Saturday, October 29, 2005
Feeling empowered by the extremely helpful comments, I opted to return the shoes. The guy working the counter was neither the dude who ordered them for me nor the one who told me the Brooks 6 were just like the Brooks 5 only with different colors.
Totally untrue, I learn in my visit. I told the guy I'd heard the shoes were more narrow and maybe that was the problem. He pulls out a 5 (they only have small sizes left) and the 6 and we play with both. It becomes apparent the changes are actually quite noticeable. We bend both; the 6s are far stiffer, he points out. And there's more padding on the bottom of the middle part of the sole of the shoe, exactly where I blistered!
"He shouldn't have told you the changes are cosmetic. They're actually quite different," he tells me.
Aha! What a feeling of relief. I knew they seemed stiffer! I knew they were just not right! I thought it was really just in my head and I was like, 'get over it already!'
I walk out feeling a million bucks. Of course now I have no running shoes. But then...
I make a frantic, frenzied attept to find them online. Several missed hits later, I decide to go to the most obvious source -- brooks online. Minutes later I've got a new pair of precious Brooks 5 on their way for me to have and to hold and three pairs of running socks. With shipping I've still paid $1 less than I did for the 6s!
So here's the deal, my soon to be darling little shoes. You and me are gonna be together every second for the next few weeks. It's going to be me and you at work, me and you lounging in the house, me and you going to the mountains to look at the leaves, me and you at the bar. You will be my dear friend, darling, sweet Brooks 5. I will treasure my time with you, for you may be my last 5s ever. I cant afford to buy several pairs at once and I'm not sure you'll be around next time I need a new you.
Together, you and me will take on Vegas.
My training programs calls for a 3 week taper. But it'll be more like two and a half weeks because my last long run -- i'm only going to make it to 18 -- is on a Wednesday.
Today it's a 15 miler. At least, I think it is. May be pushed to tomorrow. I've got a gogo dancer costume to get ready....
Your advice and comments were not only much very much needed but much, much appreciated. Thank you guys! If you need any advice about Brooks 5 vs 6, you know where to turn.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
And now, dear bloggers, i unabashedly beg for your advice.
I'm very torn about my running shoes. I got Brooks 6 from my local running store. I'd gone in for Brooks 5 but they were out so they had to order them. When I opened the box the day I went to pick them up, I gasped when I saw they were different. I was assured the changes were cosmetic and yet...they don't feel right. They blistered me the first time and they just feel stiff and bulky and not right. Is this mental? ive run them twice, first time for hard hill workout (yes, not best idea) and once for two lite 15 minute runs in between a 50 minute hard run (i switched shoes for the 50 min. chunk).
Am I prematurely worried? Am honestly thinking of returning them. I've only worn them on the treadmill and never walked ground with them. Ugh. Thoughts? Suggestions? I feel bad returning them but i don't have any wiggle room to play with shoes with Vegas 40ish days away. And honestly I'm a bit annoyed I got shoes I didnt actually order in the first place. I didn't see any need to make a fuss cause salesguy said changes were unnoticeable. I just remember the second I put on my 5s it seemed we were made for one another. My soul-shoe.
Return? Give them a few more tries?
Cheating on my 5s
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Today, I woke up thinking about Vegas. (so what else is new). I also woke up early and cleaned house. As I wait for waffles to digest to go do run, I've added some pics (techdummy actually figurd it out!) meant to inspire vegas bound bloggers as well as show off my darling son, Reese. Yes, Reese will be in Vegas.
Top left: me and sis on race day (her first ever race, a half marathon!) and sissie running in race.
Next: my mom (please note the orange shirt) with Reese. He's such a ham. Both will be in Vegas.
Next: The view from the Excalibur, where i stayed this summer and where I'll be staying again. Just over yonder is the start of the race! Then it's Reese in his bunny slippers and me this past summer in front of the new Wynn on the strip. It's pretty, but overall was not impressed.
I was pleased to see on the Las Vegas message board site that other runners are just as worried as I about having to be in at a decent hour despite VEGAS being right outside my doors. Both Susan and DJGoldenboy have written they could never do Vegas because of the temptations at every twist and turn, nook and cranny. I am begininng to wonder if I made the best selection...
Monday, October 24, 2005
Because Kim become instantly addicted after setting out onto her first run less than 3 months ago, I find myself at just over 6 a.m. en route to Seaside Heights, N.J., for the “Marine Mammal Standing Center’s Harbor Seal 5K.” It will not stop raining the entire 2-hour drive. “I cannot believe we’re going to run in that!” I say about 6 times during the ride (I only asked, ‘are we almost there,’ once. really).
