Wednesday, September 2, 2009

In Love with Intervals

If I could do intervals every day, I would be a seriously happy girl!
Last night, did 4x800m(1/2mi) at 8:56/mi with 0.2mi walk in between.
And as I walked back up the driveway to the garage, the sky opened and it POURED. Talk about perfect timing! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Oh, hello, blog!

Apparently August wasn't a good blog month for me. I knew it had been a while, but I didn't realize it had been quite THAT long. Luckily, I'm still keeping on top of tracking my workouts and I've been doing fairly good with my eating.

Run-down of long runs:
8/8: 5mi @ 14:09 -- ran 2mi and then did walk/run for the last 2. HOT
8/17: 6mi @ 11:38. Hoping for 11:30, but still pleased.
8/22: SKIPPED long run. BAD! Proceeded to eat half a box of cookies for dinner on Tuesday and not work out ALL week. Was terrified of 7mi on Sat.
8/29: 7mi @ 11:19!! This one completely and totally shocked me.

I started out and I thought "ok, this feels ok.. maybe it won't be so bad... Shut up, Jen, you're in the first mile. Of course it doesn't feel bad." And it definitely felt much worse after I hit 5mi. Actually it was tolerable until about 5.5mi, and then I was in "I NEED TO BE DONE NOW!!" mode. But I stuck it out, and I am completely and totally THRILLED with the pace. That was the pace I was running 3 and 4 miles in last year at this same time. I really really hope it's not a fluke. I want to keep getting stronger.

I'm actually excited to do 7mi again this weekend, to prove to myself that I can do it, and do it well!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Push it good!

Well, after a less-than-impressive run on the treadmill in the AC on Tuesday, I felt like I had something to prove yesterday on my 2-miler. I stuck to the happy AC'd treadmill, and managed a 10:27min/mi pace. I wouldn't win any medals, but I felt extremely accomplished. Then I took the dogs for a walk, and took Max to his agility class, which was a ton of fun. I wish Clancy was dog-friendly so that we could take him to something like that. I think he'd really enjoy it. I'm hoping that we can find something in the fall that might help him get socialized.. some kind of one-on-one lessons, maybe? It has to be a super controlled environment for me to feel comfortable trying it. It's no fun feeling like you brought the bully to the park.
I have another 3.5-miler to do tonight, and I'm going to take it nice and easy so I can be rested for the 5-miler on Saturday. I think I'll keep it no higher than 12min/mi for the first two miles. And on the treadmill, it's a little easier to force myself to stay at that pace. Well, a lot easier. I'm not about to run off the front of the thing. :)  I must say, it's been rather nice being able to run AFTER work. I can't wait until it starts cooling off. I can aaaaalmost feel it coming -- I drove back to my friend's condo with the windows down on Monday. Aaahhh.
After I do my run tonight I'm going to meet Dave back at the house after his run downtown, so I'll be able to get in some quality time with my boys. I won't have time for a movie, but we'll get some chill time and stuff some food in our faces. lol.
Wednesday Foodstuffs:
B: oatmeal-n-OJ
L: half of the steak leftover from Sunday and teryaki rice
S: dark chocolate square
D: two packs of oatmeal ... I was too tired to go get real food. lol

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Just a day

Yesterday was eh. Boring morning at work followed by a busy afternoon. Pet-sitting gets better every day. Taking one of the dogs to agility class tonight. That should be fun. Going to do my best to get in 2mi on the treadmill before that. I'll have to see if that will work out though.. I need to leave time to shower too...
Yesterdays goods:
B: oatmeal-n-OJ
S: dark chocolate piece
L:  turkey and provolone w/lettuce and tomato on a wheat wrap; chex mix
D: 3/4 of a medium firehouse hook-n-ladder w/o mayo; 20oz Dr Pepper (total craving. worth every calorie!)
E: 3.5mi on the treadmill @ 11:26/mi. I'm thinking I might adjust my goal pace to 11:30. I hate to back off this early, but I don't want to burn out, either..
The end!
I'm so exciting..

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beeftastic day

I ate too much red meat yesterday, by a lot!
B: oatmeal-n-OJ
S: dark chocolate piece
L: Times Grill -- most of a 1/2lb cheeseburger and some sweet potato fries (i feel sick just reading that)
D: lean beef stir fry with bell peppers, soy sauce, and BBQ sauce over rice
Then last night I did a bit of yoga (I think I made it 3 whole minutes this time. lol) and some crunches to make myself feel less pathetic. :) I was supposed to run 3.5mi this morning, buuuut somehow I managed to bring many runing tops/bras, but NO shorts. What the heck? I need to run back to target for a couple of random things after work -- there's a Target maybe 0.5mi from where I'm house/pet-sitting -- and I think I'll pick up a new pair. I only have a couple that I like, so it's not really wasteful spending. I also have access to an air-conditioned gym where I am this week, so I'm thinking I'll stop at target, go to the condo, walk the dogs, hit the gym, run to the little deli place and pick up something for dinner, then take it home and feed the dogs/eat/shower ... and then relax and try to tire out the cats. :) I need to call my mom, too.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Home away from home..

Saturday began a week of house/pet-sitting for a friend. She has 5 cats and 2 dogs, and I have my hands full! I haven't slept much, but I'm  hoping that will get better tonight.
Food from this weekend:
SAT: (NOT a good food day)
B: oatmeal & OJ
"L": a shortbread cookie
D: 2 slices Al's pizza, of the pepperoni variety
SUN: (marginally better..)
B: 2 packets oatmeal
L: peanut butter & banana sandwich
D: 1/2 a steak, grilled asparagus, and terriyaki rice
Workout-wise, well, I touched on my Saturday run... I made it 2.5mi at goal pace and had to stop, and I was completely and totally done. I walked 3/4mi and then did a little bit of speedwork, just because I wanted to be home sooner. Sunday is my rest day, though it didn't feel very restful. Tonight I'll attempt to do yoga again, though I'm not sure how that will go with 7 animals! My legs and knees are feeling a little tired/sore for some reason, so I don't think I'll do intervals tomorrow. I have access to a gym, so maybe I'll do 3.5 on the treadmill and see how I feel.. I'm  not a treadmill fan, but I'm an AC fan. I desperately need a good run, but I have a feeling it's unlikely that I'll get one this week in light of the lack of sleep and less-than-stellar eating. Oh well. One day at a time.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Not a good morning

