Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
I was really looking forward to this race- especially since my last race longer than a 10K was back in February! The week leading up the race was not the best- my luggage got delayed while I was jumping back and forth between cities so my running shoes were not available for my training runs this week (Note to self- carry them on the plane in future) and I was up to my ears in work. I made the best of it and got a couple workouts in but I knew I was not completely prepared.
I flew into Louisville late Friday night and met up with my family- staying up til midnight catching up with cousins and my brother. I kept telling my family it was going to be an EARLY morning… the race started at 7:30 AM. We were a good 30-45 minutes from the start so I told them we needed to leave by 6:00 AM at the latest. Lo and behold, we finally get on the road after 6:30 AM. I was on pins and needles to get there in time- I like to get to races in enough time to warm up, stretch, hit the Port-a-pots, etc. My family did not seem to understand. We finally get around there at 7:15 AM and the streets are all blocked off and we could not drive into the park where the start line was. I finally decided to just run to the start. EEkkkk… I ran about 2 miles to the start resorting to the fact that I was going to start late. I spotted a full line of empty port-a-pots (of course, they were empty- everyone else had started), popped a GU on the run, and took a couple minutes to stretch at the start.
Unfortunately, I was 15 minutes behind the gun so I started with the walkers. I had flashbacks of the Bridge Run- having to weave in and out of walkers to get position. I was so far back in the pack- I had to deal with this for the first couple miles. Yuck. I went out way too fast trying to get position and ended up paying for it later. In the back of my mind, I was mad at my family for making me late. I had to run to the start in a panic. I did not get to start with my pace group. I ended up holding a small grudge in the back of my mind.
Despite my rocky start to the race, it was a picture perfect day for running. Sunny, high 60’s and low 70’s, blue skies. I finally settled into a more smooth running rhythm around mile 3- just in time for the hills. My brother had given me the 411 on the course earlier but I hadn’t really listened. He said miles 3-6 were through Iroquois Park and were all hills. I was maintaining my goal pace of around 9:45 min/mile when I hit the hills. I kept my pace steady and attacked the hills with vigor. I was passing people left and right and felt great. I love hills!! I love hills! I kept repeating this to myself as I climbed them with a smile. I also was pushing the pace a little bit because I knew my brother was going to meet me at mile 6 to run the last 7 miles with me. I was looking forward to having someone to run with! I passed through the mile 6 marker and took an orange slice from a little kid holding a tray and ate it. I immediately regretted it- the stickiness all over my hands and my stomach did not really agree. (Note to self again- no more oranges on the run) I finally saw my family cheering section on the right hand side with my brother ready to go! They were so excited and happy to see me- surprised I was making such good time despite the hilly portion of the course. The rest was flat, they assured me.
I ripped off my MP3 player to give my mom and she headed me two GUs. I was hoping to make a fast transition but my dad insisted I took a couple photos. It was then I realized that I needed to calm down. I was out there to have fun. I should not be mad. The small grudge I was holding was suddenly gone. I took a couple photos with my family (Stopping my Garmin so I could later see my true time) and my brother and I were off!
I loved having my brother with me during the race. He assured me to keep running my pace- he was not going to try to push me. I looked over at his easy, graceful gait- thinking about how he ran his last half marathon in just over 1:29. He was a fabulous running partner… talking at the appropriate times, making me laugh at times, even offering to hold water and GU for me. The water stops were handing out bottles of water instead of cups so he would always grab two bottles for me- running with them until the next stop and offering it to me when I asked. He did not drink a drop of water the entire time though!
The coolest part of the course was running through Churchill Downs. We ran about a mile (between 8 and 9) through the front gate, around the infield, and out the back entrance. It was AMAZING. I have been to Churchill Downs many times throughout the years but I have never seen Churchill in such a peaceful setting. I could see the horses being walked around the paddock and stable area, the twin spires gleaming in the morning sunlight, and taped audio of past Derby races. It was definitely worth running the race to be able to do this. SOOO cool!!!!!!
Miles 9-11 were not my best. Fatigue and tight hamstrings were catching up with me and I slowed my pace a bit. I lost a couple minutes waiting for a Port-a-pot visit (I had been drinking more water and Powerade on the course than I was used to). I immediately felt sharp pains throughout my entire legs when I stopped so I knew I was going to be sore afterwards. My brother kept me upbeat, telling me to pick up my knees a little more to help with my hammy pain. This seemed to help and I keep pushing through. No way was I going to quit. The pace slowed a little more as my brother and I stopped for a couple more family photos and high fived all the cheering fans, including all the senior citizens that were cheering us on from their wheelchairs in front of the three nursing homes we passed. I loved how my brother had fun on the race course and I followed suit. Of course, he had enough energy to run a full if he wanted to at that point so I just tried to feed off that.