The starting point is Jumbo’s, this completely neon-littered restaurant/bar with giant statues of baseball figures, giant turtles and Charlie Chaplin, who we pose with, his arm looped through mine. Jumbo’s is right on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights.
“We’re here to race!” I announce to the sturdy looking man helping organize.
“And I’m here to cook!” Joe gaily answers.
We check in, stretch. “Help yourself to some yogurt or an orange or apple,” Joe tell us.
Great. I have not eaten and I forgot any nourishment this morning as I scrambled to get ready and had lost my wallet. I eat a peach yogurt. I don’t even notice till it’s gone that it’s 9:15 a.m. and the race is at 10. I try to give a 2 hour window. Shucks.
I’ve set a goal of 24 minutes, Kim a 10 mile pace. But it’s so windy and the boardwalk looks so slippery we wonder if we’ll hit that.
We line up. We’ve not been given time chips so we all get the same starting time. Non stop rain, wind and a chill in the air has kept runners away from this lovely little race. They’ve ordered 300 shirts but only around 70 runners end up here today.
Off we go. The boardwalk is not as slippery as I’d feared. The wind is worse than it looks.
First mile: “7:33” the girl at the water stand shouts!
Isn’t that great, that at a 5K there’s a water stop? I don’t know if that’s normal but that’s awesome.
Phew, I’m flying, I think to myself. But at least that will give me a little wriggle room. My pace is becoming hard for me to maintain.
I and two other girls are running around the same pace. I’m between them until around the 2 mile mark I decide to make a dash and pass the girl in front of me. I take a deep breath, and off I go.
The yogurt is threatening to come up. I swallow hard and keep pushing. The yogurt won’t quit it. Please don’t throw up in the middle of a 5K!
I’ve remained in front of the two girls. I see the finish line. 200 yards away. Girl I’ve passed makes a surge and passes me. I try desperately to keep my pace. Girl behind me passes me.
I’ve got nothing.
Second girl who passed me keeps looking over her shoulder. She needn’t bother.
I now am fighting the clock. The finish line grows closer but not fast enough. It’s 23:49, 23:52, 23:57...must…cross….finish…line. 23:59 is the last I see and I cross!
I keep running down the boardwalk, slowing to a jog as I try to settle my stomach. If I’m going to throw up, it’s going to be in private.
Then Kim crosses. We don’t know official times yet but we know she’s come in under her 10 minute pace goal. Hurrah!
We head into restaurant. Scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, bagels, coffee, beer, orange juice and a happy, excitable crowd awaits us.
The awards ceremony will happen soon, the guy over the loudspeaker announces.
I had completely forgotten about that!
The field is small, so it’s entirely possible I can get something in my age group. But those two girls!
For the next 10 minutes Kim and her hubby Bill are forced to hear variations of, “What if that last girl who passed me beats me out for a medal?” and “What if that girl gets third and I don’t get anything!” and “Man, if Id remembered about the medals id have made myself go fast” (like I could have).
I’m such a bore.
We listen, applaud as winners are announced. This little 12-year-old girl has won 3rd overall among females. I am trying to be polite and listen to Kim but my mind is waiting…waiting for my age category. Here it comes, 20-29.
“In first place, from Allentown, Pennsylvania..”
BUT THAT’S WHERE I’M FROM.
I’VE WON FIRST PLACE. I WON FIRST PLACE.
I hoot and holler and walk up to get my medal.
“Gold or silver,” girl asks.
“GOLD!” I tell her.
The other two girls who passed me also medal, but both are in the next age group up!!
I put it around my neck. What I will remember with greatest fondness is my walk back to the table.
I’ve never won a race before. Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever. Never. I was always athletic, but never, never had any speed. It was my least valuable asset and one I’d always admired in others. And you know, I will never be fast nor quick but I can train hard and maintain a decent pace for a short while.
So I was smiling so big, my face must have been full of such sheer happiness, that everyone was smiling and laughing and congratulating me on the way back. At least that’s what it felt like. It felt like everyone on my way back was so happy for me. I mean, they looked so happy for me. Bless them.
“Joe, look!” I say to Joe, who’s manning the breakfast counter.
“Hey, first place?” he says.
“Ya,” I tell him. “It must have been the yogurt, even though I almost threw it up!”
I head back to table. Kim and hubby offer congratulations, high fives, yes!
I call my boy, who asks if I won any money. I call my mom, who asks if I won any money. I call LM, my running coach, leave her elated message. I call sis. During these phone calls, at times my index finger is straight in the air in the “I’m No. 1” sign. Twice, the table next to me, full of happy, laughing people, catch me and start laughing. The second time a girl at the table jokes, “Do you need a waitress?” Embarrassing. Shameless!
