One Mile Dog n’ Jog Race Reap

This morning Tim and I got up bright and early to race together! 

I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to race today.  I was coughing, hard, all night, to the point where my lungs were tired and I was just pathetically wheezing.  Luckily, I woke up feeling pretty okay—I think my cold is definitely on the way out and I just have to get all the gunk out of my chest once and for all.

Anyway, today we were doing a one mile Dog n’ Jog race for the Humane Society of Kansas City.  Tim and I are HUGE animal lovers and supporters of all kinds of rescue, so we were excited to support the cause.  There was also a great fair going on before and after the race.

The scene:

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SO MANY DOGS!  Milhouse’s sniffer was in overdrive.

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He was very well-behaved, but as a beagle, we had to sniff EVERYTHING.  It was funny watching him try to sniff a Great Dane—he was so tall Milhouse couldn’t even reach his butt to give him a good once-over!

Anyway, we walked around and gawked at all kinds of dogs, large and small and costumed and uncostumed.  At 8 o’clock, the 2 mile run started!

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I’d say that probably 90% of the people running were with dogs!  It was funny to see how all the different breeds ran.  Amongst the canine winners of the two-mile race were a Catahoula, a lab mix, a golden mix, and a boxer.  There were some beautiful greyhounds racing (although they’re sprinters, not distance runners), too!

A portrait of the first-time racers:

 

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Anyway, around 8:30, the one mile race started.  It wasn’t the most official race—no chip timing—but it was a lot of fun!   I THOUGHT Tim and I were going to run together, but once the starting horn blew, he took off and left me in the dust!  (To be fair, Tim is 8 inches taller than I am.  He should be faster.  But, hmph.)  Milhouse and I ran the whole way together—beagles are really, really fast when they want to be! 

(I think the one mile race was for smaller dogs.  We passed a few dachshunds, a chihuahua, and a Pomeranian that barked happily the ENTIRE race.)

According to my Garmin, the course was a bit short, but I still managed to pull it in around 8:26!  Not too bad.  (If it had been a full mile, I would have been around the 9 minute mark.  Still not bad, for wrestling a beagle and having a head cold.)  Tim finished just ahead of me, probably around 8:20.  I’m so proud of him!  I think he wants to start Couch to 5K to keep the momentum going. 

Milhouse promptly lapped up a whole bunch of water, and then we went home.  He was definitely tired out!

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When we got home, we both took a nice, long nap.

It was a really fun morning!  I love dogs so much.

Get excited—tomorrow begins a week full of extensive wedding recaps with professional pictures!  One will go up every morning for the next week.

Do you have a dog?  What’s your favorite breed?

Back from the dead

Apologies for my lack of blog last night.

My cold got AWFUL yesterday.  I barely slept at all Thursday night, but I still had to go to work on Friday for various reasons.  I was congested, coughing up a storm, my nose was running, my eyes were swollen, and I was just achy and tired all over.

My boss let me leave work early, so I got home at about 2 o’clock yesterday and promptly passed out in bed.  It was incredible.

I feel bad because I’ve already broken Rule #1 of marathon training—don’t skip your long runs.  I was supposed to do 8 miles yesterday, but I could barely walk without getting dizzy.  It didn’t happen.  I’m not a skippy person (I only bailed on one run in 12 weeks of half marathon training), so I’m not too concerned—I have plenty of time.

I did manage to make a double batch of homemade pizza dough yesterday, though.

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I spent the evening hanging with my boys…

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…under the influence of heavy drugs.

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We went to Target and the cashier was all, “Gosh, you really need this cold medicine, don’t you?”  Grr.

Thankfully, I’m feeling quite a bit better today, despite burning the skin off my knuckles taking the pizza out of the oven last night.  I managed to get out for a few errands.

I picked up one of my new favorite running tops at TJ Maxx.  They’re just called Adidas “training tops” and I really like them.  They don’t ride up, they have a nice deep v-neck, and are modest without being frumpy.  This one is a fun electric blue color.

