Random Tuesday Thoughts and Some Running

Even though I failed to blog a Random Tuesday Thoughts post last week, my life and thoughts were pretty random.

The bands of Hurricane Lee hammeered our area and since I don’t do rain, I didn’t run much last week.  Lame.  I know, but nonetheless true.

I’ve been stalking the Disney site and Facebook page quite the Disney fan lately.  First, I entered the runDisney’s Share Your Bling Sweepstakes for a chance to win an all-expense paid entry to the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, including hotel, travel expenses, races fees and all kinds of cool VIP access to the races.  I added my Disney marathon photo to the runDisney Facebook page and even posted some bling on my profile for additional entries.  I hadn’t planned to run any races in January, but it’s paid for, then I’ll go for it!

But the Disney deeds didn’t stop there.  I also applied to be part of the runDisney Disney Mom Panel.  Living in Florida most of my life, I’ve practically grown up at Walt Disney World as well as ran through it three times, so I feel like I would make a great candidate.  I’ve even changed my Twitter profile to show enthusiasm for all things Mickey.  I need to change my Run DMT header too.

Somehow I survived the first week of school like a pro.  The family fell right into routine like we never even took a break, but then the second week of school was a disaster.  Maybe it something to do holiday weekend looming around the corner, but the last two weeks have been utter chaos around here and we haven’t even added any after-school activities into the mix.  What gives?  I don’t believe I could drink enough alcoholic beverages to make sense of it all.

Speaking of massive amounts of alcoholic beverages, my annual moms beach getaway is this weekend and I cannot freaking wait!  I missed last year because I wasn’t ready to leave my newborn behind, but I am back in full force and ready to soak in the sun and suck down the beer and not wipe any snotty noses or poopy butts for 3 days.  Well, you never know.  One of us may have a situation, but let’s hope not.

I am also looking forward to some beach runs.  I told Faith, Chrissy and Kathleen to pack their running clothes, but I don’t mind running along the beach by myself, as long as I don’t get lost again.  At least with some company, I can run some longer miles and hopefully, one of us will pay attention to where we are going as long as we are not too hungover and dehydrated.  Maybe I should pack my fuel belt just in case?

Yes, I broke down and finally bought a dorky hydration belt and you know what…I love it.  What a saving grace, especially on the big miles!  My new Nathan Speed 2 has pockets for my Cliff shots and a place to keep my car key.  It fits snuggly on my hips and doesn’t slip around.  I seriously love it and I don’t feel so
dorky in it after all.   In fact, I think I look pretty in pink.

The first time I tested out my fuel belt in was on a 13 mile run with Larisa and Kris.  Larisa got me hooked on the Galloway 3-1 plan.  I really noticed the benefits of the “run three minutes, walk 1 minute” training method the next day, because I wasn’t sore or stiff at all.  The forced walking intervals are a welcomed break and great for recovery.  And it doesn’t really add too much time onto my overall time.

13.1 miles

Time 2:46:38

Ave Pace 12:43

Max Pace 8:47

Like Larisa said, “It’s not about how fast we can go, but finishing.”  She’s so right.  I’m just trying to get back into the game and doing my best to finish.

So with that, I’ll finish by sharing some more of my runs.  Like I said before, I didn’t run much due to all the rain, but I did run in the 911 Memorial 5K on Sunday.  Watch for my race recap later this week.

6.2 miles

Time 1:15:53

Ave Pace 11:36

Max 8:19

 

3.1 miles

Time 33:28

Ave Pace 10:49

Max Pace 8:30

*Proudly submitted to Stacy Uncorked, because when I blog about my training, it’s usually pretty random.*

Stacy

Damp and Delusional

Isn’t it funny how some days you can’t get motivated to run?  You drag your feet.  Every step seems like an effort. 

 

That’s how I felt on Tuesday.  I had to force myself to run.  The weather is still miserably hot here and the humidity is stifling.  Therefore, Tuesday was not my best performance.

 

Distance 4.70

Time 48:70

Ave Pace 10:14

 

And then, there are some days when you jump out of bed before the alarm wakes up.  You’re ready to take on the world and some serious miles.  Today was that day. 

 

Tiffany (my running partner) arranged to meet at our usual spot at 5:15 this morning.  I woke up before the alarm buzzed and in record speed, I dressed and headed out the door to meet her.  About a half mile into my warm-up walk, I felt a light sprinkle.  I looked up and in my best Christopher Robin impersonation muttered, “Tut.  Tut.  It looks like rain.”  And then the skies opened and a monsoon rain fell on me.

 

I took it as a sign that my warm-up was over and I ran the next half mile to meet Tiffany.  With each squishy step, I remembered why I hate running in the rain.  Then, my MP3 player short-circuited. 

