For as long as I can remember, I told people "I can't run." But in March of 2009, I decided that this was no longer an option. From my first 5K to my second half marathon, I've endured my highest highs and lowest lows as an official Runner. This year I want to embrace running for something beyond times and distances.

Running is so much more than merely getting out there. I want to get out there and love it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Half Training - Week Ten

This week was a light one for sure. Work was insane and I just didn't have the time (didn't WANT to have the time?) to squeeze in a 5mi run at the end of the week. However, I did do yoga on Monday (day after the horrendous 14), then did a 5mi on Tuesday along with leg weights. Then an hour long work out (dance, kickboxing, leg weights) on Wednesday. Thursday and yesterday were "off days" but hardly felt like it because I barely sat down the entirety of both days on this photo shoot for work. A lot of people are on their feet for their full time jobs, but not this desk chair flat ass cubicle worker bee! It was quite the workout ;)

Anyway, I'm actually really glad I was "forced" to take a light week. I think after the 14, my body really needed the breather, both physically and mentally. A lot of people training for Halfs will log in like 30-40mi weeks, while I've been averaging barely 20. But I remind myself that this is the first time in my [one year] running career that I've trained this hard, I'm not exactly used to it! So I've pushed pretty hard considering, especially the distance mileage jumps of 10 to 12 to 14 in two week's time! Anyway, this is a long winded way of convincing myself that it was GOOD to take it easy this week.

Another thing that proves this to be true is my KICK FREAKING ASS RUN TODAY!!! I tapered down to 8 miles (much less than the suggested "30% reduction" but whatever). I felt just fabulous during the entire run. I was able to keep up a great pace (averaged 9:30) and NOTHING HURT!!!!!! This is unprecedented. The last time I did an 8mi run was five weeks ago and I did it in 1:30 (~11 min mi pace) and a lot of body parts hips, knees, groin, and feet bottoms most especially. But this 8mi was WORLDS different. My feet didn't feel a thing, my right knee was a little twingey but nothing to write home about. My hips were fine. It was a miracle! Thus, the reduction in miles this week really helped heal my ailing legs I think!

Two more things that helped?
1. My new leg lifts routine with my ankle weights. I can already totally feel the difference. During today's run my legs felt strong! They felt like runner legs!! Nothing like last weekend when they felt like they were shattering inside my skin with every step. Like grandma legs! (Thanks C for urging me to get going on this!!!)
2. My diet. I went to the store early this week and just loaded up on healthy foods: quick oats, bananas, tuna, almonds/sunflower and pumpkin seeds, chicken breasts, brown whole grain rice, quinoa, broccoli, apples, Boca burgers, the list goes on. And I signed up for a My Plate account at, so I could really pay attention to what I was eating and more importantly WHEN. I could go on and on and on about the diet portion of my new outlook, but that will be another novel of a blog post altogether. The point is, I think it will all very much help me in these last two weeks before the race!

Ok that's all I got! I hope everyone's weekend runs went/go well!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Half Training - Week Nine

I'm officially over yet another hump...the distance. Yesterday was my 14 mile run, and the furthest I'll go in my training. And possibly the furthest I'll go for quite awhile. It's going to be my White Whale. For this was a distance that SERIOUSLY pushed me to my pain threshold.

Let me start off with the fact that while last Tuesday's 5 mile was amazing and quick, my second 5 mile on Friday was horrible. My legs just wouldn't go! They were stiff and I never hit a comfortable stride. It put me in the worst mood for the rest of the day, let me tell you. So I did the 14 yesterday, hoping that Friday was just a fluke. Nope. I could tell right away that it was going to be more of the same: that stiffness that prevents a nice comfy stride. I do have to admit that I decided on a quicker pace than usual. Probably too quick. But I have a running acquaintance who just started, is training for a Half, and totally leaves me in the dust. This person is about my same size, age, etc. Jealousy is ugly my friends, it really is. It gets the best out of me sometimes. That's why I chose the quote that's at the top of this blog. Something to remind me that this is my own journey, no one else's. But meanwhile, jealousy also pushes me to be better. So I pushed this weekend and I pushed hard.

