Wednesday, July 30, 2008


You've been warned.

On WF#4:

Noting my mistake last week, I was careful not to go out too hard at the start of the 5 miler. I was assisted by a healthy dose of fear: this would be my longest run since Hell (read: Summer) arrived in Houston. But, damn, it is HARD to watch a group of people (Yellows) who are supposed to be running the same approximate speed as you (9-10 min/mi) haul ass away running 8's when you are holding a solid 9:30. I had to work really really hard to subdue my ego, keep my adrenaline in check, and hold on to my nice steady pace. I succeeded, but ugh!!

Also, being at the back of the group really blows, because there is no one in sight, so if you aren't familiar with the route, you are screwed. Not only do I not live in THE Woodlands, I also am terrible with directions, so double strike. Add that to the fact that the route instructions they gave us had an incorrect street name on it, and yes, I did, in fact, miss a turn. Or two. And folks, let me tell you, that fucking pisses me off. At this point, I'm really not sure why I paid money for this level of suck.

And finally, one last bitch about WF. I was running along, and these 3 ladies passed me, talking loudly about coupons. At the water stop, I kept running while they stopped and walked. One was walking slower than the others, and I passed her. Right after I passed her, she started running again. I was catching up to her friends, so had moved to the right to pass. This woman ran around me on the right, pulled over right in front of me (we're talking less than 2 feet before I made the pass), and then stopped running and started walking with the friends. Needless to say, she came within about a centimeter of being full-on rear-ended by me, and I was PISSED at the SERIOUS evasive action I had to take. That's just FUCKING RUDE. If you're going to run with a group, at least learn to not do shit like that.

I swear I'm still trying to maintain an open mind about WF. I really am. But with each passing week it gets a bit more difficult...

On Biking:

I've been biking almost entirely on the trainer for the past few months. It makes it easier (read: quicker) to get rides in before work when you don't have to gear up and down and stop at stop signs, etc. I also thought after CB&I that I really needed to practice pedaling straight with breaks of the stop sign ilk to make myself more sucessful in a tri situation.

But here's my beef. I bought a really cool trainer. I thought. The one the LBS recommended. In the beginning all was well. However, a few weeks ago, the unit started heating up, taking some of my rear tire with it, and squealing/squeaking loudly. To avoid this and slipage, I had to increase the resistance, but now no matter how hard I try, I'm stuck in the easest 3 gears of my middle chain ring, struggling to make 10 miles per hour. Now, I know that I'm no great cyclist. I know I'm not even good. But I can *certainly* ride faster than that, even on my worst day, and even on my trainer.

I keep telling myself that this is good - when I get back on the road it will feel so easy, but honestly, I think it is bad for my confidence...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

WF3, and Dolly Run

First on last weekend's FIT run.... it was ok.... I'm still not totally convinced about this whole group thing. The Yellows and Reds were to run the same route, and the Reds started just a few short minutes before the Yellows. As a result, when we started, we were almost instantly all jammed together on this congested path. I was super annoyed. (I'm pretty pissed off at the universe in general on most mornings, but I feel like there were some real issues in play here.) First of all, the Reds needed to be running single file on the right side of the path. The path is only wide enough for 3 total, and that includes both directions, so you should never run more than 2 abreast anyways. That way the faster Yellows could have been passing on their left, and still left some room open for the poor unfortunate souls who were trying to go the opposite way. When this wasn't the way things went, however, I felt like it was totally unnecessary behavior on the part of several Yellows to actually run off-path on the left to try to get around the pile-up. There were trees there, for crying out loud, so they'd jump off, run a few feet, then jump back in in front of some poor sap, then do the whole thing again. Really dangerous. Oh, and just in general, it would be really helpful if people would put their conversations on hold for the first half mile of the run so some of these problems could be more easily alleviated. I'm just sayin'...

Anyways, when we got to the first intersection, most of the Yellows, including me, took the opportunity to jump around the Reds, and then we were running freely. I found myself about 5th from the "leader". Is this what it is like to be near the front of a race??? I'm not sure it is my favorite... near the front we were all running splits in the 8's. I realized that I was going out too fast, and made an effort to rein it in, but then I ran into a situation where I was the only one around. The fasties had all gone on, and the people who were going at a proper speed were way behind. This sucked for 2 reasons: I love to chase people, and run better when I'm doing it, and I don't really know the routes, so I didn't know where the hell I was going. Ugh!! I'm thinking I should print up a little map of this week's route, if it is posted in time, and use some tape to "laminate" it, and I could stick it into my wrist sweat band, because apparently, even though the point of group runs is to run with a group, I'm never gonna get to do that... (Now I'm just being bitter. I keep trying to keep an open mind and tell myself that it'll settle down and get better, but each week of same suckiness makes that harder.)

