Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, I'm late - but I was out of town, and really didn't have time to jump on the computer. I drove up on Wednesday to help my sister with the cooking, since she was hosting at her house. We had A LOT of food...plenty to eat on over the past 3 days. We made two big pans of mac and cheese with colby, monterrey jack, cheddar and velveeta cheeses. We made my aunt's home made dressing recipe, which includes A LOT of prep. Lemme just say that my feet hurt at the end of that night. I was tired, and my body decided to pay me back for it, 'cause now I have a cold.

My brothers and my parents drove down from NY - everyone made it safely there and safely back. It was such a blessing for us all to be together. It reminded me of Thanksgiving when I was a child. Most times they were at my house, or at my Aunt Lennie's house. She would make a huge pan of her famous dressing from scratch. My grandma would make her sweet potato pies and her pound cake with the lemon icing. My mom was usually in charge of the turkey and some of the other fixings. We always had a lot of food. Only thing different was that we used to eat off of the china, and then us kids would be responsible for cleaning it all up. We ate off of paper plates and used plastic utensils. These kids don't know how easy they got it! I remember having to clean a counter full of dishes back in the day!

Much to my chagrin, my dad has started smoking cigarettes again. I definitely gave him the side eye on that. He said he is going to quit again, because he doesn't feel good after he finishes smoking. You think? Sigh. We'll see.

How was your holiday? Here is a pic of the whole fam together - gotta love camera timers. :)

Oh - and a shot of the Cowboys fans - my brother, myself, my brother in law, and my sister:

(I forgot my jersey, but that shirt does say "Dallas Cowboys." )

Monday, November 23, 2009

Half Marathon - It's Official!

So, I officially signed up for the Thunder Road Amica Insurance Half Marathon today. The race is December 12, 2009 - race start is 7:50am. I was procrastinating...a lot. I kept hemming and hawing as to whether or not I was going to run. Another running buddy and I talked about just running with Cheryl and Janelle to support them. Then I got to thinking - if I'm going to go 13.1 miles, I need it to be officially recorded somewhere! That's a lot of miles!

The cut off pace for this course is 13:45 - if you can't maintain that pace, they will pull you from the race. They can only have the roads closed for so long, and they don't want to put any runners in danger. For the two practice runs we've done, I think I've maintained a pace of 12:30 or less (Nike+ wasn't calibrated for the first run, and then the second run the iPod froze up on me - ugh!). If I can stay between 11:30 - 12:30, I think I'll be just fine with my final time. I know where the hills are, so I know where I need to conserve and where I can push. We shall see! :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thunder Road Course Preview Race

No pain, no gain! That's what they say, anyway. Yesterday we did the Thunder Road preview race for the first half of the marathon course. Basically, we were previewing what our half marathon would be. I don't even know why I'm saying "our," because I still haven't signed up for it yet. I posted a pic of the map above. What we ran yesterday was mostly that, with a change in the start and finish positions. We started and finished at the Dowd YMCA, and the way they sent us meant we finished at 13.5 miles.Morehead.

After yesterday, I don't quite know if I'm ready for it. I took 1000 mg Ibuprofen before the start, to try to ward off the issues with my ankle and my Achilles. It seemed to work, for the most part. It was a sunny day, and maybe about 50 degrees when the race got started, but still a little fog/moisture in the air. They gave us directions for the course in little sandwich baggies. In the beginning, it was easy to see where the turns were, because we were with the crowd. But as the crowd thinned out, I had to really pay attention to where we were going. Since this was only a course preview, there was no one out there directing traffic. None of the roads were closed. We were on our own, with the exception of 3 -4 water stops where they had left water coolers and cups for us.

I didn't get a chance to re-calibrate Nike Plus on Friday, so I knew it was going to be "off." I used it anyway, because I really just wanted to record the run and the time it took to finish. I thought I'd be running by myself, somewhere in between Jay's pace, and Cheryl & Janelle's pace. But Jay slowed down to stay with me. I pushed through several hills that I probably would have walked had Jay not been there.

Thankfully, this course was NOT as hilly as the 15K we did in October. That course was a never-ending slolum...up and down, up and down. This course was planned so that we'd have some flat areas, or areas with minor inclines. There were two good sized hills on Colville Road, and Providence Road was just one long hill. I'm horrible at estimating distances, but I swear we ran uphill for 1/2 mile. The course took us on a little maze through some of the nicer neighborhoods in Charlotte, but definitely the older neighborhoods. I had driven through some of these areas, but you get a whole new perspective when you are running. I took my first 1 minute walking break after about 6 miles. It was in the middle of a hill, and my legs just were not working with me. As usual, Jay continued on, but running a zig zag pattern, back and forth across the road until I caught back up.

It's funny how one moment can make you happy and frustrated at the same time. Once we got to about 6.5 miles, I knew we were halfway through. Then I thought, we still have 7 miles to go! I was in charge of the directions (because Jay says he can't run and think at the same time...or something like that, lol).I would look down and tell him the next few turns, in case he got ahead of me. I was able to keep up with him until we got to Queens Rd. At this point I felt like I was just over it. I Queens Road West is a LONG road. And because I don't frequent that area often, I had no idea how long it would take us to get back to Morehead. I just tried to keep him in my sights. I think I took my 3rd Gu somewhere along Queens Rd. It seemed like it took forever for us to get back to Morehead. I made the left and saw Jay up ahead, he ran up to the first light and then he stopped to walk. I ran to that same light, then walked fast to catch up with him.

