July 2009


When I got home tonight, I told Bill, I had to eat, and then I needed to write about the race tonight. He looked at me and said, you’re about to burst, aren’t you?  YEP, I AM! Simply put, this was my best race of the year, and I felt great while running  it.  I think my secret is to not think about the race for weeks on end, and to not stress!  I also think that running a race that Lis also runs (my running partner from last year and now friend, from last year’s TNT training) puts me in a great mood to start off, so the negative thoughts don’t have a chance to sneak in.  Oh, and she got a PR too!!!  She broke 50 minutes, by a lot.  Her time on the clock was 49:30 but really, I think her real time was more like 49:20. It’s hard to know the exact time when there are no chips.

I have to admit, I was worried I was not properly hydrated, as I hadn’t drunk as much water at work as I usually do. Plus, we had food brought in at lunch time for  a meeting, so I had potato chips, and other food I don’t normally eat for lunch. I’ve also had about a gazillion chocolate chip cookies lately thanks to a coworker who has been on a baking craze. (None of us are complaining about her cake-per-week allotment.)  Ok, I digress, on to the race report.

I got there with only about 20 minutes to the start time. So much traffic – it took me about an hour to drive 12 miles.  Luckily, Lis was there two hours early. She’s incredibly prompt, believe me.  She was able to pick up my number. It was drizzling before the race started, and then definitely raining during the entire race. We had just enough time to use the porta potties (once for me, three times for her by this point, hey, we both have nervous bladders. If I’d have been there for 2 hours, I’d have peed about a million times.)

The start line was a bit chaoitc.  I didn’t really hear a lot of announcements, and then bang, we all started. You could hear all the stop watches going off.  I looked down to start mine at what I thought was the official start line, and realized we had been standing still so long that it had reset itself to sleep mode. So I tried to start and lock it again. I realized after about 2 minutes and 35 seconds later, it had stopped on its own. So I restarted it (I’ll explain how I know how much time had elapsed.  I’m getting to it.)  Did I mention the start line was on grass, on a field that we suspected was recently cut?  You can imagine how scary that is, no one wants to get injured on that!  You could noticeably see people slowing down on the grass, both at the beginning and at the end of the race.

So, when the race started, I thought, ok, way too many people, rainy conditions, no way can I do a PR with this.  Just enjoy the race instead. But people really started to get into their own grooves pretty quickly, after about the first .3 miles or so.  I hit the first mile mark at 8:35, and looked down to see my watch was at about 6:00, so I thought, ok, I’ll just add 2:35 to everything.  Plus, at the end, I know whatever the clock says, I’m actually about 3-5 seconds under it, since I started in the middle of the pack at the start line. Honestly, it scared me a bit to see 8:35 showing. That’s more around my 5Kish pace. So I thought I should slow down, but I also thought to myself, you know what? I feel ok right now! It doesn’t seem like I am running that much faster than I normally do for this kind of mileage.

I made sure to stop at the water stops for miles 1, 2 and 3.  I carried some Sports Beans with me – I find that if I keep feeding myself electrolytes and caffeine while I go, my body seems to react well with it.  I made sure to walk through 2 of the water stops when I took Endurolytes. (Didn’t want to choke on them, that wouldn’t be good for anyone.)  While it was not overly hot out tonight, the rain made things humid, so I like the Endurolytes for nights like tonight.

I do remember a few hills on this route from last year – in particular one where Lis says she distinctly remembers the words, “holy,” “mother,” “god” and “fing….” all used in the same sentency by me as soon as I saw it.  Tonight, I think that hill was included again but I said to myself YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LET THIS HILL BEAT YOU AGAIN, even though I did swear inwardly at it! Honestly, compared to the Boilermaker, it didn’t seem so bad. And I made sure to say to myself on every downhill, “Free Speed” over and over.  I  tried to relax my arms and just let gravity take me downhill at a faster speed, and then try to carry that speed into the flats.

On a night like tonight, there were very few spectators, of course, until we got to the finish line, which was around a track.  I made sure to try to say thank you to some of the volunteers, who unlike us who were moving to keep warm, were standing still in the rain.   I smiled widely at a few and they seemed happy to return equally big smiles, especially the guy at the finish line, even as I was huffing and puffing in front of him.

