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First Long Run

4 Feb

It’s been a while since I’ve been on a run that was longer than 5 miles. In fact, I think my last looong run was the Orlando Half Marathon in December. Saturday would be my first long run in 2013.

On Saturday morning I woke up at 4:45 AM and headed out to our meeting spot for 10 9 miles. I was a bit rusty on the prepping for a long run, and was running around my house frantically trying to charge my borrowed Garmin for 5 minutes, find my gloves, fill my water bottle, etc. I almost forgot to eat something, but thankfully grabbed a banana on my way out the door.

As soon as I walked out my front door I knew I needed another layer. But cutting it close on time, I decided to not turn around and convinced myself that I would warm up with the run. Plus, I had found my gloves, which are key to keeping warm.

I got to our meet-up spot feeling proud of myself for actually being a couple minutes early. I jumped out of my car and immediately started to hear jokes from the ladies on my timeliness. I laughed knowing I fully deserved all the jokes, while I struggled to find my zipper in the back of my running tights for my key.

Finally I turned around and asked the ladies if they could see my zipper and they both said, “No.” It suddenly occurred to me that my tights could be on backwards, so I checked my abdomen to see if the zipper was on the front side. Nope. Finally I stuck my hands down the back of my pants and there was my zipper. I had put my tights on inside out. Doh!

As the ladies stood there laughing at my inability to dress myself before a cup of coffee, I ran back into my car (which thankfully is roomy and has dark tinted windows) and redressed myself correctly.

Lesson Learned: Being on time for morning runs is not worth it if you have to redress yourself in the car when you get there. This can be timely, especially when wearing tights.

We set off for 10 miles, with some interesting twists to our usual routes. Because one of us was running the Lady Track Shack 5k that morning, we were running about 6 miles together before running Em to the start of the race.

The miles surprisingly came easily, but I think that’s because I was so cold. Running was the only thing keeping me warm, so for once I was looking forward to the beep at the end of our walk breaks.

Before I knew it, we were dropping off Em near the start line. Sue, who is the adventurous type, suggested we continue running towards the back of the start line (where the finish line was) and walk the trail through Mead Garden that would lead us back to the road we needed to be on. This route will now be deemed as “Sue’s Nature Hike.”

Our short hike was beautiful. We passed a little brook and even crossed a tiny bridge:

On Sue's Nature Hike

On Sue’s Nature Hike route through Mead Garden

I could’ve hiked through there forever if not for the fact that walking was causing my body to cool and being cold only made me want coffee. Alas, we made it to the gate where we could leave this oasis and finish our run so that I could drink said coffee, when we encountered a problem: the gate was locked.

Panic went through my head. The last time I climbed a fence this tall I was nearly arrested (we were in high school and we climbed over an airport fence… oh how naive we were pre-9/11). There was no way I could hoist myself up now. I made a note to start doing push-ups in case I ever need to climb a fence again, whilst running away from zombies or something (I watch too much Walking Dead).

Beth, who originates from the Garden State, suggested that we walk down length of the fence to see if there was any other way to escape get out. As we neared a clearing, Beth noted that the gate had enough space underneath for us to crawl under. I was freezing at this point and considering the option when she tested the gate to see if it too was locked and the gate swung wide open. Hoorah!

There was a police officer on the other side of the gate watching the entirety of this unfold with amusement. He was manning the 5k, which was yet to start, so he had some time to watch us. Can you imagine if we had all crawled under that gate just to find out that it was unlocked?? Ha ha ha ha …

We set off to warm up complete our run. A few minutes later I took a short walk break to observe this beautiful site:

This warrants a short walk break for observation.

This warrants a short walk break for observation.

Watching the sun rise is always one of my favorite parts of running in the morning!

Three of us opted to cut our run short so that we could get coffee in our systems STAT. Hence, our 10-miler became a 9-miler. A glorious and adventurous 9-miler at that. 🙂

Do you ever find yourself with your clothes on backwards before that cup of morning coffee?

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Race Recap: Orlando Half Marathon 2012

7 Dec

After running last year’s Orlando Half Marathon with a good friend and seeing what a great race it would be to get a PR, I was determined to try and do so this year. But then life happened and I ended up having to train for a half marathon in one month. My goal quickly morphed from ‘get a PR’ to ‘just finish and around 2:30 would be nice.’ Last Saturday morning, I set out to do just that.

