Friday, October 30, 2009

I may or may not have just eaten two cupcakes before noon.

There are worse things in life, really there are. :) And since these little beauties were made by yours truly, they can't be all THAT bad for you, right? Sure...moving on.
I'll give you a hint of what I'm wearing right now...

Any guesses? Yep, I'm the only one dressed up in my office today. But hey, as the youngest member of our staff it's safe to say I can still act like a kid once in a while, right? Growing up is overrated. Ahoy matey!

Tomorrow is a BIG college game in these parts (Oregon vs. USC) and a Halloween party with the runners! I still need to craft up a lovely dish to share with the group and convince the man friend he IS dressing up for the party. Oh men...

And if my calves and abs could not be sore for tomorrow morning's (hopefully) loooong run, that would be fabulous. Thanks again to the bootcamp class at Lifeforce Fit for kicking my butt on Wednesday! Just three weeks now until my 1/2 marathon! I'm really trying to spend some extra time doing yoga, even if that means 10 minutes in the morning after I've walked the dog, or a few downward dogs when I get home from a run. What about you? Are you making yoga/stretching a priority?

After my run, I'm headed off to a pedicure so these toes can get glammed for Chicago. That's right...we leave next week for the man friend's brother's wedding. Operation dress photo taking is happening this weekend. Check back next Monday for photos!

Happy Halloween everyone! Be safe and consume lots of sugar. You can run it off later. ;)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

RW Quote of the Day

Each day an interesting, inspiring, funny or fabulous quote gets sent to my inbox courtesy of Runner's World. Today's really hit home for me, so much so that I had to share it with all of you.

"When we run, we are already so exposed, often nearly naked in our shorts and T-shirts, huffing and puffing, purified by the effort. Briefly removed from the defenses and secrets we maintain in so much of our lives, we feel less need to hide our private thoughts, loves, fears, and stresses. We share."

-Amby Burfoot, The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life

There's no doubt that when I'm with the girls, sweat dripping down our foreheads, I've definitely shared some of my deepest thoughts and fears with them. Things I couldn't bring myself to talk about if we were say just sitting down for dinner or drinks. Is running your safe place?

And when I'm out on a solo run, I often find myself lost in some of my best thoughts just listening to sounds around me and letting my mind wander as it will. What's your best thought producer? Running, reading, yoga, walking, knitting, swimming, sitting...?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

fair weather runner?

Last night I left work dressed in running shorts, a tshirt and a long sleeve. As I dropped off some items to get dry cleaned it started to rain. The air was getting cooler and I didn't have running pants with me. And most importantly, I wasn't feeling the running in the rain thing.

So, instead of stopping by the store to go on a dark run with the group, I turned around and headed to the gym. I cranked out 4.5 miles on the treadmill and spent 10 min doing weights. I spent my time wondering if maybe I could get by an entire winter doing my runs inside.

Deep down, I don't think it's possible and armed with the right gear, those wet rains are just fine. But being prepared is the key. I suppose winter is almost here and now I just need to get mentally prepared for a series of soggy runs with a baseball cap, spandex pants and gloves.

Are you a fair weather runner? Do you mind using a treadmill during the winter? I don't love the treadmill, but I can manage. I even did an 11 miler once for a training run when the weather was craptastic out. Now THAT took some real dedication.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall Festivus

With little work to do besides answering work email, I took advantage of my location to seek out the nearby running trails. I'm here to report that in the same week I completed both the hardest run and the most fabulous run I've done in a while.

My mission was to locate the Washington Park Arboretum along the water. So, armed with my phone, room key, shot blocks, ipod and verbal directions from the front desk, I headed out the main bike/running path, past the Husky football stadium, past some beautiful houses in the Montlake district to the trail. Just 12 minutes later I was in the arboretum running through beautiful fall leaves, over floating waterways (yes, you read that right!), and on on of the most beautiful runs ever.

Want a peek? I didn't take my camera with me, but my phone did the trick so here you go!

I was trying to get that beautiful yellow tree behind me. I passed literally hundreds of different types of trees. It was a fall festivus for sure!

As I made my way back to the hotel, I was tired for sure, but those shot blocs were helping and I even got a wave from a local runner. I love the friendly wavey types! The back of my tshirt was soaked and a bit of the front. I think I did about 8-8.5 miles. Not bad for a Friday!

When you travel, do you like to check out the local running trails, coffee shops, book stores, used clothing stores, etc? I love exploring new areas! Okay, time to get ready for a little shopping and din din. Happy weekend!

the sun is out so that's my cue

The morning started off as most Fridays do. Walk the dog, yoga and pushups, shower and breakfast. But instead of making my merry way to work, I was off to Seattle on a big bird!