Just got in from a sucky long run. But I guess I could just say "a long run," and the sucky part is kind of implied. ARGH. I'm so frustrated. I either need to drastically reduce my goal speed, which means running slow enough that I'm bored and not enjoying myself........ or quit training for a half marathon. And honestly, I want to quit the half marathon training. I'm not a solid enough runner at SHORT distances to realisticly train for a half marathon. And this is not a pity party -- this is fact. I've done this same thing before, and it wasn't enjoyable. Every step of that half marathon sucked. At least I had done it for charity and in my grandfather's honor -- those were the only things casting a slightly positive light on that race. Sooooooo what delusion is it that makes me think this time will be different, when I'm starting at the same point and doing the same things?? It won't be, and it's going to suck. But I already paid my $100 registration fee so that i could run it with my husband -- who I will make miserable for 13.1 miles. Yay for bonding.
Food from yesterday:
Breakfast: oatmeal n OJ
Snack: piece of dark chocolate
Lunch: panera chicken ceasar salad with dressing on the side -- only used about a half Tbsp instead of the 5 or 6 they gave me
Snack: grande light java chip frappucino
Dinner: 2 hot dogs and a handful of apple-cinammon mini rice cakes

Friday, July 24, 2009

Nothing special.

I had expected the scale to read 158 this morning. Surprisingly, it was only 150.8. I'm positive it will go back up over the next couple of days. I'm going to stop weighing myself so that I can pretend I'm staying there. hehe
I flaked on my run  yesterday.. but I did run with Kate this morning. Introduced her to my favorite thing -- intervals!  Intervals always make the workout seem shorter. :)
Food from yesterday:
Breakfast: packet of apple-cinammon oatmeal and a small glass of OJ
Lunch: 2 mini-bagel ham & cheese sandwiches from target, 100cal serving of honeywheat pretzels
Snack: Another 100cal serving of pretzels
Dinner: Italian sausage delight left-overs
Snack: handful of swedish fish.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The thing about scales...

Scales and I aren't really friends. My weight changes a lot on a daily basis, so the only real way for me to get a good handle on my weight would be to weigh myself every day -- and I just don't really like the idea of that. But sometimes I'll go through a couple of days where I will weigh myself, just to see how it looks. The last couple of days were an example of that.
I think my body handles water kind of poorly. I have a bad habit of not drinking anything except at meal time, and even then not very much. So my body is probably chronic(al?)ly dehydrated. And as of yesterday I'm into the dizzy-spells portion of the summer  (yaaaaay), wherein standing up = loss of vision and dizziness for 5 seconds or so. So clearly, some switch is in the wrong position somewhere in there ::points at herself::. And we all know that water and bloat have a sometimes-large effect on the numbers on the scale.  Imagine my entertainment at the following scale read-outs:
Tuesday: 153.6
Wednesday: 154.4
Thursday: 150.4
I was laughing so hard this morning. Even if it were physically possible for someone to lose 4lb in one day without hacking off a portion of their body, I can tell you for certain that yesterday would be the least likely day for it to happen. As evidence, I present my eating for the day of Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 AD:
Breakfast: packet of oatmeal and a small glass of OJ (okay, sounds like a good start)
Snack: 11 o'clock chocolate -- piece of heart-healthy dark chocolate (uh, not the best way to lose 4lb, but.. okay...)
Lunch: 1/2-palm-sized pork loin slice with a big helping (1.5 cups?) mixed veggies (not too shabby....)
Dinner: Olive garden!  2 deliciously-greasy pieces of garlic bread, 3/4 a glass of wine, grilled steak and chicken skewers with bell peppers, roasted potatoes, and mixed squash... and a cappuccino.
Really not horrible overall.. and you'd be amazed at how hard it is to avoid getting a cheese-smothered meal at OG. I had to really try for that one. Yeno, cause I had to run in the morning, and that would be a recipe for disaster. Not that I actually ran, mind you... *sigh*
But I WILL run this evening, and I'm doing intervals with Kate in the morning, I believe.. and bosu workout tomorrow after I get my car serviced... Yeah...
I totally lost 4 lbs!!!
I'm so kidding.  I'm sure it'll all be back tomorrow. But that was pretty funny.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Monday and Tuesday's activities

Well I guess I forgot to talk about my workouts for Monday and Tuesday. Bad me.

Monday I "did yoga". The only on-demand video I found that was long enough that I thought it would be a decent workout was WAY too advanced for me with my zero upper body strength and even less balance. It was definitely a good workout (I'm still sore in places!), and I only managed to get through maybe 8 or 9 minutes of it! I'd get back into it after lying face-down on my mat in total exhaustion for a few seconds, but I didn't make it very long each time. lol. So I think I'll start doing that on Mondays and try to get better at it.

Yesterday morning was the start of what I think will remain Interval Tuesdays. My watch was set for 7 intervals of 400m (1/4mi) with a .35mi rest between, I guess from the last time i did intervals. I dropped the rest down to .15mi for a good challenge, and I had an awesome time. There was a bit of a break in humidity (I could use a regular drinking straw to breathe, as opposed to those giant ones they give you with really thick milkshakes), and I felt great. I managed to do all 7 without extending the rest portions, and my average time for the run segments was about 9-9:05/mi. I love intervals. :)

And I think I'm going to start blogging my food for accountability's sake. So let's see... Yesterday:
Breakfast: 1 packet apple cinammon oatmeal, small glass of OJ
Snack: 11 o'clock chocolate break -- 1 piece dove dark chocolate (hey, it's good for my heart!)
Lunch: 6" ham sub on wheat with lots of veggies and no sauce/mayo, a banana
Snack: slice of cheese while cooking dinner
Dinner: Italian sausage delight -- hot italian sausage, bell peppers, and pasta, mixed with a squirt of italian dressing.
Snack: scoop of low fat ice cream. I'm menstrual. Back off. ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The softer side of Clanceford P. Cuteface


Let it never be said that Clancy doesn't have a soft side. Here he is spooning his mistress, Madame Piggy. And no, this was not a result of human interference. He likes to cuddle with his toys. teehee

Monday, July 20, 2009

7 Things

Beth tagged me in her blog to complete the task of posting 7 random things. I'm not sure if they'll be NEW things, but I'll try! :)
1. I used to hate the easter bunny because our dog ran away the night before easter, and my dad thought that telling us that he went to go help the easter bunny would soften the blow.
2. I was born in Brooklyn.
3. I love roller coasters, but haven't been to a roller-coaster-heavy theme park in a loooong time.
4. I recently named our two Oscars (fish) Milo and Otis. Otis is a bully.
5. Every morning, I check the perimiter of our back screened-in porch to make sure no frogs or lizards have wandered in under the door accidentally. My husband thinks I'm nuts, but the frogs die in a day of the hot sun with no protection, and the lizards will eventually starve. How could I leave them??
6. A few things I've never done but want to: kayak, jump on a trampoline, bungee jump, skydive, travel the world
7. I AM going to run the Disney half marathon in less than 11min/mi.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fun and Not So Fun

Life needs balance, right? Well I guess I got some this weekend...