My morning started off with a mad dash to the red pagoda by Lake Eola. What did I tell you? I’m either a hot mess on race mornings, or calm and zen. On this morning I started off calm and became a hot mess when I realized I was leaving my house late. I had zero cash on me, so I knew I was going to have to find a free parking spot on the street.

Luckily, I found a spot where me and D used to park for Magic games. As I pulled up to one of the last available spots on the street a fellow runner directed me to park as close to his car as possible, leaving space for one more car behind me. Ah… runners… always helping each other out.

When I stepped out of my car, he asked me if I was ready. This man was a complete stranger and I’ve never talked to him in my life before. But I knew exactly what this fellow runner was asking: Was I ready to do a warm-up run to the start line? I nodded and took off behind him. I had a red pagoda to reach soon or feared losing my ladies that were patiently waiting for me.

I arrived at the pagoda to find my friends smirking.

Oh! Look who’s here!

I never imagined you would be late.

Hemarie? No, she’s never late.

Clearly, their sarcasm reinstated my reputation for running on Puerto Rican time. 🙂

As we walked to the start of the race, my friends asked me if I was cold because  I was wearing my favorite Lululemon No Limits Tank. It was around 60 degrees. I laughed and pointed out that I was hot already… I had just run. I heat up pretty easily and rarely ever wear long sleeves to a race. The closest I came was at the Disney Marathon when I had to wear arm warmers at the start (and later removed).

Here was the view as we made our way to the start:

Walking to the start.

Walking to the start.

We had a few minutes before the race started so I snapped this photo of the ladies:

The ladies: Beth, Emily, me and Kim

The ladies: Beth, Emily, me and Kim

Emily (second from left in photo) just ran the Space Coast Marathon Thanksgiving weekend. To her, this was just a shakeout run. 🙂

Beth and I both knew we weren’t going to PR, but wanted to push our pace with this race. When I heard Em mention our fast past in the first mile, I figured the inevitable would happen… we were going to split up. Shortly after, I was thrilled to see Beth keep her pace with me when the others dropped back.

It was a gorgeous morning to take a 13.1 mile run:

orlando_half_2012_running

We started running at an 11:27/mile pace, and slowly settled into an 11:00/mile pace. We ran 5 and 1’s (run 5 minutes, walk one minute, repeat) and felt great. We settled into our conversations about life and the miles seemed to pass us by.

The Orlando Half Marathon course tends to change almost every year, and I noticed that this year’s course was very different from last year’s. I couldn’t help but think that some of these roads weren’t exactly the nicest roads to showcase Orlando for any out-of-town runners.

When we hit mile 8 of our run, I saw that we were running in pace to come close to my PR of 2:27. We did a mini celebration, knowing we were only 5 miles short of finishing.

orlando_half_marathon_mile_8

Along the way we saw familiar faces both on the course and off. I made sure to smack our former running group member, Sammie, in the tush every time we snuck up on her. I made sure to duck afterwards in case she turned around swinging. 🙂

Somewhere in the middle of mile 10 I started to feel drained of energy and stopped talking. Beth must’ve felt similar because she stopped talking as well and suddenly we were running in silence. Our pace started to creep up between 11:30 and 11:47 in our intervals and I forced myself to eat my vanilla stinger waffle. It almost made me gag. It’s funny how being tired can turn the tastiest of treats to a turd.

Speaking of which, these port-o-potties made me laugh:

orlando_half_potties

Think D and I can get some of these for our wedding? 😉

Around mile 12, I started to feel a pull in my left IT band. Since I didn’t run longer than 9 miles in my one month training program, I forgot that this happens. Damn you IT band! I started to focus on picking up my feet.

As we hit the final mile, we started to pick up our pace again and dropped back down to an average of 11:00/mile. I broke our silence:

Me: Only one more mile to go. We can do this, right?

Beth: Yes! We can do this.

Yes, there was doubt in there. And while Beth replied optimistically, she later admitted that she too was dying inside.

The end of the course had us rounding the corner of Lake Eola and finishing with a straight shot. I told Beth I wanted to take a quick 30-second unsanctioned walk break to the corner so we could run out the rest of the race. I got no objection from her.

