Last "Tri" of the Year

Our local triathlon club has a virtual tri camp (VTC) every year where each participating member logs their miles for 10 days and the man and woman with the most points gets crowned the VTC King and Queen. Well this year they added a twist and it is men versus the women, and I have not been doing very well for my team with all these rest days the past week. So today I made up for that a little bit with a mini end of the year "tri."

Woke up early and headed to the local (20 yard, warm-Uggh!) pool and got in a quick 1,000 yards(10 points).

Then I loaded up my trainer, gatorade, bike etc and headed to JT's place for a group brick with JC and DaisyDuc. We did 135 minutes on the trainer (45 points) with a few harder sets worked into the first hour then headed out for an easy 4.25 mile run (17 points) around the 'hood.

It was a good workout with great friends. Nice way to spend the morning, although I am sure I will pay for it tomorrow during my 12 mile New Years Eve run with my running club.

I am off to take a nap now then it is time to clean up the house.

Tomorrow is David and JT's birthdays so we are headed to JT's for some partaying and then Monday I am going to kick off the year with a mini tri. A 5-25 yard "swim/polar plunge" in Lake Erie, a short trainer ride, and a short run. Then we are having some friends over for games to celebrate David's birthday. Should be a fun weekend!

Happy New Year everyone!
Breakfast at IHOP after the annual December 24th run in Bedford

Starting to get back into my running groove. I felt like crap the entire run and the hills were brutal, but was glad to know afterwards that it was because we were averaging just under 9 minute miles on one of the hardest routes I run all year. There's hope for me yet!
Christmas Eve
Christmas Morning
Stocking Stuffers
Three Kings Day

Stolen From Su

If I understand this Meme right you bold the items on the list that apply to you then add one of your own to the end. I thought it was a good one.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa.
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne

24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking

37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer.

40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk.
42. Had amazing friends

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe.
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach

50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero

58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football

61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured an ancient site
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played Dungeons & Dragons for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently well enough to have a decent conversation
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour

99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication

106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a sting-ray
110. Broken someone’s heart

111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone(fractured metatarsal)
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about

130. Gone back to school
131. Para-sailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes

134. Read The Iliad
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you

145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident

150. Saved someone’s life
151. Finished a marathon
152. Finished a Half Ironman
153. Finished a 50 mile ultramarathon

A short jaunt on the towpath- JFK Part 2

As I started onto the towpath I looked around. Runners were a bit more spread out now. I had been passed by a large group while I was changing shoes so these were mostly new faces, and a few ones I had seen earlier on the trail. I tried to settle into a comfortable pace as SP told me to run my own race now. I saw B50 back and forth for quite a bit through this section. We just weren't running the same pace and taking the same walk breaks.

There were a few people I noticed more than others. One was Conrad. He was wearing red and we had chatted briefly earlier on the trail. We were both running at a decent clip so we decided to hang for a bit. He had a sub 10 goal as well. My plan for the towpath was to run 20 minutes/walk a minute and walk through all aid stations. I think Conrad was on more of a run to each aid station and wait for his friend plan. I had to lose him a few times for my walk breaks but would see him at the next aid station where he would be stretching and waiting for his friend while I snagged some potato chips, a cookie, and more gatorade. I would have liked to keep the permanent company but I felt like this "easy" pace wasn't quite easy enough and that I needed it to feel like I was holding back a bit. Conrad went on to finish in 9:35!

There were stone mile markers along the towpath. I knew that we got on somewhere around 58 and we got off at 84ish but I didn't pay any attention to the mile markers for the first 15 miles or so. I really didn't want to be thinking about how far I had gone or how far I still needed to go. Instead of looking at actual miles I would occasionally glance at my watch every two markers to see my pace, knowing that if I had crossed one at 21 minutes and the next at 41 I was averaging around 10 minute miles. I feel like a big part of mentally surviving extreme endurance events is just staying in the moment.

