Friday, December 31, 2010

100 day challenge

I swear, I wrote the below goal to "move" every day for 30 minutes before I read this: It's like John Bingham can read my mind...

Here's to 2010 - pretty awesome year.

2010 is going to go down in history as a pretty awesome year.

First, and most importantly, I married my best friend in 2010. The wedding was perfect. We are blissfully happy. So that definitely wins "best of" 2010.

Some other notable things:
  • Obviously, running. Half-way through 2010 I started running, and I never stopped. Ran 4 races that I never would have even considered doing until this year.

  • Spent a weekend in Toogoodoo with my most favorite girls for my bachelorette party. *sigh* such a great place.

  • Honeymoon in Savannah - obv. perfect.

  • Conquered a lot of my emotional eating issues thanks to a good therapist and ultra-supportive husband. She has moved to Florida, but I'm all good. There's a half-empty box of joe joes that has been there for 2 weeks untouched. So much awesome.

  • Tried to sell the house and buy a new one - total and utter failure, but we learned a lot. And then bought a couch. (upon which I lounge right now)

  • Found out O'Malley was sick in March, and had to put her to sleep Dec. 20. The good news is that we got a lot of snuggle time in between.

  • Met some fabulous new friends and reconnected with some old ones due to running.

  • Succeeded at work - doing quite well in the fundraising world, and really starting to enjoy it.

  • Did I mentioned I get to spend my whole life with my best friend?
Overall, it was a fabulous year. And, until the cat fiasco, nearly perfect.

So in 2011, I want to set some goals. Not resolutions, not pledges, just something to shoot for.
  1. I want to "move" every day. Preferably, 30 minutes. I'll still be doing my running, so that leaves 3-4 days where I need to walk, or bike, or do yoga, or do Wii fit, or something.

  2. Run a half-marathon. Yup. I'm convinced. I'm shooting for one on May 14th.

  3. Run a race every month.

  4. Stay on the WW.

  5. Compete in a sprint triathalon.

  6. Travel! To Utah to see my family (I will run at altitude!) and to New York because Preston has never been.
  7. Shoot for a sub-30 5k. This is a lofty goal, but I think it's possible.
  8. Volunteer for the Women's Beginner Running Club that meant so much to me.

That's all I can think of. 2010 is going to be hard to top. Happy New Year! Hope everyone has a safe and fun evening!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm baaack!

Hi! Long time, no type. Obv., Christmas excelled in the Awesome department. I got running gear. Also, a sewing machine. And I lost 3 lbs. So. Woot to that!

I haven't been running too much - a Christmas Day run, then we've been mostly shut in by snow. The greenways are still wicked icy, but things are looking up. I did hit the gym for an indoor triathalon (25 min. each of eliptical, bike, and treadmill - not a bad way to mix it up, and earn a nice Kanki dinner...)

My latest running dilemma is whether to sign up for a half-marathon and if so, when, and which one. I'm being a total weenie about this. I'm not sure why. 13 seems waaaay intimidating right now, even though we're running 5.5 - 6 pretty regularly. I know it's not a far off goal, but I just can't bring myself to register! I look online at the map. I brood over the time. I debate over the hill and temperature possibilities.

Maybe I'm just a 5k, 10k kinda girl. I am definitely going to do the half next february with Regan, and the one here in Raleigh in November, but do I need to do one this spring? Running folks who have been here before, what do you think? Ideas? Advice? Should I just bite the bullet and register? Wait a little while and see how the training goes? Not worry so much about the race and just get the miles in?

Blurg. I am conflicted!

Hope you all had a fab Christmas season and have delightful new years plans. We are walking to our neighborhood bowling alley with all of our friends and drinking many pitchers of cheap beer. Then everyone is coming to our house to crash. I'm super-pumped.

More on 2011 goals next time... I'm still thinking them through.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Hooray for Christmas Eve!

I love Christmas! And with my best friend in town, and a few days out from the cat fiasco, I'm finally feeling in the Christmas spirit.

I got my AWESOME bloggy buddy present yesterday - it made my day!!! It was from Robin at Running Circles Around Turtles. I LOVE her blog. Here, let me show you what came in the mail...

First, Body Glide. Which, epic. It's mostly epic because I've been debating whether to get some or not, and I couldn't decide. But now, I get to try it and feel like it was recommended by someone who knows for reals! Awesome!

Next, yummy peppermint lip balm, which I used today on my run. Very moisturizing! And tasty!

And finally, my FAVORITE...

A new shoe wallet! There is NO way Robin could have known this, but I hated my current shoe wallet. It is from Nike, and I got it because that's what they had and I hated it. It is tiny and my key barely fits and it flops around and I am so freaked out that I'm going to lose my key.

But, NOW, I have this awesome, brand new, much bigger, much less floppier one! Thank you!

So, bloggy exchange was a blast. Thank you Jill for setting it all up.

My buddy was Cynthea over at I love having new friends all over the place! She gets to run in some seriously beautiful Colorado territory. I love seeing all of her snowy pictures! We're supposed to get a little flurry tomorrow, but nothing like the mounds of fluffy snow she gets!

Also, on the running front, Regan and I pounded out about five and a half today on a new trail. A little hilly, but nice. If you had told me I would be going for a 5+ mile run on Christmas Eve 6 months ago, I would have looked at you like you had a third eye. I'm proud of us!

And, PS, I love being a part of this community of runners. Thanks for the good vibes this week from all over. It was a tough week, but for the best.

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thanks Turtle Runner!!!



I will share details later but am heading to hockey game with my BFF and U-S Husband.



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I got served - oh, I mean tagged.

Jeff tagged Lee, then Lee ( tagged me! Fun! So, here are a few tidbits for your Tuesday reading pleasure...

1) What are you most fond of accomplishing in 2010?
- Marrying my best friend!
- Learning how to run and sticking with it.
- Snuggling with my kitty! (I have to throw that in because we had to put her to sleep yesterday. It was awful and I won’t be talking about it, but you might want to get caught up.)

2) What are your running goals for 2011?
- Cooper River Bridge Run
- Half Marathon (yikes!)
- Sprint triathalon
- Dare I shoot for a 10 minute Magnificent Mile?

3) What is your favorite race?
Wow. That’s like picking a favorite child. I have enjoyed all 4 for various reasons.
Women’s Distance Festival – 1st race, near and dear to my heart
Monster Dash – Got to play dress up! Also, best tshirt.
Charleston Turkey Trot – made it in under 40 minutes!
Reindeer Romp – New trail with a great new friend that I met because of running. Plus, it supported girls on the run. Also, cute tshirt.

4) What is your favorite holiday guilty pleasure?
All sweet things, but I think the best is either the pretzel/jello salad we have on Christmas or the birthday cake we have because it’s my little sister’s birthday on the 25th!

Oh. And Candy Cane Joe Joes. Duh.

5) What was your most embarrassing running moment?
My pants fell down on my second group run. I ran with my undies hanging out for like half a mile. FINALLY someone behind me spoke up. It took forever for someone to say something!
Drawstring FAIL.