So basically, it wasn't that I was tired during my run, or that I was out of breath, or that I had cramps. It was solely my legs. They ached all over. It didn't feel like a pull or an injury of any kind. Just an all-over pain from the thigh all the way down to the bottoms of my feet. And they felt this way the entire time. So basically I was putting myself through pretty awful pain for a solid 2 and a half hours. I stopped maybe 3-4 times for intersections, stretched, but never walked.

Now, I'm trying REALLY hard not to be a wimp here, honestly. Because DUH running is freaking hard! This I know. Just for some reason yesterday was particularly rough. There were times where I wanted to cry a little, but I tried to pay more attention to This American Life and Girl Talk, my aforementioned saviors on these long runs. There were also times when I felt pure unadulterated glee! Granted these lasted about 30 seconds and maybe there were a total of 3-4 glee segments. Two minutes of glee gets lost in the 2.5hrs of pain.

The last three miles were probably the hardest I've ever pushed my body. I kept thinking: how will I make it??? And then I'd tell myself: Omg you have THREE miles left, just get through it it'll be fine! I also put this "I Am A Warrior" mantra into effect, and that helped a lot. But I could tell, I was running so awkwardly. Not exactly like limping, but picture sort of a waddle? Like a granny running? Or running after riding a horse for five hours? That's what I felt like (probably looked normal though). Around the 11.5 mile, I had to stop to wait for a traffic light. I stretched a little and drank water (hooray for my hand-held Fuel Belt bottle!!!!). But when I started back up??? NIGHTMARISH. It felt like running on broken legs! Guh. The other thing is that I kept thinking: aren't my endorphins supposed to kick in? Whatever those are called? Where's the "runner's high" from being in so much pain that my body just goes on auto-pilot? I think I was born without the capacity for a runner's high. Which kinda sucks because that's half the fun of BEING a long distance runner in the first place!

Anyway, so the final block, I sprinted. I always sprint. Even when there's nothing left. And when I crossed the imaginary line, I cried. Yep, couldn't hold it in. And it was the heaving type of crying, like not so much tears, but heavy jagged inhaling. And it wouldn't stop! I seriously felt like such a pansy! Well from the ridiculous to the ridiculous, I dragged myself up the stairs by my arms, and took off my ipod/shoes/jacket/clothes like an elderly person. I put the bathtub faucet at the coldest it could get. I grabbed my half gallon of chocolate milk and I got into the water. I cried some more because THAT was insanely painful. I put my running socks back on because my toes just couldn't withstand the cold. I sat there for about 15 minutes, soppy running socks, sweatshirt on, drinking chocolate milk and talking to myself aloud: "That was really horrible right? I mean that was seriously painful, am I wrong? I can't do that any more can I? Can I?? Thank God the Half is shorter than that. How do people run marathons? I just don't get it." And more crying. I got out and shivered for a solid half hour while I went on the internet, waiting for my skin to reach room temp so it wouldn't be such a shock when I took the HOTTEST shower I could!!

My boyfriend came home from work with a hot chocolate cherry mocha :) and made an Indian chicken dish...PERFECT for getting some proteins in my system. I spent the rest of the night collapsed on the couch watching that new Life series on Discovery HD, and probably had one of the best nights sleep in history. Today I'm sore, but not too awful. At lunch, I volunteered at my church's soup kitchen, which is a lot of scampering and squeezing around a tiny, tight dining area, and I handled it ok.

