Thursday, June 29, 2006

10K Playlist

I am one of those runners.
You know, the ones with the headphones. The ones who are not taken seriously because they listen to music while running by the other, more serious, non-headphoned runners.

At the start of the Atlanta marathon last year, while I stretched pre-race in front of the sole heater, I received a great deal of marathon advice from 2 very enthusiastic Atlanta marathon veterans. One had never broken 4 hours at Atlanta and this was his 5th Atlanta and 15th marathon. The other was a 30+ marathoner who regularly ran a 3:30 marathon. So one faster and one slower but both more experienced and older than me.

They queried me about my rhinestone sunglasses, training regime, mileage, taper, injuries, experience, times etc etc. And then warned me to just "hope for finishing" and scrap the 4 hour goal. They cautioned me that I should be worried if I see the cone guy.
"It's all over if you see him," one said.
"Try to catch a ride with him and just go home and enjoy your turkey," the other added.
Finishing, they concurred, should be my only goal--nothing else.

I was feeling pretty confident about the race til I started talking to them.

The banter was friendly til they spied my ipod. They both recoiled, rolled their eyes and then one of them said to me, quite smugly, that "listening to music while you run gives you a false sense of pace."

Whatever the fuck that means. I am still trying to figure that one out. I mean after the race-- when all is run and done-- your pace is whatever your pace was. Who cares if you thought you were going faster than you really were?

At any rate, I responded with: "Sense of pace, sense of smace--All I know is that I did a 21 mile training run without my tunes and then the following week did the same run again with my tunes and ran it 30 minutes faster. Your pace is your pace. And mine is faster with music."

With that I left for the start. I lost the slower one around the first mile and never saw him again. The 3:30 guy I had in my sight til around the half point and then I didn't seem him again til the finish. He did a 3:30, I did a 4:08. Not too bad for a first marathon-- or for having a false sense of pace.

And now, I no longer have to worry about having a false sense of pace. I have a new running partner. He is sexy as hell and fits firmly on my wrist. Actually, he takes up my whole wrist and covers half of my forearm. His name is Garmin, Garmin Forerunner 201 and he motivates the hell out of me and pisses me off all at the same time. Like any good, lover, er,I mean, running partner should.

So, at the Peachtree next Tuesday I will be the uberwired girl in the red hot shorts and blue visor with her ipod strapped firmly on her bicep, her lover on her wrist and her celly on her hip.

And this is the music that will hopefully take me over those 6 hot and hilly miles at a sub 8 minute pace:

Two Step by Dave Matthews
Blue Monday by New Order
Save it For Later by English Beat
Where You Come From by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Starry Eyed Surprise by Paul Oakenfeld
The Body of an American by The Pogues
Jump Around by House of Pain
Sleep Now in the Fire by Rage Against the Machine
Where's Your Head At by Basment Jaxx
Hung Up by Madonna
The Sikbed of Cuchulainn by The Pogues

The playlist is optimistically 47 minutes flat. The goal here is to beat the list, you know, since I am obviously not going to beat the Kenyans-- or anyone else for that matter. Gotta compete against something. I mean it is a race afterall.

If anyone else wants to post their favorite running playlist or also have one for the Peachtree I'd love to hear it.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Very crappy week.

Weekly mileage: 19 miles. Ugh.
No items found-- I did spy a blue golf ball at the beginning of my Sat run but forgot to pick it up on the way back in.

Off to a better start this week and working on getting back on track. I've got 11 miles to make up for last week. I doubt I'll get them in but I'll be happy if I just get closer to my 40 mile goal rather than 30 mile acceptable goal this week.

I had dinner with friends last night and I drank way, way too much wine and stayed up much, much too late. Fun fun fun but I certainly paid for that fun this morning. I just felt absolutely wretched. Despite the raging headache and hangover lethargy I rallied and ran a decent 6 miles-- in the pouring rain.

I actually enjoyed the rain since it kept it cool and it was kind of quiet and pretty. I did not, however, enjoy my rain soaked shoes that by the end of the run felt like lead weights some cruel person tethered to my feet. I kept leaping over puddles and by the end I was like really, what is the point? So I splashed through every one I came across. Silly and childish, I know, but fun.