So now it's my turn... and I choose...
Regan. Obv.
B, my most fav. running cousin. Usually she writes about mommy stuff, but she's a runner too!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

A 10k before breakfast.

Oh, you read that right. Regan and I had our longest run ever - 6.2 miles. We started out committed to 5, but willing to try for more. We passed Jean, one of the volunteers from our running group, and we made the decision right then and there - we had to do 6.

And do it, we did! It was pretty cold out, but we took our time, took extra walk time when we needed it (which, truly, we didn't need a lot, but it was nice to take an extra thirty seconds or so every so often.)

I figure our time was still pretty good - around 8o-81 minutes by my watch. I'll be interested to see the breakdown from Regan's Garmin, but if I'm right, our average was right at a 13 minute mile.

It did take me a long time to warm up when I got home - a shower helped, but I was still pretty chilled when I got in. The air was very damp - I think it just lingered. Also, we need to go ahead and get hydration belts. We were pretty thirsty when we got to our cars. Time to bite the bullet on that one.

We are making so much progress it's scary! Earned 16 activity points on the WW - going to spend them eating out at lunch and on a beer at the hockey game tonight. Rock!

Cat update: Her health is deteriorating every day. It is a major, major bummer. Since running is a mood enhancer, I shutter to think what a blubbering mess I'd be if I didn't get the miles in this morning. Ultra-supportive husband has been a champ (as always). Also nice to have great friends who understand that O'Malley is really part of our family.

*sigh* We talk to the vet on Monday. I told Regan to be prepared for 2-3 weepy miles that night.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Running for stress relief

One of the biggest things that running has done for me is to help me manage my stress. Before, when I was anxious about something, I ate. And ate.

Now, I run.

Great example: Yesterday we had to give my cat an enema. If you want stress, do that. Actually, she did great, it was more the lead up and aftermath that was stressful. O'Malley has Chronic Renal Failure (she's only 6, so she's pretty young for this fatal condition), so she is really dehydrated all of the time - hense the uh, treatment. She's been in a major funk ever since, making me worry that her overall health is starting to decline. So, stress. And very little sleep. And a lot of worrying.

So, this morning, instead of making myself a healthy stack of Candy Cane Joe Joes, I got my butt over to the gym during my lunch hour. I work at home on Wednesdays, so I've got some flexibilty. And you know what? I feel a lot better. Something about sweating out all of the bad stuff and getting that blood flowing. Plus the endorphins.

I came home to O'Malley sleeping peacefully in her favorite chair. Here's hoping she's back to her old, cranky, snuggly self tomorrow.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Sarah and Regan, and the blustery day

We did it! We went running in the cold!

I bought a new jacket (just from Target - nothing too fancy) and some tights. And it is a good thing, too, because it was super duper windy. We figure it was about 32 degrees, with a wind chill closer to 25.

We did about 3.2 miles (we usually do 4 on Mondays, but I say again, it was COLD).

I'm proud of us. Last week we bailed. I think we were inspired by Saturday's race and our fellow runners who have been out and about all season. My father-in-law has been running in the mountains of Utah in the snow, so I think we should be able to make it a few miles when it's just below freezing.

Not every day, mind you. I'm sure I'll be spending plenty of time on the old hamster wheel. But it feels good to know I can do it.


Weight Watchers

I joined the online Weight Watchers today. I have mixed feelings, but Regan shared with me their new stuff, and it's a little less, well, scary, than it was before. Part of the reason I want to drop a few pounds is that I think it will make running easier. For the first time in my life it's not to look better, but it's to run better. Hysterical. Who is this girl?

I did WW in college my senior year. I lost like 30 pounds and I was a size 8. Seriously. But I was hungry ALL the time, ate lots of processed "cheater" food (companies added tons of fiber and it balanced their "points" formula - new system doesn't work that way) and when we went on a graduation cruise, it was all back. They mean it when they say you have to stick with it.

I spent this morning going over our regular favorite recipies. Good news - nothing we can't continue eating on WW. (woot!) We need to be more aware of portion sizes, and I need to stop munching between meals. But mostly, it shouldn't be a huge change.

Also, a 4 mile run gets us back about 12 points. That is: 4 glasses of wine, 6 Peppermint Joe Joes, or Chick Fil A sandwich. Ok, that is so not how you're supposed to look at it, but still! It's nice to know that if I keep doing the running I'm doing I won't feel like I'm missing out on going out to eat or having a grown up beverage or the occasional yummy cookie.

You may ask, "Why in the HECK would you start this during the holidays?"

Why, dear reader, because if you can make it through the holidays on WW, you can do ANYTHING. Same concept with learning how to run in 105 degree heat. We did that - so everything else is a piece of cake.

I'm too shy to tell you my weight, but I will keep you posted on the success of the program. I'm going to be careful to eat enough to fuel my running, so don't worry.

Zombie food bonus: smaller me means less nutritive snack for zombies, thereby potentially less of a target.



Saturday, December 11, 2010

Romping in the style of "Reindeer."

Regan and I finished our fourth race today! Yay! That's 4 races I never in my life thought I would do. So, woot to that.

This race was benefitting Girls on the Run, and it was the race they had all been training for. So basically, it was us and a whole slew of little girls. Cute!

You may remember that I was a tad whiny this morning due to the cold, but we realized really quickly that we were overdressed. Half a mile in, we were shedding our jackets. By the end, we were wishing for short sleeves.

The course was a new experience - hilly, and several kinds of terrain. We ran through fields, on gravel, plain 'ol dirt, parking lot, sidewalk - at least it wasn't boring!

We did prove, once again, that intervals are always the way to go for us. We ran through the first mile - slowly. (Ok, to be fair, this could be due to the extreme bottleneck of people in the beginning) All in all, we weren't as far off of our normal pace as we thought we would be - about a 42 minute race. Not a PR, but the hills gave us a nice challenge, and we know what we need to work on.

My favorite part was hearing the little girls encourage each other. It reminded me a lot of our training program. How great that they are learning to run when it's much easier instead of waiting until their late twenties to try to get it started.

I'm still feeling pretty great about running. I'm loving my collection of race t-shirts, and it's pretty great to be a part of the running community.


PS - fun give away of SUPER CUTE headbands (you don't know this but I'm a SUCKER for a good headband) Here it is!


It's 30 degrees and drizzly. Time to go run in the woods for the reindeer romp...


(it's a dern good thing the Tshirt was cute.)


Monday, December 6, 2010

Reflections on running in place

It's been a while since we saw low temps in the Old North State. Usually it gets chilly around Novmber, but this year, we've had nice, 60 and 70 degree temps.

Until this weekend.

We had an inch of snow on Saturday. Sunday and today - 35 and windy.

I'm OK with running in 50 degrees. 40? Fine. Really, even 30. But, 30 and windy? Nope. Sorry. I just don't think I have the proper clothing yet. (it's expensive - I've been holding out 'til Christmas)

So, today, I rejoined the gym. Just Planet Fitness. Nothing fancy. $10/month. Can't beat that.

At least I'll have a "dreadmill" option. Some pros and cons about the treadmill...

