Sunday, August 31, 2008

So far, so good...(don't ASK about the running though)

T-minus nine(ish) hours before this bastard is supposed to slam into us. We've been watching it and watching it and watching it to death all weekend long. This is my front yard at approximately 4:00 p.m. You can just barely start to make out some of the outer bands in the sky.

Saturday I wasn't able to make my long run (YES....again). I only managed a quick 4 miles before we began Operation Home Secure. This consisted of running to six different gas stations to try and top off the tank (luckily it was almost full so I didn't REALLY, desperately need it), running to the grocery store for non-perishable items, watching the weather channel, trading out the empty propane tank so that we had two full tanks, making sure the generator was running, washing any last bit of laundry, washing any last dishes, filling numerous water jugs, watching some more of the weather channel, moving potted plants indoors, getting sandbags, placing said sandbags around doors, watching weather channel again (they really need to fire their stylist btw), placing everything in the freezer in garbage bags, pulling the tarps and rolls of plastic down from the attic, eating everything in sight (a girl can stress eat can't she?), and watching yet MORE of the weather channel (SERIOUSLY... who picks out the suits for these people?????)

Ok, here we are now at 6:00 p.m. A little darker and a little more ominous. Some rain clouds are starting to rumble, bumble in. At least it's nice and cool. Perfect night for a run! :-) Nevermind those threatening winds and rain. After watching the weather channel ad nausium and discussing with multiple neighbors we decided to stay and stick it out. There are quite a few people in our neighborhood and on our street staying. We are about 40 to 50 miles north, northeast of New Orleans - a decent place to be, especially since this thing is heading northwest. We'll still get some crazy winds and rain, but should be fine. Plus, every update shows Gustav to be getting weaker.

Annnndddd then.....7:00 p.m. The skies opened up. Where the heck did this rain come from? Batten down the hatches! Hoist the Gib! Drop anchor and whatever other nautical term would be good to throw out. This is not a drill people! Move, move, move!! Thunder, lightening, torrential rain and THIS early???........ It wasn't supposed to make landfall until the a.m.????

(five minutes later)

Clear, calm, sunny. It was just a stupid rain band. Pffffff...... It has now been calm and breezy for the last three hours. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

I will post an update as soon as I can. Thanks for everyone's well wishes! In the meantime, I'm running around like a chicken with his head cut off and the dogs are situation normal. Silly and sleepy. Figures.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Waiting is the Worst

Well, I managed to get three runs in this week and I have my long run tomorrow. 14 miles! Ack! I'm a bit nervous about the run becuase I missed my long run last week and I am now into the furthest mileage I have ever run. Plus, my last long run was so miserable. Little thoughts of self-doubt creep into my head. "Can I really do this?" I have resigned myself to just taking it slow and easy and starting off relatively early to beat the humidity and heat.

My stomach is also in knots right now about this stupid hurricane Gustav. It's the daily anxiety of waiting and watching that is the worst. Do we leave? Do we stay? The latest storm tracks have it hitting land further west of us. I have stayed through several hurricanes evacuating only once for Katrina. We are far enough north of New Orleans that we usually fare pretty well. I know all of my Gulf Coast friends are on high stress alert just like I am. Thinking about all you guys! I'm just going to watch it and decide on Saturday or Sunday what I need to do. In the mean time I'll just prepare as much as I can. My only solice right now is that I'm able to watch Jim Cantore (Mmm....yummy) on the Weather Channel as he reports to me. :)

Everyone please send my friend Sarah good and speedy healing thoughts! She's such an inspirational, awesome runner and poor thing has been hit with a pulled muscle injury right in the middle of marathon training. I hope you feel better soon girl! Mmmmwwaaahhh!!

Today I LOVE: All the wonderful friends and family that have been calling in to check on us.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

BAD Runner....Bad Girl.

I'm such a bad, bad runner. I made all of ONE run...yup...ONE. I forced myself to go for a decent six miles, but still. Blah. Our work schedule was so hectic last week that I barely had time to eat some days, let alone get a run in (we had a couple of 12 hour days). AND it was a freakin' monsoon in Houston all last week - so that nixed any outside running plans. I also missed my long run. I'm not too torn up about that one. I really had a great time visiting with my family and that's way more important to me than a long 13 mile killer run. I'll just have to get back on the schedule this week and hit it hard.

Oh...and I ate like total crap all last week while I was on travel too.


