Thursday, May 29, 2008

jive talkin'

In my quest for injury-free marathon training, I'm forcing myself to do the dreaded strength and cross training recommended by pretty much every running expert. I hate it. I just wanna run. I know, I know, I'm whining. I'll say it to myself and save you from giving the pep talk..."Just suck it up Bets..."

However, today I discovered a way to make it entertaining. Have you ever watched people workout at a gym? I seriously think that they don't realize people are watching them like T.V. I think the makers of "The Office" need to make a spin-off show called "The Gym." They would have an unending supply of characters to parody.

My innocent victim today was a treadmill runner. First of all, the guy was wearing a sweat shirt and old school sweat pants, with the requisite giant, rapidly spreading sweat rings. Normally, that wouldn't send me into a fit of inner giggles, but it was his added "strut" that made me lose it. The guy started walking slowly with a definite "jive-talkin'" esque saunter. The only things missing were a polyester pants suit and a swingin' paint can. I mean, he was REALLY goin' to town to whatever ditty was playing on his mp3 player (I wonder what song he was listening to?). If that wasn't enough, he progressed to a "speed-saunter strut", quickly followed by the "sprint strut." I don't know HOW that guy did it...think John Travolta on crack. It was quite impressive.

*Side note...I tried the strawberry flavored Clif Shot Bloks today. I cut them in three pieces. It was a lot easier to handle in the smaller size. I think I like the strawberry better than the cherry.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

creepy twinkle and a Blok party

Today started out like any other Sunday...wake up, shower, go to church, go out for lunch, etc. I decided to make a dash in the torrential downpour from the restaurant to the running store a few doors down. I had a two part mission. I needed to find an alternative energy source for my long runs and I needed a new stick of Body Glide.

Mission 1: Get Body Glide....completed.

Mission 1.5: I bought two more pairs of running socks...I'm getting tired of washing multiple loads of whites every week just so I can wear clean socks. I have enough socks, just not "good," blood stain-free running socks.

Mission 1.75: I maaaay have walked past the Garmin display, looking longingly at the fine piece of gadgetry. I want one. Alas, I am a poorly paid teacher who is a munchkin. I cannot afford one. I also don't think my wee bitty wrists (I can wrap all of my fingers around my wrist and my Timex only fits on the last hole) can support the beast.

Mission 2: My trusty Vanilla and Chocolate flavored Gu aren't working for me anymore. I have used it for too long maybe? Whenever I take it on a long run, my gag reflex kicks in...the texture, the taste, the smell, just makes me want to hurl. Hurling is not recommended when trying to maintain your energy level. It is also not recommended if I want to have any chance with Hot Runner Guy. So, I asked the trusty running store "experts" for their recommendations.

I had been eyeing the Clif Shot Bloks for a while. I tried to do some research online, but the Clif web site didn't give a lot of technical information about the benefits of the Bloks over any other energy gel. I was looking for cold, hard facts and some real runners' opinions on the stuff.

One of the ladies didn't have anything positive or negative to say about them, except that she doesn't like to chew when she runs...noted. I picked up three flavors-Cherry, Strawberry, and Cran-razz. I took a pass on the Pina Colada flavor...seemed like a weird choice for a mid-run refuel. They also recommended trying a new flavor of Gu. I was skeptical about that advice, considering the texture makes me gag, but I picked up a Lemon Sublime pack to give it a shot. I also picked up two packs of Hammer Gel (Tropical and Raspberry). They said that the texture of the Hammer Gel was more liquid than Gu, so I may not have the same texture issue.

So, I checked out, armed with a new stash of experimental energy supplies. Since I am still struggling with my wipedoutitis, I took a half hour nap before my run.

I woke up to a creepy rendition of "She's Been Comin' Around the Mountain." The creepy twinkling was coming from none other than the friendly neighborhood ice cream truck. Normally, that wouldn't be unusual, however, it was in the middle of a raging thunderstorm. I was lying in bed thinking, "Now, what parent in their right mind (besides Nitmos) would allow their kids to run out into the street TOWARDS a ton of metal machinery during an electrical storm?" So, since I am not the most brilliant runner in the world, I decided to go for a run...but I kept my distance from all metal objects and tried reaaaallly hard not to sing the little ditty as I was "comin' round" the curves in the road.

Before I left, I decided to give the Cherry Clif Bloks a spin. I normally don't use a gel on a 6 mile run, but since I've been struggling with energy lately, I figured it couldn't hurt. There are two servings in a bag. I thought this was great...more bang for your buck. It cost the same as Gu, but I get two runs out of the package. I put the leftovers in a sandwich bag for later. I took one before I headed out the door, and pocketed the other two in the original packaging. The taste was good, the texture was surprisingly soft, I was expecting more gumminess (is this even a word?). I popped Block #2 into my mouth at about mile 2.5 when I looped around to my water bottle. I didn't chew this one, just kinda sucked on it. It felt uncomfortably large in my mouth, so I started chewing on it about a half mile later...she was right, chewing and running are not a good combination. I think next time, I will cut them in half and see if that helps. I took one more around mile 5 and I felt pretty gag hurling. I went on for another mile and a half. My energy level was good. My only other comment about it was my mouth felt sticky, but I think I could used to it...better that than hurling.