Saturday was good. Woke up at 4:30a to head to Amelia Island for Dave's triathlon. He did a great job -- beat his best time for this distance by 20 minutes!! Met a few of the Hammerhead folks for a late breakfast at Johnny Angels (SO good!), and the idea was to go home and nap, but that didn't actually happen. Since Friday was Dave's birthday but we weren't able to go to dinner in light of the early morning, we had planned on going somewhere special on Saturday night. I had gotten some recommendations for new places we hadn't tried yet in town and at the beach, but we ended up going with somewhere out in Fernandina that we had been reminded of while driving home from the tri that morning. So at about 5:30 we hopped back in the car for a 50min drive to the Beech Street Grill. It's a gorgeous old building, built in 1885-89.. The food is good, the staff was amazing, and the prices were reasonable -- especially considering they actually gave a full meal. We've been a couple of places where a similarly-priced entree was less than half the size. So on my thin scientist wallet, I was pretty pleased. They even comped Dave's dessert because it was his birthday. I was hoping for a sombrero and a song, too, but I guess that's just the Jersey in me. ;)

Our original weekend plan included heading back home and to bed early, so that we could hit the road at 5 or 5:30 for a 4-5 mile run. But after being fattened up on yummy food, I was feeling so utterly exhausted that I couldn't fathom waking up in fewer than 10 hours. So we decided to live on the edge and go sans alarm clock for once, and push the run to the evening.

Got a lot done today.. Dave washed our cars, and I did my interior, washed my laundry, cleaned the kitchen... Ate our left-overs for dinner while catching up a bit on The Tour on tivo.. waited a couple of hours for digestion, and went out for the 4-5 miler. Officially I only needed to do 4 miles, but I wanted to try for 5. I knew by mile 1 that I wasn't going to be able to keep my 11min/mi pace for one more mile, let alone 4. So I decided to not worry about my pace, and suck it up and do 5 miles, no matter how long it took me. My lack of ability to breathe was beyond frustrating, and so while my legs (per usual) felt fine, I couldn't go any faster because I was on the verge of hyperventilating. And I'm not a nice person when I'm frustrated. Like, not at all nice. Like, I can't remember the last time I let rip a string of profanity quite so long. And we're still talking about maybe 1.25mi into the run here, folks. Ugh. I clung on for the five miles for what felt like five years of swimming. Pace was 11:52. I was at 10:44 last week for 4mi. Granted, it was in NJ, and granted I did give blood this week and I did flake a bit on my midweek runs... but it was completely demotivating to have a run like this just when I felt like I was making progress. I don't even care how fast I'm going - I just want to feel strong.

Oh, and at the triathlon, I also learned that there's a separate class of triathloners that are over a certain weight.... ... I am now 4lb over that weight. That made me a little bit sad. . . . But then I watched the half-ton teen (..again..), and comparatively, I'm doin all right. *snicker*

Friday, July 17, 2009

Win some, Lose Some

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband!! Hopefully he will enjoy my little gifty. I hate that I have zilch in the way of funds to get snazzy gifts, but.. such is life. We're going to try a new place for dinner tomorrow night, I think. That should be fun! And then Sunday after my long run, I think we're going to hang at the beach a bit and try the place that ships down stuff from Philly to make authentic cheesesteaks. We've been meaning to do that for ages, and I hope we're not disappointed. The atrocities that people in this region call "cheesesteaks" make me cringe!
Hope you enjoyed the picture of Clancy in his running gear. :) It's actually a dry-wick shirt, which makes me giggle (a) because it's ridiculous, and (b) because dogs don't sweat! lol He rocks it out, though, don't you think??
Weather and traffic killed my chance to run with Kate on Wednesday (she went by herself though! woohoo!), which may have been a good thing. And pure laziness killed my 3-3.5miler planned for Thursday morning. So, as punishment, I went last night at about 6:30. It was DREADFUL. I ran out of gas at just over a mile. I blame giving blood for that, but it probably has something to do with skipping my Monday run... And then I decided to turn it into an intervals workout, just to get something out of it. So I did 3x400 at about 8:40/mi, walking for 400m in between. I ended up averaging 12:20/mi, which is certainly slower than I planned, but I still got a good workout, so I'm not going to be too hard on myself. It was miserably hot and humid, and I was covered in sweat almost immediately. As an added bonus, there were clouds of gnats everywhere, and due to the aforementioned sweat, they STUCK to my skin. So gross. Needless to say, I was REALLY happy when I was back home.
Then this morning, I was NOT happy about getting out of bed. I was up later than I should've been, by no fault but my own. And apparently I forgot to turn off my garmin when I got home last night, so -- no pace reading. Poo. I knew roughly where we needed to go for 1.5mi, and we may actually have gone a smidge over, but Kate did awesome. Total rock star, even sprinted at the end. She's mostly over the whole 5am thing, so we're going to start just running together once/week, and she'll go solo twice a week. I just can't handle the sun in the evenings right now, unfortunately. It's probably for the best, since in 3-4 weeks I think I'll be doing enough mileage in my own training that I might not have the gas to go with her. So this should work out perfectly. And then when it cools down, we may be able to combine her runs and my runs on the same day, and I don't think it'll be much longer than that until we're at the same pace.
In other news -- I am completely wrapped up in the Tour de France. I'm a big Armstrong fan, more for his work for cancer fundraising than athleticism, but his triumphs are pretty amazing. And he's an amazing athlete to be giving these young guys a run for their money when he's 38 and has been out of cycling for 3 years. Today is supposed to be a big stage, so I'll be listening to the audio while I work this morning. It's a climb-heavy stage in the Alps, so Lance's team may do something fun/exciting. That would make my day.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pint shy of a full tank

I gave blood today! Hooray! I've been sucking down water like you wouldn't believe since then. I'm going for a run this evening (though recent weather reports seem to want to foil that plan...). What's that you say, you're not supposed to run after you give blood? Yeah, I know. But no one said I was smart. But I'll be running with Kate, so if I die, she can call someone. ::thumbs up::

Then tomorrow morning I need to do 3.5mi... run w/Kate Fri morning, and then cross-train on Fri evening (probably bosu!), and then (dun dun DUN) 5 miles on Saturday or Sunday.. probably Saturday morning. I'm ridiculously UNexcited about 5 miles. My two 4 milers were under the time goal of 11:00/mi (10:56/mi for #1 and 10:44/mi for #2 -- yeah Jersey weather!), but they didn't exactly feel like strong performances. Rather, I was on the verge of quitting for the last 2 miles, and near death for the last mile. My hope was that, at each mileage increase, I would feel ready for the challenge. I guess that's a little much to ask from myself considering my general lack of athleticism.

