Ahahaha. I just went to confirm this mornings workout with the swim camp schedule. I am looking at Tuesday's AM workout and I am like, that is NOT the warm up I did...WTF? Then I realize I did Thursday mornings swim today. Whoops! What's even worse is that I printed it out Sunday night so I really have no excuse for mixing it up. Oh well I guess I will do Tuesdays swim on Thursday!

4 x (100 swim, 100 stroke, 50 drill) (alternate back and breast for stroke)
400 85%, 60 sec rest (6:47.84)
2 x 200 faster than 400 split, 15 sec rest (3:15.10, 3:16.28)
4 x 100 faster than 200 split, 15 sec rest (1:34.44, 1:34.19, 1:34.60, 1:36.13)
400 first and last 100 faster than previous 100s (6:27.98)
10 x 100 (25 kick, 25 back, 25 breast, 25 free)

CK was there coaching DM this morning. Not sure why more of the Wildflower peeps aren't taking advantage of CKs free lessons. I felt bad for him this morning. I mean he could be sleeping in or working out. But it looked like DM was really getting a good workout in! AND guess who CK met this morning? Flotsam and Jetsam!!! At first I thought that Jetsam had dropped Flotsam but it turned out he was just running late. Well I guess CK just couldn't help himself and he gave the guys some pointers! Well he says they were definitely improving and that they were really interested in his advice. They even asked him for private lessons! When I saw him go over to talk to them I just had to laugh to myself and swim on. With CK on their side now I am going to have to watch out ;) I will wait to see their progress before changing their nicknames though!

Other than doing the wrong workout this morning the swim went well. I slacked majorly on the warm up and cool down and chatted a bit more than usual. But I managed to get in 3600 yards in an hour and 20 minutes. (Too much rest!)

The long sets went over well. I was happy with the first 400 and followed through with the plan on all sets. I was a little confused as to how I would actually know if I had gone faster on the first and last 100 of the final 400. But then CK explained that I just need to look at the second hand and I should be able to calculate what second I should be crossing at for each 100. I know for sure I hit the first 100 under 1:34 for that but the last may have been right around 1:34 (foggy goggles). Still pretty cool that I dropped 20 seconds from the first 400 though.

Tonight is running then master swim. Fun times!

I am going to try and get around to posting a swim and run lingo explanation in my sidebar so my workouts aren't so confusing :)


Just got done filing state and federal taxes. What happened to home owners getting all this money back? We are getting like half back from what we got back last year. Maybe that only applies to people who pay PMI or something? Or maybe it's just because we haven't paid much interest for this year since we got the loan in November?


Local taxes are going to be a bear. Apparently Euclid has their own taxes so now I don't just have to file with CCA and RITA but also with Euclid. Wonderful!

THIS is what they should be teaching kids how to do in high school and college! How to file your taxes without stress!

Fish out of water

Got out of the pool this weekend and got some running in. Stats below. Saturday I decided to sleep in and run on my own. I just went up and down Lakeshore on my little beach/disc golf park out n back. There were tons of disc golfers out because it was so nice. High of 55! I was going to hit the trails at NC but realized I had slept too late to pull that off. After my run I headed out to lunch with my 2005 Chicago Girls. We had a very nice lunch and caught up on all the latest gossip. These girls really are awesome. I have met cool people during all of my TNT events but this group really stands out because of how we have all made an effort to keep in touch post event as a whole group. We accidentally left out the guys from our team, so we felt pretty bad :( But we will be getting together again this Friday as a group and everyone should be able to make it.

After lunch David and I went for a walk on the tow path. We had a good time and got in around 2.5 miles then had ice cream :)

After our walk we headed to Streetsboro to hang with C, A, and B. We ended up spending a good chunk of the evening at a coffee shop chatting, then had mexican for dinner and watched the movie version of Noises Off! No gaming but we still had a good time. C made us a really gorgeous picture holder (the fabric ones with the lace to put your pictures in, I will post a pic!). I really wish I was so crafty!

Woke up Sunday morning and headed to Solon for the group run. It was 35 out, raining, and winds gusting up to about 30mph. i.e. brutal conditions. The wind actually blew my cap off on the last stretch coming in. The Sunday 12 mile course is a bear in good conditions so imagine my surprise when I came across the half way point in 46 minutes and I made it up the hill and back to the coffee shop in 1:29, almost 10 minutes faster than last week. It was definitely a good run. It felt hard but not too hard, so maybe all this swimming has actually done something for my running...