The towpath seemed to be more dirt than gravel which was nice. It felt more like a trail than the towpath in Cleveland does. The Potomac was raging until we hit the first dam where it suddenly became calm. I have always loved running along the river and tried to enjoy the chaos of the rushing waters. The views of West Virginia across the river were beautiful too. There were a couple places where you just had to slow and soak it all in.

The wind was a bit fierce for a few miles early on and I threw my jacket back on just in time for a photo. Luckily I found that one in the lost and found.

During each one minute walk I would try to eat some sports beans and drink. For awhile the 20 minute intervals seemed pretty long. I would glance at my watch thinking it must be close to time for a walk and it would only have been 4 minutes from the last walk.

I thought it was so funny how you would see the same people over and over again because of the difference in run/walk plans. I ran with another lady for a mile that seemed a good pace for me but then it was time for her walk break. Everyone was very friendly, runners and volunteers alike. Always commenting on how well I was doing for my first time or cheering for the "pink lady" and "Wild Bill." I saw the same cheering crowd at almost every station along with a man holding a sign for Ray.

Since the healthy aid station stop I had made at 15.5 for orange slices and bananas I made a switch to foods with more sugar and salt. I was taking a handful of potato chips and a cookie at every stop. (Who knew those little half vanilla half chocolate with cream filling cookies were such a great fuel?)

Around 22 miles I accidentally tried to take chips at the same time as another man, Travis. I apologized and we both got our food and walked on. I noticed his shirt said North Country Trail Marathon and I commented that I loved that race and was planning on doing it again next year. We started to chat and decided to run together for awhile. I convinced him to switch over to my 20/1 plan so we would both have company and hopefully run at a slightly faster but still safe pace. This was his second JFK and his goal was to break 10. His wife was also running and he estimated that she was about 30 minutes ahead of us. He was looking forward to seeing their family at the aid station at 30.

What feels like a few miles into our run now but must have only been a mile or so thinking back I saw B50 up ahead and watched as she bit it, Hard on the path. I jogged up to her and Travis said goodbye to me. I looked at her in the eyes and asked if she would be ok. She looked back at me and nodded. Two men had already stopped to take care of her so I decided to catch Travis and keep running. Thankfully one of the men that stopped with her caught us and let us know that she was just fine and that she had just knocked the wind out of herself but was more in shock than hurt. From that point I thought of her often and wondered if I had made the right decision to keep moving along.

I chatted with Travis every now and then but for the most part we just kept each other company. Even if you aren't talking it is nice to know you have a friend along for the ride with you. Around 24 miles we picked up one of my friends from Cleveland, BH. BH had a huge year this year, running well in several marathons and ultras. He was walking and he recognized me as we passed and picked it up to stay with us. He said he had gone out a bit fast on the trail, and just wasn't feeling it. He said he was ready to drop and was just trucking along until the next aid station which he thought his wife would be at.

I was disappointed he wasn't going to keep running, it would have been nice to run with someone I knew. But we enjoyed the miles that we did get in together. Somewhere through here we passed the local legend Leo Lightner who I had been lucky enough to run with earlier this fall at West Woods. I think this was his 10th JFK in a row at age 78! As we passed a towpath marker Travis remarked that we must be halfway done. I looked at my watch which was around 4:58 and thought "No way!". I expressed my joy in being right on pace for a 10 hour finish. I didn't think I would be so close to pace yet, feeling that I would slowly make up the slow trail miles over the course of the towpath marathon. Travis wasn't quite as happy mentioning that he would like to have a bit more of a time cushion. The three of us stuck to the 20/1 plan and I continued on with Travis as we left BH at the aid station around 27 miles.

These miles are blending together in my mind which is probably due to the good company. I honestly can't remember but swear there was also an aid station at 25. Seems like a lot of aid stations in a small space though.

