Final Countdown

It’s the final countdown!  We basically have one month until our big day!  We’re trying very hard to up our intensity and keep up with our running schedule.  It rained 1.15” today, which, let me tell you, made it a challenge getting to school.  Due to the rain and inept drivers, we got trapped behind a minivan that contained 9 children (it was like a clown car) all of which had to get out of the car while we waited.  Then when we finally got past all of the children we found ourselves stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.  We decided to turn around and go a different way.  The road we chose ended up being closed and we were redirected onto the highway.  Needless to say we made it to school but the torrential rain continued all day, so after class  we headed to the gym to run and lift.

Since it’s the start of the school year, and it was 4:30, the gym was filled with eager freshman, all desperate to avoid the freshman 15.  We actually had to wait for treadmills.  I think of the start of the school year like New Years resolutions.  Everyone starts off the school year with great intentions to get in shape, eat right, study, keep up with  reading, etc.  But what happens?  A week later they discover that happy hour starts at 4 and sometimes you have to prioritize!  That’s fine by me…that way we don’t have to wait for treadmills anymore!

Eventually we both got treadmills.  Luckily mine was stationed in front of Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami and since I don’t have cable, I always welcome the opportunity to watch mindless television.   Plus the entertainment made the run go faster.  We both ran 8 miles (I ran in 75.22) which I was more than happy with because I felt like I hadn’t been running very far or fast lately.  After the run we stretched and did some crunches.  We realized that we were sitting on the mats not doing anything, so we decided it was best just to go home.  It’s a good thing because I am feeling really sore!

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I’m Back…Finally!

WOW! I cannot believe how long it’s been since my last post!  I went on a week-long vacation back home (it was completely delightful and I mostly laid by the pool) and today I had to head back to school.  I cannot believe my summer is over!  I must admit that in the course of going home and enjoying my last week of summer, I might have slightly failed at running.

I ran…just not as far and fast as normal!  When I was home I had the privilege of running with my oldest sisters.  For the first time in my life I actually out-ran them!  I’m not bragging (ok I sort of am bragging) but it felt pretty good knowing I could finally at least keep up with my big sisters!  On our first run I took them on this 5.5 mile run, which ended up being this crazy hill debacle, culminating with me getting lost and running in a giant circle.  That’s what I get for ditching my sister who was the navigator!  That week I also ran on the treadmill, ran a nice three miler and then went with my sister on this trail for 6 miles called the Oak Leaf Trail.  It was this really nice trail that winds along Lake Michigan, through the woods and under the city.  That sounds confusing, but the trail really does have all of those features!

When I got back to Omaha I ran a 5 mile run (pretty effortlessly I must say — I must have been having a good day!).  Then I decided to be completely lazy and useless and didn’t run for four days.  Eventually I tracked down my running partner and we decided to get back into our regimen.  On Friday we were gracefully jogging along when all of the sudden my appendix ruptured!  Ok that’s not what happened, it was a side-ache but it really hurt!  Sadly it was only 2.5 miles into the run and I had to walk.

Last Saturday, my partner convinced me to go  on an 8 mile run through the desert, with the sun blaring down on us.  To prepare for the trip, I went shopping!  I got a water bottle belt (pink of course), Smart-Wool socks (love them!! They are green!), a tank top (also green!) and another pair of hot pink socks (apparently they prevent blisters–I’ll report back on that).  Anyway, I filled up my new water bottle belt, which I must say really weighed me down, and we started our journey.  It wasn’t really through the desert, but it was so sunny and went on forever!  My running partner ran two miles further than me (she’s such a trooper) but I headed home because I feared I might get sick if I kept going.  Just as I was a block away and enjoying my cool down walk, I became aware that I was being followed….so guess who had to keep running (actually sprinting) to find my partner!  Ladies, don’t run alone!  The silver lining though is that adrenaline still works even after 8 miles.

On Sunday we decided to cross-train by going on a bike ride.  It was quite the bike ride!  We took the bikes to the gas station to get air in the tires, realized we forgot a little air pump thingy for the tires, went back to get it and then filled up the tires.  Then I tried to get on my bike and it wouldn’t pedal.  I realized the chain was derailed and so I got my hands good and greasy and fixed it up.  Luckily my sisters and I had a tandem growing up that always derailed so I’ve had my fair share of experience fixing these things.  I got back on the bike and all the sudden I felt out of control.  I didn’t want to tell my partner that I thought I was going to crash into something and figured I felt funny because I hadn’t rode a bike in a year.  A second later I really came close to crashing into a car and realized my back tire felt funny.  I got off the bike and it was flat!!!!  We hadn’t made it a single block away from our house 🙂  That was our cross-training for the day!  When we got back we did P90X (I have no idea if that’s really what it’s called).  We did the ab disc and I mostly held my breath through the entire 16 minute disc to try to make it to the end.  I’m so sore today.

