Archive for September, 2009

Post-race activities
September 30, 2009

Saturday I ran the wettest race of my life.  As I drove to the race, pre-sunrise, it was pouring and the sky was full of lightning.  I thought to myself, surely they won’t make us run in this.  Nope, when I pulled into the park, there were tons of people and the start line and corrals were set up.  The rain started to let up to a mild rain and the lightning dissipated.  The 5k runners went first and as I watched them run away I had a last minute disappointment that I didn’t just jump into their corral and take an easier run.  Instead I ran through the rain for 9.3 miles (15k) in not only standing water puddles, but “rolling water.”  It took my shoes several days to dry out.

What did I do after this race?  I moved to the new home!  Granted I hired movers to help out, but nonetheless I did have to move some things and unpack.  Unpacking is almost as fun as packing….Hmm I smell sarcasm.  Without a doubt I will definitely need and enjoy my massage this afternoon.

The big race is coming up in 18 days!  Besides visiting Barbie and Canada, I have some other big post-race plans.  The weekend after the race, I will be spending the entire weekend in hooping workshops!  Learning advanced hoooping techniques, LED hooping, sensual hooping, and fire hooping.  Yes, that was FIRE hooping.  Google it; it’s amazing!  It seems I have a habit of not relaxing after a race.  I like to get a really good workout even after I’ve already had a test of my physical endurance.  Stay tuned for the updates from Canada and the hooping!

Welcome Home!
September 24, 2009

Sally has new digs!  That’s right, I bought my first home.   I haven’t moved in yet, and well technically I don’t own all of it (a bank owns a large percentage until I pay off the mortgage), but it’s mine now dammit!  I am having some work done before I move in this weekend.  I wanted the ceilings redone (ugh I hate popcorn ceiling, what a cheater’s way to finish a ceiling, and so 1980!) and I also had to have one wall repainted from some damage from the previous owner.  Otherwise the place is perfect and didn’t need anything else.

Update:  I stopped by yesterday evening to check on the work and the owner of company was there to check it out too. Turns out the ceiling guys got paint everywhere, took out all the nails, and patched up all the holes.  They thought they were painting ALL of it!  So, now they have to match ALL of the paint (which I already liked) and paint the WHOLE place.  Free paint job that I didn’t really want.  And now I have to make my own holes to hang pictures.  It’s kind of bittersweet.  Something I should be happy about, but is really just a pain for everyone.

I’m moving this weekend.  So, to recap, I am running the 15k in the morning, then moving in the afternoon.  Don’t worry I’ve hired people to help, but you can bet I am looking forward to my massage scheduled next week! Then I’m on the downhill for the big race!! And the uphill to finding more furniture for the new place!

And one more thing.  I just love my grammar, that is no shocker to anyone.  So, it shouldn’t be any shock when I was excited to find out that today is:

Happy Punctuation Day!

You know my nerdiness is adorable!

Island
September 21, 2009

Lately I’ve been feeling like an island.  Bobbing along in an open ocean of still water without so much as a small wave to push me along and renew my shoreline.  Often I am very happy to be an island unto myself; unique, individual, and self-sufficient.  But I’m learning new surprises every day about where I receive (or don’t receive) support.  Thank goodness for running, it keeps me sane and is the one place I love to be an island.  I keep hearing this lyric over and over in my head lately from Fiona Apple.

“If there was a better way to go then it would find me,
I can’t help it, the road just rolls out behind me,
Be kind to me, or treat me mean,
I’ll make the most of it, I’m an extraordinary machine.”

Final clue, big announcement tomorrow! It involves a lot of monetary and time investment.  Stay tuned!

Second time around
September 16, 2009

If you’ve been reading the blog the past couple months, you are very aware that I am training for a half-marathon.  This is not my first; in fact I ran another one about 2 1/2 years ago.  My training this time around differs in several ways from my first attempt.  I made a lot of classic first-timer mistakes, but I’m a stronger and better runner than I was then.

