28 November, 2013


Today is Thanksgiving, but aside from the fact that it was quiet in the office and I had turkey and assorted pot luck sides for lunch, it's just another Thursday.  Actually, that's not true.  It's VACATION Thursday.  As of 2:30 this afternoon, I'm on vacation for ten days.

Ten!  Days!

And of course, I won't be sitting on my butt a whole lot during that time.  I'm in the "final countdown" for the Space Coast Half Marathon this Sunday.  Two weeks ago, I did my final long training run, wrapping up at a distance of 10 miles.  Of course, the race is 3 (point one) miles longer, but I'm pretty confident that race day adrenaline will carry me that last 5K.

Though I haven't managed to beat my 12:49/mile PR, I also haven't tried.  I've been trying to be injury-free going into the next weeks.  It hasn't been an easy road though.  Last week I went to the doctor when pain in my left foot got so bad I started to worry that I might have a broken bone.  (I don't.  I put the insoles from my old shoes into my new shoes, and my feet are happier than they have ever been.)  And even though I haven't been pushing, it still feels like I'm improving.  On my 5-mile run last Saturday, each of my my miles took less than 15 minutes.  And on my 3-mile run yesterday, my overall pace was 13:41/mile.

That last milestone is especially significant because I've been eyeing a handful of future races that have a pacing requirement of 14 minutes/mile (hello, Hershey!) (does anyone else find it ironic that the race through the CHOCOLATE town isn't just a slow fun run??) (excessive parentheses live here).

But I digress.  I wanted to take a minute to write out all of the things I've got planned between now and next Monday when I go back to work...partly because I'm sure I won't end up doing everything I have on the list.

Tomorrow - morning run and breakfast (corned beef hash is carb-loading, right?) with Scott, mini grocery trip (mostly for race day Craisins and pizza fixin's), possible trip to the pharmacy for prescription refills, Mom arrives, home-made pizza for dinner, pack for the trip

Saturday - drive to the coast, race packet pick-up at the expo, hotel check-in, dinner someplace carb-tastic, shower, blow-dry, chalk pink & purple streaks in my hair (if I can find the chalk), and early sleep

Sunday - RACE DAY!  no solid plans after that, but I'm hoping for a dip in the hot tub and a hobble on the beach

Monday - back home, lunch with Mom before she heads home, group project due tonight

Tuesday - laundry, cleaning, homework, short conditioning run

Wednesday - pot luck at work (yep, during vacation!), Candlelight show

Thursday - more homework, more cleaning, another short run

Friday - race packet pick up

Saturday - Orlando Half Marathon

Sunday - more laundry, Candlelight show

Wow...I shouldn't have written it all out.  All of a sudden it looks awfully overwhelming!

Anyway, wish me luck on Sunday.  Hopefully I'll have a race recap up by Tuesday.

14 November, 2013


Presented without commentary:

...ok, just a little commentary: OMG this is 14 seconds faster than my previous PR, which I set about 13 hours before! All of my social media friends, most coworkers, and even my chiropractor have heard about this today. 

Woot woot!

13 November, 2013

New PR?

I ran two miles after work today.  I figured I should really start pushing myself on my short runs, so I increased my running interval from 30 seconds to 33 (still walking 40).  That one little adjustment kicked my ASS.  But with a first mile of 13:05, I think I PR'ed.  The second mile was more my normal speed at 14:29. I walked a few of those intervals, and had to slow down to stop deep-breathing because there was some sewage work going on near the front of the development.

Thank God for cooler weather.  It's so much easier to get out when it's pleasant... and I'll gladly trade in sweat stains for watering eyes any day!

I'm back out tomorrow morning before work (yep - 4am run - yet another thing I once said "never" about doing!) and hoping that after a good night's sleep maybe I can really push and knock that down below 13.

Everyone needs a goal, right?

11 November, 2013


another in a series of "all about me" posts

It is with great pride and happiness, and also a little bit of wistful sadness, that I announce the impending retirement of my favorite pair of pants. 

Truthfully, they haven't fit me properly for over a year.  When I originally started losing weight, the first place I lost was in my waist.  The pants started slipping to my hips, and then off my hips, so I just put in a half-assed dart at the waistband using a safety pin.  And that's pretty much the way it's been ever since.  (for the sake of the photo, I pulled off the safety pin)

I noticed today though that they are getting saggy-baggy basically through the butt and thighs, to an extent they look pretty ridiculous.  So as soon as I can find a comparable pair on sale, these will be going to the donation pile.

Did you catch that?  BAGGY IN THE THIGHS!  I sort of noticed recently straight out of the shower that maybe at just the right angle my thighs might look a little smaller than they used to.  And when I ran this weekend, my compression pants were no longer compressing (though that could just as easily be because they are old and the Lycra is giving out...).  But these pants?  I know these pants.  They were never this loose before.

And so, it looks like I'm actually making progress again.  For anyone who just stumbled here and is currently thinking "what are you talking about??" I'd like to acknowledge that yes, I'm still fat.  I'm still just about 25-30 pounds lighter than when I started almost two years ago, but I feel like I might be at a turning point right now.  I've decided to tweak my work schedule a little bit (which I still need to clear with my boss) so that I can run in the morning two weekdays and still do my long runs on the weekends.  I'm doing much better with eating decent food at home - broccoli has become my staple veggie, and I eat 2-3 bags of it a week. And though I've been slipping and eating more fast food than I should, when I get my butt in gear and cook enough food for the week in one day, I cut that out completely too.