Determined not to check luggage, I was very sparse in my packing. Oh the woes! Knowing that I want to run this weekend, I had to pack extra clothes and shoes AND dress for a rainy/cold football game AND have clothes to go out to see some friends for dinner and a drag show! But, I made it all work in a small bag. Smaller, I might add, than my male coworker's bag. Take that!

In usual fashion, I ate a good breakfast, including my Trader Joe's raspberry yogurt and a whole wheat english muffin w/ almond butter and jam. Yum! And it isn't a true sass trip unless I've packed some healthy snacks. You never know what to expect when you're traveling so I packed a banana, two Braeburn apples (my fav), 1 toffee peanut Clif bar and black cherry shot blocks.

My flight to Seattle was short and sweet. A few bumps and a little precipitation, but nothing bad. I'm now sitting in my hotel room, which I can't show you because I forgot my camera cable and the sun is peeking through the window.

As much as I just want to walk the few blocks right down to University Village and let the shopping begin, I'll do the responsible thing and don my running gear and get a good sweat in. Who knows where this run will take me?

What are your plans for the weekend? Doing anything fall inspired? When I return on Sunday, I just might have a slight hankering to go the local farm to pick up some apples for homemade apple crisp! Now doesn't that make your mouth water? Calories shmalories.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

a week come and gone

Oh geez you guys, this week has been BUSY! Two mornings where I'm up and at work before nearly everyone else in the office. Meetings up the wazoo and not much time for exercise. But, in true fashion, I made it a priority!

Tuesday night I decided to book a run filled with some hills and stairs! I headed off for a few miles of warm up and found myself (as I'm sure some of you do) discovering new roads and historic gems (After eight years in this place, I found Pre's Rock and the most amazing view of the city!). After coming back down the hill where I found the famous Rock, I headed to the track for the much anticipated stair climbing.

I wanted to change my typical run up a bit and challenge these legs. They settled on three sets of four flights each. I find it always helps when doing stairs to break them up into sets because you can count down in small increments of how much pain you have left until the next 1 min rest. After some stair work and a few laps around the track, I set off for a last mile through the campus and back to my car. I found my pace picking up as I ran through the groups of students on their way home from class or heading to the dorms for dinner. Not a bad way to end a 53 min run!

Last night after a 730AM breakfast meeting and then meetings all day, I ducked into the gym for a quick workout. My last meeting ended at 630 and I could have easily headed home, but I knew I'd feel better after sweating out away some stress. In unfamiliar fashion, I allowed myself thirty minutes in the gym. I spent the next 10 min doing some intense intervals on the PreCor EFX and the next 20 min pouring sweat and catching up on my Jon Gosslin gossip on the bike. A few minutes of stretching, water and a shower and I was off!

Tomorrow I'm off for Seattle where I don't have much I HAVE to do. So I hope to spend some time on a long run through a nearby arboretum and then hit University Village in search of a little LuLuLemon! Anyone else loving LuLu? If only it weren't so expensive. Oh, I do heart my athletic wear.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the hardest run

It was no doubt, the hardest run I've been on in a LONG time. Not as hard as running those last six grueling miles of every single marathon, but close.

Saturday morning I awoke, much to my disbelief, to rays of sunshine. I hopped out of bed, made the man coffee and got to work on some pumpkin pancakes and scrambled eggs. After a delicious breakfast and some digesting, I set out for my long run.

I decided on parking at a park along the river path that is filled with gorgeous yellow, orange and red colors so my eyes could enjoy their own feast of fancy. The goal was a ten miler so armed with my ipod, sunglasses and a little fuel (sample size choc dipped peanut Mojo bar), I let the fun begin.

I knew this run was going to be a tougie, hence the reason I packed both chocolate and the ipod on the run. Thursday and Friday I chose to do daily doubles. Let's just say one of those days included the recent treadmill intervals AND a class with tons of push ups and pull ups. My arms were SORE to the max and my legs, they weren't fresh either.

For a little mental boost, I decided I was going to do a thirty minute run...three times. Thirty minutes later I was allowed to walk for one minute. Then it was back to the running gig. The next thirty were tough, but I knew I was getting to another park where I would soon be able to walk again. This time it was a two minute walk allowance and finally I was off on my final and probably slowest leg. But the home stretch is always a relief so I just kept telling those legs to keep pushing it to bring me back to my car. With just five minutes left, the sun disappeared, the clouds came out and the sky opened up. I was immediately drenched, but never so happy to be finished with a run.