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Why a new running top, you ask? 

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Tomorrow, Tim, Milhouse and I are racing!   It is Tim and Milhouse’s first race—the one mile Dog N’ Jog benefiting the Humane Society of Greater KC.  Tim has been training for this since the honeymoon and I’m really proud of him!  It’s a pretty casual race—no chips—but I’m sure it will be fun to see lots of cute dogs.  I just hope the weather holds out!  It’s been storming like crazy here lately.  We’re planning on running together and I’m excited!

What advice do you have for a first-time racer?  Ever raced with a dog before?

Home again!

There’s nothing like the feeling of coming home after being away for awhile…especially when you were away by yourself.

Yesterday wasn’t particularly thrilling.  More meetings.  But I did get to spend a little time on the beach afterwards…in the process of which I think I ruined my camera.  I had a water bottle in my beach bag and it leaked and water got on the screen.  I’m letting it dry out and hoping for the best.  So…say hello to iPhone pictures.  They’re actually not bad!

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Have I mentioned that aside from running and blogging and following my animals around with a camera, I love to read?  I polished off three books on this trip.  I finished The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (love this trilogy), Let the Great World Spin (I don’t know why, but I never got into this one), and Sarah’s Key (liked it).

 

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I started this morning off with a strawberry banana Vivanno smoothie from Starbucks.  I slept a little later than usual (8:30 or so) and knew I’d have to eat lunch before my flight, which left at 12:20, so I wanted something light and refreshing.  I love these!  (The chocolate flavor is kind of ass-tasting, though.)0606 004

Anyway.  Shuttle to the airport, then bopped around the Fort Lauderdale airport looking for lunch.  I have to commend them—their healthy options are much better than those at the Kansas City airport! 

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Hummus and wheat pitas, a fruit cup, and iced coffee. 

Question: does anyone REALLY like honeydew melon?  I feel like it is just kind of a generic filler for fruit cups, but it has absolutely no flavor and nobody I know LOVES honeydew.  I skipped it.  It just tastes like saliva to me and is a waste of chewing effort.

I also only ate maybe 1/4 of the hummus cup, which was massive.  It was good though!  Very peppery.  My two cravings after being away from home were hummus and peanut butter. 

I also picked up a Special K bar for the plane ride.  Gross ingredient list, but easily portable, good macros, and it was actually pretty tasty.

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It kind of scares me that this was billed as a “meal bar” though.  It only had 180 calories!  That is NOT a meal.  Unless you are a toddler.  And then, well, I know fuckall about children, so, maybe even they eat more than that.  Who knows.

I arrived at KCI a few hours later to a surprise visitor!

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Tim said Milhouse missed me and wanted to come.  

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I think he was happy to see me.

The afternoon was spent lazily unpacking.  Poor Tim had a migraine and was in bed, but happily he’s feeling better now.  We grilled steaks, and I made a fruit salad and Alton Brown’s Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese for dinner.  (The mac and cheese was good, but WAY rich, even after halving the butter and cheese.  We also thought it was a little salty!)

In other news…this week officially marks the start of marathon training!  I have a kick off meeting with Team in Training on Saturday, and my official marathon training schedule (which will be on my new blog, which I’ll announce soon I PROMISE) starts tomorrow.

In other other news, please send good vibes in the direction of my ovaries tomorrow morning.  I have a follow-up ultrasound after my gynecologist discovered what she thinks are cysts at my annual last month.  Hopefully it’s nothing!

Tomorrow I will also begin the official name change process!  Good times.

What is your stance on honeydew and other melons?  Does anyone actually LOVE it?

Need for speed

Hummus craving?  Satisfied.

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Love it.  Although garlicky hummus breath is an issue.

I also had my usual spinach/balsamic combo, some cantaloupe (although it was hard and flavorless and I’m probably just going to dump the rest), and yogurt with granola.

Work today was CRAZY.  I wasn’t feeling the gym.  But I knew I should.