I'll try the other flavors and the other gels over the next few weeks and give you a gag report. Anyone else have any advice or anecdotes about their gel/Blok experiences?

Monday, May 19, 2008

it's official

It's official...I'm throwing caution to the wind. I'm taking a great leap out into the unknown. I'm ignoring my doubting inner voice that says "You're not ready. You're going to get hurt again."

I am going to register for the Arizona Rock n' Roll Marathon on January 18, 2009.

Running a full marathon is not "unknown" to me. The "unknown" is how my lingering left calf, ankle, and foot injuries will deal with the training.

So, I've erased the ???? next to the marathon listed on my "future races" list. Now it's a !!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Auntie Em! Auntie Em!

Yesterday was Non-runner Nancy's 10K on the 10th. Thanks Nancy for organizing that! Like Marcy, I wasn't able to do the run on the 10th, but I did it today. So, I figured if Marcy did it a few days early, and I did it a day late, we could split the difference. So here's my race report...

The morning began with the gale force wind/rain storm that woke me up at 7:00 a.m. I dutifully rolled out of bed and geared up. I opened the front door, stepped out in the front porch, and was almost knocked over by a gust of wind. I decided to forgo the morning run and wait until after church, hoping that the weather would turn. No such luck. I decided to take a nap when I got home and wait out the weather.* Two hours later, I geared up again and headed out the door. The rain had stopped, but the knock-your-socks-off-wind was still an issue. I spent the majority of the run battling with the wind, which either wanted to push me into oncoming traffic, or throw me in the ditch on the side of the road. I decided to stick close to home and run one of my usual routes in my neighborhood. However, the storm had created a virtual obstacle course of downed limbs on the streets. It felt very much like this Nike commercial (I was the Native American chica in the forest).

On my third loop around the route, I saw this lady taking pictures of her yard from the street. I thought it was an odd time to take family pictures, even if it is Mother's Day...they must like the wind blown look. However, when I got closer to her yard, I realized she was taking pictures of an enormous tree that had snapped in half and had fallen on a power line...which I had run past twice without noticing. Apparently, I'm not the most observant person lately. You would think I would have taken note of a potentially life-threatening danger...wet roads + rain + enormous tree + downed power line = certain death or at least making my already curly hair more afro-like.

I finished up the 10K in about an hour. I'm pretty sure I ran further than the 6.2. I don't have the distance measured on that particular route yet. I've been running an average 8:30-9:30 minute pace on my normal runs, so I figured if I ran for an hour, I would have the race covered. I considered it a success that I survived the run without electrocution.

*I have been dragging arse lately. I'm NEVER this exhausted. When I run, my legs feel like lead. I RARELY take naps. I could have slept through until tomorrow morning, but I didn't let myself. Any advice on what this could be? I haven't had a change in diet or sleep schedule, and I have been hydrating like normal (and no, I'm not preggers).

About Me

My photo
I'm a teacher with a running problem, or maybe I'm a runner with a teaching pick.


races completed

A bunch of 5Ks...I've lost track over the years...

O'Fallon (IL) YMCA 15K Winter 2007

St. Louis Track Club Half Marathon (spring) 2007

Spirit of St. Louis Marathon 2007

Boilermaker 15K Roadrace 2007 (Utica, NY)

Lewis and Clark Marathon 2007 (St. Charles, MO)

St. Louis Track Club Frost Bite Series 2008


-10 Miles


-Half Marathon

Go! St. Louis Half Marathon 2008

Route 66 Festival 10K 2008 (Edwardsville, IL)

O'Fallon (IL) Summer Sizzler 15K 2008

Lewis and Clark Half Marathon 2008 (St, Charles, MO: DNS-cancelled due to Hurricane Ike)

O'Fallon Fall Finale 15K 2008

St. Louis Track Club Half Marathon 2008 (PR!)

Mountain Home Half Marathon (Arkansas) 2008 (2nd in age group!)

Great River Road Run (IL) 10 miles

St. Louis Track Club Frost Bite Series 2008-2009


-10 miles

Phoenix Rock-n-Roll Marathon (AZ)

Go! St. Louis Half Marathon 2009

Kentucky Derby Half Marathon 2009

future races

race wish list

Big Sur Marathon
Disney Marathon
Nike Marathon
Marine Corps Marathon
Great River Relay
Bolder Boulder
Chicago Distance Classic