Pro - something to do when it's really cold, dark, windy, snowy, etc.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I should just repost what Regan wrote... haha

So, my running partner Regan said it all in her blog this week. We are consistent in our inconsistency. Basically, our pace is not the same, except that we always slow down for a mile at the halfway point. Then, we pick it back up. And we do that almost every time. I'm not sure what that is, or what it means, but it is.

The good news is - we've shaved a full minute and a half off of our per mile average!!! We went from about 14.5 to right at 13 minute mile! That's amazing, isn't it? Aren't you impressed? I am!

On a side note, I had an awesome soak in the tub when I got home - Burts Bees makes the best bath salts - supposedly very good for recovery. Whether it's placebo or not, I feel great. Plus, it made the bathroom smell super-great.

Back to wine and peppermint joe joes...


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

If you go down, you've got to come back up...

Or, "How I earned my Candy Cane Joe Joes."

My usual Oak Park route is about 2 miles. The first and last half miles are mostly flat, but the middle part, is a steep hill course. Up and down about 4 hills.

I started out today running that route. I don't know if it was the Katy Perry or the guilt from eating waaay too many Joe Joes last night, but I decided to keep running down one of those hills instead of cutting across. I ran all the way down to the greenway.

I was worried about going back up, but I am never going to get better at hills if I don't practice them! So, up I went. And I didn't even cheat on the running or walk any extra! It's a long hill. About half a mile, straight up. Great place to train for the Cooper River Bridge run in April!

I finished in about 36 minutes - about a 13.5 minute average. Not too much slower than my normal pace! I am starting to see major improvement in my stamina, cardio, and pace.



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Turkey Trot

So, I've officially completed three 5k races! This last one, the Charleston Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, was a whole new experience in several ways.

1. There were 6,500 racers. Seriously. There were people EVERYWHERE. Because there were so many people, we lined up under the signs according to our pace. Bummer, no 13 minute sign. It stopped at 10 minute mile! Ha! I laughed with some other folks in the back.

2. They let the elite folks out, then the walkers. MAJOR bottleneck. I had to walk for the first block until Preston yelled, "Cut across on the sidewalk!" Genius. I sailed past the walkers and was on my way.

3. This route was gorgeous. It ran down King Street through Charleston's historic district, then down around battery park, then back down Meeting to the finish line. Gorgeous architecture, amazing waterfront, and the occasional smell of horse poo.

4. My goal for the race was to get under 40 minutes. If you discount that block in the beginning when I had to walk, I totally did it! By my watch, I finished in about 39:45. Haha. Just barely, but I still did it! That put me at my first under 13 minute mile average. I am happy.

5. Part of the reason I finished so well was my uncle, cousin, dad, sister and Ultra-Supportive Husband, were all strategically placed along the final stretch to cheer me on. How great! Cousin James and Preston have even promised to run it with me next year!

6. I finished just ahead of the Wando High School girls track team. Mwahahah.

Overall, it was a great experience. Weird thing though, the chip time went from the whistle to when you crossed the finish, not when you crossed the start. So, it was pretty inaccurate according to my watch. When you start in the back, you don't cross the start til a couple of minutes after the leaders! Oh, which, I should mention... the winner was a 15 year old from Virginia - he finished in 14:55. For reals. I was not even to the battery when he was finished. HAHA.

Also, I finished in front of 1,500 people. I know I shouldn't care, but it did make me feel pretty good that my efforts have been paying off.

Bonus: I felt totally justified in enjoying pumpkin pie AND delicious pumpkin crisp at thanksgiving dinner.

I'm so thankful that running is a part of my life! I'm also blessed that my family and friends are so supportive. Plenty to be thankful for at T-giving this year.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A major milestone!

Yesterday, being that it was a gloriously beautiful fall afternoon, and I had no after-work plans, I decided to run.

And since my running partner was busy, I, as I often have, invited my husband to come for a run.

His response: Sure!

Me, a little stunned: Really? I mean, don't feel obligated or anything.

Preston: No, seriously. I'll come.

And, sure enough, when I got home, there he was, dressed and ready to go.

So, running with my husband poses one obvious challenge. He's 6 foot 3 to my 5 feet. Seriously. His legs are as long as my entire body.

We started out at a seriously nice clip. Not enough to feel bad, but enough to really feel like we were pushing the pace. Turns out, we finished 3.1 in about 39 minutes.

This is AWESOME because I want to finish the turkey trot on Thursday in under 40. And now, I know I can do it!

Ultra-Supportive Husband lives up to his name, yet again!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Damn hills!

I've been lazy for a few days. I took Sunday-Wednesday off. I don't know - things got busy, it's dark early - anyways, it didn't happen.

I'd planned to run with Regan this evening (boooo to injuries! Feel better soon!!!) but ended up doing about 3 around the house. So, where I live, there are hills everywhere. I can't go more than a 1/2 a mile without tackling a gnarly hill.

When you're used to running on the greenway, you get totally hill phobic. The trails are pretty flat, and even tiny, 6 step hills make me uncomfortable. I dread them. Even when, seriously, it's barely a speed bump.

So today was a little intimidating, but I refused to go less than 3 miles. If anyone needs a good place to do hill training, go to Oak Park neighborhood. My rear end got a nice work out.

So next week, I've got another race. And because it's in downtown Charleston, it will be flat. So I'm hoping to really challenge myself on the speed. I know I can run a 12 minute mile, but I'd be really happy with just an under forty total. So that's the goal. I won't be crushed if that doesn't happen, but that's the goal.

Oh, PS... Katy Perry and Girl Talk = great running music. And "Almost There" from The Princess and the Frog helps get you up hills. Yup. I'm a dork. But if you're reading this, you're probably well aware by now.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Picking Cotton

This post has nothing to do with running. My appologies for a sidebar post.

Today I went to the NC Governor's Conference for Women. (thanks for the opportunity, work!)1400 women in downtown raleigh. Amazing. There were 5 incredible ladies inducted into the Women's Hall of Fame. A State Supreme Court Justice, a State Senator, two amazing advocates, and a generous philanthropist. "Inspiring" just doesn't quite cut it.

I also went to a session that really affected me. It was called Picking Cotton - the title of a book written by a rape victim and the man she wrongfully accused of the crime.

You heard right - they wrote the book - together. And presented at this conference - together.

He was exonnerated in 1997 with DNA evidence. The rape victim did not, for one second, think that he could be innocent. When they finally met, she was terrified that he would be angry. But here's the thing, he wasn't. He had forgiven her long before that day. He helped her to forgive her actual rapist.

Ya'll. It was intense. It was a hell of a lesson about forgiveness, and resilliance, and the importance of keeping all biological evidence. The evidence from this case was slated to be incinerated one day after it was tested for DNA. Some states destroy evidence as soon as the case is over. Thank goodness, NC is leading the way in this fight.

So I'm off to read their book. I'll let you know if it's as awesome as I think it's going to be.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Best run yet!

So. A half suddenly doesn't seem crazy. Regan and I are killing our training runs!