So now what's the Plan of Attack from here?
1. I've still got my two 5mi runs during the week, plus cross. This next weekend my "long" run drops significantly by half with an 8 mile, but I'm going to listen really intensely to my body and make sure this will be ok. How HORRIFYING would it be to go through all of this work and pain only to injure myself in the final weeks of training?! I officially know that I can do the 13.1, so that's all that really matters. While I tried really hard not to pay attention to my TIME, considering a good time (for someone with my experience) was inevitable, but I'm going to try not to obsess over it.
2. I'm going to pay more attention to my diet. I don't think I'm getting enough good carbs and DEFINITELY not getting enough protein. Especially right after my runs when those things are key. You can eat all the carbs/proteins in the world six hours after your run but they aren't going to replenish your muscles like they would right afterward. I'm also going to drink more water, less booze. Not that I'm some lush, but in these last three weeks, I've gotta just hunker down. A friend of mine just called me this morning who is in the Police Academy and wanted to know if I would participate in a study they were doing for class. Drink as much as you can in a small amount of time so the students could have experience with drunks. I passed it up. Free booze! I'm from WI, where that's like a mortal sin! ;) I kid of course (sort of), but honestly, I have to take better care of my body! Hopefully it'll help.

Ok that's all I got! Thanks yet again for reading the novels I write here, yikes! I just have to tell myself that this is probably a cake walk compared to being in labor for three days ;)

Monday, March 15, 2010

My One Year Running Anniversary

So I'm going to admit that I almost completely forgot about today and how huge of a travesty would THAT've been?!! ;)

In any case, I've probably told this story several times on this blog, the Intro here and the Massive Epic Novel here. But to make a long story short, I was never able to run more than a few minutes and after that few minutes, I literally felt like absolute crap for the next couple days...sore legs and coughing...for DAYS! That shit ain't right! With several inspirations, namely my stepdad and my sister, I seriously wanted to give running one final try. If this didn't work, nothing would. I followed a very simple Beginner's Running Guide. It all began with the babiest of steps (in my mind at least): Walk a minute, run a minute, for 14 minutes.

One warm and sunny March Sunday, one year ago today, I walked a minute, and ran a minute, for 14 minutes.

And every week after that, I added an additional minute of running, per interval, to that schedule. I never strayed, aside from Week Six that I had to repeat because I just couldn't grasp running for six minutes straight all that well. It sounds so silly now, but this is my point! I started at a very very low end of the athletic scale. A place where ANYONE that has two working legs can start. Honestly.

Once I completed Weeks One through Ten, the sky was the limit. I hit all kinds of Personal Records:
-my first 5K
-my first 8K
-my coldest run (only 15 degrees which isn't that bad actually!)
-my most amount of miles in a month at 58 in February [FYI my least amount of miles was 0 in December d'oh!!]
-my fastest average pace ever: 8:04/8:13 (my watch/the race clock) min miles for my 5K last October.
-And of course, my longest distance at 12 miles this past weekend.

The Half Marathon is one more goal on a long list of goals that never really ends. And that's what rocks about running... I'll never be the runner who runs for her health, and in fact, it's probably hurting me just as much as it helps (damn my knees!) But it's the goals that push me every day! I absolutely love plowing through those imaginary finish lines and I may or may not be addicted to patting myself on the back for new PRs...I will totally admit it.

You know what I also love though? Other runners. I have found this whole new group of comrades with whom I just love reading, discussing, gushing, and complaining. Friends I never knew I had. We stick together. The best runner friends are the ones who are with you every step of the way, maybe not physically, but they're there, out in cyber Blogland or Facebook, cheering me on. I love cheering them on too, it's all part of the camaraderie. Running is a very personal sport and as the quote at the top of this blog states: "It's important to realize that whatever you're doing - it's your first attempt at it." You can't get mixed up in other people's PRs and goals and let them tangle you up. They are GREAT motivators to reach beyond yourself, but if you find you're doing it more to prove yourself to others, you'll probably get pretty disappointed. Despite its personal nature, however, most people need the support of others. I definitely need the support of others. I love it. And I hope I never stop offering my own support to my running buddies!

