Saturday, June 28, 2008

me and 60,000 of my friends

A week ago today was the Komen Race for the Cure (I'm a wee bit behind on my blogging). The Race for the Cure is a cause near and dear to my heart because my grandmother died of breast cancer many moons ago. I have run it the past three years in her honor.
St.Louis competes every year to have the biggest race. I think they probably made their goal this year. I tried to run the 5K with 60,000+ other runners/walkers. It was mostly a lot of dodging, bobbing, weaving, and trying not to fall and break every bone in my body as a stampede of people moved down the streets of St. Louis. I considered giving myself PR props for surviving the race unscathed. Here are a few pics of the race, but you really had to be there to truly appreciate the sheer number of people who were out there, supporting such a worthy cause...saving the ta-tas.

Melinda and I before the race. This was Melinda's first race! Her mom and one of her grandmothers are breast cancer survivors.

The Mighty Kate, Kate's husband Skip, Kate's mom, and one of their friends before the race.

My friend Katie with Melinda....Katie is training to run her first half marathon with me in September!

Holy Moly that's a lot of people! The sea of people you see up ahead of us on that hill extended in the same way behind us....60,000 is A LOT of people!

Crazy guy running in a bear costume...

Katie and I walked down to the Arch after the race. The rising Mississippi is creeping it's way into the city.

The city dyed the fountain pink in honor of the race.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Random question for my fellow running bloggers....

Why is that I can run miles and miles of training runs blister-free, but when I run a race (no matter what the length) I end up with blisters on my toes?

It's definitely a head scratcher...

Oh...and here's a picture I took at the gym the other day that gave me the giggles. Not that fathers can't be hot, it just struck me as funny that he was advertising...Do his kids call him that? Did his wife make him get that plate?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

back in the saddle again

I *heart* running. After a forced four day detox, I am back in the saddle again. I was crawling up the walls by Wednesday. I love to be outside and I wasn't even allowed to do about cabin fever! I took a short spin around the neighborhood on Thursday after work, another one Friday morning, ran the Route 66 10K on Saturday morning, and ran a recovery run this morning.'s good to be back.

I've never run a 10K race. I've ran every other random competitive distance (besides the ultra) that I can think of though, which I find rather odd. So here's my first competitive 10K race report.....(drum roll please).

Friday evening: I went to Bipod to pick up my race packet. They made a mistake and had my registration down as a non-competitive runner, so my time wasn't going to be recorded for the age group results. They wouldn't change it for me either. It was kind of a bummer, but I thought I would just wear my watch and hopefully remember to pay attention to it when I crossed the finish line. The goodie bag had a key chain flashlight, a regular key chain, a can cozy, and some Biofreeze (Yeah!...great stuff). The t-shirt was Cool-Max, but enormous and a hideous gray color. My pre-race dinner consisted of a handful of Cheez-its and half a frosted oatmeal cookie from the Cupcakery in the Central West End. Ahhh...the dinner of champions.

Saturday pre-race: Woke up to a foggy cool morning...perfect, not too hot or muggy. I got ready to go, had a good breakfast, and headed out the door. I drove about a mile and remembered that I forgot my ipod and turned around. I made it to the race in plenty of time. While I was waiting for it to start, I struck up a conversation with a fellow runner. She BQ'd and ran it this year. I admired her Garmin and we chatted excitedly about running, races, training, etc. while we waited for the race to start. I knew I would never be able to keep up with her, so I told her to run ahead without me.

Race miles 1-2ish-The course ran along some of the city streets...lots of potholes, hills, and brick paved avenues...not exactly smooth sailing.

Race miles 2-5ish-The course ran along the MCT Trail system. It was shaded and not too crowded. The runners and other trail users were very considerate. I ran with a pack for most of the race, trying to pick people off as we went. I knew I was holding back, but I wasn't stressing about it. I was just enjoying being out there again with my runnin' peeps. At one point, a water stop sponsor had people shooting water at the runners with water bottles. Normally, I would appreciate that, but I got nailed in the face and I was wearing my glasses. Since no one has invented lense-shield wipers for glasses yet, it was a little tricky trying to run without banging into my fellow runners and try to wipe them off so I could see.

Race miles 5ish-6.2-We were back on the city streets. I tried to pass a woman that looked super buff that I had been playing sling shot with the whole race, but I couldn't catch her. I finished in about 56 minutes and change...subtracting time for the trip from the gun to the starting line...I forgot to look at my watch. I had that old familiar "Dang, I know I have so much left in me!" feeling after the finish, but I'm not going to beat myself up too much over it. I now have a baseline time for any future 10Ks that I do, so I have lots of room for improvement!

