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!