Anyway, looks like I made this long story long again. Classic Katie. But I just wanted to gush and, ok yeah, pat myself on the back a little. One year can abso-f'n-lutely change a person. And drastically. I can't say it enough, I COULD NOT RUN. I couldn't! I really really sucked at it. But a year later? I'm actually doing something! I thought an 8K was daunting a year ago (my original goal I wanted to reach when starting this escapade) I'm training for a Half that's in less than a month?!?! How Did I Get Here??? Well, I'll tell you how. By getting the heck out there on that pavement. By being in pain. By suffering setbacks. By kicking ass at goals. By my family. By my friends, personal and blogging, who cheered me on. And above all else, by having a freaking good time. Even my worst running days were running days which are GOOD days in my book.

So I've said it before and I'll say it again: anyone stumbling across this blog who has wondered what it would be like to be a runner...try it. Just give it a whirl. I mean I never really even wanted to run up until March 11thish, 2009. Something clicked in my head and I said: why not? Ok ok, it might have had a LITTLE to do with a guy I was seeing, but don't these things usually?

So to celebrate, today is actually one of my cross training days, but when I get home from work, I'm going to put on my old orange Asics, and I'm going to walk one minute, run one minute, for 14 minutes. I'm going to truly grasp how far I've come in these 365 days and 386.9 total miles!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Half Training - Week Eight

I'm going to try REALZ hard to keep this short because my posts are far too long and blathery and peeps ain't got no time to be readin' these novels!!

I just got back from my TWELVE MILE RUN WHAT THE EFF?!?!??! I can't believe I did it. I mean I can't believe I DID IT did it! I will say this...I kept my promise of takin' 'er easy and stopping to stretch. I kind of had no choice. LOTS of super busy intersections! See I ran from my house in Bayview to my parents in Greenfield. This means nothing to most people person(s) reading this blog, but it's from Lake to 43rd St, with some wind-y-ness mixed in, which still makes no sense. Alls I know is that at my half way point which was "only" six miles, I looked to the north and could see downtown like super far in the distance and I got chills a little bit. Maaaaaaaaybe that could've been the yucky weather was chilly, dismal, SUPER windy, and just generally the blahish day you could imagine. But I was kinda happy to be able to wear a jacket because I had a lot to carry. I've been all about bringing my phone just in case I seriously injure far so good!

So the run itself was good and bad. I mean not horrendous or anything, but I was really dehydrated. I had some delicious Bloody Marys with my mom last night :) And then a salty George Webb's MEGA breakfast of eggs, 'cakes, bacons, and 'browns MMMMM! I tried to drink as much water as I could, but omg, at mile 5ish, I was SO THIRSTY!!! I finally stopped at a gas station hoping they'd have a drinking fountain (bubbler, whatever, I'm from Iowa), and they didn't of course, so I had to cup my inked up hands (more crib notes) and drink from the faucet. Yikes. Hopefully I'm not bent over the toilet tomorrow! It barely made a dent in my thirst, so I just dealt with it at that point and learned my lesson. The funny thing is that after my MEGA breakfast at Webb's, the BF and I went to Sports Authority so I could buy some ankle weights and I scoured and asked about the Fuel Belt hand held water bottle. SA doesn't carry the awesomeness, so I walked away thirsty.

I think the biggest struggle were miles 7-10. I was just losing steam and sore and just like "why am I doing this again???" What kept me sane was two episodes of This American Life: "My Pen Pal" and "My Experimental Phase"...I had heard of This American Life before, but never really checked it out as I'm not necessarily and NPR/Talkish Radio type. But omg, this show is aaaaaaaaaaaaaaddicting!!!! I just get glued to every episode. Which translates to: um, perfect distance running companion??? YES! So these kept most of my attention away from pain and thirst. THEN because clearly my 12 miles were going to go over the 2 hour mark (and TAL eps are an hour long)...I switched Orange Bomb over to Girl Talk who, if you aren't already aware, is this dude who, among other things, mixes dirty booty hip hop with The Sounds of the Seventies. Seriously though, this guy's a genius and I went to his show here in Milwaukee awhile back and FREAKED OUT. I lost a flip flop. I lost 10 gallons of water via sweat. I danced on stage. It was amazing. ANYWAY! Gregg's music gets me through anything, so I started up Night Ripper and my last mile was absolutely the best mile I've ever run in my life. I didn't know I had anything left in my tank, but here it was!! I was fist pumping and rappin' along with Luda and just, yeah, freaking out all over the road! People in Greenfield, WI probably thought I was nuts.