Sat around the bagel shop chatting and chowing then headed to the pool. Got there around noon and guess who was there? Flotsam and Jetsam! That's right folks! They are even swimming on the weekends! No telling if they were there Saturday, but they may have actually made it to the pool more times than this fish last week! Sunday was the 1650 yard time trial. Once again my pool head wasn't on straight. I have a hard enough time counting laps for a 500 let alone 1650. So I took Su and CKs advice and divvied it up in my head to 3 500s then a 150. On the 2nd 500 I may have actually done 550. Not sure though. So my split for 1650-1700 yards was 27:53. Not quite as fast as I had hoped for but to be honest to myself I wasn't really putting in a time trial effort. Uggh. I will just have to push that much harder this weekend on my 500 and 100 yard time trials. Even if I had put more effort in I shouldn't have expected as much because really this weeks focus was on shorter fast sets and I can dish those out pretty easily. It is swimming endurance that I need to work on. More 200s, 400s at a steady pace. But I didn't design the swim camp program so I am just doing as told ;) Once I start Steelhead base training I will focus more on longer sets and building endurance.

Last night I got really sick to my stomach. Trust me you don't want to know the stats on what is floating around in public pools. Needless to say I think I caught a bug from the pool. Luckily I took some meds and woke up feeling dandy this morning so I headed back to the pool.

My buddies Flotsam and Jetsam were back for more. They aren't getting any better yet. Still can't figure out their motives. I find it's getting really hard not to blantantly stare at them while doing kick drills. Today's work out was fine. Nothing fancy. Lots and Lots of 75s on a 1:30 send off. I should have done 1:20 but I was too lazy to figure out my send offs on the clock. Always starting at the top or bottom is much easier :) Plus I figured I earned a few seconds extra rest!

Tomorrow is the training day from hell. AM swim, PM Run, PM swim. Hopefully I survive!

Weekend Stats:

Sat: ~6 miles 54 min

12 mile run in 1:29, average pace 7:25
3150 yards in 1:05:21
200 pull
4*50 drill triple back, catch up, sar, fs
1650 Time Trial 27:53
250 pull
3*50 kick
250 pull
3*50 kick)

3450 yards in 1:15
(wu: 3 x (100 free, 50 back, 50 breast, 50 kick, 50 kick on back)
3 x [4 x 75 @ 1:30 75%, 3 x 75 @ 1:30 85%, 2 x 75 @ 1:30 95%, 1 x 75 @ 1:30 65%]
150 pull
150 swim)

This week in pictures

Davids company had a business dinner last Sunday. There was a clown at the bar making balloon animals. I asked for the road runner. He didn't know who the road runner was! But one of David's coworker's spouses had a tattoo of a red and orange road runner on his leg so he made me a road runner from looking at that. Yeah I am spoiled!

The place on Sunday had a bucket of burgers you could order. I just got soup though. Despite my week of swimming I haven't lost my vacation weight. I actually weighed three pounds more this morning than when I went to bed last night. WTF?

Hanging out eating some grub at Hoggy's

My SERC Posse at GNO

Su, P, and I at Hoggy's Wednesday Night

One more thing :)

Can I add that my husband shaved off his beard yesterday and I am so loving it! Give me a clean shaven hottie any day!

(and yes I have made it home and have cracked into the Merlot)

Now I know why Runner Susan doesn't like to blog while drinking.

Where's your head at?

4 out of 5 early mornings ain't bad. I got home late last night from GNO and got into bed a bit later than planned so the alarm clock was not my friend this morning. I did still manage to get in the pool by 6:15 AM though. I don't know if it was the lack of sleep or the awkward night/morning (playing tetris with the cars because the garbage man comes pretty late and my car was in front of my husbands, having to print out the workout before leaving, locking myself out of the house last night...) or what but my head just was not on straight in the pool this morning. Luckily I can just rely on muscle memory and sheer stubbornness to get through the swim regardless ;)

Flotsam and Jetsam were back for more this morning too, but other than a few older swimmers the pool was pretty empty today. During the swim I thought about a lot, pretty much everything but what I was supposed to be focusing on which was my stroke. But mostly I was thinking about how laps get really monotonous, and today's workout really felt like just that, a bunch of laps...hmmm hopefully tomorrows break from the pool will allow me to get pumped up again for the rest of swim camp. I also had to stop feeling sorry for myself once I started doing kick laps and was watching a guy running around and around the mini track upstairs. Now that is monotonous!