I have to admit, I think the look on my face when I got to the 4-mile marker was one  of “holy shit, I can’t believe that’s the number on the clock with this course.”  Offiicially, at that point, it said 35:55, which meant I was just under a 9 minute mile pace.  For me, for that distance, that’s good. Really good. I knew at that point, I had it in me to have a finish line time of somewhere in the 45 minute range.  I also know I am a “sit and  kicker” because I am generally able to make my last mile or segment of a race be my fastest.  It was at this point that I decided to start counting people I passed, which has been a motivational trick for me in the past.  I believe I passed 10, maybe more, as it was  getting confusing during the last half mile or so.  I did see a lot of people who looked like they were starting to flag, and I felt like yelling out “we’re only a half mile from the end, don’t slow down now!” but another part of me is still like a competitive law student sometimes, and didn’t want everyone else to speed up too! (Blush)

When I hit the track, I felt very comfortable.  It was very familiar to me, and I definitely felt strong.  When I saw the time clock and saw 43 as the first two numbers, I thought, holy shit, I can’t believe this and I started to sprint.  It did say 44:14 when I crossed the line but I think my real time was 44: 10 due to my earlier deductions.

My Garmin didn’t catch all of the entire mileage but these are the splits it gave me for 4.66 miles. I do know that last mile was in about 8:18, which totally blew my mind when I figured it out on the car ride home.

  • Mile 1:  8:28
  • Mile 2: 9:12
  • Mile 3: 9:09
  • Mile 4: 9:22
  • Mile 5: 8:17

I just looked on Cool Running  and can’t believe the results are on there already:

  • Place overall: 675/961
  • Division (female 30-39) 43/122
  • Females: 221/420

It looks like there were a ton of guys running!  I just saw the winner did it in 24:21. My God.  But you know what,  I’m most proud of my place in my division – to me that’s always the most important ranking.

The sayings that helped me the most tonight:

  • So this is what it’s like to feel strong while running!
  • Run strong, run strong.
  • Run Fearless (that made me smile) (thanks to Willie in OK)
  • Run like you mean it (thanks to Irish Cream)
  • Free speed!

The music that helped me tonight:

  • Forever by Chris Brown
  • Fire Burning by Sean Kingston
  • Vapour Trails by Nick Warren, off the Starecase album (this has always been my “strong song” so it was fitting that it started playing at about mile 4.5)

By the way, Marathon  Sports, who sponsors this race, always does an amazing job.  So well staffed, and supported, especially at the end.  

Anyway, this is probably my longest race report ever, so thanks for listening.  I think I’ll just float on this feeling for a few days now. I am really hoping my goal of doing a 10K in 54-55 can be realized this year after all. On nights like tonight, it makes me think I can do it after all. 

By the way, this was the realization of one of my goals for this year – to run a solid 9 minute mile pace (or better!) and to do a 5 mile race in the 45 minute range. Looks like I even beat it! I bested my time in this race by over 6 minutes!!!!! 🙂

They say you are supposed to have a goal every day for your run.  So today’s was pretty pure and simple. Check out new neighborhoods and have fun. Try running without my headphones for a change and just connecting with the world. No worry about time or pace, but distance should be between 4 and 5 miles. Walk if you want to and don’t feel any guilt, especially since it’s almost 10 a.m. in the hot sun.

So, I did.  It’s funny how we can become creatures of habit. Usually when I leave my house for my 4-5 mile runs, I do a loop that brings be back home at the end. I always somehow go to the “left” out of my neighborhood but never to the right. Hm, I wonder why that is. Is it the amount of cars that will be buzzing by me? The neighborhoods I will see? The amount of sun/shade I can guarantee to myself I’ll run by?

Anyway, today I ran to the “right.”  I may have mentioned on this blog a few times – I’ve enjoyed reading books by Cheryl Richardson, particularly her book, The Unmistakeable Touch of Grace.  I even downloaded one of her apps onto my iPhone.  You juggle cards when you need inspiration.  So I did this morning and picked an “awake card” and it said something like “live in the now; it’s the only moment that is important.”

