February 29, 2012

Wacky Wednesday

Every day is random for me, but Wednesday in particular:
  • I'm thinking my bangs need to be cut. I'd cut them myself but I always screw them up. Then when I do go to a professional, I get the accusing: "You cut your bangs, didn't you? You used scissors you use to cut paper, didn't you?" Why, yes. Yes, I did. Please just fix them. Thanks.
  • I'm a lip balm and lip gloss fiend. Love the stuff. So, when I read all the hype, I had to try the Maybelline's Baby Lips. I even had to grab the last remaining tube at Target. And, my opinion: it's not that great. My lips felt drier than normal, and I had to reapply frequently.
  • I love everything celebrity. I devour celebrity gossip magazines, I watch celeb-reality shows, and I watch celebrity news shows (even butt-kissy ones like "Entertainment Tonight"). But one thing I won't watch: the Academy Awards. Why? That show is 3.5 hours of boring. I'm fine with a written recap and a look at the fashion.

February 28, 2012

Random running stuff

I have random running thoughts running through my brain, which is a fairly normal occurrence.
  • I have a half marathon on Sunday. I'm not that excited about it. I'm not sure why. 
  • I am excited about the medal and shirt, though. That's really the reason I signed up for this race. Darn you, sweet medal and equally sweet shirt.
  • I am also excited about my 5K on March 18. I feel like I'm getting faster (slowly). I'm not confident enough to push it on longer distances yet, but I want to see how fast I can run this bad boy.
  • I ran a 10K on Saturday. I didn't do my usual long run on Sunday (mainly because I wanted to sleep in, but also because I wanted to rest my legs a bit after the race). I thought I'd do a long run on Monday night, but due to laundry and other pesky household chores, I didn't. Now, I'm going to try to fit in one last long run (about 9 miles) on Tuesday night before a half marathon on Sunday. Hopefully, that still allows enough time for recovery and tapering. 
  • I joined dailymile. Run with me there. You can find my info in the right column of this blog.
  • Also, I joined Twitter. Yes, I did this at turtle speed. Follow me there. You can find my info in the right column of this blog.

February 26, 2012

Suncoast Classic 10K, St. Petersburg, Florida, Feb. 25, 2012: race review

I had to do this race. It was my first-ever race of any distance (I did the 5K), and I have fond memories. It's kind of cool to look back and see my progression from that February day in 2011. But enough of that sappy stuff. 

This year, I graduated to the 10K: my first ever. I had a time in my head, but no real goal besides having fun.

This is a smaller local race benefiting the Ronald McDonald House. It made me remember that I like smaller local races. Everything is so much easier with fewer people (about 1,000 people total for the race): packet pickup, parking, spectating, post-race goodies pickup. Everything. I need to remember this.

I arrived at 7:40 a.m. (I was dropped off near the start line) for the 8 a.m. start. This allowed time for a restroom stop, a short walk to the start line, and an on-time start on a cool morning. The 5K started at 8:15 a.m. and followed the same course (well, half of it anyway). 

The first mile wasn't great. I didn't really feel into the race. Maybe a little sluggish. But, by mile 2, I was feeling better and getting in a groove. It was also about mile 2 that the leaders of the 5K started passing me. Yes, those people that started 15 minutes after I did. More proof that I run at turtle speed.

After the reality check of my speed, I kept inching along. I felt pretty good until I got to the point that the 5Kers made the turn for the finish line. I was a little bitter that they were done, and I still had half of a race left. 

That made for a bad attitude for the remaining portion of the race. I don't know why. It wasn't a bad race by any means. I was actually having fun and enjoying the course along Tampa Bay. I just wanted to be done.

Miles 3-5 felt painfully long. I wondered if the course was off, and I was actually running a half marathon. I kept checking my watch, and it assured me that I was at mile 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 3.9, 4.1, 4.3, 4.5, 4.9 and 5. And yes, I did check it that many times. 

