Category Archives: Monthly Running Stats

DNF!

As you may have guessed from my strategic silence on the subject: sadly, I did not, in fact, write the Next Great American Novel in the month of November.

But I did get around 15,000 words in to my project. That’s not even a third of the program’s 50,000-word goal, but I’m okay with that.

It’s weird. I’m not usually okay with failure, but somehow, this is different.

I really thought I had a great chance of making the NaNoWriMo cut. The first 5,000 words came relatively easily. But then the pace started to slow down. It took me almost three weeks to write the next 10K – after having banged out the first 5K in just a couple of days.

It was tempting to force it, to make the pace go faster for the sake of word count…but you know what? I found myself actually really enjoying fiction writing, and I feared that forced acceleration would have killed my plot and buried my enthusiasm, damning the whole endeavor to a permanent plot in the Graveyard of Ideas Past.

So, yeah. At some point, I guess I quit caring about what happened as of November 30. I’m not at all knocking the whole NaNoWriMo thing – I never would have even started this project without it! – but I wanted to keep plugging along at my own comfy pace, rather than forcing something for the sake of validation on TEH INTERNETS.

Will you see my novel on your Kindle someday? I really hope so! But I’m going to take my time and make sure I have a good product.

(I would estimate that drawing MSPAINT ANIMALS occupied at least 30% of my time during my WriMo experiments. Probably not necessary, but oh so fun.)

Anyway. That’s that. As November ended, I wrapped up a month of 15,000 fiction words and 200+ miles:

November was pretty much a repeat of September, according to the almighty statistics. I guess that’s okay. I still maintain that I felt better in October, with higher mileage, but I’ll admit that it’s been a bit of a relief on my daily schedule, logging 40-50 miles a week instead of 60-70.

Okay, I have an important #firstworldproblem that I need your help to solve. I am currently in the midst of packing for CIM and I am torn on which shoes I should wear on Sunday…

On the left is the Brooks Ravenna 2. This is the shoe I’ve been training in since September. (I’d been a loyal Brooks Ghost wearer until this summer…but the Ghost 4 that they updated in June is too wide for me!  So I went to the Ravenna. I’m a very mild over-pronator anyway, and although I can generally get away with wearing neutral shoes, it’s not an inappropriate shoe for me and I’ve had no issues with it. The pair pictured is a replacement pair that only has about 30 miles logged.)

On the right, though, is the Brooks PureFlow. I picked these up when they first came out in early October and I must say that I’m rather enamored! Brooks’ PureProject line features lightweight shoes with a lower heel-t0-toe drop (4MM), lighter weight, and more “connected with the ground” running experience – although I’d say that this particular shoe does have a good amount of cushion. I would compare them to Saucony Kinvaras.

So I prefer the ride of the PureFlow to the Ravenna. And I’ve worn the PureFlow on a 16-mile day with no issues. I would say that, overall, I’ve worn them for about 25% of my mileage over the last two months. So it’s not like they’re racing flats…but for some reason I’m still nervous about bringing a lower-heel-drop shoe to the starting line on race day.

Help?

If I can’t decide, I might just end up wearing one on each foot, as in the picture above.

(And also, look at my left ankle in that photo? Never, EVER wear one of those reflective slap bracelet thingies on your bare skin. It was warm but dark the other night and I slapped one onto my leg. I avoided getting hit by a car, but within a mile the thing had attacked my ankle like a piranha. Never again!)

In any case, I’m guess I’m probably packing both in my suitcase for this weekend. Along with a lot of other crap, which may blow the whole “carry on!” plan and force me to explore the sucker’s dungeon of Checked Baggage.

After the race on Sunday, we’re hanging out in California for a couple of days. I mentioned before that after that, we’re headed to a wedding. I may not have mentioned that the wedding is in Maui.

Please don’t hate me.

If all goes well on Sunday, I won’t be able to walk anyway, and will be relegated to a beach chair and forced to ask people to bring me food and drink.

(Please…please don’t hate me.)

How to piss people off at mile 17

Okay, not intentionally. But I have to admit I felt like kind of a jackass today.

Because, well…I picked up the relay baton at mile 16.5. And then proceeded to bounce along the race course on my relatively fresh legs, passing tons of poor people who had been running for two-plus hours at that point. Most of whom looked like they’d rather be chewing glass than climbing the notorious hills that plague this most difficult stretch of the City of Oaks Marathon course.