5* (50 drill, 100 free, 50 pull) drills: catch up, triple back, slow arm recovery, kick no board, closed fist swim

4*50 on a 0:55 send off
4*100 on a 1:45 send off
4*200 on a 3:30 send off
4*100 on a 1:45 send off
4*50 on a 0:55 send off

50 kick
250 pull
100 kick
250 pull
100 kick

Total Yards 3750 Total Time in the pool 79 minutes

I made all the send offs that I wanted to make so I am pretty happy with the workout and the minute I was out of the pool I felt better. I am super glad I woke up in time for the swim because it just makes you feel better to sit down at your desk already having accomplished something.

Last night I did manage to squeeze in a run. Not sure how far but probably at least the 5 miles I was supposed to cover. I did 44 minutes, an out and back from the house. It was a run of all flavors. I ran on some sidewalks, some dirt roads, some beach, some grass ;) It was a good run. I didn't do tempo like I was supposed to but did pick it up in the middle when Rammstein came on my mp3 player. The beach was nice, I forgot how hard it is to run through damp sand. But there were all these dead fish. I am talking piles of them. Little ones. Not sure what that was all about. They were all washed up where you would normally find debris. Gross!

This weekend promises to be just as busy as the week. Was supposed to go to a fundraiser tonight but I think a quiet evening at home sounds a little more tempting. So I think I will be making a donation and staying at home instead.

As my training log says when its down: Have a great weekend, will you have a long run to log when we get back? We thought so! Everyone have some great workouts and races this weekend. Big good vibes out to Rae!

Here Fishy Fishy

Struggled with the alarm a wee bit this morning but still managed to get to Peak by 6AM. Last night was a TNT alumni get together so I got home late and stayed up chatting with my hubby. Pictures from last night, tonight's GNO, and last Sundays dinner party coming as soon as I get a chance to catch my breath.

Flotsam and Jetsam were at the pool again this morning. Su was there too. She beat me to the pool but I got to talk with her a little before warming up and we chatted afterwards. She noticed that Flotsam's kick is pretty poor in addition to his wild flailing stroke. I am amazed that these guys get up so early to flop around in the pool. What is a little scary is I think we overheard Jetsam "coaching" Flotsam on his kick this morning. Yikes!

I felt like a fish today. And it felt good! I always feel comfortable in the water but today felt even better than most days. Great way to start the day!

Today was a lot of backstroke. I used to swim backstroke in middle school on our swim team so I favor this stroke over others.

Onto the stats:

warm up 4* (200 free, 50 pull, 50 drill) drills: triple back, catch up, slow arm recovery, fingertip

The backstroke/free sets called for a 3:30 send off. I did the first in 3:30 but then decided that I would be dead on the last few and changed to a 4:00 send off for the rest. I finished all but the last two under 3:30, but I would only have been getting 1-10 seconds rest and I didn't think that was quite enough to sustain a good pace on 200s.

3:30 send off
175 free, 25 back
4:00 send off
150 free, 50 back
125 free, 75 back
100 free, 100 back
75 free, 125 back
50 free, 150 back
25 free, 175 back
200 back

400 pull

10*50 (easy down, sprint back) on a 1:00 send off

Total yards: 3700 Total Time in the pool: 1:17:16

Boston training plan calls for a 5 mile run today, but since I ran long on Sunday and Tuesday I won't be too upset if I can't squeeze it in. Not really sure when I would have the time. Since when did I get such a busy social life?

Again with the swimming

As promised here is my pre-swim routine: (Some background necessary to explain lack of nutrition involved)

I am not a morning person at all and almost all of my swim workouts the past few years have been at Peak at 6AM. This requires me to be up at 4:45 and out the door by 5:15. I also like to hit the snooze so a 4:45 wake up call often ends with me getting out of bed at 5:05. Leaving me with 10 minutes to get out the door. So in order to ensure my arriving at Peak by 6 I do several things.