Today, our plan was to go at least 3.5 per our training schedule. We reserved the right to go a full four - if we were feeling froggy.

Well, call me Kermit, because we kicked butt on our 4 miles! We killed our average time - 13:41! Our first mile was 12:48. Awesome!

I hate that it is starting to get dark at 5:00, but thankfully, we got most of our mileage in when it was still relatively light. I do not want to have to run inside all winter.

Saturday, we try for 6. We're a week ahead of our Half training schedule.

Yup. We are totally going to be ready by the spring.

Because we're awesome.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Disney Princess Weekend

Coming home from my bachelorette party last March, Dana, Erin, Shruthi and I decided that we needed to have a girls weekend, complete with junk food and disney movies.

That finally came to fruition this weekend, and it was FABULOUS. We laid around slumber party style and watched...
Sweet Home Alabama
How to Train Your Dragon
Little Mermaid
Beauty and the Beast
Princess and the Frog
Oliver & Company
and a couple of other partials in between.

What a fantastic way to spend a weekend. Little brain power required, junk food readily available, and all diets out the window.

Will my run tomorrow be a little rough? Probably. Was it worth it? No question.

Being an adult is stressful - sometimes you need to revert back to what it felt like to not have to worry so much. It felt just like the kind of party we would have had back in elementary school (OK, except for the adult beverages...) and it was fabulous to be surrounded by some seriously amazing women.

Oh. And we had crowns. And princess press on nails. And princess headbands.

*sigh* life is good.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A run and a vote, all before 7:00 am

Just a quick post to say that I love running in the mornings. Except when I didn't sleep well the night before. And when my lungs are fighting me the whole way. And it's getting coooold! (But really, it wasn't so bad. For some reason, I'm feeling whiny today. Maybe it's all the whiny political ads rubbing off.)

But, when all was said and done, Vanessa and I did about 2.5 in 32 minutes (not too shabby!) and I did have a little more energy once I got home and had some breakfast.

If only naptime was incorporated into a typical workday.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Do the Monster Dash!

2nd 5 k COMPLETE.

Time: Bad. but who cares? I was wearing a cape (added drag), purple wig (itchy and hot) and a flannel skirt (what was I thinking?) But, boy, we had a blast.

Me and the girls went all out. And we looked AWESOME. U-S Husband came to cheer us on and hold our stuff.
He was super-sweet to wait around and give up his whole sunday to watch us clown around. He's pretty much the best.

Anywhoo, we had a total blast. Even though it was hot, and I was slow. (Wow I totally didn't find the light in the below picture - Tyra would not be pleased.)

On a side note, there weren't many zombies to run from, but I did give a hearty fright to some old people enjoying their sunday dinner at K&W Cafeteria... I'm not sure what they thought about a grown woman in a purple wig. Actually I do know - they were shocked.

A run down on the costumes from L - R:
Mandy - TMNT - Raphael
Shruthi - Storm
Suzanne - Wonder Woman
Danielle M. - Fairy
Me - Hit Girl
Danielle A. - Rainbow Bright
Cindy - Fairy
Debbie - Lady Bug
Beth and Diana - Batman
Amy - Martha Stewart! (She won the costume contest! You'll notice that she is wearing the free Martha Schwag from when we did that bit for the new show a while back!)

Good times with good friends. Life is good.

Hit Girl aka Sarah
Hmm. I might have to wear that purple wig to work tomorrow...

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Yesterday was a great running day. Regan and I set off on an ambitious run - 5 miles on the Crabtree Creek trail. Considering that until yesterday my longest run was about 3.8m, I was a little bit nervous heading out. But, we had a plan. 5 miles at 3:30 and 1. We weren't worried about our time, just our distance.

It was a little chilly to start out, but by about the 3rd interval in, we had lost the long sleeves and were comfortably trucking along. We killed the first mile. In hindsight, a bit of a mistake. It made our second mile quite slow.

Live and learn.

Somewhere in mile 3, we ran into a few of our volunteers from the program! And, bonus, we weren't going that much slower than them! (Ok, it's not about time, but let's face it, it was encouraging.) Lots of folks were out on the greenway - such a friendly place.

We went from behind crabtree, down a little path we thought went further, back on the crabtree trail, across the road over to shelley lake. We went almost right up to the lake, and then headed back. We guessed the mileage almost perfectly. We finished up mile 5 with plenty of time for a cool down walk.

Amazing! We are so awesome I can hardly stand it.

We finished in 73 minutes, which made our pace right at 14.3 min/mile. Penguin style, but hey, we did 5 miles!!

Today I was pretty sore, and all day yesterday, my legs were just restless. But, I was encouraged because sometimes after long, tough runs, I end up exhausted the whole rest of the day. I actually felt pretty dern good. Slept like a baby though.

This was one of those times when I was so happy to be running with someone else. We chatted the whole time, and encouraged each other up the hills. We swapped stories and advice about running, work, family, etc. The time flew by - even if we weren't exactly flying through our miles.

5 miles felt really good, and you know what? We totally could have done more. Makes a 10k much less scary, in fact, quite a reasonable goal.

Next weekend is the Monster Dash. My friggin costume better get here soon.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy 28th birthday to me!

I turned 28 yesterday. And it was awesome.

First, the hubby got me a snazzy new Kindle, and the inlaws sent an Amazon gift certificate. I downloaded The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo and promptly devoured it. (great character development, intense, and well written. Warning: some parts are a little dark) I love getting through a book in only a day or two. I'll be through the next 2 in the series ASAP.

Second, we spent the weekend with dear friends Brendan and Lauren (and some other awesome ILM people) and hit up beer fest (we behaved quite well, thank you) and had a cookout at their place.

Third, we started Sunday - day of actual birthday - at Jesters (peach turnovers and quiche... YUM). Then we came home and had Gravy for dinner. Then off to Vampire Weekend, which was a stellar show.

So, all that said, I did a lot of laying around, drinking beer, and eating this weekend. Not exactly condusive to running faster and further.

I did manage to pound a couple of miles this afternoon out at Shelley Lake. It is a gorgeous day. I had completely talked myself out of running, but then, sort of out of habbit, I went up, got dressed, and laced up my trusty sneakers. It felt great!

That said, there are a couple of things that are bothering me about running.
1. I am frustratingly slow. I know, I know, it doesn't matter, but it kind of does.
2. I am not really losing any weight. Ok, my shape has changed - I am definitely thinner around the miBoldddle, and I have definition in my legs I never thought possible. But I'm still the same size and the same weight. So, boo to that. I'm realizing that I have to focus more on what I'm eating.

That's going to have to wait until after the State Fair tonight though. Haha.


Sunday, October 10, 2010


I'm sick. And feeling really whiny about it. I've got a wicked sore throat and a horribly congested chest and resulting nasty sounding (and feeling) cough.

Needless to say I have not run this week. I'm starting to feel like a total slug. However, the thought of trying to breathe with all this crap in my lungs is even less appealing than feeling like a slug.