So I did NOT bring my watch. But I left exactly at 2:00 and rolled in around 4:19. Now that includes all my stretch stops and dirty faucet shenanigans, so I'm all right with that time! When I got to my parents' house, I ran upstairs and immediately ran a COLD BATH!!! I didn't have any ice, but I wanted to try out this whole ice-ish bath phenomenon! Omg it's amazing! It really helps!! And I think I'd be able to withstand the ice too if I poured it in after sitting in the cold water for awhile. So yeah, I chatted with my mom and sat in the water for about 15 and then she drove me back home. THANKS MOMSI!

So yep! Only 1.1 miles to go and I'm there baby! Although next week is supposed to be 14...yowzah! Good times....good times.

Ok so I wrote a novel anyway. Then I'll spare you the details of when I ran 4.6mi during my lunch hour in the rain and didn't bring a hair dryer so pretty much had to be at my place of work with wet hair in two little buns at the top of my head for the remainder of the afternoon. Lesson learned! But I did that 4.6 in 9:05 minute miles, and THAT was awesome in my book!

Not awesome in my book?? PUSH UPS. I am absolutely terrible at push ups. I do the designated amount, but just SUCK at them. I'll keep trying though. It's all I can do! But yay for ankle weights! I'm hoping that in the final month of training for the Half, I'll be able to strengthen my legs more so it won't be as painful. Fingers crossed!

OH! One final Hammer Gel, but Hammer Gel Vanilla????? Yikes. It tasted like cold medicine. Very strange! No biggie...I still got my Espresso!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Half Training - Week Seven

I am over the hump! Over the halfway mark and officially over the single digit mileage!!

With the aid of half of a bottle of Zicam, a Starbucks Vivanno, four giant cloves of mashed garlic in tomato soup, spinach salads, literally like 500 gallons of water, LOTS of sleep, and refraining from cold lasted less than one week. This is a record in my life, my friends. An absolute record!

So with that, I took my 10 mile run by storm on Saturday! It was about 45 degrees and crystal blue absolute DREAM for Wiscy in March!!! I wore my running tights, but only a thin short-sleeve t'shirt and I felt perfect. So because my routes are getting longer now, I actually have to write crib notes on my hand haha!

It really would pay to have a Garmin, but hey, I'm old school?? I did take my phone along this time because I was a little nervous and wasn't sure if something would go horribly wrong. Like I'd need to be peeled off the pavement or God knows what. BUT! I got to take a lovely photo of my route!

That's downtown waaaaaaaaay off in the distance on the left-hand side. So far away!

The run felt great during miles 1-4. I went niiiiice and easy just like I said I would. But somewhere between 4 and 5, things unraveled a little. Nothing major, but I was definitely feeling some pain creeping up in my legs. This of course was the exact same time that I entered the park and about 70 percent of the path was covered in lakes of melted snow! (If it's not one thing, it's another hey? haha!) So my new pinkies got REAL dirty and my socks were absolutely soaked. This made for a pretty shitty second half, let me tell you. Running in soaked socks just isn't fun at all. My toes felt all chaped and raw. I think the puddles just caused me to lose my focus or something because then the leg pain just came with a vengeance. It wasn't anything dehabilitating, but for example, in my new shoes, there's this extremely strange pain I get at the top of my foot (where the leg and foot that crook). It's as if there's a part of my shoe that's digging in there, but no matter how I adjust it, I can't find the problem for the life of me!! So miles 5-7 I just had to deal with it...there was nothing I could do.