The night before I pack my bag with clothes for work and my workout gear. (Note that I almost always forget something. This morning it was my coat. And let me tell you it is FREEZING in Cleveland today.) So after dragging my butt out of bed, feeding the cats, checking the weather and my email I throw on my shoes and head to the gym. If I gave myself enough time I may grab a glass of juice on the way out.

Once at Peak (I arrive in my swim suit with my Pjs on over them, maybe this is why the receptionist hates me so?) I hit the locker room and put away my stuff. Put in my contacts then head to the pool. And here is where my pre swim nutrition comes in. I stop at the drinking fountain on the way and take a Tropical Blast E-Gel and drink some water.

I am just too lazy to get up earlier in order to eat a proper breakfast. Also I worry about eating too much before getting in the pool. The whole 30 minutes thing is a myth, but all those flip turns do turn your stomach a bit. I am glad to see that I am not the only one who doesn't eat much before their swim. I tend to do the same thing before runs which is bad. I could probably run a lot easier if I had better pre run nutrition.

Today's swim went well. I got in 3550 yards in an hour and 13 minutes. CK showed up just as I finished my warm ups and he hopped in to do the sets with me. Of course he is a swim god and I suck compared to him so I had to do shorter distances in order to keep up with his send offs. I had a really good workout though and felt really strong on all but the 125s. I lost my focus on that set, I still was making send offs but it just didn't feel as good.

After the workout I learned a new drill. I think it is a total immersion drill. I can't remember the name but I will call it triple back for now. You start out on your back kicking for a few seconds (hands at your sides) then roll to your left (I may be mixing this up but I think you actually roll completely over to get to your right side on the first turn) as you extend your right arm so that you are kicking on your right side for a few seconds, then roll to your left as you extend your left arm kicking for a few seconds on your side, then roll back to the right kicking on your side, then roll back onto your back. Repeat starting on the left arm. Very cool drill. I assume it is going to help with my roll.

Today I tried to focus on pulling the water using my whole arm (as opposed to just my hand). I think I did a really good job with this except on the 125 set. I noticed that most of the workout I wasn't positioning my head as high as I would like. Staring more at the bottom of the pool than at the water in front of me. I assume it must be because my neck is tired. In addition to the swim camp I have been doing push ups and the runners world ab session everyday so I think that may be taking its toll on my neck. The good part of this though is that I also noticed my head is moving with my arm as I extend. So I think this means I am rolling better. And with that here are the stats:

Warm Up 4*(100 free, 100 back, 50 kick)
5*150 on a 3:00 send off (This was probably too easy but I thought 175 would be pushing it. All of these were right around 2:20)
5*125 on a 2:15 send off (This was my weak set, I think I was coming in around 2:05 on all of these)
5*75 on a 1:30 send off (Back on pace, all of these were around 1:10)
5*50 on a 1:00 send off (Easy as pie, all under 45 seconds)
2*250 pull easy focusing on stroke
50 triple back drill

But wait that's not all. ;) There were these two guys at the pool today and yesterday. They are swimming (I am using this term very loosely) together but using two lanes. I am not sure what these guys motivation is but they are horrible swimmers. They are swimming like they don't have goggles on even though they do, with their heads out of the water the whole time, splashing all over the place. It is painful to watch! It is like they are attacking the water. Hopefully they will go get a coach. And I hope they are just swimming for fitness and not planning on racing or they are going to be in big trouble. I think it may be more of a social outing as they stop at the end of the lanes after each 25 and talk. Anyways I found it amusing but tried not to make eye contact as I was swimming. I probably look like a freak to them swimming all calmly over and over again.

There were a lot of women in the locker room today when I left. Note to those women (well all right really just a note to the closet exhibitionists in the locker room) I do not come into the locker room to see your bare naked self. So please close the shower curtain! Good Grief.

It turns out I wasn't the only absent minded one this morning. Another lady forgot her pants. I think I would rather have forgotten my coat. Coming in to work with no pants might be pushing the dress code a bit.


Very thoughtful post by Jeff. Go check it out.

Double the fun

Todays swim poll: What and when do you eat before your swim? Leave a comment and I will reveal my pre swim eating ritual tomorrow.