As we rounded the corner and picked up to a run again, we saw the finish line in sight. I waited patiently for that point where I knew I could sprint out the rest of the race without dying and tried to focus on my breathing. It is often at this point of the race that I start to pray that I don’t pass out right there in front of the finish line. Because that would be really embarrassing. I certainly don’t want a YouTube video of me going viral.

I also must’ve been super delirious, because this picture at the end captures me smiling:

orlando_half_2012_finish

I was happy to catch a glimpse of my love just before I crossed the finish line. It helped me get those last couple of steps in.

And just like that (or two hours and thirty-six minutes later) I finished my fifth half marathon. It wasn’t my best time, but it wasn’t my worst either. I’ll take it!

Race stats:

  • Distance: 13.1 miles
  • Time: 2:36
  • Avg Pace: 11:47/mi

PROS:

  • Local half marathon
  • Get to sleep in my own bed the night before
  • Easy for your friends and family to come cheer you on
  • Easy, flat course
  • Nice, long-sleeved tech shirts
  • Track Shack always puts on a good race

CONS:

  • With all the road closures, your spectators have to get around by foot or bicycle
  • There are stretches of shared roads with vehicles
  • The middle of the course is not the most scenic of routes

After the race I headed to get my post-race refreshments:

Not pictures: chocolate milk

Not pictures: chocolate milk

And as always, it was nice having my number one supporter waiting for me at the end. I can’t wait for this man to become my husband:

The future Mr. and Mrs.

The future Mr. and Mrs.

I will definitely run this local half again in the future!

Did you run this year’s Orlando Half? How was it?

Ready to Run

30 Nov

Race mornings you’ll either find me tearing the house apart looking for some Shot Blocks or sitting calmly eating a bagel and waiting for my time to head out the door. I can never predict if I’ll be a frantic mess or a zen being ready to run, so I try to prepare myself as best I can ahead of time.

First, I like to start with a little list making:

Yes, I remind myself to check the weather.

Yes, I remind myself to check the weather.

There have been a couple of times that I’ve ran out of the house dressed for the wrong race. If my house is hot, I’ve assumed it’s hot out. If there’s a sprinkler on, I think it’s raining. So now I check the weather the night before and set out appropriate attire. By the way, tomorrow is going to be perrrrrfect at 7 AM.

orlando_half_weather

I picked up my bib earlier today at Track Shack. I managed to sign up early enough to get my name of my bib. And check out that nice low, even number. This must mean good things lie ahead, right?

orlando_half_bib

I picked up my favorite local pre-race dinner on my way home from work: the baked chicken entree from Black Bean Deli. It comes with yellow rice, black beans and a small salad. It’s a giant serving so I’ll only eat 1/2 of it. When I posted my dinner choice on Facebook and friend joked that they certainly wouldn’t want to run behind me. Silly boy, doesn’t he know I’m Puerto Rican? Beans are like water to me. Seriously though, if anything were to happen to me while running this half, I want to know that I left this great world with rice and beans in me. 🙂

Afterwards I stopped and picked up one bagel from the Publix bakery for my breakfast in the AM. Yes, ONE bagel. We don’t buy bread for the house any more because we don’t eat it much, so if I bought an entire pack of bagels it would go to waste. I know this because I’ve wasted many a pack of bagels.

Next I came home and tossed my running clothes in the washer and started to plug in all of my electronic devices. My iPod Shuffle is charging and my Garmin is plugged in as I type. My running belt, sunnies, sunblock and earbuds are laying out so I don’t forget them.

And while I waited for D to get home so we could have dinner, I ate a fortune cookie from last night’s Chinese dinner.

Orlando_half_fortune

This is so perfect in so many ways.

Tomorrow morning I’m going to cross that start line and do just that: what I can, with what I have, where I am.

Good luck tomorrow to all my fellow runners of the Orlando Half Marathon!

Training for a Half Marathon in One Month

28 Nov

This past August I was feeling highly optimistic that all ailments had healed and I would be back to training in no time. So I signed up for the Orlando Half Marathon. Then life happened: D asked me to marry him and we were sucked into the whirlwind that is celebrating and wedding planning. And when I did finally get around to start training in October, I soon developed a sharp pain in my left heel that once again halted my running.

So there I was at the end of October wondering if I could manage to train for a half marathon in a month. I referenced an old Hal Higdon training program that I used for my second half marathon and started to make modifications. Mainly, I know that my body can run three days per week when ramping up my mileage, so I modified the schedule to only three runs per week.

