Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why Ms. Jillian, I do declare.....

Did I hear correctly, she wants a sweet tea and a throw down? My oh my!
..... I think I heard a throwdown challenge in your last comment! So just for record keeping purposes, this is hilarious running post #3, known going forward as 'the one that made you decide to run the half marathon'. I think the confidence boost is a given, seeing that watching me run is about as painful as watching a ninety year old get out of a recliner. So you know you're better than at least one person right off the bat. 

This weekend I ran my longest run so far- 4 miles. But let me clarify this statement, because I believe I may have inadvertently given the impression that I actually ran all four miles when I said 'I ran 4 miles' on Facebook. I'm not really sure how that would be misleading but for those not in the know about training programs for beginner runners, what I meant was that I did the 4 mile training run, which consists of lots of walking in between running. My app is called 'Get Running', so Jen, if Matt deigns you worthy of receiving his crap old iPhone when he upgrades and you take him up on his generous offer, that's the app I like for now. It's a C25K app- which stands for 'Couch to 5K', meant for couch potatoes like myself (or I guess more like a sewing potato in my case).
Hurry, I'm out of cheetos and the commercials only last 5 minutes!

So I'm talking up this app, and I'm really impressed with it and I'm trying to convince Bobby all weekend to do the 4 mile 'run' with me until he finally caves in. Now I must admit that this is a double-edged sword because while it'd be nice to have something to do together (until we begin our Groupon Puerto Rican style salsa dancing), I also know that Bobby is a much more natural athlete than me and will most likely end up surpassing me in every way in about ten minutes.

I will of course be this flexible. And Bobby will of course have this douchebag expression on his face. That's what will make us awesome dancers.

It actually only took five. We had finished our warm-up walk, returned the dogs to the house so that we wouldn't have to run with hot bags of poop for three miles, and took off. For such a long run, I just did 3 of the shorter runs from the app in a row so I believe the increments were running for  1 1/2 minutes, walking for 1 1/2 minutes, then running for 3 minutes, then walk, then run for 1 1/2 minutes, and so on until the end where every running interval was for 3 minutes. After the first three minute run, when I expect (and secretly hope) to find Bobby struggling to keep up, I look back to find him laughing merrily to his podcast while apparently not even noticing that we are moving at a slightly faster pace than walking. 
Oh, am I running? I hadn't noticed, I was busy counting my ab muscles and flexing my pecs!
And maybe this time he'll be young!

So during the break I ask him if the pace is okay. After all, it's taken me three weeks to get to this point- no mocking from the other couch potatoes- and he just says, "No, this pace is great for me since I'm really out of shape." At this point, I push him into traffic and proceed with procuring husband number three. Maybe someone rich this time! If you can dream it, you can do it!

Alright, maybe I didn't really push him into traffic but the thought crossed my mind. Oh, there was another reason this run was such a big deal: this is the first time I'm timing my mileage. So far I either run for 30 minutes but have no idea how far, or run for 2 or 3 miles but with no specific sense of time. And I was reading in my training manual that if you run for 15 seconds and walk for 45, then you can finish the half marathon with a 15 minute mile. After reading that I thought, "Damn, even someone as jello-like as myself and Jillian could do that!". In case you missed it Jillian, that was your ego boost. Savor it. 

Especially if that jerk is between you and your princess medal.
We ended up coming in with 14 minute miles, taking less than an hour and feeling great after the run. We were so smirky and self-congratulatory about it I even annoyed the shit out of myself. We fist-bumped so many times my knuckles were raw. 
We weren't the ambiguously gay duo. We were the overly supergay fist-bumping duo.
Okay, now that I've told you about all the easy runs, I'll tell you about my last run, which was by far the hardest I've done yet. This time- and I don't know what asshole programmed this run into my formerly dream-like app- we were running for 3 minutes, then walking for 1 1/2 minutes, then running for 5 MINUTES, then repeat the whole thing again. Five minutes? Who the frick thought I could run for 5 minutes straight when just last week I was running for only a minute and a half and struggling with that? It didn't help matters any that Olivia Newton John kept telling me to 'slow my pace if necessary but just keep on going'. Lady, I'm already causing a warp in the time-space continuum by being the first person to run so slow I'm actually running forwards and backwards at the same time. 

Great scott, she broke the fat-ass time continuum!
But the good news is that you repeat the same schedule for the whole week, so I'm assuming this whole running for 5 minute piece of shit schedule will become more bearable by this weekend. If not, I can console myself with the fact that I can run for at least 15 seconds out of every minute and will therefore hopefully not get picked up by the slow bus on the day of the run. 
No thanks, short bus, I'm good for it!
And from the sounds of it, the list of runners is getting longer, so everyone needs to start calling dibs on their princesses! I'm calling Cinderella for myself. Jen, let your choice be known soon! If rumor has it correctly, we will have a few more girls joining us and obviously now Jillian also so I think I might need to start a little sooner with the sweatshop sewing. 