Final times are posted. My time? 24:01.
And if you made it to here, you are now, to steal from Scott, of dear reader status. Cause that was way too long for a 5k race report.
Friday, October 21, 2005
a. started using better socks and
b. got inserts and
c. broke em in, i suppose.
I feel slightly betrayed, only in that my current adrenaline 5's and me are, well, in love.
But I will blame the long run. Tomorrow is the 5k at seaside heights in jersey. I'm sure it will be great even though tonight I feel like that's the last thing i wanna do. I've never done a 5K. It seems an awful lot of effort to just run 3.1 miles. Like, we're leaving at 6 a.m.! I'm aiming for 24ish.
I'm rather excited -- I found a fellow northeast PA blogger. It's Frank and he's linked to on the right. Welcome, fellow Lehigh Valley-ite!
Race report for 5K to come, likely Sunday. Me and Kim are doing it. Also Looking forward to reading a.maria's marathon report. Look for a good read.
She pours her now brewed coffee looks for creamer. It isn't there. Girl closes fridge, decides to look again. "But I knew there was creamer" she thinks to herself.
You see, girl cherishes her sweet cup of morning coffee. In exchange for not going to coffee shops, girl buys pretty gourmet brews and always makes sure there's creamer. Once it gets to about a day's supply, girl buys more.
Girl looks yet again in fridge. Weird. Boy does not drink coffeee. He wouldnt have taken it would he... hey, that looks like mac & cheese...and we have no milk.
Girl calls boy.
"I've looked and I can't seem to find my coffee creamer. Did you by any chance use it?" girls asks boy.
"Oh, no. I don't think so. I just tossed the milk cause it was bad."
"Ya but i'm not asking about the milk. I'm talking about my creamer."
"Um, i'm not sure"
"you're not? cause see, I always make sure I have a day's worth of creamer and if i don't i buy more" says the girl, as her voice begins to rise.
"hmm. well, maybe a couple of days ago...'
"ya?" girl asks, increasingly agitated.
"I think i used it to make macaroni and cheese a couple of night ago."
"Ya, that's what i thought," snaps girl as if uncovering watergate. "Cause i just made coffee and i don't have any creamer"
"Just drink it black, it's stronger" says 'helpful' boy.
"I don't drink coffee cause it's strong, i drink coffee cause it tastes good," says increasinlgy excitable girl.
"Oh, well, sorry, there was only a drop"
"There was NOT a drop cause i always make sure there's at least a day's worth!" cries silly girl.
"OK, i'll buy you a new one"
"Ya, and get it on your way home so I can have some tomorrow," says crazy girl.
Girl attempts to slam down phone, finds it far less satisfying to slam down cell vs. regular land line.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Sorry, I've had to explain, have to leave for work in a little bit.
Rushed last Friday after work to get new shoes, which i desperately had to replace like two weeks ago so they're ready for Vegas. But my little running store was out. I didn't take the news particularly well.
"You're out!?" I cried to the (bless his heart) sympathic salesman. "But I'm running a marathon in less than two months! I have to start breaking them in!!!"
A quick call was made. They'd be shipped Monday. i'd get them Wednesday. Fine, I said. But if I find them somewhere else sooner, I was buying them, I told the guy.
I got a call Tuesday saying there were in. I was unnaturally BESIDE MYSELF that they'd come in early. but i was going out of town and wouldn't be able to pick them up till Thursday.
I again panicked when I saw the shoes. They're Brooks Adrenaline 6 and I thought I was getting the 5. Another kind salesman assured me the changes were cosmetic, sat me down, put them on my feet and let me walk them around. I grinned and loved their soft shoe feel.
I love the new colors, turquoise and a dark gray versue the deep blue of my last pair. My shoes and me belong together.
Too bad I've skipped yet another run. My posts are becoming hopelessly monotonous. "Well, missed a run today" and "Oh, i'm so, so sick, poor, poor me, must not run" and "It's raining so I missed a run" and "i got held up at work"
I just got back from work conference in NYC. I am thinking yet again I may move there. I just love the city. I am both a face in the ginormous crowd yet also a member of a thriving, diverse and interesting pulse-e city when I go there. Must begin hunting for job there...
Sunday, October 16, 2005
And so with this in my tummy I began Sunday's long run of the cycle, a 10 miler, short because I'm on 'recovery' week. I decide I'm gonna push it, and go harder than i've gone in awhile. By mile 1 I'm already several dehydrated. I am panting, having trouble getting enough oxygen. But I dont slow down.
