Tag Archives: Running

Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon

Let’s just get this out there: This race sucked for me and it kinda turned me off to running. It was half my fault and half mother nature’s fault, but still. It sucked.


So let’s talk about the day before the race. Around noon, I had my normal pre-race lunch of a cheeseburger and fries. Then I topped that off with a pumpkin pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen (omg, please eat one of those now. So good.). It was a meal that happiness was made of and it was all delicious and filling.

So. very. filling.

By 9:00pm that night, I still wasn’t hungry so I didn’t eat dinner. That wasn’t my best move. Usually I have a light/healthy dinner the night before a race but this time, I didn’t eat anything for probably 10 hours.

To add to that mistake, in an effort to not poop my pants during the race, I drank magnesium citrate the day before. I drank it before the Chicago Marathon too and it worked out fine, but I think the combination of the magnesium citrate and no dinner left me with no energy. I felt fine leading up to the race, but about a mile in, I knew the next 12 miles would be a shit show. (But not literally, thankfully.)

Now let’s place blame on things other than me. The weather was a hot and humid 70 degrees at the start. It was terrible racing weather but it could have been worse. I was really thankful that it was overcast the entire time.


The course had a ton of steady inclines and very little decline. Mile 12 was a giant, horrible bridge.


All of these things together made for a really miserable race. I walked a lot and even stopped for a few pictures, which I never do. (As opposed to taking pictures on the run and hoping they aren’t blurry at the end.)


The race namesake at Ponce Inlet. That was mile 6.

I finished in 2:27:32, my third worst time behind my first half and one I ran with Michelle when she was seven months pregnant.

The after party was great. They had four different kinds of beer and a buffet style breakfast with omelets, sausage, grits, fruit, etc. We got a choice of a sleeveless or sleeved shirts in our race packets and the medal was cute. I was really impressed since I don’t think I paid more than $55 to register, so I have to give props to Final Mile for knowing how to organize a race.

Overall, I just didn’t care for the course. Most of it was along the ocean that I couldn’t see because it was blocked by buildings. The parts I could see were beautiful and it wasn’t the worst course I’ve run, but not one that I’m dying to run again.

I had big plans to do chores and clean the rest of the day, but I managed only two things: a mimosa’ed lunch with hubs and then six straight episodes of Bates Motel, which I am now addicted to.


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Back to Running

So I mentioned that I was running again. I have a half marathon in three weeks and I’ve been training for about six weeks for it. I reunited with my running husband, Brad, and we’ve been running between 8-12 miles every Friday or Saturday depending on our schedules. I have to admit, it’s nice running on Friday before work. Sitting down for 8 hours is exactly what I want to do after running 12 miles, so it’s been working out nicely.

My runs have been slow but good. Well, mostly good. For five out of six of them, I’ve had poop during the run and there hasn’t always been a port-o-potty around if you know what I mean.

There was an “incident” at a government building behind a propane tank and then another behind some bushes with full floodlights on them. After the floodlight poop, Brad told me I need to up my game and poop in the street next. And then after that, I need to up my game even more and poop on the hood of a cop car. So our next run should be pretty interesting given my recent history and the fact that I’d hate to disappoint him.

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you probably know that I am a lover of the Camelbak. For shorter runs, I hold a water bottle (which I hate) mainly because there’s a lot less work to get out the door in the morning. But for everything else, I would use my regular Sports Authority-bought Camelbak.


(From Gasparilla a million years ago)

Over a year ago, Camelbak asked me if I wanted to try out their marathon vest and like, duh, of course I did.


(From the Chicago Marathon last year)

It’s not as pretty as my other Camelbak, but it has pockets in front to shove all my crap in, so I love it. I exclusively use the vest now. I usually have to throw it in the washing machine every other run and I keep the bladder in the freezer so it doesn’t get all nasty, but it’s so worth it.

Anyway, I’m telling you all this because I have not spoken to anyone from Camelbak in well over a year and have barely posted about running, so I was surprised when this arrived on my doorstep.