 

When I made it to our starting point, there were no signs of Tiffany although I was a little early.  It gave me some time to properly stretch and wring out my running skirt.  Ten minutes later, there was still no sign of Tiffany and I knew she had probably sent me an e-mail stating how she was going to take a rain check on the run and crawl back into bed.

 

Once I finished stretching, the rain stopped and I had to decide if I would run my 9 miles or go home.  I elected to start running and ran towards Tiffany’s house.  Maybe she noticed the rain stopped and she would be on her way to meet me?

 

When I arrived at her house, I spotted a light shining in the kitchen.  I lightly tapped on her front door.  A dry, beautifully groomed runner resembling a Barbie doll answered the door with a smile.  Tiffany informed me of an e-mail she had just sent bailing on today’s run.  However, now that the rain had passed and a disgruntled running partner stood at her doorstep, she quickly changed her mind and she was ready to go the distance. 

 

For the next soggy 9 miles, my Saucony shoes kept squishing and it sounded like we were being followed.  Then, my water-logged running skirt kept slipping off my hips and I looked like a stripper runner. 

 

But the real fun occurred around mile 7, when blisters began burning the bottoms of my pinky toes.  Like I said, today I was highly motivated to finish 9 miles.  Staying persistent,  I continued running through the pain.  With each agonizing step, I remembered why I hate running in the rain so much. 

 

9.0 miles

1:47:49

Ave Pace 11:58

 

It wasn’t my greatest performance, but at least I made it and stayed miraculously motivated through it all.    However, it will be a long while before I run in the rain again.  Hopefully, my shoes will dry out before then.

A Frogalypse

With the torrential downpours and thunderstorms over the past couple of days, I haven’t run since Tuesday.  When no rain clouds appeared this morning, I ran out the door for a 4 mile run.

 

Today’s run was gross.  Let me rephrase that.  The run was good, but the roads were disgusting.  I have never seen so many squashed frogs.  I suppose the rain confused them or perhaps the rains gave them the courage to explore beyond the cypress swamps, but the results looked like an amphibian apocalypse or what I’m calling “A Frogalypse”.  With visions of froggie guts hopping into my head, my college biology class came back to haunt me. 

 

I also spotted a flattened armadillo, which became one with the rode after being continuously run over and a few squashed snakes.  Yuck. 

 

Oh, the humanity!

 

I’ll try my best to shake off the horrible images that still haunt me to share my stats with you.

 

Tuesday- 3 miles

Time 29:31

Pace 9:50

 

Thursday- 4 miles

Time 38:16

Pace 9:34

 

***Disclaimer: No amphibians were harmed in the making of this post.  All amphibians sited were already dead.  Although I did not stop to inspect the flattened amphibians to determine if the creatures in question were frogs or toads, “frogs” were merely selected for the sole purpose to tell a humorous tale and lack any real scientific evidence to make such a classification.***

My Gusty Gasparilla Marathon

Although I was mentally ready for the race, physically I was not prepared for 20-30 mph winds and freezing cold rain during the Gasparilla marathon.

 

For the first few miles, we ran over dark cobblestone roads through downtown Tampa into Davis Island.  Although  running on brick was new to me, I felt comfortable running in the dark.  Not knowing where my feet would land was a familiar, uneasy feeling.

 

For most of the race, I stayed ahead of the 4:45/11:20 pace group, but behind the 4:30/10:18.  Despite the wind, my pace sat at 10:30.  I knew I would do great as long as the 11:20 pace group remained well behind me. 

 

At about 8:00, the rain hit and I thought to myself, Wow.  The rain came earlier than projected.  Then at 9:00 a.m., the skies opened and the real thunderstorms came.  The rain prior was a mere drizzle in comparison.

 

Between miles 10-16, I paced with some really amazing runners.  I bumped into Beth, a friend of Becelisa.  Gasparilla was Beth’s second marathon and like me, she had completed the Disney marathon last month.  

 

At mile 13, I stopped for my first Cliff Shot break and accidentally spilled water on Carey from North Carolina.  After apologizing for my clumsiness, I paced with Carey for the next few miles and learned Gasparilla was her fourth marathon with her last marathon being the Arizona marathon a little over a month ago.  

 

img_7700

 

During our run together, Carey and I also encountered an older gentlemen who was running in his 46th marathon and had finished the New Orleans marathon just a few weeks prior.  At about mile 16, Carey, the gentlemen and I parted our ways when I needed pop into a port-o-potty to pee.

 

During my second Cliff Shot break at mile 18, I texted Allan at 9:33 to boast about my incredible time.  Even with sheets of freezing cold rain and the wind against me, my spirits were up and I felt good physically and mentally.  I felt confident that I would finish the race under 5 hours.

