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Monday, May 23, 2011

Marathon Time Goal

Saturday was our second week of marathon training, and as we do on every year at this time, we did a Magic Mile.  I hate the magic mile with a fiery passion, but I do enjoy knowing what my predicted race pace will be.  It's a big deal because I want to know if I can actually run the 5:30 marathon that I really want to run.  And, by 5:30, I mean anything in the 5:30-5:39 range.  I ran the Magic Mile in 9:38, which is a new PR for me (10 seconds better than last year)!  Yay!  So,  here is what Galloway predicts based not only on my magic mile, but also on my Indy Half Marathon time, and my Shamrock 5K time (so, all of the races I've run this year so far):

Galloway's Predictions

Magic Mile: 9:38
Marathon Time Prediction: 5:28

Half Marathon: 2:34
Marathon Time Prediction: 5:34

5K: 33:21
Marathon Time Prediction:  5:47

And, for good measure, let's also use McMillan's

McMillan's Predictions

Magic Mile: 9:38
Marathon Time Prediction: 5:25

Half Marathon: 2:34
Marathon Time Prediction: 5:24

5K: 33:21
Marathon Time Prediction: 5:25

So, it seems like McMillan has more faith in me than Galloway does.  I know these aren't totally accurate, too.  So, it looks like everything is pointing to a new PR, and it seems like 5:30 is not a totally out of this world goal, but it's not going to be the easiest thing to come by.  I think I put 5:40 down as my predicted finish time when I signed up for New York.  I guess we'll have to get closer to November for me to really nail down what my finish time might be.  

For now, I'm just going to figure on 5:30-5:40 to be my time goal...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Question: Running Apps for Android?

I finally have a smart phone (got it about a month ago, hence the new Foursquare updates if you follow my Twitter feed), and I would like to stop using Log Your Run for logging runs.  LYR doesn't have an Android app, and that annoys me.  Do you have a running app that you use for Android?  What do you like about it?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Photos from the Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon

View full race report here.

Starting line - look at all those people!
The speedway
At Mile 8
Mile 13 - I'm tired, but Todd is still smiling

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dozer Runs a Half Marathon

So, Dozer the dog lives near the start of the Maryland Half Marathon, which was run on May 15.  He saw the runners going to the start, and decided to join them (breaking out of his electric fence).  He ran the whole thing!  I heard he finished in 2:14, although I'm not sure.

Race organizers gave him a finishers medal, and a fundraising page has been set up in his honor!  He's raised over $800 so far.

Here he is at the finish:

Dozer's Charity Page

How awesome is that?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Indonesia Part Nine: Monkey Business

In Part Eight, I continued to recover from the illness I'd contracted while in Bali.  Todd and I went on a lovely rice paddy walk and were invited by locals to see a Balinese Cremation.

The three bulls with the towers in the background
We had been invited to the Balinese Cremation Ceremony by about 10 different people, and I was interested in seeing what it was all about.  So, we headed away from the rice paddies back into town to see what all the fuss was about.  As we approached the palace, people were suddenly flooding into the street.  Coming up the hill, there were suddenly tons and tons of people trying to sell us things.  One woman singled us out and headed over to us with a pile of sarongs.  In order to enter the palace during a ceremony, you must be wearing a sarong.  I had brought one with me from home but had neglected to bring it along for the hike, so it was back at the hotel.
I looked at Todd and asked him if he wanted to go into the palace.  We hadn't really made a decision on whether or not we were going to go to the cremation.  We stalled for a second.  The woman selling the sarongs was not at all patient.  Before we could decide, she was putting a sarong around my waist and tying it, and asking us to pay her for it.  Another man came up and tied a sash around me, since apparently you must have a sash, too.

