Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Seriously Mr. Snow Man

Hello? It's almost March and it's been snowing for like 2 straight weeks! Please go away. I know it's winter in Cleveland, but I get more and more annoyed with the end of winter each year. Perhaps the hour commute I have to work and back doesn't help my feelings.

Things that annoy me:

I get snow in my shoes
My wind shield wipers get ice and won't wipe properly
My car slides
Other peoples cars slide
The jerk who thinks they can still drive 85 in a blizzard
My door freezes shut
I always have the chance of falling (which actually happened in a Starbucks parking lot a few weeks ago)
When I run:
My nose wants to freeze shut
I can't feel my fingers
I sound like I have a speech impediment after I run
My eyes want to fall out when ice is falling and it's windy

Yes, there are good points like, a beautiful, majestic snowfall, snowmen, the hot shower after a run, fires in the fireplace (LOVE IT), and a warm meal (especially breakfast) after being outside running, & hot cocoa with marshmallows.

I really not a negative person when it comes to the weather, but I swear I thought my life was ending a couple times with my drive to work a couple times in the past couple weeks. Plus, I'm sick of my treadmill. My fingers and toes have a terrible time when it gets frigid.

O well, I'm hoping this will help a little more time pass as spring makes it way around the corner. Oh, and I know I will have a post in a few months regarding how freaking hot and humid it is outside :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Just Chill

Back in High School and College I was the super obsessed, running is everything king of person. My life revolved around running. I started running just for fun, then I realized I has something to work off of, then the goal obsessed individual in me came out. In high school, it was everything for me to run in College. I was recruited and ended up attending Akron just because it was a rebuilding year, not too far away from home, and other runners that were good were going as well. Anyway, in College, I started off great. Not to get into any major details and write a novel, I got really sick during track season (after a kick butt 3000 meter run in Indy) and it was all down hill from then. I ended up with mono and numerous knee injuries. My life was pretty much over (I thought at the time) as I knew it. I still ended up with a fairly decent college career, but I never made it to NCAA's....sigh. My ultimate goal was to be an NCAA All American....sigh. We can't always get what we want.
Soooo....I got over all that and got a real life outside of running. O my gosh...there were real people, real food, and freedom from coaches, rules, miles, and no more crying over injuries. My life was not defined by my times anymore. I loved it. I swore I'd never get caught up in the miles and times ever again.....EVER. I never planned on racing competitively again. Actually, that thought of doing a workout or running a race made me want to puke.
Fast forward. I decided to run a marathon just for fun. I ran like 4 days (maybe 5) a week and 35-40 miles and entered Cleveland. I did a couple long runs and was ready to go. I ran a 3:34 and qualified for Boston. O what the hell....I decided to run Boston. Who knows what would happen in the future. So I did the whole winter training thing on the treadmill and was ready to run Boston off of 45 miles a week this time. It was 87 degrees that race and I ran like 3:54 or something. Barely finished because of the heat. Yuck....that was my last marathon for sure.
Fast forward again. About a year and a half later....I got bored and decided to train for a fall marathon. Columbus. Ran all summer and bumped up the miles to about 50-55. Toed the line and was ready to go. 3:09!!!! What?!? Well, we may have something here. That is where is all started again.
Somehow I ran a 3:09, then trained for Chicago (3:14), and Akron (3:06). I joined a local team and peaked out at almost 90 miles last summer. The year of Chicago was a tough one. I was injured all of Jan, Feb, & July, then sick for a week in August. This past year was a miracle. Not sick or injured and ran more miles then I thought my body could ever run. I thought I could keep it rolling.
NOT.
I broke my own rules. If I'm not training for a marathon I run 5 days a week. Period. 2 Days cross training. Maybe the occasional 6 days training week. 40-45 Miles per week. Maybe the occasional 50. In December I decided since I had some time off to run more. Then I just kept on going and going. I kept telling myself I would take an easy week next week.
I've been sick like 3 times in the last 6 months, and this last time was pretty bad. I started running on the verge of a 50 miles week back then I did something to my heel. I can see where this path is going and I'm afraid to tread down it. I've been down this path over and over and over the past 10 years. I need to wake up and follow my own rules again.
Sometimes I get a bit caught up in the numbers, but I should know that my body works well with lower miles and higher intensity. Lots of cross training, maintenance, and the proper training cycles. It just felt good to run so much. I really love it. I don't really think it's the best training method for me, but I just loved the feeling. I mean, in college we ran no more then 50 miles per week...and we produced a couple All Americans off of that. Plus, I ran my best Half Marathon off of 45 miles per week. Though, my marathon PR was off the mega high mileage for me...so who knows. I'll need to find that happy medium....the optimal point on the curve.
I'm not the crazy, obsessed, running is life person I used to be....but I care very much for bettering myself in my sport. It does give me a feeling of value....but doesn't define me. I do need to remind myself of this from time to time....especially when things are not going how I planned.
I'm just in a deep thought process at the moment and just spelling it all out on paper.
I just want to be the runner I know I can be, but without all the stupid crap from doing stupid stuff. I'm just waiting for THAT moment to come (that magical" I accomplished everything possible and can quit running" moment). But...like my wise hubby said...that moment will probably never come if I don't think it came yet, because I'll always think I could do better no matter what I accomplish. Plus, I just love this sport. Everything will be a stepping stone to the next great thing.
Yeah....he's probably right. Shhh...don't tell him I said that.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Blog

