I did it, FINALLY. Didn’t think I could possibly freak out a guy who runs 100 mile races, injuring himself halfway and continuing to run on for 60 more miles.  [He’s signed up for the Leadville 100 in August, I can’t wait to go see and support him, and take him to the hospital afterward in the medivac helo. :-)]

 He’s the same guy who ate a Nathan’s Hot Dog from a NY State Thruway rest area, the day before he decided to run a 50 mile trail race.  (Yeah, that didn’t work out so well for him and his intestines, as you can imagine.) The guy who just ran a mile last week in 4:56, and does 6 X 800 repeats at 2:45, which is a seriously sick pace I can’t even fathom for one 800.

 Last week I actually set a new record for myself with a two-footed, weighted plank. 7.5 pounds (just spread the weight out more evenly), and held it for 7:30.  Yep, blew away my old record of 6:19 that I blogged about last week. Yay!!  One thing I did learn – not to do that again while wearing my racing flats. My feet kept sliding on the mat the entire time, and then my calves were killing me for most of the rest of the week.

When I told my brother this, he said I blew his mind – I DID IT!!  Then, he said that he can only do it for about 2 minutes without shaking and stopping. I was like “really??” Wow! Never thought I’d hear that.

I realized today that “running topless” remains a popular phrase whereby people find my blog and tweeted about it. A male friend of mine, who shall remain nameless out on the West Coast where he lives and whose first name rhymes with “hill,” suggested a few terms I should use in my next post and see if they drive up traffic. I will just put them in bold font throughout this post, and also use them as tags to see if his prediction comes true.  🙂

Wow, are those people going to be sad when they get to my blog…. ha ha ha

I actually had a really good weekend. Went climbing with a new friend I made at the gym.  It’s the first time we’ve hung out, and I felt like I’d already known her for a long time.  So, that was very cool.

That's the climber, toward the top of the red stripe. Notice the tall ladder to the right, for a height perspective. People in foreground are sitting down.

My friend had never top-roped before, so they wouldn’t let her take the test at Metro Rock Gym (we went there because we knew the other place, Boston Rock Gym, was having comps (how they refer to competitions in the climbing world, I am learning), all day long. But, I took the top-rope test (which means I can climb and belay people there) and passed (phew!). We then just decided to boulder for a few hours. By the time we were done, my palms had gotten calloused (a good thing for doing it on a regular basis, going forward), and  my fingers hurt, but luckily the rest of me, other than my fingers, were not really that sore. Guess my body is getting used to the new muscle groups being used.

This guy made it look so easy. Needless to say, there's not an extra ounce of fat on this guy. Insane in so many ways.

The Metro Rock Gym definitely has a much different feel to it. Some of the top-rope routes are much taller than at the other gym (which kinda freaks me out), and it’s a much larger room, rather than a few rooms. The crowd does tend to be a bit younger, because it’s accessible by the T. I even saw a woman who was “climbing topless.” Get your minds out of the gutter, boys. She had on a sports bra like I do when I run topless.  She wasn’t necessarily stacked enough to fill a DD-cup (really, guys, how many do you think actually exist who do?), but I was glad to see that kind of thing was acceptable there too.  (Yeah, it might take me a while to get to that point, however.)  I think I will probably go to both depending on my schedule, but I definitely like the approach the folks take at the Boston Rock Gym, and can understand why a lot of people prefer the atmosphere of it too. 

We were clearly newbies there, as were a lot of other folks. But a really friendly, supportive and experienced boulderer gave me some pointers, which definitely helped every time I tried it afterward. (He was helping out another newbie friend at the same time as he was helping the two of us.) I was crouching up my body too much, and holding all of my weight on my arms, when I should have been resting them, and I also learned that once you commit to take a move, you just have to go for it.  And I just got a book called Training for Climbing (yep, I am a librarian after all), and a good portion of it is about mental training, something I think I can also apply to running.

Guy is just about hanging by fingernails, and the wall also forces him to be leaning back away from it, like an overhang. Cannot imagine the upper body strength it takes to do that!

