Twenty Six Point Two

run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pig Simulation Run

First of all CONGRATS to MEB!!!!! And to Rita Jeptoo... course record! Amazing! And congrats to everyone else running today. I've been glued to my computer all morning! So proud and happy to have one of the Bitches out there running Boston for the first time (which means, I'm the only bitch who hasn't made it to Boston).

On Friday, I decided to do a Pig Simulation run. A couple of months ago, I was looking at the course elevation map and trying to figure out what I could to do to try and mimic the epic hill in the beginning of the race.
Fun times.

For shits and giggles I decided to try and compare that hill to a hill at Percy Warner Park. So, I looked at the Monkey Marathon.

But, if you'll notice... the hill at mile 18ish at the Monkey is fairly similiar in elevation and distance. And, I know that hill. It's the backside of 9 mile hill in PWP. I decided that it would be about perfect to go to the Park... run the boulevard first (about 6 miles) and then start to chug up the hill. I figured it would be a good workout  and simulation for race day. I would practice my form and maybe more importantly... practice not checking out mentally as soon as I get to that monster.

Friday morning was the perfect day. I was skipping work that day (I worked on April 16th even though our office was closed, so I decided to take Friday off instead. Boom). But, when the morning came... I was trying to chicken out. Luckily, I was somehow motivated to drive myself to the park, so once I was there... I was like.. okay, let's get this shit done. 

I hadn't really thought too much about my strategy, except that I wanted to try and keep around an 8:30 pace. That was a mistake. I hopped out of the car, started my watch and I was off. OFF LIKE A BAT OUT OF HELL.
 Or ya know... like a squirrel in a plane.

By the time I finished the boulevard and started up the hill.... it occurred to me... HEY DUMB ASS. MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE EASED INTO THE PACE, so you'd still have some gas left in the tank.

It's amazing to me, that after years of running
and years of being coached I can still
be such a fucking idiot sometimes.

Needless to say the hill felt like DEATH. There is no telling what pace I slowed down to while chugging up the damn thing, but I tried to capitalize like hell on the downhill.


At the end, I collapsed in a heap and of course.. I also forgot to bring water with me. Amateur. I ended up with about an 8:40 pace for the entire thing and I think it's a great exercise/workout for the Pig, but I think it would probably be better to run it around 9:00 pace the whole way, instead of trying to kill myself. 
This is how it mapped out.

I'm hoping to do this run one more time before the race at a much easier pace. I also think it would have been VERY beneficial to do this run as the first part of a long run. (For instance, do this and then run out to Radnor Lake and back, which is about 9 miles). If ever do the Pig again... I will definitely incorporate that route into my training.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I'm Alive

Here I am... it's April 16th, so, I can hopefully get back to my regularly scheduled running and blogging.

There are a few things that I want to catch you up on...

First of all, on the way back from St. Louis, we ran out of gas. Like... stranded on the side of the interstate in Bumfuck, Illinois ran out of gas.
This is what sitting on the side of the road when you've run
out of gas looks like.

And this is what standing on the side of the road
when you've run out of gas looks like.

And this is how the situation rectified itself.

I actually thought it was hilarious and it really only set us back about 30 minutes. At least now, we will have something to reminisce about for 46 miles in the Grand Canyon. Doesn't that sound like fun, Melissa?

Last weekend I wanted to run 20 miles. Scratch that... I NEEDED to run 20 miles. We skipped out on my favorite Striders Run to meet up and run in Ashland City. Melissa, Liz, and I started and at first... things were okay.

But, here's some background... on Saturday, I ate the following: a cookie ice cream sandwich, a cookie at Jason's Deli, ice cream at Jason's Deli, strawberry cake and a couple of cookies after dinner. It was the type of day I dreamed of as a 9 year old girl. ALL THE SUGARS.

The irony is that I spent about an hour on Saturday going to two different grocery stores looking for a gluten free crust for pizza on Saturday night. Only to then eat a piece of cake after dinner, to which The KoB looks at me (again! this has happened before!) and says... doesn't cake have gluten? MOTHERFUCKER!

Despite the gluten... I had had entirely WAYYYYYY too much sugar on Saturday. And I just ate too much in general on Saturday. When I woke up Sunday morning, I couldn't even eat anything, because I was just still so full from the day before. To make a long story short, I had to turn around early and I had to get picked up from the highway because I couldn't finish.

I seriously thought I did.

