Thursday, May 29, 2008

3 miles didn't happen and the hospital is on fire...

Soooo….3 miles without walking…..didn’t happen. I think it had something to do with not being able to breathe, and maybe the strep that started showing up today on top of my cold/flu. I did 2-1/2 miles total. Walked the first quarter, ran a half, walked a half, ran a half, walked a half, ran the last quarter really fast while yelling “big finish” with my arms in the air. I think my sister and Steve both think I’m completely off my rocker because I like to end my runs in that fashion. (I don’t do it if there are strangers around, you’re not reading the ramblings of a complete nutso).

When I got back to the house after that stellar performance, Steve and Marty were flipping between the 3 Detroit sports teams playing at once. I sat down with the laptop to check out some blogs and we started talking. Big talker Steve casually announced that he has no doubt he could run for 30 minutes without walking. I will say that he made it very clear it wouldn’t be a fast run at all, but that he could complete it. I personally don’t think he can. So I’m challenging you, big guy. On Monday (I took Monday off a few weeks ago, I think I forgot to tell you) morning we’re going to hit it and you can go as slow and gentle on the knee as you like. We can even go to Riverside Park so you can run in the grass beside the trail. Winner buys sushi buffet for lunch.

Not running related at all, but in case you didn’t know my office is right in downtown GR. And a helicopter just crashed into the hospital in front of us. And the flames are huge, the smoke is incredible. Apparently the fire is spreading fast. I imagine its got to be pretty hard to get to the top of a giant building to get the fire put out.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Little sister is in town

Jill drove in last night.

I have a ferocious cold. I'm sure its practically pneumonia. They could probably study my lungs right now to learn how someone can function on so little oxygen. I've also been known to be slightly dramatic.

But since my sister was in town, my very own running partner that runs longer and faster than I do, and does it 7 hours away, I really wanted to run with her. I figured I could do an easy 3 miles in my sickened state, or I could take advantage of her being here and possibly do one 10 minute mile. I know everyone is laughing right now because I am soooo funny. But I still wanted to at least feel what that pace feels like.

So speeding off we went. Within a tenth of a mile I was questioning my sanity. And gasping for my life. And wondering if I told Jill where I hid the key in the car so she can go for medical assistance. And she's just chattering away. Lisa this. Race that. Look at that cute bird. And she ran 13.1 miles like that a week and a half ago. What the heck???

It didn't last long. I made us slow down and decided to exchange the favor and show her what a 14 minute mile feels like. Yeah, I said it. 14 minute miles.

My running is what it is, a work in progress. I'm working on distance without walking right now, not speed. I figure speed will come. And if you haven't noticed my title.....I'm chubby. This crazy new hobby of mine doesn't come naturally. If you can't pat yourself on the back in your own blog, then where can ya? 2 months ago I couldn't run a block without walking and now I can do miles. Go me. Don't worry, I'm aware that its only 2 miles. Lets see if tonight is the night for 3 miles. Besides, I read on someones blog (please claim this, I don't remember who I stole if from) that running won't kill you, you'll pass out first. So crazy cold and all, I'll be out there tonight. I'll let you know tomorrow if I hit the 3 mile mark :)

Side note: My friend Super T has been buckling down and sweating to the oldies and since the beginning? of March she has lost 29 pounds. Go Teresa!!! I'm so proud!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

run, run, run

I have progressed from hoping to be able to run the first couple miles of my run and wondering if I can do it, to knowing that I'll be able to do it. Not to say that its not a little tricky and I still have goofy fantasies of curling up on the asphalt of the trail. But I know that I'm going to be able to do it without least for the first mile or two. Saying that, I just decided that today is going to be the day I hit three miles without a walk break. (I'll add an update later after I do it). My sister Jill is in town for a wedding, so we are going to do tonights run together.
I'm really digging the new park I've been running in. I realize that once I get up to really long runs, a one mile loop isn't going to be realistic but I've got plenty of time to figure that out. Especially since I think a break off trail turns it into a 2 mile loop. I think what I like about it the most is that Steve can come with me because it is such short route. He has to walk it, so on this loop we are never really that far apart and neither of us will have to wait very long for the other to catch up when we are done. Even though he's not right with me, its nice to have a partner out there. Especially the for high fives when I pass him :)
Speaking of the big goof ball. We had his 40th birthday party last night and it was a huge success. He had a great time, I had a great time, and I'm pretty sure that everybody that came had a great time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