**Edit** **Update**

Ok - I'm not quite the lazy slob. I ran a decent four miles this evening. Average pace 9:43. It kicked my arse, but it felt good. Operation "Kick Jenn in the Seat" is starting off well.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ugly, Ugly, UGLY

13 miles - complete....So...Very...UGLY

Ugh - this weekend's long run had to be THE worst run I've ever had my entire life. My body was going to have NO part of it. Nu-uh. Not gonna happen. I have never had my body just not cooperate like that.

The humidity here has been really awful. We've had a ton of rain recently causing the humidity to just be unbearable. When I set out, the temp was OK (around 80 degrees) and the humidity 94%...yup 94%. I don't know if it was that plus the fact that it got pretty warm quickly, but I was sweating and sweating and sweating. There wasn't a single breeze to help evaporate off some of that sweat and cool me down. So, I would just sweat some more. My pace was crap. My legs just did not want to go. My whole body was tired. I ended up having to walk a good portion of the run and just never got my groove. Then the headache and mild nausea set in. I'm figuring from all the fluid loss. I drank all four bottles and just resigned myself to walking the last few miles back to the car. When I got home I had lost 4.8 lbs of water. NOT good.

But, I at least finished it, albeit slow and sloppy. I finished the 13. I'm not going to let this minor setback deter me. Ehh...the conditions just weren't right. I'm just going to take an extra rest day before my next run and get right back on that road.

Did anyone watch the women's marathon this weekend?? WOW!! Poor Deena Kastor and Paula Radcliffe. To be sidelined by injury after all that training. My heart went out to them. And Constantina Tomescue's win - at 38 no less!

I leave for Texas tomorrow. I'll be out there all week and then I get to see my brother, sister-in-law and my niece. YEAH!!! Nice little present at the end of the week.

Today I LOVE: resting on my off day!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Running and traveling

5 miles - done baby. Avg pace = 10:17

I had a great run last night. The weather was a little cooler and the wind was blowing slightly. Ahhh... I only sweat off 2 lbs...ha. Plus the gates for the subdivision right next to ours were open and I was able to sneak in and run in their neighborhood. A new route always makes things a little more fun and interesting.

I will be on travel all next week and then I get to go see my brother, sis-in-law and niece that following weekend! I'm so excited that I get to spend some QT with them. I love them dearly and wish we lived closer. I wish we lived closer to ALL my family. *sigh* But, cool thing too - I get to run with Tiny Frog and her running group! I'm excited. Hopefully I can keep up. I'm always a bit nervous and intimidated to run with new running groups. I'm a slow runner and I'm afraid that they'll just smoke off and leave this poor little huffing, panting thing shuffling in the back (I'm the huffing, panting thing...). But every group I've ever run with has been great! There are always runners of all kinds. The only thing I'm worried about next week is getting my long run in. I'll be visiting my brother so I don't really want to do it then. I may just take Monday off to recoup from the visit and do my long run then. Or can I just up the mileage on my shorter runs during the week to get the same amount of mileage? Any suggestions?

I just got Chris Carmichael's "Food for Fitness" in the mail today! I'm so excited about reading it and learning proper nutrition. I've been doing better with the sugar and excessive carb loading. I've tried to watch it and supplement with more healthy snacks - fruits (I LOVE watermelon and cherries) and veggies and lean protein (like curry chicken salad and egg salad). The stomach issues have been better. Now I'm trying to work on portion control - stopping when I'm full...not when I'm FUUULLLLLL.

Another long one this weekend. We're supposed to have a lot of rain today, tomorrow and Sunday. Hopefully it will cool things down a bit.

Today I LOVE: Having every other Friday off with my new work schedule! It's AWESOME!

Happy Runnings everyone!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Curses to humidity, dog poo and 4 lbs of sweat

Long run - 12 miles COMPLETE!!! Avg. pace = 11:27

Saturday's long run consisted of dodging dog poo on the trail, sweating buckets and dredging through 86% humidity. But there were good points too.

OK, I went out Saturday and purposely made myself keep it slow and easy. It was so hard those first six to keep the pace slow. My legs wanted to go. I struggled finding my stride at the slower pace too. But, I was so thankful when I hit mile 10. I didn't have to stop and walk until mile 11 and then I only walked for about 3 to 4 minutes to recover. I finished out the last mile of the run with a good 10:15 pace. It felt great to stretch my legs out and just RUN.