That’s the CamelBak Eddy.

First Clif Bar and now Camelbak. Whatever I’m doing to receive all these surprise goodies, I need to know what it is so I can keep doing it.

Anyway, I took the water bottle to work and realized that was a terrible idea. You have to bite on the nozzle to get water and it makes slurping noises. There are already enough annoying people at work. I don’t need to be one of them. But man, I love it for a treadmill run. I can take a sip while running and not spill it all over my shirt. So if you’re a treadmill runner or don’t mind holding things on runs, this is a great water bottle that helps you not drool all over yourself. I saw them on sale at Target but they seem to be a little cheaper on Amazon.

So, thanks to Camelbak for the nice surprise.

Oh, and Camelbak did not ask me to post that.

I do what I want

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I’m going to Boulder, CO tomorrow for a couple days so that should be fun. I’ve never been there before so I hope there are a lot of boulders and the name doesn’t disappoint.





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A running update and a 10k

I haven’t been running much and by not much, I mean all the running I have been doing is about three miles tops on a nice air conditioned treadmill. So imagine my delight when Michelle signed me up for Suck it up Buttercup, a hilly 10k in the middle of summer, for my birthday. There aren’t many hills in Florida, but this race managed to find the ones we do have. So that’s what we did Sunday morning.

This was my first race in eight months. It was weird to be out there again. I’ve kinda lost that running magic and I was hoping this race might get some of it back.

We got there pretty early because we needed to pick up our race packets and because Michelle wanted to be in a group picture with some girls she’s been running cheating on me with. We parked with no problem and picked up our packets easily. Then we decided to hit the port-o-potty.

Disclaimer: Poop story ahead.

There was a big spot light on the port-o-potties, so I figured I didn’t need my cell phone flashlight when I went in. Only, the guy that was in there before me had put the lid down. I don’t know about you, but that is concerning to me. Who puts a port-o-potty lid down? And why? Are you hiding something? So I got out my cell for the flashlight because I was not in the mood for surprises. When I turned it on, the first thing I saw was a roach scurrying at my feet. I. hate. roaches. But, it hid in some crevice so I figured as long as it stayed there, I was cool. I did my potty thing including a delightful pre-race poop (I never get those). But, you know when your done going to the bathroom and you stand up and you think, “hmm, am I realllly done?” I had that thought, and as I decided to go for round two, my flashlight caught another roach walking on the toilet paper roll that I just used.

I was out of there.

I don’t even want to know if that roach was already on or in the TP roll when I used it. That effectively gave me the heebie-jeebies for the rest of the race. And incidentally, I didn’t have to go to the bathroom anymore, so there was that.

Anyway, the race itself was decent. It started 15 minutes late because the race director wasn’t there on time. By the time she arrived, she made an announcement that anyone could have made. So I’m not sure what the point was in the delay. The start was super annoying because there were a lot of walkers including women with strollers, small children, and dogs but it cleared up after about a half mile. The whole race was through hilly, residential neighborhoods that were less than scenic, but the after party was pretty cool (with Dunkin Donuts iced coffee and donut holes!) and the race seemed pretty well put together despite the late start. Plus, you get a cute little medal.

I finished in 1:04:48, seven minutes off my PR. My only goal was to run the whole thing without stopping, and I did that. I haven’t been running outside at all and it was humid and hilly as all get out, so the fact that I finished makes me happy. Free race pictures also make me happy.

Not the most flattering but it is what it is.

I am in need of some new running shoes. Big shocker. After my hip injury, I ditched all three pairs of my Mizuno Wave Rider 17s. Now I’m wearing an old pair of Brooks Cloddhopper 10’s. They are so freakin’ heavy but I have no hip pain when I wear them, so I’ve been sucking it up (buttercup). I’m looking for a neutral shoe, no more than 8.6 oz, with an 11-13mm drop. That is apparently the rare unicorn of running shoes.

My next race is the Lighthouse Loop half in October and I need to start training for that next month, so hopefully the running shoe fairy will visit me by then.





