Monday, September 22, 2008

Updates scramble

Holy-lot-of-updates-to-mention, Batman!

This is going to be quick and dirty, but it's got to be done because it's long overdue.

  1. The 7-miler last weekend was great! It rained Sunday morning, so we had to put the run off until Sunday evening, but it was great. I had to take a few "stop and catch my breath" breaks, but I managed to run the entire thing. I was pleased with that.
  2. I skipped a couple of the weeknight runs last week. I wasn't pleased with that.
  3. I kicked huge butt on this weekend's 8-miler (in Moab, UT, no less!). We went out to Moab to support our good friends in a cycle century ride (called the Big Nasty due to all the crazy climbing they had to do). I ran out of water near the end (more than 7 miles in), but it was the desert, after all. I was pleased with how it turned out. This was the first long run I've done where SoxFan didn't accompany me.
That sort of sums up the running I've been doing. I'm in California this week for training for my j-o-b (that's another story for another time), so I'm going to be doing my running this week. This weekend I have a 10K scheduled back in Denver, and I am looking for a good finish.

Quite honestly, I am getting a little nervous about the half-marathon. Every weekend, I think "oh dear, it's XXX miles this weekend, I don't know if I can do this." But I always do finish. 13 miles just seems like SUCH a long way. And I've told lots of my friends about this race, so I know I'll have loads of support along the way, but that makes my fear of failing all that much bigger! I guess the only thing to do is keep training. Preparation is the only thing that is going to make me feel confident on race day.

In other news, SoxFan and I have picked a date (6/6/2009) and a location! We've mailed in our non-refundable deposit, too, so now we're getting married for sure!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A big announcement...

OK. Clearly, I have the most awesome friends in the world. NewMama and DigitalBoy came out to visit and we had a blast! We had a spa day, and we saw a Rockies game, and we went to Casa Bonita! We laughed and laughed and generally had a blast. Here's a picture to prove it!

We don't get to hang out as much as I'd like, but every time we get together, it's like we've seen each other every day. They're pretty awesome that way.

And.... during the course of their visit, NewMama was taking photos of SoxFan and me for her photography portfolio ...and... he proposed!

I know... let's just let that simmer for a while.


That's right, folks. We're going to get married. And here's a picture to prove it!

Please try to ignore my hat hair.

We're very excited about getting married. And Ini the Dogbeast and Tux the hairy snake couldn't be happier that mom and dad are going to get married! We haven't set a date yet, but we're thinking an outdoor June (2009) wedding sounds perfect.

Like I said, SoxFan proposed while we were out posing for NewMama. This wasn't his original plan, however. He'd originally wanted to propose at sunrise on Sunday, right before we went out for a stellar run. That didn't happen, however, because when he woke me up for the sunrise run, I came up with some lame (but apparently quite convincing) excuse for why I couldn't run and/or get up. In the end, though, it's better that his original plan didn't work out because NewMama caught the entire proposal with her (awesome) camera! Obviously, pictures will be posted at some point, either here or on her site (which you should all check out because she's flipping fantastic!).

Obviously, I'll post updates here regarding date/location as soon as I have them. Thanks again to everyone who's sent their congratulations! Again, I have the best friends imaginable.

On the running front, WHAT running? Seriously, SoxFan and I did a 4.5m run on Tuesday, but then I skipped yesterday because I had an evil headache and I skipped today because it was 15 degrees outside and raining. And who wants to run in that? I'm a little worried because I have a 7 miler coming up on Sunday. I'll repeat: a 7 miler. Some of you are undoubtedly saying "what's the big deal?".... but to me.... a 7 miler is also known as.... a "long freaking way."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

11 and I are good friends.

Even though tonight was supposed to be another awesome 4 miler, I decided, instead, to spend time cleaning/preparing my house for houseguests! Lucky I'm off work tomorrow so I can get the 4 miler in anyway. It feels pretty good to be sticking to my training schedule.

This weekend's "long run" is a measly 5K. I understand that I'm really meant to have entered a race this weekend, but who has the time/money for that, especially while you're entertaining guests? I mean, I doubt NewMama and DigitalBoy would have found hanging around a race course for 40ish minutes to watch me run very entertaining, no?