I went to see a bouldering comp on Saturday night at the Boston Rock Gym. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s climbing that doesn’t involve ropes, and usually you’re not higher than 25 feet in the air (probably even less inside, I’m not a good judge of height), and if you fall, you land on crash pads. It’s great to have a spotter for support, but you can do it alone. Some of the climbers involved in the Finals were professionals, and it showed. I’ve posted a few pictures throughout the blog.  While they really don’t do the climbers justice, since they were taken with the iPhone 3G (which doesn’t have a flash), the strength and control these folks displayed was pretty awesome. Guys had to start one route by jumping and grabbing the handhold with one hand (seriously difficult), and at times, both men and women had to climb upside down to pull $ off of the boulder. (Yes, part of the incentive to do well…)  It got me inspired.

And ladies, yes, the guy is bouldering without a shirt on up above in one of my pictures. For some reason, still unknown to me, a lot of the guys tend to “climb topless.” If I ever figure out why, I’ll let you know. I can just think of so many ways that that could cause pain if you made the wrong move. Or, on the ropes. Can we say “ouch?”

My brother asked what I liked about the rock climbing so far. I told him it’s a new challenge for me, and one that  I think I can get better on given time and lots of practice, and some good mental and physical training. As runners, I think a lot of us are in really good shape, but let’s admit it, we usually have little chicken arms. Rock climbing is definitely a sport where you can easily find out where your muscles are weak. I’m hoping it helps me to improve my running times.  And, honestly, the people in that world seem to be so chill. Concerned about safety, of course, but it’s a nice break from where I spend my working hours. (I like my job but the institution can, at times, be overly concerned with its image, to its own detriment.)

The only bad thing that happened this weekend is that Ruthie’s dad and I will continue talking about and arranging for visits with her, but that will be it. I don’t want to go into details here, other than to say I think it’s for the best, honestly.  It’ll make for more of a clean and final break, and maybe it will help us both move forward more easily. No, I’m not made of stone, I do think it’s sad, but it honestly is probably a good step for both of us to take right now.  And Ruthie remains the one thing we both love, so I’ve included a picture of here too. I’ll continue to take lots of long walks with her and love and hug her to death when she visits.

Ruthie playing with one toy while another one waits to be mauled, lying next to her.

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Sorry to start off a blog post with a cliche, but it’s an accurate way to describe me over the past few weeks, or last couple of months. Anyway, I am happy nowadays. Yes, occasionally I have lapses, where everything is not 100% wonderful. [I think it’d be kinda weird if I were to walk around with a constant smile on my face, don’t you?  In Boston, that sort of thing  can get you killed! Especially in the grey days of winter! :-)] But for the most part I’m happy.

A friend recently wrote me on email and observed that twice recently I’d referred to myself as immature, and he wondered why. When I thought about it, I realized it’s because sometimes I don’t feel like I have the right to be happy, or that I was selfish making the decision I did last summer.   Yes, I tend to have an inner voice that can be severe or judgmental sometimes.  But luckily it’s a voice that is getting a lot quieter.

I know that some of you who read my blog also take anti-depressants. I think a lot of people don’t quite understand how they work. I’m still learning about them myself, but this is what I can say about them. Whereas in the past, emotions would sometimes hit me very hard, and I wouldn’t be able to think rationally about them, now I can. Depression can make you think lots of things, you can project ideas of what you think other people are thinking about you, and they seem real, although they are completely not the case. Anti-depressants allow you time to actually think about things, so you’re not just automatically reacting to things. At least where I am concerned, they have allowed me to return to more of the person I used to be.

And I think it’s a good thing. Clearly, it shows, because a female coworker who has been with us for about a year now said to me today “you seem happy. how are things?” When I asked her if she knew I was getting divorced, she said “yes, that’s why I said something. You really do seem happier lately.”  Later on, someone saw me after a long time and said how much they liked my hair. It brought another smile to my face.

Before, I probably would be wondering when the proverbial other shoe would be dropped. Now, I try to not go there mentally and I’m trying to go with the flow of things as much as possible. If something bothers me, I look at it for what it is, and try to think about it a little instead of just reacting.

On the running front, things aer also improving. I’ve met with a personal trainer 3 times now, and still have a couple appointments left to go. I’ve been doing most of what he suggests, with the time I have. The strength work and especially the core work have made a huge difference. Normally I’ve kept my pace on the treadmill to 6.7 mph, and it was starting to feel really easy. The other day I did the “random” (read: HILLY) workout, on level 6, so I was going up to inclines as high as 5, and I found I could keep my pace just about between 6.6 and 6.8.  The incline would very rarely dip down below 1, and even then only for a short period of time.

