his behavior over the past three days. It might not look like much but if you are familiar with Mally, you will be impressed with his mobility:

Funk-y Town

First off, to all you kind enough to worry and comment...I did find my running shorts this morning. Somehow they were stashed in my underwear section of my bureau. Very embarrassing, especially as I accused the 18 (soon to be 19, in 2 weeks) year old son of coveting and absconding with them. He looked at me like I was nuts.

Things have been funky around here and not in a 'groov'in with some energy' type of way. More in a funk - y type of way, with the emphasis on funk. Blah. We ran Wednesday. 4 miles. Plan was for 6x400 repeats. We got almost through four and Cosmo was stung by a yellow jacket on the inside of one of his front legs. Until this point, we were just under 11 m/m. He limped (very pathetic looking), and we walked, through the 1.5 miles left and we finished at 55:25. Just a shade under 15. My suspicion is that the sting couldn't have hurt all that much and he was playing it up, not wanting to run. Dog should have been a soccer player. Oh yeah! And I should have been a comedian. LOL

The Willow Bay 5 k is tomorrow. Previous times:
2005 - 34:05 (11:00)
2004 - 33:18 (10:45)

As always, I have my A, B and C goals.
C Goal - finish. Always want to avoid that DNF
B Goal - sub 11 minute mile pace. Even by a second. Any day under 11 is a good day for me.
A Goal - never sees the light of day unless I make it. Then I will write about it :-)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Eternal mystery

I lost a brand new pair of running shorts. How? I put them on in my house. I take them off in my house. They are nowhere in my house. It ticks me off.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wednesday Run Report

W and I have been thinking a lot of about the half, which one, what time of the year, how to train, etc. Up until now, our training has always been the 'get out and run and try to do it a little faster and/or longer each time. Yep. Not very scientific or guaranteed to get results. And we haven't gotten many results. :-) We need a serious half plan. I have been reading about this one. More info here.

Workouts are very specific.
3 weekly runs
Seems to have a reasonable success rate
Lots of down time
Low mileage = less chance of injury

Only 3 weekly runs but those runs are hard

Today I ran 4.5 by myself. Too hot and humid for Momo and W had a prior engagement. I decided to mix it up and so I did 4x400 speed repeats. My original plan was to do six but I was too tired after 4. That might be a problem on FIRST.

When we ran Saturday, I was shooting for 11:30 pace. Our first two miles were under 11 and we hit 3 miles at 11:03 pace. It seemed like every quarter mile I was giving Sue the 'palm face down slow it down' motion. Today, keeping in mind the 400 repeats, I was determined to be very slow with a 1.5 mile warmup. I clocked it right at 12 m/m. Perfect. My goal was to shoot for a 2:35 400s (10:20 m/m).

First 400 was 2:25 (9:40 m/m). Oops. But how was I to know? I just started running. Second and third were a little bit slower but still under 10 m/m pace. Fourth and last 400 was around 2:33. I ran 400 slowly in between each repeat to recover. Of course, by the end of the 4th repeat, I was feeling vaguely nauseous and walked .25. I must say, though, it was fun. It broke the run up nicely. And it was fun to run fast - remember, in this case, speed is all relative. I felt like I was a kid, running so fast. It made me wonder just what it must feel like to run those 5 - 6 minute miles. Overall pace was 12:15. Not too bad considering the .25 walk.
I will probably need a nap today :-)


I usually live in Central New York. Somehow, I magically woke up this morning and am in the deep south, in the hottest part of their summer. Seriously, it is 77 degrees at 7:30 am. You know the saying, 'It isn't the heat, it's the humidity'? It is so humid that every time I open the fridge, a cloud of mist escapes. My hardwood floor feels damp and icky under foot. I will be running alone this morning, without W or Cosmo (too hot). Fun times, people. Fun times.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Monday run report

I managed to get all the miles planned last week done but it wasn't easy due to scheduling. Today, we started back on our MWFSat rotation. The result of today's run meant that in three days I have run a total of 14.5 miles. Now, that is an amount that some runners can do in their sleep but make no bones about it - it is a lot of miles for me in 3 days. So, I was really tired today and I also had a scare right before leaving to run - one of those that elevates your heartrate to 170 in 15 seconds and leaves you with the shakes and nausea. Add to this scenario W ran last night and that it was much warmer and humid than I expected. This is a recipe for a run/walk day. And run/walk we did. 10 minute run/2 minute walk - a 12 and change pace.

