Sunday, March 30, 2008

a lazy weekend (and another FO)

finished Monkey

I finished my monkey sock! And I'm more than halfway to the heel on its mate. That's what you get on a lazy weekend. It's been perfect. This weekend started my monthlong rotation of having Saturdays and Sundays off work. This only happens once a year or so. Normally I'm off on Thursdays and Fridays, which are my boyfriend's longest days at work. Boo.

Anyway, it's been a really, really great "real" weekend off. Yesterday we slept in and I made blueberry muffins. Then I made us a super yummy roast in the crockpot for dinner, along with oven-roasted potatoes and corn and gravy. SUPER YUM. We watched "Michael Clayton," which was really, really good. And I fell asleep in bed watching "The Fellowship of the Rings." Today, more sleeping in, and I went to a book club at my friend's apartment where we had a great time, took a nap and went out for pizza with Josh at Cogan's. It's just been a really fun weekend, getting to actually go do date-ish things and hang out together.

No running for me this weekend ... it's been really cold and rainy and I am battling allergies, I didn't want to add a cold into the mix. Anyhow, I think my muscles needed time to heal after Thursday's and Friday's runs. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's run, though.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

wow, the miracles of time

So I finally bought a stopwatch - just a cheapie one for less than $8 at Wal-Mart. All I wanted was a big display and easy navigation. I used it today for the first time ... wow! I think I've been underestimating my running times for some time!

Today, I ran three miles at a 12:47 pace. (12:12, 13:00 and 13:10 were my splits.)

For most of my half marathon training, I ran at a 14:00 or more pace. I know that I was really pushing myself today, but dang! (For the record, my 5K PR is 37:08, set in December 2006.)

I'll definitely be using the watch every time I go out ... here's hoping I keep my times down.

In knitting news, I have another FO! I finished it in three days.

finished hat for Grayson

It's for my cousin, Grayson, who's nearly two months old. I love the little knot at the top. Next time I make this hat, I'll make the tube at the top a little taller - it was tough to knot.

I found out yesterday that my co-worker who's pregnant with twins is having boys (likely to arrive in July), so my blue yarn will be getting plenty of use. And another co-worker's wife is pregnant, due in October. Many a baby knit will be flying off the needles in the next few months...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I found my gift certificate for my birthday massage!! Perfect timing two days after the race.

I was going through my top desk drawer, putting away my address book after putting together a package for my friend who just moved to Australia. The gift certificate must've slipped under a few things because it was peeking out. Thank GOD I found it. It figures I find it the night after my boyfriend misplaces his cell phone after ordering a pizza from our apartment. I think he left it at the pizza place after picking it up, but we'll see. I'm going to call tomorrow.

I work tomorrow, and then it's my weekend! I've got some fun things planned. m going to get that massage, buy new running shoes, and I owe my new Ravelry penpal a letter. Oh and I'm going to use these new shoes. Can't wait.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

feeling good ...

OK, now that the half marathon is over, I think it's time I commit to Pay It Forward!

Via Running Knitter:

Here's how it works: be one of the first three bloggers to leave a comment requesting to join this Pay It Forward Exchange, and you will receive a handmade knit gift from me at some point in the next 365 days. That's my promise to you! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by promising to do the same on your blog.

Soooo here's hoping three people want to do this!
ETA: Shannon is the first!

I also have a knitting photo to show for my efforts (pre-half-marathon jittters = lots of knitting is done).

I finished a stockinette sock and am flying along on my Monkey sock!
Two months later, I'm checking in

(Two blog posts in one day ... what's wrong with me?!)


nearly finished!

That's me and my friend Diana finishing the race. Wow it was tough. Tougher than last year, I can't lie!

The first four miles were great - I was keeping a 13:00 minute-per-mile pace or so. And then my back started to hurt. I'd walk a little bit, maybe 20 seconds or so, and get back to running. And I'd repeat the cycle because my back was killing me. I ran into Diana around mile 6, and she kept me going. We BSed the rest of the way and the miles went by quickly, even though we weren't going very fast (if that makes sense). She was sick with a cold and was just looking to finish this race, no PRs or anything.

With about a mile left, a marathon wheelchair racer lapped us. (The marathon started an hour after us and went on a completely different loop, of course - where I was at mile 12 and the wheelchair racer passed me, he was on 25. That sort of thing.) Then, without about six blocks to go, an 'official race car' and police motorcade passed me on my left. It was the leader of the marathon race - a man from Ethiopia who ended up winning. It was very humbling. In fact it was totally inspiring to see all the marathon runners - as we were running the last three miles of the half marathon, they were heading the opposite way. All those incredibly fit people. There was a female runner whose right leg was amputated and she had a springy prosthetic. Amazing.

I ended up with a 15:29 pace. Slower than last year, but that's what I expected.


