Thursday, June 24, 2010

Help?

Ok, so you'd think that since I'm a marathon runner I'd have a nice toned tummy, right?

You'd think wrong.

I have the little love handles, and I definitely have a pooch in the front.

I have not always had this.

I know I'm a woman, and we naturally keep some belly fat as our body's natural prep for growing a kid in there. I don't need it for that right now, so I'd like to get rid of it.

I know the basics... trim the sugar and fat from the diet, get plenty of exercise, blah blah blah.

To those of you our there with firm tummies: PLEASE tell me what you do. I'm going to want to try it.

Thanks!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Upcoming Transition

I know, two posts in one day?! It's crazy.

But I'm posting to warn you that there may be a lack of posting for a little while.

Ok, ok... you're wondering what's new about that. I haven't exactly been posting as regularly as I once did.

Here's the thing. I am moving next weekend. This means I'm trying to finish packing between now and then. And I'm also training for a marathon (though probably not as well as I should be, but that's a whole different blog post). Oh, and I'm trying to have some semblance of a social life since it's summer and there's more fun stuff happening. And the heat index is in the triple digits so I'm drained by the sun and trying to get sleep when I can. Ha, and I have a job. Funny how that comes up last.

Anyways, with all of that going on, I can't make any promises about my posting. Plus, once I move, it might take a few days to get the internet turned on and stuff. And I'll be busy unpacking.

But please don't delete me from your Google Readers! I promise I'll be coming back. I'll bring with me photos of the new place once I get it all set up... and there's that trip to San Francisco coming up that I'm sure will provide good blog material and photos.

Say a little prayer for me. My life is about to get a little hectic!

Race Report: RC Cola & Moon Pie 10-Miler

I bet you thought you wouldn't get a race report for weeks judging from my inconsistent blogging habits lately. Surprise!

On Saturday, I ran in Bell Buckle's RC Cola and Moon Pie 10-Miler for the 5th year in a row. It's seriously the race I've done the most, and the crazy thing is I can't even remember where I first heard about it back in 2006.

Known for being hot, hilly and humid, I plan every year to have some fun being miserable during this race. (Bit of an oxymoron, I know.)

I was up bright and early to head to Bell Buckle with this year's crew. (Yes, I've managed to convince other people they need to run this race.)

We got parked, and when I realized a train was coming I quickly crossed the tracks so that I could get to the registration tables. If you look closely in the photo below, you'll see I was having a harder time crossing the muddy ditch to get over there. Oh, and trains are loud, FYI.

(I also realize this paints a picture of what Tennessee is like. The car was right on the other side of the tracks, and I'm about 50 feet from the gazebo where registration was going down on this side of the tracks. Hello small town.)


I checked in, got my free shirt and took my traditional photo with the festival sign. I also found some other friends, but I'm not sure if they want their photo posted for the world to see.


I was already sweating before we even started running. I think the heat index was already in the 80s. There was a bit of cloud coverage for part of the race, but it was definitely still warm. I had been nervous that it would be even hotter than last year, but it turns out that it was relatively pleasant compared to the heat index in the upper 90s that I experienced in last year's race.

I ran with some people I knew for most of the race, and I chit chatted with friends and strangers alike. Everyone is generally pretty friendly at this race - you kind of have to joke and laugh to stay sane while you're out there running. It's summer in Tennessee... we're nuts for running outside at all, much less running a distance race!

I managed to keep a pretty consistent pace and kept hitting 10 minute miles. I picked it up a bit toward the end and finished in 1:38:54, thus a 9:54 average.



I wasn't trying to PR. I really didn't care about my time at all. Nonetheless, I was pleased that I was able to maintain my usual happy pace even with all the heat and hills.

We checked out the festival for a bit, and I tried my first ever fried moon pie. YUM! (Yes, fried. This is the south. What do you expect?)

As is tradition, the crew headed to Miller's Grocery after the festival for some delicious southern food. It was a pretty laid back kind of event for me, but I'm always glad to run this one. Even though it's kind of insane to run 10 miles in the heat, it really is fun in its own weird way.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Running Tank Top Review

A while back, I added some race reviews to one of my favorite race websites, Racevine. I actually prefer this site to some of the others out there for reviewing races as it just looks sharper and more organized.

They also do giveaways! I was excited to win some new running gear during their winter giveaway.

I won a Charlotte Running Tank from ellasport, a company I had never heard of before this point. I got it quite a while ago, but I wanted to run in it a few times before I gave it a review.

It's definitely cute, and I love that it is so lightweight. The fit is perfect, something that I really find to be a challenge in picking out running tops... especially tank tops.

I picked out the blue, and I love the color. When I wore it, I hardly ever noticed it being on me... it didn't feel heavy or stick to me like some tops do.

At the same time, I didn't really like it that it didn't have a built-in sports bra. If I'm going to pay $49 for a running tank top (which I'm not, but that's a whole different point), I expect it to have a built-in sports bra. Since it was free, I didn't really care that much and found it to be plenty comfortable with a regular sports bra on under it.

