Saturday, April 28, 2012


I think I need to get back into the mindset that the Pig is just a training run on the way to a greater goal of finishing the Leadville Marathon. I'm already obsessing over the weather, and the forecast so far is calling for 50* at start time, warming up to the 70s with rain and humidity. In other words, the same shitty conditions as last year. Of course today is cool, cloudy, and rainy, a perfect running day for me. I had a good last long run this morning.

I know that I'll do better than last year, even if the weather isn't optimal, but I reeeeeally want to hit the time goal that I wasn't supposed to set.

Last night I had horrible Pig dreams, that they had me registered as a half marathon walker and wouldn't let me switch. In my dream, I also missed the start time by a few hours and no one would give me a ride downtown. I hope that I'll be able to stay on track mentally during this last week of taper. In order for that to happen, I need the nightly thunderstorms to stop, because a screeching child running down the hall to your room multiple times in the night isn't exactly restful....

I'm really bad at this rest and recovery stuff. Too much time too think.

48 Hours of Shoes

I've worn all of these shoes in the last 48 hours.

Some women collect designer heels. Apparently, I have other issues.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Inspiration in an Unlikely Place

So that giant hill on the Pig course I always talk about? Gilbert Ave and Eden Park? I've been running it on Saturdays in preparation, five times now. Five long climbs up to the top, where I'm rewarded with this amazing view of the Ohio River, stretching East toward "home."

Five climbs, five weeks of aching leg muscles and screaming lungs, and five times I've noticed this little bit of inspiration in a very unlikely place.

It's 2012, and there's still a phone booth in this particular part of this particular park. It's the landmark that signifies the end of the big climb, so it's certainly a relief to see it, but I always think "really? a phone booth? in 2012?" and shake my head.

Obviously, it's not the phone booth, itself, that I draw inspiration from, but the quote that someone scrawled inside it, in sunny yellow marker.

"Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Said by the White Queen, herself, through the pen of Lewis Carroll. And really, it's only 26.2 miles. What are some *real* feats of impossibility that I could dream up?

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Waiting is the Hardest Part

71 Days Until Leadville

I'm getting antsy and I'm really excited about the trip we have planned - Leadville Marathon and after-party on Saturday, drinking wine while we sit in the hot-tub and fancy-pants pool in Vail on Sunday, pizza from the Blue Moose and gelato from that really awesome gelato place we found last year, then a few days of hiking and biking to round it all off. It's so far away! In the words of the kid, "It's not NEVER going to be here!"

My fancy new trail shoes were waiting for me when I came home last night. RunningWarehouse had ONE PAIR left in my size, at about half off, so I snapped them up. An online friend of mine also had a coupon code, so when all was said and done I only paid $42, including shipping, which is a good 60% off retail.

Of course, I'm dying to lace them up and go out for my first ever trail run, but, alas, I'm in the middle of more waiting - it's Flying Pig taper time. That means cutting back on the running and not doing anything to hurt myself. I'm anxious about the Pig, because I'm really hoping this will be my sub-4:00 marathon, but I'm trying to remind myself that Leadville is the bigger prize. The Pig was supposed to be a distraction from the Colorado Countdown :P

I have a really good shot at the under 4:00 thing, even though this course is super hilly. My training runs have all been spot on, and I'm confident that if I were running the Air Force course in two weeks rather than the hills of the 'Nati, I could finish in 3:50, easily. Unfortunately, instead of the pancake flat runways, I've got the rolling hills and the steep, steep climb up Gilbert Ave and Eden Park.

The other concern rolling around in my head is the weather. We've been super lucky that we avoided any real winter this year. Temps have been in the 70s for weeks now, which is super because I love spending hours playing outside. The downside? Well, there was the Heart Half last month with temps in the 60s and blazing hot sun. That was MARCH. Pig is MAY. We've already blown past the 70s and had a few 90 degree days. I hope we see some normal temperatures, just for one day!

16 Days Until Pig....

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Texts From...

I've always been a big fan of Texts From Last Night, ever since the days at my old job when I discovered it was a great way to break up the monotony of SAS programming and data analysis. 60-90 seconds of LOLing is good for the soul, especially when that soul is continually being sucked out of you by the work that you do.

Since TFLN, there have been numerous other spinoffs, but none that even came close to rivaling the LOLs that I got from TFLN. Until now. This week, two new "Texts from..." sites hit my radar screen, and I'm sharing the hilarity with you.

