Monday, December 29, 2008

193.5 to go...

Thanks to the generosity of a couple at my church, I am now registered for the Go! St. Louis half marathon. This means I MUST start training for it.

As you probably know from my lack of posting about running and talking about running, I haven't been running. I went out about a week ago for a 3 1/2 mile run and actually felt pretty good. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't as bad as I had imagined.

Today was it... the day I officially started training. I ran 3 miles. At first I thought, only three! I can do that. I've done 13 this is nothing. But then I actually started running. I'm trying to knock a cold I got on Christmas Eve. Nothing is worse to me than trying to run while sick. I made it by walking several times. But, I made it.

I'm really excited for this race and training season. It's sad how horribly I take care of myself. But, I'm shocked at how my mindset changes when I have something to work towards. Now all of a sudden I'm thinking about what foods I'm taking in and how much water I'm drinking.

So, I've started. Only 193.5 miles to go till race day (math that really shouldn't have been done)!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

trail subscription

For the past three months I've received a trial subscription to Runner's World. Go! St. Louis sold my name and address and I couldn't thank them more. They've convinced me to shell out the $20 for the two year subscription. One of my co-workers also received the subscrition and read an article about the New York City New Years' race and is now obsessed with running one. Apparently St. Louis is not offering a race of this magnitude. That's not stopping her... she e-mailed Fleet Feet, SLTC, Ghisallo Running, Big River Running, etc to ask if they'd be interested in such a race. I have a feeling I'll be running in the new year this year! She told me I was broke and alone which meant I had nothing to do over this holiday. While I do have something to do, I guess I can wear black and/or white running cloths to the Black & White Ball I was going to go to and take off from there.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

one month...

It's official... training starts in one month.

That means the Go! St. Louis (half) Marathon is only 22 weeks away. Which coincidentally means I've got to get my but off of the couch* and start training again. I haven't registered yet. Actually I'll start training trusting that someone will pay for my registration fees. It's on the Christmas list.

I went for a run yesterday. It was awesome! It's getting chilly now and dark ridiculously early. I could have headed out earlier and avoided the dust to dark run, but I've only been getting about 4 hours of sleep a night and really needed that nap. As the sun was setting, I got into this running trance as I listened to my breathing and feet scurrying through the fall leaves hitting the pavement. At one point I had to take my headphones out so I could enjoy the oh so brief moment of running bliss.

There comes a time in one's life when you realize you need to start taking better care of your muscles. Today that moment came as I was putting (or trying) to put on my shoes. I know... I'm 26 years old,putting on my shoes shouldn't cause major injury, but damn I got a charlie horse. I've gotten several in my day** and still don't know exactly how you're supposed to take care of these things in the moment. I get that I need to eat more bananas, but while you are cussing like a sailor and hobbling around, what exactly are you supposed to do?

This brings me to another point... I like taking risks. Like the risk I take every time I walk out the door for a run. My shoes are past the point of supportive. I need new shoes. I'm risking injury. They're on my Christmas list too. Goodnight I hope my family thinks practical this year.

Well, as you can probably tell from the randomness, I really need to get to bed...

* and by couch I mean make time to actually run. It's another job and I've already got two of those. I'm tired all the time.
** including a rather embarrassing and humorous story of having the flu and losing all control of bodily functions.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Back in the Saddle!

Or should I say shoes!

Today I went for a run... first one in over a week. Can I say it felt great!! I love it...

I thought of a few things while running. Running is really one of the ways I worship God. It's funny to say that considering most of the time I just black out and think of nothing. But, I think that's a form of worship (not all but part of worship).... allowing yourself to just be. Turning off your brain and letting your mind go. Other times* I stop (not literally) take a moment and experience what's around me... the fall day, beautiful weather, the city that I love, etc. So, while I was running today I pondered this and since I'm in community group mood I thought about how I could best bring this to group. You see, one of the main aspects of community groups at my church is worship. This means on Wednesday my group and I will be taking a 5 mile run together so I can demonstrate how I worship God!! Yea, that's what I think about while I run... it makes me giggle** a bit!!

Since this blog has become less and less about training, I'll go off tangent a bit more. Today I finished a little house project of mine... the b/w wall!! I really like it... check it out!

before... hodge podge of random pictures, medal, fliers, and sticker.

after... LOVE IT!!

*typically during that short period where my breathing is centered and I'm not in pain
** that is until I lose conscientiousness from not being able to breath

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Another Non-Training Post

Considering I've gotten 6 hours of sleep the last two nights combined, I don't feel that bad about not running. But, what to post about. Another fun little home project!!!

I LOVE FALL!!!! And, my grandpa and his garden!!!!

When I went home last I collected three ears of Indian corn. I'm not exactly sure what Indian corn is good for other than decoration. But... this is what I came up with!

It kind of makes a creepy shadow from the other side...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

mmmmm protein!!

