Monday, November 21, 2011

News Alert! Jen and I are apparently naturally gifted athletes- and I'm going to write a book!

Okay, so first things first: you know how Jen dressed up as Wonder Woman for Halloween? Apparently it wasn't a costume- she is really like that on a daily basis! This weekend, when she went to run her measly little 7 miles, she just went ahead and ran 10 instead AND managed to maintain a 12.5 minute mile the whole time. No short bus needed there! Go Jen!!!

She even fights crime in her spare time. And she's only slightly drunk while doing it!
I just want to reiterate how awesome she is again. She is pretty amazing! And the only one who's volunteered to do this crazy running thing with me, so she's tops in my book.

While this is probably not surprising to anyone who knows Jen (she's great at everything she does and is tiny with probably 3% body fat), the surprising part is that I'm not as bad as I thought I'd be when I started all this. And I've been suffering from a serious case of LIA (Lead In Ass) lately too.
No caption needed for this one.
The last couple maintenance runs I did more resembled a chain gang of one picking up trash by the side of the road than a person jogging. And I made the monumental mistake last Friday of thinking that since the weather was nice out, I would jog on my lunch break! Unlike most of my decisions, which I generally know are bad ones right off the bat, I was thinking this was a good one until about ten minutes in. I had so many things to do that day- before work I had to sew (Rapunzel & Cinderella went out this week), work was busy, and then we had plans for after work so the only time I could get my run in was noon but since the temp has dropped, I thought, 'this will be perfect!'. Sometimes I feel like my life is the Gong Show and someone should stand on the sideline with a really long hook to pull me offstage before I can actually make the next mistake.

I'd be gonged before the redneck but after the four-armed lady

Here are a few things I learned from that run:

Discovery #1: you cannot eat 3 pieces of pizza and a banana an hour before you run and expect to not feel like you're going to hurl once your body temp reaches approximately 40,000 degrees
Or about surface-of-sun temp

Discovery #2: running in the sun with no shade is hot. Hot like Lance Armstrong's nut sack during the Tour de France. Hot like you want to puke and take a nap at the same time. Now I see the wisdom of starting the princess run at such an early hour- to complete at least half the run in the dark, thank god.
I won! Now I'm going to need some ice, a medium sized bowl, and 15 minutes of privacy.
Discovery #3: apparently my ass looks better than my face. I gathered this astute observation from the fact that I received no honks while running against traffic on McMullen, but it was a different story once I turned around to run back home. I'm sure this wasn't helped by the fact that my face was beet red and my blond hair was in a spout on the top of my head so I looked like a life-sized version of a zit that someone was trying to squeeze the pus out of. Sound gross? I looked even worse. From the front, anyway.

I kinda look like a zit with hair after a few miles. The men are lining up at the door!
But tonight Bobby and I were running our long run (6 miles) and I wanted to try to cure my LIA syndrome so I stocked up on a few things- some good, some bad, and I thought I'd share them with Jen (and Jillian and Liz and Jackie if you ladies are running too).

Quench gum- I read that chewing gum helps to keep your mouth from drying out and gives you something to do (assuming you can run and chew gum at the same time- it was iffy for me) and this worked well for me, but for other reasons. The chewing forced me to breathe in and out of my nose for longer and I thought it kept my breathing even for longer into the run (I spit it out halfway through).

Gu Chomps Watermelon & Clif Shot Bloks Black Cherry- thumbs up on the watermelon, thumbs down on the black cherry. Thought it'd be the other way around but the black cherry was bitter (and had caffeine so I made Bobby eat it). We ate these before we started the run this time to get us going. Worked really well. But not as well as the .....

Gu Gel- I swore I'd never try these since they have the consistency and temperate of semen but I read that they are not bad while you're running and since they are smaller to carry, I bought the jet blackberry flavor and we whipped them out halfway through the run. Here are Bobby's quotes, all within 30 seconds, "This #$%^ is gross!", "I'm gonna blow chunks from this %^&$", and "Even I'LL be blogging about how nasty this stuff is later". I agreed totally. It was like eating thick jelly that was kinda salty too. The whole time I was eating it I thought that I would NEVER eat this stuff again. Until 5 minutes later. We were like fricking gazelles after that stuff! I was SO much faster the second half of the run and we felt like we could run forever after that crap. I seriously don't care if it actually turns out to be zebra semen or cougar turd concentrate- I'm totally using it for every long run. I'll just have to try out some not-so-strong flavors for next time. Maybe the original zebra semen flavor.

Does this come in anal bleaching flavor? I'll take it!
Um, yeah, that's my body too...
SPI belt- while this was not recommended by Helen since they do bounce a little, of course I didn't listen and ordered it anyway. The consensus online seems to be that you either love it or hate it. I love it. It's this tiny little bag on a black elastic belt that sits low on your hips and does not ride up while you're running that can expand to fit a bunch of crap. Tonight I had my iPhone, tissues, key, and 2 Gu gel packs and I plan on adding a camera for the Disney run. It does bounce a little when it's loaded up but not bad; I imagine it's probably similar to what it must feel like for a guy to have his junk bouncing around. Thong, you should order one of these bags so that you can finally feel what it's like to have a pair! That's just a test to see if he actually reads this blog. But I bought this from the website, not an off brand from Sport Authority, and I'm really happy with it. Can also double as a not-as-lame-as-normal hip bag if you go to Disney or Busch Gardens a lot. And mine's silver so it's kinda cute too.