Amazing. I managed to wake up at 4:45 two mornings in a row and got to the pool by 6AM again! (despite a malfunctioning dryer and a change in todays outfit plans) Today's swim had more yards but a little less speed.

3* (100 free, 100 back, 100 kick)
500 EZ (8:37)
5*100@2:00 (50 free, 50 back)
400 pull
5*100 @ 2:00 (75 free, 25 stroke (alternating breast/back on stroke)
300 EZ something like 4:40
5*100@ 1:45
4*50 drill (Catch Up,Slow Arm Recovery,Fingertip drill,Fist swim)
200 EZ
4*50 drill (Catch Up,Slow Arm Recovery,head down,Fist swim)
Total Yards 4000 Total Time 1:28:26

I managed to get to bed relatively early last night and Sunday night. Which probably helped waking up. The rest of the week won't be so easy as I have social outings every night.

Got out to the Tuesday group run a little early and did a "warm up" loop with B. 16:26
2nd loop took it a little easier 18:09
3rd loop we added the hills. Uggh. We did the back hill. The hill is probably between 300 and 400 yards long, and its rough. 16:16 to get to the bottom of the hill.
4* up/down 2:00.93/2:09.08, 1:54.93/2:05.93, 1:54.23/2:13.89, 1:48.69/2:22.20 (it was chilly by then so my butt was too numb to be sore)
bottom of the hill to the end of the loop 1:50.23
Last loop ran with Su. We finished that one up in 18:10.
Total time 1:28:02
Total Mileage ~9.5-10
Average Pace 8:48-9:16

Ran into some hooligans on the 3rd and 4th loop. They can't have been much older than 14 and I am pretty sure they were drinking. Lovely. They called CK the n word (note we are all whiter than ghosts). Made me a little nervous but Su and CK didn't seem to be unnerved.

Just ate dinner and I need to shower. Drank some Merlot in honor of Mouse and I need to head to bed. Gotta wake up early and swim ;)


Went to start my month of swim camp this morning. The receptionist informs me that because I have been going to the pool with Team in Training I am not eligible for the free month (it isn't available to members). Blow! But she lets me swim this morning and tells me that the manager will call me. Well I worked my magic and convinced him to let me have my month free. Its the small victories in life that count right?

Quickie Swim Run Down

4* (150, 50 backstroke, 50 kick)
10*50 at 1:00 (ez out, build up back)
500 Time Trial 8:08 (uggh 5 seconds slower than last time)
5*100 @ 1:45
2* 50 Catch Up drill, 50 Slow Arm Recovery, 50 Fingertip drill, 100 Pull
total 3000 yds total time 66 minutes

Got home and it was still light out, this waking up early thing may have its plusses. I figured I would give my husband a break since he was working 10 hours today so I cleaned the bathrooms, swept, took out litter etc. Now I am off to make dinner. Not much here in the meat department so I think it is going to be tuna helper.

Back to the hills

Official Boston training starts this week. I didn't check the schedule on my way out but assumed that I had a 10-12 miler on the plate. I was wrong, my "long" runs don't start until next Sunday.

But I got in 12 miles today. 1:37:41. I forgot how evil "the hill" is when you haven't climbed it in awhile. I figured I had to make up for a week of slacking somehow though.

So after the run I did the runners world ab progression from the feb mag (sets of 8) and some push ups.

I slept off the vacation last night but am still a bit sleepy. I think my month long swim camp is going to start tomorrow. I have to redeem my month membership to Peak before February 1st. I am going to have to learn how to get by on a little less sleep this month.

Had a good run with G this morning. Listened to his JFK tales from last year. MG says I should do Sunmart, but the nice thing about JFK is it won't require flying. Bad part is 26 miles on the towpath. I still think it will be good as my first ultra. Lots of people I know will be there. Should be fun.

Feeling a bit antsy. Almost went and got my hair chopped.

Sorry for the randomness of this post. Hopefully tomorrow I will get back into the groove of things.


We are back from Phoenix. It was in the 60s here while we were gone. Should've known.

I am absoultely exhausted even though we haven't really done much today.

Below are lots of random Phoenix photos in no particular order and with very unoriginal captions.

We had a very good time at the desert botanical garden yesterday.

I only took 182 photos this trip. I should have take more for sure.

Tomorrow its back to the norm so I am heading to bed early in the hopes of making it out to run with the Sunday crowd. I have a TON of vacation weight to lose already.