I sat in the car for a few drinking some water and popping black cherry shot bloks like it was my job. I could just feel the body saying "must. have. electrolytes." These are the kinds of runs that prepare you mentally and physically for those bigger things. Those things we call races. Those 1/2 marathons and full marathons we sign up for because we like love to feel that burn.

Friday, October 16, 2009

How to burn baby burn on the lunch hour

Most of the working world is allowed at least 30-60 minutes each day to take a lunch break. Like the former me, you may be one of those worker bees who keeps on buzzing right through the lunch hour, with food in mouth while reading emails, doing research or typing up reports. About a year ago, I decided that 60 minutes each day would not get me ahead (or even caught up) and I chose to take that hour for myself. Heck, I deserve it. Not only that, a relaxing lunch hour out of the office can get you re energized for the remainder of your afternoon.

Yesterday, I had plans to hit up the boot camp class after work and my SPEED group was hitting the big hilly park behind my office and I didn't want to miss out on some hills. So, to accommodate both wants and personal challenges, I went to the gym for 30 min of sweat inducing hills, speed and recovery. I thought it would be fun to bring you a little "how to" posting based on these lunchtime workouts, so here it is.

What you need: I bring the bare necessities for my lunchtime workouts because there's no time to blow dry, apply makeup, etc. I pack a pair of shorts, a tech shirt, socks, running shoes and Nike watch. Also in my gym bag is deodorant, 3 in 1 Sephora shower gel/shampoo/bubble bath and a brush. I borrow a towel and lock from the gym.

So, how to burn 300-500 calories on your lunch break?

First: If your office has (or is very near) a gym, great! The reason I love the gym is that when my motivation is waning, the gym forces me to get it done. If I didn't have a gym membership, I might just opt out of a workout on those really cold, wet days.

Sample workouts: 15 min elliptical, 15 min squats, biceps, triceps, abs, 5 min stretch; 1-2 min intervals* @ level 4-6 incline/resistance w/1 min rest after each interval for 30 min; 20 min stairmaster, 10 min push ups, mountain climbers, burpees, abs, stretch
*Interval work can be done on the treadmill, elliptical or bike

Second: If you're not close to a gym, no worries. Use what you have! My office is surrounded by hills and parks and even within 5 min of the river. So if I want some great scenery and a quick workout, nature is easily at my fingertips.

Sample workouts: walk hills (or flats if that's what's available) at a brisk pace for 45 min; take a 30 min run, walk for 5 min, stretch; drop down and give me 10 (sometimes I drop down in the middle of a run just to get some extra workout in! It can't hurt to work those biceps!); alternate run/walk 5 min running with 1 min walking for 30 min, stretch

Finally: getting a proper warm up and cool down in is important for the body. Be sure to do at least 2 min on each to get the muscles (heart included) revved up for your workout and then cooled back down afterward.

And, once you've warmed up and worked all those muscles, be sure to stretch while you're still warm and nimble so everything doesn't just tighten back up. As a runner, I've learned this the hard way when I've neglected stretching because I didn't think I had time for it. Find the time. Again, 2 min at least.

Post workout fuel: Ideally, you'll be heading right back to your office to grab your pre-made sandwich like I often do. But if not, be sure to fuel up with some protein and carbs within 30 min of finishing that workout. A Luna bar, apple with peanut butter, or string cheese and crackers are great packable options. And don't forget to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

So to recap, it takes me about 15 min to walk to the gym, change clothes and get on a machine. I spend 30 min or so getting a quality workout in. Then I shower/rinse off, change, dry hair under hand dryer and walk back to work, which takes about 20 min total. And in about 65 min you have a nice little workout under your belt! Tell me, do you try to fit a lunchtime workout in now and then? Do you even take your lunch break?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spooky S'mores!

Last night after a 40 min run, 17 min on the stairmaster, and another 10 min of pushups, mountain climbers, abs and stretching, it was time to head home. Using some of the fresh goods we snagged at the farm this weekend, I made sweet corn, green beans, brown rice and wild salmon with mushrooms, red onions and honey mustard/honey glaze.

After such a healthy meal, the man and I were both craving ice cream. We headed to the grocery store for some slow churned cookies 'n cream. You can't go wrong with that flavor! I can never leave a store with just the items I planned to purchase, so I picked up some extra goodies.