We ended up doing 6 miles in 71 minutes while using a run 7 minutes/ walk 3 minutes combo that worked really well for both of us the entire run. And don't think that I wasn't thinking that I had to at least match Jen's pace, especially since my run tonight was much shorter than her 10 miles over the weekend! I'm not competitive, but I don't actually want to be an hour behind her that day at Disney, so I was pushing it! I'll be mainlining those Gu gel packs that day, baby.
This should get me through the first half hour. I'll steal from old ladies after that.
Okay, and the other thing I wanted to tell you all tonight: I'll be writing a novel in December so if you see me on Facebook instead of writing, feel free to shame me through mockery and heckling to get me back to writing. In other words, just treat me like you do on a regular basis.
Actual kit!

I have a kit that the guy who started "National Novel Writing Month" came up with so that you can do this at any time, not just in November, which is when he started this years ago. The goal is to not write something good, or a final draft, or anything like that, but just to actually write something (50,000 words) and complete a novel, start to finish, in a month. There are some really good quotes in the booklet that I'll share with you next blog that really make you think, "Yeah, I CAN do this" and hopefully someone else will try this too. My favorite quote? We're going for quantity, not quality. Like me at a Golden Corral buffet.

That's good, because I've got a ten spot and a hankering for some quality shrimp.
Me need words
I'm starting Dec. 1st and feel free to hold me accountable at any point. I'm supposed to tell everyone so that people will ask me about it later and I will be shamed into not quitting. Apparently weeks 2 & 3 are the hardest so put it on your calendar to call me around those weeks in December for some anonymous nagging. I'm gonna need it! Oh, and I will not be letting anyone read it. It will be sucky. I picked a sucky topic and it will be offensive to everyone so I'm just writing it for myself to see if I actually like writing fiction. I've never done it before so wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

There's a She-Wolf in your closet.... or running down McMullen Booth Road!

I originally thought I might surprise you all and actually write about sewing since I'm attempting to upcycle some of my old exercise gear into something I can run in but seeing how I have only one leg sewn on and I'm not going for a Shakira She-Wolf look, it'll have to wait until another day.
Sure, it looks just like this- but the sweatpants/ t-shirt version, which is also super sexy
Before I forget, as promised, here are some of Helen's tips for starting runners- I've added my own unhelpful comments and observations in red:

Ok so....running...... There are lots of things that people don't tell you when you are training for a half marathon...... some of the most important things to do are.......

1: Make sure whatever hair style you chose, it doesn't interfere or annoy you. I personally like to have my hair up in a pony tail with a headband of some sort...I'm talking like.....thin head band that keeps whispy fly away out of my face. Nothing annoys me more when running....I use under armor but you can get a lot of different types....KEY THING....make sure it's not too tight...i did this and it created a HUGE headache..and that's no fun! Okay, I use a headband and it's helpful. I think for the race I'll use a headband/earwarmer thing in the beginning because my ears always hurt when they're cold.

I Googled running hair and got this so naturally this will be my hairstyle on race day.
2: Make sure you are comfortable! In the winter, i always wear layers...and these are thin layers or moisture wicking material. like under armor....( i'm going to say UA from now on because...well....i'm an under armor slut) ok...Winter time i usually wear UA cold gear tight pants. Any type will do...Nike makes some nice ones too. I DO NOT layer on the bottom half. Top half i usually wear an UA long sleeve cold gear shirt and a tighter UA fleece. I sometimes even wear an UA t-shirt between the two if it's extra cold. This gives me the option to strip layers while getting warm and re apply layers when i'm cold. :) I don't find leggings to be too hot...jogging pants ( like addidas) are way to hot for me.... Good to know because otherwise I would just buy the cheapest thing out there and ya'll would find me passed out on McMullen Booth Road because my new pants had all the breathability of a garbage bag.

Of course, if I look this hot in a garbage bag, I might consider it anyway...
I don't wear a beanie or hat. Unless it's raining...cause there is nothing like getting rain in your eyes...especially when you wear glasses. Anyways...during the winter i wear a headband type of UA or nike band that goes around the ears but doesn't cover the head. This allows for heat to escape through my scalp but keeps my ears warm....This is just me :) but you might find it helpful..

3: GLIDE.......Glide is a product that is like....super looks like a bar of deodorant...but is so much better. Its a product that helps with are skinny so you probably don't chafe...but ....I don't chafe usually either...except when i run a half marathon..or train for it... Anyways...I ALWAYS put Glide on when i'm doing a long distance run ( 8K or more). I put it on my feet, in between toes, heals, arms ( where they hit my rib cage), and sometimes the lining of my bra ( if its really hot). also put it between my thighs up top..just in case my legs decide to be friends and touch eachother. The Girl type glide is exactly the same and the regular type don't bother getting the girl unless you like the pink top. GLIDE is a must....i swear by prevents me from getting blisters on me toes and feet... which can really ruin your run if you get them... I bought this and used it for the first time on Sunday to make sure it didn't feel greasy and it didn't. The hard part is that I won't be able to tell if it's really working until Bobby starts getting chafing and I can do the 'told ya so, told ya so, told ya told ya told ya so' dance while holding my stick of Glide. Which does not have a pink lid, btw.