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A little running update

I’m back to running! It’s only a few times a week and a few miles at a time. Since I’m not training for anything, I don’t usually see the point in running over three miles. That is, until Thursday. I was listening to a new running playlist and three songs into it, I decided it would be fun to see if I could run the whole playlist without stopping and without skipping any songs.


Nothing like finding out you put an eight minute song on your playlist after you made the decision to run it. Also, I found that not all of those songs are great for running and I was not ready to have We R Who We R back in my life yet. So the run wasn’t easy but races aren’t always easy either, so we’ll call that training. For nothing. #trainingfornothing

The run was just over six miles which is twice the distance I’m used to and I didn’t have *any* hip pain afterwards. Usually I have at least a little stiffness. So I’m hoping my hip pain will be completely gone (and not just hover at 90%) in the next month or two and I’ll be back to using them as they are intended.

Veronica Mars

While we’re on the running subject, I registered for Best Damn Race Orlando again. My running bud has a $5 off code (Code: CRAZYRUN) if you want to run it too. I had to skip it this year because of my old lady hip, so hopefully next year I’ll actually run it. It’s not until March so my body has plenty of time to discover new injuries. I also want to run a half in October (maybe Lake Nona?), so that gives me a couple months until I have to start for-real running. I should probably start shopping for those non-hip-hating shoes now. Sigh.


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BDR is now TBD

Well, my hip pain is back and I think I found the culprit.


Those shoes have since been spit on, humiliated in public, and tossed in the fire.

I was wearing those when my hip pain first started. It was only a two mile run and because I didn’t know if I stepped wrong or it was the shoes, I stopped wearing them. Once my hip was better, I ran in my other shoes – the same model, just a different color. Everything was fine and I didn’t have any issues. A little over a week ago, I decided to run a short distance in the coral shoes to see how they felt. I ran three, extremely slow miles and felt good. I thought the pain was caused by my stepping wrong, which wasn’t out of the question because the tread looked fine and they have the lowest mileage of all my shoes.


I decided to wear the coral shoes for my 10-miler last Saturday instead of putting extra miles on my black race shoes. The first six miles were fine. The last four were not. I basically had to be dragged back to my car.


Since then, I’ve been back where I started. Last time, it took three weeks until I was able to run. I was two weeks from race day when the pain started again which means I’m not sure if I’m running Best Damn Race on Saturday. While it’s getting better (I only limp and notice pain sometimes instead of all the time), I’m not sure it’s getting better fast enough. I’m stretching, doing hip exercises, and taking ibuprofen but it just seems doubtful the race will happen.

Now I need new shoes that don’t hate my hip. I hate testing out new shoes because they never work out. But because I’m a glutton for punishment, I bought a new pair of Adidas Adios Boost to try.


I’ll buy black laces for those. White is so meh. I wore them to Crossfit on Friday and they’re pretty comfortable. I’m not sure if they’re good for long distance running though. I’ll test them out when I’m feeling better and if they don’t work, I’ll exchange them for something else. (Story of my life.)

There’s a race at the end of March I’m considering running especially if I can’t run BDR. Although, I’m really disheartened because my speed training was going SO WELL. I don’t really want to be out for three weeks, do a little bit of training, and then half-ass a race. Or run a race that has the potential to be really hot because…FLORIDA. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. In the meantime, feel free to diagnose my hip problem or tell me to stop whining.


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Stuff I Did to PR

All this marathon talk isn’t over. I have another one at the end of the month that I was way more jazzed about when I registered for it than I am now. So get ready for some more bitching, particularly about my shoulder because that issue hasn’t gone away. *cries*

With any big race or PR, I like to reflect on what I did differently during training so I have something to look back on. First, let me say that I know everyone trains differently. I read Michelle’s post on what she did to PR and thought, “no way that would work for me” but it worked for her and she got a massive PR. So I realize this is mostly for my benefit. Selfish post comin’ at cha.

Here’s what I did for an almost six minute PR:

I ran three days a week.