Since today was the first day back at school we got to use the gym again.  It was so repulsively hot that we could only run 5 miles.  To compensate we lifted weights, specifically targetting our legs.  I haven’t lifted in a while and tonight I’ve been so hungry I could eat everything!  My metabolism must be reved up.  Also, I’m finally officially signed up for the half, which means less than 5 weeks till show time!  Woohoo!  Finally, I need to give a much deserved shout-out to my special guy who always reads my blog and tells me when I’ve made mistakes,  and who I am proud to say, had his first run today!!  Keep up the good work dear 🙂

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Must Hit The Books…and the Hay

Since tomorrow is the MPRE day, I have to make this quick, as I need to get back to studying AND sleeping.  This is going to be difficult to do both at once so I’ll probably just sleep on my review book!

Yesterday I did the loop run, which never ceases to amaze me!  I am always exhausted on that final hill and almost always think “man I can’t make it up this thing.”  People who see me running it must wonder if I’m about to collapse and have an asthma attack.  Sadly, even after two months, it always feels like that!  Oh well.

Today was a really busy day between work and studying.  I got to brief a four star general today, as well as a bunch of other important folks who probably had stars and stripes and all that jazz, too.  I came straight home from work (or an afternoon lunch I should say) and got right to studying…after I talked on the phone for an hour, danced around my apartment and did my dishes.  As a result, I took the night off from running.  I also wanted to let my dedicated fans know (please, someone be dedicated!) that I am heading out of town for the weekend and my location will be so remote that I won’t have internet!  Oh the horrors!  Fear not though, friends, I shall return to civilization by next Monday.  In any event, I will document my running then.  See you in a few days… and wish me luck on the MPRE!

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Running Away From the MPRE

I have to take the MPRE on Friday (the ethics portion of the bar exam) and instead of studying, I decided it was urgent that I run instead.  It’s strange, but I really feel like  I had a “break through” with running.  I think about it all the time, and not like the way I used to think of it as “oh ick running, I hate doing that, I think I’ll doing something more fun like shopping or laying by the pool.”  Now I think, “oh running, I’ll feel so good when I’m done and my legs seriously are starting to look like Penny’s from Dirty Dancing!”

We hit the gym and in an effort to have a quick workout, I decided to do some endurance training.  I ran two minutes at a 10 minute per mile pace and then ran one minute at a 6.44 minute per mile pace (yikes that literally made me feel like my lungs were collapsing).  I did that same pattern for three miles and then finished out the fourth mile at a 9 minute pace.  It was a great little work out and I think I want to do that more often because it was a fun change to just running and running and running and, oh wait, running some more.  Plus I could feel my lungs burning, so that must be good for making those bad boys stronger.

After I regained feeling in my legs, we decided to do some arm lifting.  We did chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders, and some other junk.  I hate arms so much, but it’s fast and it’s all part of the total package for getting in shape.  Then we did ab work, which consisted of floor sweepers (such a killer–it hurts my stomach more than that time I had an allergic reaction to fish oil and had to get some pain killer shot for my stomach pain!), some crunch-type things that look like a beetle on its back (honestly, I wish I knew the names of these things), more beetle-type ab things with a medicine ball from side to side (although we were supposed to go to 50 with those and I couldn’t breath so I had to stop at 40 because I literally fell over from the lack of oxygen), crunches on the big squishy ball and then the dreaded plank.  Pretty soon you will be able to wash clothes on our amazing abs!  Well that is if I ever give up eating Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip….yummy…

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10 Miles!

Today I ran my first 10 mile run!  The first 7 miles I ran at a 9.13 mile pace, which took 64 minutes and 31 seconds.  The last three miles I ran in 26 minutes (not seconds like I originally wrote!).  10 miles in 90 minutes and 31 seconds!!!!!!!!! I really cant believe it!

I ran on the treadmill at the gym, which was pretty nice because for the first half of my run I was the only person in the entire gym!  I also got to watch some silly show on Bravo (I think it was Bravo) about a Millionairess woman (who was completely into herself) who plays match-maker to other millionaires.  It was completely ridiculous and kind of sad, but it made the run go by really fast!  Around mile 7 I decided to pick up the pace and right as I was kicking it into high gear my treadmill turned off.  It was really upsetting, but I quickly jabbed at some buttons and my treadmill was spinning once again.

Then out of no where, came this painfully sad commercial playing Willie Nelson’s “Always On my Mind,” and it showed all these poor, neglected animals.  Completely in my own running world, tears sprung to my eyes and I had this urge to call and donate the remaining $1000 in my bank account.  A few moments later I remembered I was in public and regained my composure.  I hate those commercials — how can people be mean to helpless animals?

Anyway, with the exception of that commercial, my run was awesome!  My blister acted up  but I just finished soaking it and scrubbing it with my pumice stone.  Overall, I felt pretty good most of the day.  I had my usual stomachache and fatigue, but that was all.  I really didn’t plan on running 10 miles today, but for some reason I felt like I could bound away all day.  I only hope the half goes as smoothly…

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Half of the Half!

