Friday, September 28, 2007

Was that the football team? I like to think so.

Unfortunately my little blading buddy was nowhere to be found when we were supposed to roller blade so I went by myself. I guess a six year old can't really make plans that far in advance since, you know, if his mom has to go grocery shopping or something he can't really say "No, Mom, I have to go rollerblading with the neighbor lady." I was sad, but I know I'll catch him sometime this weekend. Plus, I got to practice so that when I do go with him I'll look like an expert (yeah, right!)

Last night was my quarter-mile repeats. I decided to hit the track to do them rather than run around my neighborhood again. I wanted to give my legs a break from all the concrete and get onto a nice cushy surface. So, I went to the football stadium at the University.

Normally there are just other runners at the track. However, when I showed up last night there was a bunch of little kids (okay, maybe they were junior high... I feel like an old lady calling them little kids!) playing keep away in the middle of the track. They may have been leftovers from the jr. high football team practice, but who knows.

So, I did my warm up and then started doing my repeats. I almost got hit by a stray Nerf ball, but I felt like one kid stuck up for me when he shouted at his buddy "hey, there's a person there!" Kids. Fun!

So I did four repeats and felt like I wanted to walk a lap and catch my breath. As I got around the first turn I saw on the other side of the field all these dudes entering the area. The only people at the track up to this point were me and the punks, I mean kids. I was the only runner. So when I see all these guys coming on to the track I think, um, yeah, I'm not so much wanting to run anymore.

I was trying to figure out who they were. They were definitely some team at the university becuase they were also young. They weren't fast enough to be the cross country team and they weren't thin enough to be the soccer team. So, I convinced myself they were the school's football team doing a run after practice. I mean, they were burly with big calf muscles, so I'm pretty sure they were the football team. I didn't sign up to run with them, and there were at least 30 of them. Too much testosterone at the track for me.

The repeats that I did get done were good. I think my goal for the marathon is going to be to complete it in 4:30ish. I at first wanted just to finish, but I think a time goal will make my training that much better, so 4:30 it is. I think it's doable based on what I run now. Wow, I better get moving!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cross training for tonight

I love when I find new blogging runner friends (BRF's... thanks Tom!) or more usually when they find me. I read a post by See Zanne Run the other day ( and I was thinking about it when I did my run last night. I was thinking about her post and my old coach from Junior High Cross Country. He would always tell me that I ended my races too happy. If I had too big of a smile on my face then I wasn't pushing myself hard enough during the race. Then I was thinking about what if I did just push a little bit harder so that I didn't have a lot of energy after the run. Thinking about Zanne's awesome times, I decided I wanted to do my 3 miles just a bit faster than I normally do. Nothing too drastic, but just push a little more.

I don't really look at my watch during my runs, but I was thinking that my fastest time had been somewhere around 33 minutes (I checked today and my fastest was 33:20). So I pushed a bit and when I ended I looked at the watch and it was 32:30! Woah! That was 50 seconds faster than any previous time! Looks like that speed work is paying off.

On my cooldown walk back to the house I met one of the neighbor's kids. I think he is about 7 years old. The other day I watched him from the living room window tottering on a pair of roller blades. It was so funny I was laughing like crazy! Have you ever seen someone on rollerblades for the first time? It's pretty funny and this kid was having such a time of it!

So, when I saw him on the cooldown I told him I saw him and asked if he was learning. He was he said and then asked if I could skate. I told him I did own a pair and I could skate a little. He was so excited. "Let's go rollerblading right now!" Well, I had a bunch of errands to do, but I told him we could go the next day. "Can we go right when I get out of school?" This kid is so funny! But, I told him when I got out of work we could go. He was sad it wasn't now but he said tonight would be fine.

So that's the plan tonight. A bit of cross training. I don't rollerblade often but I do recall I always feel it in my shins first, so hopefully that will be a good strengthener for them. It should be fun. My quarter-mile repeats will just have to wait until tomorrow. (Boohoo)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

To the soccer fields!

That's where I ran to on my Sunday run. Hubby wanted to go watch a soccer game (his team's in the playoffs - next week is the finals) and I wanted to go running. So, why not run to the soccer fields and ride home after the game? The fields are clear on the other side of town so I thought that would be great for my long run. Turns out the other side of town is 7 miles away. Seven. Miles. What the heck am I going to do when it gets time to run 20 miles? I'm going to have to run to Walmart and back and then to Walmart again and back again! UGH! I can see that getting boring fairly quickly.

The run to the fields were good except I ran with a water belt on. See, my hubby can't resist clearance items and when I was unpacking a box the other day I found a water belt/fanny pack thing. He had bought it I don't know how long ago (at least a year and a half by my reckoning) and I found it just when I needed it. Random, I know. So, looks like my water boy came through again.