Suddenly between 7 and 8, it kinda went away, as did any other pain...or perhaps I just regained my focus and decided to not let it bother me? I picked up the pace and ran the last two miles at a pretty good clip! SO much so that I was incredibly winded by the time I crossed my imaginary finish line and it took awhile to regain my composure! So my final time was exactly one hour and 47 minutes - 10:40 min miles. So I think my next hump is running for over two hours! That's just going to be a trip, seriously!

Two recovery items I have noticed:
-My calves are really tight. I never have a problem with my calves after a run. So I'm not sure if I just forgot to stretch them for longer, or what. But even today, still pretty tender.
-My knees don't hurt at all! I iced them twice the night after the that must've helped!

So this weekend, I'll be skipping 11 and going straight to 12 miles. For this run, I am going to forget completely about time (I may even leave my watch at home)...and focus on keeping my body healthy. This means, STRETCHING! I rarely stop to stretch during my runs, and I think I'm at the point where I really have to be careful in these final weeks. I'm going to take a solid five minutes every 3-4 miles and make sure all muscles have some quality TLC. The other reason I don't really want to bring my watch is that I know if I get my time, I'll be too tempted to predict my Half time and there is no way I want to be disappointed by anything after that race.

Oh I'll end on this lovely note: I got home from my 10mile and guess what had come in the mail. HOORAY!!!!!! Too bad it hadn't come BEFORE the run though ;) I look forward to the 12 mile to see if the music distracts me from my legs. Hope so! Anyway, here's Orange Bomb and Floyd, new and old, passing the torch! I like how there's a piece of ATT mail accidentally in the corner. Thanks ATT Uverse!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Running Wish List!

Alright! So another redonkulous week, exacerbated by my (mild) illness. I skipped my Tuesday run. On Wednesday I did kickboxing for 15 minutes, nearly passed out for absolute realz, sat down head-between-legs, tried 5 more minutes and then quit. I managed 4.29 miles on Thursday. Was it fantastic? Not particularly. Was it horrifying? Not at all. Did I run 12 minute miles? Absolutely!! It didn't knock me out like I feared it would, and I was happy to squeeze it in at the end of a long, dreadful work day :) I also did my pushups! I'm doing Day 3 in between writing this ;) It's clearing my nose!! And then of course tomorrow, I've got my 10 mile. I'm just going to take it slow and easy. And reward myself with pounds of BW3's afterward ;)

So as a pick me up, here's a fun TOP TEN LIST of running stuff I'd love (and some stuff I actually need!). It's too bad I couldn't think of these things 2-3 months ago when it was CHRISTMAS and my BIRTHDAY. That's the part that bites about having them so close together...I can't spread out my prezzies!

1. 5th Gen iPod nano in Orange (of course!) - $149.99 $133.99

As I've mentioned, I currently own a 1st gen iPod nano from 2005. It holds 400 songs. I can no longer add new mp3s (via itunes 9...I'd have to downgrade). It stays charged for 15 minutes. The 5th gen has a radio, takes video, fits 2000 songs, keeps charged for 24 straight hours, and comes in orange! I mean talk about an upgrade!! I think after five years I deserve it ;)
*Update! I'll be receiving my lovely orange iPod on Tuesdayish WEEEE!!! Thanks Uverse rebate!

2. Sugoi Speedster2 Hooded Shirt - $99.99 $59.99

Well, cold weather is almost over, so I won't really need this badboy. However, it's a. out of stock in most places, and b. $40 off on Amazon! So I should really take advantage.

3. Fuel Belt Palm Holder Water Bottle - $13.95

This seems to be a well-suggested option for carrying water. And it isn't SO expensive where if I don't like it, I'm out a bunch of money!

