Thursday, April 29, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. The lake flies are still here. Which means it was another run on the treadmill at the YMCA tonight. The little buggers can die anytime now. And since they'll be swarming all weekend, I'm actually taking my bike and running shoes and leaving town and heading up to my parents' house for the weekend. At least I'll get to bike and run there without inhaling a bunch of nasty bugs.

2. The Green Bay Half Marathon is in 17 days. Eek! Need to squeeze in one last long run this weekend (11 miles) and quite possibly more important, figure out what I'm going to wear! A shopping trip might be in store.

3. Still working on those changes for Amanda's 3 Changes Challenge. The water continues to go well. The snooze button is getting hit less often, but still not quite down to one snooze per morning. The core/strength work? Still kind of a failure, but at least I thought about it this week. Hopefully next week I'll actually get some work done.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pesky bugs are getting in the way of my running plans

It was gorgeous outside today. Sunny. Temperatures in the 50s. No wind. Beautiful day for a run.

And I ran indoors on a treadmill.


Blame it on those pesky lake flies. Ugly little creatures that usually hatch every year right around Mother's Day. They apparently have a purpose other than annoying anyone who lives by Lake Winnebago - the fish love to eat them and get nutrition from them. But still, there's a ton of them, they swarm and land on anything that stands still for even a second, they're dirty, leave a green mess everywhere and smell. Ugly little buggers. Take a look for yourself.

And like clockwork, they normally hatch every year around Mother's Day and stick around for about 2 weeks. But this year? Take a look at your calendar. Mother's Day isn't until May 9. And it's April 27 and they've already been here two days. Which means, some lake fly got the bright idea to hatch early. As in two freakin' weeks early.

It started Sunday when I saw one lonely lake fly on my door. Throw in some wind and when I walked out of my apartment on Monday to go to work they were swarming. As in clouds of lake flies along the road that guided me to my downtown office. So many lake flies that it sounded like little bullets hitting my car as I drove. And the humming noise they make? Drives me insane. Even though I hoped, prayed and crossed every finger and toe available, they didn't go away over night. Still here this morning. Even worse. More of them. Grrr.

So it was gorgeous today. The perfect day for a run. But since I didn't want to run the risk of ingesting millions of those filthy little bugs - which by the way aren't so little this year, they're huge! - while I ran, I opted to head over to the YMCA and the treadmill for my 6 mile run. Let me tell you, it's hard running indoors when it's so nice outside. But it's done.

And Thursday's run? I'm heading to a part of the city that is not by the lake and far away from the lake fly infestation. And in the meantime I'll be hoping those little buggers die a quick, painful death. And don't come back until Mother's Day 2011. Because until they're gone? I won't be running in my neighborhood and my bike will be staying in the garage.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Running away from trouble

So I bailed on today's 11-mile run. Please don't hate me.

Mother Nature was still being unfriendly - cold, windy, rainy - so I planned on logging some miles on my parents' treadmill. Even packed my running gear when I headed up to their house for the afternoon. But I got there and I just wasn't feeling it. 11 miles on a treadmill? That's a lot. And I was tired. And my foot hurts a bit.

So I made the decision to skip out on my long run for the weekend and will do the 11 miles next weekend for my final "long" run before the half on May 16. Hopefully I won't regret the decision.

And in non-running news, would you like to know the traits that will make me run far away from a possibility of a second date? Because that's what happened yesterday. I met up with this random blind date dude Saturday afternoon for a lunch date. And in the span of 3 hours he:
  • Showed me he's entirely incapable of making a decision.
  • Changed the place we were meeting in mid-route - and it ended up being a location closer to where he lived, making my drive longer.
  • Was obsessively checking his cell phone during the date - even took a phone call from a contractor he was getting a bid from about kitchen cabinets! Um, isn't that what voicemail is for?
  • Managed to use the word "retarded" 4 times in situations where he totally could have used an alternate word and had the same meaning. Once I could handle, but 4 times? And considering I have a cousin who has special needs - not cool in Badgergirl's book.
  • Our (final) meeting place was in a city he was familiar with - yet he had no plan (indecisiveness shines) and almost expected me to come up with something to do.
  • Kept talking about marriage. On the first date.
  • Thought his GPS unit in his car was God. Now, Garmin Gus might be God, but his GPS unit which couldn't even give straightforward directions? Not God.
  • Has awful driving skills. As in almost got me killed when he turned the wrong way down a one-way street into oncoming traffic and almost left me with whiplash on several occasions because he had to swerve really quickly to be in the correct lane of traffic (see: his GPS unit is not God).
Maybe one or two of those things would be OK and I'd still consider date number 2. But all of them? In a span of 3 hours? Not acceptable.

