Aside

Award Season

Last week felt like the longest week, granted that was probably aggravated me trying to knock myself into next week.  :)  Friday was stressful but I knew if I could get through I had a whole weekend ahead of me!   I briefly thought about trying to get a few miles in after work but my head was still a little off and hearing my boss exclaim at how bruised my head was, I decided against it.  SLO pics

Saturday I was up earlier than I would have liked but that was ok because I spent the day shopping in SLO.  The weather was great, there was a storm coming in but it didn’t get windy until we were leaving.  The food was super yummy and I didn’t do too much damage to my bank account.  :)   I managed to get in a few miles when I got back to town, but man they were rough.   It was like my brain forgot how to work my legs.   I managed to bring the pace down by the end but my body was rebelling.  Even though it was harder than I would have liked, I loved that I was out and moving.  Especially when I consider that I am now less than 28 days from my next half marathon- SLO!!!!!

Post run time with the puppy

Post run time with the puppy

Moving on- I call my blog Slacker Runner for a few reasons, one of which is that I am a huge procrastinator.  If I can do it later, I will, usually at the last minute.   I am the exact opposite at work, but in most other aspects of my life, I am a Slacker.   I was recently nominated for some blog awards and I am just now following up.  Sorry!!!  So time to rectify that -

versatileThe Versatile Blogger Award-

Suzan over at Welcome to the Nuthouse sent me this shout out last week.   Thanks!!  She’s awesome and if you haven’t checked out her blog, you should go do so!  And I found out that we both just completed our 6th half marathon last Sunday :)

Now, there are always rules-

1. Thank the person who nominated you for your new award, and be sure to include a link back to their site in your acceptance speech.  DONE!
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself– hmmmmm
3. Pass on the award to 13 other versatile bloggers.—- that’s a big number

7 Random Facts-
1.  My mind just went blank.  it does that sometimes.
2.   I have a freaky memory for numbers and some things.  Sometimes I can’t decide if coworkers and customers are impressed or scared.
3. The list of childhood movies and cartoons that I haven’t seen is pretty large.   Actually some popular movies too.  I get a lot of shocked faces.  Like The Sound of Music and A Christmas Story or any of the Matrix Movies.  Never seen them.
4. I worked at a Taco Bell for 10 years.   Spent most of those years as Assistant Manager before I left.   Oh the stories.
5.  I went stag to my Senior Prom.  My dress was borrowed and in recollection was a little more scandalous than I thought.
6.  I got through the City to Sea half marathon by listening to Hannah Montana songs.  No not Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana.   And I am not ashamed.
7.  I love owls.  I have necklaces and ear rings and artwork and decorative pillows.  My boss even bought me an LED one for station at work.

Now for the nominations-

AttemptedRunner

Running From it All

Tartan Jogger

Don’t Blink Just Run

Did That Just Happen

Life-Everyone Has One

Bay Runner Jamie

Single-Tracked Mind

Lily Runs the World

Pirate Bobcat 

Close to 13 right?

Thanks again Suzan!!

So, with my slacker-ness, I make no guarantees that I will message any of you before you read this (if you read this :) ) so consider this your notification and run with it!   If you’ve been nominated before, congrats!   Just take this as further confirmation of your awesomeness.  If these awards just aren’t your thing, well that’s cool too.   You’re still cool.   Oh and another random fact- my lingo is still in the 90′s.  :)

The other one is The Liebster Award by the lovely Jenni on the Run, but that will require some thought and deserves a post of its own.

How was everyone’s weekend?

Now, I’m off to order a new gear bag, any suggestions?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let the taper begin

Happy Monday!!

Saturday I was hoping to do an 8 mile dress rehearsal run.    Last longish run before my race and I was planning to wear everything that I want to wear for the race.    The perfect dress rehearsal would have been to run it in the morning but I had an early tire appointment and was still so tired from the week, that I slept as long as possible.   It wasn’t enough.   I was still dragging when I made it to the tire place.  After 10 minutes of running around, they informed me that the tires I had ordered never arrived and no one bothered to call me.