Todd started negotiating a price.  He picked one out and she put his on him.  That's when she changed the price.  She and Todd argued for a little bit, and then we just decided to pay her.  Fine.  That's when the man with the sashes came up and demanded that we pay him.  Apparently, he wasn't related to her.  She yelled something at him in Indonesian, and shooed him away, but handed him some of the money we'd given her, so I guess that was sort of like a sub-contractor sale.  I would later come across about a zillion people selling sarongs at all sorts of prices and would grumble for days about getting ripped off by this woman.  In fact, I'm still grumbling.  Grumble.
Inside the palace

I'm still trying to understand the Balinese tradition of cremation.  It's really, truly amazing.  Basically, there are cremations all the time, but this cremation was special because it was for three members of the Ubud Royal Family -- at least we think so.  These were definitely higher up people, but those we asked weren't clear on whether or not they were definitely members of the royal family.

When a Balinese person dies, they are first buried in a funeral ceremony at a Pura Dalem temple complex.  Or, as is what may have happened with these men, the body is embalmed and laid in the palace.  I'm not really sure which for the 3 men at this cremation.  It can be a long time between funeral and cremation - for commoners it can be years because cremation is very expensive.  Often many families will get together and pool their money to have a cremation for many people at once, which saves on the cost.  There are also commoners who are cremated at the same time as the royal family (although in a different place) to take advantage of the full rites and ceremony that the royals are using.  There may be a hundred or more people that are cremated at the same time on a day that a royal person is being cremated.

Todd and me with our sarongs in the palace

Meanwhile, before the cremation happens, the soul is still part of the earth. So, food is offered at the burial site or at the body each day.  This is a sad time, for as long as the body is not cremated, the soul cannot reach heaven.
Riding the bull

At the palace, there were three giant black bulls.  The bull is the sarcophagus, and there is an opening in the back for the body.  We had seen the bulls at the palace the whole time we were in Ubud, but I hadn't connected that they were related to the cremation that everyone was talking about.  Also at the palace when we arrived were three giant towers.  These were made of wood and bamboo and would be used to transport the bodies to the cremation site.  They were decorated with bright colors, gold, and more, which keeps evil spirits away.  But - we didn't know any of this.  We just stood and looked at the amazing towers and bulls and became extremely interested in what was about to happen.

We went inside the palace (thanks to our sarongs) and found a seat near a gamelan.  In fact, gamelans were playing all around the palace, which delighted me since I'd wanted to hear one play.  There were tons of tourists inside, plus lots of local Balinese.  Women walked through the crowd selling food, water and beer.  It totally felt like a fair or carnival or something fun, not a cremation.  We waited for about 45 minutes and then the ceremonies started.

One boy rode on top of each of the bulls.  Then, men (maybe 50 of them on each bull) hoisted them up and carried them out of the palace and down the street.  Some ceremonies went on in between - instrument playing, yelling, screaming.  It was chaos.  Then, maybe 70-100 men carried the first of the towers up to the palace.  Women and men brought offerings to the towers - fruit, food, and more.  One man carried two dead chickens.  Finally, the body was brought out.  It was turned and rotated to confuse the spirits and to keep the soul of the dead person from returning home.  The body was placed into the tower, and the tower was lifted and carried off.  It, too, was twirled and circled so that the spirits would stay away.
Bringing out the offerings

Once all three bodies had been placed in the towers and the three towers were gone, the palace cleared out.  The whole thing was surreal  and amazing.  We left the palace and watched the towers head down the street, swinging and turning as they went.  The streets were packed with people.  Many of them were following the procession, which would go to a temple for more ceremonies.  Later, the bodies would be moved from the towers to the bulls.  The bulls would be lit on fire and the families would be responsible for stoking the fire, making sure that no part of the body would go unburned.  Twelve days later, the ashes would be spread to sea in another ceremony.

We decided not to attend the actual cremation because we were starving, so we headed down the Monkey Forest Road to have lunch at Cafe Wayan.  I had so been looking forward to eating there, and it was lovely.  I was able to finally wash some mud off of me from the fall I'd taken earlier, and lunch was nice, although we were still eating pasta and pizza and American food because our stomachs were still sensitive.  While at lunch, we decided that we were going to purchase some bananas from the women outside the monkey forest.  Todd wanted to get some more photos, so this would be an excellent opportunity for that.

