Thursday, July 30, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Disclaimer: if any Strands folks are reading this (like they have the time and interest to read my little blog) I am THRILLED to be joining you. Cannot wait, in fact. So don't get the wrong idea.
Don't get me wrong - I love these folks for their generosity and willingness to take me, novice runner, on this adventure. But let me tell you why they are out of their f'n minds and why there is a very good chance they will be sorely disappointed in me:
- I looked at the roster for the Team Strands/Puma Cats, the team I'll be running with. There are twelve of us. Nine men, three women. Okay, I can deal with that. I like being one of few women because I am pretty crude and might actually get along better in a van full of testosterone versus one full of estrogen. Men fart, burp and talk about body parts like nobody's business. I'm down with that.
- Everyone with the exception of me and my husband (yes, the fabulous Strands guys found a spot for Ken on the team too!!) was born between 1975 and 1982, making them all 8 to 15 years younger than me (us). No big deal, I can hang with the young 'uns. I like Flor Rida and them apple bottom jeans (no clue what those are, but I sound cool don't I).
- Ken and I are the only two from Colorado - the rest are from Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Oregon. That's fine - I like cheese, Harvard and rainy weather so we'll have something to talk about.
But the true clincher is....these people are fast. And when I say fast, I mean their parents must have mated with gazelles and cheetahs to produce these kind of whippersnappers.
Every single one of my team members (minus Ken, sorry honey) runs between a 30 and 38 minute 10K. Did you hear me??? I did not say 30 minute 5K or even 30 minute 5 miler. I SAID 10K DAMMIT. I don't even know what that works out to: a two minute mile or something. Who does that? Who are these people and why the hell did they choose me to run with them??? Don't they know that I will single handedly destroy any chance they have of winning this thing?
Well, assuming they know what they are doing by choosing me, I have to hand it to them. They obviously are taking the high road. They would rather bring in some old, slow fart from Colorado and experience my presence than win this race. Maybe they're hoping for a boob shot. I will be forever eternally grateful they're taking me. But, I am mother-effing intimidated!!!
Quick - words of wisdom? Reasons I shouldn't be scared? Blogger friends, give it to me. Make me feel better.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
A little background: my good friend, Joie (jo.ey), is a runner like the rest of us. What differentiates her is that she likes to run on the treadmill and she likes to run inside. Freak of nature, I know. In fact, this is how and where she does 99.5% of her running. I give her a hard time: how can the fresh air, wildlife, mountain vistas and cool breezes of Colorado compare with wireless headphones, episodes of the Real Housewives and air conditioning?
The funny thing about Joie is she really is an outside girl. We camp every year. She goes elk hunting in the winter. She hikes and goes to the farmer's market. But her love of her treadmill and her TiVo cannot entice her to take her stride outdoors.
Well, friend Joie was faced with a challenge this week. Her father-in-law was staying with the family. He was sleeping on the couch beside the treadmill, thereby rendering the treadmill off limits in the early morning hours when Joie wanted to work out. So she felt forced, obligated to venture outdoors. The following is her experience:
What I Learned Today - By a Treadmill Runner
This little, one time blog is for Beth, my best (and amazing) blogging friend.
I always run on the treadmill. I do mean always. Because my father in law is sleeping on the couch, right beside my beautiful treadmill, today I ran outside. Since I have an obsession with knowing exactly how far I run, I picked an obvious spot, McIntosh Lake. One time around the lake is 3.08 miles. I went around twice. Not a long run by any means, but a decent run of 6.16 miles. Did I do the math correctly?
This is what I observed:
Most people on the path are women walking in pairs.
There was one woman “wogging” with her dog. Or is it a ”wog”?
A flock of geese flew just over my head and it was really cool.
I saw the cutest baby bunny; so tiny.
The lake really does sparkle in the sun.
They mow the grass with a big tractor which they haul in on a trailer. Why not just drive the tractor to where they are mowing?
A man was sitting at a picnic table writing on one sheet of notebook paper. Was he writing a love letter, apology note, to do list? He looked sad.
The mountains are so pretty.
I also like how the tall grass looks when the breeze blows.
Things I learned:
AJ likes Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, Kiss, and James Taylor…A LOT.
Foreigner’s song, Hot Blooded, is still way cool.