After all, who could avoid these adorable little "Spooky S'more" Clif Kid bars? And, haven't you heard there's a pumpkin pie filling shortage? So, I had to stock up!

I was hoping when I opened these Clif bars I'd see some fun orange or black spookiness, but no such luck. But they're still organic, yummy and the perfect snack size for a long day at work!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kicking it up a Notch

Inspired by Tina (from Carrot's n Cake)'s recent post about intervals on the elliptical (and a little fatigued from Monday's seven miler), I hit the gym last night for some interval training of my own. Intervals are a great way to boost the calorie and fat burn, really get that heart going, and really challenge yourself. Sometimes, we simply get stuck in our little ways and forget that a little speed won't be SO bad.

I hopped on the bike for a good 15 minutes to get warm. Then hit the weight room for a 5 min session of bicep curls, pushups and back extensions. I hopped on the PreCor EFX for my 30 min of intervals and let the fun begin.

Here's how my workout went, more or less:
Warm up @ level 2: 5 min
Speedy @ level 2: 30 sec
Recover @ level 2: 30 sec
Speedy @ level 3: 1 min
Recover @ level 2: 30 sec
Speedy @ level 3: 30 sec
Recover @ level 2: 30 sec
Speedy @ level 4: 1 min
Recover @ level 2: 1 min
Speedy @ level 4: 1 min
Recover @ level 2: 1 min
Speedy @ level 4: 1.5 min
Recover @ level 2: 1 min
Speedy @ level 5: 1 min
Recover @ level 2: 1.5 min
Speedy @ level 4: 2 min
Recover @ level 2: 1 min
Speedy @ level 3: 1 min
Recover @ level 2: 1 min
Speedy @ level 3: 30 sec
Recover @ level 2: 30 sec
Speedy @ level 4: 30 sec
Recover @ level 2: 30 sec
Rest @ level 3: 1 min
Cool down @ level 2: 1 min

I realize 1 min isn't much of a cool down, but my time was up so I headed for the bike again and did another easy 10 min to loosen up the legs and let the heart come back to earth. Man, was that a good workout! The sweat was still pouring off my arms and down my legs as I spun on the bike.

Afterward, I hit the weights again for 20 min of arms, legs and abs before a quick stretch and heading home. Today I'm definitely feeling it a little in the rear. I love it when you can feel how much effort you really put into a workout!

Tonight, I'm thinking of going to a boot camp class, but I may just park it at the gym. What's your "I feel the burn" kind of workout? Do you enjoy intervals? I definitely had fun counting the minutes and changing my level/incline quite frequently. It made the workout fly by.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Back on track

Well, Saturday was busy busy busy with errands, running and time with the man. After Costco and Target (where I got some cute rain boots), I headed off on a run. I did about 7.5 miles, including a few hills (running up and over the freeway and back again) and pushed the pace. My legs and body were pretty dead. So much for a 10 miler. But all was not lost. We headed off to Thistledown Farms for some fall fun. I picked out a few pumpkins, sweet corn, apples, green beans, and a pepper. Then we feasted on some of our fresh goods with dinner! There's nothing like eating fresh and local.

Sunday I took the day OFF from exercise. Go me! We hit the rode with a few other cyclists for a cyclocross adventure in my new boots. I could feel those legs from Saturday's run saying "yep, that hurt." I had some apple cider and a belgian waffle with Nutella shmeared on it and watched these crazy athletes ride, hurdle and run themselves around the 2.1 mile course for 45 minutes at a time.

The new rain boots from Tar-get!

So, I'm back on the training wagon. It's not that I ever got off it per say, but two weeks of not doing those scheduled 10 milers made a difference. I'm sticking to my schedule (more or less) for the next 5 weeks to really go after that 1/2 marathon on Nov. 21st.

Where oh were did the weekend go? Happy Monday!

Friday, October 9, 2009

happy jeans friday...

to you and you and you! I hope you are all wearing jeans or something comfy and fun this fri! Today, I woke up at 630am, did a little Bootcamp and then already sweating, took the dog for a 10 min run in the crisp fall morning. It felt good to get going early. Then I made the man pancakes and coffee, vacuumed and did a quick mop! My Fridays are sure turning out to be full of productivity these days.

In true business cas wear, I put on the dark jeans and put the hair in a pony tail with yellow headband. I just wasn't feeling the whole straightening and making this mess look polished routine. Know what I mean?

Ok, well looking forward to a little workout after work, happy hour with the man and friends and a movie! Doing anything fun or fall this weekend? I need to fit in a 9-10 miler tomorrow morning and do something fallish (say getting fresh apples from a local farm or perusing for Halloween decorations but not actually buying them). Sunday involves a lot of driving and the man's psychocross (cyclocross) racing. Fun fun!