4: Gu...... GU is super important. It's a substance that replaces your electrolytes that you have burned. It's like a gel / cake frosting type of substance. There are MANY types of Gu....and different brands. It's important to train with the Gu so you know which one you can tolerate while running. Example.... I "tested' the Shot blocks Margarita flavor one day.... I liked how it tasted. Well....when i decided to eat this during my stomach DID NOT like of the matter.... USE your energy supplement WHILE training and make sure you like the flavor while running and stick with it....I've tried so many kinds and I have come to the conclusion that my body likes strawberry Shot Blocks or Gu Chomps...nothing else... I usually eat the GU packet around mile 5-6 and then at mile 9-10. Sometimes i get so tired that I eat small little pieces of it along the way....this helps give me a natural energy boost. ( your body uses these carbs, sugars, and electrolytes to help you keep going the 13.1 miles). Anyways... Seriously consider it..... This entire paragraph sounded like gibberish to me the first time I read it but now that I'm a seasoned runner of five weeks and have made one trip to Sports Authority, I can now be considered an expert. We tried some of these out on Sunday and I kept my blueberry pomegranate  Gu Chomps down for the run so not blowing chunks is always good.

This Sunday, Bobby and I ran our five mile training run and even with the walking, we averaged about an eleven minute mile for the run. No short bus this time!

We looked like this. But not hot.
Prior to the run on Sunday, Shrimp and I took Echo to the Sarasota flea market to see dad hard at work at his friend's nut stand (insert every joke imaginable involving dad, nuts, warm nuts, nut stand, and flea market here- we made them all) and while we initially walked in and said, "Oh my god, this is the reason why we don't go to flea markets", by the time we made the walk around the perimeter booths we had acquired day-glo feathers clamped into our hair, permanent hair jewels, feathered hair clip accessories, and a new pair of jeggings. 

I figure if they're good enough for Conan...
I would have gotten my teeth whitened too but by that time I had run out of cash. There's always next time! We figure at that point we'll be reduced to getting fake nails and a temporary tramp stamp for the baby and a new wardrobe for ourselves to accommodate our new mini-donut eating asses. That place just sucks you in and doesn't let you leave until you look like one of them but I gotta admit, we weren't fighting it too hard either.

After the leisurely afternoon of de-classing ourselves, I took the opportunity to unshamefully raid Echo's Halloween candy and greedily swallow whole a few (dozen) mini candy bars. Which came in helpful when running just an hour later because halfway through the run I was able to pick up the pace and while I'm sure to the outside world and Bobby it just looked like I was an extremely gifted athlete, I was yelling in my head "Almooooooooond Joooooooooy" and running off my sugar high like a supermodel running from a cupcake.

That's right. I was so fast I was an actual blur. It doesn't just happen in the movies.
I love that show, so help me god.
Tonight was date night, as is every Tuesday, and I had originally planned on doing a run when Bobby got home but instead I decided that I would try to smooth out the wrinkles in my sheets by laying on them horizontally for about an hour. This may be misconstrued as 'napping' but I assure you that I was actually watching those episodes of Reba. Okay, that was more embarrassing than just napping. Anyhow, I had the right intentions; after all, I was wearing my workout clothes with the theory that I would suddenly becoming animated and sprint from the house willy nilly style and let the workout fever take over my body. It didn't happen exactly like that, but it was close. I got up and we went and got a greek salad instead.

That was delicious. Now let's go running!
We had a glass of wine with dinner and decided that since it was so early, we'd go the Taste Cafe in Safety Harbor to hang out for a little while longer and have another glass of wine. Naturally, after eating a salad that contained potato salad, radishes, pepperocinis,and anchovies and then consuming two glasses of white wine, I felt like a jog! After all, I was already wearing the outfit so I just decided I'd run home from Taste. Bobby persuaded me that perhaps that wasn't the best idea so we went home and got the dogs and did our run around the block instead (about 2 miles).

This was our first run that did not have any breaks; it was just a warm up walk and then 20 minutes of running and then a five minute cool down. Man, that salad was feeling like a good idea about ten minutes in! Although I had to take a few walk breaks for about 30 seconds, we were able to keep running, which kinda pissed me off that Bobby was able to keep up with me. I mean seriously, do I need to slip him an Ambien before we run so that I can finally leave him in the dust for once? I really expected him to peter out at some point, but nope! There he was, right by my side the whole time! Whatever dude. Can't you give this Polack a break and fake not being able to run sometimes? Just once? Our next run is Sunday- hopefully I can get my hands on some laxatives before then. Sorry babe, next time throw me a bone or something!

Throw me a bone or rampant diarrhea- your choice!