I started a NEW CAKE BLOG.
I just have so much to spew about my stuff I figured I'd jam it into another blog.
Yippie!!

Funny thing, I think I keep jinxing myself. I suddenly have this lower calf into my heel thing going on. I HOPE it goes away.....please go away annoying things that get in the way of my running. How come nothing seems to happen to fat, lazy people? You know what I mean. I love having a place to say things like that. Love it.

Man, I'm wired tonight, even after working out. Slap happy is more like it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A New Week

I'm running again....finally!!! I still have the tail end of whatever I caught, but I'm running and all is okay. It's funny, when I really get into a groove, I forget how much 8-12 miles really is. Sometimes I think it's a good thing when you are forced to sit on the side lines for a little while. It kind of helps put everything back into perspective....for a little while at least.
I'm waiting for spring to come as I'm sure all the other snow dwelling folks are doing at the moment. Just waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Please come soon!!
Nothing too exciting on the running front because it's just a build up . Hope to do a tempo type run toward the end of he week. I'm hoping the phlegm and the bit of left over congestion will be gone by then, It's amazing what a tiny little germ can do.

In non running fronts, I spent the whole weekend making cake. There are a couple small parties I am going to, sooooo, I'm bringing cake of course. I think I was a bit ambitious in a cake I'm almost finished with for a Jewelery Party, but it was good learning . I sculpted a purse, a small shoe box, and a shopping bag. Strawberry with Strawberry Buttercream, and Chocolate Fudge with Peanutbutter Buttercream where the flavors. It was my first go at these sorts of shapes so I spent a lot of time, fixing, patching, tearing fondant off, and swearing. Oh yeah, and tasting. I have to stop the tasting thing because if I ever get into making lots of cakes for lots of people, I'm going to be a fatty. A little here and a little there adds up. O well....I'm good for now.

My parents are coming back from Florida in a few days...yippie!!!! That means I don't have to be the "Big Boss" at work. Whenever they leave, I have to run our shop. I like doing it, but it's just really hard for one person to do everything by themselves...especially with 10 employees. Someone just asked me for a raise this morning....ha ha ha ha ha....I just have to laugh. I'll see what I can do. Thank God for running.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Twice as Nice

I'm so excited to report that my BEST FRIEND is having TWINS!!!!!
She just found out today and I'm so darn happy for her.
The funny thing here is, she was my saving grace when it came to people
nagging me about when I was having kids. I'd always say....J doesn't have any
yet either! She tried to call her husband, who is in classes, to tell him the news, but she ended up leaving him a message. I thought that was kind of funny. Congratulations!!!!!

