Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Motivation South of the Border

Ever wonder if ad clients fully think through the pitches from their ad agencies?  Do they really mull over all the implications of their publicity or do they just go whole hog with the ideas from the folks in the funky glasses?  I think I have my answer here:

Now you may be saying, "Rachel, I don't know Spanish."  To you I would say, "Wow, I hope that French is coming in handy to read all that academic theory and sing that song in The Little Mermaid.  Good job on that choice in middle school."  Regardless of your ability to, oh, function in today's global marketplace, you can tell that there is a pig.  In a tanktop.  With a towel thrown over his shoulder.  He also appears to be winking (or wincing).  The helpful message floating above the wincing pig's head says "In the name of hygiene and respect for others, it's important to use a towel while working out."

Yes, the obscenely overpriced gym in Mexico City that I patronized because I wanted a treadmill is calling its customers wincing pigs.  Or maybe they're saying you will *poof!* turn into a wincing pig if you don't mop up after yourself.  I did mop off my face during my run.  But I didn't do it too much.  Because the towel smelled like it had been marinated in distilled Downy and, from previous experience, I know Mexican fabric softener gives me a rash the likes of which I haven't had since the night before my comprehensive exams in grad school.

The gym looked impressive on the website and I marveled that it was only 6 blocks from my hotel.  There are lots of gyms in the ritzier districts of Mexico City but the historic downtown has none (or, as it turns out, one).  The bank of treadmills glowed on the Urban Fitness website, check it out here.  However, I should have known.  Mexican gyms, as I remembered as soon as I paid the obscene entrance fee and got on the treadmill, use mirrors with the wiliness of my grandma in Florida.  

The gym was not so palatial as it looked online.  But that was ok.  I really only wanted the treadmill.  So I got on one.  It made a screechy sound.  I got on another.  There was a hole in the belt.  I got on the last one.  Things got started ok.  I had to adjust to km measurements but I was cruising along easy (because of the altitude -- we're at 7300 feet here) and then, just to keep me on my toes, the belt of the treadmill would seize up every once in a while.  Kind of like I was tripping over a big a** rock.  So I guess it was a trail running treadmill.  

While I was running there was an infomercial for the "Bioshaker" on one of the televisions.  Now I have posted about the fascination with shaking things I witnessed in Mexico before. The belt that wiggles away the fat that disappeared from most reputable fitness facilities in the 1970s?  Still going strong in Mexico.  Today I discovered there is a NEW way to made your waddle waggle.  Yes, the Bioshaker.  I tried to drag my eyes away from the jiggling rear ends, jiggling thighs, jiggled upper arms, and jiggling bellies put into motion by the Bioshaker but I just couldn't.  The rhythmic motion was hypnotizing.  Clearly this woman is enjoying whatever the Bioshaker is doing to her netherregions:

To fully appreciate this fine fitness device, you really need to watch the video.  When I googled the Bioshaker there was an entire forum of people who claimed the Bioshaker detached their retinas.  Wow.  I guess they really were blinded by science.  If I didn't like Walmart before, I really despise it now.  This baby is available at Sam's Club.

After I finished my 35 minutes, I asked the guy at the front desk if he could take a picture of me for my blog (I'm sure all of that came across in my post-workout Spanish).  "You want ME to take a picture of YOU?" he asked.  "Clothed," I wanted to say.  "A clothed picture."  So I got back on a treadmill, confirmed to all the Mexican gym patrons that pale faces are crazy, and posed:

I like that one because you can tell the guy behind me is thinking "That pale face is crazy."  This one also features the guy backing away slowly so as not to agitate the pale face.

Will I go back to this place?  Sadly, probably.  Running outside is not an option here for lots of reasons and I'm hoping to find more posters with wincing pigs on them.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Red shirting the pink shirt

So in the best tradition of soccer legends who defend their familial honor with a head to the ribcage of the offending party, my pink running shirt has knocked the air out of me for the last time this summer.  Red card, pink running shirt, red card!  Get your hooligan/ not-at-all-breatheable self on the bench.  You are not doing the great galumphing tradition of this running outfit proud.