 As I ran to the right, I saw a street called Grace Drive. So I thought, hm, never been down that way before, why not today? So I did, and found an absolutely beautiful neighborhood. I came back out onto the main road at Melody Street. Further along, I found another very quiet neighborhood whose street names, I discovered, were all named after flowers: Larkspur, Bellflower, Primrose. Beautiful, right? I know, I know, every town has neighborhoods like that  It was pretty warm when I ran so I didn’t care about my pace, or if I stopped to walk.  I was too engrossed in learning about my new surroundings.

However, it did occur to me that on a Monday, there seemed to be a lot of cars in driveways.  This made me wonder – do all these people all have the same day off as me? Are they on vacation? Or are all these people out of work? Because I live in an area where there isn’t much mass transit, at least, these people would have to drive to the commuter rail and then park there for the day. It’s too far to walk.  Is the economy really that much in the crapper?  I know MA is in a bad state – our unemployment is just about in the double digits, but I think we are lucky compared to states like that of my sister, MI, which now has about 14% unemployment, thanks to the auto industry.

Anyway, these are the random thoughts that go through my head sometimes when I’m out there. Also, when I’m running with my music turned off.   That’s right folks. You read that correctly. I had my headphones on but to be honest, felt a bit like they were more annoying than helpful today.  Who knows, I might even try running again without them, just not this Thursday night for the Weston 5-Miler.  I’ve pre-registered and am all set. Now I just hope the weather cooperates and is not disgustingly hot. Because God knows, we have not acclimated to the heat here yet. It was 81 today but tomorrow it’s supposed to be 68 and raining all day. How can we ever get acclimatized with weather like this?!

Anyway, off to bed, getting up at 4ish to either run or ride the bike at the gym, weather depending. I’m not averse to the rain, I just don’t want to run in a downpour for 50 minutes.

By the way, you may not have heard unless you follow me on Twitter, but this Saturday, Bill and I are adopting a yellow lab from a Lab Rescue in Indiana.   Her name is Ruthie, and she’s 3 years old. She was initially picked up as a stray, with a litter of puppies.  She’s around 40ish pounds, and she just looks so adorable.  (So my last goal for today was to do Research for Ruthie – i.e., find new routes to take her on walks/jogs.)

I can’t wait for Ruthie to get here on Saturday – she’s going to LOVE the neighborhoods I found today. Lots of quiet streets where we can safely walk! I can’t wait to post pictures of her for you all to see what a sweetie she is.  And who knows, maybe I’ll have a new running partner to help motivate me in the mornings?!

My God, could my post title be any longer?!

When I wrote my post after the race, I felt a bit rushed. My mom wanted to get to her campground earlier rather than later, so I tried to shorten it. (I know, I didn’t do such a good job with that, now, did I?)

My after thoughts:

  • I gave up on myself way too early. When I saw my second mile was already in the ten minute range, I thought, “well, there go my time goals.”  I wanted all of my miles to be in the 9 minute range, and already I’d lost that. Never mind it was for a much needed pee break (even though I’d visited the porta potties twice in the hour we spent at the start line – call me a nervous runner with a nervous bladder.)  I’d never run 9 minute miles for all of my long runs, with less hills, so why did I think I would miraculously do so on race day? Just from the adrenaline?
  • To steal a phrase of MsV1959 (her Twitter name, her blog is Gymnotes), the “awful mental chick” was in town for that run. I began to think I was not meant for racing, I wasn’t mentally strong enough, and maybe I should just continue running at 5 or 6 a.m. in the morning when no one could see me. I also thought I’d let down the relay team next year if I ran this crappy.  I wondered if I’d started to concentrate on too many goals atone time – writing, running, spending time volunteering? Will I ever be more than mediocre? (Yes, the tiny violin player had come out, all set to play for my pity party.)
  • I’d taken a lot of ribbing from my family about being a high maintenance runner.  I had to have my pink Camelbak, Gus, endurolytes in case I needed them, and of course, I needed my iPod. (God forbid I not have that.)  Meanwhile, my brother gets dressed, has one Gu with him, and he’s set to go, after only running for 6 weeks. And kicked my ass while doing it, but that was already a foregone conclusion.  I think I let all the ribbing get to me, even though I know they didn’t mean it in a mean way.
  • So many people run for so many good causes.  There were people running with tshirts on, running in honor of babies, literally, who had died from cancer.
  • I saw a blind girl on the sidelines, cheering around mile 7, and thought “she looks so excited. I wonder how that must “feel” to her, feeling the tremors of all these people pounding the pavement right next to her.”
  • I was able to really make eye contact connections with some spectators.  Have you ever done that before? It’s just for a fleeting moment or two, but in that moment or two, I feel so happy and a real, genuine smile seems to cross both of our faces.  It’s my way of saying “thank you” for the support, for coming out and cheering so many people on that you don’t even know.
  • I never want to build up a race so much in my mind again. All it did was give me extra pressure that I can do without.
  • Your diet and sleep effect so much of how you run. I slept like dog crap the night before (so did Jamie, hmmm, it didn’t seem to bother him as it did me), and I was tired from the week before, from the three kids of my sister and the energy it takes to keep up with them. But, would I have traded a minute of that week? HELL, NO!  I had so much fun with my family, and seeing those three as they develop and grow up. I don’t get to see them as much as I would like, and every time I see them, I find myself growing more attached.  