In running news....there is none. Still sick...BUT...today is the first day I'm honestly
starting to feel better. I'm taking one more day off, then plan on starting again tomorrow.
I'll chalk this up to some down time. I've been running a lot, for me, this winter.
Hopefully, something good will come out of all this.
Doesn't it always one way or another though?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Spoke Too Soon

Well, I spoke too soon. I said the only bump in my running road was a little cold...well I'm sick again. This time, it's more like the flu. I swear I've been sick a million times since my marathon. No really, it's been a solid 3 times since October. I never usually get sick more then 1 time a year. I'm not sure if I'm just around more germy people, or if perhaps since I'm not taking any multi vitamins or something. Those made be so sick so I just stopped on those cold turkey around September. This is so frustrating. I really tried to run through this one, but that lasted one day. Man, it really puts a damper on my running mood. It's hard enough to get going in this weather and this time of year, but throw in a virus and it really kills me. I get pretty bummed about it. I must be seriously addicted.
So, on a better note, before I got sick, I did my first actual timed workout in a whle. It was a mini tempo run type workout. I did 2 miles at a faster tempo pace (6:35, 6:37), 1 mile easy (7:56), 2 miles faster tempo pace (6:37, 6:33). I was really happy with the effort although I know it's a long way before I get some speed and smoothness into these workouts again. I was planning on doing some faster miles during my long run...but alas, no long run this weekend. Booooo. Such is life.
Hopefully, if I can kick this thing sometime soon, I'd like to get out and do a few more workouts like I did last week, then start doing some faster stuff. I really would like to dip under 18:00 in the 5K. To do that, I need to dust off some of my old college workouts and get my butt going. I really need to be consistent with my core, strength, & flexibility because I think it's the little things like that that make all the difference with me.
If anything, I'm spending some time pondering some goals and planning some workouts. It's not all bad...I guess.
Weird factoid with me, whenever I get sick, all I crave is cereal and cake. I can't stomach anything else. Yesterday I had like 10 cups of tea and 3 pieces of cake (I try to keep it as small as possible...I try). My husband thinks I'm such a weirdo...probably because I am.
Yeah, so my parents are in Naples, Florida for 2 weeks and I get a phone call everyday about how it's 70-80 Degrees and Sunny.
Punks.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Redo

Okay, so in my last post (like 2 months ago) I thought I was a crappy blogger because it took me 3 weeks....well this is waaaaay worse. So I decided I'm going to make sure I post at least once a week from now on. Things just have to get more exciting right? Actually, a lot has been going on, I've just plain been too lazy to blog about it.
In a nut shell, my Christmas and New Years were very nice. I have a complex about making everything really nice for everyone. I try and do the super cute Christmas wrapping, the cookie tins, and anything else that good old Martha would do. I just love doing all that stuff, it's just a bit stressful when your into it. Well, it came and went, and a New Year started.
So on the running front, I had a nasty cold for a few days and that was about the only bump in my training (except for the couple snow/ice/sub zero days). I got into a groove the past few weeks and have been hovering just under 50 miles a week. There was a Cut Down run which I started at 7:30 and ended at 6:40 or so which made me really happy since it was one of the first sort of effort in a looooong time. I just need to get into a better workout groove. The time has come. I'm just happy to get my runs in the the dark and ice on the roads lately. Can't wait for Spring.
There was a random incident. I apparently was in the top 3 in the Run Ohio Grand Prix. I didn't realize like 4 of my races were part of that. So when I got the letter in the mail it was quite a surprise. The funny thing is, they ask you for an interview and a picture. I thought I would have a ton of pictures of me running and realized I pretty much had none that were noteworthy. Looks like I should put my pennies together and maybe actually purchase one, for the record, from a race, or have my hubby work on his photo skills. I'm not very photogenic, nor do I particularly like reviewing photos of myself, so I'm really bad about that.
My new venture that has been consuming my spare time is my Cake Decorating. After my wedding in 2003, the talented lady who designed and made my cake taught me the basics for a year. She is older and told me her hands are starting to bother her, so she wanted to pass along her knowledge to a couple people who were interested. This only went for a year, because I got so darn busy at work and we moved an hour away. I always put her techniques to use but never had a chance to really evolve (or to really, really thank her for everything for that matter). After the New Year, I decided I was going to really get into the Cake Decorating thing. I really love it. I'll have to post some pictures as I progress. My best friend hired me to do her sister's wedding shower and the groomsmen cake at the wedding...YIKES!!! I'm going to be sculpting a Football Helmet out of cake. I'll keep the progression on that one posted. Perhaps one day I can be as cool as Duff on The Food Network. I don't plan on being the stuffy, snobby cake decorator....I want to be the ultra-cool, I can carve anything out of cake lady. I can put my engineering skills to great use and build sky high creations of Buttercream, Fondant, & Cake. Yum.