“A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” - Walt Disney

Monday, February 20, 2017

North Texas Winters : A False Sense of Security

Things I consider safe to assume about winter in North Texas:

  • It starts about mid-December and lasts until the first week in March.
  • Temps will be lows in the low 30's and highs in the low 50's.
  • I can sleep in a little on Saturday mornings and it won't affect my long run.

Things I should never assume about winter in North Texas:

  • Anything I stated above.

Yeah....high's in the mid-70's all weekend with bright sunshine are not ideal running conditions when you start mid-morning.  Yikes!  Still managed to have an awesome run, though, after bumping my intervals to R15:W30.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

I'm Back, Baby!

I am officially BACK.  On Sunday, along with several dozen of my friends and thousands of strangers, I ran the "Donna" Breast Cancer Half Marathon.  This was my redemption race post-hysterectomy, and I came back with a bang!

Donna is a race my friends and I have been doing for the last four years because it's awesome - it's a 13.1 mile party with amazing spectators, lots of "beverages" and fun times to be had by all, so I can't think of a better race to make my return to racing.

We flew into Jacksonville on Friday, and Mel and I got to meet our "running guru," Jeff Galloway and chat with him for a few minutes!  He claims to remember us from several events he's done with the Dallas PGL's, but he's also a really nice guy and would probably say that anyway.
Mel & me with Jeff!

Saturday was a bum around the beach kind of day with lots of time with good friends, good food, and good drinks.  We relaxed, walked in the surf, and prepped for the run the next day.

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View from our balcony
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Sunday morning, race morning, dawned foggy and slightly chilly (for Florida).  We welcomed the overcast skies as the forecast was for a warm and clear day, which makes for rough running conditions.  The good news is that we weren't taking the race seriously - we were all about the fun, with planned picture, "beverage," and snack stops along the route.

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My awesome group of friends pre-race

I'd been training using an interval of 15 second run / 45 second walk, so the plan was just to continue with that and see how it was going.  We had a ton of fun running, and met friends old and new along the course.  

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Old friends!
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New friends (left) we met on course!

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Friendly strangers!

The tough spot is always the last few boring miles heading to the Mayo Clinic, over a huge causeway bridge, but we kept up my run/walk intervals the whole way to the top and stopped to take a quick picture at the crest of the hill.

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Mile 12 at the top of the bridge!

We finished strong with a 3:20, which was an over 30 minute course PR for me!

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Texas ladies together!
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Then we continued our tradition of using the Atlantic Ocean as a post-race ice bath and consuming even more "beverages," lol. 

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Bayou Rum punch bucket!
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Ocean ice bath!

10th anniversary medal

I am SO happy to be back to racing and really looking forward to my upcoming spring full of great races and what I know will be more great times with friends!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Glitter Stars Galore

You might remember this old post where I wrote about how I like to give myself stars when I finish a planned workout as a motivational tool / reward system.

Monday night as I was putting a star on my calendar after finishing my strength training, I realized that as long as I did Tuesday's planned run, then I would have completed every single workout I had scheduled in January.  Every. Single. One.

Well, there was no way I was going to blow the opportunity to accomplish that, so of course I gladly hopped on the treadmill on Tuesday, and after my 3 miles I gleefully placed my last star of the month on the calendar.  Check out all those stars!

This never happens - I'm great at planning out a training schedule, but some (most) times I'm not so great at following through on the schedule... so it's a HUGE achievement, especially considering I had both work and personal travel throughout the month!!!

I'm so proud of myself that I still haven't flipped the page over to February yet, just so I can glance over and see all those glittery stars.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

I Have Seen the Error of my Way(finding)

If you saw the picture I posted on Facebook Saturday after my run, you already know I got a little ... well, lost ... and ended up running an extra 1.5 miles that morning for a total of 10.5 instead of 9.  Now, thanks to actually studying the map (better late than never?), I have seen the error of my wayfinding, and I'll know better next time I'm visiting my family and need to get in a long run.

I started on the far west end of the Mockingbird Trail (purple on the map) and ran until the Eldridge Pkwy bridge, at which point you have to switch to the north side of the bayou.  I continued along the north side on the Quail Trail (green) all the way past Kirkwood to go 4.5 miles before turning around (remember - the goal was a total of 9 miles).  On the way back, I mistakenly assumed that I could cross back over to the south side of the bayou via the bridge across the bayou at the Blue Jay trail (blue).

What I didn't realize is that in order to cross at that bridge, I'd have to take the northern spur up the Cardinal Trail (red) first.  I realized I'd definitely made the wrong choice when I saw the I-10 freeway.  Oops.  I finally checked the next "You Are Here" trail map I saw, and realized that I could get back to the bridge I needed to cross over, but only after a pretty significant detour.

I did, indeed, finally manage to make my way back to the car, with quite a bit of unplanned additional mileage.  On the upside, I'm feeling better about my training for the Donna half in a few weeks!
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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Thoughts on a Freezing 8 Mile Run

Start:   Okay, I'm leaving the house.  I have on cuddleduds under my tights, a longsleeve shirt, jacket, hat with earcovers, and gloves, so I'm good to go.  OMG.  It's freezing.  Literally freezing. Actually, it's several degrees below freezing.  There's still snow on the ground - this is a really bad idea.  No, the sidewalks are clear, so the trail's probably okay.  No excuses.  I'm doing this.

Mile 1:   My lungs are burning.  I can see every breath in the air.  Maybe I should have worn some kind of mouth cover.  Oh look - another runner!  Dude, we're hardcore.  Yes, our mutual waves mean "glad to see I'm not the only one crazy enough to run in this."   Maybe this isn't so bad - I'm actually smiling.

Mile 2:   Oh my.  The pedestrian bridges over the creek are still covered in ice & snow and are potential death traps.   Go slow, go slow, don't break a leg.  Hopefully as it continues to warm up, and as the sun keeps shining, then the next ones will be thawing out.

Mile 3:   My hands are hot.  I think I'm going to take off my gloves.  Oh shit.  Nope, gloves going back on!  My palms are really hot.  Do they make palm-less gloves?  I mean, I know they make fingerless gloves...but my fingers need to be covered - my palms are hot!  I should check into this when I get home.

Mile 4:   Okay, time to turn around, and fuel.  Uh-oh, my gel is practically frozen.  Maybe I should stick it in my bra so my body heat can warm it up a little and it'll be easier to get down.  OH GOD...I think I've given my left boob frostbite!!!  Is that possible?  Soooooo cold.    But, it seems to have worked.  And hooray for freeze-proof water fountains!

Mile 5:   Dogs in winter coats are the cutest thing.  Ever.

Mile 6:   Where did this wind come from?  Did I have a tailwind outbound and not even notice?  I feel like I'm slowing down.  Ooof - the wind makes my face hurt.  Back to wishing I have some kind of face cover.  Why does the outbound leg not feel like it's downhill, but the return path definitely feels like uphill?

Mile 7:   This bridge definitely did not thaw out while I was out.  Go slow, go slow, don't break a leg.

Mile 8:  1 mile left.  I am a total badass for rocking this run.  It feels like it's finally above freezing, but I've warmed up a lot, so maybe that's just in my head.  No, it's definitely gotten warmer.  There's less snow along the path than when I started.  This last mile sucks.

Done:   Home!  Home!  Home!  OMG, now that I've stopped moving, I'm freezing again.  Totally shaking, even inside the house.  I'm making myself hot tea and hopping in a steamy shower.  Yay me!