I took some video of the cremation. So much, in fact, that I ran my battery down and couldn't take video later at the Monkey Forest. The video still sucks, but I've learned how to edit videos a little better, so I've cut this one up to show the important things in quick succession (when there were actually several minutes between the bulls being carried out and the tower being carried in, for example. We had a good spot for viewing the offerings being brought out, but not so good for watching the activities with the bulls and the towers. Anyway, here it is:

Next was shopping.  We had been putting it off because we didn't want to feel pressured by pushy sales people, but we were running out of time.  I got a brand new wedding band that was made in traditional Balinese style. I'd been wanting an additional wedding band to wear on trips like this one, so that I don't have to worry about losing the diamonds in the band that I have.  This will be the band that I will wear on vacation from now on.  We also picked up some sculptures and a necklace for me, but we were too exhausted to buy t-shirts, something that I regret now.  We really didn't buy very many souvenirs at all.

It was starting to rain, so we decided to head back to the hotel.  I was wanting a massage, and we wanted to do a little monkey foresting on our way back.

Once we reached the monkey forest, I paid a woman for some bananas.  Still upset over the sarong incident, we haggled over the price.  Then, I took the bananas and waited while Todd paid the entry fee.

There was a monkey hanging from the front of my shirt within seconds of me taking the bananas.  The monkeys had a banana alarm or something, as I was then surrounded by several monkeys, all of whom were either looking at me expectantly or devising a plan to overtake me in order to get my bananas.  I yelled to Todd, urging him to hurry up and get the tickets because I was being swarmed by primates!!!

As it turned out, lots of people had been visiting the cremation instead of going to the monkey forest.  So, the monkeys hadn't gotten as much to eat as they usually did.  Plus, it was getting to be within an hour or two of feeding time.  As a result, the monkeys were ultra-aggressive.  When they hadn't touched us or bothered us on the other trips we'd taken through the forest, today, bananas or not, they were out to get us.  I started handing out bananas, and for the most part, the monkeys calmly took the bananas and left us alone.

Then, we approached a group of mommy monkeys nursing small, TINY baby monkeys.  I mean, practically newborns, and there were maybe 5 of them.  The alpha male sat nearby, and when Todd started photographing the babies, the alpha flipped out.  He came up to Todd, teeth bared, looking like King Kong.  Todd yelled for me to give him a banana (which I had hidden away).  I threw the banana at the alpha, but the alpha ignored it and kept coming at Todd, growling and showing his teeth.  Todd made a kick motion and told me to run.  I insisted on not running.  "I am creating a diversion!!" I said, jumping around and trying to look menacing.  Todd would get after me about this over and over again in the following weeks.   He couldn't run because I wasn't running, and he felt like he couldn't leave me behind with the alpha.

We escaped the alpha male by backing up slowly, and he went back to guarding his brood.  In the meantime, I decided to ditch the rest of the bananas, and I made quick work of handing the rest out to monkeys that were around.  We were away from the babies and the alpha male, and I'd gotten rid of all of the bananas, so we figured we were good to go.  Still, we were done with monkeys and headed out of the monkey forest for the last time of the trip.

As we were leaving, we were in the exit area and there were a couple of monkeys playing.  Todd started getting just a few more photos, and I sat down.  I was utterly exhausted and I was so ready for the massage that I was planning to get as soon as we got back to the hotel.  I drank some of my water out of the water bottle I'd been carrying and waited for Todd.

and then...

There was a tug at my water bottle.  I looked down to see a small young monkey gently pulling on my bottle.  I tugged back.  No, monkey, you will not have my water bottle.  He tugged harder.  I tugged back, and pulled it out of his hands.  I was ready to go.  Seriously.  The monkey was not to be deterred.  He grabbed the end of my water bottle, used his back foot as leverage, and PULLED.  I didn't get go, but he figured out that my hand was what was likely standing between him and water bottle salvation, so he chomped right down on my hand, which I used to fling him off to my right.

Thoughts filled my head:

Oh, crap.  The monkey just bit me.  I was told not to get bitten by any monkeys.  WE WERE LEAVING!  UGH!  Hmm... don't tell Todd.  Don't tell anyone.  Let's see here... it's pretty superficial.  Yeah, it's bleeding a little, but I've gotten worse paper cuts.  It was seriously just a little nip.  Just leave it alone, I'm sure it's fine.