And my best piece of news, some of you may have already seen on Twitter. I have been focusing on doing a lot of planks lately. Yes, my name is Terri, and I’m a plankaholic. 🙂   I used to just do them straight-armed on the floor, with one foot held on top of the other.  My record used to be 8 minutes. Lately, on my trainer’s advice, I’ve been holding planks with my feet on a bench, and my arms on a big stability ball. My record for that is 4:45. (Yep, so close but yet so far from 5 minutes, LOL.)

My record for one-footed planks, on the floor is now ELEVEN MINUTES! Yesterday, I started out with the goal of making it to 9, but I felt pretty strong still at 8-8:30, so I just decided, “ok, let’s see how long I can go.”  I was so happy to see my stopwatch hit 10, and I was like “I can still hold onto this!!”  I am also happy with how my strength, abs, and all around training is affecting my overall health, both physical and mental. My stomach is now flatter than it’s ever been! And I weigh about the same as last year, when I was so stressed, except that now, it’s muscle, or becoming muscle.

Being able to hold that pose for that long inspired me to run faster on the treadmill, so I did 3.1 at 7.0, level 1.0 incline. And it felt EASY/comfy.  And it also inspired me to get the process rolling to get my name changed in as many places as I possibly can, before it gets changed officially. So if you’re on facebook and connected to me, you’ll see my last name has changed. So has my Twitter account.  It’s my way of reclaiming who I am, for me.

Now my goal for this weekend is to run really well in the An Ras Mor 5K, that is run by my running group, the Somerville Road Runners.  I figure, if I start to feel like I’m failing during the race, I will remind myself I just did an 11 minute plank this week, and if I can do that, I can do anything I set my mind to.   Nothing or no one can take that achievement away from me.

Nothing can take away your happiness, either, unless you let it/him/her do so. That is something I am going to try to remind myself of more often, going forward.

Still trying to keep  in line with my blog’s tagline: Moving Forward with Optimism.

Chestnut Hill Reservoir, with sun glare, even!!

I’m writing today just because I feel like it.  The pics I’m posting are to show why I love living where I live right now. I’ve got this beautiful piece of water so close to where I live, I am blessed.

All I can say is, I cannot WAIT to run outside again. I don’t care if it’s cold enough to make my eyes water and ears hurt, it’ll be nice to run on hills again, see the sunrise while I run, and generally have no fear of becoming human roadkill from slipping on ice just as a car rounds the corner. We all know how impossible it is for drivers to turn their head right when turning onto a road (of course, when I’m driving, that never, ever happens.)

I am still running inside, can’t believe it myself. I’ve become such a wimp. This afternoon, I took Ruthie for a walk and saw the hill I used to run every single morning, the one that would tell me how hard or easy the run would feel for the rest of the time.  It looked high/tall.  I really miss it, though. Running a “random hill” workout on a treadmill just isn’t the same.

So, I’ve been downloading lots of new music, and trying to distract myself as much as possible on the treadmill. I’ve been *trying* to do speed work on my trainer’s advice, basing it on time over distance, but might start doing some of my running club’s coaches workouts, because well, the ‘time” option is kinda boring.  I do a minute each at 7, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, and 9.  When I’m feeling really daring, I kick it up to 9.5.  Of course this means I have to kick the incline down to 0. (Like I said, I’ve become a wimp. Go ahead, slap me.  I won’t even try to escape.)  When I tried running at 9.5 with the incline set to 1.0, I literally felt like I had to hold on for dear life, or the whole machine would go flying apart or shove me off the back.  And I figured I kinda looked like a jackass doing it, so I gave that up.  (Although it did make the 8.5 seed not seem so bad, and the 8.0 kinda manageable!)

What I wish the reservoir looked right now, because it'd be warm out!

I blame my wimpiness/aversion to the cold/ice running on the fact that I’ve not raced in about 2 months now, and on the really beautiful scenery at the gym.  (No, I will not elaborate, but I may giggle/smile a bit. Yes, I’m 14. Leave me alone. 🙂 Hey, I’d rather be smiling every day than feeling sad.)