Hopefully I'll have the chance to put together a fun playlist on my ipod to keep me entertained at least. DJ Greg J will have to carry me through, yet again!

I had an amazing weekend in Jersey last weekend -- I went to my little-sister-from-another-mother's wedding and then spent the following day with my mom/dad, aunt/uncle, cousins/spouses, and cousins' kids. I haven't seen that whole crew since the wedding, which was almost a year and a half ago now. I got to play with 6 bundles of joy of various sizes, from 2 to 8 or 9, swim, hot-tub, and just generally soak up family time. I can't wait until we are back and closer to all of them. I have definitely started to make better friends down here, but between my family and my best friend and second family -- my heart is in Jersey. I cry just about every time I leave, though I can sometimes focus on the four-legged goofball waiting for me back in Jax.

Upcoming fun in my life:
7/17 Dave's bday
725 "Beach olypmics" - party for July bdays among Dave's triathlon friends
7/25-8/1 House/pet-sitting for my co-worker with 5 cats and 2 dogs
8/1 Family Photoshoot on the beach
8/15 Photoshoot w/Kylene
8/16 Photoshop Workshop for Professional Photographers (yeah.. it's like that. ;) )
9/12 Wedding shoot -- my first solo gig!


Testing posting via email.. Carry on.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Catching up, continued...

One more 5am run under the belt + shower + oatmeal + OJ. Not a bad start to the morning.

Okay so where did I leave off in my ramblings? Oh, half marathon training.

I am already signed up to do the Disney Half Marathon in early January, and barring any unforseen circumstances, I'll also be doing the Outback Half here in town on Thanksgiving Day. I am hereby putting my goals in writing... I want to do the Disney Half Marathon without walk breaks (aside from water) and at a pace of 11min/mi, which would put me across the finish line in 2 hours, 24 minutes and 1/10th of a second. I just read in Runners World that a woman who was 5 months pregnant ran a half in 2hours 2 minutes. She can bite me. And I mean that in the nicest way possible.

I guess I am technically almost 1/3 of the way through my training, since I ran 4mi on Sunday. It's not really 1/3 of the way when you consider that it started at 3 miles, though. :) I've finished three weeks out of.. 22? Something in that ballpark. So far I can tell that I need to do more cross-training and get more sleep. I can't imagine where in my day I could find the time for these things, though.

And speaking of time, yet again... It's time to make myself quasi-presentable and head to work. I can't even tell you how much I'd rather just crawl back into bed.

Monday, July 6, 2009

So, uh.. I guess it's been a while.. .. ..

There's been some talk on a message board that I frequent about blogs lately. Which made me remember something -- I HAVE ONE OF THOSE! Oh right!!

Okay, feeble attempt at catching up on the last five months:

Photography: Since February I've assisted with two weddings (one including a hike over to Tally which made for an excruciatingly long day, but was entirely worth it), done a solo engagement shoot for my best friend's sister back home (who is getting married on Friday!), along with an awesomely fun double trash-the-dress, and most recently, a maternity shoot (perhaps part one of two if I'm lucky!) with a nauseatingly adorable couple who happened to have gotten married on the same day that I did. In terms of equipment, I haven't bit into any new lenses, though I've been drooling. I have purchased wireless transmission hardware for my flash and a diffusion box, which allows for soft, off-camera light. This opens up a huge world of possibilities, since pictures are really nothing more than captured light. So the more control you have over the light, the more freedom you have to create images. . . . In theory. As I have freely stated, I am still a student in the early stages. I have passion and vision, but I still struggle with focusing those through my equipment into the product I had in mind. This has been especially true with my off-camera flash work. It's tricky and somewhat elusive at this point, and my opportunities to use it have thusfar been limited by time, heat, bugs, etc., so that I haven't really had the time/patience/subjects to make small adjustments and reshoot ad nauseum, which may be the only way for me to truly learn how each combination of settings translates into an image. I have a feeling my dog will have to suffer through some fun in the coming weeks!

Running: Well, seasons (I use the term loosely here, since we're talking about Florida..) have changed, and it's gone from winter's "crap this is uncomfortable" quickly to summer's "dear Jesus I can't breathe, and I think my vision is getting cloudy." Typically the local Gate River Run in March marks the end of my running "year," and like a confused bear, I hibernate until roughly September, when I emerge, cranky and out of shape, to consider the tortures of fall racing (another term used quite looseley, since we're talking about me...). I inevitably am miserable due to starting from ground zero, which just serves to remind me of the pains of running, not its joys. Last year I trained through the later part of the summer (I think I started training in late August), and my "achievements" were modest, but I did feel like I reached my goals, specifically running a 10K with no walk breaks.

This year, however, is a whole new ball game. The River Run was not the beginning of hibernation, but rather, regrouping. I focused on the couch-to-5K program that a friend had expressed interest in. While helping her by providing moral support and someone to make her feel guilty if she bailed on a run (never happened, for the record), this plan actually did a ton for my personal running. It forced me to get out there as the weather started to get warmer, but it also forced me to focus on consistency over shorter distances without particular emphasis on pace. Getting out there just to get out there. We did do a 5K last month, though the heat has just been brutal this year, so we've since extended the program with no specific date or race in mind. We're just slogging through the miles and getting stronger every day. What more can you ask for?? Oh, and we are now nocturnal. It was difficult to get used to, and I still struggle with it, but 5am running is the only way I can bear to continue. Even at that hour, the humidity is punishing, and the temperature is no picnic at usually 76-80 degrees. It may be a small reward, but it's worth the sacrifice!