Todd was taking photos at the time and happened to get the money shot, thinking it was a "cute" interaction:
Me and monkey, mid-bite.

WAIT, let's see that closer up!

Gimme that water bottle!
Meanwhile, the monkey still sat there, devising a plan to perhaps bite off my ear or something in order to get the bottle.  I handed him the bottle.  You won, monkey.  He proceeded to chew open the bottle with his teeth, and then spill it all over the ground.  Lovely.
I have opposable thumbs, but I'm not smart enough
to use them to open the cap.

I did tell Todd that I was bitten, and a nice French couple stopped and gave me some alcohol, but the bite had already stopped bleeding.  It was the tiniest injury, and it was right on the knuckle of the pinky finger of my right hand.  We headed back to the hotel, and then mentioned to the man at the front desk that I'd been bitten, and he gave me a band aid, which I didn't use.  A German man who had been walking around in perhaps a psychedelic haze for several days (I don't know, we'd seen him around and he either seemed high, strange or both) suggested that I get rabies shots.

I'd heard horror stories of rabies shots - that they were painful and in your stomach, etc.  And I DID NOT want them.  We went back to the hotel room, and then started Googling rabies.  Listen, if you've been recently bitten by an animal and you Google rabies, you will assume that you will die a horrible death at any given moment.  It's a terrible disease.  Finally, I decided to at least see a doctor, even though it meant that I would not be getting a massage.  I showered and washed the filthy grime off of me, and then the wonderful hotel folks hooked me up with a car ride to a medical clinic.
I will get this water out of this bottle!
Nom Nom Nom

I am going to leave out some of the details of the medical clinic visit because I have a big long post coming where I go into the absolutely amazing aftermath of this monkey bite back in the states, and the clinic visit factors in there.  Suffice it to say that I am still dealing with this monkey bite now.  I did get two shots, which were not in the stomach, they were just like getting flu shots, if you've ever gotten those, except that they hurt less.  In all, we owed 1,050,000 rupiah, which we didn't have.  We had to pay in cash, so we had to give the poor nurse an IOU.  The  hotel's shuttle took us to a place to change money, and then we returned back and gave them what we owed them.  It was about $120 US, and I didn't know how high the actual monkey bite cost would end up going.

Post-bite, I gave up the thought of getting a massage, and we decided to enjoy some time at the pool.  Then, we changed our clothes and headed out to Lamak for dinner.  Both of us were feeling close to 100% (magical powers of monkey?) and our dinner was AMAZING.  I dressed up for this one, since this was officially our Valentine's Day dinner, even though it was only February 10.  Finally, at last, I was getting a taste for delicious food in Ubud.  This was the best dinner I had on the entire trip.  Awesome.

We headed back to the hotel, and went to sleep.  It was our last night in Bali, our last night in Indonesia, and the next day we would begin the long journey home.
Post bite.
Stay tuned for Part Ten, where Todd and I leave Indonesia for a short but enjoyable time in Hong Kong.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Breaking from Cross Training

I haven't really been doing a whole lot of cross training these past few weeks.  This time of year, I find it more and more difficult to go downstairs to do my strength training.  When we have pretty days outside, I hate being indoors lifting weights.  

I had been trying to figure out what to do, and then I came up with another focus.  Todd and I have made an agreement to work on house projects all summer.  So, while I'll be riding my bike, I won't be doing other cross training so that I can make time for house projects.  We've already put in a new flower bed, and this past weekend we focused on preparing our dining room for the new furniture that should be arriving soon.  I'll post some photos of the dining room once it's finished. 

I'm also focused on keeping the house tidy and clean.  This is easier said than done.  I'm a messy person - horribly, horribly messy.  I end up feeling stressed and unhappy about the house on a regular basis.  I've tried several systems in the past, but my favorite has always been  I'm giving Flylady another try - this is the third time I'm trying it - and hoping that with Todd's help, I can be more successful this time.