I figured we'd start running again once I caught up, but Jay said he was just spent. Probably because he wasn't really hydrating during the race. Lots of lactic acid build up that wasn't being flushed. By that point we had run about 11.5. We ran some intervals on and off, and walked most of the last half mile, because the directions were confusing as to how we'd get back to the YMCA. Once we figured out where we were, we kicked it in, up the hill to the stop sign. Took us 2:45 to finish, even with all the walking we did.

Jay hasn't signed up for the race, either. I think - like me - he doesn't want to register, pay the $50, and then get out there and not be able to actually run the race. I've got 4 weeks to decide. My sore, aching legs are telling me to pass. We'll see.

Oh - by the time we finished, Nike Plus was almost a mile ahead of what we actually ran. LOL! I think I'll try to recalibrate on Tuesday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Got Calves?

I do. Big ones. They are muscular, and every time I need to find a new pair of boots, it's a stressful experience. Last night, I finally did find some that fit:

The boot is called "Caitlyn." Found them at Shoe Carnival. They also happen to be having a BOGO 1/2 off sale. Not enabling, just saying. I thought I would share this in case I have fellow Big Calved Chicks out there. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday's Musings

A few "Why's"

Why - WHY - can't I wear white or cream, without getting dirty? I always end up looking like Messy Marvin (from the Nestle Quik commercials, back in the day) by lunch time. Either make up, or pen ink or SOMETHING. I don't even know why I continue to buy things in white and cream.

Why does my co-worker keep talking to me about her latest weight loss schemes? Does she not see the look of pure disinterest on my face? The thing is, I was with her in the beginning. She told me all the things she was going to do. She did nothing. She's still eating fast food breakfast, still drinking soda instead of water. Still has 101 excuses for why she can't start walking, even though she has a treadmill at home. Even though she could take the kids out and let them ride bikes while she walks. I'm over it! Until she shows some action, I don't want to talk about it. When people really want to do something, they will find a way. I'm convinced she is not going to really lose weight until it gets to critical mass. Which is sad, because it's not good for her health, and I do worry about that. But I can't lose the weight for her.

Why have all three of my ex-bf's sisters befriended me on FB, but he has not? LOL! I think it's hilarious. His sisters are so much fun and outgoing. I told him I think he was adopted. He got none of their personality. If he did, we *might* still be together. Actually, I know why he won't add me - even though we've been apart since 2006, it would really bug him if my status went from 'single' to "in a relationship."

It's a living!

I can't believe that as of today it's been 2 years back with my current employer. I started working for them in 2004, and they re-organized, and I was laid off in July 2005. That was the whole reason I ended up moving to Atlanta. I found another position down there. I ended up back here because of an ill-fated relationship. At least the job is still kickin' like the Energizer bunny.

I've told my sister to go ahead and start sending me job postings from up there on base. I was going to wait until I totally revamped my resume, but I figured she should send them first, so I can see how I need to spin everything. I know that my current skills and my degrees could transfer into many fields, but it's all in how you word it. Gotta get the potential employer's attention, before you can wow them.


I really cannot WAIT for Thanksgiving. Besides all the fabulous food we're going to have (that I really don't need and should eat in small portions), this will be the first Thanksgiving in a few years that I will be with all my siblings and their kids, and both my parents. My parents and my brothers live in NY, my sisters live in VA, and I'm in NC. I usually go to VA to be with my sisters, because I don't have room to host everyone here. But with my brothers' jobs, it's hard for them to get away. My dad absolutely hates to fly. My mom generally does not take time off at Thanksgiving because she pretty much has been "whatever" about it, since my aunt passed. This summer we told everyone that we want them to come down to VA so that we can all be together. My brothers were able to get the time off. I'm psyched! I already had a lot to be thankful for, and this is just one more thing now.

Need an excuse to shop for clothing?

I usually don't. This year, I actually have a legitimate excuse. I just pulled out my bin of fall/winter clothes (my closet is small, so I have to separate clothing by the seasons), and most everything is too big. Now that I've been on my running mission, I'm losing inches all over. My pants from last year are petite 10's - they are all too big now. Also,I've started just buying the average length and wearing heels with them. I can wear a 6 in average pants. Woo hoo! For those of you that don't know, pretty much all of my closet is New York & Company - so when I refer to sizes, I'm usually talking about clothing from there. I should probably own stock in NY & Co. It's highly ridiculous.