I decided that not feeling like going + blistering from the orthotics meant that I should keep today’s workout short.  I decided to run two miles.  After a mile, I decided to run much faster than I usually do and cranked the treadmill up to an 8:30 pace.  And…I felt fine.  It was hard, but not un-maintainably so.  In fact, I sped up and finished at a 7:50 pace!  All in all, I ran my second mile in 8:22, a new personal record for me.

While I was running so fast, (aside from biting my tongue REALLY HARD OW) I was thinking about fear.  I think I stick with “comfortable” numbers on the treadmill because I’m afraid of failing.  I know I can run a 9:50 mile, and I’ll do it well.  An 8:00 mile?  Scary.  I don’t know if I can do that.  I think my asthma is a factor here—I’m afraid that if I push hard, something bad will happen (although, realistically, I know my limits and would stop before that happened.)

I think the fact that I’m punching in a specific speed on a treadmill is holding me back.  Unfortunately, treadmill running is my best option for running most of the time.  I wonder how fast I’d be if I just found a flat surface and ran, you know?  So, from here on out…I’m going to run faster.  As Kath once wrote, “To run faster, you have to RUN FASTER.”  (Or something like that.) 

Even though I ran fast, and for less time than yesterday, my feet still blistered.  I’m beginning to accept that blistering just might be my normal (though I’m still going to try a wider shoe and see what happens).  Eff. 

In other news, we had our first kitchen fire today.

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Tim put it out quickly.  (He set a paper towel on a hot burner.) But our house is smelling a little smoky.  Oops.

Milhouse ran and hid.

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It’s comforting to know our animals would save us in a disaster.

Two more work days until the honeymoon!  And two questions:

1. How do you conquer your fears?

2.  Runners: how do you figure out your comfortable pace and stick with it?

Playing it by ear

Thank goodness it’s Friday!

Today did NOT go according to plan…but in a good way!

My boss owed us all a lunch out, and she announced that today was the day!

So I abandoned my packed lunch in the fridge in lieu of lunch out.  Hooray!

I had a soup and salad combo—chicken noodle and Caesar (easy on the dressing.)  I also had one or two of the appetizer she ordered for the table—Portobello mushroom “fries”!  They were pretty awesome.  The chicken noodle soup was great—it was really different.  It was almost more like a chicken tortilla soup because it was spicy, but I liked it!

No pictures because I’m camera shy at work (when my office door is open.)

My boss came back late…because she’d stopped at a bakery to get us all chocolatey desserts!  What a lady.

I wasn’t really sure what mine was, although it was mildly phallic.

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Alas…

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It was kind of like a fancy pants Three Musketeers bar.  I had two bites and tossed the rest—it was good but not great.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty easy.  My boss has specifically stated that I’m not going to get assigned anything TOO in-depth until after the wedding.  Apparently I’ve looked a bit frazzled lately!

I was prepared to hit the gym after work, but then I got an e-mail…the gym was closing today at 5 for a special “thank the gym employees” event!  So, home I went.   It’s probably for the best, because my left shin has been complaining intermittently all week.  STILL.  Ugh.

We decided to celebrate the weekend with an animal photo shoot.

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Please ignore my godawful roots.  I’m getting my hair dyed tomorrow!

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Programs.  They will be done this weekend if it kills me.  And it might. 

Anyone else get a fun surprise today?

Half marathon STYLE

Chocolate Raspberry Luna Bars are the best.

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After work, instead of going to the gym, I went to my beloved TJ Maxx to scope out the situation on their workout gear.  I love TJ’s (no, not Trader Joe’s, though I love them too) because they have high quality wicking-type clothes at low prices. 

Backup: I went to TJ Maxx because I freaked out realizing that even though the forecast for Saturday is 75 and sunny…at 7 a.m., it will be in the low 50s.  And it will be that chilly for the entire race (unless I take, like, four hours to finish, in which case I doubt I’ll care what I’m wearing).  And I don’t really have a dri-fit short-sleeved shirt I liked—I like V-necks, and my other two are too big.  I contemplated using my Zensah calf compression sleeves as arm warmers, and then realized I’d look like a total douchebag.