Anyway, the thing was pretty darn uncomfortable, but I'll look in to getting a better one down the road at some point. It served it's purpose. It was strange how heavy it was and it was more comfortable to run with it at the front and not on the back, less bouncing. But I figure, if I get used to running with it on and it adds weight to my run, once I get to Disney and I don't have one on I'll feel much more fleet of foot. I'll take what I can.

It was fairly dark this morning at the time I normally leave the house on the weekday runs so I decided to wait until after work to run. I'm psyched for the run (no water to be weighing me down, yeah!) but I just didn't want to go in the dark.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Now my neighbors may think I'm crazy...

That's if they were paying attention. See, I missed my quarter mile repeats due to a stinkin storm on Wednesday and so I did a regular run on Thursday morning. It was my hubby's day to drive the carpool, so I also got a nice walk home from work. As I was walking I was thinking that would be a nice warm up to some speed work, so as soon as I got home I changed and did some sprints around the neighborhood. So, the neighbors would have seen me going by their house at least three times yesterday in three different outfits and my face in varying shades of red.

I ran as fast as I could for two minutes or to the next block and then stretched and then sprinted again. Not the quarter mile repeats, but it was actually really fun. I just ran as fast as I could. Kind of made me feel like a little kid running from the boogey man. Haha.

What was kind of cool was that I ran past the elementary school that is near my house. One of my nephews is 8 and he is a master soccer player already. It's in his blood. Two of his uncles are amazing players (my Dear Hubby would be if he hadn't broken his leg when he was 17). One of his great-great uncles played on a professional soccer team in El Salvador (where it's called futbol). So, as I walked past the school and it's playing fields I saw that my nephew was at practice. He can run all day and only eat a ring pop and never get tired. Granted there is about a 23 year age difference between the two of us but he was some fun inspiration to keep sprinting. Oh, and he is also coming to Disney with us, so he's another member of my team!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Stinkin Lightning

I don't mind running in the rain, but I draw the line at thunder and lightning. It was pouring when I left work and the sky was making an awful rukus, so I didn't get to do my quarter-mile repeats last night. Today, my hubby drives the carpool, so I knew I wouldn't get to go to the track tonight either. Instead I ran my lovely 3.1 miles this morning and it rocked. Well, actually, it was pretty uneventful except that my lovely pumas now look like runner's shoes. I had to squish through some mud to avoid some construction guys, so now they are no longer pristine. I like them better now I think.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Interesting sneaker history

Hmm, I got this in my inbox (thanks to - yes, I bought turbo jam and I liked it) and thought it was interesting and so I'd share.

Test Your Sneaker IQ! By Joe Wilkes

What is the oldest sneaker?

Plimsoll shoes were developed in Britain in the 1830s by a rubber company. They were made of canvas with rubber soles and were sold as beach shoes. Vulcanization enabled better sole-making in the mid-to-late 19th century, and, in 1892, U.S. Rubber Company created a new line of shoes, called Keds. In 1917, advertising agent Henry Nelson McKinney coined the word "sneaker" to spotlight how quiet the shoes were when you walked.

What is the most popular sneaker ever?

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Celebrating their 90th anniversary this year, over 750 million pairs of these basic rubber and canvas shoes have been sold. They were originally marketed as just "All-Stars," until basketball player/shoe salesman Chuck Taylor suggested adding a reinforcing patch on the ankle for extra support and, thereafter, the shoes were called "Chuck Taylor All-Stars." In World War II, the shoes became the official sneaker of the U.S. Armed Forces. At their peak in the 1960s, Converse controlled 80 percent of the sneaker market. Today, Converse is owned by former competitor Nike.

Who produced the first tennis shoe?

The first tennis shoe was created by brothers Adi and Rudolf Dassler in Germany in 1931 through their company Gebr der Dassler Schuhfabrik. Later in the 1940s, the brothers became estranged and split off into their own companies. Adi Dassler renamed the original company, using a conflation of his own name, Adidas. Rudolf founded a competing athletic shoe company, which he named Puma. Puma became the first shoe to use Velcro in its design in 1968.

What company did Blue Ribbon Sports become?

Nike. Founded by University of Oregon business major Phil Knight and coach Bill Bowerman in 1962, Blue Ribbon Sports was renamed Nike, after the Greek goddess of victory, in 1968. They added the famous "swoosh" in 1971, which they purchased from design student Carolyn Davidson for $35.

What was the first company to charge $100 for a pair of athletic shoes?

New Balance charged $100 for its 990 model in 1983. It's rumored that if you divide the model number of New Balance shoes by 10, you'll get an approximation of the price. New Balance was originally founded in the early 1900s as a manufacturer of shoes for people with foot problems, specifically those who needed arch supports. In the 1970s, New Balance became known for its popular running shoe, and, despite its limited advertising, has become the fourth largest athletic shoe company behind Nike, Adidas/Reebok, and Puma.