I didn't get that run in at the folks like I was hoping too. Time just flew by and I was much busier than I thought I was. That meant today I was back out after several days off. I feel like I'm becoming much smoother with my stride which makes me feel like I've increased my pace as well. Today was one of the most annoying runs of my life. I'm not sure if this happens every year, but the number of bugs flying into my face, mouth, nose, and eyes has doubled no quadrupled!!! It was the grosses thing ever.

Does this happen every year? Can anyone really run with their mouth closed?

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Who cares that the title of this blog is "in training?!" I'm not "training" for any particular race right now, which means I get the chance to blog about whatever I dang well feel like it. As inspired by Kara, I have a little house project. You see, I've been working weird hours lately (4 days on 5 days off, 3 days on, 2 days off). And, I didn't know what to do with myself. What else is a girl to do but throw crap away. After getting rid of an entire dresser worth of clothing it was time to rearrange the bedroom, a task which has never been done in this apartment. Here's how it turned out!

I moved my bed under the window (still not sure if I like it there) and moved the bench in from the living room.

My bed was orginally where the two column dresser is now. I always use those little art deals as a make shift headboard, but I think I like them there too.

Until I can have a place of my own or we move and get an office, my office must be in my bedroom. I'm planning on developing a bunch of my pictures in b/w and put them all on that board to make a b/w wall.

Okay, this isn't in my bedroom, but I bought a shoe organizer and moved these shelves to the kitchen. Now I'll never get angry about not finding the lid again!!

I'm off to Illinois for the second leg of Steve's funeral tour. Hopefully I'll at least get one run in while I'm up there.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

So many races

I love autumn for so many reasons: the sound of leaves crunching under your feet, the smell, sweater season (ie jeans and a hoody), the beautiful colors of leaves changing, not having to get up at the butt crack of dawn to get a run in, turkey trotts and pumpkin runs. Just off the top of my head I can think of 5-10 races I'd like to be a part of this fall. One of my friends is running her first 5k in a few weeks and I'd love to run with her. So, what's stopping me... $$$.

Dang, this running thing is expensive. You would imagine it would be a fairly cheap sport considering all you REALLY need is a pair of running shoes. But, each race cost anywhere between $15-$25... Yes, the proceeds generally go to a very worthwhile cause, so I should feel bad about giving them my money. I guess I'm feeling cheated out of a good race season because I don't even have the money to pay my bills right now. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I'm lacking about $200 this month to make ends meet. So, there I'll be standing on the sidelines cheering everyone on. Yes, I'll have fun, but deep down, I want to stinkin get my "free" t-shirt!

I have managed the last few days to get the motivation to "take one step out the door." My friend and meet for breakfast the other day and we both lamented about how we know what we need to do, but just can't figure out the first step (haha.. oh! irony). Of course I knew exactly what SHE needed to do, but failed to see what I could possibly do. Praise God she's awesome cause she just looked back at me and said "well take a step out the door!!" Stupid logic! The three runs I've done this week have been fairly short, but I feel like my pace is increasing. Since I never keep track, I just have to go on a feeling. Never the less, I'm once again running in circles and feeling great! If only I could run in circles to receive a free t-shirt!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Not Running

Oh the good life!

It's been about a week or so since my last long run and I'm feeling pretty good about myself. Actually that's a lie. I haven't done shit and I feel like it. Without a set schedule I don't know what to do with myself. I'm really a lazy person and am fine with sitting on the couch all day. Except for the fact that I hate myself after doing so.

To get myself off the hook a little bit, the past week has been crazy hectic. My uncle died the day after my non-half marathon. I wasn't that close to him, but I've become really close to his daughter. I was really upset when he died. You see, on one of my very first runs last year I ran because he was having his surgery (the 15 hour one). I ran that day because I knew he would give anything to be out running. In all honesty he probably wouldn't and he probably thought I was crazy to attempt such a thing. Either way, I ran because of him. In fact, he's been on my heart and mind most of my runs while training. I haven't told many people (until now), but he died just a few hours after I finished my "half marathon." For some reason that really got to me; the fact that when I was in pain and outside hoping to be done soon he was in bed in pain and hoping to be done soon.

My mom and I drove down for the Florida services.* We stopped half way in Atlanta and stayed with her brother. I decided to get up real early in the morning and go for a run because I couldn't make myself get in a car and sit for another 8 hours without some sort of physical exercise. Man! Atlanta has a good hill workout. The next morning I awoke in someone's vacation home and did some laps in the pool. That's a workout I'd like to repeat often. I didn't realize how much of a full-body work out swimming was. Once I got home I went for a walk and today I went for another one.

So, what do I do... I really need to be running, but can't get myself out the door.

* we are in the middle of what I call "Steve's funeral tour." They are holding another service(s) next week in Illinois and possibly Indiana as well.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Oh! What a day!!

The day I almost rain a half marathon in a hurricane!

Saturday as I carbo-loaded, I watched Ike descend into Missouri. Understanding that the race would be a wet one, I prepared myself to run in the rain (an activity I actually enjoy). My parents had arrived to cheer me. We ate and went to bed ready to awake at O-dark-thirty.