Don't touch

Group Shot

Still a geologist at heart

Strange cacti formation and awesome rock formation

Cool patterns

Joshua Tree

Creepy Crawly

Landscape shot

lovely leaves


Theres a humming bird just left of center


Red Tops



big and prickly

sweet nectar


Old man cacti

up close cacti

Octopus Cacti

view from the Christiansen (sp?) (100) trail


Cacti Blooms. (There weren't many this time of year)

That Cacti will eventually kill that tree. Wonderful way to pay it back for protecting it while it was little.

Bojum Tree. Our B and SIL bought one. V. cool looking tree


What a cute weiner retriever!

Hubby and Bailey walking

Red Feather Blossums

Ferocious Wildlife

Cute little Cacti Tree

Cool Formation viewed from the desert botanical garden



I'm It

When the Black Knight tags you, you follow along (Don't piss off the Black Knight!)

So here they are:

1) What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was in my freshman year of high shool. Probably in Florida for the Outback Bowl around this time.
2) 5 snacks you enjoy?
Ice cream (choc chip cookie dough), Popcorn, Trail Mix, Chocolate, Crackers
3) 5 songs you know all the words to?
I know the words to way too many songs. These are the ones that come to mind right now: Strawberry Fields (Beatles), All the songs from Wicked (That counts for my 5 I think) ;)
4) 5 things I’d do as a millionaire?
donate to all my fave charities, retire, become a park volunteer, travel more
5) 5 things you like doing?
running, cuddling with my husband, reading, blogging, swimming
6) 5 favorite toys?
My Giant OCR2, Computer, Settlers of Catan, Game Cube, I miss my truck :(

No tagging from me, play along if you like.

No running today. Hubby and I went to the Mountain View Park and the Northern Mountain Preserve and got in some hiking. My left arch is still feeling funky. Hmmm.

Relaxing in Phoenix

So I haven't gotten out for a run since the race yet. I need to get out today. My left arch has been pretty tender, hopefully not plantar, meh. Luckily for me I can't feel any pain in my feet while running, only while walking. Hopefully this will go away with some stretching and ice over this week.

Thank you so much for all the kind comments! I am very happy with my race performance. It was rough but I think it was the perfect starter race for the season. I was getting spoiled with all my PRs last season. I am going to have to buckle down and train right to get the results I want.

Our vacation plans got modified a wee bit. David's bro ended up having to go to Dallas for work yesterday through tomorrow night. We were going to use his car to get around but it malfunctioned Sunday on our way home from dinner and is still in the shop. So yesterday and Monday we pretty much just relaxed, played some darts, took Bailey for a walk. I picked up Memoirs of a Geisha at the airport on Saturday morning. It is very good so that has been keeping me busy. I will probably finish that this evening. Hoping to get out to the botanical gardens or the zoo tonight when our sister in law gets home. The neighborhood is just Phoenix suburbs so not really exciting running conditions. Tomorrow I am hoping for a trail run and some hiking.

Non race highlights of the weekend: Saturday we got up at 4:30 AM to head to the airport. Once on the plane at 6:30 the pilot informs us that they have to plow our runway and he doesn't know how long it will take before we get going. Two hours later we take off. So that was a little odd. Luckily we sat next to a guy around our age that was friendly and chatted us up, so it wasn't entirely boring. Take off was a little frightening. The wheels actually lost grip on the runway and we slid to the left. yikes! Definitely the scariest take off I have ever experienced.

We finally got to Phoenix and experienced the crazy luggage terminal. It was bizarre and took about 15-20 minutes to find our luggage. We headed straight to the expo and I did the fastest expo run through ever. I forgot that I wanted to get some sunglasses, but I didn't want to make David and his bro wait so I just got my goods and we headed home.

We stopped at Costco on the way to get something to eat. We just got some pizza. I assumed that they were regular slices and ordered two. Haha. Imagine my surprise when they brought me two plates. Oops. But I ate them regardless, extremely greasy stuff. After Costco we came back to our BIL's place. Very nice house. They have the cutest cuddliest dog ever! Bailey is a wiener retriever. So cute! I will post pics later.