At the 30 mile aid station Travis found his family and I ran ahead. I saw a few runners that had blazed by us early on the trail and overheard one of the girls say "I thought running was supposed to be fun, this isn't fun." Thankfully I was thinking just the opposite as I headed for the food. I think this was the first aid station with soup and I gratefully sipped on that while walking through this section. I grabbed three salt pills and took one with some water, storing the others in my fanny pouch thing. I ate a cookie and moved along. A few minutes after the aid tables I hear "Go E-Speed" and see Rootsrunner and his friends sitting at the side of the trail. I stop to chat and he asks if he can get me anything. I blank a bit but then ask for electrolytes. I tell him about B50 and BH and he offers me some gum which sounded good so I took a piece and headed on my way.

During the next 4 miles the trail became a bit more shaded and I spent most of the time just moving forward. I found TB and we ran together for a bit. I would run ahead and make a pit stop and then find him ahead of me again at the next aid station. This happened twice over 8 miles and made me laugh both times as TB commented that it was awfully nice of me to keep making the pit stops so he could catch up to me. (I swear a portalet would magically appear every time I needed one on the towpath, the ultra gods were definitely smiling on me)

During this section after one of my pit stops I got out my carbo pro in a baggie and dumped it into my gatorade. Well I must have somehow got the baby wipes on that bag and every sip I took tasted like baby wipes and made me want to hurl. I thought maybe I just got it on the mouthpiece so at the next aid station I thoroughly washed the cap with water and moved along. Unfortunately somehow I had gotten the baby wipe flavor in the bottle so I had to dump the whole thing and wait for another refill until the next aid station. I was ticked because that was about 300 calories I had to dump but I figured I must be getting enough in at all the aid stations, and that it was better to have less fuel than to get sick off baby wipe flavored gatorade.

Around 34 miles I stopped to empty my shoe and saw a possum ahead running along the towpath towards the runners going the other way. Not sure what he was up to but it was a nice distraction from the task at hand. Later I found out that B50 stopped for him and tried to share her cookie but that he kindly turned her down and said he was headed for the aid station and better grub. :)

It was somewhere before the 38 mile special that the snotting incident occurred causing me to laugh out loud and exclaim that "You Got Me!" Turns out the snotter had sold me my JFK bumper sticker the night before and was very friendly. I saw him back and forth for the rest of the towpath and he would often encourage me and remind me that I was going to finish. To which I replied that at this point finishing was a sure thing, now it was time to think about finishing under my secret dream goal.

I eventually made it to the 38 mile special station and was elated to find jolly ranchers there waiting for me. I took a handful and grabbed a cup of chicken noodle soup. I walked along slurping my soup. Grabbed a P&J sandwich but it didn't taste good so I stuck with the noodle soup and laughed as a lady passed me with soup too but she had managed to find spoons and was doing much better with hers. I laughed but kept on slurping.

This section of the towpath was pretty well lit and I really noticed the fall leaves as I sucked on my jolly rancher. I noticed a runner about my pace and decided to stick with him for awhile to pick up my pace a bit. The miles were starting to slow down and I wanted to get back in a groove. I hung with him for a bit and we picked up others and passed some more of the AM starters. I always tried to pass along a "great job" to anyone I went by. It was such a treat to see so many groups of runners together laughing and having a good time, and thinking of how most of them had already been out there for two more hours than I had.

Check out this Flickr Page for some more fun JFK 2006 Photos

Through this section I started to feel a bit tired, never depressed or like I wouldn't finished, but a little less peppy. I slowed for a walk break. Somewhere after mile 38 I started trying to do some math. It wasn't going so well. I kept running the numbers but they weren't coming out right and I finally decided that I actually had an extra 2 miles more than what I thought was left on the towpath which may have also contributed to the slightly more tired feeling.

Despite those feelings this was the section of the race where I really started to realize what an amazing accomplishment the day was. I had made myself a pact to be happy with whatever the day gave me and I was so excited that it was going so well. During this section I made a lot of self reaffirmation. This is where I truly realized that it didn't matter if I took one more step, I had proven to myself that I was a good runner and that I had earned the title of one.