At any rate this was the first run I've done in month when the temp was below 80 degrees. Even with the handicap of my hangover I felt eight thousand times better than I did on Friday's run when I ran and it was 98 degrees. I imagine that was a little like what the early moments of dying must feel like.

I am hoping with this rain it will keep the temps down a bit and I am praying that my shoes will dry out enough so I can run or at least go to the gym tomorrow. I really love my Brooks and hope I haven't destroyed them.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Weekend at the Beach

We have devised a new and wonderful tradition. It is called Father's Day weekend at the beach. Specifically, Father's Day Weekend with a few friends at Hilton Head Island.
Ryan and I and our kiddos and Tara and Dusty and their Chase had the most fun weekend I think two couples (1/4 who was preggers--not me) and three kids could possibly have.
Sure, there were the usual vacay sanfu's that one deals with when they travel with small children and me-- but those pale in comparison to the fun that was had.
And hey, check out Tara--six months pregnant and still as cute as ever. You too Dusty.

Later, Beau and Chase took a 2 hour nap on the beach chairs. So awesome!
Tara and I read our magazines and tried to think up names for baby girl. I practiced yelling the names out just to see how it would sound when baby girl needed to disciplined.
The guys fished and caught a bunch of tiny sharks. None bigger than a foot but they did catch a lot. All were released so that they can grow up to be big sharks.
Ryan and Carmella danced in the ocean. Carmella is a true beach lover. She loves to be dirty and coated with sand. She loves to make sand castles and play in the ocean. She never complains and will spend all day on the beach.

After the beach we went to dinner at the Salty Dog.
Chase and Carmella shagged to Brown-eyed Girl on the deck at the Salty Dog. Beau harassed Cappy the Clown.

After dancing they enjoyed some ice cream cones. This year I insisted Ryan buy them vanilla so we would not have to deal with the toxic aftermath from cosmic flavored ice cream--like we did last year. For the record: Blue poop is scary.
Sunday was more of the same: beach, playing, swimming, the occasional meltdown, more fishing, sleeping, more beer--all good stuff, really.

The kids dug up a family of very tiny crabs they found on the beach. Carmella made sure the boys didn't kill the family.

Sunday we dined at a restaurant that over looked South Beach Marina.Yummy drinks and food.
There was an amazing view and the kids loved looking at the boats.
Dinner was going great-- a rarity when dining out with kids.
Well, it was going great until Beau tossed Chase's truck over the railing.
Dinner pretty much ended shortly after that.

On Monday we played on the beach again. Tara and Dusty and Chase left late afternoon.

Ryan and I decided to stay an extra day.
That night we had pizza and waited forever while the kids waited to have their faces painted. Beau proved, as usual, to be the entertainment for everyone waiting by being clownier than the clown. I was, as usual, a bit embarrassed but Cappy the clown seemed not to mind. She painted a shark on one of his arms and alligator on his leg and lobster on his other arm. He was more than thrilled.

Carmella got a princess ballerina and a heart. I could tell she was nervous Cappy was going to paint her whole face but seemed happy with the results.

On Tuesday, our time on the beach was short. Carmella and I built a fantastic sandcastle for her mermaid.

We tried to enlist Beau's help but he wanted to do more demolishing than building so we wouldn't let him help.

So he had a meltdown--or as Carmella put it "freaked out like ice" and then had a nap on the beach again.

We were all sad to go. . .

On the running front, since I was out of town, I didn't get to update my weekly mileage. So. . . 33 miles last week. No items found.

This week I am not even going to get close to meeting my weekly goal. I ran 6 1/2 miles on Sunday in Sea Pines but then later that day I stepped on a bee and it stung me. My foot was swollen and sore Monday and Tuesday. No one wanted to help me out with watching the kids Wednesday or Thursday not to mention it has been 100 degrees. So I've been hitting the gym. Oh well. I probably needed a break. I say this but I am really bummed about not running this week. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe Saturday. Still though, had a great time at the beach!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Who's Fooling Who?

