Friday, January 26, 2007

Well, tomorrow's the second part of the distance series - the 15K (9.3 miles). The first part didn't go so well: I felt like it was a really bad race. I ran it in 1:19:00 (12:45/mile). My goal for tomorrow is to run in less than two hours (12:55/mile). That's an awful lot of leeway, but it's a very reachable goal.

I'm trying to keep in mind that I'm more prepared this time:
1. I've run the course, so I'm slightly familiar with it. Knowing where I am means everything to me. Last time, I kept thinking "Am I there yet?"
2. I know the scope of the hills.
3. I've trained on hills once a week for three weeks (1 minute-2 minute repeats, seven or eight times with minutelong running/walking breaks).
4. I don't have heinous PMS like I did three weeks ago.
5. I won't make any poor clothing choices (a la last Saturday). I've got running tights.
6. The forecast is great, though - it should be about 45 as the race starts.

I'll try to keep all these things in mind tomorrow morning when I need a pep talk.

slightly creeped out

A stranger just made me his contact on Flickr - no big deal, that happens on occasion. I clicked on his profile, and he's a 37-year-old guy, single, has no pictures uploaded. Weird, I think to myself. no less than five of his eight groups are about nerd girls in glasses. Is it a coincidence that I just uploaded a picture of my new specs? I think not. Cue creepiness.

new glasses

Sunday, January 21, 2007

more on the Crock-Pot

In response to Judy's comment ... I know the point of the Crock-Pot is to cook when you aren't home, but work schedule makes meal times kind of difficult. I mean, I don't want to eat dinner at 1 a.m.! I'm going to have to sacrifice and eat a big lunch before work, I suppose, if I want to use my crockpot more than twice a week. In other meaty news, I got two pork tenderloins at the Harry Teet today.

I foresee a stressful week. I'm editing a project at work that is kind of coming down to the wire, and it's going to mean a lot of hard work the next few days. I'm not afraid of hard work - I love a challenge, but I want to do an excellent job, and I hate having to wait for all the pieces to fall into place till I can do my job. Also, I'm a bit stressed about the 15K on Saturday. I've been doing hill training once a week since the 10K, but I'm afraid it won't be enough. I've never run more than eight miles before, and this is 9.5. I'm hoping to run 6 tomorrow if it's not freezing rain. Otherwise, to the gym for running/swimming (with my new goggles!!).

Tonight, Josh and I watched Idiocracy. Lame, lame, lame.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Should I name it??

I am very excited to share that I'm the proud owner of a Crock-Pot (the 6-quart silver programmable one)!!! Josh got me it for Christmas but didn't feel that it was an appropriate Christmas gift. (Perhaps it is a sign he is sick of my grilled cheese sandwiches?) So he gave it to me the other day as a belated Christmas present (not an early birthday present ... sweet). It's still sitting on the dining room table - I need to conjure up some massive closet space right about now.

Tonight I bought a 2-pound eye of the round roast to christen the Crock-Pot. It's going to have to wait a week or so, though, because I don't have a day off work until next Friday. If I can't hold out, I might make it overnight and then shred the beef for sandwiches. My co-worker Bernadette is known for her desserts - perhaps I can be the Crock-Pot queen, feeding the nightside with my delicious shredded beef sandwiches and chicken noodle soup.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

This is January?

The lack of posts in the past week can only be attributed to the weather. I've been outside a lot lately. Going backwards ...

Monday Glaring sunshine during my run (and lots of neighborhood kids riding bikes - I even saw a bunch of little girls picnicking/sunbathing. So cute!).

Sunday I took Gracie to the boardwalk. It seemed that most of Virginia Beach had the same idea - the boardwalk was packed like the height of summer. Fun, though.

Saturday I was really, really nervous for my run at First Landing. First off, I was alone (My running partner is injured, and I really latch onto the idea that I need her there to motivate me). Secondly, it would be a new record distance. Well, I rocked those eight miles all by my lonesome. I don't know if I was more proud of the run or more proud that I got up around 7 a.m. and was out of my car by 8:15 a.m.

I know it'll be back in the 40s within a few days, but I enjoyed this little respite from Virginia's version of winter.

Monday, January 8, 2007

I just signed up to volunteer at the Norfolk Half Marathon in a few weeks. I requested to give out medals - it'll be really inspiring to see people finish, and I'd love to give medals to Greg and Diana.

I had a stellar run with Diana today - I think we both needed to let out some frustration - we ran at a quicker pace and didn't stop once. The miles flew by.