On a positive note, I assembled a list of possible half marathons for us in early 2008. I would love to accept this invitation but I don't think I could convince the husb to let me travel almost 2000 miles for a race :-( So we are sticking to the east coast races.

Caesar Rodney Half - Wilmington, Delaware, March
National Half - Washington, DC, March
Frederick Marathon and Half - Frederick, MD, May
Ocean City Marathon and Half - Ocean City, MD, April
Hyannis Port Marathon and Half, Hyannis, MA, February

I would love to do Hyannis in February - all that cold, brisk air but I don't think W will go for it. She is a much more temperate runner than I :-)

Sunday, August 05, 2007


It wasn't easy but I did manage to get the scheduled 18.5 miles in this week. Yesterday was 5.75. Sue ran 4 with me. We took a little water break and then Cosmo and I finished the last 1.75 miles. I felt really good at the 4.5 mile mark - just cruising along. Of course, the good feeling lasted only a quarter mile. I had to walk a minute or so at the 5 mile point due to a recurrence of this episode. A minute of upper thigh clenching and the urge passed. I felt very, very tired and lethargic after the run. My legs were heavy and I felt dopey. I felt way more tired than I thought I should. I ended up laying down a couple times. It occurred to me after that I drank no water after my run. I drank 8-12 oz an hour or so before my run at 8 am. I drank 4 oz. after and then forgot about drinking completely until about 5:30 pm. What a dope.

Today, was 4.25 by myself. Cosmo was very tired after yesterday - he took a 4 heavy, deep sleeping nap. Considering I ran yesterday, I am pretty happy with the time. It would be nice to get back to the 10's but I don't think that will happen much as we increase our distances. Tomorrow is 4.5.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Oh Glorious Day!

The sun is shining, not a cloud in the sky, and best of is 64 degrees! Finally! We have 5.75 miles slated for today.

On a different note, we had two grey guests check out of casa de rwd on Thursday evening and two other grey guests check in for a stay on Friday. All very nice dogs. Only hitch is the new guests don't seem to understand (or they are pretending not to understand) that all important doggie command, 'go lay down'. LOL

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Someone in Hong Kong visited my blog after a google search for "Why is the weather getting hotter and hotter?" Not only did Google bring up my blog, IT WAS THE FIRST RESULT!. I am really going to have to stop complaining about the heat LOL.

Status Quo

Weatherman said it was the 3H's today. Hazy, hot and humid. Forecast to get in the low 90's so I didn't take Cosmo this morning. He still isn't speaking to me LOL. Why is it harder to run when it is humid? I swear that not a single nanodrop of sweat evaporated off of me today. I wasn't feeling 100% when I headed out. My tummy was a little off and I didn't want to eat breakfast but I made myself eat a Toasted Nut and Cranberry Luna Bar. Usually I love these but this one tasted like cardboard - definitely not enough cranberries. I ended up walking 2 minutes at the 2.25 mark. Got the 4.25 in though and frankly, some days that by itself it a huge accomplishment for me even if they are almost 12 minute miles.