I have been told by family, friends, coworkers and former employees that I have a “resting bitch face” and sometimes I can make them feel like a bug that I am about to squash.  Yeah, those were their exact words.  :(   I have worked hard on improving my expressions over the years, especially since I work management in customer service.   I feel I’ve done a decent job, but Saturday I was tired and cranky and this was not the first time this tire place had messed up.   I think the bug squashing face came back because I left there with 4 new tires for the price I had been quoted (2nd quote because they lost the 1st one) for the 2 tires I had ordered.

Saturday's work view

Saturday’s work view

I fit in a few errands and lunch with my mom before I had to head out for a work function.    With drive time and the function itself, it filled up my afternoon.  It was good getting to see everyone and put faces to names and voices on the phone.    However put a few hundred people in the foyer of performing arts center and the acoustics make the din just shy of unbearable.   The headache I had for a week came back with a vengeance.   The auditorium itself was much quieter.  :)   It was a good afternoon.    Plus on the way down I was able to swing by the Running Warehouse and pick up a few supplies-

I showed some restraint

I showed some restraint

I made it back home by 5, changed and ran out the door to get in my 8 miles.  I knew I was tired so I was aiming for a steady pace.  My legs felt horrible; it was hotter than I would have liked and I was just so tired.  I lost track of how many walk breaks I took.  I have no pictures of the run because I was afraid if I stopped, I wouldn’t get started again.   A former coworker drove past me and I thought about flagging her down for a ride home.  I should have just done 6 and called it a day but I am not the smartest and pushed to the full 8.   8 miles with an average pace of 10:22.  Which for a long slow run is ok but I was just beat.  I tested the new handheld on my run too.   So not a fan, I wanted to throw it.   I am going to try again just to make sure that’s it wasn’t just user error.  :)

I rewarded myself for completing my run by watching the new Veronica Mars movie.  Cue the inner nerd girl squeal!  Sunday I slept in, yay!!!! I thought about taking the puppy for a walk but I ended up helping my mother move rocks.  She is redoing their landscaping.  Let’s call that cross-training.  Lots of squats and bending and lifting.  Plus chasing errant rocks down the driveway before they went into traffic.    The backs of my legs ache in interesting ways today, haha.

They made the music for tonight's run

They made the music for tonight’s run

Today marks the beginning of taper week.  After work I headed to the lake to get in a few miles.  I was torn between 4 and 6.  I figured I would just start running and see how I felt.   My legs were stiff from yesterday plus breaking in the new boots I picked up over the weekend didn’t help.   I also made this my “uncomfortable” pre-race run.   Brand new shirt and shorter than normal shorts.  I like to try to prepare myself for wardrobe malfunctions on race day.    :)   My shorts were actually from Abercrombie’s new “active” line (haha) and I just figured they would be cute summer shorts but not actually good to run in.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.   They were light weight and airy and they never moved, never rode up.  Wow, I have never had a pair of shorts do that, I may have to try running in them again.

photo 5I started off a little stiff and told myself during mile 2 that I was just doing 4 miles.   Around mile 3.5 I finally started to loosen up, so I kept going.  Mile 4 was a little looser, mile 5 felt pretty good and 6 felt better.    I finished out a full 10K and walked back to the bars that I like to stretch on.   I knew I was looser and quicker towards the end but I didn’t know how much until I looked at my Garmin splits.  Negative split? Sweet!   Or should I call that a good progression run?

3-17-14What makes me laugh about this Garmin data is that I ran the opposite direction on the path tonight.   I usually go clockwise but tonight I decided to go counter-clockwise.  It felt soooo much harder.  I tried telling myself that maybe the elevation was slightly different the other way.  Who am I kidding?  The average elevation gain was 6 feet.  6 FEET!!!!!  Seriously, I must be a big baby.

This should have been up earlier, but the nerd girl in me again was yelling at the tv while watching Teen Wolf.

How was everyone’s Monday?

Who else has “crazy” elevation?

A little chalk art

Heart & Soles 2014 Race Recap

I was originally planning on running the Buzz 1/2 marathon today but scaled back to a 10K in SLO for a few reasons.  Now, I am completely bummed because I just saw that Run Eat Repeat ran it and I could have tried to track her down, except I am slow, hehe.