PS-What fall fashion items are you pining for? I'm set on getting a pair (or two) of boots. I'm really loving the Frye Campus boots that would go great with casual skirts and skinny/straight jeans AND some black round toes like these or these. I'm also searching for a pair of skinnies that stay on my rear and don't look half bad. And a nice plaid button up. Can you see this country look coming together or what? Something like what the fabulous Chels from We Are Not Martha is wearing here...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

running camp? yes, please!

This post is a part of the Take it and Run Thursday blog series: Imagine you are attending a week-long running camp. Where would it be? What would you do? Would there be classes? Bootcamps? Socials? I want to know all about the kinds of things that make up your ideal running-related week. No work, no obligations outside of camp,... for one week you can have it exactly your way! Tell me all about it!

OOOh, I have seriously dreamed of going to a running camp. In fact, when Frayed Laces talked about her Brooks Running Camp, I was nearly drooling. A while back I was even doing some research on when camps were, where they were, what types of runners they were for, etc. There aren't a ton for post collegiate, non uber competitive runners, but they are out there.

I loved outdoor school in elementary school and band and ski camps in high school, so running camp now would just take me back to those good ole bonding with nature and friends younger days.

My running camp would be held in Boulder, CO or thereabouts (I'm not sure why, I just imagine beautiful mountains and bluffs to look out from. Anywhere in Italy wouldn't be half bad either. ). It would include a morning and evening run each day (one of which would be easy and the other of which would be speed, hills, or interval training). In between the running there would be gourmet organic eats (i know all you foodie running bloggers out there are down with that) and options to choose yoga, pilates, meditation type classes to balance all that running.

Additionally, there would be a class on nutrition, pre race/run fueling, post run recovery, proper stretching, as well as gait analysis and shoe fitting. We'd have guest lectures from a few famous runners, coaches and sports psychologists. For social activities, I'm thinking bonfires with marshmallow roasting, swimming, healthy cooking class, karaoke night and an 80's dance party. I'm open to suggestions for additional activities. Anyone want to join me on this week long running excursion?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

a six mile jaunt and a surprise PR

I arrived in Portland Saturday afternoon the morning of watching the man cyclocross it at the pumpkin patch, just in time to meet a few of the high school girls (and their significant others) for lunch at the Hopworks Urban Brewery. I selected the black bean burger, which was topped with pepperjack cheese, roasted bell peppers, tomato, lettuce, etc and a side salad! Definitely hit the spot. Forgot my ID, so no beer for me.

J, husband S, and I headed back to their house for a mellow pre marathon evening of television, chatting and chicken and pasta with salad. J, I'll remind you is the friend who first convinced me to start running back in high school. She and I just happen to run approx. the same pace so I offered to come cheer her on at the Portland Marathon and run with her those final six painful miles. Because last May when those hills and constant wind were killing me at Whidbey Island Marathon, J hopped in and helped me home for the last three miles. It was a life saver!

We went to sleep around 10 and woke up at 530AM to drop her off downtown in the dark by 630. All went as planned. Husband S, their puggle Chester, and I headed to mile 2 to watch her run by. Apparently she was in the port o potty when the gun went off, but all was good. Thank goodness for chip time!

Next we saw her at mile 11 and she was still looking strong, pulling an 8:20 pace. Her goal is to qualify for Boston, but she wasn't so sure she'd make it today. Next we headed to the grocery store for a quick breakfast before making our way to mile marker 20 where I would pick her up. When she arrived, she was tired but happy to see me. She was upset with her slowing 9-9:30 pace, but I just tried to keep chatting away and telling her she was doing great.

For me, those miles felt easy peasy, but for her I'm sure they hurt like hell. In my chipper state, I sampled gummy bears and even some Halloween candy out on the course! I snagged two REDS in the Starburst package I picked up. Oh yeah, that made my day. Anyway, the downhills were faster and the uphill across the final bridge was a bit slower, but I just tried to keep her positive. At this point she was sure she wasn't making Boston or a PR. As we turned on to the home stretch I said "you decide when we pick it up to finish it hard" to which she replied, "I'm not sure I can." Well, we picked it up and I dropped her off with .2 mi left to run.