Speaking of family, my sister said it was alright for me to mention this photo, since it appeared in the online version of the Utica Observer Dispatch (courtesy Gate House Media).  Here’s my  oldest nephew, as he made his “sweaty freaks” sign. 🙂

Sean, in the Observer Dispatch at the start line

Sean, in the Observer Dispatch at the start line

 

A Request for Miles Donations:

If you get Sports Illustrated, then you may have already heard about this woman’s story, which can be found here. Her name is Vivian Bales (the article says “Vivian White” but I think that’s wrong), and her goal is to “run to Iraq.”  It is her hope to run her last mile with her son, who is currently stationed in Iraq.  A lot of people who ran the Boilermaker donated their miles to her. As soon as I found out about it, I did too, and plan to do so from now on, on a weekly basis.  I wrote her on Sunday and she responded to my email today – WOW!

To donate miles to her cause, she asks that you not send them more than once a week (I’m sure she is getting inundated!) You should send her an email at vbales AT consolidated DOT net. (I promised her to put it on my blog in a way that the spam robots couldn’t pick it up.)  Just think of how many miles us running bloggers could help her out, especially those of us who are training for marathons, or the RagnarRelay in February? 🙂  Please, please, please post something about this on your blogs, I think it’s such a great cause.

 

Tonight’s Run:

Tonight’s run was a redemption run. Five miles faster than I’ve ever done them before, I think. I say I “think” because I had to stop my watch once to give a lost driver directions (only think it took 30 seconds) and another time to wait about 15 seconds for traffic, so as to not become human roadkill. These splits were better than any others I’ve had, and I’m especially happy with mile 2, which has the “hills.”

Tonight’s run, whose miles will be donated, had these stats – overall time of 45:18, average pace 9:04.

  • Mile 1: 8:56
  • Mile 2: 8:51
  • Mile 3: 9:48 (fighting the “mental chick,” walking a short bit, taking some Gus, stripping off the running shirt)
  •  Mile 4: 8:58
  • Mile 5: 8:45

I kept thinking on tonight’s run, YES, Willie was right. I DO have more in me than what Sunday’s race results show. Even if next week’s race is not great, or I can’t do it because of work, I’ve got tonight.

Thanks for reading.

So it was not my best race, by a long shot, but I learned a few things, about myself, anyway, if  not about running. 🙂

I  knew it was not a good sign when about a mile after the start, I find myself looking at the sides of the road for the “porta potties that would be all over the course” as was announced at the start line.  I finally see people running off to the bushes to do their business, and I think “that looks like a plan.”  Only one tissue in my bag and I don’t want to take the time to get it out, already losing precious time, so I say to myself “this isn’t good.” Keep running.