5 weeks, 10k

$20 says I'm going to be running a 10k in 5 weeks. I was only going to sign up for the 5k. But then I glanced up at my training schedule (because everyone has it posted on the wall of their office, right?) and realized that race day will be my 3rd long run in a row 6 miles or more (6,6,7). So click, confirm, send and Amy's going to be dragging her tookus 6.2 miles. woowoo!!!

I also think that having shorter goals is going to make this summer go more smoothly, and help me from losing my focus again, like I did last week. These next 5 weeks are going to be going right along with the 30 week plan, but its an easier bite.

Does anyone else find that smaller goals that still point them towards the big goal make for an easier journey? What is your next small goal?

This horse farm's stretch of fences and pasture is my favorite part of my regular route

Oh, I just remembered, I wanted to mention my new place to run. There is a park about a mile and a half from our house that we just checked out last night. I know, I know, we've lived here for two months, and we just now dragged ourselves over to it. In my slight defense, its down the hilly section of the path, so I usually just try to tack on a few hills to the flat part, and not make a day of it. I haven't actually made it as far as the park. Anyway.....we loaded up the kids bikes (they're little, they can't do 3 miles to get there and back, and still have a good time on the park path) and headed out. And it is so cool! Part of the land was donated a couple three years ago, and the rest the township bought from a beef plant with money from a grant. The Grand River actually wraps around the east and north sides of the park. They left two silos, and turned one into some sort of observation deck. There is a great loop of bike path and I just went on to see if I could figure it out. The loop is a perfect mile! How great is that for timing stuff when I want to see where my pace is at? ok, ok....its 1.01 miles, but I may have been too generous on some bits of the path, so its close enough as far as I'm concerned. And seriously, I'm nowhere near any point where 5 seconds is going to make any kind of difference.

Monday, May 19, 2008

It really is going to be ok

I know I only mentioned my running, or lack there of, briefly in yesterday's post. Mainly because I didn't want to sound whiny with my zero interest in anything running. I kept wondering to myself how I could to from being completely excited and a little bit obsessed, to wanting nothing to do with it. And no, it wasn't my vacation, I started feeling this way about a week before that. Or maybe it was my vacation, and I was just putting my mind in vaca mode early. Regardless, I'm sitting in my office right now, and the only thing I want to do is go for a run. I keep day dreaming about my path, about my legs getting so tired. But instead I'm trying to get back into the work swing of things wondering where in the heck file R0054787F is. Seriously, I think a good 4.5 miles would be perfect. I would probably do 3 on the flat path, and then 1.5 on the hilly path. Can't you just about taste it? I can!!!

And back to that training group I was thinking about joining, but was too scared. I'm going to save that one for this winter. I think it will be good for me to have something more serious to keep me going through the Michigan winter. Right now though I am going to joing up with a regular ole running group. There isn't a coach, there aren't serious training plans, its just a Saturday morning run that starts at the zoo, and then an evening run some night during the week from Johnson Park. And there are even walkers in this group. It sounds very friendly, just a group of people running/walking together.

Moral of the story, I think I'm back on board, or at least in the process of climbing back on board. And its all going to be ok.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I stopped thinking I could become a runner, but I changed my mind and I'm back

My vacation was wonderful. Let me tell you what we did. Everyday we hit the beach at about 9:30 or so. The fruity drinks started flowing daily around one -ish. We would head in around 6 and then shower up and head for dinner around 8. And thats it. Everyday.

I read 3 books!

I leafed through countless magazines.

I took a lot of naps.

I saw dolphins.

I cooled down in the ocean.

And nobody said "Amy, can I have a snack."

And nobody called me up and said "I have a closing scheduled and its a foreclosed property so its special"

And I didn't have to think "dude, 100% percent of my work involves foreclosed properties, you aren't special"

And due to the very liberal application of SPF 50, I only got slightly crispy, and only on my back because out of sight, out of mind.