Also, while I planned to work in two yoga sessions per week, I didn’t schedule them. I just fit them in when my schedule allowed. I took special care in really listening to my body. With only one month to train I focused on keeping my muscles stretched and strong.

This is what my modified half marathon training looked like:

My “train-for-a-half-marathon-in-only-one-month” calendar. Modified from the Hal Higdon training plan.

I also bought myself a new pair of running shoes. I had been running in New Balance Minimus shoes (trail) and knew I couldn’t ramp up my mileage in shoes like that. So I bought a pair of Nike Frees:

My Nike Free running shoes… bright as the sun.

The Nike Free was my first step towards minimal shoes and I had zero problems running in these. I decided maybe it was time to go back. I got these on sale and they are horribly bright (and that’s coming from a girl that likes neon). At least I think cars can see me coming from a mile away! They’ve been great to me.

Somehow I managed to stick to my training schedule for an entire month and still feel good! On Saturday, I ran my last long run. It was scheduled to be a 9-miler, but it turned out being about 9.5 miles. I’m hoping that race day adrenaline will take me the extra four miles.

Saturday was a gorgeous morning to go for a run and I was encouraged by how good I felt. I won’t be breaking any records this half, but I will be running injury free!

My terribly bright neon shoes in action

Best part of running in the AM is getting to see the sun rise.

I made sure to take in the fall decorations one last time before they’re replaced with Christmas lights

Afterwards I came home and spent 30 minutes holding yoga stretches. My dogs seemed to have gotten confused and thought it was petting time. Here’s me trying to get down into a pigeon pose but being blocked by two pugs waiting for a back scratch:

Pugs were clearly confused

Now I’m officially in taper which means yesterday AM’s run was short and sweet. Only three days left until the half. Look out Orlando Half… Here I come!

Have you ever trained for a race in a short span of time? How did you do?

Mile Repeats and Cemetery Restroom Stops

21 Nov

This past Tuesday morning I was still a little stiff from Saturday’s long run. Despite my stiffness, I surprisingly hopped out of bed for that morning’s run. I was excited to run because I knew my pal Em would be able to stay for coffee afterwards (she always has to skip to get to work on time). This was cause for celebration.

As I was headed out the door I noticed I had gotten the following text from her:

Driving up to 7-11 to use restroom.

I shook my head, wondered if she had potato soup again the night before (WARNING: never have potato soup the night before a run), shot back a quick “Okay” and jumped in my car.

I was surprised when I pulled up to our meet-up spot to find her waiting for me. Girl took care of bidness fast. Mmhmmm.

The day before I had sent an email to the group suggesting we did mile repeats (run a mile, walk 2 minutes, repeat) for Tuesday’s run, rather than our usual group 5 and 1’s (run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat). I did this because of what had happened earlier that day:

The work potluck Thanksgiving lunch. This was just the dessert table.

You can see why I was feeling about 5 pounds heavier and was in the need of burning some extra calories. Plus, I have the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, which I plan to run through, walking only while I’m grabbing water.

Em was the only other runner to RSVP for our little mile repeat run, so we took off towards the golf course for a flatter route.

We ran the first two miles at a good pace and felt good. It was somewhere around mile 3 that Em got that look on her face and began walking.

The conversation that followed went something like this:

Em: I need to use the restroom.

Me: Did you not go at 7-Eleven?

Em: No, I did go at 7-Eleven. I need to go again.

Me: Did you have potato soup for dinner last night?

Em: Noooo. But I did make dessert. It was good.

Me: Hmm… I see. And no soup?

Em: Well, I did have some soup for lunch.

Me: You should never have any kind of soup the entire day before your run. Soup is not your friend.

Em: But I wanted soup!

Me: So you have soup… today. After your run.

Em: But I don’t want soup anymore.

Me: Because you had it yesterday.

Em: I can’t make it to 7-Eleven. We’re going to have to see if we can get into the cemetery bathroom.

Me: What if they changed the code?

Em: They didn’t change the code.

Me: Yeah, but what if they did. And you have to pop a squat on the golf course. Or the cemetery.

Em: We should run with toilet paper. This bush here is perfect to go behind.

Me: Sometimes I do during marathons. You could use a sock.

Em: Hopefully I can get into the bathroom.

Me: What will you do if something grabs your tush while you’re in there?

Em: Nothing is going to grab my tush.