We finally got to mile 12 and picked it up a bit. The last stretch of the course was a slightly downhill straightaway and my brother told me to keep the pace strong as the finish line was only 50 yards from the street where we would be turning right. Mentally, part of me wished I could see the finish line in the distance while part of me was glad it was hidden. We got to the turn and there it was!! The finish line!! My favorite sight! I finished strong… not even wanting to look at the race clock time after my 15 minute late start and breaks taken on the course. In the end, my chip time was 2:19 and my Garmin time was 2:15.
My first reaction was to be depressed. I am a highly competitive person that would love to PR at every race. I want to get better, right? Then I thought about the big picture- I ran a tougher course, I had a fun time, and I got to spend a couple miles with my bro. I grabbed a celebratory beer at the finish line and ran into quite a few folks I went to high school with, including a couple of my old teachers!!! It always feels a little weird to be back in my hometown and see those old familiar faces as I am not back that often. Most of the people I saw are folks I have not seen in almost 9 years now.
The race was just the start to my day. We quickly loaded up the car and headed back so I could clean up and get ready for my sister-in-law’s baby shower. Normally, I would relax and retreat after a race- taking a little nap and catching some ZZZ’s. In this case, I was told to shower as quickly as possible so we could get there early. I got ready quickly, throwing on my spring party dress and contemplating wearing my red medal even though it crashed with my pink dress.
I hobbled around the shower with sore legs, picking at the crustless sandwiches and fruit salad while I longed for some food with a little more substance. After a few hours of showering my sister-in-law… I returned to my brother’s house to find him carrying in bags of good ole’ KY BBQ and plenty of beer. Thank heavens! We had invited about 20 people over and folks started pouring in while we enjoyed a nice evening on their back porch and playing Texas Hold Em later in the evening. I drank enough beers to make my legs feel A LOT better and even indulged with a Krispy Kreme donut. I have avoided junk food the past month or so and I savored every bite.
I finally laid my head down at 1:30 AM with my alarm set for 5:30 AM to catch a 7:30 AM flight home from Lexington. So, I made it! Five cities in one week, one half marathon, one baby shower, and a lot of great times!! I am happy to relax for a few hours before taking off tomorrow for Pittsburgh.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
And hence the life and travels of Tiff continues... life is pretty damn good!
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I got into Jackson about 5:00 PM local time tonight and immediately hit the gym for about 3 miles on the treadmill and a 5 mile bike. Felt good to get moving after the flight and to try to work out my sore left hamstring. I am hoping to keep my hammy in check for the half Saturday... might do a little light running and biking tomorrow and then rest up for the race.
Happy trails to all! :)
Monday, April 23, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I went to check my missed calls on my home number last night and saw a number that looked like his that had called once last week and the day earlier. I thought this was not possible as I had not given him that number. I instantly wondered how he had gotten it because he did not know my last name and did not know my home number. So, I just thought he may call back....
...and he did this afternoon. Turns out he had thrown away my cell phone by mistake but remembered the name of the company where I work. He looked up my company online and called reception and was told there were 3 Tiffany's that worked there (out of 1,300- aren't we special?) so apparently he looked up our names online and called all of us til he found me.
So, now I am sitting here thinking that is pretty persistent.
And I am not sure I like it.
Girls? Any thoughts?
I was perusing some blogs this afternoon and unexpectedly saw some new Blogger functionality- SNAP! You can hover over links to others' blogs on a page and it shows a preview... and it looks like this will also soon work for comments too.
New functionality = happy Tiff
Now, if only Blogger (or one of you) will just tell me how to ALWAYS keep myself signed in- I have to re-sign in each time I start a new browser session. Yes, I have cookies enabled. Yes, I ticked the little box to save my log in. Maybe mine is broken.
OK, and while I am asking for help... can someone please, please pretty pretty with sugar on top please tell me how to program my Garmin to set my mile splits to be recorded so I can look at this later? The splits are all funky right now. I will ship you a Charleston momento for your help, like a magnet from a gas station.
Oh yeah- and one last Tiff thought. Frozen grapes are terrific to snack on!
Friday, April 20, 2007
Then came my NYC trip.
I officially reclaimed my rock star status on Wednesday night. I know you all would rather hear about my running (or lack thereof the last two days) so I will just list the highlights...