So that was the only running I did this weekend. I ran away from a potential repeat in the dating world.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

This runner will be blowin' in the wind

Mother Nature is out of control.

Today it rained. All day. I don't really enjoy running in the rain. So I opted to move my 11-mile run to Sunday, when the weatherman says it's only supposed to rain in the morning. He also said it would be a bit windy. Which made me cringe.

I didn't realize how windy he was talking about though.

Then I read this bulletin from my friends at the National Weather Service:
"...A wind advisory is in effect from 1 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The National Weather Service in Green Bay has issued a wind advisory. Northeast winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 45 to 50 mph are likely ... The wind could cause some tree branches and wires to fall and cause local power outages."
Great. So unless I figure out a way to run only with the wind at my back (would that be in a southwesterly direction?) I might be blown to Oz. Or hit by falling tree branches or power lines. At this point, I'm thinking Mom and Dad's treadmill is looking a bit more safe. Of course there's always the hope that the weatherman is wrong, which has been known to happen.

But 11 miles on the treadmill? Ugh. Maybe I'll settle for another combination struggle against the wind and treadmill. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow. That is assuming I haven't been blown off to the Land of Oz.


And on a non-running related note, I spent some time Saturday night playing around with my blog layout. How did it take me so long to discover Blogger in Draft? Seriously. Do you like the revamped Adventures of Badgergirl? Or should I keep tweaking it?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. You know it's time to call and make an appointment for a haircut when you wear your hair in a ponytail for three straight weeks. Yup. Three weeks straight. Even to work. Didn't even attempt to wear it down for work. So I called yesterday, made an appointment and went to get my hair cut. I don't have a specific girl I go to, I take whoever can get me in. So imagine my worry when I sat down and Jenna #2 came up to me with her scissors. Gulp. But she did a much better job this time. And I was actually pretty happy with the end result.

2. I paid a visit to the YMCA tonight. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but apparently I thought it was going to be kind of crappy weather today after work. Which meant I ended up doing my 7 miles on the treadmill. Ouch. On the plus side, I switched treadmills mid-way through the run, so the distance display never actually read 7 and since they were smaller numbers, it was quite as painful. Bad thing? My foot's kind of sore tonight. Guess I'll be icing and taking some ibuprofen and crossing my fingers it feels better soon.

3. I'm a week into the 3 Changes Challenge that Amanda at Run to the Finish is hosting. I've taken some baby steps towards making those changes.
  • Drink More Water: I've been focusing on this one this week. And so far it's going pretty well. I do really well with the water intake at work, but then see the water consumption drop a bit once I get home at night. I'll have to work on that a bit more.
  • Do more strength/core work: This has been the hardest change for me so far. I really need to work on it this upcoming week.
  • Allow myself to hit the snooze button only once: Baby steps. Some mornings I've utterly failed at this change, others I done pretty well. Ironically, the two days I actually only hit the snooze button once? Saturday and Sunday. And while I've been going over my snooze button allotment during the week, I have cut back a bit. I'll continue to work on this.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Some randomness