My friend arrived right on time and we headed out. When we left the city it was hardly raining at all, but a cheerleader called and reported the worse.... heavy rain! That wasn't going to get in my way of completing my first half marathon. It wasn't long until we were stopped on the interstate to exit while Ike unleashed on us. We slowly made our way to the exit and watched in fear not knowing what to expect. Soon it was 6:45 and we were still stuck in traffic. That didn't matter considering we weren't sure at this point whether there would even be a race. By the time we made it to the parking lot it was flooded. At points the water was 1-2 feet deep. The rain came down harder and the wind picked up. Finally, I made the call and sadly said it wasn't safe for me to be out there. I cried out of frustration having trained so hard for something and be so close to success. We began home and saw the idiots who decided to start at about mile 1. Runners who looked as if they had trained for the whole thing were having trouble even walking in this storm.
As we slowly made our way back to the city we saw 40 being shut down and water over the interstate at several points. We were going to go out for breakfast, but figured it was better to only have to get out of the car once instead of three times. My friend left and we went inside to cook a breakfast when I saw the huge puddle of water in my kitchen. The window above my door was leaking water so badly it was basically raining in the kitchen. Time to call the landlord, clean the mess, and continue with breakfast.

Soon my parents left and I took my nap. Later that night I figured I was already loaded with carbs and highly hydrated so I'd go for a run. As I began I figured I'd run to my sbux and back making it a 8 mile run. On my way I threw my middle finger to Ike and said F you, I'm running a half marathon today!!

I was really concerned with daylight so I ended up running a lot more in the beginning then I should have. I left and headed straight down Tower Grove Ave feeling amazing. Even as I turned into Forest Park without stopping to walk, I felt great. Made my way down to Skinker taking a short break and dreading the sun going down. After taking quick potty break and I began running for my life... possibly literally as I ran through a pretty sketchy neighborhood to get home. And I ditched the headphones in order to hear everything around me. I didn't stop until I got to Rosa, a street I deemed safe enough to walk in. But, it was so stinkin dark and I was so tired that I walked a bunch in the middle of the street. Finally, I made it home! 13.05 miles later! I know, I know, I skipped .05 miles, but who cares... it counts in my books!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

At Long Last

I've been waiting until I got to tell some people about the Nike Human Race in person. Nothing spoils a good story more than "yea, I read your blog." Here we are, a couple weeks later and at the dawn of the half marathon.

The trip to Chicago actually begins the night before when I went to a party instead of going home to pack and get some rest. Needless to say, I got about an hour and a half of sleep before boarding my train at 4:30 a.m. I originally thought my train left at 6:30 a.m. My mom thought the same thing when she bought her ticket. She got on half way to Chicago at the station near her home. She awoke to find a text message telling her I'd safely arrived on the train and we were pulling out of St. Louis. She quickly gathered her suitcase and headed to the station to pay another $26 in order to board my train. My brother also got a rude awakening when we arrived two hours ahead of "schedule."

The race was an evening race which meant we had the whole day to waste in Chicago. Unfortunately, I couldn't walk around much. We killed some time playing guitar hero and taking pictures...
My mom surprised me by making "Team Katie" shirts!!

The time finally came to meet up with my friend and dawn the way to tight shirt. Everyone (all 14,000 of us) had to wear the race shirt which had our bib number on it. We took a cab to Soldier Field. The field was open so we went in to take a look after taking some more pictures!

Before long it was time to head to the start line. Chicago had the largest race of the day which was exciting to be a part of. We dropped my mom, brother, and future sister-in-law off and took our mark. It only took about 7 minutes to cross the start line after the gun fired. While we were waiting I realized that even if we finished last in Chicago, surely someone in the world would be slower than me.

As soon as we crossed the start we began running south towards McCormick place where we entered their tunnel and experienced a dj and a laser show. We continued south onto Lake Shore Drive. The entire time we were passed by fitter, faster runners. I had to stop myself from turning around in fear that there wouldn't be anyone back there. Finally my friend told me to see who was behind us. To my amazement there were as many people behind us as infront of us. Soon we it the 5K mark where I exclaimed "this is the farthest I've ever run during a race!!!" I kept going and turned north up a much too small bike path.

The sight was spectacular. We had the lake on our right with a bunch of sailboats out, the sun setting to our left, and the entire Chicago skyline ahead of us. It gave me chills to see what we were a part of. Without knowing it I hit the 5 mile mark and was shocked to realize I hadn't stopped running yet. When the realization came over me I immediately started running faster. My friend looked at me and said "you know you're going faster right?" All I could utter was "I know, this is the farthest I've EVER run!! I'm pumped." That sprint of energy soon left as we got slowed by two ambulances on the very small course. It took my friend to get me back on course.