I've worn and washed it a couple of times, and I noticed when I last put it away that there were two places where the material had snagged on the front. I don't know if I caught it on something twice or if this happened in the wash... but as soon as I saw it, I was disappointed. Once again, this tank top retails for $49. I would expect it to hold up better than that.

In summary, I like the top and think it's pretty good for my purposes. However, I'm glad I got it for free through the giveaway and didn't pay for it. I don't think it's better made than some of the stuff I buy at Target for under $20. It would seem to me that the company should either lower the price or find a way to make it a bit better quality. Honestly, I've never paid more than $25 for some of the tank tops I have (some are even Sugoi) that are much nicer and hold up better.

I think this company could have a bright future among us runners; if the other options are like this tank top, it's good stuff. It's just not quite enough to merit the higher prices, especially in the times we live in financially.

Happy running everyone!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

YMCA Drama

I quit the gym today.

Granted, I will be "rejoining" in 2 weeks.

A while back, I asked what I needed to do to be able to move my membership to the YMCA that's near where I'm moving. The lady at the desk gave me a form and showed me where to put my current center and the name of the new center I want to transfer to. At the time, I wasn't sure of the date I would be moving... so I took the form with me and figured I'd bring it back closer to time.

When I went in today, I found out that I had been told the wrong thing. They can't transfer my membership from one YMCA to another. I have to completely cancel my membership at my current center (something that takes 30 days to do) and then "rejoin" at the new center. Fortunately, they can look up my name in the system and see I had been a member and thus waive the joining fee. (Unless I've been told wrong, but you better believe I know the guy's name who told me this just in case I need to call him later.)

It's not a big deal, but it was rather annoying. If they can look me up in some YMCA system to see I'd been a member of another center, then why can't they just transfer my membership to another center?

Oh, I'm running a 10-mile race on Saturday in Bell Buckle... it'll be my fifth year to run the RC Cola and Moon Pie 10-Miler. I'm trying hard to ignore that the forecast is calling for temps in the 90s. For a race that promotes itself as hot, hilly and humid (as well as one I've run four years in a row), I shouldn't be surprised. We're not even talking about what the heat index might be.

Pray for me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Race Report: River Bank Run 25K

Ok, so I know I'm a month late, but I promised you a race report of the River Bank Run 25K in Grand Rapids, MI that I ran on May 8th with Nicole, Maritza and Tara. Better late than never, yes?

On that Friday, I flew up to Grand Rapids where it was cold from Nashville where it was warm. Ew. And my flight was delayed. Double ew. But I finally made it and got some pizza in me before we headed to the lakehouse. I was exhausted from a busy week, so I know I crashed hard that night. Like 5 hours later, the alarm went off and we got ready to head to the race.


When we walked outside, it was kind of rainy and really windy. I was not happy. We all know that historically I run better in cooler and messier weather, but I had been enjoying a lovely spring in Nashville. It's no fun to go back to cooler temps so soon.

We had some time once we got parked so we hung out in the car as long as possible. Then we moved to hanging out in a hotel as long as possible. This was key to our sanity I believe.



When we walked outside to the start line, I swear it was spitting snow. On May 8th. Soon enough, we were off and running. It ended up that Maritza and I were comfortable running about the same pace. As the miles went by, I was really glad to have her by my side. Even if we weren't talking, her presence really helped me to keep going when I really didn't want to do so.

We managed to run pretty even split for a while, and even when we slowed down in the later miles it wasn't by much. We finished in 2:36... a time I was incredibly happy with considering the longest I had run since November was 13.1 and this was 15.5.

The race was pretty fun even if I was kind of cold most of the time. Most of it is along the bank of the river (thus the name). It actually reminded me a lot of Tennessee so the scenery wasn't all that different to me, but it was still a really pretty run. They had a lot of water/gatorade stops, so I give them major props for that. It made me a happy girl. And the medals were really cool! All in all, I was really glad I got the chance to go run this race. When else would I ever run in Michigan?

After the race, we decided to eat at Big Boy's. I think this is very much like the Shoney's that we have here in TN. I had a huge order of bacon and pancakes that made my day! Maritza and I made sure to get a picture with Big Boy on the way out.

I took a much needed nap and then enjoyed hanging out with the girls that afternoon. We went to dinner at this really awesome pub and had good drinks and good food.


I have to admit to being a tiny bit of a party pooper. I was absolutely worn out (in part from the race and in part from how hectic my life had been in the week or so before the trip) so I headed to bed while the other gals stayed up.

The next day we were able to have lunch together and do a little shopping before I had to head home.

I think the below photo kind of express how I felt about the cooler weather.


Even though the weather wasn't nice enough to go out on the lake, we were able to get a few pictures.



All in all, it was a really fun weekend and an excellent race. Even though I was kind of worn out while I was there, I really had a blast. These girls are every bit as awesome as they seem on their blogs, and I'm thankful I had the opportunity to get to know them better in person!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Crazy Saturday

On Saturday, I ran 16 miles.

In case that in itself wasn't challenging enough, I did it on about 4 hours of sleep. (Crazy, I know, but I couldn't get myself to bed at a reasonable hour before my 6am alarm).