Anyways, on to the race.  After my great run on Wednesday, I was super pumped but I also knew I had pushed harder than planned, so I ended up taking Thursday and Friday as rest days.   Friday was also a vacation day for me, so woo hoo!     I made sure to spend some time stretching and working with my foam roller yesterday so this morning I felt pretty good and ready to go.

A little chalk art

A little chalk art

Heart and Soles is a series of races put on by the Cal Poly Triathlon team.  It works as a fundraiser for them and the local food bank.   The race takes place entirely on the college campus.  They offer a 5K, 10K, and 15K and a kids race.   I was a little concerned about hills as the campus is pretty much on the side of a big hill, but there weren’t any big ones thankfully.   I really wanted to do the 15K but thought the 10K was a smarter choice.   :(  This turned out to be a good choice, because I would not have finished a 15K, at least not running.  Maybe crawling.

Pre-race shot

Pre-race shot

The race had 9:00 AM start so I didn’t have to leave until after 7:30.  My race photographer (thanks mom!) and I headed out. Getting there was easy, finding parking was a little trickier, luckily runners tend to move in herds!   Check in was fairly quick, picked up the bib and goody bag and headed back to the car since it was a bit cold.   While not required, a Valentine’s themed costume contest was suggested.   My mother had fun laughing at some of them, including the pace bikers.  The 2 males were dressed in diapers and wings…and that’s it.  Just like Cupid.   One thing about a college race, I felt old.   I won’t deny stalking last years race results to make sure I wasn’t the oldest one.  As it was I was running solo in a couples race.    Luckily it was mostly other solos as well.  :)

All 3 races started at the same time so the start line was a little congested.  A guy stopped to play with his girlfriends iPod, I went left to avoid them, and 2 people behind me ran into me and I into the first couple.  Oops!   Maybe that was when the problem started or I just hadn’t noticed because I just started running.   A quarter mile into the race, my left lower calf was so damn tight it was painful.  I figured I would run it out around mile 1.  No such luck.   I actually considered turning around at the 5K mark.    But I kept going.  I was so happy to hit the first 10K turnaround.   The course had two out and backs.    I kept running but the pain was turning into my couples partner for the race.  I told myself if the pain ever got above a 4 to take a walk break.   The first came at just shy of 3 miles.    Mile 4 was the roughest, not only did I take a walk break, I stopped completely and tried to stretch it out.    The end of this out and back had a little loop on a dirt path and my leg felt better there.  After that if I could run on dirt by the side of the road I did.   While we were in the Ag section this was possible but once we were back in the center of the school, it was all roads and sidewalk.  :(

I felt like mile 6 had the steepest section of road but my Garmin disagrees.    It was a little past mile 5.5 that my leg finally loosened up.  Seriously? Now?   But there was no way I was sprinting to the finish, I was just trying to maintain.   I hadn’t really been paying attention to my time because I was more focused on breathing through the pain.  All in all, I took 4  walk moments plus that stretch.  I was so thankful to see that finish line.     I was done.  Apparently it showed too, because my mom said I looked gimpy coming up to the line.

Is that a grimace or a smile?

Is that a grimace or a smile?

Once I caught my breath, I let my mother know how close I was to texting her that I was chucking it and walking the damn thing.   Then I checked my Garmin, 55:44.  I’m sorry, what?!!?   I flippin’ PR’d on what may or may not have been my worst feeling race?!  I checked Nike to verify (Yeah I used both), and it agreed.   I was a little shocked.   Once I processed that, I was super stoked, still hurting but excited!!  I was brought a little back down to earth by the first 15K finisher crossing the finish line 4 minutes later.

heartandsoles

Other than my stupid leg, it was a good race.  With all three races starting at the same time, I was concerned that it might be easy to be confused by the route.  But they had people at every corner and turn around who made things very clear.   The finish line was clearly marked as well.  All in all, I would run it again, maybe the 15 next year?