Since there were so many people in the start shoot, my family couldn't see me start. I wanted to make sure they could see me finish (honestly, I wanted a picture)! I borrowed my friends cell phone and called them as we made one of the last turns. My mom couldn't hear me and was watching as they put someone into an ambulance. I gave up on trying to call and simply texted. Mind you, I wasn't going to stop running. I was bound and determined to run the entire 10K.

The finish line was in sight, but I couldn't find my family. Finally I see them just to the left. They didn't see me so I started yelling for them. And, got my picture!!!

After finishing we were handed our finishers award and went into the mass of people to get our free stuff and the chip removed. This area was extremely disorganized and we just wanted out. We met backup with the family for some more pictures.

My brother asked if I wanted a shot of tequilla. I answered no, but a beer sounds really good. Before heading to dinner to get that celebratory beer, I showered at the hotel and ice myself.

This was by far the most exciting, best race I've ever been a part of. It prepared me and boasted my confidence for the half marathon coming up on Sunday. I also learned a few things:

1. I'm getting a disposable camera for the half.
2. Gu is amazing!
3. Always order the race type shirts a size up.
4. Running in Chicago is awe inspiring!
5. I can run 6.2 miles without stopping.

Come back to read and see the results from the half!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

God bless co-workers

One of my co-workers yesterday came in and said she had two things for me. The first was a box of tea (really, come on! we get those for free!). She needed me to give it to a regular who bought her gelato the other day and refused the free tea. Yea, people actually bring us stuff. Then she reaches into her purse and pulls out a little piece of paper. It's a gift certificate for a free massage after the half marathon!!!!

Such leisures are a rare (scratch that, absent) treat for me. Hopefully I'll be able to get an appointment for the day after. I don't know of a better motivation to run 13.1 miles than a massage. Okay, chocolate works too!

Monday, August 25, 2008

old, new, borrowed, blue

No, I'm not getting married :( I did do something new today.

I rode my bike to work! This was a task that I've been planning on doing for some time; however, always found an excuse. Not today... okay, actually today too, but since I left my phone at home, I returned during an hour break to retrieve the phone and ride back. It wasn't that bad! I'm learning that physical activity isn't as bad as I always think it's going to be. I was concerned about one hill. You see, it's rather steep and the right lane, which I tend to gravitate too when riding on a busy street, becomes a turn only lane. Meaning, if you want to go straight you have to ride in the middle of the road and you're going up hill which means my speed is somewhat slower than a snail. Never fail... I took the sidewalk. Considering I'm going slower than a walker, I figured this was okay. Of course, there was a cop present when I attempted this maneuver. Luckily the cop was as stupid about bike/road rules as I am and just let me ride on my merry way.

It only took me 30 minutes to get to work. Driving takes me 20... I think I'll bike more often (ie tomorrow).

* Title explained... Old: my bike and/or back pack (used as a trunk) New: the fact that I biked to work Borrowed: technically my bike is borrowed. it's my brothers, he doesn't know I have it nor will he miss it. Blue: the clear, bright sky.... lame, I know, but I'm tired from biking to work.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I didn't die!

Let's talk about my past couple of days.

Wednesday I had to do 5 miles. Mind you, this is a very doable mileage and I should be able to run the whole thing considering I've ran 4.5 without stopping. However, logic doesn't always work in running. Consider the fact that I got up at 5 a.m. to walk with my friend, but went straight back inside to take a 3 hour nap before running the 5 miles. Yea, I felt that good.

I've been wanting for some time to find Tilles Park and even tempted too one day, but got lost. This time I checked the map twice and picked a more direct route. Before I even left I wanted to turn back. How can this be you might ask? Just start training for a half marathon and you'll understand. You'd also understand the you go out even if you don't feel like it. So, I head out. Unfortunately this route goes right past a police station. I say unfortunately because officers kept driving past and all I could think about was, "if I fell down they could take me back home." Come to find out, they would have! No, I didn't actually try it, but I asked Timmy the cop who's one of our regulars. He confirmed next time all I need to do is lay down and someone would eventually call them.

Thursday I had to do 60 minutes of cross training. I had no clue what to do. 60 minutes is a really long time. Since I don't have a gym membership, my options are very limited. After talking with a co-worker who is studying to become a trainer, I reluctantly chose to ride my bike. Weird enough I actually enjoyed riding my bike. There's something very fun about working extremely hard to get up a hill and being able to just sit back and chill on the way down. When is started raining though my tune changed. Riding a bike in the rain is miserable.

Today I ran 9 miles!! I've mentioned before I'm really trying to monitor what I eat and see how it affects my running. Spaghetti didn't work so well for me, but chips and salsa seemed to work well! Okay, maybe it was the Gu, but I did feel pretty good the whole time. This time I ran from my place to grand and around the east half of Tower Grove and towards Forest Park. This lead me to the very east portion of Forest Park and up to Maryland Plaza. This was perfectly planned so I could stop at my Sbux to empty my bladder and fill my water bottle. One of my favorite regulars was outside and as I headed home I stopped to talk a bit with her. It was funny to hear her say "but, don't you live"

This was the first time I'd experienced the miracle that is Gu. Most runners are familiar with this gel like substance. I tried the tri-berry and vanilla. About 45 minute into it I took my first and was hurting pretty bad. I'm not sure if it was actually the GU or mental, but I was able to make it to my sbux where I took a bit of a break just enough time to fill the water bottle, use the restroom and down some water. A few block from there I down the second and it helped, but didn't make it "easy" but doable.