And Jill- here's one last reason you should do this run: to be able to say that you did it. And how often will you be able to do something cool like this with people that you actually like? Do it. Do it now or you'll be old and reading about the half-marathon one day and telling all your other old-fart friends, "I almost ran that one time with a group of friends but then I wussed out and decided to stay home and clip my ferret's toenails instead." You don't want to have to say that, do you? You want to be one of those people who will overhear someone talking about a run and just casually drop the fact that you just ran a half marathon yourself (I think we can say that for at least ten years and be within the timeframe of 'just'). 

That's right. If you don't do the run, your face will also freeze like this and you will apparently take up smoking  to boot. 
Don't worry, we'll send samples by the dozen!
My next post will be the running tips from Helen because I think I need to start utilizing some of them, such as finding an energy source to eat during the race and trying it out ahead of time. Apparently our snack of chips and salsa and a bunch of prosciutto was not an appropriate pre-run snack. I know Jen is getting running tips from her sister, but the only tips my sisters are good for are telling me where to get the best price on ass bleaching or what company will send the most free samples of adult diapers to the victim of our choice for the month. So basically, I'll take whatever running help I can get! Oh, and Eric, I took your advice and started taking glucosamine chondroitin. See, I listen to advice sometimes! It's like leap year; I think it happens about once every four years. 

What's your running advice? Any good success stories out there you feel like bragging about? I want to know now what I have to top!

Especially if the advice comes from a super-cute monkey wearing glasses. And Jillian, his advice was to get your lazy ass moving and run the damn race.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Written across the front of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are those two words: DON'T PANIC and I'm trying to obey. My mind is racing, my breath is shallow, my heart is pounding. All I can think is, "WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?". Do I really think that in just four months I'll be ready to run a half marathon? When I've never run anything longer than a 5K in my life? Was I drunk? Stupid question. Was I REALLY drunk? 

Where's my paper bag?!
This all came about the other night after one of my training runs, which have been going really well. I'm about 3 weeks into it and I'm using an app that tells me when to run and when to walk so that I don't have to constantly stare at my phone while I'm running. This week I'm running for a minute and a half and then walking for two minutes. The funny thing is that the voice in this app is a woman with an Australian accent so every 45 seconds it sounds like Olivia Newton John is telling me to 'keep going, you only have 45 more seconds of running'. I keep expecting her to come out with a, "Crikey mate, you're doing a banging job!" or tell me to "get physical". 

                      I'm saying all the things that I know you like, making good conversation... I gotta handle you just right, you know what I mean!.... Let's get physical! Physical!
Two nights ago was the onset of this cool weather and I'm running, and I'm feeling great, and I'm thinking all is right with the world. But by the 6th round of this run/walk combo, I am tired and I need that 2 minute walk break after running only for a fricking minute and a half and I think to myself:  how the hell am I going to do this for THREE HOURS for the half marathon? Me, someone who's never been a jogger and always thought that running was for idiots- it's horrible on your joints, it's not good for your internal organs, blah blah blah, I had tons of cons against it. And now here I am, trying desperately to be one of those idiots. 

Yes, please let me join your cult of lanky yet still unhealthy looking followers!
But tonight while I'm running I'm feeling a little better because I notice how fast I walk during the walk break part and I think that if anything, I can half run/half walk a fifteen minute mile (which is what you have to maintain during the official run) if worst comes to worst. My running partner, the amazing Ms. Jen, told me the other week that she can already run two miles- in a row- so I think we all know who's going to be the dud of this team. 
This is the good kind of dud. I'm the bad kind of dud.
And then she found an article about a woman who ran a marathon and then gave birth 8 hours later and I told her that if we have third trimester preggers pass us up during the run, we may as well just wait for the slow bus to come pick us up. The story was the opposite of inspirational to me because it just made me think, "Look, even SHE can do it, and she's as big as a goddamn bus and running for two! You can't even run for one!" Jen, I hope your confidence is way better than mine lately!

What, my water broke? No problem, I'll just grab a Gatorade around mile 23!
So for now I'm going to concentrate on the small runs, and worry about the big one when it gets closer. I'm doing my longest run so far this Sunday- 4 miles- but still using the walk/run thing so we'll see how that goes. Everything I've read advises new runners to take it slow and not try to push it in the beginning or I'll injure myself and end up giving up completely. And with this schedule and my new awesome shoes, I haven't had any shin splints or sore muscles at all. Sure, ninety year olds on Lark electric scooters are passing me up because I'm pretty slow, but I feel good the next day! 
Hey Pops, can you give a sister a lift next time? I'll return the favor by waxing your oxygen tank.
I'm taking Helen's (Mary Poppin's) advice and will do some runs coming up for the holidays to get used to doing these group runs. I'm thinking Turkey Trot, although the closest one I can find to Bobby's parent's house is in Miami. Oh, Mary, in case Bobby didn't tell you, we're coming down for Thanksgiving! Then maybe some Christmas runs and then the Gasparilla if it's early enough in the year. 
Because drinking is always more fun if you're wearing a pirate costume!
So far on our team it's just me and Jen. The only crap part is that I can't make us an 'official' team because they want me to pay for both of us again and then they'd refund each of us our original fees but not the registration fees and then they'll charge an extra $30 to boot. I don't need our team name printed on our bibs THAT badly. I can use a glitter pen for that! But Liz, if you want to run too, sign up pretty soon because it's filling up! Last I looked it was 52% full and I can imagine it'll fill up quickly after the beginning of the year. Helen, you already know the drill so sign up soon if you're in! 