“GREAT JOB YOU’RE THE SIXTH WOMAN!” people yelled. And I cringed. “WOW YOU’RE LOOKING SO STRONG!” they screamed. That’s because I’ve only been running for four miles, I yearned to disclaim. Even though I had a giant “RELAY” bib pinned to my singlet, I felt like a big fat fraud.

However: it was so fun.

Until this morning, I had never participated in a marathon relay. And honestly, I was sort of skeptical of the whole idea. Because I’ve been the marathoner in that situation: a merge with another race/course, usually late on in the game…and right when you’re at your absolute stabbiest, you must contend with hoardes of 5K walkers or whatever who have been doing their thing for like 30 minutes and they’re pumping their arms and chatting and having a grand old time and you kind of just want to kill them.

(I sincerely hope that no one wanted to kill me today. I tried to just do my thing and not be obnoxious.)

But after that slightly disastrous ATT 10 Miler a couple of weeks ago, I needed a confidence boost, and even though I may have pissed some people off – I got that today.

9.4 miles. Elevation change: 2,100 feet. Time: 1:12.

(A little off, as I was already swaddled in a space blanket and halfway through my bottle of water when I remembered that my Garmin was still running. I think my split was probably right around 1:12.)

Yeah…not the 8-minute marathon pace I’d planned. But I’d also planned that my legs would feel like crap after Saturday’s 18-miler. And they didn’t.

Around mile 7, I emerged from the course’s most intimidating climb – a nearly 3-mile stretch that slowed me to a walk more than once when I ran it on training runs this summer. I decided that I felt good. And I could see this other relay chick up ahead and decided to catch her and pass her.

And that’s how I ended up cruising (surprisingly comfortably?) at a sub-7 minute pace for the last two miles of this thing. That felt good. Maybe all of this training and higher mileage is actually doing something for me.

Of course, I wasn’t the only one who had a standout performance today. The entire team absolutely rocked it. I’d estimated we would finish in 3:30. We busted out a collective 3:17.

(Three of four – we’re missing Pat, our lead-off leg, who had to skedaddle but ran his 6+ miles at 6:20 pace and put the rest of us in a great position! On the left is Lindsey, leg 2, who claims that her 5K pace is 8 minutes but cruised through her 4-mile leg in 31 minutes – and just a week after running a marathon. In the middle is me, always and forever the midget in group pictures. And on the right is leg 3, Jack, who predicted he’d run 8:35 pace and kicked that square in the ass by averaging 8-minute pace on a horribly hilly stretch of the course. Which also resulted in a near awkward situation because I was, ahem, out in the woods watering a tree when he came up road approaching the hand-off point..thankfully, someone yelled at me to get my shorts on and get over to the exchange zone.)

Anyway. I’m still not sure how I feel about marathon relays in general, but I think in this situation, it was okay. City of Oaks is a small race (capped at 1,000 marathoners and 100 relay teams, with an additional 2,000 half-marathoners for the first 13) and I think at some point, from the marathoner’s perspective, on balance it’s helpful just to have some more people out there in the later miles, even if they’re obnoxiously fresh-legged relay people – like me.

And at the risk of being all sunshine and rainbows here…I feel pretty awesome about my CIM training this week.

That, right there, is most definitely a weekly mileage record for me. Holy hell! With two high-quality workouts in there, too. And I’m knocking on the fake wood of my Ikea computer desk when I say that my legs actually feel pretty great right now.

And to all of the marathon runners that I cruised by at mile 17-26 today, let me say this: you’re braver than me.

I can’t imagine taking on a course like this, with hellish hills from mile 10 until 23, for a full marathon. Nope…I’m a huge wuss who is totally fleeing the hills and getting on a plane to California to run flat when I take on 26.2 in December.

Yep, City of Oaks is a really tough course. And I’m sorry if I was obnoxiously bouncy and happy at mile 23. But…don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Because, damn…it was fun to run fast and feel good. :)

Miles until 2,011 in 2011: 290. Weeks until CIM taper time: one. NaNoWriMo Word Count: 4,390 / 50,000.

Big miles

Well. October got it done.

Running is always an individual thing, I know. I’m sure for some people, 232 miles in a month is peanuts, but for me, it’s a lot!