Now after stretching and showering, I'm in front of the tv icing my poor knees and ankle proud of myself for finishing such a long run.

Monday, August 18, 2008


This is me... avoiding a 5 mile run I need to do today. Don't worry, I've already pushed back my 9 mile run till this weekend. Considering I think I'm still recovering from the 8 I did this weekend, I figured I should take it easy. That's right, a 5 mile run is now "taking it easy." When did this happen...

I got up this morning to walk with Lara like normal on a Monday, Wednesday, and possibly Friday morning. Since my stomach was already showing signs of feed me, I decided to head in after our walk for a quick bite. That was 3 hours ago...

Alright... here I go... I promise...

this sucks!

update: I just completed the blasted 5 mile run in record time... and I'm not talking about speed. Somewhere along the lines my feet were replaced by two large anvils. Midway through I got ridiculously hungry which was odd since I'm really trying to monitor what I eat and how it affects my body. Apparently spaghetti the night before and an english muffin with a banana is not my super food. Next time I'll try a cupcake... that should work much better!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Yesterday I completed an 8 mile run! Oh yes... that's 8 count them 8 miles!! Some days I don't drive that far. As you can imagine this task terrified me... once again, I should have thought about this prior to registering for a half marathon. I believe I've mentioned this before, but I heart google maps. I've got all my running route neatly organized on there and it's so great to look them up and see where I've been and where I should go. For the 8 mile run I combined two of my routes which meant a.) I knew where I was going and b.) I wouldn't get lost. (apparently I getting really good at getting lost on runs).

For this monumental task I did 12 minute runs 2 minute walks in order to not die. This worked fairly well (okay, extremely well considering I didn't die). Afterwards I felt pretty good until I sat down. Seating down wasn't the problem... it was the getting back up. Life vertical isn't much fun after such distances. But, eventually you get used to the vertical way again.

Since when you start training all you can think about is training, I started reading this book: The Non-Runners Marathon Guide for Women.... GET IT!! It's such an amazing book. Be it, I haven't really learned that much from it, it's simply awesome to see I'm not alone... this sucks. She's hilarious and I often laugh out loud while reading in public (which, for me, is the sign of a good book). The author (Dawn Dais) is a "normal" person before decided to run a marathon. The book is about her experience going from the recliner to finishing a marathon. I'd recommend going and buying this book (or borrow it from a friend, like I did!).

Friday, August 8, 2008


"The one thing that makes me doubt God's existence is how painfully slow my sanctification process is." John Piper

As I ran my 4.5 miles today (and yes, I ran the whole thing...whooop whoop!!!!), this quote kept coming to my mind. It's frustrating to me how painfully slow progress is. The progress of sanctification yes, but also getting into "half-marathon shape," healing from past pains, etc, etc. Everything just seems to take soooo long. In this microwave, fast food, high-speed internet, DVR world I live in, it's hard to take life (and the process of life) slowly. I want to shed those 20 pounds overnight, be healed yesterday, see Jesus NOW! But, no, I'm left to hunger and thirst, to make it through long runs and bad commercials.

One of my wise friends says how she enjoys the training more than race day. WHAT! That's hard for me to fathom. I want the large crowds cheering me on, the gun shot start, and a finish line with, of course, a medal. But, at last, I'm left with early morning runs by myself, although I often recreate the large crowds and finish line in my head (whoops, did I share to much and now look crazy?!).

But, what if true joy isn't in the success of crossing a finish line?
What if true joy is found in the training?

While the finish line is sweet, the hard journey to get there is sweeter, whether it's a race or the long process of life.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

ps... grandpa I love you!

Food... a glorious reason for and result of training

I'm not sure if it's because I'm running more or because it's summer time, but I'm obsessed with fruits and vegetables right now. Growing up I took this for granted, but now that I'm 2 hours away from my grandpa's glorious 5 acre garden I treasure each vegetable. Please allow me to divert from the normal training log to give you a glimpse into my food diary.

Here's a small sample of the care package sent to me by grandpa. It's a small sample because I've been cooking and eating for about a week now. Sadly that's the only cob of corn left.

Inspired by Kara, here's a few things I've cooked the past few days.

My grandma is amazing. She makes so many crazy yummy things. One day I want to be as good as she is... why not start now. I tried to conquer her freezer slaw receipt. Every summer she makes this vinegar based slaw and freezes it to eat through out the year. It's always a favorite of mine.

the line up:
one very large head of cabbage
6 carrots
2 green peppers
2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup of water
2 teaspoon whole mustard seed
2 teaspoon celery seed
4 cups sugar

chop cabbage, carrots and peppers together. Mix with salt and let stand for an hour. Squeeze out extra moisture. Meantime...

