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!!!!