We will have so much fun- we can rent a place for the weekend, Shrimp is coming over too to hang out and meet us at the finish line, we can lounge around Disney afterwards... sounds like a good time! Come on ladies, you know you want to, all the other kids are doing it....and you get an awesome Princess shirt out of the deal!

I think modeling our outfits after slutty Halloween costumes will be our best bet because we'll need them to be tight. Now just imagine this Cinderella costume worn with a sports bra, long sleeve shirt, leggings, and a headband. I don't know how all the guys will be able to control their major boners and still run the marathon with us hotties around.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Run, Forrest, Run!

Just imagine this: it's the end of February, the Disney Princess half marathon started 3 hours ago, and everyone has crossed the finish line. Or have they? Suddenly, out of the fog (yes, there is fog in my fantasies), comes a beautiful Sleeping Beauty (or Snow White or maybe Rapunzel) and then, gasping for breath, she crosses the finish line to thunderous applause for overcoming all of her obstacles!

And then I just kept running, and running...

The biggest obstacle? Being me. And lazy. But that fantasy could totally come true! Sure, it seems like it could double as a commercial for the special olympics (sponsors, I've called dibs so call me for the rights to this fantasy) but I think this is much more realistic than my other fantasy, in which I cross the finish line not out of breath at all and with a decent time. Which, by the way, is any time less than 3 hours and 29 minutes. 
Three hours and twenty two minutes- record time!
Over the weekend, my clients ran the Disney half-marathon in the Mary Poppins and Belle shirts and I went to the Disney website to track them and started poking around, checking out what's coming up next. Sure, I realize that you don't actually get to run with the candlestick and Chip cartoon characters from Beauty and the Beast like they have on their page, but it sure looked magical and how cool would it be to actually make one of my shirts for myself? It'd be my first one! But I'm not a runner. I've tried in the past and I've finally determined that I am only destined to run if someone is chasing me down or if Popeye's finally sells out of a food cart like the ice cream truck and they are already halfway down the block (I'm telling ya Popeye's, I've got something there! Stop returning all my suggestion letters!). 

Flaky biscuits, I'm coming to get ya!
But I pulled up the Jeff Galloway (official Disney training consultant) training schedule, and it actually looks like I could possibly pull this off. You only run 30 minutes on Tues & Thurs and then a longer run on the weekends. But- and here's the best part- you do this walk 45 seconds/ run 15 seconds thing for the first 3 weeks with lots of walk breaks to break all that running up. I mean, come on- even I could possibly do that! So I immediately started carb loading to prepare, but with the right kind of carbs. Chocolate cupcakes. Lots and lots of chocolate cupcakes.

So what's wrong with just one or two? Or seven? 
Shrimp had made chocolate cupcakes iced with Nutella and then finished with banana flavored whipped cream type frosting. I had 2 Saturday night, then she brought them over the next night for dinner (2 more), and then left the rest at my house. Did I even stand a chance? Monday was a long day at work and it required the last 3 cupcakes. Tuesday I had a cupcake hangover but it was worth it since I was working towards my goal. My first training session was that night!

Since I always like to have a bunch of crap going on, I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone and take the dogs to the dog park and run there since I was going to yoga later that night. But when we got to the park at 5:30, it was style 89 degrees. Fricking hot as balls. I walk a little to warm up, all the while trying to decide what my ratio will be. I figure 30 seconds walking/ 30 seconds running since I started yoga what, a few weeks ago? And obviously I am automatically in superior physical shape. But the guide said I should not be winded. Two minutes later, I reevaluate my ratio and decide that maybe a 30 seconds running/ one minute walking might be more my speed. 
I'm just resting here for a minute and then I'll get right back to training.
In case you haven't jogged in a while, every single piece of fat on your body jiggles while you run. So I thought I was fit already? Tell that to my ass, which is now bouncing up and down like the frequently quoted bowl full of jelly. Nine minutes in and I'm rethinking this plan. I really had thought that once I got started I would get into my groove and I'd be way better than I had anticipated. Wrong. I was way, way, WAY worse. Imagine a zombie that just spotted a fresh human so they pick up the shuffle and drag their gimp leg just a little bit faster. Slow that visual down a notch and that's me. 

I hope this isn't a rule at the half marathon- fresh meat may be my only motivating factor
But I'm not giving up. I really think this will work out because most of my training will be during the winter so it won't always be a jillion degrees. Now I just need a partner. Here's my pitch- we register as a team and I will make us coordinating shirts! That's right, a VaVaVaVoom original, just for you honey! And I'll take a guy- we could be Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming! The date is Feb. 24th at 5:45 and the registration fee is $150 each. But how awesome would it be to run the Disney half marathon and then spend the day at Disney? Or maybe go over the day before (and start carb loading at the dessert buffet). But if you know I'm involved we'll have a good time! Or at least you'll get a cool shirt. Whadya say, any takers? I'll send you some cupcakes......
We will look way better than these chicks in the polyester outfits!