Combine and boil for 1 minute: vinegar, water, mustard seed, and celery seed. Cool to luke warm and drain mustard seed out. Pour over cabbage mixture.

Divide into freezing containers, date and freeze for enjoyment later. Can be enjoyed for up to a year!

I've also enjoyed these little creations...

Monday, August 4, 2008


Instead of my scheduled 3 mile or cross training, today I did 7 miles!!! I'm pretty proud of myself! I was dreading the thought of doing 7 miles; guess I should have considered that before registering for a half marathon.

Today I explored the Compton Heights neighborhood. Beautiful!!!! I think it's almost prettier than Flora Dr. After running through there and getting lost (seriously, why aren't St. Louis blocks square?!!) I ran through my familiar garden district and back into the park. At this point I'd run out of water and needed a refill. Realizing I'd already ran nearly 4 miles, I figured I might as well keep going and get my long run in today. I headed down MMMMMMMoorgan Ford to Utah then down to McDonald and up Roger. When I got to my place I wanted to make sure I'd actually done the 7 miles. WHAT!! 5.67!!!! Back out I went to finish her up.

Praise God for people who water their lawns! Now, I realize this is a huge waste of our natural resources, but dang it, it's hot outside! I realized today that yes, I will cross the street to run through a sprinkler and no, I don't care if hot runner guy is watching!!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

HELP... I'm bored!

I'm not cool... so I need your help!

Self admitting, I'm not cool, hip, or trendy. I don't wear the latest fashions. My hair is blah. And, while I want to have the best test in music, I don't.

So, I need your help. No, I'm not getting a makeover; however, if you'd like to fork out the cash I'd be willing to participate. But, my mp3 player does need a make over. Give me suggestions for good running music. Something to keep me going... my tastes in music are wide so hit me with everything.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wetty Wetts

Today I made a rookie mistake. As I laced up my shoes, I felt a little urge to go to the bathroom. If you don't know already, you should always listen to that little urge. Oh no! Not me... I have the bladder of a champion! I can make it! So, I head out the door. It was probably a mile or so into the run before the wave hit me again. I look around briefly and see no relief insight. Hunker down... walk a bit... you can do it!! After realizing walking was only going to take me longer to get to a bathroom I start running again. It dawns on me... I'll be running past a friend's place! Maybe he'll miraculously be outside. Nope... no sign of him. After awhile I start chanting the don't wet yourself mantra. I have to stop and walk awhile longer. The chanting turned to cursing when I realize I missed a bathroom break about mile back. Less than a mile to go... I'm gonna make it!!! Praise God, I made it back although, the other scenario would have made for a better blog entry.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Day!

I'm amazed at what my body can do.

Not that I'm all of a sudden some kind of Olympic marathoner, but my body amazed me today. I set my alarm for 6 a.m. hoping to get my run in before it got really hot outside. Instead of bouncing out of bed, I hit snooze till 8 (okay 8:30). Finally, I headed out the door, hating that I was going for a run.

I didn't want to be out of bed, let alone in running shoes. But, there I was walking towards my start line thinking to myself how I just wanted to walk the whole thing. As I walked, I thought about why I was so tired. Was it from a lack of sleep, possibly. The fact that today would be the 7th day in a row without a day off, maybe. Could it be from eating like crap? sure. Maybe I have low iron again. Whatever the reason... I was exhausted. So, I let myself walk a bit further than normal and finally forced myself to start running.

Wouldn't you know it! Running felt so much better than walking. It made me feel energized, alive, mobile. It shook the sleep out of my eyes (and promptly replaced it with sweat). It was a new day and I was accomplishing a goal. This run I was dreading turned out to be a run where I actually added fartleks.... amazing!

Thursday, July 10, 2008 mile at a time

I find it pathetic how little I know about my neighborhood. Until last week, I had never seen any streets south of Connecticut (my block). To fix this, I've decided to explore my neighborhood: one mile at a time.

If you didn't know already, Google maps is amazing! I've created a bunch of running routes in my maps for all my runs. Each run explores a new little nugget of my neighborhood.

Today's 3.5 mile run featured the Southwest Garden District. I ran from my place, north on Tower Grove Ave (a street I take everyday to work, but still saw new things while running), then east on Shaw, wound my way unto Maury and back to Tower Grove Park. I learned several things today:

1. I need to fill my prescription for a new inhaler. It's not that I'm wheezing, but towards the end I began to not be able to breath (minor detail). It's almost a choking feeling... umm.
2. I'm extremely bored with Tower Grove Park. The part of my run in the park was the hardest. I'm not sure if that's because it was the end or because there's no excitement. For some reason, I think it's because I'm bored and know what's coming.
3. Fruits and veggies do make a difference. I haven't been able to afford to go to the grocery store in awhile, which means I've consumed a lot of Mrs. Dash Pasta and Pantry Creations. I can tell a huge difference while running.
4. My foot hurts... real bad! I've developed this stabbing pain in my right foot. It starts where my arch meets my heel and heads straight up the right side of my ankle. Any thoughts on what this could be?