Flylady's concepts revolve around taking baby steps to keep things clean, and to always keep your sink free of dishes.  I've had to adapt some of her rules for me because it seems like most of her system is built for Stay at Home Moms.  I'm going to give it a little more time to see how this works and then I'll update on the system I'm using.  I'm cautiously optimistic, but not holding my breath on this one.  

So, in addition to my new "house chores" cross training, I have been getting out on my bike again.  Well, I went out once.  Last week, I took the bike on the NCR trail for an 11 mile ride.  It went really well!  I think being on the bike trainer over the winter helped me to get rid of some of my fears.  I was getting on and off of it so much that now when I'm not on the trainer, I still feel comfortable getting on and off.  I'm going out again on Wednesday, so hopefully that ride will go just as well.

Do you struggle with balancing house chores and working out?  What has been your solution?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

500 Festival Mini-Marathon 2011

Last July, Todd and I were enjoying our first anniversary in Little Cayman when our friend Ellen suggested that we run the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, and stay with them for the race.  A couple of days later, she told us that the race in 2011 was scheduled for May 7, which happens to be Todd's birthday!  Todd was up for it, so soon after, we went ahead and signed up.
Todd and me at the Expo
We flew into Indianapolis on Friday at about 1:30 in the afternoon.  Matt and Ellen picked us up from the airport and took us to the Expo right away.  It was a pretty decent expo, with the usual cast of characters.  Goodie bags included a hat and a shirt, which was nice.  I don't have that many hats, so I'm happy to have a new one!  We headed to Matt and Ellen's house in Kokomo, Indiana (about an hour or so outside of Indy) and Ellen treated us to a delicious pre-race pasta dinner.
Tons of people, with the starting line WAY
in the distance.

Race day was Saturday.  We were up at 5am, and headed down to Indianapolis to the starting line.  The race was to start at 7:30am, and we were in my corral by 7.  Todd was running with me rather than on his own, so he joined me in my corral.  It was crowded.  In fact, CROWDED is the best word to describe this entire race.  Even though us East Coasters generally haven't heard of this race, it is the largest half marathon in the US, with 35,000 registered.  Given this, the start area was very well organized.  It was easy to find and get into our corral, and the fireworks at the start were impressive :)  It took about 22 minutes for us to get over the starting line from Corral Q, which I didn't think was too bad.

My favorite part of the race?  The 500 beach balls that were thrown into the crowd at the start of the race.  I loved this!!  It gave us something to do while we waited, although we did get bonked on the head a couple times.  Then, they disappeared all at once just as fast as they appeared.  Weird.

Let me take a tangent here.  I want to complain about the name of this race.  I don't understand why it isn't called the "500 Festival HALF Marathon."  Why did they decide to call it the "mini?"  First of all, I think it diminishes the accomplishment of running the race, since "mini" sounds cute and easy, and 13.1 miles is formidable.  Second, I had to explain to nearly everyone that this was a half marathon and it was indeed 13.1 miles long.  13.1 is a standard race distance, and as such the race should be called a half marathon.  This annoyed me for the last 10 months and I am happy to finally get it out of my system.  Ditch the name Mini, and call it a half marathon like everyone else.
At the starting line
Anyway, I had no goals for this race.  I wasn't feeling as in shape as I could have been, since I took 3 weeks off to go to Indonesia in January/February and then I took two more weeks off in March/April for my leg surgery.  I've felt sluggish and slow ever since my surgery.  So, I decided to name no goals and just see how I felt on race day.  With the temperature being in the 50s and the sky being overcast, the weather was excellent and in mile 1 I was feeling pretty good.
There were 500 Beach Balls at
the starting line!

We were doing 1:15 and 1s, which is unusual.  Up to now, I'd always done 1:1s for half marathons, even though I train at 1:30 and 1s.  After my 2:33 at the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon last year, I decided that I'd about reached my limit of how fast I could go doing 1:1s and thought I'd test out something new.  It went fine, no complaints.