Luckily I was just really bad at math and shortly after the mile 84 marker I saw an aid station and stopped to get some cola (deciding the poor math skills and lack of peppiness warranted some caffeine!), chips, soup, and a cookie from some very under enthused teenage volunteer's (perhaps they hadn't chose to do this ;)) I followed a taller man I had seen back and forth since before the possum off the towpath with a shirt that said "Size Matters" on the back, and he turned to me and said "We beat the vest." I looked back at him in disbelief and replied "No freaking way!" and then I started hooting and hollering and proclaiming "We beat the vest!" while pumping my fists in the air. I heard a few comments from behind about how I shouldn't get so excited "The hardest part was yet to come." I honestly didn't care one ounce! I looked at my watch which said 7:56 and realized I could walk in and finish under the cutoff and was elated.

I had finished the towpath marathon (26.3ish) in 4:40.44 and was super pumped up for the last section of the race to begin.

C & O Towpath pictures from this site

Just so you know

I just tried orange juice on my cereal for the first time (milk is expired), and it is quite disgusting.


I also just discovered that I had about 70 unused Christmas cards from the past few years but I have no idea which versions I sent to everyone so I have no idea what to do with these perfectly good cards.

Goals today are to get in a spin workout and some pilates. Wrap some Birthday gifts. Pack for the trip to Michigan. Update my blog to "beta" after making a backup up of all posts to word (anyone have a quick fix for that?). Post about the second leg of JFK. Organize the tupperware cupboard. Do laundry. Perhaps organize some photos, digital and hard copies.

I think I can handle it!

2 a weeks

I have become a Tuesday and Wednesday Runner. Well at least for the past three weeks I have :) Last night I ran 2 light miles with my husband which was nice. I know he hates it so I try to enjoy it for both of us.

Tuesday night it was back to hill repeats. I couldn't quite keep up with the boys but I held my own. We did a hill ladder workout on the less steep but longer back hill in the park. 4 mile warm up then 1/3 hill, 2/3 hill, hill, hill, 2/3 hill, 1/3 hill. My best guess is that the hill is between .2 and .25 miles long. I managed to negative split the ladder so I was happy with the workout.

Stats for the run:

19:16 2 miles (9:38 pace)

18:45 ~1.75 miles (10:43 pace)

Hill Ladder (Hill ~.20-.25 miles) (.33, .66, 1, 1, .66, .33)
Hill Split (rest/down hill)
35.87 (1:02),
1.0037 (1:32),
1:37.63 (2:19),
1:36.24 (2:21),
59.06 (1:42.04),

16:20.64 ~1.75 miles (9:20 pace)

I'm a far cry from 7:30 pace right now but I definitely felt stronger after the hill workout so maybe my speed will start coming back to me!

I haven't forgotten about JFK or a few other posts rolling around in my brain, I just haven't had time to get them down, but I do relive JFK at least once a week at group runs with those who haven't heard the story :) Trying to drag this one out as long as I can!

Bizarre Phone Call

This was so odd I had to post about it.

Went to a party Thursday night for a TNT friend I hadn't seen in forever. I got there early and was helping set up. Someone brought up having drama and I realized I have no real drama anymore. At least not the kind that always seemed to surround me in high school and college, and for a few minutes it really made me breathe easy.

Well about 5 minutes after I say something along the lines of "it is so nice not to have any drama anymore" my phone rings.

Unidentified Caller

So I pick up and hear "Who the hell do you think you are?"

I hang up because obviously this call is not for me.

Phone rings again so I pick up and declare "I'm sorry you must have the wrong number"

The retort comes "Well who is this?"

I repeat that I believe she has called the wrong number.

retort "This isn't Colleen?"

me "No this isn't Colleen, you have the wrong number."

retort "Well who the hell is this?"

Me "Elizabeth and I am sorry but you obviously have the wrong number."

retort "Well you're a bi&^h anyways." click

I put my phone back in my pocket completely in shock of what has just happened.

Obviously someone was really in the mood to give someone a talking to and since she wasn't able to get a hold of Colleen she felt I was a good surrogate.