In other news, I've been tagged! Just like my friend who tagged me, it's also my first tagging experience.... here goes nothing!

1. Write the title to your own memoir using 6 words.
2. Post it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who tagged you.
4. Tag 5 more blogs. And, in my case, 2.

No Stop Lights; No Looking Back
Katie recalls how she began her life in a small town and how she's come to live her life without fear.

Tag... you're it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Today I cheated for the first time. Please know, I'm extremely stubborn and don't give up easily, but this morning I couldn't help it. I awoke to walk with Lara and then go for a 3 mile run myself. I awoke, changed clothes, and headed out to greet Lara with a smile and a yawn. We walked for about 30 minutes or so before I saw her off to work. Now was the time for my training!

As I began walking to my "start" line, I knew something was off. I was more tired then normal at 6 a.m. Not so much tired as fatigued. I decided to be easy on myself and start at the top of the hill to give myself a nice break at first. Fine... did that. Soon I'm fatigued again and so I walk a bit. Get up the gusto to run up one of the hills and walk again. This continued for the first 2 miles. And, I just couldn't go any further. So I cheated! I'm guessing Lara and I walked at least a mile together before I started my run so I'm using that and saying I still got my mileage in. Call me a cheater if you will.

My legs are really tight and kind of sore today. I should probably do a really good stretch, but man it hurts. Yesterday I ran a 4 miler and probably pushed myself a bit too hard. But, I saw my 2 mile mark and looked down at my watch and realized I could do a 10 minute mile so I sprinted to the mark to get it in. It was then that I realized I had stopped to walk at least once so really, I didn't do it in 10 minutes. So sad... I didn't finish my 4 mile run until 9 p.m. last night then got up at 5 a.m. this morning to run again. I'm thinking I didn't give my body enough time to rest. Whoops... lesson learned.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Week one is officially completed!!

It's kind of been a long week, but so has the last year. Last weekend was the Race for the Cure here in St. Louis. This was my second year "running" it. With over 60,000 people on the race course, it's really kind of hard to actually run. But, it's still my favorite race. There's something about seeing the pink survivor shirts and the "celebration of/memory of" bibs that just gives me goosebumps and makes me want to cry.

I've registered for another race... the nike human race in Chicago on August 31! I have mixed fillings about it actually. This will be my first race that I've done by myself. And, my brother, who lives in Chicago, informed me that I'll have to get a hotel room since their place is so small! Yes, I agree, that's ridiculous!!! I believe I've conned my mom into going up with me, but unless she goes, I probably won't end up going up. I just can't afford a hotel room in Chicago; let alone a hotel room in Chicago on a holiday weekend. Plus, I have to pick up my race packet the weekend before... unless I can get someone to do that I won't be participating anyways. Although, the race ends up being placed just about perfectly in my training schedule. Oh! I want to do it so badly... there's supposed to be some 15,000 people entered in Chicago. That day there are 24 other races of the same distance going on around the world.

In other running news, I GOT NEW SHOES!!! I've finally been fitted for running shoes and took them for a spin tonight. So far, so good! It was good to find out the shoes I was wearing weren't completely bad for me, but they recommended a different pair. Tonight I ran 3 miles! I stopped once to tie my shoe (doesn't count) and two other times (yet, for very short periods of time). To purchase said shoes I had to dip into my emergency funds, but figured I'd rather spend $100 on the shoes than another $1,000 on an emergency room visit. I'm calling it preventative emergency. I've also figured out darkness is a great motivator to run faster. I got up around 4:30 this morning to open and once I got off, I absolutely had to take a nap. By the time I woke up, I had to choose between running and going to church. Even though I'm going to church tomorrow night, after the Saturday night service a group of us go out to dinner or the like. I really need to be around people right now so I opted to forgo running by myself and head out to be with other humans. My stubbornness got a hold of me and I refused to not complete a training day. I headed out around 8:30 or so. Since it was getting darker and it's pride fest in my park, I ran my route backwards. By the time I made it to the final turn, I had to turn my music off because I was freaked out. I think it pace increased by a good 2 minutes though!

Gotta Run!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Late to Bed; Early to Rise

I just came back from a pretty good run. Today I ran 2 miles... without stopping! There were several points that I wanted to stop for a bit, but I kept telling myself it was only 2 miles; you can do it. That strategy worked today, but I'm think it's not going to work on race day. It's only 13.1 miles... nope, that makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry.