My brother was here on New Year’s Eve and that was a late night at my older brother’s. So, yeah, the New Years Day race was soo not happening for us. Then I was signed up for a 10K on Super Bowl Sunday. With all the freaking snow we’ve had, the state police decided they wouldn’t allow the organizers to have the streets closed, and it was probably a field of a few thousand, so even after postponing it for another week, it just never happened. The kicker – no refunds, UNLESS you made a $20 donation to LiveStrong, to get your $30 back.  Yep. Supposedly we will be able to use our entry fee to run another race they host in December, but it’s only a 5K. Bleck.

Reservoir this morning in the sun, snow still covering the running path

I am planning on running the An Ras Mor race on St. Patty’s Day (it’s run by the Somerville Road Runners, my new group.) And the BAA 5K, because it’ll likely be my only opportunity ever to cross that finish line. (I’m not bummed personally about the Boston Marathon changes, I was never dreaming of qualifying anyway. I do think it sucks though for people who might work their ass off to qualify, only to still be shut out because they’re still not fast enough.)  After that I need to find some good 10Ks so I can measure my improvement from all this treadmill running.

I am also hoping to go on some runs with someone new pretty soon. He’s much faster than me, and really nice and laid back, so it’ll be great for me to run with him (emphasis on the phrase, “much faster.”)  We’ve both been kept captive inside on the treadmill and I don’t know about him, but I’m about ready to shoot myself soon from not running all my hills! I hope he just doesn’t die of boredom since my speed will be so slow for him.   I’d say he’s at least as fast as my brother, if not more so, for the shorter distances. So, I guess I will have to depend on my sparkly personality and wit to keep the coma look from crossing his face (I know, this is where you scratch your head and go, ‘um…should we tell her?  Should we tell her she doesn’t have any? Nah, her drugs seem to be working, just let her be….” 😉

Ruthie perfecting her "pathetic" look so I will pet her on the head. She was wagging her tail too.

I’m hoping to run again with my friend Dan eventually, too, but he’s not been running much lately. Not even inside on the treadmill.  (WIMP!!! J/K, Dan.)  Last week, we agreed that right now, I might even be able to kick his ass. Happy Dance! Happy Dance! Nothing says an ego boost like being able to kick a natural fasties’ butt.  (Actually, wait, there are a few other things but I won’t elaborate.)

My first of four sessions with the trainer is tomorrow. I am hoping I feel really dead afterward, since I also plan on running long afterward, then probably taking Monday off, because yes, I have to work. Enjoy your day off for the rest of us if you are a lucky enough bastard to have it off.  (And don’t worry, that’s not jealousy you feel coming from me…not at all…)

Of course, I will then be taking off Patriots Day to watch the Boston Marathon while the rest of you can only dream of doing such a thing….(evil laugh.)

.

Footnote (ah, forget subtlety)/Headline to Mom: Stop Reading Now. It Ain’t  Gonna Get Any Better. And “yes, you did raise me to say these things.”  LOL

I swear, people, this post goes downhill from here. Read on, if you will.

When I was training for the half marathon at the end of June, I was definitely experiencing some pain in my quads. One of my coaches thought it was because I have powerful quads, and therefore I rely on them a lot when running. Well, for whatever reason, I found the foam roller with ridges that I bought from Marathon Sports to be quite helpful. That is, once I learned how to use it and it didn’t hurt my wrists so much.  (I know, foam roller, wrist pain, doesn’t make so much sense, now, does it?)

In case you are wondering why I’m bringing this up now, it’s because I’ve been running a lot more since my move, oftentimes doing 6 miles before work rather than just 4, and yesterday I began to feel like using the foam roller more often might be a good thing again.

Image from opentip.com

I realize some folks coming across this blog may have no idea what a foam roller is. It’s a hard piece of foam that allows athletes to provide their bodies with self-massage.  Here’s a picture I found that shows you how weird it can look (and seriously, what’s up with this lady’s hair? They couldn’t update the pic just a bit?!)

The first time I brought it home, I set myself up in the kitchen in my former home, which was kind of in an L-shape. I figured, lineoleum floor, this baby should roll quite easily on here. Unfortunately, though, it didn’t come with a video like the roller Lis has, so I was left to my own devices. Or, should I say, imagination?