I stretched as best as I could before leaving the campus.   After changing and eating a yummy lunch, we did a little shopping around town.   I kept my compression socks on and hoped that the walking would help ease the tightness.  It helped a little but most of the evening has been spent RICE’ing.  Tomorrow will probably be a day off as well, I have to see how it feels in the morning.  I am not sure what set it off, if it was tennis practice yesterday or maybe the fact that I sat cross-legged on the floor for most of last night.   I just want it to go away.

IMG_3173

And as per usual, I was unable to leave SLO without purchasing some new running gear, now if only my legs weren’t so pale!

How is everyone’s weekend so far?

Who else raced?

Shopping and running, a few of my favorite things

I had planned to get my long run in on Saturday morning before heading out to do a little shopping for the day.   My alarm went of at 6:35, my head hurt and it was still dark.  My phone said that sunrise was at 7:07 so I rolled over hoping the headache would go away.  A second alarm went off at 7:08 and my head was just pounding.   Bloody hormones and that’s all I’m going say about that; so I chose to sleep more.

It was prettier in person

It was prettier in person

I made myself face the day a little before 9.  I got ready and headed out for some retail therapy.   The plan was for window shopping, I didn’t really need anything.   It’s just fun to hit SLO and enjoy the weather and the shopping and the food.     The weather was great and the food was yummy as usual.  Shopping was actually very budget friendly.  :)  I couldn’t even find anything to buy at Dick’s, it was sad!!!  I did buy Kimi a new blanket, and what does she do?  She sleeps in the bag instead!

Not cool!

Not cool!

Shopping ran later than planned, so I didn’t get out the door running until 4:30 so the long run was not an option.  Want to know a good way to run a Tempo run?  Try to beat the setting sun.  Great motivation.   My legs felt a little tired but it was a good run. Thanks to my persistent cough, I still had to take a few walk breaks.    However, it actually turned into a progression run instead of a tempo.   For once each mile was faster than the one before it.  Sweet!  I made it back to my driveway just as the sun was dropping behind the hill.  It may not have been what was planned but a solid 4 miles to end the day.

photo 5

This morning I was planning on running yesterday’s 10 miler.  I had mapped out a route last night- from my driveway with lots of loops, finishing by running crosstown to the high school.  I was aiming to only have to do 1.5-2 miles on the track.   After that the plan was to meet up with my mom who was working on the tennis courts and she would give me a ride back.   Since I have been rather tired this week, still kicking that stupid sickness from last week, I figured I would aim for an 11:00 minute pace.  Get the distance in but take it easy.

I had a slightly later start than planned and then when I was trying to get out the door, I found out that my mom was heading to the courts sooner than planned.  Wait, she’s my ride home!!!  The first three miles of my run I was recalculating in my head.  Do I keep my route the same and just hope it takes her that long or do I throw in more loops and head back home.  That was when I noticed my time, mile 3 had me under 31 minutes.   Well, that was faster than I was aiming for.  So plan B, could I maintain that pace for all 10 miles?  I am faster in races but never before held that in a long training run.   It would only save me 10 minutes but that just might be enough.

photo 1 (3)

Why do I live is such a hilly neighborhood?  Why did I plan my route by running one of the hills 3 times?  Granted it wasn’t the worst but still, I must be crazy.  I slowed down in mile 6 because while trying to get my long sleeved top layer off, I skillfully tangled myself in it.   :)  Just call me Graceful.   After finishing all 3 loops, it was down to the bridge and across town.  I hate running across the bridge, it’s a little too on display for me.   Luckily its not huge.  After the bridge, there’s a few shopping centers and traffic lights before the last small hill and then the high school.   With the traffic lights, I was able to test out the auto pause feature on the Garmin.   Pretty cool but I felt like it was a little slow on the restart.   I made it to the track at 8.5 miles and finished out the 1.5.   And I was done, whew!  And thankfully, my mother had waited for me.

I have no idea what happened in mile 4, barely even remember it

I have no idea what happened in mile 4, barely even remember it

After lunch and grocery shopping, I joined my mother in walking the puppy.  It was supposed to be short, like a mile,  so I was rocking my new Wave Rider’s and skinny jeans.    Bad idea.  It turned into 2.5 miles and the puppy decided that she wanted to move fast today; she was dragging us.   Seriously, where was this dog last week?  I do not recommend jogging in skinny jeans without a proper sports bra, just don’t do it.  The shoes felt great though.  :)   The evening was finished off by the whole family going to The Olive Garden for dinner, yummy.

better than last week!

better than last week!

