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.