Trying to get my mind off work

I've had a really blah past two weeks at work and so I was just reading other's blogs to get me excited about quarter-mile repeats tonight. Bill blogged about his team. I started thinking about those who are going with me to Disney, my team and remembered a cute story. My sister and nephew are coming. My nephew is 5 and he knows that we are going to Disney. He just started kindergarten a few weeks ago and the day before school started my sister said to him "Tomorrow is a big day. Aren't you excited?" His response was "Is tomorrow the day we go see Andi run?"

Oh. My. Word. We are going to Disney and he's excited to come see me run? He does know what Disney is, but he can't wait to see the big race. Okay, I think I just found some motivation. If he's excited about the run I'd better keep up my end of the bargain! Also, I think he knows that if he sees me while I'm running he gets to give me jelly beans or something called GU. What 5 year old doesn't like that?

Monday, September 17, 2007

It begins...

Today starts the official 17 weeks of training to get to Disney. As I laid in bed this morning thinking about it, I admit I started freaking out a bit. When I tell non-runners (which at this point I no longer consider myself) about the marathon there are so many responses. One kid (a salesman at a store where I bought some power bars) said, "oh, you shouldn't do that. It's so bad for you." Uh, what? I mean, I know all the pounding is not the most pleasant thing on your bones and joints, but to try and discourage a perfect stranger from doing something they've dreamed of for so long, that's just... I don't even know? Cruel? An indication of why there are so many health problems in the world? ( Also, he was like, "my doctor told me I shouldn't do it." Um, I've consulted a Doctor ( and he thinks running a marathon is great fun!)

So I thought of that punk this morning.

I was talking to my hubby's sister yesterday and she was like "how long is a marathon?" When I told her, she just started laughing. "You are going to run all that?" Ugh! What is wrong with people?

But then there are those who are encouraging, like all of you who are reading this. My mom and my oldest sister are loving it because they have a pretty good excuse to go to Disney. They say, "that's the last thing that we would think of doing, but if you want to do it, then do it." Do they know me or what? My family knows I've wanted to do this for a long time, so they are all supporting me.

So, thinking that today is day one of Countdown to Disney (woohoo!!!) I set out this morning still freaking out a bit. It wouldn't be normal if I didn't freak out a little bit. 26.2 miles is not something to take lightly. The run was great. I was well rested and it wasn't crazy hot like it has been (or freakishly cold like it was on Saturday). I'm really excited about what the next 17 weeks will bring. I try not to think of the 26.2 miles at the end, but just what I need to do today (thanks Nancy). I keep reading other's blogs about their last few long runs or starting their tapers ( , ) and I can't even imagine getting to that point yet, but reading their stories makes me realize it's not an unachievable goal. It's just a matter of proper training and building up. It'll be fun and tiring. I know it'll be frustrating at times, rewarding at times and may make me question my sanity. But, it's on! Let's get running.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Happy Legs

It was such a nice day yesterday that I went for a walk after work. Relaxing and just nice. That got me all geared up and ready for this morning. I had such a nice run. The weather is great this time of year. It is so much cooler that it's kind of a nice reward for getting up that early. The one drawback is that it is staying darker later. Argh! I'll have to get me one of those headlamps to run with. Ha Ha!

It was just a short run this morning since the scheduled training starts on Monday. It was just nice to be out running after too long not running. My legs were feeling antsy and now they are much happier with me.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Way too long!

Sorry, it has been too long since I updated on here. I have been in over-stressed mode doing on a project for work, but I completed it yesterday so I can relax again (for a little while anyway).

At the end of last week I felt groggy and really not myself. It was really windy so there was all kinds of nastiness kicked up in the air and I had some fierce alllergies that sucked the life out of me. Over the weekend we went to visit my new SIL and I was all set for a long run on the treadmill at the gym in her complex, but she did not have the most recent code and I never got in. And, it's not an area I'm really familiar with, so I didn't feel comfortable running on the road.

So now it is Thursday and I feel a bit like a slug. I read Amy's post ( )a few days ago about getting crabby when you don't get yours runs in and I really feel that! I am so excited about my run tonight.

I'm trying not to let myself get more stressed out about the lack of running. My official 17 weeks to Disney hard core training starts next Monday! Yikes! So I haven't been as worried as I could have been if I was off schedule.

Oh! And I want to say happy running to my cousin who is running the MDI half marathon in Maine this weekend. He's the one who convinced me to run Disney (because he's running it too), so I wish him well in his race this weekend!

Thanks for keeping with me.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Quarter mile repeats repeated

Okay, so now it is officially a tradition. I hit the track again Wednesday to do the repeats and they were fun. My legs are definitely ready for a break today. The repeats were harder this week than last, but since Monday was a holiday and I didn't have to work I cross trained instead of rested. Bad Andi! I know, I got overzealous. But, today, I'm resting and moving on. May try to add a few blocks to my three miler tomorrow, but we'll see.