Check out a few pics...

Unfortunetly, I only took the before and after pictures of my crab leg dinner on my phone, so I can't share those with you, but here is Katrina and I before we had that fantastic seafood meal!!(I'm on the left)

And the view from our room. Horrible, I know :)

Katrina and Nicky and their giant beers...

The pirate ship that floated by every hour. At first it was just "hey, check it out, a pirate ship!!!" After the 4,529th time, it was "great, the pirate ship again, I'm sick of waving"

I came home wednesday and right away Steve said "gonna blog?!?!" and I said no. I didn't have an urge to run, to think about running, or to read about running. Same thing on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Although I did go for a short run on Friday, it just took me awhile to get myself out there. Maybe the bug just loosened his bite on me for a while. I feel it coming back though. I'll be going for a nice run tonight. I'm looking forward to it. I think it is all going to be ok.

In other news, little sister ran the Celcom (?) Greenbay Half Marathon today!!! That's right, little Jill is seriously the coolest chick of the day!! I have her blog listed to the right, go ahead and pat her on the back!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

The next 5 days...

So I just got home, and I'm watching Futurama while waiting for a load of laundry to do its thing. At 5:30a.m. tomorrow Steve will drop my tookus at the airport so that I can spend the next 5 days in Clearwater, Florida. It gets better, our hotel is on the beach.....a beach that has drink service. I know, it really isn't fun being me sometimes. :)

Seriously though, I've never been to Florida. I've never been on a girl trip. I've never had 5 days in a row that consisted of me drinking fruity drinks, reading my books and making sure I put on my sunscreen on a regular basis (I have Michigander that just came out of hibernation skin....not pretty). I'm charging up my mp3 player as we speak, and as soon as we get done here, I'll check Napster to see if there is anything new I'm needing. And I know what you're thinking, I'm not trying to skip around, I will be packing my running shoes and appropriate running bra. I'm not sure if out hotel has a workout room, but either way, I have nothing against a few new streets.

So, that being said, I'll be back Wednesday night or Thursday, rested and with some pictures!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Should I join a training group??

First off, my run tonight was 2 miles. I didn't run the entire thing. But I did work really hard on picking up my feet and transforming myself from a shuffler to a jogger. And I did sprint up my driveway when I was done. Seriously, that is a nasty driveway. Maybe I need to head out just a tiny bit earlier. I tend to do better when it is still somewhat light out. Maybe I just have more to look at and don't get bored? Regardless, I'm happy with what I did. Tomorrow is 3 miles. I'm going to try to do the first 2 miles without walking, and then walk to the driveway next to the horse farm, and then run to the path bridge that is roped off. I know, I know, none of this means anything to you, but it helps me to put my goals in writing.

Check out this training group. Its run by my running store (you know, the one that let me exchange my first pair of shoes after putting 3 weeks and 30 miles on them and lost the receipt). There is even a beginner group for the GR marathon/half marathon. Something like this certainly couldn't hurt me, but I'm too scared I think. Kind of like its only for real runners, not for shufflers like myself. It kicks off at the store on June 4th with a speaker. I'm thinking about going sock shopping that night, and then if I see even one other chubby girl (or guy....I'm open to anyone) that looks welcomed, then I'll just sign up at the store. I'll even have a month to get myself feeling more like a real runner. As in maybe I can run 5 miles without walking?!?! I just have visions of all the 100lb runners in their running bikinis on one side chatting and laughing and hugging and skipping, and then me on the other side.

I think I'm going to contradict myself with this next topic, but here it goes anyway. I really appreciate everyone giving my blog high fives for being able to run 2 miles straight. I know full well from reading everyone else's blogs that you are all well past me in terms of ability. I wouldn't be surprised if everyone else was even able to run 2 miles on the first day (it took me 6 weeks). But I also know that everyone was as excited for me as I was. Its kind of like we have a little club simply to pat everyone else on the back. I guess I'm just trying to say that I appreciate every single one of you that leaves encouraging comments and that asks me how things are going and acts impressed. If I was doing this all alone in my own little world, I would have stopped 5 and a half weeks ago. As it is.......24 weeks to marathon!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

I crossed a hurdle!