You all remember the pink shirt.  I am wearing it in nearly every photo on here.  I ran my first half marathon in it:

Wait, no that's not the pink shirt.  Here, you will surely remember the streamlined cut of the pink shirt:

Damn, that's not it either.  The seams of the pink shirt hugged my surfboard-like figure to create the illusion of curves:

Gargh!  While that shirt(dress) is certainly pink in the awfullest way, it's not the garment under the microscope here.  Here, here is the clothing item I'm looking for:

And here again:

I should have known when I returned from the above run that it was not just the humidity that was causing me to dump gallons of water through my cavernous pores.  It was the cute but suffocating shirt I was wearing.  Does it wick sweat?  Yes.  And there is plenty of sweat to wick.  Does it breathe?  Let's just say the sweat suits my husband wore to drop weight from Hot Strapping Hunk weight to welterweight in high school breathed more.  I do believe that the "sauna suits" pictured below would have allowed me to catch more of a breeze than the stifling pink shirt:

These people look refreshed.  Maybe it is because they have absolutely no more fluid in their bodies and their eyeballs are on the brink of shriveling up.  But still, they look sharper than I do after moving half the distance they did in this photograph in the pink shirt.

Pink shirt, you have served me well, time to mothball you until the temps dip below 70 again.  Now on to the search for a breathable tank top.  I'm eying up this one, but I don't know if I'm as "Hip Hop" as the very street guy wearing it:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The carrot or the stick?

Well call me schooled.  I always thought this phrase originated in Mexico with Porfirio Díaz before the Mexican Revolution.  But maybe that's because I'm a Latin American historian and all I know are facts (or apparently falsities) about Latin America.  According to Wikipedia, arbiter of all things true, it originated in 1948.  In The Economist, for the love of all things holy.  How boring.  The theory behind the carrot and the stick is that a person (or donkey) can be motivated by either positive (carrot) or negative (stick) reinforcement.  In today's post I'll debate the benefits of both.

The Stick:
Yesterday I picked up a Stick of my own.  Both Maddy and Alice are very jealous that I am allowed to bring sticks inside and they are not.  Of course,  mine don't splinter and get caught in everyone's socks.  And I'm not a dog.  So, well, I win.  The Stick is a rolling thing that you can roll.  All over your body (with the exception of your shins!  NEVER ROLL IT ON YOUR SHINS!  Or at least that is what the enclosed literature says).  It mashes out kinks and knots and I hope it loosens up my calves a little.  You know what would also loosen up my calves?  Stretching.  But that's free and not nearly as interesting looking.  So let's scotch that idea.

Here I am applying the Stick to my calves:

As you can see, Maddy is wondering if this Stick is worth wrapping her old lady choppers around.  What Maddy is not wondering is how this will feel passing through and out of her digestive system.  She never thinks of that when sizing up sticks or mulch.  Instead she happily chomps away and then grimaces and yelps when I need to pull a lumber yard's worth of kindling out of her butt on our walks.  But I'm not bitter.  Really.

The Carrot:
Here I am applying a baby carrot to my calves.  Note Madison is not around, which is surprising considering baby carrots are her favorite snack.  Actually everything is her favorite snack with the exception of bananas (not crunchy) and lettuce (crunchy but flavorless).  In terms of effectiveness for loosening up the calf area, I would have to go with the Stick. 

With the baby carrot, I have a pleasant and relaxed expression on my face.  By contrast, with the Stick I have an oh-God-this-thing-is-turning-my-lower-legs-into-chopped-meat/ wow-this-is-really-working-out-the-knots expression on my face:


So, advantage Stick for stretching out lower calves.  How about in terms of appetizers?  Which would make a more impressive crudité at your next company event?