Just listening to James Taylor makes me feel connected to AJ, even though he is at home.
There is no wind on the treadmill.
If you run through a pain it will go away.
My mom is a very strong woman. Go figure.
Life is always going to be good, no matter what is thrown at me.
I really can run without watching True Blood or the Closer.
Oh…I also learned that if I ran any further than 6.18 miles, I would most likely shit my pants. No kidding. I was really was worried.
In one outside run I learned a lot. Plus, I came up with the great idea of writing this for Beth. I do believe I will be heading outside again.
And she did run outside again. Just yesterday. I think she's getting hooked.
Here's a task for each and every one of us: go outside your comfort zone. Do something today that takes you beyond your normal routine, your safe limits. Something that is unexpected or "not typically you." I promise this is where the richness of life can be found.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I will be going on an all expense trip to Oregon (Aug 27-29) to run on a Strands sponsored team in the Hood to Coast Relay.
I'm not sure why Strands chose me. Maybe it was my boobs (but, oh so small - a handful at the most). Or the fact that sometimes I crap myself while running. Maybe my entry - my goofy poem - was just all that good. Or more likely, they didn't have that many entries. But you know what? I don't care because I get to go on this trip and to run in my first relay with strangers and beer. Check out http://www.hoodtocoast.com/movie.html for a pretty cool video view into the event.
I suppose I should be kind of concerned that it is 197 miles, starts at the top of Mt. Hood, runs through Portland and down to the coast. It requires me to run 3-4 legs of the race. Maybe it should bother me that we run all day and all night and that I will be in a van for vast amounts of time with 11 team mates who I don't know. Maybe I should worry that I'll be the slowest, the dorkiest, the smelliest and/or the weirdest.
But you know what? I don't give a shit!! I am going on an adventure into the unknown world of relays and Oregon-people. At my age (42) it's all about keeping the fire burning and the risk alive so that I don't settle into some mundane and apathetic suburban lifestyle where my world becomes smaller and smaller and where fear starts to rule over shutting up and running. How'd you dig that run on sentence?
So, THANK YOU, everyone who signed up on Strands to support me. You guys are the best and I'm convinced that you all helped me win this thing!!
Oh, and as promised, there will be some killer blog entries and hopefully some body shots (not body shots as in putting salt on my body parts and getting it licked off by some stranger chugging tequila), but photos. Those are for you Vanilla and Jamoosh.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Remember when you used to just run for the hell of it?
I could devise my own plan, but it would probably include a lot of sleeping in, beer drinking and 1-2 mile runs, which will never get me to my goal of a 3:50 BQ time.
There was a simpler day when my running was basic and irresponsible.
- A huge beef stroganoff lunch eaten 20 minutes before a run
- Shoes bought clearance the day before a 10K at Kohl's because I liked the color. Couldn't walk for four days after. The kicker: they weren't even running shoes.
- No compressions t's, body glide, ear buds, Garmins, gels, fuel belts, cell phones, training plans, mileage goals per week
It was a carefree type of running that had no structure. I was slow. I couldn't go far.
There has to be a middle ground between beef stroganoff and marathon plans scattered all over my desk. I think it's called moderation. It's also called: RELAX!!!
For the love of God! We spend so much time buying the right stuff, finding the right plan, reading the right books, eating the right foods, that we completely over-analyze ourselves. This can only lead to three things:
1. Extreme self absorption
2. Extreme race anxiety
3. Possible PRs.
Yes, we do it for #3!!
I think of my first marathon back in January. Having never run very far, my only goal was to run the whole thing and to finish. Despite pressure to have a time goal, I resisted. I just wanted to make it to the end in one piece. I was not focused on pace and time. Hell, I had no Garmin or fuel belt. I thought PR stood for pretty rectum (well, not really but you get the idea). And I ran a great race and I had a great time.
Fast forward to today. I've got a time goal. And with that comes a burden, an urgency, a requirement. Sure it is self imposed, but it is all those things nonetheless. The question is: can you relax and enjoy the ride during training and still get a PR?
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
I mean, she said on-line she was trying to get back into shape post-baby. She said she just wanted to do a 3.5 mile loop. She said she was training for a half marathon. She did not say she was bringing a machete, plastic bag and duct tape. So I think I'm okay. But come to think of it, that erotic masseuse who posted her services on Craig's List probably thought she was okay too.