The course was super-flat.  I thought this would be a huge advantage, but it really wasn't.  The lack of hills was made up for by the crowds of people.  And I mean CROWDS of people.  Weave, weave, weave.  Up on the curb, down from the curb.  Since I do Galloway, I have to stay near the edge so that I won't get run over in a crowd, and this meant that on a four lane road making a turn, I was swinging WAY out of my way to make the turns.  I spent the early part of the race weaving and weaving and weaving.  It stunk.  I was keeping a good pace, and I decided to stick with it, since at the pace I was going I was going to set a new PR if I could keep it up the whole race.  I chose not to mention this to Todd.

During mile 6, we entered the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  This included the only real hill going into the Speedway, but going into the Speedway was also very tight and it made it even harder to weave through people.  Passing mile marker 7, I had lost almost all of the early gains in time that I'd made, and I hadn't even gained any real recovery because of the weaving.  This annoyed me, so mile 8 was a good one.  The course also really opened up as we passed through the yard of bricks.  I'm not really a car racing fan, so this was exciting, but probably not as exciting as it would be if I was a fan of Formula One.  Still, very cool.
Entering the speedway
Exiting the Speedway, I finally let Todd know that I was on PR pace.  However, I was really starting to doubt if I could keep the pace up for the whole race.  Outside of the Speedway, the road narrowed down to one little tiny road, and it was very crowded.  I was too tired to run on the side of the road as I'd done earlier in the race in order to pass people, and the weaving and passing had really sapped my energy.  I truly had no idea how tiring it is to run in a race that is this crowded.  It was very disheartening.  Also, the amount of people that STOPPED or TURNED SUDDENLY in front of us was just amazing.  One woman actually ran into Todd head on.  So annoying.
Coming down the Yard of Bricks
We were heading back towards downtown, but I was really feeling worn out for miles 10, 11 and 12.  I was doing my best to keep my pace up as much as possible, because this is my only half marathon for 2011 and I wanted to make it good.  Plus, I'd kept such a wonderful pace for the first half of the race. 

The last mile, I was just trying to finish.  I was feeling pretty worn out, but the sun started shining right as we headed down the "Victory Mile" (Mile 13).  We crossed the finish line at 2:34:21, 44 seconds slower than a new PR.  Still, pretty good considering the set backs in training that I gave myself this spring.

I can't help but feel somewhat depressed over my time, anyway.  Even though I know that the weaving in the crowds was difficult and I know that vacation and surgery made my training less than it was a year ago, I still feel like in the year that I've had since Lehigh Valley, I should have been able to pull out a new PR.  I don't plan on running another half marathon this year, so my next opportunity to PR will be at the Walt Disney World Marathon Relay in January (another crowded course...).

I did  have a good time for this race.  It was awesome to come out and see our friends, and it is always fun to run a race in a new city.  
With our medals on at Matt and Ellens house.

After the race, Matt and Ellen took us to our friends Bill and Gerry's house in Indy.  Bill and Gerry are friends whom we met in Little Cayman.  They also got married there!  All of had a lovely lunch at Zest.  Zest was even featured on the Food Network on Monday night!!  Ellen is friends with the owners, so we got to meet them.  I'm actually pretty disappointed that Zest isn't in Baltimore, because it was very good and I'd love to try it out again.  I guess we're going to have to go back to Indy!
Cupcakes for Todd's birthday!
I was so wiped out after lunch that we headed back to Matt and Ellen's.  We watched a movie for Todd's birthday, and then on Sunday we Geocached.  We also got to see the World's Largest Sycamore Stump!  And - hold back your excitement - The World's Largest Preserved Steer.

Alas, it was time to go home, and we headed home on Sunday evening.  We had a great time in Indiana.  I would recommend this race.  For its size, it was incredibly well organized - even better than the much smaller Rock and Roll Philadelphia.  It had excellent crowd support, and an interesting course.  It was just very crowded, so manage your expectations there.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Runner Commandments

I am finally catching up on some blog posts after being swamped and busy for the last week or so.  The worst part is that the longer I wait to check in my bloggy friends, the longer the list of posts to read gets.  Yesterday morning, the count was almost 200 posts -- and that is just on my Google Reader list of people that I regularly comment on.  It was over 700 posts total in Google Reader that I haven't read.  I'm so sorry, bloggy friends!!!