The carrot: a tasty and crunchy treat.  Note: do not serve carrots after rolling them over your calf.  They are slightly salty.

The Stick:  Not such a mingle- or dental work-friendly kind of appetizer.  Perhaps would be better after a long braise.

So, advantage carrot for tasty appetizers.

Overall, I think the Stick takes the lead though with its other superpowers.  

Can be used as a cheerleading baton.  I know I look more like a soccer hooligan here or like I stepped out of a Clockwork Orange but this too is an advantage to the Stick.  It is more menacing than a baby carrot.

Can be used in your sunset years after you are crippled by running.  And by my sunset years I mean about 6 months from now.  On a good day.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The next one!

Hills here I come!  I've signed up for my next half marathon -- the half marathon portion of the High Country Triple Crown in Boone, NC on August 27.  I'm not doing the 10k or the 2-miler mostly because we are not driving up to Boone 3 times.  But driving up to Boone once will be cool!  And being in the Asheville hippie orbit, Boone has a vegan-friendly restaurant I have already tapped as my post-race brunch.

The training program will be largely the same with some more speedwork and lots more hills.  I've contemplated running our stadium steps...but then again I'm not Rocky.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Getting Buff

For the past dozen years or so I have been running with the same set of running head gear -- two patterned Buff headwraps.  You can see them both here (one, um, on my head and the other on my wrist as a snot spot):

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to change my style -- as I do every 15 years or so (the 90s were a good time for tall lanky girls!  Chunky Mary Jane shoes are cute!) -- and ordered a new Buff.  This one is fancy and Coolmax and makes me look like I headbutted a Hawaiian luau.  I only realized this after I got it.

Front view of Hawaiian luau on my head

More deferential view of Hawaiian luau on my head

Friday I debut my brand new No Meat Athlete shirt at the gym.  Is it goofy?  Yes.  Does it have a sprinting carrot on it?  Yes.  Did they get me with the "Runs on Plants" tagline?  For sure.  

After these two purchases I can heave a sigh of relief.  And go shopping again in 2026.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Blowing chunks (mango chunks)

I had a great run today that became even better when I got back and figured out my pace -- 9:55 miles for 7.5 miles!  Woohoo!  That is the first longer run I've done under 10!  

It didn't feel good the whole time (the Amphipod water belt is great...but still a sloshing water belt around your waist) but by the end I was finally hitting a good rhythm.  I ended with a new hilly loop through a beautiful older but posh neighborhood.  The shady trees and big rocks and trees distracted from the fact that I was running hills.  It almost felt like I was on a trail it was so tranquil.

When I got back I made a smoothie with these guys:

I didn't take a picture of it because, well, it was yellow liquid and wasn't terribly exciting.  It was tasty though.  Alice stayed home today and is going to come on a run with me on Monday.  Judging by her tornado dog disposition today, she could have come a long this morning...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A new humidity PR

97% humidity at 7:22 this morning, ugh!  It may have been 68 degrees...but it felt like hell.  Apparently the stickiness made everything long our route smell delicious because Alice was not in a mood to stay on course.  Time to watch my hair frizz...

Monday, April 25, 2011


Today's run was set to be 8 miles but I had to cut it short at 6.5 because I got rip roaring my bladder.  I tried out my very neat new Amphipod handheld water bottle and decided that gripping a container of sloshing liquid/drinking that liquid in an attempt to make the bottle lighter and/or stop the sloshing is a bad idea.  Given, it was 95% humidity at 7 a.m. today, but I didn't need to guzzle my water like this:

It would have been much better to sip it in a more refined manner, like this:

I plan to hydrate in this fashion when I attend the Royal Wedding next weekend.  Note the refined pinky daintily extended.  I also plan to call my dirty sweaty bandana my church hat.  Oh how impressed the Queen will be...