I'm pressed for time tonight, so I give you bullet point style randomness. Because really, is there a better form of randomness?
  • Thanks for all the well wishes on my 5K PR from Sunday. But I wasn't done once I crossed that finish line and met up with Running Diva Mom. Nope. The half marathon training plan called for a long run of 10 miles last weekend, and since I didn't want to do it the day before the 5K, I planned on doing it after. So I left the finish line area, headed out to the Wiouwash Trail and logged an additional 7 miles. And let me tell you. It was brutal. Hard. So hard I almost turned around at the 2 mile marker and turned it into an extra 4 miles. But I kept going. Even had a shirt change (in the wooded part of the trail) around the 4 mile point because I was getting too toasty in my long sleeves with a short sleeve tech shirt layered on top. So the run was hard. And there were so many times I wanted to quit, but I kept going. And when I was done? I was thrilled. And then was totally lazy for the rest of the day. I think I earned it.
  • During the brutal 7 miles I finally got to try out the mint chocolate Gu everyone in blogland has been raving about. Fabulous! Might actually overtake the chocolate outrage as my Gu of choice.
  • The legs were still kind of sore on Monday, so instead of a run, I went for the season's first outdoor bike ride. It felt so nice to be on my bike again. I took it nice and slow and only went 5 miles, but it was a nice change of pace. Now I just need to start incorporating more bike workouts because the High Cliff Tri? It's two months away.
  • Speaking of the High Cliff Tri, I think I've forgotten what the pool looks like. Yup. Haven't donned the swim cap and goggles in I don't know how long. That's scary. Must get back in the pool. Pronto!
  • Talking about the bike and swim reminds me I really need to sit down and try to figure out a training plan of attack for the next few months. A plan that incorporates not only half marathon training but also tri training. Suggestions?
  • Tonight's 4 mile run went pretty well, but the legs were still a bit stiff. Thankfully they started to feel better during the second half of the run.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Oshkosh 5K Race Report + bloggy meet up!

What a difference a year makes.

The kind of difference that comes out to about 4 minutes and change.

I ran the Oshkosh 5K on Sunday. This was the third time I've run the race (and I was actually registered the fourth time, but skipped it due to nasty weather and no immune system) and it was the site of my absolute worst 5K ever last year. But I've made so much progress since then and have been feeling good with my training this spring that I was looking forward to the race.

It was great running weather Sunday, even though it was a bit chilly at the start. I met up with my friend Jess, we walked over and got our timing chips. The half marathoners started first and then the gun went off for the 5K.

I actually started out pretty near the front - an unusual move for me - but I didn't really want to get hung up behind a lot of folks and have to do a lot of weaving. Garmin Gus was getting his first race experience, but I didn't really pay much attention to him. I was kind of zoning out during the run, listening to my tunes, running and plotting out the next runner I was going to pick off.

Yes. I was passing runners. Unheard of a year ago.

Gus reminded me he was still along for the run after the first mile: 9:55. Probably a little fast for the first mile, but not surprising. Besides, I felt good. I kept running, kept passing a runner here and there. Second mile comes in a 10:10. Still feeling good. I think I've got this PR in the bag, I thought to myself. Gus chimes again telling me I covered the third mile in 10:26. A little slower, but I'll take it.

Wait a minute. If this is a 5K, I've got a tenth of a mile to go. I'm still a block and a half away from the amphitheater park and the finish line's inside the park. Yeah, this course is long. But I'll still be able to set a new PR if I just kick it up a notch or two.

So I upped the pace, passed some more runners and entered the park. Had a really nice finishing sprint to the line. Crossed it and hit stop on Gus.

3.25 miles in 32 minutes, 42 seconds.

That's a huge improvement over the post-Monster PR of 34:11 I posted at the Freaky 5K in October and 46 seconds off my pre-Monster PR of 31:56 I set back at the Sunset 5K in 2007. And let's not even talk about the 37 minutes I turned in at the Oshkosh 5K last year. Needless to say I'm very happy with my result. And just think, it's only April! Just think what could happen this year! Did someone say sub-30? Maybe. Maybe.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's look at some numbers.

386/893 for all finishers
173/530 women
33/85 in age group (females 30-34)

So a good running day for me. And it got even better once I crossed the finish line. How? I had a bloggy meet up!

Running Diva Mom had sent me a message a few weeks ago, her hubby was planning on running the half marathon. So we planned on trying to meet up on race day. I called her in the morning before the start and told her I wasn't going to have my phone with me but I'd try to find her at the finish line area.