First mile was probably my best, about 9:15.  All downhill, pace-wise from there. This was just one of those days where I could not focus, could not push myself to keep going no matter how hard I tried. Or didn’t try, I’m not sure what was going on.  But the crowd support was really good and there were tons of volunteers.  And a fly-over by military jets at 10:30 this morning, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I do like shorter distance races the best, I think. 10K and 5K and flat courses, especially. This was not a flat course, I’ve shown you the elevation chart before.  The Beast, or that huge incline between miles 3 and 4 was really not the worst.  It was the inclines around the 10K mark, and the other inclines that just seemed to go on and on forever.  I did find myself walking a lot. I just had that “empty tank” feeling that we all know of, literally the entire way.  Couldn’t get rid of it to save my life. Not gatorade, water, gels, or enfuralytes could really help banish it today.

Things I did see that I really liked:

  • A guy dressed up as an F.X. Matt beer can.  That’s the kind of beer they used to have at the finish party. Now it’s Saranac.  I’ve discovered I don’t really like it, but it was still alright to drink after so many weeks of being good.
  • A guy carrying a full-sized flag passed me just as we started to go up the Beast, holding out in front of what looked to be a quite heavy, full-length flag with the enblem of “Don’t Tread on Me” and the rattlesnake symbol.  He definitely got some cheers.
  • Passed some wheelchair racers, who had only started about 15 minutes before us. (They definitely should get more of a headstart because when it came to the downhill right after mile 4, this one poor lady had to put on the brakes. After doing that huge hill, she should definitely have been allowed to take more advantage of the hard work she’d put in getting up there.)
  • A spectator holding a sign that said “thank you, Dr. Braker, for saving my life.”  I was like, “can you imagine being that guy/girl out there on the course, who sees that and how good it’ll make him feel?”  It made me feel good to see it!
  • Lots and lots of family spectators. My sister and her family saw us off at the start. I understand my nephew, Jack, who’s 5, was crying because he wasn’t able to see his actual “Aunt TT” run past him, I feel so badly for the little guy.
  • So many kids and adults were out there with their hands out to “slap five.”  I made sure to hit many of them on my way.   

I have some pictures below from the beginning starting line area – the sign with “Good luck, Sweaty Freaks, Aunt Terri and Uncle Jamie” was done by my nephew, Sean, who’s 8.  He came up with the motto all on his own. 🙂  He even drew us both in on the sign, and then added a bubble after I took the picture, in which he is saying “get going, you lazy bums.” 🙂 The other one is being held by my nephew, Jack, the 5 year old. For privacy reasons, I can’t show their faces on here, but take it from me, they’re quite adorable.

Our stats are below – my brother ran on his own, and I think he did amazingly well. He said his quads were definitely burning afterward, and I feel badly that he had to wait so long for me at the finish line.  We then waited for at least a half hour until my mom could make her way to us from the finish line, so unfortunately we lost out on our “ultimate carbo-reloading, glycogen replacement time window” so we’re taking it easy today and heading down to my mom’s seasonal campsite near  Cooperstown, NY. It’s really beautiful down there, for those of you who have never been.

Brother, Jamie (“Jim”):

  • Chip time: 1:05:05 (average pace of 6:59)
  • Place overall: 796 (of 10,582 finishers, although we’d heard 10,877 were signed up)
  • Division: 64/675 (Men, 35-39)
  • Men overall: 710/6018

Me: (don’t look, it’s really awful, honestly):

  • Chip time: 1:36:47 (average pace of 10:23, although my Garmin said I ran 9.42, for 10:17 average pace)
  • Place overall: 8339 (UGH)
  • Division: 404/581
  • Women overall: 3124/4564

The weather was nice, a bit sunny for my taste (I’m so used to running so early in the morning when it’s overcast, I’ve grown to like it.)  I wish I could figure out why I did so badly, I’ll just have to think about it some more.   I’m refusing to get down over it,  I’m planning on trying to run a 5 mile race in Weston next week if  I can leave work early enough to get there (think it starts at 6 p.m.) and I really am beginning to think that a 10K or shorter is my distance.  Five miles is what I run in the mornings and it’s my perfect distance for not needing extra water.  I think I carried too much extra weight today on my back, maybe that contributed to the slow pace. Not sure.