Me: Yeah, but what if someone does?

Em: We’re almost there.

Me: Do you want to cut through the cemetery?

Em: NO.

Me: You would rather mess yourself then walk through the cemetery?

Em: We are not desecrating the cemetery.

Me: We don’t have to. There’s a path.

Em: NO.

Me: Fine.

Em: Are you going to blog about this?

Me: Nah, I wouldn’t do that to you… Unless you don’t mind.

Em: I don’t mind.

Me: It would be a better post if you actually popped a squat.

Em: The code worked!

Me: Is there a light in there?

Em: No, I have to go in the dark.

Me: Something’s going to grab you. But don’t worry. I’ll be right outside the door.

Shortly after that I saw a cat walk across the cemetery and decided to step closer to the road… you know, in case something was to chase me. I heard steps in the grass behind me and I turned around to ready to kick a zombie’s head off.

Me: Oh! It’s you.

Em: Yes. Who else would it be?

Me: That was fast.

Em: I’ve never had to go in complete darkness.

Me: Did anything grab you?

Em: No.

Me: Good, good. Though it would’ve made for a better blog post.

Not knowing if the prior day’s soup and dessert would come back up to haunt Em yet again, I suggested we cut the run short. But she was insistent on finishing what we had started. Thus we did… incident free!

Afterwards we had coffee. It was a lovely finish to a shitty run. 😉

Running Dinky

12 Nov

Until yesterday, I cannot remember the last time I did a long run by myself. No water support, no friends, no mapped out run. Just me, my little water bottle, and my memory to recall my route.

In training for the quickly approaching Orlando Half Marathon, I was scheduled to run seven miles on Saturday morning, but I woke up late and with a hankering for pumpkin pancakes. Rather than fret, I pushed my long run to Sunday and got started on some deliciousness.

Sunday morning I got a little bit later start than I preferred. I woke up around 8:30 AM, ate half of an apple with some peanut butter and sat down at my computer to map my run. I visited my old friend www.gmap-pedometer.com and stared at my screen. Since we recently moved to a new part of town, all of my old long run routes no longer worked so I had to think, which without coffee doesn’t happen easily.

I recalled a recent conversation I had with a new friend about the new Orlando Urban Trail. When they inaugurated the trail to the community with a free 5k, I was struggling with an injury and not running (or even walking much for that matter). Then with time I forgot about it. Since then, every time I’ve driven down Virginia and saw the crossing, I have said to myself, “Oh yeah… I want to run this trail!” And then I forget again.

This time I remembered to add the Dinky Line portion of the trail to my route. I looked at my route, tried my darndest to remember my turns and headed out the door around 9:30 AM.

I’m happy I remembered to apply sunscreen and grab my sunglasses before I left, because the first thing I noticed were the clear blue skies and the bright sun. I’m so used to running before the sun comes up or as it’s setting that I sometimes forget how frustrating running while looking straight into the sun can be.

On my way to the start of the Orlando Urban Trail, I noticed this:

I silently judge election candidates whose signs still clutter our streets.

Yep, I totally silently judged each of those candidates for leaving their signs up.

A mile later I arrived at the trail:

A map of the Orlando Urban Trail and how to get to nearby trails

I love any excuse to run over a bridge

You know you’re running in FL when you spot a gator on your runs

Crossing Virginia. Made a detour to the left to buy water at the 7-Eleven.

Learning about the Dinky Line

Behind Lake Highland Prep … Check out that Orlando skyline… Ha!

I’m not sure if I missed the other water fountains or what, but it wasn’t until I hit the Lake Highland Prep portion of the train until I noticed the first water fountain. Since I had already bought a bottle of water at the 7-Eleven on Virginia, I kept running.

I jumped off the trail shortly after and started to head back home around Lake Ivanhoe:

Ducks chillin’ on Lake Ivanhoe

A view of the Orlando skyline from Lake Ivanhoe

I used to live in the pink apartments off Lake Ivanhoe and that was my view walking the dogs in the AM. Not too shabby eh?

I had started my run doing 5:1 (run five minutes, walk one minute), but around mile five of my run the sun started to get to me and I started to take a few unplanned 30-second walk breaks when I thought I needed it. By mile six, I was doing more walking then running, but at this point I had to get home. I made a mental note to start my long runs by 6 AM. I’m pretty sure I’ve made this mental note before. Eh, what can I say? Sometimes I need to be reminded of things.