Carmella just finished her two week stint at camp. The above picture is from her last day. It was Carnival day and she got to go in costume. They swim everyday so we incorporated her bathing suit into the costume. And by we I mean her. She nixed my first costume suggestion. It was too itchy.

She is a swim fairy.

She went to this camp last year too.It is an awesome outdoorsy, artsy, hippylike camp. The idea behind sending her to this camp is to slowly break her of her prissiness. As you can see from the above picture prissiness has prevailed. Yes, she gets dirty and yes she wears shorts and has fun; but no, she won't touch the bugs and pink is still her favorite color. And yes, princesses and fairies and Barbies are still all the rage. But so are snakes and swimming and tepees and silly jokes.

Seriously, it is a fun, think-outside-of-the-box kind of camp. They teach the kids to swim, they ride horses, play with farm animals, do art projects, and put on little plays-- all the while nurturing a love of nature and respect for the planet.

As I have mentioned several times previously, like here and here, that Carmella sometimes has a hard time with the think outside of the box mentality. She is a rigid rule follower. So much so that last week when it was Crazy Hair day she didn't once mention to me that it was going to be Crazy Hair day.

When I dropped her off at camp on Crazy Hair day and realized it was Crazy Hair day--which, if I am being honest, it took me seeing quite a few people to realize it was Crazy Hair day not just regular hair day-- and knew it was too late to make Carmella's hair crazy I, understandably, felt terribly guilty. And by guilty, I mean as in I failed her as a mother guilty.

I kissed her and apologized and said goodbye and sent her off to camp with her normal hair fixed exactly how she instructed me to fix it. She seemed fine and not too disappointed but still, I had a horrible knot in my stomach the rest of the day just knowing (because mothers just know these things about their daughters) that she was probably so sad because she didn't get to participate in Crazy Hair day and it was all my fault. Ugh!

When I picked her up that afternoon I again apologized to her and asked if she was sad that she didn't have crazy hair. She said no and asked for the rest of her lunch that she hadn't finished eating at camp. As she munched on what was left of her peanutbutter sandwich she admitted that she had purposely not told me about crazy hair day.

And then, as we drove home and she finished off her pretzels, she further admitted that she had been relieved when I didn't find the memo stuck in her backpack: A memo that, once discovered, clearly stated about the now past Crazy Hair day and the upcoming Carnival day--which, by the way, Carmella was quite excited about participating in. This memo-- by the way-- had deliberately been put in a pocket that I never look in by er, um, cough, Carmella! I never look in this pocket because there is never anything in there. Well, that will teach me.

And here is where I have to admit that I am more than a little bit scared.

Ever since Carmella has turned five I just keep discovering all these things that make me more and more fearful of the teenage years.

Friday, June 16, 2006

ING Georgia Marathon

At the gym today I saw on the news that ING is adding Georgia to its marathon portfolio.

I guess I found my spring marathon.

Monday, June 12, 2006

7 Year Scratch

7 years and you still scratch all my itches, baby. If that doesn't get your romantic juices going then maybe this will:
I wrote a poem.

Okay, you know I am an over-achiever at the school of why do something new when you can just rework something old. So really, it is a rewriting of the old poem called Gravity. What can I say? I still like the metaphor.
I know, the older poem is about another relationship, a failed relationship. That is the point, right? We aren't failed. That's why it didn't apply to us. So you see, I had to rewrite it. Because, while all those old relationships brought me to you they just really don't matter anymore. No need to preserve silly old emotions that don't play into the big picture.

Oh, and, when I say "wrote" I mean I've been writing it while run and I carry and edit it in my head. See, it is for all these reasons why I am not a poet and I am okay with that.

This "new" poem is called Defying Gravity. Here goes. . .

Gravity shall be the universal and obligatory love among all massive objects
The Bible According to Einstein

Gravity diminishes the empty spaces
between us. Love is the field.
There, we touch and tease. Our bodies:
the mass that it consumes.
Newton tells us,
the force between two bodies is proportional
to the product of their masses.
He warns us,
it will weaken with distance squared.
I keep you close.
Our home is the moon;
two stars are our brilliant light.
And here we are: still weighty, yet balanced and
floating beyond earthy things.
Always mindful of the sun.