I think having a December marathon on the agenda lit a little fire under my ass last month. No more impromptu lazy days. No more skipping workouts in favor of pajama pants and TV. No more drinking one too many beers and feeling like crap the next day and using that as an excuse to lay around and eat potato chips. (Oh, the sacrifices.)

Anyway. For all I know, Kara Goucher’s toddler is running circles around me, mileage-wise, but I feel pretty good about last month. It was a solid month.

351 miles to go until 2011 in 2011!

Tonight’s dinner was completely fashioned out of things already laying around in my refrigerator and it happened to be delicious:

Baked double-dipped chicken fingers. Dipped in buttermilk and rolled in crushed Ritz crackers and shredded Parm. Twice.

The result was a delightfully thick breading that readily soaked up the honey mustard sauce I whisked together for dipping. I realize that this chicken is basically a low-rent version of Shake ‘n Bake, but that’s okay. Sometimes, it’s just food.

I selected a brew from my home state to go with dinner:

This Gale Force IPA, from Scuttlebutt Brewing Company in Everett, WAwas ever so slightly…soapy. And, um…soapy is generally not a quality that I look for in a beer.

Seriously though…I thought I was going crazy until I looked the thing up online and saw that I wasn’t the only one who got a little hint of Irish Spring in this bottle. It didn’t ruin the beer entirely for me, as there were some other more pleasant sensations rolling around in there too: good carbonation, a little tart granny smith apple, just a hint of pine… and OH HEY a really cool label featuring a tarty mermaid….

But overall I have to give this one a pass. Whether or not I need to wash my mouth out with soap is a legitimate point of debate, but I don’t need my beer to do it for me.

Bottom line: Skip it. (Purchased at Total Wine, $1.75/12 oz)

Well, it’s past my bedtime, so I’m out. At least Scuttlebutt took care of mouth cleansing for me tonight; I don’t even need to brush my teeth!

Good night!

Low roller, high mileage

Vegas. Where irresponsible behavior is not only accepted, but expected.

Vegas. Where all types of people come together.  Social barriers are temporarily dissolved by a shared desire to relinquish cash and drink watered down cocktails.

Vegas. Where the absurd seems normal.

Vegas. What happens there stays there…along with your paycheck!

Vegas. Where another drink at the bar at 3 AM is always a reasonable idea.

I love Vegas.

I’m happy to report that I was pretty good this time around, though!  I came home with an intact bank balance and all of my shoes.

The wedding on Saturday night was a blast. After a short but sweet ceremony in the Planet Hollywood chapel, we headed upstairs to the couple’s spacious suite for a casual cocktails-and-cake reception. The view was pretty unbeatable:

After pretending we were a rock stars for a couple of hours, I poured some Champagne in a to-go cup (did I mention that I love Vegas?) and we hit the strip.  See beginning of post for details.

Congrats Stef + Jeff!  Thanks for giving the fam an excuse to get together in one of my favorite cities.

I did manage to get a run in on Saturday, on the treadmill.  Sunday, ahem, was definitely a rest + travel day.

I’m pretty happy with 50+ miles on only five days of running.  I’m going to cut back a tad this week as I have a 5K on Saturday morning.  Plus, I’m a proponent  of alternating a slightly lower volume week in every 2-3 weeks when I’m trying to build up my mileage.

September goes down as my highest month so far this year…

Definitely on track for 2011 in 2011!  Bring on the cooler weather and the miles.

Because it’s there

As of the end of August, I’d run 1,221 miles this year.

By some standards that is a lot; by others, it’s paltry.  By my own standards, I guess I would say it’s middle of the road.  Honestly, I don’t really know, as this is the first year, ever, in my 17+ years of running that I’ve ever actually tracked my mileage continuously.

Recently, I mentioned to a friend that I thought it would be nice if I could hit 2,000 miles for the year.

His response: “Why?”

Uh…good question.

In order to run 2,000 miles by December 31, I’d need to run 776 more.  That’s 194 miles each month.  45.6 a week.  That’s not much more than I’ve been running for the last few weeks, so I don’t think it’s an unrealistic goal, but the question does remain: why?

Well…why not?