That said, I already feel way behind on my half training, and wonder if it's even possible. No good to have a setback one week in! I need to remind myself that one week is not going to make or break your fitness goals. I've just got to ride this cold out and then get right back into the swing of things. Hopefully, I'll be well enough by tuesday morning to get my early run in. Might even go for an easy walk this afternoon to evaluate the situation.


Time to go fine an inhaler and some excellent drugs.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The week after.

So. This has been an INSANE couple of weeks for us. First, we had our major Statewide Conference at work. It was a huge success, but we are still a little wiped out from it.

This weekend we went to Charleston to see James play in the marching band at Wando, and got to see some other family and rad friends while we were there. The weather was fabulous, which led to a fantastic run through Snee Farm for about 3.4 miles. Flat is good. I like running in flat.

My iPod crapped out on me about 2 minutes in, leading to a quite, reflective run. I actually really enjoyed it.

The other major stressor is that we are under a contract for a house and trying to sell ours. Ugh. So. Much. Work. But we LOVE the new house. It has a basement. It has almost a full acre of land. It's right across from Lynn Road Elementary. Down the streat from one of my favorite running spots, Lake Lynn.

With all that's going on, I'm so happy that I have found a physical outlet to work through stuff. Not to mention new friends to talk it through with. I ran with Vanessa and Regan at 6am Tuesday (side note - it was COLD. and DARK) but I instantly felt better.

So, life is good, but it is a little crazy right now. Makes me even more determined to continue to run.

Oh. And we've decided to train for a half marathon.

It's in March. So, stay tuned.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

We did it!!!

Today was the day! We ran our 5k at 8:30 this morning. I had major jitters all morning, but it was amazing to have my whole family there: mom, dad, and Ultra-Supportive Husband. My sister, Becca, volunteered. And, Brandy came to run with us! Awesome! The Sooras were out in force, so it felt great to have a massive cheering section! I wore my penguin silly band for luck. Also dad found 3 pennies and gave them to shruthi, brandy, and me. How could I lose??

We got started right on time. Group C started out all together, but, per usual, it didn't take us long to spread out. First mile went great. The weather was pretty good. A little hot, but certainly not anything we're not used to.
My favorite part of the race was coming around this down and back section - we could see our friends on the other side as we passed in opposite directions. We could yell encouragement through the trees! It was fantastic. Plus, my sister was manning the road at the curve and sending good vibes our way.
The volunteers were lined up along the course and were our biggest cheerleaders! I am proud to say that I thanked all of them as I ran by. A whole different kind of goal, but one I'm happy to have done.
So, at the finish line, Vanessa and I were running together, and, with huge smiles on our faces, we crossed the line at a full on sprint. Awesome! We had about a 13:22 mile pace, and finished in just over 41 minutes. I didn't finish under 40, but who cares??? We did an amazing job.
Thanks to everyone who has been so encouraging throughout this process. I have discovered that the more people you tell about a goal like this, the more people can hold you accountable and cheer you on. So thanks - you all know who you are.
This blog is not finished, so stay tuned. There are many, many races in this world, and I've got plenty of room for improvement.
Ok, adoring public, I'm off to shower and take a nap. (Forgot to mention that dad sprung for an AWESOME post-race breakfast at the Oakwood Cafe... foooood coma....)
Much love to my running ladies and my group C posse. We are totally awesome.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pre-race jitters

Well, tomorrow's the day. I've got my race number (305), my pink group t-shirt is ready to go, and I've piled the rest of my clothes on the chair for easy a.m. access.

I know I can run the race - we did it 2 weeks ago. I'm in even better shape now, and I know I can run 3 miles in about 36 minutes. My family is coming to cheer me on. Brandy's running the race, and Becca is volunteering.

I'm nervous, but I'm excited. I'm going to run 6-1 intervals, and do my best to "run" (read: "shuffle") up the hill at the end. I'm hoping to finish in under 40 minutes, but really, finishing is still an epic win. For some reason, it feels like you can really call yourself a "runner" if you run a race.

I'm thankful for this experience, so no matter what happens, it's all been worth it. I'm so proud of my new friends (and my old one!) for doing this program. We're ready. We're ready to run, but more importantly, to cheer each other on.

Jean had a saying on a little card at Monday's run - "I lift thee, and thee lift me, and we will ascend together."

Now, if only some would ascend my butt up that hill tomorrow...


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A few words about a Zombie Contingency Plan.

So. Zombies. Something everyone should be prepared for. The way I see it, in traditional zombie disasters there are 3 types of people:

1. The first to go zombie.

2. The folks who get eaten by the zombies.

3. The people who run away/fight the zombies.

See, I've always fancied myself to be in one of the early stages. My zombie contingency plan, if you will, involves going first. Either turing zombie or just getting eaten early in the game.

Why, Sarah? Why would you not stay to fight and run from the zombies?

Couple of reasons:

1. It's too jumpy for my tastes. Always looking around the corner. Barracading the door. Scrounging for food. Having to dispatch of loved ones who get bitten. Frankly, it's a lot of work.

2. "Running" away wouldn't really last long enough to have to get to the above hardships. Ok, now this sort of depends on the type of zombie, but I'm not taking my chances. I'm sort of assuming they're the more aggressive, 28 days later types, not Shawn of the Dead moaners. I would be a goner anyways, and poor Ultra-Supportive Husband would have to spend waaaay too much time getting me out of that situation. Let's face it, I can't run fast, and until recently, not even run a mile. And as we all know, cardio is the first rule of Zombieland. (or is it the double-tap? Either way, words to live by.)

You see the predicament. Zombies come, I'm the wounded, baby gazelle. The low-hanging fruit. The easy target.

So, this whole running "thang" is to help to change my contingency plan. I'm not there yet, but I figure, if I can run a solid few miles at a nice clip, I might be able to stave off the zombies and make it through another day.

I'll see you folks on top of Crabtree Valley Mall - picking out the celebrity lookalikes or maybe the actual Bill Murray. Or maybe at the pub, fending them off. Maybe Will Smith and I can sleep in the bathtub together and sacrifice the dog.

Either way, the plan's gonna change. I'm gonna go down swinging.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Shin splints. I'm annoyed just typing that.

So. Shin splints. Yeah. Apparently this happens to new runners. Especially idiot new runners who work out really hard one day and then decide, in a fit if enthusiasm, to run, balls to the wall, down a hill.


So now I'm hurting, badly. And more annoyed than anything. I missed my run today, and will miss tomorrow. I'm laying on the couch with ice and just praying that this clears up in a few days.

Everyone talks about these "shin splints," which is basically a general term for pain in the lower legs. Sometimes it's on the outside of the shins, sometimes on the inside. Mine is on the inside near my ankle.

So. My first taste of running pain. With less than 2 weeks before the race, it is most discouraging.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Race course officially previewed!

This morning was a great run. We headed downtown to check out our race route for the Women's Distance Festival. It was a nice route - pretty neighborhoods, shady trees, nice downhills.


With downhills, come uphills, which, by the way, is exactly what I was thinking the whole way down the hill.

Oh how I dreaded the hill I just knew was coming.