My number came today and I am in time group 1A for the Peachtree! Yippy!

I had a bit of a scare this weekend when I found out that Poppy got his number last Thursday and Bubbles's friend Barbie got hers last week too.

I am very excited to be at the front of the pack of 55,000 runners for this year's race rather than way at the back--I've had numbers starting with 7,000 and with the dreaded 9,000 back of the pack in the past. It isn't a lot of fun to navigate through the walkers when you came to run.

Maybe I'll even get to start before the winner is declared this year too.

Regarding other races I have begun to narrow down a marathon. Help me decide and if anyone has any experience/opinion with any of these races I'd love to hear it:

1) OBX Marthon ; Nov 12th.
2) Richmond Marathon; Nov 11th
3) St. Jude Marathon in Memphis; Dec 2nd
4) Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, AL; Dec 9th
5) Miami ING Marathon; Jan 29th, 2007

Okay, so while Rocket City and Memphis both appeal to me I worry about their "no head phones" clause. I wonder how seriously it is enforced as I need my music. Miami is a bit too far off and it eliminates a potential possibility of a BQ for 2007. However, a beach vacation in January does sound kinda nice and Ryan does have family in West Palm and Miami.

But then again, I'd really like to try to BQ this year. I think I can do it. I'll be 35 so my qualifying time for Boston is 3 hours 45 minutes. That means shaving 23 minutes off my previous marathon time. I really think that is a realistic goal--assuming I pick an "easier" course than Atlanta, which I think all of the above are.

Also, if I do Richmond or Outer Banks I could still do the Atlanta half marathon at Thanksgiving. Actually I can do any of the above except for St. Jude's. I think the half is too close to St. Jude's to work into my taper. I really like the half, so if possible I want to run it.

I am looking at Richmond because I think I might want the experience of the bigger marathon but then again maybe I don't. Really, I just included this one because it is touted as a fast course and I like the date. I'm not really sold on the course, it sounds a little boring to me but the crowd support could make up for that.

The Outer Banks is appealing because the course sounds visually stimulating and, so they claim, is also flat and fast. However, this will be its inaugural running and I am also concerned about the wind factor.

What to do, what to do. . .

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Day at the Lake

Saturday was our first day at the lake this summer.
Carmella loves the boat:Beau loves the idea of the boat.Both kids do love swimming in the lake. Little fishes.
They also love jumping off the boat and climbing back in and doing it all over again, and again. Carmella likes to go fast; Beau, surprisingly, does not. Except when he is driving.
Carmella can almost do a flip off the boat. Okay, so she pretty much does a somersault but she does rotate in the air and land on her butt.I tried to get a picture of both of them jumping off the boat together. But Beau was too fast. He did find something even more fun to do than jump off the boat. . .
Climbing down the anchor's rope!
It was a really nice day.
Saturday was also Meme's birthday. Happy birthday Meme!
After the lake we all trekked over to Bubbles and Poppy's house for a yummy dinner of steak, shrimp, grilled veggies and keylime pie. We sang happy birthday to Meme and Poppy. And celebrated an early Father's day. We would have also celebrated Lala's birthday but unfortunately Pop is in the hospital with blood clots in his lungs. So they couldn't come. Damn blood clots messing up a good time. Pop is going to be fine. He gets to go home Monday. Stay on your Cumadin Pop so you won't miss anymore parties at Bubbles's house.
Here are some pictures of the kids.
Carmella and Beau adore their cousin baby Pat. Especially Carmella.Beau does get his nose a little out of joint because Carmella lavishes her attention on baby Pat instead of him.He gets over his pouting and they all play nice together-- that is when Carmella will let him play.
One more superfluous picture.
Today after my run I came home to find the kids playing dress up. For Carmella this means putting on all her princess attire. For Beau this just means taking off his clothes and brandishing his blue sword.
In other news, today Beau swam without his "super pack" (adjustable back flotation device). I didn't get a picture of it as I was the one "teaching" him to swim. And by teaching I mean coaxing him off the steps to swim to my lovingly outstretched arms while I evilly backed up; just staying ever so slightly out of his reach. Unlike Carmella did when I "taught" her to swim, Beau didn't get mad. A little panicked, yes, but not mad. He did really great. All and all he only swam about 6 feet at a time but I feel confident by summer's end he will be quite the proficient doggy paddler.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Weekly Log

Better week.