The weather man said that it was supposed to be nice and cool on Saturday with low humidity. The weather man is a BIG FAT LIAR! It was muggy, hot, humid, thick, stagnant, murky, miasmic, ... You get the picture. I really thought I was going to die at mile three. I seriously just wanted to stop and walk. But I bargained with myself. "If you make it to 5 miles you can stop and rest before you run back." Well, I made it to 5 and felt great! Then I kept trucking to 6 turned around, gooed up (is "gooed" actually a word?) and started to head back.

By the time I got back to my car I had voraciously consumed all my water but you would think I just poured the stuff on my clothes. I was sopping, dripping wet. I literally took off my Bondi band and had to wring it out. When I got back home I had lost 4 lbs of water!! ACK!

I consumed my post-run bowl of SmartStart cereal, a banana (thanks for the food advice!) and copious amounts of water. I took my shower, relaxed and crawled back into bed for my nap. I was a total bum the rest of the day and it felt GREAT! I just lounged around and watched the Olympics.

Nice thing on the run was the cutie-patootie, shirtless, RIPPED guy who stopped me on the way back (I had passed by him on the way down) asking me what I was training for. Who...ME? Training? I actually LOOK like a runner, not a limp fish floundering around grimacing in pain and dripping buckets of sweat on the trail? Sweet. And don't worry...I had Mr. Pepper Spray all loaded and ready to go just in case cutie-patootie was a sadist perv who likes jiggly, sweaty gals. :-)

Oh - and my Garmin has now been christened with the name "Minnie"! As in Gar"Min" and it clocks "Min"utes as I run "min"imally. (cheese..I know). Although RBR's "f-ing liar" was a close second.

Today I LOVE: The San Francisco store See Jane Run. What a great, empowering store for lady athletes who don't fit the mold. And the story of the founder Lori Shannon is so inspiring too!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Another good one!

4 miles - avg pace 9:52

What the hell!!??! I was under a 10:00 pace AND I held it for four miles! I about fell over when I stopped and checked my Garmin. (I need to give my garmin a nickname...any suggestions? My little running buddy deserves a name.) I was running a sub-10 and didn't even realize it. It was easy. Really. And I'm not just saying that!! Now granted we're having some unusually cool weather today. Cool breezes plus low humidity makes Jen a happy - and apparently fast(er) gal!

12 miles tomorrow!! Sad, but I'm actually a bit excited about the long run! I promise...I'll take it slow.

I'm off to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics! I especially LOVE the lighting of the torch. I don't know about you guys, but I can't say the word "Olympics" with breaking into a rendition of the olympic fanfare - either in my head or out loud. And by out loud I mean OUT LOUD at the top of my lungs, usually four keys off and at the poor expense of my husband's ears. (Only in the privacy of my home or car of course. I wouldn't subject other people to my imitation of an entire brass horns section) Heee...

Funny thing to share...Jeff and I closed our wedding cermony with the Olympic Fanfare. We wanted something bold and regal and inspiring instead of the usual Wedding March. So when I hear the Olympic Fanfare I think I love my country AND I love my husband.

Happy Runnings everyone!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


4 miles - COMPLETE! Avg pace = 10:07

I am shocked....SHOCKED I tell you. I ran last night. Four miles. And it felt great. WHAT the hell is going on? I forced myself to head out the door and just get the run over with before I even sat down. I got home, fed the dogs, changed into my running clothes, downed some water and out the door I went. The temperature bar on the computer said it was 88 degrees with a heat index of 94. Awesome. But I couldn't wait or I knew I wouldn't get the run in.

It actually felt pretty nice out there! There was a good breeze and my legs felt good. I was just kicking back and enjoying the run and next thing I know I've hit four miles. I LOVE runs like that! I LIVE for runs like that! Easy. Smooth. Fast. Perfect. Euphoric.

I've been having some trouble with motivation and energy levels lately. I would get home, sit down and just crash. Night before I fell asleep on the couch at 5:30! I'm getting enough sleep at night, but I think my habits during the day are sabotaging my runs in the evenings.

Some things I did differently yesterday:
  • Ate a light lunch (I ate about half of what I usually eat - no gorging myself)
  • I didn't eat when I got home. I had a light snack at 2:30.
  • No sugar except for what was in my protein bar at breakfast.
  • I refused to sit down and watch TV when I got home (what I usually do).
  • I got straight into my running clothes and did some things around the house until 6:00 when I went for my run.
  • I drank about 48 oz of water at work and then drank a big glass of water before my run.