Post Race-My new running friend (Tammy) and I hung out after the race to see if we won any door prizes. She won 1st in our age group and got a nice trophy. The overall winners got a free pair of running shoes too. They had some great door prizes (i.e. massage gift certificates, road i.d. gift certificates, clothes, etc.-that's what you get for having a running store sponsor a race!). Tammy won two 6th row Cardinal's tickets!!! We ended up taking a stroll around the local farmers' market and exchanged contact info. so we could meet up for a morning run sometime. I love being a runner....we are such a friendly, encouraging bunch.

*Oh, yeah...I also got a new air conditioner this week! I am no longer living in a sauna and I can sleep in my own bed again!

Monday, June 9, 2008

four trips to walgreens

God really has a sense of humor and I'm reaaally glad that laughter is the best medicine. This weekend was truly a comedy of errors.

Saturday late morning: I ran 8 miles in the heat of the day (90+ degrees). No clouds. No breeze. No sunscreen. Dumb idea. It was the neighborhood-wide yard sale Saturday, so everyone had a lot of signs up in yards. I ran past one that just said "Baby Sale #300 Peachtree." Was someone tired of being a parent and just decided to sell their baby? I felt they needed to be a little more specific in their signage...obviously they weren't selling their babies. I decided to loop back around after grabbing my camera to take a picture. It was dead when I tried to turn it on. I looped back around and grabbed my cell phone, but rather and go back to the original sign, I just ran up to their house. Well, you guessed was yard stroller guy. I guess he got sick of walking around his yard in his expensive jogging stroller, and just got rid of the baby AND the stroller. I got caught taking the picture of the silly sign. I just smiled and waved at yard stroller guy and jogged on. Here's the picture.

Saturday afternoon: Since I was a sweaty beast, I decided to just lay on my living room floor, drink a bunch of water, and watch a movie to cool off. Dumb idea. I started to get VERY itchy. I didn't think anything of it...just thought it was the sweat. I mowed my front yard, went to the store, made some food for some friends who just had a baby, dropped the food off, and came home to shower.

Early Saturday evening: Still itchy. I went to Walgreens to find some relief or my raging sunburn. Showered again and used the lotion...still itchy. I went back to Walgreens and picked up some Wali-dryl. Still itchy. Go BACK to Walgreens. The brain trust that is the pharmacist says I have a heat rash and tells me to buy some mild lotion and stay cool. Ok...still itchy. Watched a documentary on the Badwater ultramarathon called "Running on the Sun." Good flick...never seen so many disgusting runner feet in my life.

Sunday morning: Get up and go to church....still itchy. I went out for breakfast with some friends and came home. However, as we opened the door we were greeted with an overpowering smell of burning plastic. We looked like a bunch of morons sniffing around the house, yelling "I think it smells worse in here!" We finally narrowed it down the air conditioner because it was REALLY starting to get warm in the house. After calling one of my firefighter friends (Craig) and his wife (Diana) to come over and make sure that, in fact, my house was not going to burn down, we determined that the problem was that there was about four inches of ice caked on my A-coil in the basement furnace unit. Niiiiice. Now I have no air conditioning. We turned the unit off and used my only fan to try to speed up the melting process so it can get fixed. Meanwhile, it's 95 degrees outside.

Sunday afternoon: So, two of my friends and I went to the mall to cool off and get a wedding gift for my boss. One of the gals, Bri, is studying to be a nurse, took a look at the spots I have been scratching on my arms and legs. She tells me I HAVE POISON IVY!!!! So, I make my third trip to Walgreens to pick up some poison ivy cream and some generic Claritin. Still itchy. If you've never had it, this is what it feels like....You literally want to scratch ALL your skin off until you reach the bone. Just talking/typing about it makes me want to scratch. Good thing I bite my nails...HAH!!!! Take THAT all you people who lecture me about biting my nails. If I had nails, my arms and legs would probably be full of festering, weeping, pussy sores! Here's a visual for you This is NOT my arm. It's just an example of what would happen if I actually had nails. I didn't post the picture because I didn't want to look at the nasty thing every time I open my blog'll understand if you are a brave soul and take a gander at the site. Then I decided to go ahead and mow my backyard, because, what the heck, I already had poison ivy...right?

Sunday evening: I went to a church meeting...still itchy. Then I went out with some friends...still itchy. I went home to a sauna of a house, put some pj's on, and drove over to a neighbor's house to spend the their nice air conditioned house. Craig called me back because Diana told him I was getting worse. He told me to go the emergency was likely in my blood stream and would get into my eyes and on my face. OH HECK NO!!!! I got in the car and drove to their house because Diana (bless her ever lovin' gigantic heart) offered to sit with me in the emergency room. The PA gave me a steroid injection in the buttocks ("I got shot in the buttocks.").