Some people!

2 out of 3...

isn't so bad right?

I managed to wake up earlier two mornings in a row but this morning was a bust. I got up, walked across the room to turn off my husbands alarm, and then I marched over to my alarm and reset it for 40 minutes later.

For reference my alarm is on our dresser which is about 3-5 feet from the bed. I think I woke up to my alarm 4 or 5 times, got out of bed and turned it off and went back to sleep 4 or 5 times. I'm crafty like that! I even took out my ear plugs thinking that the noise of the humidifier would draw me from my sleep, but it was a no go.

Oh well! On my run tonight I was a bit drained so a double with a swim this morning probably wouldn't have been too bright anyways!

I am going to attempt for the early start again tomorrow though to get into the pool, wish me luck!

Onto other business.

I have had all my Christmas cards written and ready to go since last week. I, at the time, wasn't waking up early, so I thought to myself let's order our stamps online this year to save a trip to the post office. I ordered them Thursday. Are they here yet? NOPE! Uggh. And to top that off I had to go to the post office this morning anyways to drop off our cards going to foreign countries but couldn't buy the stamps there because they already charged my card for the stamps I ordered online :( I do have one thing going for me though, our cards this year are totally non religious so it is okay even if they arrive after Christmas.

We do have all our presents wrapped and the decorations are up so that is good. Of course all of the gifts are hidden in the guest bedroom because my cats have a ribbon and tissue paper fetish.

I have been looking over training programs for the 5k and I think I may be in serious trouble. The First program looks rough. I am not sure if you are supposed to base it on your current 5K time or your desired time but either way the paces are FAST. Much faster than the 11 minute miles I am now accustomed to after running 50 miles at that pace. I think I can handle the shorter stuff fast but some of the tempo runs look wicked. 2 miles at something like 6:46-7:08 pace, Yikes! Basically the 400 pace would be something like 5:46-6:08 and long tempo paces would be from 7:16-7:38 pace I distinctively remember seeing mile repeats at 6:11 pace and almost fainting. I'll have to look tomorrow at the time frame etc. Chili Bowl in February may have to just be a warm up for the real PR test if I can't get my speed up fast enough this winter. Right now I am kind of enjoying running just for the sake of running at any pace I desire.

Good Sign

It's 6 AM and I am up and getting ready to head to the pool.

This is a good sign that I may be able to climb out of this funk I have been in!

My trick? I set David's alarm clock to wake me up instead of mine. What you may not know about me is I am a snooze aholic. I can press the snooze for hours and literally fall right back to sleep after every snooze. Our bed is so comfy and most mornings it is much too difficult for me to drag myself out of bed. It seems to get especially difficult in the winter when it seems to always be dark and cold. I am hoping this new trick will keep me waking up earlier and getting more done in the morning!

This weekend was productive despite feeling like crap. Friday I had a migraine and stayed home but I got all my holiday cards addressed and I finally finished A's scarf that I started for her 2 years ago! Saturday was candy making day. I cut back on the amount I am giving this year but still went to help David's mom and sister with the production of the candy. My head was fuzzy all day long but I managed to survive. A nice surprise this year was that we were done with everything including clean up by 10 PM. And that was after starting an hour late. The third person really helped!

Yesterday I didn't manage to get out of bed to run but after sleeping in super late I did get up and start to tackle the mess that has overtaken the house. I got caught up on all the dishes and laundry and cleaned up the living room and hall.

Last week I did get in 2 short runs at a pretty slow pace. Today I am going to start my "official" training to PR my 5k in February. Looks like I will be spending some time on the treadmill to get in some speed work. This could get ugly ;)


I don't know what is up but this week I have just not had the will to post or comment. I am reading and I will click to comment, but then I realize I've got nothing.

No clue what that's about. I think the looming cold weather and the early darkness probably are playing a part. Might also be this empty feeling I have since doing no excercise since Thanksgiving.

Anyways bear with me. I am sure I will be back up and posting in no time.