Today I LOVE: Edamame! I have a whole bag to eat tonight. YUM!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ravenous Runner

First - thank you so much Willie, RBR and tiny frog for your comments! Yup - I need to slow my ass down on these long runs. They're wiping me out a bit and I don't want to risk injury. So - (right hand raised in the air...) I solemnly swear that I will not try and kill myself on Saturday's run (12 miles again...) by pushing too fast too quickly.

So, here's the question that I have for today. After the long run on Sunday I have been RAVENOUS for the last several days. Seriously...I'm eating myself out of house and home. Ack! I need to get hold of my nutrition and eating habits. I'm sugar loading. I think I'm reaching for the sugar because I'm not consuming enough calories directly before and after the run. (I'm not a nutritionist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express...ha!) Yesterday I focused on hydration and that helped a bit. I made myself drink my 64 oz of water. That curbed the cravings a bit. I would really appreciate any nutrition/eating advice that you guys have though. I seriously need help.

Tropical Storm Edouard missed us completely, but not before pushing a truck-load of humidity up to us. Joy. So, now it's 95 freakin' degrees with 80% humidity. Awesome. I saw some runners out yesterday at lunch time. In. The. Middle. of. The. Day. Are they insane? Whew...I don't know how they do it, but more power to them.

Today I LOVE: to find new cool running routes!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Impatient Runner

I forgot that I had a hair appointment early on Saturday morning (why in the WORLD did I schedule it so early???) so I only managed to run 4 miles on Saturday morning. I pushed my long run back until Sunday, which was good because it gave me a little more time to recover from the week's illness and stress. Saturday's run went really well. Having missed two runs that week I was a bit nervous to how I would perform, but I managed to log a 10:14 pace. so much.

Sunday I got up early and got geared up for my long run. I decided to fill up all four bottles on my fuel belt since I burned through the two bottles last weekend. With the humidity being so high I'm really using the water I carry. It's funny that I could tell a difference just wearing the two extra bottles of water. Not like it weighed a ton, but I could still tell that extra weight was on my body. I took my pre-run goo and took off. I set a goal of 12 miles. I would like to get several 12 mile runs in before I start hitting the upper mileage and my schedule only calls for two. So, I upped the ante just a bit.

The run started off great. It was cool (albeit humid!) and everything felt great. My 6 mile split showed a pace of 10:24! I was excited! The run back was much, much harder. Whew. Mr. Sun decided to come out and the humidity started to get to me. I was sweating buckets and burned through all four bottles of water by mile 10. I pushed through and finished out with a pace of 11:12. OK - but not really where I want to be. But, I'm really glad that I was able to get the run in this weekend.

Funny thing, because of the humidity and heat down here you sweat BUCKETS. Out of curiosity I like to weigh myself before the long run and then right after. I lost THREE pounds of water from sweating so much. It was obvious because the rest of the day I was zapped. It really took me about four hours of rest and hydration until I felt energized again. Whew. And then I was famished! There's actually a run in Baton Rouge in August in the middle of the day. It's only a two mile race. The catch is they weigh everyone before and then right after. Whoever loses the most weight (from sweating) wins.

I am such an impatient runner though. I want to run the 12 miles. I want to run them quickly and I want it to come easy and I want that to happen NOW! I tend to get discouraged a bit after these long runs when I don't have the pace I wanted or if they're more of a struggle than I anticipated. Then I start the panic. Thoughts go through my head, "If you can barely finish 12 miles, how are you going to finish 26?" But then I have to step back and realize.."Jen, you've only been training for six weeks - you still have three and a half months of training left. You'll get there."

So, you marathoners out there...please tell me I'll get there.

Friday, August 1, 2008


My husband gave me his lovely illness. Booo.... I stayed home from work yesterday. I tried to get up and run yesterday morning and I could barely even make it 2 miles! I was running a mild fever and just generally run down. I ended up sleeping for four hours yesterday. I feel MUCH better today and renewed and refreshed.

I missed two runs this week though. Ack! I'm going to try and make one up tonight and then long run tomorrow. Or, depending on how I feel, another short run tomorrow and long run on Sunday. It all just depends on my energy levels. I HATE missing a run, but I know that resting and healing are what my body needs. Plus, missing a couple of runs won't kill me. I still HATE missing a run though!

It's been raining for the last several days. It's great because it's cooled off this awful heat a bit but it has raised the humidity level to biblical proportions. I'm expecting the locusts to come swarming at any second. :-)

Today I LOVE: that I actually have ENERGY again. Whew.