First up is Texts from Hillary

Sadly, the creators of this site (and the originators of the meme, after all!) won't be updating TFH anymore, thinking it best to quit while they're ahead, but if you haven't seen the four pages of awesome yet, you need to check it out.

It's hard to pick a favorite, but this is definitely a front-runner.

Thankfully, there's no indication that my second new favorite site will be going anywhere any time soon, so check out Texts From My Dog. I laughed so hard I nearly cried. Again, hard pressed to pick a favorite, but...

Yes, some of them are a little vulgar, but I'm ok with that.


Friday, April 6, 2012

The Holy Grail

Homemade Nutella. Any bets on how long a single batch will last?

Banana bread is in the oven.

This is all I'm going to be thinking about during my long run tomorrow morning. Can't wait to get back home and eat!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Race Recap - Heart Half Marathon (2012 Edition)

Oh mah gahd it's been a long time since I've done a race recap. 5 whole months! Hard to believe I went 30 years without "racing," and now 5 months feels like an eternity. In those 5 months I've been working on building up my endurance for the Leadville Marathon in June by training for the Flying Pig in May. I decided to put my skills to the test and see if I could set yet another Half Marathon PR, after the 1:54:18 I ran in the Cincinnati Half Marathon in October. I decided that 1:50 would be a good goal to shoot for, but I also insisted that I wouldn't beat myself up if I didn't hit it, because this course is super hilly.

This race was also neat for me because it was the first time I had ever run two races on the same course, and I was really curious to see how much I had improved over the last year.

Anyway. I set myself up with the 1:50 pace group close to the start line. Introductions, national anthem, blah blah blah, start the race. Nice jaunt out of the city, a pleasant little downhill to start things off, and then WHAM bigfuckinghill. Slight downhill recovery and then WHAM evenbiggerfuckinghill. And so it went, on and on like that for the first 4.5 miles, after which we turned around and ran back toward the city. Of course, along the way back we detoured up most of Torrence Parkway. Pace coaches kept shouting "Lean from the ankles! Hips forward! Shoulders back!" (or was it hips back, shoulders forward?) I just focused on trying not to die, or, worse, puke. And wondering WTF I was thinking when I signed up to run a mountain marathon. (I just keep reminding myself that I'm going to be taking it much slower up the mountain. There's obviously no speed goal.)

That's when the sun started to come out and the humidity set in. I was suddenly slimy and sweaty and sticky and all kinds of gross. Big change from last year, when it was a good 30 degrees cooler with a pleasant light rain.

Then there was the 15K split, where most of the runners began a nice leisurely downhill stretch back to the finish line. For the briefest of moments, I considered following them. (ok, fine - for a good 90 seconds I contemplated it) But I soldiered on. Over the bridge, around Kentucky, over another bridge - this is where I let the pace group go. I just couldn't sustain that pace on those hills. I was surprisingly ok with it, only beating myself up for a few seconds minutes. And who the hell decided to make the last 1.4 miles completely uphill, anyway?

I got my finish line adrenaline going and sprinted the last half mile, coming to a stop in 1:51:01, a full 11 minutes better than last year. Of course, last year the weather was cold and rainy, not sunny, warm, and humid, so I'm pretty sure there's a 1:4X:XX half marathon in my somewhere.

Running Buddy got a new PR, too!

We rock our medals.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I like Nutella on my Wafflehs

Sunday morning in our kitchen:

Me: Ok, are you ready to go to the Waffle place?

Charlie: Yes! I love waffles!

Me: Charlie, do you know how to say 'waffles' in Spanish?

Charlie: Wafflehs! (waff-lays)

Me: Really? That doesn't sound right. Let me Google it. (what did we do before smartphones and the internet?!)

:: checks google - sees 'wafflehs' - grumbles that can't be right. waff-lays? what the hell kind of spanglish is this? checks more google links ::

Me: Ok, Charlie, it looks like you can say 'wafflehs,' but there's also another real word for it - 'gofres'

Charlie: No, mom, it's 'waflehs.' You're WHACK!

Me: Did you just call me 'whack?!'

Charlie: Yeah, like in the Jumping song. Wiggity whack!

Maybe it's time to reevaluate the MP3s we've loaded onto his radio.

Bonus 90s points if you can name the song: And everything is the back with a little slack, cause inside-out is wiggity wiggity wiggity whack!


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