At the finish line, I felt really, really sick. I stood over a trash can instead of socializing with Diana and her boyfriend and a co-worker who came out to see us finish. I retched but nothing happened. Josh insisted I sit on the ground until I felt better, so I did, and after about five minutes, I felt well enough to walk to the car. I felt OK on the 25-minute drive home so long as I kept my eyes clothes, but as we approached downtown, there were lots of bends in the interstate, and I felt sicker and sicker. I had nothing to be sick in except a newspaper soooo that had to do. I was sick twice, and luckily we were exiting the interstate, so I could open my door and get rid of the mess (though I felt horrible for doing so). It was hard to balance the saggy newspaper, so a little bit spilled on me, Josh's arm, and the center console. Horrible. I actually cried, I felt so bad about barfing on him. Being the kind boyfriend that he is, he said not to worry, and that if he could clean up my dog's barf, he could easily clean the car. Throwing up definitely helped because I felt 100% better after that. So I came home, showered, washed clothes and passed out for a few hours. I even felt well enough to have a celebratory late-afternoon meal at Cheesecake Factory.

So what did I learn from this race? Well, I'm definitely going to keep running. Last year, I was burned out after the race and stopped running for about four months. I put on weight and have been fighting it ever since. I'm not going to run another half marathon in a month, but I am going to train for a 10K that's about six weeks away. I'm excited to see where running takes me, and I am honestly looking forward to focusing on some speedwork and running more frequent, albeit shorter, runs. Oh and I'm going to invest in some better sports bras so I don't have as much back pain. (Recommendations are welcome.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

tomorrow's the big day!

ready for race day!

Race bib, check. I love that our first names are on it ... it's corny but it definitely helped last year to hear strangers cheering for me saying, yes, Laura, you can do it, haha.

I still need to make a list of everything to remember so I don't forget anything important (I'm looking at you, Body Glide). I still need to update my iPod. But for now I am enjoying this quiet Saturday. I was in bed around midnight but couldn't fall asleep till 2 or so. Then Gracie woke me up by starting to barf around 7. I was really cranky so I went back to bed, even though I kind of wanted to force myself into tiredness today by not sleeping much (hoping that would lead to sleeping well tonight). We'll see.

I went to the expo yesterday and picked up my bib and swag and bought some great running gear. I think that's going to have to be my annual stock-up-on-running-stuff event because man some of the prices are good. I got a long-sleeved wicking shirt, a tank top (which I have to exchange today since it doesn't fit, dang), a three-pack of socks, a pair of cheapie cotton gloves and a new wicking baseball hat, all for $45. The only things I didn't get - but kind of want/need - are a new pair of sunglasses and perhaps some pepper spray for running. I think I'd feel safer that way.

OK well that's all I've got for now ... I will report back after the race tomorrow! Wish me luck!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I heart tapering

T minus one week to the race! I've in the tapering/obsessively-looking-at-weather-dot-com phase. I did six miles on Thursday and skipped Saturday's three-miler because it was pouring (I'd like to avoid running in the rain before the race - I'm afraid I'd get a cold or ear infection). Today was lovely, but I worked late, lost an hour because of daylight saving time and had a birthday brunch to go to. Sooooo my running schedule this week is:

Monday: 3 miles

Wednesday: 2 miles

Friday: 10-15 minutes

Sunday: 13.1 miles!

As of now, is forecasting morning clouds/afternoon sun with a high of 61. PERFECT. Here's hoping it stays that way.

I'm contemplating something crazy, depending on how the Shamrock race goes. There is another half marathon nearby a month after this one. The splendidly named Dismal Swamp Stomp. We'll see if I have it in me to run two half marathons in a month. I'm thinking probably not ...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

my first letterboxing adventure

I love to run along here!

See why I love to run along here? So pretty! (Though in the summer time, the river can smell a little fishy.)

I set out on my letterboxing adventure Friday morning, rather sore from running 12 miles the day before. My destination was Plum Point Park, for two letterboxes.

Plum Point Park

The first one was really easy to find. I was so excited and was moving so quickly that I accidentally stamped the back of my book instead of the front! Oops. Being the anal retentive girl that I am, I duly stamped in the beginning, too, so it will read right.

my first letterbox!

The second box was not so easy. In fact, I didn't find it at all, and when I checked the Web site, it said several attempts had been made since fall 2006, but no finds. I e-mailed the person who placed it, but I'm not holding out much hope.

Question though for you letterboxing types - as I was walking along the rocks in this picture:

Portsmouth Marine Terminal

a woman taking a walk asked me what I was doing. I couldn't make up an excuse (and I am a horrible liar) so I told her I was letterboxing. She was familiar with geocaching, but ... aren't you supposed to be kind of secret about letterboxing? Did I break some kind of code of conduct?

So anyhow ... after I couldn't find the other box, I just carried on and enjoyed the view before heading home.

container ships are way huge

I'm hoping Josh and I can go on a letterboxing adventure tomorrow before work!