I need more pants and skirts. I have City Cash to use between now and Sunday. And those fools emailed me a coupon that can be $25 off of $75, $60 off of $150, or $90 off of $200. Between that coupon and my City Cash, I could potentially get $500 worth of stuff for $260. Not that I'm going to do that...but I'm just saying. Again - not trying to enable folks, but if you don't have that NY & Co coupon and you want it, let me know. :)

I guess I should get back to work. Happy Thursday, bloggers!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Yesterday was my last physical therapy visit! Yay! I made excellent progress with my range of motion and flexibility. While both Achilles still have the early morning stiffness, it goes away by the time I get out of the shower. The therapist said that's to be expected. Released prn = music to my ears. Take that, Achilles tendonitis! As nice as John and Cheryl were, I don't want to see them again - not at therapy, anyway. I just have to keep doing my stretches, and I've been given a resistance band to do some new ankle exercises.

The weather here has been yucky. Really yucky. Ida is dumping rain on us like crazy. Yesterday was just a dreary day. I knew I would not get to run outside, so I planned to at least hit the treadmill. Once therapy was over, I just could not bring myself to go. Slacker! I'm gonna pay for it today. I have to run regardless. And since it's still raining cats and dogs, it's going to be on the good ol' treadmill. I think running outside has spoiled me. I can already tell I'm not going to enjoy the days when I have to hit the treadmill. I bet my Nike+ Mini is bored and wondering where I've been for the past 2 days...

I AM excited that running has now become a "habit." I feel like something is wrong, if I don't get my workouts in. That's a very good thing.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


So, after I finally figured out that my Nano was in the 2nd closet (I've been running with my big, clunky iPod Classic), I decided to get the Nike+ system. I was intrigued as to how it was going to work, given that it only costs $29, and it doesn't run based on GPS.

I took it out on a Monday, the day I don't normally run. The first calibration was for running. The minimum distance you can run to calibrate is 400 meters (1/4 mile). I decided to try my luck at half a mile. When I got to the half mile marker, Nike+ said I had gone .54, but the calibration was successful. It took me two tries to calibrate for walking, but I finally got it to take. I then ran a mile as a test and when I finished it said I had gone .99, so it was relatively accurate.

On Wednesday, I took it out for a spin on the greenway, for a 3.5 mile run. Again, fairly accurate - had me at 3.56 miles, 35:58, with a pace of 10:05. I was breathing pretty hard,so I think that's about right. I'm trying to get to the point where a 10 minute mile is pretty regular. Not quite there yet.

On Thursday, Keysha tricked me into running about 4 miles (or what we thought was 4 miles. It was supposed to be an "easy" run. What folks fail to realize is that 10:00 minute miles are not easy for me. Not yet, anyway. :lol: Nike+ felt that we had gone 4.3 miles, in 43:56, with a 10:12 pace. I'm not sure on the distance, because once you pass the 1.5 mile marker and go up to cross David Taylor Drive, you end up in the University Research Park area. There are no markers in this area, but there was a landmark designated to be the 2 mile mark. When we got there, Nike+ said we had gone 2.19 miles.

Saturday, was our 7 mile run. I was really looking forward to putting Nike+ to work. Not sure what happened, but the first thing that was "off" was that The Voice wasn't talking to me. For those of you not familiar with the system, you can set it so that a voice (either male or female) will let you know your status, if you press the "select" button on the iPod. It will tell you how long you've been running, how much distance you've covered, and what your current pace is. I pressed for status and didn't hear anything. So from that point on, I had to keep checking it visually. I also noticed the longer we ran, the more the distance was off. In the end, it registered my run as 7.5 miles in 1:19:53, or a 10:39 pace. A 11 minute pace would have put me at 1:17, and 12 minutes puts you at 1:24. I'm thinking I averaged about 11:20. I had skimmed through the directions, and recalled reading about being able to calibrate Nike+ based on your last workout, but you have to do it right after you hit "end workout" - I didn't remember that, so I wasn't able to re-calibrate.

This morning, we went for our 3 mile recovery run. I had planned on re-calibrating, and I be doggone if the freakin' iPod wasn't frozen! No one knew how to un-freeze it. I had never seen that happen before, so I had no clue. Turns out it's as simple as hitting the menu and select buttons simultaneously, and holding for about 7 - 8 seconds. Google is your friend. Oh well. Will have to re-calibrate on Tuesday!

So, week one with Nike+ has been interesting and iffy. I'm hoping it is doing better for this week. Especially since we are going to do about 12 miles on Saturday (preview run for the Thunder Road marathon that's here in December). I can't give it a full review at this point.

Anyone got $300 so I can buy one of the Garmin running watches? :|

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Runway 5K

I don't know if I mentioned that I was running the Runway 5K. It's a race at the airport, which started in 2007. You run on one of the older taxiing runways, but you are parallel with an active runway, on which planes are landing and taking off. It was pretty cool! The weather was sucky. I would like to run it again next year. Took me 33:09 (gun time). They didn't give the chip time. My pace was 10:41. I caught a mean stitch in my side, and I was not able to run as fast as I wanted to. I even had to walk for a minute. I forgot to eat my banana and take my Gu. Most times I am ok with cardio on an empty stomach, usually I am better. But if you need something, at the very least you should have a banana.

Anywho, here's me finishing the race:

Pic 1

Pic 2

Thank goodness these pics aren't bad. I didn't even realize until after I finished that those fools were taking pics. Why? LOL!

I definitely would like to run this next year. Wonder if I can be down to a 8 minute mile by then?