I ran three days a week for my last marathon too (one easy, one speed, one long) and it’s about all I can take. I barely have time to do my laundry much less increase my running so I kept it at three days. I also cut my Crossfit from three days to two days a week. One thing I will never do is completely cut strength training. I am a firm believer that is helps prevent injury.

I cut my training time.

Last time around, I trained for five months and was burned out six weeks before the marathon. This time, I trained for three months and started with a 10 mile base. I enjoyed my long runs so much more. I also ran two 20+ milers instead of three. I was worried it wasn’t enough at first, but it definitely was.

I walked every mile during long runs.

It’s nasty hot in Orlando. If I don’t walk, I’m not getting through a long run. So I walked between .10-.25 of every mile. The time on your feet is what’s important so I tried to kept that in mind when I saw how much those walks killed my pace. Some people have a hard time with the stop and go but I find that it gives me more energy.

I skipped runs and that was ok.

I missed a bunch of weekday runs and one or two long runs. Almost all of those were because of social plans. I used to stress out about skipping runs but this time around, I enjoyed the occasional break.

I kept up with speed training.

If I missed a weekday run, I made sure it was my easy run. I always tried to get speed work in. The first time around, I followed my running group’s speed work schedule. It was a lot of “2 x 4 x 400” or “2 x 1200 x 800 x 600 x 400” type runs which I think did absolutely nothing for me. This year, my speed runs were the same every time. I ran one slower warm-up mile and then 2-4 speed miles at the fastest pace I could without needing to stop, usually between 8:45 – 9:10 depending on how I was feeling. Consistent speed works much better for me.

That’s about it. Nothing really crazy in there. Of course, I also had that giant knot in my calf (must start stretching) that I got rid of with sports massages. I’m hoping my shoulder can make it through this next race because another 26 miles of that pain is not something I want to go through again. This next marathon should be interesting.

What’s your favorite PR strategy? How do I go about detaching my shoulder for this next race? Isn’t that selfish panda the cutest thing ever?

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Inaugural Lake Nona Half Marathon

I ran a half marathon today.

I registered for this race maybe six months ago and was going to use it as my first training run after Chicago. Seemed like a pretty good idea at the time, only I don’t really use races as training runs – I run them faster – and who knows how I was going to feel after Chicago. So in retrospect, not my best laid plan.

A lot of friends were running this race too and I love running with friends, so it wasn’t all bad.

Next to Michelle is one of our friends/co-workers, Keith, and to the right of him is Tyler. Tyler picked Michelle up at Best Damn Race and they’ve been running soul mates ever since.

The race took place in Lake Nona, which is about a half hour South of Orlando. Lake Nona is a cute little town and I’m sure there’s got to be a lake in it somewhere, but I didn’t see it. The race took place on a pretty, long, out and back road. It wasn’t scenic but it gets pretty points for having well maintained shrubbery in the median.

The race started at 6:00am. I don’t think I’ve ever run a race that started that early but I liked it because the first six or seven miles were in the dark. Plus, the weather was a perfect 61 degrees. This is the time of year when I don’t want to kick Florida in the junk. I will not miss you summer.

The race went a lot like Chicago: my legs felt great; I didn’t feel the need to walk; my shoulder started to hurt at mile 2; and the top of my left foot hurt. That foot thing I didn’t mention in the Chicago recap because I noticed it after the race, but it’s still hanging around. Maybe my shoes were laced too tight? I also had to poop from mile 6 on. (Didn’t think you’d get away from poop talk, did you?) I thought about stopping at a port-o-potty but then just decided to power through it. I got my first negative split ever because of it!

Poop makes you run faster. My colon just keeps on giving.

Those aren’t the prettiest of negative splits, but it’s the closest I’ll ever come to them. My Garmin crapped out in the first mile and I didn’t notice it until almost a mile in, so that’s why the mileage is off. My goal was to finish the race in under 2:15 (my Chicago half time) and I came in with 2:08:36, so I’m really happy with that.

After the race, we all hung out for a few hours and chatted and waited for Keith’s wife to finish.