I got home, showered, and laid in bed for an hour or so and started to get an appetite around 2 or so that afternoon. Lesson learned.

Anyway, now that busy season is over, I can breathe a bit and get back into my regular running routine. I am excited for that. I am trying to find a good race in August/Early September to try for a BQ attempt. Sadly, the race calendar is pretty skimpy on options. I have a lot of regret that I couldn't just woman up and stick with my training for another month or two, so that The Pig could be an honest shot. I feel like it's such a shame to waste the Spring... but on the otherhand, looking back, I think I might have died trying to fit regimented running into work this tax season. 

Oh well. It is what it is. And unfortunately (well... on second thought... fortunately. otherwise I'd be one broke ass girl) running doesn't pay the bills... but work does.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

This Week...

I started off the week in fantastic shape at work! And then I got dumped on yesterday afternoon.

Fuuuuuuck. See ya when I can, folks!

(this gif reminds me of my first 50K. so much water).

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

St. Louis Half Marathon Race Report

If you've been around these parts for awhile... then you might remember that I ran the St. Louis Marathon back in 2009. It was my PR for YEARS (like 4 years). Well, a few months ago, The KoB and Jeff mentioned that they were thinking about going to to St. Louis to knock Missouri off their states lists. DRATS! I've already got Missouri. But, at that time, I was still training to BQ in May at the Pig, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to try and PR at the half distance. Plus, I just didn't want them to go and have fun without me.  So, I easily convinced Melissa to go and do the Half and that's how we all ended up meeting in the lobby of the Drury Inn at 6:10am on Sunday morning to walk to the start line.

It was a cool, overcast day. Perfect conditions. We walked over to the start line and immediately hopped into the porta potty line. And waited. And waited. And waited. I had never waited in a porta john line that long before a race. By the time we were out, it was time to get into the corrals.

And this folks, is where I stop complaining. Yes, the expo shuttle situation was a clusterfuck and yes, there weren't enough  porta potties... but I can forgive all that because the rest of the race was very well done.

My goal for the race, was to run at least 10 miles at Marathon Pace (I might not be training to BQ, but I'm still hoping that maybe I can have a decent day at the Pig and thought this would make for a good workout). The race started and from the beginning, I felt easy and relaxed. The corral start worked perfectly. Sure, there were a lot of people, but most everyone was running the pace I was looking to run.

The course was hillier than I remembered, but they were the type of hills I like... long and gradual. I found myself speeding up on the hills, rather than slowing down.

Around mile 7, I started to feel an oh so familiar feeling in my tummy. I immediately started looking for a porta potty and didn't find one until just before mile 9. I jumped in, took care of business and hopped out in a little over a minute.

The rest of the run, I felt pretty good. The pace felt harder than I thought it should, but it felt doable. And the hills at the end. UGH.

I ended up finishing right around 1:50 and I was thrilled with that time. Even with the potty stop, I was able to run the pace that I was hoping to run.

Melissa found me (she finished before me, that bitch) and we made our way through the finish chute. TED DREWE'S ICE CREAM SANDWICHES = BEST POST RACE FOOD. Oh my god, it was sooooo good. We walked back to the hotel, changed clothes and headed back to the finish line to watch the guys finish.

The KoB had a really good workout and Jeff had a fantastic day!
Always classy.
Most importantly, see that ice cream sandwich in The KoB's hand?
Not the one where he is flicking the camera off. But the other hand.

We walked back to the hotel and got cleaned up to grab some food before heading home.

Monday, April 7, 2014

St. Louis Half Marathon Pre-Race

I survived last week! And as of 7pm on Friday night, I had finished every tax return that I had. It ended up that I prepared 46 returns throughout the course of the week, in addition to all my other work that I do on a daily basis. It was a whirlwind week, but getting all that done meant that I didn't feel guilty about getting in a car and heading to St. Louis for a quick road trip and race!

And, yes, I'm going to milk this into a few posts. Not because I PRed or anything (I didn't), but just because there are multiple things I want to talk about and instead of making it ONE HUGE post, I am just going to break it down into multiples. Fun times.

The KoB and I met up with Bitch Melissa and Sonofabitch Jeff on Saturday morning and we headed up to St. Louis. The car ride went by fast (because I didn't have to drive. Thank God), and we stopped for lunch along the way at Jimmy Johns, which... I thought I was okay to have gluten for LUNCH before a race. But, um, I learned that that's probably not the best idea.