I asked her if my right butt cheek would get REALLY pissed off at my left butt cheek and start a fight. Would my right cheek get really ripped by tomorrow morning? I don't think she was amused. They prescribed some oral steroids (which required yet another trip to Walgreens) and told me:
a. Don't get hot.*
b. Don't get sweaty.*
b. Stay in air conditioned areas.*
c. Don't exercise.
d. Take three Benadryl a day plus a Claritin.**
e. Take ALL of the steroids as directed or it will come back...and come back with a vengeance.
Now, being the psycho runner that I am, I tried to reason with her, find a loop hole, make a deal. She just said, "You can run and swim. Just know that you will get poison ivy blisters in all the places that you have friction. You can swim, but you will be swimming in chemicals and other people's bacteria with open sores. Buuuuttt, you just do what you want." I like her. She tells it how it is. She doesn't sugar coat it.

This craziness is supposed to last 2 weeks. I am registered to run in the Route 66 10k on Saturday. I'm going to try to do it, if I promise to speed home and jump into a cold shower afterward, I am thinking I'll be okay. I'm NOT letting the last 8 weeks of training go to waste. However, I'm also thinking this is God's way of forcing my hand and making me rest. So, I'm going to try to take the next several days off and stave off the puss-filled and weepy grossness.

*Did I mention that I don't have air conditioning? *!@#! Ironic...
**Benadryl knocks me OUT. Did I mention that I am teaching a school full of middle school and high school alternative education students for the summer? I am going to have an interesting two weeks.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

yard stroller

So, this past weekend I went on my long run on Sunday. My neighborhood has some hefty hills, so I opted to run few loops through a newer route I have mapped out. Also, since living in the STL area in the summer (according to my friend Kristin) is like "living inside someone's mouth," running in the 'hood gives me the option to run with easy and less messy access to agua frio (my fuel belt bottles are leaking).

On my first loop around, I saw one of my neighbors was outside grilling for his friends and family...not an unusual sight on my street in the summer. I smiled and waved (and secretly wished he would offer me a burger).

On my second loop around, the guy is walking his baby girl in the jogging stroller down the driveway. I think, "Aw, how cute. Dad is taking her for stroll."

On my third loop around, Dad is walking the daughter in the jogging stroller in circles around the yard. I think, "Huh....that's odd."

I made another half loop to finish off the run and cool down. The father and child....still walking around the yard. Okay, now I have to stop. So I ask, "Trying to get her used to a new stroller?" Nope....he says, "Just killing time while we wait for dinner to be ready!" I had nothing to say to least out loud. I smiled, nodded, and was on my way, all the while wondering....Why not take the kiddo out of the yard? You have a several hundred dollar jogging stroller and you take her for a walk on your patch of grass? I'd understand if you were alone and were the only one left to tend to dinner, but his house was surrounded by cars. I'm sure someone inside would be able to flip a couple burgers while he took the girl for a spin around the block. Instead, he opted for the more ridiculous option...which reminded me of a story my dad tells often. His mom used to let him take the row boat out on his own when he was a long as he was attached to a rope to the dock. I'm sure he was mocked by all the local kids...much like I was(in my head) mocking my neighbor as I ran home.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

game on!

You may not follow my logic, but my solution to my fatigue problem has been to beat it at it's own game. Being the stubborn ox that I am I say, "Okay, fatigue....GAME ON!" So, in my battle of wills with my stubborn body, I have tried to beat it into submission. Here was my three point plan....
1. Give up on caffeine. Maybe the artificial chemical energy boost was causing my energy crash.
Result: I only lasted 36 hours....I quickly realized that caffeine withdrawal=ten pound anvil sitting on my head, making me want to poke my eyeballs out with pointy sticks. It was soooooo not worth it.
2. Bombard myself with superfoods. I checked out this book from the library.

It outlines 14 foods that are uber-healthy, cancer fighting, energy providing, well...super foods. I can't help but imagine a banana in a superhero cape when I say that...dah, dah,dah, daaaah! SUPER FOODS!!!!!
Result: It maaay be helping a little. It could be the fact that I have to eat an immense amount of fruit, veggies, and other healthy stuff, which leaves me with less room for sugar. Sugar may be my nemesis.
3. Confuse my body with a new routine. Trick it into ditching the fatigue. I did a turbo kick box class on Saturday. I have been faithfully lifting weights for about a month. I joined a running group that meets three times a week, hoping that running with others will help me to absorb other runners' energy by association. I've been using my elliptical trainer and swimming laps.
Result: Jury is still out on this one. As far as I can tell, the only changes have been...
-I can't lift my arms above my head without lots of popping, creaking, and moaning.
-I've made some new running friends! Yeah for running friends!
-My laundry loads have increased.

I'll keep you far the game score is:

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