Tyler got third in his age group with a PR, Keith PRed, and Katy hasn’t run more than 4 miles since August and still ran a sub-2:00. Let’s hate her together.

Overall, I had a great time. The race was well done and my only complaint is that there was no toilet paper in the port-o-potties after the race. I know, because I checked them all. Some nice lady gave me two of her Kleenex. I shall forever be grateful to the Kleenex lady.

I really enjoyed the race. It’s a great course for a PR, so I might be back to run this one again next year.



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October 12, Get Here Already

I’ve been meaning to talk about running more than I have been but [insert excuse here]. It’s four weeks until Chicago. Or less. I don’t even know anymore. Basically, it’s gotten to that point where I’ve gone from supercrazyexcited to uncomfortably nervous.

Shameless Hannibal plug right there. Someone start watching that show so we can talk. That’s Hugh Dancy if you didn’t know and he is so ahh-maze-ing. He makes everyone else who has played the Will Graham character look like amateurs.

Anyway, running. I’ve been really good at finding excuses to skip my Tuesday runs, which I’m sure is doing wonders for my overall training. While I am so over training, I still feel like I might be running too few miles but I’m not motivated enough to change that. My long runs have been going ok, but they’re slow. I know that’s normal, I know I’m running on the face of the sun down here, and I walk at least .10 of every mile which all factors into my pace, but seeing my pace at the end of a run still hurts my ego a little.

This past weekend, Brad and I hit our peak 22 mile long run which I ran with a cold, thankyouverymuch.

Even sick, it was still better than our first 12 and 14 milers, which was surprising. The “highlights” – Having Fools Gold by Fitz and the Tantrums in my head for 10 straight miles (I was not amused) and Brad describing a whole horror movie plot he made up involving runners who are systematically killed off. That was a fun story at four in the morning in the pitch black next to the woods.

Also making me nervous is the thought of 1.8 million spectators at the race. ONE.POINT.EIGHT.MILLION. I don’t even know how that number is possible. Spectators stress me out with their cheering and their happiness and their motivation. It’s the worst when all you need to do is walk but there’s a group of cheering people making you feel like an ass for it.

I’m trying to decide whether or not to wear my Camelbak during the race. I’ve run one marathon with it and one without. I wear it during all my long runs and fill it with a mixture of half water/half Powerade Zero but it’s empty around mile 18 and becomes this annoyance because it no longer serves a purpose. I thought about carrying a water bottle with my half/half mixture (I can’t drink the regular Gatorade on the course) but this past weekend I found that I kinda like the Hammer Perpetuem powder for running nutrition.


That’s a problem because you mix it with water, which is something else I’d need to carry. It tastes like licking an old chalkboard but I prefer drinking to chewing. Chewing during runs makes me nauseated. If I want both drinks, I would need to carry a water bottle while wearing a Camelbak, which is a lot of weight and super annoying. Plus, I hate having anything in my hands while running.

My other option is no Camelbak, holding a water bottle, stuffing a bunch of PB&Js in my sports bra, and not using the Perpetuem. I don’t love that idea either. You know me, I’m never happy. What I need is for volunteers to be at specific miles of the race to hand me things exactly when I need them so I can be the snobby running princess I’m meant to be.


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Marathon Training in July

So, marathon training. That’s still happening. I’ve been meaning to update more regularly but I’m always so busy with something else, like watching four seasons of Archer and live-tweeting Sharknado 2.


Seriously. Did anyone watch that? It was all I dreamed it could be and more.

Anyway, things have been going pretty well on the running front, all things considered. My calf issue was over until it wasn’t. On my 14-miler a few weeks ago, I jumped a curb and felt a little twinge again. The pain wasn’t terrible and I didn’t need to stop but it also didn’t feel good. So, I pushed August’s calf raking to last week and things seem to be back to normal. I also had the massage therapist work on my shoulder because that pain has been back since I started wearing my CamelBak again. Whoever said running is free can kiss my ass because this crap is expensive. That massage was $25 short of a new pair of running shoes. Luckily, I just don’t know what to do with it all.