- I somehow thought it was a fabulous idea to tell anyone and everyone that it was my birthday that night. NOT a good idea. Sure I saved a lot of $$ because everyone bought me beers, cocktails, champagne, and shots. Yes, I mixed them all together in no logical order. Nice Tiff, nice.
- I challenged some guy at the bar that I could wad up a napkin into a ball and shoot it into his wine glass from about 10 feet away. Lo and behold- the thing went in!! I made $20 on that bet although I felt bad because he had an entire glass of Marc Cellars pinot noir.
- New York definitely is the city that never sleeps! The Hilton hotel bar closed at 2:00 AM but I decided to venture down the street with my crew (and roughly 794 other folks that we picked up along the way- including an 80+ year old couple from San Francisco named Bob and Barbara) and ended up staying up ALL night.
- Memo to self: Remember to get someone else to cut my cigar for me next time
- I added to the $20 wine jumpshot bet by winning another $125 playing Texas Hold Em
Let's do the math here
- 0 hours sleep
- 1 fake birthday celebrated
- $145 richer
- 7 hour software demo the next day
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
That is all I can say to describe the views!
We used to run this route on a weekly basis during the winter and I am sad to say I had never seen it in the daylight until today. I will DEFINITELY be back! We finished up with a run through Shem Creek- one of my favorite places in Charleston. People were still out kayaking in the creek and enjoying happy hour right on the water.
My weekly mileage goal is 25-30 miles this week and I will scale down next week getting ready for the KDF Half. My race calendar after that is up in the air... I think I might try to keep my weekly mileage up for a couple weeks and enjoy some of the cross training activities I have gotten into lately... biking, kayaking, and swimming. It is a shame to not swim more as I have plenty of water to choose from- such as the clubhouse pool in my neighborhood in a pinch or the ocean which offers more room... and waves :)
On a strength-training note- my arms were KILLING me today. One of my work friends (who is now running Chicago with me!) asked me to take her around the weight room at work and show her how to use the machines. I spent about 2 hours on Monday showing her the ropes, proper technique, how to adjust the machines, etc. In the process, I did two full circuits of weights, abs, and did the bike and rowing machine to loosen up after my 9 miler on Sunday. Damn... I was sore! It made me motivated to keep the routine up as soreness is a good sign :) I am going to try to do that circuit at least twice a week and continue my make shift on-the-road plans of pushups, dips, and free weights when I need to fill in.
Overall, I feel great! I feel motivated...I feel like I am seeing results... and I feel healthier!
Cheers to that :)
Monday, April 16, 2007
Why, you ask?
Because I did not want to miss The Bachelor at 9:00 PM EST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I get home at 8:59 PM, sprint up the stairs... run to the TV... and it is not on.
What?!? What?!? What?!?!????????????????????!?!!!!!
I freak out. Total rampage through my house. Kicking, screaming, cussing, hurling a red delicious apple at my TV. Pretty much a total freak out.
Then I look at the TV Guide online.... it starts at 9:30 PM tonight.
Thank God- the world is as it should be.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I am thinking about tackling another half marathon just two weeks after the KDF Half... I am going to see how I feel. And then.... and then... and then... it is time to start my 20 week Chicago training program. I have recruited a handful of pals here in Charleston to run Chicago too! Yippppeee!!! Chicago Marathon!!!
I did 9 miles this evening, battling the 25-35 mph winds (with up to 40 mph gusts) that are coming up to the northeast now… just in time for Boston! Eeek… that weather report does not look so good…windy and rainy. I am watching the live streaming video of the finishers at Ironman Arizona and just saw one of our VPs cross the line. Very cool! Go Ironmen and Ironwomen! I am amazed.
Happy trails to all and a great week!
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
So, I walked around and sold $1 raffle tickets…. Almost $200 worth! I then was talked into attending the happy hour. Hard sell, right? Happy hour…drinks…live music…a little gambling…
I had a ton of fun, took pictures, and raffled off prizes. We ended up raising almost $1500!! Yipppee!! I then sweet talked someone into giving me their 7 tickets to the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament right on the island last night. Serena Williams was playing the first match of the night….and more importantly… they sell booze. I rounded up a random group and we trekked over to the Daniel Island Tennis Center… woohoo!
Suddenly, it is 10:00 PM and I am flirting with the cute ushers and ball boys with a Bloody Mary in each hand.
And THAT is why I did not run last night.
And yeah- and Serena dropped out in the middle of her match… ironically losing at the time 5-2 in the first set.
Monday, April 09, 2007
So…I have never measured the distance I have kayaked… how long should I expect to take if I go at a moderate pace?
I might just go for it and start training now... luckily I have PLENTY of water to practice on here in Charleston!!!