By mile 5, I was ready to push it, in true turtle fashion. So, I took off, and I actually had a mile that started with a 10! That is progress for this slow girl! 

My time for my first-ever 10K: 1:10:37. Remember I mentioned that I had a time in my head? It was 1:10. Pretty much nailed that.

After the race, I grabbed the post-race snacks: orange slices, banana, mini donuts, rice and beans, cheese and a mini packet of chocolate chip cookies. Note: I did not want or eat all of this. I have a bad habit of taking things just because they are free. I ate the orange slice and a mini chocolate donut. Pretty darn delicious.

I took a bite of the rice and beans, and then I tried to pawn them off on my boyfriend. He took a bite and tried to pawn them off on the dog. She smelled them and looked away. She finally ate a few bites, but she wasn't happy about it. As you can probably guess, they weren't good. At all. 

Aside from the rice and beans, I really loved everything about this race: the nostalgia, ease of everything, the beautiful course along Tampa Bay and the post-race goodies and giveaways. Especially the mini banana.

I thought this was the cutest thing ever. The discovery of this fruit has now changed my goal in life: I must have a mini banana tree.

February 24, 2012

I rocked for a few days

Well, I've gotten a little cocky. After my mind-blowing half marathon (see? I told you I got cocky), I thought: "I've got this running thing down. I'm awesome." So, I had no big worries about a little 10K on Saturday. "Only 6.2 miles? Sheesh! This will be easy." (Again, you can probably pick up on the cockiness). 

Then, along came this week's runs. And, they were not awesome and not easy (and they weren't anywhere close to 13.1 miles or even 6.2 miles). And, my cockiness came to a screeching halt. I snapped back to reality (oh! There goes gravity) and realized that just because I had one decent race doesn’t mean that running is a piece of cake (although it makes me hungry for one). Now I’m back to doubting myself, and I’m a little worried about a 10K. 

I’ve never run a 10K race. I went right from 5Ks to half marathons and skipped everything in between. So, with my doubts and dashed cockiness, I’m kind of glad this is my first 10K. No pressure. No time to beat because I have no previous time. That leads me to my goal for this race: have fun. I think I can handle that.

February 22, 2012

Wacky Wednesday: the next random 11

As a continuation from last week, I'm now answering the 11 random questions that Maggie asked me.

1.  What’s your favorite TV show? "Two and Half Men" – reruns only, though. I love Charlie Sheen.
2.  If you could have lunch with an actor/actress of any era, who would it be and why? I'm going to consider Elvis an actor (he did appear in 31 movies) and choose him. I'm fascinated with Elvis. I'll read any book written about him, so I'd love to hear things directly from him. And maybe he could give me some fashion tips.

3.  If you could tightrope walk across anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I love-love-love Hawaii, so that's my choice. The varying, beautiful landscape would be awesome to see from above.
 4.  What do you do for a living? I'm a proofreader at an accounting firm. It's better than it sounds. Really.

5.  Do you crave sweet or salty foods? Um, both. Unfortunately.

6.  Can you remember your last dream?  What was it? I can't remember my last dream. I don't remember many .. except the one that included LL Cool J. That one, I remember!
7.  How big is your bed? It is queen-sized. I'd love to have a king-sized bed, though.

8.  What was the last thing you ate? A pickle. I love pickles. Definitely one of my favorite foods.
 9.  Who was your last phone call or text from? I just talked to my boyfriend.
10.  If you could have any super power, what would it be? I think I'd like to fly, mainly for the convenience factor (and to save money on gas and airfare).
11.  What are three things you can't live without? Lip balm, cell phone and rubber bands for my hair.

February 20, 2012

Missing the music

When I first started running, I loved going out late at night with my iPod. I’d run my three miles to Michael Jackson, Notorious BIG, Puff Daddy, MC Hammer, countless other rappers, boy bands and other poppy goodness. It was sweet. I saved my iPod solely for running, and I looked forward to it every other night.
One of those "countless other rappers," LL Cool J
Then, I started realizing that I was dancing while running (yes, it’s possible), doing the hand motions to “2 Legit 2 Quit,” and rapping or singing along to each song. All of that extra motion took its toll on my attempts at running. So, I quit the music. And, I got better at running.