There’s a drugstore store near my house so I stopped in and grabbed one of these:

Chocolate milk is perfect for your post-run fuel.

The cashier asked me how far I had run and I told him seven miles, but the last mile had been more walking then running. He laughed and said that even six miles was six miles more than he ran. We chatted briefly about his days of running with the Army and how he had hated the bland food but it had been perfect for all that running. I laughed again, knowing how true that statement is. When he said he wanted to get back into running I told him that I had started by just running light post to light post and wished him luck. I left that drugstore feeling a little bit better about my run.

I came home and had myself a nice, long stretch while drinking my chocolate milk and trying to avoid Rex’s kisses. I tell you what, that pug has no respect for personal space. 🙂

I stretched. Rex tried to lick my face.

Overall, I loved running on the Orlando Urban Trail. It was nice to only have to keep your eyes peeled for oncoming cyclists, which I much prefer to oncoming cars. There were some nice views along the way (lakes, and gators and skylines, oh my) and my legs appreciated a break from either running slanted on the side of the street or running down a brick road. I will gladly run on this trail during daylight hours. However, I would not recommend running by yourself while the sun is down… too many nooks and crannies to disappear into.

Have you run on the Orlando Urban Trail? What did you think?

Randomness

8 Nov

I didn’t wake up to run before work, so tonight I had to go on a 3-mile training run. After work I drove straight home, threw on my running clothes and headed out for three miles. If I ever stop to sit on the couch or walk the dogs, my chances of going for a run decrease by at least 50%.

I’ve found that when I run by myself, my thoughts wander into a array of random thoughts. Sometimes I go into deep thought. Other times not. Tonight was the later.

This is what tonight looked like in my brain:

Wow, this is a gorgeous night. I love running in this weather!

These shoes are really bright. There’s no way a car could ever hit me with these on. Unless they were blinded by my shoes. Then they might hit me.

What’s for dinner?

Did I just say good morning to that lady? Yes, I think I did. Maybe she thought I said something else. What sounds like good morning? Good horning? Good Maureen? That makes no sense. Why would I say those things? But then again, why did I say good morning at this hour?

Tacos would be good. Mmmm…

Crap, which road do I turn on? Is it this one? It feels right, but kinda wrong. Hmmm… I’ll just turn down it.

I hope Donnie wants tacos. Wait, what am I saying? Donnie always wants tacos. That boy is going to turn into a taco one day.

This doesn’t feel right. Did I go the wrong way?

I hate brick roads. What if I trip crossing the street and get run over by a car? I hope they see my neon shoes before they run me over.

I can’t wait for people to put Christmas lights up. My runs will be so pretty!

Whoa, this look familiar. Did I just run in a circle? Yes, yes I did. I knew that was the wrong turn!

I should’ve woken up early and ran. I could be at home sitting on the couch right now.

Where should we get tacos from?

What day is today? Is Grey’s Anatomy on tonight?

I remember when F*R*I*E*N*D*S used to be on Thursday nights. I love the episode where Phoebe runs like a kid. Best episode ever. I wonder if I could run like that. Knowing me, I would probably throw my back out.


GIFSoup

Wow, I’m almost home?

Be careful self. Don’t trip over sidewalk cracks. You can’t afford to lose your two front teeth right now. You would have to get married with two chicklets stuffed in the spaces. That would be sad. But I bet I could just smile for the pics with my mouth closed.

I’m home already?

I’m home already!

And much to my excitement, Donnie was fully supportive of my wanting tacos for dinner.

Running is Fun

8 Nov

Trying to get in touch with my inner 5-year-old in preparation for tonight’s run…

Never Let a Roll of the Dice Decide Your Fate

4 Sep

Magic eight.

Eight is the number that was rolled last Thursday morning as we sat at the foot of a small Florida hill (technically some might call it an “incline”). To my chagrin, we did not roll a snake eyes.

What were we doing with a pair of dice on one of our morning runs? We certainly weren’t playing any board games.

It seems that I cannot miss any morning runs, because when I do, I come back to hear preposterous ideas like “Hey, let’s let the roll of the dice decide how many hill repeats we should do on Thursday mornings!”

And then something even more preposterous happens like an eight is rolled. Magic eight. *Sigh*

So eight times up, and eight times down we went.