I also want to send good wishes to Marathon Dude Bill who will be running his marathon this weekend. It's pretty exciting to reach that point and it's been great to read about your training. You'll do awesome! Enjoy it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Slow crappy short run

Yesterday's run was everything the title says it was. Slow (38.10 compared to my fastest of 33:20 for the same route), crappy (wrong shorts, wrong shirt, wrong bra, wrong scrunchie, didn't drink enough water during the day, ate the wrong lunch, didn't stretch enough after my cross training on Monday so my muscles were all tight, no cute water boy bringing me towels in an air conditioned FJ, 93 degrees out) and short (my 3-mile route).

I was disappointed when I just felt crappy during my run - so many things were off! But then I got thinking about it and had to laugh. As much of a let down as the run was, it was my "easy" run. A month ago I would not have thought of a three mile run as easy. That would have been my long run and even on a good day it would have been difficult. So, I guess I can't let myself get upset.

One thing I can let myself get upset over is my new pair of socks. When I bought the new shoes I bought the fancy socks. I figured my feet were worth it and so I splurged. The first run in them was good. Didn't think too much about them, which is a good sign. Then on my long run this weekend I wore them only the second time. When I got done and took my sneaks off, there was a hole in the sock. I had cut my toenails on Saturday (the day before the run), so my nails weren't long. I was quite bummed. I'm going to send the socks back to the company - when you spend $10 for one pair of socks you'd think they would hold up better. ARGH! I had toyed with the idea of just sending them back without washing them because I was so upset, but then I calmed down and realized how gross that would be for the poor person who opened the package. I just can't be that mean or unhygenic.

Then I wondered, since my nails were not that long, is that an indication that my shoes may be too small? The shoes don't feel to small, but rubbing a hole in a brand new pair of socks... just made me wonder.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

My new water boy

Just kidding. He's not new. Haha! I had an eight mile run on Sunday and it was awesome. I always wish I posted right after the run so I can get my excitement across, but the computer is in the office and I didn't want to come in on Labor Day. Kind of defeats the purpose of the holiday don't you think?

Anyway, I decided to run on the road since last week's 7 miles at the track was incredibly boring. Plus, when you have to count laps it really makes the distance seem so much longer. I don't live in a really big town, so I kind of had to run from my house to the end of town and then back and then go the other direction to the other end of town.

I was dreaming about running when I woke up and it was more of a nightmare. I was dreaming that I was running past a field, a field that I run by on my 3-mile route. The farmer was mowing the grass, but it was really tall and bright green and it was flying everywhere. I was breathing it in while I ran and had to stop because I was choking on it. I was coughing up the grass and I blew my nose and huge clods of grass came out of my nose. That is when I woke up. Needless, to say, the idea of a run right then was not sounding like fun.

But, I got up had some water and a power bar. The night before, my hubby (the new water boy) said to wake him up when I left and he would find me on the run and bring me water. He usually works until about 3 in the morning, so 8am is not a real fun time of day for him. But, I got out on my run, ran out to Prairie - about 2.5 miles and turned around. About 45 minutes in, here comes my hubby and he brought my water, some powerade and a towel. I didn't even tell him to bring the towel! He asked if I wanted a ride back home or if I was going to keep going. I said I'd keep going and he said he'd find me in a little while with more water.

At five miles, I was going to be close to my house, so I said I'd swing by and get some water and take a gel. As I turned the corner to take me to my road I saw the water boy pull out of the road but turn in the opposite direction. I tried jumping up and down and waving my arms, but he didn't see me. That took quite a lot of energy, but I was close to home, so I just watched him drive away and knew he'd freak out a bit when he didn't find me.

I got home and found my gel. I've read not so great things taste-wise about the gels, and so I wasn't looking forward to trying it. I opened the crazy package of vanilla gel and it wasn't nearly as gross as I thought it would be. I think I had psyched myself up so much thinking that it was going to be really gross, that it couldn't have been as bad as I was imagining. It tasted kind of like vanilla frosting, but kind of greasy feeling. Wierd.

Since I was in the house the thought crept in that I could just say enough for today. But, since I already ate the gel stopping wasn't going to happen. I would have taken it for nothing. So I hit the road again and did the last three miles, complete with another visit from the water boy.

I'm going to get some kind of hydration system, but I kind of liked having a delivery man. If you know my hubby, it's a very un-him thing to do to wake up early on a Sunday to hunt me down and bring me water. It was kind of nice. I could get use to that kind of service.

The great part of the run though, was that I didn't feel like I had been run over by a train at the end of it and I could actually function later on in the day. That is a good sign! I was so excited after the run. The shoes were great. The weather was awesome. This is why we run. Sometimes we have crappy or average runs, but it's days like Sunday where things were just right. That's we need to remember.