You will hear more about the Gluten in the race report.
We got into St. Louis and checked into our hotel, The Drury Inn (Uhhh... terrible name by the way. Who wants to stay somewhere that sounds like Dreary? Also... it's hard to say.. it reminds of a 30 Rock episode).

The Drury Inn was a host hotel and while it was a bit pricey, it was a nice hotel with pretty good amenities. Each person staying in the room got a drink ticket for 3 free drinks in the evening. BOOM! And we were able to get a generous 1pm late check-out.

Another bonus of staying at a host hotel, was that there was a free shuttle from the hotel to the expo. Our other option was to drive to the expo and pay $5 for parking. We just decided to take the shuttle, rather than deal with driving through the city, etc. The race said that the shuttles would be running about every 30 minutes. So, we stood outside our hotel for 30 minutes and finally a shuttle showed up. At this point, I was definitely complaining about having to wait, but I also realized that I was being a little irrational, because it did say they would be coming every 30 minutes, and we must have just missed the last one.

But, it pulled up to the hotel, and it was ALREADY FULL of people. There was only room for 2 people to get on and there were about 10 of us waiting. W.T.F? There was no way we were going to wait ANOTHER 30 minutes, so we hopped in a cab and paid $20 for a cab ride to the expo. 

The expo itself was easy peasy. We got our numbers and shirts quickly and easily, and there were even a decent number of vendors there. Including one selling something ridiculous called.. The Handana.

From their website:
Handana® was made with the active person in mind. It’s lightweight, glove-like fit allows you to wipe sweat and nasal drip with both sides of your Handana hand. Your hand and fingers are completely free! No more stinging eyes, dripping brows or pulling at your shirt to reach your face.
Let me just say that I am one of the sweatiest people I know. I am constantly rubbing my face with my shirt and or gloves to get sweat off my face. But, I think that this product is such a waste of money. As we walked by the booth, the KoB said... that's what a shirt is for. Like seriously. What is the advantage of having a separate clothing item to wipe sweat and snot? It's going to get DISGUSTING after about 5 miles, because there is such little fabric to work with. Plus, in the summer, the last thing I want is my palm to be covered up and in the winter, I WANT my fingers covered. Am I the only one who thinks that this is just utter rubbish? Because there were 3-4 people shopping at the booth. SERIOUSLY????

Anyway, we left the expo, but not until I got my picture made with The St. Louis University mascot, the Billiken.

Please note, he is standing on box. Therefore, I am actually taller than him.
Our legs and heads are about the same size, though.

We got outside and instead of taking another $20 cab ride, we hopped in the shuttle line again, thinking.... well, at least it won't be full this time. It has to drop off everyone at the expo. We stood in line for OVER 30 minutes. It was ridiculous. Something about traffic or whatever. Apparently they just had ONE shuttle? For 3 hotel stops? WHY EVEN OFFER A FREAKING SHUTTLE if it's going to be so ineffective? If we had known that we were going to waste over an hour of our time waiting on shuttles and $20 for a cab, we would have just driven to the expo and paid the $5 to park. SO FRUSTRATING.

So, take note, if you run St. Louis Half Marathon next year... make sure you don't rely on the shuttles to get to and from the expo, unless you just enjoy wasting time and standing on concrete for long periods of time the day before a marathon or half marathon.

Anyway, we finally got back to the hotel, ate dinner, cashed in on our free drinks and headed to our rooms around 7:30pm. 

I had just gotten into my pajamas and all the sudden, a weird noise started coming from the fire alarm. I looked at The KoB and was like... uhhh... is that the fire alarm? Apparently it was, but it was a faint, terrible noise. If I had already been asleep, I would have totally slept through that thing. I changed clothes, and we headed out to the hallway, people were milling around and going back to their rooms saying... oh, it's a false alarm... but we were like.. well... HOW DO YOU KNOW? So, we headed down into the stairwell. Where we were met by people coming UP the stairs, saying... false alarm. 

The KoB and I have both read the same book about the terrible tragedy of The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and we were both a little afraid to just rely on the the word of other people. I heard the fire truck approach and I looked out the window and saw it pull up and also noticed that no one else was standing outside. So, we headed back to our room.

About 10 minutes later, someone came over the loudspeaker and said that it was a false alarm and that the fire dept had given us the all clear. Great.