It came. It came on the final mile. And it wound up, and up, and up. I'd be totally lying if I said I ran all the way up. Walk break was DEFINITELY required, and could very well happen again at the race. I'm OK with that. I've already decided. OK with that.

At least, once you get to the top of the hill, you can hit a steady downhill all the way to the finish line. Since I was by myself by this time (our group got really spread out today) I gave myself quite the pep-talk running the last little stretch. I was just openly coaching myself outloud. You bet. I'm that guy.

But I finished in exactly 42 minutes. Ok, that's slow as hell, but I'm still pretty impressed with my effort. I just have to keep telling myself what an extreme accomplishment that is, even though it might not seem like it to a lot of people.

There is so much pressure in the running industry to be faster, to have a "sub 20" 5k time. Are you people for real?? I'll be thrilled to finish in twice that time, and I'll be damn proud of myself either way.

It's frustrating to be slow, but it's even more frustrating to not be doing anything at all. They might judge me at Tri-Sports at the mall because I don't look like an athlete (don't shop there. Stick with the fab Athletes Foot, Fleet Feet or Raleigh Running), but I am one.

(The last two paragraphs were pretty much the jist of my aforementioned "pep talk." Not bad eh?)


Friday, September 10, 2010


Here we all are - all dolled up in our Martha Stewart gear. That's me in the front cheesing it up.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Martha Stewart sent us free stuff!

So, last week, our fearless leader, Debbie, announced that Martha Stewart would be sending us some stuff. Well, that day arrived today! She sent tech shirts (cool ones! No obonxious Martha logos!) aprons, spoons, and towels. Very cool. Free stuff is always totally awesome. We took some pictures to send to Martha. I guess this means I'll have to watch her new show on the Hallmark channel to see our pictures.

After pictures, we ran. Today was not my best day. I was waaay behind the rest of my group. I'm not sure if it was because I was wicked thirsty or maybe my shins were still a bit sore from Tuesday's run, but I was struggling. I am so thankful for Lori, one of our volunteers who stuck with me. She talked the whole time, and it made the miles go by much faster. I can't wait until next year when I can be that kind of a motivator for someone else. I know, without question, that I would have had to walk during some of the intervals without her. Thanks!!!

The Thursday runners from NCRC were there - they were cheering us on the whole time! Maybe I can join their group next year. We'll see!

We hung out at the Ale House after the run. After a tough 3 miles, it was a welcome distraction. Thanks, too, to NCRC for sponsoring yummy appetizers.

Finally, and this has nothing to do with running, but I had to hand address abut 100 envelopes and stuff/stamp about 300 more (for work) when I got home... I was dreading it. Thank goodness for Ultra-Supportive Husband who stuffed and stamped every one while I finished the addresses. I am one seriously lucky lady.

Off to bed. I think my bedtime snack will be a bottle of ibuprofen...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Penguin? Try turtle.

I'm reading a fabulous book suggested by Ultra-Supportive Husband - The Courage to Start, by John Bingham. You can learn about him here:

Basically, the book is about his journey to become a runner - he started when he was 43, and it really changed his life. He also thinks he runs less like a gazelle, more like a penguin. This book is for those of us who man the back of the pack at a race and do this just for the fun of it. He's my kind of guy. I highly recommend this book, not just for it's inspirational aspects, but also for his handy tips on running. It's all very practical advice about when to take it easy, how to increase your speed and distance, and what to wear (which we all know is critical.)

Anywhoo, in addition to reading, I did also run this week. Saturday, we had a fab group run at Shelley Lake (group C represent at 3 miles at 5-1 intervals!). Sunday, I collected my most favorite cousin-in-law for a run in NC's first incorporated town. B was a good sport! She's a much more accomplished runner than myself, but we had a great time, fabulous conversation, and it was really good to get pushed on the pace a bit. Thanks, B!

Today, because I have been totally obsessing over my pace, (You'd think after reading an entire book about this very topic, that I wouldn't, but ya'll - I'm obsessed) I decided to see how fast I could run a mile. So I did. 12:30... not too bad! Granted, I can only keep that up for the first mile... but eventually...someday? In the meantime... Sarah!! Stop obsessing over your 5k time!

Can you tell I'm getting a little apprehensive about my first race??

Thursday and Saturday the group gets to dress up in Martha Stewart gear to help promote her new show. I know she might be a wall street cheating, soul-less meanie, but I love her. And all of her fakeness. And I will sport the MS gear proudly.

So, this week's mantra... "If you finish your first race with a more than 14 minute mile, that's ok!" (repeat reapeat reapeat) Also... stop reading blogs about fast people! You just started running! It's OK to be running even more like a turtle than a penguin.


PS running song of the week: The awesome set of Mash-ups I got from E in the mail today. Motivation WIN.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I've run 63.8 miles since I started this running thing! Woot!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thoughts on goals

So, this week I've been thinking a lot about where I want this whole running thing to take me. What do I want to do next? What races, what times, what mileage?

Let's start with the progress... it's been beyond encouraging. I can comfortably, and with only very little soreness, run 3 miles at about a 13-14 minute mile. OK, I'm slow, but we're starting from scratch here. I keep reminding myself that I could barely go 1-1 intervals for 1.5 miles 6 weeks ago.

I'm heading into my first 3 months of 5k races - Women's Distance 9/25, Monster Dash 10/31, and Turkey Trot in Charleston 11/24. My goal here is to have marked improvement for each race.

So, I'll throw another race in Dec. or January, and then hopefully we'll be past the bad winter weather (and minimal daylight)so hopefully training will get simpler. I'm thinking that puts me toward a 10k in the spring.

Someday, I think I'd like to do a tri, (maybe next fall?) and maybe a 1/2 marathon someday. We'll see how I keep up the training. I guess by putting it out there, it might make it easier to stick to the goal!

But, in the mean time, I'm just going to keep up the 4 runs a week, and keep enjoying this process with my group. I'm beyond excited about my first race. Can't wait to wear that t-shirt all over town.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Watching "Funny People" - Less "funny" than you'd think.

I'm blogging for 2 reasons. 1. We're watching Funny People and I'm about to start crying, so I needed a distraction. This movie should have been called "Miserable People."

AhhH! Paul from Mad About You just came on and he looks OOOOLLLD.

But, I digress.

The second reason I'm blogging is because I. Am. The. Man. I felt so good after running 3 miles with my girls this morning, that I came home and demanded that Preston join me for a bike ride. We rode for 8 miles! I feel like I should jump in the pool for a while to complete my own fun version of a triathalon.

We're up to 4-1 intervals and a 5k is officially feeling like a very do-able goal. In fact, we're already planning the next runs - a Halloween run (theme: Super Heroes) and Preston and I are going to do the Turkey Trot in Charleston for Thanksgiving. That's the plan... basically, keep signing up for (and paying for!) runs in various locations for various causes to stay motivated.

I am getting a smidge nervous about the group runs ending (ok, still got 4 weeks, but I'm a planner) but I think there are several of us that can get together and continue at least a couple of times a week.

The cooler weather is much appreciated - I'm not sure if I feel so much better after running now because it's nicer outside, or because I'm really that much better in shape, but either way - good times.