Once I was done running I was heading towards the food when I got distracted.

Must have bagel bites and chocolate milk. Wait. Is that? But there's no Bondi band. Hmm, imagine a Bondi band. I think it is.

I approach the woman.

"Are you Jamie?"

Success! I got to chat with her for a bit and meet her kids (adorable!) and hubby (send some healing vibes his way - he wasn't able to run the half due to a bum foot). It was a great way to end a race and I hope to be able to meet up with her again in June at a triathlon her hubby and I are both signed up for.
I totally swiped the photo from her blog. And since we're talking about Running Diva Mom, head over to her blog for a great hand-held water bottle giveaway!

Friday, April 16, 2010

They grow some pretty steep hills in San Francisco

I've been back almost a week, but I've finally got some time to tell y'all about my travels around San Francisco. I'll warn you in advance, this is a bit long, but there are pictures!

I went out to visit one of my good friends from college, Sheila, who lives and works in Oakland. It's been over a year since I've seen her, so it was time for a visit. And after the work week I had last week (elections and murders), I totally needed a break.

Wait a minute, I'm on vacation. Why is my alarm clock going off at 5:15 a.m.? Oh yeah, that's right. In order to get to my vacation destination I needed to catch my flight, which required I be at the airport at 6:45 a.m. Got to the airport, caught the flight. No problems. Had a short layover in Denver before touching down in San Francisco.

I took the BART out to Oakland where Sheila picked me up. Since she still had a bit of work to do, she dropped me off at Jack London Square and I occupied myself for a few hours - grabbed a sandwich from Subway and wandered around this marina area. Pretty cool.

Once she was done with work she picked me up and we hopped on the BART to go back across the bay to the wharf area. Because the first highlight of my trip? I was going to prison. Well more like Alcatraz. But it was something that I was super excited for. Remember, I write about criminals. Of course I was going to be excited to go to The Rock, where some of the country's worst criminals like Al "Scarface" Capone and "Birdman" Robert Stroud" where housed.

We had decided to take a night tour because we'd both heard good things. And if you're ever in San Francisco and want to go to The Rock, GO AT NIGHT! Super cool and kind of creepy.

The audio tour was told from the point of view of three correctional workers and four inmates, so it was really informative, touched on the well known points but also some of the "who woulda thunk?" topics. Yes, I did lock myself up in an Alcatraz cell, just to get the whole inmate experience and have photographic evidence. And outside penitentiary walls? Alcatraz is actually Spanish and means pelican. And yes, there are a ton of birds living on the island. But they're not very friendly birds - the sea gulls living in what remains of the warden's residence? Yeah, they chased us away. Maybe the sea gulls picked up on that characteristic from the island's other residents - the inmates.We spent about 3 hours at Alcatraz and it was honestly probably the highlight of my trip. But then it was time to head back to the mainland, grab the BART and head home to catch a few hours of sleep.

Once again, my alarm started buzzing at an insanely early time considering I was on vacation. But we were headed out to wine country and needed to be in downtown San Francisco at 7:45 a.m. to catch up with our tour bus and the two other girls were were going with.

The tour was super laid back. There were about 10 of us total on the tour and our tour guide didn't really have a set plan in mind as to where we were going. He asked us for input and kind of tailored our tour based on what our interests were.

We headed up to Napa Valley to start off. Honestly, I can't recall all of the wineries we stopped and did tastings at, but I think there were 6 or 7. I remember going to Grgich Hills, Peju, Silverado Winery and V. Sattui Winery in Napa Valley and Viansa Winery over in Sonoma. I admit, I'm not a huge wine drinker. In fact, red wines? Not really my thing. But I did do tastings at 4 of the places. By the time we hit winery number 5, all the wine was starting to taste the same to me and my inner cheapskate was starting to cringe at the thought of $20 for a tasting of wine that I wasn't really liking.

It would have been cool to be able to take a tour of one of the wineries to find out a bit more about the process they use to make the wine, but it wasn't possible. The landscape was gorgeous though and I bet it would be even more beautiful later in the year once the grapes have started growing.