I had 4 days to run outside and did a 5K sprint (sprint for me) on the treadmill in 22 minutes 7 seconds. I also did 10 miles on Sunday and 10 again on Wednesday because the temperature was a cool and breezy 80 degrees on those days. Still pretty damn hot in the sun and that made the last few miles a bit tortuous-- but better than the 90 degrees of the previous week. Bringing water along is a must. I need to get one of those waist holsters to carry my water because my arm gets tired. Thursday and Saturday were 6.5 miles runs each.

I feel like a bit of my fire has gone out not getting into New York. Even though it wasn't a sure thing it was motivating me. I really need to nail down a marathon.

Weekly Mileage: 36 miles (38 if I include the 2 one mile sprints I did M/Tu)
Items found: zero

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Not in with Lance

I didn't get into the New York marathon.

I was just informed via email that my number was not drawn in the lottery. Oh well, maybe next year or the next-- if not, then definitely in 2009. Apparently if you get rejected 3 times you are guaranteed entry for the 4th year. Small consolation when I want to run it THIS year.

Guess I better start shopping for another marathon this fall.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Running log

I had a tough time this week finding willing family to watch the kids. I only got to run outside Sun, Mon and Sat. The rest of the week I spent at the gym doing the elliptical, treadmill sprints and weights.

I don't mind the elliptical, it is kind of boring but as far as the cardio machines go I can do that one the longest. I usually do a couple of 1 mile treadmill sprints throughout the week after the elliptical or after a weight session.

Weights, though, I hate them. I am just not really motivated about lifting. It is so unbelievably boring but sadly very necessary for me. I lift to prevent injury from running. And it works. I do leg weights once every week or 2 and I have had zero problems from my running in regards to my knees, hips, ankles, feet and back. Admittedly, I do have a bit of an ankle problem but that is because I fell down the steps and twisted it. Weightlifting can't save me from my clumsiness.

I also lift to balance my top half with my bottom half.This is where most of my weight work goes: upper body. Some runners are lucky and have the type of physique where their upper body is small and lean, and that looks perfectly balanced with their small and lean bottoms halves. Not so for me. I think maybe because I use to be a swimmer but for whatever reason I am bulkier up top, naturally flabbier. I will never have that lean, lithe look that I notice and envy on other women runners, at least not without viscously working my upperbody. So I lift weights in hopes to have consistent overall tonality. Even still, my lower half could totally kick my top half's ass, I mean, you know, if it had an ass.

So anyway, the point here is that I generally don't include my gym work into my weekly mileage count unless I do a longish run on the mill. But this week I am going to count my treadmill sprints into my weekly mileage count since I did 8 1 mile sprints (usually I just do 2 or 3 in any given week) and, most importantly, if I count them it will get me to my goal mileage.

So. . .
Weekly mileage: 30 miles--just barely. My goal, until I start marathon training, is to keep weekly mileage between 30-40 miles. I am finding this is not as easy to do as when the kids were in school.

Items found: one pink rubber bracelet in the Livestrong fashion that says "Never forget Katie Mae Gatis" that Carmella has taken to wearing.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Sign maybe we drink too much

Today, after Beau's speech therapy his therapist was giving me the run down of the session. We discussed how he was starting to get the s sound at the beginning of words and how he had improved and was now having at least a sound at the beginning of words--maybe not the right consonant sound, but a consonant nonetheless-- and was getting all the syllables and intonation in there too. Basically, good news that he is continuing to make progress. Whew.

Then she showed me a book with pictures in it that she has begun using with him. She'll point to a picture and then get him to tell her what it is and they will work on the word from there and perfecting the specific sounds in the word.

She pointed out to me a bottle of coke--actually it was a generic bottle of soda but I'm a Georgia girl, so all soda is coke. I was thinking she was going to tell me he said "Lala's house," thus ratting out my mom for giving him coke because the only place he would see coke, er, soda would be at her house.

But no, when asked what the picture was Beau said, "Ugh, beer?"