4. Nike Women's Pacer Seamless Long Sleeve Shirt - $50

Ok, again, it's going to be warm soon (yay!), so I won't need this. It's also pretty expensive. But I like it, and maybe I'll get it later :)

5. Nike Pro - Core 2.5" Women's Training Compression Shorts - $22

WARM WEATHER! I have only one pair of shorts that don't ride up that much. It would be FAB to get some more pairs that are comfy and cool. After a bunch of research, I found these slick shorts.

6. Road I.D. - $19.99

When I run at night, or when my legs hurt, or when I'm crossing a busy intersection, I have these flashes of being attacked, passing out, or being injured in some way. Call me crazy! But this would be a great thing to have on my person, as I never carry my ID or anything with me.

7. Hammer Gel 12pk - $14.55

Mmmmmmmm Espresso ;)

8. Adjustable Hot & Cold Wrap - $14 $11.95

Very basic and inexpensive, but adjustable to use on other parts of my body that might hurt. TWO of these would be nice, actually, so I can ice both knees at once! Now if I had a million dollars, I might go with this Moji knee ice pack...but $89? Yowzha. In any case, now that I'm done with my push ups, I'm icing my knee....with a grocery bag full of ice cubes. I'm ghetto fab with my DIY ice pack and antique iPod!

9. Valeo Adjustable Ankle Weights - $19.99 $14.42

I've got some knee issues, it's clear. To help this issues, I'm going to work a combo of these stretches, these and these too into my weekly routine. But I'm going to need some ankle weights, and the adjustable (2-10lbs) version is absolutely perfect! And much less ghetto than the 8lb hand weight/scarf combo I was trying to concoct the other night....

10. ideclarecharms necklace - $59+

The "$59" includes the personalized hollow charm (Katie • Must Run!) and the little Runner Girl charm...doesn't include the chain though, which would be at least $30, so I'm pretty sure I could find something in my jewelry box ;)

And that's that! For now I'm going with the ipod, the ice packs, and the ankle weights...maaaaaybe the hoodie, such a good deal! What are YOUR wish lists, two readers?! I encourage you to post your own! It'll probably give me more ideas to expand my own ;)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Half Training - Week Six

It's been awhile! Much to catch up on. Topics from this past week:

1. It's Halvsies in Halfville as I'm offically halfway through my Half training. HALF!
2. 12 people were laid off in my department and it was ridiculously horrible.
3. Run for Haiti!
4. I ran my 9 miles on Saturday in 1:34:57.
5. I hate snow even more than I thought I could.
6. I have a cold...nooooooooooooo!!!!
7. PUSH UPS YES!!!!!

So yeah, halfway through! Things I've noticed? When I first started out, after my hiatus, my lungs were not up to par with the rest of my body. It partly had to do with the cold air (much colder than it's been these past few weeks at around 15 degrees) as well as still recovering from my NYE cold. Now, particularly during the 9 miles, I realize that my lungs bounced back more quickly than my body could keep up with. I have aches and pains in places I didn't know I had, but breathing couldn't be easier. My hope is that in the next six weeks, things will balance out and my body will catch up.

Back in 2007, 30 people were laid off in my department, including my sister and best work friend Nicole. Not fun times. At the beginning of 2009, maybe 3-5 more people were let go. But now we're back up in scary territory as a dozen more got the chop, including two other best work buddies. Yeah I'm lucky to STILL be here after all this, but that makes me much more sad than happy or relieved. In good news, all my close pals who lost their jobs here and now doing bigger and better things (or at least getting paid way more), so I'm sure the same will go for my other buds.

The same day of the Big Layoff, was my Virtual 4mi Run for Haiti. So I tried funneling all of my anger and frustration into the run. I made the mistake of doing it after work, instead of at lunch, where I may or may not have been indulging in a pint of Spotted Cow in honor of my fallen comrades. So traffic was a nightmare to deal with. I also screwed up my timer, so I couldn't pause it at stoplights. I had to watch the timer go by and keep track of all the seconds to deduct from my final time. SOOOO frustrating! In any case, I timed around 37:33, although the website has a different idea about "Virtual Time" which I don't really understand, but that was 36:44. ~stats here, if you filter to Milwaukee, WI.