My run playlist hasn't been working for me lately and I have been too lazy to make a new one. I came across this from some other blog and decided to try it out. While I know some people who listen to podcasts and NPR while running, I always listened to music before because I thought it was more distracting and motivating. To my surprise, it wasn't too bad listening to his podcasts. Today I listened to the one he did about repulsive body functions that happen while running. To my great sorrow, our favorite term, gut bomb, was not used but it was entertaining nonetheless. Because he records a lot of the podcast while on his own long runs, I especially like those moments when he is silent and all I hear is his heavy breathing along with mine. Because I usually run with someone, it is a very familiar sound to me. I don't think these podcasts will become an every run thing with me - I like running with music way too much - but they are definitely going to be part of my running motivation stash from here on out.

Meme it up!

I was tagged. Couldn't dodge and make it to home fast enough. LOL. Okay bazu, here you go......(I must admit, while composing these things aren't my favorite because I am a lazy ass, I do love to read everyone's responses :-))

What were you doing 10 years ago?

1997? Hmmmmm...... On a whim, I picked up Ingrid Newkirk's book, Save the Animals - One Hundred One Easy Things You Can Do from the library. I was ovo-lacto vegetarian at the time, for no other reason than I didn't really care for meat and I thought it gave me some kind of inner ethical cache. At that point, I really hadn't done any research or even soul searching as to my relationship with other species or my food. After reading through the book, I thought that I might just try to take it to the next step. I mean, how hard could it be to give up eggs, dairy and cheese? (Yes, I know cheese is dairy, but most of us know cheese, in the sense of giving it up, is in a category all its own). Also, until reading this book, I was not aware that there was a whole category of writing that dealt with the issues of animal rights, speciesism, and veganism and I decided to investigate some more. This led me to the writings of Pete Singer, Andrew Linzey, Erik Marcus and John Robbins. It was a revelation to discover that this 'movement' had a history, had leaders and had a clear path of organic growth, albeit with many offshoots. I really felt like I was on the cusp of something, discovering it when a significant upswing was taking place and that real change was inevitable. In the almost ten years since, I believe that real change is happening. Yes, we have a long way to go but I have seen real and amazing change in the last 10 years. It gives me hope.

5 Snacks you enjoy

5 Songs you know all the lyrics to

(Oh lordy, this is really going to highlight my dorkiness to the world!)

  • Leaving on a Jet Plane (my brother, sister and I loved this song when we were little!)
  • Sweet Baby James (hmmmm, I wonder why? LOL)
  • Revolution Rock
  • The Battle of New Orleans
  • Be Thou My Vision

5 Things you would do if you were a millionaire

  • He works very hard now. My husband would never work another day in his life if he didn't want to.
  • Dream trips - North Africa, Tibet, Thailand, Vietnam, my list could go on forever.
  • Give, give, give - charities, friends, family, etc.
  • Own some property where I could have some animals. I grew up with a goat, Coco Joe. And I still miss him :-(
  • Hire a running coach for me and my friends. Girls......we would finally be able to run a sub 10 minute mile! LOL

5 Bad Habits:

  • Over eating and under exercising
  • Laziness
  • Slipping occasionally in my veganism
  • I am not very neat and my house is evidence of that!
  • Too self critical

5 Things You Like Doing:

  • Cooking and baking
  • Hanging out friends
  • Running with Cosmo
  • Reading
  • Napping

5 Things You Would Never Wear Again

  • Hiphuggers!
  • acrylic nails
  • big hair - yeah, I know I have big hair now because I have so much of it but I mean I would never, in an 80's way, tease it and make it bigger!
  • earth shoes
  • stirrup pants

5 Favorite Toys

We lived out in the country so we didn't have many toys so to speak. We didn't need them. We had acres of woods, animals, swimming holes, a barn and hayloft and trees to climb but I will give this one a shot.

  • I had one of those dolls whose hair grew out of the top of her head. You could shorten it back up by cranking a knob on her back.
  • My parents used to square dance. After they stopped, my sisters and I got all my mom's old petticoats and dresses and we used to love to dress up in them.
  • Cards. We used to play card games by the hour during the summer. Canasta, gin rummy, war, etc. Also used to play a lot of Yahtzee.