After David’s bro made dinner and we ate we headed out to the Cavs vs. Suns game downtown. Traffic was horrible and we missed the first half of the 1st quarter. Not too bad though considering. Check out the vids below. The game was fun but alas the Cavs couldn't pull it out. Like my husband said you know its bad when Lebron scores almost half of the team’s points because that means the rest of them aren't doing squat.

Yesterday we went and saw King Kong. It was okay. I didn't really enjoy it as much as I was hoping though. I didn't care for Jack Blacks performance at all, but I guess you aren't supposed to like him. We walked back from there, about 3 miles. Had dinner at a sports bar, the Lasanga was really good.

I think I am going to get some more blogs read than maybe sit in the hot tub for a bit. Not sure when I will run...Ahh vacation. I am loving it.

The best laid plans…

Well the day didn't go quite as planned. Traffic was a bear yesterday morning and there were long lines for the shuttle. I thought I had left myself plenty of time to get over to the marathon start at 7. Turns out I didn't get off the shuttle until 7:45 and could just catch a glimpse of the 10,000 or so marathoners heading out onto the course.

I was planning on wishing everyone a last good luck and meeting Commodore and perhaps Bella but after a trip to the bathroom line, dropping off my goody bag and wading through to my corral I was there just in time for the start. I didn't really realize how many people were actually running in this half. Over 18,000 people. 24 corrals. It was big!

I was a bit stressed with all of the people starting with the traffic then wading through all the lines but once I hit the Corral I was good to go. No place I would rather be than a start line (okay maybe transition the morning before a tri, I always get a sense of peace while setting up my transition). I was extremely agitated with a few volunteers and one particular traffic cop but I got over it. Someone should tell these people not to make smart ass comments to people running a race. Before the race I am a ball full of nerves and the slightest thing sets me off.

The half started a few minutes behind time. Not sure what the deal was but it was fine with me. I decided to wear my TNT t-shirt. In retrospect I should have gone for the tank. Just because mid 50s/60s feels cool while standing around I should know by now that I will be boiling within the first few miles.

Note: Extremely ugly sunglasses will make you run faster!

It was a wave start for the half marathon so the first corral started and we moved up to the start line and started a minute later. This ensued for 24 corrals. This was supposed to allow for more elbow room. I think it worked pretty well. It was still a busy course but I can imagine it would have been much worse had everyone started at the same time.

I was worried about the run as my 30 minutes "easy" on Saturday was pretty ugly. I felt dehydrated and swollen. Like I was having the fattest day of my life. The two plate size pieces of pizza I had before the run probably had nothing to do with that ;) The run on Saturday was supposed to be an out and back 20 minutes. I got a bit lost in my new surroundings and ended up out there for 30 minutes. I knew that I was going to need fluids the second I got back 3 minutes into the run. Around 25 minutes I see this station in a parking lot with a huge sign stating WATER. I am like you have to be kidding me. I guess you can fill up your gallon jugs there or something. But it was definitely a cruel sign when I was out there running and desperately craving fluids.

As we started off I felt pretty good though. No swollen hands thank goodness. My left shin started to burn a bit but I just tried to relax my stride and fall into pace. My plan was to try to run 7:27 pace for the first 10 then pick it up at the end in order to PR. I went into it knowing that that might be out of the question considering my lack of training lately, but if you don’t try you won't succeed right? So I figured I would give it a go. The first 3 miles were great, probably a little too fast but it felt relaxed. They blew by in 7:25, 7:21, and 7:12. At this point I am thinking that I am definitely going to PR and to just ease back into the 7:27 pace and I am golden.

The first of many bands along the course.

My perceived effort after that third mile went into my slightly uncomfortable zone. I figured I must be keeping pace; I am usually really good at running a steady pace, so I was a little disappointed to see 7:32 at the next stop. I was cool with it though knowing that I had a few fast miles already "in the bag." At this point I am starting to get hot and I am looking forward to the next water stop. At the water stop around 5 I took a gel some PowerAde and water and started to feel refreshed. It was like a load was lifted, still came through at 7:33. The next mile I was expecting a good split since I felt refreshed and there were some good spectators and bands to pump you up. But I came through at 7:42. I was still hot, considered taking my shirt off but was more worried about sunburn than overheating. I just kept dumping water over my head at every water station. I was really happy that there was actually some shade on the course and tried to take advantage of it. I put my head down and tried to get back on pace but mile 7 came through at 7:38. At this point I figured I needed to back down my goal to a sub 1:40. Still very doable.