My pace today was the fastest I've done this distance but I think I went out too fast, or the water bottle was a pain in the arse, or the humidity got to me.  It was not a comfortable run, it was mostly sticky and clunky.  Back to the water belt for the longer ones.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Here I am after my first run in truly hot and sunny weather -- 78 degrees at 10:30 a.m.:

Is this a shameless plea for some pro bono facial resurfacing work?  No.  My cavernous pores disappear into a flawless porcelain complexion when I'm not running.  Really. 

Another photo to illustrate how sweaty I am, lovely I know:

It was hot outside today -- H-O-T.  I didn't run earlier this morning because I woke up late enough for it to be Yellow Shuttle of Death Hour.  Those school bus drivers may wave, but they do it as they're about to mow Alice and I down.  Running any time between 7-8 a.m. is perilous.

I brought along a water bottle (for Alice, so she doesn't trip on her tongue on runs) and headed up Brown Avenue like usual.  My knees are moving into the crunchy/scabby stage of healing alternated with ooey gooey draining so bending them feels less than comfy.  It did get me out of weeding this weekend though so...score! 

Time to shower and hook up my hydration drip.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Glad this didn't happen before the half marathon!

So Alice and I headed out on our first outdoor post-half marathon run today -- it was sunny, warm (bordering on hot), there lots of friendly folk out, it was nice.  On the way back from our short run a dog bolted to the edge of its yard and spooked poor Alice, I tumbled over her and this is what it looked like.  Ouch.

Luckily a state trooper was passing by and asked if we needed help.  Maybe because I was standing there with blood running down my leg.  He gave us a ride home and told me he had seen us running before.  I told him to wave next time and to feel free to give us a ride home...even if I'm not injured.  The neighborhood gossip that me getting out of the back of a cop car has inspired, I can't imagine...  Two sweet/nosy neighbors have already been over.

I just compared my bloody knee from December with my bloody knees now and -- score! -- I have improved in that as well!  Wow, I went from one mildly ripped up knee to a complete set of bloodiness!  All the training in rolling around in gravel/ falling in catastrophic ways paid off!  PR, folks!  PR!!!!

December 2010 -- totally understated
April 2011 -- I went HOUSE
on these knees!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Race report!

First half marathon -- done!  The weather was a little chilly but sunny.  It was good running weather.  I waded into the half marathoners:

There were lots of people...but not too many.  Starting with a smaller race like this was nice.  Everyone spaced out quickly.  My favorite moment of the first couple miles?  

[Undergrad looks at me doing my 4 minutes running 1 mine walking Galloway routine] and says, "Oh that girl is doing the run-walk thing.  That is so good, I remember when I was using that to start off."  

When did I hear this?  When I was passing them...and I never saw them again.  The run-walk thing worked great!  I made it up all the hills on the course, passing folks who stopped to walk.  I felt really strong the whole time.  And I concentrated on not getting caught up in passing people.  I just focused on keeping myself at a good strong steady pace.  

Woody, Mary, Alice and Maddy met me at mile 10 to cheer and ask me piercing appetizing questions like "Want some lasagna?"  Here I am doing my extra special Chariots of Fire running pose for Mary and Maddy:

Here's some video of me and my elegant gazelle strides:

 I finished with a time of 2:17!  That's a 10:27 mile.  I'm pretty happy with that considering the course was hilly and the longest run I'd done up till today was 11.5 miles.  I felt good through the whole race and performed evenly the whole time!  Woody and Mary finished the 5k in under an hour, which we were all happy with, Maddy and Alice included!

Afterwards we posed for some finishing medal shots and some serious stretching:

Woody & Rachel

Rachel collapsing in exhaustion on her sister Mary

Mary helping Rachel stretch

So all in all, I'd do it again!  And I I just need to find another race...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Last run before race!