I mentioned several weeks ago my good friend LM moved outta town. With her gone our little summer party circle partially broke up. This is fine with me. I seemed to be getting into more and more trouble as summer went on. But LM moving was not so fine. Bye, running partner. Bye, my dancing partner. :-( So last night we all headed down to see her new digs. We begin the evening with cocktails and hor de voures. Jen mixes up divine little pink slushy martinis -- grey goose vodka, watermelon mixer and ice blended up. Perfectly mixed, not too strong.
Then Hummer decides he's gonna play bartender. I hand him my empty glass. He returns with grey goose on the rocks. I'd say there was a splash of watermelon mixer but that'd be stretching it. Another, and off we go dancing. They have Southern Comfort with lime -- IN THE DISPENSER!!! That emphasis is not mine. i don't like SOCO. Hummer, however, tipsy and rapidly becoming the life of the party is THRILLED.
"We HAVE to do a shot!" he practically yells in excitement.
I am not the type to let others drink alone. I'm just that kind of girl. Down it goes.
So back to today. I stop at water fountain around mile 2.5ish. I gulp down water. I dont realize how hard I'm running until i stop and begin gasping for air. I keep that pace for around 7 miles.
You know it's a good run when you've decided to ease up for final 3 miles but your body actually rebels.
"Why we slowing down?" it asked me today.
"Because," I explained. "We don't want any problems later this week."
Perhaps it went so well because it was just one of those perfect fall afternoons. Everyone was in a good mood, it was super windy but still not too cold. And red, orange and yellow everywhere. I love seasons!
Or maybe it was the SOCO?
Anyway, got final word my abuelita will be in Vegas. Hurrah! My grandma and mom are neither drinkers nor gamblers (i am my father's child), but they're saving their money for the other Vegas draw. That's right, the shopping!
Halftime report: Chargers up. Go blue.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
I've spent the morning reading race reports from Chicago. Inspiring. I get kind of intimidated by the sheer size of the race (The shopping, however, as Susan writes about, doesnt scare me one bit...). Vermont was 3,000ish which I found to be a lovely little size, though the expo sucked. Vegas is capped at 14,000 I think (could be 16,000). That seems like it will be nuts but mostly cause I'm really thinking there could be charming little drunkies coming back from a night on the town eager to cheer runners on. But 40,000. Man. My girl LM, who did Boston, said there were people around her from the start to the finish. Never, she said, were there not people.
Anyway, Derek Rose did the rundown
Good stuff. Makes me both tingle in my tummy and get excited. I think what I like most about the posts is the feelings of accomplishment, confidence and everything else people feel when they cross. And also that I'm reminded things go wrong. and that's OK. No less inspiring.
Knee's acting up a little bit, but maybe that's cause of the rain. My portion of the state was again underwater Saturday after 10" of rain. Or maybe it's cause of the speed at which I'm training. Despite insisting I'm not trying to qualify for Boston, I figure I might as well keep training at said speed.
If you get a chance and want a challenge, head to Scott's blog. We're trying to get final input on our Vegas blogger's shirts. Thoughts? And a HUGE THANK YOU to Scott for doing that. You're a doll (despite some whiners who've commented, we're quite grateful).
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Vegas is in the 50s. That's right, just a little over 50 days away. I read a neat post on Yvonne's site. She's doing Chicago today, as are several others. She said she had lagged on speed training, fartlek but still felt she'd had good runs and just felt prepared because in her heart, she's a marathoner. I sort of feel like that. I've trained less than I should but I've felt good. I don't know what it is that made me so confident as a long distance runner but whatever it is, I'll take it.
Yesterday was a 6 mile hill workout. I did 3.5 miles between 9 and 9:22 pace on a hard hill set. Then, feeling annoyed that the guy next to me was running my exact pace, no matter how I sped up or down (it was like a drip drop leaky faucet to my psyche as our feet keep hitting at the same time...i'm not sure why it annoyed me so...in fact my gym experience was rather annoying...if you want to be alone don't go to gym...the guy looking at me irked me...the tv wasn't working...i didn't like anyone around me...i felt fat...42 minutes of hard cardio and i was finally calmed down...) so i next hit the cross trainer for a hard 30 minute hill workout. I'm about to head out for easy 5. Need to be back in time to watch Eagles game.
But first I guess I'll look thru some apartment listings. After nearly 6 years, my boy and I have decided to part ways. I know in my heart it's the right thing to do. We're friendly and will remain so while we tie up our loose ends here and he moves back West. Still, feel sick to my tummy. We have not always been great but I do love him so.
On the bright side, maybe I can get a cute loft...