In addition to that, I've started a somewhat willy-nilly half marathon training plan. It's roughly 2 times as long as the plan from which it was adapted. The reason for this is that the original plan, like most plans, has one week for each mile increase for long runs. So if your long run is 6 miles on week 4, it's 7 miles on week 5. And I know this is tried and true for many, but for me, it is tried and false, and several times over at that. So I will extend it so that I do each distance twice. Some argue that this will make me burnt out, because toward the end I will have been doing long runs for some time. And maybe they are right, and I will burn out. Or maybe I'll just get stronger. Only time will tell. And speaking of time -- if I'm going to be out the door at 5am, I had better hit the sack! I'll babble more tomorrow if I haven't forgotten this thing by then!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sad little Nike Dude!

Well, I shouldn't laugh at her, but my little Nike dude looks so pathetic! "I've turned into a couch potato! I need to run!" lol I had read that it would get tired and try to guilt me into running, but I hadn't seen it for myself. So I decided not to sync up my runs for a bit and see what happened. LOL. So I actually HAVE been running; I just haven't synced the nike+ up to the computer since last Wednesday.

Since then:
3mi run on Thursday: total crap. I think I was at about 12min/mi, and I just felt dreadful. It felt like running felt during marathon training, which was a time when I really didn't ENJOY running. I was feeling extremely bummed Thursday evening. I should note that I gave blood on Wednesday, so it's possible that that had an impact. I learned on Monday that giving blood actually burns ~650 calories through replenishment of factors, which is the equivalent of about a 5-6mi run... so it's not that surprising that my run the next day would be a little off. It was still frustrating nonetheless.

Sunday: I was up at 4:30a to get ready to go to Waldo for their sprint tri in which Dave was competing. I slept a little bit in the car, but it was intermittent and not deep. We were back on the road from Waldo at about 11a, and for some brilliant reason we went to McD's for lunch, and I decided I would eat a big mac and fries. Not only is this a bad idea in and of itself, but we had a race on the beach at 3p. Not exactly fuel for athletes... Needless to say, the beaches run was AWFUL. I had to walk a couple of times, and even when I was running, it felt painfully slow. I was hot, and BOY was I cranky. I yelled at dave for smiling, muttered "I hate you" to the guys up front when I saw them on their way back, and was just generally unpleasant to be around. I am never, ever running a beaches run again. And since Dave didn't listen to my suggestion that he run ahead, he got to witness every second of my awesomeness first-hand, and I highly doubt he will try to convince me to run one ever again. So I think we can go ahead and close that chapter of my running life. lol

Tuesday: 3 mile run. I was determined to have a good run if it was the last thing I did. I had had good runs and really felt like I was making progress until the Thursday and Sunday runs just chopped my confidence into teeny tiny pieces. Thankfully, this run was back to what is becoming the norm for me -- about 10:20/mi pace, no walk breaks. My ankles did NOT feel good when we first started, which I assume has to do with the 5 miles on the sand on Sunday. But they seemed to loosen up or warm up or whatever it is that they decided to do to make themseleves happy again. Whatever it was, I'm grateful for it!

I desperately need to do bridges training. Thursday is supposed to be our bridge training day, but we have our annual homeowners' meeting tonight, so I think I might just try out the shred tonight instead. Maybe tomorrow we can go downtown and do the bridges. I'm going to work super early because the marathon this weekend is royally messing with parking starting tomorrow, so I should get home well before rush hour..

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Flippin' Sweet

Well, I have another trash the dress session lined up for just over 2 weeks from now. I think I might get some new equipment to play with, but I'm still deciding on exactly what I want to buy. I'm also setting up an engagement pictures session with my best friend's little sister. She's awesome, and she and her fiance make the cutest couple, so I can't wait! I'll have to, though, because we need to wait for warmer weather to make its way up to NJ -- so probably late April, early May.

Had a great run last night. Nike+ tells me it was a 9:50 pace for 3 miles, so it was probably around 10 or 10:05. Still pretty flippin sweet. It is so much easier for me to run without all of the humidity that Florida spring, summer, and fall bring with them. Hopefully the swamp will hold off until after the river run.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sleep is going to be SO sweet!

Well, I think my silent treatment of the scale may have had its intended effect. According to the scale I'm down a couple of pounds. That happened to me once before, but it ended up just being water weight that reappeared a couple of days later. We'll see what happens this time..

6 miles today! I was slightly phobic of the distance in general. I did a 10K in November and it was NOT GOOD. I managed to complete it without walking, but it was brutal. I don't think I was adequately trained for the distance, and that coupled with a torrential downpour made for a really unpleasant trek. I think my time was something like 11:40/mi, which isn't bad, but I had really wanted to get in at about 11.

I managed to get some new tunes for my ipod. Dave has been listening to this DJ Greg J on his computer for a while. He mixes mostly hip-hop songs, but he combines the beats of one song with the vocals of another song that you never in your wildest dreams would've thought to combine, but it is (almost always) ambrosia for the ears. What's really nice is that dave has the full albums in single mp3s, and the songs he mixes aren't full-length. So it'll be a piece of one thing for a minute or so, and then it mixes into something else. It's usually mixed well enough that even if it's a song you like that's being faded out, you're usually going "ooh, I like this song!" about the next one. And on the occasion that the mix isn't working for you (there was a piece with gwen stefani's escape lyrics with the background from cyndi lauper girls just wanna have fun that did absolutely nothing for me), you know it'll be over before you get too sick of it.

So, I have DJ Greg J to thank for my 6 mile run today. It took me until 5:30 to get my butt out there, and I had to run past COUNTLESS grills with seriously awesome smelling steaks, ribs, etc -- but I still managed to get my 6 miles in, with no walk breaks, and I actually came in at about the same pace I usually run my 3-miler runs in! I did find out from running with dave's garmin and the nike+ at the same time that the nike+ is about 10-15s/mi off on my pace, so what I've been thinking is about 10:15 is probably about 10:30, but I couldn't care less. I just like to know how my runs are comparing to each other, and I like to know when I start going faster than I can sustain -- whether it's really 10:15 or even 16:00, I truly don't care. I'm back in my "I don't need a garmin" phase, in case you couldn't tell. :)

Anyway, Dave and I just finished TiVoing through the football portion of tonight's big event and watching the commercials, so I'm going to read in bed for about 10 minutes before I become completely and totally comatose. I can't wait. I'm so exhausted, and I am going to sleep SO well! :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

My Swagger's Serious

I've been semi-bad this week.... I skipped cross-training on Monday. Did my 3-miler on Tuesday with Dave's garmin. I've been kicking around the idea of buying one for myself, but I always eventually decide I'm content with Nike+, fickle as it may sometimes be. What do you really want for $30? And I'd rather $150 go to my student loans at this point, I think.