Ruthie, just hanging, outside after our walk

Anyway, I was in the one side of the kitchen, and Bill was on the other side.  He couldn’t see the bottom half of my body.  As I rolled back and forth on the torture device, I’m sure I must have made a few groans.  (We all know the sweet pain those things bring.) I also had my hands placed as if I was doing push-ups, so I think you’re all getting the mental image, am I right?! Add to that Miss Ruthie, who, of course, thinks that if you are down on the floor, there can only be one reason, and that’s to play with her, so she kept running back and forth trying to get attention from me, while I rolled and groaned away, over and over and over.  Bill just looked at my upper half and said “Are you sure that’s what you’re supposed to be doing? It looks like you’re dry humping something!!” And there we have the title of my post, lol.  (And yes, the next few times I used it, he decided to add in a soundtrack of grunts in the background.  Um, yeah, that was fun, and not at all a bit distracting….)

(In case you all forget what  Ruthie looks like, I saw her last week, so that’s why there are some pictures scattered here.)

Ruthie in the living room, looking adorable "don't you want to pet me?"

I can only imagine now the types of searches that people will do that will bring them to my blog. Do you have any idea how many people do searches on “topless running?”

Speaking of topless running, since my earlier post on that topic, my friend Meg, @mak506 on Twitter, and Lis, have both tried it. Both found it to be quite freeing, and Meg even commented to me, “why hadn’t I done this before?” So there you have it ladies, take off your shirts, and get out there and run topless. You just might find you like it. 🙂  (Added bonus: that much less laundry to do.)

Ah Dad, not this again?! (Sigh. Ok.)

Ruthie seems to be a big hit whenever I post pictures of her here or on Twitter, so I thought her fans might enjoy reading some observations her dad (Bill) and I have made over the course of the last 9 months.  Who knows, maybe some of these can even be applied to our human lives!

  1. 1.  If anyone in the house is getting a treat, be it the cats, or Mommy sneaking cookies, we should all get a treat. Everybody wins!
  2. 2.  If you take a walk, or go outside to pee, you get a treat for doing as expected.
  3. 3.  If it’s a weekend, I expect and demand  a long walk, at minimum 2-3 times per day. Followed by a treat.
  4. 4.  When taking a poop while outside on a walk, you need to leave the scene of the crime immediately after trying to cover it up by kicking dirt in Mommy or Daddy’s face.
  5. Mommy and Daddy love me a lot, even if they do make me look kind of silly in all these pictures. I put up with it because this is the best house I’ve ever lived in, and I never want to leave. 🙂
  6. If you’re a human and on the floor, there can only be one reason why, and that’s to pet me and show me love.
  7. Every day I get up, no matter how early Mommy gets up, it’s the BEST DAY EVER! With the BEST MEALS EVER! With the BEST WALKS EVER! 🙂 
  8. By the way, it’s “Miss Ruthie” to you!
     

    Dear God, I look like Yoda.

My race report from yesterday’s 4.2 miler will be coming – all I can say is this: running in heat SUCKS and running in heat and humidity, especially when not acclimated to it, REALLY SUCKS!

With these words of Ruthie playing in your head,  I will leave you to marvel at her intelligence and sheer cuteness.

That's It. I. Submit.

How can you not love this face?

Wow, it has been a while since I posted on here. And it’s been a while since I’ve been in the mood to be on Twitter a lot. I go in spurts. Sometimes I’m just about addicted to Twitter, other days I don’t want to really get on there, especially during lunch because 20 minutes later, there I still am, typing along with  my thumb and pointer finger (I know, I’m weird, I can’t really type with two thumbs.)

Anyway, what have I been up to since the Claddagh 4-mile race? Well, I was supposed to run a 5-mile race the following week, on March 14th.  Unfortunately that also fell on Day 2 of a 3 day deluge of rain, during which our area got 10 INCHES  of rain.  We are now in the middle of getting somewhere between 4-6 inches again.  Mind you, some folks have not stopped pumping water out of their basements during that time because we’ve had a few normal rain storms in between.  Lovely.

I feel like a wimp, but I just didn’t feel like running that race in a downpour, with 25-30 mph wind gusts.  I hated to disappoint my friend Meg, and I really did want that 3rd medal, but I guess for me, the third time (next year) will be the charm and I’ll finally get all 3.

Let’s see – I went to a Celtics game on St. Patrick’s Day, thanks to my husband who won seats just 14 rows off of the floor.  Nothing like being in Boston on a day that celebrates the Irish. 🙂  Then I took a few personal days and took it easy.

Penny and Terri at the tweet-up - finally we met!!