Anyway, there’s a 10K coming up in Gloucester that I am now going to turn my sights to. It was written up as one of the fastest 10Ks in the country, and it’s known as the Lone Gull 10K, held in September.  It’s flat and there are ocean breezes. If you ask me, that’s a really great combo. Maybe I can hit one of my goals for the year by doing it, to run a 10K in the 54 or 55 range.

Thanks to everyone for all of the support and good luck wishes. I’ve not been able to get on the computer as much as I would like, so I’ve been trying to respond to messages via my new iPhone and I’m not the best thumb typist as many  of you have probably already discovered. 🙂

My nephew Jack's sign "good luck Uncle Terri and Aunt Jamie"

My nephew Jack's sign "good luck Uncle Terri and Aunt Jamie"

Good Luck, Sweaty Freaks, Aunt Terri and Uncle Jamie

Good Luck, Sweaty Freaks, Aunt Terri and Uncle Jamie

Jamie and I at the staging area, taken by my sister

Jamie and I at the staging area, taken by my sister

The expo was pretty well organized.  I picked up my bib and my brother’s. He’s in the orange wave and I’m in the gray wave, because I guestimated at 90 minutes to do the race, after I saw the elevation chart, and also took into account when I signed up that I might be running in hot heat and humidity. (Clearly I signed up way before the last month of weather, during which our temps barely broke 70.)

I don’t think you can track us, it’s too short of a race. But I’m bib 7886 and he’s 1275.  He’s going to try to start with me anyway and run with me, which I totally didn’t expect. I did tell him I’ll be wearing my iPod so I can run at my faster pace of in the 9 minute range, if I can (except for The Beast, which I expect to slow everyone down between mile 3 and 4.)  So, at that pace, I’m not sure I can talk the whole way but I’m going to try. And he can be my pacer, I know he’s good at it.  He’s used to running next to me with those on, and hearing me talk back in a much louder voice than normal.

So, wish us luck.  I’ve got my outfit picked out, I will either look like the Lady in Pink (complete with the Pink Camelbak), or like a bottle of pepto-bismol, take your pick.  Should be really fun, they are expecting about 11,800 runners for the 15K, so it should look like a total sea of humanity at the beginning and for most of the race. 🙂 I really hope to not have to weave back and forth the whole time, so we’ll see how it goes. 

Temps supposed to be in the 60s when we start, and the thunderstorm just rolled through a few minutes ago.

Wish us luck! And thanks so much for the words of encouragement from everyone.  What I plan on putting on my back is this, and I can hope it can inspire others as just thinking about it on the drive home did for me last night. (Thanks to Bailey and Willie for their great mottos.)

Run Like You Mean It.

Run Fearless

And if you’re fast, please take me with you!

Those of you who read Runner’s World know what I’m talking about when I use the phrase, “Rave Run.”  I always look at those gorgeous pictures and think, “wow, it would be so nice to have somewhere to run like that, someplace that is so beautiful.”  Normally, I’ve just got the neighborhoods around my house.  That is, except for when I go to the Cape.  Cape Cod.  A little sliver of land that looks like an arm held out and in the midst of a bicep curl. 

Bill’s parent have a house in the mid-Cape area (think of the part that would be the elbow, and that’s mid-Cape.)  Within a mere mile, a short warm-up, I can be staring at the sands of the bay, out across Nantucket Sound, and at the ocean. That’s what I saw on both of my runs this week while on vacation.  Both runs were much later than I’d normally do them, around 9 or 10 a.m., but the ocean breeze made it really comfortable.  Yesterday, there were a lot of people out walking and I said to a few of them, how nice it was to be outside in the sunshine for a change, and their smiles in reply told me that they definitely agreed.  One lady even gave me a cheer as I ran by her the first time and a huge smile when I passed her on my return trip.

Both runs were short – 4 miles on Wednesday and 5 on Thursday, because this Sunday is the Boilermaker Race at home in Utica, NY.  Many of you run big city marathons with 40-50K people. For me, this is my big city marathon of sorts. It’s 10,000 people running just over 9 miles.  My brother in law has advised that I line up at the start with the people who would have a finish time of 10 minutes faster than what I am expecting to do, so I don’t get stuck weaving and weaving and weaving at the beginning.