So while the watch/traffic screwing up my race, the awful awful work day, and the lovers quarrel that followed that evening all got me pretty down, my 9 mi on Saturday picked me right back up! I ran it a little faster than I should've...I wasn't out of breath by any means, but it averaged 10:30min average that maybe I should save for actual Half Day. But it felt good, so I kept with it! As I mentioned above, however, my legs were screaming at me. Ugh. And I couldn't really walk correctly until about three hours after the run! It freaks me out because I'm like: "if its like this after 'only' nine miles, what will 13.1 feel like?!! Or worse, the 14 that I have to do in THREE WEEKS???" Freaks me out. Did I mention that? So I just need to take it easy, and again, not go so fast that my legs are wondering what the deal is. The good news is my knees are getting better, I can feel it. I haven't felt the need to ice them (tho I probably should).

Snow. I am soooooooooooo OVER IT. Like I mentioned for my 8mi, I ran the lakefront path and it was clear for the most part, but sections were pretty bad. Well for some stupid reason, despite the fact that we got MORE snow last week, I thought it'd be a stellar idea to run the same path. It was even worse! On the one hand, it kept me at a slow pace, but on the other, it didn't even matter because I was huffing and puffing so hard from the bounding I had to do over all the snow piles. Not to mention trying desperately to avoid rolling my ankle...unsuccessfully I might add. At one point, I wanted to throw knives at people because I got to a stretch of sidewalk...SIDEWALK...that snow had completely drifted least three feet. This whole time, I had been trying to keep an even pace, at least a jogging pace over the snow, but I finally was forced to completely stop in order to step into pre-made footholes inside of the mountain of snow. I mean, it's really frustrating when you're already in 4miles, have a good pace going, and just have to stop for some stupid reason.

Ok I'm done complaining. It's supposed to be FIFTY this Saturday!!!!

But speaking of Saturday...the day I'm supposed to run 10 miles...double digits...FINALLY. So yeah, in the wee hours of the morning, around 4:30 or so, I awoke to someone throwing knives into my throat. In other words, I'm getting a cold. Another one. Now, I usually have two colds in the winter...pretty typical. But I thought, maybe with my new healthy lifestyle I'd avoid the second one. Totally jinxed myself. So I'm sucking on Zicam, throwing down water and tea, and peeing like it's going out of style. And I'm already planning on a sick day tomorrow. Not because I can't work with a cold, because clearly I'm not that sick, but just so I can reeeeeeallly get some sleep in. At this stage in the game, any sickness or injury is such a liability. I mean I still remember my posts from the Hiatus Comeback and how the phlegm from my cold was SUCH a damper on my runs. If I wasn't such a Mucus Queen, it wouldn't be a problem, but I seriously have crazy leaky faucet nose even when I'm perfectly healthy and its 55 degrees outside. I'm supposed to go 4.5mi tomorrow, and while I currently feel well enough to run, I shouldn't push the envelope as there will be NOTHING that stops my long run on Saturday. NOTHING.

Finally, one of my fave running chicas posted this Push Ups Challenge that looks like something I'm pretty much going to definitely do. Six Weeks | 100 Push Ups. Now, I am NOT a push up person. And my arms are my absolutely least favorite body feature. So with six weeks left in my Half Training, I think this will be a great addition to my cross training schedule. So along with Beth's Kickass Motivational Greatness List, I'm going to print out the schedule and get crackin', cold or no cold!

Good luck out there to the rest of my running friends!! Spring is right around the corner :)

PS My next post, if not devoted to how much I hate getting sick, will discuss all of the running gear and accoutrements I've been coveting these past few weeks!! And SOME of which I may be able to actually buy because guess who just got her ATT Uverse Rebate Cards in the mail this afternoon!! HOLLA!!!!! (Sorry I just got this news and it totally made my day!!)