I missed mile 8 somehow which wasn't good for morale, looking down at your watch and seeing 9+ minutes since your last split :) I was looking forward to 10. Supposedly the slightly uphill course was going to start heading downhill after that. Came through 9 at 15:46. Took another gel and now we had wind coming at us. The wind and the gel gave me another boost so I figured once I hit 10 I could hammer in and hopefully get a few more fast splits. 9-10 was more uphill than the rest of the race and I came through at 7:51. I had pushed that mile so I was happy knowing I had sub 8 on an uphill mile. I figured with the down hills I could get back down to under 7:30 pace. Well 11 came and went in 7:45. It wasn't as downhill as I had hoped for. I knew I only had 2 more miles so I picked it up and finally got back to the pace I was hoping for 7:24. At this point I am figuring sub 1:40 is not too far out of reach.

Around 12.5 we hit huge crowds and a decent alternative band blaring music at us. Huge surge hits then I look down and realize that I still have over a half mile to the finish. I felt dried up and just tried to focus on getting in on pace. I hit 13 at 7:48 and realize that in order to get in under 1:40 I am going to have to run like I am finishing a 5k. Crud. But I managed to finish strong and snuck in at 1:39:42. I was really happy to be done.

So no PR but still my second fastest half. I am happy with it. I don't like running in "heat" so I feel pretty good about my performance. I definitely didn't leave anything out on the course.

David managed to get a few pics of me passing by. I was drenched from all the water I dumped on myself. But the good thing about that was I wasn't covered in salt.

I’m the one in purple.

I grabbed some food and recovery drink (nasty stuff I tell ya) and headed to the family meeting area to find my husband. He wasn’t there when I first walked in so I decided to take advantage of the medical tent and had them put a Band-Aid on my blister. They pulled out a lance and everything. I told them that really wasn’t necessary, I just wanted a Band-Aid so that it wouldn’t bother me while walking around the rest of the day. After the medical guy put that on I went back and found my husband. We got my free beer and chilled in the sun for a few minutes.

I changed into some fresh clothes and we headed out to the marathon course to cheer. We found a spot about half a mile from the finish and camped out.

We saw Kurt come around the corner and I got a great shot of him!

After that though it was all misses. I never saw Ellie, Tri-Mama, Jayhawk, Josh, or Tammy. I did see a few of my TNT friends from Ohio. And we met up with GC and his daughter who were waiting for R to pass by to the finish.

We did see some interesting characters though :) including a man in a pink tutu, a TNT angel, the hulk, and a Star Wars trooper.

My husband got some good shots of the children’s race coming in before the half marathon.

Around 1:40 we headed to the car. It took us about 40 minutes to get out of the parking garage and another 40 to get back to my brother in laws place. I got in a quick shower and we got ready for dinner.


We went out to Los Olivos for dinner to meet up with Kurt, Tammy, and Ellie. We had a great time, and yes my blogging friends are indeed just as wonderful in person. Ellie brought her husband too. He and my husband chatted while all of us bloggers talked marathon jazz. It was really cool to meet everyone. Hopefully they didn’t find out just how weird I actually am ;)

I did hold up my reputation and finished my whole chicken chimichanga. Wouldn’t want to let blogland down ;)

Tammy and Kurt are both incredibly tall! (Okay Tammy says 5'10 is not that tall, but I believe she is tall enough to be a model and in my 5'4 book that is tall!) I felt like a shrimp! Everyone had great races despite the heat. Head over to their blogs to read their race reports! It was the perfect way to wrap up the whole race experience. It was very cool that the 4 of us from different corners of the states were able to get together and meet. Hopefully we will all be able to do it again at another race down the road.

We made our way back to my BIL’s place and hit the hot tub for a bit. Had some ice cream cake for his birthday and I fell asleep while we were watching TV.

This morning we are just relaxing. I have already had way too many cups of coffee. The internet connection is down so there is no telling when this will get posted. When it is back up you can expect a post about Cavs game with video!

My dad called last night and gave me the race stats rundown. Top 1% of females, top 2% in my age group (22 out of 1,000+), top 4% overall. I’ll take it ;)