...and I acknowledge that I've been ending far too many posts this way, but I just added another race for March and I like to keep my running tally (pun unintended).  Here's what I have coming up:
- This week: Running for Lemons Virtual 5k
- Dec 1: Space Coast Half Marathon
- Dec 7: Orlando Half Marathon* (I'm considering buying a new pair of shoes just so I can use the VIP potty hahaha)
- Dec 14: Tap n Run 4k Beer Run
- February 22: Disney's Enchanted 10k (day 1 of the Glass Slipper Challenge)
- February 23: Disney's Princess Half Marathon (day 2 of the Glass Slipper Challenge)
- *new* March 16: Sarasota Half Marathon

So now that I've got four half-marathons scheduled in four months, I figure I might as well add one in January to make it five in five...and maybe shoot for one in April or May...just to round it off to a half dozen.  Woah...I might have an addiction!  Oh well, at least this one is unlikely to kill me! 

*after the Orlando Half, I'm eligible to join the "Half Fanatics."  Whether I'd actually spend $40 for a membership to a club just for the sake of belonging isn't the point.  

10 November, 2013

Get off My Lawn!

Being childless, I mistakenly assumed that I wouldn't turn into my parents.  After all, why would I?  But alas, it seems God has a sense of humor.  A sick, sick sense of humor.  

Back in September, I had the following exchange with a coworker:

Co-worker: I'm hungry
Me: do you want my applesauce?
Co-worker: Nah
Me: then you're not really hungry!

This was a classic Jamie-Mom exchange through most of my childhood.  You can substitute thirsty or bored as well.  Apparently bedroom cleaning was a valid boredom buster in her eyes... I still disagree with that one!

Last night, I channeled my father and was genuinely mortified.  A small child (6-8 years old, I'd guess) wandered up to my screen door last night and was looking into my house.  He made eye contact with me and a smile started to brighten his face.

Me: Go home.
Him: Why?
Me: Because you don't belong in my doorway.  GO AWAY!

("Why?"??? I'm going to throw a "this is what's wrong with kids today" in at this point, just to increase my crotchety points.  But it did annoy me.)

I know it seems harsh, but it was about 8:45 at night.  It was pitch black behind my house, and there are no children that age living in my building or the buildings on either side.  I don't understand why this boy and the other two he was with felt compelled to play behind my house.  At the time, I thought they were the little unsupervised monsters who live across the street from me - who once stood on top of a construction sand pile and threw rocks and dirt clods at each other.  I went upstairs for bed at 9, and could see a group of adults a few buildings down, also yelling and carrying on, so at least the kids weren't completely unsupervised.  They finally left my backyard a few minutes before I was going to yell out the window.

So anyway, I guess it's official: I am the "get off my lawn" guy of the neighborhood.  Oh well...I guess someone needs to do it!

09 November, 2013

Running at the Port

I had a really good idea a few months back: heading out to do my longer training runs out at Disney resorts.  I've run at Pop Century before, and found that running loops around unfamiliar vistas broke up the monotony of doing the same 1.5 mile loop around the neighborhood.  Of course, life got in the way, and my long training runs have sort of been ideas more than actions.  So last night I decided I was actually going to leave the neighborhood before the sun came up.

Things worked out even better than I expected, because I woke up at 4:45 and my alarm wasn't even set to go off until 6:15.  I was actually pulling into my destination when the alarm on the phone went off!  And so, I set out along the banks of the "Sassagoula River" to do some laps around Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter resorts.

It was lovely.

There were also a surprising number of runners out doing what I did, considering there was a 5k (the Jingle Jungle - guess that makes today a race-iversary for me!) this morning and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon this evening.

I had a totally unrealistic pie-in-the-sky goal of 11 miles (the plan was then to do 12 next Saturday and taper for the next two weeks, doing no more than 5 miles until the the Space Coast Half), but I figured 9 wouldn't be too painful and I'd just sort of shoot for something inbetween the two.

I actually averaged a 15 minute mile pace for the first 6 miles, which was impressive to me, and then kind of pooped out.  I went into the gift shop at Riverside to see if I could get a single-serve pack of Tylenol and bottle of water, but they only had aspirin in small packages and I wasn't about to pay Disney prices for a full bottle.  So I went out and did one more full resort lap, but my toes were aching, I hadn't had enough to drink, and I was getting a little light-headed.

I wanted to keep going, but since I plan to do another long run next weekend (considering that prep for my two half-marathons six days apart) I decided to give myself a break.  I ended up doing 8.39 miles in 2 hours, 10 minutes.  I know I could've gone another 5 miles, with cheering fans, water breaks, and Gatorade available.  It's kind of a good feeling to actually feel good and confident three weeks in advance.

I also need to talk to my boss this week to see if I can start my days on Tuesdays and Thursdays an hour later.  I need to get back into the habit of doing shorter runs (with more aggressive intervals) during the week and have just given up on ever forcing myself to do it after work! next races are 3 and 4 weeks away.  I'm really excited to tackle these new races, spend two nights at the beach with my mom, and enjoy the week off from work between the two.  It should be a pretty exciting few weeks!