Really, when it comes down to it, all running goals are rather useless and arbitrary.  For most of us, anyway.  I mean…I’d love to run a sub-20 5K, too, but the Olympic Committee is not going to come knocking on my door if that happens.  It’s just a number that’s out there to chase. A reason to lace up my shoes when my lazy body resists.  A sense of accomplishment when logging a workout.  A daydream to occupy my thoughts while pounding out miles.

And since I’m not sure about my ability to run fast at the moment, perhaps I have a better shot at arbitrary glory if I run more.

“Because,” I replied to my friend, “then I can say that 2011 was the year I ran 2,000 miles.”

“Why not try for 2,011?  It would sound better,” he said.

Consider it done.

Blossoms and blood

On Friday morning, I was approximately twenty minutes in to my drive up to New Jersey for the big relay weekend when it dawned on me that I’d made the dumbest mistake I could possibly make in such circumstances.

I’d forgotten my running shoes.

Seriously.

I’d taken great pains to make sure that the wine was cozily nestled in the cooler. I’d double and triple-checked on the giant bag of candy.  But running shoes?  Unimportant, apparently.

Possibly tragic.  Except that I happened to have a fresh pair handy in the car:

I’d picked up these Mizuno Wave Precision 13’s as a work freebie.  They seemed to fit great and gosh they were cute!  (Look at the cherry blossom art!  Cuuuuute!)  But there was one problem: I’d never actually run in them.

What do we always say about races?  Never try anything new on race day.

So it was probably a pretty bad idea to try out these pretty babies for the first time on a day-long relay.

But I’m not known for making good decisions, and I sure as hell was not going to add 40 minutes to my drive by going back home to get my tried-and-true Brooks flats.  So out of the box and on to my feet went the Mizunos on Saturday morning.

You can probably see where this is headed.

Nobody makes me bleed my own blood! Except for…well, me.  When I’m being an idiot and racing in new shoes.

Overall, I actually don’t think they’re bad shoes!  But they’re definitely a little narrower than the Brooks Ghosts in which I do most of my mileage.  And I probably should have given the ol’ toenails a little trim on account of that.

But they’re light and flexible and a solid lightweight trainer…they remind me a lot of Kinvaras, actually.  Except cuter.   Because they have cherry blossoms.

Anyway.  Lesson learned.   My toe will heal and hopefully the blood stains will wash away the first time I take the shoes through a puddle.  And if not?  It will just remind me of the time when I was a badass and bled through my shoes.  (Or…um, when I was a dumbass and forgot my shoes.)

Here’s how last week’s mileage came out:

Meh on the volume, but a little pat on the back for getting a few decent workouts in and bringing that average pace down a little!  Partial credit goes to the treadmill for that, though.  It’s remarkable that an 8-minute pace feels easy on the treadmill right now, while a 9-minute pace is difficult to maintain outside.  Damn you, summer.

And July as a whole:

Definitely an improvement over May and June!

Today was kind of a long day, so I’m going to enjoy my no-cook dinner:

Smoked salmon, fluffy whipped cream cheese, and an everything bagel with a big salad.  Yum.

And sip on a little pink:

I was rather unimpressed with the 2009 version of this 2010 La Ferme Julien Rose when I tried it last year.   I’m not sure that the 2010 version is all that much better.  I mean, it’s drinkable, but it’s kinda sharp and a little watery.  A little bit of rosewater on the nose and some strawberry in the mouth, but overall it’s just boring.  I guess this goes against my pro-French-pink stance.  Oh well.

Bottom line: Skip it.  (Purchased at Trader Joe’s, $7.)

Off to rest the eyeballs for a few hours…see y’all tomorrow with a sock giveaway winner or two!

At least I’ve got consistency

It’s been nearly a month since my Naked Running Epiphany.  I haven’t touched my Garmin in a month.  I’ve been running largely in 90-degree heat (I still suck at getting up early to run) and, for the most part, have been plodding along at an easy pace for 30 or 40 or 50 minutes a day.

Well, the stats are in…


…and I’m kinda pleasantly surprised, actually.

Of course, the mileage is low and the pace is slow; I expected that much.

But the 80% days trained number?  I didn’t see that one coming.

What does it mean?  Well…I think it means that when the pressure to hit a certain mileage target or planned workout is off, it’s a little easier to lace up the shoes and get out the door.

I know: DUH.

Really, though.  So many times this spring – in those 74% months –  I’d end up taking unplanned rest days.  Because I’d have 8 or 10 miles scheduled for the day and the prospect of doing it would be so daunting that I’d opt out entirely. Dumb.