On to the 13.1!  This morning I did my last 30-minute run.  I chugged along on the treadmill at the gym to test drive some new running shorts.  Have not yet had the nerve to try out my new running skirt.  I didn't think of myself as a running skirt kind of person...but wow, do they feel kind of comfy.  Will report when I'm "on the other side"!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

9:20 miles

This morning on the treadmill I decided to go a couple of miles without the 1 minute walk breaks I take after 4 minutes (a la the Galloway plan).  They went pretty well!  I did 9:20 miles for 2 miles and then did the last mile Galloway style.  I think I'll keep playing around with this on the shorter runs...although Alice will definitely miss the 1-minute sniffing breaks.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sherpa running in SC

If I did some bikram running in Chile last week, thanks to the hotel gym's 78-degree-nonbudgeable thermostat, yesterday I did some sherpa running here in SC.  The mighty sherpas of the Himalayas struggle with loads like this:

By contrast the sherpas of B'ton, SC struggle under the weight of multiple bags of Cheetos or flats of Mountain Dew when they're on sale.  In my case, a full-up water bottle belt stuffed with gels, some dog treats and a cell phone and a improvised hands-free leash made my run feel pretty clunky yesterday.  Here is a dramatic reenactment of my running rig (note: I'm wearing gym clothes from this morning.  Those shorts ride up way too much for running, but seem to serve as good motivation for Woody to follow me to the gym.):

The improvised hands-free leash worked but kept shifting around like crazy.  At times it would creep under the exposed Velcro to make a really heart-warming scritchy scratchy sound.  This did work better/look less ridiculous than wearing two belts though.  I tried wearing the hands-free leash under my water belt and it rode so low that it brought back memories of Brittany Spears/the 70s.

This rig allowed Alice and I to run together for a LONG time -- she went for all 10.25 miles with me and had a great time!  I shared my water with her and brought along a few treats (which we actually didn't use, didn't want any puppy puking to go on).  She got home and promptly launched into tornado mode...before taking a nice long nap.  I took a close look at her paws and they look just fine.  The vet said she could go this long and I didn't quite believe him.  Now I do.  It's neat to see how exciting she gets when she sees me take out the running belt.

I was scheduled to do 14 yesterday and only did a little over 10 because the back of my knee has been a little cranky.  This is my last long run before the half marathon on April 2 and I'm feeling pretty good!  I'm just going to keep stretching and lounging about in Epsom salt baths to loosen up the muscles around my knee.  Mary gets here March 31 and I can't wait to see her!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bikram running in Chile

This morning was my first run in Chile!  I googled running routes in Santiago and there were many.  I also saw lots of folks plodding around my hotel's neighborhood.  But none of them were huffing and puffing ladies on their own like I would be.  Not to mention, there are a ton of stray dogs (but strangely clean stray dogs) here in Santiago and I wasn't afraid of them...I just wanted to take all of them home.  So this morning I descended to the basement "Health Center" of the hotel.  The heater on in there read 24 degrees Celsius which translates to "Way too friggin hot degrees" in Amurican Fahrenheit.  I tried to turn the heater off but nothing would work.  So I ran in what felt like a wigwam.  I did all 30 minutes scheduled for today but it was a very sweaty ungraceful affair.  I have another run scheduled for Tuesday, I might just venture outside for that one...

Friday, March 11, 2011

A chilly run before Chile

I head out to Santiago, Chile tonight on "university business" so I had to get in a long run before I left (being that I will be too busy gorging myself on food, shopping and, er, going to meetings to do so in Chile).  It was COLD again this morning!  I have been spoiled on the other long runs with some balmy conditions.  Not so this time, it was windy and 36 when Alice and I set out.  The pup was a bit of a pill this morning.  She seems to have developed a real sense of smell once she hit about 1 and has been distracted ever since (sounds like Maddy). 