Training wise, I didn’t do too bad this week.   29 miles out of a scheduled 34.  5 days running.  I still can’t do 6.   And some of the planned runs I am unable to fit in my schedule, so I am adapting it a bit.   Next week only has 5 scheduled days with my long run on Saturday,  That will have to be a 2-a-day, as my first race of 2014 is that morning!!  It’s a 5K that I am looking forward to.

Plus I hope to have some exciting news to share soon!!!  I am waiting on one last email to confirm, I always like to be doubly sure before sharing something important.  I am so excited!!!

How was everyone’s weekend?

What’s the most awkward clothing you’ve ever run in?

Finally a Reason

Friday morning, I woke up feeling like I had slept more hours but they were just as crappy.  I just wanted to burrow under the covers for a few more hours.  But I dragged myself out of bed and got ready for work.  Since I was feeling crappy, I wore my newest skirt and my most comfortable boots to work.  Fake it ’til you make it right?

Yeah, I rock funky socks, every day :)

Yeah, I rock funky socks, every day :)

Don’t worry, I push the socks down before we open the doors.  :)  I was also treated to this morning view while picking up the cookies-

The seagulls were going crazy!

The seagulls were going crazy!

Shaping up to be a good day, right?  By early afternoon, my headache had turned into a head pounder and my swallowing was so painful.  Ahhhh, light bulb moment, I was sick.  Maybe that explained the week of crappy sleep and the zoning out I did a few times at night.  I watched Biggest Loser on my DVR over the week, but I couldn’t tell you a dang thing that happened.    I don’t remember it at all.  :(  After leaving work yesterday, I crashed in the Comfy chair with a blanket.    I was hoping I would be better in time for a long run today.

I had a little shopping trip planned with my mom; she wanted help looking for a wedding gift for one of her former players.  I set an alarm in the hopes I could get a run in this morning first.  Ha!  My head and throat were worse.  So I tried to get a little more sleep before getting ready for the day.  Shopping went well, even if both my mother and I were feeling poorly and moving a little slower than usual.   Even though my throat hurt, I was able to enjoy lunch.  :)  She also found a great gift, which is good as the wedding is tomorrow.   :)

She then needed to head to the Tennis Warehouse to pick up a few things for the team.  Uhoh- danger zone!  The Running Warehouse was literally 10 feet away.  And I had been feeling the urge for new shoes.   I was one of those rare runners who only had one pair of shoes.  I wore them for every race, training run and occasional trail adventure.  When they wore out, I replaced them.  With my planned increase in training this spring and more half marathons on the schedule as well I was thinking about getting another pair.

The place was packed, but then the store front is small.  However customer service there is amazing.   I tried to resist, I really did.  I ended up trying on the Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 17.    I love my current pair of Inspire 9′s so I was optimistic for the 10′s.  They felt like an entirely different shoe, tighter and flatter.  Not cool.  The Wave Rider’s on the other hand felt awesome!   Restraint be damned!

So shiny and new

So shiny and new

The Wave Rider’s are a neutral support shoe so that is a change.  So I will be trying them out on the treadmill for the first few runs.  If I like them, I figured I would use them for the flatter, shorter runs and races.   I can’t wait to test them out.  Our shopping trip was longer than planned; I ran out of daylight.   My mother cannot make a quick trip to Petco.  I ended up wandering away at one point and having a conversion with a little boy about betta fish.  He was excited because they are fighter fish.  I told him we have one at work that likes to try to attack a coworker.  He thought that was great.  :)

Once home, I had absolutely no energy for the gym.  So today became a rest day.  I am hoping that I will feel better tomorrow and can get in some miles.  Maybe not the 8 that I missed today but anything between 4 and 6 would be cool.  It will have to be early though as I am my mother’s plus 1 for the wedding.   My dad, well he’s not the partying type.  Neither am I, really, but I fake it better.  :)

How was everyone’s Saturday?

Was I really the only one with one pair of shoes?