So yes.  My options were light pink, dark pink, and fluorescent green.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t hate pink.  Our wedding flowers are pink.  I think pink is pretty.  But it annoys the bejeezus out of me that all women’s workout gear is pink.  I realize TJ Maxx has a limited selection, but I don’t think it’s just there.  Whenever I want to buy workout clothes, I feel like my options are white, pink, and purple!  I want to wear green and navy and black and red and gray and yellow and orange, too!  (I don’t really look great in pink, either, which also explains my bias.)

Anyway.  Obviously, I am going to be a bright lime green runner on Saturday!  (My decision was actually mostly based on the fact that this fabric was much lighter and is basically the exact same as my favorite adidas tank top that I was planning on wearing, but with light sleeves.)

Tim has NO EXCUSE for missing me running by on Saturday.

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I also bought the black dri-fit capris with green accents to match because they were cheap.  (They are the exact same as another pair of adidas capris I have, just different colors, so I know I’m not going to burst into flames for wearing new gear on race day.)

So if you are at the Olathe Marathon on Saturday, I will be the asshole in neon green.

Also, I ordered a BondiBand on Monday and it came! 

Cripes, I need to Windex our mirror. 

0408 004I can’t usually wear fabric headbands, even the ones with rubbery grips, because they pop off the back of my oddly-shaped, large head.  But this one is holding strong so far!  I usually wear a hard plastic headband, but this is much more comfortable.  I am reserving judgment for awhile until I take it for a workout, but so far so good!

And again, our little lovers:

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Oh yeah!  In more exciting news…I got my first donation to Team in Training today!  Super exciting.  If you think I can finish a marathon, throw a few dimes in my tip jar, please! 

What’s your take on the predominance of girly workout gear?   Would you rather workout clothing be more unisex? 

Back in the saddle

Yup.  You heard right.

Rewind.  This morning it POURED on my way to work.  Actually, when I left home, there was a hailstorm going on!  That was interesting.  This is what my commute looked like.  (At a red light, don’t worry.)

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Of course, things cleared up as soon as I stopped driving.

Spring has definitely sprung in these parts.  The grass is green and the flowers and trees are beautiful.

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Unfortunately, they’re also making me MISERABLE.

I seem to be extra-allergic to Kansas City.  All fall I could barely breathe, and now my sinuses are in mucous overdrive.  I felt better this morning than I did yesterday morning, but all day I was sniffling and sneezing and my eyes were watering.  (And I do take Zyrtec once a day, too!)  I also have a constant mildly queasy feeling from all the sinus muck building up in my stomach.  Blerg.  I hope this is gone by Saturday.

Today’s run was kind of a big deal to me.  Mentally, I NEEDED a good run under my belt to feel prepared for Saturday.  As per my taper plan, I ran four miles.  I kept the pace intentionally slow (10:00/miles) so as not to hurt anything just in case.

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It wasn’t particularly easy, given my allergies—breathing was a little harder than normal—but the good news is that my legs felt great!  No random shin/calf/knee/ankle pain.  Hallelujah.

Of course my feet blistered, though, despite coating them in antiperspirant pre-run.  Shocker.  I don’t even care at this point—in one week I’ll be fitted for my custom orthotics.  If anyone knows how to run with blisters, it’s me, and a new solution is in sight.

Anyway, it was a big relief to have a solid run under my belt.  It wasn’t speedy or easy, but it was definitely a-ok.  Phew.

In other news, people are very excited to come to our wedding!

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Bringing the updated total to 63 yeses, 36 nos, 105 delinquent.

Oh, and here’s some further proof that Southpaw and Milhouse are lovers.

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Yup.

What’s your favorite thing about spring?  I have to say, I love flip-flops and I don’t know what I’ll do now that I have a job where I can’t wear them to work every day!