In honor of the Vampire Weekend show I bought tickets to last night, today's official running song is Horchata by, well, Vampire Weekend.

Oh hey, now Adam Sandler isn't dying. Did I ruin it for you? Ok I hope not, but really, don't waste your money.

Nap time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Usually this is more fun.

Group C officially started 4-1 intervals yesterday. Wow. That is harder. But I still did it! I was pretty drained after though. Even a little lightheaded. Maybe a nutrition problem?

Today it was pouring down rain. Even with my enthusiasm, downpours are just not something I felt like dealing with. Sprinkles, sure. Even steady rain, OK. But not downpours.

So, I put aside 30 minutes after work to do a quick couple of miles. Well, I didn't quite make it. In fact, I threw in the towel after only about a mile and a half. I know, lame. I'm not sure if it was the hard run yesterday, the increased traffic (and therefore, more mental games about how I looked while running) or the heavy lunch, but my calves were screaming, my lungs were wheezing, and I just wasn't feeling it.

But hey, that's 20 minutes of exercise I wouldn't have gotten otherwise, so it's better than nothing! I need to be careful not to get discouraged by one bad day. Everyone has them. Right?


Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's like I'm in their club...

So, there are basically 2 categories of people, runners, and non-runners. I was, until very recently, safely in the "non-runner" category. And there was like this magical club where all of the runners met and talked about things like pronation and routes, and stretching, and what race they were running next, and well, they didn't bother talking about that stuff with us non-runners because, well, we didn't so much care.

But I think they're starting to let me in. I'll give you an example. David, one of my work buddies is a serious runner. He blows past people on the racecourse while pushing his daughter in a baby stroller. He's been checking in on my running progress. Today he even offerred a tip for soggy tennis shoes... remove inserts and put in crumpled newspaper.

This is a simple thing. But this is not a conversation David and I would have had before this whole running thing. And he's not the only one. I've been sharing my adventures and more and more people are coming out to not just support me with words and "good for you!"s, but also with insider tips. And it makes me feel like "one of them." You know, the runners.

We did 2.5 miles today at 3-1 around Lake Lynn. Remember, this is where I started this whole adventure, and I could BARELY run 90 seconds and walk 2 minutes for 1 mile. Talk about progression. When you consider how much improvement we've made as a collective group, it's even more impressive.

I may not run like a deer, like some of those cute, skinny, tan girls in their sports bras and little shorts, but I'm still running, and I'm getting better every week.

So thanks, runners, for letting me into your club. It's good times.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Week 4 - ROCK

Another Monday morning run down! 2.25 ish in about 30 minutes. Group C is rocking it. Our pace was a lot faster, but for the most part, we kept up! It sure goes faster at a 3-1 interval.

I ran at the River on Saturday. It's beautiful down there, but gees, it it a boring run. Fields on one side, fields on the other. Straight. Windy. Less fun than I'd hoped. I might drive into bath or belhaven in the future for at least something to look at. Oh, and got chased by pit bulls - another downside to River running. Luckily, I know all about being a pack leader and gave that stupid dog my very serious "NO!!!" Plan B was to kick his head. Will avoid that path next time as that was not fun. And I'm not fast enough to just run away. Must work on that.

Looking forward to weather that is not humid or hot. October is going to be great.


Running Song of the day: Everything is Alright by Motion City Soundtrack. Excellent pace.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Woot! 3.1 all by my selvsies.

I thank the DJ mashups I found on itunes. It was awesome. The weather was great - overcast, a little breezy, about 77. The greenway near our house is nice and flat too - not to diminish the accomplishment, but I'm just saying. Still a long way to go! I'm thrilled that I managed to do the 3-1 interval the whole way. Just think, last week I couldn't imagine running three minutes at a time!

It was good to get this run in this morning(I have the day off), because it was a long and stressful week. Combine the board meeting with the AFP conference out of town, and I didn't have any spare time to get group runs in.

Thanks to everyone for their words of encouragement - and if you're trying to start a running program I suggest this ... tell EVERYONE. It's just more people to hold you accountable and cheer you on. Even people at AFP know about my little 5k in September. And I know, that next time I see them, they'll ask how it went. It's going to be great to tell them how fun it was!

Happy Friday! I'm off to the River this weekend. Back to 6am runs Monday. Woot!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Did it! Much awesome.

Woo hoo! We made it 2 miles at a 3-1 interval. That makes us AWESOME. I dreaded it all week. I credit our fearless volunteer leader, Megan, who set us at a great pace. You can do just about anything if you go slow enough. haha.

I haven't really talked about our volunteers. There are usually 5-6 per group and they spread out throughout. They are the most encouraging group of people you've ever met. Evelyn started cheers. Georgia gave me some stretching tips. Megan encouraged us to talk so that we would get distracted and not think about our intervals. Some volunteers stay behind with the folks that are struggling and keep them moving ahead. No one ever has to run alone.

So here's a shout out to the ladies that keep us going.

In other news, I got a wicked-awesome new haircut. Short. Will make ponytails challenging, but I have some very cute headbands that should do the trick.

Oh, and here's an article I like a lot. Many of these are no-brainers, but others are some things you may never have thought about before.

New feature: Running song of the week... Drunken Lullabies by Flogging Molly.

Happy weekend!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Please, God, let it get cooler soon.

Tonight was another tough one. After feeling encouraged by my Tuesday morning run, today set me back a bit. I kept up for nearly all, but lost it on the last interval. I just couldn't push it one step further. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about our interval increase on Saturday - group C moves to 3-1. Might need to bring the iPod shuffle to make it through. Thank goodness for my running partner (we can give it a label now, right D? haha). Wouldn't have made it through tonight's run without her.

Bra report: Settled on one I scouted out online and purchased at REI. It is made by Moving Comfort (good call Brandy) and it is GENIUS. Today was the first time I didn't think about my boobs. Hopefully it will also help the upper back soreness. Invest in a good bra. They told me this, and I didn't listen. Those cute Champion ones at Target are cute, but they got NOTHING on this $44 piece of perfection.

So, if you're feeling so motivated (ahem Dana and Brandy) I'd love it if you'd join me for the 5k - $25 to sign up and you don't have to fundraise. And it's women only, and for many of us, it's our first real race. Sept. 25th in downtown Raleigh. Either way, expect an event of some sort to celebrate that weekend. Or come out and volunteer! Just let me know and I'll get you signed up.

So, that is all. I reward myself with a skinny cow icecream bar. uh, YUM.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Yikes gang. I am hurting after pushing it a little much this morning. I am thrilled tomorrow is a rest day. My first taste of knee pain was not so fun. Also, I think I need a better bra. I'm pretty sure that's why my back has felt so tired as I'm not tensing or anything.

Found these at Will order and report back. Just the fact they categorize them by barbells gives me hope. These puppies need to strapped down. Too graphic? Sorry. That's just how it is.

Week 2 going swimmingly. Who wants to run the 5k with me??? (sorry fellows - ladies only)


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Soggy mountain wedding

My roommate from freshman and sophomre years at ASU, Susan Sheek, got married this weekend up near Sparta. It was a soggy mess, but she looked amazing and is so happy. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton!