Now, after months and months of running (and getting better) with no tunes (so I could listen to my coach and chat with running group members), I want to hear the music again. Not on training group days, but maybe just one day a week when I run on my own … or a day when I should be running on my own.

The progressive run has been a bit elusive. It’s on my training schedule; I’m just not good about following my schedule on that particular day. So, maybe the incentive of some old favorites, as well as some new additions (hello, Bruno Mars), can sway my legs to get in that progressive run. 

I can't wait to run to that ditty. I heart Bruno in a serious way.

February 17, 2012

I'm a winner ... not of a race

I like to win. Unfortunately, I won’t be winning any races anytime soon (or ever). But, I did win something pretty sweet.

This came in the mail this week (along with all the bills, coupons and junk mail, but those are not nearly as fun), thanks to Corey and Christy

I like the darker color of the metal, the bling on the pendant, and the contrasting gold. Plus, it came packaged with a compliment. I think everything should come packaged like this. It made me happy. 

February 15, 2012

Wacky Wednesday: the random 11

Thanks to Maggie at Run Happy for tagging me and giving me some of my favorite blogging material: random stuff.

But, I'm going to break some rules because that's how I roll. Well, and I think every blog I read has already done the 11 random things.

The Rules

Post these rules. **I followed this rule.
You must post 11 random things about yourself. ** I followed this rule.
Answer the questions set for you in their post. ** I will do this next Wednesday.
Tag 11 people (can't be the person who tagged you). ** I broke this rule.
Create 11 new questions for the people you tag. ** I broke this rule.
Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them! ** I broke this rule, too.

Three out of six isn't bad! Anyway, on to randomness.

The 11 Random Things About Me

1. I'm addicted to lip balm. I gotta have it. Multiple times per day.

2. I think Elvis rocks. He died before I was born, but I love him (and I love dressing up like him).

3. I love diet pop, particularly Diet Dr. Pepper (Yes, I call it pop. I'm from the Midwest. And calling it all Coke is just silly to me. I can deal with soda or soda pop, but not Coke for everything.).

4. I hate whipped cream. Most people think I'm crazy, but I think they're crazy for liking that nasty stuff.

5. I love watching sports. Baseball is my favorite, but I also love football and basketball. I watch sports and sports shows more than my boyfriend.

Watching my favorite sport with my dad
 6. Anything below 70 degrees feels cold to me.

7. Purple is my favorite color.

8. I'm a sucker for celeb-reality shows. I'll even watch "Kourtney & Kim Take New York" (as painful as it may be). 

9. I can't imagine my life without animals. I have a dog, turtles and fish.

10. Jessica Simpson is my favorite celebrity.

11. I bite my nails when I'm nervous.

A lovely run

Tuesdays are running days – even if it is Valentine’s Day. But, it wasn’t an ordinary run.

Everyone had to wear one of these.

Some of the single people really drew attention to their “single” status by underlining, circling or putting arrows to it. I’m not sure if any hookups resulted, but I loved the idea.

After the 40-minute run, all of the women got flowers.

Flowers make me happy.
And, there were sandwiches, smoothies, beer, wine and a raffle after the run. A pretty sweet Valentine’s Day.

Rock 'n' Roll St. Petersburg Half Marathon, Feb. 12: race review (Part 2)