My exuberance was short lived though. First, let me say this, weight lose is not my goal in running my half marathon, but I figured it was bound to happen and wanted to keep track. So, Wednesday is my day to track such successes or, as today proved, failures. I gained 5 lbs this week!!!!! Seriously... how does that happen?!?! It's true, I don't eat perfectly and I did have a cupcake and possibly a couple pastries at work this week. But, I'm doing the whole weight watchers thing and I've had additional points for all of that stuff. Needless to say, I'm pretty bummed about it and trying not to let it get me down because I just stinkin' ran 2 miles!!!!

Getting past it...

Like I said in an earlier post, one of my friends (Lara) and I get up earlier and walk together when we can. It's great motivation to know she's waiting outside my door at 5:30 a.m. Especially when I'm closing every night and couldn't drag my butt out of bed without her there.

We've now come to realize we'll see the same people in the park and look forward to our casual greetings. A few weeks ago we were walking along and heard this stomping behind us. It kept getting closer and closer until finally they passed us... it was the most adorable little boy running, with all the joy in the world, next to his dad. The little boy yelled "good morning!" when he was still probably 5 feet behind us (adorable!!). As they passed, his dad also greeted us and they scampered (mainly the little child) off on their run. Last week the dad (who's always in spandex) ran past us again, but without child. We continued disappointed because of course in our heads he's an amazing father who loves his child and the little boy is eagerly waiting to go for a run with dad every morning. As we walked along today we began wondering where spandex man was and if he'd mended his relationship with his son. About that time we see him off in the distance running in his spandex glory being out paced by his little boy!! Way to go kid!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Small Victories

As I continue my quest to finish the half marathon, I've come to realize it's full of small victories. Even with my slightly type A and extremely stubborn personality, I'm surprised at how much satisfaction I get from crossing of a completed training day on my training calendar. There have been several days were I really didn't want to do that day's activities, but I finished each one and joyfully crossed it off.

Today marked another small victory. I finished my 2.5 mile run without stopping! And, shaved about a minute of my time. Funny enough, the thing that kept me going when I wanted to stop was this stupid blog. I knew as soon as I made it I could come home and rejoice in my victory.

Tomorrow I get to get up early to go for a walk with my friend. She's doing a walking program through google... walk for good. We've both found that we're more likely to actually get our butts out of bed to go if we know the other person is counting on us. Selfishly I also love it because it's a time I get to hang out with a friend...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

People are watching...

I realize people watch me when I run (Betsy), but it's hot here and running cloths are tight! I bought some new running cloths the other day and I'm just not comfortable in them. They are a little tight; I'm used to the old baggy t-shirt and capri's. My whole run I was looking around to see which angle people were coming from and adjusting my clothing depending. Because of that, I had a horrible run. I was self conscience and awkwardly aware of my boobs, stomach, thighs, sweat, and the hot runners coming up from behind. At one point my chant (yea I sometimes chant to myself) went from "don't fall, don't fall, don't fall" to "keep hot runner guy away, keep hot runner guy away, keep hot runner guy away!"

Today I ran my two miles. I stopped briefly twice; not sure why. I'm really trying to not get down on myself when I stop because my goal isn't to run the whole half marathon but to finish. I'll be okay if I stop to walk a bit during the half as long as I cross the finish line and get my medal (the real reason to do this).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rest day?

Even though I'm sticking to my training schedule, I still feel like I'm not really in training. Sunday was my "rest" day. I didn't get that much of a rest considering I opened at Sbux where you get a nice workout standing on your feet while making latte after latte. Later that afternoon I went to the Cardinal game where I took the stairs to the Metro and to my seat. Whew... stairs sure work different muscles than running!

Yesterday was my stretch and strength day. I forgot about it till I was at work. I'll admit using a 5 lb bullet of coffee did cross my mind. Never the less I got home from work and went through my routine.

Today I had a 30 minute cross. All I've done on those so far is walk which I don't feel like it's helping me. I'd love to go for a bike ride or swim or something, but I don't have a bike and can't afford a gym membership. So, I walk.

My knee has been hurting a bit. Yea! the one I sprang a few months ago which sent me to the ER. I've been really good about icing it when I get off work or finished with a run. Also, I purchased some glucosamine today too. Hopefully I won't end up back in the ER! Other than that I've been feeling really good.

Tomorrow's a 2 mile and strength. I think I have to get up at the butt crack of dawn to do it too.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Pounding Out Anger

Anger induces great runs!

You could say my life the past month or so has been absolute hell. While on the phone yelling about recent events, I stormed out of my apartment. As I walked towards the park half in tears, I realized a simple walk wasn't going to help. I needed to pound this out on the pavement. Immediately after I got off the phone, I changed shoes and went for one of the best runs I've had in a very long time; later that night I registered for the Lewis & Clark half marathon!

Now that I'm registered I have to actually start training. I've done the researched and talked to several marathon finishers so now it's time to lace up my shoes and get moving.

"They" say you should have a training log to track your progress. I'm not very good at that; however, I am good at wasting countless hours online. Hence, this blog. Here's where I'm recording my training progress, problems, and successes. I know I'll need lots of encouragement along the way so I invite you into my training program...