Once again, today was one of the most perfect days for running EVER!  It was mid 70’s, breezy, sunny and very low humidity.  Because it was so perfect we thought it would be a divine day to run half of the half marathon course.  We hit the pavement around 4:50.  The very first stretch of the run was a straight up hill!  Once we reached the top, we thought, well it’s probably not going to be so hilly from here on out.  It wasn’t until we got to mile 2.5 that we hit another hill; this time it was gradual but really long!  Eventually we reached the 3 mile mark and turned around to head back home.  The last stretch of the run was honestly brutal.  We ran 10 blocks (10th Street to 20th Street) and it was massive hill the whole way. It’s amazing that we didn’t notice on the way down just how steep it was.  I wanted to die at that point in time because my throat was so dry!  At least when we run the half marathon there will be water every two miles.  It is SO hard running without water!  I felt just like Garfield when he used to get trapped in the desert and see mirages all over the place (although he always saw lasagna and meatballs and I really just wanted some water).

We completed six miles and it was 5:50 when we made it back to our parked car.  You can see the course map here:

http://www.omahamarathon.com/maps/omahamarathonmap.pdf

We did the West/ South portion of the run… basically downtown to Conagra to 6th St and back.  Feeling like champions, we decided to go lift weights.  I could barely lift up the bar when we tried to do dead lifts.  It was totally painful.  We lost steam fast so we only did dead lifts, squats, calves and abs.

When I got home I peeled my socks off my feet and examined my aching foot.  I discovered this massive blister — it’s totally sick, but I think people should see what I’m enduring!

My utterly disgusting blister!

My utterly disgusting blister!

After I showered and rolled around on my tennis ball again (to try to fix my knot! – if you have a better idea let me know), I cooked a delicious dinner with fresh squash, cucumber, tomato, chicken and pasta.  Perhaps I’ll post a picture tomorrow.  I promise it’s less disgusting than my foot!

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3, 5, 5

I swear I’ve been running…just too busy to tell you about it!  For some reason the nights fly by and before I know it it’s 11 PM and I haven’t wrote my blog yet!  Three days ago I ran the three mile loop with my coworker.  I was shocked by how fast she was running it and for a few minutes I was like man all my training is doing nothing!  Here she is doing a full out sprint and she hasn’t run since May!  It was impressive.  Unfortunately during the last stretch of the run (the dreaded hill), I looked over and she was making the universal choking sign!  She couldn’t breath!  I’m a bad friend and I went on without her.  A few minutes later, like the trooper she is, she made it to the top of the hill– still breathing!

Yesterday my running partner set out to run 5 miles.  It was beautiful outside– low humidity and cool temps.  Simply perfect.  Sadly my run was less than perfect.  Less than two miles into the run I developed the dreaded runners stitch (aka a side ache).  I felt so frustrated.  We walked for a few feet and started running again but it didn’t go away.  We had to walk the remaining three miles.  What a disappointment!  I felt like a failure, BUT sometimes you get side aches and there isn’t anything you can do about it.  If there is a cure I don’t know about, please let me know.

Today I psyched myself up and gave my right side a pep talk to not get another side ache.  I made the 5 mile run, with grace and style!  Well I don’t know about that, but I managed to complete the 5 miles without a side ache!  My body feels pretty good except for the knot that is still ruining my back.  After I took a shower I used a tennis ball between the wall and my back.  It was painful but it seemed to help for about five minutes.  I think I’ll keep trying to massage it out everyday with the new tennis ball method.  In more exciting news, I heard my doorbell ring and I had a package waiting at the door!  It was two pairs of running shorts that I ordered.  I like the shorts, but one of them have slits all the way up and it makes me feel sort of exposed!  I think I’ll keep them anyway because real runners wear really short shorts!  Now I’m a real runner!  Here are the new shorts:

The shorts that expose my leg!

The shorts that expose my leg!

Yes...I got that color, of course!

Yes...I got that color, of course!

Don’t mind those creepy waxy legs!  Wouldn’t that be creepy if I said those were my legs?  Yikes!  I mean they are nice and slender but so shiny and plasticy!

Anyway, on those first pair of shorts, you really can’t tell but the slit goes ALL THE WAY up to the waist!  I can literally open the shorts up in the front and back and expose myself!  It’s kind of weird, but at least I’ll stay nice and cool on hot days.  Now I still have to buy some fancy wool socks (or something like that) and a watch!  I can’t believe I don’t have a watch yet.  Oh and for the record, I’ve been asked this a lot lately why we are doing all this running — we are running a half marathon (not a full marathon, and certainly not just for fun! HAAA this is so not my idea of fun!) As I said on my first blog post, before we started training my idea of running was to the mall for a sale.  Stay tuned for next time.

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