Last time I was at G.W. Marketplace, I discovered the store carried Typhoo, my favorite brand of tea in England. Today, I saw Weetabix and Quorn. Weird!

Tidewater Striders Distance Series - Part 1 of 3

The 10K started out average - the weather was humid and thick, but I ran a decent 2.5 miles on pace with Diana (23.5 minutes). Ironically, as the weather became progressively gorgeous (see the photo below - it was 75 and sunny by the time the race was over), I felt worse and worse. Slowing my running pace turned into bits (OK, lots) of walking. I eventually lost sight of Diana.

I had no energy after mile 2.5 (as the TriDuo photos show - I've only found two so far, but I look like I'm simultaneously pissed off and about to pass out). The toast and OJ before the race did nothing for me. Going so slow left me plenty of time to think, and unfortunately, it's hard not to be negative when you're going so slow (and 60-year-olds are passing you, haha). There were two decent-sized hills, which I've never run before. I vowed to use the treadmills at the gym, if only to do hillwork, since, uh, there are very few around here to train on. I've got to take it up a notch if I want to run the 20K (the entire course twice) in six weeks.

I was never so glad to see a finish line. My final time was 1:19:00 - about a minute slower than the Turkey Trot 10K, so I didn't do as poorly as I thought I would. Oh! The whole way to Fort Story, Diana and I were joking about our friend Greg (a co-worker and insanely awesome runner) ending up with a better time than us, even though he was running twice as far. Sure enough, with 100 feet to go to the finish line, I heard "Hey Laura, how's it going?" and he zoomed past me. He came in sixth for the 20K. I think he averaged 6.5 minute miles. He is so awesome.

And I have so much training ahead of me. I'm really psyched though. Although I had a bad headache after the race, my legs felt good. I'm very much back in the groove of training.

Friday, January 5, 2007

geared up

Tomorrow's my first 10K in the Tidewater Striders Distance Series (I'm doing the 10K-15K-20K version), and I'm psyched.

I feel prepared - although I took a good chunk of December off, I got back into the swing of things in the past few weeks. I ran six miles on Wednesday, and it felt really, really good. I've done a good deal of biking and even a little hill work at the gym, too. I'm a little nervous about the weather - it's supposed to be 67 and post-rainy tomorrow morning. I hate running in humid weather - it feels like the air chokes you.

The silver lining is, I'm fairly confident in embarrassing myself much less tomorrow than I think I might at the 15K (9.3 miles) in three weeks. That is going to be rough, no matter how long my runs are before then.

Time to sleep! I have to pick up a running buddy at 7:30. He's such a speedy runner that he will, no doubt, finish his 20K before I finish the 10K.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

those pesky resolutions

I recall only one of my resolutions from 2006, and it was the one I kept. Fancy that. In late December 2005, I quit the YMCA, feeling stretched thin (ha! ironic pun) by the $52/month membership. I made it my resolution to get in shape without a gym membership, soI unenthusiastically turned to running - something I had hated throughout high school (I was always the slow one during basketball drills). I stuck with it, and I think it's safe to say I became a runner. I ran at least four 5Ks, starting with an autism awareness 5K in May, as well as an 8K (late September) and a 10K (Thanksgiving Day).

With the above in mind, here are my goals for the coming year:
1. Become a stronger runner ... by running a half marathon. I've had this goal in the back of my mind for the past few months, and it's a resolution I plan on knocking off early on. On New Year's Eve, I registered for the Shamrock Half Marathon - it's March 18. I took a few weeks off from running last month, but I'm back in the swing of things now. I know that training is what will prepare me, but I'm hoping that cycling and elliptical training at the Norfolk Fitness Center will be a nice addition to my weekly mileage.
2. Be smarter financially ... by setting a budget (that includes saving) and focusing on erasing credit card debt. I'm in average-to-good financial shape, I'd say. I've got a good credit rating, I have no trouble paying my bills. Heck, I have a 401(k). I paid off two credit cards in the past few weeks - it was a great feeling. But for a large part of 2006, I wasn't so wise. I ran up credit cards when I shouldn't have, and now I've got a hulking balance. I know I won't resolve my credit card debt in 2007, but I plan on making it much more manageable.
3. Be more adventurous with crochet. Whether it's choosing projects I am afraid of (hats ... clothing ... knitting in general), or picking yarn I wouldn't normally work with, I want to improve and grow more confident.

That's it. Neither fanfare nor reflections on 2006 will be blogged (except to say that, for me, it was a very good year).