Eating. The first time around, I was constantly “fueling.”  Although I was very careful about the type of fuel I put in my body, I was nonetheless constantly fueling my hunger.  I always used the excuse that I had just worked out to allow myself to eat generously.  This time I have actually much less appetite and really listen to my body on whether I’m hungry or not.  I’m eating just enough to fuel a run, not to make up for a run.  I have also noticed that I look and feel slimmer, so maybe I am a few pounds lighter and can increase my pace and reduce my race time.

Tapering. I always gave myself plenty of time to taper off for a race.  Unfortunately I usually gave myself too much time and lost conditioning or that muscle memory by race time (not to mention carb loading for too long that may have added a pound or two).  I’m in much better shape now (though I wasn’t out of shape by any means the first time!), and I can withstand a little more rigor and my body recovers better.  I have only built in a week or two of taper before the big race and I’m not tapering for any mid-training races because they are really just training runs.

Massages. I didn’t indulge the last time.  I don’t know if they are helping me physically, but boy they are helping me mentally!

Overtraining. I was very guilty of overtraining the last time.  Too many days of running and not enough rest/recovery/cross-training days during the week.  I am sticking to a strict schedule (as much as possible) and I think my body is recovering better and getting stronger faster.  I’m not getting strange injuries and I don’t feel as sluggish this last month.

Ice baths. This is the first time I’ve tried them, and I’m totally sold. They really help after the longer runs or if I’m feeling some sluggishness in my legs.  Though it may take a week for the effects to kick in, I actually think they really help.

Seasons. The first race, I trained in the winter for a spring race.  I love running in the cold better than the heat.  However, this race required me to do most of the training in the miserable, humid heat for a much cooler weather fall race.  It played havoc with my lungs, sweat glands, and dehydration.  However, now that the weather is cooling off to a more moderate level I have noticed that my lungs and body are much stronger.  Pushing through the hard stuff has made this month (the monster month with the longest runs and highest mileage) much easier than expected.  I think I like fall races much better.

Though I’m sure I am still making mistakes this time around, I feel that I’m wiser and stronger and better prepared to enter my monster month.  Here’s hoping that means I’m better prepared for the race as well.

And of course as I promised, here is clue number 2 for my big news in a week.  My next big race, the 15k is a week from Saturday, but I won’t get to rest afterwards because I will be doing lots of running around, lifting, driving, and sorting.  I also hope I don’t lose my passport before the big race in October.

Happy No Work Day
September 7, 2009

Finally, we are starting the holiday season.  Summer is just too long without any major holidays between spring and winter.  I celebrate whatever holidays they will give me a day off of work.  As you can see below, Diva Kitty celebrates this day everyday, and was particularly irritated that I would take a picture of her not “laboring.”

diva kitty

Well, Sally was actually laboring quite a bit today.  Remember when I said I had some big news coming soon?  I’m still not ready to spill the beans, but I figure I can give you hints along the way in each post until the big day.  The first hint is that I spent much of today going through everything in my ‘office’ in my house.  Wow, I had a lot of old paper that filled up the recycling bin.  For those readers who already know the big news, you are NOT allowed to spill it here.  For the others, feel free to keep guessing.  In a couple weeks you’ll find out if you’re right.

Support Structure
September 2, 2009

Sally’s had a lot of things going on in her life lately.   The phrase roller coaster seems apropos.  There have been ups and downs and sharp side turns.  However, like any roller coaster, you need a good support structure to withstand this ride.  Otherwise everything falls apart and someone gets hurt.  I discovered a great support structure recently and want to give credit to these beams and joists and bolts.

Some of the greatest support and advice I’ve gotten recently (and over several years of my past) have come from Barbie (of course), Mama-cita (a long-time close friend and supermom), and Mister T (not the guy with the beard and chains, but a friend who helps with the male perspective).  Each one is unique and supports me in different, but important ways.   I have also found support and advice from Kentucky and Legally.  Though newer friends with no real obligation to lend an ear, they have proven valuable and I’m grateful for it.  I’m stronger with my support structure and might even be able to have a safer and more fun ride with it.  (even if the fun is laughing at it only after I’ve completely debarked the ride and standing safely on the ground)