During my personal time off, I traveled to NYC.  I am so happy to report that I FINALLY met Penny, aka @southbaygirl on Twitter, of the PlanetYnnepRunning blog (she recently had to protect her blog so you have to request the ability to be read it).  She was in NYC to run the NYC Half Marathon, and asked if I could come down from the Boston area to meet her. I figured it would likely be the closest we could ever get to each other, so I went down and stayed with my brother and met her at a tweetup, and then again on Sunday at, and after, the race. She is, quite honestly, one of the most generous and genuine people I have ever met. And I felt like I’d already known her for quite some time. Because, in a way, we have. We’ve read each other’s blogs now for almost 2 years. Amazing, huh?

While I was in NYC, I had a great run with my brother on Sunday night (in SHORTS, no less.) Oh yeah, did I neglect to say that while I was there, it was also about 70 degrees? I know Penny was aggravated/frustrated by that, but for my part, I was LOVING it. (Especially since it went back to the 30s this past weekend her in MA.)

Penny and I, with @tinyjenna, @followjocelyn, and @katiemiller at the NYC Half Marathon

What’s on my horizon?  Um, a lot.  Work this Sunday, April 4th (volunteered to work without realizing it was Easter. Sigh.)  A big legal research teaching event on April 9th. A  5 mile race on April 10th.  Packet stuffing for the Boston Marathon. Then, the Boston Athletic Association 5K on April 18th, the day before the Boston Marathon.  Oh, and I’ll be meeting Lindsay, of Chasing the Kenyans, or @lindsaydecken on Twitter, the weekend of the Boston Marathon – hopefully she’ll be able to stay with me at least part of the time without having an asthma attack (the animals could do it.)  Yay!  (She’s another person whose blog I’ve been reading for at least 18 months now!)

Oh, and there will be more dog training classes in our future. We broke down and have taken Ruthie twice, to get her more acclimated to being around other dogs. We now realize it’s out of fear that she gets into fights. She even got into a fight at the dog school this past weekend. It was suggested we get her a muzzle – it will still allow her to breathe, of course, but sends a verbal cue to owners and other dogs that she is not one that plays well with others so much.  She loves people, though, and she really wants to be friends with our calico, Callie, so things could clearly be much worse. But doesn’t she look so sad?  (Bill petted her the whole 2 minutes this muzzle was on tonight and then she got a treat right after we removed it, so she wouldn’t feel like she was being punished.)  We’ve been told to put it on her at random times so she doesn’t just associate it with dog school.

Ruthie and her muzzle, looking so sad

Oh, and I have also been writing a lot more lately. Thanks to @ridgeley on Twitter, who was extremely generous with her time and advice, I bought myself a Toshiba netbook a few weeks ago. I absolutely love it.

toshiba nb305-450 - picture from newegg.com

The battery power is great, the screen resolution is wonderful, it weighs almost nothing.  And, I LOVE the keyboard. I feel inspired just looking at it.  I’ve been taking it to work and am able to write on it almost every day at lunchtime.

And, for reasons I cannot go into, I have pulled myself out of, or begun to, anyway, pull myself out of a negative funk at work. I’ve decided to give more of the benefit of the doubt to some people and also to try to not let the stress of others affect me as much. I can try to help them and support them, but I can’t take everyone else’s problems and turn them into mine. It just weighs too much.

All of this, in addition to finishing Stephen King’s 1074 page tome, Under the Dome. And continuing to run in the early a.m.  I’d like to extend a  personal thank you to Turtlepower1 on Twitter for worrying about me. He got me motivated to write on here tonight!

Oh, and I have a few more products I can write about now – so stay tuned! (Nope, I didn’t forget about my cold weather running products, not at all!)  Hey, if you buy them now, they’ll all be on sale. 🙂

Yep, it’s been a pretty busy three weeks.

Today began the first of three races in the Wild Rover Series. They’re run 3 weeks in succession, and the distance increases every week. Week 1= 3 miles. Week 2 = 4 miles. Week 5 = 5 miles.

Week 1 = big f%&*S hill. Week 2 = HUGE F&*##(%# HILL.  Actually, correction, it’s a mini-mountain. One that was so steep last year, I just gave up and started walking because the walkers were passing me while I attempted to run up it.  Week  3= ?? because I was sick last year and didn’t run it. I’m looking forward to hearing the bagpiper play as he marches back and forth through the cemetery. Yes.  More on that in two weeks.