Oh, and it was freaking hot... an added challenge that I'm going to have to get used to. My pal Matt and I ran the whole 16 together, and Bob joined us for the first 8. Bob had the right idea. By the time we were running the last few miles, it had reached 85 degrees. We had to take a couple of walk breaks to fend off some dizziness and stomach issues since we're not used to running in this kind of heat just yet, but we finished around 2:53ish. With an average of a 10:50 pace, I'll take it in this heat!

I know I've got many more hot runs ahead of me, but the hardest part is always these first few when I'm still getting acclimated to the heat.

I spent the rest of the morning/afternoon sitting outside at the yard sale I was doing with my parents. I attempted to take a quick nap, but I was never really able to fall asleep.

Then, I was off to my running pal Andrea's wedding. I was excited to share in her special day, but I was definitely exhausted by the time I drove home.

I can't say that I recommend trying to cram so much into one day, but sometimes you just do what you've gotta do to get it all done. Not surprisingly, I crashed hard as soon as I hit the pillow at 11pm, and I didn't wake up until 9:30 the next morning. And then I still crashed hard again last night. Sometimes I forget how draining these runs can be!

All in all, I'm feeling a bit more confident about my preparation for San Francisco. I've still got to make sure I stay on top of the training in the weeks to come, but now that I got a solid long run under my belt I feel more sure that I'll be able to go the distance on race day.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Recent Conversational Exchange

Me: "I haven't really been blogging all that much lately."

Him: "That's all my fault, isn't it?"

I realized it was kind of true.

I apologize to you, my loyal readers, that I haven't been all that loyal about blogging lately. It's not just because I find myself spending a lot of time both in person and on the phone with a certain gentleman who shall not be named for the time being (seriously, I'm determined to stick to my "no posting for a while about dating rule" as best I can for a while longer). Consequently, I'm spending less time playing around on the internet. (Don't worry... I DO still read your blogs and find myself enlightened and entertained by them. I just don't have the extra time to comment.)

I consider this blog to be predominately based on running. Honestly? My running has kind of still been slacking. I need to start getting myself in a better groove since I'm running a marathon in less than 2 months (that could end up being a bad idea, but hey... I'm running it for fun and not for a PR, so surely I can get myself from half marathon shape to get-across-the-finish-line-no-matter-how-long-it-takes-marathon shape.)

It's also getting hot here. It takes me some time to adjust to all that nonsense every year when it attacks. I say attacks because it doesn't gradually get hot. One day it's snowing, then you realize it's pleasant to be outside in a t-shirt, and BAM! It's 90 degrees and you start sweating the second you walk outside because of the humidity.

I logged a very warm and hilly 10-miler this past Saturday and managed to get a light 4 miles in yesterday. I probably should work in another short run, but as long as I get a long run of 15 miles or so this weekend, I think I'll have myself on track. I have GOT to get serious about my training and find a way to work it into my schedule.

It doesn't help that I'm having a big yard sale this weekend (if you live in the Nashville area and want to come to it, let me know and I'll send ya the details!) and trying to finish getting rid of stuff so that I can finish packing. I do move in a few weeks after all.

So yeah... there's a lot going on in my life, and it's caused my running and my blogging to be a little bit less of a priority. But I'm working on getting back into running, so I expect blogging to soon follow. Hang in there with me... I've got a lot more in me to share with you all.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

101 in 1001 Update

Here's an update on the things I crossed off my 101 in 1001 list during the month of May!

6. Run in at least eight races I’ve never run in before - Even though I've finished this, I still ran a new race when I ran the 25K in Grand Rapids, MI. (Race report is still to come, promise!)

9. Go for a month without soda - I decided to knock this one out beginning on April 13. When May 13 rolled around, I had a Dr. Pepper and found that I didn't really enjoy it as much as I thought I might. Since then, I've found that I do still like to drink one from time to time, but I'm definitely not craving them as much as I did before the break.

23. Eat at Loveless Cafe - I went with my family and grandma to eat there for one of my birthday dinner. YUMMY. The biscuits really are as good as everyone makes them out to be.

36. Learn how to make 5 new dinner recipes - I learned just this past weekend how to make this mexican casserole/dip that a friend of mine makes. Super yummy!

53. See Stephanie and Amanda at least once a year - Steph was briefly in town this past week, and I got to have lunch with her twice.

55. Meet at least one blog friend per year in person - I got to meet Tara and Maritza when I went to Michigan for the River Bank 25K.

81. Go roller skating three times - I got all my friends together to go roller skating for my birthday!

95. Watch one new movie per month, minimum - This month I watched G.I. Joe (I kinda like boy movies), Alvin and the Chipmunks Squeakquel (I kind of like cheesy kid movies based on cartoons from my youth), The Dark Knight (I am glad I finally saw it, but I thought Batman Begins was better), and Avatar (I enjoyed it, but I really don't think it's all "hung the moon amazing" like everyone made it out to be.

96. Read one book per month, minimum - I read and reviewed Plan B (enjoyed it) and then I read The Shack (it's got some good answers to questions we all ask, but I felt like the storyline was a little over the top for my tastes).