To answer your question, I did not post myself on Craig's List looking for running friends. I'm not that desperate. I did, however, post on a site called http://www.seemommyrun.com/ trying to start up a running group here in Longmont.
See Mommy Run is such an innocuous/corny sounding site that it just has to be legit. After all, it's not seemommysmokeajoint.com or seemommydancethepole.com.
My first long term relationship ever started on a blind date when I was eighteen. One of my best friends I met on a blind date after I moved to a new town and posted a sign in the library to meet other moms.
Tomorrow could be the day I meet another best friend or lesbian lover (calm down, just kidding about that part Jamoosh).
Am I nuts? Would you do a running blind date? Comment away, my blog friends.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I am entering a contest at www.strands.com with hopes of winning an all-expense paid trip to Oregon to participate in The Hood To Coast Relay on one of two Strands Sponsored Relay Teams. A dream come true for me. Being a newer runner, I've never done a relay. I've also never been to Oregon. Word has it that the Hood To Coast Relay is the best relay in the nation. Thanks to the happyrunner for introducing me to this contest! Following is my entry. A poem about why I run. I am no poet, but this little rhyme sequence is from the heart.
It’s an interesting question: why I run
Besides the fact it keeps me from weighing a ton
I haven’t always been a runner, no not at all
This madness started for me some time last fall
A card came in the mail from those Team in Training guys
I usually ignore these things, but this one caught my eyes
“Run a marathon!,” it screamed at me
“Do it for charity. Stop being so lazy!”
I went to the meeting: “Maybe I’ll do thirteen point one”
After all, a 10K was the furthest I’d ever run
Four months later, there I stood in the freezing cold
In a corral in Phoenix with a bib, a chip, and Vaseline in every fold
I won’t say it was easy, running all that way
Twenty six point two miles by the end of the day
Black toenails, blisters, an upset G.I. tract
But I had run every step and I was still intact
And surprise of surprises, I didn’t come in last
My time? Well, I wasn’t very fast
I ran it in four oh three, not too bad, I suppose
A good enough pace despite all those farmer’s blows
I raised some good money to pass onto those in need
But my success went beyond this good deed
Let’s face it, this running thing was turning me on
I wanted to keep going and going strong
So why do I run?, you ask like you care
I guess I have just a few things to share
I love how I feel after ten miles
When I have dried salt on my brow and bad hair styles
How the veins on my legs pop out and strain
How I am proud of myself for pushing through pain
How the farm smells, how the wind feels on my face
How I can solve the world’s problems in my head at my own pace
How I feel fit, how I feel strong
How I go further than I ever thought I could have gone
But the main reason I run, without a doubt
Is that running makes me a better person, inside and out
So I keep running, doing lots of races
Trying for new goals and meeting new faces
I’ve got my fingers crossed to visit Boston next spring
But until then I’ll just keep doing my thing.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I pulled up to Coot Lake by the Boulder Reservoir at 7 a.m., coffee and Luna Bar in hand. I surveyed the scene. I know people in Boulder are generally and stereotypically in good shape, but this was ridiculous. I was greeted by Joanne who must have been pushing sixty. Her muscles and veins bulged (in a good way). She looked like she hadn't missed a day of exercise since she had the chicken pox in third grade. And the trainers? Don't even get me started on those people and their bods.
Funny thing, I didn't wear my Garmin because I didn't know if that was necessary. We have coaches after all, isn't someone timing us? Well we started with a 15 minute warm up run. At mile one everyone, and I mean every one's Garmins went off - bells and whistles all around. I think I was the only one without the big laptop on the wrist.
We did some stretches, then sets of 20 second sprints. Then it was onto four - five minute intervals at a 1/2 marathon pace with a minute slow jog in between. I did these at less than an eight minute mile pace, which is hilarious because there is NO WAY I could run a half at that pace. I just didn't want to get left in the dust so I pretended this was my pace. Stupid, I know. I need to grow up. Then it was more one minute intervals at a 5K pace. In total, it was a 10K run.
I decided I liked this group. They were all very friendly, all very middle aged like myself. I wasn't the first of the pack, but I certainly wasn't the last. Sometimes it sucks to stick your neck out and start new things, but usually you are glad you did.