Monday, June 25, 2012

10 Days ...

... Since I last posted. How have I not made time to write this before now? Sheesh. And it's not like I've been super busy ... time just got away from me. Oh well. Let me esplain. No, let me sum up! (Name that movie!) I'll include some pictures to make up for all the text I'm about to blast you with.

Ready to go!
Last Saturday was pretty awesome. I ROCKED Happy Trails 5k. M decided to run it WITH me since he was in town for the weekend without the wifey (he hurt his hamstring so he's pouting about running "slow" while it heals). His wife probably isn't going to like this statement (sorry, E!), but I love that boy to death. He was one of the people who pushed me towards running when I was dealing with all that crap in my life and continues to be one of my biggest supporters. He knows EXACTLY how to push my buttons to make me run faster. He knew pointing out those teenage girls at the start line who talked through the National Anthem would tick me off and make me start faster to get ahead of them [proud granddaughter, niece, and friend of veterans and I've been raised to respect all symbols of our country: anthem, flag, etc.]. He knew telling me I couldn't do something would make me push that much harder to do it, even if it meant keeping me ticked off for all 3.1 miles. So thanks, M ... I think. lol. The best part? I beat my "old" 5k PR ... which was set on a relatively straight road course. ON TRAILS! I really think all the trail running paid off. I just FELT strong. You transition from pavement to sand/ dirt just past halfway and while others faded a bit, I pushed forward and felt "in my element." Is it weird that even though I felt like I was pushing my hardest during the race and almost threw up at the finish line (seriously, I was dry-heaving over a trash can next to a vendor booth), I walked away thinking "I could have run that even faster"? I haven't seen any pictures yet, but I'm sure I was grinning like a crazy person as I sprinted through the finish line. I'm pretty sure M and I scared the crap out of the people in the car next to us on the highway heading home because we were getting our dance party on, blasting LMFAO and whatever other crazy songs we could find on my iPod. :)

I hadn't been home more than an hour when I got a phone call saying I had won a door prize from one of the race's sponsors ... 3 canisters of Reliv's innergize (2 lemon and 1 orange). I'd never heard of it before, but I'm slowly learning. Maybe I'll do a review of it someday, but you can check out the link I provided for the product's website for details now. And, really, this little win came at an interesting time for me. Money is a little tight around here, so I've fallen back to my old friend Gatorade instead of spending the money on nuun or Zipfizz. Don't get me wrong, I love nuun and Zipfizz, but they just don't fit in my budget right now. I'm not particularly fond of how much sugar there is in Gatorade (especially with my family history of diabetes and my attempt to cut some sugar OUT of my diet lately), but it's worked for me for years. Our local Sam's stocks the big 76.5 ounce canisters of the Frost Glacier Freeze (the blue kind), my favorite, so I'm good to go for a little while (thanks mommy!). After a conversation with the Reliv product rep when I picked up my prize and a good friend who's a nurse and nutrition student, I decided to take my 8 oz serving of the innergize an hour or 2 before any runs or workouts (up to 2 a day) and rely on my gatorade to get me through the exercise. I've been doing this for a week now and everything seems to be going ok. We've had some obnoxiously hot days and I've done some seriously crazy runs in that heat (which I'll talk about more later), but I haven't gotten any dehydration headaches or muscle cramps. So, something seems to be working.

I had planned on Happy Trails being my last race before my September half marathon, but my cousin's wife messaged me about a 5k they they're going to be running this coming weekend for the church they both work for, the Global Distance Project 5k. My first inclination was to just go watch the hilarity of my cousin running a 5k, but his wife talked me into running it with them. So, one more.

We had 2 days of crazy thunderstorms at the beginning of last week, which of course I loved. Besides loving storms, I really enjoy getting out and seeing how rain water flows through our environment. It's the envrio science nerd in me, what can I say. :) I was out driving around when one of the biggest waves of storms came through so I headed to the nearest metropark, Side Cut. Boy, did I get a surprise!
Bench under water, broken pavement (already broken before storm, but had been
eroded and damaged even more), and  "bridge" about to go under water.
What I'm not showing you is that right above all this are 3 old canal locks. Normally, water barely trickles through them. That day, it was rushing. Somewhere up-run, there was a system that just wasn't able to keep up with the amount of water that was flowing. While I knew this wasn't a good thing, I was absolutely fascinated. I probably spent a half hour wandering up and down the walkways along the locks trying to take pictures from under my umbrella.