Anyway, in my catch up, I saw that Jill posted this and I loved it so much that I wanted to repost with my own comments.  (btw, Jill always posts awesome stuff, so if you don't read her blog, you really should).

  1. Don’t be a whiner. Nobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.
    This is the number one rule of my running group.  Nothing bothers me on a run more than constant whining!!!
  2. Walking out the door is often the toughest part of a run.
  3. Don’t make running your life. Make it part of your life.
  4. During group training runs, don’t let anyone run alone.
    As much as I believe this (and I really, really do), this is SO DIFFICULT for group leaders.  I have been frustrated in the past at trying to find balance between people who have joined my group without really investing the time first in getting base mileage and a base level of fitness with those who have really been training.  So, I would add to this that you must try and run with a group that suits your needs, and often times that means not signing up for marathon or half marathon training until you've gotten more 5Ks and 10Ks under your belt.
  5. Keep promises, especially ones made to yourself.
  6. When doing group runs, start on time no matter who’s missing.
    Lateness is a huge pet peeve that I have.  My group generally follows this rule, but there's another important piece - let your group know if you're going to be late or if you're not going to come at all!!!
  7. The faster you are the less you should talk about your times.
    Probably true.
  8. Keep a quarter in your pocket. One day you’ll need to call for a ride.
    Lol, or carry your cell phone.  Of course, I just got a new smart phone and it's like a brick!!
  9. Don’t compare yourself to other runners.
    So hard to do!
  10. All runners are equal, some are just faster than others.
    I love this one!
  11.  Keep in mind that the later in the day it gets, the more likely it is that you won’t run.
    This is true, too.  Todd hates it when I'm running after work at home and I don't want to stop and talk to him - I just want to get my clothes on and get out there!  On those days when I stop to do other things, I just get annoyed at how late it is!
  12. For a change of pace, get driven out and then run back.
    I've never thought of this, but it's a good idea.
  13.  If it was easy, everybody would be a runner.
    This is true.
  14. When standing in starting lines, remind yourself how fortunate you are to be there.
    I should do this more often.
  15. Getting out of shape is much easier than getting into shape.
    Gosh, do I know this.  It's so frustrating to me, and it's why I try my best to  not miss any runs.
  16. A bad day of running still beats a good day at work.
    I would say this of scuba diving, but I've still had some pretty bad days running...
  17. Talk like a runner. “Singlets” are worn on warm days. “Tank tops” are worn to the beach.
    YES!  Thank you!
  18.  Don’t talk about your running injuries. People don’t want to hear about your sore knee or black toe.
    It depends.  Of course, as far as blogging goes, anything is fine, but I've seen some overshares elsewhere.
  19. Don’t always run alone.
    I'd agree with this.  I think if you haven't tried running with a group, you haven't experienced some of the best running that is out there.  
  20.  Don’t always run with people.
    I see this mistake a lot.  If you ALWAYS run with a group, you never really learn to run alone.  That's a tragedy, because eventually you'll HAVE to run alone, and it's best to be prepared.
  21.  Approach running as if the quality of your life depended on it.
    Because it does...
  22.  No matter how slow you run it is still faster than someone sitting on a couch.
    I've never thought of it that way, but that's true.  Maybe I'll preach this one this year.
  23. Keep in mind that the harder you run during training, the luckier you’ll get during racing.
    I'm not even sure what this one means.  There are runs to where you should run hard, and there are runs when you should take it easy.  Know which is which.
  24. Races aren’t just for those who can run fast.
    Thank goodness.
  25. There are no shortcuts to running excellence.
  26. The best runs sometimes come on days when you didn’t feel like running.
    Which is crazy, but true.  I have had some days where I have wanted to do anything other than run with my group, and then I show up and have a great run.  Just go, and you'll find you'll have a great time.
  27. Be modest after a race, especially if you have reason to brag.
    I've been on the receiving end of someone bragging when I've had a terrible race, and it's not fun at all.
  28. If you say, “Let’s run this race together,” then you must stay with that person no matter how slow.
    Sadly, I have a terrible time running with people during a race.  Therefore, I typically don't volunteer to run with people during a race, or I set expectations right off the bat that I maybe won't stay with them.  I need to work on this, but at the same time, I'm there to race!
  29. Think twice before agreeing to run with someone during a race.
    This is one that I follow (see above)
  30. There is nothing boring about running. There are, however, boring people who run.
    No, running can be boring.
  31. Look at hills as opportunities to pass people.
    Whatevs.  I like to think more like "You will run the next hill better because you ran this one."  Or something.
  32. Distance running is like cod liver oil. At first it makes you feel awful, then it makes you feel better.
    Hm.  I've never had cod liver oil.  And I think you can feel better distance running no matter what!!
  33. Never throw away the instructions to your running watch.
    Change this one to "Use Google if you threw away the instructions to your running watch."  But, honestly, my watch really isn't that hard to use.
  34. Don’t try to outrun dogs.
  35. Don’t trust runners who show up at races claiming to be tired, out of shape, or not feeling well.
    I don't get this one either...  I showed up at a 10K hungover.  So what?
  36. Don’t wait for perfect weather. If you do, you won’t run very often.
    Or, perfect weather isn't what you think it is.  Running in the rain or snow is awesome.
  37. When tempted to stop being a runner, make a list of the reasons you started. 
    I need to tell my darling husband this one.  And he'll say "To meet women" and I'll shut up.
  38. Never run alongside very old or very young racers. They get all of the applause.
    Eh, I don't need no stinkin' applause.
  39. Without goals, training has no purpose.
    So true.
  40. During training runs, let the slowest runner in the group set the pace.
    We do this, most of the time.  Again, it can be hard when your slowest runner really shouldn't have signed up for marathon training.
  41. The first year in a new age group offers the best opportunity for trophies.
    This will be the only good thing about turning 40 someday.
  42. Go for broke, but be prepared to be broken.
  43. Spend more time running on the roads than sitting on the couch.
    My work requires me to sit on the couch sometimes.
  44. Make progress in your training, but progress at your own rate.
  45. “Winning” means different things to different people.
  46. Unless you make your living as a runner, don’t take running too seriously.
    Eh, running is serious business!
  47. Runners who never fail are runners who never try anything great.
  48. Never tell a runner that he or she doesn’t look good in tights.
    Oh gosh, why would I ever say that to someone?  Unless this is an episode of Modern Family.
  49. Never confuse the Ben-Gay tube with the toothpaste tube.
    Switch to something other than Ben Gay!  Yuck!
  50. Never apologize for doing the best you can.
  51. Preventing running injuries is easier than curing them.
    So true!!
  52. Running is simple. Don’t make it complicated.
  53. Running is always enjoyable. Sometimes, though, the joy doesn’t come until the end of the run.
    More often than I'd like to admit.
I'm off to Indianapolis this weekend for a half marathon, so look for a race report early next week!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Stats as of 30 April 2011