Saturday, April 07, 2007
I woke up after only sleeping 4 hours or so on my aunt’s couch and a long night of throwing back the homemade vintage, playing Texas Hold Em, filling Easter eggs with candy and silver dollars (I didn't steal any, OK? It's for the kids), and getting physically assaulted by the 84 kids in the house… and looked outside.
Snow, ice, 20 degree weather. Welcome to beautiful northeast Ohio, folks!!
So, I did what any sane Southern gal would do. I laced up my running shoes and did an easy 3 miles, stepping gingerly around patches of ice and moving out of the way while snow plows came through.
P.S. I think it was a wise move to save my 9 mile long run for tomorrow… when I am back in good ole’ Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarleston. Word.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
I did a good 5 miles over the bridge... and back... today!! It felt soo good- I finally felt almost 100% after being sick and geeez I could feel it. I really pushed the last mile and finished strong. Lots and lots of folks out enjoying the bridge- runners, walkers, bikers, etc. What a niiiiiice evening!
Damn, I love running. Love it, love it, love it!!!!!
Of course I am making the most of my productive late-night evening....I am Ebay shopping, looking at my race calendar through the year 2012, and other essential activities that need to be knocked out before I hit the sack. Duh.
We did take a couple pics of Eric the Alligator today from the view from my window. They are zoomed in photos but it is still a little disturbing as Eric is only about 10 feet from the road and people run on that path all day.
Eric's Home- The Pond
Isn't Eric a total cutie?!?
Tip for the Day: If ever chased by an alligator, run zig zag.
Don't ask. Just do it.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I missed my calling.
Today is a good day!
So, I made some yummy Oatmeal Raisin cookies last night and used pumpkin instead of oil or butter. I also used about half the called amount of brown sugar and threw a little honey in there. They are awesome!!! I brought em into work and the coworkers love loooove them.
Damn, I have to go to a family reunion thing this weekend...in Northeast Ohio. Flying into the beautiful Akron/Canton airport. It is supposed to SNOWWW. Aughhhh!!! It is 80 degrees here today though so I am happily enjoying the sunshine as I look out the window at the alligator that lives in the pond on the side of our building. I named him Eric. Eric the Alligator. He is not behind a fence or anything so I hope he does not scarf up one of our clients in town for training. That would be bad. Very, very bad.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
I love the simple disclaimer at the top...
Check it out!!
Monday, April 02, 2007
I did the following workout, in this order:
2 mile run at 5K pace
3 miles bike
2 miles run at 10K pace
5 miles bike
10 minutes rowing machine
weights and abs
I felt great afterwards! I changed clothes and hit my Junior League meeting where I proceeded to drink way too much wine. Yummmmmmmm....
I love working out!
Sunday, April 01, 2007
The weather Saturday morning was pretty decent- 60’s, partly cloudy. The only crappy part was the humidity- blech. Welcome to Charleston! I lined up within my starting group and bam! We were off! Of course, there were slower runners and walkers that somehow thought it appropriate to start at the front so the first mile was spent dodging in and out of people and testing my agility. I finally decided to just give in and quit trying to dart in and out of people. I ran with a couple of my running partners and we had a blast- smiled for the cameras, laughed at the costumes, enjoyed the fanfare, and had a great time!!!
Running up the bridge is always more fun with thousands of people around you… it was clear which people did not save enough gas to get up the hill though- falling out and slowing to a jog or walk. Normally this would be OK but the run was so packed on the bridge that the people behind would trip over them. I stayed to the far left and just took the bridge at a steady pace. We finally got to the top around the 2.5 mile point and enjoyed the nice downhill before hitting the downtown streets. I was still feeling a little dehydrated from being sick so I gulped 3 or 4 cups of water once we got downhill and we had our first water station after Mile 1. Inevitably, I drank it too fast and got a cramp on my right side. Eeeekk! I kept trekking along and just decided to slow my pace and enjoy the crowds and other fun activities along the way. I even grabbed a beer at Mile 5 from some dude handing out Miller Genuine Draft.
The course was wonderful. The day was fantastic! I did not run a PR, finishing in 1:04. I had the best time ever at a race though! I guess I will blame my slower time on being sick and not feeling so hot but I am happy to take 10 minutes off my time from last year. The rest of the day was spent at the running club tent and local watering holes, enjoying some fine beer and good friends. I was sooooo excited to see the taped coverage of the bridge run on TV later and get the full effect of the event. I watched the Kenyans knock out the course in 28 minutes- wow!! I watched the throngs of people walk and run over my beloved bridge.
364 days til Bridge Run 2008!!!!