Here’s how the experience looked in my head:

  • Hill Repeat #1: Alright let’s do this.
  • Hill Repeat #2: Good God! We’re only on the second repeat? There’s no way I can do this!
  • Hill Repeat #3: Hey, whose idea was this?
  • Hill Repeat #4: Seriously, whose ideas was this??
  • Hill Repeat #5: That was only halfway?
  • Hill Repeat #6: Wait, what repeat are we on?
  • Hill Repeat #7: (cursing starts) @#%#$!
  • Hill Repeat #8: You can do this. You can do this. You can do this.

Here’s how the experience looked via my friend’s tracking device:

Count the peaks and weep with me: 8

Needless to say, I’m very sorry that I’m going to be on vacation this week and unable to join this Thursday’s AM run…

Do you ever play games to get you through your runs? 

Moving Large Furniture Makes for a Great Workout

20 Aug

Last week I started my week eager to get back into the swing of things. And boy did I ever end up getting my sweat on:

  • MON: 30-minute Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD sesh (thought I much prefer calling it a Yoga Melt) in the AM
  • TUE: 3-mile run in the evening
  • WED: 1.5-hour walk (no clue how far we went… I was Garmin free) in the AM
  • THU: 3-mile run in the evening followed by furniture strength training

Yes, that’s right. I said ‘furniture strength training.’ It’s the new thing… everyone is doing it. At least Rox, Donnie and I were!

It all started when Rox and I both got held up working late on Thursday and had to miss my favorite yoga class. Instead we decided to go for a run in the new neighborhood (which really isn’t that new to us since it’s the neighborhood we both started to run in together). While we were running I asked Rox if she would mind following Donnie and I to a co-worker’s house after our run just in case we needed any help moving the armoire I had purchased. It was an IKEA piece, so I assumed that it would be made of lightweight particle board (as most IKEA pieces are), but was asking Rox as a precautionary measure. Rox, being the wonderful friend she is, agreed. A friend later declared that this was the classic old “bait and switch” though that wasn’t my intention. I really didn’t think we’d need her!  After our run, we set off for what would become our second workout of the night.

When we got to the house and saw the armoire, Donnie walked right up to it and gave it a little shove to measure it’s weight. The armoire didn’t move… it was solid. Doubting the strength that Rox and I possess, he said, “I don’t think we’ll be able to manage this.”

Insulted by this comment (does Donnie not realize how strong chaturangas have made us??) we immediately jumped in and said we could do it. However, in the back of my mind I was thinking, “Oh crap. How are we going to do this??”

We set up with Donnie on one end and Rox and I on the other and proceeded to move through a series of lifts and turns. We soon started to erase all doubt from Donnie’s mind. With only the occasional help of a 4th person (helping steady us so we didn’t scratch up the walls) we got the piece out to my car.

We encountered a major obstacle when we tipped the armoire to slide it into my car and it wouldn’t fit. Until last Thursday, my Honda Element (nicknamed “Ele”) had never met a piece of furniture that wouldn’t fit. All we needed was one more inch!

We set the armoire down and stared at each other. The reality that we would have to move this back into the house and do this whole thing again another day was starting to set in and sending me into full panic mode when Rox spoke up. She knew who we could call.

I love Rox for many reasons, one being that she’s strong (mentally and physically) and two being that she thinks quick on her feet. While Donnie sat outside guarding our armoire, Rox and I set out to borrow an Expedition from incredibly graceful folks.

We came back with the Expedition and managed to slide the armoire right in. Perfect fit!

Back at the house we slid the armoire out and decided on a game plan: We would carry the piece straight into the house and to it’s new home without resting or stopping.

Donnie: Can you handle it?

Rox: Yes.

Me: Um. Yeah… I think so. Maybe. I mean, I don’t know. How far is it again? Do you think maybe that’s too far…

Before I could finish my verbal self-doubt, Rox and Donnie started lifting. I had no choice. And in no time at all, the armoire was in it’s new place:

Our new armoire, which is not made of thin particle board.

Rox high-tailed it out of there before we could ask her to mow our yard. Ha! If you’re reading this, thanks lady! You’re the strongest woman I know. Well, behind Killer T, of course. But who can compete with her? 🙂

After Thursday night’s excursion, I decided I would take it easy the next few days. My back was in full agreement.

Have you tried furniture strength training lately?