Anyways, this morning I went for my scheduled run. Like an idiot, I thought the outer bands of Hurricane Dolly had passed through yesterday, but when I stepped out into the humid morning, I noticed a cloud on the horizon. That bugger moved *fast*. Before I had run half a mile, the clouds were over me and the rain started falling. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I turned around and ran about a quarter of a mile back to a little shelter in a local park, and just stood there for a minute or two. And standing felt so.good. Let me tell you. After that, I could hardly make myself run again. I've been really kind of tired and worn down feeling this week, and once I realized that the rain was from a hurricane band and would move through, so I decided to run in it, it took everything I had to overcome my lack of inertia and start moving again. Everything. Anyways, that feeling that the air was resisting me persisted for 2 miles as I ran in the rain. Grr. This tired thing - first I thought it was left over sick from last week. Then I thought maybe I'm not eating enough, so I started eating more. Now I don't know what I think, but I want it to freaking stop. That is all.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Funky day at work --> Meme completing

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was completing my Junior year of high school. So... lots of school work, playing the drums and clarinet in the band, being a menace to society in my down time...

Five snacks I would enjoy in a perfect, non weight-gaining world:
1. Ice cream (Blue Bell!!)
2. Chocolate
3. Cheese fries
4. Braum's crinkle fries (Oh, Braum's, how I miss thee...)
5. Thin mints

Five snacks I do enjoy in the real world:
1. String cheese
2. 100 calorie packs of Pringles
3. Pb crackers
4. Fruit
5. Chocolate

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Not work
2. Travel
3. Get my PhD
4. Train for cool triathlons
5. Go on archaeological digs

Five jobs I've had:
1. Bank paper-pusher
2. Temporary library book mover/boxer person
3. Circulation in a library
4. Bookstore lackey
5. Librarian/Archivist

Five habits
1. Exercising
2. "A chocolate a day..."
Shoot, I don't know. They're habits, aren't they, so they've just faded into the background of my life...

Five places I've lived:
1. Dallas, Texas
2. Austin, Texas
3. In a tent near City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico (archaeological dig)
4. Metaponto, Italia (archaeological dig)
5. Houston, Texas

Fit Run #2

Last week I grumpified my knee with an hour and a half on the bike trainer on Wednesday. I ran on Thursday, then took Aleve (love this stuff!) and stayed off it on Friday. All 3 of my runs went well - no walking. It was really nice to have a nice low number of minutes of running (no distance) to shoot for, because I was able to mentally stop beating myself up for not going a certain amount of time or distance without walking.

So I went into Saturday feeling good. I arrived about 3 minutes late, and was just able to latch on to the Yellow group as they started running. I don't know what it is about running with people that makes me faster (not race faster, but able to sustain faster for long periods of time at a lower RPE), but I found myself passing the runners in the back to settle into a nice 9:30ish pace. Still didn't find a friend to run with. Perhaps I'm just not the friendly looking sort. I'm hoping that just having people *around* on the long runs will be enough, but we'll see.

That would be my only real complaing about WF - that it is already so cliquey that it is difficult to come in as a newbie.

With that said, I tried to grow some balls and introduced myself to one of the Yellow coaches and asked her a few questions and she introduced me to one additional person, so maybe next time...

As an aside, I think that has been one of the most difficult things for me as an adult - making and keeping friends. It makes me kind of sad...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Catch Up

There has been a lot of crazy stuff going on lately, so I've been neglecting the blog. But I'm back, and with a new "resolution".

I joined the Woodlands FIT for Houston Marathon Training last week. No big deal yet. I ran a 30:20 5K time trial (at a semi-comfortable pace, certainly not maxed) for a solid placement into the Yellow group. That is right where I wanted to be for a target pace of 9:20 for the marathon. (I know I probably won't achieve this. I know it is my first marathon, and my one true goal is simply to finish. But I also believe that I should train to run my best marathon, so even if/when I am unable to do that, I can still finish.) Anyways, I really want to come back to more regular posting to this blog so I can chronicle my first marathon training experience. So there it is.

On another note, I was finally able to find the results posted from the (one) 5K I ran in St. Louis, MO, while I was on vacation a month ago. It was a 29 flat. The short story on that race was that it was warmer than I had hoped (mid-70's), humider than I had hoped (gently raining at the start), and hillier than I trained for (there were actual hills!). Taking all of that into account, I was really quite pleased with the 29. And in looking at the results, I see that I was 6th in the 20-29 age group. Another high finish for me, just out of the top 5 again. One of my goals for next year is to start cracking into the top 5 more regularly, if possible (I know I can't control who shows up, but I can run faster!).