But when I’m only on the hook for 30 minutes?  It’s a lot easier to just get out the door and do it.

I hope this is a lesson that I can take in to my higher-mileage fall training.  That something is always better than nothing.  That there is no shame in recording a 25-minute easy run in the training log: if the alternative is an unscheduled ZERO.

Anyway.  Halfway through 2011, I’m sitting at 900 miles.  2,000+ seems like a reasonable goal for the year…?   Even though I’m not racing anything long this fall, I’m still planning on building my average weekly mileage back to the 40-50 range, with of course a couple of longer runs thrown in there to prep for that Athens party.

And I think I’ll continue Running Naked for at least another month.  I’ve really enjoyed tracking my runs by time, with loose distance estimates, in this warmer weather.  I see no reason to change that.

Tell me: how has the first half of 2011 gone for you – running or otherwise? Overall I’m pretty happy with my mileage and progress!  I ran a good half marathon in March and although I’ve been sort of coasting since then, I’m looking forward to good things this fall. :)

Conched out

Y’all know what this is, right?

It’s a conch.  Also known as the thing that they would blow on in Lord of the Flies when shit was about to go down.  Also known as the thing you can stick against your ear and hear the ocean.  Also known as a mollusk that is delicious when deep-fried and dipped in mayonnaise.

I would know, as that’s basically all I ate on vacation last week.

Official Vacation Calorie Breakdown:

Or thereabouts.  I don’t know, I was too busy enjoying myself to really pay attention.

The occasion was a wedding: two of the hubs’ friends from business school.  I’ve been to a few of these types of events now and they’re always an absolute blast: whirlwind reunions featuring friends and fun and food and of course copious amounts of booze.

On this particular trip, our days typically started around noon, like so:

And progressed to…who knows what.  Shenanigans.

For those who may be wondering, I’ll share a few details about the trip!

The location of this rendezvous was Grace Bay, on the island of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos.  T&C is about a three hour flight from NYC, and Grace Bay is consistently ranked among the world’s best beaches.

And deservedly so.  With sand like powdered sugar and that impossibly turquoise water, this was definitely one of the nicest beaches I’ve ever seen!  (Topped only by the pink sands of Harbour Island in the Bahamas, where we honeymooned.)

We stayed at a little motel across from the beach called Grace Bay Suites.  It certainly wasn’t fancy, but it was clean and functional and centrally located – and it fit in our budget better than the fancier beach resorts.  Honestly, for the price, I think we got a steal!

The wedding and most of the wedding events were held at The Somerset.  This was where we ended up hanging out most of the time, clearly, as many of our friends were staying there.  It was gorgeous.

Things on the island, in general, were pretty expensive – which makes sense, as everything is imported.  But that said, I thought it was a very easy and fun place to travel:

  • Standard currency is USD.
  • There’s no language barrier.
  • Things felt very safe.  (Their tourism board claims that Provo, as Providenciales is commonly known, has the lowest crime rate in the Caribbean.)
  • There was a large gourmet grocery store that stocked every type of Greek Yogurt and organic vegetable you could possibly want (for a steep price, of course).

Compared to other parts of the Caribbean where I’ve traveled, T&C certainly had an abundance of the comforts of home – and not so much of the spring-break-style nightlife.  If you’re looking for a gorgeous, low-stress beach vacation and don’t mind paying a little more to avoid some of the challenges endemic to other island destinations, T&C is for you!

And the wedding?  Of course, it was absolutely amazing. The hubs and I worked up a serious glisten on the dance floor:

Sweat is sexy.

Congrats, Jer and Alli!  Thanks so much for putting on a spectacular string of wedding events, and for including us in all of it!

With that, I’m off to detox for a few days.

And run off all of those fruity-nonsense drinks and conch fritters.

Strawberries and sexy white calves

I have a new tan line to add to my existing collection (which Sarah has summed up excellently here, actually).

I’ve been cheating on my beloved CEP compression socks with these Zensah sleeves.  I still love my CEPs, but have been wary of bringing them on long runs after the Horrible Red Grape Blister Incident of October 2010.  (Don’t click that if you’re eating.)