Another funny thing that I noticed about my training schedule? This Sunday's long run is exactly 6 weeks from the HM. Yikes. Also this week, I will run exactly 13.1miles. So, exactly 6 weeks from this Sunday, I will run this entire week's worth of miles at once.

Since I have no awesome 4 miler to report on, I will describe the lightning pace with which I finished yesterday's 2 miler. OK, yeah, it's only 2 miles... but here are my splits:

Mile 1 (mostly downhill): 11:01
Mile 2 (mostly uphill): 13:10

That is officially the fastest I've ever run the uphill part of that course, I promise. Try not to give yourself a hernia laughing there, alright?

And, since I'm low on content tonight, I figure I'll share a couple of pictures with you all. These first ones are the old, fat me of a little while ago. I probably weighed about 220 here. (Jeesh, I will tell anyone anything, right?)

And these are the new and improved me a couple of weekends ago camping. I now weigh ~173.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Good times bad times...

Question: If you're set to do a 6 mile run, but instead of running straight 6, you run 2m, then take a 30 minute break, then run 4.5m, does that count as a 6 mile run?

My vote is YES.

During the course of Sunday's long run (6 miles, you guessed it), SoxFan and I had a little conversation after the first 2 miles. The first 2 miles had gone pretty well, and I feel confident that I could have run 6 miles pretty well. But, our conversation ended up taking about 30 minutes, making me feel needlessly (?) guilty and slacker-like. We ended up doing the last 4.5 miles after the sun was WAY too high in the sky, so rather than being a delightful early morning jaunt down the Silence of the Lambs trail, the run turned into the oven-temperature death slog through the holy-hills batman and did you see the size of that bee?

I was tempted to go through another tedious self-loathing session afterward, but I was exhausted, dude, so I just threw in the towel. I mean, I got the run done, right? I even did an extra half mile as penance for my resting ways. And I did extra stretching when I got home. I'm hoping it all evens out in the end.

Monday called for "Stretch and Strengthen", and that's just what I did. We bought an exercise ball and a few free weights and even some resistance bands over the weekend, so I made great use of those last night. I did ball crunches (oh, that sounds funny).... and pelvic thrusts (hahaha)... and I did some seated row with the resistance bands and a few push-ups and even some curls. Oh yeah.... I'm going to have some huge ripped guns after about 8 billion reps with my 8lb weights. To cover the "Stretch" part of Monday's routine, I rolled a few times on the foam roller, basically until my IT bands started audibly threatening my life, at which point I retreated to the sofa.

And then there was today.

As I started today's run, I was thinking about the Facebook. (I was also thinking about how frigid it was outside, but mostly I was thinking about the Facebook.) It's truly the best and the worst of everything, isn't it? It's how you keep in touch with old friends, and it's how you stay in "the know" about your friends' (and your frienemies') love lives, and it's how you win at Scrabble (hey, I won't tell anyone you use that website to cheat, dude!). But sometimes, you end up running into ghosts there. And that's just what's happened to me recently. Innocently enough, I sign on... I need to check who's dating who... and who's changed their profile picture, etc.... And then, there's a blast from the past staring me in the face. This time, it was an especially friendly ghost (or so I hope, at least), and I took a chance and started a conversation.

This was all on my mind as I began tonight's run. So maybe that is why tonight's run came off without a hitch. I was really thinking hard about my old friend, and how and why we'd grown apart. I was trying to figure out how I felt about initiating a conversation and perhaps even a renewed friendship.

So when my Garmin beeped and beckoned me out of my introspection, and I noticed the little pace notice flashing at me, you can imagine my surprise to find that I was running the fastest splits I'd ever run on the Silence of the Lambs trail. Even on the uphill stretch, even on the last mile of the 4 mile run, I was getting faster! Don't believe me? Here are the official splits.

I know that seems glacial to most of you... but for me, it's pretty flipping fantastic. It was a great run. And it came at just the right time, too. After Sunday's debacle, I desperately needed a running pick-me-up.