Race day morning was a disaster. Here’s why:
  • I woke up 15 minutes late (at 5:45 a.m.). Because I’m not a morning person, and I dread waking up early on a weekend, I didn’t allow any extra time in my schedule. So, I left the house 15 minutes later than I wanted.
  • On the way to my friend’s house (her husband was dropping us off at the start line – only a few miles from their house), I realized I couldn’t find my timing chip. I didn’t put in on my shoe before I left because I wasn’t sure what shoes I was wearing (old or new – both Brooks Adrenaline GTS). I still held out hope I’d find it, though. I have a gigantic purse – it was a possibility it was buried.
  • I arrived at Caroline’s house 10 minutes late (about 6:55 a.m.). As soon as I pulled into the driveway, I was dumping out my purse. I still couldn’t find the stupid timing chip. Caroline dumped out my backpack of post-race stuff to see if the stupid timing chip was in there. I started looking under seats and in between seats. No luck.
  • Finally, we decided to get to the race and deal with it there. Surely, I could get a replacement stupid timing chip. We left her house around 7:05 a.m., and I continued panicking on the way there.
  • After arriving at the race, we ran to the first tent we saw: hospitality tent. Darn. Next tent: information. Darn. Next tent: lost bibs and stupid timing chips. Whew!
  • At the correct tent, I asked for a new stupid timing chip. The reply: “OK, that’s $5. Cash only.” I would have paid almost anything at the point. Problem: I had no cash. Who carries cash to a race? Caroline had no cash either because, again, who carries cash to a race? The woman wasn’t happy, but she reluctantly gave me a stupid timing chip. I also had to change my bib to match the number on my stupid timing chip.
The stupid timing chip
At this point, the disaster ended. We still had 10 minutes before the race started. I had my new bib pinned on and my stupid timing chip on my shoe. We made it to our corral (number 10) with plenty of time to spare. Whew!

Even with all of this running around, I wasn’t hot. Why? It was the coldest day of the winter (high in the low 50s). Normally, I hate the cold. On a running morning, I love it. Living in Florida, I don’t experience this often. Because of this, I didn’t really dress properly for the race. Usually I just wear what shows the least sweat. This wasn’t the best plan on this day. I wore Capri pants, a tech short-sleeve shirt and a jacket I planned on ditching at the start (to donate to charity). Turns out, I needed the jacket the entire race.

The race started right on time at 7:30 a.m. With a staggered start, we didn’t cross the start until about 7:40 a.m. Even with the staggered start, the first ½ mile of the race was a little crowded, but it thinned out after that.

The first three miles flew by. There were bands, a flat course, and I was enjoying every bit of this race. If I’m going to struggle in a long run, it’s usually those first three miles. The fact that these miles were easy was a great sign for me.

I kept flying along at turtle speed and enjoying every minute of this race. It was cold; it was sunny; it was beautiful. The bands along the route were actually pretty awesome, and the route was wonderfully flat and beautiful.

This race is what running is supposed to feel like: enjoyable. I had a smile on my face the majority of this race. I didn’t struggle. I didn’t repeat over and over that I hated running. I loved running on this day. 

Even though I look like a tool, I'm having fun
I kept running and kept enjoying the scenery: downtown St. Petersburg and the bay. I never took water from a water stop, but there seemed to be plenty and they looked well-stocked.

It felt like an eternity between miles 11 and 12, but not painful or hateful. Even though that mile took forever, the next 1.1 miles went quickly. Soon, I was turtle speeding across the finish line to Flo Rida’s “Low” (he was the post-race concert). My time on this glorious running day: 2:33:39. This is 15 (yes, 15) minutes faster than my previous half marathon time.
Still looking like a tool at the finish
With my training severely comprised through the entire month of December and the recent five-day headache and resulting burns, I really didn’t think this time was possible. I’m ecstatic!

I loved-loved-loved this race. The bands were great. It was well-organized. It was such a fun atmosphere.
This is the only photo I could find of Caroline and me. Apparently,
I needed to keep my eyes on Chloe. Crazy dog.
My only complaint: the post-race concert started before I finished. By being slow, I missed Flo. I heard “Low” as I headed toward the finish line. As I got closer to the finish line, the finish line announcer and music they were playing drowned out Flo Rida. By the time I got my post-race snacks (bagel, banana, frozen fruit) and found everyone at the race, Flo Rida was done. I heard he put on an amazing show, but I have no idea. Kind of bummer. But, it really didn’t put a damper on my day.