We went for 6 miles and I dropped her off and did a belt and shirt change -- it was warming up and the super heavy pseudo-vinyl shirt I use for cold weather was getting too warm.  Then I headed out for the last 3 or so miles.  I made a quick stop at the tanning place on the square to say hello to the nice proprietor who always always waves to me when I run by.  It gives me a good boost and also reminds me not to wear too much mascara.  She seemed very nice in the few second chat we had, then I was back off heading home.

Here I am after my 9.5-mile run, the pace I kept was good!  About 10:10 miles.  I like this particular photo because it looks like a tree is growing out of my head:

It reminds me of the fabulous picture my roommate took of me before college formals in which it looks like there is one of those old school halogens growing out of my head.  I kind of looked like Whoopi Goldberg from her Star Trek: The Next Generation years:

In fact, from the forehead up I looked exactly like her.  From the forehead down, well, I don't wear blue lipstick.  After Labor Day.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A dreary 3 after a dirty dozen

It's Friday so I'm working from home.  A colleague of mine who will remain unnamed told me there is nothing better about getting tenure than ceasing with the whole "working from home" charade.  So hopefully this time two years from now I will be divulging what I'm really doing at home.  But it's hush hush till then...

So, yes, it's Friday which means I go running with Alice around lunch time.  It is dreary today.  Like bleak and gray and chilly.  Take a look:

(I think that overturned drywall spackle bucket makes it look even more bleak.  But that's just me.  We keep these things around either because a) we're lazy or b) they might be useful one day...when we want to make our yard look bleak.)  

I kept waiting around for the sun to peek through and checking the Weather Channel website hourly forecast searching for that 30 minutes of uninterrupted sunlight that I was sure was there somewhere.  No dice. 

Around 11 Alice had sufficiently demolished the house that it was really time to get her out on a run.  She had a great time.  Although the slightly off guy who stands on the corner in the main square warming up for his rap/R&B career did bellow something at us as we passed.  I turned around and gave him the shhhhhh sign as we passed (mostly because I was pissed that he spooked Alice) and he seemed to simmer down.  I kind of felt like I was in Berkeley again.  Although this man did not have a drum so not quite.

On Monday I told my head cold to take a hike and did 11.5 miles!  It felt really good probably because I followed my own advice and didn't overdress.  Alice came out with me for the first 6 and then I went out for another 6 mile loop.  This was the first time I used my fancy amphipod hydration belt (i.e., it holds water bottles) and consumed a Gu (I had to walk while I was doing this because I'm not that extreme of an athlete that I can eat and run at the same time.  I mean, I can eat and run in a hork down burrito and go to class way but not in a literal way.  You get it.)  It was a "two belt" run since I used the hands free leash to start and the hydration belt to finish.  I felt very well kitted out.  And now feel the need for even more belts.  Maybe something like this to finish the half marathon with panache:

My only hesitation is that I'm shaped like a surfboard and thus have no hourglass figure to accentuate.  Then again, neither did this guy.

I head to Chile at the end of this week and am bringing my running shoes!  I don't think I'll be pounding the streets of Santiago but at least I can chug along on the treadmill in the hotel.  Thankfully the elevation is not as crazy as when I was living in Mexico City.  Running at over 7000 feet is tough!  Especially when the treadmill is a manual one.  Yes, you read that right, a MANUAL one.  They also had belly jigglers in the gym I went to.  This photo looks like it is from the 1930s, but it is actually from my Mexican gym:

I don't know what that guy on the right is mixing up but I can imagine this machine being much more enjoyable with a cocktail.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Beautiful morning

When I got up this morning it was in the high 50s!  So, in keeping with my Don't Overdress Dictum, I just wore shorts and a t-shirt for our 30 minutes today -- it was great!  The sun was shining, there was a breeze, Alice pooped.  Twice.  A great start to the day.  Maddy decided to join us for our post-run picture.  She looks distracted because she is obsessing over whether I will remember to feed her breakfast.  (I did.)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Overdressed as usual

Today I did 10 miles and, while the last 2 were kind of sucky, I still landed up with a 10:24 mile pace!  Reminder to self though:  don't overdress.  When it's 45 degrees out wear just a t-shirt.  Not a hat.  Not a virtually vinyl weight fancy running zip up.  Just a t-shirt.  And, when it seems like a good idea to wear a magenta sweatshirt dress, a red beret and mint green sunglasses, don't do that either.