Compared to the CEPs, they are:

  • Not quite as snug
  • Much easier to get on/off
  • A little thinner
  • Cheaper (a little bit)
  • Just as smokin’ hot
Anyway, they did good by me on this morning’s long run.  I headed out to Umstead intending to run for at least 90 minutes, but with the possibility of going up to two hours in the back of my mind.  I stuffed a Gu in my pocket, just in case.  Two hours is kind of my minimum when it comes to packing food-like substances on my run.

I was glad that I did, as I ended up topping off the run at exactly 14 miles!  I headed out on the Reedy Creek B&B from its southern gate.  This trail kicks things off with a mile of downhill immediately followed by almost a mile of sustained steep climbing.  Right at the end of that second mile, I bumped in to a teammate coming through from the other direction, so I flipped around and headed back down and back up before continuing through to the far gate.  Those hills are a pain in the ass, but it was nice to have some company!

Almost 1,800′ of climbing on that run.  Ugh.  Hills, like, build character or something, right?

Post-run and post-shower, my butt hit the couch and I don’t plan on moving it for the rest of the day.  Well, except maybe to shuffle to the fridge for a beer.

Today’s EAT: Yesterday was a gorgeous day here in Raleigh!  Sadly, I spent most of it working.  But the second I got home, I changed in to running clothes, banged out a quick 7-miler, then served myself up a huge bowl of this:

I know that the whole watermelon salad thing is uber-trendy right now, but damn, it is good.  I threw together chopped up watermelon and strawberries with a handful of feta and some fresh mint and let it sit overnight in the fridge.  A perfect pre-dinner snack!

Today’s DRINK: Speaking of strawberries…

Say what you will about fruity beers, but on a sunny day after a sweaty run, that shit really hits the spot.  This Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager reminded me of a cross between a lager and a strawberry Italian soda.  Ripe strawberries and a little vanilla.  The low ABV (4.2%) might make it easy to suck down several of these, but like most sweet drinks, one was enough for me!

Today’s RUN: Today’s 14-er capped off a decent week – at least in terms of total mileage.

M - 6 miles easy (53:09, 8:51 pace)
Tu - 5 miles easy (45:11, 9:01 pace)
W - 7 miles easy (59:06, 8:22 pace)
Th - OFF
F - 5 miles easy (41:40, 8:19 pace)
Sa - 7.5 miles easy (1:01:48, 8:14 pace)
Su - 14 miles long (2:02:41, 8:45 pace)

Total miles: 44.5.  Missing: strength work and speed work.  What else is new?

Here’s how April looked, overall:

I really haven’t done much fast running since the Shamrock Half in March.  Which I think is why the pace is so much slower than, say, February…when I was doing pretty well with hauling my butt to the track every week.

Did I mention that I’m running a 10K next weekend?  I am rather frightened.

Today’s QUESTION: What’s the worst tan line you’ve ever inflicted on yourself – running or otherwise?  I have definitely been the victim of the sunscreen hand print on my back.  And once, back when I was really in to rock climbing, I managed to get a diagonal stripe across my non-Coppertoned belly and back from carrying a bunch of slings and gear, sash-style, on a long climb.

Updates on things you didn’t ask about

Sometimes I sit in a dark room by myself and visualize an image of my blog’s gmail inbox, overflowing with fan mail, sponsorship offers, and heartfelt requests for further information on the things I’ve posted about in the past.

“Please,” the emails hearken.  “You simply must elaborate on that one tempo run you did last January.  It was absolutely riveting and we want more.  And while you’re at it, please post more about your cats!”

And then I remind myself that the only people reaching out in droves are those nice people in Africa who just need a way to get their multi-million-dollar wire transfers executed.  And also, people with Viagra to sell.

But even though you didn’t ask, I’m going to give you a nice fat update on a bunch of random crap in my life.  Hold your applause until the end, please.

(1) On race recovery and March mileage.

On Friday, I finally had a great easy run at a respectable pace during which I didn’t feel like I was dragging ass.  Hallelujah.  I guess there really is something to that one-recovery-day-per-mile-raced rule, eh?

Monthly heap of navel-gazing and self-punishment-inducing data:

A few brief observations:

  • March looks awful on paper, but I keep reminding myself that I had a solid half-marathon race effort in there, complete with a mini-taper week and a mini-recovery week, both of which are hitting the mileage and the pace numbers.  So be it.  Totally worth it.
  • Buuuuut…I need to stop taking so many damn rest days.  I’m not taking them because I need them – I’m taking them because I’m lazy.  74% of days trained?  Ouch.
  • I need to just run more overall.  And, like, faster.  Der.