I also skipped my run on Thursday, BUT I just made it up today. I split it into 2 runs on the Nike+ because I was going along at a pretty good clip for the first half, and I wanted that to be separate from the 2nd half, when I expected to slow down quite a bit. My first 1.5mi was at about 9:40/mi, and the 2nd 1.5mi was at about 10:00/mi. Both of those are pretty fast for me. I probably should've gone easier than that, considering I have to run six miles on Sunday (eep!), but I felt good. I always struggle between doing what feels good and taking it easier. Part of me feels like, if it feels good, I should push myself faster. The other part thinks I'll end up injured and not running at all for a while.

And speaking of being bad -- I also made brownies last night. I purposely bought the super sweet mix with fudge topping so that I'll only be able to tolerate a tiny piece. But holy yum was that good.

I haven't gotten on the scale in a few days. I'm hoping that if I give it the silent treatment, it will start telling me what I want to hear. ;)

OK, off to the showers, then finishing de-Christmasing (don't judge me!), and maybe off to dinner somewhere yummy... or cooking dirty rice/lean ground beef...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Put me in, Coach!

..I'm ready to play, today!

Thursday I was feeling OK enough to attempt a run. I had a nagging suspicion that I might only make it a couple of blocks, because I was still having some pain in my I-don't-really-know-what (intracostal muscles, maybe?), though my head was feeling MUCH better.

Dave joined me, and we set out at a really easy pace. At that pace, it sort of felt like someone was karate-chopping me in the ribs. I decided to let my body get warmed up while staying slow, and call it quits if the pain didn't stop. I was anxious to get back to my training plan, but injuring myself further only means longer on the bench. The biggest part of training intelligently is knowing when to STOP.

Luckily, though, the pain slowly subsided to more of a "poke" with each step, and then finally subsided. I did something I often try to do, but rarely manage -- negative splits. For those who don't live in a household that is about 60% consumed by running, that means that you start slow, and get faster with each "lap" (mile, in this case). I didn't try to do it; I just got slightly faster as the pain got less and less. It was a pretty great feeling, and I was really chugging along by the end of it. Because of that, I still ended up at my normal average pace (~10:20/mi), and instead of feeling exhausted, I felt great. Now, whether this was due entirely to running negative splits is a little hard to say. I had just taken off a full week of running, and I'm sure that didn't hurt my overall energy levels either.

Saturday was scheduled to be my 5miler, which is my longest run of this training plan so far. (I did the 10K in Nov, but I took a few weeks off afterward and kind of killed my momentum.) I typically do my long runs niiiice and easy. In light of that, I kind of wanted to get out again on Friday and do some speed work, or get in a short, hard run. I went for short/hard, and I had a very entertaining 2 miler at a 9:43/mi avg pace.... during which I thought I might be mauled by a dog. It was very very frightening there for a second. It was a german shepherd. I love German Shepherds if I know how they were trained; I mean, they make great attack dogs for a reason, and the thing's owner looked just a little too aloof as the dog went charging into the street toward me, barking and snarling. Luckily it was all bark and no bite, but it definitely helped me to speed up for a bit!

So then there was today -- 5 miles with Devon the Divine! I've been really looking forward to this since we first talked about it, and I was really glad that I didn't end up having to cancel. It seems like every weekend we end up with something to do that gets in the way of other plans. It's usually fun stuff, but it always makes me feel like we're pushing off or canceling other things that we had planned.

Our run this morning was AWESOME. There's always a little hesitation when you first run with someone -- will you be able to keep up? will they talk the whole way, or say nothing the whole way? (Strangely, when I run with dave, i rarely say a word.. when I run with other ppl, I can't shut up. lol.. so I usually just worry that i'm annoying the poo out of someone. lol) But I think we made excellent running partners (hopefully she thinks so too! ;P). I always run faster when I'm with someone else, and Devon is pretty much at the same pace as me, so I think we challenged each other well. Lucky for nike+ though, because we started out too fast. Once we settled into a rhythm, we actually ended up (again, unintentionally) doing negative splits. The graph looks really neat. Our average pace was awesome, too -- 10:38/mi. Thanks for the company, Devon! If you could just move here so I could have someone to run with on a regular basis, that would be great. LOL

So I guess you could say I'm back in the game. I am really REALLY hoping to run the river run without walk breaks. I'm hoping that Devon and I end up staying around the same pace, because I think having someone keeping me honest would help. :) I'm starting to feel more confident, though. I did the last mile in about 9:55, so that means I still had a decent amount of energy at the end, which is HUGE. When I did the 10K in November, the 4 mile mark was when I was dying for water and a walk break, not speeding up. I think that running more consistently through the week has helped immensely with my respiratory endurance. I wasn't really heaving today at all. I think about the fact that I ran a half marathon by only training 1 day a week, and a marathon by running only twice a week... and I wonder how the heck I ever made it to the finish line... Then I remember that it was agony getting to the finish line, and I can't help but realize how I cheated myself. Lesson learned -- finally. Hey, better late than never, huh?

(I'm really incapable of writing a short blog entry...)

Well, Dave is going to take a post-20-mile-run nap for an hour or so before we head out to dinner, and I'm going to work on editing some photos from my TTD shoot last week. Now that I can sit at the computer without pain, I'm excited to play, and to get Jen her pictures!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Well, I'm injured and on the bench for a bit, hopefully only another day.. Now you may assume from this that my knee or ankle ended up being really hurt after pushing it on the bridges on Thursday. This would be the logical assumption, which is why it couldn't possibly be true for me. No, I have.... a reading injury.

Yep, that's right. Saturday morning, I had really been looking forward to sleeping in until an absurd hour. And while I did sleep in a few hours, until almost 8am, I didn't quite feel lazy enough. So I crawled back in bed with "Seven Up," the seventh of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. I had just received Twilight in the mail from my best friend back at home, so I was eager to finish Seven Up and start on Twilight. Well, I lay in bed for two full hours, more horizontal than I usually sit while reading in bed (typically I just sit up against the headboard), as I couldn't find a comfortable spot any other way.

Saturday evening, I got up from the couch (I was about 100 pages into Twilight by this point) and went to fill up my glass of water or something equally trivial. Well, I made it about 3 steps before I had to stop and grab onto the back of the couch for dear life. It truly felt like someone was beating me with a 2x4 in a perfect, throbbing, rhythm. I had to close my eyes and bite my lip, and I half thought I was having a stroke. The pain subsided in probably 30-60sec, but it would return with any change in elevation (sitting to standing, or vice versa) or any fairly quick turn of my head. I was in total agony.