WooHoo!!! So I had every intention of doing Chris’ challenge and adding 10% to my furthest run, but I tweaked it somewhat. I had decided to not really increase my mileage for 2-3 weeks or so, and just try to master the miles that I have. Until now, the furthest I could run before taking my first walk break was 1 mile. And I’ve only been able to do that about 3 or 4 times. (yeah, I really did say ONE mile, it is what it is). I think part of it was a mental thing. The one mile mark is at the very top of a hill. I’m so dead when I get to the top, I think my head says to my legs “high five, you hit the mile mark, you didn’t stop halfway up, go ahead, take a break”. And my legs of course are all for that idea. Back to my run last night. I was going to do 3 miles. And I was going to run 1.5 miles before I walked. I was going to tackle that hill and the mile marker even if it involved tears. Or at least I really really hoped I was going to. I have to report…..wait for it……………


That’s right, who’s the runner now?! I got to the 1.5 mark (the first cemetery driveway) and still felt good, so I turned around and kept running. And then I told myself that if I didn’t hit the 2 mile mark (the fire hydrant that is next to a mailbox) then the extra I ran past the 1.5 just didn’t count. So I made it!

Tuesday is a 2 mile day, hopefully I can do it again. Wednesday is 3 miles again, we’ll see how that goes, Thursday is 2 and then Saturday is 3. I think if I buckle down this week and I should be able to do the full 3 miles without walking next Saturday. But I’m not going to get ahead of myself. Today is a rest day and I’m going to enjoy it :)

On to much more exciting news, Julie had her marathon yesterday in Oregon. Her best case goal was 5 hours and she got 5:01. High Five! Ok, so yeah, there’s that little minute hanging on there. But isn’t it better to miss your best goal by a minute than to have come a minute under your next goal? She also did a cool thing to get through the miles by dedicating them to people. I got mile 5 :) (I won’t lie, I teared up when I read that, commercials with babies and puppies get me too). I just have to say “Girlfriend, you ran 26.2 miles. All on the same day. You get to put the little 26.2 stickers anywhere you want!”

Friday, May 2, 2008

The not my guilty pleasure, the other hills

This week has been a crazy busy week. I work in the foreclosure business, but on the happier end of things, like when a first time home buyer gets a great deal on a house and can put their family in a better neighborhood than they would otherwise have been able to (nope, not a real estate office, or mortgages, we'll leave it at that). People are buying these foreclosures up like crazy all of a sudden. Plus with May 1st being the last day to file for homestead exemptions, this week was chaos. Moral of the story, I didn't run on Monday or Tuesday. And then Wednesday I had Nathan by myself while Steve went to do something with some friends. I would have put Nathan on his bike, but he wasn't feeling very good and I couldn't bring myself to make him go for a long bike ride to meet my goal. So I was all suited up when Steve got home at 10:30. Unfortunately, I had looked out the window and swear I saw someone out there. I know if I was running in the dark as saw something scary, I would never do it again, and that would really cramp my schedule. But don't worry, I didn't skip any runs, everything just got bumped a 2 days.

Of course Jill emailed me yesterday and asked if I just hadn't logged my runs on the website, or if I hadn't run. Deep down, she's a bully.

But apparently, everything worked out for the best. Maybe my poor shins needed that 3 day break. Two doors down from our house is the trail (its really a bike trail, but I don't bike, so I just call it the trail, its paved though....don't picture me being all tough jumping over tree limbs, I don't roll like that) and its at a corner, so I can go east and have a nice flat run, or I can go north up and down and up and down the rolling hills. Serious, these are crazy hills. One of the communities is even called "Mountainside".

I haven't don't the hills since my first week of this madness, so up and down I headed last night. You wouldn't believe how good I did. I wasn't even shuffling! I was picking my feet up, I had good speed, it was incredible. Maybe it was the fact that I knew I only had 2 miles on the docket, but I felt like a champ. Even going up hill. I planned my short walk breaks for the downhills because running uphill felt so good. I figured this might be the only time that running uphill was going to be a good time, so I worked it hard. I didn't even get excessively out of breath. Maybe I'm turning a corner?