And in case you wanted even more running data, here are last week’s stats:

M – OFF
Tu – 6 easy (53:45, 8:55 pace)
W – AM 4.5 easy (40:00, 8:59 pace), PM 5.1 easy (43:35, 8:32 pace)
Th – 10.1 easy (1:28:19, 8:45 pace)
F – 5 easy (41:25, 8:16 pace)
Sa – OFF
Su – 10.3 easy w/hubs (1:49:00, 10:38 pace)

Total: 41 miles.  Coming this week: the return of speedwork.  Rawr.

(2) On TEH HUBZ and his half marathon training.

Less than a week until Charlottesville Half!  We went together on his last long run this morning, just over 10 miles.

Remember when I made up that training plan for him?  Well, that hasn’t really gone as planned.  But I think he’s going to be fine on race day.  We’ll take it out at a very mellow pace.  We’re just looking to cross the line in one piece on Saturday.  And have an excuse to subsequently consume wildly irresponsible amounts of food and alcohol with our Cville friends.

Should be a good time all around.

(3) On Project Herbicide.

I think things are going okay so far?

I’ve been inspecting them daily, half expecting to see REDRUM etched in to terra cotta, but so far everyone seems to be doing okay.  Mint is absolutely exploding and Basil and Oregano have each grown to about three times their respective baby heights!  Sage and Thyme seem to be growing more slowly, but still looking healthy (and tasting delicious; I cooked with a bit of each last night).  Rosemary doesn’t appear to be going much of anything except not dying, and I’m satisfied with that.

A few of the Basil leaves are looking a little weird though.

Anyone have any ideas?  I haven’t forgotten to water it, and Basil sleeps inside at night (in a nice window with plenty of morning sunshine) so I don’t think it’s from the cold.  WTF, Basil?

Anyway, the fact that these plants haven’t thrown themselves off of the balcony edge in a desperate mass-suicide attempt is better than I expected, so I’m calling it a win for now.

(4) On embracing technology.

I’m loving my new iPhone so hard, I can’t believe I waited as long as I did to get one.  Completely.  Addicted.

Or, as a certain someone who shares a bed with me might have muttered at 2:00 AM last night, “Can’t you put that thing down and go to sleep?”  And the answer is that no, I cannotSorry.

I’ve also finally discovered how to work the camera thingy that takes a picture from the front of the phone!

Now I feel like a REAL blogger!  I can take random pictures of myself in my bathroom!

You’re welcome.

(Now I need to work on my duck face.)

(5) On silly bandwagons.

Yup.

Everyone: “You look stupid.”  Me: “Whatever.  You’re stupid.”

Because I’m mature like that, I’m not one to knock something until I’ve tried it.  (Well, except for pickles.  I will ignorantly hate them forever.)

I basically got these Vibrams for free at REI combining the current 20%-off promotion with my “dividend” from last year.  So look for me rollin’ around the grocery store in these ridiculous things.  I’ve only done a tiny bit of running in them so far.  I’ll post more about that later, after I’ve had them a bit longer.

(6) On religious and cultural tyranny.

Did you know that liquor stores are closed on Sundays here?  Dumbest idea ever.

Yes, I know that it’s the “lord’s day” and a biblical day of rest and all of that.  But, for serious, it is also Sunday Funday!  Who says you can’t “rest” by the pool with a margarita?  Jay-sizzle would totes be down.

Well, lucky for me, I’m the beer-drinkin’ sort anyway.  So I picked up a six-pack of Magic Hat’s Spring Seasonal:

Nothing particularly memorable about MH’s Vinyl Lager.  I was honestly expecting something a little lighter and crisper.  As it is, though, it’s a decent medium-bodied reddish lager.  Not offensive, and certainly I’ll enjoy the rest of the pack at some point, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to procure it again.  5.1% ABV.

(7) On cooking more.

Off to the kitchen to get crackin’ on some homemade grass-fed beef burgers with avocado-mango-mint salsa.  Nothing too fancy, but burgers-and-beer on a Sunday night sounds like a great way to wind down the weekend to me.

Hasta Monday, y’all!