Running Sunday was completely out of the question, as the pain had gotten worse. I spent nearly the entire day sitting with perfect posture on the couch reading Twilight. Monday morning I went to the doctor, because I was actually worried that I had a herniated disc or a pinched nerve or something more serious than a crick-in-the-neck. The doc was concerned, but not enough to send me for a battery of tests. They gave me a pretty intense Rx for a muscle-specific pain reliever (typically used for arthritis maintenance) and told me to come back if it began to get difficult to breathe.... Oh. Well then. That night I also went out and got a heating pad. Between a few hours of heating pad and the medication, yesterday was not nearly as unbearable. I still had pain when I stood up, but it was more like a regular throbbing headache, not a 2x4 assault.

So far today I actually feel like I have a neck ache, which I didn't really notice before. It's too early to be sure about the pain when standing up, but I think it's all but gone. I do still have this bizarre pain in my abdomen that gets quite tight and painful when I walk quickly, so I still don't think I'll be able to run tonight. I'm really hoping that I will be able to run a bit tomorrow and maybe an easy run on Friday as well. Saturday I'm meeting the lovely Devon to commiserate on, I mean, ENJOY, our 5 mile run. This will be my first 5 miler, since I skipped this Sunday. Let's hope I'm not in pain and that I remember how to run. :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ups, downs, wind, and lemonade.

Well, Thursday was not good. Lately, every 2nd or 3rd run, I'll start off feeling like I'm using someone else's legs, and mine just won't cooperate. Specifically on my right leg, my calf is super tight, and when I try to lengthen my stride, I get pain right behind my kneecap or down the inside of my lower leg (like the side of the calf muscle). It usually goes away more or less once I'm warmed up.

Thursday, it didn't really go away. It started to hurt more on the way down the Acosta Bridge, and it was a struggle to get up the Main street bridge without walking. Once I got into Friendship Park I had to walk, and from that point on I was pretty much just fumbling through something walk-runish. At the base of the Main street I finally called it quits and turned my nike+ off, and just walked back to the car. I have to do 5 miles this weekend, so there's no point in overexerting on bridges.

Tomorrow I might go with Dave for a hammerhead spinning class thing just to get some time on the spin bikes for about an hour. He's staying longer to spin longer and also to swim, so I'm thinking we'll take separate cars, and maybe I'll come home and work on de-christmasing the house.

I also have some photo editing to do, because I had a marvelous Trash the Dress session today. There were a number of challenges with the weather being so nasty. We ended up staying inside the Terrace Suites at Alltel Stadium for 99% of the shots, and the event coordinator who was helping us didn't really know how to turn the lights on. So, trying to make the sunlight from the windows work was a bit tricky. I was really wishing that I had off-camera lighting to play with. There was this one shot that i had set up, and let me tell you... if I had had Kylene's softbox, it would've been DELICIOUS. I might be able to use ye olde photoshoppe to merge 2 images and make it work, but that will take some playing around.

I also think I might try to spend some time on Sunday getting at least a plan for a website worked out, and figure out which images I would want to be a part of my portfolio etc etc. That way, once I know what I want, my dear sweet hubby can help me make it happen.

In other news, we made fresh lemonade tonight. Holy tartness! But it was quite tasty. We need to figure out a way to freeze the concentrate so that we have it ready and waiting for us come summertime.... and by summertime I clearly mean next week. LOL

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Awww sooky sooky now!

Yet again I felt good on a "take it easy" night. No, REALLY good. It was chilly, and I actually dressed such that I didn't wish I had worn something different about halfway through. And because it wasn't ridiculously hot and muggy, I could breathe!! According to Nike+, my pace was 9:53 for 3 miles. WOOOOOOO!

The pounds aren't coming off at ALL, but I have to have faith that that will come in time. I'm starting to feel more "fit," and that's really more important than pounds. I'm still technically in the "healthy" range for my height; I'm just more toward the upper end of that range than I care for. I'd really like to be a lean 130 and work on tone from there. I'd like it to happen this calendar year, but I need to just focus on making changes in my lifestyle, not silly resolutions that evaporate when the page on the calendar gets turned.

Tomorrow, downtown bridges! My old friends! We'll see how I'm feeling after this run tonight. I was really workin' it, and I may be really feelin' it in the morning. :)

Florida Honey Tangerines!!

Well I guess Publix reads my blog. Lo & behold, when I went to publix on Sunday, they had honey tangerines!!! I'm not sure I've ever been so excited by fruit! I need to go back and buy up all of the rest of their inventory. :) I'd eat like 7 of them per day. Yuuuuummmmm.

On the training front.. I've been in an itermittent FUNK lately. No particular reason.. I just feel tired and not entirely unlike a heap of fresh poo. So on Monday when I was supposed to do pilates, I instead did.... well, nothing. Boo!

Yesterday I was supposed to run 3miles, but the weather was crummy and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I did, however, make up for Monday and do my pilates.

Today should be a rest day, however, due to my slacking, it will be a make-up 3 mile run. I'll do it fairly lightly, as tomorrow is bridges (dun dun DUN). I think we're going to go downtown and run those bridges, which may feel a little easier to me, just in terms of knowing what to expect, and to a small degree, muscle memory.

Happy Hump Day!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

4 miles, take 2.

Today was supposed to be the first time I ran 4 miles, but as I mentioned, I got ahead of myself on Thursday and did a little over 4.5mi. It could have backfired on me in the long run, but I think all is fine.

This morning my husband and I woke up early and drove down to Waldo to watch the first of their triathlon series. Dave is getting into tris now, and he was really interested in watching one so he could get a feel for how the transition area gets set up and how people tackle the transition phase. I think it was definitely valuable for him, and it was nice weather, so I didn't mind heading out there and taking some pictures.

The only bad thing about that is that I had to move the run to the evening... which gives me the whole day to dread it and try to talk myself out of it. lol. Especially today, when I knew I could technically get away with just running 3 miles, since I had done the 4 miles on Thursday. But I laced up and headed out, and stuck it out for 4 miles. I actually did a little over, though I think my nike+ over-estimated by .1 miles or so, so I think my average pace was probably about 10:40. That makes me a happy girl! Granted, I would love it to be more like 5:40 :) but I'm all about healthy, realistic goals this year, and I did a 4 mile run without walk breaks at a speed that is respectable for my training level (..and the extra 25lb I'm carrying around with me these days).