Once we were done with wineries, we headed back to San Francisco and made a pit stop at the Marin Headlands for a scenic look at the Golden Gate Bridge. While driving up to the viewing point I was going through serious bike envy. All of the bikers riding up the hillside. Jealous. Would have been something I would have loved to do. But sadly, not able to. And we didn't go all the way to the top, but I bet the view would have been amazing at the peak. And yes, it was just a bit windy up where I was able to get pictures taken with the bridge in the background.

For once! My vacation includes sleeping in! Well, if you call 8 a.m. sleeping in. But I wasn't going to argue. It was dreary out. No sun and sprinkles. But my running shoes weren't going to miss out on the California fun. Nope. Sheila is actually running The Relay with 11 other team members on May 1-2 so she needed to get in some kind of training run. My half marathon plan was calling for a long run of 8 miles, but I'd be happy to get in 5.

Yeah. That's what I thought before I landed in California.

We went over to Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland to get our run in. By this time it was a fairly steady rain, but not too bad. And other than the rain, with temps in the mid-50s it was actually pretty good running weather. So the weather wasn't bad. But the terrain? Oh boy.

As a Wisconsin girl, I'm used to flat. We don't have many hills. At least not in the part of the state I live in. But Oakland, California? It seems like it's nothing BUT hills. So this run? It was tough for me. And in the rain which was starting to fall a little harder and at times this run was a bit miserable. OK, maybe not the entire run, because really it was a beautiful, scenic route to run (there's something about running and walking in cemeteries that I enjoy). The only really, really miserable part?

That would be The Hill.

The run started out fairly fast, passed a mausoleum before we got into the heart of the cemetery. The first hills were kind of minor. Nothing too steep or long. More like gradual hills. Definitely hills that this Wisconsin Badger, who is very used to running on flat land, could handle. The we got to the bottom of The Hill.

I didn't want to, but I admit, I stopped at the bottom and just looked. I didn't look in awe. Or in amazement. Nope. I looked at that steep, long hill (the kind that you can't actually see the top from the bottom) and that look was pure fright.

We don't grow hills like that in my part of Wisconsin.


But I started to run - actually I don't even know if I can call it run, more like a shuffle - up that hill. I didn't even feel like I was moving. And at the midway point I needed to take a breather. I finally got to the top and I felt like I was dying. I glanced down at Garmin Gus, thinking I had to have run at least a mile and a half by this point.

1.2 miles.

Man. That was a tough 1.2 miles. All uphill. In the rain.

But you know what they say, what goes up must come down. And go down is exactly what we did. It was a much more gradual downhill than the uphill was, but it was still a very scenic route, passed really pretty crypts and through some great landscaping. We got to the bottom of the hill near where we started and had covered 2.5 miles.

Now, we could have tackled the hill a second time for a 5-mile run, but my legs were starting to scream at me. So we opted for a shorter, less hilly route and finished up 4 miles. I totally deserved those delicious pancakes we had at this quaint little diner down the road once we finished.

The rest of my vacation included an epic game of Scrabble during the next downpour and a trip out to Fisherman's Wharf. And no vacation could be complete without a 2:30 a.m. wake up call to get to the airport in time for my flight that boarded at 5:30 a.m.

All in all it was a good vacation. It took me a few days to recover, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. My feet were absolutely filthy tonight when I got home from. I guess that's what happens when you stand on the side of rural roadway all day for work in a pair of ballet flats and the wind is wiping the dust around. Don't worry though. A shower has been taken and the feet are clean.

2. I skipped my run tonight. Mostly because the legs are a bit sore after last night's return to running after a mini-hiatus. I'll get a run in Friday morning before I head into work, take a rest day Saturday and head to the race expo. Sunday's my 5K with an extra 7 miles tacked on to get in my 10 miles.

3. I failed miserably with my one snooze button change this morning. So tired. I think I'm still adjusting to the time change.But on the plus side, the water drinking change is going fabulously today.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A bit of this and a bit of that

Just a few things to catch up on. And I promise a vacation recap soon!