Just now, I got back from a 2.1 mile run.  Yep, pretty short but I’m saving my legs for Sunday. I just wanted to get the lead out.  Now, I’ve got to get showered and finish re-packing (just got home from the Cape last night) and get on the road! Unfortunately Bill can’t make the trip with me as he’s now out of vacation time and I’m not coming back until Monday, and his sister is expecting a baby as of Wednesday so he wants to stay close to home. My sister and her kids left a few hours ago and I’m going to see them again tonight at dinner.  Her three kids are pretty amazing, but I don’t  know how she keeps up with all of it and doesn’t just collapse every night!   My brother in law is injured, so he may run the 5K on  Sunday instead of the 15K, or not run at all (the two races have different starting locations and times.)  But my brother and I are both running – yay! 

Anyway, to everyone else out there racing this weekend, good luck, and to everyone else, happy running! I’ll try to post from my mom’s house  if I get a chance as I downloaded the WordPress app to my iPhone but I think I might have trouble posting to it, either that or I need to figure  out how to work it better.

I’m stupid. I know.  We FINALLY got sun today.  It’s been a week. A weird June, to be sure, and beginning of July. By this time last year, Lis and I were so used to sweating like farm animals while training with TNT.  (I can see Lis right now, clearing her throat, saying “ahem, Terri, it was only YOU who sweated like a farm animal, I just tried to make sure I didn’t kill myself by falling in the sweat puddles you left behind.”) Sorry, Lis. It was only me.

My biggest fear for next week’s Boilermaker is no longer the monster incline (which I’ve nicknamed THE BEAST) between miles 3 and 4. It’s that it’ll be a million degrees and humid out, as it usually is in upstate NY.  When I first signed up, I just figured I’d be acclimated by then.  However, there’s been this really freaky weather pattern that has found its way over Boston and New England for the past several weeks. It’s felt like springtime, as in early April, all last month.  Let me make this abundantly clear. Last night, when I walked into the convenience store, around 9ish, a guy walked out in long pants, shirt and  fleece. July 3rd. That just ain’t right.

Other bloggers out there are saying it’s 100 degrees where they live, and that they have drought conditions.  My husband picked up our welcome mat off of our deck to put it in the sun to dry out.  He said that water literally ran out of it.  (Guess that’s why it’s started to grow weeds this week.)

So today seemed like the perfect time to go for a run at noon, right? Hey, nobody said I always had common sense every day. 🙂 I was supposed to do 4-6 mile repeats. Note I said “supposed to.”  Did I forget to mention my Flovent steroid inhaler just ran out on me, and my doctor’s office was closed, so my pharmacy couldn’t contact them for more?  Ah yeah. I can be a dummy sometimes.

I did the first interval just fine. 8:15.  Second one, not so good. More like 9ish, and with walking involved. I know, I know, not supposed to happen.  That brought me back home.

Then, I realized I could run laps around my block, which is about .45 around. I did that 4 times for a total of 2 more miles. That was it. I couldn’t take it any more. At least the .5 mile repeats I did I was able to consistently speed up, to 4 minutes per .5 miles.

Tomorrow, I am getting up before the butt crack of dawn, and leaving the house by around 5:30 or 5:45. Why?  My running group, the Merrimack Valley Striders, is hosting a 4th of July race.  I volunteered to help with registration before thinking of how early I’d have to be there. There’s a 2K, a 5K, and a 10K.  The 2K is for the kids, of course. I’m taking tomorrow off from running, and then doing my long run on Sunday instead.

On a completely unrelated matter, I just got the older version of the iPhone.  My employer gets a 10% discount on the monthly plan! SWEET!

So now I just have to figure out what the apps are for Twitter.  I hope to not get addicted to my phone, but people  tell me I just might.  I like the fact that there’s a map feature, as I usually can get lost driving in places with which I’m not familiar.  By the way, for those of you who read this blog, and want to follow me on Twitter, feel free to do so. I’ve got my updates protected for now (was getting sick of all the porn followers and the like), but if I can tell you’re a real person and not someone just trying to sell me something, I’ll likely accept you.  My name is “middlepackgirl.”

Have a great 4th everyone!

Photo by BL1961, flickr.com

Photo by BL1961, flickr.com