Susan ran a marathon a couple of years ago. She set a goal, and just went for it! I am always amazed by Susan's gumption - she even lived in India and Indonesia for 2 years!

So on the running front, I did, in fact run! I managed to squeak in 30 minutes before brunch. And, I learned a few things:
1. Running in the rain is fun!
2. Running in a sceninc location makes it go by a lot faster. Running chickens providing roadside entertainment = major bonus.
3. Running up a mountain SUCKS.
4. Running downhill is wicked fun, but it makes new muscles sore the next day.
5. Altitude SUCKS.
6. 70 degrees ROCKS.

So, I definitely earned that extra piece of wedding cake. Right?


Thursday, July 29, 2010

One down, nine to go.

7 days. 4 runs. Who's the man?

This guy!!!!

When I last blogged, I had run at 6 am. Well, guess what? I did it again Tuesday! Fo reals! I did 2 miles, by myself, at 6 in the morning.

Who's the man?

Ok, I could go on like that for like every tiny accomplishment of the week, but I won't.

Tonight we had another group run - it was hotter than hell. Again. Running in 70 degress is going to feel amazing.

We increased our interval tonight - 2 minute run, 1 minute walk. Eek. Much, much harder. (Preston says I get bonus points because it was wicked hot) My troupe and I did manage to keep up for about the first mile - hey! Progress is progress!

After our run we had a great speaker - Alison from Interact. She's one of us - that is, a beginning runner - and also one of us - a nonprofit fundraiser. Interact is a domestic violence shelter and counseling facility that we are running for on Sept. 25th.

Did you know that 1 in 4 women will be subject to abuse in their life? Last year, Interact served 42,000 people right here in Raleigh. To give you an idea of how may people that really is, 42,000 is the total combined student population of NCSU, Meredith, Peace, Shaw, Saint Aug's, plus another 3,000 people. Domestic abuse knows no race, class, or education level. And when something does happen, they can turn to Interact to help them learn how to move on.

They work with 8 other nonprofit organizations in the same building (it's an amazing model - the nonprofit geek in me LOVES it) and they do incredible work in our community. Learning to run is one thing - putting that registration money down and pounding the pavement for Interact? Now that's a concept I can get behind.


Monday, July 26, 2010

The 6 am run. Not as bad as you'd think.

Except that it was still 82 degrees and humid as hell. Thank god for group A - they scared away all of the snakes.

Mostly, I was just super impressed that Shruthi and I made it out of bed and - enthusiasticaly, I might add - ran (ok, just know that when I say "ran" I mean interval run/walk) a mile before the sun came up. Ok, that's not a lot of distance, but it's still a hell of a way to start the day. I was even early to work!

I got another running outfit from the TJMax - always a fun way to spend a lunch hour. Being well outfitted, comfortable, and confident makes a difference.

Thursday might be tough - we're going around lake lynn (that's the place with the snakes!) but there is safety in numbers. It's a much hillier path and longer. Group C will persevere!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Group C - juuust right.

So, this morning was our first group run/walk. I've discovered that this is a real bonding experience already - and it begins with shoes. We apparently all ran off to the Athlete's Foot yesterday to find proper footwear. When we arrived at the run site, there was a lot of comparing going on. "Do you pronate?" 48 hours ago I would have thought that was some sort of political strategy. Quote of the morning, courtesy of Danielle, "Holy pronation, Batman!"

After our clothing comparison, we divided into groups. Group A - those of us most fit, Group B - Where Shruthi and Vinaya ended up, Group C - woot woot! and Group D - the true beginners.

My group was like a good bowl of porridge - just right. We did a warm up walk, and then did 1-1 intervals for 1.25 miles and walked the last 3/4 mile. I was doing so well, I didn't even realize we were running for a minute at a time! I thought it was only 30 seconds! This was a MAJOR revelation at the end of the run.

It is fantastic to run with a good group of women who are at the same level as you are. You complain together and encourage each other. And then at the end your promise to call at 5:30 a.m. on a Monday to get each other out of bed.

How is it possible that I'm excited to do this all again at the crack of dawn at the beginning of the work week?


PS, no snakes today. Lots of sweat though. LOTS. It's really gross.

PPS, new shoes made a BIG difference. My feet feel much better than they did on Thursday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 1. Why am I doing this again?

Ok, my steely resolve has been tested in only 4 hours!

First, I met Shruthi and Vanaya (I need to learn how to spell her name) at Lake Lynn community center. With 75 other women. Seriously. Of all shapes and sizes you have ever imagined. We got t-shirts, packets, motivational talks, and a lesson on shoes. (I'm going shopping tomorrow. For non-cotton clothing and better shoes. These are things I did not know.)

Our first "official" club run is Saturday. But S, V and I decided that we were feeling spry.

Let me set the stage. It was a beautiful 2 3/4 mile paved trail. Tons of ducks, a nice great blue heron, and turtles! (my favorite!)

Also, it was 89 degrees. And there were copperheads. Which, actually made us run faster so I guess that's not so bad...

We ran 90 secs and walked 2 minutes. I kept up for the first 4 or so cycles, then I was more like, run for 90 secs, walk for 3-4 minutes. I didn't get too far behind, but didn't quite keep up either. But, y'all. It was like 100 degrees.

Ok, so you know that expression "It'll melt your face!" It is typically used when describing some awesome music, like say, "Michael Buble will melt your face!" Ok, terrible example, but you get my point. I kid you not, there was a point when I thought my face was actually going to melt off it was so hot. This was about 3/4 of the way through the trail... I think hell probably feels a lot like that.

I'm looking forward to Saturday. Better weather, even more support, shorter run, smaller intervals. Oooh, and new shoes! If I can run today, with snakes, Everything else will be a breeze, right?

I'ma go take some advil.


It's 99 degrees. Let's run!

Ok. So. When my good friend Shruthi suggested this whole, running club, thang, it sounded highly entertaining! That's an exaggeration. It sounded like something I should try to do anyways.

Here's the challenge:
10 weeks
Learn how to run safely, increase your speed and time, and run a 5k at the end.
You'll have a mentor and no one runs alone.
This group is for beginners. Thank god.

About me:
I haven't run more than a mile since the 5th grade when we had to. My legs are like 2 feet long. I've never really been "in shape" since high school. I do, however, eat pretty well and I do work out 2-3 times a week, so I'm not a total couch potato.

I work for a nonprofit and play the violin. That has nothing to do with running.

My father-in-law is 52 and runs 100 mile races. Up mountains. That has nothing to do with me, but it is sort of wild.

Tonight we have our first group meeting. Shruthi and I are going to run (ok, probably walk - it is, afterall 99 degrees)but there is no structured group run. Our first real run is Saturday.

I want to chronicle this experience because I've been your classic "non-runner" my whole life. Hence, the title of this blog. Frankly, if I can do it, anyone can.

So. 99 degrees. I'm going running. (in my head that sounded just like Forrest Gump.)