Changes: Amanda over at Run to the Finish is hosting a challenge, the 3 Changes Challenge. The idea is that we're supposed to pick three changes to make in our lives that will make us a better and work on making those changes for the next 30 days. And since I like a challenge, I signed up.

My 3 changes:
  • Drink more water. I do pretty well while I'm at work, but it's once I get home in the evening that I start to fail at drinking water. So here's my plan. I have one of those 1,000 ml Nalgene bottles (about 34 ounces) at my desk at work. I'm aiming to drink at least one, possibly two, while at work and then refill the bottle before I head home. I'm almost done with my second bottle today.
  • Do more strength/core work. I fail miserably when it comes to strength training and my core. Miserably. So I'm hoping to incorporate some kind of strength or core work 3-4 time per week. Haven't gotten any done yet, but the week is still young.
  • Allow myself to only hit the snooze button once. Yes, I am very good friends with my snooze button. I don't even want to count the number of times I hit it in the morning. But I'm going to work on only allowing myself to hit it once and in a perfect world? Not even hit snooze. Because I bet I'd feel a lot more awake if I just got up rather than hitting it, falling back asleep for 5-9 minutes and hitting it again. Repeat. So snooze button? Prepare to feel ignored.
Those are my changes. If you'd like to make some changes in your life and want to get involved in Amanda's challenge, head over to Run to the Finish, enter your changes on the spreadsheet and start changing! The challenge runs through May 13.

My first 5K of the season is Sunday. It's the Oshkosh 5K, an event I've been doing since it started in 2007. Last year it was the scene of my worst 5K ever. And this year I'm hoping to throw down a good (for me) time to get the season started off. Of course I've also got a 10-mile training run on the schedule. And since I don't want to do it the day before the 5K, there might be an extra 7 miles tacked on after Sunday's 5K.

That's it for now. Look for a vacation recap tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm not wearing prison stripes

Hi. My name is Badgergirl and I've been MIA from blogland the last week.

And even though photographic evidence exists that suggests I have been locked up in a prison somewhere, I assure you I am not currently sitting behind bars.

I'm just recovering from a trip that featured a former federal prison, some glasses of wine, a run through a very hilly cemetery that nearly killed me and super crabby gate people at an airport.

But I'm back in Wisconsin now. And I promise tales of my journey soon. Just give me a day or two. Because seriously. I think I need a vacation to recover from my vacation!

Monday, April 5, 2010

March reading recap

Really? A quarter of the year is gone already? Where the heck are the days going?

I'm not quite sure where the 31 days of March went, but they're gone. Which means it's time for another reading recap. And even though there was March Madness, I managed to read some books in March. I actually finished 3 books and 1,029 pages. That brings the yearly total to 8 books and 3,323 pages. Compare that to 5 books and 2,250 pages last year at this time. That's a bit of an improvement.

So what'd I read in March?

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

I really liked Born to Run. It was an interesting read and one I think all runners should read. That being said, I'm not sure I'm ready to jump on the barefoot running bandwagon. I like the cushioning of my shoes.

But Where Men Win Glory was definitely my favorite this month. I like Krakauer's writing style and this was a great look into the life of Pat Tillman, the Army Ranger whose death in Afghanistan was the result of friendly fire, but was covered up by the U.S. government. If you haven't read it, I'd recommend it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

That would be the run where I used the cell phone

This weekend's long run was epic. Not epic as in a fabulous adventure in a pair of running shoes along an amazing route.

No. Epic as in an epic failure.

I had 10 miles on the plan for Saturday. I was at my parents' house, so my original plan was to head out to High Cliff and back. When I woke up Saturday morning it was raining. So I ran some errands with my Mom, headed over to the The Rugrats and when we got back home it was sunny and had warmed up a bit. Perfect.

Except the wind had also picked up. And not just a light breeze. Nope. Steady 30 mile per hour winds. I'm talking about winds so strong when you looked at flag poles, it looked like the flags were going to be blown off the pole.

But even with the wind, I still wanted to run. So I changed my plan. I decided to start at the park entrance and make my way back to my parents' house before adding on a few miles in their neighborhood. As my Dad drove me to the park he laughed. Thought I was crazy for running in this. Told me who nasty the wind was while he was walking earlier that afternoon.