Well, about 30 minutes later, a different, louder noise started coming from the fire alarm.UGHHHH. It turned out to be a false alarm as well, and I was afraid that it was going to be something that would happen all night, but thankfully that was the last time and I slept like a baby that night.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Slow Start to a Good Week

Fair warning... this may be the last time you hear from me till next week. I have dubbed this upcoming week... HELL WEEK. Which means that I am attempting to spend this week getting all caught up at work. My goal is to have every tax return that is currently in my to do stack (I am hovering at about 33 right now) and all returns that come in during the course of the week (I'm expecting about 5, so, you can be sure that it will be 10+) finished by friday night. In and of itself, that should NOT be an impossible task. But, add my regular day-to-day bookkeeping, payroll preparation, and end of the month financials that I have to prepare and this is a monumental task and I might just keel over and die from caffeine intake.

My thoughts pretty much everyday from March 1-April 15th.

But... you don't care about my work. You are just as busy with all the shit you're doing, too... so, let's talk running, shall we?

Last week started off ROUGH. Monday the KoB met me for our regular evening run and I... uhhh... had to stop after 2 miles because my stomach was all kinds of broken. Fun!

But, for the rest of the week, I rallied. I didn't get in any speedwork or really hard runs... but, I did get in 10 miles on the trails (in the rain) and 20 miles through the streets of hilly Nashville. Seriously, the run felt like we were running uphill the ENTIRE time. Have fun running the Country Music Marathon, bitches! I shouldn't tease... because The Pig is just as hilly or hillier, so trust... I'll have my own problems.

The 20 miler didn't really feel all that hard, but I was pretty shocked by how slow we were running it, based on the effort I was putting forth. I kind of have a 20 miler philosophy though. The first 20 miler of a marathon season... I just want to survive it. I feel like if I can just get the miles done, then it's a success. After that... I'm all about watching my pace during the run or whatever. So, I was really pleased when I finished. Plus, as I tried to remind Melissa, time on our feet is probably more important training for the Grand Canyon anyway!

It was a good week for running. Hope I can ride this momentum train through this week, too...

Have a good week y'all and if I don't see ya again for a few days, I'll definitely be back to posting next week, if I'm still alive!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ummm. Wow.

Okay, so, on Tuesday I got this really nice email from something called the Salty Running Blog. The email said that my blog would be competing in this NCAA tournament style competition to decide who the GREATEST WOMEN'S RUNNING BLOG is. I was like... wow, okay, that's cool. But, there is no fucking way that I am the best women's running blog, so I kind of left it alone.

Then Wednesday, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to check out the tournament. Turns out I am a 7 seed against a 2 seed. I checked out my competition and I was like... wow... this bitch has her shit together. I voted for myself (because... uhhh... I didn't want to lose with 0 votes) and went on about my day.

I wish I was this adorable while working.
Shiba Inu for the win.

To be honest, I was flattered that I was in the tournament and I had NO idea how they found out about my little bitchy blog. But, I'm not really the GO OUT AND VOTE FOR ME campaign type person, so, I just assumed that I'd lose in the first round. I realize that the idea is I'm supposed to announce on my blog that I'm in this tournament and that I'm supposed to ask all 6 of you fair readers to go out and vote for me! But... you know me... I'm not going to do that.

And I wasn't even going to mention the darn thing, until I read the post on Meredith's blog that SHE is the one that nominated me!!!!!! And. Wow. I don't give a rat's ass about winning a tournament (let's be honest here... Greatest Women's Running Blog? Yeah, that's not me), but I was genuinely touched and amazed that she took the time to actually nominate me AND then write a post on her own blog about it.


The thing is... Meredith has always been one of my favorite bloggers. She's fast, she's honest (this is fucking huge to me, I hate those sugarcoaty blogs), and she's real. She's a mom and a wife and a runner and has a job. Like... that's legit, folks.

You ever get that feeling that someone is following you?
Yeah, I promise, that's not me.

Anyway... thanks Meredith! Hopefully at some point we'll get a chance to meet again when we're not all awkward. (For the record, I immediately went back and found April and was like.... GUESS WHO I JUST MET??? OMG! And then we geeked out for like 10 minutes about it. Oh and Dave, too! I was psyched to meet Dave. But, yeah, mostly, Meredith).

And, in an effort to pay it forward... check out her blog AND all the blogs I have listed in my blogroll

 These are all people I respect and enjoy reading their blogs!!