April 2010
54.8 miles
11 hours, 15 minutes
Avg Pace: 12:20/mile

April 2011
38.2 miles -- 16.6 miles less than in 2010
8 hours, 11 minutes -- 3 hours, 4 minutes shorter than in 2010
Avg Pace: 12:52/mile -- 32 seconds slower than in 2010
27.6 miles of walking - 8 hours, 5 minutes!!

I ran less distance at a slower pace this year, but it was because I was recovering for the first two weeks of the month from vein surgery.  I did a ton of walking, though, so I'd surpass my running from 2010 if only I'd counted my walking!  I was also faster in 2010 because my spring half marathon (Lehigh Valley) fell in the month of April.  This year, I'm not running my spring half marathon until May 7.

Speaking of that, I'm all set for the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon next weekend.  It should be fun, and as of now it looks like the weather is going to be pretty nice.  The race is super, super flat.  I don't expect a PR, but I should finish relaxed and happy!

I've felt slow and sluggish during my runs lately, but I think it's because it's been unusually warm.  I felt much better this morning when it was only 50 degrees.

Galloway training starts in just two weeks!  I'm excited to start my marathon training.  I've gotten used to the idea that I'm going to be running the New York City Marathon.  This morning at the trail, my friend Jack pulled up and blasted "New York, New York" for me! Unbelievable that I got in!!!!
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