I was in denial. Said it wouldn't be that bad.

I was wrong.

He dropped me off and drove away. I started running on a park trail that went around a pond. It wasn't took bad. Then I looped out of the park and into the adjoining neighborhood. And that's when it started to get bad. As I ran down the street towards the lake, I could see the waves coming into shore. Waves with whitecaps. Usually pretty to look at. But running into that kind of wind? Not fun. But I kept going, thinking I'd be OK once I rounded the curve and wasn't heading straight into it.

I took a few moments to stretch around 1.5 miles. Up until that point it had felt like I was barely running. But I still kept thinking to myself, "It'll get better. Once I round the next corner I won't be running into the wind anymore."

I eventually rounded that corner. And for a moment I was right. It did get better. The wind wasn't so strong and it was feeling easier to run. But then I got to a field and the cross wind hit me. Almost knocked me off my feet. Not cool. So now I was running along this road, not only trying to avoid being blown over, but also trying to not get blown right into the path of an oncoming car (at least I was wearing my Road ID). Thankfully there weren't that many cars coming in and out of the subdivision.

At the 2-mile marker I paused by a mailbox. And I kid you not, I almost curled up in the roadside ditch and cried. This run was awful. So hard. So discouraging. All I wanted to do was quit. Take off my shoes and walk home.

The town hall was just up the road, so I told myself I needed to run to that parking lot. As I ran I fought back the tears. I've never had this awful of a run before. The phrase etched into my Road ID, "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger" kept running through my head. Maybe this epic battle with the wind will help me at some point down the line. Because what if half marathon day rolls around in May and it's just as windy? The race directors aren't going to postpone the starting time just to let the wind die down. So I'll have to deal with it then. Won't I?

So I kept putting one foot in front of the other until I got to the town hall. But honestly? At that point I was super discouraged. This was the hardest 3-miles I'd run in a long time. And I admit, I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket.

"I'm at the town hall. I give up. Will you come get me?"

Yes folks. I called my Mom. Threw in the towel. Quit.

Kind of.

I didn't just sit on the bleachers and wait for her. I kept running and managed to log another 1.2 miles before Mom's car appeared. So I covered 4.2 miles of my planned 10 mile run. And I felt like I had just run a marathon. Not kidding.

I was discouraged. I didn't want to skip out on my long run this weekend, especially since I might not be able to fit one in next weekend. And sometime during the 10-minute car ride back to my parents' house, I made a decision. I was going to finish the last 5.8 miles. No I wasn't going to venture back outside into the wind. Nope. I was heading to the basement to their treadmill.

Talk about a painful run. First the wind, then 6 miles on the treadmill. Especially considering it was perfect running weather outside if you took away the wind.

So it wasn't pretty and it certainly didn't feel good. But the 10 miles are done.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. I got an e-mail from the folks over at Apparently my blog's been chosen to be listed in their directory of triathlon blogs, although I did spy a bunch of running bloggers in their directory that I read regularly. Made me feel kind of important when I read their e-mail. Go check their site out, pick out some new blogs to read. I know I will.

2. But given my lack of reading blogs this week, maybe I shouldn't find any new blogs to follow. Seriously. I've been a bad blog reader this week. My Google Reader? The number of unread posts is nearing triple digits. Heck, by the time I post this post, it probably will be triple digits. And since I'm not reading, I'm not commenting. Hopefully this weekend I can catch up.

3. My Dad signed me up for a race. The Sole Burner 5K is held the first weekend in May every year in my hometown and it benefits the American Cancer Society. I've never actually run it, although I have volunteered for it. I was having dinner with my parents last weekend when my Dad asked me if I was running it. I said I wasn't planning on it. Why? Apparently his work would pay for immediate family members who are running/walking the 5K and he wanted to know if I wanted to do it. Umm, free? You don't need to ask twice. So Dad signed me up. I tried to talk him into walking the 5K, since that's how far he walks a couple of times a week anyway, but I'm not sure if signed himself up. I'll let you guys know.