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Nothing like having so much on your mind your body automatically churns out 15 miles.
Looks like I'm gonna be moving around the turn of December. Gads. That's the weekend of the marathon. I'll try to move in early. Thought briefly about canceling Vegas, as move is rather unexpected and follows some life turmoil. But I want to do Vegas and body is really holding up.
And besides, sis already has reservations (unlike the actual runnner) and is more excited than anyone else doing Vegas, combined.
So ya, will try to move in early so I don't have to worry about it race weekend. Luckily I'll be tapering so I'll have more time to get in life stuff. Like moving.
but back to body: I've taken many breaks in my training. Colds, travel, missed workouts for no reason. But two things are going on. One, my body has complained next to nothing. It's happily running and cross training moderately along. Two, i'm not going fast enough. My time's not where it needs to be to qualify for Boston. But i've thought about it. And I've decided I'd rather get to Vegas injury free, run my own race and enjoy it. I'm simply not training hard enough to run a 3:40. And I'm cool with that.
In other news, my friend Kahuna (linked to on right) has decided I'm out of the running for tri diva 2005. I mean, I did three races so far - including one tri -- what more does he want? I left a msg on his blog explaining: kahuna, it's all about the brunettes. Blondes are fun for awhile pero para pasion, always choose cafe.
Monday, October 03, 2005
I cannot stop standing up with my arms high above my head with both index fingers raised in a No. 1 salute everytime such highlights appear.
I could not stop standing with my arms above my head every time and index fingers raised in a No. 1 salute every time the Chargers made any play yesterday, even a 1-yard gain.
I am a long suffering Chargers fan. And I'm gonna walk into my office today with my fingers raised in a No. 1 salute high above my head. Luckily, I told my Massachusetts native boss and Patriots fan before i left for work on Friday: "I'm sorry your team's going to lose."
I love you LaDanian Tomlinson. I love you Drew Brees.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
I'm six days into my 10-day cycle. The game is to find one scheduled/actual training day that match. Go on, do it. Only you, dear game player, (well me too i guess since I did it) can find it.
You might note that's an extra eye. you might also note there is no eye directed at vegas.
so saturday kim and i head to local bike flea market. Bikes, wheels, frames, gloves, shirts, shorts as far as the eye can see. Immediately we are overwhelmed. I am certainly not prepared to drop a grand or two on a bike and even if i had it, what kind would i get? What kind should i get? How can two pounds of metal or whatever bike frames are made of cost $3,575?
"I wish this was for runners," i tell Kim.
"That's why they call it a bike flea market," she tells me back.
We wander around, thinking we've misspent a good $5 getting in till we find a spot where we are much more at home: fashion. And what great, fantastic deals they are! I spend approximately 45 minutes debating over whether i should get a dark blue or turquoise tri suit. It's my FIRST tri suit so this is a big decision. Not the color of course, but getting one in the first place. Why the hesitation? How will a bike shorts connected to swim suit look? Bike shorts are notoriously unflattering. Notoriously. I mean, i like the idea of saving time between transistions because I've got one outfit for all, but how will it look? Thus the 45 minute delay (there are no dressing rooms. holding up one suit after the other is quite helpful as you may imagine).
Meanwhile, Kim scoops up some running tights, a hat and a bathing suit ($15 for great brand. you can't beat it!).
So I buy the blue tri suit (by the way, it does'nt look half bad i discover when i model at home. phew), a few hats, a coupla shirts. And what do I see but a snowboard stand, the only one there. I model a tight olive green jacket and twirl and twirl using kim's sunglasses as my mirror. Another 45 minutes pass (i am not the quickest decisionmaker), and I'm walking out with a FAT new snowboarding jacket, excellent brand, for $50 smackaroos! What a great deal.
It's not until today that I discover I've depleted my extras budget for the pay period WITHOUT BUYING NEW RUNNING SHOES. Im really pushing my old pair. I've had them 7 months and I know they're near or just past the recommended milage. Now I'll have to wait 2 more weeks. That's how distracted, and rather unmotivated, i seem to have become in my training.
A little heartache, some confusion, a little cold, etc, can do that to you.
Tonight there are two things on my mind:
1. I love the San Diego Chargers. And the Eagles. Today they both did me right. It's such a treat to have a good Chargers team and such a delight to now be living in the home team of a fine run organization like Philly. San Diego is not known for its tighly run athletics. May it last.
2. Are we doomed to repeat our parent's mistakes? Though we have the best interests and strongest convictions in our hearts, do they simply fall by the wayside in the inevitable complications of life and years of upbringing?
I look for no answers or comments on the final thought.
Like I said, that's what's on my mind tonight.