As the title of my post indicates, this was a PR.  A PR that almost didn’t happen. Because of Ruthie. She got out today from the back yard, through a post in our fence that was a bit loose, and with all the rain we got here, we think she just pushed against it and slipped out before she knew what was going on.  Then, it snapped back into place.  I’d just arrived home from the grocery store, and Bill greeted me outside with “I let Ruthie out to pee, and now I can’t find her!” Our backyard is not to large, and is totally fenced in, with really no place for her to hide. Plus, she usually comes running when we call her back in but this time, all he got in response was silence.

Luckily, we have tags on her with Bill’s cell number and because she’s so friendly, she’s a horrible fugitive, and was easily captured by a man wonderful enough to call us, as we were both out canvassing the neighborhoods and trying not to panick. She’d only gone about 1/4-1/2 mile.

 As you can see below, she’s just fine now.  Thank God, because I don’t know what we would do without her. She’s so much a part of our hearts, I was crying when I hugged her when we got her home, and begged her to never do that again.  Bill told me that when he arrived at the good samaritan’s home, she started wagging her tail and trying to get to him. She then jumped into the backseat of his Explorer in a jiffy.  Thank God, she wanted to come home! 

Ruthie, the fugitive, sleeps...

Anyway, Bill has put lots and lots of barriers in Ruthie’s way so that she can’t bolt free again. Phew.

Anyway, here are the stats for today’s race.  My friends Lis and Meg also ran it.

  • 806 total runners
  • 35/162  in F30-39 division
  • 251/806 overall
  • official time: 24:47
  • overall pace: 8:19
  • Mile 1: 8:32
  • Mile 2: 8:11
  • Mile 3: 811

Me, Meg, and Lis at the start (Gumps 3)

Thumbs up:

  • Ran with friends! 
  • Starting mat at beginning AND end (change from last year.)
  •  Disposable timing chips.
  • Technical long-sleeve shirts, male and female cuts, flourescent color!
  • Warm enough to run in only 2 layers, with lighter gloves.

Thumbs down:

  • Only 3 porta-potties outside, 2 stalls inside for women, 1 of which wasn’t working (same as last year, not enough!)
  • Smallish size bar, with not enough bartenders working so crowds got crazy afterward inside (same from last year)

 My goal for today was to break 25 minutes.  So glad I did it, especially because that last mile was hard. Harder than the first because at least then I felt fresh.   The first mile is uphill for at least half of it.  Enough of a hill that I think a fair amount of people walk up it or portions of it. 

But, what goes up, must come down, as we all know. I concentrated on trying to make up speed.  I knew I was in alright shape though, because the Mile 1 clock said 8:29 when I ran by it (gun time, remember) and that’s what it said last year as well.   However, I didn’t remember the mini hills that followed.  (As Lis said, she and I have a good way of blocking out stuff we don’t like to remember. Yep, she ran it also, under 30 minutes. I think that’s an awesome time, especially because she’s not been able to run in at least 2 months due to shin splints, and the fact that she’s a CPA.)

Garmin wonder twin nerds, go!

Mile 2’s clock said 16:30 as I passed it. My brain was somehow able to calculate that I was running faster at this point, which made sense considering Mile 2 included the mini but not mammoth hills, and some downhills. I knew could just try to hang onto the pace I was doing and my goal was within reach.

Mile 3 was when I felt like I was running much slower. I didn’t feel as strong during mile 3 this year as I did last year. But, the good thing was that I knew some landmarks this time around, and that, combined with my Garmin, helped me to know when I could really sprint at the end.  Plus, I said a silent plea to any angels who might be around and listening, to please help if they could, and they answered.  I looked down at my watch close to the end, saw 2.91 on the mileage, and an overall time that started with “24” and just ran as hard as I could. I’m really trying to improve on my times this year.

At the start, think I'm stretching and trying to keep warm (didn't know Bill was taking it)

Some good news – a lady that has run indoor track with me for part of this winter, who I’ve mentioned on the blog, Lynn, ran it also. She’s 56, and afterward told me she’d just be happy to have come in within the top ten of her division. I checked her out on Cool Running, and she WON her age group, with a time of 23:48.  (I said to Lis that inside I can beat her on the track but get us running further than a 1/4 mile and she kicks my ass!)

Anyway, I now have the center of this year’s 3-part medal. (If you run all 3, they fit together like the pic below.)  Yay!

Wild Rover Series medals