The only thing that makes me feel better about dropping money I don’t have is that the massage was good. Really good. And so, so helpful. Usually I go to massage therapists and think hub’s massages are 10x better. This guy is worth it, so I guess I don’t feel like it was wasted.

I also did a Crossfit workout a couple weeks ago, on a Monday, that made me crazy sore all week long. In case you’re looking for a workout that will make you think twice about wanting to stand up or sit down or stand idlely.

4 rounds:

  • 400m on the rower
  • 50 squats with the bar (45lbs)
  • 25 forward lunges
  • 25 backward lunges
  • 25 stiff-leg dead lifts with the bar (45lbs)

I swear my trainer told me he was going “lighter” before he gave me this workout since we weren’t using any significant weight. I could barely move for two days and I was still sore by my run on Saturday. I think my trainer feels bad because I’ve been getting some easier workouts since that one which I have been more than okay with.

Last weekend was supposed to be a 16-miler but Brad wasn’t able to run. I suppose I could have run on my own but I’m not that motivated so I slept in. I didn’t even know what to do with my Friday night.


Oh, right. Yes I did.

We changed our 16-miler to this weekend and next weekend’s 10-miler is now 18 so we won’t have a drop in mileage for a few weeks. High mileage = 3am wake-ups to beat the sun because we usually walk a mile or more of all our long runs. #noshame

Since I’m not on Daily Mile anymore, I’m tracking my shoe mileage on a note app on my phone. That’s working pretty well.

Yes, I’m a spoiled brat with three pairs of running shoes. I’m hoping I won’t need to buy new ones until after this running season because I hate changing shoes in the middle of training.

This time around, I’m also tracking all my runs and paces with a calendar to check my improvement over the months and to be able to look back and do it again if I kill this race. (The c’s are crossfit days.)

That’s assuming I’ll run another marathon after this year which is unlikely because…

I skipped a few runs because of calf pain and unexpected schedule changes. I used to beat myself up over missing runs and now I couldn’t care less. I’m following my plan about 85% and I think it’s making training way more enjoyable this time around.


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A Decent Run and a Good Cause

I mentioned that marathon training started last weekend. I met up for my first long run with my training bud, Brad, on Saturday. I guess the run went ok for my first 10-miler in three months. My shoulder was hurting again (it’s been a year since that’s bothered me), my calf ached for miles 5-10 because of all the uneven pavement and brick, it was face-of-the-sun hot, and the humidity made breathing suck but, I didn’t wish for actual death so I’m going to consider that one a win.

Since my calf is still the bain of my existence, my Crossfit trainer recommended a massage guy to me that “rakes” calves. I don’t know what “raking” calves means and I’m scared to look it up. Raking anything sounds terrible.

I finally made an appointment, which I’ve put off for a month because I know it’s going to hurt and I’m a big baby. Why can’t problems just disappear if you ignore them? I would rather get a pap smear if that tells you how much I don’t want this “massage” but I would also rather not limp the marathon. So, I sucked it up. I’m tempted to live tweet the massage so we can see what new swear words I invent.

You probably know by now that I’m running Chicago in support of the American Heart Association. Well, I’m also supporting another charity event – the Taste of the Nation Orlando – which raises money for the Share our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger. This is the same event that Michelle and I supported last year.

Back in the days of long hair and new boobs. This year I’ll support them with short hair and old boobs.

This is also the event in which I ate and drank my face off and posed with food.


Ok, that’s all events but this one has all sorts of different food and drinks from awesome restaurants in the Orlando area. Plus, everything that is left over is donated so nothing is wasted.

Taste of the Nation Orlando is running its final discount code. So if you’re in the Orlando area, you’d like to support a great cause, and want to test the limits of your stomach and liver with me, you can get $10 off your ticket through the 11th. (Buy tickets with this link.)


The deets:

Saturday, August 9, 2014
6:45 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Orlando World Center Marriott
8701 World Center Dr., Orlando

Now, who knows what raking calves is and what am I in for?


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