And guess what? She PRed! 3:49...about a minute faster than her last PR (and the same marathon PR as yours truly). Not too shabby. She really appreciated my pacing and encouragement and I was happy to get a fun six mile run in with a great friend and thousands of fans screaming for us. I mean, how often does your Sunday run include cheering? This pacing thing...I could get used to it. As for pacing an entire, I'll have to get back to you on that.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thank you ladies of Academic Chic!

A while back I emailed the fabulous, creative, well dressed ladies of Academic Chic with a little question about that upcoming wedding in November. You know, the one I dress shopped for, but neglected to post photos of. Yes, that one.

Well, today, my questions have been answers. Check out what the ladies of Academic Chic had to say about shoes and cover ups for a wedding in Chicago in November!

Now, I promise I will be posting a pic of me in these dresses in the next few weeks. And maybe a few shoe options as well. Gracias ladies!

PS-I'm in search of some tall black leather round toe boots. If you have any suggestions or a fav pair you own, please send the advice my way! I have had no luck finding a pair of black boots that are comfy and are just what I'm looking for.

Fall Photo Fun

Friday morning I woke up at 6am, grabbed the dog and went for a short 15 min jog. Then, we got back to the house and the man and I were headed off for a special morning adventure...breakfast at Stockman's Cafe! This was special because we have been wanting to make a trip to the local farmers' joint for quite some time.

As you would imagine, the interior was filled with old booths, apples on the window curtains and country music playing on the radio. The man ordered a big ole breakfast skillet filled with meat, eggs, homefries and gravy. I opted for the breakfast sandwich of ham, eggs, cheese and tomato inside toasted bread. Then we split a HUGE (bigger than the plate) flapjack and of course had coffee on the side. Fun stuff!

The waitress was a bit shocked to see us because we weren't her "regulars," but we explained that the man lived just down the road a bit and we had wanted to try the restaurant for a while now. And sure enough, about 10 minutes later a whole pack of ten or so farmers walked in searching for a hearty breakfast! Truly a countrified Friday morning!

Saturday, it was another 6 AM wakeup call and this time a 4 mile run in the dark before showering and getting ready to get on the road. I headed up to watch cyclocross on a pumpkin patch! It was such a perfect fall day.

Heiser Family Farm

Think you have enough wheels there? Ok, some of them are his buddies'...

1st place in his category for most of the race-the running uphill stuff is hard!

Heiser family's pretty

Look at that view from the farm!

Finished and happy with 3rd place!

After the man finished, we preceded to walk all over the property and race course, purchase some hot cider (yum!) and carmel corn, test out the kiddie slide, watch a few pumpkins being launched, and look at the animals (horse, goats, baby chicks, etc). It made me want to go to my pumpkin patch at home, buy some pumpkins and apples and sit at home on a cool fall evening carving pumpkins while drinking a beer. Soooo excited for fall and the holidays!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

pacing your lungs, your legs and your friends

Nearly a week off from running (whoops! I barely noticed) had me huffing and puffing last night and my legs saying "whaaat is this?" Ok, well I ran 4 miles last Saturday in the EARLY morn so I could get to work/the football game by 830am. SO, I guess I had run once since last Wednesday, but still. Sunday's 75 miler had my knees and low back aching a bit, but I'm helping to pace my friend during the last 6 miles of her marathon this Sunday so last night I thought "dang, I better run!"

I met the group at Nike and a friend wanted to run together. Great, I thought. He won't want to run ahead when I'm dying. Sure enough, we had to stop three different times for a minute or two so I could get my breathing under control. I always feel bad about holding people up, but he wanted a running buddy so...not my problem. :)

He headed off to do an extra two mile loop, while I headed back to the store, ran an extra mile or so around the block and did some serious stretching. Even though my legs and lungs weren't quite up for the run, it felt good to push it and finish nearly six miles.

As for pacing, I'm actually REALLY excited. My friend J and I are almost the same speed. Just a few weeks ago she called to see if I wanted to run the full marathon w/ her bc her training partner had dropped out and was already registered. I had to pass on that (could not run a marathon when I'm only in shape enough to finish about 10 mi). I mean sure, I probably could SURVIVE, but couldn't keep up with her and she really wants the encouragement at the end. Has anyone else hopped in the end of a marathon to help a friend? I'm really looking forward to it! My first marathon was the Portland Marathon and it's a great race!

P.S. Today's TIART topic was brought to us by Trials of Training! Check it out! I think there are so many aspects of a race/marathon that make it enjoyable. So far, my most enjoyable has been Nashville Country Music 1/2 Marathon thanks to its location, AWESOME fans, free post race concert by major artist, awesome recovery food, the course and the city of Nashville!