I look like a cross between Andrew McCarthy and James Spader here.  Really, I have the A.M. hair:

I may have been wearing pink, but this, this was not pretty.  Not even in an 80s way.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


It's foggy and drizzly today here in B'ton.  I feel like I'm back in San Francisco again.  With some notable differences that I won't mention so I don't sound too bitter about not being able to find any g*dd**n good sourdough bread around here.

Since it has been rainy the past few days, the dogs have been cooped up or, when they're outside, trying to perform their bodily functions as quickly as possible so as to be able to bolt back inside and shiver.  Or jump all over the couch before politely wiping their paws.  Today Alice needed to run with me.  Or we would all have a not so good very bad Saturday.  So off we went...a full 5 feet before I went shoe-deep in a puddle.  Maybe this is what they call "technical" trail running.  My right foot was technically soaked.  But I persevered!  Mostly because I had only gone 5 feet and the embarrassment (in front of the neighbors who don't care) would have been too much.

Alice was a bit of a maniac on our run but that wasn't unexpected.  She is cozied up next to me now sleeping so I'm convinced the run was good for her, even though while on the run I was quite sure her head was going to explode she was so glad to be outside and moving.  At the end of the jaunt she found tennis ball #2 of her running career:  a very nice bright Dunlop Grand.  Like before she carried it all the ways home, ability to breath be damned.  I present to you the storied romance of a puppy and her beloved felt orb:

"How I love you tennis ball, let us spoon together."

"Oh no!  Tennis ball!  Why have you left me bereft?"
"Let me massage you gently with my jaws..."

"And let us frolic on this luxurious Tuesday Morning area rug!  Yes!  You on top!"

The End.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Puppy pedi

I took Alice to the vet today for a running check up -- he took a look at her paws and said it looks like she is doing great keeping me company on jaunts!  I've been using some pet salve on her paw pads to keep them nice and supple.  The stuff smells great so I don't even mind when she jumps up on the bed after we smear it on her. 

The vet told me 3-5 miles is a drop in the bucket for Alice (wish it was the same for me...) so I am thinking of taking her along for some 6-8-mile runs to see how she does.  After the checkup I took her up to the dikes to get our 30 minutes for the day in.  She had a great time!  It was muddy so we both finished the run looking good and grimy.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Number 9, number 9, number 9...

Today I headed into Clemson to run the actual race course for my long run -- here's a link to what I did (Just about.  I veered left instead of right at the end so I landed up doing 9 instead of 10 miles, no biggie, I was scheduled to do 9.5 today.)  The beginning of the course was hilly in that gradual build dammit-why-won't-this-thing-end way.  And around mile 3 the vitamins I took that morning started to turn my stomach.  That lasted for two miles.  Whole Foods, you make good vitamins but man are they not happy when being jostled around.  After 6 miles, I got to the really beautiful part of the run -- the dike on Lake Hartwell.  I had never been up there before and, with it being around 65 and sunny, it was gorgeous.  And flat!  And soft and grassy, which was actually kind of weird and a little uneven to run on.  Even if it was better for my legs.  Here's someone else's view:

It really took my mind off the run and I loved looking around -- Maddy and Alice would love it up here, so I think we'll take them back some time.  I spent about 3 miles on the dike and then headed back past the golf course and to the Brooks Center, where I finished!  I went in to say hello to Woody and steal some water from the green room. 

I just checked my pace for the run and I ran 10:31 miles!  Woohoo!  That is 30 seconds better than my usual pace.  I feel pretty good right now but that will probably change this evening when my body realizes it ran 9 miles today...