 

Then, without any warning, at mile 21 my knee buckled.  Oh God! No!  Why is this happening?  I walked it off and stretched for a few minutes.  That’s when I spotted the 11:20 pace group coming ’round the bend.

 

“Shake it off.  You can do this! C’mon Girl!  Pull it together!” I told myself over and over to push me ahead of the 11:20 pace once again.

 

Then, like a bad omen, my iPod short circuited from all the rain at about mile 22.  Nooooooooo!  For the love of God, Noooooo!   Fidgeting with my ipod, I tried to reboot the music and my energy as the 11:20 pace group passed me.  

 

I shut down and cried as the rain fell once more.

 

I walked some more and tried to gain my composure.  It’s o.k.  You’re doing great.  You’re going to make it at 5 hours.  It’s only four more miles. You can do this!  Only 4 more!

 

Then, the rain stopped and the sun broke though the clouds.  I felt compelled to start running again and even attempted to sing since my iPod was kaput.  I sang my own version of I Can See Clearly

 

I can see clearly now the rain is gone.

I can see all obstacles in my way

Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind

It’s gonna be a bright bright bright bright sun shiny day

Oh yes I can make it now the…pain…is…g…gone

All of the bad…f…feelings…have…dis..a..ppeared…

 

Unfortunately, my poor song selection caused me to start crying again which then caused me to hyperventilate.  While walking once more, I talked myself out of the episode and I spotted some port-o-pots.  I decided to take a potty break to pull myself together and gain some composure to finish the race.

 

After my potty break, I felt ready to run and ready to finish.  Although my pace had slowed down tremendously to 12:20, I knew it could finish.

 

“Perseverance!” A runner shouted from behind me. “I love it!  Keep it up, Girl.  You’re doing great!”

 

A tidal wave of tears came back again, but I swallowed it down like a tough dose of medicine.  Perseverance prevailed even though the pavement on the Bayshore Bridge cut through my legs like shattering glass and unavoidable puddles drenched my already soaked feet.

 

The last 4 miles were the toughest.    The rain chased away the spectators.  There were no musicians or DJs to keep us going.  With isolation, I had no other runners’ energy to feed off of to keep me moving.  Only the wind remained to carry me home.

 

In the distance, I could hear a crowd cheering for runners as they passed.  I knew I was close to the end.

 

At mile 24, I came upon the source of the cheers.  A group of kids from Let Me Play cheered and roared for each runner as they passed.  A few of the young boys gave me high-5s as I stumbled passed them.  “You’re almost there.  You’re doing great,” cheered one of the sponsors as he gave me my final high-5.

 

Somehow in the last two miles, I found my second wind and picked up my pace.  For the last half mile, I bounced back to my usual 9:30 pace. 

 

When I crossed the finish line, I sobbed.  I beat my Disney time and a new PB: 5:09:04.

 

img_7707

A Crummy Camping Trip

My good friend, John, always tells me, “Denise, you’re not a true camper until you camp in the rain.”

 

This past weekend, I learned that I am NOT a real camper and I will avoid camping in the rain again.  I have discovered that I am truly a fair weather camper.  Next time the forecast calls for 70% chance of rain, this camper will cancel.

 

There was simply not enough beer to drown my sorrows miserable attitude while camping.  As much as I love hanging out with my friends, I was so bored.  The rain limited our hiking excursions and prevented me from squeezing in any runs.

 

When the rain finally slowed on Saturday, we went for a quick hike along the river basin, the Ravine Ridge.  That was certainly the highlight of our trip! 

 

us-at-river-basin

 

allana-on-bridge

 

girls-at-florida-trail

 

me-at-trail

 

As far as campgrounds go, I was not impressed with Mike Roess Gold Head Branch.  Although the park offered oversized campsites, which could easily accommodate two or even three tents, the rain caused us to huddle under a canopy most of the time.  Of course, that is no reflection on the park, just my own poor planning.  However, these oversized campsites lacked shade and had there been any sun, we still would have been huddled under the canopies.

 

I’ve been pretty spoiled on previous camping trips to Hillsborough River and O’Leno.  I’ve come to appreciate a playground near our campsite and well-attended to restrooms.

Fay, Fay Go Away!

Fay, Fay go away.

Slide on up to ol’ GA.

Diva D wants to play.

It’s time to leave FLA.

 

Like a bad house guest, TS Fay has decided to stay a little longer.  Yay.  All this rain has brought the return of Super Sloth. 

 

I feel so lazy today.

 

My house is covered in dust due to the winds of Fay and my DH installing laminate flooring this week.

 

My floors need to be mopped.

 

An avalanche of clean clothes pours out of my laundry basket and taunts me.

 

I haven’t made my bed yet and it looks so comfy.  In a bedroom voice, Twilight beckons met to come hither.

 

Hal would be so disappointed.