The ungodly hot and humid day after all the storms, I went for my normal run at Oak Openings. I should have known I'd find a tree down across my planned trail. *rolls eyes* And, because I was too stubborn to re-route my run, I decided to go THROUGH it (there was no going around it - the ferns were too thick). There was a fork in the branches that I knew I'd fit through, so I went for it. Stupid me. The branches scratched up my right thigh and ankle pretty good (which was really uncomfortable as my legs got sweaty later on the run), but it wasn't until the next morning that I noticed I had HUGE BRUISES striping my thigh as well. This really was the trail run from hell. Once I completed the Sand Dunes loop, I switched over to the Ferns and Lakes loop, which was an even bigger mistake. I really should have just called it a day and gone home. Besides almost stepping on a squirrel AND a snake (only the 2nd time I've EVER seen a snake ON a trail over there), the heat and humidity trapped in the woods just drained me and I had to abort the loop and run back to the car on the paved portion of the all-purpose trail. It ended up being about the same mileage as I would have done, but a LOT less stress and effort.

And, of course, this was also the day we couldn't get any relief from the heat at home either. We found out the a/c was broken when we went to turn it on (house actually got 5* HOTTER), and the chlorinator in the pool malfunctioned and the chlorine got so high your eyes burned just going NEAR it! We completely detached the chlorinator and it's JUST getting down to the level where swimming is comfortable again. As for the a/c? There was a wire broken on the compressor (we suspect dad did it when he decided to power-wash that side of the house 2 weeks ago). It took the repair guy 5 minutes to find and replace it. $85. Ugh. Let's just say everyone in our house was a little testy for a couple days. I pretty much holed up in my bedroom with my 3 fans, cups of ice, and movies when I wasn't freezing my butt off in my basement lab on campus. If I wasn't already intimately aware of the creepy crawlies and odd late-night sounds down there, I may have just brought an air mattress to campus and spent the nights down in the lab. The last time I bothered to look at the thermostat in there (it reads the temp but doesn't actually control anything ... how crappy is that?!), which was Thursday afternoon, it read 62*. I was wearing jeans and a long-sleeve tee all day.

Saturday is, of course, long run day for me. Since I had a 5k last weekend and another this coming weekend, I NEEDED to do a long run THIS weekend. I hadn't really explored the towpath trail between Bend View and Providence so I figured I'd run down to Providence and back, and maybe down to the Bend View shelter house and back depending on how I felt. According to the sign, it was 3.2 miles to Providence from the Bend View parking lot. To keep me from constantly watching my Garmin, I turned it on my wrist. The run TO Providence was pretty nice, actually. Even with the oppressive heat, I was in the shade and catching the breeze off the river for most of the way. Once I reached the dam, I looked at my Garmin. Almost 5 miles. Crap. This was already turning out to be a longer run than I had wanted. Since one of my fuel belt bottles was already dry, I tried to find a drinking fountain around the mill to refill it. No luck. I tried the water from the sink in the bathroom, but it was just plain nasty. I would have thrown up if I tried to drink that on a run. So, long story made WAY short: ran out of water around 7 miles. Walk intervals got longer and more frequent until I decided I couldn't run any more. Inhaled an entire bottle of Gatorade once I stumbled back to my car. My legs felt completely trashed all day yesterday and they're still a little tired today. I need to get better with my hydration and nutrition. Quick. But at least my first 9.5-miler is in the books :)

... And now I need to go because I'm getting trash talk texts about Saturday's 5k. I love that boy, but I'm going to kick his butt! I love my family :)


  1. Nice job kicking trash with the 5k and beating your old PR :) WOOOHOOOO! as someones wife, I'd never hate it if you said you loved Colin ;) xo

    1. lol. Thanks. I've just always been closer with my guy friends, and most of the time we treat eat other like siblings. Just about every girlfriend/ wife is scared to death of me or hates me until she understands my relationship with these guys (and sometimes it can take a while). E has been amazingly cool about my and M's relationship, thankfully (since he married her. lol).