Now it's time to hit the shower and head to the grocery store and maybe the produce stand. I'm determined to find some good tangerines. It still gets me that when I was at school in PA we had "Florida Honey Tangerines," which were the best, sweetest fruit ever... but they are nowhere to be found IN florida. Just one more way for Florida to be mean to me. :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Ix-nay on the oo-Bay for ike+-nay!

All right, well I guess I have to take back my BOO, because it looks like nike+ DOES have my data from my run last night, according to the little ticker on the side...

... Odd, since it didn't appear to load on my computer at all, and the ipod still says my last run was 2/27/2008.. Oh well, at least the data didn't disappear into oblivion. :)

Yay for me; BOO for Nike+

So I decided that week 4 was as good a time as any to incorporate bridges. Dave and I parked near the base of the wonderwood bridges and headed out. The original plan was just to run until I hit 1.5 mi and then turn around and come back, knowing I might not get much of the ICW bridge. I mocked the first "bridge" as we went over it; I conceded that the 2nd bridge was a bit of a challenge; and the ICW bridge was murder! ... but in a good way. haha. I started out faster than I should've, but as usual I felt good and wanted just go a little faster... I need to kick that habit. I took the bridges one challenge at a time, and we actually did all 3 bridges (though we didn't go all the way down the ICW bridge before turning around) and headed back. All told it was 4.6 miles. Umm, my long run on Sunday is supposed to be 4 miles! OOPS! :) It was a really nice workout, and I didn't take walk breaks, though my overall pace was a bit slow for me (10:56/mi). I'm not all that worried about the pace considering it WAS bridges, and farther than I've run in a while even on flat roads. So I was pretty happy with myself.

HOWEVER, I am NOT happy with Nike+. It lost my run data AGAIN! That means that without adding a day of running to my schedule (not going to happen), even if I don't skip ANY of my runs, it will think I didn't make my goal of 12 runs in January. Frustrating! That's twice this week it went screwy, and it had only happened one other time since I got it in February '08. I'm going to have to try updating my itunes and see if that helps. I keep ignoring the little "do you want to update" box. I don't know if that's the problem, but I'll give it a shot. And I'll surf around the nike+ website for clues. If this keeps up I'm going to have to start giving more thought to getting a garmin...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rockin the Casbah

Pretty proud of myself, and not ashamed to say it.

Yesterday would have been a very easy day to skip. I was tired, it was my birthday, I had dinner plans, and I knew that today was a rest day, so I could always make it up.... But instead I hydrated well during the day, got home, changed with a quickness, went out for 3 miles, showered/dressed with alarming speed, and made my dinner plans.

It may not have been a marathon, and it certainly wasn't my best run to date, but the fact is, it was utterly inconvenient and definitely undesirable, but I did it anyway. Yay!

I'm debating about doing bridges on Thursday. I don't want to go downtown, but I can also do the wonderwood bridges.. but it's hard to less than 4 miles if you want to get all the bridges in.. and I don't know that I want to do 4 miles.... we shall see.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sweet / BOO!

Well, I made it! 4 miles, no walk breaks. I really had to concentrate on slowing down so that I didn't burn out too soon. I still ended up at an average pace of 10:29/mi, so I'm pretty happy about that.

HOWEVER... Something happened between my ipod/itunes/computer, and it completely lost the run data, so it's not uploaded into my nike+ account. This makes me quite sad! For one, it would have helped to lower my average pace (which counts the average of any time I've used it, going back to when I was running slower AND taking walk breaks). Not only that, but I did a little "goal" thing to do 12 runs in January, so now this one won't count. Stinkers. Well, that just leaves zero room for error (there are 13 scheduled runs this month) -- not on my part OR my equipment's!

Still, actually getting the run in is what matters. It was nice to actually feel relaxed; the "are we there yet?" feeling didn't really hit until after mile 3 (it's usually settling in right around the 2 mile mark). I think that was because I didn't start out too fast the way I normally do.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Well today ends week 3 of my training plan, and marks the first week with no "skips." Did 3 miles on Sunday, pilates (with the help of Clancy) on Monday, 3 miles on Tuesday, rest Wednesday.. I rested on Thursday as well, though I was supposed to run 3 miles with bridges optional. I did the 3 miles (though I opted out of the bridges, more for sake of time than anything else) on Friday before heading out for 7 hours of wedding coverage with the fabulous Kylene. Then today I did about 40 minutes of crosstraining at the gym -- about 15 min bike, about 15min stairclimber. I need to work in more upper body weights, but my shoulders are a little achey from carrying gear yesterday, so I decided to play it safe.

Tomorrow is 4 miles. The "official" training for the race that they publish in the paper will only be doing 3 miles, but they only go up to 7 miles for the longest run, and I'd really like to get to 8 miles. So I've added 1 mile to all of the long runs to make up for it. And I also am a firm believer in a good taper week, so I'm not doing any stinkin 7 miles the week before the race. I'll probably do 4, maybe 5. We'll see how tomorrow's 4 miles go. The last few runs I've done on my own I've gotten tired and bored around 1.5 miles and turned them into speedwork. I would really like to do this at a nice, even pace without walk breaks. I may force myself to rein it in to something like 10:45 or 10:50, which will feel slow when I get started, but I know I'll be pooped when all is said and done!

As for photo world, as I mentioned I shot a wedding with Kylene yesterday. At this point I think my real usefulness is in helping with lighting, etc., since I still have a lot of learning to do. I still have a habit of not fully taking in the whole scene in terms of light issues before taking a shot, so I am still missing some of those candid moments, or quick moments when you only get one capture and it's gone. It's frustrating, because those are often the most powerful moments, and I feel like I'm still somewhat hit-or-miss. Though I have to give myself a bit of credit that I'm at least getting more hits than I was when I first started. And this is why, for now, I will be sticking to portraits. :) I do feel less anxious at weddings now, so hopefully that will also help me to relax and focus on taking aesthetically pleasing pictures, instead of praying I don't screw up too horribly. It helps that Kylene is awesome, and it's not like she NEEDS my pictures. She's got it covered and then some. So I'll just soak up her knowledge and hopefully by the time I'm ready to move back up north, I'll be ready to be a full-time photographer..... and dare I say, a mom...??? But these things are almost too far away to really think about in a concrete way. Still, it's fun to imagine the different possibilities!